Sayaka Kanda Interview

OK Wave, February 23, 2017. See the original post here

Actress and voice actor Sayaka Kanda

Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love interview

Sayaka Kanda appears in the role of Teresa.

Interviewer: Please give your impressions of Space Battleship Yamato. 

Kanda: It is a work from the time before I was born, and there is a deep history of “Yamato love” among the fans. I have thoroughly learned about this series since my role was decided, and I’m very interested in how it will be received by the older fans. I felt the greatness of the work through the response when my appearance was announced.

Interviewer: What are your thoughts on the motif for this work, Farewell to Yamato, Soldiers of Love?

Kanda: The soundtrack seemed to be extremely popular at the time of its premiere, and I thought it was amazing that its record as the top-selling anime soundtrack had gone unbroken until Frozen appeared. It is said that the innovations at the time were the action parts, how Yamato was depicted, the design of the battles, and I think it was a new kind of ending. I felt it was the foundation of robot anime that came later. I was especially surprised by the ending.

Interviewer: Please talk about your impression of performing Teresa this time.

Kanda: Teresa has very few lines in the early stage, but her presence symbolizes the world of Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love. Her scenes in the original work were short, too, but she has an important presence that becomes a trigger. When she’s described as a goddess you get only a vague image, but she has the form of praying for all of space, which feels something like motherhood. She’s not a human being, since in the the original work in particular, her body is comprised of antimatter, so it’s a role that can’t be explained in one word. In fact, I haven’t heard yet what will happen in the future. Since there is an ideal image that I’d like to see, I’m planning to build something like a new energy for this series while drawing upon the original work.

Interviewer: How are you preparing for the role?

Kanda: I had to make up a lot of it from my imagination. There’s no description like “having a gentle character,” and even though it’s written as “divine,” I can’t draw that from experience, so I was conscious of how convincing I could be from the first utterance.

Interviewer: You’ve said “this is my real voice acting debut.” Please tell us what you meant by that.

Kanda: Even though I’ve worked as a voice actor before now, I’ve recorded only by myself all this time. This is my first experience recording on the spot with everyone else. I tasted the tension of being a newcomer, which made it feel completely different. I didn’t think there was another step up to be experienced, so it was really nice. If I think too much about being there with such skilled people I start to shrink, so when recording I tried to forget everyone was there and I went for it. (Laughs)

But I thought it was important to consider how I should be there in the role of this character Teresa. I think in playing Teresa, there’s a composure in your heart, and the feeling you make within that blank space is important. So, with the feeling that I am a member of this group, I had to consciously square my shoulders. Teresa doesn’t perform any dialogue in Chapter 1, but it was important to feel the atmosphere of being on-site, and the power of everyone was wonderful. The leads in the cast participated in the previous series 2199, and since the atmosphere was so peaceful when I left the mic, I want to rejoin this family feeling as soon as possible.

Interviewer: What is your impression of the advice and direction you’ve received?

Kanda: The director said, “I want to hear divinity right away.” No scenes have been shot yet where Teresa’s mouth moves, but I was aware of my own senses. I was asked to pull back on emotion and intonation. Teresa’s wish sounds too human when it becomes personal, so they said, “Please do it as if you’re far away.” Also, the sound director Tomohiro Yoshida said, “I’ve wanted to work with you for a long time, ever since you played Anna!” [from the Japanese dub of Frozen.] I’ve been known for playing Anna some time, and I was happy that they wanted to work with me.

Interviewer: How do you feel about the theme song, Space Battleship Yamato?

Kanda: When I go to karaoke, men around me always sing it, so I thought it was a song everyone knew. Isao Sasaki sang it in the original work, and another song Teresa Forever. Image songs for characters have sometimes been created in recent anime works, so I hope I can get involved in music.

Interviewer: Are there any characters you’re interested in?

Kanda: I watched from the side as Houko Kuwashima performed Yuki Mori delivering prompt instructions, and I thought I’d like to be able to produce such a voice. I was thinking only of Teresa, but from here on I’d like to understand the other characters.

Interviewer: Please tell us a highlight of Yamato 2202.

Kanda: The visuals have changed with the times. The depictions of Yamato and of battle scenes are changing. But even if you watch it as a fan from the past, I don’t think any of this is off-putting. Conversely, if you’re someone who doesn’t know the old work, you can get into it without hesitation. Space Battleship Yamato might have a manly image, but I think it’s a work for everyone.

Interviewer: How do you feel about the world in this work being an Earth that is moving toward military expansion?

Kanda: Although the image of space things is really strong, people have ordinary lives in this world, and there are people who risk their lives to save others from a crisis. A war may happen in space in the future of this world, and because it’s depicted with such a magnificent theme, it’s still new and has a view that is relevant to our time. Of course, nothing surpasses peace, but I assume that the crew of Yamato have people they want to protect, and the world of this work isn’t that different from the world of today. So I think it’ll probably examine closely just what is meant by the word “love” in the title.

Interviewer: The villain this time, Great Emperor Zordar of Gatlantis, says the invasion of Earth is “for love.”

Kanda: I heard Hideaki Tezuka say that in the recording. He has a great voice, and I felt a shock run through my whole body. Its persuasive power was amazing.

Interviewer: Finally, please give your message to the users of OK Wave.

Kanda: I think there are many people whose lives have been changed by watching Space Battleship Yamato. 2202 is a story of new characters, but it doesn’t mean that the original characters have been completely changed. I think the former cast played their roles while feeling something like the mission given to their respective characters. To me, it’s important to take that into consideration as I perform. I don’t know what will happen to Teresa, but first of all I hope she gets to turn to the front. (Laughs) Even if the characters are different from the old work, I personally think you should be able to warm right up to them.

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