The Day I Became a God - Beginning of the Storyby Kim Morrissy,
Let's get this out of the way first: Aniplex Online Fest's panel for The Day I Became a God did not reveal any news about the upcoming anime series. Even the guests were jokingly asking, "What's the point of this program then?" As it turned out, however, the panel offered some interesting tidbits about the anime' production and the personalities behind it.
As a quick introduction to the series, The Day I Became a God is the acclaimed visual novel writer Jun Maeda's third attempt at writing an anime-original series after Angel Beats! in 2010 and Charlotte in 2015. Like those aforementioned series, The Day I Became a God is animated at P.A. Works. You can watch its teaser video below:
According to voice actor Ayane Sakura, who plays the heroine Hina, and Aniplex producer Atsushi Uehara, the key terms of the anime are "Return to origin" and "Pre-score." Uehara said that the "Return to origin" theme was something that the Aniplex producer Yosuke Toba suggested to Maeda, now that it's been 10 years since Angel Beats!, as well as the 20th anniversary of the visual novel developer Key. The anime will explore Maeda's visual novel roots before he started working on anime, and it will be a very "personal" story for him.
As for "Pre-score," this refers to the way the dialogue for the anime was recorded. Although it's traditional for anime to start voice recording after the animation has started production, referred to as "after recording," for pre-score the process is done the opposite way; the voice actors record the lines first and the animation is made around that. It's not Sakura's first time doing pre-score, and in fact the practice is becoming much more popular for television anime lately, but it's still a noticeable aspect of The Day I Became a God's production.
What are the advantages of pre-scoring? According to Sakura, it's easier for the voice actors because they don't have to worry about matching the timing of their lines to the mouth flaps. It's also becoming more popular because it's easier to do while implementing social distancing, so it might become standard in the future.
From an artistic perspective, it was important for this anime because Maeda wanted to emphasize casual conversations with a natural-sounding tempo, and this meant allowing the voice actors more freedom with the timing of the dialogue. The voice actors would do their take on the lines, then the producers and animation team would look over it and add lines. Thus, the voice acting and the animation influence each other.
The second part of the panel was a myth-busting segment about voice actors and producers. During this part, Sakura and Uehara shared some amusing anecdotes about themselves. For example, Sakura revealed that her signature was initially devised by her father, who came up with a very appealing and girly-looking design despite being a man over 60 years old now. Uehara also talked about a time when he accidentally flubbed his lines during a promotional talk event, and then looked on Twitter later only to find that his misspoken line had become a hashtag.
The show wrapped up with Sakura reading out a handwritten letter she received from Jun Maeda. Despite the fact that they never spoke during the recording of The Day I Became a God, Maeda was so moved by Sakura's performance as Tomori in Charlotte that he wrote: "None of this would be possible without your voice." He also wrote, intriguingly: "I will strive to make The Day I Became a God the most heartbreaking anime of all time."
Although there's not much else that anyone can reveal about the anime at this point, Sakura said that they're almost done with the recording. From her position knowing more about the story, Sakura says that Maeda fans should not miss out on this anime, although she's sure that it can attract new fans as well. She hopes that the series spreads far and wide.
The anime is currently scheduled to debut in October, so if all of that sounds intriguing to you, make sure you mark that on your calendars.
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