Megumi Han and Saki Fujita on “My Deer Friend Nokotan”

As the Fourth of July approaches, bringing with it dazzling fireworks and festivities, the anime community is gearing up for an explosive new release that promises to be just as spectacular. “My Deer Friend Nokotan,” a highly anticipated comedy anime adapted by Wit Studio, is set to premiere on July 7, 2024. We had the privilege of asking a few of our burning questions of Megumi Han (Nokotan) and Saki Fujita (Koshitan).

A Dive into the World of Nokotan

“My Deer Friend Nokotan” is based on the manga authored by Oshioshio, which has captivated readers with its delightful characters and imaginative plot. The story follows Noko “Nokotan” Shikanoko, a carefree and spirited deer, and her friend Torako “Koshitan” Koshi, the diligent and once delinquent student council president. Together, they navigate a world filled with whimsy, chaos, and unexpected adventures, where the ordinary meets the extraordinary in the most delightful ways.

The anime adaptation promises to bring this enchanting world to life with stunning visuals and a memorable soundtrack. The opening song will be performed by a talented ensemble including Megumi Han, Saki Fujita, Rui Tanabe, and Fuka Izumi, while Han and Fujita will also lend their voices to the ending theme.

Insights from the Voices Behind the Characters

To provide a deeper understanding of the characters, we turn to an interview with the voice actors Megumi Han (Nokotan) and Saki Fujita (Koshitan).

Megumi Han on Nokotan:

Could you describe your character in “My Deer Friend Nokotan”? What aspects of their personality or background do you find most intriguing?

“Well, she’s a deer, all the time. Can’t mistake her for anything else, since her name is Noko Shikanoko – a deer! Call her Nokotan. It’s her deer life that makes her so captivating. She’s just living free and wild, no rules to hold her back.”

Is there anything about your character that you personally relate to or feel particularly connected to?

“It’s that sense of freedom. Having someone who accepts and embraces you for who you are.”

Do you have a favorite line or scene involving your character from “My Deer Friend Nokotan”? What makes it stand out to you?

“Every scene is a gem!!! Dive into this meticulously crafted world from corner to corner and enjoy the ride!!!”

Were you able to bring any personal touches or suggestions to the development of your character during the recording process?

“The key was to just go with the flow… But hey, let’s be real, acting without thinking is a tall order! Just kidding. I mean, there were moments where I had to nail it as a voice actor, and switching up the vibes required some careful consideration. And then, it was all about finding that balance between sticking to the script and letting loose with the performance.”

How do you think fans will react to your character in “My Deer Friend Nokotan”? What kind of impact do you hope your character will have on the audience?

“I think fans may react with confusion, joy, fear, tears, excitement, or various other emotions. But that’s perfectly fine. It’s good. Feel freely, since there’s no right answer.”

Tell us a bit about the relationship between the your two characters and the special bond they share.

“Rather than ‘bond,’ I kind of feel it’s more like ‘being bonded.’ Koshitan is being bonded with Nokotan. It’s a pretty sweet dynamic.”

What have you learned from voicing your character that you might carry forward into future roles?

“It taught me how, by loving yourself, you become capable of loving others, people, deer, any living creatures. It also taught me that it’s okay to live life on your own terms.”

Saki Fujita on Koshitan:

Could you describe your character in “My Deer Friend Nokotan”? What aspects of their personality or background do you find most intriguing?

“Koshitan, president of the student council, is like the epitome of excellence and beauty at Hino Minami High School. Meanwhile, she’s all about striving to maintain her ‘model student’ image while hiding her past as a former delinquent. Apart from her delinquent past, she’s just your average JK who adores all things cute, totally grounded. So, when Nokotan enters her life, it’s like her whole world gets upside down. When there’s no one to play the fool, she keeps on the solo-retorting, faces tough situations, and battles alone. No matter what, Koshitan shines. That’s what makes Koshitan so impressive! Though saying that might just stress her out even more! (laughs) I’m having a blast playing her, so I’m really grateful to have met Koshitan.”

Is there anything about your character that you personally relate to or feel particularly connected to?

“I’m a lot like Koshitan, actually. I absolutely adore cute things and my surroundings are filled with them, but when it comes to mindset, I’m pretty rock-solid. I can’t stand unfairness or crookedness, and I’m more of a ‘loyalty and compassion’ type person. Plus, if people around me are being silly, I can’t help but join in and make some witty remarks. So, I think we’re quite similar.”

Do you have a favorite line or scene involving your character from “My Deer Friend Nokotan”? What makes it stand out to you?

“I’d say all of them! But that won’t answer the question. If I had to pick one, Koshitan’s singing scene in episode 3 is a must-see moment! Oh, and fans should definitely keep an eye out for the deers in the background whenever they appear.”

Were you able to bring any personal touches or suggestions to the development of your character during the recording process?

“During recording sessions, we didn’t have much room for ad-libbing as per the director’s guidance. But it was always amusing to hear Han-chan (Megumi Han) asking in Nokotan’s voice, ‘Can I try something here?’ while sneakily adding ad-libs.”

How do you think fans will react to your character in “My Deer Friend Nokotan”? What kind of impact do you hope your character will have on the audience?

“I hope fans find the combination of art, animation, sound, and direction engaging and think, ‘this is hilarious! I love it!’ Even if they don’t understand the nuanced Japanese dialogue, I think they’ll still find it funny. As for Koshitan, I’m not sure… In the world of ‘My Deer Friend,’ where deer and supernatural phenomena are readily accepted, Koshitan only has the viewers on her side. So, I truly hope everyone will support, love, and cherish Koshitan from the bottom of my heart.”

On Koshitan’s characteristics:

“Koshitan thinks it would be the end of the world if her former delinquent identity were exposed, but that is not something you can hide easily, so she always keeps her battle mode on.”

Do you have any favorite anecdotes or memorable moments from the making of this show that you could share?

“My favorite episode, which is also in the original manga, has to be the Deer Life Game. I also love the shrine episode. I have a soft spot for Mitsusan, the grandma who worships deer. Kikuko Inoue, who voices her, would listen to our recordings while laughing during her own tests. It’s such a confidence boost to have a senior voice actor laughing along with us, imagining that the viewers might be laughing too! I’m giving it my all with the support of such a kind senior!”

Tell us a bit about the relationship between the your two characters and the special bond they share.

“I think they’re destined to be stuck with each other for life.”

What have you learned from voicing your character that you might carry forward into future roles?

“I guess wearing a bralette isn’t the same as wearing a bra, so that’s also braless… I wonder if that nuance translates to overseas audiences? (laughs)”

The Impact and Anticipation

“My Deer Friend Nokotan” is expected to leave a significant impact on its audience, offering a blend of humor, emotion, and a celebration of individuality. Both Han and Fujita emphasized the importance of the characters’ unique qualities and the positive influence they hope to impart.

Han concluded the interview with a heartfelt message, “It taught me how, by loving yourself, you become capable of loving others, people, deer, any living creatures. It also taught me that it’s okay to live life on your own terms.”

Final Thoughts

As we eagerly await the release of “My Deer Friend Nokotan,” it is clear that this anime will be a standout addition to the summer 2024 lineup. With its captivating characters, engaging storyline, and top-tier production, it is set to become a beloved favorite among anime enthusiasts. Mark your calendars for July 7, 2024, and get ready to embark on a whimsical journey with Nokotan and her friends.

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Author: Jeremy

Jeremy was first introduced to anime with heavily edited versions of Mazinger Z (aka Tranzor Z in the US), GoLion (aka Voltron) and Macross (aka Robotech) while growing up in the 1980's. Since then his tastes have evolved into a fairly eclectic mix of anime with a soft-spot for underdog shonen stories, psychological/cyber-punk stories and select love comedies. Jeremy was also the head organizer of Anime Souffle anime club in Los Angeles. It was at an Anime Souffle meeting where he met Michael Huang and eventually was invited to join as a guest co-host for Scattered Cells Podcast episode #6 in February of 2007. Afterwards he became an official part of the Anime Diet crew.

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