HomeAnimeANIME NYC 2022 | "Reincarnated as a Sword" Panel

ANIME NYC 2022 | "Reincarnated as a Sword" Panel

ANIME NYC 2022 | "Reincarnated as a Sword" Panel

The Fall 2022 anime season has given us plenty of action-packed bangers, but no one could’ve predicted how both adorable and hardcore HIDIVE’s Reincarnated as a Sword would be. Shishou and Fran’s adventures have been filled with warmth, cuteness, and loads of badass action. At Anime NYC 2022, Panel Room 1 was filled with fans of the cat girl and her sword dad, awaiting for the arrival of the anime’s director Shinji Ishihara and producer Yousuke Shimada.

After a screening of its first episode, Ishihara and Shimada took the stage to a great applause. Ishihara began the interview saying that he began his career as an assistant producer, but didn’t like his current role. An opportunity to storyboard a series opened the door to directing after the original person hired to do the job quit. Since then, Ishihara has been directing for two decades. Shimada has had a history of producing live-action and anime properties, but has found himself doing more anime since that’s where real money was. A good thing, seeing as he has wanted to work in anime since the age of eight.

Audience members took to the mic to ask Ishihara and Shimada questions. The first question touched on the differences between animating a humanoid character like Fran and a weapon like Shishou. “Good question!” remarked Ishihara, to audience laughter. He explained that it’s hard to emote a weapon, but the voice actor can make up for it with their performances. Actor Shinichiro Miki was praised for his performance as Shishou, as his level of emotion was perfect for his character.

The fight choreography of Reincarnated as a Sword was brought up next, regarding the differences between Fran wielding Shishou and Shishou fighting on his own. “When Fran uses Shishou, I was inspired by fighting games and manga,” said Ishihara. “When I storyboard a fighting scene, I think of nothing and let my pencil craft the work. When the sword’s fighting around, my focus was on how he’d move on his own.”

The title of who the main spotlit character was asked next, regarding the balance of who’s the real lead. “The sword is the audience perception, but Fran is the protagonist,” Ishihara proclaimed. Regarding the show’s path from light novel to anime, it was Shimada that brought Reincarnated as a Sword to Ishihara. “I just heard the title, and decided that I wanted in solely for that,” said Ishihara. “I started reading the light novels, and there was an illustration that stood out that helped me to get an idea on how it should be brought to animation.”

Shimada spoke about how Reincarnated as a Sword was chosen to be animated. “This is a very Japanese style of business,” began Shimada, “but Universal brought the light novel to my attention to see if he’d like to produce the anime version. I read the manga and light novels, and began to think of what kind of team could bring it to life. And Ishihara came to mind as to who could direct it.”

Regarding the hardest part of adapting Reincarnated as a Sword, Ishihara revealed that animating Shishou was more challenging to do hand-drawn, so they went the CGI route with him. “We tried [hand-drawn], but we couldn’t get it right,” said Ishihara. “So we decided to do both CGI and traditional hand-drawn.” As for when Shishou was damaged, Ishihara revealed that it was easier to bring those details via CGI rather than do it drawn. “It takes longer to draw a damaged sword.”

A question about Yasuhara Takanashi’s score was brought up, and how he brought the right tone to the battle scenes. “Our sound director brings out the emotion to the actors, and he also works with Takanashi because we trust one another,” said Ishihara. “I’ve worked with Takanashi and a few other members of the Reincarnated as a Sword staff before, and we are very tightly-knitted. In fact, without one of them [on our team], we will pass on a series.”

The last question revolved around their favorite characters. “My favorite is Augustus,” said Shimada, whereas Ishihara’s is a character that hasn’t been revealed just yet. “He’ll arrive in episode nine.” With that, the panel ended, with Ishihara and Shimada heading for an autograph session. As the audience left Panel Room 1, the excitement for what’s to come in Reincarnated as a Sword appeared to have grown as strong as Shishou and Fran’s bond.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@electricsistahood.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)