Animage May 2011 came with an amazing 36-pg Legend of Raimon Eleven Memorial Book with tons of cast and staff interviews.
I wanted to translate this one first because these two say so many ridiculously awesome things in it. As expected of the Radio Misty pair!! (biases leaking out 100% on my end)
Shimono Hiro (voice actor for Fidio Aldena & Handa Shin’ichi) & Kaji Yuuki (voice actor for Fudou Akio & Ichinose Kazuya) Interview
✿ You two have spent a lot time as part of the Raimon Eleven as Handa and Ichinose.
Shimono: In the second season, I was really sad to see Handa get injured and leave the stage early on. So when I was called back towards the end of the second season (ep 64), I was surprised to see that Handa became a bad guy?! (lol) Even his hairstyle was different, everyone was telling me “He must be taking note of Ichinose.”
✿ It seems Ichinose took Handa’s regular seat, after all.
Kaji: That’s because Handa stood up against Kidou-san (ep 18).
Shimono: (lol) Handa picked a sharp tongue after Shishido was benched. He was saying things like “Are you really okay with this? This isn’t how we do soccer!”
✿ Is that really why?
Shimono: As far as the actors were concerned (lol).
Kaji: (whispering) Well, isn’t Handa being a smart-aleck. Just who do you think you’re talking to?
Shimono: (whispering) Aah, not the thing you should say to Kidou-san, Handa~
Kaji: So the next thing we know, Handa was benched for the next match (lol)
Shimono: And Ichinose conveniently came in around there (ep 19).
Kaji: Yeah, Ichinose has such terrible timing! So everyone kept saying “It’s Ichinose’s fault.” They’re all so mean! (lol)
Shimono: And eventually Handa’s appearances disappeared just like that (lol).
Kaji: I was thinking “I’ll be in the same studio with Shimono-san!”, but in actuality we were only together at the beginning.
✿ Kaji-san, what are your impressions of Ichinose?
Kaji: He was quite a mood killer in the recording studio (lol). It was something about how American he was and that he was way too refreshing.
Shimono: That’s true (lol). That pose (pictured above) got on everyone’s nerves a bit.
Kaji: Also, I did think he was good with soccer, but I never thought it was to the level of people around the world going “THAT Ichinose” and knowing him (lol).
Shimono: It was the shocking truth. Fidio told Endou about it too. “At least you know about Ichinose” (ep 86).
Kaji: If only the Raimon Eleven treated Ichinose a little more nicely too!
Shimono: Maybe he was so big that they just didn’t know? (lol)
Kaji: Fidio and Ichinose had probably met each other before.
Shimono: I see. Since he’s known as the “magician of the field”, he probably played in international tournaments. He could have at least told the Raimon Eleven. “You can’t let these guys scare you. The world out there is even more amazing!”
Kaji: He could’ve given advice like “it should be more like this.” But him leaving without doing anything like that even once is just like him (lol).
✿ First off, thanks for all the work for the last episode.
Shimono/Kaji: Thank you!
✿ Feelings about the ending:
Shimono: Sad that I wasn’t able to fight Endou for the finals as Fidio. But I was still really glad to have so many appearances.
Kaji: Inazuma Eleven is the first work that I’ve been involved with for so long. Coming in and seeing the faces of the same members week after week, it really feels like the end of school days to me. Still, I’m very grateful for getting to voice Fudou, Ichinose and various other roles, and I’ve gotten a lot of good experience out of it.
Shimono: I was involved since episode 1 with Handa-kun’s role, but then I was told “In the upcoming World Arc, there’s a role for you, Italy’s striker Fidio, so wait for it a bit.”
Kaji: But to think that he’d end up showing up this much… (lol)
Shimono: I was only told that Fidio was “a guest character and he’d only show up once every so often”, but it made me go “this wasn’t what I was told!”
Kaji: He kept showing up at the most awkward times.
Shimono: Handa and Fidio pretty much share the same face, so people in the studio would call Fidio “Zenda” (The Han in Handa means “half” while zen is the character for “complete”). Fidio is the completed form of Handa. He’s a Handa who’s got his act together (lol). The lead protagonist in Inazuma Eleven is Endou Mamoru, but I was told to act as if Fidio was the lead protagonist in eps with Fidio as the main character. It felt like a big load of responsibility. He’s the total opposite of the half-baked Handa (lol). Every time Fidio shows up, I end up putting everything into it, so when the sessions are over I practically let out a huge sigh of relief after exerting so much.
✿ Fudou and Fidio both share the fact that their fathers gave them a lot of struggle growing up.
Kaji: But Fudou’s father was a salaryman. He had a big stack of debt and was in a lot of trouble.
Shimono: But Fudou and Fidio have completely opposite personalities. How did it end up that way? Fidio grew up into such a nice kid (lol).
Kaji: That’s true. Fudou showed up in the second season as a bad guy. I thought he’d just be a one-time character, but of all things, he ended up as a member of Inazuma Japan in the third season. At least the ink (?) in his head was cleared up by then.
✿ That was probably because the Aliea meteorite’s influence was gone.
Shimono: Otherwise it would give the Japanese nationals such an evil impression (lol).
Kaji: At first I thought “Will it really be okay to put this guy in?” but once in a while he brings in a scene that makes you smile, so I guess he’s not such a bad guy.
✿ Fidio and Fudou were both deeply involved during the Team K match.
Shimono: Team K’s appearance really shocked me. To think someone who looked so much like Kidou would show up (Demonio in ep 91). It made me remember the time when Teikoku Academy showed up in the first episode.
✿ After this match, Fudou’s distance with Kidou and the others got a little closer.
Kaji: Since they all shared the same enemy, Kageyama, at the time.
Shimono: “I’m gonna have my go at it too” like that? (lol)
Kaji: Yeah, yeah. Fudou just couldn’t stand Kageyama for using him before. And he hated it even more to see Kidou getting sent into confusion by Kageyama. “We’re not freaking puppets or creations!” (Ep 92)
✿ On the other hand, Fidio was very sympathetic towards Kageyama.
Shimono: Mister K (Kageyama) and Fidio shared similar circumstances. Both of their fathers lost their standing in the soccer world and were devastated by it. Mister K lost all hope in the soccer world after that, while Fidio continued believing in it.
✿ The turning of a leaf can change a man’s direction in life just like that.
Shimono: Yeah. Mister K could have chosen a lot of other ways to get his revenge, but yet he insisted on doing it through soccer itself. Seeing Mister K giving out such short and clear-cut orders, Fidio probably recognized something about himself in him. He’d wonder “Oh, this person loves soccer. Then why can’t he just admit it?” It was almost to the point that if they were opposite genders, it could be the moment where they’d start falling in love.
✿ Could that be because of Fidio’s gentle personality?
Shimono: It’s more like Fidio was pure-heartedly interested in Mister K, and that’s what pulled him so much into it.
✿ And that’s when Emperor Penguin No. 3 was completed. What do you think of Fudou, Kidou and Sakuma’s relationship?
Kaji: Um… it’s a love triangle?
Kaji: But, but… Sakuma’s such a girl! He’s always so jealous of Fudou. Although it’s true that when they were practicing Emperor Penguin No. 3, Fudou only asked Kidou to practice with him (lol).
✿ Why was that?
Kaji: It’s gotta be because Kidou’s the one and only capable player Fudou acknowledges from his heart. So he must have felt that “this can’t be done without Kidou,” is what I think. Back during the True Teikoku times, Fudou must’ve heard quite a bit about Kidou. How he was Commander Kageyama’s number one and things like that. That probably got him thinking, “But that guy lost to Raimon and ended up on their side in the end, right?” and so he had a low opinion about Kidou. But then after fighting against Kidou and experiencing his skill for real, Fudou must’ve gotten really upset about it. So the strongest player in Fudou’s mind isn’t Endou or Gouenji or anyone like that, it’s Kidou.
✿ Then what does he see Sakuma as?
Kaji: Kidou’s goldfish poop.
Shimono: wat (lol)
Kaji: “Kidou acknowledges him, so he’s probably not a useless guy” at least? NOW he probably thinks of it as “the three of us,” but he probably didn’t imagine Sakuma in the picture in the first place. To Fudou, Kidou’s the only special one to him, after all.
Shimono: Wasn’t Fudou maybe thinking “I wonder if I can get along with someone from Teikoku?” Maybe he’s just a shy person? (lol)
Kaji: Eh, “In reality, I want to join your group of friends” kind of thing? Was that how it was? (lol)
✿ Endou was an important existence to Fidio too.
Shimono: Yeah. Their love for soccer was very similar. They became friends quickly, but I think they both got the feeling that the other person was a soccer lover the moment they met (ep 85).
✿ Unlike Endou, Fidio’s the leader type to whip out orders one after another.
Shimono: That’s not part of Fidio’s personality in the first place, it’s just that he’s trying his best and ends up doing that. Since the real captain, Hide, wasn’t around, he’s been thinking “I’m the one who has to keep Orpheus together!” That’s why he kind of fell out of the loop trying to aim for the championship, but Endou’s existence really encouraged him. Endou and Fidio really mutually benefit from each other, and I think it’s a good relationship. Fidio worried and got discouraged by a lot of things, but his teammates, Endou, Kidou, Mister K and many others supported him and he managed to overcome all those things.
✿ Lastly, a message to the fans
Shimono: The FFI is the climax of the climax. Please cheer on to the very, very end! I’ll be watching over Fidio and Endou’s final matches. And for fans of Handa-kun, please look forward to it!
Kaji: The work of Inazuma Eleven is an essential part of my life as a seiyuu. Especially at the beginning, when I was still fresh, seeing the passionate performances of all the senpai around me taught me all sorts of things. I’m really sad to see the Endou Arc coming to a close, but this is a work I really love, so I hope everyone watches it to the end.
Forgot to add this in earlier, but cast favorites:
Favorite Character: My favorite would be Emperor Penguin No. 3, not as a technique, but as a character. The title for the episode they appeared in was “The Strongest Faceoff! Penguins VS Penguins” (ep 93), and at that point you couldn’t tell what kind of anime it was anymore (lol).
Favorite Team: Unicorn. The keeper and coach were both nice characters, and especially Mark and Dylan. If Ichinose and Domon weren’t there too, I’m sure they would’ve stood out even more. So if Ichinose were to get better and go back as being part of Inazuma Japan, I think it would make an even more interesting match. Well, we’ll (Unicorn) be the ones to win in the end!
Favorite Character: I like Shishido. He was one of Handa’s comrades. They were both hospitalized during the second season, and I was really glad we both got to show up at the end of that season (ep 64-65). I got to talk with Nara Tooru (the voice actor for Shishido) too. “We got to do both the opening and closing!” (lol). I also personally like his poofy hair, but I also thought it was funny that he also got to voice Chae Chan-soo who had the same kind of hair. And Kurimatsu is cute too. His “Go right, me!” line during the Argentina match really got to me (ep 95).
Favorite Team: I like Orpheus too, but I’ve gotta say it’s Shuuyou Meito (ep 9). I liked their clothes. Even though it was still the district prelims, it felt like it was on an even smaller scale like just one town. The hissatsu technique “Sliding Goal” was just moving the goal in the end… totally against the rules! (lol). It was also the one episode where Megane-kun took one for the team.