Miyu Irino, the Japanese voice actor for Sora, was recently interviewed by Disney Tsum Tsum on his experiences with the Kingdom Hearts series and his featured appearance in his appearance in the game!
-Ever since the first installment was released in 2002, Irino has been voicing Sora throughout the series. Please tell us what the KH series has to offer.
Irino: First of all, it’s so exciting and special to see both Disney and Square Enix characters appear on the same screen! As the series goes on, the deeper the lore becomes, so each playthrough uncoveres new discoveries and perspectives. As an actor, I feel like I’m traveling to different worlds together with Sora. That’s why, when interacting with Disney works on other occasions, I feel as if they’re connected to me, like “I’ve seen them before!” or “We’re friends!” There’s so many lines to record during the recording sessions, but receiving the script and seeing the scenes in development, I somehow forget all the hardships during those sessions.
-What kind of boy is Sora to you?
Irino: He’s an orthodox naive main character that is influenced by the people he meets and in return influences them. Watching him confront problems and getting back on his feet every time, I’m inspired by him.
-You have been voicing Sora since the first installment, are there any changes in the way you face him?
Irino: I was 14 when I voiced him for the first time, so I acted the way I was back then. As Sora grew up, I started to care about the voice and tone more, and during my early 20s, it was hard “being Sora.” However, I think I’m getting the hang of it recently. I think it’s because I myself have experienced a lot of stuff. On the other hand, I’m also careful not to break Sora’s character as the core character of the KH series.
-Continuing from last year, Sora and Riku appear in LINE: Disney Tsum Tsum! Please tell us how you feel about Sora, a character you voice, becoming a Tsum.
Irino: I have Sora’s Tsum! (laughs) I play LINE: Disney Tsum Tsum privately, but ever since I got Sora last year, I’ve been using him as MyTsum. Sora is a special character to me, so when he appeared in the game, I felt that I needed to get him! My friends also got him, so we got excited together. He has been arranged cutely for Tsum Tsum, so I felt like I was able to join the Disney characters. It’s nice that he’s voiced, too! I know many people play Tsum Tsum, so it makes me happy that people use my character and hear my voice.
-For Sora’s skill, his keyblade flies around, recreating the effects from the series.
Irino: Yes! If there is a chance, even if it’s only for a limited time, I would like to see other keyblades and moves recreated as well. There are so many variations of costumes, too.
-Do you talk about the relationship between Sora and Riku with Riku’s voice actor, Miyano?
Irino: We haven’t been able to see each other recently, but we know about one another’s work. Sometimes we reciprocally see the other’s shows and mutually contact us. Isn’t Sora and Riku like that too? We both do activities other than voice acting that isn’t limited to genre, such as stage shows and artist activities, so even if we don’t talk too much, there’s definitely a connection that we both feel together.
-That’s just like Sora and Riku’s relationship. Even in the story, Riku goes off somewhere else with the King, so the two are often separated from each other.
Irino: Yeah, we’re strangely becoming alike. (laughs) I do notice these common traits when I’m acting as him. It’s rare to act as the same character for more than ten years, so maybe there’s some aspects that have become part of me.
-The Dark Seeker Saga that has continued from KHI will finally come to a climax in KHIII; how are you facing this?
Irino: I don’t know if Sora’s story will continue after this, but I think his adventures with Donald and Goofy will continue. I hope there will be more chances for people to see the characters and the story not just in the numbering titles, but in others occasions like Tsum Tsum and goods.
-Lastly, please leave a message for Tsum Tsum players and KH fans!
Irino: KH is a series that anyone can enjoy, from hardcore players to casual players who are not that good at games. I hope more people will continue to enjoy this amazing world filled with coolness, cuteness, and everything else, just like in Disneyland. I think there are people who are introduced to KH from Tsum Tsum, so I hope you will take this chance to take interest in the KH series and Sora.
You can see the original interview here!