tsukihime fate mahoyo rakkyo merubura

TYPE-MOON Staff Round-Table Talk

Published in 「Colorful Moon Tsukihime - Perfect Fan Book」 in March 2002
Translation by T.Roy

A roundtable with all members of TYPE-MOON on August 2nd, 2002, back when TYPE-MOON was still a doujin group. The roundtable goes over TYPE-MOON's origin, its members and its history, as well as insider information on 「Tsukihime」 and 「Kagetsu Tohya」.

Takeuchi TakashiArtist, coloring, director
Nasu KinokoScript
OKSGScript and programming support, meals
Koyama HirokazuEvent CG coloring (starting with 「Kagetsu Tohya」)

「One time, we went our separate ways. But then we reconciled.」 (Nasu)
———I will first introduce the members, but a regular self-introduction would not be interesting, so let's try introducing the person sitting in front of you. Speak frankly, please. Let's have OKSG introduce Takeuchi-san.
OKSG Umm, Takeuchi Takashi-san is the real head of TYPE-MOON.
Nasu Are you being shy? Was it that hard to say? (all laugh)
OKSG No no, at TYPE-MOON he is in charge of original artwork, character designs, and other things. In public he has a maids complex, but...
Nasu "But"?
OKSG He really does have a maid complex (laughs), before you realize it maids have appeared in his new work (Editor's note: The new work refers to 「Fate/stay night」).
Nasu Hahahaha! Yea, that shocked me. (all burst into laughter)
———Now Takeuchi-san, please introduce OKSG.
Takeuchi Right, OKSG. It's written OKSG and refers to OKaShiGe-kun. In TYPE-MOON, he manages the homepage and other things centered around it. The feeling is that you can basically have him do anything, and I'm thinking about having him grow towards design.
Nasu He's growing it? (laughs)
Takeuchi Within TYPE-MOON, he is someone who can both be "moe" and handle things in a flexible way.
———Continuing on, Koyama-san, please introduce Kiyobee-san.
Koyama Kiyobee-san is in charge of programming and system related tasks.
Nasu Also, he's the zipper of our wallet. (laughs) Among us irresponsible people, he's the only dependable one.
Koyama Like a class president, isn't he.
Nasu He's the kind of guy who you would ask to buy "Grappler Baki" for the class library, and he would say that sort of thing is bad and not buy it for you. (laughs)
Koyama And he's also in charge of Gundam. (all laugh)
———Now will Kiyobee-san please introduce Koyama-san.
Kiyobee So, Koyama Hirokazu-san heads various design areas, including art, weapons, and clothing. His codename is God Hand. (all burst into laughter) He is the hand of God.
Nasu You can't see he his hands when he's in the middle of working. They are just a blur because he works so fast. (laughs)
———Let's move on with KATE-san introducing Nasu-san.
KATE He is Nasu Kinoko-sensei. (laughs).
Nasu Hey hey, don't call me sensei!
KATE He does the script, as well as the overall direction. As a person, just like how he always says things like "dechu" in various media.
Nasu Haha, I guess so huh.
KATE Also, he has a weak stomach. (all laugh)
———And finally, Nasu-san, please introduce KATE-san.
Nasu KATE-kun is in charge of music. In TYPE-MOON we leave all the music to him. Basically we just tell him "we want this kind of music" then leave to rest to KATE-kun's artistic senses. We also entrust sound effects to him. As you can tell, he's the nicest looking guy in the group, though I guess I really mean that among those of us steeped in the business world, he has a unique edge to him. (laughs) And there are times when his edge is too strong and I don't know how to deal with it (all laugh), but I hope he can stay this way. Other than that, he is dying waiting for 「FF11」. (all laugh)
———Thank you very much. Everyone is pretty embarrassed, aren't they? I want to ask about how TYPE-MOON came to be and its history. Takeuchi-san and Nasu-san, you were acquaintances in middle school weren't you?
Takeuchi That's right.)
———Were you guys really good friends in middle school?
Nasu We were. When I think back on it now, we didn't really play around that much, did we? Us hanging out was usually talking about manga. What do you think?
Takeuchi Nasu always liked games, so he always brought me to game centers.
Nasu Ah, we did that too, huh?
Takeuchi I would see Nasu playing games like 「Rygar」 and 「Tiger Road」.
Nasu Woah, when was that? (laughs)
Takeuchi He played like crazy.
Nasu Was it really crazy?
Takeuchi Well, sometimes you would give me your pocket money, so thanks for that. (both laugh)
Nasu That is a really bad image. (laughs) Anyway, we already knew each other during the first year of middle school, and we always hung out after that.
———Did you ever have arguments?
Takeuchi We did in middle school, didn't we?
Nasu We did. And we had one really big one, didn't we?
———Did you guys make up right away?
Nasu One time, we went our separate ways. But then we reconciled. It was very sudden.
Takeuchi I think I was the one who apologized. (laughs)
Nasu Oh? Well that was such a long time ago. It's been more than 10 years.
Takeuchi It was definitely a childish reason for the fight. We were middle school kids.
———I heard at that time that Takeuchi-san was reading Nasu-san's novels. You were really brave letting your classmate read the novels you've written.
Nasu It was extremely embarrassing. But we were only in the same class during the first year, after that we were in different classes. I started writing novels in the second year, and we were at opposite ends of hallway, so during breaks it was like me dashing over to establish contact. We were in different classrooms so it was relatively comfortable, but still embarrassing.
———Dashing over like that during break, just like lovers?
Nasu Hahaha, you must be joking.
———If others around you saw that would they think so?
Takeuchi It was normal. If you knew each other for 10 years it would be like that.
———Speaking of that, then have been rumors about Nasu-san and Takeuchi-san getting together. (laughs)
Nasu I think we were normal friends. But the idea behind local game buddies was already a bit odd———on weekends one would meet at the other's house and stay up all night playing games. Though I suppose rather than friends who would play together, it was more like comrades in battle, which was why our bond was so deep.
———And your team now is an extension of that, I see.
「It's thanks to this that our office is strictly non-smoking. 」 (Takeuchi)
How did you meet everyone else?
Takeuchi First, I met KATE and Kiyobee from the company I worked at before. That game company was located in a remote region, so new employees were normally moved into a dorm. I was in a completely different division than KATE and Kiyobee, but we met in those dorms and became close. Kiyobee was next door to my room, so every morning he would wake me up. (laughs)
Soon after that the company got into financial trouble, so I decide to join a different company, and returned to Tokyo. At that point I began creating doujin with people I know, and that was when I got back together Nasu. Around that time those two also decided to quite the company, and haven't decided what to do yet, that was when us four got together and began making games.
———Were Takeuchi-san and the other two close within the company?
Takeuchi Well, sometimes I would see KATE in the smoking room, but since we were in different department, rather than within the company, we were close in the dorm. One time there was a dorm party that everyone went to, that was when we became close.
KATE Takeuchi and I would occasionally interact with each other at work, while Kiyobee and I didn't have much work together at all.
Kiyobee We had no relation to each other at work.
———So when you decided to make games in Tokyo, was Takeuchi-san the one who approached everyone?
Takeuchi That's right. But well, did I invite them? I just happened to come to Tokyo, and it worked out like that.
Kiyobee After you came, the conversation to make something happened.
———Were you and KATE-san already close while at the company?
KATE That's right. I recall after returning from work we would all gather in someone's room and play games all night. That was when I heard him vaguely mention a friend named Nasu, who he described as "That guy is amazing!"
———It was full of love, wasn't it? (all burst into laughter)
Takeuchi In all of my life, I think this is time period I wasted the most time on.
KATE It was a time full of passion, wasn't it?
Takeuchi Passion... more like we were too young.
Nasu Just now, you were embarrassed. (laughs)
KATE And before we finally met I already knew Nasu's face.
Nasu How? This doesn't make me feel good.
Takeuchi I had a lot of weird photos of Nasu, so I showed them those.
———So that means Kiyobee-san and KATE-san already knew him.
Nasu I didn't know them at all. (laughs)
———When that company dissolved and you left for Tokyo to make games, was the feeling something like "let's do our best"?
KATE About this, we were definitely full of energy. We had to have that energy to rise to the occasion. After that I immediately joined a record company, and I became incredibly busy, not only did I not have an inefficient work environment, but I didn't have any free time either. Even thought I was able to hold out till 「Kagetsu Tohya」, at that point I fully realized that it was just impossible. There's no way to split your attention in this industry.
———Did Kiyobee-san come to Tokyo to get a job?
Kiyobee That's correct. I came to Tokyo in order to work for another game company, but I kind of hated it, so I quit and started collecting unemployment benefit.
Nasu Can I say the reason why you came to hate it? It's that thing, "everyone was a heavy smoker, how can someone work in the middle of all this smoke!" It's actually Kiyobee's iconic story.
Takeuchi It's thanks to this that our office is strictly non-smoking. (laughs)
OKSG KATE-san and the others would go to the porch.
Nasu On cold days in the middle of winter, there would be a lot of shaking and clattering.
KATE Ya, it was cold. And in the summer it was hot. (laughs)
Kiyobee After that I did nothing for about three months, but then had to go to work since I had used up all of my unemployment benefits. Following my senpai from the previous game company, I did some work related to network code and system architecture. The creation of 「Tsukihime」 felt like "everyone working to death at Takeichi-kun's place on the weekends, and finishing up the rest back home."
Takeuchi During 「Tsukihime Complete Edition」, aside from Nasu everyone had their feet on two different boats, so even meeting up was difficult. At that time KATE was in an especially inconvenient place so he couldn't come to us, and going there was bothersome, it was that kind of feeling. There was a massive amount of music and data, so work continued as he worked remotely. I would be told he finished the melody over the phone, but I could not get it at all over the phone. (laughs) I would try to listen to a song over the receiver and say, even if I say "Hey, this is good! Nasu, listen to this!" there's no way to really get it.
I always felt bad for Kiyobee too. Nasu and I did most of the work at night, but if it went past twelve Kiyobee would say "I'm tired," "I'm going to sleep," and "My brain cells are going to die." When someone says their brain cells are dying, there's really no way you can object to that. (all laugh) After all we can't take responsibility for Kiyobee's brain cells, so we'd let him stop work and go home. Sometimes when I would start doing a test play, it would suddenly freeze. Then I would call him up and ask him to fix it, this happened a lot, and was a mess until the very end.
「Is this really that admirable? 」 (Takeuchi)
Nasu-san, what was your job during this time?
Nasu When I decided to make 「Tsukihime」 I quit the company I was working at, and was thinking of writing some script when Takeuchi-kun said he was making a game, so I decided to throw all of this dark passion into doing it. (laughs) The story's overall structure was completed in about a day, just when I was about to start writing, another company asked me for some help as a writer, so I called Takeuchi-kun, and for about half a year I helped this other game company. But as the New Year began I quit that company, and focused entirely on 「Tsukihime」. When everyone else was doing other work, I worked only on 「Tsukihime」.
———I heard that Takeuchi-san took care of Nasu-san's financial burdens so he could devote himself to the script. I don't think that's something easily accomplished. Takeuchi-san must highly value Nasu-san's talents.
Takeuchi Nasu at that time was in an extremely unfortunate situation. It felt like he was being extorted by a lot of people from a lot of different places, constantly dissatisfied with how things were shaping up, and then due to a certain reason he just blew up at one point.
———But Takeuchi-san's resolution at that time was amazing, was it not?
Nasu It really was. Takeuchi-kun took out all of his savings up until that point for me. I told him about the company I was previously helping "Because of this and that, as a result this happened," and afterwards he got so mad over the phone and said, "If that's the case then I'll pay you!" for some reason I said, "Yay! I can definitely live with this, thank you!" (laughs)
Further, in that situation I was also taking care of my parents by myself. Being in a position where I'm taking care of my parents, yet I recklessly quit the company, but it wasn't completely out of my mind. I would need an absolute minimum amount of money or I couldn't do it. Takeuchi-kun's money made me able to live and prepare for each month, and it was a large driving force for me.
———But at that time, you didn't think to make 「Tsukihime」 a huge success, right? You simply wanted to make it.
Nasu I want to make it, sure, or you can say we all wanted to tackle something together and win over other's hearts.
Takeuchi At the time I've had about a year's worth if experience creating doujin in the form of shounen manga, so I did estimate that "creating a work of this level would guarantee this much sales." While we didn't think it'd reach this level of popularity, with that kind of estimation I figured "if we use half a year to make this, the resulting profit should temporarily support Nasu." Thinking about it now, it was really selfish, like being forcibly thrown into something, and having to do it because you're getting paid for it. I would wonder "is this really that admirable?"
———The volume of the script is just enormous, isn't it? Thinking about that, the rigor in your work really didn't change from when you worked in a company, did it?
Nasu I put my heart into writing what I loved, and that was enough for me. Although Takeuchi-kun did say we'll make it in half a year. So I wondered if half a year would be enough. But from when we started in February, by June we said, "Oh, this is impossible." (all burst into laughter) We talked about how since we had gotten this far, let's move forward with our ideals and figure something out. At that time Yahoo Auction was at its most popular, so I took my CD that I had been saving since I was little to my acquaintance Takata-kun, who loved Yahoo auction, and asked him to sell it for me. After about a week he told me, "It sold for 130,000 yen," and I said, "Yes, with this I can live for about 3 months, thank you Yahoo Auction!"
So you really didn't think about what to do after that?
Nasu All we thought was that after we finish 「Tsukihime」 we would go back to our own jobs. Well, I think we all thought about becoming famous after completing the product. Otherwise, the feeling was to just create something that would be a base to jump off from, or even just its foundation, but by the time we noticed it became a skyrocket. (laughs)
———It became an outrageous firework, didn't it?
「When I heard that during a phone call I was in complete shock.」 (Koyama)
Takeuchi 「Tsukihime」 itself was basically made by 4 people, but we couldn't really say that later on. During 「Kagetsu Tohya」 we asked for help from OKSG-kun and Koyama-san. OKSG-kun was already a regular visitor of our home page.
OKSG I wrote so many embarrassing posts in the comment section. (all burst into laughter)
Takeuchi I saved it all through email. (laughs)
OKSG Please delete them!!! (all burst into laughter) I really started during the development of 「Half Moon Edition」 when I helped them out a bit, but I didn't officially join until after the launch of 「Tsukihime」.
Takeuchi Nasu received a huge help from him during 「Half Moon Edition」 and 「Complete Edition」.
Nasu I didn't have a computer, so I stayed over at his place during editing. I also didn't have money so he made me food. (laughs)
———And Koyama-san?
Takeuchi Koyama-san had been looking at our home page for a long time, and was a big fan.
Koyama This is so embarrassing. (laughs)
Takeuchi I used to only see him during Comiket, but then Koyama-san had also quit his job and began working freelance.
Nasu 「Tsukihime」 received very good reviews. So when the two of us were working on 「Kagetsu Tohya」, we had to rely on somebody, we talked about asking Koyama-san to help because we had nothing to lose, so I sent him an email. He immediately reply with, "Sounds good!" Success! And so we managed to obtain his help.
———How did OKSG-san join?
Nasu Looking at the dates it was during development of 「Half Moon Edition」, I recall doing editing work in his ridiculously hot room. We first met around the time 「Kara no Kyoukai」 was published, and by the time we finished writing 「Kara no Kyoukai」 we were already very close. He came to Tokyo about four months before we finished 「Half Moon Edition」. Before long I would show him what I was making, and from there he started helping a little at a time. During 「Half Moon Edition」 he only helped with editing, by the time of 「Complete Edition」 I had left the editing work completely to him. During 「Kagetsu Tohya」, I left a portion of the scenario programming to him. Though even before that he wasn't just programming; he became a part of TYPE-MOON's business circle and was doing a lot of running around for us.
OKSG ...You really said everything. (laughs)
———Meaning that from the beginning you were a fan of Nasu-san's?
Nasu What! You were a fan of mine?! (laughs)
OKSG Yea, actually. (all laugh)
Takeuchi It felt like OKSG-kun was our very first reader. So during 「Tsukihime」, rather than a staff I wanted him to be more of a reader. But as he helped out with during events he naturally became a member.
OKSG I started out as an salesperson at events.
Nasu Ah, that must have hurt. (all laugh)
OKSG Even though as a reader I could feel how much they value me, but due to their work they would often ignore me and I would get lonely. (laughs) So when they asked to help them out...
Takeuchi Were you happy? (laughs)
Nasu Don't forget that feeling. (laughs)
OKSG Ah, I don't remember it very well. (all burst into laughter)
Nasu But I guess you can never know the future. He also had a job, and his life could be really hard, but he nonetheless helped us out, for that I'm very grateful. I think at the time "OKSG was essential" so the way we said it was more like "Well, TYPE-MOON might be gone in about a year, but will you follow us?"
OKSG It's really something when I think about it now. (laughs)
Nasu You said you didn't even care if something like that happened.
OKSG I said that it would be a "good life experience."
Nasu You did, you did. (laughs)
———In other words Koyama-san joined when the five of you were already very close.
Koyama That's right. I was the last person to really merge with the group.
———So basically you joined as you thought everyone was very close to each other. You should have seen "Tsukihime Complete Edition" before joining, right?
Koyama I already knew them individually before 「Tsukihime」 began. When I found out about them working on 「Tsukihime」 through their homepage, I had a job at a company in Hiroshima. Actually, the other four were also at Hiroshima at one point, but none of us saw each other, around the time Takeuchi-san quit his job and moved back to Tokyo, I received an email from him and we began talking. When 「Tsukihime」 began I was just watching. At the time I just thought "so it's in development." When 「Half Moon Edition」 was released, I quit my job and came back to Tokyo and began working freelance. That winter 「Tsukihime」 was released, and I thought it was really something. Later when they started work on a fan disc called 「Kagetsu Tohya」, I was invited to help with CG-related work, after saying "I will do it!" somehow in developed into things like "please color the CG." That's how I got dragged into it. (laughs)
———When you played 「Tsukihime」, were you pretty impressed?
Koyama Of course I was impressed~. Well, this sounds bad to say, but I didn't have high expectation since it was doujin, like "can it really be that great?" But after playing it, it completely betrayed my mental image of it. I thought it was really amazing. First of all it was purely just interesting, from a creator-point-of-view, I think it would take a lot of work to achieve this, which deserve a high level of respect. Later I heard that Takeuchi-san did the art for all of the character portraits and event CG, as well as coloring them, while having another job. When I heard that during a phone call I was in complete shock.
———Did you think about joining this team at that time?
Nasu Are you the same as us? (laughs)
Koyama When I quit my job, it was unrelated to TYPE-MOON's activities, so yea, I didn't think about joining. Well, by joining TYPE-MOON, to some extent I would be able to do what I liked, so I thought I could really put my heart into it.
「There are times where something will make one of us angry. 」 (KATE)
———From what I'm hearing, does that mean your duties were a bit scattered? As in you guys collaborated unexpectedly well.
Nasu We complemented each other well, and didn't step into each other's feelings, so there wasn't any conflict.
———There are no disputes or conflicts at all?
Nasu It's at a point where I think we should have one.
KATE I think there are times where something will make one of us angry, but it's only there briefly, so it doesn't turn into a dispute.
Nasu "They are them, I am me." That sort of feeling, right?
———As a five person team, you all have a strong sense of fellowship then, don't you?
Takeuchi You're right. It's also the perfectly good number of people.
———Has there been anyone who's left along the way?
Nasu There hasn't.
———So it really is tight. You went with an elite few from the beginning.
Takeuchi It became that way, yes.
———Does everyone drink or do other things together a lot?
Nasu That's right. We drink on the weekends sometimes. We spent all day together, even though it sounds a bit strange saying it, but I don't think there are really any other circles as close as us. With another one or two people we could form cliques, so this is probably just right. Just enough for everyone to go to a restaurant together
「It's okay as long as it's more fun than expected. 」 (Nasu)
———Is there a meaning behind the naming the circle TYPE-MOON?
Nasu Well, I guess if you say it like that, there is one, but how should I explain it?
Takeuchi If I recall correctly each of us put in some ideas.
Nasu But then it would be so vague, like it wouldn't come together at all. Now that you mention it, did any of you actually give it some serious thought? (laughs)
Takeuchi When did we finalize it? I think it was decided by the time of the preview disk.
Kiyobee I posted a bunch of names on the message board.
Takeuchi Right, right. But in the end nothing was decided. It was something like "Why don't we just go with Nasu's TYPE-MOON?" And we went with that since no one had any objections.
———So Nasu-san came up with the name?
Nasu That's right. The moon can also mean other things, I thought it would be fine and it would be just be for that one time. Thinking about it now, I'm happy that it's a nice, simple name.
———Also, you were able to complete the preview disk, 「Trial Edition」, and 「Half Moon Edition」. Did Nasu-san and Takeuchi-san pretty much become recluses because of it?
Nasu Takeuchi-kun had his feet in multiple boats while working on the 「Half Moon Edition」, 「Complete Edition」, and 「PLUS-DISC」.
Takeuchi That's right. I said it already, but aside from Nasu the other three all had other jobs. But then again this is pretty normal for doujin. Around the time we started working on 「Kagetsu Tohya」, I quit my job before the other two in order to focus on development.
———What was the work like during "Kagetsu Tohya?
KATE It was pretty miserable during 「Kagetsu Tohya」~.
Nasu Do you resent it even now. (laughs)
KATE I was so surprised at one time. During 「Kagetsu」 we had no time to meet up. During the last half of development I was on the phone with Takeuchi and told him "this is where I am, where are you? How about Nasu?" He would say, Ah, I don't know." (laughs) Each person only knew his own progress.
Nasu In some sense it was extreme divide-and-conquer. Each person knew what they were supposed to do, but we had no idea how far each person is and what has been completed, all the way until we had some results.
Takeuchi Overall we just decided on "this kind of objective, advancing in this way, with this kind of feeling." And then dove right into it. I put everything I had into it. It was only during play test that I would get to see what kind of game it turned out to be.
Nasu I said that 「Kagetsu Tohya」 is a game that uses Tsukihime's characters freely for a whole day, with the additional element of "Len," to bring out the feeling of 「Tsukihime」. At the time, Takeuchi-kun said "I understand, I understand" followed by "Let's meet again in one month!" So I returned home and wrote, and proofread what I had completed. About a week before our designated completion date we did a test play, and Takeuchi-kun said over the phone, "So it's this kind of game." To that extent everyone put all they've got into development.
Takeuchi Hearing it and doing it are pretty different, and it was more fun than expected. Even if you were told that the game just loops everyday occurrences, you wouldn't understand it fully. Only after it's been made do you realize the kind of game it is.
Nasu At that time I was very surprised. We would meet and decide on a scene, saying that it will look this way, and then adapt the visuals to it. Even though in our mind the visuals matched each other, everyone had a different blueprint in mind. Though, it's okay as long as it's more fun than expected. (laughs)
Takeuchi In other words I accidentally hurt you with a careless statement. Sorry about that.
Nasu During 「Tsukihime」 it was like "if Takeuchi-kun says 'this is very interesting' after being shown a heroine's scenario, then this is good, time to move on to the next heroine." During 「Kagetsu Tohya」 Takeuchi-kun was extremely busy, and no one had time to read the scenarios after they were done. I had no idea whether a scenario was fun or boring. Even if I thought one was extremely boring, since no one had time to look over it, I wasn't sure what to do.
———It was mentioned during the interview that Takeuchi-san and Nasu-san had more of an editor and writer relationship, but in a situation like that you couldn't really fulfill an editor role, could you?
Takeuchi At times like those we were only able to discuss overall structure and basic ideas. For 「Kagetsu Tohya」, I think that was good enough. I was so busy as well.
———After the release of 「Complete Edition」, you were able to complete 「Kagetsu Tohya」 in about half a year?
Nasu From after the winter Comiket until March, most of our time were spent on clean up, and there was 「Tsukihime Dokuhon」 as well, so development didn't start until May. So bad. (laughs)
Takeuchi The work actually took around 2 months.
Nasu We re-used a lot of things from 「Tsukihime」, then there was God Hand (all burst into laughter) who helped us come up with ideas. When I think about it now, it's really amazing. God Hand would finish three CG of 「Kagetsu Tohya」 a day.
Koyama It really was weird. (all burst into laughter)
Nasu Seriously, not only is Takeuchi-kun weird, Koyama-san is weird as well.
Koyama At that time it was my entire life. Well, I had quit my job, so my entire day was waking up and coloring CGs, waking up and coloring, that kind of feeling.
Takeuchi It was like that for me too. Waking up and drawing, waking up and drawing. (laughs)
Nasu In that case, I was waking up and writing, waking up and writing. (laughs)
「We called Takeuchi-kun the TYPE-MOON's ero-director.」 (Nasu)
———Is Nasu-san fast at writing? You always have so much.
Nasu I've lost a bit of confidence recently. In the past I was confident I could write at a very high speed, but now I start to suspect I've slowed down. But I feel like I'm average.
———Does your speed increase when it's an H-scene?
Nasu No, I slow down when it's an H-scene. If it's just a normal H-scene I can finish it pretty quickly, but if I'm writing scripts with a heavy emphasis on its plot, I can't create a discontinuity in the story even if it's an H-scene, and it's very hard to balance parts that's related to the story. After writing something, I'd take a look and say "this is totally wrong" and re-write it. The H-scene needs to be erotic, yet still preserving Shiki's characteristics, it was very difficult. In the end I spent the most time on the H-scenes. Comparatively, you could say the non-H sections are easy, since I just need to write out the story.
———In 「PLUS-DISC」 didn't all the heroines gather and discuss how great Shiki's H-skill was?
Nasu For that I just wrote out what I thought of myself. Takeuchi-kun had a distinct vision for the visual novel, and said that there should be more than six CG in an H-scene. If it was just a few H-scenes it would be ok, but in 「Tsukihime」 each character basically had one H-scene. In using six CG in one scene, I thought each should be on screen for a long time. The artist went through great pains drawing those pictures for us, and I did not want to throw them away immediately. But, using six CG throughout meant also having really long text. That's why Shiki's H-scenes lasted so long; it's due to the large number of CG. If there were three, it would be over right away. (laughs)
———So that's why it went to the second, third rounds, right? (laughs)
Takeuchi In regards to H-scenes, most of them were the way they are because we wanted to draw them in a certain way, or wanted them to play out in a certain way.
Nasu Takeuchi-kun came up with ideas for most of the H-scenes, one of his famous sayings was: "For H-scenes, the H is of course the main focus, but it is also a great way to express the cuteness of a character." I agreed with his view, so I would look at the CG he described or the draft and brainstorm what to write, and once I see the finished image I'll spend more time thinking of what to write. "Ok! I'll use this for the beginning, and use that one during the break!" That's how I approached the work.
Takeuchi Sometimes I would do a drawing, then suddenly think of something, then draw that out too.
Nasu Hisui, right? Hisui had five CG at first. I had various ideas for it, and just as I finished writing them, the phone would ring and he would say, "I added one more." Um, what? (laughs) "They should be there tomorrow by mail," he'd say, and send them over to me. "It really does look cute, but what are you trying to do with this CG!" (laughs)
Takeuchi Sorry, but I'm counting on you. (laughs)
———The H-scenes are full of Takeuchi-san's thoughts.
Nasu At that time, OKSG-kun and I called Takeuchi-kun the TYPE-MOON's ero-director. (laughs)
OKSG Yeah, or the ero-minister (laughs)
Takeuchi You did say that, but, um, so it is.
———He's not denying it is he. (laughs)
Nasu Even as we say that, it was already hard enough for me to come up with climax on a plot-level, so providing ideas for H-scenes was a huge life saver. When we worked on the rough drafts together, we would discuss various things as we finish the draft, but it was also really embarrassing (laughs) us two guys discussing H-scene plot in a secret room.
In my previous company, even though the producer would ask for H-scenes, it was just a mention that there would be this kind of scene, and it would be made. There was no understanding on a conceptual level. There was no passion, which is way you don't feel anything looking at the images. This is another reason why no matter how embarrassing, how uncomfortable, we would always discuss it beforehand.
———Did the novels you wrote in middle school have any H-scenes in them?
Nasu How can our work from when we were young have depictions of sex! (laughs) It's like one of those things where "mother would have never let it happen."
———Is Takeuchi-san the one who said to make it into a visual novel with adult content?
Nasu Yeah, that's right.
———To what extent was Takeuchi-san confident in it being accepted by others?
Takeuchi For myself, I thought you would like it as long as you've read Nasu's novels. But after we announced it on our homepage and in doujinshi there was no reaction at all. So I thought that if it was an H-game, or even R-18, that there would be a chance people would read it.
「I did not imagine something like this even once.」 (Takeuchi)
———At what point did you start to notice that this is really starting to gain some popularity?
Nasu Was it around March in the year after we announced 「Tsukihime」?
Takeuchi The reaction itself came from our homepage and Sunshine Creation in January? And then 2chan started talking about it, even though we were still skeptical. We really felt it with the mail orders from our TYPE-MOON website. The server went down and everything.
Kiyobee It could only accept three unique accesses at one time. Anything else would be redirected to our service provider, when we looked at 2chan's logs, people would say "that provider should go to hell!" I had no idea they were writing those kinds of things.
Nasu After that is when we had our Only Events, which made me realized how far we had come! An Only Event was one of my dreams. No, even in my dreams it seemed absurd. It was an unbelievable thing, the Only Event. Rather than being shocked, I became worried if it was really okay to host an Only Event that may not be a success for our sponsors.
Takeuchi Around March or April was also when we were worried about the reactions. So in regards to the Only Event, instead of thinking it was amazing, we were worried about how it would turn out at all. We had a lot of anxiety over what we should do.
KATE In my case, I had no idea what would be considered amazing in the doujinshi scene. So for me I realized how amazing it is during Kagetsu Tohya, with the number of people that came to our event, and the lines that formed.
Nasu The time with the 「Blue Book」 really gave me a big shock!
KATE I arrived a little late that time. The book was already gone.
Takeuchi I originally said we should bring 1500 copies, but then thought 1,000 would probably be better, thinking 1,500 copies would be impossible. (laughs)
Kiyobee We just plopped everything onto the table, and wondered if we would really sell them all.
Nasu I said, "We'll absolutely have leftovers! I don't want to go home with these. This is shameful." (laughs)
Takeuchi When we first sold 「Tsukihime」 at the 2000 winter Comiket, we brought in eight boxes, and wound up taking home six. It left a strong impression on us.
———How long did it take you to sell all 1,500?
Takeuchi I don't remember how long, but we easily sold them all.
——— How was the sale of 「Kagetsu Tohya」 at the summer Comiket?
Nasu At that time lines appeared even at the next table, I was so grateful that I cried.
———And everyone cosplayed right?
Nasu During 「Kagetsu Tohya」 our theme was a festival, so everyone bought kimonos, and did it just like a festival. In reality I guess it wasn't that much, and no matter how much we sold it just would not end, and we all wanted it to be over.
KATE Everyone left the home dressed up. (all laughs) I'm the only one that didn't wear something. Without discussing it beforehand, I'm sure no one would dress up in them.
Nasu We were all busy, but the four of us went to Asakusa to buy yukata, and happily commented on how nice they looked.
KATE Then when we met at the station in Hamamatsucho, I would see yukata coming out one by one every time a train came. (laughs)
Nasu We were the yukata army corps! (laughs)
———Now you are featured in magazines, and are seeing anthologies published, so your circle has really garnered attention.
Nasu I originally thought the best we could do was to be called "something really interested" by people say over the internet.
Takeuchi I did not imagine something like this even once. Same goes for the anthology, as well as doing a roundtable in this book, it all feels surreal.
「Because the other half me is not a fan.」 (OKSG)
———As TYPE-MOON was established to make 「Tsukihime」, at what point after that did everyone have the feeling of continuing to make these kinds of games? Was it after 「Tsukihime」 started selling?
Nasu Ah, the following month in January after 「Tsukihime」 was released, Takeuchi-kun and I already irresponsibly began talking about the next game we wanted to do. 「Kagetsu Tohya」 was a joke we had while debugging 「Tsukihime」, where we made joke scenarios using existing portraits. We added them without anyone noticing, and it ended up surprising everyone. We then started talking about what we could do with certain portraits while saving a large number of them, with the idea of eventually turning them into an expansion, as it grew it turned into 「Kagetsu Tohya」.
OKSG I think at first we planned to add about 15 add-on scenarios to the original 「Tsukihime」. (laughs)
Nasu Then we thought 「Tsukihime」 was already in an ideal form, and doing that would not be right.
Takeuchi That's right. Well, even though in the end we didn't include them due to not having enough time, doing so somehow improved its degree of completion.
———Did your minds change at all due to the high sales of 「Tsukihime」?
Nasu I heart loosened up. (laughs) I could live on this job, so I could then devote myself to writing.
Kiyobee It really didn't change for me. I had a feeling there was going to be more work, otherwise it's the same as before.
Takeuchi He goes at his own pace. Very simple. (laughs) Kiyobee is a human unlike the rest of us in the group, and if Kiyobee wasn't here we would crumble in an instant.
KATE I basically didn't change either.
Koyama In my case, I had transitioned from being an outsider to being part of the group, so rather than saying I completely changed, I guess I had already changed. I had been doing freelance, so I was mostly working by myself.
OKSG I felt that even though I had reached this point, more than half of me was still a fan.
Nasu But then you would give me some very un-fan-like complaints. (laughs)
OKSG Of course, because the other half me is not a fan. (all burst into laughter)
Nasu I see. (laughs)
OKSG Sometimes we would take a step back and look at everything objectively and think about the great things we're doing. In that way, much hasn't changed since the beginning.
Takeuchi While I think things are mostly the same, some level of change should be natural, or rather sometimes we had to change. At the moment we are in a very comfortable space, so the greatest change is having an even stronger feeling of not wanting to break that condition.
———After all Takeuchi-san is the first to mention creating that space, right?
Takeuchi Of course, TYPE-MOON started because I brought up the suggestion, but when it was first established I couldn't even imagine it would become its current state. It's at a point where we haven't decided yet on our next goal. I need to think about how to handle the uneasiness of where to go from here, the feeling of wanting to make a change, and the urge to leave things as they are.
———It seems like there is no plan to make the circle bigger?
Nasu About that, the current number of people and our situation feel really good, but keep going like this is a bit strange, even if I want to continue as such. I do think there are areas that we must grow larger, which is why I'm afraid with the addition of the seventh or eighth person, the current relationships could gradually crumble. Similarly, if we continue to create games, then this will be unavoidable.
Takeuchi This is like having an end goal right now, but no idea how to push forward to that point.
———Is this end goal Takeuchi-san's, or everyone's?
Takeuchi Oh, it's everyone's.
Nasu It's like "here we are right now, we need to eventually accomplished this."
Takeuchi Did everyone here about it? Oh, I haven't mentioned it?
OKSG Of course I've heard it. First it was about the martial arts stadium, right? (laughs)
Nasu Then Tokyo Dome! (laughs)
OKSG Japan is too small for us!
Koyama We're aiming for the world.
KATE It's the visual kei style's road to success. (laughs)
Takeuchi Perhaps we have already achieved a certain number of our goals. Ideally our popularity would rise little by little, just as it did with Tsukihime, and more with our next game.
———That's because you abruptly reached a higher level, right? But because of that did Takeuchi-san and Nasu-san feel a lot of pressure? Or did everyone not feel it so much?
Nasu Yea, you're right, no one really feel it. If we had that kind of pressure it would only be about the content in our work. We don't have that pressure because we believe if you make a good product then it'll be well-received.
———Is the next game 「FATE」 going well?
Nasu Yes, it is.
Takeuchi We can only sigh about it. (all burst into laughter)
「We still have no idea on how to succeed」 (Kiyobee)
———I think there will be an increasing number of game-making circles that want to use TYPE-MOON as a model, based on your experience could you let those circles know about the secret of how to stay so close?
Nasu The secret, huh? I think we were able to do it because of the members we have. I feel because of a collection of people with good personalities, when compromise is needed we compromise and move on doing our best, when we need to complaint we complaint without turning it into conflict.
I think the most important thing is teamwork. When it comes to a doujin circle company rules become more lenient, so choosing the right partners is the most important. Also social skills is also very important, although I don't think this count as a real advice, but basically instead of recruiting the required number of people and then operate, you should focus on members who can operate together before thinking of reaching the required people count.
Takeuchi It's difficult because it's a case-by-case thing, and it's also about under what circumstances you want to start making games. I was asked these questions in the past and spent some time thinking about it. First you must have an in-depth conversation with each member about their understanding of the work. If you neglect this and start working, it will become difficult later. Although this is something I need to reflect upon quite a bit as well. (all laughs) TYPE-MOON was very fortunate to have Kiyobee, as it's thanks to Kiyobee being here that things went so smoothly. He has such a high tolerance that it covered for everything else. (all burst into laughter)
———Even though in the interview you said irresponsible things like, "Stay in your home!" (laughs)
Takeuchi Yes, that's right. (laughs) But really was a time when Nasu stayed home as a recluse. There were times when from my perspective I wanted to ask him what the hell he is doing every day.
Nasu What do you mean what was I doing! I was earnestly working, earning money, occasionally resting, and playing games~
Takeuchi Oh, I was talking about creative work. This guy, even if he wrote a story he wouldn't show it to anyone. But in the end the world he created became the basis for 「Tsukihime」, and even though it might not be visible, it is because of the setting he made that it became so persuasive. So really even though you shut yourself in at home, the result was good, which is why I told you to stay home. (laughs)
———So for the new work he will be made to be a recluse again? (laughs)
Takeuchi Naturally. (laughs)
Nasu Ah~!!
———Does Kiyobee-san, who's in charge of production, not have any more harsh opinions on this? When it comes to content versus result, isn't the production pretty stressful?
Kiyobee About this. My role is to take what the two of them make and put it into a form that can be released to the world. Being in that position I always place my trust in them, so it feels okay to me, you can also look at me as those two's backup support.
Takeuchi Sorry for all the trouble. (laughs)
Kiyobee If everyone just does what they want, hmm, then I am the glue that holds the staff together.
All Oooh~~!!
Kiyobee Without failing I don't think we would know. We ended up successful through luck, so in the end we still have no idea on how to succeed.
———Everyone, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to come here.