The second day of Anime Festival Asia (C3AFA) Singapore 2019 brought with it a Saekano the Movie: finale panel. Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (voice of Tomoya Aki from Saekano and Kirito from Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of the Underworld), Ai Kayano (voice of Utaha Kasumigaoka from Saekano and Alice from Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of the Underworld) and Manabu Jinguji (Producer of Saekano the Movie: finale) graced the panel as guests. The three of them discussed the conclusion to the Saekano anime series which premiered on 29 November 2019. Both voice actors and Jinguji-san expressed their hope that Singaporean fans could enjoy the movie and that they would continue to support the Saekano series.
Voice Actors’ Experience Working on Saekano the Movie: finale
The discussion was relatively spoiler-free as many of the audience had not watched the movie yet (which had a special fan screening in Singapore on 14 and 15 December 2019 thanks to Aniplus Asia). Both voice actors hoped that fans of the Saekano series would look forward to the movie, as there are many “good” scenes between Megumi and Tomoya, as well as between Utaha and Eriri.
Matsuoka-san and Kayano-san shared their feelings on their respective characters. Matsuoka-san said the story all started from Tomoya wanting to create an original game from scratch. He felt Tomoya had grown as a person throughout the series and movie, and has pretty rich life experience as a result. Matsuoka-san also mentioned that Tomoya always tries to contribute to the situation and actually takes action, despite having hiccups and obstacles along the way and being surrounded by skilled professionals. For Kayano-san, she felt that Utaha changed drastically in the movie version. Utaha’s more ikemen side was always portrayed in the series, but she also has a very cool side, where if she decides to take action, she will push her plan through and ensure it comes to fruition.
When the emcees asked Matsuoka-san who he’d like Tomoya to progress further with, he jokingly replied with Lisbeth from Sword Art Online. He then answered that if it were to be a character from Saekano, he’d like Tomoya to be with Eriri because he feels somewhat sorry for her, and also because Utaha is always like “Miss Right”. Kayano-san added that both the staff team and cast were actually curious on how the Eriri ending would turn out.
Producing Saekano the Movie: finale
Jinguji-san expressed his amazement at Maruto-sensei’s ability to write such a heart-throbbing teen love story, even though the author is in his fifties. Jinguji-san then shared that his team wanted to depict all the relationships between the characters properly as the movie is the last instalment of the Saekano series, hence the bittersweet ambience and story. They wanted the audience to feel that bittersweetness.
Jinguji-san also revealed that the movie’s dubbing took two days to complete. What he looks out for during the dubbing are the interactions between characters. The dubbing not only has to “click” and be speedy, but the tempo of the conversation also has to be on beat with the character’s emotions. He emphasized that emotions and feelings have to be portrayed to the finest detail to fully bring out the characters.
Of Sexy Love Scenes And Holding Hands
The emcees mentioned that the movie apparently had many “full-on sexy love scenes”, to which Matsuoka-san replied (in English) with a firm “Yes”, much to the audience’s amusement. He proceeded to share how he would get embarrassed from portraying Tomoya’s sexiness in these scenes.
Matsuoka-san also revealed that while he felt alright during a scene where Tomoya holds Megumi’s hand, there was another scene that got him so embarrassed that he couldn’t do another take when Jinguji-san asked him to. Kayano-san added that Matsuoka-san was very fidgety when dubbing some of the scenes. He kept pacing around while holding his script in an attempt to keep himself focused. Jinguji-san then joked it was the author’s fault for making Matsuoka-san embarrassed.
Extras: On Saekano and Female Thighs
Amusingly, Jinguji-san also admitted that the Saekano staff team liked female thighs, to which the audience responded with resounding cheers. He revealed that there would be scenes featuring thighs, knees, and other similar body parts, with each lasting between five to ten seconds.