Special Interview in Kyoto
Thanks for all your support!! This is to celebrate the anime getting a second series!!
“Dreams are all connected”
Sayaka-san met CLAMP when she first played the role of Yuuko-san in the movie XXXHOLiC: Manatsu no Yoru no Yume back in the summer of ’05. It’s been two years since then. The movie led to a TV anime, which has also enjoyed great popularity, and now a second series of the XXXHOLiC anime has been announced for next Spring!! Ohara-san says that playing Yuuko-san has been just like a dream, and the CLAMP team have been looking forward to speaking to her here in Kyoto. So please enjoy this special interview from the XXXHOLiC world, woven from the fabric of interconnecting dreams!!
Brought together by happy fate, we sit down together to talk at a Nouryou-yuka!
— We have long had an agreement that if the anime finally got a second series, we would sit down with Ohara Sayaka-san at one of Kyoto’s famous Nouryou-yuka[*,1] but now, it’s actually happened!!
Ohkawa: I come from Osaka, and it seems incredible to me that Kyoto, so near my birthplace, could have such unique culture, these amazing traditional-style streets.
Mokona: Back when I lived in Kyoto, I always looked at them [the Nouryou-yuka] in awe, and just thought “Wow”. So I suppose this is one of those cases when as an adult, you can finally reach your dreams.
— With comments such as these, we began our evening in a glittering world of awe.
Nekoi: Ah, there’s a bat fluttering around!
Ohara: Whaat, where, a bat?!
Igarashi: So you really do get little creatures like that fluttering around here by the riverside…
— Ah, this is what the Nouryou-yuka is all about!
Igarashi: Back when I lived in Kyoto, nothing but the heat ever really left an impression, but now I feel you really do get a sense of the “wisdom of ages”…
Nekoi: It really is nice and cool. With the breeze and everything.
— Is this your first time at a Nouryou-yuka too, Ohara-san?
Ohara: Yes, it is. It’s an incredible feeling. Back when Ohkawa-sensei told me [after the first anime season had finished] that we would have to come and do this next year, I was thinking “The sentiment is more than enough”. But now that we’re actually here, I’m just impressed that she was as good as her word!
— Anticipation is growing for the new TV series of XXXHOLiC! —
— So, the second series of xxxHOLiC is starting next Spring.
Ohara: Ohkawa-sensei was the one who first gave me the news that there was going to be a second series.
Ohara: This was the unforgettable first series where I got a leading role, the first time I got to see myself there right at the top of the credits, and to get a private email on my phone from one of the creators of the original work, telling me that the series was going to be continued, that just made me so happy.
Ohkawa: I’ve had one series that was first made into a film later made into an anime once before, but that first time, there was a real time gap between the production of the movie and the TV anime, so the director and the staff were all different. But with XXXHOLiC, we’ve had the same staff right from the film all the way through to this second season…
Mokona: I’m looking forward to seeing all the new characters in the second season… Even Himawari-chan isn’t just some goddess of happiness, you know! Or so I hear… (laughs)
Igarashi: It looks like they’re going to be including a story I’ve really been wanting to see animated, so I’ll be looking forward to that… and…
Igarashi: Well, I’m looking forward to seeing [Doumeki’s father] Haruka-san! (laughs)
— Ohh! (everyone laughs)
Nekoi: It looks like we’ll be seeing plenty of more character-focused stories this time around, so I’m looking forward to that.
— The world of “Yuuko” spreads out according to fate —
— Will there be anything different about your performance this time compared to the first time around?
Ohara: It’s not something that exactly happens consciously, but I feel like I’ve really got into the character. I find myself collecting butterfly-patterned things, or buying the sort of purple things that Yuuko-san tends to wear. I’ve never really had a role worm its way into my real life to the extent that she has.
— And as for you, the mangaka, how have you felt having Ohara-san portray the character of Yuuko-san?
Ohkawa: Oh, it’s been wonderful, of course. I don’t think Ohara-san had ever had a role quite like Yuuko-san.
Ohara: Since I played Yuuko-san, people have started offering me more roles like her, though! (laughs)
Ohkawa: When you look at her as an outsider, Yuuko has this sense of near-omnipotence. When you see her as this godlike woman who can do anything, it’s difficult to avoid the impression that staying around her and helping her out is a positive thing. But Ohara-san managed to get across her drunkenness and her cute little remarks wonderfully. That’s the part that’s most difficult in the manga.
Mokona: Of course we try to get that across on paper, but the impact of an actual voice is incredible. When you hear Ohara-san giving lines like “Carbohydrates~!♡”, it’s just so… charming! (laughs)
Igarashi: I’m looking forward to seeing how Yuuko’s, Watanuki’s and all the others’ performances change in the second series.
Ohkawa: I just think that XXXHOLiC is a work of love, blessed with an incredible staff and cast.
— It’s all starting next spring, and the anticipation is huge!! —
— Now, could you each give a message to all the fans out there waiting for the second series?
Ohkawa: I’m involved in the screenplay too, so both as a member of the production team and as an author of the original work, I’m looking forward to seeing the popular storylines from the manga translated into animation!
Mokona: I’m looking forward to seeing more of that, er, master-servant relationship (laughs) that Watanuki and Yuuko have going on. I think this will become a deep series spanning many worlds, so please look forward to it!
Igarashi: I may be going over old ground here (laughs), but… I’m looking forward to Haruka-san. I also like the Lady Spider arc, so I’m looking forward to seeing just how that’s animated, and also to Watanuki’s decision.
Nekoi: Well, the original series is still ongoing, but I think there are certain expressions that you can get across with a manga, and with an anime you have sound, sound effects, and the talent of the seiyuu to work with, so I’m looking forward to seeing a complete XXXHOLiC anime with all those elements put into it.
Ohara: With this series, where I really feel that the cast and the staff put so much warmth into the production, when I heard that there was going to be a second series, I was screaming “All right!!”, but at the same time, I got a renewed definite feeling of “Well, of course we’re going to carry on”, as though I’d been sure all along that it had never been really over. I’m going to put my all into it. Please look forward to the results!!
— My anticipation for this long-awaited new series of xxxHOLiC just keeps on growing. Thank you all for coming here today!!
The new series of the xxxHOLiC TV anime
begins airing next Spring!!
Please look forward to it!!
Igarashi Satsuki, Ohkawa Ageha, Nekoi Tsubaki and Mokona – these four women make up the mangaka group CLAMP. They made their debut in 1989 with RG Veda. Since then, they have published X, Magic Knight Rayearth, Card Captor Sakura, Chobits, Tsubasa – RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE – , and finally, currently running in this very magazine, XXXHOLiC, all of which have been huge hits. They are also active in the fields of artwork, book and cover illustration, screenplays, essays and such. Igarashi-sensei, Nekoi-sensei and Mokona-sensei are all originally from Kyoto Prefecture.
Profile: Ohara Sayaka
Originally from Kanazawa Prefecture. A seiyuu. First handled the role of Ichihara Yuuko in the movie animation of XXXHOLiC, and went on to continue the role in the TV anime. Prior to XXXHOLiC, she appeared in the likes of Kaleido Star, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED CE 73: Stargazer, and Honey and Clover. Able to voice anything from cuddly, heartwarming characters, to cool, determined adult women. She will be reprising her role as Yuuko once again in the new series of XXXHOLiC next Spring.
* Nouryou-yuka – Just for the summer season (May 5th through September 30th), all the traditional restaurants alongside Kyoto’s Kamo River set up special seating platforms facing the river. The name comes from the wooden platforms themselves, known as “yuka”. This interview was held in late summer, at the high-class restaurant “Chimoto”.
 As an addition to the existing footnote, for anyone who’s curious, the other half of the name, “nouryou”, is a word referring to “the cool of the evening”.
 Not at all sure on that last sentence… the whole thing confuses me a little, and there’s a kanji in it I can’t make out too, and I don’t think what I’ve come up with for it makes that much sense, so, er… second opinion on that one, anybody? >_<
Translated from Japanese by cnet128.
Originally published in Young Magazine (Kodansha), Issue 51, released on November 19, 2007. Original text available upon request.
If you found mistakes in this translation or would like to contribute with translating other interviews, please contact me.