Interview: A3! Director Keisuke Shinohara Talks Appeal, Ad-Libbing and More 🎤

A3 spring and summer winter 2020 anime first impressions

With A3! Season Spring & Summer returning on April 27 with ALL-NEW CONTENT as part of Funimation’s Spring 2020 season of anime, we wanted to share an interview with series director Keisuke Shinohara!

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We talked production on the series, the appeal of bringing this ikemen actor-raising game to life, and what it’s like working with voice actors on the series. Take a look below at the full interview and look forward to the return of A3!

A3! Full Season Visual

Please introduce yourself and your role on the A3! anime.

I am the director.

Please describe the A3! anime project in your own words.

A3! is originally an actor-raising smartphone game where the player is both the supervisor and director of the troupe. The series has an ongoing stage play in Japan that has also drawn immense popularity. The anime portrays the first part of the game’s main story.

What kind of story and feeling is the production team working to convey in the anime?

The scenario and dramatic aspects are very meaningful in the original game, so we are careful to make sure the characters in the anime also strongly express their emotions.

…and what is the appeal of A3! in your opinion, for fans who may not be familiar with it?

There are many different characters. One big draw is that fans can find a character they can relate to and watch over them as they grow through finding comrades.

Cast Lineup A3!

Are there any interesting behind-the-scenes stories about the production of A3!? Were there any interesting challenges to adapting this game into an anime?

One thing to look forward to is the spectacular ad-libbing that Mr. Igarashi, Citron’s voice actor, incorporated during recording.

Also, our animation staff has many passionate fans of the original game who are meticulous about their work, which is rare among other titles.

Izumi A3!

A3! has a lot of interesting male characters with a diversity of personalities, but it also has a surprisingly confident and admirable female protagonist, Izumi, who is not voiced in the game.

Can you please explain this character’s traits and your approach to bringing her to life in the anime?

We explored who would play Izumi carefully from the start, as we wanted to portray a woman who would be central to the story. I believe that having Ms. Kaori Nazuka voice Izumi established her as a central figure. Ms. Nazuka’s voice completes the Izumi that we wanted to portray.

Cast Lineup 2 A3!

Is there anything you would like viewers to look out for in the anime? What can existing fans who have played the game look forward to in the anime?

The characters have grown tremendously in the three years since the original game was first released, but the anime allows you step back to the relationship from when you first meet them. I hope existing fans will watch over their old friends as they grow and develop.

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