Translation: misc Macross F stuff その３
November 11, 2011 5 Comments
These translations are entirely my own work. Feel free to quote, link etc if you wish, but please don’t claim it as your own.
Voice Actor Interview, Endo Aya x Nakamura Yuuichi x Nakajima Megumi
Sayonara no Tsubasa “Official Complete Book”, p.54-57
There is some extrapolation in a few places. Hopefully, it’s generally accurate otherwise – but if anyone spots any mistakes, please let me know!
Some of the background/setting is different from that of the series, so what are your impressions of your characters in the second film?
Endo: Until now, Sheryl has been depicted as someone with the strong feelings of “I live to sing, I sing to live”. However, because of her illness, she’s confronted with the ultimate choice of “Should I die? Should I leave behind just my songs?” I think there is an increased sense of how close to the edge she is. But I was really surprised that she showed that weak side of hers. Rather than saying it’s her feminine side, it’s her girlish side. If you think about it, Sheryl is someone who, rather than just saying “why?” would exclaim “why?!” But with a “why is that?” she relies on Alto. I’m not saying that becoming weak is a girlish thing, but rather that I was left with the impression that, in front of Alto, Sheryl’s true self slowly came out. But not just about Alto – she must have been troubled by many things in that scene where she’s hugging a knee to herself; I think there is a really human depth to her that cannot be expressed in just one or two words.
Nakajima: This time, rather than “why is it me?”, I was left with the strong impression that Ranka is a forward-facing person who thinks along the lines of “work is fun; the person I like is here”, so I feel that she’s really grown up. Looking back now, I think that it may have been singing with Sheryl in the final scene of the previous film that changed her. Sheryl was hiding the fact that she was ill, but I think that, beside her, Ranka could feel her aspiration to squeeze every drop of life into that performance. Following that, with the experiences of just a few months, I feel that Ranka really became much more mature. On top of that, I felt that the songs were more than just BGM – they were extensions of her feelings. Especially during the medleys, but I really got the impression that her songs were ringing with emotion for the entire film, along the lines of “if (she) thought in this way, this song would fall apart”. Rather than just ‘singing’, she’s desperately trying to convey something through her songs. I’m really happy to have met a Ranka who was able to take in what Sheryl taught her about ‘living through songs’, and it feels good when I link her with myself, the me who’s been singing as Ranka.
Nakamura: I felt that Alto has become someone who listens to others. In the TV series as well as the previous film, the Vajra were ‘enemies’ that he had to defeat in order to protect the people around him – that’s what I was strongly conscious of. However, he was unable to deny the thought that Ranka shared with him: “if they’re living entities, don’t you think they might have feelings too?” If it were the Alto until now, he would have just laughed and dismissed it, but those words stayed with him even as he continued fighting. When I think about how someone would struggle to come to terms with what they experience if it doesn’t match what they think, I wonder if that’s how people grow up. Looking back at the TV series, in the end, until Alto made up his mind, it only worked negatively for him. In both movies, however, it’s worked positively for him right from the start. Rather that ‘acting out the role others want of him so that he’d appear nice to everyone’, a throwback to his time as an actor, he’s become someone who’s ‘sensitive and understands the feelings of others’. I consciously tried to bring that out in my own acting.
Favourite scene #1: Nakamura Yuuichi
The scene where Alto catches Michel’s fist
The scene where Alto tells Michel “What’s wrong with grieving?” is the one that struck me the most. I don’t think it’s something that the Alto of the TV series could have said, so I’m really glad that he’s become someone who can say this kind of thing.
And what were the scenes that left the greatest impression on you?
Nakajima: For me, it was the scene where Ranka went to see Sheryl at Alcatraz. I felt that Ranka’s exclamation of “weren’t you like this yourself?!” showed just how much she was thinking about Sheryl. And the following developments, until the point where she makes the decision to break Sheryl out, reveal a fountain of strength that Ranka hasn’t showed until now. More than just looking up to Sheryl as a singer, I think it’s due to the fact that, as a person, she wants to accompany her. It was a pretty harsh scene, but I was really glad it was there.
Endo: I think Sheryl felt really frustrated, having to be told off so directly by Ranka like that. But even then, it was a shock when she put herself down, “because I’m going to die”. Even her line about liking Alto was said as it if were an old emotion – rather than giving up, it’s like she had thrown it away. That’s really unlike her – it was a Sheryl I really didn’t want to see. The prison also felt horrifyingly real (to me), it would be terribly dark for this Sheryl to have to live out the last of her days there.
Nakajima: It was also shocking to see her writing lyrics on the wall in her own blood. I really felt that I wanted to save her from that place.
Endo: At that point, the thought that came to my mind was that Sheryl really finds comfort in music. Ranka’s song is another factor, as is the fact that Alto listened to her – that’s why she was able to squeeze her feelings out. Without the two of them, Sheryl wouldn’t have made it, she wouldn’t never have realised many things about herself. Though seeing Alto cross dress was amazing…
Nakamura: Though when he spoke, it was his normal voice (laughs). That was a pretty delicate scene to act out. Were he still the Alto we’ve seen until now, I think he would probably have made fun of her when he saw the lyrics on the wall. In that line of “Lyrics? Even at this point?”, (you) had to leave out even the sense of “you’d go this far”… If it were me, I’d have made fun of her, so I really had to suppress myself to act that out.
Endo / Nakajima: You’re horrible!
Nakamura: In the scene where Sheryl visits Alto in his hospital room, I couldn’t completely suppress myself. I ended up thinking that I still had a long way to go too. At my age, pretending that an apple was a plane and making it go “zoom” was pretty rough (laughs).
Endo: The exchange there also had Sheryl voicing her true feelings. You wouldn’t call it a transient moment of peace, but I liked it for its warmth. At the recording session though, I remember you (Nakamura) putting on a shy front.
Nakamura: heheh. For us too, watching that made all our hearts beat a bit faster.
Endo: The scene that hit me hardest was the one where Grace’s true identity is exposed, the one where she is shot at. When I hear “Diamond Crevasse” I always think of Grace, so I was like “you’re playing this song here!?” I thought it really sad for Sheryl, who was already suffering because of her illness, to have even Grace stolen from her.
Nakajima: When she was arrested and put in prison, Sheryl didn’t resist. In that, I really felt her love for Grace. She put so much trust in her, and carried out her role as a spy to the end.
Endo: Yup, Sheryl didn’t know her own parents, so I feel like she really regarded Grace as her mother. Even though they weren’t related by blood, I was happy that they were able to become mother and daughter in the end.
Nakamura: I was also really moved by the scene where Grace says “You were raised by me”*. I feel that they’ve represented Grace being freed from the brainwashing really conscientiously – even though she was the ‘final boss’ in the TV series, ‘this is how it came about’ is what I thought. This time, there was very little about “using Sheryl”, wasn’t there? We were able to see Grace really taking care of Sheryl from the time she was a child, so I really felt that she was a good person.
*I actually prefer “You’re my child, after all”. Just feels a bit more natural to me.
Favourite scene #2: Endo Aya
The young Sheryl who vowed to become a singer
When I read the Sheryl manga, I really thought that ‘I want to see this kind of scene’! Until now, the young Sheryl had always been depicted in that rundown state, so I’m really glad we got to see her once Grace had found her and given her beautiful clothes to wear.
Endo: Whilst making the previous film, I’d already heard from the director that Sheryl and Alto had met as children. But for you (Nakamura), this was the first you knew of it, right?
Nakamura: That’s right. Just as Alto had forgotten about it, I didn’t know about it. But I thought that if there was such at episode, it’d be “fate”…or to put it another way, I thought there might be something that would show how Sheryl became special/important for Alto*.
*Pretty certain he’s referring to chibi Sheryl’s comment about Alto being like a celestial maiden flying in the sky.
Endo: Megumi, when Ozma and Brera have their “Big Brother Show-down”, who is Ranka’s “Oni-chan!” referring to?
Nakajima: If it were the Ranka until now, I think it’d be Ozma, but my instinct is that she was addressing Brera as well. The Ranka from distant memory and the one that has grown up, it’s like both of them are calling out together. Both of them are incomparable older brothers. And so, having them both come straight for her this time, being able to feel their familial love even on the battlefield made me really happy.
Nakamura: Other than that, in terms of the visuals, because there wasn’t even a picture, much less any effects during the recording session, I was quite impressed by what they did with the YF-29 in the last battle. They made it really easy to understand what was going on.
Endo: The scene where the Quarter appears behind the church with a bang was really cool! I thought that the juxtapositioning of those two disparate elements was pretty interesting.
Nakajima: And for me, definitely Ranka’s concert! She’d never performed on such a large stage before this, and I was really happy that they used some of the choreography from my own concerts.
Nakamura: I’d give them full marks for service – they gave us two completely different concerts. Ranka’s, with an idol-like atmosphere, and one full of charisma for Sheryl.
How did you feel about the last scene, where the triangle was finally settled?
Nakamura: The last scene, where Alto made his decision, was just a blank page in the script we were given. It was only at the recording session that we were presented with it for the first time. It made sense for Ranka and Sheryl, who were told at that point, but I thought that, because I had to act as Alto, I at least should have known. But for some reason, the director made it a surprise. At the very least, I’d like to have known in the scene before he heads out for battle, the one where Ranka appears in a school uniform, that “Huh? Something wrong?” scene.*
*I found this really amusing…because he’s put it in a very girlish way, which explains what Aya says next…
Endo: That’s how you said it?
Nakamura: ‘Course not. At first, it was “Why are you in a uniform?!”, which was really difficult to say, so I had them change it to “That outfit…” Of course, it’s puzzling that it’s a uniform, but it wasn’t the time or place needle her about it. Alto also hugged her after that, didn’t he? I felt that he really had understood her feelings at that point.
Nakajima: I also realised, somehow, that Ranka would be turned down…
Nakamura: Yeah, I was like “Oh god.” I knew that if he didn’t do something like squeeze her hand really tightly at this point, there’d be no end to the booing I’d receive.
Nakajima: I know I know – he’s just showing his friendship with that hug, right?! I think that, for Ranka, it was something like “Ah…he’d do this much for me…” Alto really is too gentle in this film – heart-breakingly so.
Endo: A young gentleness, right? But during the recording session, I thought that the impact of Alto’s final words would change depending on the extent to which they were drowned out by the blast.
Nakamura: At the recording, I finished the line properly, and left the final decisions in the hands of the director. When we actually go to see the completed film, it was like “ah, so this is how much they could hear.”
Personally, I thought it was a climax where you could, once again, realise just how cool the protagonist, Alto, was.
Nakajima: I know what you mean! To me, rather than as a pilot or as a high school student, this was Alto as his coolest as a “man”. Like, “Ranka, isn’t it great that you fell in love with this person?”
Endo: That’s precisely why it’s so sad. Alto’s expression at the point, and Nakamura’s delivery, were so gentle. So much so that, at the recording, without thinking, I just turned to Nakamura and needled him about it – “That line of Alto’s was really gentle, wasn’t it? Wasn’t it?” (laughs). It was gentle, yet sad, and also tender. During the recording, we were all desperately trying to carry out our own roles, so looking back now, it’s an inexpressible feeling, isn’t it?
Nakajima: I don’t know whether he left on a journey elsewhere or whatnot, but I think Alto himself probably realised roughly what would happen to him, and that’s why he chose to confess his love at that point. When I reflect on that, it’s really sad.
What (which scene) do you think was the deciding factor that made Alto choose Sheryl?
Nakamura: Hm…all I can say is that he found himself charmed by her without even being aware of it. In the sense that if you asked him “when did you fall in love?” he’d reply “by the time I realised, I was already in love.” I think that Alto, who became the “wings” carrying the girls’ feelings, just realised something at that point, and finally put it into words, into those final words.
Favourite scene #3: Nakajima Megumi
The scene where Ranka is late in meeting Alto
I was really surprised to see her greet Alto with a ‘Heheh, did you wait long?’ Prior to this, I think she’d have madly dashed up with a “I’m sorry! Did you wait long!?” In contrast to Sheryl who’s showing more of her unadulterated self, I feel Ranka’s inner ‘rogue’ coming out a bit more.
At the end, it was surprising that the name Ranka was calling was Sheryl’s.
Nakajima: Yes, as she was previously, I think Ranka would definitely have been calling for Alto, but this time she rushed over to Sheryl’s side. If you think about it, falling for Alto – maybe that’s what Ranka wanted to confirm for herself by telling him about it. Even after realizing where his feelings lay, the reason she didn’t cry about it was perhaps because she quickly moved on to the feeling of “so you’ll protect Sheryl for us, right?” So, at the end, she’s thinking “She really needs you, so why are you disappearing, Al- … … Sheryl. Sheryl!!” or something along those lines (laughs).
Endo: Sheryl could only react with a “Wha——t..!” to the shock, but Ranka, because of all the things she’s felt, there must have been so many things she had to digest at that point. In this film, I feel that Ranka is really reliable, she’s a step above Alto and Sheryl. In the previous film, she was still calling out for her mother, but now, she’s overcome even the gender distinction and become something of a goddess, an amazing existence. As expected of “the guide of the wind”.
Nakajima: This time, we were able to see a more girlish side of Sheryl. In contrast, Ranka seems to have been much closer to the Vajra, you could even say she was speaking with the Vajra’s feelings in many of the scenes. Though rather than saying that’s their true nature, I feel that the most important aspects of their characters were emphasized. In a different way to the TV series, you can say that “so this is Ranka”, and “so this is Sheryl”.
Ranka too, although Alto was unable to return her feelings, if you look at her story as one of “the birth of an idol”, you get a different impression.
Nakajima: Yes. Though it’s not like we decided on an order of precedence, from start to end, what really came through to me was that “the path of an idol” was the biggest path that Ranka was threading in this film.
Frankly speaking, what are your thoughts after seeing it through to the credits?
Nakamura: In the end, I think it’s a finale where its fine if each viewer comes up with his/her own interpretation. If you’re asking for what I think…that’s a secret. They’ve gone to great pains to make sure everyone can take it the way they want, so I think it’d be wrong to talk about it here, where it might be taken for an official comment.
Endo: It’s somewhat difficult for people to regard our thoughts as those of just another viewer, after all. But I’m sure that the feelings we have are similar to what you all feel – sorrow, sadness, peace of mind…and so on.
Nakajima: For me as well, because sound director Mima told me during the recording session that “this is a story of happiness”, I thought along the following lines. It really feels like we were drawn into the world of “Macross F”, so that these weren’t anime characters, but rather, we were witness to the lives of people who actually lived.
Endo: It’s a strange feeling, isn’t it? Like we were watching something that’s non-fiction.
Finally, “Macross F” has at long last welcomed its finale, so please tell us what the series means for you.
Nakamura: I think it will accompany me for the rest of my life. Just as everyone who has ever been involved in Macross until now has been supported by the respective series, I want to keep protecting the precious memories of having been allowed to be involved in it.
Endo: For me as well, it’s become something that will be with me for life. Sheryl’s something that May’n and I created together, and she became a really profound character, someone that I feel really exists somewhere. I still want to see her in action again, to meet her once again. I know that the staff also had a lot of fun creating her. I’m really glad to have been able to be a part of a project that everyone wanted to be involved in.
Nakajima: Back when I was fretting over my future in my third year of high school, if I had not met Ranka in what I’d decided would be my last audition, I wouldn’t be here today. In the sense of “my music is my life”, this series has really become, in a sense, “my life”. From now on, no matter how old I become, I want to be a me that will never be embarrassing to Ranka, who has changed me so much!