*This is a translated article by QooApp under the permission of SPICE. Reproduction in any form without permission is prohibited.
MyGO!!!!!, the latest all-girl band in BanG Dream! began with the concept of having a band that truly synchronizes reality and virtual characters. Debuting in 2022, band members curiously hide their faces and identity while performing, with the voice casts for the characters being kept a secret for the longest time. The 4th live concert by the band titled “In the Sound of Moving Forward” in April 2023 ultimately unveiled the cast members and announced that a TV anime adaptation was in the works.
Since the reveal, the fan-awaited anime titled BanG Dream! It’s MyGO!!!!! has been ongoing since its premiere on June 29. The story, of course, centers on the formation of MyGO!!!!! And the more serious tones and atmosphere have been attracting much attention beyond the series’ fans.
This time here at SPICE, we sit down with Youmiya Hina, the voice of Tomori Takamatsu; Hina Aoki, the voice for Kaname Rāna; and Coco Hayashi, the voice of Shiina Taki. In this interview, we’ll be covering the changes in their state of mind, from the band’s formation to the airing of the anime, and more personal stories that led to the creation of the band’s theme song “One Droplet” (壱雫空) and “Bookmark” (栞).
▍The Beginning of MyGO!!!!!
Q. After MyGO!!!!!’s debut, you hid the fact that you were a part of this project. Did you have any difficulties playing your roles while hiding your identities?
Hayashi: It took some time to think about how I should act and emote as Taki on stage, especially since the audience would see us as characters and nothing else. So there was a certain consciousness in trying to keep our mannerisms from being on-sync with how Taki would act if she were on stage in real life.
Aoki: MC-ing was a whole different beast. When the tension rose during the live concert, there were times when we had to keep our heads cool, so as not to let our true selves slip out too much. I recall a lot of moments when I had to make a conscious effort to stick to my role while performing.
Hayashi: There were many times when I almost broke character during the MC parts when something funny came up (laugh). I always told myself “No no no, Taki wouldn’t laugh at times like this…!”
Q. That’s quite the challenge… I’m sure it must have been difficult for you too, Youmiya-san.
Youmiya: It certainly was. Where do I even begin? I had to sing as Tomori-chan without showing my true self. But as I tried to do so, the line between my ego and the character of Tomori-chan became indistinguishable. It was challenging to draw a line between myself and Tomori-chan, and I have been struggling with it for a long time. I’d even say I’m still in the process of finding an in-between.
Q. I didn’t expect you guys to have so much trouble balancing the two aspects. Especially with how you described the experience in the past, about all the things you found in common with Tomori as a character.
Youmiya: Now I can say that it’s because I’m similar but not identical to Tomori-chan, which is why it’s tough to balance the act. If I wasn’t paying attention, I often sang with my own emotions instead of the characters. If I did that, I wouldn’t exactly be “playing” my role, so it’s something that I’ve been always conscious about.
Q. So the acting process was challenging because you found so much in common with your character. If that was the case, wasn’t it also challenging to play your instruments while acting on-stage, Hayashi-san and Aoki-san?
Hayashi: It sure was. Taki is also the character who composes all the music in MyGO!!!!! So naturally she’s also supposed to be exceptionally talented with the drums, which made me feel like I had to match up to that character trait. I’m not performing as Coco Hayashi but as Taki Shiina, so I have a certain precedent to uphold.
Aoki: In my case, the challenge is to bridge the gap between my guitar-playing skills and Rāna’s. She is a talented guitarist, so catching up to how she’s portrayed was no easy task. She also has a mysterious aura to her so I tried to convey that in how I voiced her too. I also did extra homework by going to various live concerts in real life, to observe and take notes on how they would perform on stage.
Q. Could you name a specific band/band member you used as a reference?
Aoki: There are two. One is Yuya Eguchi of the band BLUE ENCOUNT. The way he strummed during performances and his steady fingering of the guitar was a great reference. The other was Koichi Kawasaki, whose presence on stage felt just like Rāna in my eyes.
Q. So you felt that Kawasaki-san has a character similar to Rāna?
Aoki: That’s right. He is very passionate when he performs, but he seemed to be in a daze during the MC parts. So, the basis of my on-stage mannerisms come from imitating Kawasaki-san to some extent(laughs).
▍Preparing and Performing as Tomori Takamatsu
Q.Eventually, the cast for MyGO!!!!! was revealed at the 4th LIVE “In the Sound of Moving Forward” in April this year. How did the reveal go?
Youmiya: That day was tough. I had to MC as myself during the show, and then I had to sing as Tomori Takamatsu immediately after. It was a challenge to switch between the two…
Q. Singing as Tomori right after the MC didn’t seem like an easy task at all.
Youmiya: That’s right. Since Tomori-chan is portrayed as the type who thinks and talks a lot inside her head, I had to solidify my inner voice when playing her. But that was hard to get through since our face was hidden.
Q. Does it take that long for you to prepare for your character role in every production?
Youmiya: Yes, I do… But the way I face it depends on the character I’m playing.
Q. Was there any significant change in your activities as a band after the face reveal at the 4th LIVE event?
Hayashi: I think the best part is that I can now say how much I love MyGO!!!!! And all the girls out loud. I love Taki so much that I couldn’t help but ask everyone, “Isn’t she cute?” I’m pleased to be able to say that openly now.
Aoki: I’m also glad that we can now talk about things we’ve accompished together. I love the members of MyGO!!!!! too, so I’m very happy to be able to talk about their charms and interesting episodes wherever I go!
Q. The BanG Dream! It’s MyGO!!!!! anime started airing on June 29. What was your impression of the story?
Aoki: The lively graphics of the story took me a lot of calories during my act. They did summarize the story and background of the plot for me, but I never thought that it would be so daunting when I was actually holding the script.
Hayashi: It took a lot of physical strength to play the role. After each recording session, I went home exhausted with all my emotional energy spent. I also didn’t expect that I would have to click my tongue in annoyance during my lines (laugh).
Q. Emoting like that wasn’t something you expected?
Hayashi: Tut-tutting sure wasn’t (laugh). In our script, there weren’t any instructions for that. But during the recording session, the voice director asked me, “Could you put a disapproving ‘tsk’ there?”. So I had to ask them “Are you sure?”, they said yes, and the session kept going. I have no idea how Taki passed the interview for the part-time job with that attitude.
Q. It definitely showed in your acting (laughs). What about you, Youmiya-san? Did you have any discovery while portraying Tomori?
Youmiya: I got the feeling that the character was more human than I thought. In episode four, there is a line when she says “It’s my fault… CRYCHIC broke up …” which I thought was a line that she uttered out of depression. But when I recorded my first take, the director came back to me and said, “Please make it sound like she’s sulking”. I was so surprised.
Q. You think that she’s not the type to sulk about matters like this?
Youmiya: Yeah. I perceived sulking as an attitude one takes when one is selfish. I thought she was a girl who didn’t take that kind of attitude toward others, you know?
▍The Characters’ State of Mind while Performing the Theme Songs
Q. So in the new BanG Dream! It’s MyGO!!!!! anime you had to perform the theme song for the show. Were there any unique challenges during the process?
Youmiya: Certainly. Especially this time, MyGO!!!!! is singing the theme song for the anime featuring MyGO!!!!! That’s especially difficult.
Q. So singing the theme song as the main character of the show was a difficult task?
Youmiya: That comes a lot from how Tomori grows as the story goes. It’s very hard to choose which moment to sing the song. For example, the lyrics of the opening theme song “One Droplet”(壱雫空) go, “Even if this rain lets up, I’ll never forget this moment and keep walking”. I found that the context of the lyrics depends a lot on whether Tomori-chan is singing from a perspective where she knows what the “this rain” part means to her in the story. Finding the correct voice for her was something I struggled with for sure.
Q. In your mind, where was the drop-off point in the recording process?
Youmiya: I think it’s when we unanimously agreed to have her voice delivery being lost and ambiguous. That being said, I did make sure that each phrase and lyric has an emotional charge to it.
Hayashi: So that was intentional! I’ve listened to You-chan’s different singing voices so I wondered if she was having a hard time with it, but I guess it turned out it was intentional.
Youmiya: I’m so glad you noticed!
Q. The song “One Droplet” credits Taki Shiina as the composer. Can you share your feelings when you first heard the song?
Hayashi: I was deeply moved. It is a song filled with melodic hardcore elements, and I imagined that Taki must have listened to a bunch of tunes to write this song. The song is refreshing, fast-paced, and explosive, just like an opening song should be. I’m sure “One Droplet” will become an important song for MyGO!!!!!.
Aoki: The song brings images to mind! Even before I saw the animation, I could see the band members laughing and singing along. It perfectly portrays the hesitation of the members, but at the same time, it’s a positive vibe. It’s a very MyGO!!!!!-like song, isn’t it?
Q. You guys also happen to perform the ending song for the BanG Dream! It’s MyGO!!!!! anime “Bookmark”. What kind of emotions did you put into while performing?
Youmiya: I can’t tell you that yet, since the anime’s still ongoing! …But, you can check out BanG Dream! It’s MyGO!!!!! anime yourself and then read the lyrics afterward for more context. It’s something that’ll make you cry, that’s all I can tell you right now.
Hayashi: The song sounds somewhat lonely and sad on the surface, but at the same time, the lyrics have a very warm and gentle quality. You-chan’s voice is also full of tenderness too!
Q. In the second verse of the song, Hayashi-san comes in at the chorus backing Youmiya-san’s singing, right?
Hayashi: Correct. That part was very difficult. I felt that it would be a bit different if I leaned too closely to Tomori’s vocals. Taki’s very protective towards Tomori-chan, but if she goes too far she almost comes off like a guardian/parent figure to her. She’s a young girl who sometimes loses her way, so I wanted to get that sort of warm but hesitant quality to her singing voice. That being said the 90-seconds version used in the anime doesn’t get to the part where I sing the chorus.
Youmiya: The full version of the music video is on YouTube, so please check it out there!
Aoki: “Bookmark” happens to be our band’s first acoustic track. I always thought that Tomori-chan’s voice fits the acoustic instrumental nicely, so I hope our fans pay attention to our performance there as well!
Q. Finally, I’d like to ask the three of you about your feelings towards the upcoming BanG Dream 5th LIVE event “Don’t Get Lost”.
Youmiya: First of all, we want to perform with the title of the concert, “Don’t get lost” in mind. I want to do my best to have the same sentiments as this title when I get up on stage as Tomori.
Hayashi: In this short period, MyGO!!!!! has shown off in so many different forms. We’re still in the process of deciding what kind of live show we want to put on for our fans, but we still want everyone who has found us since the 1st LIVE to enjoy it as much as they did back then.
Q. This will be the first time since the 1st LIVE event “We’re Screaming Here” which will be held at a live house. Do you think that’ll be one of the points of interest?
Aoki: We’re definitely looking forward to it! But we still want to continue to show that our music is fun, now and in the future. So please come and visit us on August 12!
▍BanG Dream! It’s MyGO!!!!! Anime Staff & Production
Original Story: Bushiroad
Director: Koudai Kakimoto
Script: Ayana Yuniko, Midori Gotou, Hitomi Gotou, Akiko Waba, Tani Kasuga
Original Character Design: Hitowa, Kazuyuki Ueda
Character Design: Craft Egg
Animation Character Design: Takuya Chanohara, Yuka Yamori, Joseph Shin
CG Supervisor: Naoya Okugawa
Modeling Director: Yasuhisa Takeuchi, Hiroshi Terabayashi
Rigging Director: Natsuko Yashiro, Tōru Kashiwagi
Color Design: Junko Kitagawa
Photography Director: Daisuke Okumura
Art Director: Saho Yamane, Risa Tsushima
Art Setting: Hideyasu Narita
Editing: Hatsumi Hidaka
Sound Director: Koudai Kakimoto
Music Producer: Junpei Fujita (Elements Garden), Hitoshi Fujima (Elements Garden)
Music Production: Bushiroad Music, Ace Crew Entertainment
Animation Producer: Hiroaki Matsuura, Shōta Hozumi
Animation Production: SANZIGEN
▍BanG Dream! It’s MyGO!!!!! Anime Cast
■ Tomori Takamatsu – CV: Hina Youmiya
■ Anon Chihaya – CV: Rin Tateishi
■ Kaname Rāna – CV: Hina Aoki
■ Soyo Nagasaki – CV: Mika Kohinata
■ Taki Shiina – CV: Coco Hayashi
The original article was written by Daigo Ichino (一野大悟) and published by SPICE, Find the original article here: https://spice.eplus.jp/articles/320191