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Dengeki PS2 Interviews Kawano

Interview with Junko Kawano -
by Genso

“Returning back to the original” and “a new challenge”. Their enthusiasm and aim, as told by the creation staff of IV

The Suikoden series have many fans for each title. But it is a fact that many fans have special fond feelings for Suikoden I, because it was the commemorative original. For those users, hearing the news that Kawano who had a part in the creation of I was now returning for IV as character designer and producer must have been definitely good news. Of course for the new comers that became aware of the series first time with IV also must have been left with a vivid impression by Kawano’s characters that originated from her personal distinctive touch.

How did Kawano feel when she first heard about the decision that she would be a part of the Suikoden series once again?

Kawano: Honestly, I thought “Oh, this would be a first job in quite a while.” I think that the reason I was chosen may probably be because my art is closer to the setting image of IV…(?)

Does the fact that her art matches the setting image of IV means that the general atmosphere of IV is close to I? We do get the feeling that instead of continuing the 3-D newness of III, IV has an orthodox “Suikoden” feel to it that both II and I had.

Kawano: IV is the most ancient among the series, so their level of cultural advancement is not higher than the previous worlds. The reason is not only because of the geography of selected setting, but also because there is an underlining feeling of wanting to show a “Suikoden–ness and that makes it seem like we are returning back to the original.

Now that we understand the underlining concept, next we are interested in the themes that IV covers.

Kawano: The themes are the “ocean” and “making amends and forgiveness”. But there is also a feeling that we want to entrust that to what the users feel. The focus is on the whereabouts of the Rune of Punishment that the main character must be burdened with.

The word “whereabouts” intrigues us knowing the characteristic of the Rune of Punishment to move randomly to another after it consumes the life of its host. Maybe it will completely suck the life out of the main character… or maybe not? Speaking of the main character, by looking at the character illustration for this time, he is not holding any weapons. There was a common characteristic of all the heroes carrying a weapon with both hands..?

Kawano: The hero’s weapon is a twin blade. The hero for this time doesn’t have a “powerful” appeal to his image, so that’s why he is shown naturally without anything.

As expected, the weapon is hold with two hands. These kinds of similarities are what make the fans happy. There seems to be others that are “must see”s for fans.

Kawano: Regarding character design, all the characters are not created by one individual and are done by a team, similarly to Suikoden I. The difference with Suikoden I was that there was actual time during work hours that I was able to do art… The Genso series has many characters appear, but just following a character of liking provides various enjoyments. Also when a comrade joins, the usual sound effect will still be heard. I think its will be a delight to hear…

With Kawano’s comments, we bet that there are many users whose expectation for IV has increased even more. For those readers, what would you like to tell them lastly?

Kawano: I always wanted for the setting to be the ocean, and it was fulfilled with IV finally! While on sea, you will have battles on deck. Please be patient a little while longer for info regarding other battles.

Kawano states that currently the creation process is at a point of hell. There are many mysteries still, but those should be cleared up in the future. Let’s look forward to the next issue!

Kawano’s comments regarding a few characters:

Regarding Hero: “His outfit is black because of the image that the rune possesses and his eye color reflects the sea.”

Regarding Snowe: "There is a lot, but it will only hinder the surprise value if I reveal it now. Sorry."

Regarding Glen: "He is the one that looks after the Hero the most among the Knights."

Regarding Katarina: "She is more like a hard worker than someone who is talented from birth"

Regarding Chiepoo: "The word "Nekobold" is derived from the fact that their clan is similar to the Kobolds but are from Ney Island."

From Dengeki PS2 #264 [4/23]

Posted by HowlingGuild in Suikoden IV Previews on April 16, 2004