If you can play as "Anime version of Junka" ── "Muv-Luv Alternative" Kan Junka role, Tomori Kusunoki interview
The PC game was released in 2003, and since then, the popular series “Muv-Luv” has shown various media mix developments such as novels, manga, and anime, including gaiden works. The latest anime series “Muv-Luv Alternative” has been on air since October 2021.
In this work, which forms a story with the first work in the series “Muv-Luv”, one day suddenly the main character, Shirogane Takeru, is blown into a myriad of parallel worlds. It was a world invaded by an extraterrestrial species called “BETA”. Takeshi belongs to the United Nations Army and will fight with the members of the training platoon on a humanoid weapon called a tactical walking fighter (tactical aircraft).
This time, we interviewed Tomori Kusunoki, who is one of the main heroines and plays the role of Takeshi’s childhood friend, Sumika Kagami.
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At first, I thought it was a “hot robot anime”.
――Please tell us your frank impression when the role of Junka was decided.
Kusunoki: Since this is the animation development based on the original work, I first referred to the acting of my predecessor. At the time of her audition, I tried to act naturally without being too conscious of her predecessor, with the meaning of having the sound directors confirm whether my performance fits her. However, I was wondering if my performance would be very close to Junka … so when I received the report of the decision, the pressure might have been stronger than the joy.
――Please introduce the Kanjun Natsu that is being performed this time.
Kusunoki (Shirogin) Take-chan’s childhood friend, energetic, cheerful and innocent. Every time I had the impression that I was hitting Take-chan (laughs), I had a powerful image, so I got the impression that Junka in the anime had a lot of cute parts. However, as the story progresses, I think that the “strong pure summer” that I felt when playing the original came out.
—Did you know the “Muv-Luv” series? Please tell us your impressions of this series.
Kusunoki: Of course, I knew the theme song “Roar to the Future” sung by JAM Project, but I didn’t know much about the work itself until the audition … Partly because of the influence of the theme song, I was wondering if it was a hot robot anime, but I was very surprised at the serious story. At first, it was difficult to keep up with the story. In the process of playing the game, I felt, “It’s not natural for us to live like this.”
A flashback scene conscious of the “pure summer image” in Take-chan
――How was the dubbing?
Kusunoki Junka is the appearance from the 4th episode, so the dubbing also joined from the middle. Episode 2 (* Since the first episode is an original story, the main cast members will appear from the second episode)
Honestly, I was impatient when I heard the performance of the main character who appeared from and was active, “What if the fans think that I am not the only one who is suitable for the role?” So, the “first voice” was very nervous.
—Are there any points you were aware of when playing Junka?
Kusunoki: She often appears in Take-chan’s flashback scenes, and while she doesn’t have much interaction with other cast members other than the military role Koichi Kamiki, the amount of dialogue itself is not large, so she plays intensively. increase.
As I mentioned earlier, based on the play of the original game, at first I had the image of a “strong girl” for Junka. However, at the scene, I received a direction saying, “I hope you can express your favorite feelings toward Take-chan.” After listening to it, I decided to interpret it as a way of acting that was conscious of the “Junka image” in Take-chan, rather than acting realistically what actually happened.
Specifically, I was conscious of the scene where I handed a “game guy” (portable game machine) to Take-chan in episode 4. In the original, it was a scene that behaved normally, but when I played it cutely, the staff said, “I’m glad it was pure summer.” Then, I came to think, “In the anime” Muv-Luv “, I should play as Junka in Takeshi’s memory!”
Then, in the flashback scene, I wondered “Why did Take-chan remember the event in a fragmentary memory?” And came to the conclusion that “I think Junka was cute at that time.” In other words, I became convinced that Junka showed cute gestures every time in my recollections, and it became easier to perform.
Of course, I was conscious of the acting of the original, but I realized that it is important to act as “Junka in the anime version” without being limited to that.
――Are there any characters you are interested in other than the character you play?
Kusunoki (armor) Mikoto. I fell in love with her dignity in her exercises! Lynn, who plays Mikoto, said at the stage greeting of the pre-screening, she also likes her acting, “I act so as not to be too nervous, but I tighten it firmly.”
Also, on the day of the pre-screening, I saw BETA moving for the first time, and I like the “fortress-class” design the most. It’s inorganic and cool, isn’t it? If you make a figure, I definitely want to keep it handy!
How to see the work that was different for each cast
――How was the preliminary screening?
Kusunoki: For dubbing, I participated from the middle of the recording, and the number of people was narrowed down, so I couldn’t do it with everyone else. So, first of all, it was fun to meet the main cast members. After listening to everyone’s comments, including Mr. Kamiki (Koichi), who played the role of Take-chan, he was very serious about the work, and I knew what kind of feeling he was performing. Since the content of the screening was up to the second episode, she could only say “Please wait a little longer!” Because Junka didn’t have a turn in the first place … (laughs) ..
――What kind of exchange did you have in the dressing room?
Kusunoki: The cast members saw episodes 1 and 2 for the first time in the dressing room before entering the theater. I wanted to be fascinated by the awesomeness of the tactical machine drawn by Graphinica, and I and Iori Saeki (who played the role of Kei Ayamine), who didn’t have a character’s turn, felt sick with a series of spectacular scenes … … (Bitter smile).
Also, in the dressing room, there were recordings such as still shots and video comments, but every time Mr. Kamiki failed, he laughed, and it was a very friendly atmosphere. Although Mr. Kamiki was a tampered character, I found that there was considerable pressure because he was the first protagonist this time. So, as a partner to liven up the same work, I remember calling out to ease the tension as much as possible.
――If there is a “parallel world”, what kind of world would you like to go to?
Kusunoki: I don’t have the confidence to survive in a world where BETA is struggling (laughs). So, as a slight change, I would like to live in a “world where men and women are replaced”, like Mikoto Misaka, who is also in the “Muv-Luv” series. I want to feel the difference in values between men and women, and simply go out with cute girls (laughs).
――Finally, please give us a message.
Kusunoki: I think there will be more battle scenes in the future, and how will Take-chan and his friends face the future? I am also looking forward to the development. And the feelings and background of the characters will gradually become clear, so I hope you enjoy it as well. Please look forward to future broadcasts.
(Interview / text / Atsushi Saeki)