Disney+ is set to offer a fresh take on the sci-fi anime genre as they will stream SYNDUALITY: Noir on a simulcast basis starting this July.
The upcoming television anime is part of a brand new mixed-media franchise produced by Bandai Namco Group, which will also include a third-person action role-playing video game, manga series, novels and an action figure collection, among others.
The upcoming video game, titled SYNDUALITY: Echo of Ada, is scheduled to be released this year. The game is set in the year 2222 where a catastrophic event called “Tears of the New Moon” almost lead to the destruction of humanity. Amidst the chaos, humans established an underground sanctuary called Amasia and formed an alliance with artificial intelligence entities called ‘Magus’, where they joined forces to fight the “Enders” and finish their mission.
On the other hand, the anime is set 20 years after the post-apocalyptic events of the video game in the year 2242, where humanity tries to reclaim their lives from their underground sanctuary to the surface.
SYNDUALITY: Noir looks to offer something unique to the seasonal anime offerings, especially for those who like sci-fi or action.
Disney+ gave Anime Pilipinas a special opportunity to interview Japanese voice actors Aoi Koga, Takeo Otsuka, Konomi Inagaki and Nagisa Aoyama, who will take on the lead voice roles of Noir, Kanata, Ellie and Ciel, respectively. We asked them about the upcoming anime series, their characters and more.
How do you feel about SYNDUALITY: Noir?
TAKEO OTSUKA: At this point, I think only the first episode has been streamed, so my impression is that the story is a sci-fi fantasy, with characters with classic sci-fi elements which makes it exciting. Not only the battle scenes are a highlight of the series, but also the “boy meets girl” elements, as well as the connection between people and people, people and Magus makes it an interesting anime.
AOI KOGA: This is a show about a world in the near future where technology is more advanced than it is today, but on the other hand, there are places that have been devastated. I believe that my character has a good balance between the mechanical aspects of the near future and the humanistic aspects, which makes her a character beloved by people of all ages. I think it is a show that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. I hope that people not only from Japan but also from overseas can enjoy watching the show and my role.
NAGISA AOYAMA: When I first saw the first episode, I thought it was an anime with beautiful images and characters that made me feel as if I was watching a movie, even though it is an anime show. It is a show about the relationship between Magus and people, also focusing on mental connections, which is a perfect story for escaping from reality. It is also a show that makes you think that you must cherish the connection with your heart and change your daily life. It is something that people of all ages and races can relate to, so I hope many people will watch and relate to us.
KONOMI INAGAKI: As everyone mentioned, at first I thought it would be a show mainly about battles because of the appearance of mechas and such, but from the middle of the story, I thought it is more like a human drama, with lots of coming-of-age scenes and people enjoying their daily lives, which made me laugh and cry. Also, in the worldview, there are many old things that are familiar to everyone such as Pacman. The stories flow at a good tempo and the emotions and characters are easy to relate to.
To Aoi Koga: You have previously worked as a voice actor for a game like Genshin Impact and others. You will be playing the role of Noir in the media mix project SYNDUALITY: Noir, which will also be released as a game this year. How is your experience in this anime series compared to other projects that you have worked on?
I’m sure the audience feels the same way, my character, Noir, appears in the first episode, but there is a lot of mystery to her since she has lost her memory.
The story starts from a point when people around her and herself wonder “Who am I?”. I played the role of Noir while keeping in mind that I want to take care of her anxiety, confusion, and surprise at what she doesn’t know and what she sees for the first time.
I have never played a character who has no memory from the beginning, so I feel that I am taking on a new challenge, and I am entrusted with a character that is rarely seen.
To Takeo Otsuka: How do you think SYNDUALITY: Noir will be received around the world?
Without spoiling too much? Ah, this is hard. (Laugh)
So first I had the impression that there will be a lot of mechas and battles will be the main part of the story. But more than that, I think the story of Kanata’s growth will be the core of the story.
My personal impression of Kanata is that he is a super straightforward protagonist, which is rare in recent anime. I myself have never played such a role before, so I am recording the show while being energized by it, and I think that everyone watching Kanata’s growth and passionate battles in the story will be able to enjoy it with me.
To Nagisa Aoyama: How does it feel playing Ciel in SYNDUALITY: Noir?
When I was playing the role of Ciel, focusing on the fact that she is Magus, also I was conscious of the fact that she is the only girl who does not have a master partner.
If she has a partner, her character will become more accurate and obvious, so I had slight hesitation as to act at full power at that stage. But I thought that Ciel’s personality would gradually change as she gets to know Kanata, Ellie, and Noir.
She appears for the first time at the end of episode 2 and as she appeared more afterward, I plan to change the tone of Ciel’s voice for acting.
To Konomi Inagaki: You also appeared in the latest Mobile Suit Gundam anime series. How were you able to carry over your experience from there from a very largely franchised show to Ellie acting in SYNDUALITY: Noir?
First of all, the director told me that Ellie is a cool and strong girl. She is an imposing girl who can always speak up in front of everyone without fear. But when it comes to Kanata, she becomes overbearing or emotionally unstable, and this is when she shows various expressions from time to time.
I had never played a role like Ellie, who rides a Coffin and throws down enemies so much, fighting so fiercely. Therefore it was definitely something I had never done before, and it took a lot of trial and error.
I really thought about Ellie’s background and the relationships with the people around her, and I analyzed a lot to see what kind of girl she was and what she would be like.
The only thing I was able to make use of was my previous experience that I have often played emotionally honest girls, so I felt that I was able to match Ellie’s facial expressions and emotions.
Without spoiling the story, what can be expected from the anime SYNDUALITY: Noir, like surprise or unexpected plot twists?
TAKEO OTSUKA & AOI KOGA: (Laugh)
TAKEO OTSUKA: Maybe the part that Nori lost memory, and who the hell Ciel is? (Laugh)
AOI KOGA: I think it would be good if you could also pay attention to the characters that will appear later. But that is a big twist! Or is it? I wonder if it’s going to be like that. (Laugh)
TAKEO OTSUKA: But as the story eventually unfolded, I’m pretty sure everyone will gradually begin to realize what the truth might be, and as the story gets to the point you will be like “I knew it!” later on.
AOI KOGA: You don’t wanna miss it!
SYNDUALITY: Noir, a brand-new sci-fi anime series by Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bandai Namco Filmworks and Bandai Spirits, is set to premiere on 11 July, and streaming every Tuesday on Disney+.
Disney+ is available for as low as ₱159 per month with Special Offers to GCash users via Alipay+. For more details, please visit their website at disneyplus.com.