[Translation] Persona Official Magazine #2018 Interviews – P5A Part 2/7

I love Mamo too

Persona Magazine 2018 Interview Navigation
P3D/P5D (Kazuhisa Wada, Nobuyoshi Miwa, Ryota Kozuka)
P3D/P5D Artwork (Shigenori Soejima, Akane Kabayashi, Azusa Shimada)
P5A Part 1 (Masashi Ishihama, Shin’ichi Inotsume, Jun Fukuyama)
P5A Part 2 (Mamoru Miyano) (You are here)
P5A Part 3 (Nana Mizuki)
P5A Part 4 (Ikue Otani)
P5A Part 5 (Kazuki Adachi)
P5A Part 6 (Lyn)
P5A Part 7 (Shoji Meguro)

Mamoru Miyano – Voice of Ryuji Sakamoto
Affiliated with Himawari Theatre Group. He has performed many major roles, including Setsuna F. Seiei from Mobile Suit Gundam 00.

Q: After the game, the series progressed through various forms of media and now it’s become a TV anime. Have there been any changes to your feelings from a voice acting perspective?

Miyano: Lately I’ve been recording for Persona Q2, and I noticed how different it is recording by myself for a game versus group recordings for the anime. Of course, when I’m recording for the game I’m thinking about Ryuji and his surroundings, but actually hearing the other voices around me is completely different from imagining them in my head. And acting for a game where dialogue progresses at the player’s discretion feels surprisingly different from acting for an anime where the story flows in real-time.

Q: Ryuji is the type of character that keeps the group in high spirits. Does seeing their reactions in real-time have a big effect on your voice acting?

Miyano: Of course. Even when he’s arguing with Morgana, going at it in person with (Ikue) Otani-san makes us both go “So that’s how you’re saying it” *laughs*. The character gets fleshed out more in my mind, and if there’s an unexpected development I might deviate from the script and say something that I think Ryuji would say. I think that’s really fun. Although, even when I was recording for the game they gave me a lot of freedom *laughs*.

Q: Now that the broadcast has begun, was there anything that stood out to you from the fan reactions?

Miyano: I’ve voiced a lot of different types of roles, so for Ryuji, there were a bunch of different ways I wanted to voice him. However, a lot of fans thought that it was an unexpected casting, and that surprised me *laughs*. I’ve been working in this industry for a long time and I’ve done many different things, but I think the fact that everyone is discovering a new side of me is proof that people have been learning more about me lately.

Q: During recording, was there anything that the director requested or that you proposed yourself?

Miyano: Adapting the game’s story from scratch means resetting Ryuji’s character development from what we’ve grown accustomed to, including his relationships with everyone else. Since I’d already voiced him for the entire game, when we started out on the anime, they had to tell me not to talk in such a comical way *laughs*. He’d only just met the protagonist, so I had to show that there was a bit of distance between them. At the beginning I really had to refrain from overdoing it, but now I’m allowed to run with it *laughs*.

Q: The anime will have aired up to Yusuke’s arc by the time this magazine is released. Were there any scenes up until there that left an impression on you?

Miyano: Since it’s an anime, we’re restricted to a set number of episodes, and we have to make a conscious effort to develop the characters’ relationships whenever there’s a spare moment. So, I try to make Ryuji reflect his familiarity with the protagonist and the affinity between the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. I also want to show his appreciation for the protagonist, who stayed by his side when he settled the score with the track and field club.

Q: Did it feel like the atmosphere changed after they formed the Phantom Thieves of Hearts?

Miyano: Yes. In the anime, we can’t dig deep into individual characters’ stories, so we have to express their inner struggles and appreciation for their friends through our acting. I hope that people will see Ryuji as more than just a silly/rowdy (in a good way) guy–his actions reflect their close friendships, and in turn, his own qualities.

Q: I think that Ryuji is kind of like a spokesman for the player. For people who are getting into P5 for the first time through the anime, it might be easier to look at things from his viewpoint.

Miyano: That’s also a good idea, because even though he’s the spokesman, he’s the most ignorant one of them all *laughs*. From the viewer’s point of view, they’ll be wondering, “What is that? What does it mean?” together. I think that having a character like him makes it less stressful when you don’t understand what’s happening yet. P5 has a lot of unique concepts like Mementos and palaces, so you and Ryuji can both be confused together *laughs*.

Q: Recording is probably still in progress, but were there any memorable moments from it?

Miyano: I can never stop laughing. What I remember most is Fukuyama-san cracking bad puns every single week without fail. I would purposely act disgusted, and it eventually escalated into an art form. It became a routine–Fukuyama-san would say a bad pun, and everyone would glare at him *laughs*.

Q: Lastly, a message for the fans!

Miyano: Unlike the game, the anime follows a single path to tell its story, so our first goal is to create what we want to show in a way that both players and non-players will find interesting. I want to take on that challenge. P5 perfectly blends its serious themes with its stylish aesthetics, and I see it as a story where the characters’ inspirational actions reach deep into your heart. I hope you can empathize with these kids as they move forward despite struggling with uncertainty and sorrow.

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