KH3 Ultimania: Interview with Koji Inoue (Animation Director)
DISCLAIMER: This is only a tentative translation. It is possible that there are mistakes.
Previously worked on: KH Re:CoM, KH BbS, KH BbS FM, KH3D, KH 0.2, Brave Fencer Musashi 2: Blade Master
Q: Please tell us if you used any references from past works in the series, or if there was anything you thought about changing.
A: At the beginning of development, I was too conscious of the movements of Sora being like KH2, so I was a little worried, but I consulted with Kando, the animation supervisor (Tatsuya Kando), who told me "it's okay to add in the full flavor of the Osaka team [who is in charge] to make him move", so I let myself go and made the movements as flashy as I wanted. Later, a lot of bugs were caused as a result of this, so I had a really hard time, but even that is a nice memory.
Q: Which point did you fuss over the most?
A: The motions of the Keyblade transformations, and being able to "Attack" or "Finish" with the transformed Keyblades were the centerpiece of battle of this game, so I really put forth a lot of effort. That being said, including things like the yo-yos, flag, and iceskates, there were a lot of really incredible variations, so at first I felt almost hopeless. When I saw the finishing move for Storm Flag, where the Kraken's tentacles appear, in the specification document, I complained like "what is this?! No way!"
Q: Which point was the biggest struggle?
A: All of the attacks and actions. Especially in the case of the motion transforming the Keyblades to each different weapon, deciding on what kind of movement to make was all left entirely up to me, so using all the tools at my disposal, I went at it.
Q: Please tell us something interesting that happened during the development process.
A: In this game, Sora can use lots of different kinds of weapons, so I brought toys of guns, shields, yo-yos and inline skates to my booth and set them up to use as [reference] materials. For the sliding motion of the Blizzard Blades, I slid around on inline skates around my booth to check how weight shifted while I was making it, so it probably feels realistic [laughs].
BONUS! "A secret about the game only you know"
Within the development team, the actions when you play as KH1-era Sora in the Station of Awakening at the beginning of the story, and the actions when you play as Riku in the Dark World were popular enough to make everyone feel like they wanted to play [with those actions] for longer.