Yashahime Translation: Prince Animage May 2021 Issue (Part 2)
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Due to the amount of content in the magazine, I have decided to the split the translation into three parts:
Part 1: Elder Son’s Resolve! Interview with Director Satou Teruo
Part 2: We Won’t Give Up On the Future! Father-Daughter Round-Table Talk with Narita Ken, Matsumoto Sara, and Komatsu Mikako
Part 3: The Strength to Overcome Destiny. Interview with Director Satou Teruo
on the Yashahimes’ story briefly closed with the shocking scene of “Setsuna’s
death”. With Towa and the others at its center, the complexly intertwined fates
of various people continue into the second chapter (season).
that tore Towa and Setsuna apart, the Dream Butterfly that stole Setsuna’s
slumber, the sleeping Rin, and the Rainbow Pearls that possess demonic power; all
these things that became key to the story were connected to Kirinmaru’s elder
heard the Shikon Jewel’s prophecy: “An existence that is neither demon nor
human and can cross through time will destroy Kirinmaru.” Thinking that it
refers to Towa, Setsuna, Moroha, and Inuyasha, Zero tried to eliminate them in
order to protect her younger brother. However, that was just an ostensible reason.
Behind her actions lurked a feeling of jealousy towards the half-demons and
quarter-demon that carried the Dog General’s blood. It seems her unrealized
love for the Dog General was the motivation behind her twisted emotions and
behavior rouses Kirinmaru’s anger and she disappears from his sight. However, the
story does not end with just this issue being settled. As part of the “Rite of
Courage and Cowardice”, Towa and the others end up having to fight Kirinmaru
and unbelievably, Setsuna loses her life during the battle.
There is a
heap of other issues such as Rin who still continues to sleep even now and the
Grim Comet that has appeared in the modern era. It is now an anxious wait for
the broadcasting to see how future mysteries will be unraveled in the second
sister. She was in love with the Dog General. Being that she was the one who
created the Rainbow Pearls, she went to go look for the scattered pearls after
her breakdown with Kirinmaru.
The beast king of the eastern lands. Irritated by his elder sister, Zero’s,
misconduct towards Sesshōmaru, they part ways as brother and
sister as a result. He battles the three (Towa, Setsuna, Moroha) and kills
The son of the beast king who once stood on the same level as Kirinmaru, the
Dog General, and Towa and Setsuna’s father. It seems he is searching for a
child named Akuru but the reason why is unknown.
She treasures her younger twin sister, Setsuna, above all else. As she grieves
over Setsuna’s death, she receives a broken Tenseiga from her father, Sesshōmaru… …?
A half-demon whose sleep and memories were stolen by the Dream Butterfly. She
loses her life while battling Kirinmaru but just before drawing her last
breath, she calls Towa “Towa-neechan”.
Towa and Setsuna’s cousin. Despite being enraged by Setsuna’s death, when she turned
into Beniyasha, she was able to maintain her (sound) mind and not get overwhelmed
by the rampage of her demonic blood.
The Offense and Defense Concerning Half-Demons
Zero has attempted
to eliminate the half-demons that carry the Dog General’s blood by doing things
such as spurring Kirinmaru to kill Inuyasha or burning the forest that Towa and
Setsuna were hiding in. Sesshōmaru was always by her side. Though
he does not say much, Sesshōmaru may have seen through Zero’s
intentions early and acted one step ahead.
Rin and Zero’s Connection
Zero can connect
to others via “fate” and control them as she pleases. Those whose fates are
connected to Zero will die alongside her should she lose her life. It seems Zero
herself connected her fate to Rin and used that to keep Sesshōmaru in check. The details on how Rin and Zero’s fates were intertwined
is of interest.
That Which Sesshōmaru Searches For
Sesshōmaru is someone who never appeared on the story’s center
stage for long. During that time, he was searching for a child named Akuru. It
seems that the pinwheel Akuru holds is somehow connected to the giant “Windmill
of Time”. After Akuru appeared before Sesshōmaru, the Windmill of Time that had not
moved for so long moved again but what does that mean… …?
Zero wants Kirinmaru
to exterminate Towa and the others but Kirinmaru, preferring to fight fair and
square, realizes the difference in strength between him and the girls and decides
to hold off battling them until they have grown (in strength). It is there that
Zero forcefully releases the seal placed on Setsuna’s demon blood so that Kirinmaru
will fight Towa and the others seriously.
A Broken Tenseiga
that Sesshōmaru carries is a sword of healing that was created from the
fang of the Dog General and is known as “the sword that saves the lives of the
weak”. Sesshōmaru resurrects the dead Zero with Tenseiga but that enrages Zero
and she breaks the blade. Will the broken Tenseiga be able to revive Setsuna
who has lost her life?
Famous Quote Pick Up!
of Sesshōmaru, Narita Ken
“Anymore will sadden Rin”
the monologue in episode 24 “Anymore will sadden Rin…” struck me. Even though
Sesshōmaru doesn’t show kindness, periodically he will suddenly say
something like this. On top of that, he doesn’t even put a lot of emotion into it
and it just comes out nonchalantly. I think that‘s what’s good about him.” (Narita)
of Higurashi Towa, Matsumoto Sara
“We’re not alone now.”
At the end of episode 16 “We’re not alone now.” I felt was just like Towa. She
says that to Moroha but of course Setsuna is among those she’s thinking of.
Towa came to the feudal era for Setsuna’s sake she has always held the feeling
of “It’s okay because Setsuna is here” at her core. The strength of her unwaveringness
really shows when the three of them are backed into a corner.” (Matsumoto)
of Setsuna, Komatsu Mikako
“You can always change the way you live”
“The phrase in episode 16 “You can always change
the way you live” left an impression on me. Even though Setsuna is a
half-demon, she’s quite farsighted (philosophically) for a 14-year-old. I think
her environment up until now and the blood that flows within her makes her that
way. Having passed episode 20 which depicted Setsuna’s past, I once again feel
how powerful this phrase is.” (Komatsu)
We Won’t Give Up on the Future!
Father-Daughter Cast Round Table Discussion
Higurashi Towa: Matsumoto Sara
Role of Setsuna: Komatsu Mikako
Role of Sesshōmaru: Narita Ken
Demanding “A Sense of Smell” From Playing Sesshōmaru
— Since this
is after the recording of episode 23 today (the day of the interview), thank
you all for your hard work!
Thank you! You see, today
is actually the first time I recorded with Narita-san for “Hanyō no Yashahime”. It’s like “we finally meet” kind of feeling and I’m very
Narita: Finally, it was our first
father-daughter meeting! I look forward to doing this interview together.
Komatsu: Likewise, I look forward to working
with you as well. Narita-san went straight into recording episode 24 (the final
episode) right after recording episode 23. The last episode is next week for us,
but we read the script and it was completely shocking… …!
final episode had an ending that really made you wonder about the future. Having
traversed through the story up to this point, what is everyone’s state of mind
After episode 20, going
into the final stage, the vigor of the story increased. For viewers, I think their
theories up to now were all overturned at one point. We also started recording not
knowing what was going to happen in the future, so we progressed through
recording while talking about “What’s going to happen next?” every time. It was
a continuation of surprises. Just when I thought we finally got to interact
with our father in episode 23, this time, something like that happens to
Setsuna… … I was shocked like “To think they would end it like this!” and I
immediately started thinking about how the second chapter (season) would
connect from here. My current thought is that as I look forward to the second
chapter (season), I want to rewatch season 1 one more time before the broadcasting
(for season 2) begins.
Komatsu: Back when I didn’t know what was
going to happen, when I asked the staff “How is season 1 going to end and
what’s going to happen in season 2?”, they told me “Most of the questions that
the viewers have will be answered in season 1. Around the last episode of
season 1, you might be able to record with everyone in the Higurashi family
again.” That’s why in my (mind), I had my hopes up like “I wonder if in the
final episode, the whole Kirinmaru situation and Rin’s sleep would all be
resolved and Setsuna and the others go to the modern era again, and in season 2
the three Yashahimes would start a happy school life?”
Komatsu: And then it went in a completely
different direction! Just when I thought the story was connecting in a line, there’s
suddenly more questions. There’s still many unanswered mysteries and in the
second chapter (season), what will happen (in regards to the those mysteries) …
while having that anticipation, as Setsuna, I want her to be revived as soon as
possible. In the Inuyasha world, you get pushed down many times, no matter
what, and those intense developments where you fight as you climb back up are a
distinct characteristic. Hence, I look forward to those intense developments in
the second chapter (season)!
Narita: I don’t like calculating future developments
and then think “I’ll do this part like this” so I go into the recordings without
knowing the upcoming story or the movement of the characters as much as
possible. Besides, it feels more fun to go into it without knowing the story. As
such, all I use is my sense of smell. In this work, it feels like I’m using my
sense of smell 1,000 times more than usual. That’s just how much concentration
is needed, and I feel that this work is very stimulating in more ways than one.
seems that Sesshōmaru himself moves knowing what
Kirinmaru and Zero are after but Narita-san, you were acting without knowing the
upcoming development I see.
Narita: That’s right. Sound director Nagura
Yasushi-san asked me “Would you like me to give you something that explains how
things will turn out?” but I purposely declined. If I found out, it felt as
though unnecessary emotions would come out of my voice. When I act, I aim for
the middle between “Lines written in the script as is” and “my own considerations”
like “It probably goes like this right?”.
Komatsu: Even though I think Sesshōmaru probably knows everything, his lines have various
components mixed into them, so I always get a sense of “I wonder?”. That’s why as a fan, I love speculating that
Matsumoto: I’m the same way. (His lines)
always leave room for pondering.
Komatsu: He doesn’t speak much to begin with,
but I think it’s just like father to not say everything within those few words.
Watching Narita-san record in person today, I was moved by how Sesshōmaru’s nuances were expressed with such finesse.
Narita: As expected, you two are “Inuyasha”
fans (laughs). But it really is difficult. He won’t say things with words after
all. Although, he would just become a boring man if he said everything. I think
he himself knows everything, but suppresses giving out the answer and just highlights
it a little bit… that kind of moderation is important. I’m always conscious of
this when I act but it’s tough after all. I only have a few lines so I have
this feeling of “If I mess these words up, when is the next time (I speak)?”. That’s
why I act with this feeling of “I’m going to put everything into these words”
how did you feel when you first heard about the “Hanyō no Yashahime” project?
Narita: I never thought they would revive “Inuyasha”
in this form. If they were going to do it, I thought naturally Inuyasha would
be the center of the story. The setting of Sesshōmaru’s children being the main
characters never crossed my mind. I thought something like that would be
impossible and I wondered about a lot of things like “Then who’s the mother?”. Rin (being the mother) was unexpected.
— It was
Narita: I didn’t think he would ever touch
upon that. I wanted to shake Sesshōmaru’s shoulders like “This isn’t
like you~!” (laughs).
Komatsu: Love sprouted!
Narita: How do I put it, love is something
far off to Sesshōmaru… I even think he had kids
because he probably had some kind of objective.
other words, not because he wanted to create a family?
Narita: That might be true for Inuyasha,
but for Sesshōmaru, I think there was an experimental aspect to it like “What
sort of chemical reaction would happen in my heart if I had kids”. After all, I
don’t think it’s necessary for him to be a dad.
Komatsu: Sesshōmaru certainly does seem like he
would have that kind of desire to “want to know”.
how did you feel when you saw the girls?
Narita: “Ah, so this is what they’re like”
is what I thought. I thought they were brave, healthy looking kids. When color
was added to the characters, I felt there were aspects similar to Sesshōmaru. But you know, the shock that he had daughters really is
big. It was like “Will the Sesshōmaru up until now fall apart?” “I
don’t want him to start ogling”. It was a little complicated there. It’s just
that it’s true that in the story of “Inuyasha”, he gradually showed his
affection for Rin. In that case, something close to that may also bud for his
daughters and that too may become a new appeal for him.
Reenacting Sesshōmaru’s Solitude for the Final
been 20 years since the time of “Inuyasha” but Narita-san, do you
remember the time you met Sesshōmaru?
Narita: I did not get the role of Sesshōmaru through auditioning. It seems there were actual auditions,
but they couldn’t come to a decision, so they had Takahashi Rumiko-sensei, the author
of the original work, listen to the voice samples of various candidates. It was
there that Rumiko-sensei picked me is how the story goes. Until then, I did not
have many appearances in anime works, so I think there are many young people
who recognize me for my role as Sesshōmaru. I also felt that things changed
after I played Sesshōmaru. That’s why to me, his existence
is very big.
— His looks
are androgynous but his voice is deep, so in the beginning, there may have been
people who felt an element of surprise from that.
Narita: When I first saw his character
appearance, I remember thinking he was woman dressed in a furisode. That’s why
during the first test, I used a higher pitched voice. Like the pretty boy voice
so to speak. Then, the sound director at
the time, Tsuruoka Yōta-san told me “Please make it
deeper”. I lowered my voice while thinking “What?” yet he still said “Deeper” …
That’s why it was very hard in the beginning. It was to the point that I
thought “I can’t keep going like this!”. That’s why I raised my voice just a little bit
at time so that it wasn’t noticeable. Otherwise, I felt that I couldn’t express
(things). When I did that, it gradually became easier.
Matsumoto: So that’s how it was.
Narita: Although, there was a trigger behind
that. At one point, I received a letter from someone who was a fan of the work
and it seemed that the Sesshōmaru that person imagined was a
certain voice actor who was very popular at the time. When I read that, I
thought “Whaaat!” (laughs). But if that’s the case, I thought “It’s fine if I
do this more freely” and my shoulders relaxed instantly, and I felt better.
— As in acting in a way that only you can?
Narita: Yes, that’s why I’m grateful for that
letter. It’s thanks to that that I was able to reach a turning point after all.
Komatsu: Meaning you broke through that “Sesshōmaru has to be like this” kind of (mentality). When I first
heard Sesshōmaru’s voice in the animation, I was able to grasp that “This
is what Sesshōmaru’s scariness was”. To begin with, his beauty and contrasting
calmness pierced through me and I had this scary image of him from when I read
the manga. However, the moment that became a voice, I really felt that it made it
convincing. That’s why from the start in my mind, I couldn’t imagine anyone
else for Sesshōmaru other than Narita-san. It’s the complete opposite of
Inuyasha’s high tone and he’s calm. He felt like a true greater demon. His rank
is much higher than Inuyasha’s and I could feel that sense of him being beyond
Narita: Afterall, his father (the Dog
General) was Ōtsuka Akio-san and his mother is Sakakibara Yoshiko-san. The parents
were amazing, weren’t they?
Matsumoto: For sure, the whole family is
Narita: But Sesshōmaru’s strength is that he doesn’t flinch even before such parents.
Like he has his own world. I thought I really should (act) that part without wavering.
— How did
it feel playing Sesshōmaru again for the first time in a
while in “Hanyō no Yashahime”?
Narita: It’s been 20 years since “Inuyasha”
and 10 years since “Inuyasha the Final Act” so that amount of time is
pretty hefty. I thought I could do it instantly but when I tried, it felt off.
I was bewildered like “I did this originally so why?”. I started acting while doing my utmost to recall
the feelings from back then, but it didn’t go well immediately and even I was
surprised. The stronger the emotional attachment, the closer to myself I got and
I thought “This is a human”. I kept comparing and adjusting many times like “Gotta
change it back, gotta change it back”.
— So there’s
a certain feeling when playing a demon.
Narita: That’s when I thought I probably
focused a lot more back during “Inuyasha”. The onsite studio for “Inuyasha”
had a peaceful atmosphere and I felt that I couldn’t let myself get caught up
in the atmosphere. Stubbornly, I strongly made myself think “I am solitary”.
Until I stood in front of the microphone, I would create Sesshōmaru inside myself and carry on as such until the end. That
may have been what I was missing. That’s why at the recording of the final episode
today, I purposely told the girls “I want you out”.
Narita: Just as I said earlier, I recorded
episode 23 with the girls but I recorded the final episode alone. During that
time, the girls waited for me (until the interview started) and they could’ve stayed
in the booth but I purposely wanted to do it alone. It probably wouldn’t have
changed much whether there was someone inside or not but how to put it, I
wanted to get closer to the me back then, even just a little.
— I see.
Matsumoto: There’s certainly emphasis on
recording with a small number of people right now, so it might be a difficult
environment to face your role in. It’s pretty much you get to the studio, immediately
voice the scenes you appear in, and then immediately go home when you’re done. Even
as a newbie, I can feel it throwing off my rhythm somehow.
— So even
bout scenes get (cut up) into small pieces then.
Matsumoto: I think if we had recorded with
everyone together from the top, we could’ve created time for each of us to
focus on our roles while feeling the flow of the story. I think there’s
definitely something that can be built with everyone onsite. However, there’s
difficulty from not having time to build that.
Komatsu: When you can feel the flow of the
whole thing onsite, the feeling changes a little from when you’re reading the
script at home. There are times where you realize things for the first time.
But right now, we’re only doing our corresponding scenes, so things come up
that we just can’t grasp. There is merit in just doing your turn in a short
time, but it feels completely different from doing it with everyone.
— So there’s
a challenge that comes from the Corona crisis.
Komatsu: The staff have shown consideration
for us by making it possible for us to interact with each other as much as
possible, so I’m grateful. While taking in consideration counter measures
against spreading the virus, they adjusted it so that those voicing scenes with
character conversations can record in the same booth together. Thanks to that, the
cast of the three Yashahime were basically able to record together.
Narita: They were limiting it to around 3, 4
people at most. I recorded with Kirinmaru (Yoshimasa Hosoya-san) and Zero (Sakamoto
Maaya-san) many times. Then there was Jaken-chan (Chō-san). Jaken was the same old Jaken and he made me think that I
had to do my best without losing. I didn’t (record) together with my younger
brother (Inuyasha played by Yamaguchi Kappei-san). Not that I want to meet him or
Matsumoto: It’s Lord Sesshōmaru! (laughs)
Komatsu: Thank you! (laughs)
Narita: (laughs) Also, I was able to record
together with Rin (Noto Mamiko-san) in episode 1. It felt as though Noto-san
had matured a little bit. Her growth as a woman came through a little in her acting,
which I thought was wonderful.
Matsumoto: Us daughters haven’t recorded with
Noto-san but I just happened to be able to watch the recording for episode 15,
so that’s when I greeted her. When I told her “I’m your daughter; thank you for
giving birth to me” Noto-san was like “Oh my god~! My daughter~!”. But we had
to maintain social distancing so we were both like “I can’t hug youuuu~!”
Komatsu: I’m so jealous. I can picture that
Concern about Setsuna’s life and Towa and Riku’s relationship
regard to Rin, it was revealed in episode 23 and 24 that her “fate” is connected
to Zero. Matsumoto-san and Komatsu-san, as daughters, what do you think?
Komatsu: I thought “what a cruel fate”. While
the feeling of wanting to hurry and meet mother face to face grows stronger, currently
the only way to prolong Rin’s life is to keep her asleep, and it’s there that
Setsuna’s Dream Butterfly is involved. All that is linked to Zero.
Matsumoto: It’s a negative chain where in
order to get Setsuna’s sleep back, you have to kill Zero but doing so would
also kill Rin. Towa wants Setsuna to be able to sleep but she still doesn’t
know about that connection. She tried to sever that in the final episode, but
the result was…
Komatsu: Setsuna, who was never able to sleep, was
finally able to sleep via death. It was such an ironic plot twist… …!
Matsumoto: Seriously, I thought “You’d write
this kind of script!?”! (laughs) In the opening for cour 2, there’s a scene
where Rin catches a falling Setsuna but I want them to hurry and do this scene
in the main story.
Narita: Setsuna will be in season 2, right?
We won’t be able to sleep in Setsuna’s place because we’re so curious.
Komatsu: I have faith that she’ll appear… … For
that reason, I look forward to Towa’s efforts.
Matsumoto: I’ll do my best! At the end of the
final episode, Sesshōmaru takes out a broken Tenseiga and
says “Shall you try, Towa…”. That was the first time father said my name. Earlier,
I watched Narita-san record from outside the booth and that was truly unforgettable.
Seriously, I think it was a scene that entrusted a lot of things (to Towa) so I
want to carve that voice into my heart and take on the recording for the final
regard to Towa, her relationship with Riku is also of interest.
Matsumoto: You’re right. The scene where she told
Riku “I like you!” really surprised me!
Komatsu: Love made up a large portion within
the story of “Inuyasha” but “Hanyō no Yashahime” doesn’t have a love component to that level. It was a scene
where you saw a small sign of that.
Matsumoto: For the line “I like you”, Nagura-san
directed me before the recording “It is absolutely not fawning. Please don’t go
in the LOVE (romantic) direction.” I think it was a refreshing emotion and that
she liked Riku as a person type feeling. I was also told “It’s okay to show happiness
when Towa sees Riku like ‘Oh it’s Riku’”. Even though she doesn’t think it’s
(romantic) love, it seems she’s always had this perception of “Riku’s not a bad
person” and I think what burst out from that was “I like you”. The fact that
Riku hugged her was something that lingered with her into the next episode, and
it was very memorable.
Narita: Riku… … he can’t be overlooked in
many ways (laughs). This won’t do, I can’t let him live. I guess I should cut
him down in a single stroke!
Matsumoto: Fatheeeeer!! (laughs)
Komatsu: Like “I won’t forgive anyone who
make a move on my daughter” (laughs)
wellbeing will be something to pay attention to in season 2 (laughs). Lastly
please give a message to our readers who are looking forward to the second
Komatsu: First off, there’s what’s going to
happen to Setsuna. I’m sure Towa, who’s been entrusted with things, will revive
her in the second chapter (season)… … Personally, I want to see father-daughter
interaction and a reunion scene with mother. I also haven’t given up on my
dream of an exciting modern era school life! Just once is fine but I want an episode
where everyone goes to the modern era, wears a school uniform, and takes Kirin-sensei’s
class. Having it end as “it was all just a dream” is fine too (laughs). I
believe there are issues as well like Inuyasha and Kagome being trapped in the black
pearl, so I hope everything is included in the second chapter (season)!
Narita: Indeed, when I think about what all
is going to happen, I can’t help but be curious. Coming to episode 23, I
recorded with the girls for the first time but how are things going to be between
(Sesshōmaru) and the girls going forward? I’m also curious about the
relationships with Inuyasha and Kirinmaru. I’m just like the viewers in that I
want to enjoy each episode one at a time. I’m truly happy to have encountered
this work. I would be happy if everyone continued supporting us.
Matsumoto: In terms of hopes, I want Setsuna
to be revived immediately at the beginning of the second chapter (season)… … Even
if that doesn’t happen, I want Setsuna to be revived as soon as possible. I
think there will be new encounters getting there. At the end of season 1, there
was a character named Akuru that appeared along with the keyword “Windmill of
Time”. I’m excited to see how those will connect into the second chapter
(season). Another thing I’m curious about is the promise that was made to Mei, “We’ll
come back for sure”.
Komatsu: Oh yeah
Matsumoto: I do
feel that I want to see a scene where Towa says “I’m home” to the Higurashi
family… … but right now I don’t want to go back to the modern era! Need to
revive Setsuna and clean up everything before that! Riku, Zero, and Kirinmaru
might show some new movement in the second chapter (season). Please look
forward to it without missing the details!
Q. Who did you think was Towa and Setsuna’s mother?
Narita: I thought it was Jaken (laughs).
Matsumoto: The Mama Jaken theory! (laughs)
Komatsu: Even among the fans, there was the Mama
Jaken theory in the beginning (laughs).
Narita: Well, Jaken stays close to Sesshōmaru the most and knows him best. If love was going to
sprout, it would’ve been from Jaken. Plus, he’s a full demon.
Matsumoto: Master Jaken really looks at Lord
Sesshōmaru after all.
Komatsu: In actuality, Master Jaken was both
the educator and caretaker, so his position was like a wet nurse.
Narita: He might’ve been breast feeding
them periodically. Demons seem like they can do anything (laughs).
Komatsu: I think Master Jaken guessed what
Lord Sesshōmaru was feeling and thought “What is my role…”.
Narita: He probably can’t be by Sesshōmaru’s side if he doesn’t have that kind of anticipation