I don’t really know too much about Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku beyond its NND roots and the fact that lots of my favourite people are in it. So yeah, I’m watching it at the very least, until Ozawa Ari turns up [=o=]/
Here’s a translation of a Da Vinci interview with one of those favourites, Kimura Juri.
Q: Finally, the TV anime Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku is starting. It’s a popular mixed media property created by Nico Nico Douga Vocaloid P Last Note. Eruna, the role you play, is very much unlike SHIROBAKO’s Miyamori…
A: She’s a pervy girl! According to the director, she’s a “serious pervert” (lol).
Q: A serious pervert? (lol)
A: She’s Type Positive, always looking forward, loves girls. Mainly, she likes to assault Seisa-sempai (CV: Onishi Saori) with declarations of “I Love You” and “You’re so cute~” but she’s never discouraged despite being rejected every time (lol). The sight of her enjoying herself to the fullest brings cheer to the people around her.
Q: Lol. I hear there also delusionary scenes from the viewpoint of a pervert?
A: That’s only because sadly, the real world would not accept such thoughts (lol). I’d say there’s at least 1 delusionary scene per episode. Usually, Seisa-sempai is cool, but in Eruna’s delusions she whispers “Eruna.. ♥ “gently and sweetly~ to her (lol). Onishi Saori-chan uses a really sexy voice for that so Eruna tends to drool in response (lol).
Q: It’s filled with comedy, isn’t it (lol)
A: It’s just an over-the-top, hilarious story (lol). Both the opening and ending themes are new material by the series’ original creators Last Note.; they’re really cheerful and lively on the one hand but on the other they’ve got that unique bittersweetness of youth – I do think the ‘image’ of the songs has been reflected perfectly in the anime.
Q: The setting for the anime is that – in the school, you survive by collecting points from fighting. What do you wish to have once Eruna has accumulated enough points?
A: You can’t gain points unless you’re in a club and since Eruna is flying solo she’s pretty much stuck at the bottom of the heap. At the moment she…”resides” in a certain place but…well, I’d just like her to be able to live a decent life amongst normal human beings (lol).
Q: What are recordings like?
A: Though I had already formed my own image of the show through reading the original work, I could initally only produce about 80% of what was requested of me. It’s my first time doing comedy plus Eruna is just insane and there were so many things required that didn’t exist in my repertoire. I was really worried right from the 1st episode, but Kayano (Ai)-san taught me how to pull voices out (from my repertoire) when needed. Once I had done some practise based on those tips and utilized them in the studio, I was told “That was really good!” and it gave me a lot of encouragement. Also, the “games” that the cast plays during recordings are fun.
Q: Speaking of games – were there a lot of ad-libs?
A: Yeah, there are a lot of ad-libs going on. Especially for Matsuoka (Yoshitsugu)-san, who voices a mysterious creature called Bimi. For example, he distorts his face and makes noises signalling his displeasure whenever Bimi’s cheeks are being pulled (lol).
Q: Are there any other characters that have piqued your interest?
A: I’m fond of Shigure, a boy wearing glasses who happens to be Eruna’s cousin. Shigure loves Eruna so I guess he’s a pervert the same way she is (lol). Unlike the shy Eruna, he tends to break out with horrible, meaningless raps (lol). There is a lot I can learn from my fellow pervert Shimazaki (Nobunaga)-san, who voices Shigure. Watching him, I’m always thinking to myself “Ah, that’s how it’s supposed to be~”.
Q: Recording has progressed quite far already – are you enjoying voicing the role of Eruna?
A: Yes I do. I do enjoy doing ad-libs as well. For example – when a character is running with his or her back turned there isn’t a need to match speech to the mouth flaps, so you can say whatever you like~. Even if you mess up all that happens is your lines will be discarded, so the trick is to just throw everything in and hope that something sticks. It’s thanks to Eruna that I can avoid stereotyping.
Q: I’m looking forward to the theme songs performed by Eruna, Seisa and Otone (CV: Ozawa Ari)!
A: The opening theme “Houkago Kakumei” (After School Revolution) is a song that conveys the cheerfulness of Eruna who is trying to establish a new club called the “Houkago Rakuen-bu” (After School Paradise Club) and personally, I am looking forward to seeing how the cool Seisa-san sings. It’s the same for Otone as well – so please listen to the song while considering what each of the 3 girls is feeling as they sing. The lyrics are wonderful too, just thinking of them makes me teary-eyed…I’m sorry, my tear ducts are weak…
Q: It’s okay, please cry as much as you want (lol). How did the recording for the songs go?
A: You see, Last Note.’s songs are so difficult to sing…the tempo is fast and the range is wide; for the high notes I had no choice but to do a falsetto, and at the same time I had to make sure I maintained Eruna’s liveliness.. so it was tough. Still, I did my best (lol)!
Q: The Web radio show “Mikagura Gakuen Radio Housoubu” has started!
A: I appear on the show alongside Matsuoka-san. Following the anime’s theme, we talk about the stuff we did in clubs during our school days and recall our student days – I’ve enjoyed finding out what kind of person Matsuoka-san is. It’s an extension of the kind of liveliness I experienced on another anime radio show for SHIROBAKO where I got along well with the girls both at work and in private, yet it’s a whole different kind of fun.
Q: So you now know what sort of person Matsuoka-san is? (lol)
A: I can see that he’s very passionate about his work~. Also, he’s a very kind person. During recordings he will bring up conversations in a very considerate manner. He also imparts a lot of advice, and I can tell that he’s a very attentive person.
Q: With the anime broadcast beginning soon, which parts of Eruna would you like us to pay particular attention to?
A: I’d like you to notice how she can be such a shy girl on one hand, yet so cool when it comes to battles. Her strength marks her as the heroine of the story. Please look forward to seeing this gap between her characteristics.
Q: Let’s talk about your private life a bit more. Eruna loves games; are you devoted to any one thing the way she is?
A: Recently I’ve been working hard at my cooking. When I went back to my hometown over the New Year holidays, the ozoni and the toshikoshi-soba in soup stock that my mom made were delicious! My older sister actually gives cooking classes, and she also whipped up some lemon salt and chicken hotpot. I’ve actually always loved cooking, but it’s such a hassle to have to cook when you’re living on your own. Even so, I’ve been trying to change that mindset lately. I mostly cook Japanese cuisine.
Q: Anything else you’ve been absorbed in lately?
A:… Kishidan! I do love anisong but I also like rock music. Actually, I’ve liked Kishidan for more than 10 years now. I’ve been listening to them since I was in elementary school and junior high.
Q: That’s a bit unexpected (lol). What exactly do you like about them?
A: Kishidan was originally an instrumental band and their songs are so cool! The bass is so solid. I love the passion of their lyrics, the individuality of the members and the dancing during their live shows is so liberating. Lately I haven’t been able to get hold of advance sale tickets since the timing tends to clash with my work; I’ve also been trying for same-day tickets but not been successful either (lol). I would turn up anyway just to buy goods (lol).
Q: You sound like a hardcore fan (lol). What are your favourite songs?
A: Ehh~, I have so many faves~. If we’re talking about songs that are insanely cool then I’d pick Raiden. Also, Omae Dattanda, which was used as an ending them for NARUTO, has a touching piano intro that makes me cry when I hear it. Apart from that, Baby Baby Baby. A lot of Kishidan’s songs are about how you learn more about yourself when you are with someone else. I myself have received a lot of support from my friends so when I listen to their songs, I will remember how I was saved from my times of trouble. This is why I love them so much.
Q: What has been your most memorable live concert thus far?
A: 2012’s Kishidan Expo! They do this show every year, which resembles a festival – they’ll have been doing it for 4 years in a row this year. Depending on the year, they’ll invite various guests across different genres, from Momoiro Clover to Wada Akiko to RIP SLYME. The reason I got addicted to VAMPS, Hyde (from L’arc~en~Ciel)’s band was because of this show. Though the genres of the acts are disparate, you can still feel a great sense of unity between them. It’s like you’re drinking beer at the beach with your friends (lol).
Q: Outdoor festivals with beer are the best, aren’t they?
A: Yeah (lol). I’m not an outdoorsy person at all so initially I wouldn’t even entertain the thought of spending one whole day under the blazing sun, but I ended up really enjoying myself! If you asked me what the most fun I’ve ever had in my private life was, I’d pick this!
Q: As a seiyuu, what challenges would you like to take on in the future?
A: When I was in school I was a member of the broadcast club, and I entered the seiyuu industry as I aspired to be a narrator, so I’d always found acting to be an awe-inspiring profession. I learned how enjoyable acting was through my studies at voice acting school, but I never really had a chance to act. Having always loved anime, I felt a little apprehensive about my own abilities but once I was chosen for the role of SHIROBAKO’s Miyamori Aoi I learned that anime was so different from narration work, and that you could receive so many voices of support from the viewers.
Q: There are many opportunities to connect with the fans, aren’t there?
A: Yes, I’m especially happy to receive encouragement from fans directly during events!
It makes me happy to think that there is such a warm reception to my voice~ And after SHIROBAKO, now comes Mikagura.
To tell the truth, when I had been confirmed for SHIROBAKO I wasn’t actually sure whether I would have a chance to appear in another anime after that, but I worked hard to make sure that I’d follow it up. When I became aware of just how many people it took to make an anime, I realized that I really needed to show love for my characters in order to live up to the wishes of the creators. These things that I’ve learned have become valuable assets to me. Therefore… sorry, I think I’m about to cry (lol).
This is why in the future, I will put in more effort than I have before, for all of my works.
I’d like many, many more people to each receive something that is special to them when they’re watching my shows; at the same time, I’d love to appear in even more anime so I’m going to work even harder on my acting as I try to achieve these goals!