Sakuracon 2015: Kana Ueda Interview + Fan Q&A

by Lynzee Lamb & Zac Bertschy,

Veteran voice actor Kana Ueda has brought a vast menagerie of characters to life over the years, most notably as Rin Tohsaka in the mega-popular Fate/stay night franchise. She's currently also appearing as Rachel Alucard in Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma Extend, and has enchanted fans with her performances as Saki Miyanaga in the hit mahjong anime Saki and as Hayate Yagami in the Nanoha franchise. We had a chance to ask her a few questions at Sakuracon 2015.

ANN: You starred as Rin Tohsaka in Studio DEEN's adaptation of Fate/stay night in 2005. What was your reaction when ufotable announced the remake last year?

KANA UEDA: The first reaction I had was, “Well, which storyline?” The Fate series, if you play the game, has three routes. So my first thought was “I hope it isn't something we've already done.” I was very surprised, though. It hasn't been 10 years since the same route's story that they're airing right now was adapted into a motion picture by Studio DEEN. I was pretty surprised to hear they were making a TV series.

Are there any differences between the two Rins? If so, what?

The personality and who Rin is hasn't changed between the two series. What's unique about ufotable, though, is how they make their animation series. A lot of other studios draw the art first and then the voice actors have to give it a voice to bring it to life. However, with ufotable they record the voice actors and then they animate it. They match it to the voice actor's acting for the animation. So, I believe because they're matching it with my acting, they're able to bring Rin to life even more.

What aspects of Rin Tohsaka would you say are most like yourself? Which are the least like yourself?

One thing I do have in common with Rin, is that when we have one thing to focus on, we really see it through until the end, even if it's a very long time. For instance, I've loved mahjong for a very long time, so I've been playing that for years and years. When it comes to professional work too, I really give it my all to accomplish it.

Are there any ways you two are different?

That's a hard question.

Well, Rin is rather tsundere...
[laughs] Well you bring up a good point. I am more deredere than tsundere.

What scenes from the upcoming Fate/stay night season were the most emotional or exciting to record?

SPOILER WARNING: events from the early part of the new season of Fate/stay night are spoiled in the answer below.

In one of the earlier episodes, Rin and Shiro go to Illya asking for help and then Illya dramatically dies. There's one episode dedicated to Illya. In previous series that were released in the Fate/Stay franchise they kind of glossed that over or didn't cover it at all. So, this was one episode that was really exciting to watch.

Do you have any messages to your fans in the West?
I was very surprised to see that many fans here in the States and other places. A lot of fans are really digging deeper into the fandom, even more so than those in Japan. I was really touched and excited to see that. I hope I'll be able to contribute to fans outside of Japan from now on.

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