Special Interview with Kentaro Kumagai and Sayaka Sembongi Brought to you by KADOKAWA

Please note, the following interview was sent to us via press release from KADOKAWA Global Anime Business, and was conducted at Anime Expo 2023 by various media outlets.

What has your impression of AX so far and meeting American fans, and if it’s your first time? What is your biggest shock? 

Kentaro Kumagai: It’s not just my first time at AX, but also in America! It’s been a very fresh perspective and a new experience. What was really surprising for me was the view I saw when a car turned to the left, I freaked out but remembered people drive on the right in America. We drive on the left side in Japan.

I had never imagined there would be so much passion towards Japanese anime, video games, manga, and cosplay. This has been an incredible experience, especially being a part of the industry. To see fans be so responsive, it’s wonderful. I could feel it on my skin, and it made me very happy.

Sayaka Sembongi: It’s also my first time at AX and America! The thing that has stood out the most is the lack of humidity. For those of you who’ve been to Japan, the humidity is crazy. When I got off the plane and left the airport, I noticed the air was dry! I was so happy and really, really enjoyed it.

Similar to what Kumagai-san said, I am honored and impressed by the American audiences and fanbase’s love and support. To be a part of an anime that fans are so responsive to, it’s incredible. I would love to even sit down one and one with fans and ask them questions about the series. I will take all this experience and love and support and bring that back to Japan. I’ll do an even better job and would like everyone to enjoy it.

How did you prepare for your respective roles in the anime?

Kentaro Kumagai: After I got the role, I wanted to see how I can relate to this character. What things do we have in common? Laios has a younger sister, and I have a younger brother. From an older brother’s perspective, that is how I started preparing for the role. But Laios is a bit of a unique and strange character, so I went into it with a “flatter” perspective and would go with the character’s flow.

Sayaka SembongiThe anime has a lot of eating. My character, Marcille, is not willing to eat monsters. So, I pondered what foods in the real world would be similar to these foodstuffs. For example, the slime is like a “Kanten” in Japanese food. I tried to understand Marcille by thinking of similar foods.

Voice cast selection can vary from each anime series. What was the voice-casting process like for Delicious in Dungeon?

Kentaro Kumagai: First, I provided audio files first, and my agency sent that in for the audition. From there, the anime staff selected various candidates, and I went to the studio for a live audition. Afterward, I was then chosen to be as Laios.

Sayaka SembongiWhen they were deciding on who would voice Laios during the studio audition, the staff wanted to see the chemistry between the different characters. I was already selected to be Marcille and was present during the audition as Marcille and read the dialog with the candidates of Laios.

During the recording session, the sound director often gives feedback. Were they any feedback during the first recording sessions? 

Kentaro Kumagai: We had all four of us from the main cast recording together for the first recording session. As we did the voice recording, the director would provide feedback. Keeping in mind the manga and Laios, I felt it was very important to keep this distance that Laios has with people. It was a very big part of my character.  

Sayaka SembongiWhat I remember the most is that the director said to bring it down a notch during the first recording session. If I had a higher voice, it would make Marcille sound younger, and a lower voice would make it more mature. That was the direction I really remembered and it stayed on my mind.

During the recording session, was there a particular scene that was challenging to record?

Kentaro Kumagai: My character is challenging, so a lot was hard. In the first episode, when Laios eats a huge scorpion, he says “Eew…” I did that many times and that was probably the most difficult part. 

Sayaka SembongiThere are many gags and jokes in the series. Marcille has to go “yada!” (No!). It was really hard to keep in character. I can’t go too high with the voice and needed to balance that with the character. I dove into different voices, including using my natural voice to balance things out.

What characters would you find interesting if you had to cast as someone else?

Kentaro Kumagai: I can only play Laios. When I read the script and manga, I was looking at the character and I will definitely voice this character. I cannot see myself playing any other character. It was like fate.

Sayaka SembongiMarcille is the character I wanted to play. She’s very playful and girly, and I really like that part of her. When I was doing the initial audio audition, I was thinking it would be great if I could play as Marcille. I’m honored to be picked and so happy.

What makes the comedy and humor from Delicious in Dungeon different from other anime?

Kentaro Kumagai: For Laios, he doesn’t know he’s being funny and is often super serious. The characters around him would be surprised and a lot of people would laugh. There’s a lot of exquisite humor rather than gags compared to other anime series. You’d snicker.

Sayaka Sembongi: The humor is a lot more subtle in Delicious in Dungeon.

Given that food is the focus of the series, how has your perspective changed about food or how cooking works? 

Kentaro Kumagai: I’ve been taught at a young age to say “itadakimasu” before eating. It’s something that’s a big part of Japanese culture, but it almost becomes routine. It’s something you tend to forget the underlying meaning. As I play Laios in Delicious in Dungeon, the meaning is real. In the series, the characters kill and take a life to eat. That aspect really adds a whole new definition to this phrase. It’s given me a new perspective.

[Yesterday], I ate a lot of steak and didn’t leave anything left on the plate! I would not waste any food.

Sayaka SembongiThe director brought cybister fimbriolatus (a diving beetle species) from the Amazon and scorpions to the recording session. After eating it, it was a great experience, and being more open to trying things.

If you could try any one dish in the series, what would you be willing to try?

Kentaro Kumagai: I would eat something Laios would have. It’s nabe (Japanese hot pot) and a type of comfort food. There’s a Japanese culture element to it as well. The dish is called “Huge Scorpion and Walking Mushroom Hotpot” in the series. I would eat that!

Sayaka SembongiI would also like to try the nabe! But there are more things I would not try in the series. I would definitely not touch anything with parasites…

What are you expecting audiences will feel and experience after watching Delicious in Dungeon?

Kentaro Kumagai: There’s a lot of comical parts with Laios. But there’s also a lot more complicated parts coming. I’m excited to join this journey with Laios alongside the audience. I am excited to see how that character grows and hope you enjoy that as well.  

Sayaka SembongiFirst of all, Marcille is very into eating. The whole aspect of taking a life and receiving a life is very in-depth. It’s also a journey of four characters. How they interact as a group and rely and depend on each other will be extremely important. The anime will have humor, but there are also themes about needing other people to live. It’s going to be really important and I look forward to seeing that.

We would like to express our gratitude to the KADOKAWA corporation for generously sharing this extraordinary interview with us, allowing us to present it to our amazing readers. We appreciate their support. For more information on the series and to additional content visit, Delicious in Dungeon English website.

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