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Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania Visual Works interviews


Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania, the official companion book for Kingdom Hearts III, released in Japan on February 28, 2019. The 736 page long book mainly serves as a guidebook and a detailed data book for everything in Kingdom Hearts III, but also contains concept art, character renders, and special interviews with the people who worked on the game. 

Here are some interviews with Yuki Akama and Syo Nohara from Square Enix's Visual Works, who assisted with the cutscenes and movies for the game. DISCLAIMER: This is only a tentative translation. It is possible that there are mistakes. These interviews could have potential spoilers, please be advised. 

Thanks to @lunesacree for the translations.


*Interview: Yuki Akama (Visual Works)

Previously worked on: KH 2.8, FFVII Advent Children, Crisis Core: FFVII, FFXIII, FFXIV, FF Type-0, Dissidia FF NT, Dragon Quest XI, Gunslinger Stratos 3

Q: What kind of work were you responsible for?
A: Visualworks was responsible for working on the movies, of course, but also the logo animations for the titles that appear at the start of each world. The animations were made while being conscious of making the player excited no matter which world they go to.

Q: Please tell us what you paid attention to in order to recreate the original movies.
A: Since the concept this time around was "to change the originals into movies of the same quality", for the time 
being we rewatched the Disney movies again and again. Especially in the case of that one scene from Frozen, I watched it so many times that I memorized the characters' choreography.

Q: Please tell us which movie took the longest to make and why.
A: We were going through trial and error with the last part of the opening movie right up until the end. Since it's the part that the majority of players will see, I wanted to make a compromise.

Q: Is there any part of the direction that's hard to notice?



A: The distance between Kairi and Lea when they're talking in the Secret Forest is different from the first half to the second half. In the first half, the relationship between the two is still uneasy, so they're sitting apart from each other and talking, but in the story's second half they have built a relationship of trust and Kairi is sitting beside Lea.

Q: Please tell us if there's anything you changed from the original movies.
A: In The Caribbean, the movie scenes are more or less the same as the originals, but in relation to the age rating [of the movie versus the game] we had to cut and change some parts.

Q: What point of this production do you want us to see?
A: From the opening movie to the ending, the epilogue, and the secret movie, I'd like you to see everything.

Q: What kind of work would you like to try next?
A: If it's possible, I'd like to make the movies for all of the worlds, but it would be difficult in terms of disc space.

BONUS! "A secret about the game only you know"
The number of characters that appear in the movies is 50 in total. However, because we made different versions that used them in different ways, including the ones we didn't use, there were three times more—over 150 were made.

Source: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sqr364

*Interview: Syo Nohara (Visual Works)

Previously worked on: KH 2.8, FFXIV, Dissidia FF NT, Dragon Quest XI, Gunslinger Stratos 3, Hitman: Legacy (Trailer), Just Cause 4

Q: Please tell us what you paid attention to in order to recreate the original movies.
A: We placed importance on how closely to make the facial expressions in The Caribbean resemble the ones in the movie. However, in using CGI to recreate the same facial expressions as real life, no matter what it's always going to cause a sort of uncomfortable feeling, so very minute adjustments are necessary. After adjusting, we had to do rendering without being able to check the expressions or movements, so making facial expressions without a sense of uncomfortableness was difficult.

Q: Which point did you fuss over the most?
A: The animation in Arendelle. Fundamentally, we just made shapes that were similar to tracing the original movie, but just tracing wouldn't give the same quality as the movie. For example, we have to properly reproduce the way someone's chest would swell when they take a breath in the case of breathing motions. I thought that if I worked while thinking about the meaning of every small movement, I would be able to reproduce the quality of the original work.

Q: Please tell us something interesting that happened during the development process.



A: We had a chance to go to Okinawa, and during that time, in order to reproduce what happens to Sora in the ending, I went alone to the beach in the evening and thought "If I disappeared right now, what would happen?". Then, someone who thought I was a Chinese tourist called out to me like "what are you doing?". I think I probably was giving off some kind of sadness.

Q: What point of this production would you like us to see?
A: The video that plays at the start of Toy Box that is unlike KH (note: Verum Rex, of course), though it's fast-paced and short, was made carefully just like all the other movies. I'd like you to watch it not only once, but also two or three times.

BONUS! "A secret about the game only you know"



The Frisbee that shows up in the ending is the same one that Lea is holding when he meets Ventus in KH BbS. Just as in those days, in the ending Lea, Ventus and Isa are playing together.

Source: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sqr36n


Here are the other news stories that have previously come out of the Kingdom Hearts III Ultimania:

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