1. Welcome to Los Angeles! Can you first introduce yourself?
I first started working in the music industry since I was a university student. I got interested in anime production through my friend who introduced me to anime 5 or 6 years ago. That’s when I met Mr. Terai (Sadahiro Terai, President of Yaoyorozu) and we made a short CG animation together. This is the start of my new career in the anime industry.
And… I’ve been studying tea ceremony lately. haha
Tea ceremony?! How long have you been studying?
About a year. I thought it would be interesting if I’m familiar with Japanese traditional culture besides anime when I go to overseas events, so I started learning it with my friend.

2. You mentioned that you changed your career from music to anime after you were introduced to anime by your friend, but what was a big reason that you decided to work for this type of career?
I have been to international events with the artists that I was working for before, but I was confronted with a language barrier and I realized that J-pop can be popular at certain extent only in Asia. I felt my limit as a producer in the J-pop industry. When I sought for a genre which can be successful globally, I saw massive potential in anime.

3. You often work with Director Tatsuki from Yaoyorozu. What kind of director is he to you?
I’ve been learning a lot from Director Tatsuki. He’s really a passionate director, so I feel like I have to support him from the business aspect as a producer.
He’s a director who can see the world and think through the eyes of the fans. For example, when we discuss the possible date and time of the event, he suggests the date which his fans can join before or after other events that they might possibly like on the same day so that it’s easier for his distant fans to come out to Tokyo. He does not really explain his thoughts, but it usually happens to be those reasons.
I think this is because Director Tatsuki is also a fan of his work, so he can notice aspects which business-minded people cannot see. I believe his thoughtfulness towards his fans reaches them through his work.

4. Speaking of Yaoyorozu, your company became very famous after “Kemono Friends.” Did you expect that this series would be a social phenomenon when you started working on this series?
Not at all! I think there are many Easter Eggs hidden in every series, but as for “Kemono Friends,” we were very lucky that our fans found all of them! I think this is a miracle which happened when the needs of creators and viewers matched.

5. “Kemurikusa” which was aired earlier this year is a series with a solid and unique background. This anime is based on Director Tatsuki’s previous original anime, but why did you decide to serialize this anime now?
Director Tatsuki’s work includes mainly both solid comedy or storyline, but I personally wanted to show the world that we have series with a compelling plot. “Kemurikusa” was perfect for this project. He said, since the story in this world can be difficult, there may be a chance that viewers will not be able to accept this series unless we, creators build the story very carefully, or if we make the story too shallow, we will not be able to deliver the right message.
There was a gap between a dark background setting and cheerful characters.
Indeed. His character development was amazing, so characters could live in the world of the story surely. I bet character stimulation was very challenging.
Did the story change compared to the doujin ver.?
Actually, the doujin ver.’s “Kemurikusa” portrayed only a few episodes of the TV anime series. Although it wasn’t shown in the doujin anime, I’m sure he had all the storyline in his head from the very beginning.

6. What is your current goal? What kind of anime would you like to produce in the future?
I would like to plan a project where we can connect with our fans all over the world. Since there are not many producers who have a perfect balance between creativity and business, I would like to contribute to the activities where I can help them grow as producers with both creativity and business perspective in the future.


Yoshitada Fukuhara
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fukuhara_ystd

Official Site: http://yaoyorozu.info/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/yaoyorozuanime



1. ロサンゼルスへようこそ!まず始めに福原さんの簡単な自己紹介をお願いします。

2. 先ほど音楽関係の仕事から友人の紹介でアニメに興味をもちこちらの業界に踏み込んだとおっしゃっていましたが、アニメで仕事をしていこうと思ったきっかけは?

3. ヤオヨロズのたつき監督と一緒にお仕事をする機会も多いと思いますが、福原さんにとってたつき監督はどんな監督ですか?

4. ヤオヨロズと言えば「けものフレンズ」で一気にその知名度が世界に知れ渡りました。アニメ制作に取り掛かったときはこんなにも社会現象になると予期していましたか?

5. 今年放送された「ケムリクサ」。また世界観の溢れるいい意味で癖の強い作品ですね!こちらはたつき監督の過去に作った自主制作アニメが原作となりますが、こちらを今TVシリーズ化しようと思ったのはなぜですか?

6. 今後の福原さんの目標はありますか?将来はどんなアニメをプロデュースしていきたいですか?


Twitter: https://twitter.com/fukuhara_ystd

Official Site: http://yaoyorozu.info/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/yaoyorozuanime


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