INTERVIEW: Azusa Tadokoro Revisits Old Roles Across Franchises

Azusa Tadokoro at Anime Central 2023

Singer and voice actor Azusa Tadokoro was a guest of honor at Anime Central 2023. She voices characters in the popular series BanG Dream! Girls Band Party, Aikatsu!, and Uma Musume: Pretty Derby and is also an accomplished singer — she released her fourth album, Waver, in early 2021. Anime Trending had an opportunity to sit down and speak with her about her roles in games and anime, as well as what it’s like revisiting old characters.


Anime Trending: Nice to meet you! I suppose you’ve been asked this before, but this is your first time at a North American convention. How’s your experience so far? 

Azuza Tadokoro: I’ve been spending a lot of time on stage since I got here, so I haven’t really had a lot of time to take it easy yet. But yesterday I did get a chance to go to the supermarket, and I bought some toothpaste, peanut butter pancakes, pancake mix, and just lots of gifts and souvenirs to take home.

AT: Fantastic. As a voice actress for both games and anime as well as a singer, how do you balance your schedule and workload? 

T: Oftentimes in one day, I will have several work appointments. And so, in between those, I use that time to think about the character’s feelings and switch modes. How can I say this exactly…? Sometimes, if I can, I’ll go home and confirm what I can about the character or watch a video. If I can’t, I’ll try to figure out the character’s feelings and kind of switch between characters using that method.

AT: So you’ve been playing the character from BanG Dream!, Seta Kaoru, for several years, and the character has recently graduated from high school. How does it feel to play a character that progresses kind of in real time and to witness this character’s life milestones? 

T: I think it’s a really thought-out work, and I am happy to be part of such a long ongoing series, and to observe this character’s growth — that gives me a lot of joy. 

AT: What are the biggest differences between recording for a game and for an anime? Does your approach to performing a character change depending on the medium? 

T: I don’t think they are fundamentally all that different. I think that with anime, you’re usually part of a connected story where at the time that I record something, it’s a character at a different point [in the storyline]. It’s a continuation. Whereas with games, I can get work from just the menu system or the narration, and then, that’s how I can tell, “Oh, this is a game.” 

AT: You’re also two beloved characters from the mobile game Arknights. How do you ensure that both characters are vocally distinct? 

T: I’m really happy that you’re telling me that they don’t sound similar! Texas is actually really close to my own voice. I don’t actually record her as much. So, before I record, I’m really nervous about the kind of the tuning before I record for that game, and about practicing and getting the voice just right, how it was before.

AT: Similarly, still speaking about Arknights, both Kroos and Texas have received alternate versions like Kroos and Kroos the Keen Glint, and Texas and Texas the Omertosa. How did you feel about acting as an updated version of the same character? Did the feeling of the characters change significantly from the first time that you recorded for them? 

T: One thing about the new version is that they got more lines and they got more stories. So, I was really happy to learn more about these characters, and there was just a lot more volume to it. So, I was happy to learn about them. 

For Kroos’s story, she ended up becoming much more adult. So, it was kind of rough at first because her experiences made me feel so sad. But her original voice was so beloved that the staff at the company actually spent a lot of time with me, helping to kind of refine the voice and develop this voice.

So for Texas, it was kind of the opposite hearing her story. Even though her past was rough, she’s made new bonds with their comrades and that was really desired for her character. 

AT: We’re all very excited. The Texas Alter banner is releasing soon for the worldwide server.

One last question: Pop Team Epic is an older show, but it took a unique approach to its cast by having so many different voice talents portray the main duo. How was your experience recording as Popuko? 

T: It’s such an off-the-wall series. I’m not good with ad-libbing, so I was really worried it wasn’t going to go well. But I worked with the voice actor of Ichigo from Aikatsu!, Sumire Morohoshi. She voiced Popuko and she really loves the character. So her energy kind of rubbed off of me and made everything okay. 

AT: Thank you very much! 

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