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Voice Actor, Kitamura Eri, Talks About Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

Marvelous have been interviewing the women who voice the characters of Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, and we’ve been translating those interviews for you. (We’ve previously translated the videos with Hitomi Harada, the voice of Asuka, and Hirata Hiromi, the voice of Miyabi. Feel free to check those out.)

Please enjoy the newest interview with Kitamura Eri, the voice of Homura.

Q: Please say a line as your character.

Kitamura Eri: Meat! Come out! Lots of meat! Get out here!

Please introduce yourself.

Hello and good afternoon everyone. The series has continued, and I’ve been playing a girl that’s become quite unlucky. I’m Kitamura Eri, and I play the part of Homura.

Three years have passed quickly since Senran Kagura. How did you feel about being offered a part in an “Explosive Breast Hyper-Battle”? Let’s hear your impressions, memories, and thoughts.

The series has gone on for a quite a while now. I didn’t think it would, but I’m working hard with everyone else on recording the lines. Is this a spoiler? When recording’s over for the series, the Senran Kagura staff say “We think there’ll be another one.” This unending story and the world of Senran Kagura is something people feel a lot of passion for. That’s in the games. I try to feel that during the recording process. To describe the feeling I had when I received the offer, rather than saying I was surprised, and happy to be beginning a new series. I’m interested in what Homura will do this time. There’s a little bit of expectation and hope blended with the idea that I have to work hard and focus. That’s always the impression I have.

What sort of person is Homura? How is the character like you? How is she different?

It’s worth mentioning that she’s Asuka’s rival. To borrow terminology from the parlance of professional wrestling, she’s a heel. Fundamentally, she is of high status. She also has a lot of pride. Before the other people appearing in the work, she’s totally serious. And yet, rather than saying she’s powerful, if I had to put it into words, because there is shadow, she’s extremely strong.

[Notes on the side:

Hobbies: Fighting

Character: Her word choice and actions are violent. Her manners and politeness are refined; she’s got a lot of girl power.

Interview continues:]

Think of her as a “cool beauty”. An actress playing a dark character. That’s the kind of nuance the creator made for Homura. A TV anime and several games have been made. There’s a strong feeling of things entering spinoff mode. She loves meat, and there’s a performance involving hitting a crab. So from the original design of Homura many odd things have been produced. The fans ate that up and wanted more—and the scenario team wanted to oblige their appetites. They wrote the story to indulge the fans’ desires. When reading the manuscript, I remember imagining what Homura’s facial expressions might be like. A human-like person who’s like a girl, in a story full of affection. The fans who’ve played through the series have said “sometimes Kitamura pops up”. I’ve had a lot of fun playing the character. There’ve been a lot of girls I’ve found in the game—it’s been enjoyable.

Her passionate hobby is fighting. How about you?

She fights everyday, and I do that in the business of voice acting. But in fact, hmm. For me, playing games or other things related to 2D stuff. I often play battle games. However, just because I like games doesn’t mean I’m good at them. I’m not saying I like games to mean I am good at them. But in battle games or puzzle games, the brevity of the various modes means I can fit them into my spare time, which is good for reducing stress.

Do you enjoy the same kind of food the character enjoys? And how about the food you yourself enjoy?

I have an unbalanced diet. It’s not that there are foods I won’t eat because I hate them too much, but if I’m working on eating something I like, I stay focused on that one thing for the whole meal. That’s the type of person I am. For example, and this is like Homura (who likes meat)—if meat is part of the meal, I’ll eat that for the entire time. However, if I become more interested in cake, I’ll dine on that exclusively. That’s the sort of person that I am. However, Homura loves meat so much she’ll be taking some to the grave with her. Like her, I take food very seriously. So as far as that goes … we’re sort of similar, yet not. I concentrate on something for a little while, but she does so for the long-term. That’s the difference, I think.

Do you like crabs and shrimp?

I’m not into shellfish, but I like crabs and shrimp. Unfortunately, crab is expensive! I haven’t eaten it that often in my life. So when I say crab, what I really mean is crabsticks. They’re convenient, and much cheaper than real crab. You can even turn them into snacks. Rather than real crab, crabsticks are what I tend to eat. I do love the taste of crab, however. Crab miso soup. And I’ll get it when I go to a sushi place. I love shrimp, too. Shrimp is good, but I love sweet shrimp.

Did you ever live a part-time job life like Homura? If there are times in your life when you did manual labor, let’s hear about them.

Rather than manual labor, I did office work. I worked handling telephone appointments. And one handling complaints. However, I was very laid back and slouched, leading to problems. “I am very sorry for my actions.” “I clearly haven’t studied enough.” “I deeply regret what I have done.” I was living life by the company manual. Our place was selling computer peripherals over the net. We also handled telephone orders. Talking with customers was interesting, but there were times when I thought, You didn’t need to go that far. So that’s over and done with now. It’s something we can talk about while laughing and crying. Right now, Homura’s part-time job lifestyle of living now to the fullest is something I can laugh about. Will it work out?

The stage is a midsummer beach. Do you like beach parties or do you prefer going to the mountains? Please tell us and give us your reasons why.

Okay. The beach or the mountains? I prefer indoor activities. But if I must choose one of the two to answer, and it’s that group of girls, it’d be the beach. There are some things I don’t like about the mountains. Lots of bugs! And mosquitoes think I taste great. I worry about the weather changing. Maybe I don’t want to use all that energy going up the mountain. The beach has its own set of problems. I can’t swim. However, the sights I might get to view at the beach are kind of nice.

Tell us what to look for in this installment.

Now that I think about it, there are so many characters in so many different factions. There are 25 different ones. I wonder if there will be players who’ll still choose Homura amongst that lot. Maybe it’s like the general election for AKB. There are many appealing characters. As it’s an exploding breast battle, the camera focuses on the upper half of the body. The costumes and character designs, the factions and their colors get a lot of care and attention. We’re sure you have your own favorite character but five new ones appeared in this game (that was confirmed by the staff.) This time around they were aiming for a matsuri (Japanese festival) concept. I like traditionally Japanese things, and this one has a festival with lots of cute girls added in. Now matsuri have a very strong masculine feel, with feats of strength and endurance on display. This has been incorporated into their designs.

This time around, I was interested to see how their attacks would be part of that. For example, Kafuru uses a dolphin. As the game’s running on a Playstation system, the graphics are very good and dynamic. I really liked the effects on the girls’ attack animations. Oh, and just destroying clothes is getting old. Get the clothes wet, make them transparent, dirty them, and completely wipe them out. That’s a special feature! Please regard us favorably.

Which of the new characters do you like?

It’s hard to choose! BUt I really like Kafuru. Izawa Shiori from my office voices her. As far as what kind of atmosphere she has, it’s one of imagination—while it’s true that Izawa-san is behind her, so is that dolphin, played by Shirai-kun, still another voice actor. I wonder what kind of connection there is in the attack: the sound, and its appearance. As far as addressing the person behind the character, Ryoki-san is the one I support the most. She’s voiced by Inoue Kikuo who I like very much. Her voice as a seiyuu has a lot of status, and the character and her atmosphere are things I was really looking forward to experiencing. I was sure she’d be a good character.

Tell us about any scenes or lines that really left an impression.

As usual, Homura has her “Meat! Meat!” line and “Meat guy!” lines which I was really looking forward to. I had fun recording them. In terms of systems, once again we brought out the touch system. Shake it, make it sway, etc. But the touch system was even more detailed, or so I heard. Is this silly? Is the team that makes this a bunch of airheads? But yes, it’s much more complex – because they are maniacs. They really love a certain upper part of the body. This time around you can flip skirts and spank. This time around they’ve mastered the lower part of the body. Yup, that’s in the game. Those kinds of things are there. Controlling the system inside the changing room is also interesting. The feature that most fascinated me was zooming in with the camera and the reaction to it. “By any chance, have you dipped yourself in meat soup?” What’s with that? If you eat too much meat, what happens? Does it drip on you? Maybe that’s the meaning of the line. She was probably serious when she thought of the line, but the Senran Kagura team loved its ridiculousness and told me to say it more often.

In Senran Kagura, there was a changing room where you could change into your favorite outfit. Are there any outfits you’d like to try on or is there an outfit you want Homura to wear?

Hmm. Nope, I don’t have any that I want to wear myself. As far as outfits I’d have Homura wear: kigurumi! Even though we wouldn’t be able to see her face. It’d also work if her face stuck out of a really big costume or if the head was really big. And it’d be better if the costume didn’t look like her either. So since she likes meat, how about dressing her up in a big peace of meat costume with the bone sticking out? How about that?

Senran Kagura has become something known more for tearing clothes than fierce battles. Do you have any experience with your clothes suddenly tearing?

Fortunately, no. [angry emoji]

What part of Senran Kagura do you like the most?

Tough question. There are lots of intricate systems in it and the scenario. The character design has a lot of attention to detail in every game. Even for girls, these characters are very cute. And in terms of my personal taste, I love the music in the games. The themes are cool. I got them to show me the trailer for the new series and Asuka’s voice could clearly be heard in it. It had a grown-up feeling to it, and I wanted to hear more. The series also has a lot of good songs and musical compositions in it. Those are fun.

Please tell us about the charm of Senran Kagura to people who have never played the game before.

In any case, its a game you probably haven’t seen the like of before. There are a ton of characters appearing in it, and you’ll have fun going through their routes, the scenario, and getting into battles. There are also a lot of girls that you’ll end up liking. Issuing commands will also be fun, as there are a lot of different systems. I want you to pay special attention to those.

What is Senran Kagura in one word?

Saying it in one word is difficult. What word can I choose to communicate Senran Kagura to everyone? One character in the game, Homura, speaks with my voice, and so with full responsibility, I will choose meat. [The characters on the screen represent beef, pork, and chicken] And I mean meat in a sexual feeling way, too (肉感).

Do you have any special hopes for Senran Kagura?

Minigames. The game keeps track of your score, and small chibified Senran Kagura characters pop out. I think those are cute. The game uses normally proportioned characters. Maybe the chibi characters could appear in applications or mobile games. If you could use them on smartphone apps, anytime you take the phone in your hand, you could have the chibi characters in your grasp as well. I think that could be good. Speaking as an actress, it’d also make me happy to see the series progress to this. How about we follow that with a movie? With the 25 girls transforming, it could become a good magical girl movie.

In 3D, right?

The boobs are heading right for us!

What is Senran Kagura to you?

[Laughs] Did everyone else answer? [Text onscreen: Yes, they did.] Well, Senran Kagura equals explosive breasts. The converse is also true. It’s fantastic, like a dream. A rare and special existence. Oh, you’re making me think too seriously. Next question, please.

Please, a message to the people waiting to buy Senran Kagura Estival Versus.

I just thought of this a second ago, but Homura is in great condition this time around, in many ways. I don’t know a lot about the new characters, but for the people who were fans before, please pay a lot of attention to Homura.

Claude Smith

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I cover all manner of unusual games and other media from Japan. I love anime, manga, light novels, and games and am happy to be a part of the fun here at nichegamer.