[Event] Qualidea Code Special Event ~Tri-City Combined School Festival~

Date: 2017/1/15 @ 2:30pm, 5:30pm
Guests: Saito Soma, Ishikawa Yui, Yuki Aoi, Fukuhara Ayaka, Uchida Yuma, Anzai Chika
Event Report: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1486799058

※The event report and photos are from the evening session.

After introductions, the first corner was the “History Club’s Research Findings,” where the voice actors presented their partners’ best scenes. Soma went first, and he selected the scene from the final episode, where Canaria falls from the crumbling bridge after the building collapses. He picked it because her screaming was cute, and said “I guess this is what moe is.”

Next was Yuishi, and she selected the scene from Episode 9 where Ichiya screams, “There’s only one person who could do this… KASUMIIIIIIIII!” But apparently she’d picked the same one for the daytime session, so the cast and the audience all burst out laughing because that really must’ve been the one best Ichiya scene.

Moving on to the Kanagawa team, Ao-chan revealed her pick for Hotaru. Apparently she’d written Hotaru’s “Utsuhami” move, so the video footage showed all the scenes of her using it throughout the show. Ao-chan had been imagining the one from Episode 1, because she liked the view of her butt in that scene.

For Maihime, Fuurin chose the scene from the final episode when she found out that the boss unknown they’d been fighting was Yuunami Airi. She referenced Hime’s strength and wisdom upon making the realization, overcoming the pain, and understanding what she should do next. Ao-chan was really happy that her partner understood her so well.

Next was the Chiba team. For Kasumi, Chikape chose the scene where he confronts Ookuni Mahiru in Episode 8. She liked how he dealt the final blow so that Asuha wouldn’t get her hands dirty. She also talked about how Kasumi had a lot more lines starting from there, and Yuma struggled with the increased word count.

Lastly, Yuma selected a scene of the Chigusa siblings chatting at home. He said “Asuha-chan’s a real cutie” like an uncle would, but he also said he liked this scene because you can see how close the siblings are.

Next was the “Theatre Club’s Reading Drama.” The script was specially written by the three authors of the original novels, and was about a school festival.

The scenes included:

  • Ichiya being thrown off by Canaria innocently asking, “I have an important question… Who does Icchan like?”
  • Conversations between Ichiya and Kasumi where, as usual, you couldn’t tell if they got along or not

With the Kanagawa team constantly entering their own little world, the Chigusa team flirting with each other, and Ichiya at Canaria’s mercy, all of the characters were playing the funny role, and it was an endless string of laughter.

When they were discussing the after-party’s background music, Kasumi started humming Canaria’s song, which leads to an impromptu musical because Asuha wants to hear him sing.

Kasumi (CV: Yuma) passionately sang that famous song about “wanting wings” while retaining the atmosphere of Canaria’s song. Everyone in the room was charmed by his singing voice.

The drama ended with the same words as the anime’s final scene: “See you.” “Later.”

The next corner was “Pair vs Pair Club Activity Challenges,” where the cast competed to win a wonderful prize. The first challenge was the “Pantomime Club Challenge,” where each team competed in a gesture game.

The Chiba team went first, with Yuma as the gesturer and Chikape as the guesser. He acted out Asuha showing up to save her brother from Ookuni, and Chikape barely guessed it within the time limit.

Next was the Kanagawa team, with Fuurin as the gesturer and Ao-chan as the guesser. The topic was Maihime splitting the Aqua Line in half, but it was a close struggle. Ao-chan figured out that she was splitting something in half, but couldn’t get the Aqua Line part, so they sadly did not complete the challenge.

Lastly was the Tokyo team. Their topic was hidden from the audience as well, so the audience joined Yuishi in guessing the answer. The topic was from the final episode, when Ichiya saves Canaria from the collapsing building, and Yuishi easily guessed it right.

The teams complained that there was too much variance in difficulty between the topics, so to be fair, they were all given 5 points.

Next was the “Broadcasting Club Challenge,” where they did a corner from the show’s radio, South Kanto Tri-City Defense Force Broadcasting Club. They had to eat two types of ham and guess which one was more expensive.

All of them chose B, but the answer was actually A. The fact that all of them got it wrong made for a great punchline.

Since it was a three-way tie, the final game would determine the winner. It was the “Volleyball Club Challenge,” where each team served soft beach balls into the audience, trying to get the most distance. The team members took turns as the tosser and the server, and whoever caught the beach balls could keep them as a present.

Soma was the winner, so the Tokyo team received 10 points.

With 15 points total, the Tokyo team was the winner, receiving a pair of 5000-yen gift cards for Asakusa Imahan, a wagyu beef producer. There was also a prize raffle for the audience.

Bonus: Group photo from Twitter

Bonus: Photo from Ishikawa Yui’s blog

[Event] Qualidea Code Blu-ray/DVD Vol.1 Release Event [Tokyo]

Date: 2016/10/16 @ 2pm
Guests: Saito Soma, Ishikawa Yui, Sagara Sou (author, surprise guest)
Event Report Sourced: https://ameblo.jp/hopt-ag/entry-12211030939.html

Qualidea Talk Corner

  • Impressions now that the anime is over?

Soma: The audition felt like it was a long time ago, but once the recordings began, it went by in a flash. The authors didn’t tell us what was going to happen in the story, so I was in suspense until the very end. I didn’t know when my character was going to disappear. *laughs*

Sagara: The character count went down with each episode, and at Episode 8 the recording studio was very sparse. *laughs*

Yuishi: Canaria disappeared in the middle, but I’m glad she came back. I think she was the ultimate airhead until the end, though. Canaria is different from the other characters I’ve voiced, and at first I was going to audition for Hime, but when I saw that Canaria’s ability involved singing, I decided to try for her since I like to sing too.

Soma: I was considering auditioning for Kasumi as well.

  • What did Sagara-sensei think of their voice acting?

Sagara: Ichiya was fine as-is. As for Canaria, she seemed to struggle with expressing her airheadedness at first.

Sagara: After the recording, we all went to a Qualidea collab cafe and drew in notebooks together.

Yuishi: We talked about how Soma-kun looks like an art college student.

  • Did your impression change after the anime aired?

Soma: Ichiya was calling people incompetent left and right at the start, but in the end, he was being manipulated for the longest.

Sagara: Suzaku is the character with the most human reactions.

Soma: He became better friends with Kasumi midway, which I was happy for because there weren’t any characters he could have a proper conversation with besides Canaria.

Yuishi: On the other hand, I felt bad for Canaria, because in the last episode everyone else was paired up (Ichiya + Kasumi, Hime + Hotaru, Asuha + Aoi) except for her.

Sagara: Canaria belongs to everyone *laughs*

Yuishi: There’s a year in between the novel and the anime, so Canaria developed during that time. I think that’s why she was a serious, older sister type at the beginning of the anime. Although she immediately became airheaded *laughs*

Sagara: Yeah, Canaria might’ve had the biggest personality change between the novel and the anime.

Soma: The fact that she’s always smiling didn’t change, though. I’d want to be told that too (“When you’re in trouble, smile!”).

Sagara: Canaria can live without Suzaku, but Suzaku can’t live without Canaria. I think that by saving Suzaku, she also saved herself.

Yuishi: Ichiya has a lot of scenes where he’s struggling, but that makes you care about him more. I thought that he and Canaria supplemented each other.

Sagara: I’m glad that you both understood my intentions for the characters.

  • We have a sample of the Vol.2 Blu-ray here, that goes on sale this month. It includes a novel written by Sagara Sou-sensei.

Sagara: Canaria is the main character. Actually, she’s there the whole time.

Soma: Is Ichiya there the whole time?


Soma: Huh?

Sagara: Look forward to it *laughs*

  • Which scene do you want people to watch the most?

Soma: The scene where Ichiya pushes Kasumi against the wall. Also, Canaria’s singing.

Yuishi: The conversation between the adults. When you’ve seen the last episode and go back to see what they said at the start, it all links together. I also like the scene where the adults hold hands.

Trinity Challenge Corner

  • The three team up to play games, and they win a prize if they get a perfect score.
  • The first game was “God Tasting,” where they eat variants of an item and guess which is more expensive. The topic was bananas, where the cheap one was 60 yen and the expensive one was 700 yen. All of them got it right, and apparently the expensive one was sweeter.
  • The next game was “Atomic Draw,” where two of them draw the topic together and the other one guesses.
    • The first topic was Tokyo Tower drawn by Soma and Sagara-sensei, but Yuishi guessed wrong (rocket).
    • The second topic was sumo wrestling drawn by Soma and Yuishi, which Sagara-sensei guessed correctly.
    • The third topic was Halloween drawn by Yuishi and Sagara-sensei, which Soma guessed correctly.
  • The third game was “Prestigious Hands,” where they take turns putting their hands inside a box and guessing what’s inside. The answer was a chick-shaped cake, which they guessed correctly.
  • Since they performed well at the games, they qualified for the prize (to be received after the event).
  • The person who wrote the event report commented that Soma seemed to be taking the audience in the back seats into consideration, because he suggested the cast stand up to play, and held the items up as high as he could.

  • Lastly was the gift corner, where an autographed poster was given away by raffle.

[Interview] Animate Times – Qualidea Code – Saito Soma x Uchida Yuma

Published: 2016/9/10

Saito Soma (Ichiya Suzaku in Qualidea Code)
Uchida Yuma (Chigusa Kasumi in Qualidea Code)

Noto Mamiko (Yuunami Airi in Qualidea Code)

“In the end, the only one who has normal conversations with Suzaku is Kasumi *laughs*”

Q: Please introduce your characters.

Soma: Suzaku Ichiya is the current head of Tokyo. He’s the strongest person in Tokyo, but he’s also prideful, arrogant, and unconsciously takes on an aggressive attitude. He’s not aware of it himself, though *laughs*. The word “cool” is often used in his character descriptions, but I’d say he’s more of a hot-blooded guy. He gives the impression of having a fierce passion. Also, he generally only talks to his second-in-command Canaria as well as Chiba City’s Chigusa Kasumi. *laughs*

Q: Indeed!

Soma: The three authors told me directly, “Suzaku generally only talks to these two.” Canaria’s a bit of an oddball herself, so in the end, the only one who has normal conversations with him is Kasumi. *laughs*

Q: His chuuni lines stand out, huh?

Soma: He’s the typical chuunibyou. He even thinks it’s cool to give his abilities a second name. *laughs*

Q: That showed right from the start, in Episode 1. Did you receive any specific instructions?

Soma: No, it was pretty much as I thought. Suzaku has a rebellious side, but on the inside, he’s true to his impulses. In future plot developments, he has the widest range of emotions out of all of the characters, so I’m following his emotions rather closely. Since it’s only Episode 1, you’d expect to need more time to develop each character, but Suzaku will take a while…

Yuma: (The author) Sagara-san said “With a smile!” *laughs*

Soma: I really can’t get a read on him *laughs*. He said “That was the best Suzaku I imagined!” and I didn’t know what that was supposed to mean. *laughs*

Q: Were you aware of how he ended up with that personality?

Soma: The novel was a separate thing, so I wasn’t keen on referencing all of it, but when I read the first volume, Suzaku was quite different from how he was in the anime’s first episode. The novels take place before the anime, and back then he was really direct. His unawareness was the same, but he’d say things like “I love this world” out loud, and he wasn’t comfortable with chuunibyou naming. Then, at the end of Volume 2 which came out recently, you find out what happened to him to cause that change. But at the time of Episode 1’s recording, I honestly didn’t do any advance planning.

Q: What about Uchida-san’s character?

Yuma: Chigusa Kasumi is an older brother, but he has poor communication *laughs*. He only talks to his younger sister (Chigusa Asuha) and sometimes Suzaku, and he ignores pretty much everyone else. But, he has the most common sense out of all of them. Most of the city leaders are the pushy type, but he provides the normal perspective, albeit not out loud.

Soma: He has normal values, like how he’s repulsed by chuunibyou.

Yuma: Yeah *laughs*. He’ll say out loud, “That’s weird!” Their world is crumbling and is quite different from our modern society, but his views are the most similar to ours. Also, he generally doesn’t communicate, or rather, he’s given up on trying. It means that the others can’t tell what he’s thinking, but I think he’s actually quite considerate of them.

Q: Did you struggle with anything on the acting side?

Yuma: It was full of struggles *laughs*. First off, right off the bat, the author Watari-sensei told me “Don’t trust the script” *laughs*. He meant “be natural,” but the characters’ had such strong personalities that it was hard to get the right sense of distance. Even if Suzaku had a loud outburst, Kasumi would mutter “No, I…” under his breath.

Soma: It was a simple matter of volume.

Yuma: Yeah! Our volumes were completely different *laughs*. Even in Episode 1, when Kasumi talks after Suzaku, the “natural” way results in a contrast that makes you go “Huh?! Did he say something?” The character is poor at communication to begin with, so it was difficult to grasp the distance between him and the others. He also thinks it’s uncool to show his emotions, so it was difficult to balance talking to the others without showing emotion. Even now, I’m still pondering how much emotion to show and how much to react.

Q: Are you a worrier, Uchida-san?

Yuma: I try not to, but once I get caught in the trap, I can’t get out *strained laugh*. And that did happen this time *laughs*. But as of late, I get the feeling that I’ve gotten closer to the right balance for Kasumi.

“Personally, I want Free Gravity!”

Q: What do you think of each other’s special ability (World)?

Yuma: Ability…

Soma: Ah, Vampire Bat? (The alternate name Suzaku gave to Kasumi’s World)

Yuma: Stop that! *laughs*

Soma: In Episode 2, Suzaku wants to give everyone’s abilities names like that, but Kasumi retorts saying “Don’t tell me you give everyone one of those,” and I thought, “This world has retorts in it!” *laughs* It was pretty crazy of Suzaku to respond with, “Yeah, problem?” though.

Yuma: Yeah, he didn’t even hesitate. *laughs*

Soma: This is completely unrelated, but you know the manga Chihayafuru? It has a character named Suou Hisashi who has incredibly perceptive hearing, but since he hears people’s voices so well, he’s really soft-spoken. I thought Kasumi had the same issue.

Yuma: Oh! *laughs*

Soma: Being able to identify an object and its location through sound reverberations is definitely a support ability though.

Yuma: Totally. In practice he does take shots, but he doesn’t have any combat ability.

Soma: Indeed.

Yuma: That’s his limitation, but he’s aware of that, so he doesn’t fight on the front lines. Since he’s so aware of himself, he doesn’t push himself past his limits.

Q: But, having such good hearing is a powerful weapon in its own way.

Yuma: Being able to hear only tells you “The enemy’s coming!” and nothing else, so he can’t do anything! Although, in Episode 1, he was running fast enough to keep up with the flying Suzaku, right?

Soma: Yeah! That scene was really funny *laughs*. Suzaku was bringing Canaria and two other students in the air with him, but Kasumi was running on the ground by himself *laughs*.

Yuma: Yeah yeah! I thought,”You’re surprisingly fit!” *laughs*

Soma: He was the only one being left behind. *laughs*

Yuma: Since he’s part of the Chiba force. He still manages to help out though, so I think he was given the bare minimum ability. Personally, I want Free Gravity (Suzaku’s World, the ability to control gravity).

Soma: Same.

Yuma: He can fly in the sky.

Soma: I’ve used Free Gravity in my dreams three times since we began recording for this show.

Yuma: *laughs* You did, huh?

Soma: In the world of Qualidea, the ability to fly in the sky is incredibly important, and in the novel they often talk about how there are people who have two Worlds, who are called Duals. If one of them is the ability to fly, then they’re basically a super elite. But, Suzaku doesn’t have the ability to fly. It’s just that he can use his ability to move through the sky. That really has the allure of a light novel or manga protagonist—using knowledge and wit to strengthen your own abilities.

Yuma: Yeah.

Soma: So when I watched Episode 1, I thought he was really acting like a protagonist.

Yuma: Yeah, he was! At first when we were recording, everyone was like, “What’s with this guy?” But when the anime was completed, they were like “Oh, he really is a protagonist!” *laughs* It was moving, right?

Soma: Animation and sound really are important. *laughs*

Yuma: They are. When you’re only looking at his personality, it’s… yeah.

Soma: Yeah, it really did make you wonder what he was supposed to be. And at the drinking party after Episode 1, Sagara-san said, “Well, your good impression of Suzaku is only going to deteriorate from here,” and I was like, “What?! He can get worse?!”

“It doesn’t make them uncomfortable. That’s how male friendships change.”

Q: I’m sure he’ll improve… probably…!

Yuma: Is there a moment when he does? But, by the time this interview is published…

Soma: People will already know that Qualidea Code isn’t a battle anime, right?

Yuma: It’s not just about fighting.

Soma: Episodes 1 and 2 are meant to mislead. Around Episode 3, you start to think that something’s not right, and that it doesn’t seem like it’ll revolve around battles.

Yuma: In Episode 1, they fought.

Soma: And Episode 2 was the swimsuit episode!

Yuma: And then in Episode 3, our heroine Canaria coughs up blood. *laughs*

Soma: And then there was Suzaku’s arrogant way of asking for a favour *laughs*. “You, save Canaria!”

Yuma: It made you go, “What?” *laughs*

Q: It was mainly Suzaku’s fault in the first place. *laughs*

Soma: Yeah! Everyone else came too out of the kindness of their hearts, but it was about 80% Suzaku’s fault.

Yuma: It’s because he went by himself!

Soma: I thought the “You, save Canaria!” in the script was a misprint. I figured it was probably supposed to be “Please save Canaria!”, but it was exactly as written *laughs*. What a strong personality.

Q: But in Episode 4, Canaria…

Yuma: Yeah. *laughs*

Soma: And then Suzaku transforms into his second form… *laughs*

Yuma: *laughs* He’s there every episode, but something’s wrong with him!

Soma: He becomes a powerless man.

Yuma: Even though he was always berating people for being useless.

Q: Is there anything we should look out for in your future dialogues?

Yuma: Their love deepens!

Soma: Without a doubt! We can’t say why *laughs* but Suzaku ends up only talking to Kasumi.

Yuma: We can’t say why, though. *laughs*

Soma: Well, to be frank, I barely have any lines *laughs*. I honestly feel kind of bad about it; it’s like I scream for a bit in the A-part and then go home.

Yuma: Even though you’re first in the credits. *laughs*

Soma: But, Suzaku’s conversations with Kasumi really are the cause of a lot of his mood swings. At the end…

Yuma: They develop a good distance between them. It’s like, they both have aspects that tick off the other, but it doesn’t make them uncomfortable. That’s how male friendships change.

Soma: It’s all about the riverbed.

Yuma: A fist fight at the riverbed. *laughs*

Soma: But, they don’t really show it on the outside. Suzaku continues to say things like “Shut up, trash” until the very end, and I thought it was a nice balance.

Q: So the relationship between them is what we should look out for?

Soma: Yes, I think their relationship is the most important part! *laughs*

Yuma: It’s the crux of Qualidea Code! But it’s unexpected when there are three factions and so many other pairs. *laughs*

Q: Kasumi seems to be interested in Suzaku from the start, but was that out of irritation?

Yuma: He’s given up on interacting with everyone else, but for some reason, Suzaku alone will still pick fights with him. But, he doesn’t actually mind it that much. He might even be a bit happy about it. When Suzaku comes to him, he doesn’t mind it, but it just makes him a little gloomy.

Soma: He can’t reciprocate honestly. *laughs*

Yuma: Yeah *laughs*. He’s too embarrassed to.

“Out of the six main characters, I’d go with Asuha. She’s cute.”

Q: I’m looking forward to how Suzaku and Kasumi turn out now *laughs*. Which of the female characters do you two like?

Yuma: Suzaku?

Soma: What?

Yuma: Oh, you said female characters.

Soma: Umm, out of the six main characters, I’d go with Asuha. She’s cute.

Yuma: My little sister is cute, right?

Soma: Actually, I’m not attracted to the little sister trope at all, because I have younger sisters too.

Yuma: What do you like about Asuha, then?

Soma: I think I’d get along well with her. The others are, you know… a pain to deal with, right?

Yuma: Honestly, yeah. *laughs*

Soma: #1 and #2 in brute strength, and a scary girl. *laughs*

Yuma: “Smile, smile!”

Soma: The Chiba team is fairly down to earth.

Yuma: Yeah, you can understand them just from talking to them.

Soma: Asuha blushes a bit in Episode 2, right? That was nice *laughs*. What about you?

Yuma: I like Asuha a lot as a person, but personally, I think I’d go with Hime.

Soma: How come?

Yuma: It seems like it’d be easy to win her over. *laughs*

Soma: …O-Oh, right. I thought something similar about Asuha, but I picked my words more carefully! *laughs*

Yuma: *laughs*

Soma: That’s your style, right Yuma-kun? It does seem like it’d be easy to have Hime in the palm of your hand. Just give her treats.

Yuma: Yeah, it’d be easy to bait her. She cheers up when you give her what she likes, and whenever you have a problem, she’ll do something about it for you.

Soma: “Don’t worry!”

Yuma: “I’ll defeat any baddie that comes. Bam!” And then you go “Good girl, Maihime!”

Soma: Outside of the main six, I’d pick Mother Yuunami.

Yuma: Mama! Yeah.

Soma: She’s like a mother and an older sister at the same time.

Yuma: Yuunami-san has a good personality, and she’s also cute. And then in the later half… well, I really can’t say it here.

Soma: We can’t say it, but it only works because it’s Noto Mamiko-san, right?

Yuma: It really has to be her!

Q: Lastly, tell us what we should look forward to in the rest of the series!

Yuma: The relationships change greatly after Canaria’s disappearance. Suzaku loses the most important person to him, and their city loses their second-in-command, which is a big deal. The environment changes as a result, and the stable balance they had in place gradually becomes lopsided. It’s hard to explain, but please pay attention to what they discover after the balance falls apart.

Soma: The story makes major progress in Episodes 3 and 4, but the world that we thought was fixed in place in Episodes 1 and 2 is changing. It’s like the template is betraying us.

The story will continue to defy expectations in a good way, and I hope the viewers will enjoy seeing Qualidea Code’s world change away from what you thought it was.

And personally, I hope you’ll wonder when Suzaku Ichiya will be able to speak normally again! Please remember him and his fragile mental state. Also, there are three ED themes, although we don’t know how they’ll be used either.

Yuma: Yeah!

Soma: It’s a question of timing. Maybe the next episode… We want to build hype, but…

Yuma: Episode 4 will probably have a special ED, right?

Soma: So, please look forward to the new OP/EDs too.

Yuma: There really are various three-way collabs here! (Referencing how the project is written by three authors, and the OPs/EDs are sung by three artists)

Soma: Indeed. The story gets more interesting from here on, so please look forward to that.

[Interview] Seiyuu Men vol.3 – Saito Soma – Qualidea Code & Book-Related Questions

Released: 2016/7/22

Mentioned: Anzai Chika, Uchida Yuma, Hirata Hiroaki, Noto Mamiko

※After the Qualidea Code interview is a Q&A about some of the books that Soma enjoys.

The Earth is suddenly attacked by unidentified enemies called the “Unknown,” which push humanity towards the brink of collapse. Three strongholds are built in Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Chiba, and the boys and girls assigned there use their innate special powers to fight the Unknown. Saito Soma plays the role of Suzaku Ichiya, a young man who fights on the front lines as the leader of Tokyo. This interview was conducted when he’d just finished recording for the series.

Q: First, what were your impressions after reading the novel?

I read all of the novels that have been published, and I thought it was a really interesting concept—having leading authors show their individual flairs in a shared world, and even animating it. When I read the novel that my character Suzaku is the protagonist of, Sonna Sekai wa Kowashite Shimae (by Sagara Sou), his character was a bit different from what I’d felt at the audition. But strangely enough, now that I’m actually voicing him, there are aspects that feel the same as my original impression.

Q: Sonna Sekai wa Kowashite Shimae is a prequel to the anime, so Suzaku’s character certainly does feel a bit different.

You can imagine that something might’ve happened between the prequel and the first episode of the anime. In the novel, the mysterious girl Canaria talks with her friends Tsugumi and Suzaku. That Suzaku is a straightforward and honest man who can genuinely say that he “loves humankind,” and I sensed his original focus there. At the same time, his words are harsh, so he tends to be seen as unpleasant or high-handed. But, he faces the Unknown with sincere feelings. Normally you can’t grasp everything about a character just from the anime script, but the novel provided a lot of material for understanding him better, so it was important for voicing him.

Q: Suzaku’s relationship with Canaria and his rivalry with Chiba’s second-in-command Kasumi are interesting too.

Suzaku’s honesty means he doesn’t choose his words carefully, but he isn’t actually trying to rile up others. However, Kasumi is the sole exception—Suzaku does intentionally try to rile him up *laughs*.

Also, during the audition, there was the problem of what his stance should be towards Canaria. At first, I thought he would be quite harsh, but at the next recording after reading the novel, Sagara-sensei said to me that he was glad Suzaku became friendlier. The change was something that happened naturally after reading the original work.

Q: This series takes place in a dystopia, but what do you find appealing about the setting?

There’s a cold sleep shelter, and only the children woke up from it, gaining special powers called “Worlds” and being tasked with protecting Earth from the “Unknown”… That explanation might be hard to understand *laughs*. But, I think it’s also a story about a world on the brink of destruction, where adults and children build pseudo familial relationships. I’m quite a big fan of dystopia sci-fi, and I can feel the “solidarity between the ones still remaining” in this work. But, whether that solidarity is “happiness” is a different question.

Q: It’s also interesting how the world’s mystery is revealed bit by bit.

It makes me wonder if it’ll go the route where, once the full story is revealed, your perspective of the world will change completely. In that sense, nowadays it’s normal for anime to have a lot of dialogue and explanations, but this one is interesting in how it leaves room for imagination as it narrows down its setting. So, I think that even people who aren’t fond of sci-fi will find it worthwhile to follow the story one episode at a time.

Q: Did the director or sound director say anything to you regarding your role?

Rather than anything specific, it was more like we took it one episode at a time. The sound director, Ebina Yasunori-san, is someone I worked with when I was still a newbie. During the audition, he told me that when I was expressing Suzaku’s arrogance, all of my intonations were becoming monotonous. He taught me to make the character more alive, and I think that was a major influence for me this time.

Also, when I talked to the authors of the original novels, they said that Suzaku was the easiest to understand, so I got the impression that I shouldn’t try to make him too elaborate.

Something else I found difficult was that the three pairs, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa, spoke in very unique and characteristic registers. We haven’t been able to thoroughly discuss it with the director yet, but it feels like he’s guiding us along a very precise balance.

Q: What is the recording atmosphere like?

The six main cast members are close in age, so it feels like we’re experiencing the characters’ high school atmosphere in reality. Plus, we still don’t know what the next plot developments will be, so it feels like we’re going through the same thing as Suzaku and the others—suddenly being thrown into a world where we have to fight.

As for the recording itself, the six of us sit in a row, and the Chiba pair (Anzai Chika and Uchida Yuma) are really funny, so everyone’s always laughing and having fun thanks to them. Of course, there are also senpais like Hirata-san and Noto-san, so it feels similar to the story’s world. I’m supported by my friends and senpais, and all of the staff assess our voices very earnestly. We spend a long time carefully crafting each episode, so it feels like everyone is synchronizing better with each one.

Q: The dialogue pacing also strikes a delicate balance between comedic and serious elements. How did you act out those?

It really is fun when you’re talking seriously in one scene and then laughing in the next. But for Suzaku, he uses a relatively serious tone no matter the scene. Personally, I think it’s because he speaks so seriously that he contrasts the other characters, so the rest falls upon the recipient of his words, the visuals, and the viewers’ interpretation. I hope you’ll find it entertaining.

Q: Is there anything you do to preserve the condition of your voice and throat?

Suzaku is a character that does things briskly, so I strive to speak bluntly. But, when you’re too blunt, it turns into something else, so I keep in mind to balance it with speaking clearly. So, I bought a facial massager to loosen the stiffness in my jaw and tongue *laughs*. I also try not to catch colds.

Q: By the way, do you have anything in common with Suzaku?

I wonder… Suzaku is a rather single-minded character, right? His favourite saying is, “I can handle it myself” *laughs*. I think he’s a man who won’t be satisfied unless he does everything himself, and stubbornly insists on doing something about the current situation. From another angle, it means that he’s bad at relying on others. I’m closer to that type myself, so perhaps we’re similar.

Also, Suzaku has a chuunibyou side that he’s oblivious to. He gives people’s abilities alternate names… I’m definitely not like that, but I can kind of sense something similar between us there *laughs*.

That said, I want to prioritize what kind of person Suzaku Ichiya is over whether or not I resemble him. I want to voice him for who he is, without letting our similarities take the lead.

Q: In that case, what do you think is important in voicing him for who he is?

Not reading ahead in the story. It’s not exclusive to this series, but in this case, Suzaku has been placed in a certain situation, and he makes his own predictions and takes his own actions. I want to maintain the feeling of being directly connected to him, and value the fact that “Suzaku Ichiya is there.”

Also, it’s interesting how each of the characters have different stances in their conversations. I make sure to remember to have a clear distinction between “how Saito Soma would want to respond to that line” and “how Suzaku would actually respond to that line.” During conversation scenes, if I conform too much to the other person speaking, then it won’t sound like Suzaku’s talking anymore. So, I take care to maintain that sense of balance.

Q: What is your current goal as a voice actor?

I think the most important thing is attitude—expressing my lines properly, without pridefulness. It’s always easy to say you’ll do something, but putting it into practice correctly is difficult. So, I always keep my attitude in mind, as a caution to myself. In addition to humility, I also think that impulsiveness is important for acting. Instead of just protecting myself, I also need to break free from that protection. Maybe that’s why “balance” was the theme of today’s interview *laughs*.

I absorb various things from anime, books, films, and stage plays, and I want to leverage those when I’m addressing people or listening to them speak. Those are where my foundations lie, and I’d say my goal is to build on those, pursuing different forms of expression through reading performances and whatnot. To leap at things I don’t know, while also taking careful steps. I hope that my words will reach the ears of many.

Book-Related Questions for Saito Soma

Q: What’s your favourite quote?

* “If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons why men drink.
Good wine, a friend, or being dry,
Or lest we should be by-and-by,
Or any other reason why.” (From Scotch to Sentou by Tamura Ryuichi)

In one of his books, the poet Tamura Ryuichi introduced this quote from scholar Henry Aldrich, who was a dean of Christ Church at the University of Oxford. I completely agree! *laughs* I also used to be a reckless drinker, but recently I’ve been trying to drink more maturely, and this quote is always present in the side of my head. I love how it combines humour and moderation. It’s also encouraging, when something bad happens and I want to relax a little and overcome it with humour. Although, in the case of Tamura-san the first-class drunkard, I think he uses this as an excuse to drink. *laughs*

*English translation was taken from Wikiquote.

Q: Which books would you like to read for an audience?

  • Dazai Osamu’s works
  • Raymond Carver’s works
  • Tamura Ryuichi’s works
  • Kyuusekai by Fukuma Kenji

Since I was born in Japan and was accepted into this line of work, I really do want to try Dazai Osamu. A major title like No Longer Human would be nice, but Dazai also has many works that are humorous or lyrical. He has a masterful writing style with an incredible sense of rhythm. His works are almost a century old now, and yet people today can still latch onto the rhythm when they read them out loud, which isn’t something that can be said of most compositions from that long ago.

I’d also like to try a translated work, especially from an author like Raymond Carver, or something that’s been translated to modern Japanese by the translator Kishimoto Sachiko. I get the feeling that we rarely get the chance to recite translated works, so it sounds like it’d be interesting.

Next is poetry. There’s the orthodox Tamura Ryuichi-san, and Fukuma Kenji-san’s Kyuusekai also left a deep impression on me. In reading performances, we can express ourselves with more than just our voices—for example, acting theatrically to the beat. So, I think it’s important to consider what you’re reading and how you’re doing it.

Q: Which books would you recommend for men?

  • A Lover’s Discourse by Roland Barthes
  • Naze Anata wa “Aishitekurenai Hito” wo Suki ni Naru no ka by Nimura Hitoshi

A Lover’s Discourse was written by Barthes, a modern theorist. I think there are many people who believe that philosophy is boring, but this book is simply a collection of love stories, so I think it’ll hit home for young men who are struggling with love.

Next is Nimura Hitoshi-san’s Naze Anata wa “Aishitekurenai Hito” wo Suki ni Naru no ka (“Why do you fall in love with someone who won’t love you?”), which really struck me on a personal level *laughs*. It’s written in a rough style and talks about how you should confront yourself. My teenage years were gloomy *laughs*, and I want someone in the same situation to read this book and tell me what they think, because I believe that it saved me, just a bit.

Q: Which books would you recommend for women?

  • Suki Suki Daisuki Chou Aishiteru. by Maijo Otaro

It’s not so much a “recommendation,” but something I’d like to hear their opinions on. I’m a fan of Maijo-sensei and have been reading his works ever since his debut work. The writing style in his novels has speed and incredible readability. It feels intoxicating to read, too. This book is a sci-fi romance and begins with, “Love is a prayer. I will pray.” I’d like to hear a woman’s opinion on the rest of the opening. *laughs*

Q: Which books influenced your life?

  • Encyclopædia Britannica
  • Jigokudou Reikai Tsuushin by Kouzuki Hinowa
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

When I was little, we had my grandmother’s copy of Encyclopædia Britannica at home, and I’d always be reading it during my free time. My mother would also read it to me, and she was really good at it. But, my parents would fall asleep quickly, so I guess I’d end up reading it by myself. For me, that was my formative reading experience.

In elementary school, the series I read the most was Jigokudou Reikai Tsuushin. It was like an occult version of Zukkoke Sanningumi (a series of children’s books) *laughs*. The three main characters were elementary schoolers named Tecchan, Ryouchin, and Shiina, and I loved Shiina-kun so much that I even wanted to make my surname Shiina *laughs*.

After that, I read a ton of things that combined sci-fi, youth, and summer elements. Qualidea Code fits that perfectly, huh? *laughs* If I were to name one of them, it’d be Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. I’ve reread it many times, and I want to have a life that I too can call “Nice, Nice, Very Nice.”

[Event] Qualidea Code Episode 1 Advance Screening & Cast Talk Show

Date: 2016/7/2
Guests: Saito Soma, Ishikawa Yui, Yuki Aoi, Fukuhara Ayaka, Uchida Yuma

I couldn’t find any particularly useful event reports, but here’s some misc notes:

  • The cast talk was 30-40 mins long
  • Anzai Chika was missing because she was attending Anime Expo in LA instead
  • Yuma’s character has a little sister, so they began teasing him about his older sister

[Event] AnimeJapan: Qualidea Code Talk Show

Date: 2016/3/26 @ 7:15pm
Event: AnimeJapan 2016
Guests: Saito Soma, Ishikawa Yui, Yuki Aoi, Fukuhara Ayaka, Uchida Yuma, Anzai Chika, Sagara Sou (author), Tachibana Koshi (author), Watari Wataru (author)
Event Reports Sourced: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1460480554 https://www.excite.co.jp/news/article/Animeanime_27692/

First, the cast members were called on stage and the first PV was played. Soma read out the story synopsis, and the authors were called on stage next.

Next, each group of characters was introduced, with their respective commercials played.

An interesting part of the Tokyo camp’s talk was how Suzaku Ichiya (CV: Saito Soma) looks down on the incompetent, and he hates Chigusa Kasumi (CV: Uchida Yuma) whose quote in the PV was “I’m only here because of my younger sister’s influence.” The fact that he “hates” Kasumi rather than just looking down on him may imply that he has a special awareness of him. Perhaps Kasumi has something that forces Ichiya to hate him. (When Soma started talking about how his character hates Yuma’s, Yuma stood up in protest.)

Also, Canaria’s “World” (special ability) strengthens her abilities by singing, so… we might get to hear her singing?! Look forward to the character songs.

Sagara-sensei’s comments on how he’d like Soma and Yuishi to voice Ichiya and Canaria were displayed. They referenced other works, such as a certain “Prism King” show that both Soma and Yuma were in, that was airing at the time of the event.

Next was the Kanagawa team, with the two voice actresses meeting each other for the first time. Their characters were introduced and commentary was given by the corresponding author, Tachibana-sensei.

Lastly was the Chiba team, following the same format as the others.

After the character discussions, the authors departed from the stage and a major announcement was made: the theme songs would be performed by LiSA, ClariS, and GARNiDELiA. The cast members were surprised too, and were eager to hear the songs.

Finally, the cast members said their farewells, encouraging the audience to look forward to what the series had in store.