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Welcome to From the Mouths of Babes
Gio's Note: The text of this interview was donated by Rhyaniwyn of In the Rose Garden fame. Thanks so much! Also, um...I'm in this interview. I was using Akio-no-Miko as a handle for it. Man I didn't even remember that was me until I recognized myself. I'VE BEEN AT THIS TOO LONG

Chiho Saito IRC Chat Interview (SciFi.com)


MODERATOR: Okay here we go

Kokoro: ^^

Arisugawa: yay :D

Guruguru: Read ya later people!

MODERATOR: You guys can send me questions now

MODERATOR: <Yuugi> u have a cat ne? what´ it´s name? he´ so kakkoi ^^

CHIHO-HIME: His name is Chuchu-taro.

MODERATOR: <Solaris> Could you please ask her how to get into the anime/manga business??

CHIHO-HIME: I solicited my work to the publisher...

CHIHO-HIME: I went to the publisher that was publishing my favorite manga magazine.

MODERATOR: <Puu> Which of Saito-sensei's other works would she most like to be animated, if any?

CHIHO-HIME: I'd like to see "Magnolia Waltz" and "Flower Crown Madonna" animated.

MODERATOR: <Kamui> what is Chiho sama's favourite music from the TV series?

CHIHO-HIME: Do you mean just not the duel song but all the songs?

CHIHO-HIME: The closing song of the 3rd quarter of the show...

CHIHO-HIME: What was the title?... (^^;

CHIHO-HIME: We'll try to remember.

MODERATOR: <Akane> I saw you at Anime Central in Chicago in the middle of May... do you like appearing at the various conventions around the United States?

MODERATOR: NOTE TO CHATTERS: This is be a moderated chat room. The only ones who can speak publicly will be myself and Saito-san (Chiho-Hime). Once this chat starts, if you have any questions or comments please private message/query me and I will post them up. This message will appear infrequently.

CHIHO-HIME: Of course, it's fun...

CHIHO-HIME: Each city has different kind of people. It shows how diverse and big America is.

MODERATOR: <Fujiko-chan> I know you've heard the English dub voices for the TV series. I was wondering what you thought specifically of the voice actor for Saionji. At first, I really hated his voice, but as I heard it more, I thought that it suited his personality in a different way than the Japanese seiyuu's did. What do you think?

MODERATOR: <Fujiko-chan> Do you think another Utena series will be made? Do you ever think to write more Utena manga?

MODERATOR: he's reading this long message

CHIHO-HIME: I'm sorry, I don't really remember...

CHIHO-HIME: But I don't think the voice wasn't unfit for the character.

CHIHO-HIME: I wish that would be true. So it might come true.

CHIHO-HIME: I hope everyone prays to the god of Utena so that can happen.

MODERATOR: lol

MODERATOR: <Neil-s-4> Can you ask Chiho how she feels about newer anime styles as opposed to older ones?

CHIHO-HIME: It looks good, but the fast tempo is sometimes tiring...

CHIHO-HIME: New anime switches scenes so quickly.

MODERATOR: <Eolo> First of all say hello to Saito-sensei on behalf of Portuguese Anime Fandom and that we thank her deeply for this opportunity.

MODERATOR: <Eolo> How did the first ideas of Utena developed from the Elegance Prince Utena into Shoujo Kakumei Utena as it is today.

MODERATOR: you guys are making her laugh

MODERATOR: not mocking laughter, mind you

CHIHO-HIME: What is "Elegance Prince Utena"?

CHIHO-HIME: I just remembered that the song's title was "Virtual Star".

MODERATOR: <eoiadmin> In your new manga, Lady Masquerade, .. are those foursome REALLY cat-people or is that just in the girl's imagination? :)

MODERATOR: <eoiadmin> What's it like, traveling with Ikuhara-san? ^^

MODERATOR: NOTE TO CHATTERS: This is be a moderated chat room. The only ones who can speak publicly will be myself and Saito-san (Chiho-Hime). If you have any questions or comments please private message/query me and I will post them up. This message will appear infrequently.

MODERATOR: She's LOL

CHIHO-HIME: (^^;

CHIHO-HIME: I'll leave that up to your imagination.

CHIHO-HIME: It's tough babysitting Mr. Ikuhara...

CHIHO-HIME: That's because he doesn't wake up in the morning...

CHIHO-HIME: And he might be naked in the bathtub when I go get him.

MODERATOR: If people send me more than one question at a time, I will pick only one

MODERATOR: <naoko> what did she think about her first work Lady and Sword now??

CHIHO-HIME: Eh, um...

CHIHO-HIME: I think I'd feel the same way as I'd had my first child...

CHIHO-HIME: I would mind if she peed in bed.

MODERATOR: <Yuugi> what kind of materials do u mostly use on your artworks sensei?

CHIHO-HIME: For color?...

MODERATOR: <Ne0n^^> does she have any other plans for the Utena cast?

CHIHO-HIME: Do you mean introducing new characters into Utena?

MODERATOR: <Yuugi> yes colour

CHIHO-HIME: Watercolor ink and oil markers and water-resistant black ink and color pencils and the erase and patience.

MODERATOR: <PsychoMantis> ASK CHIHO, DO YOU LIKE ANY AMERICAN MUSIC? IF YES, WHAT BANDS AND/OR GROUPS?

CHIHO-HIME: I haven't listened to recent music, but I liked Led Zepplin.

MODERATOR: <Solaris> please tell her DomoArigatouGozaimashita!!

MODERATOR: <Solaris> Would you please ask her if anyone she knew inspired Utena or Anthy or other charcters?

CHIHO-HIME: Perhaps Kunihiko Ikuhara?

MODERATOR: <Arisugawa> At what point did you finalize your drawing style? Or is your style still influenced and changing, even now?

CHIHO-HIME: When I read "Rose of Versaille" and "The Clan of Po," my style was established.

MODERATOR: <Puu> The relationship between Utena and Anthy seems to differ between the anime and the manga. What did you intend their relationship to be?

MODERATOR: NOTE TO CHATTERS: This is be a moderated chat room. The only ones who can speak publicly will be myself and Saito-san (Chiho-Hime). If you have any questions or comments please private message/query me and I will post them up. This message will appear infrequently.

CHIHO-HIME: Their relationship is probably something like husband and wife.

CHIHO-HIME: Sometimes they get along, othertimes, they fight. They are bonded by love and hatred.

MODERATOR: wait... word from Ikuhara-san

CHIHO-HIME: Sorry, I misunderstood the question...

MODERATOR: <AtmaWeapon> How old were you when you first realized you had a real talent for drawing?

CHIHO-HIME: I was in the first grade...

CHIHO-HIME: I imitated my sister in drawing and surprised everyone.

MODERATOR: <Jessica> Are you planning to attend any more US conventions (this year, or the next?)

CHIHO-HIME: Schedule permitting, I'd like to go to a different convention in a new city.

MODERATOR: <Tomoe> How much important is Utena in your life? (...not only talking about the content of the series/Manga but also as the importance you give Utena as your work...)

CHIHO-HIME: I was drawing manga all by myself, and then it taught me how fun it is to collaborate with others to make manga...

CHIHO-HIME: It made me rethink my life a little. It had to do with my age, perhaps...

CHIHO-HIME: So something within me was a little revolutioned. I don't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing yet.

MODERATOR: <cjs3> will you please tell mrs. chiho the following things for me: first, that I'm enjoying Utena immensely and that I'm very grateful to her for putting it together. It's a weird romance I enjoy very much and it doesn't feel as condescending as a lot of shows on american television. I particularly enjoy the melodramatic songs of the show and want to commend her for forming the ideas behind a particularly wonderful anime.

MODERATOR: <cjs3> here's another question that you might throw out later in the chat. Utena thr

MODERATOR: NOTE TO CHATTERS: This is be a moderated chat room. The only ones who can speak publicly will be myself and Saito-san (Chiho-Hime). If you have any questions or comments please private message/query me and I will post them up. This message will appear infrequently.

MODERATOR: oops that question got cut off MODERATOR: too long

MODERATOR: <Gray> Do you know if any of your manga is going to be translated into English and released in America?

CHIHO-HIME: America Extra will be printing Utena starting in December.

CHIHO-HIME: Animerica. (^^;

MODERATOR: <ArisugawaJuri> Ask Chiho Saito who her favorite character in Utena is

CHIHO-HIME: I'm sorry I always have to give the same time every time, but it's Toga.

CHIHO-HIME: But my second favorite is Chuchu.

MODERATOR: <sizer> What are your plans for the future?

CHIHO-HIME: A new serial is starting in Petit Comic.

MODERATOR: <Eolo> In the end of volume 5 of the manga there are some sketches of characters that were never used in the manga, with different costumes, drawn by you... with other some names, do you remember that?

CHIHO-HIME: Yes.

MODERATOR: <Utena> Do you ever watch other animes in your free time?

MODERATOR: NOTE TO CHATTERS: This is be a moderated chat room. The only ones who can speak publicly will be myself and Saito-san (Chiho-Hime). If you have any questions or comments please private message/query me and I will post them up. This message will appear infrequently.

CHIHO-HIME: I do. I like Chibi Maruko-chan.

CHIHO-HIME: I sometimes watch Sailor Moon, too.

MODERATOR: <BloBs> Miss Saito, In which way have your style changed since your tight approach to other cultures? Do you think that non-japanese people can enjoy your art as much or are they loosing something?

CHIHO-HIME: My style hasn't changed, but I'm a little vexed that I'm always asked if my ideal male is my manga character.

MODERATOR: <eoiadmin> Someone here said that the Utena movie was 'cruel' compared to the TV series in terms of how the characters were treated. Do you feel that the film was cruel or sympathetic toward the characters?

CHIHO-HIME: The characters who weren't treated kindly in the TV show got attention, so I think it was sympathetic in that regard...

CHIHO-HIME: But it was cruel toward Utena.

MODERATOR: <Akio-no-Miko> Are there any other shoujo or anime artists that you admire?

MODERATOR: NOTE TO CHATTERS: This is be a moderated chat room. The only ones who can speak publicly will be myself and Saito-san (Chiho-Hime). If you have any questions or comments please private message/query me and I will post them up. Please keep your questions limited to one line to keep this conversation going. This message will appear infrequently.

CHIHO-HIME: There are many...

CHIHO-HIME: Toshie Kihara...

CHIHO-HIME: Kyoko Hikawa...

CHIHO-HIME: Keiko Takemiya...

CHIHO-HIME: Moto Hagio...

CHIHO-HIME: Riyoko Ikeda...

CHIHO-HIME: And I admire all other manga artists who draw stories that move me.

MODERATOR: <Anthy> What advice would you give two girls trying to become Anime cartoonists? *We are complete Otakus*

MODERATOR: <Anthy> Is there a story behind the "shadowplay" girls?

CHIHO-HIME: It's best to have many hobbies outside of anime...

CHIHO-HIME: Mr. Ikuhara says, "You should become as big a fan of anime as possible. Especially my works, and you should buy as much merchadise as possible. (^^;"

MODERATOR: lol

MODERATOR: <naoko> could you told her that she is very very kool !!?? I really feel very happy ! I'm from spain and here no arrives any of hers works , I'm so thankful to find some things in Barcelona (I'm from mallorca) Thanks for brings us the opportunity of talk with an autentic sensei

MODERATOR: <naoko> She thinks that the carathers of their mangas are inspired in real people?? And Jurys Carather??

CHIHO-HIME: Re: the shadow play girls, they showed up before I knew...

CHIHO-HIME: Mr. Ikuhara says, "The production meeting took place on a sunny day. If it was cloudy or rainy, they wouldn't have existed."

CHIHO-HIME: naoke: Sometimes, yes...

CHIHO-HIME: They usually tend to be historical figures that I've fallen in love with.

MODERATOR: <ChibiJuri> Which character in 'Utena' do you identify with most?

CHIHO-HIME: Mr. Ikuhara says, "I'm going to Spain in October"...

CHIHO-HIME: "The Utena movie will have its Spanish premiere then"...

CHIHO-HIME: "I'm not sure of the spelling. Sitisu(sp?) film festival"...

CHIHO-HIME: "Utena will have a special screening there"...

CHIHO-HIME: "I'll be making a speech before the screening there"...

CHIHO-HIME: "So everyone please come. I hope to see you there."

MODERATOR: <Uther> what is the real age of Anthy Himemiya?

CHIHO-HIME: ChibiJuri: It would be the main character Utena...

CHIHO-HIME: You can't draw manga otherwise.

CHIHO-HIME: Uther: She must be of an age that even I'm not aware of...

CHIHO-HIME: But she was born on a leap year, so she only ages once every 3-4 years.

MODERATOR: <Kamui> Chiho sensei, what is your favourite seiyuu?

CHIHO-HIME: I guess I should say Takehito Koyasu.

MODERATOR: <Clarisse> What would you say that the theme of 'Utena' is?

MODERATOR: NOTE TO CHATTERS: This is be a moderated chat room. The only ones who can speak publicly will be myself and Saito-san (Chiho-Hime). If you have any questions or comments please private message/query me and I will post them up. Please keep your questions limited to one line to keep this conversation going. This message will appear infrequently.

CHIHO-HIME: Mr. Ikuhara says, "That's a difficult question to answer"...

CHIHO-HIME: "It's about changing your personality"...

CHIHO-HIME: "That is not about changing it because you lost fighting society"...

CHIHO-HIME: "But by changing your personality"...

CHIHO-HIME: "Your world view changes."

MODERATOR: <SekaiNoHate> Question for Chiho-sensei: What was your most memorable moment while working on Utena?

CHIHO-HIME: In the first year...

CHIHO-HIME: When I went to a hotel to finalize on the plans for Utena on a 4-night group tour...

CHIHO-HIME: Mr. Ikuhara fell ill...

CHIHO-HIME: Oh why did I have to spend new year's day's morning in the hospital?...

CHIHO-HIME: That was sad and funny at the same time.

MODERATOR: <Neil-s-4> Has Chiho ever seen Twilight of the Cockaroaches? If so, what does she think of the inclusion of real like and claymation with Anime. Is she interested in doing a project like this?

CHIHO-HIME: I've heard about that anime...

CHIHO-HIME: I heard it was a very adventurous attempt, but I've never seen that actual film...

CHIHO-HIME: But I'm interested in bold ventures like that.

MODERATOR: <AtmaWeapon> Did you encounter any sexism along the way?

CHIHO-HIME: Well...

CHIHO-HIME: There were many times when I didn't realize it was so at the moment...

CHIHO-HIME: But when you look up, you realize it was so...

CHIHO-HIME: Usually when from older men...

CHIHO-HIME: I sometimes break down and cry when I realize it.

MODERATOR: <JohnandAeryn> Are there any major differences between the manga of Utena and the anime?

CHIHO-HIME: The addition of Tomoko Kawakami's voice, Utena's character changed...

CHIHO-HIME: and achived breadth...

CHIHO-HIME: When I saw the anime...I felt she was cute because she sounded a little slow.

MODERATOR: <Jessica> You and Ikuhara seem to make a large effort to connect with your American fans (more so than many other Japanese directors/manga writers). Is this intentional, or do you see all Japanese production staff as making an equal effort?

CHIHO-HIME: I dont' think I'm making such effort intentionally...

CHIHO-HIME: I think it's just naturally ending up that way...

MODERATOR: okay we'll have to stop taking questions to finish answering

MODERATOR: what has already been asked

MODERATOR: but not answered yet

CHIHO-HIME: I feel energized each time I meet American Utena fans, so I like to have contact with them.

CHIHO-HIME: I feel I can get just as much energy.

MODERATOR: <G-Man> which episode of Utena are you most proud of

CHIHO-HIME: My favorite is the last episode...

CHIHO-HIME: Especially where Anthy leaves, I cried.

CHIHO-HIME: Out of joy, that is.

MODERATOR: <Prue> Have you learned any english during your time here in america?

CHIHO-HIME: Yes.

CHIHO-HIME: It's a big lesson especially when I get frustrated that I fail to communicate...

CHIHO-HIME: Just like today...

CHIHO-HIME: So I vow to myself that I'll study English and achive better communication.

MODERATOR: <Solaris> Could you ask her please if she thinks it would be difficult for an foriegner to get started with anime/manga in JApan?

CHIHO-HIME: I'm not really familiar with the anime industry...

CHIHO-HIME: But I hear it'd tough...

CHIHO-HIME: I don't think nationality matters...

CHIHO-HIME: Regarding becoming a manga artist...

CHIHO-HIME: But you need a good grasp of Japanese and Japanese popular culture...

CHIHO-HIME: But basically, manga drawing is a solitary activity...

CHIHO-HIME: So as long as a competent editor backs you up, you can make it.

MODERATOR: <Guruguru> There is too man simbologism and metaforical stuff at Utena, can you explain some of that things like the colour baloons o the apple?

MODERATOR: NOTE TO CHATTERS: This is be a moderated chat room. The only ones who can speak publicly will be myself and Saito-san (Chiho-Hime). If you have any questions or comments please private message/query me and I will post them up. To wrap this up, we're no longer taking additional questions.

CHIHO-HIME: Those are things that the director Mr. Ikuhara and the individual episode directors...

CHIHO-HIME: Introduced in each episodes, so it's not something I can really explain.

MODERATOR: <cjs3> where did you get the mythological ideas such as dios, akio's true nature, or the soulswords from?

CHIHO-HIME: That's a difficult question...

CHIHO-HIME: Since I dont' remember the origins of those ideas too well...

CHIHO-HIME: They must have come from us at Be-Papas, especially from Mr. Ikuhara's brain.

CHIHO-HIME: ...and his character.

MODERATOR: And Mr. Ikuhara has left the building

MODERATOR: <Eolo> Giving Touga a more central role in the Adolescence Mokushirou storyline, was it your idea?

CHIHO-HIME: Yes, I strongly asked for that.

MODERATOR: <Utena> What gave you the idea for Revolutionary Girl?

CHIHO-HIME: That's also from Mr. Ikuahra's brain and personality.

MODERATOR: <Lime-chan> Do you feel that love transends gender? In Utena and Anthy's case.

CHIHO-HIME: Of course, I think so.

MODERATOR: NOTE TO CHATTERS: This is a moderated chat room. The only ones who can speak publicly will be myself and Saito-san (Chiho-Hime). If you have any questions or comments please private message/query me and I will post them up. To wrap this up, we're no longer taking additional questions.

MODERATOR: <Tomoe> Is it true that are being made efforts to release 'Adolescence Mokushiroku' in the States? If so, it will necessarily have to be dubbed?

CHIHO-HIME: I hope so...

MODERATOR: <SaionjiKyoichi> Ms. Saito, wha is your opinion of the character of Takatsuki Shiori being added to the anime?

CHIHO-HIME: I felt that Mr. Ikuhara likes Shiori-chan.

MODERATOR: <wave4247> Where did the names Utena and Anthy come from?

CHIHO-HIME: Utena refers to the flower petal...

CHIHO-HIME: Anthy is Greek for the flower that's supported by those petals.

MODERATOR: <Akio-no-Miko> What were the thoughts behind the character Saionji

CHIHO-HIME: He probably is a representative of the old fashioned Japanese male.

MODERATOR: Akio, we just asked your question

CHIHO-HIME: And because of that, he goes through a lot of hardships...

CHIHO-HIME: It's difficult to be behind the times...

CHIHO-HIME: I have a lot of sympathy for him.

MODERATOR: <ArisugawaJuri> Miss Saito.. I just want to add that you have done EXCELLENT work... Utena is my very favorite Anime... and like... I worship you.. I will so make a shrine dedicated to you.. ::bows::

MODERATOR: <OnionPrincess> Saito-san, what is the significance behind Micky's stopwatch? He always seems most concerned when it reads:00 at the end

CHIHO-HIME: That's a question I always asked to Mr. Ikuhara myself...

CHIHO-HIME: But he never told my the truth about it.

MODERATOR: <eoiadmin> Ikuhara-san is a big teaser. But we can always count on Chiho-san to tell us the truth about things. In that spirit, can you tell us honestly that Utena is really -finished- and that there won't be more? :)

CHIHO-HIME: I think you see through things very sharply...

CHIHO-HIME: But it really is something I don't know.

CHIHO-HIME: He often says he wants me to draw a contiuation...

CHIHO-HIME: But I always have to take that with a grain of salt.

MODERATOR: <Uther> do you know the europeans comics and artists? if yes, what do you like?

CHIHO-HIME: When I went to France, I bought a lot of French comics...

CHIHO-HIME: I don't remember their names too well...

CHIHO-HIME: But they have a lot of good artists...

CHIHO-HIME: So I sometimes study their works and try to learn from them.

MODERATOR: NOTE TO CHATTERS: This is a moderated chat room. The only ones who can speak publicly will be myself and Saito-san (Chiho-Hime). If you have any questions or comments please private message/query me and I will post them up. To wrap this up, we're no longer taking additional questions.

MODERATOR: <naoko> I'm in love with Toga , what can I do?? XDD

MODERATOR: <naoko> I'm like Jury Arisugawa (personality of course )And I wanna Know why is she alwais feeling sad??

CHIHO-HIME: The answer to the first question is very easy...

CHIHO-HIME: You just need to become a good artist...

CHIHO-HIME: So you can draw your own manga where Toga falls in love with you...

CHIHO-HIME: So I'd like to give the same advice to Jury...

CHIHO-HIME: She should become a good artist...

CHIHO-HIME: So she can draw her own manga where Shiori falls in love with her.

MODERATOR: Some of you are still sneaking questions here and there... =P

MODERATOR: <Darkfacimile> Question: Who would you say are your favourite couples in Utena and why?

MODERATOR: <Darkfacimile> Second question for Chiho-san: Could you speculate on what would have happened had Utena succeeded at her attempts to "revolutionarise the world"

CHIHO-HIME: The answer to the first question...

CHIHO-HIME: It's Chuchu and Saionji...

CHIHO-HIME: I know they are deeply in love with each other...

CHIHO-HIME: Re: the second question...

CHIHO-HIME: I think she did the revolution...'

CHIHO-HIME: What do you think?

MODERATOR: <G-Man> do you like sci-fi or fantasy anime more

CHIHO-HIME: I like them both...

CHIHO-HIME: Especially when they have good costumes...

CHIHO-HIME: It's espeically good if an anime characters wear good capes.

MODERATOR: <Anthy> Did you learn to draw on your own or did you have any help developing your techniques?

CHIHO-HIME: I did attend art school...

CHIHO-HIME: But style is something I learned on my own.

MODERATOR: <Tomoe> Can you ask saito-san who was in the boat and who was the girl in land in the Movie?

MODERATOR: 2 more questions after this

CHIHO-HIME: That's something that needs to be asked to Mr. Ikuhara.

CHIHO-HIME: I asked that to him once...

CHIHO-HIME: But I forgot...

CHIHO-HIME: I must not have been impressed with the answer.

MODERATOR: <Lime-chan> I've always thought that the Utena storyline in a fedual Japan setting would be interesting, ne?

CHIHO-HIME: That probably would be interesting, yes...

CHIHO-HIME: But I wouldn't want Utena to shave her head samurai style.

CHIHO-HIME: I want her to keep her long hair.

MODERATOR: <Neil-s-4> Does Chiho play any video games?

CHIHO-HIME: Yes...

CHIHO-HIME: But I get dizzy playing recent games after 15 minutes...

CHIHO-HIME: So I like to play games from 15 years ago.

MODERATOR: Well, that's it

MODERATOR: I'm going to unmoderate this room

MODERATOR: I'd like to thank Ms. Saito-san on behalf of all of us

MODERATOR: for taking the time in this cold cold cold room to answer our questions

MODERATOR: (I'm not talking about the chat room)

MODERATOR: You guys can stay and talk

Kalean: hehe

SaionjiKyoichi: Sweet.

Kalean: sweet

Starbuck: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity and to Ms. Saito-san for participating!

MODERATOR: well u guys can talk now

Arisugawa: whee




Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena) is © Kunihiko Ikuhara, Chiho Saito, Shogakukan and bePapas/TV Tokyo and/or their respective copyright holders. The US release of the Revolutionary Girl Utena series and movie was © Central Park Media and now belongs to Right Stuf. The US release of the Utena manga is © VIZ. The various sources used in this site are noted where their content is presented. Don't sue us, seriously. Blood. Stone.