Early Saturday morning at the Sydney Manga and Anime Show!, SMASH!, held in Rose Hill Gardens in Sydneys west, Kotono Mitsuishi took to the stage in a crowded panel for a Questions and Answers segment. In this panel she talked about her career, herself and also participated in a few segments of live-dubbing. These questions came from the anchor of the show, but at the end, the field was also open to questions from members of the audience.
The questions asked by the anchor started out fairly general in nature, such as asking if it was Kotono’s first time being in Australia before. She answered that it was, and that even though she wanted to visit Uluru, that she was actually staying in Sydney this time around.
“Yes,this is my first time in Australia.
I wanted to go to Uluru but I’ll stay in Sydney this time.”
After the initial greetings, it was time for the first live-dubbing segment. This segment was based around the first episode of Bishojo Senshi Sailor Moon, or Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, of the original 1990′s run of the series. The scene chosen was when she transforms for the first time using the Moon Prism Make-up command and goes into battle with the demon lady in the jewellery store. Kotono’s performance was so spot on that it had the audience erupting in cheers.
One of the questions she was asked was in regards to what she wanted to do when she was younger and if acting was always something that she wanted to do. What was interesting was how she mentioned that she was inspired by a radio broadcast when she was younger and joined the broadcasting club at her school, which is where things were set into motion. She also mentioned that she originally wanted to go into childcare, but, because of Japans declining birth-rate, this was something that didn’t seem feasible at all.
“[...]When I was in preschool I wanted to be a teacher. When I was in highschool I had a think about how there aren’t many kids — which is a problem.[...]“
The following live-dubbing segment was the one from Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED, and it was the scene where Merrue has a bit of a go at Flay. The scene ends with an emotional scene from one of the blonde haired crew members. It was a very versatile scene which Kotono could show her skills off, based on her voice acting range. It went from having an impact, to being a bit more tender. Very well done.
After talking about wanting her name to appear on TV as a main character and live-dubbing a One Piece scene, Kotono was asked a question that was relevant to our interests, it was a question about the differences in recording for video games and anime. Her answer was interesting and it reflects differences in the development of different forms of media that incorporate the same aspects in production. In comparison to the more welcoming and reactive recording of anime, gaming seems much more cold and secluded.
“What’s difficult is when recording for games. Unlike animation, where you have someone reacting to you, games you have to record by yourself. So it’s challenging not having those reactions.”
The final live-dub was easily the most intense scene out of all of the anime shown so far. It was Kotono reprising her role as Misato Katsuragi from Neon Genesis Evangelion. It was the first episode in the scene where Shinji launches in Evangelion Unit 01 to fight the first Angel. In this scene, Kotono/Misato is acting as a commander to Shinji. There is a lot of shouting and a lot of concern shown and Kotono did a great job keeping up with the intensity of the scene. This was easily our favourite of the live-dubs here at Attack On Gaming.
Overall Kotono Mitsuishi’s panel was a lot of fun and very informative. Kotono showed a lot of character, both in-character and out-of-character. We hope that she comes back for future events!