Thursday, February 16, 2017

Gyakuten Saiban Blog Entry 24: Family (2) (2001)

Title: Family (2) / 「ファミリー (2)」
Source: Gyakuten Saiban official site (down)

Summary: The penultimate column for the official website of the Game Boy Advance version of Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney GBA) has director and writer Takumi continue his two-part series on how he named the characters in the main cast of the name, this time talking about  Mitsurugi Reiji (Miles Edgeworth) and Itonokogiri Keisuke (Dick Gumshoe). He also reveals the problems with his own (real) name, which is a combination of two fairly rare names.

Family (2)

  • Mitsurugi Reiji (Miles Edgeworth)
The perfect man with all the necessary elements any “rival” should possess. That is Mitsurugi. He has strong feeling of “tense stillness”, he's clever (reiri) and behaves like a samurai (TN: the character of samurai can also be read as ji). The moment you let your guard down, he’ll strike you down in a flash! … That sense of tension, that you might get cut in two. Reiji. His name is precisely like how I imagined him.

“Mitsurugi” (‘Sword’) represents the sharpness of his mind of course. That dangerous feeling of tension dwelling within his peaceful eyes….. He’s always standing opposite the public to protect his carefully hidden “weaknesses”. It was designer Tatsurō who did his “Objection!” voice. Unlike Mitsurugi, he has no peaceful eyes, nor a dangerous feeling of tension around him, but he has a good voice.

The protagonist of Gyakuten Saiban might actually be Mitsurugi. Turnabout Tonosaman (Turnabout Samurai) is in a way, actually an episode made for him. And the theme of the final episode “hot again”. I wanted to show the blazing friendship between me. How do you think it went? I also heard opinions like “It’s not really blazing, but more luke-warm….”

  • Itonokogiri Keisuke (Dick Gumshoe)
One day, I come up with something even more shocking than “Naruhodo”.
Itonokogiri. …It was impossible to change this name anymore. I also liked how the dull sharpness itonoko (fretsaw) contrasted to that of mitsurugi (TN: Kiri, or giri, means 'cut'). The moment the name popped up in my mind, I grew very fond of the character. By the way, I took the name Keisuke from the musician I respect most.

His way of talking, ending his sentences with “..ssu!” (Pal!), was suggested to me by Ms. Suekane. From that moment on, his personality was set in stone. His personality was decided just by adding a sentence ending…  I remember I was quite surprised by that.

Itonoko is a very amusing person. At first, he was supposed to be into horse gambling, which is why he still has a red pencil behind his ear. I am supposed to be the same age as him, but I just can’t believe it. But I can’t see him as someone younger or older than me either. The relation he has with Mitsurugi is something I just have to smile at. How much as his salary been lowered ever since he appeared in Turnabout Sisters?

And finally, as we're on the topic of names…. I really like the Japanese language and kanji characters, and can be quite fuzzy about how names look, their meaning and how they ‘feel’. Perhaps that is the reason why I came up with these weird names for the characters. But you know, my own name is also a problem case.

巧 舟 (Takumi Shū). It took me several decades to get used to it myself. It’s a pretty troublesome name, especially when I need to explain the kanji characters on the phone.

So I’d explain it as: “Takumi is written with the katakana ‘e’ (エ) on the left side, and on the right side something like the hiragana ‘ro’ (ろ). Ero (Perverted). Got it?”
“Ah, yes, I got it.”
So they’d say it was okay, but then a package arrived which had the name 拓 船 (TN: real name is 巧 舟).
“You haven’t got it at all!” (true story).
It was quite impressive the mailman actually found me.

If I ever have a son, I will without doubt name him Isao (功). 巧 功 (Takumi Isao). “Now it’s your turn”, I’d say.

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