The full feature is 16 pages long and includes interviews with producer Okayasu, manga artist Saitou Misaki, Migi, Murase, Uchiyama, Horie, and Ikuhara. Additional translations talking about the character designs etc. can be found here.
When asked about her favourite parts, she said “when Mabu was thinking of letting go of Sara, when Reo said “we will make Sara happy!’ – thats the most important part of the story, what Reo said there.”
She also confirmed the manga is not an AU story, its connected to the anime.
Caption from the section on the ReoMabu manga: “With his flashy appearance, at first glance its like “he looks gaudy”, but Reo has deeply affectionate, reliable qualities.”
Murase: “Ofcourse it was director Ikuhara’s demonstrations. The scenes where the boys get their Shirikodama removed, Ikuhara actually wanted us to do, “Have this kind of posture [while] its extracted, ahhhhhhh~~! hats what you need to show”. Im a person that laughs easily, Ucchi is the same, [our] faces were red and we always laughed. Ikuhara would always very seriously instruct us, “Please do it one more time”, and again he’d exclaim “ahhhhhhhhhh~~!”, and Ucchi would decide, “No more!””
Murase also talked about the directions from Ikuhara during the auditions. He was asked to do Kazuki’s crossdressing voice – Ikuhara’s direction during recording was “a middle school boy trying too hard to sound like a woman”. He also said of the Shirikodama scene that the direction was to depict both pain and pleasure at the same time (lol).
“I wasnt informed after ep 1, but during recording for ep 2, Ikuhara said “this is where Enta kisses Kazuki”. That time I understood, “Ah, so it has that impression!” (lol.)
“For Enta’s feelings towards Kazuki, things like romance or friendship were dispensed with, [Enta’s] pure love for Kazuki, that feeling is what I performed”
Caption: “Fluctuating between friendship and romantic love [恋], characteristic of puberty, this bewildered Enta is a faithful representation of a middle schooler.” Its refreshing to usee such an word like 恋 used in official promo like this
“I wanted to make a new work with boys as the main characters. Thats where I deliberately started out from. Though from the start the plan was “this series will be about boys”, it wasnt thought about whether the target audience would be men or women, there wasn’t such a distinction. Where are we trying to go to – what is the thing we most desire to do – thats the aspect we were aiming for.”
The interviewer talked about how viewers were surprised that the middle schooler trio were actually the main characters [not ReoMabu]
Ikuhara: Surprised? (lol) The philosophy of my works is, half of it is made by the viewers.
Ikuhara on ReoMabu’s relationship
“For a long time maybe they’ve had a ‘completed relationship’. But, as humans stay the same for a long time, I think they change too. And with changes misunderstandings may occur. Especially Reo is a character harbouring such misunderstandings”
Ikuhara on the origins of Sarazanmai:
“When Yurikuma ended, [we said] ‘what shall we do next?’. In April 2015 or so full blown planning was considered. From the start, it was decided that the cast will be boys and it will be about Kappa.”
“”[…] People tend to use the word ‘desire’ with a negative meaning, and it’s easy to use ‘love’ with a positive one. But you can also understand love as ‘a desire to control someone’. They’re not opposites, I think they’re of the same nature. I hope you pay attention to where the characters’ desires and ‘connections’ will head and what words will describe them best in the second half of the anime.”
Okayasu (the producer)
On the creation of Reo and Mabu:
“Buddy cops who are complete opposites” was what director Ikuhara first decided on. Also shown old dramas and and foreign police etc. series and photographic materials. Mabu is a quiet person, but the character silhouettes were important to [Ikuhara], so I drew various quirky hairstyles, but cooled down to the current one. The intention was to aim for a cool appearance”
Okayasu said that while ReoMabu’s “connection” is as yet unclear [after ep 3], in the second half there will be episodes [I think the JP implies plural] about them, there will be “very important” scenes with them in the second half
She also explained that before the script was finished, at quite an early stage the outlines for the “Desire exploitation” and Keppi birthing Kappa scenes were completed. She said that Ikuhara was very particular over these scenes.