Anyway. Let's change the subject. I still have to talk about the In/Spectre premiere!
Not surprisingly, a lot of people left after the Uta-Pri premiere and panel, so we were able to move closer to the front, but there was a lot of chaos, so our seats weren't that much better. But our seats were pretty good to begin with, so it wasn't a huge deal. My main regret is that the front row was completely empty because it was reserved, so we didn't sit there, and later we discovered that "reserved" means "for disabled, press, and industry." Which means we totally could have sat there! In the front row! Right where Mamoru Miyano would have seen us! Oh well.
First the MC came out and introduced the series very briefly, and also very enthusiastically, and then they got right to it! And the sound wasn't working! So they had to fix it. But then they started it up again, and you guys, it was so good! I'm not going to tell you all about it, sillies, because you can just go read the manga to find out. But the anime was a great adaptation. There were some things in the trailer that had me going, "Hmm..." but in the context of the episode it all worked very well. And the audience reaction was great, too! They laughed at all the places you wanted them to, and when the kappa showed up, everyone was like, "GASP! WHAT!?" and we were like, "Come on, guys, it's called In/Spectre. You had to know something like that was coming." I mean, when Kodansha Comics announced it, it was right there in the summary that yokai were going to be a thing. Since we translated the manga, it made us happy to know that people seemed to be liking it. And we liked it, too! And the subtitles didn't incite any ranting! (There were a couple of our translation pet peeves, like the insistence on translating "noni" to "even though" and "kokuhaku" to "ask out," but overall the wording was natural and accurate.)
So watching the episode was fun, and then! the MC came out and was still very enthusiastic, and he invited the best voice actor of all time out on stage, Mamoru Miyano! Woohoo! His third panel of the day! And you guys, it was totally the best one. I will report questions and answers in the order that I remember them.
Let's see, I remember, and this wasn't the first question, because I think it would be rude to ask about somebody else right off the bat, but the MC asked Miyano-kun what it was like working with Akari Kito, the voice of Kotoko, and Miyano-kun said he had actually never worked with her before, but he was really impressed because In/Spectre (and especially Kotoko) has a ton of big words, and she was able to just rattle them off like they were nothing. And we were like, "Oh my GOSH all the words!" We had noticed, since we'd recently translated a volume of In/Spectre, that we were using a lot of big words, and at the time we were not sure it was such a good thing because we'd also been noticing that translators sometimes have a habit of using unnecessarily big words, so while we felt it fit with Kotoko's tone, we were still like, "Hmm..." about it. But having a native Japanese speaker point out that the words in the original are big words, we felt much better about having so many big words in the English version.
I don't remember if there was a question involved, but I do remember Miyano-kun saying that while we were all watching the premiere, he was standing by backstage, and they had a screen, too, so he could watch and hear all our reactions, and he was really happy that we laughed. He was worried that the humor would be too Japanese and wouldn't come across. This is a thing that, as translators, we think about frequently. We want to tell all these voice actors and Japanese creators that most humor really is universal--it's not all pop culture references and wordplay. But I think all over the world, people will think that Kotoko is shockingly forward, and we'll be amused by it.
The best was when...okay, so the MC pointed out that In/Spectre has a lot of supernatural elements, and added that we can't all eat yokai meat and gain super powers, so what did real-life experiences did Miyano-kun pull from to help him act out Kuro? This is where we got into a long discussion, and I don't remember the order of the segments, but Miyano-kun did ask if we were familiar with Japanese yokai culture, and we were all like "Yeah!" because hey, we're anime fans. He asked us what kind of yokai we have in America, and Athena and I shouted out Big Foot, and of course with so many people shouting all at once it's impossible to understand anything for a while, but when it finally got through that someone was saying Big Foot, Miyano-kun started cracking up. It was adorable. We think it's because he's in the Japanese dub of Small Foot, but it might be because the name is so silly. He did lift up his foot as if to say, "Big foot?" (He's super tall for a Japanese person, so he probably does have big feet. We were too far away to tell for sure.)
Somebody else mentioned...one I've only vaguely heard of...Cow-pig-man? Something that was three animals. Miyano-kun was like, "What kind of powers would you get from eating that?" Nobody knew.
The MC was being a jokester and said that yeah, of course we eat yokai meat in California all the time, but he's never gained any powers from it. And Miyano-kun's like, "Are you sure?" and he's like, "Yeah, no powers," and Miyano-kun's like, "That probably wasn't yokai meat, then. It's probably just really good food."
As for how he deals with the supernatural aspect of Kuro's personality...he doesn't, really. He focused more on who Kuro is and how he feels, and does his best to deliver the right emotions for the right scene, and by doing that and letting the director take care of the world-building, he feels like together they create Kuro.
And as for experience with the supernatural... Miyano-kun said that he'd never had any, he hadn't ever even seen a ghost. Then he asked the audience if any of us had seen a ghost, and several people raised their hands. At this point, Miyano-kun got a look on his face like, "Whoa, maybe I didn't want to ask that question after all." The group in front of us was all, "Yeah, wanna hear a story? In this hotel in Las Vegas..." and at that point, Miyano-kun was like, "Stop, stop, stop, I'm scared!" Oh my goodness, he's adorable. He went on to tell us that when he and his group (whoever that entailed; we're guessing Ohkubo-sensei was with him and Terashima-san, but that could be wild speculation) went to Universal Studios, he couldn't go on the Walking Dead attraction because he was too scared. ("Go on" might not be the right phrase. I think it's just a walk-through, but we haven't been on it (or gone through it) either, for the same reason.)
The MC also asked how Miyano-kun balanced Kuro's serious side with his comedic side. ...And I don't really remember the answer, but I do remember that Miyano-kun said his own personality is very very comedy.
Oh! I forgot another part of the ghost conversation. ...Athena says she thinks maybe the MC brought it up later, and that's possible. Like I said, we're not always clear on the chronology. But the point is, the MC asked Miyano-kun if he'd really never seen a ghost, and Miyano-kun was like, "No." "Are you sure?" "Yeah." "Are you sure?" "Yeah..." "But are you sure?" And finally, Miyano-kun was like, "Wait... Are you a...?" I'm not sure if that's what the MC was going for, but it made him laugh so much that that's where it ended up.
And I think that's really all of it. Oh right! They made an announcement. The MC talked about how we all love anime opening themes, but we love ending themes even more, so they were happy to introduce the singer for the ending theme to In/Spectre! And he gestured off stage...and nobody came out. So he tried it again...same result. So he tried it one more time...and gestured the other way, to the man sitting next to him! Mamoru Miyano will be singing the end theme for In/Spectre! Tadah! (Athena and I suspected as much. He sings a lot of anime themes, especially when he's in the anime.) And he asked Miyano-kun what kind of song it would be, and Miyano-kun said he couldn't give away too many details, but it's not the kind of slow ballad he usually sings. It was written by a composer he really respects, who always gives him a good challenge, and it's going to be more on the fun side.
There might be some questions I'm forgetting, but those were the best ones, at least according to my memory priorities. We did also learn that he was approached for the role, as opposed to auditioning for it, so he just had to do a voice test to make sure it was a good fit. And that means that there's a good chance that one of the series creators is a fan of his.
After the Q&A, the MC thanked Miyano-kun for his time, and said it was one of the most fun panels he'd ever done and been accused of being a ghost at. And then they shepherded Miyano-kun offstage and distracted the rest of us with a giveaway! Woohoo! Miyano-kun didn't have any autograph signings for the whole convention, but! by camping out in LP2 all day, we had a chance to win an autographed In/Spectre poster! Woohoo! And instead of leaving it entirely to chance with jan-ken, they had In/Spectre trivia!! YES! We had a super advantage!!
...Only we didn't, because they only asked questions about the episode we had just watched. Questions we might not have remembered the answers to if we had not just seen the episode. (We translated volume one almost three years ago.) But that was okay, because we did want it to be fair. But that didn't mean we weren't going to use whatever strategy we could come up with. After the fourth question, Athena noticed that the MC was calling on people who were moving a lot, so she started waving her arms more, and we're tall, and were wearing bright colors...
That reminds us! Miyano-kun asked everybody to stand up so he could see their cosplay! Awww! We hope he recognized our costumes... (Did I mention we were in our Kingdom Hearts Donald and Goofy costumes?) He also said he was very proud to work on Japanese anime, and happy to see how much we love it here in America, and he wants to come back again, and he wants to sing for us, so hopefully next time...
Anyway. Athena was waving her arms, and tall, and wearing bright colors, and the MC said, "You, in the blue jacket," and was pointing in our direction, and we were like, "What? Really?" But she jumped on the chance (she confirmed that he meant her first) and answered Kyoto! ("Where did Kuro and his girlfriend go on vacation?") AND SHE WON AN AUTOGRAPHED POSTER!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!! And a free volume one of In/Spectre manga! YES!!! Our fourth copy!!!! ...Athena tried to give it away to someone at the panel, but there were no takers, so she just used it to protect her poster from her hand sweat as she carried it around in search of a rubber band. (There was a Human Lost poster (not autographed) on the other side of it, so it was shielded on both sides.) We ended up giving the manga to Cecille, who thoroughly enjoyed it.
...And I was hoping to go on and finish the report of Friday at AX, but we've been typing this long enough, so I'll save that for next time.
And thus concludes our Mamoru Miyano Marathon. It was a rather satisfactory ending.
Today I'm thankful for getting to see the In/Spectre premiere, having a great time at the panel afterward, Athena getting called on to answer a trivia question, the realization we had about Adrien in the Frozer episode, and the fact that they say "woohoo" in French cartoons.