Interview Excerpt (1996)
From Gineipaedia, the Legend of Galactic Heroes wiki
"The Legend of the Galactic Heroes" that began with just one episode.
The first volume of "The Legend of the Galactic Heroes" was published in 1982. After that, the novel series continued for 7 years and the anime, which became an epic series, running for over 10 years, began. In 1996, eight years after the anime started production, the father of the great legend, Tanaka Yoshiki, spoke about the birth of the series.
- What was the impetus for writing "The Legend of the Galactic Heroes?" I had a vague desire to try writing something like the various "space operas" that I read when I was a kid. In 1978, when I received Phantasmagoria's (Phantasmagoria Co., Ltd. 1975-1979) rookie of the year award, some of the authors who got their start Phantasmagoria were gathered and a long-fiction commission competition was planned. At that time, I said "I'd like to try writing space opera," and I got to fulfill my dream. I came up with the title "Galactic Chess Game," and I wrote the overview of hundreds of years of history of the galaxy up through when that story was to take place. In that history, two people, Reinhard and Yang Wenli faced off in one episode from the past... or so the story goes... (lol). That's as far as that draft ever got. After that, I got a call from an editor at Tokumashoten completely out of the blue. At which point, I remembered the long work [draft?] I'd written three years ago already and showed it to him. And when I did that, because the outline of the history leading up to the story was more interesting than the story itself, he ended up telling me to try writing about that in the style of a historical novel. To tell the truth, ever since I started writing it, because I'd put so much effort into writing it [the history], I got really attached to it, even I thought I'd rather try doing a story from that. And so, without even deciding on a title, I started writing, and it became "The Legend of the Galactic Heroes."
- When the planning for the anime version started, how did you feel about it?
I think it was around the time I'd finished writing the eighth volume, I remember hearing that there was a plan to that effect in the works from the managing editor. When I said "Wha..." and went silent, he asked, "What do you want to do?" (lol). I'm pretty sure I said things like, "I'd like to meet them and ask some questions, but there's no way they could serious, right? I don't think it's for real." After that, it felt like it happened right away, the producer, Tahara called me and when he said "We really want to do it," I think I said something incredibly rude like "Seriously?" and he had to go as far as to say, "Oh, it wasn't a joke, you know" (lol). Knowing that it was "for real," I met them, but even though I actually met them, I still absolutely didn't believe just how far that talk would go (lol). When I thought that it was just going to be an hour, covering a particular episode, he said, "That's what we'll do at first, but eventually we want to adapt the entire series into a 100-something episode anime," and it felt even more unreal (lol).
- Your impression of the producer, Tahara?
When I tried meeting him, I understood that he was, "Seriously thinking about it," and brimming with enthusiasm. I didn't think I was that cynical a person, but, at that time, I didn't think it was really going to happen. When he said, "At any rate, we want to adapt the entire story," I remember tactlessly saying, "I really appreciate your saying that, but I think that's kind of impossible..."