I want you to watch over Fran with the feelings of her father and mother! Anime Reincarnated as a Sword Relay Interview Part 2: Ai Kakuma as Fran
The TV anime Reincarnated as a Sword started broadcasting in October 2022. A master who has somehow been reincarnated as a sword and a girl named Fran who wishes to become stronger have a fateful encounter, and the two make a new start as adventurers.
The two are facing powerful enemies in order to achieve Fran’s goal of evolution, but a great threat, a goblin horde, is looming.
To further enhance the excitement of this work, Animate Times will bring you a bi-weekly relay serialization of the story. The second installment features Ai Kakuma, who plays the role of Fran. Fran, who seems to be a simple girl but actually has a lot of emotions. How do you deal with her?
Citation. Anime Times
I love that Master is growing as a father too!
What has it been like playing Fran so far?
Ai Kakuma: Fran was already without parents, enslaved, monitored and restrained by her rulers, and in a state of being ordered around. A child that young was living in a situation where there was no hope or anything …….That alone was hard, but it was even harder to faintly feel that it was not like that from the beginning.
In the beginning, Fran is happy, but her feelings do not reach her master because she does not express them well. There are scenes like that, right? I wondered if that stems from the fact that Fran has happy memories and they have been taken away from her. She was not allowed to show her intentions and stopped expressing them. So I wondered if that’s why there was a discrepancy in her interactions with her mentor.
So it is the glimpse of past happiness that makes it all the more painful?
Kakuma: However, Fran’s true self became more and more visible when she met the master. She has childlike moments and a catlike side, and in fact, she is a child with many different elements.
At first, I tried not to be too conscious of her childishness in playing her. Fran couldn’t rely on those around him, and he should have had no choice but to live on his own without relying on anyone. If that is the case, I thought it would be better to speak plainly in an adult manner at first, and let her childishness and Fran-ness emerge as she comes into contact with others.
It’s like a child’s original childhood is coming back, isn’t it?
Kakuma: Yes, although it is not a thaw (laugh). Of course, there are comical scenes and expressions in the first episode of the anime. But as the number of episodes progresses, I hope to show a gradation of how she becomes more and more bright as a voice expression, and how she naturally becomes able to produce them. I tried to play the role while being conscious of the fact that she is receiving love from her master and experiencing various encounters. So if you compare the early part of the story with the latter half, you may get a very different impression.
I used unique franc phrases in various scenes.
Did you have any discussions with the staff about your acting?
Kakuma: In the first episode of the anime, I asked the staff, Is it OK if I don’t act too young? and they said, That’s fine, so I think I was able to express Fran as I felt. As for the detailed acting guidance, I felt that the staff had their own unique way of sticking to flan phrases.
What is a franphrase, for example?
Kakuma: For example, when Fran speaks a word with a “u” in it, such as “daijyoubu,” it becomes “daijyobu.
─ Ahhh~! Fran is certainly pronouncing the reply “un” with an “n” as well, isn’t she?
Kakuma: That’s right! Her slight omission of words and somewhat faltering and unstable feeling is scattered in various places.
So that’s what led to Fran’s childishness and innocence
Kakuma: Fran is both childlike and catlike, as expected for a black cat Tribe. She can suddenly explode with emotion or be spoiled by her master, and if you think so, she can suddenly get bored with someth (laugh).
I think that everyone finds children and cats so cute that they can’t take their eyes off them, but the fact that you never know what kind of mischief the child will do is also a major attraction of this anime, and I hope I can express that in my voice as I perform the role.
I could feel Fran’s cuteness and childishness in the video.
Kakuma: I feel that Fran was drawn with great care. I can feel that the animators are raising Fran with love and care, which makes me happy.
The same goes for the battle scenes. I could feel Fran’s fighting sense, and at the same time, I could feel the weight of her sword in her hands, which shows how hard she is working despite her small size, and I could feel her speed when she holds her weapon, which is that slow movement.
What do you think about the relationship between Fran and his master?
Kakuma: First of all, I was amazed at how quickly the master switches his mind. He was not bound by his previous life, but immediately after his reincarnation, he switched his focus to “how to live in this world,” and after meeting Fran, he tried his best for her. And I found myself thinking and acting for Fran to the point of overprotectiveness (laugh). Before I knew it, he had become a father, and I thought it was wonderful that he was growing as a father as well!
I have the impression that the trust between Master and Fran is growing stronger and stronger.
Kakuma: Fran also thinks very highly of her mentor. In episode 4, there is a scene in which he washes his dirty master in the bath. In that scene, I felt love for Fran because she did not learn from someone else, but rather she took action because she thought that her master was important to her. I was impressed by the way she treated her mentor as a human being and took care of him, rather than saying, It’s a sword, so I’ll just wipe it off.
I think this is due to the fact that she has been oppressed as a black cat Tribe. Because they have been oppressed because of their race, they do not judge living creatures by their appearance, and they give their love to the living creatures they love. The scene where she hugs her master so tightly is one example of this, and I think the charm of this work is that Fran’s thoughts and ideas are packed into even the smallest of actions.
How was the dialogue between you and Shinichiro Miki, who plays the master?
Kakuma: He gave me a lot of push in terms of acting! It was the first time for me to exchange so many lines with Mr. Miki as the main character of Each other. When I worked with him before, I was impressed by how passionately he faced the role, but once again, I was impressed by how persuasive he is as a voice actor. I was especially overwhelmed by his expressive power to make the huge amount of lines in the first episode come true.
I had a strong impression that Mr. Miki played cool and smart roles, so before working with him this time, I wondered how he would play the role of a sword. (laugh).
Kakuma: Mr. Miki’s performance was unexpectedly comical and fun. The first episode is a surprisingly dark story if you only follow the story, but Mr. Miki made it sound as if the master was enjoying the world as a game, so I was able to act Fran as dark as I wanted to, which was the opposite of what I wanted. I selfishly interpreted that he was trying to find a balance between Fran and the master (laugh).
I was also happy when she said to me while we were waiting for the recording, “Fran, you’re so nice. I felt like I was given a push that it was okay to be the Fran I thought of.
The story continues with the fierce battle against the goblins, doesn’t it?
Kakuma: Fran’s straightforwardness is both cool and scary, but it’s reassuring that his master checks if he’s okay and makes calm decisions. The two of them have great chemistry and balance. The master alone can’t beat me, and Fran alone would get me in the middle of the fight……. We rely on each other where we can and push forward where we can. I hope you will look forward to seeing how far this great combination will be refined.
What do you think of Amanda, who is scheduled to make an appearance in the future? It says in the character introduction that she struggles to get Fran to call her Mom. ……
Kakuma: Exactly! She has a lot of pressure on her, appealing to Fran as a mom. She is a very fun character, but of course that’s not all. Amanda is more powerful than anyone else and has a strong belief that she must protect her children.
Fran is one of the children to protect, but she doesn’t easily fall for Amanda. Perhaps she is the type of person who gets a little withdrawn if someone comes on too strong with her. The higher the other person’s tension is, the cooler he becomes (laugh). It’s an interesting contrast, and in that sense, I think the two of them mesh well together.
In terms of their relationship as people who pour their love and affection into Fran, they are characters not to be missed. Amikke (Ami Koshimizu), who plays Amanda, is also cool in the cool parts and funny in the funny parts. I personally love this character, so I hope that you will pay attention to her interaction with Amanda until the very end.
Is there any other character you are interested in?
Kakuma: Nell’s first words when she appeared in the anime were “I hope she dies,” which was interesting. I thought there was some kind of dangerous enemy out there, but it turned out to be a very beautiful guild receptionist. I was glad that she accepted Fran with open arms.
It’s nice to see the interaction between Fran and the people of the town expand, starting with Nell, isn’t it?
Kakuma: Yes, it is. You can feel each character’s life, and you can sense that they are living as flesh and blood human beings. I like that these attractive people accept Fran and trust each other, and I think it is most wonderful that we can see that Fran is living a proper life.
I feel that because they are fighting for their lives, their warm everyday life is irreplaceable. Fran had no place to return to, so it is heartwarming to see the town depicted as a place to return to, and when I look back on it, I feel a surge of emotion in my heart.
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Thank you for watching. See you soon!