Earlier this week on 31 July 2018, nearly 200 fans gathered in an event hall somewhere in Tokyo, and spent the most magical time as they witnessed the fantastical clandestine double-appearances and performances of two of the most well-known wizards in Hogwarts’ history… or rather, their Japanese voice casts, anyway.
The “Wizarding World” event was mainly to celebrate the 20th Anniversary since the publication of the very first book in the world-acclaimed and popular “Harry Potter” series by British author J.K. Rowling – “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”; but just as well in time for a double-celebration too, since the very first trailer for the second movie in the “Fantastic Beasts” series (also penned by the same author) was also unveiled earlier in the week, and the date for the Japanese premiere of the movie was also announced to be on 23 November 2018.
Enter the “Wizarding World” event’s double guests! Popular seiyuu Mamoru Miyano, who will be reprising his role as lead character Newton (‘Newt’) Scamander in the Japanese-dubbed/voice-over version of “Fantastic Beasts” series; as well as equally-popular seiyuu Kensho Ono, who provided the voice for protagonist Harry Potter in the Japanese-dubbed versions of all the movies in the “Harry Potter” series. The emcee for the event was 14-year-old child-star and talent Mana Ashida – who coincidentally is herself a huge fan of the Harry Potter series. She was also recently named Japan’s entertainment industry’s “Wizarding World Ambassador” during the trailer unveiling and Japan’s on-air date announcement for “Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald”.
The “Wizarding World” event was the very first time that saw the duo appearances of the two main characters of the “Harry Potter” and the “Fantastic Beasts” series on the same stage so fans were in for a very rare and memorable, also undoubtedly magical treat indeed! Kensho Ono fondly reminisced that he had read and loved the series since he was a kid, and he felt really honoured to be providing the voice for Harry Potter in the Japanese voice-over versions of the movies, but never did he imagined the day when he would be appearing on the same stage as the “legendary wizard Newt” – to which Mamoru Miyano laughed to the great delight and cheers of the fans/audience.
There was also a screening of the excerpted portion of Newt’s actor Eddie Redmayne’s during his appearance at the recent San Diego Comic Con 2018 – during which Mamoru Miyano and Mana Ashida both appeared especially excited. Ashida-san revealed that she likes Professor Snape and could envision herself belonging to the House of Gryffindor. She then posted the same question to the two voice actors to which Mamoru Miyano laughingly replied “I’m not sure but I should think maybe Hufflepuff or Slytherin”. Kensho Ono too thinks he is a Gryffindor.
The climax of the event was when the two seiyuus did a special afureco reading of an originally-scripted scenario where their two characters – Harry and Newt – were to interact; before the event progressed on to a talk-session between the emcee and guests. Since the event is a commemorative one for the 20th Anniversary publication of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, Mana Ashida also recited a passage she loved from the book. After that, the event drew to its end with after a surprise lucky-draw and prizes presentation by the guests to the lucky fans who won.
Kensho Ono posted two after-event photos taken backstage on both his official Instagram account as well as his Twitter account – with the caption “It’s been 14 years since I uttered ‘Expecto Patronum’ and man was I nervous I might screw up! And I am fully looking forwards to watching the new “Fantastic Beasts” movie!”
Mamoru Miyano also wrote about the event with the same picture (above) on his official blog page which was linked via his Twitter.