Shinkalion has a new movie coming out this December and as an Ayaneru fan, I’ve watched four episodes and I must say I can’t give any opinions on her performance at all. But to practice some very loose translations, I translated parts of this new interview that I found interesting. Without any context at all about her performances, not having watched the show and only looking at spoilers so I can get some context to what she’s talking about, I can really say that this was a good job and I hope you readers get an insight in how Ayaneru formulates and carries out her performances for characters such as Hayasugi Hayato – an 11 year old male who pilots Shinkansen mechs (I think?).
- When they revealed that young Hokuto (Hayato’s dad) would appear in the Shinkalion movie, Kugimiya Rie was playing the part of this character. Ayaneru mentions that when this character’s visual was revealed, she thought that this was definitely a character that KugaRie could play and she was pleased that the casting worked out as she thought it would (in her head anyway).
- Ayaneru sees KugaRie as someone she looks up to in acting, she can’t help but contain herself especially for this anime. Above all, she loves her simple but effective use of her voice, not only that, the seamlessly endless possibilities that KugaRie can bring out from her ‘arsenal’ of voices and the way she uses her voices to portray these characters is what makes Ayaneru really curious and engaged. To learn about how KugaRie did her approach on how to act as this character, during their post-recordings, Ayaneru would listen attentively to Hokuto’s lines.
- Ayaneru was asked if KugaRie’s performance lived up to her expectations in which she replied “It was really cute”. When she saw her performance as Hokuto, she felt that the impressions she had of how young Hokuto would be played was spot on from KugaRie.
- The sound staff thought that Ayaneru wasn’t hype enough in the early stages of Shinkalion. She mentions how she gradually had to warm up to empathise with Hayato to play him well. She didn’t necessarily understand what they wanted out of her at first and she was told that even if she changed her voice, they will use the take they’ve done beforehand anyway. With a show like Shinkalion she needed to show the tension and hype of an 11 year old and not as a 25 year old. She knows for a fact that kids are really into hype stuff and she needs to be in high spirits to appeal to the children. So during the recordings, at the back of her mind, she knew what kind of voice to do and what kind of performance needs to be conveyed – that being what emotions needs to come out during the scenes. But no matter how she did it, it wasn’t completely how she thought it would turn out to be. So, in order to act as Hayato and bring out his full potential, Ayaneru did some research on how to be hype as a kid. Thinking of instances like: what are the things that get her hyped and during those hype moments, thinking of how a person acts when they are excited. With all of this in mind, Ayaneru would be able to carry out a more natural, convincing and high tension performance.
- She also thought that the scene where Hayato meets Hokuto was a really powerful and grim scene that you don’t see much on TV (especially for kids). In regards to playing as Hayato, how she plays out that scene in her head is that Hayato (being an 11 year old), when the going gets tough you pretend to be tough and show no weaknesses. For the sake of Hayato’s mum and her sister (who were clearly upset in the scene), Hayato would show no weakness or sadness. During the post-recording, they did it in one take – performing it as she thought of it in her head. She mentions how this moment was the fruits of her own labour after the struggle she had trying to nail Hayato’s part correctly for a year and a half.
And with that, Ayaneru talks about how Shinkalion has become her more prominent roles in recent years. In her profile introductions she would be credited and introduced as the seiyuu who voices Hayato in Shinkalion. She mention how it’ll be a casting that she would associate herself with and continue to do for a very long time. She also mentions how she’s being recognised more and more by parents and children as ‘the girl who plays Hayato in Shinkalion’. With that being said, Ayaneru can confirm that Shinkalion has become one of her more notable performances.