Winter 2020 Anime: Official Info, Airdates & Trailers
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The cast and director of the Kyoto Animation anime movie Liz and the Blue Bird gave greetings prior to the preview screening of the movie at Marunouchi Piccadilly on 4th April 2018. Four people appeared on stage: Atsune Tanezaki (voice of Mizore Yoroizuka), Nao Toyama (voice of Nozomi Kasaki), Miyu Honda (voice of both Liz and The Girl), and director Naoko Yamada.
Tanezaki: ‘I’m glad that people finally get to watch it. I’m so nervous to the point that you could probably all hear my heartbeat, but I’m more pleased than nervous to have you watch it. I just cannot wait.’
Toyama: ‘The day has come at last. This movie is so beautiful and I cannot find the right words to describe its beauty. I’ve been trying to figure out what to say while watching it, but as it’s made to convey everything to viewers just by watching it, it’s impossible to put it into words. It makes you realize that that’s what movies are for, and that’s what anime is for. I hope we can deliver you such beauty here and we’ll try all we can.’
Honda: ‘I’m glad to be here together with everyone, and I’m so happy to have worked on this film with everyone. I’m feeling uneasy about whether or not you will kindly accept my voice as that of Liz or The Girl, but I hope you enjoy watching it today.’
Yamada: ‘I’m so nervous and it’s almost making me sick. I’d appreciate it if you tell us what you think of it after watching.’
Toyama: ‘You can imagine from the character designs and such that it’s calm yet flourishing at the same time. It seems like a heartbeat, but at the same time you would feel like you want to stay in the atmosphere forever.’
Tanezaki: ‘The pictures do all the sensitive acting even before we do our voice work- from the characters’ fingertips to a single hair and eye movements. So it was easier for us to work on it and I’m very grateful for that.’
Toyama: ‘I thought I was watching an anime. I knew it was a film that I was watching, but soon I forgot about it and what I found was just myself watching these two girls. That’s how I felt.’
Yamada: ‘I too found myself observing Liz and The Girl with a camera through Nozomi and Mizore’s interactions, so I’m pleased to hear that.’
Honda: ‘I’ve been both pleased and worried about this double-role job. So I studied and worked on the roles before the recordings, thinking hard to figure out how to manage it. But as I talked with the director, she told me not to worry about playing the double-role. She said it’s okay that there’s almost no difference between the two roles and people couldn’t tell which girl was talking, but rather to stay natural like myself. It wasn’t what I had imagined doing, so I wasn’t sure if I did it right or not- even after the recordings were finished. Then I watched the completed work, and I was convinced that the simple voice style came out best for this film, just as the director said. As I watched it, I felt as if I were just another viewer, forgetting that I was cast in the film.’
Yamada: ‘When we recorded Honda-san, I was always saying “that was good” to her, and I felt bad on the way back home that I didn’t have a dignified manner as a director. But, you did an excellent job with Liz’s final line.’
Tanezaki: ‘When Nao-chan and I watched it together, we were really moved by the last line from Liz, too. Well, I had previously watched it before that, so I could somehow hold back my tears, but…’
Toyama: ‘It was the first time for me, and I had such a hard time trying to hold my tears so as not to mess up with my makeup. It’s possible to express the story this way because it’s anime. There are two worlds co-existing in one film; the world of Nozomi and Mizore that we voice, and the raw-ish fantasy world like that of a picture book, voiced by Honda-san. Let me give my special thanks to the animation itself and of course to Kyoto Animation.’
Tanezaki: ‘There is this emotion that Nozomi and Mizore have that differs from their lines. Liz and The Girl tell us that part. I felt really grateful to Honda-san for it.’
Toyama: ‘I belonged to a high school chorus club, but there weren’t many members and we didn’t make big competitions. But it was a girls’ school that I went to, so we had similar communication with each other, just like in the film. The finer points of communication, like eye levels and small signs or body language, show differences. There are very small but detailed things that seem to be nothing, and we got hurt or depressed over such seemingly tiny things, feeling emotional upheaval in those days. I found the same happening in the film.’
Tanezaki: ‘Are you sure you’ll let me talk about it? I can’t stop once I start it. I have strong feelings for it and I even have regular sessions on adolescence on my radio shows. When I was a student, there was a girl just like Mizore in my school. She chose her high school only to stay with her best friend. Just like the character in this film, she imagined seeing her best friend when she wasn’t actually there. Girls sometimes do this, don’t you agree? It’s all about adolescence.’
Honda: ‘What is adolescence like?’
[laughter all around] Touyama: ‘It’s something you put all your heart and soul into. Anything is fine. Like, you feel you can’t go back to the old days, or it’s something you remember for your life, no matter whether it’s a shiny moment or not. All those make your adolescence.’
Honda: ‘It may be just like figure-skating for me. There are things I can do and I cannot do, but it feels like my skates are enjoying skating with me and we communicate to try our best together. I want to keep on practicing so that I can keep something sure to remember even when I grow up.’
Yamada: ‘How wonderful~! You are in adolescence yourself. I’m wondering what adolescence should mean since all the works I’m involved in chase after it. It’s something you don’t actually understand, or you yourself don’t realize what it is, and it is often different from what you thought it was when you look back at it later. That being said, I could feel “adolescence” in creating the film itself. Homecomings, who sing the main theme song, are like those who represent adolescence. I had a great experience working with them. It was as if I were once again heading back to those days when I was easily hurt or pleased, those days when I felt one day would last a lot longer. Those feelings and emotions that Nozomi and Mizore have are something you could easily miss out on if you aren’t careful enough. I want people to cherish them.’
Honda: ‘This film is really my favorite. I learned and realized how lucky I’ve been that I can be with all my good friends. And also, this film got me interested in music, so I would be glad if it also sparks an interest in brass bands.’
Toyama: ‘I hope you can understand how it is impossible to express this feeling on the film in a word or two once you watch it. The television series also depicted the awkward communication between Mizore and Nozomi. They often misunderstand each other, and sometimes they cannot understand each other. That’s we have “the calm follows the storm” stories. This film also beautifully depicts how their feelings differ little by little and how they create a gap between them. I’m sure you have various thoughts on of it, and I hope to get the opportunity to talk about it with you after watching it.’
Tanezaki: ‘There is this phrase I really like which director Yamada said when she gave us a long careful explanation of this work. She said, “Every single thing is an observer. Winds, trees, and the sky too are watching over the two.” After watching the completed movie, I felt that this summed it all up. I was leaning on the back of the chair when I started watching it, but when it was about to finish, I was leaning forward, staring at the two girls. All the feelings and visions of the viewers become part of the film. I would like you all to feel the same now. Please watch over the two.’
Yamada: ‘I’m relieved. The three said it all. Not just “it’s a girl thing,” but it’s about something that everyone remembers somewhere in their heart. That’s what I tried to show with this film. So, I hope men too try it without hesitation and enjoy it. With this film, we particularly focused on the sound, and the performances will sound the best in the movie theater. Please make your way to a cinema to watch it. Thank you very much.’
To open on 21 April 2018.
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!