Daisuke Ono & Kenichi Suzumura interview

TV Station magazine, February 15, 2017

”You can sympathize with a solid human drama in modern society” -Kenichi Suzumura

”A passionate story that shakes the soul in any era” -Daisuke Ono

Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Soldiers of Love is a remake of the sequel to the first Yamato TV series that will soon be showing in theaters. Yamato launches again with the latest technology!

Interviewer: What was your feeling while you were recording?

Ono: The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when we finished the trip in the previous work was huge. And after feeling “I’ve done it,” it was a strange feeling to go on another trip. But I was genuinely happy to start anyway.

Suzumura: It finally came. When 2199 started, the Yamato fans around me asked, “When will you do Farewell to Yamato?” (Laughs) That work is said to be the greatest masterpiece, so you’ll be pleased with the remake. I was looking forward to it.

Interviewer: What is the pressure of the expectations like?

Ono: I didn’t feel pressure as I did when I was cast for 2199. Rather, there is a sense of mission to express a new Yamato to the next generation. The pressure was huge last time. (Laughs)

Suzumura: That’s right. Last time I felt the public opinion was, “Is it OK to do a remake?” But I thought, “You’ll see” and when it was screened that evaluation was overturned. I think it’s absolutely OK this time, so there is no pressure.

Ono: Instead, the feeling of “What will they show?” is big, and it’s the feeling of facing the challenge of a new anime, isn’t it? When we’re on site with Director Habara and the writer Mr. Fukui, it’s fun to hear people ask, “What’s going to happen?” (Laughs)

Suzumura: I feel that it’s relaxed on-site. There are things that happen in the flow of the work, but after the story of accomplishing the mission and returning in 2199, there is a feeling of being more relaxed. But this is a difficult script that raises the problem of “Earth was saved, but is it all right?” which also connects with modern society. In the recording we take power from a sense of anxiety over the future.

The relationship of Kodai and Shima transcends empathy!?

Interviewer: How do you overlap with your characters, Mr. Ono with Kodai and Mr. Suzumura with Shima?

Ono: Since Shima doesn’t appear for a while at the beginning, I had a vague feeling of loneliness and anxiety. So I was glad when he showed up, saying “Wow, it’s Shima!” and “What a relief!” (Laughs) Shima and Mr. Suzumura have parts that overlap, the contemplative type who is well-read and gives advice. After watching him perform Shima, it made me feel like Kodai myself. (Laughs)

Suzumura: Mr. Ono is not a hot-blooded man like Kodai, but because there is a part where it’s quite intense I feel it’s inevitable that he would play Kodai. As he said, the reunion scene was very natural. I was glad that I could meet Kodai, and the picture of Kodai coming running seemed like Mr. Ono. (Laughs)

Interviewer: As a male voice actor, what feeling did you get from, “Get on board Yamato“?

Suzumura: I was happy. I’ve achieved various things as a voice actor on other works, even riding on a fighter that was a fan favorite (Laughs), but I was overjoyed to finally get on board Yamato. I told the producer of Super Robot Wars, “It isn’t a robot, but let’s get Yamato in there!”

Ono: It really appeared!! (Laughs)

Suzumura: It’s an SF anime that represents Japan. It makes me glad.

Ono: I’m happy, too. I used to think the people in the upper Yamato generation were more passionate than us, but I’ve been told “I wanted to do it,” “Will you get on board,” “Do your best,” “You bastard” (Laughs) and I understand it very well. This is the ship of anime fans, and it makes me proud to be Japanese.

Interviewer: What’s your message to the fans?

Ono: As a performer, my feeling about Yamato is “Yamato is fascinating” and “It’s universal.” It’s a story that can shake the soul of men and women of all ages. I’m getting on board this ship again to pass that passion on to the next generation. Let’s all travel together!

Suzumura: It’s become a fascinating thing that does not disappoint the various expectations of the older fans, and of course I think young people can sympathize with a solid human drama in modern society. Even if you’re only starting to watch it this time, you can easily enjoy it. But if you see it you’ll probably wonder what happened in the past, and in that case there are DVDs and Blu-rays available. (Laughs) If you’re interested, please also see 2199 by all means.

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