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Jujutsu Kaisen Friday Chat With Anne Yatco, the Voice of Nobara Kugisaki

Love. Yourself.

Anne Yatco as Nobara Kugisaki in Jujutsu Kaisen

As decreed by the anime council of power, today (and every Friday for the foreseeable future) is Jujutsu Kaisen Friday. To celebrate the continuation of the first season, all the nominations in the upcoming Anime Awards, and the fact that the series kicks all sorts of cursed ass, I had a chance to figuratively sit down and chat with some of the voice actors from the dub!

I’ll be sharing the interviews for the next couple of Fridays. You can watch the series over at Crunchyroll.

You can also check out the interviews I had with Kaiji Tang (Gojo) and Adam McArthur (Yuji) too.

Let me just say that I have a planned schedule for these interviews, but after last week’s hi-powered episode I HAD to talk with Anne Yatco, voice of my girl Nobara Kugisaki! While the dub technically isn’t at that fantastic Nobara vs Momo episode yet, you can hear Yatco doing the damn thing in this clip so you can get a taste for what we can expect.

Yatco’s been in a couple of anime roles, from Children of the Whales to Penguin Highway and Kuromukuro. It was recently announced that she’ll be in The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter as Lola, the dub set to premiere on Crunchyroll on February 26th. Just a couple more weeks before we can hear her as the Odin Guild receptionist. Hopefully, that competitive streak doesn’t include any hammers.

In our interview, Yatco dives into what it’s like being “the girl” on the team, something about The Little Mermaid, and how, in an alternate universe, she probably would’ve been Dr. Anne Yatco!

TMS: Jujutsu Kaisen is up for a ton of awards over at Crunchyroll’s Anime Awards. Major congratulations are in order to you and the rest of the team! Nobara is a delightfully in your face character who doesn’t hold back how she’s feeling. I about lost it when she congratulated Yuji and Megumi for now having “the girl” in their group. She definitely knows what’s up and I love that about her. What’s it liking playing “the girl” on the team?

Oh, thanks! I’m just so honored to be a part of this fantastic show, and I’m having so much fun! I love playing Nobara because she will always tell it like it is. She is confident, sassy, and snarky—and I love all of it! I also really appreciate that the dynamic between Nobara, Yuji, and Megumi isn’t affected by their gender. So, even though she’s “the girl” in the group, no one treats Nobara with kid gloves or thinks that she’s weaker than them because she’s a girl—because let’s be honest, if anyone did, she’d punch them in the face!

TMS: While Yuji and Megumi have their own reasons for learning jujutsu, Nobara’s reasoning feels the most relatable to me. She’s using the opportunity to venture off and be true to herself, something that I’ve spent a lot of time trying to do and I’m learning new things all the time. Is that something you relate to, and what does it mean to you to portray a character with this kind of message?

Oh, I absolutely relate to that! My family moved around a bit when I was a kid, but for the most part, I grew up in a small town in Illinois. I was adamant about going to college in a city, and I ended up attending Marquette University in Milwaukee. And just like Nobara, I LOVED living in a city! I really came into my own as a person after l left home. I think Nobara wants to grow, not just as a sorcerer but also as a human being, and she outgrew her hometown long ago. That journey of self-discovery is something I’m sure a lot of people can identify with.

TMS: You’ve done a couple of anime voice acting roles over the years from BNA: Brand New Animal to ID-0 and Kuromukuro. What got you into voice acting?

After I saw The Little Mermaid as a kid, I wanted to be a Disney princess when grew up! Now, I initially wanted to be a mermaid with a beautiful voice, but I later settled for wanting to be the voice of a Disney princess. Then I took a long detour: I got a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering (yes, really) and an MFA in acting (yes, really), and then I worked as a forensic scientist for several years (yes, really). But even while I had a whole other career, I took VO classes and started to book VO work here and there over the years. After I took the plunge and left my other career, the connections I’d made over the years led to signing with my VO agent. I started to audition and then book work more frequently, and then Jujutsu Kaisen happened, and here I am now! But I’m still waiting on Disney…

TMS: Come through Disney!

Photoshop of JJK characters in The Little Mermaid

TMS: If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing career-wise right now?

If I hadn’t pursued acting, I probably would have stayed in the Midwest and become a doctor. I could have been Dr. Anne Yatco! Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to settle for playing doctors.

TMS: It’s your day off and you’ve got nothing but time, what are you doing with your day?

Well, if we weren’t in a pandemic, and if my husband and friends also had the day off, we’d definitely be hanging out in someone’s backyard, eating, drinking, and playing games.

TMS: I do a weekly series called “Weekly Anime Round-up” for The Mary Sue where I talk about all the series I’m watching. What’s on your watchlist right now? Any series you’re looking forward to this year?

Lately, I’ve been watching Fire Force, Akudama Drive, and Yashahime. Oh! I just started Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken and Horimiya, and both are SO FREAKING CUTE. I’m definitely planning to catch up on Attack on Titan and Promised Neverland’s new seasons, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming season of My Hero Academia!

TMS: Anything you wanna let the Jujutsu Kaisen fans (or fans of you in general) know?

I just want to say, thank you for all your support! I love this series just as much as you do, and I hope I’m doing it justice!

Be sure to come back next week for our FINAL interview in our Jujutsu Kaisen interview series!

(Image: Crunchyroll/Anne Yatco)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)