This interview is published in Asian movie technical journal HK in France.
By the request of the HK editors, the interviewer was Mr. Shin-suke Nakajima who is a journalist about special effects and the animation movie for a long time.
The interview was done at the early winter of 1999

Please sum up and tell the beginning of the plan of 'lain'.

At the beginning, the producer would sell many contents by multiple medium from the game software for PLAY STATION to the animation and the novels.
However, when the production of the game was actually started, it was only our hope to make the animation series of television.
Because the producing of the game needs a few people as compared with the producing of the animation.
I had touched the entire plan from the start-up of it.

The main members were Yoshitoshi Abe(an original character designer), Junji Nakahara(a game director and CG worker in the animation series), and Yasuyuki Ueda(Pioneer LDC producer).

I fixed a background of the game, and I wrote a scenario of the part of animation (in the game).

What one was the content of the game?

In summary, when the PLAY STATION's game is started, it loads a virtual Operating System(OS) and it connects with a virtual Network.
The game players draw out some information in the Network at random.
Those information are about a girl named Lain.
But they are very turbid and contradictory contents.
Moreover, the correct answer route with flags, which is existed in the popular game, isn't existed in the game.

Then, this is a botch game because game-over is suddenly happened after the start playing a game in the worst case.
Therefore, we named it Psycho-Stretch-Ware, not game.
If player enjoyed the game-world deeply, player can understand this game-style.
In short, this software is to feel an atmosphere of virtual worlds.

There are various information from the virtual Networks, so that it is difficult to understand the reality of lain.

Yes, it is.
Of course, it is only a gimmick to make player feel the existing unlimited datum about lain by mistake.
I think that the Network is very attractive media, as generating new genre of cyber-punk in the science fiction.
However, we kept saying that we wouldn't like to make cyber-punks and "lain" isn't a kind of cyber-punk from the beginning,
So, we thought that it wasn't good to draw the inside of Network as "cool-style".

Is there a difference in the content of the game and the animation series?

When the work of the scenario of the game ends, the producer said "Let's make animation".
Then, while we felt "Is it true?", the animation series are started.
A common points are same heroine named lain and its design.

Although the entire taste and concepts are same, I strongly considered to present another result on the animation series in myself, because we had completed the work of the game.

For example, the word "Wired" wasn't used in the game.
It was used in the animation series on TV.

Although the game was based on the virtual Network, there was no reason to reconstruct story inside the Network by the animation series.
At a television, the story was shifted from describing Network to describing a relationship between inside and outside the network by myself.
Though the Network in the game is only a space with a lot of information for communicating by player, I wanted to describe the Network from the different view in the animation.

There are a lot of footnotes what explains about the network and the technology of the computer in detail by Mr.Konaka in a "lain"'s scenario collection.
(The book which puts scenarios of all 13 stories had already been published in Japan. Scenario Experiments Lain the Series edit par Sony Magazines 1998.)
I think you have a lot of knowledge.
Did you use computer from early time?

No, my history using computer isn't long.
However, there is a professional programmer in the staff, and the producer and other main staff members are heavy users who have similar experience to program some easy games on the 8-bit micro-computer.
I didn't have such a hobby because I was the liberal arts course.
Although I didn't use computers for my jobs, I began to interest in the MS-DOS about ten years ago, then I read some books (about computers) because I liked its closing worlds.

I began to use a computer "Rest of us", at the time to buy Macintosh easily.
In fact, I wrote "my father make a batch file,,,," in one scenario before I began to use a computer, maybe I was interested with them.

I think "lain" is much higher quality animation series by collaborating with digital works and cell animation than current average animation series as TV program.

Digital working parts can be constructed at that time on 1998.
Because, it is the first age to make video by all staff members' personal Macintosh computers, whose quality can be as good as broadcasting.

All staff members, including supervisor, the producer and directors, for each episode did the digital work in time for the broadcasting schedule every week.
It might be impossible one year ago.
When the hard disks and the memory were expensive, we might talk:
"These works were needed to order the productions.",
"Yes, it is not possible to do (under the budget).",
"Then, it is made by cell animation, isn't it."

But, it is clumsy and not new (screen making like "lain") in this year(1999).
Recently, it is an age of handling video by consumer personal computer, all-in-one personal computer.
There is one side of "lain" which was made by manias for new technology at that time on 1998.

I don't know about newsgroup and amateur BBS because my history of communicating for four or five years on the network.
It was the maximum speed of 9600bps of the modem when I started network communications by the computer.
Then, I am not a fanatic networker who believes that the world in the network is a higher hierarchy than the real world, and the lain's story didn't describe them.
The dialogues about the network world was repeatedly said from the necessities of the drama.
I settled the lowest entertainment level in the game and animation.
I always think that it must be necessary to do as the professional.
In fact, the producer told me that I didn't need to think about these marketing, but I don't think so. This is a merchandise.

Was the animation planned as television series, not as video packages ?

Yes, it was.
And, I was very fear because the remarkable mechanics and monsters weren't appeared in the series.
My priority genre is Horror, in the other words, I am a Horror writer.
So I constructed a horror story at first.
Then, I would like to transform anything what everyone couldn't forecast from the Horror story.
It might be obedient process how to make story, and be accepted by watchers.

That story (what was a mail from a dead girl) is beginning as horror story,
and "lain"'s theme is overlaying heaven on the Network.
However, this theme wasn't our conclusion.
In fact, our start line was "(Maybe,) heaven connects to network."

For instance, it is assumed that there is electric information in human,
these information are kept in the heaven or wired world.
People can look them like phantom when they are sometime appeared in the reality world.

It is the beginning that phantom will be appeared by realizing information suddenly when synchronizing the information world and the reality world.
It isn't conclusion but the beginning.

Therefore, what the wired in the "lain" in the animation series is the middle earth which connect the reality world with the another world --- heaven or hell.

But there is no significant in that Network what is our conclusion in the animation series.
My feeling is "it may be true, ( but another possibility exists, too )",
Although I have no conclusion, I think that it will not be a higher hierarchy at least.

In the start stages, I felt scared and bad from "Strange Signal Receiving" and fanatic scenes what a girl "Chisa" commits suicide, scenes what describes lain's family and what a boy talks with himself.
But the horrid impression from contents was changing with following stories.

The first episode was a special film which were created by supervisor Nakamura and drawing director Takahiro Kishida.
For example, Mr.Kishida designed a layout in scene of flowing an ectoprasm from a tip of lain's fingers for one and half months, and he also drawn alone.
[Note: layout is the design of images, it is similar with framing in cameras. Mr.Kishida is a character designer through the entire films, and he designed layout of images in the first episode.]
After that, a scene that lain approaches her desk in her room was so detail that another animation series on the television cannot make.
It may be strange.
[The scene is that lain walked from the door to desk with leaving bag from her shoulder in a long shot.
Then it views lain's face after her NAVI and clocks on the desks by a upper angle with control-long.
And lain looks at pens, bears, small picture on the desk by a first person viewing.
The length of scenes is 10 seconds.]
I wondered that "Why they might do these kind of things?" in a first episode.
However, nothing has been described in the first episode yet.
Then, a dramatic story didn't start and situation wasn't explained in it.

I heard that the supervisor was decided Mr. Nakamura while Mr. Konaka was writing the scenario.

A suitable supervisor were not found in long time.
In fact, the producer and I didn't see about Mr. Ryutaro Nakamura.
In the early time, we were fear because he didn't speak even in the meeting.
But we're surprised from the video continuity by him.
(We trusted his ability.)
Then, in the last stages, I constructed scenario from the supervisor's desire what I supposed from scenes which he said "This is good."
In other words, the story was made without no conclusion of the story.

Was the story planed 13 episodes.

Yes, it is.
I had wrote up scenario in myself till the fourth episodes.
I wrote them without no conclusion in the fanatic.

After the work was interrupted once at that time,
the view of the story was begun to see because I was got a compass from supervisor Mr. Nakamura.
In that sense, the fifth episode was made an entertainment of terrible with calculation and the sixth episode was straight made like SF entertainment.

While we struggled to settle the story to the conclusion,
the eighth episode was made to realize "what the producer and I wanted to do from the first"
And, the ninth episode was strange, whose half scenes were documentary.
In short, we wanted to explain that the story was depended on this background.
The story was ended in the 10, 11, 12th episode.
In such a meaning, it have a reasonable structure, but we wouldn't like to make this style from the beginning.
Now, it can be said with looking back the process.
I had no idea when writing scenarios, and I felt hard to do in the last stages.
In fact, you don't believe, I never wrote one plot.
So, the supervisor Mr. Nakamura and staff members waited to write the scenario, such a serial novel, "What the story goes...?".

Staff members didn't know the direction of the story till scenario.

Yes, they did.
As I knew they wait scenario, it was pressure for me.
At first, I had to enjoy waiting staff members.

Then, Mr. Konaka was credited a series composition and a scenario writer.
So this work was different how to make the story with another one.

The reason why I was credited as the series composition is only guarantee.
Actually, I didn't compose the entire story.

The series composition's roll is usually to set up the entire plot, and to distribute each story to other writers.

Recently, I was series compositions for five or six titles in two or three years.
I hated series composition at first.

The system, which the series composition shows a few ideas and he distributes to other writers, is hate for me if I was writer.
I hope to write scenario from my thinking if I have to do.
Therefore, when I produce series composition, at first I meet all
writers, and I hear what they want to do.
Then, we add their scenario with necessity for the spindle of the series
in discussion.
When I do a series composition, I use that way.
In the case of "lain", because I wrote all scenario alone, I didn't do
the way
though I was credited.
Then, when I wrote "Bubble gum crises TOKYO 2040" ('98) before "lain", I
was credited as a scenario writer.
Exactly, I did a series composition, but I asked to credit only scenario writer without the series composition.
But a scenario writer is automatically credited as a series composition by depending on the production.
I didn't think about the credit because I cannot change the crediting,

Is there a nuance "Original", too?

In the case by case, it may be done.
I know a series composition needs to manage the writers,
and there are a lot of successful title by that system.
So, it depends on the individual case.

You said you had no entire plots about "lain", therefore, you might have
many difficulties to construct stories by your condition every time.
Did you have a hard time to close the story in the last stage.
I wonder whether had a hard time in the last stage though the talk is brought together.

It suffered me to end story with 13 episodes.
Especially, I didn't want to do halfway and to run away.
Although closing the story, the problems were how to make story
consistently from beginning to end and how to say what I want saying
without harmonized ending.
Consequentially, in an emotional part of the drama, it came harmonized ending.
Therefore, I didn't suppose to become a humanistic story.
at the said direction.
A silent inducement of supervisor Nakamura leads me to be a human story,
that is "this is a human being".
All story might be cool or impudent style like from first to forth without his inducement.
Of course, there are some stories adjust those style, but "lain" was different with those style.
Some people had sympathy with "lain" from eighth episode to final episode.
They liked "lain" deeply, and our producing members were similar with them.

What part was the most painful?

What is the pain of making "lain"?
I straight wrote my thinking in the "lain" at that time without limit of animation or TV programs.
There might have fear of disclosing me by myself.

There are many common points between the lain's theme and their persons with "Evangelion".
Have been influenced with "Evangelion".

The production of "lain" had short blanks after forth stories.
I had been so busy to make "lain" until the blanks that I had never been able to watch the "Evangelion" though I knew them.
And, there was one staff who said "Do you think Lain is similar to Rei Ayanami".
Then, I was angry, "What did you say?".
Therefore I had a kind of bias before watching programs.
I watched all programs when they were concentrated re-broadcast at just our blanks.
I saw they had characteristic fascinates, but I didn't think "Lain" was similar to Rei Ayanami.

All video are sold in France, and there may be substantially similarities among them (for instance, appearing beautiful girl, taking up the problem of communications and the identity with reality of boys and girls and Japanese Otaku culture).
They look like from the visual image, for example, the scenes with the utility pole are symbolically used, the entire scenery is white and drawn like a mirage on the summer day.
How about atmosphere are you?

Oh dear, certainly. However, the utility poles were accident.
I have once written the story whose motif is utility poles 7 or 8 years ago.
And Producer Ueda likes them very much, so he took a lot of photographs with his F3 Leica.
Therefore, many "lain"'s backgrounds are referred to his and another cameraman's photographs.
There are about 4,000 pieces photographs to the utility pole.

Do you belong to the party of observing on the road?

I like camera's mechanical parts, but I don't like taking snaps or persons.
However, I think that objects what we can take photographs in the city are only sky and electric wires when looking up.
These scenery in the utility pole are existed only Japan.
It was too straight to use the utility pole in the story of the "lain" about network and communications.
And another point like "Evangelion" was using typography in the screen.

Oh, yes.

However, about that method (using typography in the screen), Mr.Anno may be influenced from the Kon Ichikawa, especially his "Kindaichi Kousuke" series, in my case I was did from Godard.
Because I made documentary touch movies at the beginning as Horror video maker,
superimpose were put in the black screen.
Inserting Time, Dates, Months, Years, or Land's name increase virtual reality for watcher.
I use this method intentionally, and I know Godard had often used.
The person who had watched my past work understand I had used them at the beginning.

Yeah, it is the popular technique.

Certainly young persons, who didn't watch the Ichikawa's or Godard's, may be look like, or think we copied from "Evangelion".
However, it is to say that you didn't study enough.

When making story, you might be constructing it with Supervisor through video continuity.
However, did you closely exchange opinions with another staff?

Especially, we didn't closely.
Of course, we occurred meetings about written scenario, but Supervisor had never made me, "Please change from these parts to new ideas".
Especially, we were state of the cold war about whether "Lain wants to go to Cyberia positively" or "She doesn't".

The supervisor threw his opinion.

In that stage, I thought the girl named Lain was owned by Supervisor.

Then, were you delight of completing Supervisor Nakamura's video continuity ?

Yes, I was.
While writing first and second episodes, I thought that my scenarios were added elements of animation at the video continuity.
In fact, his video continuities were more serious than scenario.
Therefore, I had already thought it seemed good.

Mr.Konaka, you seems to have a lot of animation works recently, and are you considered?

Huuum, every animation work was passively offered, like becoming a writer.
I now have a work for an animation 'THE Big-O'(TVS) which will be broadcasted on WOWOW from this October to the beginning of next year.
After those works, I won't have animation works in the next year.
For a while, animation works will be rested.
But, I don't refuse animation works.
Maybe, everyone think "Konaka is very busy."
So, I now have some camera-movie works, and I feel I have to do in some months.

Are you considered the difference between animation and camera-movie as the scenario writer?

Of course, I'm always considered.
There are few persons who make me write pure animation story.
In recent many cases, I was ordered by the supervisors, who feel current animation are boring, and who like my previous camera-movie works.
But I think, "I could write the traditional animation 'Wonder Magic Fun Fun Pharmacy'('98)".
However, when I talk with them, they don't order me to write a scenario for traditional animation work.
Then, as I think "Oh, I can write Nuance drama", I create some characters to tell a lie boldly with a ordinary face.
So, the supervisor often angers at me, "I can draw a video continuity from your scenario, but another producer cannot do, (Because it is very difficult)."
When I and my brother were born, a 'Tetsuwan Atom (Astro-Boy)'(which is the first Japanese animation film) had been already broadcasted.
We have been watching animation films since we were born.
And we watched the special effects films later, we grew up with watching both films.
The cultures acquired from the both films were same value for me.
Certainly, I think my main category is camera-movie, but I don't feel which film is high or low.
Therefore, I think to be able to make story by the both films.
However, about 'lain', we tried to make new film which cannot be created by camera-movie.
I may like a motif what the reality mix with the fantasy.
There is a limit to treat this motif by the camera-movie
But I thought this limit can be exceeded by animation movie.
At the result, I succeeded in this challenge in myself.
In fact, I had wrote a scenario of 'The Defender'('96) which was cyber story by camera-movie.
It was ignored, or no one had the concerned.
However, I forecasted a cyber story would be accepted by the animation fans.
Actually, there was no confidence to do when making 'lain'.
I truly said for a long time, "Who watch this movie ?"
But, many fans unexpectedly liked very much when it was broadcasted at TV Tokyo.
And, in the Internet.
We were overjoyed, and the joyful was straight appeared in the 'Shift' which was BBS style interview while broadcasting.
We are pleased that the access of homage made by fans had exceeded 20,000 and so on.
Maybe it seemed same that fans wouldn't watch it if it was made by camera-movie.
Someone says animation is symbolism, and there may be special characteristics or feeling in the animation.

Switching tense were shown in the work's everywhere, and mixing past happened and present happening were drawn.
These in everywhere, for example, it was truly past happened episode when it seemed present happening.
I felt these techniques were possible in the animation.

We needed many efforts by the camera-movie.
It is much techniques to represent for this motif in the camera-movie.
In the animation, watchers imagine parts which were omitted or unexplained.

Especially, the fifth episode was surprised.
When Mika came back home, she met another Mika.
That scene was surprised and terrible, but I knew, from the scenario, the scene shows time-shifts from present to future.
I understood one of the producing techniques.

Scenario is only one representation, and interpretation may be different by each watcher.
I wanted to draw a strange atmosphere in that scene 'What is this?'.
I wrote fifth episode under the bad conditions with heat, and I now feel that it was too theoretical.
I should to write more sensuously.
And, another different point between animation and camera-movie is that animation's scenario can be written, which would be played with the best performance.
Of course, the qualities would be controlled by drawers and voice players, however, that difference of qualities was smaller than case of camera-movie.
In the worst case of camera-movie, performance would not be composed at all.
In animation, writer create story under the highest performance, highest producing without these worries.
That is very attractive for writer.
In the tenth episode, a scene which Eiri and Lain exchange their role (what one thinks another's mind and speaks another's speech.) was so difficult by the camera-movie that writer cannot write scenario.
It is possible to write the idea from one method of psychological clinic under the animation's scenario.
While everything can be written in the animation, it was possible the description of inside WIRED was very cheap (under the manufacturing conditions), so I didn't write them till sixth episode with hard thinking.
If they weren't drawn, it might be beautiful style.
At the result, we thought it was impossible to draw them and we had to do.
Actually, Tatami-mat was described in the scene.

I think CG to describe inside WIRED were used interesting technique.
You decided to use CG parts in the scenario, didn't you?

I clearly decided CG parts in scenario of 9th and 11th episodes.
The lain's CG parts were almost used 2D-digital effects, and 3D-CG was few.
The Software named "After Effects" was almost used.
A lot of Plug-In were sold from third-party in just last year, I had gone to agency to sell them directly before shops on the market and we got them.
The documents parts in 9th episode were added rough particles and scratches to seem the old films by the Plug-In filter named Cinelook.
These effects are truly CG processing but they aren't CGI(Computer Generated Images).
In addition, the films were finally edited by a Hareo* which is a high-end digital editing machine and is able to add higher effects in real time.
Of course, it could be used in final stage.
But, it cannot be used all effects because the cost would exceed over budget.
Though 'lain' was a commercial work, it didn't use large scale processing in a technological side of 'lain'.
It was lucky that video taken by consumer DV camera can be easily treated on the personal computer.
Then, Mr.Takahiro Kishida, who was only a character design in credit, made best efforts truly as a total drawing supervisor about the cell animation parts without digital parts.
He silently retouched original pictures drawn by other painters in the company through the night and he also drew a lot of original pictures when creating 'lain'.
"Digital parts were good, but cell animation parts exceeded them", his motivation made him do like a super animator.
So, the entire quality also rose up.
But it couldn't be realized again.

I felt it was high technology animation with CG processing, but they are included with handmade parts.

No, almost all parts are handmade.
I ran with handy video camera to take pictures of the document parts.
It was recently hardest work for me.
There is an impression about digital processing what human waits to process by machine, in fact, it wasn't true.
The ghost who killed MIB at the underground in 12th episode was taken by 8mm film video not DV.
Producer and Mr.Nakahara put blanket on the head to take the ghost.
It might be under the independent movie by amateur.

Maybe, does it come from the experience to take the 8mm film movie by yourself?
That scene can be easily taken with this method.

However, I didn't imagine to take pictures by such methods. (which were handmade technique like an amateur).
The manufacturing situation of the current animation is very severe at everywhere.
A lot of animation films are broadcasted with low qualified pictures which aren't enough level for creator.
I had such a bitter experience, and Mr.Kishida also would have it
The resentment against these experiences give us power for 'lain'.
Mr.Kishida was genius, and he had strong spirits what he never regret and he never admit bad quality in the work credited his name.
So, he worked over guarantee.
In 12th episode, he called star animators as his friends.
It was too much doing in this industry.
Mr.Kishida had decided to work for 'lain' because he read my scenario from 1st to 4th and was interesting them with another conditions.
I think we were very lucky in such points.

By the way, whose idea is an impressive bear pajamas put by lain?
We know bear is a trademark for Konaka brothers.
[note: A younger brother Kazuya Konaka is a movie supervisor]
His theater works are 'April ghost story('88)', 'Ultra-man Zearth 2('97)' and 'Black Jack('96) camera version'.
When he was seven years old, brothers created first 8mm film movie whose hero was a bear doll.
The independence manufactured movie 'B
ear dropped to the earth('85)' in the student age, which got a cultic popularity, and which had name of Konaka brothers be famous.]

The bear pajamas are Mr.Kishida's idea.
The bear pajamas in my work is so much that I opposed them at first .
Mr.Kishida didn't say why he made lain put the bear pajamas.
However, Supervisor Nakamura said "Kissy(Mr.Kishida's pet name) always put sunglasses".
So, I understood that is like a shield for lain.
Finally, lain put the bear pajamas when she keep out from the other environment and she talked with family.
Åynote: And, Mr.Konaka wrote three lain character, childish 'Lain',
advanced 'lain' in WIRED, evil 'LAIN' in his scenario.Åz

Consequentially, the lain's bear pajamas would be a winning shot to give impression to some animation fans who enthuse nymph character in animation or game.
The particular item may be important at making animation film.
(lain's cross hair detainment was Mr.Abe's idea, but producer decided non-symmetry hair-style of lain.)


Then, no one know anything lead good result.

Mr.Konaka and other staff members worked 'lain' hardly, didn't you?

Therefore, we worked with heat while making lain.
Writing is belong to pre-producing in the animation, so the writer's right stance is to wait making up the works while producing.
However, I struggled to the last minute at the making and I attended recording voice play at the studio.
This work 'lain' was parallel worked both writing scenario and producing film in real time, and I was working to my own limitation with staff members.
And, at first I began to work as a director of TV, so I worked together staff members with delight.
I didn't manage costs to product handmade movie with the creating skills and feelings acquired from manufacturing movie while amateur.
However, I think that I had a strange conviction my jobs make absolutely good result.
And I felt what I added to the producing animation film might give a little change to TV animation producing situations.

How about would you think to see good staff members who share passion and help each other?

Yes, we were truly lucky.
I had never watched Supervisor Nakamura's work, Mr.Abe was rookie, and Mr. Nakamura was a programmer.
It was the first experience for me to work with a kind of programmer, and very interesting.
Mr. Nakahara does not work only programmer for game, but also work digital graphic work for "Magical Tai!", now.
We had good friends.
Maybe, all staff members are now absolutely dragging "lain" though it passed a year after working.
Therefore, we cannot easily say to create 2nd story.

How do you think "lain" related with "Alice in Cyberland" which you created before?

"Alice in Cyberland" was an old game made in another company before "lain".
There is a common paragraph that their background was a cyberspace.
When I write scenario or novel, I was only interesting with a content which is an unusual existence in the diary life.
It is a ghost in the case of Horror, and it is a monster in the case of monster-movie like "Ultraman Tiga".
I can correspond almost all genre.
But I don't want to write fantasy story with sword and magic, story in both old and future.
Moreover, I like the motif that the different world invades or mix with current environment from a little contact point.
Because I might have an interesting in Network,
"Alice in Cyberland" was the work which was exactly looked like Cyberspace as Wonderland.
It was the computer game with nymph girls, which was tailored to the fantasy from Alice's wonder sense.
Afterwards, when I worked animation version of "lain", I named "WIRED" the network world.
There was a same name magazine( about electric at that time, but now it is stopped selling), but it was begun to use because the words is written in the dictionary and it was usual noun.
When it was begun to do, I thought the setting of lain's dairy environment is necessary.
The character of lain's father (Yasuo Iwakura) had never been truly decided at first, and it was fixed strangely day by day.
The girl, Alice had not been appeared to the last minute, I would like to appear Alice and her friends in the "Alice in Cyberland" as supporting players.
Exactly Alice was often appeared in my work.
However, Alice gradually had an important role.
I was surprised by myself that Alice's role in lain was similar with an original Alice in "Alice in Wonderland" .
This is one of the interest when I create story mathematically, and there is delight to detect mechanism of the story by myself.
But, because this style is difficult, I didn't want to do.

There was a feeling that the story was shifted from lain's to Alice's.

Yes, It was so.
I calculated that the object for empathy shifted from lain to Alice.
But, the focus was continuously lain to the last minute.
It continues lain's story, and weight of Alice was increased episodes by episodes as a character for empathy by watchers.
They would think Alice was good girl.

Based on my interpreting, there was a story what lain whose ability can change the world (like god) reset the world for only Alice and erasing Alice's sad memory (in the eighth episode)
I felt that scene appears Mr.Konaka's originality.

Your interpretation may be right about 80 percent, because Lain would feel the best dependence place was Alice.
Lain who has nothing is different from Alice who has a justice to defend the peace of the cyberspace in "Alice in Cyberland".
It may be friend for her.
It is likely to differ from friendship, it would be anything like friendship.
Therefore, the girl whom I write may becomes like animal or anything.
It is strange for myself.
It would be male's fantasy, relationship on the surface wouldn't be interesting.
So we needed normal conclusion of the 12th episode that the bodies are sure and rigid.
I have already said the safety for the entire story was 12th episode.
But we had to go ahead from the normal conclusion.
Though the 12th episode was no problem as a conclusion of this story, we would like to draw the next step from that.
In other side, I thought many thing, for example, Alice who lost everything was very poor, and so on.

The final 13th episode were intentionally made, in which the timing of inserting CM and the pause of A part and B part were specified by the scenario.
Though CM is usually inserted after title telop, in the 13th the story was started after the title to keep tension.
It was regretful to know the interest at broadcasting when watching the recorded video.

Our aim was an existence of lain's character could be felt at the last.
That was our extreme problem, and we finally had to do under our agreement.
Various and effective approaches related with broadcasting on the television were used.
Different woman spoke a difficult serif to anyone at the beginning of the every episode, watcher didn't know who speak to whom.
However, all words are spoken to watcher, so we used direct methods in such a meaning.
On the other hand, the contents of drama pulled, and the method what happenings were said smoothly with the characters for no empathy was used.
In addition, A part of eleventh episode is summary of the entire stories.
Because I had early assumed, "Absolutely, the producing schedule was tight. The summaries will be planed (to make hours)."
Supervisor at first resisted, and the schedule was very tight.
Producer and all persons helped to create that part finally, and the time signal was inserted at the moment.
That was edited to adjust time at the broadcasting on the TV-Tokyo.

I didn't notice that.

It was a free signal when watching the video after broadcasting.
It wasn't in real time understood at the first broadcasting on TV-Tokyo.
We didn't think for watchers from the video packages at that time.
We made best efforts to watch them in real time on the air.
Because AV software maker was produced,
the broadcasting on the TV was only first step and Producer Ueda had to think value for the selling video package.
But he forgot it, and he thought only how to create best work at the broadcasting.
Therefore, when the broadcasting was finished, I received many e-mail from anyone.
It was the most delightful for me that I received some e-mail, "Lain comes my room", after broadcasting final episode.
In facts, we achieved our aim but I was very sad.
In other words, lain was ours till that time.
Originally, Lain's character was drawn by Mr.Abe based on Producer Ueda's idea "Lain is such a girl".
And she came me and I thought she was mine and I wrote scenario hardly.
She was added Supervisor Nakamura's thinking and she was sometime became supervisor's.
In next step, she was flowed to voice actor Kaori Shimizu, and at last, she has gone to the other side of the television.
However, she has gone anywhere but she hadn't removed, and her existence was shared by watchers on the other side of the television.
It was very glad for me.
On the other hand, I was really much sad "Oh, she has gone".
At the last scene, the special producing which she faced and talked to watchers seems to be often used but doesn't.
These scene's original pictures were drawn by Mr.Abe who is an original character designer.
That was my proposal, I wanted to leave Mr.Abe's foot-prints on the films, who was a parent of the lain's character.
Of course, it was production side's selfish minds what ordinary watchers cannot understand.

What part of lain do you think deeply, Mr.Konaka?

Lain has the sense of no base and doubts real her existence.
This series is attempt to interpret that sense with SF tastes.
Because I always also have the sense in myself, I don't think lain as same as me.
When I watched the scene which lain looked at her house with her tears by Eiri's saying( "lain has no existence, lain's family and friends are all lie.), I was crying.

Some Japanese children don't want to go home, and so a 'petit-leaving' words are said.
Therefore, it isn't wonder that there is kids who play at the club house like Taro and his friends( because it was based on present Japanese culture).
I think "Who am I? Where am I?" was the largest problem related with their identity before a moment.
However, present persons want to be others (who don't know themselves) and they want to go anywhere though they have no identity.
I suppose these senses may be very strong.
So I supposed that they make easily suicide and injure others, and these senses reflect this story.

Lain is the opposite person, and she wanted to decide her place and her existence.
Nevertheless, she lost.
Alice and her friends would have many problem (like present young persons in Japanese).
In such a meaning, this story wasn't created for the present young persons but for myself.
I wasn't interested in today's young persons, and I wrote with no ideas about them.
We supposed that watchers are over 20 years old because it was broadcasted in the midnight though its heroin was the junior high school student.
Therefore, a sexual expression was not a challenge to the limit on the television, but we thought it was necessary to do on the television.
In fact, we talked with the journalist of 'Mainichi Junior high school student newspaper' after broadcasting 1st episode.
Then, junior high school students generation would be popular topics, we thought "Really, junior high school student watch, isn't it problem?".

I don't know the living hours of present children.

I don't.
We didn't think today's junior high school students make empathy to this story.
We regarded for older generations than junior high school student.
Then, we didn't know why heroin was a junior high school student.
Maybe, a junior high school student generations( whose olds are about 13, 14) are the most uncompleted through the life.

In "lain", supervisor Nakamura thought deeply about identity under the kept state in the cage, lain's world is home, school, train for school and Cyberia, Shibuya,
Of course all generations would be same position from the other views,
but these sense were always fed back to themselves while the junior high school student generations.

It is the reason why I asked these question, because this interview is for French magazine and I think French and European will be interested in the reality of current Japanese culture from the Japanese movie or animation.

In fact, I am surprised to sell the "lain" to the foreign country.
Of course, it is interesting for me.
How do you feel about it?
However, my past works, 'Amitage the third'('95)OVA, and so on, were sold in Europe and America more than in Japan.
These works were written as foreign movies, because I grew up with watching American movies.
I don't take an agresive attitude, and I wrote them to show the evidence that Japanese can create movies like Hollywood.
On the other hand, 'lain' is based on the domestic thinking, "The story can be understood by only Japanese".
For example, the usage of words.
In fact, I often recieved e-mail from American recently.
Because I have a web site, Japanimation( Japanese Animation ) fans give me many e-mail, and the 'lain' may be talked among them.
Many university student and OTAKU persons may have empathy to story of 'lain' from the e-mail.
Of course, they cannot know the atmosphere of Maruyama town and the large intersection in Shibuya, but I felt they can do keywords, "network", "communication" very much.
It seems the half of video packages are currently sold in America.
I am waiting with delight they may be surprised if they watches ninth episode.
The evaluation might be changed.
The space alien written in 9th episode was no significant.
It was different from no significant, in fact, it wasn't a character who relates with story.
The ninth is my favorite episode.
In ninth episode, the UFO folklore and the developing history of computer's hardware and network system were drawn.
Both roots may be Vannever Bush.
He constructed MEMX which is the concept of intellectual computer, so-called super computer.
I remembered his name was the leader of MJ-12(Majestic twelve) in Jun-ichi Yaoi's television program.
Åy note: Jun-ichi Yaoi was a famous television director of the UFO documentary, and now he is a researcher.Åz
The MJ-12 is the big joke of UFO folklore.
However, "Why it plausibly started from the event in Roswell?", I was said.
That opinion was right.
Because it was started from my interests.
The balance sense was lacked, it should be started from Vannever Bush, but it was wanted to start from Roswell.
It may be given an impact as a bluff.
Above describing, I arranged the documentary video in 9the episode with digital working to old film.
The screen images were so dirty that they seemed to be broadcasting accidents and should be inserted telops from the broadcasting station.

I had resisted inserting telops, but I was told not to be broadcasted with nothing, so the 'Roswell' and others were inserted.
At first, I would like to give a fake to watcher by flowing rough screen images, "I made mistakes the channel".
I think one interpretation is consisted about the existence of the space alien.
In Europe, there is a common fantasy which nymph with the sweater of a red and green stripes pattern invade the bedroom.
So from that reason, Freddie in 'A nightmare on Elm street' puts a similar sweater.
A sample is Lain who visited the Alice's room in eighth episode.
The truth was very turbid whether talking through the Alice's network or appearing ghost, and it was a kind of mysterious nightmare.
It was one feature of lain that UFO folklore was explained as a kind of phenomena in the human brain.

A name of a fictional OS, Copland OS was associated from the Machintosh OS.

Yes. That name wasn't decided at the beginning.
There is a closed BBS among digital working staff members to exchange informations for a long time.
Then, COS was talked among there.
They said that unknown German maker made interchangeable Macintosh OS, which takes smaller memory than original, therefore it can be used cheaper than original.
We could see the screen shots, but they were very cheap images like "Even if I can make it".
It might be swindle.
We had laughed COS since the topics.
When we would like to show image of OS in the 'lain',
we had needed to select "what is C of COS?", and decided Copland.
Copland had been a code name of Macintosh OS ver 7.6, but it became phantom by changing while developing.
If it completed, it will be good OS which have a creative power, rigid kernel, protecting memory like Macintosh OS X, but it realistically stayed the refinement of OS 7.
A lot of Lain's staff members likes Macintosh OS.
Almost all animation workers do.
I was sometime surprised so much.
For example, a copy message like 'Think different' are appeared in 11th episode, and I was surprised "You love Macintosh so much, don't you?"
Because many animation workers are sensitive they like more direct handling OS.
I am using both Windows and Macintosh for my aim, Windows for writing novel and scenario, Macintosh for painting graphics.
But almost all lain fans are actually are Windows users.
They are as same as the current ratio in the world.

Mr.Konaka, you say your main work is Horror, what root do you have about your interests ?

I had wanted to work creating video since elementary school,
because it was from the 'Ultra-man' series, Monster movies by Toho, spectacle movies and SFX movies played by Chrlton Haston.
While I and my brother went watching them, we began to create movie by ourselves.
At the lower classes of the elementary school,
we made first movie whose actor was bear doll and that 'Kuma-chan' was SF.
That bear, 'Kuma' was came from space.
A 'Kuma-chan'('94) movie was the romantic comedy with the trickster Kuma, Kuma-chan was originally the SF hero for Konaka brothers.
'The Exorcist' and 'Hell House' were published at the junior high school student,
and Dan Curtis's 'House' was another influenced for me.
When I watched Horror movies, I was surprised with the fear and scare, on the other hand, I thought in my half brain why watcher feel fear.
--- I was unpleasant person who didn't purely enjoy even when watching movie since those days ---.
And, "We hope to feel fear", I found a kind of complicity relation between movie and watchers, in the case of Horror movie with differing from others, "Make us feel fear".
I was interested in the structuring of genre approved with such relationships between the creator and the watchers.
It might be a start point.

Certainly, we have to enter the world to enjoy such movies.

I think that nobody goes watching movie to find the trick of special effects at the beginning.
In human feelings, positive feelings, "How wonderful!" or "Be happy" are naturally hoped, but negative feeling, scare or bad, are never hoped.
It may be fine that watchers pay the money and go to dim, dirty and dark theater for becoming negative feelings.
Horror technique, which was given to watchers without mercy, can be calmly understood, "Ah indeed, that is new method."
So I was naturally charmed the Horror, and I have cared Horror story including the novels.

My first professional scenario was the Horror video, in fact,
I became a professional video creator without writing scenario since making independent movie.
I have created movies based on the video continuity, and I didn't study writing scenario.
However, I had worked the special effects consulting of the TV drama at the Midoriyama studio in TBS, I was examined the structure and role of scenario in detail.
I understood, "Ah, indeed, I find how to make movie."

I had produced a short program of television as the extension of an independent creating movie, and one supervisor made me write a scenario, and it was suitable for me.

I maybe thought that writer whose position was creating movie with fighting to supervisor was suitable for me in the basic part, and it was lucky for me to create many Horror movies in short time.
It was same term at the beginning of the video cinema genre, I could have a fantasy to attempt new approaches exceeded movie or television.
In fact, we could freely attempt anything, but watchers were little and the genre would be faded out.
but, I attempted to any approaches to be fear at that time, these techniques may be basis for me.
In such a meaning, my home-ground is Horror.

What do you work now, and how about your future schedule?

A movie "glass brain" whose original story teller is Osamu Tezuka will be published at the beginning of next year,
And in next year 'Malice@Doll' that is an erotic SF movie drawn with all 3Dimension CG will be sold.
Now, I write a scenario for 'Snake lady' of Tsuburaya-production.
A plot written two years ago to make video like old transformation human series of Toho is now realizing.

And, some live action movie works for television will be planed.
In after next year, I and my younger brother will remake the famous animation work in the world.