[Event] Hand Shakers Special Event ~It’s an Emergency! Everyone’s Become Hand Shakers!~

Date: 2017/7/9 @ 2:30pm, 6pm
Guests: Saito Soma, Morohoshi Sumire, Kayano Ai, Ishikawa Kaito, Kakuma Ai, OxT
Event Report: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1502084677

Saito-san came on stage first, greeting the audience energetically. Following him was Morohoshi-san, Kayano-san, Ishikawa-san, and Kakuma-san. For everyone besides Saito-san, it was their first time at a Hand Shakers event.

After they each introduced their characters, the Tazuna & Koyori’s Room corner began, where the five of them discuss the given theme.

The first talk theme was “your co-actors’ habits.” It was revealed that Kayano-san’s schedule conflicted with the recordings, so her lines were often recorded separately. She commented that today was the first time she was able to greet Morohoshi-san. Ishikawa-san said “You might find out each others’ habits by the end of today’s event!”

When Ishikawa-san was asked what his habit was, he gave a straight answer of “Whenever something happens, I go to Saito Soma for help.” Saito-san retorted with an embarrassed “Don’t ask me!”

The next theme was “things you find yourself doing.” Saito-san answered “going for walks,” and Ishikawa-san retorted with “Ew, that’s so plain…!” Apparently, Saito-san has a rule where he refuses to look at the GPS when he’s taking a walk. “The other day, I walked for around three hours, and my legs were so sore I thought I was going to die. I took a taxi home.”

Kayano-san asked “What do you think about when you’re walking?” and Saito-san’s answer was “Nothing.” Kayano-san spoke for the audience when she said “I shouldn’t have asked…”

Ishikawa-san remarked, “Something I find myself doing… would have to be acting,” and was met with voices of understanding. The corner ended on a clean note.

The next corner was Koyori-chan’s Guardian Certification Exam. This one involved finding out which of the cast members understood Koyori-chan the most. For the given topic, the cast would predict what answer Morohoshi-san would give, and the winner would receive a certificate of recognition as Koyori-chan’s guardian.

The topic was “What should Koyori learn next after cooking?” After the thinking time, Ishikawa-san’s answer was “singing,” because it’s the next step in expressing one’s feelings.

Next was Kayano-san’s answer, “indoor tanning.” Her reason was “Koyori-chan’s skin is too pale, so she looks a bit unhealthy. I think it’d be better if she had a summer tan.”

Saito-san’s answer was “Brazilian (Portuguese).” It was so unexpected that Morohoshi-san burst out laughing.

The answer to the question was Kayano-san’s “indoor tanning.” Even though they’d met for the first time today, Morohoshi-san and Kayano-san were in sync. Morohoshi-san was surprised that Kayano-san thought the same thing as her, and gave her a firm handshake, fitting for the series.

Naturally, Kayano-san was named Koyori-chan’s guardian and received the certificate.

Next was a game corner emceed by Kakuma-san: Hand Shaker Battle! In Wako. Kakuma-san got the audience hyped up by saying “Please forget the peaceful time we’ve had so far! It’s time to battle!”

In this corner, the cast was split into two teams and faced each other in three challenges. The teams were:

Tazuna Team: Saito Soma, Ishikawa Kaito
Koyori Team: Morohoshi Sumire, Kayano Ai

After the teams were announced, Kakuma-san asked “What do you think about when you hear Hand Shakers?” and Ishikawa-san answered “Handshakes…?”, to which Kakuma-san gave an enthusiastic “Yes!”

During the game, the team members would have their hands joined together with an elastic…! Saito-san and Ishikawa-san protested, but Kakuma-san forced them to obey.

The first challenge was Hand Sensor! The cast members would place their hands on top of a box and “sense” what was inside. They were given a time limit where they could ask the audience questions, and guess based on the reactions. They weren’t allowed to discuss among themselves and had to give their answers at the same time. The team would get 50 points for one person correct and 100 for both correct.

First up was the Tazuna team. The audience cheered as they tied their hands together. The subject they were given was “screwdriver.”

The pair asked various questions like “Is it food? Is it a machine? Is it round?” and the audience would clap for “yes” or shake their heads for “no.” Ishikawa-san asked “Do you have any intention of helping me win…?” and there was a roar of applause.

The final question was “Do you use it to fix machines?” Everyone was confident that they’d get it right, but Saito-san’s answer was “spanner” and Ishikawa-san’s answer was “wrench.” They came close, but sadly not close enough.

Next, the Koyori team’s subject was “parfait.” They narrowed down the questions faster than the Tazuna team, with questions like “Is it food? Is it sweet? Is it something I’d like?” After the question time, Morohoshi-san answered “parfait” and Kayano-san answered “ice cream.” They didn’t both get it right, but they secured 50 points.

The next battle was Jumbo Runner. Each person would wear a jumbo hand glove and carry a giant takoyaki ball from one end of the stage to the other. The teams would go at the same time, and whichever got there first would gain 100 points.

The Tazuna team was eager to make up for their previous loss, but were given a handicap requiring them to tie their feet together too. Saito-san reluctantly went to do it, but had a hard time managing it. Ishikawa-san retorted “Why are you so clumsy?!” without hesitation. The audience cheered again at this rare sight of the two.

When the race began, the Tazuna team got the head start. Just when you thought they’d reach the goal first, they had a fall! During this predictable state of affairs, the Koyori team won yet again.

The final match was Step Shaker. Each team was given three shakers with pedometers attached. They were given one minute to shake them all at the same time, and the resulting numbers would convert directly into points.

The Tazuna team made an intense display of their shaking, and for some reason you could hear their feet stomping. They used their entire bodies to shake the pedometers, while the Koyori team simply shook the pedometers smartly. Their strategy worked and they won, making them three for three.

After the battle, Saito-san and Ishikawa-san were drenched with sweat. Ishikawa-san seemed frustrated, saying “We’re sweating this much from all the effort we put in, and look where we ended up. Why did we shake the pedometers like that…”

Kayano-san was happy, saying “That was fun! It doesn’t feel like this is my first time meeting Morohoshi-san. The guardian certification must’ve been effective!”

After the game corner was the Hand Shakers Original Recitation Drama. It was a completely original story taking place after the events of the TV series. Ishikawa-san lamented having to do a recitation while out of breath, but performed perfectly when the drama began.

The story “Skygod Riverside” was about Tazuna and Koyori going to a summer festival. Koyori got lost in the crowd, a development resembling Episode 5 of the series. The two run into other characters as they look for each other.

The drama was a treat for fans, including things that weren’t in the TV series like a conversation between Koyori and Mayumi. What was most memorable was a scene where Mayumi gropes Riri’s chest. Kakuma-san tugged her script up and down as she acted, and Kayano-san shrieked in time to the movements.

There was also a scene where Morohoshi-san and Kakuma-san said their lines in Makihara and Nagaoka’s tone of voices respectively, sending the audience into bouts of laughter.

Lastly, the cast members and the audience concluded the story together with an “Osaka clap” to fit the series’ setting. Ishikawa-san gave simple instructions, and it was a success.

For the live performance corner, OxT’s Oishi Masayoshi and [email protected] came on stage. When the music began, the audience stood up and waved their penlights. A guitar battle broke out in the middle of the opening theme, driving the audience wild.

Finally, the voice actors came back on stage. A stage play adaptation of the series was announced too.

Ishikawa-san: “This series is about partners, so we can’t say it’s over when our partners aren’t here. For me it’d be Uesaka Sumire-san, but I want to have an event with everyone together. Please continue to support the series.”

Kayano-san: “I want to talk with all of the Hand Shakers next time. It’d also be fun to sing my character song duet with Masaru (CV: Murase Ayumu)!”

Saito-san: “I’m dying to come on stage as a team again! Thank you for today!”

[Interview] Seiyuu Men vol.5 – Saito Soma – Hand Shakers

Released: 2016/12/16

Saito Soma (Takatsuki Tazuna in Hand Shakers)

Morohoshi Sumire (Akutagawa Koyori in Hand Shakers)
Sugita Tomokazu (Hibiki in Hand Shakers)
Ishikawa Kaito (Hayate in Hand Shakers)

A series that reaches the heart

Q: First, please tell us your impression of the work.

When I first took the audition, there wasn’t any character art or supporting material provided, and the script they had us read was relatively short. It was an unusual audition where they asked us to directly translate the image we got from reading the text to our acting. My approach was to do it the way I felt was interesting.

However, at the time of the audition, I didn’t know that the show was going to be about partners, or that the story would involve joining hands with Koyori to fight. And in actuality, it felt like many aspects of the work would change as the big picture became clearer and I discussed it with the other voice actors. So, when I was informed that I’d received the role after the audition, I was both happy and excited to see who the rest of the cast was.

Q: What kind of character do you think Tazuna is?

Tazuna likes tinkering with machines, and gets absorbed in it to the point where he forgets his surroundings. When I was in elementary school, I’d also get absorbed in arts and crafts, and break time would be over before I knew it… That happened a lot, so I hoped to be able to transfer that devotion to my role.

Q: What do you pay attention to when costarring with Morohoshi Sumire-san, who voices Tazuna’s partner Koyori?

I can’t say too much yet, but Koyori is a girl with a lot on her shoulders. She also doesn’t have the appearance of a normal girl her age, and she has a mysterious aura. On that note, Tazuna is a normal boy, in a good way *laughs*. For example, he has a pure side and gets nervous around girls.

When I’m recording with Morohoshi-san, she’s extremely skilled at building the atmosphere between the two characters. This time, there was a part where Tazuna and Koyori react to something at the same time, and I was amazed at how perfectly it went. I’m always noticing Morohoshi-san’s detailed skillfulness.

But, since my character Tazuna is the one leading Koyori along, I pay the most attention to how he perceives Koyori.

Q: What was challenging during the recording?

First, for the Episode 1 recording, the visuals were already complete, and I was stunned by the unique presentation. Especially for the long, uninterrupted cuts in the battle scene, we weren’t sure how much we should leave to the animation and where we should insert our own breaths… We discussed those kinds of things in fine detail with the staff.

This series also has unique elocution. I was constantly contemplating how to digest the essence of what the director put in the script and reflect it onto my role in a way that felt natural. Of course, Hand Shakers has its own style, so I wanted to preserve the expressions that would be hooks for the viewers, while using a natural enunciation for the parts I wanted to be heard smoothly. When lines have distinct elocution, slight changes in tone or pronunciation can change the nuance greatly, so that was a challenge.

Q: It sounds like it’d be difficult to get the balance right. What kinds of things did the sound director say?

For Episode 1’s recording, I received direction regarding the work and the character’s nature. That said, during the audition and the test run, I took a natural approach to Tazuna’s voice, and was told by the directors that they wanted to make this series a boy-meets-girl story. He certainly does have a cute appearance, so I switched to a more young-sounding voice. However, I wanted to portray him as a young man with a surprisingly strong conviction, rather than a cute and timid boy.

Q: What were the recording sessions like?

Tazuna isn’t the type of character that I can freely play around with, which isn’t a bad thing, but the other cast members ad-lib like crazy *laughs*. Sugita Tomokazu-san and Ishikawa Kaito-kun went particularly off the rails, and just listening to them almost made me laugh out loud. It felt like the actors were further developing the characters through ad libs, and it was truly interesting to think about how I would’ve transformed the characters if it were me in their place.

Q: In this series, each duo has their own characteristics. Were there any moments during the recording where you felt unique characteristics from the pairings?

The pair that Tazuna and Koyori fight first had me wondering, “What are these two normally like?” *laughs* Please look forward to seeing it when the show airs.

I also thought it was interesting how even though each pair’s members are involved with each other in both the real world and the fighting world, they don’t really declare themselves friends or lovers. That means that when they say they “like” each other, there’s different ways of interpreting that, and I think that makes it fun for the viewers to figure out.

Also, direction-wise, there’s a scene where a character is throwing a tantrum, then suddenly in the next cut they’re pulling a tarot card with a super serious face *laughs*. I think a lot of viewers enjoy that kind of scene, so it’ll be a success if they’re charmed by the show’s eccentricities.

Q: In that sense, it tests the voice cast’s capability.

Some of us are leveraging that distinctive direction in our acting, while others are blending their acting into the work. As a result, the recording sessions are a show of the actors’ natures. Each voice actor has their own approach to their role, and it’s been educational.

Q: The characters in the show are fighting to make their wish come true. Do you have a wish you want to be granted right now?

The Hand Shakers use their emotions to fight, but for us, I think what we need in order to keep fighting is good health *laughs*. In order to put on our best performance at recordings, it’s important to manage our health, and lately I’ve been doing various things to reexamine my physical condition. But at any rate, my body is stiff. So, if I had to make a wish… I’d want to be able to touch my toes.

Q: *laughs* Maintaining your health is difficult because you have to pay attention to all sorts of little things.

I find myself researching things like… how healthy intestines secrete more serotonin *laughs*. But what matters is putting it into practice daily, rather than theoretical knowledge. For now, I’m trying my best on my own instead of relying on God. *laughs*

Q: What do you place importance on when acting in this series?

It’s not easy, but I think it’d be “living honestly.” It’s something I value both as Tazuna and as Saito Soma. Also, my trust and gratitude towards my co-actors and the staff. Working together with the director and the rest of the staff to create the series, and fighting together with my co-actors on the recording battleground without showing off. When acting, there are times when things will get heated, but it’s always important to strike a balance between instinct and reason, because going 100% in either direction isn’t going to work.

Q: What would you like people to notice in the series?

The highlight would have to be the stunning visuals, not just in the battle scenes but also in the recreated Osaka scenery. It’s all gorgeous, and I think people watching the show for the first time will sense its allure from there. The unfolding story and the characters have strong personality as well. It might not appeal to everyone, though. That said, for those it does strike a chord with, I think it’ll reach their heart, so please see Tazuna and Koyori-chan’s story through to the end with your own eyes.