The guest for Granblue TV Channel for August 11, 2019 was Fukuhara Tetsuya (FKHR, director of Granblue Fantasy, Granblue Fantasy Versus, and Granblue Fantasy Relink), and he answered several questions about GBF and how it’s made.
The opening comic features Gran and Sierokarte on location for a filming, where Gran reveals that his favorite thing to do at these shoots is eat all the local specialties.
Siero asks him if that’s too much food, and Gran responds by calling the best possible backup in this situation: the Lyria’s Journal corne. Lyria appears and vacuums up all the extra food.
Intro and free talk
Ono Yuuki starts the show by saying August 11th is a great day in Granblue Fantasy – it’s Taniyama Kisho’s birthday! Happy birthday, Aoidos.
FKHR plays along, and wishes Taniyama Kisho a happy birthday as well.
Katou Emiri starts the free talk section of the show off with a question to FKHR: what are there any specific goals he has for GBF? FKHR replies that he would like to make all 12 Divine Generals (zodiac characters), which would mean a game that lasts at least 12 years.
FKHR continues by saying that he wants as many people as possible to experience the Granblue Fantasy franchise, whether it involves the anime, the spinoff titles like Versus and Relink, or any other media.
Katou Emiri hopes that GBF can some day make it on to a handheld console, and FKHR replies that after Versus and Relink are done, they’ll move on to a piece of hardware that is popular at that time, which may mean a handheld.
Ono Yuuki asks if the main story will last another 6 years to match the 12-year goal, and FKHR replies that while watching Avengers: Endgame, he thought it could be fun to bring all the threads of GBF‘s story events together in the end in order to make a grand finale.
Talk show segment: Daily Schedule
Ono and Katou are very excited to see the director’s daily schedule, with Ono cracking a joke that it might be broken down to the minute, with how busy FKHR is these days working on three games. For his part, FKHR comes to the segment with 4 different schedules: one for his average day, and three as example work days.
That little sliver of Netflix time is also when FKHR gets his daily gaming in.
FKHR’s daily slate on meeting-heavy days:
11:00-11:30: regular meeting with the game functionality team
11:30-12:00: Meeting (project section leaders)
12:00-12:30: Meeting (KMR, project managers)
12:45-13:00: Meeting about event rewards
13:00-14:00: Artbook supervision
14:15-14:30: Meeting (merchandise supervision)
14:30-15:00: Meeting (event planning team)
16:30-17:00: Meeting (CEO and Minaba Hideo)
17:00-17:30: Meeting (story team)
18:00-18:30: Meeting (combat team)
18:30-19:00: Meeting (story writers)
19:00-20:00: Art requests (background art)
20:00-21:00: Art requests (characters or weapon art)
FKHR explains the Feedback segments as his time to either approve or request corrections to art, story, etc. that comes by his desk.
Ono Yuuki and Katou Emiri asks about the event rewards meeting, and FKHR explains that he and KMR double-check the rewards that players get each event, as that can have an effect on the balance of the game going forward. Ono simply asks for more Arcapoints.
The second schedule for FKHR is for days that aren’t filled with recurring meetings, and are instead filled with quality checks:
10:45-11:00: Meeting (project section leaders)
11:15-14:30: Out of the office (to be present at a recording session)
14:45-15:15: Quality check (Class, character behavior)
15:15-15:45: Quality check (Monthly story event)
15:45-16:00: Quality check (Side stories)
16:00-17:00: Meet guests (anime studio)
17:30-18:30: Check script (Main story)
18:30-18:45: Check dialogue
18:45-19:00: Quality check (functionality/game updates)
19:00-20:30: Draw storyboards
20:30-21:30: Create materials (event concepts)
FKHR explains that he checks all character animations himself, to see if the animations are right, the timings work out, and the concept of the character has been implemented properly. He also plays all the stories to ensure that they can be played all the way through, and that they’re not too unfriendly to play.
Ono and Katou mention that he appears at a lot of their voice recording sessions, even though he’s so busy most of the time. FKHR has mostly left GBF recording sessions to the staff, but he is on hand for every recording session for Granblue Fantasy Versus and Granblue Fantasy Relink to make sure those are going well.
After going through all these schedules, FKHR says that he can’t rest until he’s overseen all of the parts of Granblue Fantasy to make sure they’re of sufficient quality.
Katou asks how far in advance that he makes the event concept materials, and FKHR replies that he’s usually working 4-5 months ahead.
Finally, FKHR pulls out a schedule for the days he focuses on Granblue Fantasy Versus.
10:00-13:00: GBVS supervision: discussions with Arc System Works, writing text, creating materials
14:00-17:00: GBVS supervision: discussions with Arc System Works, writing text, creating materials
19:00-21:00: Draw storyboards
21:00-22:00: Write the game’s story
FKHR says that he’s been e-mailing ASW back and forth every day for two years,
After seeing the three different patterns of FKHR’s work day, Katou says that it’s a wonder that FKHR hasn’t popped like a balloon yet.
FKHR: “Sometimes, I do feel like I’m no longer capable of maintaining human form, and melt into a slime.”
Talk show segment: mailbox
While most mailbox segments are aimed at the seiyuu and guest hosts, this mailbox segment will be aimed at questions that the actors can’t answer.
The first mail is from Kido Kid:
“How are the characters in Granblue Fantasy named? I would love to know if there are any rules to it! I especially love Mimlemel’s name (lol)”
(sidenote: One of the larger GBF matome sites is called Mimlememo, and its admin is a huge Mimlemel fan. They went on Twitter to declare that the mail was not sent by them)
FKHR gave out the following rules for various race’s names:
Erunes do not use voiced consonants or P sounds. In romanized terms, this means no G, Z, D, J, B, or P sounds.
Harvins always include two R sounds (Yodarha in Japanese is Yodaruraha, for example)
Draphs always have an A as their first and/or last vowel (note that Reinhardtzar, for example, is rendered as Rainharuza), and male Draphs will always have a voiced consonant (G, Z, D, J, B, or P sound).
There are exceptions, as he notes – characters like Sturm, Drang, and Camieux have names that break the rules either from upbringing or from circumstance.
In the specific case of Mimlemel, FKHR says that the early Harvins were all named by him, and a lot of them were named because it sounded fun, or felt nice to say out loud. The longer Harvin names like Sahli Lao and the like may sound weird, but they’re easy to remember.
Katou: “It seems hard to come up with new names.”
FKHR: “Sometimes, it is. Every so often we get a name that has come up before.”
Ono: “This has been kicked around for a long time, but I want to ask. Gran and Djeeta – are their names from the Gran in Granblue, and the reverse of -tasy in Fantasy?”
FKHR: “Yes. I’m sorry that there isn’t a fancier story for them.”
Ono: “Wow, it was true all along!”
In between mailbox questions, Katou asks FKHR if he has all the characters.
FKHR: “Whenever there’s an update, I draw on my account until I have all of them. This is separate from my quality check work – I’ve worked on them a lot, but on my personal account I just want to get them and level them.”
The second mail question comes from Shin, who asks:
“Have there been any party compositions that really surprised you, where you thought the players pulled a fast one on you? Any that you didn’t expect?
FKHR: “Yes, sometimes the players do surprise us. For example, we were surprised by the number of people who ran the Aqours First-Years in Proving Grounds. We never simulated that, but it made sense when we thought about it. Another we did not expect was the people who solo Ultimate Bahamut Impossible without a back line.”
The third question comes from “Arcarum / ah, Arcarum / Arcarum”
Ono: “Is that a haiku?” (it’s a reference to a famous haiku that simply reads “Matsushima! / Ah, Matsushima! / Matsushima”)
“I’ve been wondering about this for two years. Do the words in the Tiamat Omega theme mean anything? I hear ‘Tia’ in there, so I have to ask.”
FKHR: “It’s a made-up language, but the individual words don’t really mean anything. We wanted to put vocals in the song when we made it, so we gave really vague instructions to put it in a made-up language and make it sound like it was from another culture.”
Katou: “I would love to hear Narita Tsutomu’s story if he ever comes on this show as a guest.”
FKHR: “I bet he’ll just say it on Twitter.”
(Narita Tsutomu, the composer of the Tiamat Omega theme, did indeed take to Twitter to write his end of the story:)
Narita: “I was watching TV and I made a (ﾟдﾟ) face when they talked about me. The Tiamat Omega song was written to give praise to a grand supernatural force, which influenced the sounds and the words we used (we took inspiration from hymns, too). We were going to leave the meaning of each word or phrase to the listener… ^^;)
grand supernatural force -> summon Bonito -> you win”
The fourth question is from Kujo Negi, who asks:
“Erune ears come in many shapes and sizes – Yuel and Societte are foxes, Andira and Vajra’s ears match their zodiac animal, and Seox and Eustace have text that refers to them as wolves. Is there a driving design principle behind Erune ears?
I love Ferry and Drang’s long bunny-like ears, and Eustace’s ears are big, cute wolf ears and he’s my favorite.”
FKHR: “When we were first designing GBF, our races weren’t well defined yet. When we knew we were going to bring Yuel in from Rage of Bahamut, her design was based on a kitsune, so that led to the fox ears. As for Eustace and the others, well, I left those designs to the character designers. If it fits the character, it goes on their head. Wolflike characters get wolf ears, etc.”
Katou: “Are there any animal ears you won’t use?”
FKHR: “Well, it’d look weird to have, say, proper bunny ears or giraffe ears, so I don’t think we’ll do many of those.”
Katou: “Please sell headbands with Erune ears.”
Ono: “Make them easy for men to wear, too, please.”
The fifth question comes from Onocchi, who is not Ono Yuuki… though he doubts himself for a moment.
“I was watching pro fighting gamers play Granblue Fantasy Versus and thought it was really cool. I had fun even though I’m not good at fighting games myself. So I want to ask you – have you decided already how many new characters are coming to GBVS? I would love Vira (CV Imai Asami, Yayoi Tsubaki in BlazBlue) and Drang (CV Sugita Tomokazu, Ragna the Bloodedge in BlazBlue) to be in the game because of their connection to Arc System Works.”
Katou and Ono talk about their experience in the beta – Ono Yuuki didn’t get to play the beta, but when he was younger he played enough fighting games to enter tournaments. Meanwhile, Katou Emiri loved the simplicity of the game, and laughed at seeing the deck of the Grandcypher covered in arcade cabinets.
FKHR: “I can’t say how many we have planned total, but right now we have enough DLC characters planned to be about 1.5 times the original size of the cast (11 characters). It’ll be a pretty big roster within 1 or 2 years.”
Katou: “It would be great to fill out the GBVS cast with more of the seiyuu who love fighting games like you, Ono.”
FKHR: “Yonezawa Madoka (Ferry) told us that she became a seiyuu because she wanted to be in a fighting game, so she was especially happy to be in Granblue Fantasy Versus.”
Shiraishi Minoru (Lowain, GBTV narrator): “Let’s gather up all us who play fighting games and have an episode with us playing against each other! Call me in for that one!”
With most of the news already covered in the Summer Stream and KoreGra, Lyria’s segment had very little in the way of news.
That’s it for this week – see you next week, when Touyama Nao (Lyria) is the guest!