*Spoiler Alert for the Attack on Titan anime and manga*
Attack on Titan voice actress Shiori Mikami confirms the first queer romance in the series.
There is a conscientious debate within the Attack on Titan community about the relationship between the Survey Corps’ blonde-haired royal in disguise, Historia ‘Christa’ Reiss, and Ymir, the former Survey Corps soldier who was revealed to be a Titan-shifter in season two.
Many fans had hoped the two were romantically involved - and if so, the couple would be one of few authentic same-sex relationships in a popular anime series.
In an interview with Crunchyroll at Animagic in Germany 2014, manga creator Hajime Isayama confirmed he wrote the characters as a couple and appreciates any doujinshi about them. According to the voice of Historia, Shiori Mikami, when voicing scenes between them, Mikami and the animation team keep that in mind.
“I think they’re connected by the heart in an emotional way,” Mikami tells SBS PopAsia at SMASH! 2017. “In the second season, you could really see that they were connected on a deeper level.”
“As you know there’s the original manga series [by Hajime Isayama] and I did try to take a lot of the readings from that into my preparation,” she continues, “but also not to think too much into it and try and deliver so that there was clarity in the characters and relationship.”
The third season of Production I.G.’s Attack on Titan is set to air next year.
“[Laughs] I don’t know anything at all,” Mikami says. “The only thing we’re aware of is that it’s going to start in 2018 and there’s nothing else. We haven’t even recorded it yet.”
“At the end of season two, there was a big reveal about Krista and I think in season three they’ll definitely develop that storyline and go further into it. I would like to put all my energy into trying to produce the best delivery.”
When asked about the working conditions of Japan’s animation industry as explained by Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood director Irie Yasuhiro, Mikami admitted she had heard stories of “animators not being paid enough.”
“I can definitely see that it’s quite a difficult situation for them,” she says. “I’ve heard that people within the SMASH! organisation today, there’s a few people who want to become animators so I definitely want to encourage [people] to try their best and go and work in Japan. I believe that the more people that get involved, maybe the better [the] conditions we will get.”
Mikami is best known for Attack on Titan and YuruYuri, a series which she cherishes for establishing her career and as her first major character role. She has also voiced characters in Amagi Brilliant Park, World Trigger, Flying Witch and supporting roles in Hyouka, Sword Art Online and Kemono Friends. According to her, the best advice for voice acting amateurs is to prepare to be more than just a voice actor.
“These days, voice actors not only voice characters but they go to events, they sing and dance and so on, so I think it’s very important to have a wide range of interests,” she says. “I think that since I started there’s definitely a sense of celebrity that’s appearing in the voice acting world; and I think five years from now it’ll definitely keep changing. Twenty years ago, voice acting was mostly done by actors but now there’s definitely a role for voice actors so it’s completely different in that sense.”
Stay tuned to SBS PopAsia for more SMASH! 2017 coverage, including interviews with Sailor Moon and Overwatch voice actress Shizuka Itoh and Fire Emblem and Pokemon Go character designer Yusuke Kozaki.
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