Utsumi: From the start it was decided by Ikuhara and myself that the 2nd novel would have a lot about Reo and Mabu. I organised it so that it starts with Reo and Mabu and also the closing is Reo and Mabu.
Interviewer: You talked in the last interview about how this would be from Mabu’s POV.
Utsumi: Mabu’s emotions were in part difficult to put into the anime. In the first volume it had the scene when Reo was looking at rain but, the second volume has a scene of Mabu at the same time in a different place looking at the same rain. What was Mabu thinking at this point?
Interviewer: When from the novels you know that ‘Rain’ is an important thing to both of them, looking at the anime again, it feels like the depth of their story increases. Especially in ep 10 when sprays of water from the river are falling over Reo like rain….
Utsumi: It’s a scene where Reo’s become alone, right? In truth, that scene was written to have hints towards the second novel. In the first vol, the interlude ‘Rain’ chapter was written pre-broadcast but the 2nd novel’s rain scenes were written after watching ep 10’s performances and I realised ‘Like this!’, I thought and then wrote it (lol).
Utsumi: Reo and Mabu’s childhood period wasn’t firmly fixed pre-production, but it was decided that Reo is a war orphan.
When the anime was being written and the point in time we decided on Reo’s personality, I thought about how Reo got there, how he met Mabu, how did their present relationship come about?
When they first met there was initially a rejection [by Reo], that was always part of the story, because in the anime their relationship isn’t good, so it has the impression of calculating backwards from that.
Utsumi on Mabu saying ‘Hate’: One of the things I wanted to add to the novel was why Reo was shocked to that extent by that word coming from Mabu. The truth is when they were kids, they made a promise with each other, and its because of that promise. Between them up till now they’ve had many small promises with each other, the accumulation of them is what [keeps them together] I think.
Utsumi on the vol 5 voice drama: Its basically the characters everyday lives, which might not have been in the anime. Reo and Mabu certainly, Chikai too appears, they’re really fun stories (lol).