Heaven’s Feel Movie Premiere Q&A Transcript
On November 3, Aniplex held the North American premiere for the highly anticipated film, Fate/stay night [Heaven's Feel] THE MOVIE I. presage flower. After the film, a brief Q&A interview was held with Director Tomonori Sudo, Associate Producer Yuma Takahashi, and making her first American appearance, the voice of Sakura Matou, Noriko Shitaya. For a transcript, please see below.
Photos by: Roger Lee
[As a warning, there are potentially some minor spoilers.]
Aniplex: As a director, how did you tackle such a spectacular project which is Heaven’s Feel?
Tomonori Sudo: I have always loved Fate/stay night, and I was able to direct and animate Heaven’s Feel with Ufotable. I told them I nominate myself as the director! Since I am a fan myself, I knew what the challenges are to create an animated film that would be appealing. For that reason, I worked day and night with Ufotable to address these issues in a trilogy and presented the results to the original author, Kinoko Nasu.
Aniplex: What was your experience working with Sudo-san and the production team as an associate producer for this film?
Yuma Takahashi: I believe one of the reasons why Heaven’s Feel came out to be so great was because of Sudo-san's love and the understanding that he has for Fate. Combining Sudo-san’s love and vision with his experience working on other titles at Ufotable, such as Garden of Sinners, Fate/Zero, Fate/stay night, and Unlimited Blade Works, cemented the project’s success. My only real job is to let people know that “this movie is great!”
Aniplex: Heaven’s Feel is the Sakura route. So, playing as the heroine this time, how would you say it was different from voicing her in Unlimited Blade Works? Was your performance different?
Noriko Shitaya: As you know, Sakura appears in the Fate and Unlimited Blade Works routes, but her position is mostly symbolic of daily life. There weren’t any particular depictions of Sakura’s past or her true self. When I read the screenplay for Heaven’s Feel, I saw Sakura’s heart-felt emotions highlighted in this film. So in order to review Sakura, I reread the screenplay from scratch, and approached Sakura's from scratch.
Aniplex: Do you have any behind-the-scenes stories about the making of the battle sequence between Lancer and Assassin and are you happy with how it turned out in the film?
Tomonori Sudo: During the scripting stage, we knew that the battle between Lancer and Assassin was going to be one of the highlights of the movie. I went to Takahiro Miura at Ufotable for the storyboard for the battle scene. Mr. Miura was the Director for Unlimited Blade Works. Based on his storyboard, the talented animators, the background artists, and the Director of Photography [Yuichi Terao], they worked as a team to bring the scene to us.
Aniplex: For this movie you were able to record with the Fate cast all over again. What was that like and do you have any fond memories from that?
Noriko Shitaya: I hear the American recording style is different from the Japanese cast recording. In Japan, all the cast members assemble together in the studio and perform together. So for the first chapter of Heaven’s Feel, it’s been a while but all the cast members were together. There was one thing I resolved to do and that was to sit next to the voice actor for Shirou Emiya (Noriaki Sugiyama). I decided to arrive to the studio a little early before anyone else to stake out my position and found out where he would be sitting. As soon as he sat down, I snuck in and took my seat which was right next to him.
Aniplex: For fans who are going to see the movie again and for those that couldn’t make it here today, what are some highlights working on this movie and why?
Tomonori Sudo: When I first went to Nasu-san to pitch the Heaven’s Feel movies, the idea that I brought was the cold opening scene depicting Shirou and Sakura in junior high. I told him I considered this to be the most important part of Heaven’s Feel and this is the basis of the whole movie.
Noriko Shitaya: I also wanted to say that a highlight of the movie would be the junior high years where Sakura sees Shirou for the first time; however, that was already taken by Sudo-san. So, I would say it would have to be the scene with Kotomine at the Chinese restaurant. Everything else about the movie is just as wonderful as well as the daily life scenes with Sakura and Shirou. So, everything about the movie is great.
Yuma Takahashi: Also, if this is going to be your second time watching Heaven’s Feel, I hope you can take a step back and look at all the small details in the movie. For example, try to read into intents that were put into a scene - like why did a character choose to say this phrase in this part or look at the final snow scene with featuring Sakura. You see that Sakura has been looking for Shirou, but you see a lot of footprints in front of his house. This is probably because while Sakura was waiting for Shirou to come back, she was standing outside all this time, pacing around leaving behind her footprints. This is the kind of detail that Sudo-san and Ufotable put into the movie. It’s this kind of detail that I hope you can catch in the second or third time around and enjoy the movie.
Aniplex: Do you have any personal message for any Fate fans here in North America?
Tomonori Sudo: Thank you very much for coming. This movie is made out of love, and the characters made by Sudo-san have been recreated into 3D life to show everyone here. Whenever I meet Shitaya-san in Japan, she just talks about Heaven’s Feel. She is very cute!
Yuma Takahashi: This is a kind of love that the staff and cast has given to this movie. This love has been passed to the fans as well, so we hope that our love has reached the fan's hearts as well. Thank you very much for everything.
Noriko Shitaya: Thank you for coming today. We actually watched the screening today with you from the second floor. When you go to a movie screening in Japan, the audience is so quiet. Here we all applaud and cheer at our favorite scenes. I had a lot of fun tonight. And I was wondering did you have fun tonight?
We still have chapter two and three of Heaven’s Feel coming. I know the staff at Ufotable are working hard slaving away, so I promise that we as voice actors will also do our very best as well. I hope to see you guys here in the US again.
Tomonori Sudo: Thank you for coming today. I had a great time watching Heaven’s Feel with the American fans. I also think that we are in a very wonderful theater. It really looks like we are in a servant’s world and if you look at the ceiling it almost looks like the Holy Grail!
For more information including dates and locations of the movie showing in the US, please visit: