【Interview】 The Eminence in Shadow Voice Actor Seiichiro Yamashita as Sid & Shadow Asami Seto as Alpha


TV anime of the popular light novel “The Eminence in Shadow” written by Daisuke Aizawa and illustrated by Tozai will start airing in October 2022!

Kageno, a high school student, spends his days in intense and harsh training, dreaming of working in the dark and manipulating the world in the shadows, rather than outwardly ruling it. In the middle of his dream, he lost his life in a car accident, but was reincarnated as Sid, the second child of a country aristocrat, Baron Kagenoh. Using his accumulated knowledge and abilities, he formed Shadow Garden to challenge the Diabolos cult. With overwhelming power that transcends good and evil, and with a subordinate named Seven Shadows in his possession, what is the course of Cid’s ambitions under the name of Shadow?

To commemorate the start of the broadcast of this remarkable work, we have started a series of interviews with the cast, staff, and other people involved in this work! In the first installment, Seiichiro Yamashita, who plays Sid/Shadow, and Asami Seto, who plays Alpha, the first seat of Seven Shadows, look back on episodes 1 and 2, talk about the secret recording, introduce the ED song “Seven Shadows” sung by Nanayin, and discuss future highlights of the show.

Quotes Anime Times

-Two episodes have aired, but what are your thoughts in retrospect?

Yamashita: Episode 1 started with the episode when Cid was still living as Kageno, and those who watched it without knowing the original story may have thought it was a different anime and checked the channel, thinking “I thought it was about a reincarnation to another world. (laugh) But in just one episode, I think it was an episode that showed what kind of man Cid was and why he went to such lengths to seek strength.

And then there was Ms. Yui Horie who played Akane Nishino, a classmate who “hates” Kageno but was kidnapped and saved by Kageno. It was a surprise because it was a secret until the broadcast, wasn’t it? And the kidnapper 1 is played by Shin Furukawa. It’s an amazingly gorgeous cast, isn’t it?

Seto: It was also impressive that the piano performance of Moonlight was flowing several times during the first episode, wasn’t it? It was like they were hinting at the future of Shadow Garden, which lives in darkness.

Click on the image to go to youtube. ↓

-There was a scene towards the end where Kageno himself was playing, and I wondered if he was practicing as well as martial arts?

Yamashita: He could have been practicing. And then he saves Nishino, and I thought they had a bit of a heart-to-heart, but then he died in a car accident without a moment’s notice. As the performance of Moonlight was playing, I thought the end credits were playing, but then he appeared with Seven Shadows in his reincarnated form as Shadow, which was also a great pull.

-The beginning of the second episode began with a conversation between the reincarnated boy Sid and the girl Alpha, including the shocking line, “This elf is easy.

Yamashita: He was reincarnated as a child of the Kagenow family and was depicted from birth, so I didn’t expect to even play the baby myself.

Seto: I watched you play the role, and it was very interesting (laugh).

-I thought Kagenow was having an otherwise uninteresting boyhood, but then he destroys a band of thieves. The encounter with Alpha, the anecdote of the formation of the Shadow Garden, and the farewell were all important elements concentrated in the story.

Seto: But just when you think the seven shadows are all here, Alpha says, time to leave you has come Goodbye. (laugh) From episode 3 onward, we will see Shichiyin in action as Shadow’s shadow, and there will also be episodes where each of the seven shadows will be depicted more fully, so please look forward to those episodes.

Yamashita: Two years after his sister Claire enrolls in the Midgaru “Mage Swordsman” Academy in King’s Landing, Cid also enrolls in the same school. There, many strong characters will appear. The cast playing the guest characters is also very splendid. Alexia, the second princess of the kingdom, will be the central focus of the story, so please look forward to it. …… I said something like the end of a conversation, lol.

Oh, in episode 2, during the single combat scene with the enemy who kidnapped Claire, there is a scene where he counts lesson 1 and 2 when he is lecturing her on how to fight. I did my best to act the way I said it, so please watch the scene.


Sid is pure and motivated by curiosity, and Alpha is the embodiment of Cid’s ideal?

-What is your impression of the character you play and what were you conscious of when you played him?

Yamashita: It is complicated to be Shadow and to be Sid, but I might was conscious of the fact that he is not overly thoughtful, and that he is a strange boy, but he is honest at heart. There is no pure calculation, and he is driven impulsively by curiosity, by the feeling that it would be fun to do this or it would be cool to do that. But it is not ego-driven, it is pure, and I was conscious of that as the point where Cid never wavers. The director also directed me to “You can be more playful here,” and I was able to do it quite freely.

In fact, since Cid was in a meta position in the story, there were parts that did not need to follow the flow of the main story, so I did not have a firm framework that said, “This is the kind of person Cid is. We were often told to “go with the momentum” for each scene, or to focus on the theatrical interactions with others, and often the pattern was, “It was interesting, so it’s OK.

Seto: When Alpha first met Cid as a child, she had trouble grasping the situation and was sometimes very naive, so her emotions would come out and she would get upset. However, after becoming enamored with Shadow, she has always been calm and perfect, seeing through everything that happens one move ahead of time. Since she was the first seat among the Seven Shadows to support Shadow, she was also in a leadership position, so she would guide the members, and she is a calm woman no matter what happens. There were not so many acting instructions, but the only thing that made a deep impression on me was when she told me that I could exaggerate more when I was acting shocked at Shadow, who was looking even further ahead than Alpha, who was calculating ahead, and said, I thought, I’m in a story that Shadow created, so it’s okay to dance around more, just go with the flow.

In the second episode, Shadow and Seven Shadows split up, and it is not described in detail in the original story or in the anime until they come together again under Shadow. I like that it gives the viewers room to think and imagine. However, from episode 3 onward, the girls are often hiding in the shadows (laugh).

-Seven Shadows respect and revere Shadow, but Alpha doesn’t even give Shadow honorific titles and often speaks to them in a peer language. Of the seven, I felt the closest sense of distance between them.

Seto: Of course she has respect for Shadow, but maybe her pride in being the first seat makes her feel the closeness of distance in her actions and attitude.

Yamashita: I see. Certainly, I feel a special distance to her…she is the only one among the seven who seems to treat him with a buddy-like feeling.

Seto: Maybe because she met him first among those members?

Yamashita: Because she was the first woman whom “Shadow” freed from demon possession, the first person who told him about the Diabolos cult, and the first member of Shadow Garden.

Seto: Maybe the two of you fit in with each other’s senses. We have a similar way of fitting in with that worldview.

Yamashita: Maybe Alpha is the best embodiment of Shadow’s ideal.

-I know you guys are doing a decentralized recording, but did the two of you often record together?

Yamashita: Yes, that’s right. We also had dialogue exchanges with the people who play the main characters in each episode of the story. The studio where we record has a large room and a small room, and I often record alone, listening to everyone’s voices.

Seto: Mr. Yamashita has a lot of monologues, so it’s no good if his voice overlaps with other people’s.

Yamashita: There is a good thing about being able to record alone without overlapping voices, but I also feel lonely. But I was also thinking, “This loneliness is also like being a powerful person in the shadows” (laugh). The voice actors who will be playing guests in the first and second episodes, as well as in the future episodes, are superb, and I am happy and happy to be able to exchange lines with these wonderful people.

-What were some of the funniest things that happened when you two were together?

Seto: I always have fun when we record together. Since Shadow is the core of the story, without Shadow, the recording would be done in one scene at a time, but with Shadow, I could see the whole story and Yamashita’s acting was interesting (laugh). I feel lucky to be able to see Yamashita-kun take on the challenges suggested by the director when we are together.

Yamashita: It was chilling when I was acting, and I thought, “Oh, he’s listening to me! (laugh).

Do you talk with the cast members during breaks or after recording?

Yamashita: We often chatted in the lobby. Seto-chan talked a lot with the other Seven Shadows members, didn’t you? Like Inori Minase (who played Beta).

Seto: Sure, I was often together with Inori. I’m happy because I can feel too the world of the anime more when I can record with everyone in Seven Shadows.

The ED song “Darling in the Night” sung by Seven Shadows was a surprise for me because it was a solo song and a cute idol-like song.

-How did you feel when you saw the video and saw it yourself?

Yamashita: As the title “The Eminence in Shadow” suggests, the color palette is dark, and the action is so flashy that it looks great. Seven Shadows has different specialties, so I had a feeling that the picture was created by taking advantage of each of their characteristics. I think Delta is probably the most flashy in terms of action, but I also felt the differences between them and the attention to detail in their movements. Even at the time of the PV, the use of movement and sound was wonderful.

Seto: When I saw the video, I thought about the backgrounds and props that I couldn’t see during the recording. …… Shadow is quite particular about them (lol), so I thought it was very beautiful to actually see them. The first episode was set in the real world where Shadow was still Kageno, but when he was reincarnated, I could immediately feel in the background that the landscape had changed to a medieval European setting. I was also drawn in by the music, which was not attached to the animation at the time of my recording. Shadow has a lot of monologues, but in some scenes, the sound would disappear, and there was a direction that made the dialogue stand out. The combination of the pictures, music, and our performance made the whole piece more colorful, and made me realize once again how fun animation is.

-The ED song is “Darling in the Night” sung by the members of Seven Shadows, and although Alpha’s solo version was played for the first time in the second episode, I am looking forward to seeing each member sing solo in each episode.

Seto: First of all, I was surprised when I was told that Seven Shadows would be singing together. I thought, “Will we all sing together like a unit?” but each member recorded one full song. Seven Shadows is an existence that lives in the shadows, so I wondered if it would be a cool, cool, and quiet song. But it turned out to be a bright, girlish song.

Yamashita:It’s a cute, idol-like song.

Seto: The melody is in a high key, and the chorus builds up to the chorus. I thought it would be difficult for Alfa to sing it because of her character, but the lyrics included feelings of gratitude and respect for Shadow’s help, so I thought it would be okay to express what Alfa was thinking in her heart in a girlish and cute way, which she usually cannot express. But I guess some people were surprised at the gap between the song and the main story (laugh). The video is like a puzzle, little by little, you start to see the characters, and I enjoy that kind of direction.

Click on the image to go to youtube. ↓

In the third episode, Sid enters the Mage Swordsman academy, meets various characters, and there is even a crisis at the academy?

-Please tell us about episode 3, which will be broadcast next, and what we can expect to see in the following episodes.

Seto: We’ve already said goodbye (laugh).

Yamashita: It’s about what Cid is going to do, isn’t it? Cid will enter Midgar “Mage Swordsman Academy”. The world is expanding further and more interesting characters are coming out. His commitment to “Eminence in Shadow” will be on full display. His odd efforts to stay inconspicuous and stay like a mob character are also interesting. On the other hand, there is a terrible evil force approaching the school, and we can see a glimpse of something terrible about to happen in this world.

There are many comedic elements, but there are also serious elements, and I think it is not too much to say that Finally the real work of this anime is about to begin. The encounter with Alexia, the second princess of the Midgar Kingdom, is a major event for Sid, and it is also Alexia’s story, so I hope you will pay attention to it.

Seto: Starting from episode 3, big events are happening one after another, so I don’t think you will be able to take your eyes off of it. In episode 3, Sid’s monologue about his feelings for mob characters overflowing and the vindictive nature of his feelings are interesting (laugh). The friends chosen by Sid are interesting too

Yamashita: Hyoro and Jaga, the best!

Seto: It will be interesting to see how the number of characters surrounding Cid will gradually increase, and how various dramas will unfold, such as human relationships and causes.

Yamashita: Another highlight is the overwhelming strength and coolness of Shadow and Seven Shadows in battle scenes.

-By the way, from the third episode, it looks like a school episode. Is the fact that the Seven Shadows are wearing school uniforms in the OP image a foreshadowing that leads to this episode?

Seto: I was curious about that too! But they were uniforms from the real world where Kageno was in the past, right?

Yamashita: Yes, yes!

Seto: After they were in their uniforms, they were dressed like superwomen.

Yamashita: They all beam together.

Seto: Was there a meaning to that too?

Yamashita: I also wanted to ask the director about that op someday. Even if it didn’t have any meaning, it’s okay because it’s cute (laugh).

Click on the image to go to youtube. ↓

-Now, please give us a final message to everyone.

Seto: I think that some of you who have read this article to the end have enjoyed the original story and comics of “Eminence in Shadow” and are big fans who have been waiting for the anime adaptation. The other day, the anime started airing, and I think that the first episode, including the elaborate introduction, has not only met but exceeded everyone’s expectations. Some of you may have wondered if it was a scary work after watching the first episode, but as you will see after watching the second episode, there are many comedic scenes, and I think you will realize and enjoy that it is a world that comes true because of his hard work and strength of heart.

There will be more characters in the future, and the story is full of dizzying developments and shocks, so I would be happy if you could watch over him until the end and enjoy it with me.

Yamashita: I had a firsthand experience of the number of “Eminence in Shadow” fans and their high expectations even before the program went on air, and when the PV was shown on YouTube before the broadcast, it was filled with comments from people not only in Japan but from all over the world. I was happy to see that the fun of the show, with its routine flow, chuunibyou moves, Shadow’s actions, and the contrived elements of their misplaced ideas, could be shared by people all over the world. The fact that the original work has such appeal also gave me confidence in my performance, saying, “I am sure you will enjoy it!

In the first episode of the anime, I think I was able to convince and impress everyone who was looking forward to the story. The special moves and dialogue of Shadow are faithfully and well-paced, so it is good to compare it with the original work and comics, and I am sure that new viewers will also enjoy the crazy characters and story. I hope you can also feel the love and commitment to “Eminence in Shadow” of the production staff and our cast members.The recording of the show itself was finished quite some time ago, so I myself will enjoy watching it every week and be surprised to see how the ad-libs were used.

Thank you for watching. See you soon! (*´ω`)b

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