Audio Commentary/Episode 10

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I Won't Depend on Anyone Anymore
Commentary Aoi Yuuki
Chiwa Saitou

The episode 10 commentary has only Aoi Yuuki and Chiwa Saitou, the seiyuu for Madoka and Homura.

This time they don't have a guest to ask questions, so it's pretty much just their conversation. It wanders much more than the other commentaries, so this might not be as interesting to read. (It's very, VERY fun to listen to though.)

This is the beginning of the time loops. They start by saying that they had absolutely no idea that Homura was a meganekko at all. They were first given the art for the glasses-Homura in a previous episode's recording session, but they were like "But she's wearing glasses!" This really was the role that Saitou was chosen for, since she could effectively do both the naive, timid glasses!Homura as well as the cold, badass current Homura.

They mention that they were given the scripts really at the last possible moment for this episode. Homura talks a lot in this episode, so it had to be a lot of work.

In this episode, Yuuki was told to act cooler. The sound director Tsuruoka told her to be like a 'natural high' honor student. "Please act cocky". Interesting, because this is a series where acting cocky gets you eaten. But Madoka does die more than once so maybe it makes sense. Both of the actresses really love the scene where Madoka rescues Homura. Keep it a secret! (内緒だよ naisho da yo) like with a star on the end. There was actually a star written in the script for that line. Yuuki thought that there was a kinda fine line between 'cool' and 'annoying' for that.

They next talk about the divide in acting for both Homura and Madoka. The other characters all are the same throughout the timelines, but Homura is cool in the first episodes but now we see this timid, weak Homura. Likewise, Madoka is really hesitant in the main series, but here in the beginning of episode 10 we see this strong, confident Madoka. (It's no wonder Homura found her so inspiring.) They even do the same scenes over, like the scene from the bridge in the school, with the roles reversed. Saitou said that watching this part of the show actually left a bigger impression on her than the acting itself. She says that it's easy to think that anyone would be able to pull off such a division in acting styles, but she thinks that Yuuki was...different. Not just the content of the lines were different, but Madoka's whole personality, was different. She thought that it was really good. Additionally, she said that if it weren't Yuuki playing Madoka, she wouldn't have been able to do Homura as well as she did.

Of course, Yuuki said that the same was true for her.

Saitou then said that over her ten-year voice acting career, she really enjoyed the content of this show the most. It made her feel glad that she was a part of it... While trying not to be too presumptive by saying so, she thought she was able to act really well. She then wonders what would have happened if the work weren't created by the people who did do it.

She said that usually, she's one of the younger seiyuu in the main cast so she can focus on herself while a sempai helps guide her. But this time, she was able to be the sempai who helped guide Yuuki, the youngest, make the best of the main role. Because everyone around them was working hard, they all could do their best without worry.

Then, Yuuki says that it really comes into play in a scene like Madoka's first witch transformation. Just as she said in episode 4, she said that without the trust she had in her companions, she wouldn't have been able to show the darkest parts of her heart. Because she could act without fear, she could put forth her best possible performance. She was able to become completely absorbed in the acting. Saitou said that it was quite the performance because they could really put their all into it. Yuuki added that the quality of the show really made her put in more effort when acting; "they gave it their all, I can't give just the minimum effort here".

But over the course of the show, she became more immersed in the role to the point where she would perceive the world from Madoka's perspective She really understood Madoka's habits and how she interacts with things. The same was true of Saitou's Homura. They try to explain, but find it impossible and just end up saying "They know that they know".

They really felt like their voice becomes a life. It's partly the sound effects and the art and the music, but they felt like a big part.

They were moved by the fact that while it takes about 5 hours to record an episode, people like the artists would be drawing all week long. They're always writing and drawing. So while the seiyuu felt important, they had to put their faith in the other production staff in trusting that it would come together properly.

This includes the climax of the episode, where Homura must kill Madoka. Saitou says that if they overacted it like "It huuuurts, it's too haaaard, I'm so saaaad" or something (you have to hear the actual thing, it's funny), they would just kill the scene entirely. It really helped them give their all. They really liked the facial expressions; they almost couldn't believe that the wideface Aoki Ume designs could show such pain and despair like that. "How did they draw this?" they ask.

Next they talk about Madoka's request here; it's really intensely sad. This is the first time Madoka, who up until this point in the episode has been a strong, confident character, has relied on Homura's kindness. From Homura's perspective, though, she's incredibly happy about this though because up until that point she'd only been depending on others. Now Madoka is depending on her. It's something she doesn't want to do, but she's also so happy that she was even asked to do it. (Likewise, from Madoka's point of view, that was the first time that Homura opened up to her and called her 'Madoka' instead of 'Kaname-san', which made her happy too; they're both so happy but so sad at the same time it really rips you apart inside...)

And then there is that scream of anguish. (I consider that the most powerful, moving scream I've ever heard). Yuuki says it really hurts. Saitou then said that this scream, which is like the kind where your voice really can't come out but you're screaming anyway, made her really happy because the sound director told them to remove the sound effects. Originally there was probably a gunshot sound immediately afterward, but she felt honored because he thought that her scream alone carried the scene. She was glad to be relied upon. It's kinda like Homura too, who now has promised Madoka to not let her contract anymore. She's being relied upon, and that gives her strength.

Yuuki says that when Saitou told her that Homura was happy about that awful request, she was really taken aback. (They really were thinking from their own characters' perspectives to the point that they didn't even notice that until recording the commentary.) Madoka was probably feeling bad at having to have Homura do that, but Yuuki was relieved to find out that Homura was happy to be depended upon. (I really think that's so amazing, that they're still thinking as their characters...)

Saitou also says that Homura too is happy overall that Madoka trusted her. In the scene from the beginning of episode 1, even in her most trying time (being battered by Walpurgisnacht) she's thinking only of Madoka ("Madoka, don't be fooled by what it's saying!"). This concern she has for Madoka makes her strong. She says it's so wonderful that someone can think so completely for another person's sake, she says "because they're friends".

Their love is so deep that you really don't want it to break, but it's not romantic love (ren'ai) but rather something else. (Agape, maybe?) They're friends but it's so selfless. If it were romantic love they'd be "Give her back to me" but it's really not like that.

They then just interject that they removed the "piro!" from Kyubey at the end of the episode 1 scene.

They then talk about how they didn't really do a lot of retakes; the recordings were very raw. The sound staff was very careful not to break their flow. They were really glad that they could be part of such an influential work. Even if they felt like they did a great job themselves, they say that it would be meaningless if nobody watched it. (The show could hardly be farther from "nobody watched it" though.) Saitou felt really lucky, and Yuuki felt like it would probably define a lot of things in her life.

And then the opening comes up! Saitou says that for the first time in her life, she really wanted to sing! She even asked the producer Iwakami "I want to sing Connect!" but he told her "No, that's alright, Saitou." They talk about how from the beginning, it seems like it's about Madoka, but then after episode 10, it really seems like it's about Homura. And then after Episode 12, Yuuki says it sounds like it's about Madoka.