Vol 5 booklet: Reo and Mabu were picked up by the enemy side, the Otters. Reo was distraught after knowing Mabu had died. Seeing that, the Otters started work on a scheme.
The Otters furthermore concealed a word[s] that deeply bound together Reo and Mabu’s relationship. When it comes to Mabu, because he wanted to be together with Reo, the Otter said “Throw away your connection with Reo.” If he confessed words of love to Reo, his heart would explode and his wish to be with Reo wouldn’t be granted. Mabu killed his own feelings but when he came into contact with Reo, Reo said he’s a “doll whose emotions have fallen out of him” and Reo constantly treat him coldly. If he confessed his true feelings he’d die, the days where it was like you couldn’t say he was living since he couldn’t confess continued. No matter what this was the suffering of not having a connection. This is the “world where connections are cut off” the Otters wish for. Then, the path Mabu finally choose, out of the connections depicted in the anime is the most heartrending but can also be said to be the most beautiful.
Interviewer: What were your first impressions of Reo?
Miyano: A man that is very direct in his desires. Because of that sometimes he can’t see the truth. So, without hesitation he’s capable of doing some awful things, but he does them for the sake of love. From his words and actions you can sense his very strong personality.
Miyano: Ikuhara said that the Otters are “the embodiment of negativity”. People’s negative emotions bring about this minus-concept.
Interviewer: The scene of Mabu confessing his true feelings to Reo is heartrending.
Miyano: It has the feelings of learning the strength of their mutual feelings. Will Mabu be happy hiding the truth and being together with Reo, or will he be happy telling the truth to Reo, making him see what’s true? It’s a painful state Mabu is in for him to choose between them… Not just Reo but Mabu too, for both of them what will bring the most happiness? What is importan? I was always thinking about that. But the result is that their mutual love is properly conveyed, the way of ending is that both recognise their mutual love. To keep on living forever without knowing love, or to know love and die, amid those two choices they make their decision, I think.
Hosoya on his first impressions of Mabu:
“I had the impression of “Sex symbol”. At the time of the audition I didn’t feel just that, but at recording I thought like that. I think there’s a lot of women who like Boys Love. Director Ikuhara made a character that would appeal to that, that’s the impression I had.”
Voice dramas that came with the 5th and (coming soon) 6th BD/DVD volumes.
How to make a phone call of desire / 欲望の電話の掛け方
Opening of the pool of desire / 欲望のプール開き
Shirikodama shuffle of Desire / 欲望の尻子玉シャッフル
Mabu character description: Works together with Reo at the Asakusa Kawauso kouban. He lost his life in the Kappa-Otter war, but the Otter empire revived him. Maintenance is necessary for his body, but for his partner Reo who he thinks of as precious, he strains himself to make Reo’s favourite food Ningyoyaki.
Miyano: Playing the role together with Hosoya was fun and I loved it, wondering ‘where will Reo and Mabu’s relationship end up?’ was also fun. Is it really ‘love’, or shared feelings, shared attraction to eachother? No matter which they have a bond, while fighting against this both of them are finding their truth. So, in the end, its a relationship where they love one another. They have a very deep connection.
Hosoya: The scene where Mabu eats Brocolli in front of Reo left a deep impression. When we did the recording test, Ikuhara entered the booth and said, ‘Because of Mabu’s defectiveness he doesn’t want to swallow but, Reo will directly say to him ‘this is defective’. Regarding that, while its not necessary, by eating Brocolli he can show to Reo ‘I’m human’. He appears clumsy, he’s not human, a person who hasn’t eaten food but who is now trying to eat’ – that’s the direction I got.
Interviewer: What were your impressions of recording for ep 10? Hosoya: When Mabu got his shirikodama extracted, ‘Ah, don’t let this get embarrassing’, Ikuhara really fussed over that scene. And also, the Otter cucking scene, he really fussed over that one too. The director always said, ‘It isn’t what I wished for, but I still have to do it, ‘alright then, I won’t resist’ so he became like an empty shell. That kind of image is what Ikuhara asked for, ‘Mabu doesn’t feel anything’. He’s not the Reo he feels love towards, so he did that towards the Otter.
Ikuhara: I thought it would be good to think about various words like ‘desire’ and ‘connections’. For example, ‘desire’ and ‘life’ are two words that are interchangeable. The word desire generally has a bad image, right? I took a liking to the word desire, it has a negative nuance. ‘Don’t let go, desire is your life’, to put it simply I wonder if it has the same meaning as ‘Don’t let go of love’ or ‘don’t let go of life’, I thought a lot about that.
Ikuhara on his intentions with Reo and Mabu’s story: ‘With Reo and Mabu, regarding what is called connections, I thought that I wanted to depict the story of people who lost their final chance. While I don’t think I’m skilled at conveying it, I still wanted to do that. ‘Let’s return to the time that was best’, a story like that, because people want to return to the past. Thinking solely about the good times, so that you can’t see what’s in front of you now. What I wanted to do is that ‘Reo cannot see the Mabu in front of him now.’
Interviewer: It was surprising when in ep 11 Reo and Mabu got revived from Keppi’s charms, wasn’t it? Utsumi: Ep was the climax of their story, so so I thought their story ended there. Then Ikuhara-san said, ‘I want someone to lend a hand to Kazuki et al at the end’, how about those two to appear? And everyone thought that was a good solution. There are people who take it as ‘they came back to life’, and there are people who take it as ‘they exist as spiritual beings without a physical body’, I think. Which of them it is, is left up to you to decide.
Migi: At the start Reo didn’t have sharp teeth, but in 2018 the time when we first displayed the drawing of ReoMabu, when checking the rough sketch, Ikuhara suggested that he wanted sharp teeth.
Kappa Reo and Mabu’s sumo match
Reo’s cat monologue
Enta and Mabu’s conversation
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).