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VOLUME 1: 16

Interview with Chiba Chiemi (Harukaze Doremi’s seiyuu)

What do you think of the novel?

“When I first heard about Doremi-chan turning 16, I was really excited to find out how she would be like. However, it was hard for me to imagine how a 16-year-old Doremi would be like.

However, when I received the manuscript, I was really touched, and I thought, ‘Yes, yes, that’s right’. I was not disappointed in the least. The story was told from the believable perspective of a true 16-year-old. And there were parallels drawn with the original anime, too, when Onpu-chan did not start off from the same place as the others (Doremi, Hazuki and Aiko). The story’s starting did not betray my expectations. Even though everyone went off to different schools at the end of the anime, I felt the “bonds”that naturally pulled everyone back together again, as if by fate. Doremi herself has really grown too, and I get a slight big sis feel from her. (laugh)”

What are some of your thoughts regarding the anime?

“There were 3 rounds of auditions for the part of Doremi. After the second round, Ishige Sawa-chan, who voiced Pop, told me, ‘the written requirement for the role of Doremi is someone who can be truly dynamic’. When I heard that, I remembered thinking, ‘Ehh?!”, so it was quite an honour when I was finally chosen for the part. (laugh)

The first time we all met up (Akiya Tomoko-san who voiced Fujiwara Hazuki, and Matsuoka Yuki-san who voiced Senoo Aiko) was for the recording of the opening theme. It happened before we had recorded any episodes so we couldn’t really grasp the right feel, but I remember how everyone just decided to give it their best shot!

It also made me happy that I met up with many children who told me that they love Doremi. Once, during an event, a second grader girl asked me, ‘Why are Doremi’s eyes red?’ I didn’t have any answer on hand, so I just blabbed out, ‘B-because she likes rabbits…’ (laugh)”

How was Chiba-san like at 16?

“It was the year when I started working. I went to school, went for work, went home to do assignments… That’s about it. Anyway, I had so much homework! I went to a fashion design school, so I needed to design many clothes and submit countless assignments on my designs…

Now that I think about it, it was also the time when I really became more mature. I often worked with people older than me, so I guess I was a little different from other girls my age. That’s why I’d like to relive a 16 like the ones Doremi-chan and friends are having. To hang out with friends her own age after school—that was something I couldn’t do in the past~ I really envy Doremi-chan and friends.”

Any characters you’re really interested in seeing soon?

“Momo-chan! (immediate answer) I’m just so, so interested in Momo-chan. And also any developments on Hana-chan in the second book~

I’m also interested in the homeroom teacher Yamaki-sensei. His character is something who had never before appeared in the anime, so I’m really keen to find out more about him.”

Any last message for the readers?

“I really enjoyed reading this book. I hope that everyone will be able to enjoy this grown-up world of Doremi together with me.”

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