Anime NYC 2023 Interview: Voice actors Shou Komura & Kikunosuke Toya spoke to The Natural Aristocrat about voicing Percival & Donny in ‘The Seven Deadly Sins: Four Knights of the Apocalypse’.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT (NIR REGEV): What do you hope fans take away from The Seven Deadly Sins: Four Knights of the Apocalypse?
SHOU KOMURA: This is a sequel to The Seven Deadly Sin Sins and portraying 16 years forward since the prior storyline.
So there’ll be a lot of new characters being introduced, including Percival, and there might be some reintroduction of familiar characters from other parts of the series. That’s something that I hope the fans will look forward to!
KIKUNOSUKE TOYA: This is the new generation and we don’t really know what’s gonna happen yet. I hope that the fans will experience a lot of excitement for what’s to come.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: To Toya, what’s your vocal preparation for Donny in comparison to other characters?
KIKUNOSUKE TOYA: Donny is inspired first of all to come back to his lost dream of becoming a Holy Knight and has a lot of passion towards that. And that’s something I’ve really kind of tried to think about and express in my voice acting.
I don’t think too much about distinguishing between series to series. I focus more on emoting and expressing real feelings.
Just acting and bringing that to my performance rather than trying to have a separation or distinction between different shows and characters.
SHOU KOMURA: To add, this particular series has a lot of comedic moments and battle moments. There’s such a distinct tempo of how that’s portrayed!
The character’s expressions change very quickly and rapidly through each episode and between scene to scene. So that’s something that I pay a lot of attention to and try to capture within my voice acting as well.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: To Komura, you went to the Japan Narration Actor Institute and I was wondering what helped you most from there to become a working voice actor?
SHOU KOMURA: Within their lessons, there’s a focus on manners and your attitude. That comes before anything.
And the philosophy behind that is that in order for me to be able to play any character, you have to align yourself first to be able to be a good communicator.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: what’s been your favorite part of New York City and, and NYC as a whole?
KIKUNOSUKE TOYA: I love the city skylines and the architecture. I love taking photographs! Just being able to see famous landmarks in person and taking photos of them was really cool.
SHOU KOMURA: I was to see Back to the Future: The Musical on Broadway and it was really amazing!
At Anime NYC itself, Just browsing all the exhibitors’ booths and seeing the merch and goods for sale.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: On what aspect of the merch? Is it more the warm, validating feeling that anime itself is so popular in the states? Or more that you personally wanted to buy the merch yourself?
SHOU KOMURA: There’s some differences in the market here and in Japan. There’s a lot of things that we don’t see in Japan.
I did consider buying a few things! (laughs) I bought one for a souvenir. I was also really surprised to see the Japanese food stands here in the Japanese style, like ramen and rice balls.
KIKUNOSUKE TOYA: I was also really impressed to see a Japanese style food stand here. And of course, the cosplay culture is so impressive.
There’s more visitors in cosplay than compared to when I go to similar events in Japan. It’s also really interesting to look at English versions of various comics.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Did both of you read The Seven Deadly Sins manga prior to being cast for these roles?
KIKUNOSUKE TOYA: I had watched the anime!
SHOU KOMURA: For me as well, I was still a student around the time the prior series was released. And so, I studied the anime.
On New vs Returning Viewers:
SHOU KOMURA: Audiences completely fresh to the series can enjoy and follow the storyline in The Seven Deadly Sins: Four Knights of the Apocalypse.
But there are some depths to the story where viewers of the previous series might be able to pick up on a little bit better. Especially, with the characters being reintroduced, et cetera.
On Favorite Moments:
SHOU KOMURA: I love the moments of humor and comedic relief. The comedic tempo between specific characters, like with Donny and Percival, that’s something that I have a blast just acting out!
And not only is it fun playing and recording, seeing the final product with the edits, the effects, and the music and everything in the final scene is very rewarding! It’s something that I hope the viewers will enjoy.
KIKUNOSUKE TOYA: I feel pretty similarly, I enjoy a lot of the comedic moments. I have a lot of fun with the parts of the script where Donny is kind of playing a role with Percival and it’s still really funny to just watch the completed scenes.
And I love how the series will flip the switch to go into a very serious fighting or battle scene and they band together to defeat their enemies.
That contrast and the flip are really enjoyable moments of the anime series.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Thanks guys!
SHOU KOMURA & KIKUNOSUKE TOYA: Thank you!
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