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  • Tenchi Muyou panel at Anime Expo 1996

    Tenchi Muyou panel at Anime Expo 1996
    Seiyuu Guests
    Orikasa Ai (޳ް)
    Takada Yumi (ͳ)
    free (for those who attended Anime Expo)
    • Report by Jimmy Chan, 1996.06.30
      Additional information by Kenny Toh

    A Tenchi Muyo panel was held on 1996.06.29 as part of Anime Expo '96. The panel included Japanese and American voice actors as well as production staff. Featured guests were Orikasa Ai and Takada Yumi, the Japanese voice actresses for the characters Ryoko and Aeka. The emcee of the event was one Jeff Okamoto.

    The event started late, so people had a chance to photograph the voice actors before they took the stage. Takada Yumi wore a blue short-sleeved shirt with butterfly and ladybug designs and white pants. Her hair was up in two bundles, one on each side. Orikasa Ai had her hair tied in a bun and she wore a full kimono! The kimono was blue-green and had dragonfly designs on it. Ai also wore a gold obi.

    After the guests were introduced, Ai said in English, "Hello!" to great applause. Then she moaned "Oooh, Tenchi!" to screams from the crowd. After the noise died down, the question and answer session began.

    How did the actors approach voice characterization?

    Ai: "I'm an actress!" The voice comes from deep within.
    Yumi: I form the voice from the image, but that as time went on the character has become more and more like myself.

    Did the actresses fight when NOT filming?

    Yumi: Well, we don't need to do rehearsals when we have to ad lib fights.
    Ai: We're friends.

    Did the actresses do anything physical while voice recording?

    Ai: This is not me, but somebody has whacked the person next to her on occasion. There is such a person.
    Yumi: When you do things like crying, you have to mimick them. But, you don't want to have your loved ones see you like this.

    A comment was made that Orikasa Ai seems more like Aeka in real life than Ryoko.

    Ai: You're a fabulous person! I'd like to think that I have the delicateness of Aeka and the ruggedness of Ryoko.
    Yumi: People mistake us for each other's character.

    Did the actresses do other things or mainly voice acting?

    Yumi: I do radio, stage, educational films.
    Ai: I'm very greedy, and not just happy with one job.

    I think the question asked was if the actresses were required to do both singing and voice acting.

    Ai: Seiyuu singing is recent... Please buy my CD!
    The American Ryoko said that she didn't have a good voice for singing. But, Ai complemented her on her voice. Someone suggested a Karaoke contest.
    Ai: I'll take her on anytime!

    According to Orikasa Ai, her second CD will be coming out sometime this year. Also, she said that nowadays it's quite normal for seiyuu to also release song albums.

    How did you become a voice actor?

    Yumi: I wanted to be a DJ.
    Ai: God came down to my pillow side and said, "YOU will become a voice actor."

    Any difference between singing as a character and as yourself?

    Ai: There's a little difference. Singing as the character, you have to be scary all the time.

    Someone asked Ai to talk about her performance in a PlayStation game.

    Ai: I do each one so lovingly. It will take time to remember which one.
    The questioner pressed for an answer.
    Ai: Umm... I'll answer you tomorrow. Please let me go! I forgot!

    Do you feel voice acting is a good job?

    Yumi: You can become anything you want.
    Ai: If I had a daughter who wanted to be a voice actress, I would say, "Go to College!"

    Is there a difference between voice acting and radio?

    Ai: In radio, you can be yourself.

    There was also a question about how much control the Japanese seiyuu had during the production of Tenchi Muyou. Ai and Yumi answered that they regularly have fights with the director, but recently, they have been winning their fights!

    After some final questions to the director, the event ended. After the event, the actresses went to an autograph area to sign autographs.

    Some tidbits from the event:
    Ai will be on the Tenchi Movie CD coming out in July and she will have her own album out sometime in Autumn. There will be a new Bubble Gum Crisis series coming out.

    You needed to have your name drawn in a raffle to get an autograph. I didn't get picked. Since I had nothing better to do, I hung around the autograph area watching all the lucky people get autographs from Yumi and Ai. A security goon was also there practicing his crowd control techniques on three people. Unfortunately for me, rushing off to weekend classes before going to the Expo, I forgot my camera. So now I have nothing to remember this event by except my own hastily scribbled notes. I hope the notes were helpful to somebody.

    There were 2 picture sessions, one before the event, and another after. The translator tried to stop people from using their flashes, but noone paid any attention to him (^_^). The second picture session wasn't an official one, but what happened is that they allowed people to take pictures as the seiyuu were signing autographs. I hope my photos came out well...

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