Say It In Red! An Interview with Ryukishi07

Today we have a very special interview for you all, as I sat down with Ryukishi07 to talk about his works, how a visual novel becomes an anime, and what it takes to become a successful writer.

But before we get to the core of the interview, I’d like to share with you all a bit about Ryukishi07 and his work. One of the founders of the doujin circle 07th Expansion, Ryukishi07 first rose to prominence for his work on the 2002 visual novel Higurashi, a tale in which a small town in 1980’s Japan is plagued by a mysterious disease, for which he not only wrote the the scenario, but also drew and designed most of the game’s characters as well.

After the success of Higurashi, which would go on to be adapted into both an anime and manga, 07th Expansion found its next big hit in 2007 in the form of Umineko, an eight part visual novel in which a series of mysterious murders befalls a family visiting their grandfather’s remote island mansion for a yearly meeting. Like Higurashi, Umineko would also eventually be adapted into several different mediums and has since enjoyed considerable popularity in both the Eastern and Western parts of the world.

His most recent work is Rose Gun Days, a story of an alternate post-World War 2 Japan released in 2012. Now that you know a bit more about today’s subject, lets get to the interview, which we’ve presented below both in the original Japanese and English.

WARNING: Major Spoilers for Umineko lie beyond this point!


1. APGNationと話し、ありがとうございます。 まず、APGNationの聴衆に自分を紹介下さい。

同人サークル「07th Expansion」を主宰しております、竜騎士07と申します。

APGNation: Thank you for talking with APGNation. First of all, please introduce yourself to our audience.

Ryukishi07: Hello and nice to meet you, everyone!

We are the doujin circle “07th Expansion.” My name is Ryukishi07.

In Japan, “doujin activities” refers to “amateur” or “hobby activities.”

I am one of those who partakes in such a hobby.

Our works, such as “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni” and “Umineko no Naku Koro ni,” are called Sound Novels (to be read on a PC, with the novel text accompanied by images and music).

There are times I work on the art and game design, but it’s common for me to work as a scenario writer.

(Of course, because doujin activities are a hobby, I’d like to keep challenging myself with things other then scenario for fun)

2. 竜騎士07先生はどうやってライターをなった?


APGNation: How did you become a writer?

Ryukishi07: In order to express my own inner world, I’ve challenged myself in various ways.

Among these was the technique of the Sound Novel, a synthesis of writing, music direction, and art.

I think that once I expressed myself that way, decided on a work, and face the keyboard, that might be the moment I became a writer.

3. お気に入りビジュアルノベルがありますか?

さらに加えると、LEAFの名作「雫」「痕」「To Heart」、Keyの名作「ONE」「KANON」「AIR」も欠かすことが出来ないと思います。

APGNation: Do you have a favorite visual novel?

Ryukishi07: I would be amiss not to first mention “Otogiriso” and “Banshee’s Last Cry [from Chunsoft] which taught me the groundbreaking medium that is the Sound Novel.

Furthermore, the LEAF works “Shizuku,” “Kizuato,” and “To Heart,” as well as Key’s works “ONE,” “KANON,” and “AIR” must be mentioned just as well.

4. 竜騎士07先生の多くの作品がミステリーです。先生とのミステリーのジャンルとの履歴はなんですか?


APGNation: Many of your works are mysteries or have elements of mysteries. What is your personal history with the mystery genre?

Ryukishi07: For me, rather then a mystery, I think of the genre as a “game” between me and our users. (I think of mystery as just one genre within that kind of “game.”)

Of course, there are many classic literary works that belong to the mystery genre, and I also love to read those.

However, in comparison to those who are self-proclaimed mystery lovers, by their standards I’m not even reading, so I can’t proclaim to be a huge mystery lover.

5. 「うみねこのなく頃に 散」に、「ノックスの十戒」と「ヴァンダインの二十のルール」の話があります。現代に、このルールはミステリーのジャンルにまだ有効と思うかな?

APGNation: In “Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru,” Knox’s Decalogue and Van Dine’s Twenty Rules are a plot point. Do you think these rules are still valid to the mystery genre in modern times?

Ryukishi07: I do think that Knox’s Decalogue and Van Dine’s Twenty Rules should be applied to mysteries from this time period.

Since mysteries are constantly evolving, I also think that it might not be appropriate to apply old-fashioned rules to state-of-the-art mysteries.

However, because these are some of the basic rules of mysteries, I believe that it can’t hurt to at least browse them.

6. 07th Expansion」の作品に多くのアニメと漫画にの援用があります。これを置く、どうやって決めるか?


APGNation: There are many of your works that have been adapted into anime or manga. How is it decided as to which works receive adaptations?

Ryukishi07: Basically, we receive an offer from the company, and we accept it.

So far, the availability of anime and manga adaptations of our works is made possible by courteous cooperation with such companies, and for this I am sincerely grateful.

So, for those who are rooting for more anime and manga of our work, I would be happy if you could support the Japanese companies responsible. (laughs)

7. 同様に、お気に入り漫画やアニメがありますか?


APGNation: On that note, do you have a favorite anime or manga?

Ryukishi07: There is a wide variety of manga and anime that I like, but when you’ve been in the position of author as long as I have, it’s harder to discriminate.

Because of this, I can feel that every work has its own charm and this inspires me and becomes a motivation for my own work.

8. 竜騎士07先生が「Rewrite」のためにKeyと協力した。このコラボレーションにどう思うですか?



A CG from the character Lucia’s route in Rewrite. Ryukishi07 wrote this particular route.

APGNation: You worked with Key on the visual novel “Rewrite.” What are your thoughts on this collaboration?

Ryukishi07: I respect Key immensely, and at the time they are my favorite [visual novel] manufacturer, so when I was handpicked to be a scenario writer, I was so overjoyed I could dance!

In carrying out my work to the best of my ability, I was able to make it a valuable experience.

As “Ryukishi07,” it is one of my greatest memories, and I won’t forget it as long as I live!

9. 07th Expansion」のファンの作成したプロジェクトに、お気に入りがありますか?


APGNation: Do you have a favorite project made by fans of 07th Expansion?

Ryukishi07: We are sincerely  grateful for all of your activities!

One fan opened a concept café based on our work. It was truly a stunning reproduction of  our world, and I still remember how incredibly impressed I was.

Of course, to everyone who has written doujinshi [fan comics] and other creations based on 07th Expansion’s work, I am sincerely grateful. I’ve collected them personally and they are all my precious treasures.

10. 竜騎士07先生の作成したキャラクター、お気に入りがありますか?



The Golden Witch Beatrice, from the PS3 version of Umineko.

APGNation: Among your own characters, do you have a favorite?

Ryukishi07I love all of my characters greatly, but if I had to choose one person, it would be Beatrice, who appears in Umineko.

I think that the liveliness of how her personality and facial expressions are constantly changing like a cat’s stand out amongst characters I’ve drawn.

But, at the same time, it’s hard not to consider any character you’re writing as a favorite.

11. 「うみねこのなく頃に」の安田 紗代が面白いです。紗代の作成にどう思うですか? さらに、「うみねこ」の漫画に紗代の拡張にどう思うですか?


Clair Vaux Bernardus, one of Sayo Yasuda's alternat personas.

Clair Vaux Bernardus, one of Sayo Yasuda’s alternate personas.

APGNation: The  character of Sayo Yasuda in Umineko is interesting. What were your thoughts in Sayo’s creation? Additionally, what were your thoughts on her expansion in the Umineko manga?

Ryukishi07: The  secret of the character of Sayo is the core of Umineko’s story, so her inner workings and development were designed carefully and with the utmost complexity.

In the original version, in order to leave room for imagination for the reader to solve the mystery, I chose not to draw Sayo’s secrets in great detail (of course, it’s still possible to grasp, but I didn’t show things in a way where everyone would get it.)

With the manga version of Umineko, however, we considered the work to be a “period” to the “sentence” that is the world of Umineko.

Because of this, when I met with Natsumi-sensei [Kei Natsumi, the artist of the manga adaptation of Umineko’s eighth episode], I asked her to show all the secrets in a way that can easily be understood by anyone.

Thus, all of the episode of Sayo that appeared in the EP8 manga is the official answer to the world of Umineko.

By no means is the manga version a individual interpretation. It is an official answer from me, Ryukishi07.

12. ライターになるを狙え英語を話すファンにアドバイスがありますか?


APGNation: Do you have any advice for English-speaking fans who want to become writers?

Ryukishi07To understand and express the needs and wants of the public over your own principles and position can be considered “Business Type,” whereas to ignore the needs of the public and write only what one wants to write can be considered “Passion Type.” If you can figure out which one you are as soon as possible, I think you should be able to move forward without losing your way.

If you’re a “Business Type,” devote yourself to calm and calculated work, and even if you make a mistake don’t misunderstand what you’re doing for a hobby.

And if you’re a “Passion Type,” devote yourself to writing according to your desires, writing for the sake of writing. But in exchange, even if no one reads your work, you must never worry about that.

If you’re a “Passion Type” able to work within the schedule of a “Business Type”, you can evolve into an invincible “Perfect Type!”

Am I one of these?

I’m just an old guy who’s a broken down “Passion Type.” (laugh)

13. APGNationと話し、ありがとうございました。竜騎士07のファンとAPGNationの聴衆に、別れの言葉がありますか?


APGNation: Thank you for speaking with APGNation. Do you have any parting words for your fans and for APGNation’s audience?

Ryukishi07: Thank you very much for reading thus far!

I am overjoyed just that people abroad are reading my works.

In the future, I will continue to announce works I put my all into. I would greatly appreciate [a continuance of] this relationship [correspondence] with everyone following me.

At any rate, thank you both now and in the future!

If possible… I’d also like to hear the impressions of foreign visitors.

English and Japanese responses are both good, so please do let us know.

Thank you very much for this experience!


I would like to thank Ryukishi07 for so graciously taking time from his day to answer our questions, it has been an honor for me as a long time fan of his works. I now flip the chessboard and give you, our loyal readers, a chance to voice your feelings about Ryukishi07’s work. Just take a moment or two to share your experiences with any of 07th Expansion’s works here in the article comments or on Twitter @APGNation and @fluffyharpy. You can also follow Ryukishi07 and the rest of 07th Expansion on Twitter @07th_official.

I would also like to thank my fiance Matt Gallagher for translating the text of this article from English to Japanese and back again, as well as  my friend Chris Fanning and everyone else nice enough to double check my work. You are all awesome.

Nicole Seraphita
Written by
My name is Nicole Seraphita and I’m 27. I’ve been gaming since the days of the NES and have owned at least one system from each generation since then. My favorite type of games if most definitely RPGs, with my favorites being titles like Chrono Cross, Persona 4, and Tales of Xillia, though I also sometimes dabble in platforming games, fighting games, and visual novels. When I’m not writing for APGNation or playing games, I enjoy table top and card games, watch anime, and write fiction that I occasionally publish online. I tend to write a lot of Sci-fi and the occasional bit of fantasy, with the often overlooked sub-genre of Biopunk being my favorite. I’ve also written a few visual novels, though only one of them has made it all the way to completion thus far. My current dream is to be able to bring the Monster Girl genre to a western audience.

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