Translated by >>35687690, will upload the scan in a few weeks unless someone does it for me.
Q1: How did you come up with the idea for the 'pants' that almost has become a symbol for the franchise?
- It just naturally turned out that way when I was doing the character designs. I never had the intention to try to surprise anyone by making it as it is. It was rather I who was surprised by large audience it attracted. (laugh). I thought it was just natural to use the same designs in the anime. However, even if the viewers first get attracted to the show because they want to see pants, I hope they also will take interest in the story once they're hooked.
Q2: So, is girls fighting in mechas your fetish?
- I think seeing the combination of girls and mechanics is like a primitive urge for all boys. For example, it's quite common even in foreign magazines with gravure models to see motorbikes and girls, tanks and girls, etc.
Q3: Why do the witches lose their magic powers?
- We thought the characters in 'Strike Witches' should all be positive and cheerful, and for that reason, we thought it would be best if the girls were between 10 and 20 years old. So, it felt natural to add the bit about them losing their ability to use the shield, and add a type of graduation for the witches. Adolescent girls who are rounded up to fight the neuroi... When you think a little about it, it sounds like a really tragic tale. However, someone has to fight. Since they have been entrusted with something like that, we wanted to show the witches struggling in a lighthearted and fun way.
Q4: It seems like the series has gotten some attention for depicting friendship between girls as well?
- Well, since the characters are all girls, it will in the end be about friendship between girls. However, what we really wanted to show was a lot of different forms of friendships and relations, like in a shounen manga. Senpai/kouhai, parent/child, friendship between classmates. All the pairs have different sorts of relationships.
Q5: What kind of relationship does Sanya and Eila have?
- The idea behind Eila is basically a junior high school boy who is hesitant on how to tell the girl he loves how he feels for her. (laugh) But the fact that they're both girls also comes with the side benefit of them being able to sleep in the same bed.
Q6: Is there any of the special abilities you like better?
- The one I'd say would be the most useful to have would be healing powers. However, I'd like to point about that none of their special abilities are meant to have any dramatic influences on the story. They are simply one of many small tools to be used, and the actual story is meant to be about the 11 witches joining forces and fighting together as a team.
Q7: What are the striker units to the witches?
- They mean different things for different characters. Some characters see them simply as tools to fight the neuroi, while others take care of theirs as if they're partners. This is one example of how the characters individuality are presented.
Q8: What kind of story to you want 'Strike Witches' to be?
- I'm not really the one who clearly decides on what direction the series will take even if I'm the original creator, but I have made clear on what kind of things I would like to avoid. For example, parodies of other shows. This doesn't really fit in the world of Strike Witches. Another one is to avoid bad ends. It doesn't necessarily have to end with a total happy end, but I think the story should end with the world having become at least a little better.