Anime Expo 2019: Interview with Haruka Kudo and Aimi

At Anime Expo 2019, Anime Trending had the chance to talk with Haruka Kudo and Aimi, the voice actresses of Yachiyo Tsuruhime from Revue Starlight Re LIVE and Kasumi Toyama from BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!  The two looked back on their past work and forward towards future projects. Special thanks to Bushiroad for this opportunity.  

Anime Trending (AT): Thank you both so much for coming to Los Angeles. You just came from the panel that happened about an hour and a half ago. How was it seeing all the excited fans here in the United States? 

Haruka Kudo-san (K): I saw the cosplay and felt loved! And the crowd was excited with every word I said and that made me happy. 

Aimi-san (A): Usually the way things flow is that I speak in Japanese, and there’s a translator. But when I spoke a little bit of Japanese, a lot of people understood everything I said, so that was very exciting. 

Q: You’ve been to L.A. several times now, what is your favorite part of being in California outside of the convention? 

A: California Adventure, Disney, and Hollywood! And Melrose! 

K: I like the beaches like Santa Monica. I went there last time and loved it.  

AT: It was mentioned in the panel earlier that both BanG Dream! and Revue Starlight are multimedia franchises that have anime, live performances, and also mobile games. What do you think makes the two franchises unique and appealing? 

A:  Not only do we voice anime characters, but we do live musical performances.  I think those 3D performances are unique because other shows and titles don’t have them. 

K: Like BanG Dream!, in Revue Starlight, we practice a lot with the other members and some of the uniqueness of the voice actresses, like ad-libbing, makes its way into the characters and the content.  I believe that would be the unique thing about Revue Starlight

Q: Kudo-san, what’s it like switching the roles between Sayo and Yachiyo? They have such different personalities? Are there any difficulties? 

K: Their basic characteristics are very different.  Sayo is very stoic and very hard inside, and in contrast, Yachiyo is very soft and kind. They are very opposite. When I am acting as these two characters, I become a little stiff when acting as Sayo, but can relax when doing Yachiyo. 

Q: Which of the two roles is more difficult? 

K: Sayo would be the most difficult. 

AT: The Garuparty! & Revue Starlight ReLIVE Festival just happened recently in Ikebukuro and it was also announced at the panel that it will be coming to CharaExpo USA in Anaheim this December. There’s been a lot of cross promotion between the two franchises, what do you think makes those franchises so strong when they come together? 

K: There are some people who would only know about (BanG Dream!) Girls Band Party! and others that only know about Revue Starlight. So by being in the same atmosphere, those people get to find out about the other titles.  They get to experience the music and instruments, and learn more about the other titles, which would bring everyone together to find out more about the title they were not familiar with. 

Q: Both of you performed in Cardfight!! Vanguard G as Rummy Labyrinth. Do you have any good memories from back then? 

A & K: It was very fun! 

A: There were two events called “Let Us Attack You!”.  We took a harisen (giant folded paper fan) and smacked/attacked the attendees’ backs. There’s something called “attack” in Cardfight!! Vanguard, so we were doing a similar thing with the fan.  

K: We were both here as Rummy Labyrinth two years ago at the Vanguard & Buddyfight Grand Festival USA here in California, that is the predecessor of CharaExpo, and that was very fun and exciting. 

AT: Speaking of Vanguard and considering that you do voices for BanG Dream! and Revue Starlight Re LIVE (Kasumi and Yachiyo respectively), all those franchises have games. Do you play any of them? 

A: Yes, I play the games I’m in. Right now, I’m not in Revue Starlight, so I’m a little bit unfamiliar from that mobile app, but I play the BanG Dream! app. For Vanguard, I play the physical card game which is pretty fun.  

AT: Which clan do you play? 

A: Angel Feather! 

K: I’m the same as Aimi.  I play all the games I have a voice in, plus the Vanguard card game. I play Pale Moon. Every once in a while I look at my cards and think back on the memories I have. 

Q: Is it tough suffering through the gacha rolls? 

A & K: HMMMMMM!!! Yes, they (the units) don’t come out too often. It’s basically a miracle. 

K: Sometimes, there’s a gacha that won’t come out until the event is done. 

Q: Are you surprised by the amount of international fans that come to these events every year?

A: On our Instagram and Twitter accounts, we see the English comments.  So we’re aware of the international fans everywhere, but I also see that a lot of international fans will come to Japan just to see our events, and that makes me very happy. 

K: The SNS tells me there are fans who know me globally through the content I’m in and it’s very surprising to know! 

AT: This is for Kudo-san. Shoujo Conte All Starlight is premiering soon in Japan. Is there anything notable about bringing the character of Yachiyo from a mobile game to an anime? What do you think about it? 

K: It is a mini short anime that’s a little bit different from Revue Starlight. It’s a little bit of a gag-comedy, so she is a little bit different from her normal character, but I have a lot of fun doing more of her voice. 

Q: Kudo-san, Yachiyo plays a lot of different roles in ReLIVE. She plays a nurse and as Lupin.  What’s your favorite of her outfits in Re LIVE

K: I like the Earth Goddess outfit.

AT: Question for both of you: BanG Dream! features different groups and in the panel, the two groups Poppin’ Party and Roselia were described as “kira-kira, doki-doki” and “cool” (respectively). What would you say are the qualities of the other groups in BanG Dream!

A: For Afterglow it’s like childhood friends. Something like carbonated/bubbly sparkling water. Bubbly like ciders for PastelPalettes.  

K: Hello, Happy World! is “happy, lucky, smile, yay!”.

Q: Do you have any closing statements for your international fans? 

A: Thank you so much for your smiles every time I come to these events. I’m pretty sure all the fans see my photos and videos, but seeing them in person makes me feel very happy. For CharaExpo in December, I’ll be here and it would be very nice if I could see everyone with their biggest smiles. 

K: Thank you so much everyone for being a fan and sending me e-mails internationally. Everything has reached me through SNS.  Every time I do live performances, I ask if anyone is here from abroad. I see a lot of people that say “I’m here internationally!” and that has really reached me. This time, I’m here with Aimi in the U.S. and getting to see all the fans lets me feel their love. For December’s CharaExpo, I will be here with Roselia. If I can see everyone again, that would make me very happy. Thank you!

AT: Thank you very much for the interview! 

Special thanks to Bushiroad for the interview opportunity alongside GamePress. 

A fan of shows with lots of talking. Non-anime hobbies include trains and trading card games.
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