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Becoming popular with the media
- With the series' popularity you started to appear more and more in the media.
Takumi: Yeah, I was surprised. Up until Gyakuten Saiban 3 they didn't include me in any of the pre-release articles, and at the time I remember I was troubled by what there was for me to say about a game that wasn't even complete.
- By the way, were you interviewed at all for Gyakuten Saiban?
Takumi: There was one article, I think.
- Do you remember that first inteview?
Takumi: I remember. Mikami-san told me I was not charismatic enough and made me wear a silly Dino Crisis novelty hat (laughs).
- A hat, you say.
Takumi: He said, "we can sell you with that hat" (laughs). I didn't really understand him...
- But in the end you were happy for a chance to be interviewed, weren't you?
Takumi: I was. But at that time I was so nervous I tried to erase my tension with alcohol (laughs).
- I guess by now, after you also took the stand at announcement press conferences, you're a pro.
Takumi: I don't think that's the case, but at least I don't need the booze any more.
- By the way, what is the question you're asked the most?
Takumi: Let's see... (thinks for a while) It's probably "who is your favorite character".
- I thought it was something like that (laughs). So, I guess I will be bold and also ask who you like best now.
Takumi: It has to be Phoenix Wright. If we're talking about individual games, I have favorites like Godot in Gyakuten Saiban 3, but it's a difficult decision. (suddenly) Oh, oh! I suddenly remembered, but thanks to a previous Nintendo Dream interview I became an Ishikawa Prefecture native for a while.
- Eh? Is it perhaps the Gyakuten Saiban 3 interview? If so, I have it here with me. (takes out an old issue of Nintendo Dream)
Takumi: That's it. You had a Gyakuten Saiban 3 CD included with that issue, so I had to buy a copy myself.
- Thank you. I remember at the time our chief editor said, "Takumi-san tells interesting stories, so I will increase the number of pages for the interview", and it became a super-long interview.
Takumi: So that's how it was. Thank you very much. I remember after that interview was taken we had some time off, so I didn't get to check the contents. After the issue was published, I checked the internet and it said "born in Ishikawa Prefecture" about me (laughs). Inaba-kun (Atsushi Inaba, previous producer of the Gyakuten Saiban series. Currently at Platina Games) is from Ishikawa, and my father is as well, so I think I said "we're originally from the same place" during the interview... (reads the interview) but now that I read it I can't find any of that. So what was it, I wonder?
- Ah, in the profile box, it says "born in Ishikawa prefecture". Let me offer an apology and correction right now. We're very sorry.
Takumi: Oh, it's alright (laughs). I felt so thankful at the time that the media took interest in me and that everyone was watching.
- Speaking of that, recently information transmission became so much faster.
Takumi: Definitely. 10 years ago the internet wasn't very popular, and we got opinions about our games through postcard questionnaires.
- Today you even have Twitter, and can get opinions directly. Since you have a twitter account, what are your thoughts about this kind of interaction with the users?
Takumi: There are certainly good aspects to it, but also many that aren't so. Having a constant stream of everyone's feelings and opinions isn't very healthy, but deliberately not looking at it is also strange. In accordance, sense of fear for the status of my self esteem grew strong recently, and finding the right balance is difficult.
They Gyakuten Saiban storyboards Takumi drew
In addition to the design documents, Mr. Takumi also brought along storyboards to show us. Among them was the opening scene for "Turnabout Samurai" (Gyakuten Saiban's third case)
Takumi: (sifts through many papers) There are some storyboards I drew myself, like this one. I told this story on Twitter before, but originally Phoenix was also in the scene.
- According to the storyboard, this was supposed to be the second case. In what order did you write Gyakuten Saiban's cases?
Takumi: The first one I wrote was this Steel Samurai story. There was even an outline in the first draft of the proposal. After that I wrote "Turnabout Sisters" as the first case, but the story developments in it were too sudden, and I decided to add "The First Turnabout" as a prologue. The last case I wrote was the final one, the fourth.
Takumi: (looking at character design sheets) The very first character designs were like that. That Miles Edgeworth is certainly different from how he ended up. Thank god we decided to change it (laughs).
- But it seems even at that stage you had the name Naruhodo (Phoenix Wright's Japanese name)
Takumi: We did. But there are some characters here that don't exist anymore, like this Usagi-chan. This guy over here was originally supposed to have Mia's position. Iwamoto-san (Tatsurou Iwamoto, character designer) sure likes old men (laughs).
- Who is this woman, "Kaoru Ayashi"?
Takumi: She was the original detective Gumshoe. We used her hair design for Gyakuten Saiban 3's Elise Deauxnim.