The TV anime, Kaguya-sama: Love is War, which is adapted from Akasaka Aka’s manga is a love comedy set in Shuchiin Academy, a prestigious school with a rich history, and tells the interweaving story between the president of the student council, Shirogane Miyuki and the vice president, Shinomiya Kaguya. Their individual pride forbids them from being honest about their own feelings, and both of them engage each other in a battle of wits to make the other party confess to them, which is expressed by high tension gags. On the other side, we have the ending theme, Sentimental Crisis, a song that is full of heart wrenching emotions and also Kaguya’s concealed feelings. To commemorate the release of the single, Comic Natalie has gathered the voice actor behind Kaguya, Koga Aoi as well as halca, the singer for the ending theme, to talk about what they did to get closer to Shinomiya Kaguya.
We got to see something great in「Chikatto Chika Chika♡」
──This being the first time meeting up like this, both of you seem very nervous (laughs).
Koga Aoi (Koga): I’m ner-nervous……!
halca: Very nervous…… What should I do (laughs)?
──Having heard each other’s voices through the anime & ending theme, how does it feel to seeing each other in person?
halca: I’ve been listening and watching Koga-san in the radio show and videos she appear in. In Kaguya-sama, she plays a cool and composed character, but she is really cute in real life, the gap between her overpowering cuteness and coolness is really wonderful. Erm, I like her……!
Koga: (Blushes) Thank you……! Although I’ve seen halca-san’s photos in the MV and on the CD jacket, she is exactly like the fluffy self as portrayed in them. I love her singing voice, it carries a broad sentiment and moves the heart. Thank you for the lovely ending theme!
halca: I’m happy to hear that……! When I heard that Koga-san was going to do the narration for the CM for Sentimental Crisis, I was overjoyed. Thank you so much.
Koga: Not at all! I’m happy to actually get to do it, thank you (laughs).
──Both of you are just thanking each other without any end in sight (laughs). Next, I’ll like to ask halca-san about your thoughts on the anime, how was it?
halca: It was very interesting! I always wished that the next episode came faster. My favourite parts so far is the proclamation of “Love is war!” at the start and the fast forwarding in episode 3, as well as Chikatto Chika Chika♡!
Koga: The ending theme of episode 3!
halca: That really caught me off guard. Fujiwara-san was really hitting the moves, she’s so cute in there.
──It was the episode where halca-san’s song didn’t end it off (laughs).
halca: Yeah (laughs). But that was really cute, and I thought “I got to see something great……”
Expressing Kaguya-sama’s “heart-throbbing” moments in the song
──Koga-san, how did you feel about the recording, looking back now?
Koga: She is different from the characters I have acted out before, so I headed in with fresh anticipation as well as anxiety, it was just full of things I have never done before. It was also done in a way that took into consideration the feelings of the fans of the manga, and I felt pressure on me to deliver that. Hearing the reactions “It was great!” after the 1st episode aired, put my worries to rest.
──For Koga-san, it’s an extremely important role right?
Koga: Yeah. I’ve been voicing unnamed roles for some time now, and I was really ecstatic that I got my name on a main role for such a work. I think that fans of the manga were worried upon seeing an unknown name voice their protagonist. But, I received many “Do your best!”, while the production staff and co-cast did everything they could to create an amazing work environment. I stopped running away and gathered every ounce of confidence I could and faced everyone sincerely, and approached it with a great sense of responsibility.
halca: That’s so cool.
Koga: No, not at all…… It was something I needed to realise on my own. I’m surrounded by people who show me overwhelming care and concern, and I’m really grateful for that.
──How about halca-san? Did you also feel the weight of the pressure from singing Sentimental Crisis?
halca: Yeah. It’s a super popular work and I wanted to make sure that the fans of the manga could enjoy it as much as the original and also bridge the gap of both productions. Being the curtain call of each episode, I needed to work hard so that fans don’t harbour the thought of “The anime was so good but the ending…” (Voice trails off)
Koga: Don’t say that, it’s perfect! The opening theme (Love Dramatic by Masayuki Suzuki feat. Ihara Rikka) is an infectious beat with an impact, while the ending theme expresses the feelings of a girl in love and captures the heart throbbing moments of “Kaguya-sama” brilliantly. I love the last “…Take me away”. Of course I’ll bring you out!! (laughs)
halca: Ah, I’m so happy, thank you……! I sang that part with the input of those “tingly feelings”, and even though I’m not sure if I was successful in conveying those emotions, I was glad that the animation matched well with the song.
──Including the ending animation, the lyrics of Sentimental Crisis expressed the concealed feelings of Kaguya. Did halca-san also sing with these feelings in mind?
halca: Yeah. I focused on becoming her completely, and also imagined myself in love, also a little essence from everyone else, together with Kaguya, and blended them together to form the basis for my singing.
Koga: Ah, I see!
halca: My feelings of uneasiness continued right until the broadcast, but when I saw the animation, those feelings got blown right away. At the time of production, I pictured the image of a starry sky for the song, and I was quite surprised to see that same image in the animation since I didn’t tell anyone about this. “Ah, we are on the same wavelength.” which made me really happy. With the assistance of the animation, it made me feel “I want to watch, listen to more of it…”.
──Looks like that gave you self-confidence.
halca: How do I put it…… But because of Kaguya-sama and Sentimental Crisis, I was able to take on a new challenge, and I’m very grateful for that.
I’m glad that Kaguya got to meet the president and Fujiwara
──Next, Koga-san, what kind of girl is Kaguya in your eyes?
Koga: At the start, Kaguya gives off an impression of an “unobtainable flower”, but through the president’s (Shirogane) words and Fujiwara’s unpredictable nature messing up with her thoughts, she begins to waver and you could feel “Ah, she’s just like the average girl” within her inner self. As the story develops, we get to see more sides of Kaguya, and personally, I’m enjoying the process of acting as her and that I feel that reading the manga made me understand this process.
halca: Kaguya is a really pure girl. Maybe if she had been raised in a normal environment, she would be a more playful child full of wild ideas. For all of her cool demeanor, she’s a maiden inside. That’s why I feel that if I’m the school president, I would end up falling in love with her once I see her bashful side through that one moment of lapse in her guard.
Koga: I’m glad to hear that! With that type of upbringing, Kaguya has no knowledge of those common things others know at the same age, and she has to give up on things she want to do. For Kaguya who grew up like that, when she comes in contact with the student council and takes back those things she gave up on, it’s like finding a new light in her life, and it makes you want to support her. I feel that meeting Fujiwara and president ( was really great. That’s why I was really happy to hear you say that.
──As for halca-san, starting with Kaguya and also trying to express the feelings of a girl in love, were you also experimenting with different things in order to create the singing voice?
halca: I used a natural voice for this song. I was like “What should I do?” when I couldn’t express those honest feelings in sentimental crisis, and since it’s a song imprinted with the image of a girl on the verge of tears, I thought about delivering those painful feelings from the ears straight down to the heart, I wanted to sing in that condition as much as possible. I didn’t want to add too many flashy emotions to the song itself.
──Especially for that line “Before I cry” in the later part of the song, it really captures that emotion well, it really feels like you were trying to hold back your tears.
halca: Thank you! During the recording, I almost cried at that part, which explains that voice.
I want to see Kaguya’s bashful moments!
──We’ve covered plenty on Kaguya, how about your impressions of the president?
halca: The anime and manga presents a a view of him from above so you end up finding him “interesting” (laughs), but really, he’s cool, smart and also the school council president, and you end up liking him. I think that people who have self confidence are really wonderful. Also, his voice is very suave!
Koga: Furukawa-san (Makoto) will be happy to hear that! (Laughs) Even though the president is surrounded by many people looking up to him, he falls flat in the common areas such as athletics, and I feel that these chinks in his imperfection are his charm points, it’s lovely how he tries his best to show Kaguya his perfect side.
──By the way, do you prefer being confessed to, or are you the type who wants to do the confessing instead?
halca: Same here, the thought of confessing to someone is so scary.
──Putting aside the battle of wits in Kaguya-sama, there are probably many people who wants to be confessed to.
Koga: That is why I think that people who are able to be honest about their own feelings are really wonderful. I hope Kaguya can watch and learn from them (laughs).
halca: I want to see Kaguya be truthful about her feelings! I want to see her in full bashful mode.
Koga: All the main characters are revealed from episode 6, and although the fun moments keep coming, there are more serious scenes inserted in the later half of the anime, and you get to enjoy the gag parts fully while also getting to know Kaguya’s sad history as well as witness her growth which I hope everyone can go on to support her.
halca: The serious moments are also very enjoyable. When it gets a little serious, then they overcome it to find happiness, I think it’ll be nice if everyone could end up being happy in the end.
Koga: That sounds nice indeed. I want that too!
Interview,text: Yanagawa Haruka
Photography: Satou Rui
This interview was published at Comic Natalie on 20 February 2019. All images and videos you see here belong to their respective owners.