Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live Anime Official Guide Book: Hishida Masakazu and Tsubota Fumi interview

My (late) Eid present for everyone.

It’s 8 pages long. As much as I like Pretty Rhythm and think it’s the best series of the current decade so far, I don’t want to spend all my summer translating Chinese little girl cartoons. so I summarized it.  There’s some funny parts which I translated word by word though.
Some things were already said on twitter, events etc which I translated. If there’s contradictions with what I translated before (iirc I don’t think there is), consider what’s in this post as correct, as my Japanese is better compared to back then. Also, if there’s a point that was in my twitter posts that isn’t here, either it’s in other interviews, either I made it up when translating and I was wrong.

Notes: Remember this was released when on December 21 2013, the day episode 38 aired.

They call AD “Aurora”, DMF “Dearmai” and RL “Rainbow”in the interview. I just use AD DMF and RL.

My own comments are under parenthesis.

Hishida Masakazu is Pretty Rhythm’s director.

Tsubota Fumi wrote some episode scripts for all three seasons, was assistant series composition person in DMF (main series composition person was Akao Deko), and series composition person in RL along with Iuchi Shuji. In particular she handled all the Symphonia stuff at the end of DMF. Director once said on twitter she’s mainly the one thanks to whom the last 5 episodes of DMF are so amazing.”Because she used to do theater she was a great help” He said.

Part 1: A direct confrontation of family problems

Interviewer: For this time, we’ll take our time and talk about RL.

Hishida? Is it okay? Talking about RL? It’ll end up as stuff you can’t publish lol.

Tsubota: Iuchi (Shuji) san was supposed to participate in this interview too but he was too busy. Maybe I should have brought a photo of him.

Hishida: But even if he was here, he wouldn’t have talked much. Even though the things he writes are super interesting he doesn’t talk much, he’s like Kouji. The things he thinks about are all “happy naru” though.
*All laughing*

Interviewer:  What’s the atmosphere’s like when you meet up to write the script?

Hishida: Everyone is silent.

Tsubota: Liar! But Iuchi san always murmurs when talking to me lol.

Hishida: He never tells me anything. But well I’ve been hanging with him for a while. When I joined the industry, I worked on Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru, and he was the show’s director. He taught me how to drink alcohol.

Tsubota: Yeah me too he often invites me to drink lol.

Hishida: Lol, it’s like he considers going drinking a continuation of the scriptwriters’meetings.

Tsubota: We actually don’t talk much about the show though. When we do he’s like “don’t talk about work!!” and gets angry.

Hishida:Yep that’s how he is. He made Kouji and Ito and just like him they lack communication skills.

Interviewer: That’s what I heard yeah.

Tsubota:Let’s stop talking about this lol. But yeah there’s some of Iuchi san in Ito and Kouji.

Hishida: And  Bell’s personality disorder is from Tsubota san. She also likes smashing vases lol.

Tsubota:That’s not true! I don’t go crying on bridges either.

Hishida:I think I’m the only one who don’t have a character similar to myself in the series.

Tsubota: Aren’t you Hiro or An?

Hishida: I’m a honor student.The one who rallies everyone behind him.(So like An)

Tsubota: It’s not fair how you’re the only one who gets to say stuff about us.

Hishida:No no no. Plus Hiro was made by Iuchi san.

Tsubota: That’s true. Iuchi san is also the one who thought of the name “Zettai Idol☆Ai.N.G”

Hishida: Each time I’d leave a jump’s name blank, and write “this time you think about the name Iuchi san”he’d do an unpleasant smiling face, and then he’d grin ear to ear the next week.

Tsubota: Plus he was even meticulous about the way it was said. When we said “ai enu jii” he was like “WRONG!! It’s AI ENUU… JIII!” saying the pause between the N and G needs to be longer.

*All laughing*

Tsubota: Sorry, we’re getting carried away talking about someone who’s not even here. But we wanted to show we all love Iuchi san.

Interviewer: Yeah you showed it enough lol.

The concept of Rainbow Live is about how one person/one sound can’t do much but 7 persons/7 sounds can make a music. The story progresses as the seven heroines- you could add Juné as well and make it eight- circumstances are revealed. The way their stories are connected is like how you say “do re mi fa so la si” and go back to “do”. In the previous season Dear My Future, the character’s families weren’t part of the story and concept, except for Chae Kyoung’s family. Perhaps that’s why they were eager to put in more family things in RL. And contrary to Aurora Dream they wanted to show a direct confrontation with the family problems. They also didn’t want to only show the families, but show everything about the characters’ environments. By seeing the environment they grew up in, you’d then think “so that’s why this character is like that“. Especially for the Bell Rose girls’ environment, the director was strict and told the staff to think about everything around them so as to not leave blanks.
Tsubota san is the one who wrote most of the Bell Rose girls’ background. Also at the beginning when they were writing the script there was no pictures yet, so in order to differentiate between Otoha and Wakana, Director asked Tsubota san to explain about them in detail. It was the same for the Happy Rain girls too. When they made Naru they also made her parents at the same time. Stuff like An living in a Senbei shop or how Ito’s parents live separately were all written from the start too. Basically in the show there was no time when they were like “this character’s parents will appear soon. Quick! we need to think how they will be like!!” because they did it all at the start.

Part 2: The secrets behind the character’s names

Tsubota san is the one who thought about making the character’s initials RAINBOW. At first they wanted to give them music related names but didn’t go with it. Iuchi san is the one who decided on “Ito”. He said “she needs to have old fashioned name so she’s a bit embarrassed about it, and will call herself Cross. You need to show her chuuni syndrome” Even though they ARE in 2nd grade of middle school lol. Iuchi san wanted to call Naru 詩夢(litteraly “utayume”, read as“Poemu”) at first, but they needed something that starts with N to be part of Rainbow. In the end, Poemu was used for Naru’s mom. Director is really glad they didn’t choose this because it seemed as they would have planned to write a poem for each episode. After that, Iuchi san asked them to make the other names two syllables as well. Wakana and Otoha was decided from the start. An was decided last. They wanted to put something music related for A, so maybe make it “Aria”. They thought about switching B and A, to call Beru “Aria” and to call An “Becky” but they didn’t do it in the end. “Naru” and “Beru” rhyming is a coincidence that played in their favor as they planned the different duos from the start. So, Naru Ito and An were made first and Rinne was from the first 3DS game. Iuchi san told them it wouldn’t be interesting enough so they need a rival team. He said“ we need characters that will be paired with Naru and co later on, and who will leave a deep impression when they all become friends. I don’t care if they end up being villains just use your full power”. From the apparition of those 3 in the script, Naru and co changed as well. An at first was supposed to be a current gyaru type girl instead of a iinchou type. Wakana changed from the type of girl who would sulk going “muuu” to what she is now. Ito is tsuntsun, so Otoha was made to be gentle and quiet. They didn’t think Beru and Naru would pair that well.
(Sorry if it’s a bit confusing, I summarized the info  in the same order the conversation goes to keep the timeline. In summary I think they decided on all the names first and then decided to make Beru and co rivals)

Part3 The main character Naru

Naru is an unusual main character because she tries to support people where they need, instead of trying to directly solve their problems. She’s very neutral. She was hard to write. Director decided on this because they have the occasion to write an original show so it feels like a waste to write a typical main character. At first Iuchi san wanted Naru to be more childish and more like Otoha. But when director was drawing the storyboards she became a more human character, and there’s a lot of little girls IRL like that, that aren’t particularly bad girls, but are simply unsure of what they want to do. Naru likes some things, but isn’t sure of what she really likes and what she wants to do. That’s when she meets Rinne and Beru.

An feels more like a typical heroine because she was supposed to be the heroine at first. In the first designs that Okama san drew, An was Naru.

Episode 4 and 5 were the first hard episodes to write for Tsubota san because they had to think of a way for Naru to make Kouji, who’s as complicated as Iuchi san, write a song for her. She asked Iuchi san tons of times how they could do it and he didn’t seem to know either. Then he told her “ how about a picture book story”. Something like a puppet show. In the end it turned out to be the ugly duck picture book thing.

Hishida: it’s difficult to do puppet shows in anime so nice thing we didn’t do it.

Anecdotes like these shows they have a lot of freedom for writing Pretty Rhythm, so it’s very fun but can also be very hard and tiring.

Anyway, Naru and Beru, when they came into contact which each other, both touched something they never did before and that’s what triggers their growth. Iuchi san said Naru is a character you only understand fully at the final episode, since her name is “naru”, meaning it’s a story about how she “becomes” someone else after a full year. (naru=become)

They made Naru the manager of Prism Stone to bring her out in society and make her struggle, else she won’t grow up because she’s always been loved by the people around her. It was decided from the start that Kouji and Ito would end up together, and that Naru would learn what love is among the things she’d learn during the year. That’s why Naru didn’t realize she likes Kouji in episode 26 (and why she only realizes it in the final episode). She didn’t know why she was crying in episode 26, or how to cry, that’s why when Rinne told her “you can cry” she cried in such a weird “fueeen” way.

Hishida: I want Naru to become the Dear Crown manager in the future (it happens in the final episode), with a grown up appearance and an adult feel fitting of Dear Crown. She herself says so in episode 1. How the very first episode and ending are connected is something we’re doing since AD, so at the end let’s ride a rainbow and go to Rinne’s country (lol that didn’t happen sadly).It’s like how Don Bonbi is the very first character to appear on screen at the start of DMF and he turns out to be the mastermind behind everything.(and this is why among other things DMF is the best of the three seasons) So I think RL will end in a similar way.

(He spoiled that Naru would become Dear Crown’s manager.)

Part 4: The character tied to Naru, Bell

Bell grew up along with the story. At first she was supposed to be more vicious and cunning, like Jin. Tsubota san didn’t want Bell, the character she made, to be evil, and Iuchi san wanted her to be evil. They fought over it. In the end Tsubota san didn’t make her completely evil, and this is how starting the second cour the things hidden, remaining inside Bell, start to come out.

Tsubota: In episode 10 written by Iuchi san, Beru conspires with Hiro and is super evil. Iuchi san said “the more evil she is the more impactful it will be when they become friends”. He probably said that because he directed Wataru lol. (I guess the villain in Wataru becomes nice? Thanks for spoiling me.) But as the show goes on, Otoha and Wakana start being more human, while Beru is still super evil, and I told him “how are we gonna do it now? Isn’t she beyond help now?” and he was like “then just write the next episode “ lol. So I wrote episodes 12 and 13. It made me glad that Bell rejects Naru’s hand saying that she “DAI KIRAI” her, because if she shook her hand smiling there, it would have meant she really is evil.

Hishida: It was the first flag showing her “I really hate you” would turn to “I really like you”. From the first episode when they met for the Prism Stone manager interview their fates became linked.

Interviewer: Speaking of Bell obviously makes me think of her Prism Live failure in episode 26

Tsubota: Beru was depressed and couldn’t do it/learn it. I never wanted to make Beru seem evil, but she was becoming more and more so anyway, so it was getting harder and harder to write.

Interviewer: After that, “PRISM RAIIIIBU!!” stayed in my head for a while lol.

Tsubota: Thank God she didn’t die lol.

Hishida: You all thought she would jump from that bridge right ?

Tsubota: I still want to do it though, a Prism Dive. I want to make Jin do it lol. And he’ll be like “5th one! 6th one!!” while doing it.

Hishida: Next time just say these kind of things normally. Iuchi san will laugh bitterly.

Interviewer: Bell’s voice changes during the show, like how her tone becomes lower, did you instruct Tomatsu san as such?
(Bell’s voice is the usual Tomato characters voice in the first episodes, then it becomes something particular to Bell only. Otoha’s voice too changes from one of the most annoying voices ever to acceptable. Yes I’m just bringing that up again to piss you off Otoha fans haha.)

Hishida: Probably not. It’s Tomatsu san’s self correction. I think the plan inside Tomatsu san’s head just changed.

Tsubota: Tomatsu san at the audition was pretty amazing. I was thinking “It has to be her!”

Hishida: The others were amazing as well.

Tsubota: I think the voices turned out pretty nice. For Ito too. I think each seiyuus are the only one who could do their character. Speaking of which, Tomatsu san said she understood Bell more and more starting the 2nd cour with her past being revealed.

Interviewer: We learned the other’s pasts as well.

Tsubota: Wakana was a bully too, but then you learn she has such sides to her as well.

Hishida: It’s nice that after that the viewers’ impressions of Wakana changed. For Bell as well. But Wakana in particular, as she was even called糞猫/kuso neko before.

Tsubota: And ゲス園 too.  For the character I wrote to be called that… Also Beru was called “evil Christmas tree” as well lol. (I think ゲス園could be translated as «wild grass”. There’s a pic of Wakana on pixiv tagged as such by the artist. )

*All laughing*

Interviewer: Wakana got her cute reputation when her hair got down.

Tsubato: She’s cute right. The staff too was getting worked up saying “we need to show Bell and Wakana’s cuteness!”

Hishida: You can see we put a lot of feelings into making the characters.

Tsubota: I think it’s also relatable to the series’s theme. Like how a prism shines from every direction, people have different sides to them. Like how you can really love someone but will always have things you don’t like about them.

Hishida: That’s a nice way of putting it lol. You could say Wakana is a bad girl, but if you look at it from the other side, you could see she did it to protect someone. Bell is like that too.

Interviewer: The 3 Bell Rose girls are very supportive of each other.

Hishida: Yes. That’s why the story can last one year just with these kinds of relationships.

Interviewer: How the story of Bell and co will go from now on?

Hishida: They all solved their family problems, so now they need to solve Edel Rose’s problems. It won’t be easy as the school as always been for elites, and the current environment was made by Jin. Hiro too became the way he is now because of Jin.

Tsubota: Everything isn’t Jin’s fault though. Jin recklessly pushed forward competition, removing the fun of Prism Shows, so the Prism Radiance started disappearing from the world. We made Bell and co part of Edel Rose because Edel Rose is one of the causes that brought Rinne to this world.

Hishida: But there was radiance in Edel Rose before Jin took over as chairman. Before that, Hijiri and Juné were there as well. Jin was a Prism Star during a period where Prism Stars who want to do perfect shows with no misses were the most present type, the kind of Prism Star that fans call “no fun”. So, Jin has a complex towards Hijiri, thinking he had something he didn’t. However he didn’t want to be in self denial of his style, so he made the current Edel Rose environment, a place where perfect performances with no misses is seen as the right thing. That’s what needs to be solved now.
(Basically Jin knew people didn’t like his way of doing Prism Shows and knew himself it was wrong too, as he saw Hijiri being more popular, but still sticked with it anyway because of his pride. Pride and vanity are really dangerous emotions)

Interviewer: That’s what Bell and co will try to do.

Tsubota: Bell and Naru will form a duo. As they will come in contact, they will each find their dream. This will be the trigger for Bell wanting to change Edel Rose. Bell is charismatic and can stand at the top to lead everyone, if so she could solve Hiro’s distortion and they could all head towards the future and create the Prism Show world they want.

Hishida: Hiro was raised by Edel Rose. This is something that will never be shown in the show, but he probably had to endure a lot of scandals because of his mom. Jin is the one who covered them up. Hiro was working while being shaken by these, he wants to be free from this curse. This is one of the aspects of the show’s story.
(I think he means stuff like Hiro’s mom would be drunk at some bar while he was a kid at Edel Rose, and tabloids would have titled stuff like “promising male prism star’s mom is a decadent woman” or something if not for Jin. That’s the kind of stuff Jin wanted to reveal about Hiro when he blew the ghost writer secret I guess)

Tsubota: Looking back at Bell and co’s story’s now, I think I was able to write their story so freely because Iuchi san left it to me. I think Iuchi san is a great person.

Part 5: Coo, who changed in an unexpected way

Rei is called 冷/ « Rei » because it means cold like « Cool ! »/Coo. They didn’t know what to do with Coo during the first cour. Then “Avex san” told them “didn’t Coo san used to be a Prism Star?” and they were like “…Maybe. Yeah” lol. In the end, the show is pretty much a continuation of Jin, Hijiri and Rei’s story. Jin took over as Edel Rose’s chairman, Hijiri went on a path with Juné, and Rei made Prism Stone. At first Jin and Hijiri’s story was muddy, like a draft, but thanks to the inclusion of Rei it became a real men’s way of life story. The 4th and last cour’s hidden theme is Jin, Hijiri and Rei’s story.
(It’s like how AD is about  Kyouko and Sonata’s story, and how the true heroine of ADMF is Kyouko).

Interviewer: There’s how he helps Bell in episodes 29 and 32 too.

Hishida: Coo turned into such a ikemen. Maybe Bell will fall for him… I tried desperately to prevent it, but tons of people have been coming out saying “she definitely falls for Coo No matter how you look at it.”If it happens Bell fans will rampage lol.

Tsubota: It’s mostly kids talking about Naru and Bell though, so I don’t think this will happen.

As for Coo, people were telling them that he’s a kemona/furry and he likes Momo and is happy as long as they’re together.
All the following is something unofficial that the Director doesn’t think is true: the android Momo is in looks like a woman Coo used to date before. But now she’s deceased. Her personality was like Momo’s too, always eating sweets. This unofficial backstory was thought of by Kobayashi Kousuke, who was assistant director for episode 40-51, and was episode director for every even numbered episode.
(He was also episode director for 3 episodes of AD and a bit more on DMF.)

Hishida: He desperately wanted Coo and Bell to get together. I told him to not make stuff up as he pleases, but the stuff he wrote was pretty interesting lol.

Tsubota: I want Hiro and Bell to end together, but when hearing Kobayashi san’s story I felt more and more like making it Coo instead lol.

Hishida: But Coo would have told Bell “It’s not good to trust your young’s self feelings YO! Come back if you still feel the same in 5 years YO!”

*All laughing*

Part 6: The being known as Juné

They can’t say who/what is Juné yet. There’s hints in what she says though, like the first time she speaks.

Hishida: Yeah, those were nice lines, I forgot them though lol.

Tsubota: “Angels can only live in light” or something.

Hishida: Juné’s voice is so impactful, what she says doesn’t stay in my head.

Tsubota: Doesn’t that mean it’s not a nice line then!!

*All laughing*

Interviewer: What did Rinne mean in episode 32 when she says “is that your happiness?”

Hishida: We can’t say it yet. We can just say that Rinne communicated with Juné. Also please look closely at Juné and Hijiri’s relationship.

Tsubota: Juné’s story is sad.
(I’m proud about the fact that I first wrote that Juné=Rinne back when episode 20 aired.)

Interviewer: It seems that Hijiri loves Juné.

Hishida: It seems like that at first, but Hijiri is a person in love with Prism Shows.

Tsubota: In any case, I think the theme of all three Puririzu seasons is a “hymn to humanity”. Like, humans mostly do boring things. Sometimes there’s happy things, harsh things…, and the compilation of this is the character Amou Juné.

Hishida: We just went into summary mode lol.

Tsubota: I’m not summarizing the show!

Hishida: It’s a nice story lol. Like, aaah love is so beautiful~ lol.

Tsubota: Bell’s story is connected to this “song of praise of humanity” thing as well. Her story shows love regardless of gender.

Hishida: “Love regardless of gender”? Do you mean Boys Love?

Tsubota: … No… lol. But I mean that’s the kind of thing I think of when writing. Like how we first said that Naru “isn’t main character-like”, her innocence untied Hiro and Kouji’s bad ties. Juné and Rinne are also attracted by Naru’s innocent pure heart. …Is this okay, or am I just summarizing the show?

Hishida: I think it’s fine lol.

Part 7: A story challenging one’s resolve to move on.

Interviewer: Even among the characters, Ito carries particularly heavy circumstances.

Hishida: Because Iuchi san wrote a lot about her to last a year in the story. Recently Iuchi san only thinks about Ito and Kouji, so Tsubota san and I are covering for the others.

Interviewer: Seems Ito and Kouji will separate for a bit now. It’s impressive you can do stories like that for a morning show.

Hishida: I didn’t care.

*All laughing*

Hishida: Before starting RL, I said that this would be the last season I’d do because I didn’t want to half bake things or get restrained thinking, I need to do this or that, in order to keep my position as Director.

Interviewer: If a discussion went like “do you want to be director for the next series?”

Hishida: It would go “then listen and do what we say!”

Tsubota: It’s like a chicken race, the first one who brakes loose lol, but us three aren’t planning to brake yet ~

Hishida: It should be obvious now the show isn’t aimed at kids. Whether it’s aimed at kids or not is something influenced by your point of view.

Interviewer: The thing that surprised me the most in RL is the Ito Kouji kiss scene in episode 26.

Hishida: They were actually only supposed to hug each other. In the first draft written by Iuchi san, they kissed, but people around kept talking, so in the 3rd draft it was changed to hugging. But I understand Iuchi san’s feelings, so I changed it back.

Tsubota: Iuchi san was happy about it.

Hishida: When I read the 1st draft, I already imagined how they would be at the fountain, thinking they can only kiss. Right there I was a bit conscious of Fuji TV lol.

Interviewer: You mean the Getsuku lol. But the scene felt real compared to these. (if you’re too lazy to click the Wikipedia article, basically director means he felt like doing a soap drama)

Hishida: But grade schoolers these days wouldn’t be surprised by a kiss. Most parents would say they’d rather not let their kids see a kiss scene, but I think it’s like sex education.

Tsubota: Stop talking about stuff like that! This is for the first official guidebook you know?

Hishida: For me specifically the message transmitted is “close your eyes when you kiss” lol. The way Ito closes up a bit to reach instead of Kouji closing all the distance by himself is something the episode’s director Kobayashi san added though.
(If I was dedicated I’d do a webm to show you. But if you look at the kiss scene closely, Ito moves her face toward Kouji a little bit at some point.)

Tsubota: She shouldn’t have done that?

Hishida: Iuchi san was pretty angry, like “why did Ito reached to Kouji too!”, saying stuff like the girl is supposed to wait. What were we talking about again?

Interviewer: iyaa, I was pretty surprised to see a kiss in the morning.
(Sometimes I wonder if the interviewer guy actually watched the show as it aired or he only watched the show to do his job as interviewer. I think it’s the former as iirc the guy who did this interview is the same guy who did most of the other interviews, and is a fan of the show too. Or he jyst does his job really really well and manages to make us believe he’s a fan too.)

Hishida: If you say this though, episode 31 showing Hiro’s background should be more shocking.

Interviwer: That was hard. His mother neglected him and she’s working as a hostess in a bar or something.
(The word in Japanese isキャバクラ嬢. I’m writing this just in case someone think it actually said « prostitute » or something and I toned it down because I like Hiro’s mom and she’s pure and did nothing wrong and is voiced by Mion)

Hishida: I got angered at for this. To the point I had to get naked and do dogeza lol. This is the kind of story that has 1 chance out of 10 to be in a kids oriented show.

Tsubota: Where do you think they’d approve this!

*All laughing*

Interviewer: Will there be more hard stories?

Hishida: There is. Like episode 45.(the end of Hiro’s story). When talking with kids when the show started, they told me things like “Kouji likes Ito right?” they’re surprisingly perceptive. How to say it, we try hard to make future aniota(anime otaku) who can understand that kind of story.

Tsubota: That’s wrong! But I think they will understand the difficult stories one day. When working, we don’t think “they’re kids so let’s only do this much or they won’t understand”.

Hishida: I think there’s probably people who do have bad family environments watching the show. I hope that by watching RL they’ll get the courage to try to change things.

Tsubota: There’s 7 characters so there’s a lot of chance someone watching will find a character that resembles them. Not everyone is super happy like Naru after all.

Hishida: Even then, there’s still things we can’t say in the show. Like how Hijiri and Jin are half brothers.

Interviewer: Is that so! Do they know about this fact?

Hishida: Of course they do. That’s what Jin implied when he told Hijiri “Don’t get cocky just because the old man always preferred you” in episode 32.

Interviewer: In a sense Jin is also a victim.

Hishida: He doesn’t share the same talent as his father Kou for heating up the Prism Show showbiz scene, and he wasn’t born with talent like Hijiri or Rei.  There’s a pitiable side to him.
(yfw Pretty Rhythm will never be popular enough so that you see JIN DID NOTHING WRONG funny discussions on the net)

Part 8: A story made by 3 people

Interviewer: Was there problems in making the story until now?

Hishida: The fact that An’s story was supposed to be about how she slowly accepts her father’s views over a year, but it got resolved in like episode 7.

Tsubota: Iuchi san was like “ I wrote a resolution to her problems “lol.

*All laughing*

Tsubota: That’s why we put in the love triangle with her and Wakana.

Hishida: We were panicking. We also rewrote episode 4 to add how Wakana shows an interest in An.

Tsubota: When it got resolved we were like “aaaaaaah!” and trembling lol.

Hishida: Iuchi san brought out a bomb. (as in he resolved An’s problem too fast) It was like that for hiro too.

Tsubota: He suddenly brought out the “Kouji’s song~” thing.

Hishida: The setting we first planned for Hiro was for him to be someone who wants anything, as long as it belongs to Kouji. Iuchi san went 2 steps, 3 steps further ahead than this, and kept adding things.

Tsubota: Ito’s story, or Hiro’s 愛• N • G is stuff he wrote as he pleased. He didn’t listen to me at all. We fought a lot because of that.

Hishida: He wrote Ito’s story as he pleased two times in a row.

*All laughing*

Tsubota: He really goes wild.

Hishida: …He’s a rampaging old man lol.

Tsubota: Eevn though you wouldn’t say this to him directly lol. After all I’m only in my 30 while Iuchi san is over 60. He’s old enough to be my father, but I can speak to him normally. As we’re writing a script aimed toward little girls together, when we talk about what would be glittering to their eyes, it becomes really funny and interesting.

Hishida: He doesn’t look like a 63 years old at all.

Tsubota: He’s the worst. He’s just like Ito lol. Watching him we could tell how his characters would act. So we made the characters he made act like him.

Interviewer: You must have trouble with how a lot of problems in the show are long and takes a while to be resolved.

Hishida: Well like we said, Ito and Kouji’s story was written to last one year. In the first place there’s a lot of characters, your write one cour, two cours,they pile up, the story gets mixed up… Why is there so many hardships in the story. It’d be better to not do stories like this too much lol.

Tsubota: Sometimes I don’t remember anymore when a certain event happened. I think it’s nice that there’s 3 of us writing the core of the story. That way if someone makes a mistake we won’t know who it is.

Hishida: When we think “what we’ll do with this?”as we’re 3 people we always decide by majority. We’re a great democracy system lol.

Tsubota: We’re like a democratic country lol.

Hishida: There’s a lot of times when my view is approved. The three of us are all (wo)men of valor, so we never back off.

Tsubota: We don’t mean it as there’s a difference in power relation. Just that all three of us are unyielding. (Basically they fought a lot)

Hishida: Not that we come to fists though; Mostly someone doesn’t listen to the other lol.

Tsubota: We do a lot of staring. Sometimes 30 seconds without saying anything lol.

Hishida: The first time people saw us during our scriptwriters meetings, they thought it was very lively.

Tsubota: We were told a lot of stuff like“are you sure you guys get along?” lol. When I was left with handling the 2nd cour, director would often got angry at me.

Hishida: Well after all I’ve been doing the series for 3 years. And it seems I’m the only one who was always getting angry, but I got abused too.

Tsubota: Yeah I know lol.

Last part: Heading towards the end of the series

Interviewer: Did you already think of all the ending?

Hishida: At the end Penguin sensei will do… We’re going to include a side story of sorts for people who saw AD and DMF(He stopped his sentence on purpose)

Interviewer: Are you satisfied with what you did as director until RL or do you want to do more things?

Hishida: If I was told to make more, I don’t think I would be able to. When I finished AD, I was in a state when I thought I wouldn’t be able to do anything more after all. In the first place, I’ve always worked on boys toys related show, so little girls oriented shows aren’t my field. So I think I want to return to where I belong. Actually, no, since it’s painful lol. I have a daughter, so I was motivated, but now I think I’ve done enough. (He did went back to boys toys shows as he worked on Batosupi 6’s last cour, GBFT and G Reco. Now he’s working on some episodes in PriPara s2)

Tsubota: You’re ending this saying “I’ve done enough” lol . But I too didn’t think I would stay 3 years in the anime industry which I initially thought I couldn’t adapt to.

Hishida: Tsubota san originally isn’t an anime industry person. Before working on AD, she had written stories, written for magazines, TV programs, singers, theater etc, but not a single anime thing. Since she started working on AD, she didn’t have the opportunity to write normal things like these. I don’t think that way of doing things is good. That’s why I’m stopping.

Tsubota: But I think this series could be done thanks to Hishida san. I think everyone in the staff thinks so. Speaking of which, Hishida san would always say “話ありきでキャラクター動かすな ! »
(I’m not sure what this means sorry. I think it could be translated as “don’t move the characters without moving the story as well!”)

Hishida: I don’t remember lol.

Tsubota: Make that “I remember!”

*All laughing*

Tsubota: The characters are human beings, so you don’t know what may happen.  The story goes on when the characters grow.

Hishida: Iuchi san often says this. Like “make the characters speak by themselves” or something.

Interviewer: Looking at the storyboards, it’s amazing you put this much in 18 minutes.

Hishida: I wish we had more time. The episodes of RL are 18 minutes long, (without counting OP/ED) but that’s shorter than the usual anime. But for AD we had 16 minutes. So in comparison we crammed in even more stuff in AD.
(Most AD episodes are around 16 minutes long because of the IRL segments. Most episodes during the second cour are 18m long but don’t have an ED.  EDIT: The ED is just cut in the raws I have. On the wikipedia page of AD there’s a list of each episode and whether they have a IRL part or not etc. In my opinion AD is as good as RL with different strengths and weaknesses and DMF is the best. With this in mind, in a sense AD is better than RL, as they managed to achieve the same amount of quality as RL, with shorter episodes.)

Tsubota:  AD’s 4th cour by Hishida san was amazing.

Hishida: I drew like 12 storyboards in a row… I don’t want to return to those times lol.

Tsubota: There was a time during DMF when I wrote 5 scripts in a row, but someone had already did 10 in a row, so I couldn’t say anything.
(“Someone” must be Akao Deko)

Hishida: I didn’t draw a lot of storyboards for DMF.

Tsubota: RL is Hishida san and myself’s last participation on a Puririzu show.

Hishida: We’re burned out.

Tsubota: The three of us are burned out, but we still do our best.

Hishida: We’ll become pure white ash.

Tsubota: Only leaving Iuchi san.

Hishida: That could happen lol.

*All laughing*


5 thoughts on “Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live Anime Official Guide Book: Hishida Masakazu and Tsubota Fumi interview

  1. Gorim

    Thanks a bunch. I’m so grateful to you for doing this arduous translating work. Also thanks for the seiyuu interviews as well.

    1. rockmanshii Post author

      No problem. I first do this for myself. I have the books for a while now but only had time to skim through them. When I post about an interview it means I read it from beginning to end myself. I’m not fluent in Japanese, I read slowly and look for the kanji I don’t know. I translate and write down what I read so I don’t forget it, then I just post it here too.

  2. Cold BinBin

    Thanks for translating this interview, when I read this I begin to think it would be possible for RL to have another season with all the thought they “pour” into it.


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