Aniplus Asia held the BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! x Aniplus Online Cafe 2021 on June 16, 2021. This event was a part of the BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! x Aniplus Cafe collaboration, in which the mixed-media franchise took over the cafe for a limited period.
The said online talk event featured voice actresses Rimi Nishimoto and Haruka Kudo. Nishimoto is the voice of Rimi Ushigome, bassist of Poppin’Party, while Kudo is the voice of Sayo Hikawa, guitarist of Roselia. Both Nishimoto and Kudo were in high spirits for this session.
In this feature, we will share with you some highlights of the Online Cafe. The Japanese version of this feature follows below.
Virtual Tour of Singapore
The guests were introduced to a virtual tour of Singapore where the Aniplus’ headquarters is located. Nishimoto and Kudo had been to the country, with Nishimoto saying that she’d been to the country three times. Speaking of Hawker Centres, they were also showed a gallery of Hawker food as well!
When asked what left the deepest impression, Nishimoto remembered the Merlion and chicken rice the most, while Kudo remembered the Marina Bay Sands and chicken rice. Should they get back to Singapore, Nishimoto would want to eat delicious food and take photos as well. Kudo, upon being shown a photo of a Hawker Centre, wanted to eat there too.
Guests React to BanG Dream! Cafe Menu and Merch
As the collab cafe menu was shown to the guests, they were asked what concept they thought it was based upon. Nishimoto correctly guessed that the Poppin’ Party set was based on the image of rabbits in Hanazono Land.
Kudo noticed that the food was mostly colored based on Roselia’s band color, which is purple. Don’t let the color fool you, because it was a healthy combination. The noodles were made from purple wheat topped with purple cabbage, and the dessert was a bowl of açaí and blueberries. It was a meal set for the health-conscious anime fan.
Next up was the merch available at the cafe. The zip hoodie jacket had the names of all the bands, the reusable cup with straw had the image of all the band leads, and the washi tapes had cute images of the band members depending on which band they chose.
BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! Announcements
The collaboration between BanG Dream! and Aniplus was set up to commemorate the 3rd year anniversary of the game’s English version. The event also revealed new updates in the game, such as the addition of RAISE A SUILEN on June 10. Previously, Morfonica was added on March 19.
Nishimoto told overseas fans she is glad that they are also enjoying BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!, just like the fans in Japan. Kudo was very glad that the very unique styles of Morfonica and RAISE A SUILEN were finally being shown in the game and asked everyone to support the game.
BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia finished its screening in select cinemas in Singapore. The movie’s opening theme song is part of its Theme Songs Collection, which has been available in Japan since June 30.
Meanwhile, Poppin’Party’s latest mini-album Live Beyond!! has been in stores since August 18. Nishimoto invited everyone to take a look at the sparkling songs included in the album.
Fans took the opportunity to ask questions to the guests.
Question: Is there any secret to playing instruments?
Nishimoto: If you love the instrument and the song, and you work hard, you can definitely play it.
Kudo: The most important obviously are the fundamentals; […] if you play your favorite song, I’m sure you want to get better and use the instrument a lot, so the secret is to play your favorite song and you’ll surely get better and better. Obviously, the most important thing is to start playing and play your favorite song.
Q: What is the favorite song of each band member of the other band? What is Nishimoto’s favorite song from Roselia, and what is Kudo’s favorite song from Poppin’ Party?
N: FIRE BIRD
Q: It’s not easy to be a seiyuu. Do you have any advice for people who want to be a seiyuu?
N: The most important thing is actually to not give up, work your hardest, and obviously watch lots of anime.
K: Just like Rimirin, don’t give up, work your hardest, watch lots of anime, read some manga, but the most important thing is obviously to watch movies and drama from an actor’s point of view.
Q: As an artist, is there anything you want to challenge moving forward?
N: I want to go and perform worldwide, in front of the whole world, and I want to perform a solo live just for Poppin’Party in Singapore!
K: I want to do a world tour! The last time I went to Singapore, I went only with Aina Aiba, but I want to go back, this time as the whole Roselia.
Q: What do you feel is the best part during a live performance?
N: I feel that the best feeling during a performance is holding the bass guitar and swinging it around wildly; and you know, the best part is obviously the smiles on the fans’ faces.
K: When I’m on stage and locking eyes with fellow members, and how could I forget when I look in the crowd who are enjoying themselves.
BanG Dream Girls Band Party x Aniplus Online Cafe Press Conference
An exclusive press conference followed the Online Cafe. Anime Corner joined other media outlets and got to ask more in-depth questions.
What they think about each other
Both Nishimoto and Kudo have worked together for quite a while, so they were asked what they thought of each other. Nishimoto said that while Kudo looks cool, she looks like a very kind older sister. Kudo retorted, “Please don’t make me blush on screen right now.”
Kudo first met Nishimoto at a live stage, and she was playing the bass intensely. Despite this, Kudo said that Nishimoto has a gap of her own: “…She’s actually a very nice, warm-hearted person in the end.”
Being in the same agency as Aina Aiba, Nishimoto said she also wants to work closer with Yuki Nakashima. As for Kudo, she has actually worked with Hina Suguta, Moronica’s guitarist who is also the voice of Kirigaya Touko. Kudo also mentioned that she has not yet worked with the rest of Morfonica, so she would like to work with them moving forward.
Rimi Ushigome and Sayo Hikawa’s interactions are also quite rare in the game, so when Nishimoto and Kudo were asked what kind of development they wish to see. Both answered that they would like the characters to learn from each other. Rimi, who is a composer for Poppin’Party, wants her character to learn from Sayo-chan’s training, while Kudo wants hers to learn how to make chocolate cornets and other snacks and sweets.
The challenges they want to take on
Both guests have revealed the challenges they would like to take on: Nishimoto notes that since the current situation restricts live performances, she appreciates online live concerts as a fresh take on things. She would like to do more direct conversations on Line Live where she can see comments from fans in real-time.
The voice actresses were then asked if there are remarkable things to note in online events compared to physical ones.
In this online event, Nishimoto got to actually see fans directly, as well as their reactions in real-time. Normally during events held during weekdays, some fans are unable to participate in person. Kudo noted that in the current situation where everyone is staying at home, it’s actually great that they enjoy events like the Online Cafe in the comfort of their very own homes.
Important trivia from the guest artists
Through the course of the Press Meeting, we found out some important trivia from the two:
- Nishimoto’s favorite BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! Event is the long-awaited Valentine event for the Japanese audience “Valentine’s Day is Not Just A Single Day”, while Kudo loves the Determination Symphony event “Umbrella for the Autumn Rain.”
- Nishimoto suggests that Poppin’Party should cover songs from male rock bands, as it fits Kasumi Toyama’s (voiced by Aimi) singing voice. Kudo ponders what would happen if Roselia did super kawaii idol songs for a change.
- If Nishimoto could lend her voice to another character in the franchise, that would be Kokoro. Rimi’s character is relaxed, but Kokoro is the opposite, so she wants to give her a try. Voicing Sayo is cool, but what about voicing Hina, Kudo asks.
- Knowing that both guests voice their characters in the anime as well as the mobile game, they were asked what they pay their attention to while doing their roles.
- For Nishimoto, Rimi’s a very calm and collected character, so she wants to do her best to show her love of music to her fans and express it from top to bottom, making no expense to show this to the fans in Japan and overseas.
- The role of Sayo, Kudo explains, is stoic and serious in front of most characters in the game. In front of her Roselia bandmates, she plays the role in a calm and collective manner, with a personal touch.
Their connection with the fans
On another topic, Nishimoto says it’s very difficult to meet fans, so they do their best to lift everyone’s spirits up through their voices. They hope they can continue doing these online talks moving forward, and look forward to the support of the fans.
Kudo wonders how fans are doing compared to normal times given that she can see their reactions online. She adds that she will also do her best to train herself, and is hoping that by the time we can actually meet in person, everything will be great.
When asked about their experiences in doing actual events, Kudo notes the restrictions in live concerts. Current restrictions prohibit fans from cheering through their voices, but they can use other forms of communication such as the use of penlights and clapping. She also stresses that even though they can’t see anything, she can see their smiles even with their masks on.
Have their activities as part of BanG Dream! affected them in person? Nishimoto is thankful for the franchise. Without BanG Dream!, she can’t continue as a voice actress. Kudo on the other hand has done a lot of work in the past, but due to BanG Dream!, she is actually able to play an instrument on stage and sing at the same time.
As the BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! X ANIPLUS Online Cafe 2021 Ends
Moving back to the end of the Online Cafe, Nishimoto was really happy to spend time with fans during this online event. She hopes that next time she gets to see everyone’s wonderful, smiling faces in person.
Kudo explained that it was her very first time doing an Online Cafe which made her nervous, but she was very happy thanks to everyone’s wonderful faces. She also hopes that Roselia can do a live concert overseas and looks forward to everyone’s continued support in person when things get better.
Thank you very much to Aniplus Asia and Bushiroad for the opportunity to participate in the BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! X Aniplus Online Cafe 2021.
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