We Caught Up With Plunderer Producer Rie Ogura at Anime Expo!

We are so excited for the upcoming Plunderer anime, and had the opportunity to talk with producer Rie Ogura, about it at Anime Expo! Can’t wait for it to stream on FunimationNow in January? Read our interview with producer Ogura-san below to catch a glimpse of what’s in store for the new heroic action fantasy anime Plunderer!

Please introduce yourself and your role in Plunderer.

My name is Ogura, and I’m a producer at Kadokawa.

How did the Plunderer anime come about? Please tell us how this title in particular was chosen for an anime adaptation.

We made the anime adaptation of Mr. Minazuki’s Heaven’s Lost Property and it was a big success. And when I heard his latest work was coming out, I knew I couldn’t miss it. Once I read Plunderer, I was intrigued by its setting, the world controlled by numbers, as well as attractive characters. So, I wanted to make it into an anime.

Please explain what kind of show Plunderer is, and what is exciting about the story for a potential new fan.

The genre of Plunderer is fantasy. It has battles and comedy. But its core is a heroic classic story where a young protagonist learns to become independent through his journey with the help of his peers.

How closely did the anime staff work with the original creator, Minazuki-sensei?

Basically, Mr. Minazuki looks at anime and manga as separate things. He wants the anime to look great as anime and he wants its story to make sense as anime. So, he left most of the decisions up to us.  But we wanted to make sure the appearance and the setting of the characters are as close as possible to his design. So, we communicated very closely with him on that. But again, he left most of the story related decisions up to us.

How were the creative staff chosen for the new anime?

We worked with a studio called Geek Toys on this project. And their animation producer, Mr. Imamoto, recommended Director Kanbe for his passion for action and heroic stories.  As for the writer of the series composition, we were looking for someone who can arrange the story so that it fits within the time slot of anime while maintaining the consistency and respect for the original manga. For this particularly reason, Masashi Suzuki was recommended to us. We chose our character designer, Ms. Takanashi, based on the studio’s recommendation. When we asked her to do some rough sketch, girls were cute and boys were very handsome!

Are you trying to appeal to both male and female audiences by having cute girls and cool male characters?

There are a lot of male characters in the original manga. Also, Heaven’s Lost Property has many cool male characters and when it got made into an anime, the number of female fans increased. From a woman’s perspective, I will say the male characters in Plunderer are very good looking. So, we are expecting to gain a lot of female fans for this anime as well.

How were the voice actors chosen?

We held an audition for voice actors. For Licht, we prepared various types of lines as his character can go from dark to comedic, and to cool and handsome. The voice for Hina, Lynem and Jail were also picked in the studio audition, but Licht was the hardest to choose. We ultimately chose Mr. Nakajima because he was excellent both in comedic and serious performance. For Hina’s voice, we picked Ms. Honizumi because her cute and gentle voice was perfect for the motherly character. Being able to soothe people with voice alone was the quality we were looking for.

Plunderer has a lot of comedic elements like Minazuki’s previous work, but also has a lot of conflict and seriousness. How does the anime balance these?

We are trying our best to balance those. It’s one of the challenges we address in our scenario meetings. You can read manga at your own pace. But anime is something that is being fed to you continuously as long as you are tuned in. So, for example, if you cut from a very serious scene to a scene with mini characters all of a sudden, the serious tone inevitably gets interrupted. But it’s all part of Mr. Minazuki’s unique quality. So, we are very selective in terms of what to include in the anime and what to leave out. 

Can you tell us a little about what Plunderer fans should look out for in the upcoming anime?

I want to say everything [laughs]. But I want viewers to see how serious scenes and comedy scenes are harmonized and coexist. I want them to enjoy the change of tones.

Please give a message for North American fans.

It may look like just another fantasy piece on the surface, with the story revolving around a cool guy with a sword and a girl that tags along. But as you continue to watch, you will see it is more than that. It has mysteries, tragedies and human dramas that surround them. Whether you like comedy, battle actions, mystery, or serious human dramas, anyone can enjoy this show.

Plunderer will stream this Winter on FunimationNow!