— How did you feel after first reading the script?
While I read through the script, I wondered how this universe on paper would be depicted in the animation. I also thought that this would be a difficult role. Still, I found that not only the dialogue, but even the script directions were bursting with the screenwriter’s emotions. Despite its epic scale, there were a lot of subtleties to the story, and I wanted to do my best to portray all of it.
— Please describe your first impressions of Vivy as a character. And what was it like to actually play her?
My first impression was…I don't know if I should be saying this about an AI, but she is so serious and awkward. And that's also what makes her so endearing… She may be an AI, but she's also very stubborn… She has a lot of human imperfections. And playing her didn't change my impression of her. But no matter how human she may seem, she’s still an AI. So it was really hard to portray the subtle nuances and changes in the character.
— Tell us what you liked about the character, and what you could relate to.
Her actions are based on the mission she has been given, because that's how she's been programmed as an AI, but that's what I related to the most. I'm very indecisive, and there are lot of times in life that I end up wavering, but in the end I always go back to my foundation, which is doing what I feel is most important to me. So at our core, we might be the same. Also…we might be similar in that we lack communication skills? (Laughs)
— Vivy's goal is to pour her heart into her singing so that she can one day stand on the main stage. Was there anything you were especially conscious of when you played her, or were there any challenges?
Vivy's goal is to make everyone happy with her singing, and since this is the most important thing to her, when something happens or if somebody says something that challenges that, to put it in human terms, she gets defensive about it. This leads her to act unpredictably, or it pushes her to do things which would normally be outside of her capabilities. Expressing those subtleties in her emotions and her actions was something that was difficult not only for me, but also for the staff as well, who struggled along with me to come up with the best approach.
— What did you think of your sidekick, Matsumoto, and what was it like working on the dialogue with Mr. Fukuyama?
Matsumoto is so pushy and rude, but he looks so cute, which is the only reason he can get away with that behavior. After all that Matsumoto and Vivy experience together, Vivy begins to think he is a good partner. And Mr. Fukuyama, who voices him, is able to talk at that speed and with that pinpoint accuracy because he understands the character so well, and that's why he's able to get in those clever ad libs that are so true to Matsumoto's character. From start to finish, in all kinds of ways…he seemed to have superhuman abilities as a voice actor. There’s a brisk exchange in the dialogue between the two AIs, and sometimes they're on the same page, while sometimes they're not, and the difference would be extreme, but that was also what made it so entertaining and refreshing. A lot of their conversations happen remotely, so please listen closely to the exchanges between Matsumoto and Vivy which is unique to these characters.
— Can you tell us about anything memorable that happened during recording?
There are a lot of characters in the show, but Mr. Fukuyama and I are the only ones who know everything about the one hundred-year journey in the story. Whenever a new voice actor arrives, they almost always ask, “What happened up to now? What’s going to happen later on?” And every time, Mr. Fukuyama would explain the story in this super-precise, accurate manner, and I'd be watching him, thinking, “That's SO Matsumoto!” and smiling underneath my mask. That's an episode I remember from being at the studio, rather than something that actually happened during the recording sessions.
— The first episode was actually a double episode, with 1 and 2 airing consecutively. What did you think after watching it? Tell us what your favorite scenes were, and do you have any favorite lines?
For me, the conversation with Momoka was memorable. When Momoka says to Vivy, “I want to see you singing on the main stage the next time I come. I want all kinds of people to hear you sing more. Promise me!” those words make an impression on her and stay with her forever. And that’s why at the end of Episode 2, when she hears the lines, “We don't have time to tend to every single accident in history,” it's so painful for her. My favorite scene is when Matsumoto, who takes the form of a teddy bear, keeps on patting Vivy on the shoulder. He's so cute. That is, the bear is cute.
— What should we keep an eye on in Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song-, and what are the highlights we can look forward to in the upcoming episodes?
Please keep an eye on the missions that Vivy and Matsumoto carry out for the Singularity Project in the one hundred-year journey, and the real motives and truths driving the characters involved in those missions. I think the way Vivy reacts in those scenes and the actions she takes are the highlights to look forward to. And of course the songs! Also, Kakitani from Toak! You get a glimpse in Episode 2, but he and Vi— (stopping conversation here to avoid spoilers).
— Finally, can you give the viewers a message?
Episodes 1 and 2 have finally aired. From here on out, each of the episodes will depict the Singularity Points in very intense and subtle ways, which will all have an impact on Vivy. Try not to miss any of the stories in their one hundred-year journey, and how Vivy evolves as a character. I would be so thrilled if we could all witness together what lies ahead at the end of the one hundred-year journey. I hope you watch the show until the end.