The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya Interviews – Sound Director Youta Tsuruoka

This is the first in a batch of interviews from The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya guidebook that I’ll be posting. Some of these were previously posted in 2011/2012 and I’ve gone back and edited them. This short interview is the first of two newly translated pieces to warm up to the series. Please enjoy hearing about the voice cast’s director in the booth, Youta Tsuruoka!

Sound Director:
Youta Tsuruoka

Youta Tsuruoka. Born on April 28. Lives in the Tokyo Metropolis. Has served as sound director for many works including Sgt. Frog, Bakemonogatari, and Lucky Star. He has served as sound director for all of the Haruhi series.

All of Haruhi’s works have been a challenge

– How does Disappearance rank amongst the other Haruhi works in production?

Up until this point, Haruhi’s episodes were filled with variety in each episode; it had achieved a wealth of diversity in each episode. In order to firmly divide this work into the before and after the world changed, we had to construct the world so that there would be a return back to the root of everything once a path back to Haruhi was found.

– What points did you fixate on?

Making Kyon firmly focused. Generally for movies we record out of order of how the story develops like “gather everyone together to record for scenes all the characters are together first and then record the leftover scenes individually” and that is very efficient. However, to better place importance on Kyon’s changing emotions, we recorded everything in order this time. And as usual, Sugita-san performed much to my liking (laughs). The links between Kyon’s changing emotions was clearly shown.

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– What would be your favorite scene?

Nagato’s “thank you” at the end. I felt like I was bogged down with wavering views on how to perform that line, but Chihara-san instantly decided how to properly say it. I think the entire film build up to that one scene.

– What kind of work is Haruhi to you, Tsuruoka-san?

It’s a work with various challenges. Because the TV series had so many difficult episodes, I was incredibly nervous and then would get a huge relief once each episode was done. Haruhi-chan was fun work where I could relax and Chuyuya-san had a good feeling like “It’s fine if we keep saying ‘Nyoron’.” It was a new experience.

– Finally, what kind of challenge was this film?

A challenge of length and resources. For a film focused around action, you can use energetic sounds, but for Disappearance, the sounds and music have to be played smoothly or else the direction will not feel straightforward. If it was made in the past, I probably would’ve lost all my energy making it. (laughs) But thanks to today’s technology, I was able to pack it full of sound until the very last scene like it was the final bit of paste going into a taiyaki snack.

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