Note: Akari Funato released a collection of production sketches for "Kokuhaku Suru Kioku" in a doujinshi named, confusingly, "Vheen Hikuusen Monogatari". Unlike the white-and-blue-covered manga, the doujinshi titled VHM is a thin publication with a pale green cover featuring a sketch of Hiero among the ruins; its contents are reproduced in the "LUNAR, Etc." .pdf Funato has at dlsite.com. (See the disclaimer at the top of the document here before visiting DLsite, though.)|
This document, naturally, is a translation of those notes. It follows the numbering of the paper doujinshi, but the illustration labels should make it easy to follow along with the .pdf. Though the paper doujinshi contains production art for other Funato works, this document covers only the Lunar material.
As always, any text in brackets is my own commentary and not part of Funato's notes.
Lunar anime. [arrow pointing up and down to specific Mia dougen] These were even in the manual. Eh heh heh! I drew them. (Her big head is due to Kubooka's revisions. [Toshiyuki Kubooka is Lunar's character designer.])
[arrowing point to sketches of Mia looking to the side, up sadly and then away again] These were rejected. They were really tough to do, but I enjoyed doing them.
[sketch for Mia's intro keyed in three layers according to shading] Please correct as needed; it's tough putting shadows on a drawing of a person
I drew for the Kadokawa Sneaker imprint Lunar 2 novels, including for the covers. (I'M SORRY, all you Kubooka fans...) I personally didn't find [author] Hiromi Kosoe's Lunar 2 not bad... How's that for a statement?
For the Sneaker books, it was no longer a Shigema and Kubooka combo but rather a second-tier operation (Kosoe & Funato), so I got a little cheeky and started playing around with the character designs, but in the end...
[near Remiena sketches] I'm an unabashed Magic Guild of Vheen fan, so...
Guildmistress -> Zain: Her first love. She went and had Niea with someone else, but...
Zain -> Guildmistress: Though he was gentle with others, he was at times very harsh to her. It was a sort of twisted love... The personal accounts differ, and not all the facts are known.
Guildmistress -> Latona: I respect the magic race.
Latona -> Guildmistress: Vague dislike.
Zain -> Latona: Vaguely senses Latona's feelings, but kind of goes "oh, well" at them - not anything beyond "hmmm, this may be a little bit of a problem".
Latona -> Zain: Quite in love with him. Meaning, she's serious.
Zain -> Morris: Friend [li'l heart!].
Morris -> Zain: We get along quite well, for some reason - particularly seeing how our personalities are different! Sees Zain as a rival - hates him to a surprising degree. [Switching from Morris's voice to Funato's.]
Latona -> Morris: He can't hold a candle to Zain!
Morris -> Latona: Love. Why do I have to fall for women like her...
Latona -> Ghaleon: Like a little brother!
Ghaleon -> Latona: Like a big sister.
Morris -> Ghaleon: He hates Zain, just like me!!
Ghaleon -> Morris: He's always giving me a hard time, and it's like he reads my mind. I hate him!
Ghaleon -> Niea: Like a little sister.
Niea -> Ghaleon: Love. (But she'll naturally find another man when she grows up...)
Note near Ghaleon: Reverse brother complex. He means to hate Zain, but he in fact fervently loves him. Dain and Zain's names have a one-character difference [not unintentionally, I suppose].
Note near Niea: The only character who takes to everyone, human or magic-race. Somehow or another endears herself to everyone. That's the sign of good character, Niea!!
Personally, I wonder about Tagak...[heart] (What's the [heart] for!!)
This is a character relationship chart I drew up for Ootsuki Beruno. In the first draft, young Ghaleon had a crush on Latona. It was in there, but there ended up being too many plotlines, and it was dropped.
VHEEN HIKUUSEN MONOGATARI
Early sketches. Tagak and Morris changed greatly in both character and their roles in the story. I was the most worried about Morris. I couldn't really get a handle on his personality.
[notes near Morris]
The worldly man
[notes near Tagak] Tagak (tagaku [portmanteau from two kanji meaning "great/many" and "learned/skilled"])
The military-type man
Zain appeared only in flashback scenes and in a calendar illustration (see the back of the tankoubon), didn't he...
[note near Zain] Big brother
[note near Ghaleon] At first, I had planned on Ghaleon looking like [arrow pointing to the sketch], but I was told by a friend about Kenji [or Takeshi] from Hoshi no Sabaku [Desert of Stars, a standalone manga Funato did] that "he looks like a kappa, and that's not very good", so I said "yeah, we can't have him looking like a kappa (which he DIDN'T, *but!* (heart))" and I changed it. [Supposedly, kappas have this straight bob cut. Ghaleon's hair here is a bit longer; the Hanson analogy is apt.]
I didn't have much time to spend on the character designs, and so it's too bad that I didn't really get to fuss much over the costume designs.
I found these [sketches] in some rough sketches I drew a long while back of Ghaleon and everyone.
I couldn't come up with clothes that suited him very well, so in the end, I just settled on a modern prince-like style. (Yes, his character concept was that of a prince...)
She was actually a character I had created to use in another manga. She was misappropriated...SORRY.
In the beginning, she came across as more of a cool character, but that aspect of her didn't really show in the manga... If she came off to the reader as a "bad person", then the story would be a failure, so.
Her character concept was that of "a fiery woman". Less the type who sneers in the face of danger and reels off the ultimate spells with the greatest of ease, but a classy big sister. I like her.
Niea...she was the only innocent, pure-hearted character and was always at Ghaleon's side...always "near" Ghaleon, hence her name "Niea". ...I'M SORRY.
* - She's a different person from Remilia's mother. That's "Miea".
[notes by sketches of the Guildmistress, pointing at her hat]
It's red! I like red - it's the color of life!
Latona was initially "the traitor Latona" [a reference to an early plot for "Kokuhaku Suru Kioku", detailed in an old page from Funato's website translated here], but in development, she ended up being a sentimental character who elicited sympathy...
[notes near sketches of Latona's costume and tattoo]
[notes near other Latona sketch] Latona
[note near Niea] 4 heads tall
He's an old person ["roujin" in Japanese], hence "Rouj". Sorry.
[note near Rouj] Grecian [referring to Rouj's clothing style, I suppose]
[notes near tankoubon illustration, reproduced in Funato's online KSK notes]
Tagak, man of many trades and skills. Sheetmetalworker, artisan. Unsociable.
Rouj, old scholar (hence his name). Child of the old city, born and raised. Chikao Ohtsuka [she means the seiyuu she had in mind for Rouj. Ohtsuka's had tons of roles, but not anything I think instantly recognizable to Westerners; he has done Dr. Eggman tons of times, it seems]. [A scribble between Rouj and Tagak notes that they are parent and child.]
Morris, premier of Vheen. Has a sly, Takeshi Kaga voice. [I presume everyone knows who Mr. Allez Cuisine is.]
(cool sidelong glance away from the camera) Ghaleon at seventeen years old. (Fourth son.) [Note: Funato in several places says she had tons more unpublished story pertaining to both KSK and to Lunar in general; I don't know if the idea of Ghaleon being the fourth child in his family belongs to that material or if it was rejected and Zain is indeed Ghaleon's only sibling.
Zain, scholar. Second son. [See above about this.] Dead older brother.
Latona. Like a foster mother/governess. Vocalist.
I worried about Morris's character up until the very end. He just didn't make an impact...
But then!! There was Takeshi Kaga on the TV...!! The moment I heard that voice, I thought, "That's it!", and Morris's seiyuu changed from Kazuhiko Inoue. After that, he just came together. [This leads to me envision Morris in Chairman Kaga's Iron Chef getups, which suit him frighteningly well.]
[note near Ghaleon's outfit, with cape/collar both on and off] can change looks
Since the mazoku are leaving Vheen, they are clad entirely in white, meant to symbolize the dead.
[notes near Latona sketches] Latona
[notes near "Kioku Suru Fuukei" Ghaleon] Ghaleon around the time that he met Dain. I was just worried to death over this, so I settled on this [arrow pointing to sketch] version of him quite quickly.
white [clothing] on top, black underneath
[note near Zain portrait] Zain (older brother)
His cloak and cape are actually hand-me-downs.
The mazoku sure do hold onto things, huh... Maybe they're [the goods] infused with magic or something...
The hint is near "Kokuhaku Suru Kioku"'s departure scene.
[notes near the sketches] Ghaleon's cloaks
These are the designs for which I asked and graciously received from Hajime Satou. Vheen Hikuusen wouldn't exist without them; thank you, thank you, thank you! I was just thrilled with them!
[Satou's notes on the design] Vheen's Magic Airship
When I draw so many cute and pretty faces, the beauty and grace of the magic race gets buried underneath them, and that's just horrible!
[note near sketch of the Smarter Than the Average Guild Student who figures
out the energy tank problem]
[note near sketch of student afraid of Tagak]
[note near older woman with babushka; I don't think she actually appears in the manga. The closest matches are one of the guildmistress's attendants during her introduction scene or one of the extras in the Vheen street scene where Ghaleon is talking to Niea]
[note near the student with the short blonde hair who, with the others introduced by the guildmistress, pleads to be allowed to work on the airship]
[note near male student who relunctantly recites the levitation spell]
[note near...I think it's one of the students holding up the big banner on the airship in the "Look!" panel]
[note near one of the guildmistress's guard during Latona's attack, I believe, though the part in his hair is different]
[note near hood on the female version of the Vheen guild uniform - both male and female versions are displayed]
At first, I had planned to include some mystery-like panel layouts and construct what you could call a deepening riddle. However. Even with 90 pages, you have to expend so many panels on staging and direction, and so I ended up abandoning the idea.
AFTERWARD: The old man won't even say who did it; he says he's at the end of his life, so they can't worry about it. Just before dying, he covers up for the culprit by saying it was an accident. ("All right? Nothing lasts forever. You remember that!")
They continue not knowing who killed the old man; the construction runs into trouble. (The ship is meant to carry passengers) (It's held back due to safety concerns)
[The page features roughs for an early version of "Kioku Suru Fuukei". They consist almost exclusively of voice balloons; only a few rough shapes can be made out.]
Someone, Most Probably Ghaleon [thinking]: How long has it been since that day that we first met...
[Note: the frontispiece to the finished "Kioku Suru Fuukei" in the tankoubon shows "Tamashii no Kokuhaku" Dain asleep in the Vheen ruins next to a still-awake Ghaleon - a probable cue as to when this reminiscing takes place.]
[Rough establishing sketch of Burg; it is "the middle of the night" out.]
Narration: Burg was a simple village newly settled by the southern peoples...
One of Dain's Grandparents: P...priest....priest, sir...Wake up, please...
Sleepy Ghaleon: ...sounds coming from the barn?...
Dain's Grandmother: I'm so ashamed. We just can't deal with it ourselves. I can only imagine if he has help...
Ghaleon: They say escaped convicts come to remote country like this to hide... No matter. This will be repayment for my night's stay.
SFX: ::sneak sneak sneak::
SFX: ::grab, rustle::
Ghaleon: One of the lower magic-race?
(the mysterious shadow causes some feathers to scatter)
SFX: ::rustle:: ::crack::
(Ghaleon signals the farmwife to be quiet)
(the dark shadow, who doesn't notice)
(Ghaleon takes a step forward)
(the light reveals--)
(the wife looks disgusted)
(The culprit is Dain, 13 years old? caught plucking a chicken.)
(pg. "32" ["Kokuhaku Suru Kioku" was originally published in two parts, so this might be referring to the page count for the second half of the story.])
(the ship flies)
(far above Vheen)
(shadow of ship sailing above the earth)
(fullscreen of inside the ship)
(Niea takes Ghaleon's hand)
(Niea looking happy)
Niea: It's like we're birds now.
Ghaleon (thinking): That was what I wanted, wasn't it?
(outside the gate, clear weather)
(Morris is wearing Latona's ring)
Morris: It'd be a pity to leave her behind, don't you think?
Morris: to me, she was a good woman.
Tagak: Ghaleon!! Isn't this your hat?
Niea: It was me who found it!
Guild Student: We washed it all up for you! I'm glad we made it in time!
Ghaleon: The one I lost that day.
(Ghaleon takes the hat)
Ghaleon: ...Thank you.
Ghaleon (to Guildmistress): We're leaving the airship.
Ghaleon: There's no way it'd be able to be maintained it if it weren't in Vheen.
Disclaimer: Lunar, Vheen Hikuusen Monogatari, "Kioku Suru Fuukei", and all related official works are property of Game Arts, Asuka DX, Shounen Ace, Akari Funato, Working Designs, Xseed, and Althena knows who at this point; this document isn't affiliated with any of them. Translation by R. Capowski at RACapowski@sceneryrecalled.com.