It has been announced that Hayami Saori and Ogura Yui will be joining the cast in the coming-of-age fantasy film “Kimi wa Kanata”, which is fully set up in Ikebukuro (Toshima City), the land of manga and animation. Also, the staff and the new cast members have talked about their impressions on the work itself and Ikebukuro, which is the main setting of this movie.

“Kimi wa Kanata” is the first challenge as a feature-length animated film for director Sena Yoshinobu. The main cast includes Matsumoto Honoka, who is known for her role as the main character's co-worker Sumiko in the NHK TV drama series “Hiyokko”, and Seto Toshiki, who is known for his role as Kamen Rider Brave in “Kamen Rider Ex-Aid”.

Mio (voiced by Matsumoto Honoka) cares about her childhood friend Arata (voiced by Seto Toshiki), but their relationship appears to be complicated since she can't convey her true feelings to him.
One day, when she is on her way to reconcile with Arata, who had fought over a little thing with her, she is involved in a traffic accident.
When Mio regains consciousness, she opens her eyes and sees a mysterious world unfolding around her.

Hayami will be playing the role of Kuki-chan, a strange girl who helps Mio who has lost her way into the mysterious world, while Ogura will be voicing Mio's friend in the real world, Madoka.

“Kimi wa Kanata” will premiere at TOHO Cinemas in Ikebukuro and others on Nov. 27, 2020.

<Full commentary is below>
Hayami Saori as Kuki-chan
■Joining “Kimi wa Kanata”
Kuki-chan is a cute little girl dressed up in a kimono who, in the story, plays the role of a guide for the protagonist, Mio.
The director explained to me that she's like a mentor to Mio, a grandmother in the countryside.

In the recording studio, I felt motivated in front of the mic thanks to the enthusiasm of the staff for the film.
About the performance, I was told that basically there was no NG, so there was no limit to what I could express with my voice. In order to make it even better, I went through many retakes with the director.

■About the main setting of Ikebukuro, known as the holy land of animation
I've been to Ikebukuro many times, and I think that the combination of the detailed and realistic cityscape of Ikebukuro with the fantastical events that take place in this work was so unusual that drew me in.

It is a work that will give you the opportunity to reflect on the connections between people in life, on your decisions made by yourself, and on your expression of honest thoughts to someone else. Please, enjoy the movie!

Ogura Yui as Madoka
■Joining “Kimi wa Kanata”
Before the recording, the director explained to me the worldview and the story behind the film, along with its characters. I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the film from him and the strength of his beliefs, and I felt that his straightforward passion for his work was directly connected to the charm of the film.

During the dubbing session, I was able to work with Matsumoto Honoka, who is active as an actress.
As a voice actor and actor, we normally work in different fields, but this time we were working together while respecting each other's acting skills and talking about various things as we recorded. As a performer, it was very inspiring, being a fun and lively place full of passion and motivation.

■About the main setting of Ikebukuro, known as the holy land of animation
Ikebukuro is one of the greatest places that everyone in the city has visited at least once. In particular, anime and video game fans consider it as almost their second home.

As a chance to experience the deeper side of Ikebukuro, I think that, if fans could visit the holy land that appears in the film, it would help them to understand better the real charm of this work.

Sena Yoshinobu as Director / Scriptwriter / Original Author
■The reason behind the choice of Hayami-san and Ogura-san as the new cast members
I only had the pleasure of speaking to Hayami-san once a long time ago, and she left me with the impression that she was an “innocent person”. When I was working on the character of Kuki-chan, the first thing I thought of was “an innocent existence”, and that's where my memories of her came from. I thought it would be great if Hayami-san could give life to the character, so I offered her the job.

I had the opportunity to work with Ogura-san several times on set and see how his characters and acting changed.
Every time she was voicing a completely different character, from brisk heroines to gentle and mysterious characters, so I finally asked her to play the role of Madoka because I thought she could express the complex emotions and situations that she has inside, even though she seems to have no worries on the surface.

■Impressions after finishing the recordings
After the dubbing session, when I explained to them how I made this film, Hayami-san started crying in the middle of it.
I was touched by the moment, and I thought she was a truly pure person.

Also, I was always amazed at Ogura-san's ability to read and comprehend scripts. She didn't just play the character of Madoka straightly, she was able to show the subtle nuances in her performance by deeply understanding the film direction and the structure of the story.

I hope you will be able to see the pure Kiku-chan and Madoka's subtle performance at the theaters.

(C) “Kimi wa Kanata” Production Committee