[Interview @ AWA 2009 Day 3 (Sunday)]
The Cay: This is The Cay. I have a very honored guest, surprised to find him here, Little Kuriboh [the man behind Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series].
L.K.: Hi! I’m Little Kuriboh all the way from England, where it’s not very sunny right now.
The Cay: Really all the way from England? Do you just come here [to the US] normally to cons or is this one special?
L.K.: This is my first big anime con. I’ve actually been to one anime con before this in England called Alcon. I really don’t do the whole convention thing very often so this is a once in an almost lifetime experience really. I might do some more in the future but so far this is it.
The Cay: What’s the difference between cons here and in England?
L.K.: I’ve really not been to that many in England but judging from the impression I’m getting here just the size really. I mean the fans are still just as dedicated and as eager to get into the whole anime thing. It’s just a case of not having the venues, because anime’s not really a huge deal in England like it is here. It tends to be seen as sort of a small cult thing, so there aren’t really that many massive venues to do conventions in. But I think really there’s not that much difference except for the absence [of venues] I guess.
The Cay: I notice you’re cosplaying Bakura [from Yu-Gi-Oh!] right now. Any specific reasons why or what made you think about jumping into cosplay here?
L.K.: Well this is actually one of my friend’s costumes and she said I could wear it for today. I’ve only got one costume at home, Seto Kaibah, which doesn’t really suit me very well. I need a wig for it, and I haven’t got the boots either but, I mean, I enjoy it. It’s fun to have people come over and treat you like the character and ask for pictures. It’s lot’s of fun.
The Cay: Yeah I’ve noticed you’ve had a huge following here [at AWA] asking you to do just about every quote in your entire series. What are some future projects or things you’re currently working on with the abridged series?
L.K.: Well actually outside of the abridged series I’m working on a project that is related to Yu-Gi-Oh called Yu-Gi-Oh!: A Musical Journey which basically tells the story of Yu-Gi-Oh!, not nessecarily the whole thing but maybe just one season of Yu-Gi-Oh!, as like a musical. I would like to do that in sort of a convention setting, where [there’d] actually be cosplayers getting up and joining in. [It’d be based off] popular Broadway musicals, have different songs from various things like Little Shop of Horrors and Grease, and just parody them only with the setting in the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe. Like the first parody would be “Summer Nights” in Grease, so you’d have Kaiba and Yugi telling about their first year, only from a different perspective. Kaiba talks about how Yugi cheated and Yugi talks about how it was a dream victory with no problem. That’s the only project I have going right now aside from Yu-Gi-Oh! abridged.
The Cay: That sounds very exciting! Well working on abridged series and everything, [if you could] tell people what it’s like or how hard, how easy, or how fun it is to do an abridged series and how you went about starting to do an abridged series.
L.K.: How fun it is and how hard it is fluctuates. It really just depends on the episode. Some episodes you can do in a week and have no problem getting it all done. It all depends on how much time you have in your personal life if you decide you want to do [an abridged series]. It is an epic chore to do it well. Some people would argue the editing side isn’t that important as long as you’ve got the jokes, but I do like to keep the editing up to the same standard as the writing. I’d say my average in making an episode is usually a week to a month. The writing of course is probably the most difficult [part]. I also find it the most enjoyable because while you do have a sense of a number of things you have to hit, like plot points, you basically have free range what to do with the characters, [and] once you’ve developed that you’re sort of stuck in that pocket you have made, so you’ve got the building blocks but you’ve got to start the actual building. Regarding why I wanted to do it, I just wanted to do like a fan-dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!, and I’d done a few Yu-Gi-Oh! videos before that, which have actually subsequently been taken down because of copyrighted material. But I just thought I’d like to do something that would make Yu-Gi-Oh! appeal to a more broader audience by taking out the card game aspect, because that’s the sort of thing, a lot of people see that and they judge it immediately based on the card games, so if you take that out you let the characters speak for themselves. I think it makes the show a lot more interesting. And [Yu-Gi-Oh!] does have some really great characters. I mean it’s got a really decent story, not necessarily just one player goes to one place and does the same thing over and over again. There’s a history and there’s a mythos there. There’s all sorts of things in Yu-Gi-Oh!. It’s just the case of actually looking for them, and [of course] it also has the card game. But I wanted to be involved in the fandom. Yu-Gi-Oh! has a great fandom, and I thought if I did something like [a fan dub] it might get attention. I was hoping for maybe 10 or 12 people but it’s gone over 12,000, which is not what I was expecting.
The Cay: To go from that, what do you think about your fan base, since being at conventions and [hearing] all the comments?
L.K.: It’s really awesome! I really wasn’t expecting to be noticed this much because I wasn’t like an official guest or anything, so to have people rush up to you and go “Oh my god it’s you!” that’s… I’m not used to that because people know my voice rather than what I look like so it’s really interesting to be recognized like that. I’d like to think that I’m one of them, not somebody that they worship or whatever. It’s just a lot of fun to hang out with [Yu-Gi-Oh! abridged fans], and I really appreciate the support. It’s really really cool. Everybody’s so committed and it’s the passion that they have that inspires people like me to do what I do, so it’s just really cool.
The Cay: Just one last question. Anything else you want to say to [the readers] or just anything you want to say?
L.K.: Stay super special awesome!
The Cay: Alright then, thank you for your time.
To check out Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series go to http://yugiohabridged.com
To find out more about Little Kuriboh specifically check out his LiveJournal page http://littlekuriboh.livejournal.com/
(This interview was adapted for text and published here by permission of the Tokyo Tower show)