Writer of Kamen Rider Gaim, Gen Urobuchi was interviewed in Yomiuri’s special Kamen Rider Gaim newspaper. Urobuchi reveals why Kamen Rider Gaim was delayed by a month, and what he has in store for Kouta Kazuraba.
Yomiuri: A lot of the Kamen Rider Gaim viewers are watching the show, purely after seeing your job on Madoka. How does that make you feel?
Gen Urobuchi: It does make me happy that the show is getting attention, but I’d like to remind people that it’s two different shows. I might be writing both and they’re both airing on TV, but it’s two completely different things. Kamen Rider isn’t airing during the night, it’s a children’s TV show airing Sunday mornings. I have to think about the toys when I’m writing, so this isn’t gonna be like anything I’ve written before.
Y: How was it when you first started this job?
Gen: Producer Takebe suddenly called me. I was very surprised at the beginning, they’d been planning Gaim for half a year already. I had no idea they worked so fast on tokusatsu.
Y: What had been decided when you finally got the job?
Gen: The belt design and the transformation concept. At that point only Banana and Grape were finalized, I was also told that they were aiming for multiple Riders.
Y: Are you a Kamen Rider fan?
Gen: Yeah, I am. Which is why I was so confused when I saw the first mold of Gaim. He just didn’t look like a Kamen Rider. I just didn’t understand the whole fruits motif.
Y: What’s your personal experience with Kamen Rider?
Gen: I never watched the early Riders as they aired, until Black came out. I’d never miss an episode of Black. I still watch the newer Riders sometimes.
Y: As a writer, are there any Rider shows you’d like to revise?
Gen: I skimmed through the Riders after W and dissect these newer shows. How their stories were planned, what techniques they used to progress the stories and such. I’d like to apply some of these things in Gaim, because I really enjoyed them.
Y: What are some troubles you’ve had so far?
Gen: It has to be the motif. Just look at the two previous Riders, an astronaut and a wizard. You could easily make a hero out of these things, but an orange? From the start, I had to work with something that’s not heroic at all. That was my mistake though, I saw it as a fruit. I realized I had to see it as a toy. A human finds this strange belt and plays around with it like nothing, and then slowly build around the revealing that it’s something greater than just a toy. It’s gonna become more Rider-like, slow but steady.
Y: Puella Magi Madoka Magica was a story about Madoka trying to become a magical girl. Would you say that Gaim is about a young man trying to become a Rider?
Gen: Basically, yes. But it’s different from Madoka that ended with one season. Gaim has four seasons and longer span over a year. It’ll be about how he’s constantly changing. The second half of Gaim will be about him as a full grown Kamen Rider, the story will become more and more heroic. This is why I decided that the beginning won’t be very Rider-like at all.
Y: What were some troubles you had with the beginning then?
Gen: Gaim was delayed one month, and started in October. This is because the power up item would clash with the first set of toys during Christmas. This meant I couldn’t introduce new items and characters until after that point.
Y: This power up item is what makes him into a hero, I assume?
Gen: The beginning is about a kid finding a toy belt, as he becomes more of a hero, it just gets weird if he says “I’m a hero” with an orange. With the power up item, he’s able to pull out all the potential power from his toy belt. That’s when Kouta’s heroism awakens.
Y: How did you create the characters?
Gen: I knew how I wanted the characters to be once they’ve finally grown up, so I worked backwards from that. I had to think real hard how to show they’d grow up in the best way possible. All of this will of course be covered in the first half of Gaim.
Y: What about the name Yggdrasill?
Gen: We had a meeting for that name. Since the Riders would be using fruits, we wanted to have a name that could be connected to plantation.
Y: Does it have anything to do with Norse mythology?
Gen: Not really. Sure, we have a few names taken from mythology, but it doesn’t run much deeper than that.
Y: How much have you written so far?
Gen: Right now, I’ve written 19 episodes. I’m basically writing at least one episode per week. (Episode 7 had just aired when this interview was conducted.) I’m really looking forward to showing the world how Kouta, Mitsuzane and Kaito grow and influence each other.
Y: What is your vision of a hero?
Gen: Someone that influences goodness in other people. There’s also the sense of justice, but the whole justice thing won’t appear until episode 14. From there it will be a story about justice, finally becoming a Rider story.
Source: Yomiuri’s Kamen Rider Gaim newspaper, publication date November 26, 2013.
All English translations are accredited to The Tokusatsu Network staff members. Please do not repost without crediting and directly linking back to the original Tokusatsu Network article.