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Kensuke Tanaka Interview: Famitsu Weekly May 23rd, 2019
The following interview comes from within the Weekly Gaming Magazine "Famitsu Weekly (May 23rd 2019 Edition)" which was released on May 15th, 2019. Within the interview, Famitsu Interviewer Kitaguchi has an interview with Kancolle's main producer, Kensuke Tanaka. Within the article, Takana discusses in depth the Zuiun Paradise along with covering in detail about Akagi's Kai Ni Remodel.
Also Tanaka goes into details about some of the ship girls that will be making an appearance in the Spring 2019 Event.
KanColle 6th Anniversary
Interviewer: Good work as always! And congratulations on KanColle celebrating its 6th anniversary this spring.
Tanaka Kensuke (hereforth, Tanaka): Thank you very much. To think that the game would enter its 7th year after being launched on April 23, 2013. If I consider the planning and development stages, it's been more than 8 years that changed my life so much that there hasn't been a single day during which I didn't think about KanColle or ship girls, so all things considered it's really been a long time of development and management.
Interviewer: Come to think of, it's already been a while since New Year! I was already amazed by the planning and preparations that went into last year's Naval Base Ice Festival (Naval Review On Ice), but then the New Year Jazz Festival that was held at the Nippon Budōkan caught me by surprise.
Tanaka: I can imagine. Back when we created KanColle, we wanted others to not forget, know more about and share the tales of all those ships and people that were trying their best as they were fighting out there in the sea only to meet an untimely end. And thanks to all the admirals that have been showing their love for KanColle and the ship girls, we accomplished this goal more than enough.
Interviewer: So in a way you can feel that you've sufficiently accomplished your original goal.
Tanaka: I suppose. The production team "C2 Kikan", the predecessor of our KanColle Naval Base Administration  and which still is the core of it, originally was just a small team that enjoyed creating stuff as a hobby on free days. Our working concept was to take things that we felt were cool, precious and that we'd love to share, and then proceed to actually share them with everyone through our hobby creations and content. In that sense, KanColle was born from this concept and then raised together with all the admirals out there. And I'm always wondering what new things I could introduce that are cool, delicious, or worth experiencing.
Interviewer: Speaking of delicious things, I guess the Naval Base Saury Festival was conceived during that thought process, right? Could it be that you people at C2 just love delicious food and booze? *laughs*
Tanaka: Well, delicious food simply is one of the best parts of life in general! This obviously includes saury, but there are so many more really cool things in life that I'd love to introduce to people. Maybe I'll have another opportunity sometime in the future. ......but I digress. Too much, in fact. Sorry for that. Let's get back on topic.
Interviewer: Well then, how did the "Zuipara!" event that's currently taking place at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise come to be in the first place?
Tanaka: Uh-oh, I think I'm about to go off-topic again...
Interviewer: Oh well, just go ahead!
Tanaka: "Zuiun" was an aircraft that was born near the end of the war and demonstrated an excellent versatility and performance for a seaplane. I simply love this plane, in many different ways. I also find the structure and looks of aviation battleships like Ise or Hyūga, and avation cruisers like Mogami, as well as the circumstances behind their remodels, oh so fascinating. Even the "Zuiun", which was a seaplane, but at the same time could also see active use as a carrier-based plane, was designed as something in between warships and aircraft, and on top of that has a name that literally means "Auspicious Cloud", is emanating this unmeasurable appeal to me. And then there's the fact that, forget about the actual plane, not even a full size replica exists. Such a Zuiun----.
Interviewer: Excuse me, but I'd like to steer the conversation back to why the "Zuipara!" event was planned in the first place...
Tanaka: Ah, yes. Sorry about that. Two years ago we were working with Fuji-Q Highland, and last year with Yomiuri Land, so in a broad sense the events were taking place in the Kantō region, which is why we were exploring the possibility of maybe holding an event in the Kansai region this year. We had our eyes on a certain idyllic, lovely park. So we sent out a survey corps for a potential Zuiun exhibition, discussed it with the owners, measured the park...... only to realize that the Zuiun was too big to set up there safely.
Interviewer: That Zuiun is pretty big after all.
Tanaka: It is. I'm sure that you'd agree if you saw the actual full-size plane in real life, but the span between the wing tips or back to the tail unit is quite impressive and really makes you feel the mass of the whole thing. For this spring we've also started working on a full-size "Reppū Kai", but of course planning the event surrounding it proved to be a difficult endeavor, so we had no choice but to look for a different exhibition location.
Interviewer: You did announce the creation of the "Reppū Kai" on the official KanColle Twitter account. However, those are quite the circumstances you're describing. So, you settled for Yokohama this time?
Tanaka: After considering all the possible locations I figured that the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise could work since it's rather close to the Yokohama shipyard where DDH  "Ise" and "Hyūga" were built, opposite to the remains of the air field that was used by the Yokosuka Navy's air groups, and also rather close to the old Yokosuka Naval District. I myself grew up in Yokohama, so I remembered how often I watched their "Lovely and fun island" commercial when the park opened, and I immediately got down to work. However, while the original concept was supposed to be an island full of our lovely, well, ship girls, in the end we settled for the current and more familiar concepts like Zuiun, tasty food & booze, fitness and night battles.
Interviewer: The night battles were fun!
Tanaka: Glad to hear that! The "night battle" of the Zuiun Ondo... I mean, "Kanmusu Ondo", is going to be a green light festival, made possible by the admirals, the ship girls' voice actresses and the ship girl commando units. But before that we're doing a show with dolphins, so I'd like them to listen to the staff and not make any loud noises during the rehearsal, but when the night battle begins I want everyone to enjoy the Zuiun On... uh, "Kanmusu Ondo" and also the "Zuipara Ondo" to their fullest!
Interviewer: You really put your heart and soul into it!
Tanaka: But, you know, I went off-topic again... sorry about that.
Interviewer: Don't worry, this is still about KanColle after all.
Tanaka: This spring "Kongō", name ship of the fast Kongō-class battleships that have been supporting the admirals since the very beginning, has finally received her 3rd in the KanColle browser game, turning her into "Kongō K2C" who's going all in on enemies while leading torpedo squadrons. While it is merely a hypothetical upgrade, I'd like the admirals to view it as one of many possibilities for the Kongō-class battleships and its possible applications in the KanColle game among other things. Furthermore, we're planning 3rd remodels for her sister ships as well.
Interviewer: Sister ships? So they' also going to receive...?
Tanaka: Moving on, we've also finished our preparations for the 2nd remodel of the aircraft carrier "Akagi", who was leading the admirals' first carrier task force. We're planning to release it in the same month this magazine issue will be published. We've also been sharing and discussing future plans with Fujita Saki, who's lending her voice to many different ship girls such as Akagi or Yukikaze, so there's something to look forward to! That reminds me, she's always like "......cool, but when will I get to voice a submarine...?", and she won't let me forget about it.
Interviewer: Yeah, she mentioned that in this issue's interview *laughs*. Anyway, I've been wondering about Akagi's remodel. What will it be like?
Tanaka: It's planned to be what Akagi would have been like in 1945. The visuals were obviously handled by Shibafu. Her artwork is supposed to represent her natural progression. Also, and I know this is a completely hypothetical scenario, but at the same time we're also going to implement a carrier-based version of the "Reppū Kai", which was originally a heavily armed interceptor, but - in the fictional world of KanColle - had its Schräge Musik lowered and was improved further to be carrier-based high-altitude fighter aircraft.
Interviewer: Schräge Musik...... is that some kind of aircraft autocannon?
Tanaka: I personally really like the Schräge Musik. It's a weird thing I'd normally expect us to come up with out of necessity, or something like that. I also find the "Gekkō" impressive because of how it tried to defend Japan's skies to the bitter end even though its efforts were doomed to fail. Of course, fighter planes have a certain... something. Had it been actually rolled out, the rating of the heavily armed interceptor "Reppū Kai" would have probably been all over the place, but as one out of many proposals that were born due to Japan's air forces getting backed into a corner I still find it very interesting.
Interviewer: So that's why you built a full-scale model...
Tanaka: Yeah, sorry... But, be it Reppū or of course Reppū, I think it's a meaningful experience to see it full-scale with your own eyes. With that said, wanna see it? Hm?
Interviewer: Oh God, such pressure. *laughs*
Tanaka: By the way, we've also prepared a bunch of new ship girls for this spring.
Interviewer: Oh?! And what's the big surprise going to be?
Tanaka: We've prepared a certain battleship class for the big guns.
Interviewer: A battleship class?! Please gives us a hint!
Tanaka: Well, this basically gives it away completely, but she belongs to a ship class that was part of the Big Seven.
Interviewer: Big Seven? Yep, that narrows it down quite a bit.
Tanaka: Her artist is going to be someone who's been part of the KanColle team since the beginning, but has never drawn a battleship before. I myself am really looking forward to the finished artworks!
Interviewer: Oh wow, this is getting exciting! Well then, we're about to run out of page space, so let's wrap this interview up with a personal message from you to the admirals among our Famitsū readership!
Tanaka: I never would have thought this would happen, but KanColle has now set sail into its 7th year. We're already working with chief editor Hayashi on a new series that'll be published in Famitsū, so I'm really glad that we can still introduce new things even six full years. I still think that this is all thanks to every single one of you admirals who kept showing their love for ship girls and KanColle. And I sincerely hope that you keep showing your support for KanColle and the ship girls!
A message from Shibafu, the illustrator who drew the cover artwork:
Hello, I'm Shibafu, who drew the cover for this month's issue. And thanks to all of you we actually got to celeberate our 6th anniversary! Thank you so much! I'd certainly love to draw many more different ship girls for you in the future. The cover artwork shows Akagi, who may or may not finally get to know what a Reppū is, with her sleeve cords untied, and ready to receive her 2nd remodel. Please take good care of Akagi and all other ship girls throughout our 7th year!
Special thanks to Admiral_Mikado for his translation work
- C2 Präparat
- helicopter destroyer