Sayaka Kanda interview, October 2017

Yamato 2202 Chapter 3 commemorative interview!

Sayaka Kanda as Teresa: “By singing a theme song, I can deepen the role”

Published by Akiba Souken, October 13. See the original post here

This time we interview Sayaka Kanda who plays Teresa, the beautiful goddess who invites the main character Susumu Kodai back into the ocean of space in Yamato 2202. She was also in charge of the ending theme song of Chapter 2. She shared many sincere thoughts about the profession of voice actors, her character, and the theme song.

The pressure of “Being involved in a work that influences peoples’ lives”

Interviewer: First, let me ask you about your participation in Yamato 2202. Which was decided first, your role as Teresa’s voice, or for you to sing the ending song for Chapter 2?

Kanda: The Teresa role was decided first, and I got the song offer at the time of the first voice recording. What kind of timing I should sing in, and whether it was a theme song or a character song, were not specifically decided. After that it was decided that I would sing the ending song for Chapter 2, which I thought was unexpectedly early.

Interviewer: Did the song recording start right after the first voice recording?

Kanda: There was an empty period. There were few lines in the first voice recording. I only spoke a little and then it was over. As of this moment, there are more lyrics than lines.

Interviewer: Teresa hasn’t had very many lines yet, but she’s the most important character and becomes the key to the second half of the story. How did you feel when such an offer came up?

Kanda: I was very surprised. I wondered why it was me, and the reaction of fans when I was chosen to play a Yamato character was bigger than ever. I was surprised by how widespread it was. In fact, the president of my office was excited, too. (Laughs) It’s a work that’s been going on for a long time, and the love for it is very deep. After hearing about it, I’m looking forward to seeing it. For the first time, I feel what it’s like to be involved with a work that influences peoples’ lives.

Interviewer: Do you feel something like an invisible pressure?

Kanda: I do feel it. Rather than “It’s nice to be able to appear in it” the responses have been, “I’m glad a new work is being made, I’m looking forward to it.” There are many reactions instead of just, “I’m anticipating it.” I think its influence is wonderful.

“I had help in creating the role”
thanks to the ending theme song

Interviewer: What kind of image does the character called Teresa have?

Kanda: There is only a small amount of information at the beginning, but because there is an image that greatly influences the path of Kodai, just the first word had to make an impression. She’s also in the first teaser trailer, so I think she’s like an icon of Yamato. Therefore, there was also the feeling of a huge sense of responsibility. I got worried as more time went on since my appearance, so I asked the director how I could get involved after this. (Laughs) By participating in the ending song for Chapter 2, I got the sense that I had help in creating the role from the musical side. There was a magnificence in the lyrics and melody that aren’t in a typical character song.

Interviewer: Do you mean you were able to enter the world of Yamato by singing an ending theme song?

Kanda: I feel that I got a lot of support. There director also said, “It gets harder from here,” so I feel that I will be deeply utilized.

Interviewer: Teresa was a mysterious person in Farewell to Yamato, and I think she had a magical thing that lead Yamato’s crew. Have you devised a way to play the character with a mature image this time?

Kanda: I have to leave an impact on both the viewers and Yamato’s crew, and the degree of how to make an impression was very difficult since there aren’t many lines. There are a lot of places where the image must make up for it, and when I watched the performance of the senior voice actors at the site, I felt like I had to do my best to embody the director’s advice in just a few seconds. So next time, after a long absence, rather than reproducing my feelings from that time I think it will be better to start fresh.

Interviewer: Go for a different target in your opening move, you mean?

Kanda: That’s right. Especially not to do it conversationally. To the very end, just throw it all out there. My natural voice isn’t high-pitched, so rather than adult women I often got the role of boys at the training school. Since that that requires a subtractive performance, where you hold back and don’t use a wide range, I think I was happy to get something fresh. So I intend to continue performing with a calm voice.

Interviewer: How do you feel about singing the ending theme song?

Kanda: I’m glad that it was produced by S.E.N.S. Project, and I didn’t think Teresa’s character had been established enough to sing it as a character song. So I don’t think it’s the same as a character song. I sang it from a position about halfway to a character song, between the images of Teresa and Yamato that I feel myself.

Interviewer: It’s a very beautiful song.

Kanda: The title is Mirror of the Moon, and it has a perfect image, because it’s my favorite point of view. (Laughs)

The dream comes true of “Meeting
Daisuke Ono again on-site.”

Interviewer: Have you had any involvement with other voice actors at this point?

Kanda: After the first voice recording I spoke at a stage greeting. I heard that the atmosphere of 2202 had been completed, so it was fun but a little lonely. (Laughs)

Interviewer: I’ve heard that you really like anime. How does it feel to do voice recordings with famous actors?

Kanda: I get nervous. When I listen to the senior voice actors perform, their words resound in my ears. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t aspire to be a voice actor. The site of Yamato is the most tense I’ve ever felt. I feel awkward around the veterans.

Interviewer: Who has particularly impressed you?

Kanda: It’s Daisuke Ono [Kodai]. When I previously received a voice actor award, he got the one for best actor. I liked anime, and I wanted people who specialized in voice acting to win, so I was very grateful to have won. I was walking on air and I remember that my voice was shaking when I spoke. At a party afterward, Mr. Ono said, “Next time I’ll see you on-site.” I was really happy that he said that, and I remember tearing up.

Interviewer: Have you admired him for long?

Kanda: I felt honored to meet him, and when I got the voice actor award, it was hard for me to line up with the best. We’ve had a reunion since then, so I was happy that my dream of co-starring with him came true.

My ambition for 2018 is “to get my hands dirty.”

Interviewer: I think Teresa will finally be featured in the next chapter. Can you tell me any highlights?

Kanda: When I watched Farewell to Yamato, I was shocked when I saw Teresa from the front for the first time. I remembered that when I read the stage direction for Teresa to “change direction.” I wanted to turn and look everyone in the face. I haven’t appeared in the story as Teresa yet, so I’ve been watching and patiently waiting for my appearance, and I want to make use of that synchronized feeling in the future.

Interviewer: I’ve been waiting a long time for Teresa.

Kanda: There’s a great feeling of anticipation. Although it’s a remake version this time, there are a lot of things that show the thoughts of the creator, which can be called original as well. In response to that, I feel like being original.

Interviewer: Is it rewarding that there has recently been an increase in voice actor jobs?

Kanda: It is a time when one person can do a variety of things, and I’m often fascinated by people who have been dedicated to one thing over a long time. It’s been 16 years since my debut, but I’ve taken on various challenges so far, and I think it’s valuable to find genres that I really want to do. That’s the voice actor in me. So my ambition for 2018 is like that of my first year, to get back to the academic part as much as I can. To get my hands dirty, you might say. I dig into scripts and read them, and then my confidence is completely different when I enter the site. My desire is to continue that kind of thing, even to get a little better, and make the world of voice acting a place where I can stay.

Interviewer: Thank you very much.

Teresa character design by Nobuteru Yuuki, published November 17, 2017

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