A special event called ‘TV anime March Comes in Like a Lion ~Kawamoto Family’s Autumn Festival~’ was held on 3 September at Sayama City Center Main Hall in Saitama. March Comes in Like a Lion (3-Gatsu no Lion) is a popular TV anime series based on the manga of the same name created by Chika Umino.
As you can imagine from the title, the three voice actresses voicing the three sisters in the series appeared on stage: Ai Kayano (Akari), Kana Hanazawa for (Hinata), and Misaki Kuno for (Momo). First, the three performed a dramalogue to attract the audience into the world of March Comes in Like a Lion. Kayano, who fumbled with words earlier, apologized by saying, ‘Please excuse my clumsiness from the start. Welcome to Kawamoto Family’s Autumn Festival!’ Then Hanazawa greeted the audience and said, ‘This is the first time all three of us are doing an event together. I hope you have a good time here today.’
Kuno, who played Momo in front of an audience for the very first time, blushed and said, ‘It’s very embarrassing to play a little kid in front of others. It’s fine to play her during the recording while watching the screen, but playing Momo while others are watching my face is a bit… you know? [laugh]’ Kayano then gave a bit of advice, ‘Just imagine that these are only Autumn fruits (instead of the audience sitting there).’
The stage had a huge set of the Kawamoto family living room and kitchen. The living room had a horigotatsu (a built-in kotatsu with partly dug-out floor) for heating, the kitchen had a refrigerator and everything they needed. Even the voice actresses were surprised by the full-scale set. Kayano poured some tea and orange juice for her younger sisters and started reviewing the first season of the anime series. The three first introduced each of their most memorable scenes from the anime. Kayano chose Chapter 4: Beyond the Bridge from Episode 2 where Akari first met Rei and helped him vomit by sticking her own fingers into his mouth. She said, ‘As I performed that part, I myself also wondered what was on Akari’s mind when she decided to put her fingers in Rei’s mouth. I found it so beautiful. She was like the Holy Mother.’
Kuno chose Chapter 8: V.S. from Episode 4. Regarding the Bodoro’s song Momo sang there, she said, ‘I wondered how Momo would sing it, and I tried to sing it like it was composed by Momo.’ She also revealed how nervous she got at the recording. Hanazawa picked Chapter 6: Beyond the Night Sky from Episode 3 and told us about the scene where Hinata cried for her deceased mother. By her account, the director told her that he was especially counting on her acting there. She said, ‘Rei-chan’s line there to describe her cry was “Her voice put a lump in my throat,” and I felt a lot of pressure.’
Then they introduced some letters from the fans. They read several letters from anime viewers, and commented on each of them. They also had some special messages from Kengo Kawanishi (Rei Kiriyama), and Shigeru Chiba (Someji Kawamoto). There was an extra message from the original creator, Umino, that asked them random questions about curry, such as ‘Do you all like curry?’, ‘Which curry do you prefer, a hotter one or milder one?’, ‘What kind of meat do you like best for curry?’ and so on. Kayano, Hanazawa, and Kuno started talking about their own experiences with curry, curry recipes, and everything about curry.
Next was a ‘Nyaa shogi’ battle, similar to the one that appeared in the series. Hanazawa and Kuno played a game on stage. Hanazawa had quite a few chances of winning, but Kuno blinked cutely on purpose to distract her at the right time. Some advice for Kuno came from the audience as well. As a result, Kuno had an unexpected win.
Then Kayano started the segment called ‘Lion Cooking Show’. She cooked some original dango dumplings on skewers. There were standard flour dumplings ready and also some bizarre materials for dango, such as mozzarella cheese, tomatoes. Somehow, Kayano cheerfully started cooking dango dumplings as she liked. She made Kuno some colorful and flamboyant dumplings on a skewer with whipped cream, roses, and fruits. She then made Hanazawa some strange ones with a quail’s egg, mozzarella cheese, marshmallow, and sponge cake, with mayonnaise, sweet mitarashi sauce (soy-sauce-based sweet sauce for Japanese sweets), and a sprinkle of seaweed on top, and finally she made herself a rather plain one with cherry tomatoes and cheese. Hanazawa got absolutely appalled at the crazy dumplings served to her and caused a roar of laughter from the audience.
At the end of the event, a costumed character of King Nyaa from Nyaa shogi joined them on stage. To close the event, the three enthusiastically talked about the second season of the anime series starting on October 14th.