Anime Trending had the exclusive opportunity to speak with Kubo Yurika and Kana Ichinose at Anime Central 2023. Both female voice actresses were cast in the visual novel A Light in the Dark, which launched on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 on April 5, 2023. Kubo is best known for her role as Kaede Azusagawa in Rascal Does Not Dream of a Bunny Girl Senpai, and Ichinose is currently voicing Suletta Mercury in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury.
Hello, and welcome to Anime Central! First, can we start off with the introductions?
Yurika Kubo: Hello, I am Yurika Kubo. I voice Mystery Girl from A Light in the Dark. I never thought that I would be here at Anime Central for A Light in the Dark, so I am very honored to be here.
Kana Ichinose: And I am Kana Ichinose. I play Young Girl in A Light in the Dark. I am very happy to be here for Anime Central for this title. Chicago is a wonderful place. I’ve been enjoying the city and I’ve been happy that we’ve been able to talk about our title.
Thank you. Would you mind each speaking about how you ended up getting your roles as your respective characters for A Light in the Dark?
Ichinose: Both of us were offered the roles, so we did not go through auditions. We were named by the production company for the roles.
Had either of you heard of the game before being offered the roles?
Kubo: It was not a downloadable game in Japan, so we learned about it after we got our roles.
For both of you, this might have been the first time recording for a visual novel. What was it like, and how is it different from recording for video games and anime?
Ichinose: This would not be the first time for us to be in games, in general. Perhaps for the same visual novel. The biggest difference between recording for games versus anime is that the recording is done in individual takes for games, whereas the entire cast is together in the studio for anime. So for anime, we can act against each other and anticipate. But for a video game, we have to create our own anticipation for our partner, and so that is a challenge that is given to us. It’s a welcoming challenge, but it still is a challenge.
The visual novel itself as a story is rather sad and quite dark. How did you feel at the end of the recording sessions once you finished all your lines and knew generally the plot of the entire game?
Kubo: It’s not a typical type of character I would play. So it was a fresh challenge. I did read the script and it was a heavy script, so it was a downer to play, yes.
Ichinose: And I’m playing Young Girl. She starts showing up in the middle of the story. At first, she only says one word at a time, and emoting out of a single word was challenging for me. Also, I had to read a lot of nuance into those single words. At first, she keeps a distance from the main character, as a complete stranger. Eventually, she would start talking about her legs and whatnot, so that she does come to be more like a life-sized character.
My last question is for those who have yet to play A Light in the Dark, can you try your best to describe your characters and why people should play the game?
Kubo: It is strange, or unusual, to be on a title where your character doesn’t have a name, and that’s both the case for Young Girl and Mystery Girl. And that probably exemplifies how the game plays out, and I really encourage the player to read into the meaning and intent of why the game is set up that way.
Ichinose: As for Young Girl, this takes place in the context of a very heavy, serious worldview. This might be a video game, but it has that kind of reality. And the more you play, the closer it might hit your heart. There are so many vast messages, such as questions about what life is about, and how one can live. Or, what kind of happiness there might be, or what kind of life should be lived. So, you understand that the girl comes from a very tough environment, but still, she might have a sliver of hope from the context of the game she would open up and talk about it. But there are glimpses where she would act her age. So those are the things that I could enjoy by playing the game.
Thank you very much, both of you.
Learn more about A Light in the Dark at Sekai Project’s website