Winter 2020 Anime: Official Info, Airdates & Trailers
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As the anime television series aired, its sweet and mysterious world gradually gained popularity. Its opening theme song ‘Welcome to Japari Park’ by Doubutsu Biscuits×PPP was praised sky-high by eminent musicians and the series was rapidly recognized.
It became extremely familiar to TV viewers especially since Doubutsu Biscuits×PPP appeared on a well-known music variety show Music Station under TV Asahi. Their appearance on the show was regarded an extraordinary example as it was only 3 months since the unit’s formation and most of the members were new to voice acting too.
Welcome to Japari Park / Doubutsu Biscuits×PPP
KAI-YOU.net had the opportunity to interview the featured members of Doubutsu Bisucuits×PPP: Yuka Ozaki for Serval, Kana Motomiya for Fennec, Saki Ono for Raccoon.
There was an announcement that they were scheduled to perform at Niconico Chou Party 2017 when we interviewed them. We asked them about when they formed the unit, their impressions of the theme song, thoughts on the TV appearance, as well as some sentiments for the past year working as VAs and singers.
As they played important roles in Kemono Friends Project, did witnessing changes on the project and its surrounding environment?
Written by: Yuuta Onda Edited and photographed by Ryousuke Fujiki
──You worked on an anime series, released a song as a unit, and performed on the famous TV music show, Music Station. Tell us about your honest sentiment when looking back the past year.
Ono I realized how fast time passed. I worked hard preparing for Anisama (Animelo Summer Live 2017), and just when I thought it finally finished, I had to do Music Station. We’ve been rushing through at light speed…
Ozaki It’s not something you can easily experience in a year. Kemono Friends is the debut work for many of us members including PPP, and it has been really fulfilling to enjoy both singing and voice acting.
Motomiya It was the first anime series for me to work too. Everything was new and enjoyable every day. I was wondering if I was really allowed to enjoy all this. [laugh]
I was completely at a loss and didn’t know anything. With everyone’s help and assistance, we all grew together both at singing and dancing by supporting one another.
Ozaki We managed to grow through working on the series this year, and we’ve stepped into the second phase now. I hope to be able to perform even better.
──You experienced big stages as new faces. Did you ever imagine that you would be out in public this much as a VA?
Ozaki I wanted to become a VA when I first saw μ in『Love Live!』. The way they sang on stage taught me about the occupation of VAs and I always wanted to work like them.
Voice acting is the most important job, of course, but I want to show and deliver its charm to various people while being noticed. I would like to work as a VA and singer that expands the potential beyond the basics.
Motomiya VA is an occupation where you can become anyone. You can be both a VA and a singer, get connected to other genres, and so on. Your appearance doesn’t always matter when you voice-act.
There is indeed a certain limitation of what you can do with your voice, but it’s up to your efforts. It’s such a great occupation and I would like to live various lives with the roles I play.
──One of the major reasons of being in the spotlight is the unit, Doubutsu Biscuits×PPP. Was it planned from the beginning that you would make a debut as a unit?
Ono The guideline for the audition mentioned they were looking for someone who could sing and dance well, so probably it was planned so to a certain extent. But at first I only thought of ‘singing a character song’ or of some sort.
── ‘Welcome to Japari Park’ is a major theme song.
Ono I was surprised. Were we really allowed to sing the opening!? Most often singers sing opening themes and VAs work on ending themes, so I was very pleased. I couldn’t be really sure till the last moment. [laugh]
Ozaki I was so pleased too and got very excited! It was the first time for me to get my singing recorded. I decided I would like to sing cheerfully and energetically, as an animal, and as Serval.
Motomiya Masayoshi Ooishi who composed the song has long been my favorite musician. So when I first listened to the provisional version of the raw song, I went like ‘This is Ooishi-san’s voice! Did he compose this song!?’
Ozaki It was ringing in my ears [laugh]
Motomiya Well, I got so excited! I was listening to the provisional one, thinking ‘Oh, what a godly tune…’
Ono It’s amazingly singable. Every note is catchy. It’s very easy to remember. So, I only needed to hear it once to be familiar with the tune.
Ozaki We recorded the song before we started working on the anime series. So, we studied and prepared for our roles by learning this song first. And the more we sang it, the more we got inside our characters.
── ‘Welcome to Japari Park’ was picked up on another music show, Kan-jam Kanzen-nen SHOW, and Ken Hirai raved about it too. How did you like seeing it widespread?
Ono I guess it’s the result of various factors including miracles.
Because some celebrated people listened to the song and mentioned it in public, many people said, ‘I’ll check it out because they rate it high’ and as such. That’s how I saw it happened. The opening song got us a head start for the series.
Ono Besides, right after the anime series ended, we had an opportunity to collaborate with Toubu Zoo. Grape-kun, a Humboldt penguin there, got attached to a cut-out panel of Hululu and was staring at it for hours. The media reporting him internationally is another of the miracles we experienced.
To be honest, I thought only a few Twitter users were tweeting it ‘good’ when the anime series started. [laugh]
── Music Station was another occasion of spreading its fame, I believe. What did you think when you got an offer?
Ozaki I first heard about it when I was on my way home, and said, ‘M Station? And yet, next week!?’ I thought it must be some mistake.
Ono We learned it a day before the official announcement, too. About the same time.
Ozaki It was like a dream. I kept on pinching my cheek to make sure I was awake… I skipped down the street on my way home with a huge smile on my face. I can’t describe how I felt then. [laugh]
Ono Many musicians and singers aim to perform on that show. Unfortunately I knew that our performance quality was not good enough yet and had been under a huge pressure.
I wondered how many more times we could gather to practice. We had to practice late at night too, and such various thoughts flashed about.
Motomiya Really? Let’s see, what did I think? I know I was simply glad, and I wondered if more people beside anime fans learned about it too, and… umm, I don’t remember it well. [laugh]
Ozaki You’ve given yourself away.
Motomiya I only wanted to try my best anyways!
── You’ve performed on various stages including Niconico Chou Party, and you wear those character costumes on stage. Which role do you feel you’re playing when you’re on stage, a VA or anime character?
Ono Both, half and half. I bounce back to myself when I’m talking, but I’m acting like a character with the character’s voice when I’m singing, and I try to move bigger as a raccoon when I’m dancing.
Listening to ‘Welcome to Japari Park’ switches me to my character role without thinking, I think.
──You performed the stage drama too. How was it?
Ono I was playing the character role from the beginning to the last of the stage, so I finally switched back to myself after the closing day, just around when finishing the stage greeting. I was really tensed up and high the whole time, even when I got out of the stage during those days.
Motomiya I as Fennec could only start talking when Raccoon did something. So I had her support me there, I think.
Fennec isn’t a try-hard type. So I had to try not to get too tensed up. Now that I think back, it has become a good memory.
Ozaki We still have more from now.
Motomiya You’re right. We’ll make new memories!
You can watch Niconico Chou Party 2017 live stream, where the three of Doubutsu Biscuits will be performing, by purchasing an internet ticket before December 3, 11:59 pm JST.
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
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