Ciel nosurge/Dengeki Interview with Ion CV Ai Kakuma and Kanon CV Nana Inoue

This is my translation of the interview from Dengeki Playstation Vol 574. The original print version can be purchased on Amazon JP. The original online version can be viewed at on Dengeki's website.

Question, comments, or suggestions for other material to translate? @blackr4en

Ai Kakuma (Ion) - Twitter: @aimausu

Nana Inoue (Kanon): - Twitter: @inouenana

Dengeki interview-ai nana title.jpg

Nana Inoue (left) and Ai Kakuma (right)

An Uncut Interview with Ai Kakuma and Nana Inoue about Princesses

■ Somehow, A Large Sense of Loss

Tokki: As a way of memorializing the completion of the Ciel nosurge story, and the announcement of Ciel nosurge OFFLINE, I thought we could have a conversation about the princesses.

Kakuma+Inoue: Okay, Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

Tokki: Finally, on 7/31 the final part, called Terminate Pack, has been released and the entirety of the Surge Concert has been brought to light. Can you share your thoughts about recording being finished?

Kakuma: Sure. In terms of order, recording for Ar nosurge was sandwiched in the middle of Ciel nosurge so my last session was recording for Ciel nosurge. It reveals things from Ciel nosurge's last half that Ar nosurge players would have been interested in.

Kind of like, "Ah! That's what happened", even things they might not have predicted, and a lot of other things, so I think anyone who played Ar nosurge should definitely take a look so they can see how it really played out. For Ion-chan there places everywhere where she's matured and grown, and places where it's like, "Oh, everyone's going to cry!" as well. (laugh)

Tokki: Oh, I'm looking forward to it.

Kakuma: It's been two years that I've been voicing Ion, so many different people, so many exchanges of lines and dialogue, and each word felt more important than the last... So really, I hope that everyone can see it.

Inoue: Stop! Really, Kakuma-san. Seriously, that was the first question but wouldn't that have been better for the ending?

Kakuma: It's over☆ Ufufu, We're done!

Tokki: "What are you feelings" was probably not the right question to start with, huh.

Inoue: Really.

Kakuma: It turned into my final thoughts. (laugh)

Inoue: Really Ai-chan... You've grown so much.

Tokki: (laugh), Nana-san, you seem like an older sister, or even a mom.

Inoue: I was going to share my feelings about recording being over, but... First, to think that Ai-chan, who just like Ion-chan, was so clueless, and constantly like "(as a voice actress) What should I be doing?", has become such an accomplished person... Really, just like in the story she's matured, it makes me feel everything all over again.

Kakuma: Thank you so much. I caused you a lot of problems and worry didn't I. (laugh)

Inoue: As for me, I did finish recording the main recording for Ciel nosurge but that was actually around Part 2 of the Imperial Chronicles.

Tokki: Hmm, did you pass away?

Inoue: No, Kanon didn't pass away~, she isn't dead~.

Kakuma: She's just resting her eyes~.

Inoue: Exactly! When I went to record that time her name was written, "Kanon (叶音 [Granting Sound])". I felt like I was greeting her last moments, it might have been coincidence but it felt like fate.

Later, on a day after recording a different episode, I started to feel kind of hollow, empty. It wasn't really that intense of a performance, you know. Just normally doing normal Kanon, but while thinking to myself "Ah... everything is over now...", I ended up walking about 3 stations down after recording finished. After going home and sleeping, today, after this recording session for Ciel nosurge is over, of course I'll feel a little sad, or lonely, but really its more like this tremendous sense of loss, like something really important is gone.

Tokki: Recently Anime productions lately have been pretty short-term, but to be doing something like a game for 2 years doesn't happen very often does it?

Inoue: It really doesn't. In the case of Anime, when one cour (12~13 episode season) is over, then it's done, it doesn't really get you down. But there might be a second season! In that case, there might be a future, right. That could include Ciel nosurge and Ar nosurge, but I was already told, "This is it."

But really, it was an unexpectedly long recording, and we were able to be together up to now. In the end, I know that "This is it," means it's done, but up to now, we... in terms of time I mean, I get kind of uneasy thinking about how many other productions will we be able to be together on.

Tokki: Those are pretty deep emotions, that last session was pretty important, huh.

Inoue: Yeah, but, Ai-chan spent WAY more time as Ion than me so ...

Tokki: She didn't just do the story but also the Talk Packs and stuff so word count for recording Ion was probably pretty huge, even for the game industry?

Kakuma: (All through this interview) I've been about to cry...

Inoue: Just cry! Take this, here! (Tissues)

Kakuma: Uee~...

Dengeki interview-ai nana crying.jpg

Tokki: Suffering like that must have made you grown, huh. For the users, once this goes on sale... (Temporary Halt).

Kakuma: I'm really sorry. This is the first time I've had to keep taking tissues because I'm crying in an interview. Aaa, I'm fine! I'm listening!

Tokki: (laugh) Thinking back to when you first auditioned, did you think you'd end up spending so much time working on this game, with the users? Also, what were your impressions when the two of you first met in real life?

Inoue: Did we meet at the audition??

Kakuma: Nope, we didn't.

Tokki: When was the first time?

Inoue: When we were recording. Ai-chan had recorded first, and then the next hour was my turn, wasn't it. The sound director, Suke Naya, introduced her to me, saying "This girl is Ion-chan's voice, Kakuma-san." We exchanged greetings, and information (about games) first, but then I just took a two-shot!

Kakuma: Yeah, you did, didn't you.

Tokki: I think our readers would love to see that picture!

Inoue: Are you sure? I took it use my smartphone, and Ai-chan is making this crazy surprised face. Of course, it was her first job so naturally she was pretty nervous. Then having your Senpai suddenly be like "I'm taking a picture!" when you first meet, it'd be pretty stressful.

Kakuma: Yeah exactly. It was my first time meeting a VA from another Company, and at the work place even. On top of that, I knew who Nana-san was.

Inoue: Like a little puppy. She seemed really jittery and bouncy. (Onomonopiea word time: purupuru)

Tokki: What about you Kakuma-san, how was it meeting a Senpai VA?

Kakuma: I felt like I couldn't really talk properly. I knew Nana-san from anime and magazines I had seen back home. I was remembering all of those so...

Inoue: Oooh~.

Kakuma: I screaming interally, "She's the real deal!" (laugh) Amazing, though I exposed my amateurishness huh. (laugh)

Inoue: Kind of like coming to Tokyo and seeing a famous actor or something. (laugh)

Kakuma: Like, "I met them at work!" (laugh) And when I heard that we'd be working together I was like, "Uwaah", to be able to work with someone you know, it's like, "Uwaah".

Tokki: Were you nervous?

Kakuma: Reaally nervous. Ah! I was so nervous that I was totally going to hold her back.

Inoue: (laugh)

Kakuma: Everyone seemed to think that I felt like "Everyone is scary" when I first met them. I still hadn't debuted, fresh out of training school, and everyone seemed so much bigger than me, and I was worried about what would happen if they got mad at me, and such. I had this stereotype that all Senpai were really strict and severe. But despite then, to just suddenly take a friendly picture, or to share some Baumkumen with you at work, seeing that I just thought "Thank goodness!"

Inoue: I don't remember that at all, eating Baumkumen in front of Ai-chan... Hmm, okay! How about we have some Tiramisu! (while Ionue-san opens some candy she brought with her...)

Kakuma: (laugh)

Inoue: It's okay, eat some candy!

Kakuma: Thank you!

Images: [1] [2]

■ How The Vague Image of "Anata" Become Clear

Tokki: If you have any stories from your time recording that left a deep impression please share them.

Inoue: The paperwork I initially received said "Kanon is a very quietly-spoken person. However, her voice is very dignified," so before recording I spent time trying to test that balance. But when I went in to do it for real, it wasn't quite right, it really wasn't, and when I played the first chapter I was like, "Kanon's voice is too quiet!"

Kakuma: (laugh)

Tokki: Too much emphasis on the "quiet" part, huh.

Inoue: Yeah! I was like, "Is this the voice I performed?"

Kakuma: It's all about balance, isn't it.

Inoue: Yeah, it's about balance, but, I thought she needs to be more clearly spoken. Of course that was the setting, but, to me it seem like she wasn't intense enough to "convey her feelings to the people." For us, the nice part about Ciel nosurge was that we could play through our recorded parts when they went on sale (DLC), and use that to guide how our future recordings went. For a normal game you'd record everything before-hand, so you wouldn't really know what kind of product it would become.

Tokki: Because the music and the screen presentation would come after the basic voice recording, wouldn't it.

Inoue: Exactly. It felt like I was able to grow along with the product and the characters on the screen. Kanon doesn't really show her emotions, or so she believed that that was how she had to be. However, she met Ion who is extremely expressive, gets bashful and cries. So when that part of her does come out, I thought Kanon should have a totally different way of expressing herself, but to the same extent.

When that time comes, how much "change" is okay? I worried about that, but when I thought about it, she's still in her teens right? Of course she's an esteemed princess and all, but she's still in her teens so, yeah, she probably does have some of that kind of weakness inside her, so I was able to understand something about her by being able to play the game that I couldn't have from just reading the script.

Tokki: Especially as Kanon goes from the Trials Chronicles, to the Collapse Chronicles, into the Imperial Chronicles, she does seem like a character whose expression changes gradually.

Inoue: Yes, she does. Though her facade does collapse suddenly during the 3nd part of the Trials Chronicles. (laugh) /Dokan!/ (laugh) But I don't think anyone would want to be seen falling like that would they.

(ed: talking about her breakdown going crazy for the birdies during street festival when she thought no one was watching)

Tokki: Definitely. (laugh)

Kakuma: True.. but...

Inoue: Yeah, you wouldn't want anyone to see that, you'd be pretty upset if you were found out. (laugh)

Kakuma: Definitely. (laugh)

Inoue: How about you, Ai-chan?

Kakuma: There are so many episodes that left such a deep impression, but the very first time I was voicing Ion, there were already so many lines, lots and lots of lines. So, I didn't really think about the balance with the other characters, I didn't really think about anything. But, as the day went on I realized how often, how many of the people around me were supporting me, and understood.

It's just like with how Ion herself has so many people around her that come and support her, like how Nana-san said that the time allowed her to come to know Kanon, I felt like there were lots of ways that Ion and I were together, "synchronized". Meeting the entire cast, Tsuchiya-san and everyone at Gust, people from the media and events and coverage, it's not the sort of job that you can do independently, I felt like Tsuchiya-san and Ciel nosurge became this gear at the middle of everything that opened up so many opportunities for me.

And even though I still haven't participated in that many productions yet, even as I get more experience in other productions, I will always feel really strongly about my connection to the users of the "Surge Concerto". I never thought we'd hold a Maid Cafe event, and that I could talk with users about "Ciel nosurge" up close and personal.

Tokki: Speaking of the "Ciel nosurge" fan event, it was kind of like an offline-meetup wasn't it?

Inoue: There was a NicoNico Live Broadcast too wasn't there. I saw it!

Tokki: Gust x Seikaisha x Schatz-Kiste, that was a pretty ground breaking collaboration wasn't it. I think it was a really extravagant time for Tanmatsu-san.

Dengeki interview-cielnosurge maid cafe.jpg

(ed: Mr. Terminal, the 2ch way to refer to 'Anata')

Kakuma: It really was. Tsuchiya-san came too, and Ion-chan even went to Machi★Asobi (A complex Interdimend event at Tokushima. There was a Ciel nosurge event where Ion-chan even made an appearance!?), and various other things to "Connect Beyond the 7 Dimensions". It felt like the pipeline to beyond the 7 dimensions started to build up slowly and became really big. ....Ah, this was supposed to be about recording!

Inoue: It's okay.

Kakuma: Umm, but yeah, as I noticed those things more and more, and as the weight of Ion-chan's line "Anata" grew, it was like the world I could see kept getting wider and wider. At first my image of "Anata" was really vague, squeezed inside Ion's imagination, but became clearer as the events passed and I... (cry). felt like I was synched with Ion, like we were connected in the middle of this exchange, it really did.

Tokki: Thank you.

Kakuma: Sorry, my nose is dripping.

Inoue: Wasn't that a good expression?

Tokki: Afterwards we're going to take another crying picture! (laugh)

Kakuma: The last question is absolutely not going to be okay, for me. When I looked at it before-hand I had a moment where I thought, "Oh crap."

Inoue: Wait, you must think you're a big-shot if you can just axe a question like that, huh?! (laugh)

Kakuma: (laugh) My face will totally collapse! I thought Tokki-san is trying to make me cry!

Tokki: I would never. It's something that all of of the users (tanmatsu no minna-san) want to ask. (laugh)

■ Ar nosurge's script was scary

Tokki: Next, could you share your favorite thing about the character you played, and maybe a little something form the opposite end of things?

Kakuma: What I like about Ion is how forward and direct she is. In my case, if I think "That's not cool", I'll say something to make it seem okay, but being able to take that and put it out there without hiding anything I think is one of Ion's good points.

But that's also a point where I'm like, "Geez, this girl!" She should be a little more in synchronize with her surroundings. I mean, even though the entire population of "Ra Ciela" might be opposed, Ion is will still just stand up and say "This is the right way, though I might not be able to do anything about it", even if it puts her in danger. It's scary. That girl is seriously lucky.

Inoue: Really! It's crazy how everytime she just somehow manages! Ion really manages well, no basis at all, just with confidence.

Kakuma: I'm always like "No, stop!" while she's running straight ahead thinking "Nobody would lie", she's so stubborn, like she just doesn't have any doubt in her mind.

Tokki: Because of that, the people around her often get their hearts pretty shaken up, huh. Considering our own daily lives, there's definitely points where you want to say "Be a little more aware!". (laugh)

Kakuma: Yeah, there are. But, Ion's mental world in Ar nosurge makes that seem wrong, like that "straight forwardness" seems like, in reality, just a front....

Inoue: Oh~ Scar~y.

Kakuma: Like, "Oh no! I'm really scared!" (laugh)

Inoue: Ion-chan is scary!

Kakuma: Eh? What? Ion-chan.. No, like Tsuchiya-san is scary!

Inoue: Seriously, like, what is Tsuchiya-san even thinking.

Tokki: Like you can see deep deep into his heart?

Inoue: Yeah, really.

Kakuma: Kind of like I just had everything I used to believe turned upside down.

Inoue: Ar nosurge's script was scary.

Kakuma: Oh it was! There was a point that changed the way I looked at people. For a little while I had a hard time interacting with people even. (laugh)

Image: [3]

Tokki: How about Kanon?

Inoue: Hmm, What I liked about her, or at least what I thought was cool, was how aware of her position she was. I mean, she's in her teens but has to undertake tasks to go against older men as an equal. I mean, if it was me I would totally be too scared to say those kinds of things, but Kanon just knows, "I have to do this". Being able to take responsibility and act like that is amazing, I think.

Tokki: It's true, Kanon is a person who holds onto her opinions and projects an image of dignity and nobility, doesn't she.

Inoue: I think she's pretty amazing. And, this... I really am sorry but, our likes are totally opposite. I'm not very good with birds...

Kakuma: Finding that out is kind of shocking huh? (laugh)

Inoue: Also, Kanon-san made Banana sweets didn't she. Honestly, out of all possible foods, I dislike bananas the most.

Tokki: That must have been pretty tough work.

Inoue: As she tried eating it I had to say, "This tastes good," but in reality I couldn't imagine the taste.

Kakuma: When you were recording, were you imagining the taste of bananas?

Inoue: "Something" sweet enough to bring Kanon happiness.

Kakuma: Something from the sweet category huh? ....

■ The Kappa Version Failure is Way Cute!

Tokki: I think everyone planning on reading this has their own favorite outfits they would choose, but how about the two of you? Do you have a favorite outfit?

Kakuma: (While looking at the costume fliers) I think Nana-san has something in mind.

Inoue: I really like this! I like the school uniform "Hoshi no Tamamono" with Sunlight Palace. I really like this kind of trendy and cute uniform. I think this really goes with the Kappa Failure version (haircut).

Kakuma: This Kappa Failure Version is SO cute, isn't it!

Inoue: Totally cute~! Her eyebrows just barely come out, like she's concerned, it's unbareable.

Tokki: To Tanmatsu-san it doesn't really have a reputation as a failure.

Inoue: Utter success!

Kakuma: Totally cute!

Inoue: But as a girl it feels kind of like a failure, like, "I cut my bangs too short...".

Kakuma: If you think about it considering success and failure, it feels like "How did I mess this up?!" doesn't it. It's like: What was I thinking! This looks good and ... Ah! This was my bangs?! (laugh)

Inoue: Thinking about it like that makes it even cuter, doesn't it. (laugh)

Dengeki interview-kapa failure2.jpg Dengeki interview-kapa failure 1.jpg

Kakuma: The white swimsuit... no. Strawberry Sail ... also no. I was so surprised at her robe in the beginning. (laugh)

(ed: Strawberry Sail is the bikini she wears while practicing dancing with Nay in Chapter 3)

Tokki:What about the ●● from chapter 11? The lower half of that was pretty amazing..

Kakuma: But with this Ion's middle is hidden~

Inoue: With the white part on the hip and you can't see the line.. Don't you get the feeling like there's a lot of skin exposed here?

Kakuma: ....there is, isn't there. This. Momo Fish is definitely dangerous. Why is this part open! Like this part needed to be vented or something.

(ed: Momo Fish is Ion's pajamas, with some questionable crotch/inner thigh design ideas..)

Inoue: I don't know if venting is really necessary...

Kakuma: Personally, I like the "Dabodabo Outfit". Put some glasses on, like the red-frames is really nice isn't it.

Tokki: The sunglasses are scary, I haven't even made them yet.

Kakuma: Me too (laugh) (said in English)

Inoue: Putting glasses with the Dabdabo outfit... She looks really popular girl, doesn't she.

Kakuma: A muted style is best. Subdued is cute.

Inoue: "Only I understand this cuteness..." That's the kind of possessiveness that goes on inside Ai-chan.

(ed: Nana uses a male-otaku phrase here in reference to Ai with the 'ore' male first person pronoun)

Kakuma: Oh, Ion is me! (laugh) For hair though I think her regular hair is the best, but just once I would like to try out the failed Kappa.

(ed: Ai is mimicking "xxx is my wife" here.)

Tokki: Normal guys probably think it's lame, but Dabodabo with glasses is probably perfect for otaku.

Inoue: Like, this appearance is for me and me alone, no one else, huh? I like it!

Kakuma: Like how awesome is it when you're together and you tell her "Go get something~" and she pulls some homemade food out of the refrigerator! ... Oh man, my wife is so cute...

(ed: Yeah, Ai dropped an "ore no yome")

Inoue: What are the most popular outfits do you think?

Kakuma: The Riebel Dress (maid outfit) right?

Tokki: The Rinkagen is the deep-seated favorite isn't it.

Kakuma: The outfit she changed into from her rags at the beginning huh~

Inoue: Ruray's old ones.

Kakuma: I like the Polar Memory 2 or /Tsukimatou/ (Chinese Dress) too. I kind of like the close-fitting stuff, huh.

Inoue: What would you wear personally?

Kakuma: Happiness Wet, something you could wear normally.

(ed: Kind of a hoodie/skirt deal, my favorite, one of the DLC outfits)

Inoue: I kind of want Ai-chan to wear the Santa outfit. There's not many Santa outfits with a long skirt, usually just floating around here huh. The design is so pretty. Come on, wear this and come bring me a present.

Kakuma: I guess that's settles it... I'd like to see Nana-san wear the outfit she picked in the beginning, the school uniform. Also, if her Office gave the OK, the Hyumnes Terion.

(ed: Pajama type outfit little Ion wears in Chapter 8)

Inoue: Which is that... No way!!!

Kakuma: They seem like nightware any normal girl would wear, but usually it's not something so cute.

Inoue: As long as it isn't the white swimsuit I'm sure it's fine. (laugh)

Kakuma: Oh I would add Pram's Glasses to that.

Inoue: Oh, it's a situation like you're changing clothes before going to bed, reading a relaxing book... I like it!

Tokki: We would definitely recommend this kind of costume selection fantasization to all of our readers.

■ Returning to Feelings about Originally Released Songs

Tokki: Songs plays a very large role in Ciel nosurge. Are there any songs you have a particular interest in up to now?

Inoue: For me, it'd be "天地咆哮" (Roars of Heaven and Earth). The beginning of that song is so cool, it makes me think "Here it is!"

Tokki: It has a totally different feel from Ion's song in Chapter 1 doesn't it.

Inoue: It does. It's not a character song, but it really does a good job at portraying the character, really revealing her strong appeal. By contrast "美し世界" (The World is Beautiful) is such an incredibly soft song, the lyrics just pull you in and wrap around you, it really shows off both sides of Kanon I think. She isn't just strong. She also wants happiness for everything, that she has a really strong belief in bringing peace to the world, she can be really kind as well.

Tokki: The image is that Kanon, up to the point where you hear "美し世界", is supposed to be the strong and noble one, while Ion is the one who embraces the people. But at this point the two princesses are revealed to share the same disposition, and you can't really tell how things will go from there, huh. Do you have a favorite song, Kakuma-san?

Kakuma: For me it's "ahih rei-yah". I have it loaded on my iPhone, but when it comes on shuffle I think to myself "This isn't the right time" and stop it.

Tokki: (laugh) Ah, it has to be the right time to play it, huh.

Kakuma: Yeah. In terms of the originally release songs, this really was when things became really important for Ion's story, and to me it is the image of what a "Cielno" song is. The song feels like it's for a really important time, like returning to the start, like a reset, like when being lost, and not just a little but really lost, like being in the middle of an endless fog, you should listen to it then. Over playing it feels like it would be wasteful, I'm afraid it would reduce the impact, you know. So when I listen to it, I want to really listen, not in the middle of a big crowd or something, just when I can calm down and listen.

Image: [4]

Tokki: So basically only special occassions?

Kakuma: Yeah, definitely.

Tokki: The two of you seem very close in real life, I'd really like to hear your thoughts about each other.

Inoue: I really like her.

Kakuma: Waa~! me too♪ (English again)

Inoue: I really like Ai-chan, but when I think about Ai-chan sometimes it becomes Ion-chan and I've actually forgotten and written Ion-chan on Twitter. That's how much Ai-chan and Ion match up together inside me, and to that degree Kanon likes Ionasal as well.... When the time came to record together, I just thought to myself "Oh I can't wait~~" while reading the script.

Kakuma: Ehehe. (blush)

Inoue: We didn't get to get together very often, but it still felt like we'd been together for a long time. I felt kind of like an older sister, kind of like I wanted to protect Ai-chan, but really in terms of wanting to see Ai-chan, or getting lonely.. it's hard to put in words but she's a very special person.

Tokki: Kakuma-san, how you feel being on the receiving end of that affection...

Kakuma: Very happy. (laugh) This year will be the 4th year since I moved to Tokyo, but Nana-san is the only person I've met that's like Nana-san. No matter what's bothering me, even if it's something I can't talk to Nana-san about, even if it's talking about something else, she always makes me feel better. From the beginning she's looked out for me, as a friend, a senpai, a teacher, it really does feel the same as Ion and Kanon. She's special in so many ways.

Tokki: It sounds like she reallly supports you, huh.

Kakuma: Definitely.

Tokki: The Web Program you two did call "Transmissions Beyond 7th Dimension" left a deep impression. It wasn't just a program for announcements, you guys did a lot of different things, didn't you.

Inoue: Yeah, like the robot contest.

Kakuma: And we did some cooking... (laugh)

Tokki: As time has gone on Kakuma-san your talk skill seemed to go up and down.

Kakuma: Yeah. (laugh) Oh, but I've gotten to where I can read prompt cards. Slightly. (laugh)

Inoue: Oh thank god. You totally couldn't before.

Kakuma: Ordinarily you wouldn't be proud of saying "I learned to read prompt cards!", but I feel it helps show to what extent I've matured, so now I guess it can't be helped. (laugh)

Tokki: Back then, it was like "Oh no! Nana-san isn't here!", huh.

Kakuma: If she wasn't I think everyone would be so uneasy the program never would have happened. (laugh)

Inoue: But you know, while we were recording "Transmission Beyond 7th Dimension", we always asked what was going to happen next in "Ciel nosurge".

Kakuma: Oh yeah we did. Stuff like the release schedule, or what would happen next in the story..

Inoue: I guess in the end there are some things you can say, but others you can't. See, when we'd be fantasizing about what would happen next, suddenly they'd yell "CUT!", I'd almost have a heartattack. (laugh)

Kakuma: But, when you'd listen to Tsuchiya-san talking, you'd always being thinking how amazing it was while he'd be giving updates about the world.

Images: [5] [6]

■ Crying After Reading The Script At Each Recording Session

Tokki: Is there anything that you'd like to say to Tsuchiya-san, considering all the time you've spent on the project?

Inoue: I don't know, maybe, "When do you sleep?"

Kakuma: Yeah, I wonder that too.

Tokki: I can't even imagine him sleeping. (laugh)

Inoue: Really you can't help but wonder why his head hasn't exploded from thinking about this story this whole time. It always surprises us how much he's thought about the story, like how the characters kept increasing. I wonder if he's a masochist. (laugh) I'm worried for his health.

Kakuma: In contrast I usually consider him to be a sadist because I'd end up crying everytime I'd read the script at recording sessions. The waterworks would start up during recording, like "You made me cry again". I have a lot of memories of crying.

Afterwards, everytime I'd meet with Tsuchiya-san he'd just be smiling, not mad at all. I mean, I should have been tossed out as a amateurish training school student, but Tsuchiya-san was entrusting me with this production that was his entire life.... Like I wished he'd get a little mad or something, but everytime he would just say "Thank you."

Tokki: You want Tsuchiya-san to be more direct with his feelings?

Kakuma: Well, if anything, say if it was inside the mental world... Dogeza or something like that. (laugh)

Tokki: Somehow the only thing I can imagine is a smiling Tsuchiya-san.

Kakuma+Inoue: Yea, yea.

Tokki: Is there anything you'd like to say to the other creator of all these characters, ntny-san?

Inoue: Yes. Back when "Ar nosurge" was being released I saw on twitter he'd written "For Kanon's new outfit I imagined her performer Inoue-san in her britches." (laugh) My strongest impression was that in the middle of it he'd written culottes, not skirt...

Kakuma: On top of that, they're a bit different. (laugh)

Tokki: Not something that you'd actually like to wear, huh.

Inoue: Exactly! I mean, really, Kanon can wear whatever she wants, but leave me out of it, geez.... Oh, Pram-kun! He passed away so early... ah, that's what I want to say to Tsuchiya-san!

Tokki: The thing you want to say most to Tsuchiya-san is "Where did Pram go?!" (laugh)

Image: [7]

Inoue: So Pram, I thought he left way too early, but on the drama CD he got to talk with his brother a little. That made me pretty happy. Oh, something to say to ntny-san too. (laugh)

Kakuma: You're going to slip if you try saying anything. (laugh)

Inoue: But, he really is the type to draw cute little girls, isn't he. Even when it's an adult, you can't help but think "A cute little girl" when you just see the face portrait. But Nero, and Sarly, and Nay, the small-girl team were so cute! Of course, Kanon and Ion have their charms, a lot of them, but it's like he is entrapped by the charms of little girls. This might just be my preference, but I feel like the girls with small chests have more cuteness-potential than the ones with big chests.

Kakuma: I think that's definitely how ntny-san feels too.

Inoue: Yeah, definitely, huh.

Kakuma: Including the clothing portion as well. (laugh) Oh, what I want to say is that all of the characters are so cute. All of the clothing changes in "Ar nosurge" are so cute, but Nero in particular, why did she get so cute in "Arno" to such a degree!

Inoue: Yeah.

Tokki: She was cute in "Ciel nosurge", but Nero in "Arno" is kind of an irregularity, huh.

Kakuma: You could say that Sarly-chan is the girl that had the most crammed into her, but "That's Nero?!" The difference is on a totally different level.

Inoue: It's such a difference from Ion that it's almost like she's saying I'm the heroine! you know? (laugh)

Kakuma: She looks like Ion with the flowers on her head, but combining that with her Loli-points doesn't seem fair. (laugh) Also, why did Shirotaka become l ike that... I liked the "Cielno" Shirotaka just fine. Also, Ion change is as always so cute. I really am so glad I got to play Ion. I really love blue eyes. I could stare at them forever.

Inoue: They are pretty.

Tokki: They definitely pull you in. The big Ion tapestry is almost unbearable.

Kakuma: As part of the Dengeki PlayStation project I had my portrait drawn. Even now I'm still using it as my twitter, but I wonder if ntny-san thought I'd be using it this long. I'm worried he might want an additional usage fee or something. (laugh)

Inoue: You're paying a usage fee?

Kakuma: Nope, not paying.

Tokki: If one showed up I would definitely have to start paying it!

Kakuma: If that time comes I'll be depending on you Tokki-san. (laugh)

Tokki: So mean... Speaking of which, Kakuma-san, you wrote a column for Dengeki-PS, what were your impressions? It's been going on for about a year and half now.

Kakuma: I think it's pretty amazing thinking about it now that I would be allowed to write that as I was a complete novice in terms of being a voice actress. Unfortunately during the planning work for the column my Kappa Hunting License expired. (laugh)

Inoue: You still need to go catch one. What Prefecture was it?

Kakuma: Um, Iwate.

Tokki: That's pretty far away.

(ed: So yeah, Ai is from Iwate and Iwate is apparently known for offering Kappa Hunting Licenses. I thought I was missing something first time I read this, but I found a fun video of someone going on an adventure to get one -- Apparently they're good for 5 years.)

Kakuma: But having the chance to have an experience like that makes me pretty happy. I'm not very good at sticking with things for long periods of time is it was a good chance to force me to learn. I think that conveying things to people in stuff in composition is really hard, but it's thanks to receiving postcards and stuff from all the fans who look forward to the column each time. Also, the biggest thing was being able to repay my parents, I think. My parents bout 2 copies, and took one to my grandma's, saying "Ai's come out!". Earlier when I went home they'd bought all of them. (laugh)

You didn't find much games or anime at my house, but to have something like a book come out made them really happy, they really enjoyed it. Since moving to Tokyo I think that's the thing I'm most thankful about being able to do.

Tokki: Thank you for the wonderful articles.

Kakuma: No, thank you very much!

■ Do You Have a Favorite Character?

Tokki: In the middle of production which character do you think has the most influence over your own character?

Kakuma: Nay. Without Nay, there would be no Ion... and vice versa. I don't think I could take it if I was put in that situation. But it's pretty amazing that the two of them were able to accept eachother, to use their feelings for eachother and find a way to come to terms and like each other. Even though it's just a story, so many problems come up, but if Nay didn't have such strong feelings of regal presence of mind, I don't think "Ciel nosurge" could have held together.

Tokki: Like holding on and striving to reach her goal, huh.

Kakuma: Yea, like how she's able to meet Kanon in the eye, Nay really supports the spirit of it all.

Tokki: How about Kanon?

Inoue: That'd be Cosal. Kanon has a severe awareness of her position, and she always has to go hold her own against even head-strong adults and stuff, but Cosal is somehow different. She has very strong feelings, but she pays so much mind to what Cosal has to say, and definitely relies on him as well.

Tokki: That's definitel the feeling you get, isn't it.

Inoue: So, understanding Cosal and Kanon's lifestyle, he says things to politely excuse and preface the words he's going to say. Of course, int he real world Ion is her one and only equal partner but, inside her heard she really loves Cosal, and greatly reveres him as well, but probably wishes that she could rely on herself as well I think. Kanon, as opposed to Ion, doesn't assemble any characters around her, so for that part, Cosal is a very precious existence to her, being together always.

Tokki: There were quite a lot of sub-characters that came out in "Cielno", which would you say is your favorite?

Inoue: As I'm partial to young boys, I really liked Pram. (laugh) Coolin and Pari are good too. Just watching those two can make you feel happy. Even though they're always fighting, they're so close.

Kakuma: Like, "Aren't you two Represenatives! Calmn down!" (laugh)

Inoue: Coolin is so sternly and stoic with Kanon, but as soon as Pari shows up he gets all childish, it's so funny. I really liked episodes in Part 2 of the Trials Chronicles. Thinking about it when Kanon was staying at the hotel by herself, and she went to the festival, "Oh! Birdies!!", and those two were just, bicker bicker bicker the whole time.

Kakuma: They were the two most at ease, huh.

Tokki: They followed Kanon in Trials Part 3, and how Pari came with them for no reason.

Kakuma: I was betrayed~.

Inoue: Yeah, yeah, like What? You came too? You just wanted to be with him didn't you!

Kakuma: Abuse of Authority!

Tokki: Those two definitely have very intertwined hearts don't they.

Inoue: You see that kind of seen with kids a lot I think, like "Cielno" isn't entirely all serious. It really refreshes the story though when those two break down their galvanization.

Tokki: How about you Kakuma-san?

Kakuma: For me, it's the long accompanying Nelico. She is such a mystery.

Tokki: Recently Tanmatsu-san has been able to even go on dates with her.

Kakuma: It's true! Like, "Wait a minute, is this what everyone wanted?!" I mean really, it feels kind of dishonest. (laugh) Like, what's going on here?!

Inoue: On Twitter and stuff the users have been saying "I want to go on a date with Nelico", or "Kanon would be cool too! Cas too!", but I didn't think they were serious. Is that really a good situation for them to be in, even though they're Ion's special person?

Kakuma: On top of it they go there during a date. It's like, hang on a minute, are you serious?!

Inoue: Tanmatsu-san was pretty surprised too, I bet.

Kakuma: Yeah. But that's our precious Nelico.

All together: (laugh)

Kakuma: Also, the conversations with Tele-kun are so refreshing. Tele-kun is so unwavering, and so untainted so his support really shines through, and then later in the story, Tele-kun's "I can't do anything" complex comes out really strongly. You really want him to realize that as Ion sees him he's just fine, you know. I really wanted to him to be in "Ar nosurge". Kind of like I wanted Tele-kun and Ion to grow a little more together. Of course, Ion was able to grow thanks to Tele-kun, but I would have liked to see Tele-kun in "Ar nosurge" too.

Tokki: Things changed enornmously when "Arno" came out, huh.

Kakuma: Definitely, Pushing at her back yelling "Go!"

Inoue: You mean, like if Tele-kun's mental world has gotten really strong?

Kakuma: Like, "Hey you, outta my way!" Or something like, I'll whip you with my tail! (laugh)

Tokki: It's be amazing if Tele-kun was hiding something like that.

Inoue: "Cosal? Oh, that guy," "Me, I'm still young!"

Kakuma: Yeah, "I'm the real god here." (laugh)

Tokki: Makes you wonder about him...

Inoue: Definitely.

Kakuma: I wonder what the best way to bring him back would be.

■ To the Users who Supported You For Over 2 Years

Tokki: Okay, I have a question to make Kakuma-san cry at the end, but first let's start with Nana-san. Do you have a message for the all the users that have supported you for over 2 years?

Inoue: Yes. All of the people who've reached out to me after having found out about me from "Ciel nosurge" make me very happy. Continuing the discussion about the DLC, the users had to wait for the next release. But, during those periods I got to hear people's impressions, what parts they liked, things like who Ion and Kanon go back and forth. This was a long running production, so it really struck me when I had the realization just how many people were supporting us.

For me personally, being able to meet Ai-chan is something I'll treasure my entire life, and having everyone watch over us makes me very happy. Unfortunately, Kanon never became the leading role but...

Kakuma: And you never got to date her.

Inoue: I know that there are a lot of fans out there that really wished for that. Well, you can do it in your dreams, so definitely, please take Kanon on a date. I think that there's a side of Kanon that would go and be fairly embarrassed the while. The "Ciel nosurge" story is finished, but you can still enjoy the game many times, so that's a good point. There's also OFFLINE, so please go and meet the characters again.

Tokki: And as far as OFFLINE goes, you can enjoy your favorite parts whenever you like now.

Inoue: Exactly. Thank you so very much.

Tokki: Thank you as well. Okay Kakuma-san, surrender yourself to the end.

Kakuma: Ah, oh no! Well, in a way the day everyone connected to beyond the 7th dimension was the same time that I entered the voice acting profession, so we all entered this world together. Since then, and for my life going forward will probably never see as an amazingly important daily life. That's because everyone loved Ion and the "Surge concert" so much, which is why I feel so thankful. This is my first experience with such a long running production coming to an end... it makes me feel lonely, really sad, but not just sadness, there's also really warm feelings. I can't organize these feelings right away, and putting it into words is hard, but I'm just so very thanksful.

Ciel nosurge's story is finished, but in October there's OFFLINE and Ar nosurge PLUS, so I think we can keep on being connected in a really big, strong way. So please make sure your PS Vita is charged and do a lot of tapping (ton-ton). Thank you so much.

Dengeki interview-thankyou.jpg

Tokki: Thank you. For everything up to this point, thank you.

Kakuma+Inoue: Thank you.