Hiroshi Kamiya: The voice of Levi in Attack on Titan reveals that he is feeling the pressure – “I’m now desperate”
[Editor’s note: This is a translation of an article published by MANTANWEB]
Levi is one of the most prominent and popular characters in Isayama Hajime’s original creation, “Attack on Titan”. In Season 3, fans will see more of Levi’s past and his relationship to the world around him. The voice actor behind Levi, Hiroshi Kamiya, has become a hot topic among many fans.The role is a perfect fit for the voice actor that we often hear that “Levi is practically Hiroshi Kamiya himself, and vice-versa.” Kamiya has revealed that he “felt great pressure” when the cast was announced. We asked for his thoughts about his role as Levi.
How did you deal with your doubts while playing this role?
Attack on Titan depicts the battle of despair between the overwhelmingly powerful Titans and humanity. It all started on September 2009 when Attack on Titan became the first to be serialized on monthly manga magazine “bessatsu shōnen magazine”. Season 1 of the anime aired from April to September 2013, and Season 2 aired from April to June 2017.
Stoic and cool, a germaphobe and “humanity’s strongest solder”, Levi was a popular character of the series even before the anime started. Kamiya said, “When I was given Levi’s role, I felt great pressure. Although they call him the ‘humanity’s strongest soldier’, we were in a situation where we know nothing about his backstory. I had many doubts on regards to approaching the role.”
“After consulting Director Araki (Tetsuro) and Sound Director Mima (Masafumi), I learnt that Levi was not as superhuman as I imagined him to be. Studying the character and watching the animated action scenes and expressions made things easier for me as all that’s left is to follow-up on is the emotional part of my acting,” says Kamiya.
We hope you’ll be proud of your work when the story concludes.
Kenny Ackerman, a mentor and nemesis to Levi, makes his appearance in Season 3. The voice of Kenny, Yamaji Kazuhiro, is well-known for his performances in live-action stages and TV dramas, and as the dub actor for English actor Jason Statham. Kamiya describes that, “Season 3 required a new approach to my acting. I didn’t have a hard time on that. Learning about Kenny has made it easier to understand Levi. The situation in Season 3 since then has changed its focus. One second of idling could lead to death. I had to raise my voice more often and constantly think of the next move one scene after another without rest. It’s really fun.”
Kamiya had also received motivation from Yamaji. “To Levi, Kenny is someone he has to fight, but at the same time he’s a mentor, it’s a complicated relationship. It’s a difficult situation where you have to face a troublesome opponent you’ll never want to go against. I’m extremely grateful for this huge challenge that is Yamaji himself. It’s a challenge I have to overcome, but I wonder if I can do it,” he reveals.
Levi has all along been popular but garnered greater popularity since Kamiya, who is said to be perfect for the role, was casted. Kamiya says, “That’s not true… In the first place, Levi was already very popular, he would’ve been as popular even if someone else voiced him.” However, he also feels that, “when Attack on Titan concludes and becomes recognized as a masterpiece, I’ll be able to proudly say that I was the voice of Levi. For now, I’m just desperate (laughs)”.
Kamiya is now taking a stoic approach towards his role as Levi. It is probably the “desperation” that contributes to Levi’s charm even now. In Season 3, Levi’s past and his relationship with Kenny will reveal themselves. Kamiya’s acting will probably garner more and more attention from now on.
Attack on Titan Season 3 is currently simulcasting on ANIPLUS Asia in Southeast Asia.
If you are interested in more insights from Hiroshi Kamiya regarding his role as Levi, we also highly recommend this video interview.
Follow us for more anime-related news: www.aniplus-asia.com/news
©Hajime Isayama, Kodansha/”ATTACK ON TITAN” Production Committee. All Rights Reserved.