Ahead of the premiere of the first episode of the TV anime adaptation of Bokuto Uno’s Reign of the Seven Spellblades light novels, we had the chance to sit down with the lead voice actors of the series and talk about their time in the booth, how they connected with their fellow voice actors and how much Atsushi Tamaru loves dinosaurs, even if they could only be observed from afar!
In the interview session was Atsushi Tamaru, who voices the lead male character, Oliver Horn and is known for voicing Mochizo Oji in Tamako Market, as well as the female lead, Yuka Nukui, who voices Nanao Hibiya in her debut role and is known for being the voice of Anne Halford in Sugar Apple Fairy Tale. The interview has been edited for clarity and flow.
Talking to Reign of the Seven Spellblades VAs Atsushi Tamaru and Yuka Nukui
Were either of you familiar with the series before you auditioned for your roles?
Tamaru: I first heard about this work when I was asked to audition. Up until then, I hadn’t had much of an opportunity to familiarize myself with the light novels, so it was only at that point that I came to know about this series.
Nukui: The audition was also the first time I had come across the series and that’s when I read it for the first time.
What aspect of Reign of the Seven Spellblades drew you to the series?
Tamaru: Hmm, that’s a difficult question. I think that the appeal of the work lies in the fact that the two elements: the beautiful, exciting, and enjoyable atmosphere, and the very serious, bloody aspects of the work, which are completely different and opposing, work together without contradicting each other. All these aspects exist seamlessly at the same time.
Nukui: I have always been fascinated by the world of magic, so I was really excited to read about magical creatures, magic itself, the setting… I was basically eager to read all of it. All the characters have something they are holding deep inside or something they want to achieve. Maybe that’s part of the story, culminating from deep inside the characters.
The complexities of the world are more serious than I expected, it’s not just a world of excitement. I was really attracted to the darker parts of the story, such as how the magical folk lives and what it means to be caught in the middle, as opposed to the usual bright magical world.
There are so many carefully crafted lines and scenes that tickle my fancy, and I felt like I wanted to express myself in such a world by bantering with other characters or saying a few key lines.
And so, my character Nanao is a samurai and a different kind of character than the rest of the cast, and the story sort of starts when she enters the mix. I thought that aspect was really interesting and drawn into that, exciting my inner chunnibyo.
What is an aspect of your characters that you identify with?
Tamaru: Oliver… well, he is the type of person who usually thinks things through before acting, rather than acting on instinct. I feel that’s kind of similar to me. I like to think that I look at things in a rather orderly or logical way so I feel I’m more of a science-oriented person. There are a lot of scenes where Oliver does exactly that so I think there are a lot of similarities in that way.
Nukui: I enjoy delicious food.
Tamaru: That’s a very important aspect. (laughs)
Nukui: (Laughs) She’s very innocent and says whatever is on her mind, so I like to believe that I have a nice smile when I’m having a good meal like her. (laughs)
Her dignified face when she is fighting and her view of life and death, which is really a wholly different way of life from mine, it’s a bit… I think she has lived an amazing life, but I really think the expression on her face when she eats is the same as mine, so I feel we have that in common.
How Atsushi Tamaru and Yuka Nukui Got Into Character
How did you get into the mind space to voice your characters?
Tamaru: Well, Oliver is a character who thinks of himself as ordinary and normal. The character is trying their hardest, but in voicing such a character, you can’t overdo the acting, you can’t put too much expression into the lines, you just casually say the lines smoothly as they come. While some of the other characters often put emotion into their lines, Oliver seems to be different. I came into the role with a conscious focus on those key points, making sure to make the necessary decisions and not overdo them.
Nukui: Nanao speaks her mind and expresses her thoughts as soon as they come to her mind, so I wanted to prioritize the aspect of conveying things clearly and assertively with a bold voice. I thought it was important to uphold that approach in her interactions with people. When it comes to discussing the emotional aspects of her character, there can be some very dignified scenes.
During later battles or crucial moments, there are many scenes where she needs to deliver a powerful, spirited voice while facing the opponent. So I thought it was important to be mindful of projecting her voice effectively in those moments.
What was it like working together and the rest of the cast? Are there any interesting stories from the recording booth?
Nukai: We teased each other a lot. (laughs)
Tamaru: That’s right. Sugawara-kun, who voices Guy, was joking around a lot in the recording booth. He’s a really funny guy.
Nukai: And was beloved by the sound director! There was a friendly and cheerful atmosphere in the booth.
Tamaru: During the recording of the first episode, everyone was quite nervous, but little by little, everyone started to open up and chat with each other. At the ten-episode mark of the series, we all went out to eat and Sugawara-kun took on the role of the joker of the group. Everyone from then on was cheerful and kind and at the time I thought to myself that it was great to be surrounded by everyone. We were a fun group so I would love to record more with them.
Nukui: These are all really unique characters and the cast members themselves are all very distinctive. There were so many times that felt like the characters were there with us. Everyone was a lot of fun.
Life at Reign of the Seven Spellblades’ Kimberly Academy
Which classes at Kimberly Academy would you be interested in attending?
Tamaru: I know this could be a bit self-absorbed, but I would want to feel alive by flying freely. It seems I’m choosing the broom classes as I feel connected to the idea of soaring.
Nukui: You want to discover your destiny?
Tamaru: All humanity is known to want to fly on a broomstick in the sky, right? (laughs)
Nukui: That’s true, but there are also practical lessons where we fight and try various things like potion making. Though I definitely want to learn how to fly on a broom.
Both: Right, right, right.
Nukui: Well, sometimes there might be moments when I end up fighting with the broom, but there’s a kind of sympathy like, “Hey, it’s you! Yeah, we know each other!”
Tamaru: You’d feel it, like a moment when our hearts connect, even in an atmosphere where the broom doesn’t really listen to what I say. It’s like being friends, you know? “Will you listen to me and fly in the sky?” That would be great. (laughs)
Nukui: That’s the truth. (laughs)
Outside of Reign of the Seven Spellblades, what magical world would you want to live in?
Tamaru: Whether it’s the future, in a cool setting, or even in a fantasy world, I don’t really want to live there. I’ve always wanted to go and see dinosaurs. I used to love dinosaurs a lot, and I still kind of do. Sometimes I visit exhibitions and fossil displays, and I’ve heard that the dinosaurs in books are painted with colors that they are assumed to be, so unless I see them with my own eyes, I’ll never know the truth.
I mean it, I really want to see one, but it would be quite challenging since they can only be observed from a safe distance. So it’s a bit of a dilemma. I would love to live in a time when dinosaurs roam.
Nukui: I definitely want to experience a bit of “kamikakushi” (being spirited away). I’d like to wander into the other side where yokai live, a town where the everyday lives of middle school yokai are intertwined with the human world — it’d be like living in a place where people are not quite human. It would have the same scenery, but something is off.
Do you have a message for international fans of the series?
Tamaru: Reign of the Seven Spellblades is a work that combines a captivating and immersive world with a simultaneous sense of seriousness and gruesomeness, with some aspects that might even be a little scary. Each character has their own profound and strong emotions, and they have their reasons for being. When such incredible characters mix with the world they inhabit, it truly becomes an incredibly interesting work. I believe that if you start with the first episode, you will be able to enjoy the and be captivated until the very end. So please, I hope you can enjoy it.
Nukui: Exactly. Despite the exciting life in a magical school, there’s a hidden, dark depth to it all. It’s a world filled with darkness and chaos, where various people’s schemes intertwine. There are moments when you might get swallowed up by it all, encountering unexpected twists. With the arrival of a peculiar samurai girl, a different type of character from the rest, I hope you’ll look forward to seeing how the characters develop and what unfolds. There are delightful lines, enchanting spells, and numerous captivating scenes that will tickle your imagination. So please enjoy watching Reign of the Seven Spellblades.
The Reign of the Seven Spellblades TV anime is currently streaming on Crunchyroll. A special thanks to Warner Bros. Japan and producer Nari Takamura for the interview opportunity. Yen Press releases both the light novel and manga in English.