Crunchyroll Expo 2022
Unveiling Secrets with the Cast of Classroom of the Elite Season 2
by Kalai Chik,
Before season two of Classroom of the Elite comes to a close, a conversation between voice actors Shōya Chiba (Kiyotaka Ayanokoji) and Yurika Kubo (Kikyo Kushida) about their thoughts on the series thus far was played at Crunchyroll Expo. Both greeted the audience in different languages and thanked overseas fans who have supported the series to date. They confessed they were unfamiliar with all the languages they used in their introduction, but mentioned how fond international fans are of the anime.
They admitted that this was their first time pronouncing the English title, but they've often come across the title whenever fans tweet at them on Twitter. Apparently, out of all the voice cast, only Chiba and Kubo are able to pronounce the title properly (in their own words). They moved on to covering the popularity of the English dub of the anime series. According to fans, the English version is so beloved that they wanted to become dub actors. Chiba asks Kubo how she thinks people would play Kushida since Kubo has an “angelic air” to her voice. After all, a dependent character like Horikita is uncommon in overseas series. However, Kubo brings up Kushida's character gap and how that difference in personality could be seen as cute in a contradictory manner.
The next segment was about the other international events the cast has participated in on behalf of Classroom of the Elite. Chiba went to an anime event held in Taiwan and held a talk show and an autograph session there. Coincidentally, the MC, who was translating for him, was cosplaying as Kushida and had nailed the look. Due to the limited number of attendees in the autograph area, Chiba recalls a fan who wore a shirt that said “Horikita is life” in Japanese. Both him and Kubo mentioned how impressed they are with fans and how they're able to express themselves to the cast even if they don't speak the language. At one point, he had to do a live script reading by himself entirely in Japanese, which he felt was strange. He wondered if fans understood him, but they seemed to enjoy it. Kubo expressed her desire to attend an event overseas in the future.
Moving onto the series itself, Kubo read over the anime's second and third season announcement from this March. The announcement was so well received that the official Japanese Twitter needed to reply with an announcement that would reach a global audience. Chiba proudly revealed that he wrote the English subtitles for the Instagram post, although his teacher is Google. Even though the first season streamed internationally, the views dramatically increased after they revealed information on the new seasons, most likely because many people like to watch the first season after a follow-up is announced.
Chiba and Kubo then summarized the overall series, beginning from the original novel in 2010 and up until the 2017 anime series. Following a quick summary of the meritocracy of Tokyo Advanced Nurturing High School and its characters, they both discussed what they would do if they were in their characters' shoes and had 100,000 points. Chiba said he would save his points because he's a super saver, but also that he would never end up using it as that's in his personality. Kubo told a personal story about never being able to use her New Year's money as her family would return the money to her relatives; in that sense, she never owned the money and it was just passed around every time New Years came around. She learned the meaning of earning money early on. They switch to talking about the students from the different classes.
Afterwards, they introduced the characters they play in the series. Chiba describes Ayanokoji as an aloof main character, though in reality he's very thoughtful and attentive. He's also great at negotiating and seems detached, which makes the people around him wear their hearts on their sleeves. As for Kushida, she's the type who is like the idol of the class, but there's an underside to her normal exterior. Given how characters such as hers usually come with a dark side, it's surprising how much darker her personality really is. Kubo revealed how difficult this was to portray during the recording, as the staff told her to portray a completely different character. Once they were able to see the animation and Kushida's facial expression, the staff and cast realized how perfect the acting was for her delivery of “I hate you” while kicking a fence.
Then the two actors spoke about the second season, which was still broadcasting during the time of their video recording. Despite the 5-year gap between the first and second season, the story jumps right back into where they left off. This second season revolves around a survival test on a deserted island during summer vacation. Tensions are still high, and the transition between the seasons felt smooth. Chiba reflected on his recording session, stating that this was the first time he voiced a main character in a series that had a second season. Recording alongside the other voice actors felt nostalgic and he was so happy to see them. Kubo agreed that getting back into character wasn't difficult. Still, their characters had a hard time in the survival mind game. Speaking for herself, Kubo was incredibly confused at what was going on in the script. Chiba shares her feelings on the complexity of the situation. When he's voicing Ayanokoji, he's directed to speak as if he's looking at insects and without emotion. Both actors agreed on Karuizawa's cuteness in season two, and were surprised that she and Hirata were dating. Of course, that's just a facade, and Hirata keeps up appearances only when he has to. As they think about Hirata's key scene in season one, Chiba performs a small impression of Hirata. Turns out that both Chiba and Ryouta Ohsaka (Hirata's voice actor) like imitating each other's characters. Usually it's hard to act out someone else's character, but the cast are so close with each other that they pull it off with ease.
Closing off the panel, Chiba and Kubo look back on the time between the announcement and season two. They're happy to have the chance to talk about the events that have transpired, but they also hinted that there are a couple of things they can't quite talk about. If many people continue to watch the series, they may have more chances to speak at panels like this one.
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