The name Kotono Mitsuishi is one that at first may not ring a bell to everyone, but it is her distinct voice that has captured the hearts of a generation of anime fans across the globe. Having portrayed countless roles in classic anime series, Kotono Mitsuishi is a veteran voice actress in Japan, with credits including series such as Sailor Moon, Evangelion and even Gundam Seed.
At SMASH! 2014, Kotono Mitsuishi graced Australian anime fans with her presence, taking to the stage for a special panel hosted by MC Morris. Mitsuishi even wowed fans in the audience with her voice acting talent by performing a few live dubs. However the major bulk of her panel appearance was a question and answer session with MC Morris.
Throughout the panel, MC Morris would introduce Mitsuishi to a number of Aussie items, which garnered a few good laughs from the audience. Especially when she teased beating Morris up with a boomerang if he did not stop his line of questioning. It made for a humorous little bit of back and forth between the host and guest.
A rather interesting moment in the Kotono Mitsuishi panel came during a bizarre live skype call with a cosplayer in Singapore. It was a rather bizarre segment to say the very least and Mitsuishi seemed puzzled as to what exactly was occuring. From what I could tell, the cosplayer won some contest internationally by cosplaying as Sailor Moon, who is of course Mitsuishi’s most popular character. The cosplayer asked a few questions to Mitsuishi and that was the end of that. It was a very odd portion of the panel that was somewhat clunky and confusing in all honesty.
Of course what many fans wanted to see in this panel was Mitsuishi performing live. During the panel she performed a total of three live dubs. The first of which was for the wildly popular anime series Evangelion, in which she played the character Misato. The scene she dubbed out was Shinji’s first battle with the Angels, a memorable scene from the anime series no doubt. Once she had wrapped up her scene, the crowd broke out in wild applause at what they had just witnessed.
She followed that live dub up with a performance from Gundam Seed. The reaction to this scene was a little bit tepid as it appeared that very few in attendance actually knew what Gundam Seed was, showing the series unfortunate decline in popularity in the anime community over the years. The real spotlight was of course on her Sailor Moon live dub which absolutely tore the house down. She performed all of Sailor Moon’s infamous catchphrases through a scene from the very first episode of the original series. The crowd broke out into a wild round of applause as Mitsuishi humbly thanked them.
While there was no real major surprises out of Kotono Mitsuishi panel, it was great to see this legend of anime in the flesh. Her performances during the panel were truly marvelous and it goes without saying that her fans left SMASH! 2014 happy. It is great to see SMASH! bringing major anime legends to Australia and Mitsuishi is arguably one of the biggest guests the event has ever hosted. Big thanks to Kotono Mitsuishi for making the trip down under and of course to SMASH! and the Japan Foundation for making it all possible.