|Kira Vincent – Davis, the many voice of ADV Films anime and Japanese live action movies, answered some questions from us about her role as Ayumi “Osaka” Kasuga in Azumanga Daioh.|
Active Anime: Welcome Kira. It is a pleasure having you, and thank you for giving us the opportunity to do this interview with you. We know that we you are very busy person, so we will start with Q&A right away.
Active Anime: How did you get the role of Osaka? Did they have you in mind or did you have to audition for the role?
Kira Vincent – Davis: I auditioned for it. Don Rush had me read for almost all the major characters. Osaka was one of the two I was secretly hoping I would get! I'm so glad I did!
Active Anime: Azumanga Daioh has its share of hyperactive characters and the quieter, calmer ones. Do you prefer the hyper roles, or the more mellow ones?
Kira Vincent – Davis: I like both. It's nice to change up a bit and have the opportunity to play both. I like the high energy characters, though they sometimes can be harder on the cords if the character yells a lot, such as in Wandaba Style. For those sessions, I make sure I have my throat spray and tea handy. Mellow characters are great, too. They give my cords a break, but it isn't always easy. Sometimes we spend a great deal of time perfecting some subtle, quiet nuance.
Active Anime: Other than spacing out and taking naps in class, what is Osaka's best quality, in your opinion, and are there any similarities between you and Osaka?
Kira Vincent – Davis: Osaka's best quality is her splendid zen-like state, and it really is zen-like! It's her appreciation for simple things that her classmates and friends don't see the same way. She's not dumb. She just says whatever she's thinking about, and those happen to be things that make other people say "uh…okay, whatever, lunatic!" As for any similarities between myself and Osaka, probably not much, except that we are both a good friend to have and we are both brunette!
Active Anime: Osaka's line delivery is the source of much comedy in the Japanese and English language versions of Azumanga Daioh. (As are the Puchuus from Excel Saga!) Is it ever hard to contain your laughter during when the dialogue is particularly funny?
Kira Vicent – Davis: Yes, sometimes it is. There have been times when we have had to take a break in the session because I couldn't get my line out due to laughing too hard!
Active Anime: What was the process like of adapting Osaka's Japanese accent to an English equivalent?
Kira Vincent – Davis: Osaka needed to sound a little different from everyone else because of the Osakan dialectal difference. It's a focus of a lot of the comedy in the show, so it had to be addressed. The accent is not really an English equivalent, because there is none. Different people handle Osaka-ben in different ways. Some prefer it to be indicated by a New Jersey or New York type accent, but in the case of this particular character, it was Don's opinion, and I agree, that it was more appropriate to use a soft southern accent. If you look at Osaka and her mannerisms, the way she moves quite slowly, it doesn't seem like it would fit to use a Brooklyn accent. We also wanted to keep her cute and spacey, like the Japanese. I think if the New York accent were used, it would add a loud, brash quality to the character that is just not there.
Active Anime: Did playing a role in a Japanese high school slice of life comedy bring up any memories from your own school days?
Kira Vincent – Davis: My high school was not as cool! Nobody had magic pigtails that could make them fly! There were no bread-eating contests! Nobody's dad was a cat!!
Active Anime: During the recording process, how much freedom are you given to interpret lines? Is there more direction with instructions to "say it this way" or is there experimentation?
Kira Vincent – Davis: It really depends on the show and the director. Some directors are more specific about what they want. Naturally I like to give my input and most of the time I am free to do so, but if the director wants me to change it, I do. Sometimes what I want may not necessarily work, sometimes it does.
Active Anime: In ADV’s entire voice actress talent, you’re voice is the one that I cannot recognized right away because you have the ability to change the sound of your voice – which makes you very versatile. How do you do it, does it just comes naturally to you when a particular character is presented to you?
Kira Vincent – Davis: It's all voodoo and black magic! Just kidding!! Wow, thank you, I don't really know, I guess it just does happen naturally with particular characters. Although some of them are bound to sound little similar, I try to give each character her or his own uniqueness. Sometimes, though, some characters turn out to be completely different from anything else, and this completely different voice comes out.
Active Anime: You've played the role of young boys in some anime like Nakahito in Steel Angel Kurumi and the recent OVA Grrl Power!. What's the hardest thing about playing a boy?
Kira Vincent – Davis: I have grown more comfortable playing boys, since I have done so a lot. It isn't much harder than playing a girl at this point. The hardest thing is emotional inflection of any kind, and trying not to sound like a girl.
Active Anime: I know that comparing Osaka to the lovely Najica, in Najica Blitz Tactics is like apples and oranges or even pineapples, but was the transition of playing a strong character to a character that is spacy and reserve a hard one? By the way, your voice sounded very sexy in Najica.
Kira Vincent – Davis: Thanks!! (blushing) The transition wasn't hard. I love acting, and it goes without saying that I love to switch personalities frequently. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to play such radically different characters! I will add that I think both of those roles were really awesome, and I had so much fun with them.
Active Anime: The final volume of Azumanga Daioh is around the corner, what would you miss the most from the show and would you like to reprise the role of Osaka if a sequel is made?
Kira Vincent – Davis: We are already done, and I miss it. It's hard to say what I miss the most, but if I had to pick one thing, it would be the comedy. Azumanga Diaoh is so funny! Of course I would reprise the role if a sequel is ever made, though so far I don't know about one.
Active Anime: One final question, how long does the lovely and versatile Ms. Kira Vincent – Davis plan to entertain anime fans out there, and is there anything that you would like to tell anime fans out there?
Kira Vincent – Davis: As long as I keep getting the work I'm not going away! I love what I do. And to anime fans- Thanks so much for your support! I am so glad that you're enjoying anime! You guys and gals rule!
Active Anime: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview Kira, and we wish you the very best. Active Anime.com really loves you.
Kira Vincent – Davis: Thank you!! My pleasure