Aniplex Online Fest: Kaguya-sama: Love Is War? Special Panel

by Kim Morrissy,

The second season of Kaguya-sama: Love is War recently ended, so Aniplex Online Fest held a special panel to relive the best moments. Voice actors Aoi Koga (who plays Kaguya Shinomiya) and Konomi Kohara (who plays Chika Fujiwara) got together for this panel, not just to spread the love for Kaguya-sama but also to learn about love from around the world. What did these two love detectives get up to?

Koga and Kohara began by introducing the anime's characters and sharing some of their feelings about them. In an amusing example of actors sharing commonalities with the characters they play, Koga remarked that if Miyuki Shirogane were real, she would fall in love with him because he's such a hard-working and handsome guy. The voice actresses also remarked on Yu Ishigami's popularity and said that, just like many of the viewers, they found him to be the most relatable character.

After the introductions, Koga and Kohara moved onto discussing their favorite moments from the season, as follows:

3rd favorite (Koga): Miko and Miyuki's student council election debate (episode 6).

3rd favorite (Kohara): The student council peeps on Kashiwagi and her boyfriend to ascertain whether they have achieved nirvana (episode 1).

2nd favorite (Koga): The shojo manga parody scene where Ishigami and Miyuki attempt to invite Miyuki to an aquarium (episode 7).

2nd favorite (Kohara): Chika teaches Miyuki how to sing and becomes emotional at his growth (episode 5).

1st favorite (both): Ishigami puts his all into the race (episode 11).

As they recounted their favorite scenes, the actors shared some anecdotes from the recording booth and the anime's production. For example, Kohara mentioned that when the staff decided to make the second season, they hadn't decided which episodes to adapt, but the writers were absolutely firm on doing one of the "Chika trains Miyuki" segments because they were such a highlight from the first season.

Kohara highlighted the peeping scene because it was the first scene from the second season where the entire main cast got together. This helped fire up their momentum and ease them back into the rhythm of the show after their time away from it. Koga also revealed that the shojo manga parody scene did not have its lines recorded in the order that they are heard in the final footage, which would certainly come as a surprise considering how much of a back-and-forth it sounds. She remarked that it was a very fun segment to record.

In the end, however, both actresses chose to highlight Ishigami's running scene as their favorite moment overall, even though neither of them worked on it. Koga said that it was one of the most relatable moments in the entire series. Kohara remarked that because of its seriousness it almost didn't seem like a Kaguya-sama episode, but the emotions were really elevated by Ryōta Suzuki's voice acting in particular. It proved the range of abilities of the voice acting team, and both Koga and Kohara were very proud of it.

After wrapping up their discussion of the anime, the actresses moved onto the show's second segment: a quiz where they had to figure out dating stereotypes in countries outside Japan. The prize for getting at least three out of five questions correct was the opportunity to eat a delicious-looking macaron, so the stakes were high. The questions ranged from fairly straightforward ("What do women in China value in a man?" "Financial power." "Correct!") to very difficult to figure out even for people versed in both cultures, like how the answer to "What don't Americans do in relationships?" was "A confession of love before dating." (Also, according to this quiz, English men give flowers to their significant other every Friday. This revelation shook me deeply because my English fiance doesn't do that. What a lout!)

This part of the show was mostly off-topic in regards to anime, but it was fun to see Koga and Kohara tease and banter with each other. Kohara considers herself a mom to Koga, so she told Koga not to go to Brazil after they found out that women apparently consent to flirting by maintaining eye contact with a man who looks at her. According to Kohara, Koga is the type who stares and gawks at everything. Although the two actresses needed a hint to figure out the answer to that last question, in the end they did manage to correctly answer three out of the five questions, so they got to eat that macaron.

Kohara and Koga concluded the panel by expressing their hopes to go abroad and meet their fans personally. Koga wants to visit France and America, while Kohara wants to visit Spain for the Tomato Festival which Chika went to in the anime's first season. The discussion today fueled their desire to learn more about other countries and cultures.

At the end, the actresses were asked how they felt about the panel they had just finished doing.

"It felt like I was on a show called 'Aoi's Room,'" Kohara replied, referencing the long-running Japanese talk show Tetsuko's Room.

"Do you think the viewers abroad will get that?" Koga asked.

A man off-camera chuckled and answered: "Probably not."


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