Inu-Oh Interview: Avu-chan on Voice Acting and Queen Bee’s Music –

ComingSoon editor-in-chief Tyler Treese spoke Inu-Oh star Avu-chan about doing voiceover work and how the film inspired Avu-chan’s music going forward. Inu-Oh now playing in theaters across North America.

“Inu-Oh is born with unique physical characteristics, and the horrified adults cover his face with a mask,” reads the film’s synopsis. “One day he meets a boy named Tomona, a blind biwa player, and as Tomona plays a delicate song, Inu-Oh discovers an incredible ability to dance.”

Tyler Treese: Avu-chan, it’s a pleasure talking to you. You are amazing in the film and the character of Inu-Oh is just able to connect with others through music and storytelling. So what did you find most interesting about Inu-Oh’s journey?

Avu-chan: It makes me happy. Thank you. Yeah, I really think he has such a cheerful personality, you know? He was born into a difficult situation and even with his disability it didn’t really bother him. He didn’t really care. And I really felt like I was able to connect with that. That’s what was really interesting to me.

How did your involvement in the film come about?

I think on the production side they were looking for an actor who could do Inu-Oh and it happened to be [that] someone from the production staff was a fan of my band, Queen Bee. So the production staff showed a video of my live concerts and I guess that’s how they discovered me. During the shoot I have a sweet tooth. I love candy. So they often brought me loads of sweets and I actually ate almost one mochi per meal. tag while i was recording.

Obviously, your music is a vocal performance. So has that background made it easier to do voice acting, knowing how to express yourself that way? Or is it a completely different challenge?

So, Japan really has a voice acting culture, you know? There are a lot of people who want to become a voice actor, and then Japan already has so many legendary VAs, and I’m not really part of that circle. I’m not really part of that community or group, so I was really curious as to why they chose me, who is just from a completely different left field place. But when I spoke to the director Masaaki Yuasa, he told me that they had chosen me because they wanted me to do something that voice actors couldn’t do.

As you mentioned, yes, I am also a musician, but I think I was able to draw on some of my skills as a musician and then bring them into my performance. Of course I love anime and there are fans of the voice acting that these voice actors do. So I was really scared, like I was worried that these fans would say, “You know what? Avu-Chan’s great, but Avu-Chan’s not a voice actor.” So I was really worried about the feedback I would get. But from the beginning of the recording, when I first started, I was able to become Inu-Oh and all that worry and anxiety was just blown away.

The musical pieces in the film are so amazing and a lot of unique instrumentation is used. Has the film and music inspired any of your work for Queen Bee?

Yes. I really think so Inu-Oh inspired many ideas in me. Before, I thought that Japanese history would only be stories about people in the past or recorded history. But then I learned that there is a lot of erased history. Not deleted on purpose, but just not written down or recorded, but it existed. My perspective on what history is was completely changed and I really believe that separating ourselves from the past is not the right way to live now and then. I really think it’s like a continuous journey as humanity. So I really think it’s really important to know the past and understand each other now. I really think that learning that will bring a lot more diversity in our music for us, Queen Bee.

You have a great cover of the song “Stayin’ Alive” in the movie Bullet Train. What does it mean to you to have a song in such a big Hollywood blockbuster?

When I saw the movie, I was like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m in such a great movie,” and it made me happy. But I believe that it is not only me who creates these opportunities, but everyone around me works as a team to give me this kind of opportunity. So it made me realize that it’s just an amazing thing that we’re able to come together and do this. One of my favorite movies is Fight Club and so to be able to be involved in the movie with Brad Pitt and have this little connection makes me really happy.

Anime reaches a global audience now, and thanks to streaming, your music has also been able to reach the entire globe. How meaningful is it to know that people everywhere are connecting with your art?

Yes of course. Being able to connect with everyone around the world makes me happy and I truly believe that Queen Bee is a band that should be loved globally. So to achieve that, I will continue to work hard. I really believe that passion and keeping that burning desire inside us is really important. So yes, I will continue to keep that fire going and make an effort to be loved.

And then my last question for you, you didn’t really mention being in the same VA circles, but are you looking to do more acting in the future?

Yes. I think I’d like to keep auditioning or maybe I’ll get offers and if I do I’d love to jump into it 100%. I really think that becoming someone who isn’t me or living someone’s life, whether it’s on a concert stage or a stage play like in this movie, really gives me a sense of fulfillment. So I really want to keep working hard and keep at it.

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