Original Article: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1482383611
Saito Soma (Takatsuki Tazuna in Hand Shakers)
Morohoshi Sumire (Akutagawa Koyori in Hand Shakers)
※This interview was conducted after the Advance Screening event but not published until after the rest of the road show.
Prioritizing life-sized boyishness
Q: First, can you tell us about the character you voiced, Takatsuki Tazuna?
Soma: Tazuna-kun looks like a cute kid on the outside, but on the inside he has a manly side to his personality. He doesn’t just cutely go with the flow; he has a strong conviction and a good protagonist aura. But in addition to that, he likes tinkering with machinery and gets lost in his own world when he touches a machine, which is cute. He might be similar to boys who like plastic models… that’s what enthusiastic boys are like *laughs*. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with making dirt balls, so voicing him feels nostalgic. *laughs*
Q: Is there anything you have to be careful about when voicing him?
Soma: He doesn’t try to show off too much. As a character, he has a cool side, but he’s not trying to be cool when he does those things; he’s simply tackling the events he faces in the way that’s natural for him. In order to bring out the life-sized boy named Takatsuki Tazuna, I prioritize his own nature and take care not to insert my own “hero” image.
Q: What’s your impression of Tazuna’s partner, Koyori?
Soma: Tazuna-kun has a younger sister. You’ll find out when you watch Episode 1 in January, but something happened with that sister in the past. It’s hinted that Koyori-chan resembles that sister, so Tazuna-kun thinks of her as someone special, not just an ordinary partner. They also have that unique circumstance where they have to keep holding hands. I think that the relationship between Tazuna-kun and Koyori-chan will become the essence of this series, so I hope you’ll pay attention to how things progress for them!
Q: If you were a teenager and fell into the same situation where you have to keep holding a girl’s hand, what would you do?
Soma: Let’s see… There’s a scene where Tazuna-kun and Koyori-chan go into the bath together, and I’m impressed he was able to go in *laughs*. It would’ve been absolutely impossible for me as a teenager *laughs*. I also don’t think I’d be able to keep holding hands like that in front of my younger sisters *laughs*. It would’ve been too embarrassing… But Tazuna-kun’s lucky that it’s Koyori-chan and not Makihara-sensei or someone *laughs*. When I think about what would happen if he had to keep holding hands with Makihara-sensei…
Q: That’s a scary thought… Now then, Episodes 1 to 4 have already been shown at the special pre-screenings. What are the highlights of Tazuna and Koyori’s interactions in the first four episodes?
Soma: Koyori-chan is a tough role to play… She can’t speak. But her voice actor, Morohoshi Sumire-san, makes incredible use of varied breathing to act her out. When Koyori-chan’s bond with Tazuna-kun grows, she experiences changes, and Morohoshi-san’s breathing changes as well. Morohoshi-san is amazing for being able to depict her that cutely with only breathing! Episode 4 is a great example, so please watch it. *laughs*
Q: What was the most memorable scene for you in Episode 1?
Soma: For the Episode 1 recording, the visuals were mostly complete, and they were really striking. The background art of Osaka where the series takes place and the individual movements of the gears during the battle scene made me impressed by how high quality the visuals were from the very beginning. Aside from the battle scene, I was also amazed by the stylish BGM. Also, this is a fine detail, but the background characters also had their own lines, and you can hear what they’re talking about if you listen closely. I think it’s fun, so please try it. You can feel how thorough all of the staff are in fleshing out this world.
Q: Nowadays, it’s rare for the animation to be complete at the time of recording. Does that make it easier to act?
Soma: Detailed visuals give you more information to work with in addition to what’s in the script, so in that sense, it’s easier.
Q: As mentioned earlier, this series takes place in Osaka. How has your experience in Osaka been?
Soma: I’ve been to Osaka before, but this is my second time coming here for an event. I haven’t been able to do much sightseeing, so I’d like to try doing the typical stuff. Going to restaurants with delicious skewers, eating snacks like takoyaki, and so on. I spotted Kani Douraku (a seafood restaurant chain) while I was commuting, but I didn’t get off at that stop, so *laughs*. Hand Shakers is going to start airing soon, so I hope I’ll have an opportunity to take my time exploring Osaka!
Q: Lastly, please give a message for the fans who are looking forward to the series.
Soma: A few PVs have been released and the characters have been revealed, so I think everyone has high expectations now. It’s an original work with an extremely intricate, unpredictable plot, so I hope you’ll look forward to it. I also hope you’ll be excited to see what adventures and developments await Tazuna-kun and Koyori-chan in their boy-meets-girl story. The beautiful visuals, intense battle scenes, and stylish music will surely make it a joy to watch every week, so please look forward to it! Thank you!