AnimeNEXT 2016 – TRIGGER Inferno Cop panel

From left to right, designer Koyama Shigeto, animator director Amemiya Akira and director Wakabayashi Hiromi on the laptop. Wakabayashi Hiromi-san hosted the panel, led the questions and provided a plethora of information to the fans. First, he commented that he was surprised at the immense reception and crowd which showed up to the panel. (Considerably, since the room was packed with people lined up on the sides and standing in the back.) He continued by stating that due to this visit to New York/New Jersey, Amemiya-san made a new episode for Inferno Cop that he will be showing at this panel. He added that it was Amemiya-san’s first time overseas.

    Amemiya: It’s my first time overseas, but this welcoming environment almost seems like I’m coming home.

First, they polled the audience for things we have seen from Inferno Cop and various others works like Space Patrol Luluco. They turned to questions next from Wakabayashi starting with how they came up with the idea to create the series, Inferno Cop. Turns out it was Amemiya-san’s idea to come up with the whole idea of justice being the theme and vibe of the series. Previously he had worked with Stan Lee on Heroman which also has an influence. Sketches were shown as well as notes for the work.

Speaking of justice, Wakabayashi-san noted that Amemiya-san values justice the most…over everything else in the anime industry. *audience laughs* Random info about the series was thrown about, Inferno Cop’s real name being Johnson and Johnson. His family was killed by the evil syndicate and it brings out an emotional side of him when topic of his family comes up. He is good at melee combat but he sucks at Math. *audience laughs* The ‘pitch’ for the series was shown to the laughter of the fans…perhaps because it was so rough. Rough, but definitely straight forward to what the series stand for. The sketches shown throughout the panel was drawn from Koyama-san as well as Wakabayashi-san.

Koyama-san noted that they didn’t have time to work on the series so they block out an hour each week to discuss about the series. Much of the animation was outsourced. Amemiya quipped that whether or not the animation is good is not as important as making sure there is ‘Justice’ in the work. *audience applause* Wakabayashi-san noted that although the animation is not fluid like their other works, he felt that seeing the fan response, the message of the content has gotten through. Animation companies in Japan usually shy away from certain genres. For those who worked on Inferno Cop, it’s a pet project for them and is shown alot of love and attention. Although the meetings that were held were very short, Wakabayashi-san noted that they were very enjoyable with lots of energy.

Wakabayashi polled the room to see if many had seen the episode of Inferno Cop last year. They show the episode to the cheers of the crowd. The panel took questions from the audience and those who asked are rewarded with a marshmallow from Wakabyashi-san. One of the first questions which was asked was concerning the universe of the series. Amemiya-san warned that fans should not assume that the universe of Trigger shows are separate. “The correct term would be if they are connected right now.” *audience laughs*

Another fan stated thanked Trigger for “Being the savior of anime.” *audience cheers* The fans asked about something that set Trigger apart from other studios. Wakabayashi-san shared an amusing anecdote that they were initially going to create a show called, ‘Super Person Super’ to the hilarity of the fans. Wakabayashi-san noted that it was going to be about a school of very gifted students which sounds alot like another JUMP title. *audience laughs* “But there was a student who did not have any super powers.” The series was not made not because of any restrictions, but because it was “goddamn boring.” *audience laughs* “We made it and we were shocked at how boring it was. Every character aside from the main character, we googled it up, found free…illustrations and copy pasted it. It was so bad that no one has actually a copy of the data anymore. The point at Trigger is that there are no politics, no restrictions. It all boils down to whether it is entertainment.” *audience applauds*

Concerning the subject of who loves justice more, Inferno Cop or Chief Overjustice, Koyama-san noted that there is no competition. Overjustice wins by far. One fan asked about turning a movie into something more like Trigger, Amemiya-san noted that he would work with Toy Story where there will be transformation scenes and Buzz Lightyear would yell alot. Concerning a sequel to Panty and Stocking, Koyama-san noted that he wanted to do a “semen episode.” *audience laughs* Another fan asked if there are any plans for anime that is similar to Inferno Cop and Ninja Slayer in terms of animation and Wakabayashi-san said that they will if there are requests for it. When the fan asked for one as a request, they respond “We need more people like you in Japan.”

The last question almost got derailed as Trigger got distracted by the fan’s cosplay which they initially assumed was from Inferno Cop. The fan’s question was even more epic when they asked “What does Inferno Cop think of people who drinks just ice?” (Play on the word ‘justice’.) Interpreter had to explain the joke and everyone laughed. The panelist approved. Wakabayashi-san quipped, “It was the best question we heard in 3 years.” He added that they will use that idea in their next short and proceeded to give him 3 marshmallows. *audience applauds* Wakabayashi-san thanked the fans for such entertaining questions.

Just for Anime Next and New Jersey, they created the latest episode of Inferno Cop. No spoilers, but the subject matter got the crowd cheering “New Jersey! Oi! New Jersey! Oi!” The fans all stood up and started chanting while Wakabayashi-san took a video. Wakabayashi-san stated that the episode was a thank you for the major support from Anime Next. *audience applauds* They had a single prize for the winner of the trivia question. “Who killed Inferno Cop’s family? Which group?” A Wario cosplayer got it correct with Southern Cross. The prize was also signed by the panelist.

They closed the panel with everyone chanting “Justice! Justice!” and doing the justice sign with two fingers in the air. The interpreter plugged the Space Patrol Luluco panel as well as the signing later on in the day.