Anime Festival Asia (AFA) Singapore 2022 saw the first on-stage, in-person appearance of the Lycoris Recoil director Shingo Adachi and voice actress of the main character Takina Inoue: Shion Wakayama following the airing of the anime. Through a translator, the two answered a number of questions about the series, often ranging on the sillier side.
In front of hundreds of adoring fans, the two spoke of their time in Singapore, the fun they had making the show as well as the challenges, occasionally prompted some insightful comments about Takina panties. It was a laugh and left the room in applause. A great time all around.
Fun in Singapore
You know a guest Q&A is off to a good start when Ms. Shion Wakayama comes on to the stage and starts by doing the “Sakana!” pose Takina makes in episode 4 of the series. Quite the entrance.
From there both VA and the director spoke about coming to AFA in Singapore. It was Adachi-san’s first time speaking in public after the anime finished airing and coming to the country. He mentions he was really worried about today as he didn’t think many people would show up (and was very much proven wrong). He was apparently so worried in fact that last night, he went out drinking and ended up sakana posing in front of the Merlion!
Wakayama-san likewise has come to Singapore for the first time and apparently as of the event, hasn’t even been in the country for 24 hours. She says she was taken sightseeing around the city but regrets she hasn’t had the chance to try some chicken rice yet.
Before coming here, she was apparently taught one Singlish/Manglish word: Syok (good/pleasing).
“You can call me Wakayama Syok!” she exclaimed.
First reveal of in-development footage
Adachi then revealed never-before-seen in-development concept footage of Lycoris Recoil, going over a few different scenes and the various challenges he, his team, and the voice actors had to overcome.
He notes how early draft animation would be shown to voice actresses like Wakayama to give them a better feel of the scene of the dubbing process.
“You can see how vibrant the animations and expressions are to help Wakayama-san do the scene”.
He notes that it was a lot harder to conceptualize the voice for the characters since Lycoris Recoil was an original work without prior source material to base work from. He said he tried to make dialogue where Takina and Chisato got the know each other and implemented a healthy dose of humor. When serious scenes came up, he imagined how the pair would react and react to each other.
The Question of Panties
Since one of the concept scenes was in an underwear shop, Ms. Shion Wakayama proceeded to ask if the director had decided what kind of panties Takina and Chisato would be wearing at the time. This was the start of a super serious discussion about the undergarments present. The voice actress said that since Takina has a straight-laced personality, she looks at the panties like a target for eradication. She tried to voice Takina with a bit of subtle embarrassment in it though. Just a hint of cuteness.
I should note, there were two plushies on the table on stage: Takina and Chisato. Wakayama slowly reached over to the Takina plushie. She turned the doll over and peeked to check the panties. Takina was wearing boxers underneath though. That didn’t stop the audience from rolling in laughter.
Creating Emotion (minor spoilers)
Adachi goes on to speak about a scene later in the series where Chisato and Takina part ways and creating the proper emotion between the two leads. Takina turns back one last time to see Chisato. This was meant to show that even though they go their own ways, they’re still thinking about each other.
He then made a joke that perhaps Takina turned back because she was still thinking about the other’s panties. “It’s a story of thinking about each other, pantsu and all”.
Shion Wakayama also spoke more about voicing Takina. She said that before recorded lines, she’d “put takina and herself together as one”. She feels Takina is “a different aspect of herself” and often thinks of the “Takina in my mind” when figuring out how to do a line.
The script was changed many times throughout the show’s production, sometimes at the last minute. Wakayama often said she often relied on her mental Takina to get her through the lines.
When asked about the character growth of Takina, she said that “it’s not a growth for Takina but rather bringing out a different side of Takina and helping her express herself more. Takina sees both good things and bad things. She learns to forgive people. That is her growth”
The event ended with both Shingo Adachi and Shion Wakayama thanking fans for attending their stage Q&A. Wakayama also hoped that people didn’t think she was too “yabai” (bad/dangerous) because of her panty discussion.
“Thank you for coming to the Lycoris Recoil stage, remember Shion Wakayama is a pure girl, not yabai!”
Despite playing such a stoic character, she certainly has a lively attitude in person. It really goes to show what a good range she has as a voice actress.
Adachi noted that while he was walking around the convention today, he saw many cosplayers dressed as Lycoris Recoil characters, artists selling drawings of them, and people buying merch. He was very happy to see so much support for the anime from fans.