The winter anime 「Onimai: I’m Now Your Sister !」In advance of this, an official discussion session with 「Marika Takano」 playing 「Mahiro Oyama」, 「Kaori Ishihara」 playing 「Mihari Oyama」, 「Hisako Kanemoto」 playing 「Kaede Hozuki」, 「Minami Tsuda」 playing 「Momiji Hozuki」, and the original author, 「Nekotofu」, just before the broadcast arrived.
「Onimai I’m Now Your Sister!」 is a Gender bend comedy that has sold more than 1 million copies in total and ranked third in the 「Ranking of Manga that should be made into an anime2020」, ninth in the 「Web Manga General Election 2019」, and fifth in the 「Next Coming Manga Awards 2018」 Gender bend comedy. Mahiro Oyama, the big brother who is a reclusive NEET who only plays sexually explicit games, becomes a girl because of a suspicious medicine made by his sister Mihari, a genius scientist, and struggles to graduate from being a recluse while struggling with the life of a girl.
Onimai I’m Now Your Sister ! Interview Neko Tofu
-First of all, let me ask Sensei. How did this work come about?
Nekotofu : I have always loved works in the genre of what is so-called 「TS mono」 (sex change mono). When Makoto Shinkai’s 「Your Name」 became a hit, I thought, 「Maybe it’s about time」 (laugh), so I first published it as a coterie magazine, and it was well received.
After Ichijinsha (a Japanese publisher) approached me, I received awards such as 「The Next Coming Manga Award 2018」 and 「Manga Ranking 2020, the manga I want to see made into an anime」 and even ended up being made into an anime. …… We are truly grateful.
-I’d like to ask you, the cast, first of all, what was your impression after reading the original work?
「Mahiro Oyama」 Takano : This was my first experience with a 「TS work」, so it was very new to me. What I was most curious about was how, Nekotofu-sensei, was able to grasp the detailed emotional changes and feelings of women. I even came across things that even I, a woman, didn’t know when I watched anime (laugh).
Nekotofu : Is that what you are concerned about ? (laugh) In my case, while I incorporate the standard works of past TS works, I also look up the gestures and characteristics of Gender bend on the Internet each time I am curious about something.
「Momiji Hozuki」Tsuda : The idea of 「making the older brother into a girl」 is amazing. I could see that it is Mihari who is running the Oyama family (laugh).
The four of you also co-starred in a previously released drama CD, didn’t you?
「Mahiro Oyama」 Takano : Yes! But I couldn’t record with 「Kaori-chan」 due to bad timing, and I actually found out later that Kaori-chan was the voice actress who played Mihari on this job (laugh). I think one of the charms of being a voice actor is that you can transcend gender barriers, but it was very difficult to play as a girl when I knew I was a man inside. …… I learned how to act while being directed, 「If you were a boy, you would lower your tone of voice like this」. I felt my role broadened through the recording.
「Mihari Oyama」Ishihara : At first, I was trying to create the role of a character with high tension, but I remember that I was directed to 「imagine a scientist-like image in some parts」. Later, when I heard Mahiro’s voice, I thought, 「Indeed, if both of us are too excited, it would be hard to control the tension」 (laugh). As I got used to the worldview, I found myself wondering, 「What kind of story is going to unfold in the future? 」I was excited to see how the story would unfold.
「Kaede Hozuki」Kanemoto : I really enjoyed the conversational drama. As for Kaede, she is homey and caring, but she also has a gal-like quality, and it was difficult to express these qualities through her acting.
「Mahiro Oyama」 Takano : I think Mahiro is most girly when she is with Kaede (laugh).
「Kaede Hozuki」Kanemoto : That may be true, and I am glad that she misses Kaede (laugh). I also remember that the onsite staff was very supportive during the recording process. For example, in a scene set in the Oyama house, they showed the cast the layout of the rooms and gave us detailed instructions such as, 「The rooms should be roughly from here to here. Thanks to the staff」, I was able to imagine the scene in real life as I performed the role.
「Momiji Hozuki」Tsuda : Momiji has a boyish appearance, so I was too conscious of that when I played her. My encounter with Mahiro started with the scene where I help her, so I became even more conscious of that. But after that, I think I was able to reflect the girlishness in my performance naturally. I enjoy playing Momiji in the anime as well, watching her make mistakes (laugh) and supporting her at times.
-I heard that the drama CD had karaoke scenes.
「Mahiro Oyama」 Takano When I went to the site, I was given a sample song and told by the staff to sing this in a fun atmosphere. I was told that I did not have to sing the song perfectly since it was not the only song that would be used for the soundtrack, but I didn’t want people to think that Mahiro was tone deaf, so I went to …… (laugh). I am sorry that I made you all wait so long for the recording of the song.
About Onimai ‘s postrecording
-How was the postrecording for the anime?
「Kaede Hozuki」Kanemoto :There was a part where we re-told traced the episodes that had been told in the 「drama CD」, so we were able to record it with nostalgia, thinking, 「This is how we met Mahiro and the other girls」.
「Mahiro Oyama」 Takano I was happy that Mahiro and her friends’ movements were so delicately drawn from the first episode of the anime, and there was a lot of ad-libbing in everyone’s performances, which was fun to play.
「Kaede Hozuki」Kanemoto :Anyway, There is a lot of improvisation in this anime. I was thinking to myself, 「If there is a scene where I can improvise, I will definitely improvise」 (laugh).
「Momiji Hozuki」Tsuda :One of my Interesting memories of ad-libbing in anime is from ……. There was a scene where they were eating crepes together, and Marinka (Takano) had already recorded her voice, and she was ad-libbing said to Momiji (Tsuda), 「Hey, which flavor do you like ?」 I think Momiji replied to the ad-lib by saying that both flavors are delicious, so I hope fans will be able to hear it for themselves (laugh).
「Mahiro Oyama」 Takano :There was a lot of ad-libbing about the scenes where we exchanged lines. It was fun!
「Momiji Hozuki」Tsuda :There is another scene where Momiji does 「●●」 and shares and hides the secret with Mahiro-chan, and when I asked Mahiro what kind of ad-lib performance she would give to Marinka, she replied to me, 「I do that a lot, too」. which was interesting (laugh).
「Mahiro Oyama」 Takano I said that for good reason, but was it too much of a self-deprecating joke ? …… (laugh)
「Kaede Hozuki」Kanemoto :It was difficult to improvise when Kaede and Mihari were going out together at Christmas. The original manga only Writing 「Waiwai」, so I had to research what kind of conversations junior high and high school students are having nowadays before recording the scene.
Waiwai – An onomatopoeic expression for loud and boisterous behavior.
「Mihari Oyama」Ishihara :That scene, me too I actually checked the popular words beforehand for the recording (laugh).
「Kaede Hozuki」Kanemoto :Was that so? (laugh). Also, I ad-libbed some lines in the eye catches (single pictures before and after commercials, etc.), so I hope fans will pay attention to them.
Nekotofu :I left all the ad-libbing, including the eye catches, to everyone at the production site.
「Momiji Hozuki」Tsuda :we asked sensei to be present during the postrecording, and even if I said a line that was too close to the truth, I was able to go into the performance with peace of mind, knowing that I could ask the teacher to make the final decision (laugh).
「Mihari Oyama」Ishihara :Incidentally, there is a backstory about a scene in which a female student chased a male student, and the girl was too harsh with the boy, so we had to re-record the scene …… (laugh).
「Momiji Hozuki」Tsuda : It was indeed a bad thing to be so angry as to make a boy cry. ……
-Is there anything Sensei would like to ask the four of them?
Nekotofu : I would like to know how the recording of the ending theme 「Himegoto*Cry Sisters」 that everyone sang as 「ONIMAI SISTERS」 was done!
「Mihari Oyama」Ishihara : I sang it as the Top Batter. Since it was a noisy work, I was told to 「sing cheerfully and happily」, and the recording went smoothly, but the staff seemed to get into the groove halfway through the song, too. …… (laugh). The staff even gave us ad-lib instructions along the way, and I was impressed that we all had so much fun while recording!
「Mahiro Oyama」 Takano : With Mihari’s voice in the song, it was easy for me to play Mahiro to act. Surprisingly, there are melodious parts, and I wondered if Mahiro was such a cheerful and joyful singing character. I also sang along with some doubts (laugh) .
「Kaede Hozuki」Kanemoto : Actually, we recorded song before the postrecording for the anime, and I was a little nervous because it had been a while since I did Kaede’s voice since the drama CD. The melody line seemed to embody the world of 「Onimai」, so I was able to enjoy singing the song from beginning to end. I remember during the recording session, I was directed to 「try to sing the song while bringing out Kaede’s older sisterly side」.
「Momiji Hozuki」Tsuda As Kaori (Mihari Oyama) said to me, the song has a comfortable and friendly atmosphere from the introduction, with the three of us fighting over Mahiro. I myself used to sing in a friendly atmosphere in a four-member unit in another work, so I felt nostalgic (laugh).
Everyone, finally, do you have a Onimai message for your fans?
「Momiji Hozuki」Tsuda In the anime, Momiji always has an aura of wanting to be friends with Mihari, so I hope fans will pay attention to that when watching the anime. Momiji and the others move so much!
「Kaede Hozuki」Kanemoto : I have heard that the fans of the original work were very vocal about having it made into an anime. All of the characters have a kind heart, and I personally find the recording sessions to be a healing time for me. I hope that fans will be able to feel even a little of that when they see the full-length anime!
「Mihari Oyama」Ishihara : I think it is an exquisite story that is a bit mysterious, but also realistic enough to make you think that there might be a daily life like this. If you watch 「Onimai」 after coming home from work or school, I think everyone will feel comfortable and will be empowered to do their best tomorrow.
「Mahiro Oyama」 Takano :「Onimai」 is a work that I became completely addicted to after reading the original. I am doing my best to make everyone feel happy that this work has been made into an anime. It is a heartwarming and gentle work, so please enjoy it to the end!
Nekotofu :I promise that the anime will be of a quality that will satisfy fans of the original work. Enjoy!
Thank you for watching. See you soon!