INTERVIEW: Chained Soldier’s Hirose Yuya (voice of Yuuki Wakura) and Producer Yuki Watanabe

©Takahiro, Yohei Takemura / SHUEISHA, Chained Soldier Production Consortium

Ahead of Anime Boston 2024, Yuya Hirose, the voice of Chained Soldier protagonist Yuuki Wakura, and producer Yuki Watanabe (from Pony Canyon) shared with Anime Trending some of their thoughts about the TV anime series.

Voice actor Hirose Yuya

What was your perception of Yuuki when you read the scripts/manga for the first time?

Hirose Yuya: I thought he was really cool for deciding to fight with a strong will to become a hero, even though he got caught up in a Mato Disaster. I also find it attractive that he is good at house chores and can cook.

Who is your favorite character in the story and why?

I like Himari Azuma. Usually, she doesn’t like boys and is very cold, but gradually she opens up and she even blushes, which is really sweet. Especially, I loved her in the reward scenes.

What is your favorite scene in the anime so far?

I like the scenes with Tenka Izumo. She is super strong, cute, and very forward with Yuuki…! There are comedic moments too, so I really enjoy the dialogues between Tenka and Yuuki.

Yuuki has a lot of romantic interests in the story. Which pairing do you think is the best?

I’d have to say Yuuki and Kyouka Uzen. Their bond is very strong.

What is the biggest appeal of Chained Soldier for you?

It’s the balance between battles and rewards. I love the gap between the awesome battle scene and the reward scene that follows.

For those not familiar with Chained Soldier, how would you describe it?

It’s a series filled with attractive characters that are both cool and cute, as well as lots of battles, comedies, and sexy scenes! 

©Takahiro, Yohei Takemura / SHUEISHA, Chained Soldier Production Consortium

Producer Yuki Watanabe

How did you join the project?

Yuki Watanabe: I read the manga when it was serialized on Shonen Jump Plus, and I knew I wanted to turn it into an anime. So I made a proposal to Shueisha. They accepted it, and the project started.

What did you think of the manga when you were working on the anime project?

The original manga is so very well done. Not only are the female characters cute and adorable, but the battle scenes are also incredibly powerful. In the production process, I kept on wondering what the best way would be to express this title as an anime series in the way that made it most attractive. I am very grateful to Takahiro-sensei and Yohei Takemura-sensei for their cooperation throughout the anime series.

Aside from Yuuki, Chained Soldier has a lot of heroines and villains. What are your thoughts on the show’s casting? Could you share how the voice cast was assembled?

We determined the cast for Yuuki, Kyouka, and Tenka. Then we chose the rest of the cast, based on the vocal balance and such. The main characters were chosen in auditions, and we think we have a wonderful variety of voice talents. There are many young and promising voice actors in the cast, so I’m looking forward to their performances in Season 2.

What is anime’s most appealing factor in your view?

Speaking of animation in general, I’d say it’s the characters. They are the most important element in an anime, and the setting and the story are there to draw out their appeals. Speaking of Chained Soldier, it’s the female characters who are strong and adorable at the same time. They have special abilities in this series, as well as flaws and problems. It’s beautiful to see how they try to overcome their limitations and grow.

What is your favorite Peach Blessing/Slave ability in Chained Soldier?

I’d say Yachiho Azuma’s Golden Hour. I sometimes make small mistakes and have trouble making decisions, so if I could stop and rewind time, that would be very helpful.

For fans not familiar with Chained Soldier, how would you describe it?

It’s a fantastic series that are filled with everything you want to see in shonen manga, from a dedicated protagonist, strong and attractive heroines, powerful battles, and the reward scenes. If you enjoy the anime, I hope you read the original manga as well!

Both Yuya Hirose and Yuki Watanabe will be appearing as guests of HIDIVE for two panels at Anime Boston 2024. Chained Soldier is currently streaming on HIDIVE.  Season 2 was recently announced at AnimeJapan 2024 and is currently in production. 

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