On the Friday of San Diego Comic-Con 2018, around an hour after the FLCL panel, Megan Taylor Harvey sent us a message to see if we wanted to meet her for an interview. CJ and Sketch previously attempted to interview her during Anime Expo, however due to other commitments, she had to back down. Fresh off my previous interview with Jason, Maki, Kari, and Ishikawa, I agreed and we met around the outside of Petco Park, where it was pretty busy with people enjoying the con, and the Trolley taking people to and from the convention center grounds in the background. It was also a bit hot, but we found some shade to do this interview.
— Daniel Limjoco (@AnimeSavior) July 20, 2018
Daniel: Hey, guys, I’m Daniel Limjoco with ToonamiFaithful.com and @ToonamiNews, and I’m with Megan Taylor Harvey, the voice of Kana from FLCL Alternative.
Daniel: So before we get started, how’s San Diego been?
Megan: It’s been great, I got in last night. I’m having a blast. This is my first time being here for work reasons, and it’s been fun seeing it from the other side.
Daniel: I’ve lived here for pretty much all my life, and I like it here. Good weather, and it’s pretty easy to go to Comic-Con for me, among other things. So let’s ask some questions.
Tell us a little bit about your character Kana. We haven’t heard much about her, though we did get to see the new preview and the dub of the first episode at the panel.
Megan: I’m excited that the preview finally come out. Over at Anime Expo, I was like “Nobody’s gonna know anything about my character yet”, so it’s cool that that’s finally out and like everyone gets to get a glimpse of her. She’s just like a cool high school girl, you know, hardworking, trying to figure out her life, and I was so much like Kana in High School cause I was like: “I don’t really know what I want to do with my life and all my friends seem to have it all figured out and I have no clue.” So, she’s kind of in that same stage and kind of gets thrusted into figuring it all out.
How was it like to voice this character?
Megan: It was so fun. I’ve worked with Stephanie [Sheh] and Michael [Sinterniklaa] before, and this is my first time working with Maki [Terashima-Furuta], but they just made everything look so much fun. And it was just a blast working with them. They bring so much fun and so much character and so much excitement to the booth. And having Maki’s puppies there, Nemo and Marbles, was just so great. I loved seeing them every time I came in.
What were your first impressions of Kana when you were going in to audition?
Megan: So when I got the audition, I went through all the different characters and I saw Kana and she was kind of my favorite right off the bat. I don’t know why, just reading through the script I was like: “I really like this character.” And I recorded my auditions and I had so much fun just recording her audition, more so than the other ones that I did and I was like: “Gosh, I really hope I get this part.” It was so much fun, and there was something that I felt that there was a little character that was inside of me that was like: “This is who you want to be and this is the character you will have so much fun with.” I think you can see by the first episode that Kana’s energy is kind of all over the place. She’s super kind of meek sometimes, but then she’ll like burst out with energy and she’ll kind of yell at people and I think that was something that I brought to my audition with Kana and was happy to see that go throughout the series.
So, what other characters besides Kana did Maki, Michael, and Stephanie ask you to audition?
Megan: So I actually auditioned for all the main girls, so Pets, Hijiri, Mossan, and Kana. And so it was fun. But I hope no one ever sees the auditions for those other characters because Kana was definitely my best one.
Have you been an FLCL fan before getting casted as Kana?
Megan: I actually hadn’t seen the show until I got the audition, and when I got the audition I was like: “Oh, this seems really cool.” So my husband and I started watching it together and now we’re just like really huge fans. We binged the whole first season in the span of a day and we’ve been keeping up with the second season and just watched the finale when it aired a few weeks ago. We are huge fans now.
What has been your impressions from seeing the whole series?
Megan: I think it’s like just so cool just watching it all progress and knowing what I know about the upcoming season, it’s cool how much they kept the integrity of the original season, and keeping the nuances like The Pillows music is just phenomenal, I love that they’re still there. I love that they keep the different styles of cartoon and the different styles of drawings. It’s just a really unique show. I don’t think I’ve ever worked on anything like it and the fact that like through one character, just because the style has changed so much, you almost get to play the same character in different ways for different scenes in each episode. It’s really cool.
Have you ever met with the other actors and the producers? Tell us about your cohesiveness and how did it all work out between you and the crew?
Megan: Yeah, so throughout the course of it, I worked with just Maki and Michael and Stephanie, and that was who I met, and then I actually met with Marieve [Herington], who plays Pets, on my very last day of recording, and I was like: “Oh my gosh, my best friend, I finally get to meet you!” So that was really fun. And then I finally got to meet the majority of the cast at the premiere party for season 2 and so I got to meet most of them there. And some of them at Anime Expo and now here. So it’s been really cool meeting with everyone, putting faces to the voices that I’ve been hearing all this time and getting to meet the people behind the curtain has been grateful.
I remember you voiced Hisami in Read or Die back in the day, but I haven’t really heard from you much since until now. Tell us about your experiences back then compared to doing Voice Over now?
Megan: So I started when I was younger and I started with Hisami and Yurie from Kamichu! And those were like my first 2 big anime parts that kind of got me thrusted into the world. And I did a lot of work from there until I took a break for college. I took a few breaks here and there [for other things], but my heart is really in voice acting and I always end up finding my way back to it. Getting to do these kind of parts, they’re just so much fun and have so much heart behind them, and there’s something that I really love about FLCL. Like the character arcs are just so great and you learn so much about the characters throughout. And so that’s something that I really missed from some of the older animes that I’ve done. It’s really nice to be back in that.
Daniel: Hopefully you can get some more roles in the future.
Megan: Yeah, hire me! Do it people!
Here’s a fan question:
Just wanted to know, any funny stories in recording for Kana?
— DarkNeonWolf (@Dachtlergang101) July 20, 2018
Megan: Yes. So it’s funny, because in today’s episode [the first episode of FLCL 3] that they showed at the panel, there’s a scene where I’m reading a magazine and it’s called Tsukune, and I had the hardest time ever trying to say that word cause it’s the Ts-, and I’m okay with Japanese words, but I’m not great at it. So I had to take that so many times that I was like: “That was a real rough day in the studio.” But also, with FLCL, things growing out of your head is quite normal, and screams and pain are something that are quite a normal thing that happens. So having Maki’s dogs, Nemo and Marbles, in the studio, there will be times where I’d be screaming in pain in the booth, and Michael would say: “No, Megan. You have to go harder! It hurts more, it hurts more than that!” So I’d be screaming and crying. And Nemo and Marbles started clawing at the booth. They thought that I was like [actually] hurting and in pain and wanted to come help me, so I had to come out of the booth at one point and tell them: “I’m okay, guys. It’s okay.” Because they were like crying and trying to get me out. It was so cute. I loved that.
Big shout out to @MeganTHarvey who plays #Kana in #FLCL3 for her amazing performance! She was so into her role she literally grew a little plant from her head. Thank you for all your delicious cookies too❤️ pic.twitter.com/X9rgapnMvM
— Maki Terashima-Furuta (@MakiTerashima) May 11, 2018
Critics have complained about Kana’s character being a “cut and pasted” protagonist from a generic slice-of-life moe, for lack of a better term, and that Kana and her pals being the personification of “cute girls doing cute things.” Is the “genericness” intentional, or is there a hidden character to these girls that people just aren’t seeing?
Megan: I think that there’s definitely something hidden. From the first episode, you get to know a little bit about the girls, but as the show progresses, there’s so many hidden gems that you find. I mean, they seem like these general stereotypes at first of your generic high school girls. You have your popular and beautiful girl, you have the girl who overeats, you have the neat girl, you have the girl who’s like not paying attention to anything, and there’s so much more to them than that. And I think that’s one of the cool things about the season as it progresses is that you’ll get little glimpses here and there of these characters and they’ll start to unfold, and you’ll just realize so much more about them and realize that they’re more than meets the eye.
Daniel: Yeah. We saw quite a bit about that with Hidomi last season, and I’m sure we’ll see more with these girls.
Tell us about your general experience with Toonami and anime as a whole.
Megan: This is my first being in conventions in conjunction with Toonami, and I’m stoked. I voiced anime for a long time and I started watching them over the years, I just love the style, it’s so fun, and it’s just like I think when people look at anime, they’re like: “Uhh, I dunno, I like cartoons but I don’t watch anime.” And I’m like: “But it’s sooo good…” you know. And I think it’s just so much fun to that world, and…I dunno. I feel like I’m not saying it right. But I love it, and I think that the more characters that I voice and the more characters I get to meet. Even some of the characters that seem so similar that I voiced, they’re so different, and they have these great arcs, they have these great stories, and there’s no limits to what they do. I mean, I literally have a flower pop out of my head that turns into a guitar, where else are you gonna get that? I think that there’s no limit on anime, and there’s no limit for creativity, and I think that’s one of the really cool things about it.
Among the characters you have voiced, what are your personal favorites?
Megan: Oh gosh…There’s actually a movie I did a while ago with Michael and Stephanie. It was Tamagotchi the Movie and I played this girl named Tanpopo. And she went on this crazy adventure with all the little Tamagotchi characters and it was just a silly little movie and it was just so fun and nostalgic. But just the interactions with the character and the Tamagotchis, I think that was a really fun role to do. But Kana, Kana holds a special place in my heart right now.
Daniel: Yeah, I’m really hoping to see more of Kana this September. Seen the first episode during the panel earlier and of course during April Fools, and I’ve had some good first impressions so far.
Tell us what are among your favorite animes?
Megan: Oh, gosh. That’s so hard. Lately, my husband and I have been binging on Food Wars and we’ve been trying to recreate some of the ramens and stuff that they’ve been making on the show. So I think in like that aspect, that’s been one of my favorites lately. But just in watching FLCL as we’ve been going through this whole experience, like that’s my top. It’s just so cool. Like I just love all the different styles and that Haruko is just so badass.
Daniel: Definitely she is.
Megan: Like, I love a badass character. And I love a great, strong badass woman who just like gets in there and gets shit done. Haruko sure is a favorite of mine.
Daniel: I think that’s all the questions I can ask for right now, so I’ll see you around and to everyone, look forward to FLCL Alternative premiering September 8 on Toonami.
— Stephanie Sheh (@stephaniesheh) July 22, 2018
Still to come, I will also have an interview with Steve Blum, as well as reports from Comic-Con and Anime Expo posted once i have the time to finish them. Let us know what you think of the interview in the comments below.