The Char & Sayla arc of the anime adaptation of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (originally written and directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko) is finally complete. The arc has four episodes focusing on the past of Char Aznable. The final episode of the anime, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin IV – Eve of Destiny, was shown in theaters for two weeks from November 19. The highlight of the final episode was the appearance of Lalah Sune. It depicts Char’s first encounter with Lalah and how the event influenced him.
To celebrate the movie’s release, we are bringing you a special interview with Shuuichi Ikeda, the voice of Char Aznable / Edouard Mass, and Saori Hayami, who voices Lalah Sune. They gave us their thoughts on the series and talked about their approach to their roles.
[Interview / Article by Youhei Hosokawa]
Please tell us your thoughts after completing the four episodes of the Char & Sayla arc.
It felt like it took us long, but it went so fast. When I first heard that the Char & Sayla arc was being adapted into an anime, I really wanted to get involved with the process of Char’s character development from Casval to Edouard Mass to Char Aznable. But I wasn’t sure if I could actually manage it myself because of my age and asked them if I could try their audition. I somehow won the role of Edouard and Char, and I was so happy and motivated. But now when I look back on it, it was really tough. [laugh] I couldn’t say so at the time as I said I wanted to do it. [laugh] Right now, I’m just relieved.
The cast is a mix of various generations.
I read Yasuhiko’s original manga and built up an idea for how I would play the role, but I couldn’t tell how Artesia, Garma, or Lalah would react. I could only make the role deeper or more specific while working with others at the recording studio. This time around, all the main cast members were there together and that made things a bit easier. Acting is like playing catch, so I reset my ideas to zero at the studio and interacted with Artesia, Garma, and Lalah. It was very interesting. I’m always excited to work with them and everyone was there to help guide me on how to bring Char to life.
In contrast to Char, Hayami’s Lalah Sune appears for the first time in the 4th episode. Can you tell us how you reacted when you first got the role?
l’ll be honest, I’ve never seen Mobile Suit Gundam all the way through. I checked up on the role for the audition and watched some videos to help build the character. I hadn’t finished that when I participated in the audition, however. It was more like I explored the role with a lot of help and instructions from the sound director and various others afterwards.
I never even thought I could win the role in the first place. I was just so happy that I was called to audition and went home feeling content. It was only after I received the news that I’d won the Lalah role that I started feeling the pressure. [laugh]
While Keiko Han used to voice Lalah, how did you approach developing the role?
While I’m sure everyone imagines Keiko Han’s performance when they think of Lalah, I can’t copy her, nor did I think I should try to. Whist keeping in my mind a respect and dignity toward history and how much it means to fans, I started from scratch in the studio. I was able to build up my own role with everyone’s help.
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