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Old 20-01-2010, 12:04 AM   #1   [permalink]
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Wink An Interview with Robin Sena

Eight years ago, Robin Sena became an anime star with the lead in her own series Witch Hunter Robin. Since that time, Robin has been out of the anime limelight, but not out of circulation. We caught up with her for an interview, asking about her Witch Hunter memories and her life after the series ended.

Question: So, what have you been doing the past eight years?

Robin: Getting on with my life. Keeping busy. Working.

Q: You now host a local children’s TV show in Okinawa. Do you enjoy that?

R: Very much. I know it sounds odd after having my own show, but I really enjoy working with the kids.

Q: We’ll get back to that. First, let’s talk about Witch Hunter Robin. How did you get the role?

R: I auditioned, against about. . . . Oh, there were about two dozen other girls. I remember being a bit nervous. I couldn’t keep from speaking softly. But I guess that is what they wanted.

Q: How did you get the audition?

R: I was active in a semi-pro theater group. The director there suggested I go out for the part.

Q: How old were you when you did the series?

R: My character was 15, but I was actually 17. So I’m 25 now.

Q: What did you like best about the series?

R: I liked my character. I could identify with her. She was a teenager trying to find her place in the world. So was I in real life, but of course my real life search was not so dramatic.

Q: What did you like the least?

R: The hair style they made we wear. (Laughs) And the 5 a.m. makeup calls! When you’re doing a series, it really hits your social life. You have to get to bed extra early. But I soon learned how to get an extra half-hour, or forty-five minutes of sleep.

Q: How?

R: (Laughs) Come in late! We had only two makeup artists, so if the morning shoot called for all the regulars, that’s about eight actors, if you came in 30-45 minutes late, no big deal. They would still be doing the makeup on everyone else. Of course if everyone comes in late, then that strategy does not work and you catch hell from the director.

Q: How did you get along with the rest of the cast?

R: Great. I’ve heard the stories about other anime series. They fight with each other, or there is some prima dona. We had no such trouble.

Q: Have you kept in touch?

R: We did a bit at first. But as we continued to go our separate ways. . . . Well. . . . I last saw Amon at an anime convention about two years ago. It was the last one I ever went to. It was good to talk with him again.

Q: Do you do conventions?

R: After the series first aired, I got invites all the time. I started to go to them all, but it was just too much. So I cut back and started going to half the ones I was invited to. I had the time, having trouble getting work. When the invitations started getting fewer and fewer, I went back to accepting them all. But that is because there weren’t that many. I haven’t had an invite for about two years. There are other anime stars who have come along since my series. People forget.

Q: So what did you do when the series ended?

R: Got an agent and tried to find more work doing anime acting. But I got no offers. I was told, “We have no need for a witch in this series,” or “This isn’t an action series.” I got typedcasted. Plus, I guess the industry was through with me. You hear this all the time about anime actors being thrown out after their series ends. There are exceptions, and you think you could be one of the exceptions, even taking small parts.

Q: Did you find any work at all at first?

R: Only invites to conventions to meet the fans. About a year after, I got some stage work. I did some commercials. Mostly I was living off the broadcast royalties. We weren’t getting royalties from DVD sales back then.

Q: So how did you get your gig hosting a kids’ TV show?

R: I was born in a small town not far from Okinawa. I did some work there before and had contacts. A local TV station did a pilot with me and liked it. So now, weekday afternoons I spend entertaining children with Oliver Owl, Squeaky Squirrel, and the rest of the puppets. We teach a few of life’s lessons, a little spelling and arithmetic. I interact with kids in the studio audience. It’s actually fun.

Q: Do you see yourself doing this forever?

R: Nothing lasts forever. Our ratings are down slightly, but they’re still good. So I figure the show should last for a few more years.

Q: If you get an offer to do another anime would you?

R: Maybe. I would like that.

Q: Are you still recognized as Witch Hunter Robin?

R: Occasionally, one of the parents who brings their kids to the show will recognize me.

Q: And you are married now.

R: Our second anniversary is coming soon.

Q: Any kids of your own?

R: We’re talking about it. I used to not see myself as a mother, but after working with children I would like to have at least one of my own.

Q: One last question. At the end of Witch Hunter Robin, does your character live or die?

R: (Laughs) That’s for the viewer to decide. Personally, I think she and Amon go off together and live happily ever after.
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