As a Tokyo-based writer, I will introduce you to various aspects of pop culture such as manga, anime, movies and music. I want to spread the joy of Japanese pop culture around the world.
Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) is a success all around the world. It began as an action manga about Titans who eat humans, and the humans who fight them. It has received an anime adaptation, a two-part live action movie and in Summer 2017, it will also have a stage adaptation. Season 2 started a few days ago on 1 April 2017! Expect a review of the episode pretty soon, because the title is part of our episodic reviews for Spring 2017! Since I have been following the original manga since it started, I am excited to see how they will turn everything into an anime.
Today, I present you the stage report of the Attack on Titan event at AnimeJapan 2017’s Red Stage. On stage were Yuki Kaji, the voice of protagonist Eren Jaeger, Yui Ishikawa (Mikasa Ackerman), Marina Inoue (Armin Arlelt), Hiro Shimono (Conny Springer), and Yu Kobayashi (Sasha Browse).
Before the start, the audience could see a screen which read ‘Attack on Titan Season 2 Pre-Broadcasting Event.’ The event started with the cast coming on stage. Kaji instantly put his fist to his chest, in the ‘dedicate your heart!’ pose we know from the anime. Next, Ishikawa came on stage swinging a blade-balloon, which was being distributed at AnimeJapan. He was followed by the rest of the cast.
Kaji said, ‘Finally Season 2 is about to start and even though it’s only for a short time, let’s get excited about it together!’ The rest of the cast agreed with him, asking the audience to have a good time. Kobayashi asked, ‘Kaji, can I do that one thing?’ and Kaji answered, a bit confused, ‘Please do. [laugh].’ Kobayashi started a strange greeting ritual, going ‘KonJaeger, KonJaeger!’ It is a mix up of ‘konnichiwa’ (Hello) and ‘Eren Jaeger.’ Both the cast and the audience laughed at this original greeting. Also, Kobayashi was carrying some kind of paper bag in her hands, and the rest of the cast were making fun of her for it. She then tried to take something out but it fell on the floor and the cast, as well as the audience, screamed ‘Ah!’“This is really fancy bread! It’s fancy bread I received from Armin (Inoue)!”, Kobayashi explained. And then Kaji followed up with: “Now you all remember, don’t you? This is
‘This is a really fancy bread I received from Armin (Inoue),’ Kobayashi explained. And then Kaji followed up with: ‘Now you all remember, don’t you? This is Attack on Titan!’When Kobayashi’s introduction ended, Kaji introduced the rest of the cast with a short “And the other cast members.” to which
When Kobayashi’s introduction ended, Kaji introduced the rest of the cast with a short ‘And the other cast members,’ to which Shimono disagreed playfully, saying ‘Oooi!’ Kaji looked at him and asked ‘Who’s that?’, a running joke among the cast, because Shimono’s character Conny doesn’t have much screen time. ‘Hello, I am Hiro Shimono and the voice of Conny Springer!,’ Shimono said in a good mood! ‘There are bread crumbs all over the place from Kobayashi’s bread, but why don’t we sit down? [laugh]’
Kaji said, ‘When it was announced that there would be a Season 2, I was really happy.’ And Inoue said, ‘I hadn’t realized it has already been four years since Season 1.’
‘Even after the broadcast was over, I saw the rest of the cast during collaborations or other projects, so I was able to deepen my understanding of this character for Season 2.’ Shimono then complained, maybe he was even a bit envious, that his character never got to join any projects. However, Shimono said, ‘Look at the merchandise, for example! You have a lot more! And all of you have hair!’ He pointed out his character’s shortcomings and made the audience laugh. The rest of the cast said that Conny talked a lot more than Eren in the first episode of Season 2. It’s true and Shimono made a happy face, saying ‘That’s right! Conny is finally out in the open.’ Then he turned to the audience and shouted, ‘Dear Conny fans! From now on, it will be Conny’s time to shine!’ The audience answered with an applause.
The host asked the cast if they had changed at all compared to four years ago. Ishikawa answered, ‘Since it is a continuation of Season 1, I tried to act the same as I did four years ago.’ The next question was about what they think is important while recording, to which Shimono answered, ‘Because so much time has passed, I wasn’t sure if I could return to the feelings of that time, but I was able to get in character when we started.’ Kaji agreed, ‘I also was unsure how it would turn out because it has been four years, but once we started, the atmosphere in the recording studio returned to how it was during Season 1 and it seemed like we shared a bond or something. Because of everybody’s hard work I could record well and even though there were painful scenes, they were all fun.’
The next question was: who the life of the party (group)? The cast answered in unison: ‘Kaji-san!’ Kobayashi explained that ‘He treats us all like the apple of his eye.’ Because the cast praised him so much, he said: ‘Yes, it’s all thanks to me! I brought Attack on Titan this far!’ and when the hall exploded in applause, he said, ‘That’s a lie! I’m sorry, really, Hajime Isayama, thank you very much!’
‘Which character of Attack on Titan are you interested in?’ was the next question. Kaji was really interested in the new Titan that appears in the preview, ‘He will come out for the first time in the anime- a titan that speaks the human language! I want to hear the eerie voice I have been imagining.’
It seems like during the recording, many different performance styles were tried just for this scene. The cast and staff thought a lot about the way a Titan would talk and wanted to convey their thoughts to the audience.
‘Conny and Sasha have easy-going personalities but can be very serious at times, so I hope you will come to like them more during this season!,’ Kobayashi said. Conny joined in, ‘I want to prove that he isn’t just a fool.’Kaji tried to make everybody excited for his character as well, saying, “ ’That treacherous person!’ I wanted to say as soon as possible. Look out for how strong my feelings are, and how I express hatred for that person!”
Kaji tried to make everybody excited for his character as well, saying, ‘”That treacherous person!’ I wanted to say as soon as possible. Look out for my strong feelings, and how I will express hatred for that person!’Mikasa is really cool, but as a
‘Mikasa is really cool, but as a woman, she is also very cute,’ Ishikawa said and Kaji chimed in excitedly, ‘Yes! Mikasa is cute! Really!’
Inoue said about his character, ‘Armin will have more chances to talk to Levi and Hanji, so his good side will show more.’
After a teaser video and the announcement of a new Blu-ray release, the cast got to say their goodbyes. Shimono started off by saying that ‘Conny and Sasha will be more active in this season, so please look out for him, even if you think he looks scary. Please take one look at him and I would be glad.’
Kobayashi said, ‘I am happy I could come back for Season 2. There will be a new side of Conny to see. And Sasha and I are also giving our best, as I record with all my might. Please take a look at our work! Attack on Titan is made up of Eren-onii-san and all of you who support it. Please take care of us.’Inoue said “Thank you for waiting for
Inoue said, ‘Thank you for waiting for Attack on Titan! I think this anime will not only answer your expectations but exceed them! I think that just like the characters have to climb over walls to reach their goals, we voice actors have to do it as well, or we wouldn’t be able to portray it properly. That’s why I am trying my best and I hope you will support Attack on Titan this time as well!.’Ishikawa said, “There are still a lot of collaborations to come out, so I hope you can enjoy them together with the anime. I want to play out some more scenes to remember fondly.”
Ishikawa said, ‘There are still a lot of collaborations to come out, so I hope you can enjoy them together with the anime. I want to play out some more scenes to remember fondly.’
Kaji had the final word, ‘We know the original work, it is connected to Season 1, and we were there during the recording, but it would still be nice if you watch the first episode!. And I hope you will keep watching until the last episode.’
Then the cast and the audience all posed in the well-known Attack on Titan salute to mark the end of the event.
Attack on Titan Season 2 began airing 1 April on Tokyo MX, MBS and other channels