Dessler & Starsha voice actor interviews, 2022

Both before and after the February 4 premiere of Yamato 2205 Chapter 2, many of the voice actors were interviewed for Japanese entertainment sites. The most popular subjects of this publicity campaign were Koichi Yamadera and Kikuko Inoue, the voices for Dessler and Starsha. They spoke together for a total of five interviews, all of which are presented here. There is a large percentage of overlap from one to the next, but each offers a spin of its own that makes them all worth reading.

Yamato 2205 Chapter 2 Interview with Koichi Yamadera as Abelt Dessler and Kikuko Inoue as Starsha

Published January 28 by V-Storage (see the original post here)

Yamato 2205, The New Voyage, is the third in the series of Space Battleship Yamato remakes. The second part of this two-chapter story will premiere February 4. We asked Koichi Yamadera, who plays Dessler, and Kikuko Inoue, who plays Starsha, to tell us about the highlights of the film and their thoughts on playing their respective characters.

I was astonished by the facts of the relationship between Iscandar and Garmillas [Yamadera]

Interviewer: The subtitle of the second chapter of Yamato 2205 is Starsha. What was your impression when you first heard about this subtitle and read the script?

Yamadera: Regarding the subtitle, it feels like, “We’ve come all this way.” As for the script, I had received all eight episodes of 2205 one at a time. I didn’t hear about the subtitle for the movie version until much later. I don’t know about others, but I didn’t receive any explanation about what 2205 would be like at first. I learned about it by reading the scripts one episode at a time.

I was astonished at the relationship between Iscandar and Garmillas and the facts told by Starsha. It made me agree that Starsha was the right subtitle for the second chapter.

Inoue: I had the same impression, and I was surprised when I learned Starsha was the subtitle, but it’s certainly appropriate. She reveals a lot of secrets. Rather than feeling anxious about playing Starsha, I felt a sense of pressure.

As for the scripts, as Mr. Yamadera said, I received one episode at a time, so I felt various things for each episode. As the second half of the story progressed, various facts were revealed, and I was astonished. On the other hand, there were also many parts that made sense to me, and I felt like, “Oh, I didn’t know that.”

Interviewer: In the second chapter, I think Dessler and Starsha are the main characters in a way. Did Director Kenji Yasuda and Writer Harutoshi Fukui give you any kind of notes for your performance?

Yamadera: For me, there was nothing.

Inoue: Does that mean they can confidently leave it up to you?

Yamadera: No, no, no. (Laughs) After the recording of 2202, I asked Mr. Fukui, “What’s going to happen to Dessler after this?” All he said was, “He’ll be active, he’s like another main character.” Something like that. (Laughs)

The recording was basically done by one person at a time. We couldn’t get together with other performers at the recording and say, “This is the way it should go.” We couldn’t even talk about it, so I got the impression that the recordings proceeded quietly.

Interviewer: So it was like a battle within yourself, how you imagined and performed.

Yamadera: That’s right. I thought I would ask a lot of questions during the recording, but I was focused on having the audience listen to my performance. As a result, I didn’t have anything to ask this time. Kikuko, did you have a lot of discussions?

Inoue: For me, before and after the recording, Mr. Fukui came to the studio’s waiting room and we talked about various things. Weren’t you there?

Yamadera: It didn’t happen with me. Maybe I was abandoned? (Laughs)

Inoue: No, that’s not it. (Laughs) Maybe they didn’t because they were busy. I got a lot of advice from Mr. Fukui about upcoming developments, his thoughts on Starsha, and so on. It was very reassuring. I’ve always felt nervous or anxious about the role of Starsha, but I always got support from the other actors. “That was good.” I was able to play the role while receiving encouragement from them.

Yamadera: Oh, I see. I was just doing my job as usual, and it was over soon.

Inoue: I guess you could do it with ease.

Yamadera: I think they wanted me to read the script and feel it. I felt like I was being told, “Everything is in the script.” I didn’t expect to hear that. Yamato is not a simple story, and it can be interpreted in many ways.

Inoue: I know what you mean about being afraid to ask questions.

Yamadera: What would you do if you were asked, “Eh? You don’t understand that?”

Inoue: That’s right. There is that kind of tension, isn’t there?

Starsha as a character makes you feel like you’re fighting against yourself [Inoue]

Interviewer: Since Mr. Yamadera has played Dessler in 2199 and 2202, I assume that Mr. Fukui was not worried.

Inoue: That’s right. I think he was like, “You already know, don’t you, Yamadera-san?

Yamadera: This time, there were a lot of elements that Dessler didn’t expect, that he was facing for the first time. Starsha knows all the facts. It’s like, “Finally, the time has come to say it.”

Dessler has been working so hard without knowing. In the past, I’ve had lines where I’ve known everything, and I’ve had lines where I had hesitation and doubts, but hid them. But this time, neither Dessler nor I really knew, so I wanted to say, “What? No way!”

Inoue: We didn’t have that kind of laughing scene, it was more serious. (Laughs) There’s an amazing revelation, isn’t there?

Yamadera: Anyway, I had very mixed feelings about Dessler this time.

Interviewer: Ms. Inoue, what is your impression of Starsha?

Inoue: I think she has a unique presence. She’s a wonderful character. But ever since I played her in 2199, I’ve been unable to shake the feeling of tension. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I always wondered, “Can I really play this role?” As the Queen of Stars, she has a lot of responsibilities, pains, and worries. I had to think about how much I could express Starsha’s deep feelings, and I felt close to her while playing the role. In that sense, the character made me feel like I was fighting against myself.

This time, I was able to talk about the past and new facts that were not depicted in 2199. I cried when I read the script for those episodes. I was thinking, “I’m going to play this? This is a very difficult event.” But I also felt a strong sense of responsibility to tell the story properly. It’s not a story that makes me happy, but I was very happy to be able to tell it.

Interviewer: Yamadera-san, what did you think of Inoue-san’s performance of Starsha?

Yamadera: I felt that Kikuko was the only one who could do it. She’s so perfect for the role that I feel like she’s been playing it for ages. The godliness, dignity, and fragility of the character is hard to express through acting. I think she has it in her, and it just comes out naturally.

Dessler has always been in love with Starsha. The presence that made me think so was expressed through Kikuko’s acting. It was really wonderful.

I recently realized that I care too much about the original series [Yamadera]

Interviewer: Please tell us about the lines in 2205 that left a strong impression on you.

Inoue: I think it’s the line that says, “It’s time to tell the truth.” It’s the first line that touches on various pasts and truths, so I wanted to say it with all my heart. When I acted out the many words that followed in Starsha’s scenes, I felt the sorrow and pain that I’ve experienced in my own life. That’s how I was able to relate to her in the scene where she talks about her past and the truth.

Yamadera: Dessler’s “Kodai, shoot me” scene, which is also shown in the trailer, is very impressive. It’s a famous line in the 1979 film The New Voyage, on which it’s based. Masato Ibu, who played Dessler at the time, also gave a great performance. Of course, I knew that, but I didn’t want to be too conscious of it.

In fact, I have recently realized that I care too much about the original series. When I take over a role played by a great actor, including in my other works, I tend to pay too much attention to his performance. I try to be too much like them because I tell myself, “You can’t compete with them anyway.”

But with Yamato, I took a new look at the people around me. I never compare Daisuke Ono’s performance to Kei Tomiyama’s, for example. I realized that I was bound by that. I used to watch the previous works too closely, but now I’m trying to control it. I still have respect for the original, but the setting and the story are renewed, since we’re trying to create a new Yamato.

Kenji Yasuda, who is directing this film, didn’t pass through the old Yamato, and I think he has created a wonderful work from a new perspective. So I wondered why I was so tied to the past.

Anyway, I tried to stay close to the script, the role, and my feelings at the time. The scene where Starsha tells a surprising fact is not in the original story. That’s why I thought that her words and the “shoot me” line would have a different weight.

Of course, there are people who say, “Dessler can only be played by Mr. Ibu,” but I don’t think it’s good to be overly concerned about it. I’m also a fan of his Dessler. But if I keep thinking about it, I’ll never catch up. So I stood in front of the mic this time and performed with all my heart.

Interviewer: In this story, it seems that both Dessler and Starsha are portrayed in a way that shows their “vulnerability” as people. When you read the script, what kind of awareness did you have about that?

Yamadera: Rather than being conscious of vulnerability, I felt that it was written that way in the script. Dessler snarls and gets angry. The human side of Dessler that was portrayed in 2202 is still there. This time, it’s confirmed why Dessler is the way he is. It becomes clear that he was not always a strong person.

The fact that the story delves into his past made it easier for me to express my emotions. Dessler was forced to put up the bluff that, “This is all for my Garmillan subjects,” so it’s no wonder that he’s staggered by facts that get revealed one after another. Dessler’s love for Starsha was also very sad, and it’s a story where his humanity comes out strongly, so I guess that’s why his “vulnerability” naturally came out.

Inoue: When I was playing Starsha, I thought that her strength as Iscandar’s queen and her vulnerability as a woman should definitely coexist. But in 2199, that vulnerability was never mentioned. This time, the script was written about the painful feelings of a woman. I think I was able to play the role naturally because it was depicted in the images.

Interviewer: I think both Dessler and Starsha’s emotions have changed a lot since you played them in 2199 and 2202. What were your thoughts on how to play these changes?

Yamadera: The events that happen are so shocking that they shake you up emotionally. What I considered in terms of emotional expression was that I had to keep a little bit of Dessler-ness in it somewhere. I didn’t want it to be like, “I don’t care anymore,” but I didn’t want to reveal everything, so I performed while putting the brakes on my heart. I didn’t release my emotions, so I was really tired afterward.

It would have been much easier to play the role if I let go of my emotions and shouted. So I had to put a lot of pressure on my abdomen while acting. I think some of my blood vessels must have broken. It was really difficult to find the right balance in the “Because it’s Dessler” part.

Interviewer: So it’s very difficult to play Dessler?

Yamadera: It’s really tiring. My body hurts even though I’m not talking much.

Inoue: You have always maintained your dignity, haven’t you? Even with the sad line and the emotional turmoil, you never wavered in the fact that you are Dessler. I was also moved as I listened.

Yamadera: Thank you very much.

Interviewer: Ms. Inoue, how did you perceive “change” in playing Starsha?

Inoue: It was difficult for me at the time, because Starsha expresses her pain and sorrow as a queen in relatively few words. This time, when I said, “The time has come to speak,” I felt more liberated. When you think about it, she says some terrible things. But in what she chooses to say and the truth she tells, there is a sense of determination. It’s full of thoughts like, “I’ve made many mistakes.” I also felt that Starsha had overcome a painful past in her own way.

Interviewer: Finally, what is the highlight of this chapter and what is your message to your fans?

Yamadera: You’ve already seen the first chapter of 2205 and are probably wondering what the story will be like in the second chapter. It’s titled Starsha, so I’m sure you’re wondering about Starsha and Dessler. But there will be a shocking revelation. I hope you will come to the theater with an open heart. Anyway, it’s a story about love.

Inoue: I think it’s a kind of culmination of the wonderful world of Space Battleship Yamato. The music, the beauty of the images, the power, and the love of the Yamato crew, a human drama with the love of Dessler and Starsha. I think it is a work full of excitement. I hope many people will enjoy it.

[END]


Koichi Yamadera and Kikuko Inoue:
The surprising Yamato 2205 and their sense of security

Published February 2 by Mantan Web (see the original post here)

Starsha, the second chapter of Yamato 2205, The New Voyage, will premiere on February 4. In the trailer, Starsha mumbles, “It’s time to tell the truth,” and the shocking truth about the relationship between Iscandar and Garmillas is revealed.

We had a chance to talk to Koichi Yamadera, who plays Dessler, the former leader of the Garmillas Empire, and Kikuko Inoue, who plays Starsha, the queen of Iscandar, about the recording of 2205 and their thoughts on the characters.

The surprising truth about Iscandar and Garmillas

Interviewer: The subtitle of the second chapter is Starsha.

Yamadera: I received the scripts one episode at a time, so I didn’t know the title of the whole chapter until much later. I felt it was right on the money! I was surprised by the truth about Iscandar and Garmillas told by Starsha.

Inoue: When I found out the title, I was surprised. So many secrets are told by Starsha. I was surprised and overwhelmed, but also moved. When we received the script, it was one episode at a time, so various facts were revealed as we progressed, and I was both surprised and convinced.

Interviewer: Did the director Kenji Yasuda and Harutoshi Fukui, who wrote the series and script, give you any explanations or notes?

Yamadera: Not to me at all.

Inoue: I’ve been left to my own devices without any worries.

Yamadera: I was told, “Dessler is like another main character now.” I didn’t know how it was going to work, because it was made during the Corona pandemic, so it was one person at a time. I didn’t have any conversations with my co-stars. What about you, Kikuko?

Inoue: Before and after the recording, Mr. Fukui gave me advice in the waiting room. I was feeling nervous and anxious, so it was very reassuring.

Yamadera: I didn’t have that…

Inoue: They’re very busy. Everyone trusts you.

Yamadera: That’s not true! There are many works that can be interpreted in many different ways, and Yamato is no different. I’m afraid there are things I don’t understand and people will say, “Huh? You don’t know that?” Dessler has always been someone who knew everything. But this time, I didn’t know anything about it. I’m afraid it will turn into, “What? Oh, no!”

Inoue: Say what!? It’s not that kind of comedy, is it? (Laughs)

The only person who can play Starsha is Kikuko!

Interviewer: What was your impression of Starsha when you played her?

Inoue: Starsha is a wonderful character. I’ve been feeling nervous ever since 2199. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was wondering if it was really OK for me to do it. She’s a character with a heavy responsibility, and I wondered how much I could express her deep feelings. It was a character that I had to fight with myself to play.

This time, I was able to talk about her amazing past and new facts. I cried when I read the script because it’s a very hard thing to do. I felt a sense of responsibility to tell everyone exactly what happened. I felt as if I had been purified by telling the truth. I was happy to be able to talk about it.

Yamadera: Kikuko is the only one who can play Starsha. She’s been playing the role for a long time. She is so perfect for it. I think it’s a very difficult role to play, because it’s divine, graceful, and fragile. Kikuko’s innate qualities come out naturally. Starsha has always been in love with Mamoru Kodai. Dessler has always had a love for Starsha. Kikuko expresses this through her acting.

Interviewer: Starsha’s line, “It’s time to tell the truth,” is also impressive.

Inoue: I felt that the time had finally come. After these words, various things about the past and the truth are told. I put all my heart into it. The following lines were also filled with the pain and sorrow I had felt in my own life. I was able to empathize with that, and I thought that all the suffering I had gone through might have been for this line. I am not the queen of the stars, but I was able to relate to the scene that tells the truth.

Interviewer: I’m also impressed by Dessler’s line “Kodai, shoot me” which is heard in the preview.

Yamadera: It’s a famous scene, and people talk about Masato Ibu’s great performance [in the original New Voyage]. I wanted to keep that in mind. Lately, I’ve been wondering if I’m the only one who cares so much about past works. When I take over a role from a great actor in another film, I reflect on whether I’m trying too hard to be like them.

I have a lot of respect for past works, and in the midst of trying to create a new Yamato I wondered, “Why am I tying myself down?” I’m a fan of Yamato and I love it, but that doesn’t mean I can catch up with the greats. I try to think that the best performance is the one I put my heart and soul into in front of a mic.

Interviewer: Dessler and Starsha in 2205 seem to have inner vulnerabilities.

Yamadera: They are awkward, trapped, and the stakes are very high. Dessler in 2205 has a humanity about him. It becomes clear that he was not a completely strong person. In 2202, we delved into his past, which made it easier to express his various emotions. Dessler’s humanity comes through in this story, so I was able to perform naturally.

Inoue: Starsha has both the strength of a queen and the vulnerability of a woman. However, in the past, she has never shown her vulnerabilities. This time, the script was filled with sadness, so I was able to play the role naturally.

He’s been amazing since Ranma 1/2!

Interviewer: What are your impressions of each other as actors?

Yamadera: Was it Ranma 1/2 where we first got together as series regulars?

Inoue: Yes, that’s right.

Interviewer: Ranma 1/2 started airing in 1989, so it was over 30 years ago.

Inoue: Yamadera-san, you’ve been amazing since Ranma 1/2!

Yamadera: I was terrible at it! I was praised for being a pig. But you were a finished product even then.

Inoue: That’s not true!

Yamadera: There was something about her that made me think that she was the only one who could do it. She’s got a great personality, too. She hasn’t changed at all. Do you ever get angry?

Inoue: Yes, I do! You’ve been leading the voice acting world for a long time. We just keep up with you. I can’t believe I’m playing Dessler and Starsha together with Yamadera-san! That’s how I feel. We have worked together in the past, but it’s been a long time since we’ve worked together in a series.

Yamadera: It’s been a while since we’ve worked together like this. I feel relieved when I hear your voice.

Interviewer: Finally, do you have a message for your fans?

Yamadera: There are some shocking facts that will be revealed, so please come to the theater with your heart open. Anyway, it’s a story of love.

Inoue: It’s a kind of arrival point of this wonderful world of Yamato. It’s a wonderful piece of integrated art with images, music, and so on. It’s filled with a lot of emotion. I hope many people will be moved by it.

[END]


Experience the best story of “love” and “emotion” in the series!
Yamato 2205 Chapter 2 interview with Koichi Yamadera (Abelt Dessler) and Kikuko Inoue (Starsha)!

Published February 3 by Akiba Souken (see the original post here)

Interview by Tomohisa Toyota

The second chapter of Yamato 2205 will finally open on February 4, 2022. Following the shocking events of the previous chapter, which ended with the disappearance of the planet Garmillas and the appearance of Dezarium, what will be the end of Yamato‘s new journey?  

With so many expectations and predictions flying around, we spoke with Koichi Yamadera and Kikuko Inoue, the voice actors who play Dessler and Starsha, two of the key characters in the work, to find out.

Interviewer: First of all, let’s look back at the first chapter. Please tell us your thoughts on the work and your roles.

Inoue: As for Starsha, she appeared in preparation for this second chapter. I remember how difficult it was to express various thoughts in a short line. As for the work as a whole, the passion and human drama of Yamato‘s crew really touched my heart.

Yamadera: While Yamato has a new crew including Ryusuke Domon, it also delves into Yabu, and that part left a deep impression on me. Dessler was faced with a number of unimaginable situations, starting with negotiations with the Bolar Federation. Then a more powerful enemy (Dezarium) appeared, Planet Garmillas disappeared, and the twin planet Iscandar was taken away. It was a lot of work (Laughs).

Interviewer: The scene where Dessler is trying to rescue Garmillans while the planet is collapsing was a great one.

Yamadera: That’s partly the influence of Susumu Kodai and the rest of Yamato‘s crew, and partly because of my encounter with Ranhart in 2202. Well, to be more precise, it was a reunion. I felt a strong connection to Ranhart, who is now deceased. His presence deepened my feelings for Yamato, and because he entrusted me with the future of Garmillas, I tried to save as many people as possible. Dessler’s appearance is something I will never forget.

Interviewer: How did you feel when you started working on the second chapter?

Yamadera: I found out later that the title of this chapter is Starsha. I felt like it was a perfect fit.

Inoue: I was also surprised when I found out. I was so shocked and surprised that I thought it might be a mistake. But it’s certainly the right name. This work is about Starsha telling various secrets. I felt a lot of pressure as a performer, but at the same time, I’m very honored.

Yamadera: As for the scripts, it was the same as in Chapter 1. I wasn’t told, “Here’s what’s going to happen throughout,” we received a script for each episode one by one as we moved forward.

Inoue: We recorded one episode at a time, feeling various things as we went.

Yamadera: I was thinking, “I wonder if this or that will happen, or if Dessler will come into play very much.” On top of that, my overall impression was about the relationship between Iscandar and Garmillas, and I was especially surprised to hear the truth from Starsha’s mouth.

Inoue: Especially in the second half, various mysteries are unraveled. That’s when I was surprised and said, “I didn’t know that!” but it was also very convincing.

Interviewer: This is the third remake, and each of them had a different director. Did you feel any change?

Yamadera: Yamato 2199 was directed by Yutaka Izubuchi, 2202 was directed by Nobuyoshi Habara, and this one is directed by Kenji Yasuda.

Inoue: In my case, it was 2199 and then 2202. I didn’t receive any specific guidance. I had the impression that all the directors watched over me warmly.

Yamadera: We had a sound director, Tomohiro Yoshida, who has been working on Yamato for a long time. The environment was such that if I didn’t understand something, I could ask him, but I needed him to listen to my interpretation of the performance first, and then proceed. Of course, when the director changes, the way of doing things will be different. But the atmosphere at the recording was the same as before.

Interviewer: I’d like to know if there were any special moments in the recording this time.

Inoue: Harutoshi Fukui, the scriptwriter, talked about a lot of things in between the recordings.

Yamadera: We recorded separately, but for me, there was nothing at all. I just read the script, understood it, felt it, and so on.

Inoue: I think it’s because in your case, they can leave it up to you with confidence. In my case, it was very encouraging to receive advice and a little information like, “This is how Starsha feels,” or “This is how she feels this time, but this is how it will be in the future.” I was nervous and anxious about playing Starsha after a long time, but I received encouraging words at the recording, like, “That was good.” Also, the music in the video I received beforehand made it easier for me to get emotionally involved.

Yamadera: Yes, there was music in some parts, wasn’t there?

Inoue: Because some of the music was firmly in place, it was great to be able to approach it on that basis.

Yamadera: When I was recording, no one said anything to me, so I wondered if it was okay. I asked, “Maybe it won’t change at all, but can I do it again?” There were places where I was allowed to start over. Usually, when I’m recording with a bunch of people, I can’t say, “I don’t like my line, so I’ll try again.” But this time, we had a fixed amount of time for each person, and I thought it would be fine if I stayed within that time limit. That’s how the recording went.

Inoue: Wow! So it’s like that for you. It’s true that normally, even if you feel like, “I want to add one more thing here,” you can’t say it without hesitation. But when you’re alone, you can do it.

Yamadera: That’s right. When everyone is there, I can’t make them wait. So I did them and said, “Please use the one you like.” It’s lonely recording by yourself, and it’s something that should be done with an ensemble. But in that sense, the current situation made it easier for me.

Interviewer: What do you think of Starsha and Dessler respectively?

Inoue: Starsha is a really great character. That’s why I haven’t been able to shake the tension that I’ve felt since 2199. As the queen of the stars, she has a heavy responsibility, suffering and worries. I wondered, “Is it OK for me to play her?” How much I could express the deep feelings she had? I had my own inner fight while staying close to the character. In particular, the moment in which she reveals new facts. I cried when I read the script. I felt a strong sense of responsibility to convey this information to everyone. I feel purified.

Yamadera: Kikuko is the only one who could do it. It is very difficult to express the dignity and fragility of Starsha. Whether or not Dessler was playing the role of a cold-hearted dictator for the sake of his subjects, he always had his love for Starsha, and Kikuko’s performance made me feel the same way. I felt again that it was a perfect match. But of all people, that Starsha…

Inoue: Yes, I was surprised…

Yamadera: There’s a scene where a furious Dessler raises a gun. If it hadn’t been for Kikuko, he might have shot her. (Laughs)

Interviewer: In the trailer, Starsha says. “It’s time to tell the truth, the truth of Garmillas’ blue blood.” What were your feelings around that?

Inoue: That line is the trigger to talk about past events and facts, so I put all my heart into it. When I think back now, all the sorrow and suffering that happened in the past, I thought of them as my own when I put them into words. As a voice actor, I’ve been involved in many works. There are times when I have to play a role without really understanding it, but this time, even though I’m not a star queen or anything, I feel like it was very close to my feelings.

Interviewer: On the other hand, in the trailer you can also hear the famous line, “Kodai, shoot me!” Please tell us about your thoughts on the recording.

Yamadera: When it comes to Dessler, Masato Ibu’s famous performance is still talked about today. I’m a great admirer of his acting. Recently, I realized that I am the only one who pays too much attention to the original work. To be honest, I’ve been feeling a little sorry for thinking that I had to sound like him. We wouldn’t compare Daisuke Ono’s Kodai to Kei Tomiyama, would we?

Inoue: That’s true.

Yamadera: At one point, I was like, “Why am I the only one who’s tied down like that?” Since 2199, the settings and the drawings are new. Of course, we respect the original work, but we’re creating a new Yamato. Director Yasuda didn’t experience the original Yamato. I think he was able to create a wonderful work because he saw it with completely new eyes. Moreover, the facts that Starsha tells this time are not in the original story. Because of that, the weight of the “Shoot me” line is completely different, too.

Interviewer: If you had to pick one highlight of the work, what would it be?

Yamadera: I’d like people to see the work itself in its entirety and feel a variety of things. Personally, I like Yabu’s monologue.

Inoue: Yeah, that’s something that really comes alive. There are so many highlights, it’s hard to pick just one. But if I had to, I hope you’ll pay attention to Dessler’s childhood.

Yamadera: With that said, the line that Starsha whispered in Abelt’s ear when he was a child will be revealed.

Inoue: There’s that too!

Yamadera: That’s something that young people might want to put on their phones. Or a stamp. (Laughs) Wouldn’t that be a must-have item for junior high and high school students?

Inoue: Wow, I’d be happy if that’s the case. (Laughs)

Interviewer: Finally I’d like to ask you to give a message to our readers.

Inoue: I think we can say that this work is an arrival point for Yamato, which has been weaving a magnificent worldview.

Yamadera: For those of you who have seen the first chapter, I’m sure you’re wondering what kind of story it will be this time. As I mentioned earlier, there will be some shocking revelations, especially regarding the relationship between Starsha and Dessler. Please come to the theater with an open heart.

Inoue: I think that visuals are a comprehensive art form, and Yamato has wonderful visual beauty, powerful battle scenes, and loving human drama with a variety of characters. It’s full of so many emotions.

Yamadera: A story of love. That’s all I can say.

Inoue: I would like you to experience this excitement. Thank you very much!

[END]


Yamato 2205 Interview with Koichi Yamadera and Kikuko Inoue:
Living life to the fullest and making mistakes at the same time

Published February 4 by Cinemas Plus (see the original post here)

Photo by Saki Amano / Text by Tatsuya Masuto

The Space Battleship Yamato series created a huge boom in 1970s Japan and laid the foundation for the rise of animation to the present day. The remake series for the 21st century has been produced as Yamato 2199, Yamato 2202, and Yamato 2205. The second chapter of Yamato 2205, Starsha, will be screened at 36 theaters nationwide for a limited time from February 4.

Writer Harutoshi Fukui has created a new interpretation of The New Voyage, which was broadcast on TV in 1979 and later released in theaters. Directed by Kenji Yasuda, who is from a generation that did not experienced the original version in real time, this film will bring unprecedented shock and excitement. It is not an exaggeration to say that this is the best work in the remake series!

The cast this time includes Koichi Yamadera as Dessler, the former leader of Garmillas and the star of the show, and Kikuko Inoue as Starsha, the Queen of Iscandar. We asked them to talk about the appeal of the new Yamato, which continues to fascinate fans both old and new with its innovative settings while respecting the original series.

The shocking relationship between Iscandar and Garmillas is revealed this time!

Yamadera: For those of you who have seen the first chapter, you may be wondering what kind of story this second chapter is going to be, especially with the subtitle Starsha attached. I’m sure you’re wondering about the relationship between Dessler and Starsha. I hope you will come to the theater with an open heart, because a shocking fact will be revealed. Anyway, it’s a “love story”!

Inoue: I’m going to have the same kind of comment as Yamadera-san…

Yamadera: Because this kind of thing is a win, as I said earlier.

Inoue: I’m out! (Laughs) But in this wonderful series called Space Battleship Yamato, I think this time we’re seeing a kind of arrival point. Film is a truly comprehensive art form, with great music, powerful images, and Yamato‘s crew, Dessler, Starsha, and everyone else. Everyone has love in their hearts. It’s a human drama filled with so many emotions. Even if you haven’t seen the first chapter, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, and I hope many people will be able to feel this emotion.

Yamadera: Well, if possible, I’d like you to watch the first chapter as well. (Laughs)

Inoue: That’s right! (Laughs) You can see it many ways now, so please watch the first chapter and then go to the theater!

Yamadera: On the other hand, it might be interesting to go back to it after the second chapter. (Laughs)

Inoue: Oh, that might be good too!

Yamadera: But I think this is going to be controversial. The relationship between Iscandar and Garmillas will finally be told, and I myself was astonished by the truth of it.

Inoue: I was also surprised at first when I was told that the subtitle of the second chapter was Starsha. I thought it was some kind of mistake. (Laughs) But I was surprised, overwhelmed, and moved by the many secrets that get revealed by Starsha.

Starsha who received Dessler’s advice to leave everything to him

Interviewer: Did the director Kenji Yasuda and Harutoshi Fukui give you any kind of notes for your performance?

Yamadera: As for me, there was none at all. (Laughs)

Inoue: So they just left it all to you? (Laughs)

Yamadera: After 2202, I asked Mr. Fukui, “What’s going to happen to Dessler now?” And he said, “He’ll be active, because he’s like a main character now.” Something like that. (Laughs) So I wasn’t told what parts of the original story would be used and what parts would change. I didn’t have any direction at all.

Also, since this work was made under the Corona pandemic, all the recordings were done one by one. I didn’t have the chance to talk with the other cast members. So I just performed as I interpreted it, and then asked the staff to listen to my interpretation.

Inoue: I wasn’t so much concerned with the timing of the recording. Mr. Fukui came out to the waiting room next to the studio booth before and afterward. I was able to chat with him there.

Yamadera: I didn’t go there. Was I abandoned? (Laughs)

Inoue: No, no, not at all. (Laughs) Mr. Fukui gave me advice about my work, and I was able to find hints in those conversations. In that sense, it was very reassuring. I was especially nervous and anxious about the role of Starsha. I needed a little encouragement to do it this time.

Yamadera: I didn’t know that…

Inoue: Yamadera-san, you’re so busy. (Laughs)

Yamadera: That’s not true! (Laughs) No, I did it as usual, and it was like, “Oh, it’s over.” It would be nice if I could meet the next voice actor to join the studio by chance. It was just like that. There was no explanation from anyone. In other words, it was like, “Look at the script and feel it!” I felt as if I was being told, “Everything is in the script!” In that kind of situation, it’s surprisingly difficult to ask questions, isn’t it?

Inoue: That’s true.

Yamadera: There are a lot of anime works that are difficult and can be interpreted in many different ways. I don’t think Yamato is a simple series, either.

Inoue: I can see why you’re a little afraid to ask questions.

Yamadera: What if the response is, “Huh? You don’t know that?” (Laughs)

Inoue: Oh yeah! (Laughs)

Yamadera: What could I do if they say, “What have you been doing all this time?” (Laughs)

Inoue: There’s always that kind of tension when recording. But you’ve done 2202, so I think the staff was like, “You already know.” On the other hand, it had been a long time for me. I hadn’t done Starsha since 2199, so I think they were very careful.

Yamadera: But there were a lot of things Dessler didn’t know before now. On the other hand, Starsha knew everything and said, “It’s time to tell the truth.” Until now, Dessler has been working hard without knowing anything! So when I was finally informed, it was like, “Whaaaaaa?” (Laughs)

Inoue: We don’t have that kind of funny scene, though. (Laughs)

Yamadera: No, but in my mind it was really like, “That can’t be true!” (Laughs)

Inoue: There’s a lot of truth to be revealed. When I first read it in the script, I was so shocked that I couldn’t stop crying. At the time, I thought Starsha was flawless. When I think about it now, I also feel the purity to admit that I was wrong. Starsha also admits her mistakes.

The story is lyrical, but everyone, friend or foe, is suffering. Captain Kodai is one of them. There are many scenes where people are trying their best to live, but they are also making mistakes. There are many scenes like that, and they really stirred my heart. It’s lyrical, but also thought-provoking.

The joy and difficulty of playing legendary characters

Interviewer: Can you tell us about the joys and difficulties of taking over a legendary work and character? In particular, Mr. Yamadera, you played Susumu Kodai in Yamato Resurrection, but your Dessler in the remake series doesn’t seem strange at all.

Yamadera: No, no, no. But I loved Dessler from the beginning of the original series. I never thought that I would be playing him. I was really happy when I got the offer, but later I thought, “I’ve taken on a hard job!”

Inoue: I was the same. I was also wondering, “I wonder if I it’s OK for me to be Starsha.” I was really worried about 2199. Yamato is a series that has always been supported by the thoughts of many people. In this series, Starsha is a character with great presence. On the other hand, as the queen of the stars, she has a lot of responsibilities, pains, and worries. I was trying to figure out how much I could express her deep feelings while staying close to her. I also tried to remember her own inner conflicts.

This time, I had to convey to everyone the shocking facts about her past that were not shown in 2199. I also felt a sense of responsibility to tell everyone properly. Actually, I myself felt purified by telling the truth. I found out a lot of things that I didn’t know about. I was like, “Starsha, I didn’t know that!” It’s not a pleasant past, but I was happy to be able to talk about it this time.

Yamadera: Now Kikuko is the only Starsha.

Inoue: No, that’s ridiculous.

Yamadera: It’s like you’ve been doing this for a long time.

Inoue: Please stop, it’s embarrassing. (Laughs)

Interviewer: From your Starsha, I think you were able to create a sense of vulnerability that could be seen in her dignified appearance.

Inoue: When I was playing Starsha, I felt both her strength as Queen Iscandar and her vulnerability as a woman. In 2199, that vulnerability was never mentioned. But this time, that part, the sad feelings of a woman, was described in the script. As Mr. Yamadera said earlier, I was able to play the role very naturally.

Yamadera: Starsha’s divinity, dignity, and fragility are not something that you can create if you try to play them. She’s doing it, though. (Laughs) What Kikuko has to begin with comes out naturally. Dessler, while playing the role of a cold-hearted dictator for his Garmillas subjects, has always had a love for Starsha. Kikuko’s performance expresses the presence that makes us think so. I think it’s really a perfect fit.

Inoue: No, no, no, no…

Yamadera: But I didn’t know she had such a past! (Laughs)

Inoue: Hey, you were surprised! (Laughs) When I said the line, “It’s time to tell the truth,” I felt like the time had finally come. And from those words, many things about the past and the truth were revealed. I played the role with all my heart.

When I think back on it now, all the sadness and pain I felt in my life were experiences that I put into Starsha’s words. I was able to empathize with her, even though I’m not the queen of the stars. (Laughs) Voice actors have a lot of work to do. “I don’t understand it, but I’m going to say it.” But in the scene where Starsha tells the truth, I was able to really relate to her feelings.

Even if the lines are the same as in the original, they have different meanings
this time

Interviewer: The trailer includes the famous line from the original series, “Kodai, shoot me!”

Yamadera: That’s a famous scene in the original work, and Masato Ibu’s great performance has been passed down from generation to generation. I’ve recently realized that I’m probably the only one who cares too much about the original. I don’t think anyone else cares as much about it. When I take over the role of a great actor in other works, I think people say things like, “It’s not going to be the same.”

Inoue: Yamadera-san, you’re so serious.

Yamadera: No, I think I’ve been trying too hard to sound like my predecessors. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Even in the remake series. For example, I never compare Daisuke Ono as Kodai to Kei Tomiyama in the original story.

Inoue: That’s true!

Yamadera: So why do we compare only our own roles? I wonder if that ties us down. I used to look at the original stories too much. But from now on, I’m not going to do that. For the remake series, we have a new staff and a new cast, and we’re trying to create a new Yamato. Director Yasuda, who is not from the Yamato generation, said, “Because I saw it with new eyes, I was able to make something wonderful.” And I agree with that.

And the truth that is told this time was not in the original story. So I think that the weight of the words “Shoot me” will naturally differ from the original. I myself have always wondered what Dessler’s feelings for Starsha were. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. In the original work, fans at the time often said, “Starsha has Mamoru Kodai!”

Inoue: That’s right. (Laughs)

Yamadera: But I was like, “Dessler loves Starsha, even though that guy is there!” (Laughs) But this time, Dessler has no mother’s love, his brother is dead, and he’s a lonely person. And yet, he never forgot his love for Starsha, until he was shocked by this revelation.

“So, what have I been thinking about all this time? “What has my pride meant?” After all these emotions welled up…it was unreasonable.

Interviewer: When Dessler said that line, I was convinced that the modern New Voyage had been successfully established. Anyway, this time, his vulnerability is expressed in an attractive way.

Yamadera: Thank you very much. For myself, rather than being particularly conscious of his vulnerability, the fact is that it was written in the script. He gets trapped and enraged. Dessler’s humanity was also portrayed in 2202, but this time, it has been proven.

In particular, thanks to the delving into Dessler’s past in 2202, it became clear to me that he was not a completely strong person. That made it easier for me to express my feelings this time. Dessler was forcing himself to put up a front for the sake of his Garmillan subjects. But because this story is more humanistic, I think I was able to play it naturally.

However, afterward, I saw a comment on the internet saying, “After all, only Mr. Ibu can be Dessler.” I thought, “You haven’t seen mine yet!” Then I was depressed again. (Laughs)

Inoue: (Laughs)

Yamadera: Well, I guess there’s no point in worrying about it. That’s how I feel these days. I’ve always been a fan of his, and if I’m too afraid of being compared to him, I’ll never be able to catch up. I’ve been working on Dessler for a long time, and it’s given me a lot of opportunities to show off my skills. But it’s not good if I can’t make it on my own and just suffer inside myself.

In fact, when I look at the finished product, I always wonder if I should have done something a little better. But then I can’t help but think that what I put my heart and soul into in front of the mic is the best. I’ve come to think that I have no choice but to do it in my own way.

Which character would you like to play if you were to remake it again?

Interviewer: Lastly, I think Space Battleship Yamato is a famous series that deserves to be produced again and again over time. If you could transcend time and space, which character would you like to play in the next remake?

Inoue: For me, it would have to be Starsha. Even if I’m reborn, I’d like to play her again.

Yamadera: It depends on the time period. In the near future, I’d like to do Dessler again. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it when I’m much older.

Inoue: I think you could do every character yourself, even the heavyweights of the Senate. Maybe even Starsha. (Laughs)

Yamadera: Could I do that? (Laughs) But I hope that the current remakes will reach a point where people in the future will say, “I can’t do this any better, so let’s not touch it.” Or if it’s remade after I’m dead, I’d be happy if the voice actor who played Dessler said, “Both Mr. Ibu and Yama-chan were good, so I’m feeling pressure.” (Laughs)

Inoue: That’s interesting! (Laughs)

Yamadera: On the other hand, maybe a young voice actor thirty years down the road will be told, “Yamadera is out, but Ibu will never be out. So please take your cues from Mr. Ibu.”

Inoue: No, um, Yamadera-san! (Laughs)

Yamadera: On the other hand, the guy who plays Dessler might say, “I wonder if I care too much…” (Laughs)

Inoue: Yamadera-san, you have a wild imagination. (Laughs)

[END]


Yamato 2205 is a love drama between Dessler and Starsha!
Special interview: Koichi Yamadera & Kikuko Inoue

Published February 9 by Animage Plus (see the original post here)

After a fierce battle against an unimaginable enemy, the shocking truth about Iscandar and Garmillas is revealed…! Yamato 2205 depicts The New Voyage of Yamato led by Captain Susumu Kodai. Following the first chapter, Take Off, which premiered in October 2021, the second chapter Starsha opened on February 4.

In this film, the big “mystery” about Iscandar and Garmillas from Yamato 2199 is revealed, and the drama between Dessler and Starsha becomes a major highlight of the story. Starsha and Dessler each have their own hidden feelings and choices to make after the truth is revealed.

We asked Kikuko Inoue, who plays Starsha, and Koichi Yamadera, who plays Abelt Dessler, to talk about the complex emotions expressed in the story.

An in-depth look at Dessler and Starsha

Interviewer: How did you feel when you heard that the subtitle for the second chapter is Starsha?

Yamadera: I felt like I had come to the right place. And when I read the script, I was astonished by the fact that Starsha told me about the real relationship between Iscandar and Garmillas.

Inoue: I was also surprised when I found out about the subtitle. I thought it was some kind of mistake. (Laughs) But it’s certainly not, and it’s true that Starsha tells a lot of secrets. I was also surprised by the truths that were revealed as I read the script, but many of the mysteries were solved, so I was also very satisfied. I felt like “Oh, so that’s what happened…”.

Interviewer: Ms. Inoue, you’ve been playing the role of Starsha since Yamato 2199. Looking back now, what kind of impression do you have of her?

Inoue: Starsha is a wonderful character. From 2199 to 2205, there was always a sense of tension that I couldn’t shake. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was wondering, “Is it all right for me to be doing this?” She’s a woman with a lot of heavy responsibility, pain and worries as the queen of stars. I’m not sure how well I could express her deep feelings. I felt like I was fighting with myself.

Interviewer: Mr. Yamadera, how do you feel about Starsha, the character played by Inoue?

Yamadera: I feel that Kikuko is the only one who can do it.

Inoue: No way…no way. (Laughs)

Yamadera: I even got the impression that you’ve been doing this for a long time. I felt a sense of the divine, a sense of dignity, and also a sense of fragility. I think this is very difficult to achieve. Even if you try to consciously act it out, I think it’s something that comes out naturally from what you already have.

I’m not sure if Dessler has been playing the role of a ruthless dictator for Garmillas’ subjects, or if he has ended up that way. On the other hand, he’s always had a love for Starsha. Her presence makes me think so. I feel like that was expressed in Kikuko’s performance.

Interviewer: Conversely, from your point of view, what is your impression of Dessler, the character played by Mr. Yamadera?

Inoue: From the first line of the first chapter, I was really taken in.

Yamadera: It was like a narrator’s introduction. (Laughs)

Inoue: No, no, it was great to hear! From there, the Dessler depicted in this story is not only strong and stern, I was even more attracted to him because I could see his inner side. If I describe him as “cool,” it may sound a little light. But really, Dessler is wonderful. If I say too much, it will be hard for me because of my feelings for Mamoru… (Laughs)

Yamadera: As Starsha. (Laughs)

Inoue: But for me personally, as a fan of Yamato, I thought Dessler was really cool. I’m sorry, it’s a flimsy expression.

Yamadera: No, thank you very much! I’m glad to hear it.

Interviewer: Mr. Yamadera, what was your impression of the role of Dessler this time?

Yamadera: I’m grateful for the many scenes they’ve created for me, but the events that happened one after another were just too shocking…

Inoue: (Laughs)

Yamadera: My honest impression is that I’m really exhausted from playing it. The first line in the first chapter is ironic when I look back on it after knowing the truth that will be revealed in the second chapter…

Inoue: Yes, it’s painful when you think about it like that, isn’t it?

Yamadera: But I was really happy to be able to play Dessler, because I was able to make him even better than the original story, thanks to those parts. I was really happy to play the role.

Thoughts on impressive lines of dialogue

Interviewer: In the trailer for the second chapter, I was impressed by Starsha’s line, “It’s time to tell the truth, the truth about the blue blood of Garmillas.”

Inoue: I felt like, “The time has finally come.” With those words as a starting point, a lot of things about the past and the truth are told. I played the role with all my heart. I cried when I read the script and the many words that followed. I thought, “I’m going to play this?” I felt a sense of responsibility to deliver this to everyone.

Interviewer: How did you feel when you actually performed it?

Inoue: When I think back on it now, I wonder if all the sorrow and pain that I’ve felt in my life was meant to be put into Starsha’s words. I was able to empathize with her so much. I’m not a star queen myself. (Laughs) And I felt purified by telling the truth. It’s not a “pleasant past” or a “happy truth,” but I was happy to be able to talk about it.

Interviewer: And Dessler has that line, “Kodai, shoot me!” which got fans worried. It was shown in the trailer.

Yamadera: That line is also famous in the original work, and Masato Ibu’s great performance has been passed down from generation to generation. Of course, I know it too. But I don’t want to be too conscious of it. Recently I asked myself, “I’m not the only one who cares too much about original works, am I?” It’s the same every time I take over for a great senior in another work. My worry is always, “I can’t compete with them anyway.”

Inoue: You’re so serious, Yamadera-san. (Laughs)

Yamadera: I realized that I’m too conscious of making it similar to the senior whose role I took over. Even when I was watching Yamato this time, I never compared Daisuke Ono (who plays Susumu Kodai) with Kei Tomiyama, in my mind.

Interviewer: Finally, do you have a message for your fans?

We have a new staff and a new script. Of course, I respect the original work, but I’m trying to make a new Yamato. In addition, this time, the relationship between Iscandar and Garmillas is told, which was not in the original story. And then, I think the “Shoot me” line has a different weight. That’s why I played the role by focusing on the script and the character’s feelings at that moment.

Yamadera: If you’ve seen the first chapter, I’m sure you’re wondering what the second chapter will be like. Especially this time, it has the subtitle Starsha. I’m sure you’re also wondering about Starsha and Dessler. A shocking fact will be revealed. I hope you will watch it with an open heart. Anyway, it’s a love story.

Inoue: In this chapter, you’ll see one of the milestones of the wonderful world of Yamato. There’s great music, powerful visuals, Dessler, Starsha, and the Yamato crew in a human drama filled with love. I hope that many people will experience the excitement of this film.


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