Hiroki Yasumoto, voice for 'Germany' and Katsuyuki Konishi, voice for 'America' talk about the new special music compositions.
We have interviews with Hiroki Yasumoto, voice for “Germany” and Katsuyuki Konishi voice for “America,” who recorded limited edition songs for anime, Hetalia The World Twinkle DVD Vol.3, which is scheduled for release on December 25, 2015. We talked with the artists after the recording.
■ Hiroki Yasumoto (Germany)
● Is “Germany” moving away from modesty and getting into more flamboyant music?
Q: When singing this special music, was there anything that surprized you or was there anything that you felt was difficult?
Hiroki Yasumoto (Germany): “Songs I have sung for “Germany” so far were mostly the marching songs, but this time the songs are symphonic and very cool. In the original song, the lyrics are written to represent the emotions of German characters, and so sometimes I found it difficult to separate the notes, but overall I enjoyed singing the songs.”
Q: Please give us some highlights from the music.
Yasumoto: “The lyrics. As I said earlier it was difficult, but the lyrics superbly incorporate both the methodical and self-conscious touches that typify Germany [laughs]. I would appreciate the audience listening carefully to the lyrics and recognizing that they contain the words of characters.”
Q: Post recording for the anime is now complete. How did it go?
Yasumoto: “This time, a lot of solo songs were recorded. If you notice, Namikawa (Namikawa Daisuke, the voice for ”Italy”) and Hiroki (Takahashi Hiroki the voice for “Japan”) hardly sang. Overall, it starts lightly and ends lightly, but there’s a good familiar ‘Hetalia’ feeling [laughs].”
Q: Was there any episode that struck you?
Yasumoto: “Yes, ‘Africa battlefront’! Dialogs were very interesting. It was fun that the nature of each character comes out strongly. Also, now that the number of characters is increasing a lot, the scenes are becoming more lively. An already crowded show is becoming even more crowded [laughs].”
Q: Do you have any message for those looking forward to these compositions?
Yasumoto: “In a way, the ‘Hetalia’ songs reflect their usual character. But this time there’s an unusual taste, so I feel these German songs have evolved. As compared to the modest ‘Germany,’ the songs are loud and you will definitely enjoy it.”
■ Katsuyuki Konishi (America)
●Easy going “America” pays attention to the lyrics!
Q: Now that recording is over, what did you think of the process?
Katsuyuki Konishi (America): “It’s been a custom that every day the theme song ‘Hetalia’ is sung by everyone, but Namikawa’s song had so many words, I feel it was like a speech ‘It’s tough, Namikawa!’ [laughs]. However, when you sing as if you are ‘America,’ you’re connected to the key and tune, even though it’s difficult to sing while maintaining the character voice. I also do not understand which song of which tune will actually suit ‘America’ [laughs]. There are always many hurdles in the ‘Hetalia’ songs, but they’re always worth singing. I’ll do my best and I hope that people do listen to the songs and feel good about them.”
Q: What’s the best thing about this composition?
Konishi: “Rather than it just being me, other characters sing. I’d encourage you to get hold of the other DVDs and enjoy the differences.”
Q: You’ve sung so many songs for “America” up until now. How does your recent experience compare to past recordings?
Konishi: “Initially while singing character songs for ‘America,’ I felt the constraints of the character. For the first time, I was given the advice, ‘sing with more energy.’ I think maybe I sang the song but failed to portray the character of America. It became monotonous when sung with other styles and definitely didn’t depict the style of ‘America.’ The staff and I discussed adding some speech to the song and so we started tuning the song with speech mixed in… singing while eating or only eating [laughs]. I started to get the feeling of things ‘going my way.’
Now thankfully, I can present the speech at the point in time I receive singing material; it is rare for me now to think ‘this shouldn’t be speech, the song was good though’ (Laughs]. I’m sorry for creating my own path, but ‘American’ songs are a unique genre. Since characters keep coming and going with song and speech, I still have the impression that it was difficult [laugs].”
Q: Do you think the fans will be happy with your interpretation of “America”?
Konishi: “Yes, I think so! The American songs always contain both speech and lyrics. Although fans never ask for changes in the character, as actors we should always challenge ourselves in order to push our talents. Of course, even at events, we say, ‘We’ll bring you the same fun as last time,’ it’s also good to change things in a positive way.”
Q: Now that recording of the anime is over, how do you feel?
Konishi: “The previous work brought many changes – to the school, some curve balls etc. Now, after a long time, it feels like a return to the first and second seasons’ aura of ‘Hetalia.’ The previous work told us the history of every character and has many types of stories. This work, after a long time, rekindles the relationships between characters, bringing back the feeling of ‘Hetalia.’ It also newly features Nordic countries and micro nations, showing off the extent of the creation.”
Q: Do have any special message for your fans?
Konishi: “Thank you everybody for supporting ‘Hetalia’ and making it a big title. I know that the new songs will make you happy. I hope ‘Hetalia’ continues its success in the future, and I look forward to being part of that.”
“Hetalia The World Twinkle” Animate DVD Vol.3
Release: December 25 (Fri), 2015
• Animate Limited Edition: 5,741 yen + tax
• Limited Edition: 4,815 yen + tax
Distributor: Frontier Works Co., Ltd.
Publisher: KADOKAWA Corporation Media Factory
Contents: 5 episodes
■Animate Limited Edition Rewards
Special sleeve with illustrations by Hidekazu Himaruya
Special Prussia voice CD Vol. 3 (Voice: Kousaka Atsushi)
■ Animate Limited Edition & Limited Edition Standard Rewards
Vol.3 extra episode “Nordic Champion and Eastern European Champion”
Cast video “Hetalia WONDER discovery!” Part 3
Cast: Namikawa Daisuke, Hiroki Yasumoto, Hiroki Takahashi, Kousaka Atsushi
Also material from other volumes.
Special Bonus Items:
• Vocal CD (not for sale to the general public) and a new theme song sung by each character.
Track 1: German-jet song: Germany (Hiroki Yasumoto)
Track 2: American-jet song: America (Katsuyuki Konishi)
• Special clear card with illustrations by Hiaruya Hidekazu (Vol.3 Prussia)
• Special booklet
• Complete volume purchase reward ticket application
• Picture label
• Priority event ticket sales offer for Vol.3 (details announced on the official website) • Vol.3 performance by Takahiro Mizushima (Finland), Keikō Sakai (Sweden), Hiroshi Shimozaki (Denmark), Masami Iwasaki (Norway), Ayumu Asakura (Iceland); Venue: Yakult Hall
Date: May 14, 2016 (Sat); (performances twice a day)
Rewards for purchasing the complete set of all volumes:
• Character design mashup illustration by Oka Mariko
• Details enclosed with products. Please check the manual or subscription ticket inside.
Animate Limited Edition Purchase Reward:
• Complete Volume Mini Character storage case illustration by Hidekazu Himaruya
Read this article in Japanese