Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress (Koutetsujou no Kabaneri) is an anime series by Wit Studio. The series was directed by Tetsurou Araki and written by Ichirou Ookouchi, with music by Hiroyuki Sawano and original character designs by Haruhiko Mikimoto. The series premiered on Fuji TV’s Noitamina block on April 8, 2016. A prologue for the anime premiered for a week in theaters across Japan starting March 18, 2016. Before we’re going to the stage, let’s take a quick look about this anime first!
A mysterious virus appears during the industrial revolution that transforms infected humans into Kabane or corpses and rapidly spreads. Kabane are aggressive, undead creatures that cannot be defeated unless the glowing heart, which is protected by a layer of iron, is pierced. Unfortunately, most melee weapons and the steam-pressure guns used by the bushi (soldiers) are not very effective against them. On the island country Hinomoto, people have built fortress-like “stations” to shelter themselves from these creatures. People access the stations and transport wares between them with the help of armored steam locomotives. One day, a hayajiro hijacked by the Kabane crashes into Aragane Station and they overrun the city. Ikoma, the young engineer, uses the opportunity to test with success his anti-Kabane weapon like a piercing gun. Unfortunately he’s infected in the process, although he manages to resist the virus and become a Kabaneri, a human-Kabane hybrid. Assisted by Mumei, another Kabaneri who appears to help them, Ikoma and the other survivors of the station board the Koutetsujou or Armoured Fortress and depart to seek shelter elsewhere, fighting the hordes of Kabane along the way.
This time, AFATH presents stage event for Kabaneri with upcoming guest Tasuku Hatanaka, seiyuu of Ikoma, main male character in Kabaneri. Tasuku is newcomer seiyuu who comes from Kanagawa, he often called “Tasukun” from Tasuku-kun by his senior. Tasuku works for Ken Production Seiyuu Agency, started his seiyuu debut in 2006 on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as Edmund Pevensie, then got his first main character debut in 2011 on YU☆GI☆OH ZEXAL as Yuuma Tsukumo. As rising seiyuu, his activity not only on anime or game, but also several anime nico nico live program (such as Cheer Danshi or Kabaneri itself) and radio program like Nariyuki Night in PHONON with Tsubasa Yonaga from the same agency.
Today, Kojacon Team is very happy to attend Kabaneri stage event which contain talk show and some quiz for audience. Let’s proceed to the main part if you want to know further about Kabaneri anime and get along better with Tasuku!
Hi Tasuku! Welcome to Thailand! Please greet the audience!
Sawasdeekrab! Hello Thailand! Thanks for coming today! My name is Tasuku Hatanaka, voice actor of Ikoma from Koutetsujou no Kabaneri. Nice to meet you all!
Have you ever come to Thailand before this?
No! This is my first time coming to Thailand and I’m very happy to get this opportunity!
What do you think about this country?
About Thailand, I think food is so delicious, many exotic food or fruits that I never found in Japan. I like Thai Curry, Tom Yum Kung, and I don’t know like kwetiau (??) named “Pho” is it from Thailand or another ASEAN country? I ate that in hotel’s restaurant, I think it will be so hot and spicy, but actually not. That’s really great!
Mostly food! LOL Don’t you feel something weird about Thai’s culture? Is there any culture shock?
Not extremely shock.. I just quite amazed by the language and writings when I just arrived all sign and information written in Thai letter and I said like “Oh GOD! I cannot read and speak Thai at all! What should I do?!” fortunately for some boards, they have romaji or English written below Thai words, but I think my English is also bad LOL. Anyway I’m really enjoying Bangkok! Thailand is realy great!
What do you think about overseas anime event like here in Bangkok, when you’re coming to AFATH?
At first, I was nervous. But after I saw the atmosphere, I really really surprised! Never expected anime manga or other Japan popular culture will be developed really great outside Japan, this is my first time coming to south east Asia and I see most of you doing cosplay, bring along Japan anime merchandise, singing anisong together, enjoying this event together with you all is my best experience ever! I feel no difference with Japan local event! Ah, I also took some pictures with Thai cosplayer just now before this stage!
What is your impression for voicing Ikoma in Kabaneri?
Before recording, the director told me that Ikoma is a stubborn strong-willed boy, and he asked me to emphasize that part so the feeling could be delivered to all audience. Recording as main character with your senior is actually stressing and I’m a bit nervous at the beginning. But I’ve tried so hard so I can finish the recording session and today I bring my original scenario book! Will read some scene later!
Is there any similar things about you in real life and Ikoma in the anime?
What to say, actually yes. Maybe, just in my opinion. Ikoma likes to act before think! Just like me! I don’t know whether is it right or wrong, but if I think it’s good for me &/ for current situation, I’ll do it anyway. My friends and my senior often mad about me because of that! LOL
Please tell us about your recording! Any interesting experience?
Same like another recording session, you should put all your mind and your heart into that character so you can become that character in a whole. I should get more focus to voice Ikoma, actually. LOL. Talk about interesting afureko, in one episode, there was scene that Ikoma was suffered and choked. When we were on recording session, I actually choked myself! And was speaking a lot for around 60 seconds. Then Kaji-san (cast of Takumi) and Ohsaka-san (cast of Sukari) seems worried about it and shouted to me “Don’t die, Tasuku!! Don’t die!!” But I just laughed a lot responded them!
Do you have any favorite scene in Kabaneri?
Yes! When Ikoma infected and almost transformed into Kabane but actually he’s not (not yet I think) and he promised he will not betray his friends. Then all his friend surrounded him and I said “okay guys, if you don’t want me I just want you to remember me even if I should die here”. I like that scene.
After talk session, they’re having signing session only for 10 lucky audience who win jankenpon match with Tasuku. All audience who came is asked to stand up and do the janken match (so bad that Kojacon team lost at the first round LOL) and the winners will get Kabaneri’s clear file with Tasuku’s sign on it. Match was ended with 7 winners from general janken, 2 winners from the cosplayer janken, and 1 winner is chosen by Tasuku! Congratulations!
You’re so great at Janken match, Tasuku! Thanks for coming today! Please say goodbye to everyone here!
What a fun today! I almost tired of laughing with you all! Thanks for watching Kabaneri, even though you’re not in Japan, and also thank you for all the question, thank you for loving Japan, and most of all thank you so much for coming to today’s stage with me! For everyone who doesn’t know Kabaneri yet, I hope you will watch this anime after this stage. For everyone who already watched Kabaneri, I hope you want to rewatch it again! LOL Anyway, I love Thailand! I love Bangkok! Thanks again for everything and I wish I could come to Bangkok again later in the future! See you later then!
Photos Credit: ANIME FESTIVAL ASIA THAILAND FACEBOOK
Image Credit: KOUTETSUJOU NO KABANERI OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Special Thanks to:
SOZO PTE,. LTD
AFATH 2016 COMMITTEE
KEN PRODUCTION OVERSEAS STAFF