Last Saturday 16 June 2018 saw the appearance of 16 of the voice-cast members of anime series “Touken Ranbu – Hanamaru – “ season 2 on-stage in the halls of Makuhari Mess International Convention Centre – the voice actors were all gathered for the series’ special event “Hanamaru◎Matsuri” (lit. “Hanamaru Festival”) that was held that day.
The 16 voice actors were:
Toshiki Masuda (CV. Kashuu Kiyomitsu)
Mitsuhiro Ichiki (CV. Yamatonokami Yasusada)
Tarusuke Shingaki (CV. Heshikiri Hasebe; Nagasone Koutetsu)
Junji Majima (CV. Nikkari Aoe)
Yuuki Tai (CV. Souza Samonji; Taroutachi)
Seiichirou Yamashita (CV. Yagen Toushirou; Aizen Kunitoshi)
Takuya Satou (CV. Shokudaikiri Mitsutada)
Tomoaki Maeno (CV. Yamanbakiri Kunihiro)
Tooru Sakurai (CV. Tonbokiri; Doudanuki Masakuni; Yamabushi Kunihiro)
Ryota Asari (CV. Hirano Toushiro; Akashi Kuniyuki; Sohaya no Tsurugi)
Kousuke Toriumi (CV. Mikazuki Munechika)
Jun Fukushima (CV. Urashima Koutetsu)
Atsushi Tamaru (CV. Ichigo Hitofuri)
Kouji Takahashi (CV. Taikogane Sadamune)
Daisuke Sakaguchi (CV. Fudou Yukimitsu)
Masahiroi Yamanaka (CV. Kikkou Sadamune)
The event commenced with the appearance of the 16 voice actors representing 24 characters (some of the voice actors took on multiple roles) to the excited cheers of the audience made up mainly of female fans.
After some short introductory talk and banters amongst themselves, the voice actors split into two groups of 8 members each – ‘Team Kiyomitsu’ headed by Toshiki Masuda and ‘Team Yasusada’ headed by ‘Hiromitsu Ichiki’ – as they moved on into the games segment of the event. Members of each team were tasked to pit their wits, knowledge of characters, creativity, spontaneity and ingenuity against the other team’s members in two different games during the segment; points were awarded to the winning team.
The games segment ended with members of ‘Team Yasusada’ emerging victorious over their peers in ‘Team Kiyomitsu’. The event then moved on into the live-reading segment where the voice actors have to act/read out – in ad-hoc afureco (i.e. after recording) style – an original scenario that was specially-scripted for the event. This reading segment really showed off the voice-acting prowess of some of the actors, especially those who handled multiple characters in the series.
The special voice event finally drew towards its closure with each of the cast addressing the audience for their support of the series and their personal thoughts and feels of playing the characters. Atsushi Tamaru – the voice actor for Ichigo Hitofuri – told the audience he “needs to gather more of his little brothers!” Kashuu Kiyomitsu’s voice actor Toshiki Masuda also said “Touken Ranbu – Hanamaru – “is a series full of potential and possibilities and he hope fans will never forget that it is always ‘hanamaru’ in their hearts” and that they will continue to support the game, anime and all its spin-off franchises.
The “Hanamaru Matsuri” event came to a climatic close with the live performance of the series’ opening theme song “Hanamaru Shirushi no Hi no Moto de” by all 16 of the voice actors amidst audience’s cheers, clapping and waving of coloured penlights. According to Nitroplus CEO Takaki Kosaka’s twitter post the “Hanamaru Matsuri” event recorded a total attendance of 13,000 fans in both its afternoon and evening shows on 16 June 2018.