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Text Interviews » Pandora Hearts conversation between Yuki Kajiura and Jun Mochizuki

Below is the translation of an interview between Yuki Kajiura and Jun Mochizuki (Pandora Hearts author) found at Pandora Hearts Official Guide 18.5 – Evidence released on July 27, 2012.

The book apart from the interview also contained: Complete explanation of the story up until volume 18 of the manga, Q&A with the characters, Release of rough sketches, Best 10 “Pandora Heart-chu”, Retrace 42.5 drama CD scenario (with illustrations drawn for the occasion), Publication of music scores, Chief Assistant Fumito Yamasaki’s selection of details from the “plot to reveal the true Jun Mochizuki”, exclusively drawn comics etc.

You can buy the book here on CDJapan. Translation credits & source goes to the Red Eyed Knight.

BEWARE OF PLOT SPOILERS. This conversation also refers to events after the anime’s end.

Interview between Jun Mochizuki and Yuki Kajiura

Yuki Kajiura: “I would never have imagined such a thing would happen! (laughs)”

Jun Mochizuki: I’m following you on Twitter, but I also visit your blog and, when volume 16 came out, I saw that you had shared your opinion on the volume!

Yuki Kajiura: Well yes, I am still reading the manga, even now that the anime is over. That’s normal: I want to know what happens next!!

Jun Mochizuki: Thank you very much, it makes me very happy! (laughs)

Yuki Kajiura: When I found out the truth about Jack, I thought: “#%&○▼?!” and I went around my sitting room three times because of the emotion. When I composed the music for the anime, I hadn’t the slightest idea about the true intentions of this character. That’s why I was flabbergasted! I phoned my little sister and we talked about the manga for an hour.

Jun Mochizuki: (laughs) That’s so cute! Erm… It might seem impolite of me to tell you this, but for me, you’ve always been an “object of fantasy “. When I was told you would be the one who would do the ost of the anime, my heart skipped a beat! We didn’t have the chance to meet during the production phase of the serie, but I had the luck to see you for the first time during a reception organized at the Kudan Kaikan hotel, in Tokyo (for Knave of Hearts, in 2009). I saw you, crowned in light, as if you were in the middle of an inviolable sanctuary. And then, I could feel my heart tighten in my chest and… Eh? Are you all right, Mrs. Kajiura?!

Yuki Kajiura: Gh… (She laughs awkwardly hiding her face in her hands)

Jun Mochizuki: This sacred and pristine Yuki Kajiura was a sharp contrast with the image of the naïve and a bit awkward woman that you give yourself on the social networks. Every time I would have a look at you, I could feel my heartbeat accelerate. Within myself, I was shouting: “That’s it, I’ve become a real fan of Yuki Kajiura! How radiant and beautiful she is!”

Yuki Kajiura: (laughs) Stop it, that’s very embarrassing!

Jun Mochizuki: I’m sorry, I’m wandering off… (laughs) To tell you the truth, during the elaboration of the anime, I revealed some things concerning what was coming in the storyline to the director, Takao Kato, as well as to the rest of the technical team. Mainly about Jack… Actually, I had asked them to see to it that no darkness of any kind could be found in this character.

Yuki Kajiura: Really?! I didn’t know that at all! For me, as a big fan of the manga, Jack was a character that was as pure as the driven snow.

Jun Mochizuki: Yes, I did it on purpose so that everybody would fall into the trap. I am glad that it worked so well! That’s why I’m really surprised: whether it be for Lacie (Melody) or for the thematic music of the characters, the melody corresponded perfectly to the mood of Pandora Hearts all the time. I was even wondering if you might actually not know about the whole story to be able to stick to it so well!!

Yuki Kajiura: Thank you.

Jun Mochizuki: By the way, did you plan from the start to write lyrics for Melody ?

Yuki Kajiura: Not at all! It was the director who wanted a sung piece for the last episode and who ordered a text for one of the pieces. So, since Melody was a very important theme in the serie, I suggested making a song out of it. The idea was agreed upon right away and I thus composed these lyrics, then I flew for New York in order to record it.

Jun Mochizuki: I didn’t know about this sung version before the episode was broadcasted. I’ve watched this scene again a lot of times since then. It really was an excellent surprise!

Yuki Kajiura: Since the serie was only getting started, I thought it best to write a rather vague text. I only knew Alice was held captive by someone, that she had two personalities (a white one and a black one) and that she had to wait for a savior to free her. That being said, I was expecting this wish never to be fulfilled, that nothing would change for her. I still knew nothing about the true connections between the white Alice, the black Alice and Jack. Since I didn’t have an overall view of the story, I wrote these lyrics as if they concerned the white Alice and Jack, while still seeing to it that they could be linked to someone else if it ever was not that couple the plot was referring to. But I wasn’t expecting to be that wrong!! (laughs)

Jun Mochizuki: (laughs)

Yuki Kajiura: When Jack’s true personality was revealed, I was completely taken aback! Then, thinking back on it, I understood that Lacie was the one Jack desired above all else, and that he had sacrificed his life and his soul for her. Jack is extremely pure concerning his feelings, to the extent that it’s scary.

Jun Mochizuki: Yes, he’s almost a love extremist.

Yuki Kajiura: I find this side of his personality to be a bit childish.

Jun Mochizuki: In Studio S, we call him “Mister Jet Black” (laughs)

Yuki Kajiura: He’s ready to do anything to get what he wants. I must admit that I don’t dislike people like him!

The Kajiura Curse

Jun Mochizuki: You also liked Elliot, I think.

Yuki Kajiura: Indeed. I would never have imagined he would pass away so soon…Still, his end has been so wonderful… I was pestering, but at the same time I couldn’t help finding the scene splendid! (laughs)

Jun Mochizuki: Elliot was a character that was particularly liked by the readers, even more than I hoped he was.

Yuki Kajiura: It’s probably because he was the only one to know exactly what he had to do and who followed energetically the way he had made on his own. While numerous protagonists were worried or tormented, he was the only glimmer of hope, the little touch of optimism which broke through darkness. Now, the other characters have found the path to follow as well and they’re progressing right ahead. Speaking about the characters I liked, there was also Isla Yura!

Jun Mochizuki: No, really ?! But he was the perfect character to hate ! (laughs)

Yuki Kajiura: I loved his assertive side. He was really cool!

Jun Mochizuki: (laughs) Are you being serious ?!

Yuki Kajiura: I am ! (laughs) He knows what he wants and he does it without beating about the bush. He’s fully devoted to his projects. He’s really a good person!

Jun Mochizuki: Unfortunately, the Kajiura curse struck again: all the characters you like end up dying… (laughs)

Yuki Kajiura: (laughs)

Jun Mochizuki’s Playlist

Jun Mochizuki: I’d like to speak with you more specifically about the thematic pieces for each character. Gil’s theme is called Crush.

Yuki Kajiura: This music was ordered for the scene when Gilbert kneels down in front of Oz to swear fealty to him. Among all the characters’ pieces, it’s the one I finished first. Since the scene was already made, it was really easy for me to visualize it. Gil is a multi-facetted character, and I remember being very anguished while asking myself how I could have all of his complexity brought out.

Jun Mochizuki: I must admit I would have imagined a darker melody for our good old Gilbert, but when I talked about it with the director, he told me that if you listened carefully, this tune wasn’t as cheerful as it seemed. So I pricked up my ears and I listened again… And I thought : “ Yes, it completely corresponds to Gil!” (laughs) I’ve also been really touched by Will, which you wrote for Oz.

Yuki Kajiura: Ah yes… I’ve had a hard time for Oz. He was the main character; a part of him was dark but he had a very strong shônen hero side. In retrospect, I understand why I had such a hard time with him. Because of his multiple personalities, I couldn’t focus on a single theme. I talked about it with the director, who advised me to get to the point, with no frills. I thus decided to go with nuance, without falling in the excess of the all black or of the all heroic, with a little melancholic side.

Jun Mochizuki: At the very beginning, I thought that Will was very sad. But when you listen to it a second time, you can catch a glimpse of hope behind the sorrow… That’s the feeling I got!

Yuki Kajiura: That’s because I composed it hoping Oz would be happy someday! (laughs)

Jun Mochizuki: You have written a huge amount of wonderful pieces, which now accompany me during my work, mainly when I’m elaborating my story-board. When I am staging Oz, I listen to Will and Contractor in a loop. And when I’m taking a walk outside to clear my head, I set the OST full volume in my headphones. I also love the piece The Relief. For the beginning of the serie, I think that Contractor is the theme that suits best for Oz’s fight scenes, but, after the whole part in the past, I think that The Relief suits better. When I’m drawing, I’m always eager for that piece to play! I also enjoy enormously Cradle. In volume 12, during the tea-party scene when Oscar gets his camera out, I was listening to Cradle, a tear in my eye.

Yuki Kajiura: What you’re saying touches me a lot. All the more since I love this chapter!

Jun Mochizuki: This piece really suits when I want to stick as close as possible to the feelings of my characters. For example, still in volume 12, when Xerxes tells Sharon he lost his sight. I know an author must never get overwhelmed by the emotion of a scene when he draws, but while listening to this piece, I thought within myself: “Sorry, I think I’m going to crack up!” (laughs)

Yuki Kajiura: I’m delighted. It’s the most beautiful reward for a composer.

Jun Mochizuki: Actually, I’ve made what I call a “Pandora playlist” with the pieces you composed. I chose the most fitting themes, from the first to the last chapter. I’m trying to see which piece would suit Oz the most in the current arc… that’s why, when you read the latest volumes, you can find the influence of your music in it !!

Yuki Kajiura: I’d really like to know your playlist! (laughs) And your fans too I would imagine!

Jun Mochizuki: I might reveal it someday ! (laughs)

Yuki Kajiura: The ost of the serie came out in two CDs, but the second one is a bit darker, some pieces are more empathic.

Jun Mochizuki: You think so? It seems to me that there are more optimistic pieces in the second CD.

Yuki Kajiura: Some of them are too solemn… But as a result, they stick very well to the actual mood of Pandora Hearts! Now that I think about it, maybe I had a premonition of what was to come at the time! (laughs)

Jun Mochizuki: Alright! That’s why all the themes are still working now!! (laughs)

Yuki Kajiura: It’s true, I don’t need to write new ones! Well, I’m saying this but if I get the occasion to do this again, it’s with great pleasure that I would compose other musics for this serie! If you choose someone else, I’ll be a bit angry with you! (laughs)

Jun Mochizuki: Ah! Can I take this as a promise? Wait, I’m in heaven !! (laughs)

My aim: to work with you again someday

Yuki Kajiura: There is a rain of revelations in the part that goes back into the past and, as a fan, I can’t wait to know what happens next! Quick, hurry up and draw it!

Jun Mochizuki: Yes, I’ll do my best!

Yuki Kajiura: On the one hand, I want to know how it ends but, on the other hand, I would be sad if the manga was over… I know! Once the serie comes to an end, you’ll draw a special issue where everybody will be happy!

Jun Mochizuki: Understood! (laughs) It’s been a real pleasure to be able to speak with you today. In my honest opinion, your music does more than just fit my story perfectly. I feel that you’ve extracted all of the essence of my manga and that you’ve managed to transpose it on a sheet… to the extent that I often happen to listen to the original soundtrack to correct the trajectory of my story when it tends to go in all directions! I’m home, I play the CD and then I think “ Ah no, Oz would have rather done that this way…” and I correct my story-board. (laughs) Honestly, my story owes you a lot, it wouldn’t have been what it is now without your music. So I want to thank you warmly as well as all of the anime team and the Space Craft and Flying Dog productions! I’ve got a lot of projects in my life, and one of them is to be able to work with you again someday. I’ll do everything I can to reach this goal!

Yuki Kajiura: Your words go straight to my heart. It’s during moments like this one that I’m glad I chose this job. Thank you ever so much.

Jun Mochizuki: Thank you.

(Interview done in May 2012)

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