We had an opportunity to interview Shota Aoi, the voice actor of Yu-yu Kondo, the protagonist from CARDFIGHT!! VANGUARD overDress. “Cardfight!! Vanguard” is a multimedia franchise which revolves around the trading card game of the same name.
Now all 12 episodes of the CARDFIGHT!! VANGUARD overDress Season 1 has been released on the YouTube channel, Shota Aoi shared his experience during the recording of this anime series.
1) To start off, could you introduce yourself?
Shouta: Nice to meet you everyone! I’m Shouta Aoi, voice of Yu-yu Kondo! Thank you for having me here!
2) What is the relationship between Yu-yu and Danji?
Shouta: (First, about Yu-yu) This could be said for any of the characters in “overDress,” but I think Yu-yu himself especially doesn’t have courage for many things. In the first episode, he was forced by his sisters to crossdress and thought “why couldn’t I say just one word ‘no!’”
However, as the story progresses, he meets different people and gradually gets a better sense of himself. He starts to think for himself about what should be done, and becomes able to voice his opinion.
I think the first episode really conveyed how he was too timid to express himself.
He resigned himself to eating the food even though he prefered soy sauce over ketchup, and he couldn’t say that he is a boy while he was crossdressed because he couldn’t interject the conversation the people around him were having.
But I think he started to change from the second episode, through his encounters with the other characters.
He showed his courage in saving Megumi in episode 1, but it ended up bearing no fruit due to how everyone saw him as a cute girl.laughs However, this can be seen as an instance when his deeply buried desire to change himself managed to surface, and I can relate to that.
While what episode 2 portrayed was Megumi’s misunderstanding, Yu-yu does hold a great deal of admiration for Danji. The scenes in episode 1 with crossdressed Yu-yu may make it seem like it could be the “L-word”, but what I think Yu-yu and Danji actually have is a special trust that goes beyond that of ordinary friendship.
Danji and Yu-yu also relate to each other as the leader and newest member of Blackout, of course. Something like a mentor and pupil perhaps? With Yu-yu on one hand thinking that watching Danji’s cardfights lights a fire within him to play as well, and Danji thinking of Yu-yu as having a special something within that he wants to nurture on the other, the pair are connected by such thoughts that are more instinct than certain beliefs.
I believe their encounter has changed the both of them.
3) Have you played Cardfight!! Vanguard before?
Shouta: I’m building my deck right now! I’ve also had the chance to try out the Start Decks that have been released.
I really love card games, but I’m still studying Cardfight!! Vanguard, so I have Shuta Morishima (voice of Masanori Iseki) as my capable backup to teach me as I build my deck.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to play with others face to face nowadays, but I’m waiting for my debut cardfight. If possible, I want to play with Amane Shindo (voice of Megumi Okura) or Yuki Ono (voice of Danji Momoyama), just like we do in anime!
By the way, I’ve always had really bad luck in draws, so I need to deepen the trust with the deck before my debut cardfight.
4) This anime is the newest series of Cardfight!! Vanguard. What should new viewers expect?
Shouta: I think this is something that both those who started watching from this series and those who have watched the older series have realized, but I personally think that one of the major themes in this whole new world of Vanguard is how people have different natures of themselves.
I think many people would agree that as we go through life, there is a side of us that we show to others, a side that we only show when we’re alone, and maybe even a side that we never knew we had.
Each character in CARDFIGHT!! VANGUARD overDress carries these as they go through their cardfights, confronting the sides they’d never seen, the sides they’ve been showing to others, the side of themselves that is troubled, and possibly learn to accept and love themselves through this. This series is packed with such examples of this, and I think that’s one of the reasons to watch it.
And for those who have never touched Cardfight!! Vanguard before, I hope you will learn from the cardfights about how interesting it is, and maybe draw out something you never had too.
5) Is there something you can relate to your character, whether it be personality or history? (Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi Exclusive)
Shouta: There’s a point in the first episode when the normally timid Yu-yu instinctively took action when it was absolutely necessary, thinking that “this is dangerous, I have to protect her”, and that reminds me of my own experience.
When I was a teenager, I wasn’t going to school at all. I didn’t want to have any contact with others. I didn’t even have the courage to leave my own room.
While for Yu-yu it was Megumi that was the key, it was my family in my case.
As young as I was, I could sense that my family was worried for me, and that made me realize that although I could live the rest of my life that way, it would not end well, giving me the courage to take a step forward.
When I was cooped up in my room, I could only think about what was directly ahead of me, trapped in imagining the worst case scenarios, but after summoning the courage to move forward, the world I saw completely changed. And I feel a lot of empathy when I think about how Yu-yu will continue to change as he builds up the courage to take action.
And by episode five, seeing how Yu-yu has become spirited enough to take action for Danji’s sake alongside Megumi, and knowing that it’s not a change he could have done alone, while I’m not his parent or anything like that, I am grateful to Megumi, Danji, Tomari, Zakusa, Touya, and the members of Blackout for that.
6) Any behind-the-scenes stories of recording you can share with us？(Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi Exclusive)
Shouta: We went through some trial and error during recording in trying to figure out how we should say some of the special terms in overDress. I’m not sure how well I can explain this in writing, but I initially said “Wonder Hill” in the same manner as “Wonderful” laughs. So finding out the right intonation was quite enjoyable.
Another behind the scenes story I can share is regarding how we’ve been recording with fewer people at a session during this period. Cardfight scenes often have multiple people speaking animatedly at the same time, so even when those actors are recording in the same session, the overlapping sections would be recorded again separately as well. But with overDress, we could be more extravagant in our use of the studio in using multiple booths to record the scene, making for smooth progress in the recording. I’ve never recorded in such a manner before, so it was a fresh experience for me, and I’m thankful that we could use the studio in such an extravagant manner.
By the way, our sound director brings his puppy to the studio sometime, so that’s something therapeutic to me. His favorite spot is at the foot of Yuki Ono san. laughs
7) Is there anything you would like to tell the overseas fans?
Shouta: For those who have never touched this series and for those who already know this series, I would like to thank all of you for meeting this series.
All the characters in this series have their own lovable qualities, and I’m sure you will be able to find something in common with them. I hope this series will become something that can support you at some point in your life.
The fight scenes are really exciting, and there are so many cool card designs, so I would be happy if you would give it a try.
I believe you will see how Yu-yu and the other characters grow as the story progresses, so I hope all of you will watch over their development and enjoy!
Thank you all for your support!
All 12 episodes of the CARDFIGHT!! VANGUARD overDress Season 1 are free to watch on CARDIFGHTVanguard Channel!!
Official Website: https://en.cf-vanguard.com/