Talking Gundam with Kengo Kawanishi, Yuka Terasaki & TRUE

Gunpla Expo 2016 Stage Segment Kengo Kawanishi Yuka Terasaki

At Gunpla Expo 2016, Seiyuus (voice actor/actress) Kengo Kawanishi who plays Mikazuki Augus and Yuka Terasaki who plays Kudelia Aina Bernstein from hit series Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans made a special appearance for the stage segment. Joining them is singer TRUE (Miho Karasawa) who gave a powerful performance of the ending theme “STEEL -Tekketsu no Kizuna-” (STEEL -Iron Blooded Bonds-). Catching up with them after an entertaining stage segment, the trio had a quick chat with our writer about piloting Gundams and their experiences working on the series.

Gunpla Expo 2016 Stage Segment Yuka Terasaki 01

On the topic of piloting an actual Gundam if given the chance, Terasaki-san shyly admitted that she does have a fear of flying and is quite clumsy at times. Thus as the life of the pilot is in his/her own hands, she would rather not even if she has the chance to do so.

Kawanishi-san adds in that while he would like to be one, his experience on the flight to Singapore is making him think twice as the airplane that both of them (both Kawanishi-san and Terasaki-san were on the same flight) were on ran into bad turbulence which made them “jump” off their seats and caused them to fear for their lives. Piloting a Gundam would mean the chance of encountering such situation and he decided maybe not on the chance to pilot a Gundam.

Of course both agreed that if they had the proper skills like Mikazuki from the series, they wouldn’t mind giving it a try. Although Terasaki-san commented that if it was Kudelia instead, she would be pressing control buttons at random and crashing the piloting the system (which makes this writer wonder if Gundams so have blue screens of death).

Gunpla Expo 2016 Stage Segment TRUE Miho Karasawa

Karasawa -san on the other hand was the more adventurous one. As a kid growing up watching Gundam, she noticed that there were more male pilots than females and would like to add to the number of female pilots if given the chance (To which this writer also agrees we need more female pilots kicking baddies’ butt out in space!).

The anime fan also shared about her career which saw her recent switch from writing lyrics for notable names in the Anisong industry to being an Anisong artiste herself. Even though she never imagined herself being one as a young anime fan, she realised that an area she can excel in career wise is to do what she loves the most, thus TRUE (her stage name) was born. Looking back at her time as a lyrics writer, she shared that lyrics she wrote depended on the theme or plot of the anime. But now on her own as an artiste and this allowed her to express herself more without constrain.

Gunpla Expo 2016 Stage Segment Kengo Kawanishi Yuka Terasaki

Ending off the session with both Seiyuus talking about their time during the first season of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, both Terasaki-san and Kawanishi-san shared that it was rare or even never that they forgot to “break out” of character while not recording when asked. Both agreed that what requires them to be in character are elements such as the presence of the script, the anime visuals playing as they record their part and of course other Seiyuus playing their own characters that they can interact or converse with. Although she did speak in character as Kudelia during the stage segment, it did take extra effort due to the lack of these elements shared Terasaki-san.

Gunpla Expo 2016 Stage Segment Kengo Kawanishi

Adding on, Kawanishi-san also mentioned that during the recording for the series, he stumbled on one of his lines while recording with Orga Itsuka, Leader of Tekkadan (voiced by Yoshimasa Hosoya) and broke out of character to apologise.  Even though they were supposed to take a break after that, Orga’s Seiyuu continued and Kawanishi-san carried on voice acting Mikazuki as the context and presence of the series elements helped him back into character.

It was definitely a fun session with the three of them and I do look forward to catching the second season of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans later in the year!

By Kenneth Wong

© POPCulture Online 2016