The anime movie No Game No Life Zero was finally released in cinemas in Japan on 15 July, and on the same day, there was a cast members’ talk show held at Kadokawa Cinema Shinjuku. The event’s four guests were Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Riku), Ai Kayano (Schwi), Yoko Hikasa (Corone Dola), and director Atsuko Ishizuka.
Sora and Shiro are two siblings who are both NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) and hikikomori (shut-ins). However, they are also super-talented online gamers. One day, the two enter a world called Disboard, in which any form of violence is prohibited and problems need to be solved by playing games. No Game No Life’s anime series illustrates how these two characters, who call real life a boring video game, go on an adventure in Disboard to save the future of the world. In the movie spin-off, No Game No Life Zero, the story takes place over 6,000 years before Sora and Shiro arrive in Disboard. The main cast members Matsuoka and Kayano, who voiced Sora and Shiro in the anime series, also voice the movie’s two new leading characters, Riku and Schwi. Also, other new amazing characters, such as Einzig (voiced by Junichi Suwabe) are to appear in the story!
The stage greeting began right after the movie’s premiere screening. When the guests came up on the stage, the audience roared with excitement. The fans welcomed the guests with a great round of applause. At the beginning, Matsuoka commented, ‘We were told that spoilers are okay on this stage, so I am looking forward to fully enjoying this event with everyone.’ Next, Kayano commented, ‘I hope to feel and share the same excitement with everyone here today.’ Hikasa made the fans laugh by mentioning, ‘I’m sure all of you are already choked up, but please enjoy listening to our “funny talks”.’ Finally, Director Ishizuka commented, ‘I’m overwhelmed with the audience’s energy. I truly feel that it was worth working hard without sparing time for sleep!’
When Ishizuka was asked about his favorite scenes in the movie, he answered, ‘The battle scene between Schwi and Jibril (Yukari Tamura) is one of the best scenes.’ He also added, ‘In this movie, we used various techniques, such as 3-D and computer graphics. Although Jibril showed her evil side in the movie, I tremendously enjoyed drawing her even for the storyboard, as she is so energetic. I thought I wasn’t good at drawing action scenes, but, thanks to Jibril, I was able to enjoy the illustrating process. Now, I love drawing action scenes. I have to apologize to my staff members for making them work so hard, though [laugh].’
The cast members’ love toward their characters was very strong. Whenever they were asked about the characters, each cast member highly praised the character they voiced, and it was as if they were praising themselves. It was funny how they looked at each other’s faces whenever they talked about the characters. Matsuoka commented, ‘As a voice actor, I always think back on the dubbing, and wonder how everyone would feel about my voice, but when I saw the completed version of this movie, I honestly felt that I had done a great job.’ He also mentioned that one of the reasons the dubbing had gone so smoothly was because the main cast members were able to gather and dub on the same day.
When Hikasa mentioned that her favorite line was ‘you’re so obstinate’, which is said by Shuvi, Kayano responded, ‘When I was voicing this scene, I empathized too much with Schwi, and my eyes got teary.’
Regarding the difference between the anime and the movie’s sound effects, director Ishizuka explained, ‘The movie does not use digital sounds. We decided to use music played by an orchestra with the singing done by a chorus. One of the movie’s themes is “mythology”, so we wanted the viewers to feel the profoundness of the music which matches this theme at theaters.’ To this, Matsuoka commented, ‘When I saw the movie’s first trailer, I almost cried.’
Matsuoka also mentioned, ‘In this movie, I voiced Riku and not Sora from the TV anime. Therefore, I had to start everything from zero, just like in the movie’s title. I prepared for the role with a whole new mind.’ He explained the difference between how he voiced Sora and Riku by using unique gestures, which made the fans laugh. The movie has other new characters, such as Riku’s father Ivan, who is voiced by Toru Okawa, and the story’s key person Einzig, who is voiced by Junichi Suwabe. When the four guests talked about these new characters, they all mentioned how Okawa and Suwabe’s voices were amazingly cool. Although Ivan and Einzig only appear a few times in the movie, the cast members all agreed that Okawa and Suwabe were the only two who could have done such an amazing job voicing these characters.
During the event, there was also the movie’s advertising segment and a rock-paper-scissors game to win the movie’s poster. Also, there was a birthday surprise for Hikasa, and the audience all cheered with joy. At the end, Ishizuka commented, ‘We’ve put in a lot of information in the movie. There are many hints hidden in the “Language of Humanity” so I hope you all learn how to read the language.’ Hikasa commented, ‘Every cast and staff member put their love into the movie, so please watch it over and over again.’ Kayano mentioned, ‘If I cannot decode the “Language of Humanity”, someone please send an e-mail to my radio program and tell me the answer [laugh].’ Finally, getting a little teary, Matsuoka commented, ‘I truly believe this is our start from zero. I hope for all your love and support.’ With a warm atmosphere in the venue, the stage talk came to an end.