Hey folks! Click on the forum link in the header or click here for the TGWTG posting of the cast announcement video! Hooray! ^_^
I'm currently at Anime Central in Chicago, but once I get back. I will update the site little by little. The episodes will probably be posted in a blog format. Can't wait for you to hear it! ^O^ d
~WHEW~ Okay, guys. Auditions technically close today. If you recall a month and two weeks-ish ago, this is when I was originally gonna start callbacks. Remember that? I was going to potentially double-cast people and anyone with a decent mic could be an extra. SO. THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN.
After hundreds of auditionees submitting thousands of auditions, I can say at this point that, with the finalization of Tohru Honda and Kana Sohma, we are now officially 100% cast for all the main roles. *party horns and confetti~*
From here, it's just going to be a matter of going through those hundreds of people and picking about 20-30 for the extended cast/extras. Thank you to everyone who auditioned. I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to do something like this. ^_^ I cannot put into words how absolutely floored I am. This is going to be really. really. cool. Look forward to a preview on May 20! ^O^ b
~ JO, over and out! ~
So about that being the second-to-last casting update? I LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIED. Tohru and Kana will end up being cast together and it will be an eleventh hour sort of decision as to who gets them, pretty much right when auditions close. So before that happens, I would like to announce that Ren Sohma and Hatori Sohma have been cast...hm. Not much connection between them, apart from a key scene that, ironically, was the setting for Ren's audition piece! In fact, in terms of being cast, they were near-polar opposites as I received the least amount of auditions for Ren overall and by FAR the most for Hatori: apparently everybody and his brother wanted to play Hatori. It was THE most competitive part.
Anyhow, both fantastic actors and along with the finished scripts, a good deal of finished foley, and a smidgen of the score to work with, I feel like the show really is right around the corner! So *this* will be the second-to-last casting update...incredibly exciting...
Well, April has ended, May is upon us, and considering how many showers we've been getting in Kentucky, I expect some hardcore flowers. Seriously.
Added to that, Motoko Minagawa and Naohito Sakuragi have been cast, which is kind of cute if you really know your Furuba. (There's a slight connection between 'em. Poor lovestruck Nao.) This leaves four roles left uncast, three of those pretty immediately important, so remember, AUDITIONS ARE STILL OPEN if you'd like to blow away the competition. That being said, I really want to have all decisions made (except for maybe Ren Sohma,) by May 4th, so I hope I hear back from the people I'm waiting on by then, or get entirely surprised by someone new. ^_^ With any luck, this will be the second-to-last casting update...
Well, some time has passed and in the span of a few passing days, a few more casting decisions were made. Machi Kuragi, Mitsuru, and Katsuya Honda are set in stone, and broken record as always, I absolutely love them in their respective parts. ^W^ You'll get to hear everyone on the 20th!
I guess I have nothing else to announce. It's all hanging on callbacks at the moment, just waiting to hear back from everyone so I can make more final decisions. If anything changes and I need to hear more? I'll let you know. ^_^ (Well okay, I'm still waiting for more Nao and Ren but that's old hat now? I spose? XD)
HAPPY EASTER! *O* It's time for a holiday update, ho ho hooooo--wrong holiday. What sound do bunnies make...?
Well, I knew there'd be some changes by the weekend, and I was right. It looks like we've finally cast the parts of Kisa Sohma, Akito Sohma, Hatsuharu Sohma and Yuki Sohma! Big parts to fill, but I trust our wonderful new cast members! ^W^ Besides that, very little has changed, still waiting on some choices hanging in the air, and the parts of Naohito Sakuragi and Ren Sohma are still fairly available to those itching to get at them. Let's see what happens in a few more days...
WHEW! Well, yesterday was busy. I sent out a first round of callbacks for various characters to *some* of the people I'm considering for the part...even then, not all of them. There will probably be a second round of callbacks in a few days, depending on responses received from the first round. @_@ Anyhoo, that was fun.
As a result of thinning the ranks down even more, several bit roles were cast yesterday! ^_^ The parts of Minami Kinoshita, Mio Yamagishi, Mayuko Shiraki, and Kimi Toudou have all found lovely ladies to fill them. At this point, it's just going to be a lot of waiting and comparing, then I'll probably make a few more decisions and *possibly* send a second round of callbacks out. Still, I have a dirty little secret I should probably share...
The roles of Nao and Ren are still pretty wide-open. Because they appear late in the story, I'm not chomping at the bit to cast them and am pretty much waiting for the perfect audition. So while I have people I can call back for the parts...well, let's just say I'm being patient here. If you're a guy with a high voice or a girl with a low voice and have some earnest acting chops? These are the most available parts right now. So submit your audition, and who knows what might happen! Just a thought~
I haven't been doing much in the way of casting the bit roles, have I? Well, I guess that makes sense, but all the same, I've cast another one now! A small role but a memorable one, Ayame's mad maid Mine Kuramae, has been cast. I'd like to say that all the voices for this project will be a little different from what you were expecting, but I can assure you, Mine is quite different from what you may have been expecting. You'll just have to wait and see!
So as many of you know (despite the fact I never changed the date on the audition pages...oops,) callbacks are going out today. I'm probably going to spend aaaaall day doing this because there are a lot of them, and they take a while to write up, so if you go to bed tonight and haven't received one, don't give up! It may be there the next morning. (I am SO glad I did some early casting!) @_@ Comin' down the home stretch here folks...I can't thank you enough for all you've contributed up to this point~
The roles of Rin Sohma and Kureno Sohma, two complex and fascinating characters who never got to feature in the anime, have been cast to two actors with rich voices and a terrific gift for subtlety. I know I'm just a broken record by now, but super-excited to have them in the cast! ^O^
So~ callbacks go out tomorrow! ...Well, for some roles, anyway. As many as I can write. I'll try to make them as thorough and personal as possible, so they're going to take a while to write. @W@ There may be some parts that I send six callbacks out for, some that I only send one, and some parts I don't send any for at all! It's not arbitrary, I promise you, but within a week or two, I think we'll have a full cast and several weeks off of that? Cast announcements and a pilot episode...wow, time sure has flown! o_o
Auditions, I must repeat, remain open until May 4, but keep in mind that the competition is *steep* so if you've been waiting to submit, be sure to bring your A-game! Best of luck to everyone and thanks for making this such a joy even in the audition stage. ^W^
Well, after some deliberation, hemming, hawing, and other noises associated with thinking about something while bouncing up and down, I have cast the role of Saki Hanajima, leaving Tohru, Yuki and Akito as our only opening main players yet to be cast. The competition will be steep, but I'm enthralled about the prospects so far. I can't wait for callbacks to start.
No really, I literally can't wait for callbacks. Auditions will continue to be open until May 4th, as always, but I've decided to begin some preliminary callbacks on April 20th, to give me more time to organize contacts, prep the actors, and most importantly, make the big decisions. I should also use this time to clarify what will and will not be happening for callbacks.
I am currently considering anywhere between three to five people for any given major role in Fruits Basket. That being said, not all three to five of these people will receive a callback for this character. Callbacks are for auditionees I am strongly considering for a role and need to hear more from. There are some entrants with solid auditions I am already satisfied by, usually in bit roles, but sometimes in larger parts too, but far more with auditions that are almost spot-on but not quite, or just limited by the audition material and I need to hear something completely different from. So if you don't get a callback, do not be upset. You are not necessarily out of the running for a role. On May 5, the day after auditions close, I hope to have the show mostly cast, and I will also have selected an "extras stable" at that time. All of the main cast and the extended cast will receive scripts on that day, so...I guess the time to panic/be disappointed would be May 6? Sorry, that was grim. ^^;
Basically, starting on May 6, you are encouraged to e-mail me asking for critiques or information about your audition. I will answer any and all questions you have about why you weren't cast in a role, or didn't make the extended cast, whatever you would like to know to help you improve as an actor or just quell your curiosity. That being said, keep in mind that I received several hundred auditions for this project, *far* more than I ever thought I was going to receive. I'm honestly still floored by the incredible volume of talent that volunteered for this audio drama and the excitement you all have shared with me. ^_^ I'm disappointed as well, that not everyone can have a part or even be an extra, which I didn't think would happen at *all*. (I just wouldn't feel comfortable spreading scripts and contact info around to multiple hundred people, so I will have to select a "cast of available extras" to keep circulation tighter.) Still, I will be open to all questions on May 6, and I encourage you to ask. Until that time, best of luck to everyone, and I'm excited about these final three weeks of auditions. ^O^
This is not *directly* related to the project, but it's kind of a big deal, so it's worth mentioning. Tokyopop, the publishing house responsible for bringing us Fruits Basket, along with many many MANY other great manga titles, is officially closing down its publishing house as of May 31st, 2011.
Viz may be the manga company with the most bestsellers, but Tokyopop was always my favorite, and brought me excellent translations of some of my favorite titles. I'm more of an anime person, but I have fond memories of perusing Pet Shop of Horrors, GTO, Sgt. Frog, Marmalade Boy, Ai Yori Aoshi, Dramacon, and Planetes. Fruits Basket, needless to say, was my favorite of them all. I'm not sure how long it will be before it becomes very difficult to find these titles in print, but still, Tokyopop going away is rather sad, and I thought I would at least note this unfortunate news in an update. Needless to say, I'm much more determined to work on this project now, and have nothing but high hopes for its success with fans old and new of the most popular shojo manga in recent memory. ^_^ R.I.P. Tokyopop. ;U; Thanks for all the manga.
UPDATE TIME! UPDATE TIME! HOOOOOOOOOOLY CATS, DO WE GOT A LOTTA UPDATES. O_o
Okay so first off: more parts have been cast...bit of a heapton, actually. This honestly just came with defragmenting the auditions and examining the entrants so thoroughly. Here's what we've got after the dust has settled!
Kyoko Honda, the wise and wily mother of Tohru, has found a voice, along with the king of short tempers, student council president, Makoto Takei. Super-excited about these two, they'll make the pilot episode a fun listen in their own little ways. ^_^ Also, a part not listed for audition but also in the pilot and VERY important is our Narrator, who will introduce the show each week and have a small number of lines in a few episodes here and there. He's not *just* the narrator, but eventually a key character...I shan't spoil, but the truly Furuba-savvy can probably guess based on the latter chapters of the manga. ^O^ Anyway, this mysterious Narrator-character also has a voice, and it's a striking one at that! Look forward to hearing him as well.
Outside of that, we have a lot of children. A looooooooooooot of children. Momiji Sohma, Hiro Sohma, and Megumi Hanajima have all been cast to three very talented ladies who have a knack for, well, not sounding like ladies. Likewise, three more children in the story have voices, but these kiddos were never officially up for audition, and were simply cast based on their talents in the same way as Grandpa Honda and our narrator. Young Tohru, Young Yuki, and Young Kyo have actresses behind them as well...meaning the chibi-versions of the three leads have been made official before, well, the three leads! I guess it's kids' day, then! XD Those with a talent for children's voices should still send in e-mails and let me know, however, as there are a lot of kid-extras in the story.
There are several other parts I'm kinda settled on, but there's stiff competition, so I'm saving those further decisions for callbacks. Which brings me to the more important part of this update!
Please go to this page on the forums and read! The text in pink there is a detailed list of what I am most looking for at this time. It will do you good to look it over and see if any of those roles grabs you or if you missed trying out for them before. Best of luck everyone! Just a few weeks more~
Another two cast members have been added to the roster! It was another case where I was sitting on roles for a while, sure of who had the part, and just needed a few tiny puzzle pieces to lock in place before I had to make it official.
One crazy guy and one crazy girl, Kakeru Manabe and Kagura Sohma, now have voices. Crazy crazy crazy, but don't we love em? Look forward to hearing those voices along with the other cast members past and future on May 20.
I think it would be a good idea, in one week, for me to inform you of which roles I MOST need to hear more auditions for, as again, I'd like to have the best cast possible for this project and I think some parts are just being skimped on while others are needlessly bloated. (Several of the parts I've already cast were cast for roles they did NOT originally try out for but I ushered them to after hearing a different character.)
Sound good? Okay, so one week from now, I'll give a more specific list of the more up-in-the-air parts in the roster as opposed to those being hotly contested at this time. (Auditions, I must repeat, will still be open for all parts, but a little narrowing can't hurt, right?) Until then, continue to audition and who knows? Maybe there's a part you're perfect for you haven't looked into yet. Surprise me! 8D
Well, I waited a good long while on this one, in fear of early casting, but there's no sense in delaying the inevitable. I've found our Arisa Uotani. The bloodstained-pipe-wielding yanki wasn't easy to cast, but this actress is outstanding and she's very excited about the project, as I hope you all are. ^_^
Auditions have slowed recently so I can actually spend some time away from my inbox, but that also gives me more time to listen to the ones I do get, so don't be shy about sending them in! Best of luck!
Wow, *two* days without any cast announcements! That's different!
That's also because I have *two* to announce today. Yes, I'm awful. Still, there are two more amazing names on the team with us, in the matched roles of Kazuma Sohma and Kyo Sohma. They sound great by themselves and as father and son, so perhaps we can call it destiny? Naw, that's silly, they're just excellent actors and I'm ecstatic to have them on board.
In all seriousness, there wasn't a predetermined pattern of announcing a role a day, it just kept happening. At this point, the competition is getting steep for certain roles while others...well, others are almost wide-open! The potential callback list has shifted every single day, so send in your auditions when you can and they will *always* be considered before May 4. Best of luck to all!
Alright, I've talked to several people about the process of casting early, because it's become an issue for some and I don't want any animosity attached to this project at all. There's been a pretty dead-even 50/50 split on how people want it done. Some people have been emphatic that they don't want to try out for a part they have little to no chance at, especially if they don't know how hard they'd have to try to "beat" someone, while others have expressed the opposite opinion, that they are not being given a chance and I may find someone better if I were more patient. I know I can tell people I don't cast without 110% certainty that I've found the right person for the role, but they're empty words, especially to those they discourage. So I'm making a few revisions to my policy. Here's how it is:
1. A person will only be cast early in a role, as I've said, if I am 110% certain that they are everything I want and more for the part.
-- However, I must also add that I have always and will continue to get the opinions of my many friends and fans of the Fruits Basket manga, and my fellow mixing technician and aficionado of audio dramas on such individuals before they are cast. It will never just be me making these decisions, and it is never instantaneous.
-- Additionally, anyone who is cast before the deadline (not "everyone who is cast" period, just before May 4,) has auditioned for several parts and proved their mettle in various roles *aside* from the one they were cast in, giving me evidence of their suitability for many parts in case of emergency, not just the one. Sometimes they submit multiple auditions at once, and sometimes I hear one and ask for several others, but I will never cast someone early based on one audition. All early cast members are extremely versatile and can play multiple roles and this will continue to be the case.
2. Here's the revision part. After I say a part is cast, THE AUDITION WILL STILL BE OPEN FOR THAT PART. How does that make any sense? Basically, you'd be auditioning for an understudy part. Casting early does mean more prep time for the actors, but it also means potentially losing people early with no backup, and that's a disaster waiting to happen. If I have cast a role before the deadline, I must reiterate that it's because I am 110% certain that this person is the best for the role and I trust them fully to be timely and communicative. After moderating the audition process for only five days, I can say that callbacks are going to be a little bit insane and I want to start recording and familiarizing the cast with one another in increments, if I can, so this really helps in that regard.
Still: if a part has been cast, you are still welcome to audition for it, with the caveat that you are essentially trying out for understudy and the bar has been set quite high. I will not close auditions for any part to anyone until the deadline. ^_^ b But I will let you know if a part is pretty much set in stone. I hope this is an acceptable compromise and best of luck to everyone. This has been a wonderful experience so far and I hope it will continue to be so!
Man, am I gonna keep up this pattern of casting a role a day? I *swear* it's not intentional, it just keeps happening! Anyway, out of nowhere, the role of Ritsu Sohma has also been cast, and rightfully so! As you can imagine, I received very few tryouts for Rit-chan-san, but the moment you get the perfect one, I guess it's all you need, huh? ^_^
The role of Ayame Sohma has now been cast. As in the other two cases, I'm very excited about the selection and I promise you this guy is gonna knock your socks off.
Additionally, I have secured a composer, a musician, and am close to securing a foley artist for the production, and I am very pleased with their talents as well. I *guess* the Technical Assistance heading should be erased at this point, but I'm still interested to see what unique artists are interested in contributing in a smaller way, maybe if someone just wants to create one special piece or add some technical expertise, so I shall leave it open for the moment...
On a vaguely related note, this project has had an absolutely mind-boggling turnout and I feel very blessed. Keep those auditions coming! The more the merrier, everyone! This is gonna be one incredible show.
A special video has been posted at TGWTG.com calling for auditions, so with any luck a diverse little flood should come pouring in soon. (Well, technically it already has!) Check it out~
Another role has been cast, but no need to panic: it was never technically up for audition. I have decided to cast the role of Tohru's Grandfather, a bit part but an important one for the beginning of the story, to one talented tryout who carries a very natural, wizened quality in his voice that will suit the character perfectly.
I hope this will change in the near future, but for the sake of documentation: the ratio of guys to girls auditioning for the project is about 9:1 ... isn't that nuts?! How can I have so few ladies auditioning for Fruits Basket, a ROMANCE story? Crazy!
Incredibly, just over 24 hours of opening auditions, I have found the perfect Shigure Sohma and will no longer be accepting auditions for the role. I guess I'd say get your auditions in as soon as you can, folks! The bar has been set pretty high by our first cast role. I look forward to seeing what follows him!
Site officially launched! Glee~ The FAQ is still open to updates, depending on what questions people may have…frequently. Those can be submitted via the Contact page over time. However, all audition info is available and the project is officially underway! I know I’m excited! Are you? ^_^