Nobukazu Sakai, better known as nbkz, is one of the founding members of visual novel company minori. He serves as both a director and producer of the company and was involved with many titles such as ef – a fairy tale of the two and eden*. Japan Curiosity recently had the opportunity to interview him.
Q: How did you get into the visual novel industry?
A: I actually started off as a department head of a different company. The company was sort of an in-house venture, but that is where I found my start.
Q: In ef – a fairy tale of the two, there was a city called Otowa where a lot of characters reside in. How was this city of Otowa designed?
A: We originally planned to make this town resemble an old German town so the director Mikage actually went to Germany to take some photos for inspiration.
Q: What were the inspirations in creating characters such as Chihiro and Mizuki?
A: There are also two other characters called Miyako and Kei and we already decided how to portray these characters from the beginning. And before these characters were even created, the general storyline was already developed. Two characters called Yuu and Yuuko were key to that storyline and the rest were created to support them.
Q: Do you have any plans for any new projects in your company?
A: We actually got just one more thing coming up soon called Trinoline ~LL Move~! This time, we plan on having our latest project as an international release with MangaGamer helping us with the English localization.
Q: We know that Supipara will soon be localized in the west. Do you have any plans of localizing any other recent titles such as Nastsuzora no Perseus, Soreyori no Prologue, or Tsumi no Hikari Rendezvous?
A: As of right now, other than Trinoline, there are no plans for future localizations because we are currently unsure which titles are best for the foreign market, so we are learning as we go along to see which titles may or may not work. We are pretty much reliant on MangaGamer to give us information on what works and what does not. So depending on their advice, we may release different titles as well.
Q: If you had the opportunity to expand any of your previous works, what would it be?
A: There are no plans at all to create any sequels for our previous works because we already decided to end each story unless we specifically say within those stories that there will be a continuation. When a series is over, that is it.
Q: Do you have a message for your English-speaking fans?
A: I am very surprised there are a lot of fans. We’ll do our best to continue creating a lot of new works especially for the foreign English-speaking fans. MangaGamer will be helping us along. Thank you.
To learn more information about Trinoline, view the official announcement on MangaGamer’s website. Minori is also currently holding a fundraising project for the English localization of Supipara.