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Simoun ~Denpa DE Ri-Maajon~ Turn A Gundam Discussion

Simoun ~Denpa DE Ri-Maajon~ was an online radio program about the anime Simoun. It was hosted by Rieko Takahashi (Neviril’s VA) and Mikako Takahashi (Rodoreamon’s VA). As you might know, Rieko Takahashi is the voice actress of Dianna Soreil & Kihel Heim. Her role as Neviril is notable because it’s her only other anime role as a main character. She isn’t particularly active in the anime industry, opting instead to focus on her theater career. Takahashi continues to be an active performer at the theater troupe Yen, which she was originally recruited from to audition for role(s) in Turn A Gundam. She was colleagues with Romi Park and had a fast friendship with her; Park would reprise her membership at Yen for years after Turn A Gundam finished airing, finally retiring in 2017. In the radio program, Rieko Takahshi often advertises her upcoming performances to listeners.

Anyhow, in radio episode #23, Turn A Gundam is briefly discussed as part of a recurring segment in which listeners write in and create their own “Ri-Maajons”. In Simoun‘s world, these are trajectory rituals that the Simoun aircraft perform with varying destructive effects. In other words, it’s how they do aerial battle. I’ve translated and created a subtitle video of the segment for your viewing pleasure. To better understand the clip, it’s worth mentioning that there’s a running gag that Rieko Takahashi is rather forgetful about things of all nature, including works she was previously involved in. It’s a fun little conversation!

Rieko Takahashi and Mikako Takahashi briefly discuss Turn A Gundam [subbed].

For anyone reading who’s uninitiated, Simoun is a mid-2000s shoujo military drama. It has an interesting premise where everyone in its world is presumably born female, and the characters live in a theocracy that holds access to a magical spring that allows one to change/choose their physical sex when they reach adulthood. War is brewing with surrounding nations and the main characters pilot fighter aircraft called “Simoun” to defend their country. The show has a lot to unpack in its abstract philosophy and gender commentary, and it also features stunning background art by Shichirou Kobayashi. If you’d like to learn more, the Simoun fandom page is a good place to start, and my friend Thaliarchus has a nice overview on their blog as well.

Rieko Takahashi voiced Neviril in Simoun.

Some other takeaways about Rieko Takahashi from the radio program:

  • “Riecchi” is her nickname and people tend to think she’s very mature.
  • She likes to go to the beach to watch people, not to actually do anything fun herself.
  • She walks around with a parasol/umbrella in the summer heat.
  • She didn’t watch every episode of Simoun as it aired but did her best to catch up.
  • She’s very bad at computers and in general isn’t good at using technology.
  • She would choose to be a woman if she had to pick her sex at the Simoun fountain. In her words, “women are more interesting and mysterious”, citing the fact that they can give birth.
  • She jogs at midnight to stay healthy.
  • One of her friends often criticizes her because she only has one voice acting style.
  • She only vaguely knows about Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon.
  • She doesn’t know much about Char Aznable, aside from him being the most popular Gundam character.
  • She wants to buy land on the Moon.
  • One fan wrote in and jokingly called her the “Creator of the Dark History”. Many fans wrote in after radio episode #23, happy that they had finally discussed Turn A Gundam on the show.
  • They held two popularity ranking polls during the course of the radio program, and in the first one Neviril came in 3rd, and in the second she came in 9th.

If you’d like to listen to the radio program yourself, I’ve compiled a list of Niconico uploads here. There are a lot of interesting tidbits to unpack in each episode, but this blog post isn’t the place for that. Highly recommended if you’re a Simoun fan though.

But wait… here’s a bonus clip! I haven’t subtitled it because it’s a pain in the butt to properly translate let alone edit. This is from a recurring segment in which Rieko Takahashi is challenged to perform a tongue-twister, usually using words from a relevant topic. This one’s from the same episode (#23) and appropriately uses the Moon, i.e. 月 (“tsuki”) and other similar-sounding words like “kiss”.

A Moon tongue-twister!

Translation and video editing by Feez, TL-check by Gen.

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