Interview: Eiwa Ishijima
In this article, we'll be introducing Yuji Nunokawa's "The Secrets Behind Osomatsu-san's Success (Osomatsu-san no Kikaku-jutsu - Hitto no Himitsu wo Tokiakasu)", or Osomatsu-san no Kikaku-jutsu.
Author, Yuji Nunokawa is actually a super producer
According to Nunokawa, when asked about Osomatsu-san, the anime that aired in 2016, even the staff felt like "who would have thought that this would become such a big hit (lol)" (p.15 of the book).
Let's learn more about how to create a new boom in this book that is sure to come in handy to everyone doing creative work.
Changing your sorrow into laughter
Osomatsu-san was adapted off the original work of Fujio Akatsuka, author of Tensai Bakabon and Himitsu no Akko-chan.
Akatsuka never forgets the painful times spent in poverty when he was younger. (omitted) He always spreads laughter through the commoner's point of view. I feel like this is something that would not have been possible if not for those experiences from his childhood. Despite going through a hard time, he was always able to blow away all hardships with laughter. That's why there is a certain depth to Akatsuka's laughter.
Yuji Nunokawa - Osomatsu-san no Kikaku-jutsu - Hitto no Himitsu wo Tokiakasu (Shueisha, 2016) p.36, 37.
He eventually rose to fame with his work such as Osomatsu-san, and Tensai Bagabon, but at the root of his gag manga lies the bitter experiences and sorrow he faced after the war.
27 years after the airing of Osomatsu-kun. The cute sextuplets from back then grew up into lazy NEETs.....Perhaps you can see some sorrow behind the fundamental plot of Osomatsu-san.
Osomatsu-san wouldn't have gained as much popularity even with the same content if the protagonists were 6 handsome and elite guys.
Gags and sorrow might seem completely unrelated at first glance, but sorrow can help elevate the status of the gags, which is exactly what happened with Osomatsu-san.
Of course, you will have to face your past experiences in order to be able to base gags off your sorrow. But that's exactly what a creator needs to bring out the depth in a series.
Not too broad or too shallow, focusing on a target group of fans
However, the economic benefits it brought about was far larger than Osomatsu-kun which saw a rating of more than 20%. (p.38)
It is hard to find another show that created a boom as large as Osomatsu-san, even with shows that received higher viewership. Internet streaming and the word of mouth help spread the boom like wildfire.
Yuji Nunokawa - Osomatsu-san no Kikaku-jutsu - Hitto no Himitsu wo Tokiakasu (Shueisha, 2016) p.125.
Whether to target an audience of 20,000,000 who do not have much interest, or whether to catch the hearts of 1,000,000 passionate fans, that is the question.
Yuji Nunokawa - Osomatsu-san no Kikaku-jutsu - Hitto no Himitsu wo Tokiakasu (Shueisha, 2016) p.39
Come to terms with yourself when worrying
With these two points under your belt, we hope you'll be able to create an equally attractive set of characters and plot line like the sextuplets.
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