Fairouz Ai (ファイルーズあい Fairūzu Ai) is a Japanese voice actress and singer who is affiliated with the Raccoon Dog talent agency. She is notable for being the voice of Jolyne Cujoh in the anime adaptation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean.
Fairouz Ai is also known for her work on other anime such as being the voice of Manatsu Natsuumi in Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure, Hibiki Sakura in How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?, Emily Orange in Kandagawa Jet Girls, Eripiyo in If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die, and Takechiyo in Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon.
Fairouz Ai Kadota was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and an Egyptian father. Her brother, Gihado Kadota (門田 ギハード Kadota Gihādo), is an athlete who represents Japan in ice climbing competitions. Fairouz was raised in Egypt and studied at the Cairo Japanese School in Giza from fifth grade of elementary school until graduation. According to her, she used to walk to school on the same bridge where Jotaro Kujo and DIO fought in Stardust Crusaders. She would later return to Japan during high school.
After graduating from high school, Fairouz did not immediately start a career in voice acting due to her parents' opposition. She first entered a graphic design school but her desire to become a voice actress rekindled during her third year. She worked as a dental assistant for one year to save money and entered the Profit Voice Actor Training Center, graduating in 2019 and debuting as a nameless female citizen in One Punch Man. In the same year, she starred in the role of Hibiki Sakura in the anime How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?.
In 2020, at the 14th Seiyu Awards, Fairouz Ai won an award in the "New Actress" category for her role as Hibiki Sakura.
Fairouz Ai is fond of drawing, watching horror movies, reading manga such as Prison School, Fist of the North Star, Akagi, and Kaiji, and muscle training. She has a grade 3 certification in Business Skill and a grade 4 certification in Horseback Riding.
On March 31, 2022, Fairouz transferred to the Raccoon Dog talent agency along with several other voice actors from Pro-Fit after Pro-Fit ceased production operations.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Fairouz has long been a fan of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, particularly Stone Ocean, which she first learned of by reading comments on videos that referenced the series. She began collecting the first five volumes of Stone Ocean during her second year of junior high school because she liked the dramatic art and was fascinated by the female protagonist, though she mistakenly thought it was the first story arc due to the reset volume numbers. She couldn't understand anything but wanted to know more about Jolyne, whom she thought was cool. After reading the second volume of the sixth part, she restarted all the way back to Phantom Blood, and eventually completed the entire set by her freshman year of high school.
Fairouz found it tough to adjust in high school but stayed optimistic and motivated herself by thinking that she wants to be like Jolyne. Being half-Egyptian, Fairouz was really happy when she read Stardust Crusaders as she met several people who told her they liked Egypt because of the manga and anime which featured the country. After making friends with other JoJo fans, they called her Avdol so she would joke that she would bring out Magician's Red.
She participated in an online reading session of the manga through Skype group calls and was praised within her online community for her skill in reading the dialogue out loud, leading her to begin to regularly act out scenes from JoJo. The character of Jolyne has even helped her to stay optimistic while job hunting or working, and inspired her dream to appearing in an anime adaptation of the manga and into her career as a a voice actor.
Fairouz jokingly proclaims herself to be a "Jolyne otaku". During her audition for the role, she tied her hair into buns and even brought a Stone Ocean clear folder with pictures of Jolyne and Jotaro for display. Despite her cheerfulness during the audition, she nearly cried while nervously showing her Stone Ocean clear folder to the casting directors.
Fairouz says that she affiliated herself with the agency Pro-Fit because the teacher of the training center was Yoku Shioya, who voiced Will Anthonio Zeppeli, and that it would help her appear in the anime adaptation. She received her certification in horseback riding after reading Steel Ball Run which inspired her to learn how to ride a horse.
Fairouz Ai had a voice cameo in all three episodes of the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan TV drama's second season.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Roles
I can’t even begin to describe how happy, moved and grateful I am.
Fairouz, you’ve said that you’ve always been a fan of the “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” series. What do you find most appealing about the story of “Stone Ocean”?
Compared to the previous protagonists, I think the appeal of “Stone Ocean” is that it depicts Jolyne’s mental growth to a greater extent. At first, Jolyne was a whimpering delinquent, but as the story progresses, she keeps growing stronger and stronger. She’s so impressive! I want to be like her!
Also, at the time it was serialized, it was really rare to see a battle manga with a female protagonist. I was totally impressed, thinking “Girls can be this strong too!“. I think it’s a very avant-garde and energetic series in that aspect as well!
Please tell us how you felt when you were chosen to play the role of Jolyne.
I was filled with so much happiness, excitement, and gratitude that no words in the world can describe it. There were many difficult times in my life, but I was so happy that I came across JoJo when I was born, and got to be the closest to Jolyne, whom I love the most in the world. It’s been a dream of mine to be in JoJo for a long time, and it was definitely a difficult path… that I wouldn’t have been able to traverse without some luck.
When the cast was announced, there was a huge response, especially on social media. Were there any messages from fans or reactions from your family and friends that left a particular impression on you?
My friend group of 10 years, who became friends through JoJo, drew an illustration of Jolyne with me and gave me a very nice butterfly brooch as a gift! I also received congratulatory messages from my mother and many other friends and colleagues, which made me realize how blessed I am. “Thank you”… I can’t find any other words to express my gratitude…
I have heart-to-heart conversations with Daisuke Ono, who plays the role of my father and loves his work.
Fairouz, please describe what you think is the appeal and strengths of Jolyne. Is there any new aspect of Jolyne that you have discovered through acting as her, or any point that you have a deeper understanding of now than when you read the manga?
Jolyne’s appeal is her tough mental strength and her sense of purpose that shapes her power! However, after acting as her, I realized that Jolyne wasn’t always strong from the beginning. The final volume left such a strong impression on me that it almost felt like I was in a hurry, like “I have to make her look cool!” The director tried to fix it by telling me “You shouldn’t give the impression of having resolve right in the beginning.”
Are there any other memorable interactions you had with the staff while recording?
When I was allowed to review the dubbing of the second episode, I felt a gap between the Jolyne I imagined and my actual performance I heard, which made me lose confidence and feel depressed. But the series director Kenichi Suzuki said, “It’s okay, everyone was like that at the beginning. As the story progresses, you’re growing with the characters.” Those words saved me.
This work is also the story of father and daughter, Jotaro and Jolyne. While playing as Jolyne, have you ever talked with Daisuke Ono, who played the role of Jotaro?
We can talk about our love for JoJo on the same wavelength, so it’s really fun to talk with him every time we meet!!
Talking about anime original scenes, I said “This scene is so emotional, just like that scene in ***, isn’t it?!” To that, he replied “Emo emo daze”, so I countered with “Emo emo dawa” (laughs). We’ve only met a few times, but we’re already good friends!
Besides Jolyne, there are many other fascinating characters. Which character would you say is your favorite or who you want to pay attention to?
I love Sports Maxx, but I can’t say that out loud because Ermes would probably get mad at me! (laughs)
If you could get a Stand ability, what would you want it to be?
Well, as an anime otaku, I guess I’d have to say “Bohemian Rhapsody“… I won’t say much about it because it would be spoilers, but if you’re a Stand user reading this, then you should be aware of it! Though it’s too late…
Finally, do you have a message for our readers?
To all the fans who are looking forward to “Stone Ocean”, thank you so much for always piling up enthusiasm about it and loving it! I truly love “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, so if this season can be a chance for people who haven’t seen it to get to know it, hopefully you enjoy it~
Right now I can’t help but feel lucky from the bottom of my heart and laugh…! I can’t hold it in~
『ストーンオーシャン』を楽しみにしてくれているファンの皆様、いつも作品を盛り上げて、愛してくださり、本当にあリがとうございます！ わたしは『ジョジョの奇妙な冒険』 という作品が本当に大好きなので、このシリースをきっかけに、まだ観たことがない方にも知っていただき、楽しんでいただけたらよォ～今のおれみてえにウププッてな笑いが腹の底からラッキーって感じで…！込みあげて来るよなあ～。
- In a 2019 interview, Fairouz stated that she couldn't pull off Jolyne, but would've loved to play a supporting character, like Foo Fighters.
- Fairouz also stated that if she were to play Jolyne in the future, she would do her best to bring out her "inner Jolyne".
- Fairouz's favorite JoJo character is Jotaro Kujo, one of the reasons being his fatherly love for Jolyne.
- When asked to describe her role as Jolyne in one word, Fairouz said that "love" would be the most fitting because all of the character's actions stemmed from love, including her resolve, strength and conviction.
- During the Netflix Festival Japan 2021 event, Fairouz jokingly called herself the "Stand coordinator" for Mutsumi Tamura and Mariya Ise due to her expansive knowledge of Stands as well as the JoJo franchise as a whole.
- Fairouz said that if she were to have a Stand, she would pick either Crazy Diamond or Khnum, the former due to its versatility and ability to heal people and fix broken things. And the latter, because of its ability to impersonate anyone, which she would use to play tricks on people.
- As a fashion fan, Fairouz states that her most favorite costume among the JoJo characters is Vento Aureo's Cioccolata. She also adds that the cross décor on his costume (which usually signifies a good character) did not match the character's villainous demeanor, stating Araki's genius for combining the two.
- One of the scenes that impressed Fairouz was the scene where Bruno Bucciarati spoke to Vinegar Doppio (under the guise of Trish Una) before the final battle of Vento Aureo. She quotes Bucciarati's simple dialogue for Trish to have a normal life, saying that he displayed his kindness and was always ready to sacrifice himself.