Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Interview with Nana Mizuki from CUT Magazine August 2015 issue

Today, May 25th, is Tsubasa's Birthday! What better way to celebrate than a freshly translated interview with her voice actress: Nana Mizuki? This is from the same magazine as the Aoi Yuuki interview I posted last month. It's a good one, enjoy. 

Tsubasa Kazanari is a “sentinel,” fully dedicated to her duty with a fierce resolve. Among the other gear users, she always leads the way on the battlefield with her songs. Tsubasa's strength, beauty and awkwardness seem to match up perfectly to Nana Mizuki herself. As a leader of the cast since season 1, she took some time to talk with us about her experiences and the “bonds” she's developed.

When performing as Tsubasa, what is the most central part of her for you?

Nana: Of course that has to be her sentinel spirit (laugh). In the very first episode of season 1, Tsubasa lost her precious partner Kanade and suffered a mental breakdown. However when she recovered from that she became determined to never let anyone get hurt again. So she's always the first to take action and has her sword at the ready without even thinking about it. That style of putting herself on the front line is what defines her character, I think. So no matter how many new gear users appear, or however strong the enemy is, that's the one thing that will never change. And as she gets surrounded more and more by characters that are her junior, the stronger she wants them to look to her as an example. However she watches over them all very closely and provides support in a really nonchalant way. It's so nonchalant that her feelings don't really come across (laugh). She's an incredibly awkward person.

At the same time she's a character that has an air of “manliness,” and there's a side of you like that as well Ms. Mizuki.

Nana: Hahaha, yeah I get told that quite a bit (laugh). A lot of other ladies tell me “it would be nice if you could be my boyfriend,” though as a woman myself I have mixed feelings about that (laugh).

Well you've now put a third season under your belt, but as always the unique recording sessions for Symphogear must have been extraordinarily difficult. Looking back at it, how do you feel?

Nana: The Symphogear recording sessions involve holding the script and turning the pages as we sing and move in time to the visuals that we watch on screen. It was really my first experience having to coordinate all of that. Of course I'm used to singing, but these songs were already challenging to begin with and having to look at the script and visuals at the same time means that I have to remember the timing perfectly or it becomes very difficult. So as a result, I've been through some long and intense sessions with all the other gear girls who fought alongside me and so we've bonded quite heavily. At the end of season 1 there was a song that the 3 of us all sang together, and then at the first concert we also sang that song together at the end. In that moment Aoi-chan was like the embodiment of Hibiki herself, looking up with tears streaming down her face… Ayahi-chan and I saw that and then we both started crying out loud, too. I'm incredibly happy to be able to participate in a work like this, where we synchronize so deeply with the characters and their feelings. A number of new characters will appear during season 3, so please look forward to it. On top of that, right from the start of episode 1 Hibiki, Tsubasa and Chris have a song together! The new cast members were watching when we recorded that and got quite the shock, they said “THIS is how you do the recording?” (Laugh)

It's almost like you're all members of a team for a sport that no one has ever played before (laugh). There really are no other series as robust as this one.

Nana: It's so true. Season 3 gets even more intense. The songs have powered up to the point where I think I might have to grow gills to help with my breathing (laugh). Tsubasa was trained as a gear user from a young age and strictly raised following the traditions of a sentinel. So the idea is that she is accustomed to singing difficult songs more than anyone else… so for this season her songs have raised the bar on difficulty once again. 

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