Date: 2016/11/13 @ 1:30pm
Guest: Saito Soma
Event Report: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1481187680
This event was an advance screening of Episodes 1-4, but Soma’s talk corner was in between Episode 2 and 3.
Soma had little experience with events in Osaka, and hadn’t done much sightseeing there. For this event, he arrived in Osaka the day before, and he said “Yesterday I ate kushikatsu, without double dipping!” (Not double dipping kushikatsu is an informal rule in Osaka.)
Naturally, this was Soma’s first time at a Nanba Parks Cinema event, and he was surprised that the front row of the audience was basically within arm’s reach. “Can you see the screen properly from there? Is it okay?”
Soma asked what everyone thought of the first two episodes, and applause echoes throughout the theatre. He expressed his thanks and went on to give a passionate speech about the unique camerawork, how Episode 1’s animation was mostly complete at the time of recording, the impact of the battle scenes, and the stylish music.
Regarding the protagonist who he voices, Tazuna, he said “If my life suddenly changed and I had to fight and protect Koyori-chan, I wouldn’t be able to analyze the situation calmly like he does.” Regarding the pressure he feels voicing the protagonist, he said “I think it’s just a matter of directly incorporating what I’m feeling.” He doesn’t feel pressure, and instead acts energetically.
Next is the character introduction using the screen. Soma was standing in the middle of the stage, so he started moving to the side, saying “I’ll be moving~” and waving his hand. The audience exclaimed “Cute~!” “What an angel!” and Soma gave an embarrassed “Thank you.” The announcer also whispered “Isn’t he cute?” and the audience laughed.
The character introduction began with the protagonist, Tazuna. When asked for his impression of the character design, Soma said “There were no visuals during the audition, so I imagined what he’d look like from the lines and acted naturally. When I saw the completed art afterwards, I thought ‘Isn’t he cute?'” with a laugh. “He’s not just cute though, he’s also boyish in a good way, and I make sure to express that youthfulness.”
Tazuna has a habit of using the word “mesh,” and Soma is asked “What has meshed for you lately?” He answered “I finally finished all my dental work, and my teeth mesh really well now! Leave the meat to me!”
As for the teamwork between the voice actors, he said “Rather than the characters and actors meshing together, it’s more like everyone is entering their own world.” He also did an imitation of Morikubo Showtaro’s character Makihara, immediately filling the theatre with laughter.
When introducing the heroine Koyori, Soma said “She loses life force when she’s not holding hands with Tazuna. But if I were Tazuna, as a teenager I’d definitely be way too nervous to hold a girl’s hand while sleeping, bathing, and using the toilet” with an embarrassed laugh.
When introducing the shumai-loving Makihara, the topic returned to Osaka cuisine. “When I was eating kushikatsu last night, I also ate one with mozzarella cheese, and it was reaaaaaally stretchy! I couldn’t bite it off at all.” Without missing a beat, the announcer said “So you’re saying… it didn’t mesh” and everyone laughed.
The talk corner finally drew to an end. Soma said “I think it’s rare to get the opportunity to watch the first four episodes in advance, and I hope you’ll look forward to the rest of the show. There’s still a while before it goes on air, but I hope you’ll enjoy revisiting the world of Hand Shakers. Thank you!” and exited the stage, maintaining his fresh smile the whole way.
After Episodes 3 and 4 were shown, the announcer came back with some surprise announcements: the anime’s air date, the theme song’s artist and release date, and a hotel collaboration.