Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania, the official companion book for Kingdom Hearts III has released in Japan, and translations from the book's interviews are starting to appear online. In addition to all of the Kingdom Hearts III mysteries expanded on, a full interview from the book has appeared – with the Scenario + Cutscene Director of Kingdom Hearts III Masaru Oka.
This interview is one of many from Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania and has been translated by @lunesacree. With a big thanks to them, you can read this interview below!
DISCLAIMER: This is only a tentative translation and should not be relied on for any concrete information. It is possible that there are mistakes. I tried hard to be as clear as I could just in case.
Previously worked on: All of the KH series, FFVII, FFVIII, FFX, FFXIII, Crisis Core: FFVII, Treasure of the Rudras
Q: What theme did you most want to write for this work?
A: The story of KH has "hearts" as its theme, but what sets this work, as a numbered title, apart from the others is that "the connection between hearts" is something consciously felt.
Q: How was the flow of the story from world to world done?
A: For the Disney worlds and Twilight Town, the plot was decided including ideas from the level design team, Nomura confirmed it, and Disney and Pixar did their own checks to create the scenarios. After that, a second acknowledgement was done by Disney and Pixar, along with a last check by Nomura, and it was completed [this way].
Q: Please tell us why when, right after beginning [a new game], the scene with Xehanort and Eraqus in their boyhood is shown to us.
A: Since this production is the conclusion of the Dark Seeker arc, I wanted to show the beginning of the "dark seeker"--Xehanort.
Q: Is there any particular cutscene you like most?
A: The scene in Monstropolis where Vanitas is aiming [at Sora]. The part where Boo is hugging Mike, where at the beginning of the world she pretended to mix up Mike with Donald, lends itself to setting up a good scene, I think.
Q: What kind of work would you like to try next?
A: In the KH3D Ultimania, I answered that I wanted to make a scene set to music, and since I was able to do that here, next for the KH series I'd like to aim for giving the feeling that the limits of the scenarios are expanding, while maintaining the more story-driven style that makes KH appealing.
BONUS! "A secret about the game only you know"
While we were compiling Ansem's voice, in the same scene you could hear Master Xehanort's line. At the time, no substitute voice actor had been chosen [for MX], so we thought that maybe some line we had recorded previously was playing, but it turned out that Akio Otsuka, the voice actor for Ansem, was playing the part right there [at that time]. The staff was so surprised by how uncomfortable they felt that we decided to ask him to play the role.2