In preparation for the first episode of the anime Hinako Note, the main cast came up on stage at AnimeJapan 2017 on 25 March to talk about the anime and their characters.
Hinako Note is an upcoming comedy anime based on a 4-panel manga by Mitsuki. The story follows the titular character Hinako as she moves from the countryside to Tokyo in the hopes of overcoming her communication difficulties.
All the Members of Gekidan Hitotose Come on Stage!
As all the fans made their way to their seats, there was a cute video playing on the stage of all the characters dancing. The fans seemed to love it and were clapping along to the music.
After the video ended, event host Mukai (of the Japanese comedy group Tenshin) took to the stage and introduced the guests. MAO, who plays the main character Hinako Sakuragi, was joined on stage by Miyu Tomita (Kuina Natsukawa), Yui Ogura (Mayuki Hiiragi), Hisako Toujo (Chiaki Ogino), Marika Kouno (Yua Nakajima), and Yuri Yoshida (Ruriko Kuroyanagi).
They all greeted the audience and asked the audience to greet them back! All the fans were really enthusiastic and shouted ‘hello~!’ back.
Toujo had her long hair up in a faux bob and looked just like her character, Chiaki!
Ogura, on the other hand, looked extremely cute in her light gray maid outfit. She said she’d had it custom-made for the occasion. The audience whooped when she came on stage!
After the cast finished their greetings, MAO shouted ‘Hinako-!’ and the audience replied with ‘Note!’
It was explained that the cute dancing video from before will be used in the ending sequence, so be sure to check it out when the anime starts airing!
A Cast of Unique Characters
When the cast was asked about the original manga and their opinion on the script, the overriding response was ‘it’s cute!’
The girls then introduced their characters one by one. First, MAO talked about the main character, Hinako. She said that Hinako finds it very difficult to talk to people to the point where she ends up becoming as still as a scarecrow. At one point, she was even employed as an actual scarecrow! In the hopes of overcoming this communication problem, she moves to Tokyo from the countryside to join a particular drama club. Through this, she meets many new people and, even as a stiff scarecrow, she tries her best to communicate. Although Hinako is very shy, she is a very positive person that keeps moving forward.
Tomita talked about her character Kuina, a girl who loves books so much that she actually eats them?! She has a large appetite and, throughout the first episode, she always has something in her mouth.
Ogura said of Hiiragi that she almost looks like an elementary school student but she’s actually older than the others. She works at Cafe Hitotose. She often wears a maid outfit but she doesn’t work as a maid, the outfit is actually her street clothes.
Chiaki’s VA, Toujo, said that the character has been on stage ever since she was a young child and has many fans of both genders.
Kouno explained that Yua wants to be an actress and is a huge fan of Chiaki. She also sees Hinako as a kind of rival.
Finally, Yoshida talked about genius 9-year-old child-actress Ruriko and described her as a ‘cool beauty.’
Ceremony to Celebrate the Formation of Hitotose Gekidan
The characters all come together to form the troupe Gekidan Hitotose. The group will also be performing the opening and ending themes for Hinako Note.
To help celebrate this formation, they had to take part in a special audition! Suddenly, the ‘crossdressing director’ Babitch Sano came on stage in full drag! He was wearing a sparkly long pink dress and had some very convincing padding. Squeals of surprise and delight were heard from the cast members.
Babitch explained that they would be holding an audition for the titular character from the well-loved Japanese folk tale Momotaro.
The scene they had to ad-lib was the one where Momotaro meets Dog, one of the main characters he befriends en route to his quest. Mukai took on the role of Dog.
First, Babitch gave a splendid demonstration as Momotaro, and asked the girls to perform one by one. There was a wide variety of performances: We saw a Momotaro who struggled to hold his bladder; a Momotaro that was scared of dogs; a Momotaro that gave a job interview to Dog; a Momotaro suffering from hay fever; and even a budding boy’s love story between the two characters!
Mukai was splendid as the Dog in all performances, never failing to get a laugh from the audience. After a drumroll, Babitch announced that Yui Ogura had won the role! He said that she was the most reliable Momotaro, and most importantly, her maid outfit was definitely the closest to Babitch’s outfit of choice.
The event ended with all the cast shouting their thanks and leaving the stage.