“With anime, there’s limited time to work with, so you can’t be as liberal with descriptions or dialogue as you can be with novels,” said Asato Asato, author of the award-winning light novel series 86-Eighty Six.
Perfect anime adaptations are few and far between. There’s a history of relatively bad ones, a giant boat-load of good ones, and a handful of perfect ones. Whether it’s strict deadlines, incredibly detailed scenes or even intense moments of dialogue from a light novel that just can’t fit the time frame of an episode, perfecting an anime adaptation is a daunting task.
It takes a stellar amount of teamwork, timing, and effort to adapt a manga or light novel perfectly — something A-1 Pictures managed to achieve with season one of 86-Eighty Six. And the genius creator behind it all, Asato, played a role in it.
In her latest interview with Mipon, Asato goes into detail about the role she had in season one of the 86-Eighty Six anime, including how long it took to come up with the story, its characters, and the changes the story actually went through to become the masterpiece that it is today.
Asato’s Role In The Anime Adaptation
Fans don’t often hear about the involvement of authors in anime adaptations of light novels. Luckily for us, Asato gives us some valuable insight. So much so that it seems that Asato has a very prominent role in the anime adaptation of her hit light novel creation.
“As for the anime,” said Asato, “I attended the scriptwriting meetings, approved character designs and visuals, and answered questions about the story. For the anime adaptation, there were a lot of questions about the characters, mecha, various items/objects, and so on.”
Despite admitting that answers to these questions were tough to come up with, her involvement didn’t stop there. A huge part of an anime that can hook fans is the voice acting cast. In a dialogue-heavy anime like 86-Eighty Six that also has its heart-pumping moments of action, it’s best to have voice actors who can deliver. Well, Asato also had a hand in that as well.
“I joined the director, producer, editor, and other staff for the auditions of each major character, and commented on whether I felt the person auditioning fit my image of the character,” said Asato.
When she’s not visiting museums or watching movies, Asato is writing up to eight hours a day on her hit series and other works. But the author of 86-Eighty Six didn’t just come up with everything overnight. In fact, it took Asato “5-7 years to come up with everything.”
Inspiration Behind 86-Eighty Six
To many anime fans’ surprise, a lot of modern manga and light novels actually draw inspiration from western media and films. Well, 86-Eighty Six is no exception. To create something great, you need great inspiration. And what better inspiration than a film that adapted one of the many hit novels by legendary author Stephen King?
“It started when I saw the movie The Mist (2007),” said Asato. “Which takes place in a supermarket, but I wondered “What if it wasn’t confined to just a supermarket, but covered an entire country?” From there, I came up with the idea of “Eighty-Six” and “Juggernauts,” and I started writing the story around 2014.”
But of course, a work of art isn’t usually created in the very first attempt. In fact, it takes do-over after do-over to finally come up with the final product and that’s in a lot of areas of life, especially writing.
“Before 86 became what readers are familiar with, I changed the setting three times,” said Asato. “So there’s a lot of things that were ultimately never used. First, I had set the story in “a fortressed city surrounded by mist,” but I scrapped that idea completely. Second, I came up with the setting of a near-future city surrounded by a “fog of nanomachines,” but I rejected that too. Third, I thought of this twist in which Lena’s and Shin’s perspectives were based in different points in time. Finally, I came up with the setting for 86.”
And the rest is history.
The series went on to win Grand Prize at the 23rd annual Dengeki Shosetsu Taisho contest in 2016. Now, it’s safe to say that the success of 86-Eighty Six is just beginning. From one of the most anticipated series in Spring 2021 to now leading the pack with Demon Slayer and Mushoku Tensei this fall, the sky is the limit for both the series and Asato.
Asato’s Interview With Mipon, Season 2 Air Date
Asato went into great detail about where it all started to where the success is at now. From spin-offs for the 86-Eighty Six series and so much more. You can find the full interview on the official Mipon website. They even discuss the possibility of the ending of the light novel series being on the horizon so give it a read!
So what did you think of Mipon’s interview with 86-Eighty Six author Asato Asato? What was your biggest takeaway? Let me know down in the comments!
86-Eighty Six Cour 2 will air this Saturday, October 2, on Crunchyroll. You can watch the recent trailer for cour 2 down below. More details on cour 2 are also provided here.
Images via Crunchyroll
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