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Kubota Hikari Interview: Famitsu Weekly May 27th 2018

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The following interview was conducted in the Famitsu Weekly Magazine May 28th 2018 edition (released on April 10th, 2017) in which seiyuu Kubota Hikari discusses her involvement with KanColle.

Within this 2 page article, Kubota Hikari does an interview talks how she was selected to voice the American Carrier Kanmusu Intrepid. Also she discusses about her impression of Intrepid.

One Surprise After Another in Encountering Intrepid!?

Interviewer (I): Kubota-san, you joined KanColle this past February. Please tell us how it felt to portray Intrepid.

Kubota (K): I was happy and really surprised to be able to play a character for a work as popular as KanColle.

I: Did you get the role via audition?

K: No - from what I understand, KanColle Management Naval District-san explicitly selected for a seiyuu with good English, since Intrepid has a lot of English lines. When I first got the script, I did think it was for an audition though (laugh). Either way, there was a lot of lines - it felt like nothing I had done before. I remember when I got to the studio and they went, "We're counting on your for Intrepid's recording today!" being shocked and going "Ah, I'm performing her!"

I: There was a misunderstanding like that (laugh)? So you were chosen for being multilingual - Kubota-san, is English your strong suit?

K: Well... everyone at the KanColle Management Naval District told me "Kubota-san, your English is wonderful! It's got such a great atmosphere to it!", but I myself wouldn't say I'm so conversant in it. My promotional materials at the office list "Hobbies and Skills: English Conversation"; maybe that's why I was recommended. I myself can't say for sure if my English is good enough to consider it my specialty. When I was recording I pushed myself to make use of what I had learned under a native speaker at an English language school. I just hope my pronunciation sounded somewhat natural.

I: Speaking both English and Japanese, let alone transitioning between them in the middle of the conversation, seems pretty difficult. How did you do it?

K: Right, well, when you plan to switch to English in a conversation, you kind of want to start speaking Japanese in a funny stop-and-go sort of way... The line I really had to work on was the part in her introduction where she goes, "I'm the fifth of the Essex-class carriers, Intrepid!" Keeping well in mind the switches between Japanese and English, I took a lot of retakes trying to string together phrases like "Essex-class koukuu boukan" while sounding smooth.

I: It sounds like doing Intrepid was particularly difficult. Kubota-san, how did you try and capture her personality?

K: As an American shipgirl, Intrepid is the type of character whose lines are full of exclamation marks. She's a really vivacious and spirited girl, isn't she? From the point of view of the Japanese shipgirls she might seem really enthusiastic, but she herself thinks it's a pretty normal level. That said, overdoing it would make her too out of place, so I had to be sure to moderate it.

I: What kind of acting instructions did you get from the staff?

K: I actually was too energetic at first, so they lightly asked me to tone it down a bit, to sound gentler and more discreet so that I could play the character smoothly. I was really grateful for the advice. They told me to remember to try to express a sort of really tolerant protectiveness over everyone. Intrepid has a lot of kind lines where she's making sure everyone feels invited and taken care of.

I: She certainly does have a sort of tolerance to her.

K: Right. Like a mother or an older sister, perhaps... I also really emphasized her damaged lines. Americans have an image of being really animated with their gestures and body language - I raised the energy, hoping that could be audible in her lines alone. Her heavy damage line especially - I imagined I was smashed to bits. Looking back, I'm glad I put so much effort into it.

I: So what's attractive about Intrepid is her two sides - her gentleness and her energy.

K: I think a naval base with Intrepid will be much livelier. I'd love to continue supporting KanColle from here on out - please continue to support us!

Translation was provided User:-a-nonymous

Bonus: Tell us about your impressions on the shipgirls you performed!

In this section Kubota Hikari talks about her impression about the Kanmusu she has voiced, Intrepid, as she explains in her point of view about her impression about her.

Kanmusu Kabuto Hikari's thoughts regarding that Kanmusu
Intrepid seems like a great communicator. There are many shipgirls on base, but you can expect Intrepid to have spoken to all of them by now.