I didn't liveblog this event because I knew that there wouldn't be any news in it, but there were some great random tidbits about the panelists-- director Seiji Mizushima, character designer Yun Kouga, and script writer Yousuke Kuroda --so I jotted down the ones I could for your consumption:
- When asked how they dealt with the issues of creating a strong story AND being a vehicle to sell merchandise (as Gundam has always been), Mizushima-sensei offered that before they did anything else, they asked Sunrise how many mobile suits they wanted.
- One attendee asked if Graham Acre and Billy Katagiri were actually a couple, and we were told straight out: there is nothing between them but friendship. But Kouga-sensei applauded the question.
- Apparently Mizushima-sensei first found out about the project when a drunken producer (who he'd worked with before) called him and asked him to direct it.
- And Kuroda-sensei actually turned down the project at first. But then he got asked again and he thought that if he turned down Gundam twice he might never work in the industry again. (He didn't say why he turned it down at first.)
- Yes, Setsuna F. Seiei's real name IS a reference to the film "Turtles Can Fly."
- An attendee asked about similarities between Gundam 00 and Gundam Wing (such as Setsuna/Marina vs Heero/Relena), and Kuroda-sensei said he'd never seen Gundam Wing when he started writing, so he didn't know about the similarities, since Sunrise never came back with complaints about it.
I'm surprised that Kuroda-sensei hadn't seen Gundam Wing (or familiarized himself with it), since it's The Other Big AU Gundam Show. On the other hand, the man is busy, right? Who has time? And it's not like Heero/Relena was so amazingly unique to Gundam compared to any other surly guy/sweet girl relationship, either.
It was interesting stuff! I wasn't able to get a sit-down with the Gundam 00 staff, unfortunately, but I'm hoping to get something via e-mail in the near future, so keep