The answers to the questions from Mr. Nagatsuki’s talk show are now available.
On Sunday, April 2, 2023, the talk show was held by Mr. Nagatsuki to celebrate the grand opening of the animate Ikebukuro and the release of “Re:ZERO Volume 33”.
Here are some of the questions and answers from the talk show.
Q: What chapter took you the longest to write (in terms of story structure, etc.)?
A: Arc 6! It has been 10 years since the serialization of Re:ZERO began, and I spent 4 years of that time on the story!
Just at the time I was writing arc 6, I was working on an anime and other jobs, and there were still stories that hadn’t been made into book….
I regret that it took me so long to write this chapter, even though it is heavy one that you have to use your head to read.
However, I think the ending turned out a lot better than what I first envisioned.
I personally feel that I wrote the story about Meili especially well.
She was not originally intended to be that active.
Until about the end of arc 6, I wrote her as a “companion” rather than a member of Emilia’s camp, but now that arc 6 is over, she has settled into a position where she can be called “a member of Emilia’s camp.”
In the bonus SS for arc 7, while I am working on the story of Emilia going to the Vollachia Empire to rescue Subaru, I am also writing a story about what Meili is doing while remaining in the Lugunica Kingdom. She is involved with Reinhard, so I hope you can look forward to seeing more of Meili’s future activities.
Q: There are many Re:ZERO related products, but is there any merchandise that you particularly like?
A: The figurines.
At first, I was getting all the goods, but then my room almost collapsed.
I thought, “I can’t do this,” and then I thought, “I just want the figurines. If it’s a high scale one, there won’t be that many of them,” so I asked …… and now I have about 100 REMs in my house.
Still, I display figurines whenever I can, and I especially like,
It’s a figurine of Emilia, Ram and Rem as an idol and Puck as the captain of the nerds.
I have that one in a case on top of my TV and love it.
I also have one of Emilia and Rem in beautiful dresses that looks like they are skating on ice, and I display that beautifully as well.
The figurines are very good because they dress up in ways I can’t get them to do in the main story.
Q: I am wondering about the strength of the Oni-tribe. Is two-horned Oni stronger than single-horned because their abilities increase only when they activate their horns and there is greater enhancement when they enter Oni-mode? Or is a two-horned Oni stronger than one-horned even in its basic state?
A: Basically, a two-horned Oni is stronger than a one-horned.
However, since Ram is out of standard, she has one horn, but she is as strong as 10 horns.
Rem’s fighting ability is quite low among the Oni-tribe. However, she has trained her magic and other abilities, so even if she fought a two-horned Oni, she would not have no chance at all; she could win using her developed abilities (e.g., morning star).
Q: I love the ground text written by Nagatsuki-sensei, but is there any way to incorporate the ground text directly into the anime? Like in the Monogatari series.
A: I like the Monogatari series too! But I think it would be difficult to suddenly change the way the anime is made, because the dialogue would have a higher priority than the ground text.
I pay a lot of attention to both the ground text and the dialogue in my writing, and some of my favorite sentences are in the ground text, so I’m very happy to hear you say that.
Unlike first-person novels, Re:ZERO is written in the third-person, but the main focus is on the characters, so there are many times when Subaru’s voice comes through. I think the question was asked with the feeling that it would be easier to understand the emotional lines and to get into the drama if you could pick up on those parts.
In anime script meetings, I sometimes ask to include elements from the background text, but there are also important lines of dialogue, so the dialogue inevitably takes precedence over the background text. I’d like to do as much as possible too, but I don’t think there will be much of a sudden change in the way things are made in the 3rd season.
You guys can do things like “#favoritegroundtext #rezero” on Twitter!
Q: Which scene would you like to see in the 3rd season?
A: Regulus! I want to see scenes of Regulus!
Q: Do you have any plans for Louann to appear later?
A: As long as I put it out there, I will use it!
Q: You have often said that being eaten by a small creature is the most terrifying way to die. Do you plan to feed Subaru to small animals again?
After all, would a method of death that Subaru have experienced once lack the freshness of fear?
A: In the movie “Jurassic Park,” there is a scene in which an expedition team dies after being chased by small dinosaurs when they are separated from their companions, and since then I have been afraid of being swarmed by small creatures.
The Great Rabbits are one of the three most powerful demon beasts, so basically I have the image that it is impossible for it to be eaten in a more impactful way. However, the image of being eaten by an insect is something else, so maybe there will be an opportunity.
Dragonfly is scary…
Q: Will we one day be able to see Re:ZERO Ex in anime?
I would like to see a movie of “The Dream the Lion King Saw”!
A: I’m the one who wants to see it the most! (lol)
At first, I didn’t even expect to see “Memory Snow” and “Frozen Bond” in OVA, so I would love to see Ex as well!
Q: Arc 7 also had an overwhelming amount of information, but was the overall volume of arc 7 as expected? If so, what were the reasons?
A: It was not at all as expected!
The reason for this is that all the characters were replaced in chapter 7.
But it was to my credit that we were able to see a lot of new idea of Mr. Otsuka by going to the Vollachia Empire and bringing out a lot of new characters… (lol)
(About 30 new characters drawn in about two years!)
Anyway, Mr. Otsuka is awesome!
I give him the settings for each character, but he doesn’t draw each character one by one. In this case, he is making character designs for all the nine divine generals at once!
He says things like, “It’s easier to draw all at once if there is a group,” but I don’t think it’s easy to draw nine characters. But he did it without a hitch.
By the way, the nine divine generals include Madelyn, who replaced Balleroy, and Kafma, who calls himself “at the level of the nine divine generals,” so Mr. Otsuka draw actually eleven generals….
More to the point, there are cases where I give names to unnamed characters that Mr. Otsuka draws in the margins and have them play an active role in the main story. For example, the people of Shudrak were characters that Mr. Otsuka drew freely, without any particular designation, but I thought, “It would be a shame not to use them,” and as a result, all the people of Shudrak have names.
Q: Besides her divine protection, does Meili have any other powerful skills? Can she use magic?
A: Meili personally has no fighting skills. If she fights Petra without a demon beast, she will lose. However, the divine protection of demon manipulation is too strong and evil in the Re:ZERO world, so other skills are not really needed.
She can cook because Elsa did not do(lol)!
11.【To Mr. Nagatsuki himself】
Q: Is there anything you do to motivate yourself to write?
A: Ego searching! Please tweet your impression for Re:ZERO, I’m usually looking!
Q: I would like to know the ranking of the nine divine generals those who can’t communicate!
Orbart and Jorna will listen to you if you are reasonable.
Chisha, Goz, Groovy, Mogro, and Balleroy listen well. Mogro listens the most.
However, they are very particular, so if you try to get them to do something that doesn’t fit their principles, they won’t listen to you at all.
Q: I would like to know the top 3 things Emilia thought “I did something wrong ……”!
A:First of all, Emilia is not good at lying, she gets a sick feeling in her stomach when she lies.
Second, there is a setting that “Puck keeps Emilia’s snacks in his bag.” and that’s when Emilia snatches it up and eats it. She must have eaten them because she was hungry (lol).
The other time is when she doesn’t follow Puck’s instructions.
When she breaks the rule that “Lia must do this to be pretty.” as Puck told her. For example, when she accidentally snack. ……… But it’s not her fault alone, for example, when Petra invites her out like, “Let’s have some food,” and she can’t say no.
14.【To Mr. Nagatsuki himself】
Q: What do you enjoy most about writing?
A: It’s fun when I reach the point I was planning to write about, and I also enjoy writing battle scenes. Also, when I am able to write something that needs to be explained, not as an explanation, but as a conversation. I also enjoy when I can make a pleasant joke. …… I relatively enjoy writing itself, so when I am highly motivated and focused, I enjoy whatever I am writing.
People may think, “You enjoy writing the scene where Subaru dies the most,” but that is the second (lol).
Q: I’ve heard before that Mr. Otsuka’s character designs are almost always one-shot, but is that still the case in arc 6 and 7?
I’m wondering what kind of interactions you two will have in arc 7, in which many fascinating and unique characters appear one after another.
A: Nothing has changed.
I’m the type of person who doesn’t have a picture of a character in my head when I write a story; it’s output in only text. I have been working with Mr. Otsuka for nine years and he creates new characters with a high degree of precision according to the settings I give him, so when I see an illustration, there is something that clicks with me and I think, “Wow! This is how this character looks!”
I only ask him on rare occasions to make adjustments or additions to ornaments and other items.
Mr. Otsuka is amazing and fantastic!
Q:How strong is Rye?
A:He is one of the strongest sin archbishops, about even with Sirius.
I think that strength in battle depends on the starting conditions.
For example, in Emilia’s camp, Garfiel is the strongest in close combat, but Emilia is the best at medium range, and Roswaal is the best at long range.
Rye, on the other hand, is an all-rounder who can use a variety of warrior techniques with “Authority of Gluttony,” but he does not have outstanding abilities.
Still, I think it is quite strong that he has the ability to handle any situation.
Since there is a setting that “the sin archbishops have never been defeated before because their abilities cannot be detected at first sight. However, their own combat power is not so high,” Rye is the strongest among the sin archbishops in terms of combat power.
He is ranked high in most countries, and he is a leveler who may or may not be able to beat the Nine Divine Generals. However, Cecilus will kill him easily (lol).
Q: Is there any foreshadowing that you are confident no one will notice until it is recovered?
A: There is no mystery that can’t be revealed by using collective knowledge, since it is one person who thinks about it and many readers! (lol)
I don’t mean to be a sore loser, but I don’t think it’s important that foreshadowing not be revealed, and there’s anything that won’t be obvious until the very end.
Nevertheless, when it comes to foreshadowing that goes to the heart of the story, I want to make sure that almost all of readers will not find out about it until the day I write about it. I think I am doing a relatively good job of controlling this!
18.【To Mr. Nagatsuki himself】
Q: What are your hobbies? Is it something like aerobics?
A: I ride an aerobike because I don’t get enough exercise.
Recently, I enjoy playing TRPG.
After all, I have the most fun when I am thinking and creating stories, so that is what I do as a hobby.
19.【To Mr. Nagatsuki himself】
Q: What is the product you often order at Saizeriya?
A: Milanese doria and meat sauce.
By the way, a high school girl behind me seemed to have heard my order and said, “Meat sauce & meat sauce (lol).”
20.【To Mr. Nagatsuki himself】
Q: I always enjoy reading your novels! I feel that your word choice, expressions, sentence structure and vocabulary are very good. How did you learn them?
A: I think that if you enjoy reading a lot of books, it will accumulate within you.
I like reading books, but I was very bad at reading books for study, and I was not good at studying. But I enjoyed reading “stories” anyway.
In this case, “stories” are not limited to novels, but can be manga, games, or anything else.
I think everyone has memories of fun things, and the results of accumulating fun experiences in this way are useful for my current output as a novelist.
I think the most profitable thing for a novelist is that having fun is the best way to learn.
Q: Does Beatrice undo her hair when she sleeps?
A: Right now, her hair is let down and Subaru combs it and sleeps with her.
Therefore, I think Beatrice sleeps with her hair in a fluffy curly state.
I used to set it as “Beatrice can’t change her hairstyle,” but I thought “it would be cuter if Subaru could change her hairstyle,” so I changed the setting!
Q: I would like to know if there are any interesting or heartwarming episodes (by imperial standards) with the trio of Abel, Chisha, and Cecils. Please do so. ……
A: You’re asking for it very earnestly, aren’t you? (lol)
I think I’ll be able to write about that in the short stories in arc 8, so please look forward to it!
Q: In episode 6 of the 1st season of the anime, the map in the book has many names of places that first appeared in the novel after the anime aired, such as “Mezoreia” and “Chaosflame.” Were these originally conceived by Nagatsuki-sensei?
A: Wow..! I think they were written in “I-glyphs” or something like that, but you did a good job reading them!
All the world maps are neatly drawn.
During the production of the first anime season around 2015, it was necessary to share with the anime staff the behind-the-scenes settings and future developments in order to delve deeper into the characters’ thoughts and to create detailed expressions.
In the process, they asked me, “What kind of world is the world of Re:ZERO?” Then I roughly decided on the major cities, beliefs, people, etc., and reflected the cities on the map.
Q: In the 2nd season’s opening, Echidna has her arms outstretched. Is that pose a favorite of hers? Did someone else influence her to do it, like when Emilia was influenced by Subaru to do the pose of sticking her fingers in the sky?
A: Not influenced by anyone!
Echidna is set up as someone who is a little unsure of other people’s minds.
Because of that, she studies the behaviors and gestures that make her look good, and I guess she thinks those are a way to make herself look attractive….
From an Echidna’s point of view, that is a signature pose and she probably thinks, “My pose is on fleek…”
If that pose is actually being mentioned often in various places and is making an impression, then that is exactly what Echidna wants!
Q: I heard that Otto is the most qualified to survive in the Vollachia Empire. How high up the ladder would he climb?
A: I don’t want to speak too highly of Otto, but I think he could reach about the same position as Belstets (Prime Minister).
However, if he wants to become Prime Minister, his family background would come into play, and I don’t think Otto’s character would think of “Climb up the ladder in the Vollachia!” in the first place.
I think he will escape from the empire and become a merchant after all (lol).
26.【To Mr. Nagatsuki himself】
Q: In 2012, “Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-“, “The Rising of the Shield Hero”, “Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation” and “Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!” had started to be serialized on the web.
Can you tell us how you recognized each other’s work as you both became more and more famous?
A: I’m pretty aware of them, but they’re not so much!
Back in 2012, there were several novels that became the talk of the web when they released their latest episode. Those were the four novels mentioned above, and back then we were competing with each other, updating our work every day.
There was a chat room we created, and we had a chat almost every day.
I found out through talking there that they were writing without thinking about book publication. I thought the time would come when web novels would be published in book form, and I was writing Re:ZERO with the aim of publishing it in book form.
However, they had no such ambition, and their stance was that they were writing because they wanted to write! (Of course, I write because I want to write too!)
Now I think that’s their flavor (lol).
Q: With the exception of Chisha and Cecils, Vincent nominated Groovy as the first of the Nine Divine Generals. Are there any other Nine Divine Generals that Vincent chose by name?
Also, I would like to know in which order the Nine Divine Generals have had the longest careers.
A: With the exception of Madelyn, who was recommended by Belstets, and Kafma, who was recommended by Goz, the Nine Divine Generals were basically selected by Vincent himself.
In order of their history, I would say.
Orbart and Jorna joined after a struggle.
At the time, Vincent was asked by those around him, “Are you insane?”
Q: Did Petra make her own traveling outfit to go to Vollachia?
A: Petra made the traveling outfit herself, and she also selected the ones for others, such as Frederica.
When Subaru went to the Pleiades Watchtower in arc 6, Petra chose the clothes for Subaru and the others after researching the Augria sand dunes.
29.【To Mr. Nagatsuki himself】
Q: Are there any TRPG stories that you think had an influence on your works?
A: I enjoy TRPG using my head, which I don’t use in Re:ZERO, so I think it has a good influence on my work in the sense that it refreshes me!
Q: I first heard about Re:ZERO through the anime, and my husband and I got hooked, and now we are always excited to read the original!
When the 3rd season of the anime starts, I would like you to plan “Ichiban-kuji(Japanese character goods LOTO; everyone wins something)” featuring mainly male characters. There are so many attractive characters!
A: I want it with male members, too! Especially the figurines…!
I often receive flowers for character’s birthday, and I take a picture of them side by side with their goods, but I was troubled by the fact that there were almost no goods for Otto alone.
There are acrylic key chains and such out there, but as I said before, I have no place to put the goods in my house, so I only get the figurines……
Q: How did you feel when you first saw an anime in which your character was voiced?
It would be very moving……
A: If someone asked me, “When is the best day of your life?”, that moment would definitely be my first choice.
I had always dreamed of having my work made into an anime, so when I actually saw the sequence of my work being made into an anime, I thought to myself, “If I could, I’d want to experience this emotion forever. I was glad to have become an author, and I was glad to have written a novel.”
The timing was good, the first work I wrote was made into an anime and the first episode was broadcast as a one-hour special!
When selecting the cast, I listened to audition tapes, and Yusuke Kobayashi’s audition tape for Subaru was particularly amazing, and we(all of the anime staffs) unanimously agreed that we had no choice but to ask Yusuke Kobayashi to play Natsuki Subaru.
In particular, the scene in arc 3 where Subaru and Emilia are bickering was terrific, and I was very impressed with how perfectly he expressed Subaru’s scrappy character!
I’m not swearing! (lol)