Interview with the main seiyuu duo pairing from upcoming autumn anime ClassicaLoid, which has this utterly strange premise of two high school students Kanae (Komatsu Mikako) and Sosuke (Shimazaki Nobunaga) meeting ‘reincarnated’ classical musicians such as Mozart (Kaji Yuki) and Beethoven (Sugita Tomokazu). This being a Sunrise show means robots get thrown into the mix, so I suppose we can either look forward to the most innovative music-mecha show ever, or the most mediocre pile of toss ever made. It’s being directed by Fujita Yoichi (Gintama’, Osomatsu-san) which is a good sign…right? Plus, music by tofubeats, Hotei Tomoyasu, Tsunku and Asakura Daisuke!
Tough going for a female high-schooler who doubles as a landlady?
Q: Komatsu-san – tell us what kind of character Otowa Kanae, whom you voice, is?
Komatsu: Otowa-chan is a normal high school girl who also happens to be the landlady of Otowakan, the building that serves as the setting for the story. She’s a level-headed girl but faces all kinds of problems…especially since her father has gone off somewhere and has left it to her to manage the hall by herself. Most of the residents never bother to pay their rent; she’s tasked with the role of cutting through the madness, as well as being a source of restraint – kind of like the stopper that bottles up all the crazy.
Shimazaki: I think Kanae-chan has a tough time (laughs). The characters in this show all love doing and saying their own selfish things plus they barely ever listen to what other people have to say – they just do whatever they like. Kanae-chan is the only one who seems to be trying to protect something, trying to put a stop to, trying to put everything together – it’s just a whole lot of trouble for her (laughs)
Komatsu: It’s true that she mostly doesn’t get rewarded [for her efforts] (laughs)
Shimazaki: But I think it’s interesting to see how the distance between Kanae-chan and this bunch of troublemakers gets narrowed.
You think they’re normal but they turn out to be crazy…however…
Q: Shimazaki-san – tell us what kind of character Kagura Sosuke, whom you voice, is?
Shimazaki: He’s Kanae-chan’s childhood friend; he doesn’t have any particularly outstanding talents and is to be honest, a rather superficial, foolish high school student (laughs). Seems like the kind of guy who’d quit anything he tried to take up after 3 days or so.
Komatsu: He’ll dive headlong into whatever’s the ‘in’ thing of the moment, then get bored real quickly. Though I do kinda feel that he does have passion for stuff…
Shimazaki: Yet he never takes things seriously, does he (laughs)
Komatsu: Before recording the first episode I thought that Sosuke was just a normal high school student but I found out in episode 1: ‘Nope. He’s quite the crazy kid’ (laughs). ClassicaLoid features other characters that are even more chaotic, to the point where whenever Sosuke appears on-screen, you’ll think that he actually seems normal (laughs). Still, he’s the impressionable type and fairly straightforward.
Shimazaki: He’s a straightforward fool.
Komatsu: But somehow, people are drawn to him; he’s really good at connecting [with others].
Shimazaki: It’s not like he has unwavering belief in himself or anything. He’ll think ‘I’ll just go with the flow, see what happens’.
Komatsu: I guess he’s what people would describe as being ‘too flexible’.
Shimazaki: Yes! (laughs) Putting it negatively – he’s just a fickle guy.
The conclusion after lengthy consideration…
Q: Do you think you share any similarities with your character?
Shimazaki & Komatsu: Hmmmmmmmmmm (both pause to think)
Shimazaki: Maybe his positive attidude? Neither of us gets too depressed about stuff.
Komatsu: You’ve got good communication skills, isn’t that similar [to Sosuke]?
Shimazaki: You might think so, but I’m actually rather awkward.
Komatsu: I mean that’s why I sort of think that you’re striving to connect well [with others].
Shimazaki: But Sosuke’s different – he’s born with it.
Komatsu: Ah I see…but for me [& Kanae], there’s virtually nothing similar. If I was forced to pick something, perhaps only the fact that we’re both able to gauge a situation from our own point of view?
Shimazaki: It seems we’re not like our characters at all (laughs)
Komatsu: Nope, not us (laughs)
Flow and tempo
Q: Was there anything in particular that you focused on while voicing your character?
Shimazaki: For both ClassicaLoid as a whole and for Sosuke personally, I think it’s important not to overthink; to just go with the flow and the momentum.
Komatsu: That’s true. For me, I try to be careful with her comebacks – how she pushes and pulls, how she controls the tempo.
Don’t think – just feel!
Q: How have your impressions of the series changed from before you entered the recording studio to after?
Komatsu: I really love Director Fujita’s Gintama so before we went into the studio I was well-prepared for the curveballs I thought might be thrown at me…and when I heard the names of the rest of the cast members I raised my defenses even higher (laughs) I felt like throwing something (laughs) At that point I increased the sensitivity level of my ‘antenna’ by 10x…and when the lid was lifted I thought to myself, “Ah, I knew this would happen!” (laughs)
Shimazaki: It’s a series of standalone episodes so you could see a 180-degree turn in the show’s mood depending on the episode you tune into – it’s a fresh experience every week.
Komatsu: Every time I enter the studio everyone’s just sitting there stumped (laughs). We’ll say, “Honestly, what the heck is this week’s story about…?” (laughs)
Shimazaki: ClassicaLoid is about the feeling, not the thinking! That’s what we’re concluding, most of the time.
Komatsu: It really feels like we’re jamming.
Shimazaki: Yeah, it does feel like ‘You don’t know how it’s gonna turn out unless you try!’
Komatsu: Yes yes yes, that’s why there are so many scenes that I’m looking forward to. I wonder, “How are they gonna handle that?”
Shimazaki: I don’t get this series!
Komatsu: I don’t either!
Shimazaki: We just listen, and do our thing spontaneously.
Komatsu: Yes yes yes!
Shimazaki: The back-and-forth exchanges get fierce!
A mysterious cauldron of an anime where the future cannot be foretold
Q: Any memorable stories from the recording studio?
Shimazaki: When we’re chatting in the studio we’ll say things like ‘the future is unknown’; pondering how things will develop and wondering where the story is heading.
Komatsu: Yeah we can’t really see the finishing line for this. The director even describes it as a ‘mysterious cauldron’* of an anime.
*闇鍋 (Yaminabe) – literally dark pot; referring to a practice where people contribute random ingredients to cook up a stew in a pot and eat it in the dark, for fun
Shimazaki: It’s like a Jack-in-the-box where you really have no idea what’s gonna pop out – it’s fun.
Komatsu: It’s like ‘Don’t go there, it’s dangerous!’ but you still end up jumping in (laughs)
Shimazaki: That’s why we ourselves are really looking forward to seeing how the show turns out and where the ClassicaLoid story is headed to.
If I had to say, then the selling point is the music!
Q: So this mysterious cauldron of an anime – what would you say are its selling points?
Shimazaki: If I had to say, then the music. Famous producers of today putting their own twist on masterpieces by Beethoven, Mozart and Bach – you’ll get to hear them throughout the series; and I believe it’s absolutely a selling point.
Komatsu: Yeah, definitely so!
Huh!? There are no normal characters in the show?! And amongst them…♡
Q: Do you like any of the other characters apart from your own?
Komatsu: Hmm, I’m in a dilemma.
Shimazaki: I’m quite curious about Pad-kun, this mascot-like character that’s friendly with Sosuke. It’s voiced by Ishida Akira-san.
Komatsu: Pad-kun’s great. But everyone’s interesting, aren’t they?
Shimazaki: True, the way Schubert is fawning over Beethoven is quite fascinating.
Komatsu: For the girls, I’d pick Chaiko-chan (Tchaikovsky). She’s very cute, but her language is extreme.
Shimazaki: In that sense, I’d go for Bada (Bądarzewska). She’s probably the most normal out of all the chara…eh!? I’m mistaken?! The staff are cocking their heads at me…
Komatsu: I guess nobody normal ever appears in this show… (laughs)
If you’re hungry, just watch this show!
Q: What would you say to people who are wondering whether or not they should watch ClassicaLoid?
Shimazaki: Just go ahead and watch, don’t think about it! Seriously speaking though, you’ll gain exposure to classical music while enjoying the show. It will be a mysterious cauldron with a variety of ingredients that are all delicious.
Komatsu: When it’s 5.30pm and you’re feeling hungry, please watch the show. Then you will think, ‘Ah, this show is interesting!’ and your food will taste all the more delicious!
Damn, this show seems bonkers…I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing! Part. 2 of the interview will only be published on the day the anime airs, so look out for that sometime next month.