Good day everyone, hope you’ve had a wonderful 2023 so far! Mine was pretty rough as my main job is a teacher for Grade 3’s, and it’s a lot of hard work to get to know everyone and prepare lessons that will help the children develop their skills and discover their potential. I’m taking a short break from translations until (hopefully) next week. I’ll also be working on upgrading my website (I’m a complete newbie at this thing so everything is trial and error, but it’s quite a lot of fun 🙂
Here’s a sweet picture of our cat, Willemien to hopefully brighten your day 🙂
And our other cat Covie (he’s sort of adopted and is best friends with Willemien. He also really likes Kentarou Kumagai and Rowoon (from SF9)’s voices as he always joins me next to the laptop or TV whenever I watch a video from them. He’s got good taste that’s for sure 😉
Masahiro Itou (Voice Newtype Vol. 82 2021)
After graduating from a music college, Masahiro Itou, was approached by the producer of “Bang Dream”! About three years have passed since he jumped into the world of voice acting with the desire to achieve something. As he expands his range of activities as a voice actor, he talks about his passion for acting.
How did you like the world of the play? Itou: It’s very difficult. The first time I stood in front of “Maikare no Ku” was an app game, but even though I thought I was acting, I didn’t follow my voice at all… I was also worried about the character that I didn’t have. In music, they wrote the lyrics, “I think he thinks like this,” so in a play, a person with such an ego cannot play a role. When I said, “to express,” I meant the same thing, so I wasn’t embarrassed, but the way I expressed it was completely different, so I struggled. I’m still struggling, but the people who saw it said, “Your heart wavered.” I feel rewarded when I hear the words, and I’m happy that I got it across. For those of you who say so, I want you to be surprised at how good I am… that’s my greatest motivation. In the past, I was thinking of putting my ego out of the way and putting on a role, but recently I’ve been thinking that I’d like to be able to express myself in my plays, and I can feel myself changing.
You can feel that acting is becoming more fun. Itou: I like acting more than before. But more than I love acting, I love the people who work with me. I really like my current environment. Without that, I think it would be even more painful. There are many people who accept me as I am.
In June there was a stage “Argonavis the Live Steage.” What has changed after experiencing the platform? Itou: It’s changed a lot! During the one-month practise period, I was with the members of Argonavis and Gyroaxia every day, so the cast members became even closer. Shoei Hashimoto-san and Shinichi Hashimoto’s W Hashimoto pulled everyone together, and I thought again that they were wonderful people. I’ve been standing on stage as a character in live performances for a long time, but I haven’t had many opportunities to speak, so I feel that speaking on stage has allowed me to build a character within myself. Also, I wasn’t used to talking and singing a lot, so I was worried about switching, but I was able to train myself (laughs). Itou: That’s right. It’s interesting because people are constantly changing without feeling age-limited. Once you get used to it, you will be able to switch automatically. To put it the other way around, you can do it until you get used to it, so I thought I had to do it until it was ingrained in my body. I became friends with everyone, learned many things, and had a really good experience.
“Theatrical Argonavis Meteor Obbligato,” I heard that the part that reconstructed the TV series was also a new recording. Itou: The recording for the TV series was just after I started working as a voice actor. I’m embarrassed to listen to it again (laughs), but now it’s finally a work that I can proudly say, “Look at it.” It was my first time to post-record a completed video, so I was able to experience the fun and difficulty of lip-syncing. At the same time, I felt that there was some expressions that I was able to do because it was my first time, and I thought that it is important to do the best possible acting at that time. Also, since the recording was right after the stage, we were able to bring the heat of the stage to the dubbing as it was, and we were able to interact in a very good condition. As much as the schedule was difficult, the things that came back to me were great.
The animation “Bokutachi no Remake” which broadcasted in July, you played the leading role. Itou: I played Kyouya Hashiba. When I auditioned, I read the original work, but since the stage is an art college and I graduated from a music college I could only sympathize, and from the bottom of my heart, I thought, “I want to play this role!” I was happy when the role was decided, and I thought about how to convey the feeling of sympathy I felt. If it’s an extreme expression, it’s fine to shake it off as much as you can, but it’s really difficult to make a natural play, and I still have a long way to go with things like delicate steering wheel operations. But the more difficult it was, the more interest I got in the play. I’m grateful that I was able to see what I lacked, and that I was able to play a character that was so close to my feelings. All in all, I think it was an irreplaceable experience.
Please tell us about your immediate goals as a voice actor and what you want to be like in 10 years. Itou: Even with detailed direction regarding performances, there were times when I was throwing the ball unexpectedly, so I want to eliminate that. My immediate goal is to play a lot and make the feeling of throwing the ball the same as the actual play. I also like foreign dramas and watch them every day, so I would like to try dubbing a foreign drama someday. Also, rather than a goal, what I would like to be able to do soon is animation and connecting music. I realized a lot about myself through acting, so I wanted a place to express myself again. Both music and acting keep me alive and enrich my life, so I want to give something back. As part of my role, I want to convey the wonders of both.
Finally, please give a message to your fans. Itou: 2020 was a corona disaster. Nevertheless, I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet you in person. I feel that it was a year in which I was able to grow as a person rather than as an actor. I would be happy if everyone could feel a little brighter and enjoy it. From now on, I want to deliver even more things, and I want them to be what I really want to do, and I also want to enjoy myself. I hope to see you next year!
Column: Happy Holidays!
When I was in second grade, I realized that Santa was my father. My father was in pajamas and carrying LEGOS (laughs). My parents were obsessed with Santa performances, pretending to call him, saying, “I want this.” At the time, I believed it, thinking, “Can he communicate in Japanese?”
Takahiro Urao (Voice Newtype Vol. 82 2021)
“I don’t know where I am. During these days, I first chose the place I aimed for, voice actor.” It wasn’t a dream world. But he goes on. Leverage the smiles of the characters and the stimulation of your friends.
What made you decide to become a voice actor? Urao: In junior high and high school, I was devoted to the activities of the track and field club. I began to have thoughts like this. There were times when I cried on the train because I didn’t know what I was living for. When I faced myself for the first time, I thought about what I really wanted to do. My profession is voice acting. For the first time in my life, I took action on my own initiative and started attending a night course at a vocational school.
Did you have any hesitation or anxiety about choosing a career? Urao: To be honest, there are things I didn’t think the world would be so harsh (laughs). I was happy to be praised for doing something in front of people, and I thought it would be nice if this kind of time could continue forever. My parents gave me the condition that if I was going to audition for an agency, I would have to get one job offer through job hunting, so I had an interview. But I had no choice but to continue acting. However, when I finally graduated from the training school, I could not join the agency. At that time, one of my co-workers was Yuya Nakata-san, who played Kuro Kiyosumi in “The Idolmaster SideM.” In fact, I had also taken the audition for Kuro, so I was surprised to hear a name that I know so well, and it was really frustrating. I always had friends who would leave me behind and move on, and I think that’s why I couldn’t give up on this path.
It is so. Now, it is unthinkable to have someone else as Daigo Kabuto in F-Lags. Urao: Actually, the next role I received was another one. On the spot, I was told, “Daigo, try it too.” Daigo is an idol who values “smile” the most, and before I knew it, I was naturally able to smile with the same feeling. For “The Idolmaster SideM 6th Live Tour ~ Next Destination~” everyone practised hard, but the Hokkaido performance was postponed, and the feeling of wanting to meet the producers quickly grew stronger. I don’t know how I’ll feel on stage when the time comes. But first, I will do my best for the Tokyo performance. Even under the mask, everyone’s smile is clearly transmitted. I want to hit my thoughts with the power not to lose.
In “Zero Jigen Idol,” which focuses on voice dramas, you play the role of Nezuru Makurano, the leader of Hisame. Urao: I received another role and was told, “Try playing Nezuru, too.” A genius idol who does everything smoothly is nothing like me, but even so, when I tried to express his honesty with what I have, I was in the same unit. Ryosuke Kanemoto-san said, “I thought you were going to be a more perfectionist handsome guy, but it’s nice to be human.”
Hearing the origin story, he was betrayed by someone he thought was a friend, and expressed his frustration, saying, “You must have been laughing in your heart!” Urao: I will never forget what he said, “Believe in yourself. Don’t believe in yourself. Betray yourself. But please take care of me when I’m worried.” As I said, I have an inferiority complex, and I can’t trust myself, so I couldn’t act with 100% confidence. But that’s not a bad thing for an actor. If you think you understand everything about a character, the play will become boring, and it’s precisely because you have doubts that the character’s flavour will come out and become interesting. What’s more, in order to draw out my feelings, he purposely rewrote the lines that had been decided for me. When I call her “Mother,” he gets mad at me, saying, “I don’t remember giving birth to you!”
The words are not limited to acting. It’s something that resonates. Urao: Yes. Live performances are really fun once I get on stage, but until then I’m scared, and I’m trembling on stage (laughs). But at times like that, it’s the presence of powerful friends who push me back. They gave me a stimulus that made me feel like I couldn’t lose, and they taught me the importance of putting it into words and praising one another.
By the way, how do you spend your days off? Urao: I like female idol groups, and recently I often watch their livestreams.
For studying performances. Urao: That’s right. I was a bit embarrassed, but from the point of view of the viewers, I can see that it would make me happier to appeal this much.
Do you have a dream of your own? Urao: I really like space, so my dream is to one day go to the moon naked.
Naked? Urao: I think that if you dream about something that seems possible but you can never do it, you can live a long life.
So, that’s it. Finally, please tell us what kind of voice actor you want to become in the future. Urao: The fact what I was able to be featured in a magazine alone like this was a dream come true, so I got on top of it and got myself a perm (laughs). I’m a slow mover, but I think everyone is teaching me that everyone is working properly and making progress. Even now, like when I was a student, there are times when I don’t know where I am, and when I look up at the moon, I just think, “I still have a long way to go.” I am truly grateful to those who have supported me, and nothing makes me happier than being able to see the fan art and impressions, and to be able to feel that they love the character I played. I look forward to working with you and my characters in the future!
Column: Happy Holidays!
At the end of the year, I go back to my hometown and tell my classmates and friends from the track and field club how we spent the year. It’s difficult right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, but when I met at a friend’s wedding, she said, “I’m watching “Hanyou no Yashahime!” I was so happy.
Shouta Hayama (Voice Newtype Vol. 77 2020)
Shota Hayama, who has become a hot topic with his live performance of the character, has been attracting even more attention. His bright laughter and powerful fighting spirit are the “light” that shines in the darkness in these days when many people are looking down.
So, I asked you how you got to where you are now. How was it looking back? Hayama: Really, now I’ve been aiming I’ve been able to do it. That’s right. There are many things that I regret and worry about, but I think I am spending a fulfilling life including those. However, while I was grateful for that, I also realized that I was becoming greedier. Seniors also said that. It is said that the state of being able to do a little is the thing that reaches out and says, “I want more.” In particular, I feel that I’m watching and listening to the voice actors around me. I will do my best too. Anyway, I’m a natural sore loser (laughs).
A new serialization will start on KIKI from October. What kind of series do you think it will be? Hayama: I was surprised because I never imagined that I would have a serialized article. When I started the project, I asked about the content of the serialization of other people. It seems that I will wear something there and show it off. Please look forward to what kind of challenges we will face each time!
At “P’s LIVE! Boys Side” to be held on October 17th, the members of the TV anime “Binan Koukou Happy Kiss!” will reunite. Hayama: Ichiro Dogo was the main character I met at the beginning, and he gave me a sense of “work” even though he was still in student mood. I still meet and talk with the members of “Happy Kiss” often, and I’m not at all worried about teamwork, but I do get nervous at the thought of participating in a new event.
At the live performance of “Hypnosis Mic-Division Rap Battle” where you played the role of Harai Kuko, you were praised as a “possessed” type of voice actor. Hayama: Standing on stage as a character was something I had experienced with “Happy Kiss”, but when it comes to work with a rap battle theme, a certain level of skill is required, and I tend to be too conscious of my appearance. I had a strong feeling that it would be no good if I couldn’t sing. At that time, it was such a conflict, I can feel his passion, and I think that I have to create something that surpasses everyone’s image.
There seems to be a lot of demand for comical works like the TV anime “Pokkoriizu.” Hayama: Rather than giving me direction, I feel like I’m giving a presentation that says, “I can make this kind of sound!” Also, the fast-paced interaction between Toshiyuki Morikawa-san and Rika Matsumoto-san is very interesting outside of the acting.
Recently, is it difficult to feel the atmosphere with the co-stars at the post-recording stie? Hayama: It seems. I agree. To be honest, I find it rather boring because I can’t produce a play while doing it. But we are in the business of creating fun, so we have to create it ourselves. I miss the “negotiating,” but at the same time, the “negotiating” wasn’t the only thing I enjoyed. When I recorded a certain drama CD individually, I was the last of the three to appear, but I listened carefully to their voices and sense of theatrical performance before doing it. Imagination is the key. Right now, being able to try various things like that might be the most fun.
This summer, the “Theatrical Version Ultraman Ntaiga New Gene Climax” has been released. Hayama: When the New Generation Heroes gather I was surprised to hear that, but as one of those people, I am truly honoured to be in charge of the voice of Ultraman Fuma. Seeing each and every one of them fight against the “darkness” with their strong feelings, it was a work that touched me even as an adult.
How do you deal with the “darkness” yourself? Hayama: In the past, I used to worry about it all the time, but when I fail, I try to think, “Today is the day I can’t do it.” I’m not optimistic. However, in order to move on to the next step, I have to make a decision. When it drags on, I sometimes say, “Yes, this is it!” By becoming a voice actor, I originally had a complex that I’ve come to like the voice I used to have.
In a situation where things aren’t going the way they used to, what did you think about once again as a member of the entertainment industry, and what kind of voice actor do you want to aim for? Hayama: During the self-restraint period, I was tormented by the feeling that “I have nothing” when I saw seniors delivering entertainment in various ways. But even at that time, the fans wrote letters to the program and myself, which was very reassuring, and at least I thought that I shouldn’t work with the same feeling as before. Fortunately, of course, through the work I have a place where I can express myself in addition to my role. First of all, I would like to take care of that and help everyone live happily.
At the same time, the time has come for you to take on new challenges centred on yourself, such as your first crowned program “Café Chaamata” and a column series on KIKI. Hayama: It’s not like I can do something really new all of a sudden, but drawing pictures, singing songs… I also love BL manga. I hope we can share our feelings. I will do my best to become a voice actor who can be enjoyed for a long time like dried squid!
Column: Little happiness: Fortune-telling
When I looked back at the fortune-telling for the first half of the year, I was right. If things go smoothly in the second half of the year, things will get even better towards the end of the year. I like watching fortune-telling. Well, I only receive good things (laughs).
Toshiki Masuda (Voice Animage Plus January 2018)
Why did you choose nerikiri this time? Masuda: I have always loved Japanese sweets. I also like to travel around the country, so there are many opportunities to come into contact with Japanese sweets as souvenirs. Under such circumstances, I was very interested in kneaded Japanese sweets, which also have an artistic point of view. The teacher made it look very easy, but when I actually tried it, it turned out to be difficult.
Which task was the most difficult? Masuda: Hmmm… It was difficult, but I feel like I was able to do all the tasks surprisingly well (laughs). Even though I thought, “I’m scared if I make a mistake,” the nerikiri stretches surprisingly well. It wasn’t a task that couldn’t be done at all, so I think I enjoyed doing it all.
On the other hand, which work did you enjoy the most? Masuda: It’s a process of continuous improvement, so one mistake can be fatal. But when you roll it into a ball, just roll it around without exerting any force. It’s okay, so I can do it even if I’m dazed. As I rolled up, I felt my stress disappear. If you do it regularly at home, it might be good for relieving stress (laughs).
How did you like the taste of the finished product? Masuda: It’s delicious! It’s original to the shop, and it’s mixed with Japanese yam. Above all, the wonderful thing about nerikiri is that you can enjoy it with all five sense. When it comes to cooking, people tend to focus only on the taste and smell, but I feel that there are discoveries in the process of eating nerikiri. I wonder if that kind of place is also a culture of wagashi and nerikiri.
How would you rate this experience? Masuda: 70 points. According to the teacher, the two types of challenges this time are the easiest for beginners. I think I did a pretty good job with the second one, but even so, when I compared it with the one the teacher made, I thought it was quite different. So humble scores! (laughs).
This issue of News Junction contains a report on the Tokyo International Film Festival last October. Please tell us about your impressions after walking the red carpet. Masuda: It was a good experience, but I was really nervous (bitter smile). It was an advertisement for Sekai-kei Variety Bokugoe, but Director Sumita Takashi-san wasn’t there, so I was alone! I signed autographs, shook hands, and took pictures with them, all of which were fun.
You also challenged the conte with video in “Bokusei.” Please tell us about an episode during filming. Masuda: In a sense, the voice actor creates a “lie” in front of the microphone, but the majority of the images are true facts. For example, if it’s a sitting motion, there’s a chair there, and the reaction is also live. After filming, I went to a yakiniku restaurant with Tasuku Hatanaka-san and Koutarou Nishiyama-san, who appeared in the program, and excitedly talked about things like, “This is what theatre is all about,” and “It’s amazing that there are no lies.” It was the first time for all of us to look at one another in a play, whether it was on video or on stage, so I thought, “This is the kind of expression on my face.” I still have a long way to go.
You had a really good expression! Masuda: To tell the truth, my goal with “Boku Koe” is to have Director Sumita-san call me again. When I was called, I think it was because I was able to leave something behind with “Bokukoe”, and I feel like that’s my ultimate goal.
Finally, what are your goals for 2018? Masuda: It’s something new. This year marks my 10th year as an artist, and I’ve experienced a lot of things, both sweet and sour. In the last three years or so, I think I’ve decided what I want to do and have taken on the challenge. I was able to meet a lot of people and start new things. I chose this word because I want to go further and beyond what I have done up until now and want to challenge myself in all sorts of fun things without putting limits on myself. I think it will also lead to the goal I wrote last year of “consistent nakedness.”
Toshiki Masuda-san’s “Relaxing Relaxation” 9th time Challenge yourself to make Japanese sweets. This time, he made two types of nerikiri: “Koume” and “Matsu no Yuki.” At Koume, he seems to like the process of shaping the dough that wraps the medium bean paste into a round shape. “I want to do this forever!” “When I was a child, I was good at making mud dumplings, and I used to make shiny dumplings.”
While working, Masuda-san is curious about the dumplings sold at the store. We were saying, “Let’s all eat together after the shoot,” but it was lunch time, and seeing customers coming in one after another, he was nervous and said, “They’re going to sell out.” Therefore, the shooting was temporarily suspended, and Masuda-san kept the red bean dumplings, mitarashi dumplings, and ohagi. I was relieved to resume shooting (laughs).
As it was, “Matsu no Yuki” was completed with smooth handling, and the teacher praised it, saying, “I can’t believe it’s your first time!” At the end, Masuda-san finished the photo shoot with a smile while eating the dumplings he had left with the staff.
Ryota Suzuki (Voice Newtype Vol. 82 2021)
Ryota Suzuki speaks in a calm tone that is pleasant to listen to. If you think about it, the appearance of laughing happily with “Hahaha!” A person with a mysterious charm, with a mixture of sex appeal and shyness. It was also connected to his ideal image of an actor.
What kind of year was 2021? Suzuki: The narration for the morning information program “Asa-chan!”, which I was in charge of for half a year from the end of March, is particularly impressive. It was a valuable experience because I think it would be impossible for my age and career to enter the studio and read the manuscript every day from Monday to Friday after 4 o’clock in the morning. In addition, it was a year that I was able to energetically work on animation works and song content.
In “Pirate Princess,” you play the important role of Yukimura, a young man who protects the main character, Fena. Suzuki: I’ve played cool characters like Yukimura, who doesn’t really show his emotions, a few times. That was the part that was decisively different from the past. Yukimura seems to only see Fena from the beginning to the end of the story (laughs), because he is a pure and earnest story. Even though he has strong feelings, he has to act. It was very difficult to get through that part but being able to take on the challenge of a new type of role was a great experience.
The character surrounding Fena and Yukimura is also unique. Suzuki: At first, I didn’t know much about the story, partly because it was an original work and recorded in a format similar to Presco. Even so, everyone used the character setting materials as clues to add ad-libs. Witnessing the playfulness of great seniors such as Hiroaki Hirata-san (role of Otto) and Manabu Muraji (role of Salman), I was surprised and impressed by their high level.
You played Red in your first starring work, “Banished from The Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in The Countryside.” Suzuki: Even though Red is the main character, he’s not the type to grow through the story. If anything, he was a calm, mature character who could see things from a bird’s-eye view, so it was easy for me to work with him. This is because I often feel that my acting lacks freshness.
Is it fresh? Is it the atmosphere that the newcomers can bring out? Suzuki: I can’t do that kind of thing anymore, so I feel like it’s easier to work with a character like Red, whose personality has been completed to some extent from the beginning, rather than a character who’s grown up. This is probably due to the quality of my voice, and since I was a newcomer, I have often been given the opportunity to play supporting roles. Originally, I think it would be ideal to play the main character first and then experience the supporting roles, but the way I stepped up was a little different from the people around me.
Supporting characters have different personalities, so you can train them. Suzuki: I agree. I have always wanted to be an actor like a chameleon, so I’m grateful that I was able to add colour to the work as a supporting character from the beginning. However, when I played the leading role this time, I found many things that I couldn’t see or understand unless I stood at the centre of the work, so it was great to be able to play the lead role at this time.
With that background in mind, what are your current strengths? Suzuki: As for the basics, I take pride in being able to compete with people in the same career and generation. Since I produce a voice, it is easy to control the voice. It goes without saying that the role is to speak with all one’s might, but even the role of squeezing the voice is to be able to speak stably so that what is being said can be conveyed. Also, I tend to watch comedy shows and variety shows on a regular basis, so I steal various tricks from those shows and use them as my weapons.
Isn’t there also a projectile that you cultivated in a supporting role? Suzuki: Maybe so. As long as you have a good understanding of the character and are able to express it well, I think it doesn’t have to be straightforward. You can use projectiles, or you can play with lines. When I look at people like Hirata-san and Muraharu-san in “Umi no Oujou,” and Kenjirou Tsuda-san (who plays Kurokawa), who I worked with in “Sabikui Bisco,” I realized that they are established as characters. I feel the individuality of that person that no one else has. I want that kind of individuality, and I feel like I’ve been searching for it a long time.
The TV program “Sabikui Bisco,” which you just mentioned, will start airing in January, and you will play the main character, Bisco Akaboshi. Suzuki: Although it is based on a light novel, it feels like a shounen manga. I had a strong desire to play Bisco, but… it was a time when I was quite smouldering because my mental health was declining due to the corona virus, and I had a hard time passing the audition. To be honest, I even thought, “If I don’t get accepted by Bisco, I might have to think about whether I should continue in this industry.” Under such circumstances, I received the news that I had passed the exam, so it became a work that I have a strong attachment to.
By meeting the role of Bisco, you were able to take another step forward. Suzuki: I really think so. Also, after playing Bisco, I feel that the characters look a little different. Bisco is an impulsive character. I have a base of 3 years as an active member of the Broadcasting Committee, so when I see the lines written in the script, I want to convey them as written information before my emotions. But in Bisco there are a lot of lines that can’t be done with that kind of technology, and you have to act impulsively, so I feel like I’ve become able to capture the lines emotionally.
After 20 years of various thoughts, what kind of year do you want to have next? Suzuki: I have no choice but to do my best without changing my job (laughs), but I would like to enrich my private life a little more. I want to enrich my humanity by touching various things, not just staying at home and giving input.
What kind of input do you have in your family? Suzuki: I see more and more live-action movies because recent anime works require more natural acting. I especially like Yuki Yamada’s plays. It’s not the “projectile weapon” I mentioned earlier, but he has a unique personality. His voice is also distinctive and attractive, and the way he gets into the role is amazing and persuasive. He is an actor that I would like to refer to.
Column: Happy Holidays
When I go back to my parents’ house on New Year’s Day, it is a customary event for my relatives to get together and eat sukiyaki. In addition, my grandfather peeled crabs, and my grandmother and aunt cooked delicious New Year dishes. I’m really looking forward to New Year’s because the food is extravagant (laughs).
Tatsumaru Tachibana (Voice Newtype Vol. 77 2020)
It seems that the joy of expression is overflowing from the whole body. “I’ve only ever done acting, so I can only do acting,” he confesses. Tatsumaru Tachibana, who appeared for the first time in this magazine, talked about his joy at the scene and his thoughts on the play.
Although it will be first appearance in this magazine, how did you like it? Tachibana: I haven’t had many opportunities to film in my bare state without a role, so I was happy when I received the offer. I’m also feeling happy that I’m starting to make a living out of being a voice actor!
Your family is a theatre family, where your father started a theatre company. Tachibana: I was travelling with my family. When I was in fourth grade, my father suddenly quit his job and started a popular theatre company. After that, I would come home until the third period of elementary school classes and perform on stage. In the first place, I am very shy, and I cried because I couldn’t even command the classroom to say, “Discipline, courtesy!” I was a chaotic child. However, after performing on stage repeatedly, I came to think that the stage was fun, and although I didn’t learn from anyone, I started doing choreography for dance shows, scripts for plays, and directing.
I heard that you first became aware of being a voice actor when you were in elementary school. Tachibana: In the video for “Ranma ½” that I saw when I was in my lower grades, there was an interview video with the voice actor after the main story. I was shocked to see behind the scenes of the character, but I was also surprised that there was such a job. I started to realize that, and I started to think that if I were a shy voice actor, I might be able to do it, and I wanted to!
And then you started working as a voice actor in earnest. Tachibana: I played various small roles in each episode of the TV anime “Shin Chuka Ichiba!” “Kabukicho Sherlock” was fun, but at first, I was really nervous. Actually, I couldn’t participate in the dubbing of the first episode because it overlapped with the actual stage performance. I thought it would be a terrible situation for a rookie to skip the first episode, so when I was recording the second episode, I started from the point where I said, “I’m sorry for last week!”
It’s a story that seems to be linked to Torataro (laughs). Did you have a hard time creating the role? Tachibana: Yukio Nagasaki-san, the sound director, said that Toratarou’s role was interesting, and I was able to play it freely in the main part. I was even told, “Torataro looks older, but he’s 20, so just be careful about your age.” I think that the direction I was thinking of making it interesting suited Torataro. I like funny roles, so even now, I try to include playfulness from the stage of the audition tape.
“The God of High School” (hereafter referred to as GOH), you voice the main character, Jin Mori. Tachibana: I was scared and anxious when the role was decided, partly because it was the lead role. I was just doing a radio program for Kabukicho Sherlock with Junichi Suwabe-san, so I asked him for advice. Then he gave me the advice, “Don’t worry about being the lead, just enjoy yourself.” Suwabe-san’s personality is such that he taught me how to behave!
Jin Mori is a powerful character. Would you like to try acting? Tachibana: Mori is a character I love, who is joking but reckless, stupid but affectionate, but also thoughtful. I perform while taking on various challenges. There are many seniors in the field that I can rely on, and it is reassuring that the president of the office, Daisuke Namikawa-san, has always been a regular participant. Tomokazu Seki-san relieved me of my nerves, talked about the stage, and Yuki Kaida-san taught me about variations in action performances.
You said that you didn’t learn anything about acting from anyone, but that’s why you’re so blessed now. Tachibana: I agree. You can learn a lot just by being in the same field as seniors. When I don’t have a turn to play, I try to imitate the phrasing of my seniors by lip-syncing them, and I carefully check the intonation. Rather than having someone teach me, I can learn a lot just by watching the performances of my seniors. If you think about it, that way, both GOH and Kabukicho Sherlock cherish the fun that was created on set. Things like how you can expand the written lines with your acting! Moreover, if you have good ideas for ad-libs, please incorporate them more and more. I’m very blessed.
I would like to ask you about your private life, but how have you been spending your self-restraint period? Tachibana: Thinking that now is the time to watch “One Piece” and “Fairy Tail” from the beginning, and overseas drama series such as “Game of Thrones” on distribution services. I didn’t go out at all. It’s getting hotter now, so I only have one mask, but I don’t want to bother the people around me as much as possible, so I’ll wear two layers until summer and absolutely won’t leak droplets (laughs). Now is the time to endure, so let’s do our best while doing what we can! I don’t think there is a tunnel that you can’t get out of unless you stop walking. Besides, no matter what happens to the world, I don’t think I can quit being an actor. Let’s face forward positively. I still think that way.
For example, what kind of actor do you want to be 10 years from now? Tachibana: I am now following in the footsteps of my predecessors and working hard, so 10 or 20 years from now, I want to be a person who is both admired and pursued.
Finally, please give a message to our readers. Tachibana: Thank you for reading! I had a lot of fun during the interview. I hope you can feel the atmosphere. And I think there are still a lot of people who are new to me, but I would be happy if you could remember their names and faces. Thank you!
Column: Little happiness: Work
I really like acting and am in this industry, so I would be happy if I got a small job. Moreover, now that I know that all these things are connected by various connections, I feel blessed.
Yukihiro Nozuyama (Voice Newtype Vol. 74 2019)
The only thing I can do with a short career is hone my rap skills. The important thing in communication is to like the other person. Yukihiro Nozuyama says that he wants to steadily move forward while accepting the “now.” Curiosity is packed in the body.
This is the first appearance alone since No. 069 of this magazine. This time, how was the shooting outside? Nozuyama: I was 20 years old when I was interviewed by Ryuichi Kijima-san for the last “Hypnosis Mic Division Rap Battle” feature, so two years have already passed. I haven’t taken pictures outside since the photo book “Meccha no zuyanen” was released in April of this year, but being in a park made me feel fresh, like I remembered my childhood.
What kind of year was it? Nozuyama: It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the middle of a long time. Time passes differently after becoming an adult.
Why do you feel that way? Nozuyama: I think it’s because there are so many new stimuli in the work of a voice actor. In my case, I’ve been given the chance to try new things like rapping, and since I record TV anime once a week, it’s always fresh and tense rather than getting used to it. For example, today’s interview is only one time today, isn’t it? It’s a series of things that are only for one day, so I think it’s going to pass in no time.
This year was impressive. What happened? Nozuyama: After all, the number one thing is participating in the M-1 Grand Prix Preliminaries (laughs). I was eliminated in the second round, but I did not expect such a reaction. By the time this issue goes on sale, the M-1 champion will be decided, I wonder what’s going on…? Before I entered the contest, I thought that comedy and voice acting were completely different, but there’s no difference in terms of fluency, valuing tempo, and being an expressive artist.
Was it challenging as a comedian? Nozuyama: In high school and at vocational school, I love comedy so much that I do it, and the duo with Sho Hayami-san was unveiled for the first time at the office’s 5th anniversary recital. So, from my point of view, it was as if the comedy activities that we showed at the recital became M-1 this year. Even so, I was happy that our fans and people who came to see our comedy were able to see it. I had a great experience.
You can look forward to the comedy duo “Rush Style” in the future. Nozuyama: It’s a duo that I put a lot of effort into, and I really wanted to make it to the third round even in the M-1 qualifiers. So, if I have another chance, I would like to try again. Even if it’s not so, as a combination, I want to do it again.
“Hypnosis Mic” also developed significantly this year. Nozuyama: That’s an incredible leap. Come to think of it, my year may have started to feel early after “Hypnosis Mic” became popular. Recording, rapping, standing in front of people, the presence of all the fans, all of them were the first experiences that “Hypnosis Mic” gave me.
Nozuyama-san’s rap skills would surprise anyone if they heard about it. Nozuyama: In “Hypnosis Mic”, I was the only one with a short career as a voice actor, but with the exception of Subaru Kimura-san, I thought that everyone else would be on the same starting line. I thought I’d aim for No.1 here, and as I practised SKY-HI’s high-speed raps, I became able to do most of the raps!
As well as rapping, the work of a voice actor is wide-ranging. Where do you find your enjoyment? Nozuyama: It’s a place where you can know the world you don’t know. As for rap, it all started when I participated in the audition for “Hypnosis Mic,” and now I love it so much that I listen to it every day. If it’s a work that has an original, I read the original and know that there is such an interesting work! The continuation of that kind of thing is what I find most appealing right now.
On the other hand, what do you find difficult? Nozuyama: Rather than saying it is difficult, in the sense that it is a challenge, it is about brushing yourself up. Play, of course, body building and food, I have to take care of my life too. In order to deliver my voice to everyone who supports me, I will not forget to be conscious of my health, and I would like to tackle the issues in front of me one by one.
The topic of “Rush Style” came up earlier, but is Hayami-san your father in Tokyo? Nozuyama: Well, he is like father figure in Tokyo. He talks openly to newcomers like me, and Hayami-san likes everyone in the office and thinks they’re cute. However, I feel that my relationship with him stands out in particular (laughs). Even on holidays, he takes me out for drives, and we are often together. Kent Itou-san, although he is a senior, is the person I would like to ask to casually hang out with. Even if I send him a karaoke invite on LINE late at night, he will reply right away (laughs). He is kind, elegant, and cool.
I heard that collecting hourglasses is your hobby. Nozuyama: I like that I can see the hourglass time. I can cherish my time. It’s not even in the pattern (laughs). It’s fashionable as an interior decoration, and I’m healed by collecting various kinds. It’s efficient because you only have to watch it for about three minutes (laughs). Also, recently, after taking a bath, I even went to the vending machine in my neighbourhood. Taking a walk and going home drinking Coco-Cola Zero is a nice change of pace. In the future, if I can take a well-deserved break, I would like to invite my friends over for a barbeque, or spend the night at a hot spring.
What kind of year do you want next year to be? Nozuyama: In 2020, on January 18th and 19th, it has been decided that I will appear in the recitation drama “Shinjuku Rumble Fish” planned and directed by Hayami-san. After that, I hope to send out various things to everyone and make it a year full of surprises, but after all, my goal is to be able to deliver my voice to everyone as the main character of a TV anime.
Finally, please give a message to your fans. Nozuyama: Thanks to you, I was able to reach the age of 23. I would like to continue to challenge various things with a positive attitude and greediness, so please continue to support me. And have a wonderful Christmas!
Column: My Christmas!
I want to go to Santa Claus Village in Finland and meet Santa Claus. Also, December 24th is my birthday, so it would be ideal for all the fans to congratulate me. I hope it’s snowing. I don’t have any problems with transportation (laughs).
Jun Fukuyama (Voice Animage Plus January 2018)
How did the planning for Jun Fukuyama Hitori no Bocchi Show begin? Fukuyama: It was decided from the beginning that we would do a live performance after releasing the single “Keep Going On!” and the album “OWL”. However, the skits recorded in “OWL” were intended to be enjoyed with just the voice, and were not designed to be performed on stage. On the other hand, if we were to think about whether we could do a live performance with only singing, it would be difficult because there were only a few songs. I came up with the idea if we put together a set of snacks, talk, and sing in the style of snack karaoke, we might be able to do a live performance.
That’s how the setting for the talk part “Snack Jun” was born. Fukuyama: It turned out to be a good set. What I wanted was a feeling of being out of town, or something like a handmade feeling. This might be a bit of a misnomer, but I wanted the set to look rough and not look like it cost a lot of money. The liver performance should include dance and be well-prepared. On the other hand, I wanted to make the skit part look like a farce.
Oopartz-san and Takahiro Sakurai-san appeared as guests in the talk, and I thought it was true that both groups were following the flow of creation by Fukuyama-san. Fukuyama: Oopartz-san, while valuing his presence as an artist, has been very close to me. The personalities of Ryuichi-san and JUVENILE-san helped me.
The two of you have a sharp image, but the talk was quite frank, and I felt a sense of familiarity. Fukuyama: I think he had the firm confidence that his artist image would not crumble even if he did that. It was cool to see the seamless transition from the casual talk to the edgy live performance.
Fukuyama-san joined the Oopartz-san’s live as an MC. Fukuyama: “Winning for billions featuring Jun Fukuyama” is a song that I originally participated in as MC, but I never imagined that it would be performed live. But when I tried it, I wondered if the method of participating in that kind of music would suit me. I would love to participate on Oopartz-san’s stage someday.
I think Takahiro Sakurai-san, who appeared next, is in perfect harmony. Fukuyama: Sakurai-san has cooperated with this project since “Tabenro Junjun Man” included in “Keep Going On!” I think I was able to show you.
How was the corner with Sakurai-san? Fukuyama: There was no pre-rehearsal with Sakurai-san, just a meeting on the day. I think that Sakurai-san’s skill greatly contributed to the fact that he was able to change things in any way as long as the flow had been decided to some extent, even if he hadn’t decided precisely. I prepared a lot of themes, but it was wonderful that I was able to create a 20-odd minute section without running out of them.
Fukuyama-san also talked about when you asked Sakurai-san to participate in this project. Fukuyama: It’s a story at an event venue for a certain work. Before the event, I quietly entered the dressing room and handed over the proposal, saying “Please take this without saying anything” (laughs). This passage is also very interesting, so I would like fans to watch it on Blu-Ray and DVD. As for singing and dancing, we sang “Bocchi Show no Theme” at the opening of the event, followed by a live performance after the talk.
A total of 6 songs were performed on the stage. Fukuyama: The rehearsals were really tough, but the actual performance was just fun. First of all, “Bocchi Show no Theme” is a song that expresses the entire event, and it was a completely new song that the audience had never heard before. I was confident that everything would work out.
I think you have captured the hearts and minds of the customers perfectly. How was the climax live? Fukuyama: The first song, “Go Ahead,” was a difficult song. When I sang the opening song, “Echoes,” I said, “Oh, it went well.” When I watch the video again, I can see that my expression during “Go Ahead” was soft. I really enjoyed it from there.
I think that “Hitori no Bocchi Show” ended with great success. Why don’t you try looking back on the artist activities of the past year? Fukuyama: I’m really glad that I was given the opportunity to work on this project. I had nothing but pluses. It was physically demanding and frustrating when things didn’t go well, but it was fun to be able to do things that I hadn’t been able to do before. I was able to come this far because of the support of many people. When I was at a standstill, I think it was only because of the professionals in the fields of singing, dancing, and stage that they accurately pointed out the points I was struggling with and presented me with solutions.
At the end of last year, you said that your goal for 2017 was to never die. With that goal in mind, what are your goals for 2018? Fukuyama: I was able to achieve the goal of not dying, but miraculously I survived unscathed, but I had an accident and it was really dangerous (laughs). After overcoming the first year, the next goal is “destruction and regeneration.” Now that I’m celebrating my 20th anniversary as a voice actor, I decided to break down the way I work and rebuild it. If you do it for a long time, you will inevitably find some parts that you get used to and some parts that you become addicted to. I would like to get rid of that and tackle any job with the feeling of starting anew.
Takeo Ootsuka, Masaya Miyazaki, Yuri Ise (Voice Newtype Vol. 82 2021)
大塚剛央, 宮﨑 雅也, 伊瀬結陸
A new unit is born 315 Production, all of whom are former student council presidents! What lies ahead…
At the “Idolmaster SideM Special Live Streaming 2021” held in November, you showed off your performance as soon as the program started, showing the spirit of C. First. Ise: Actually, it was the consideration of the staff who thought that it would be better to finish the performance first so that we could talk more calmly. In no time until the performance, the three of us made eye contact and nodded at each other, but it was reassuring to see the seniors pushing me in the waiting room. Ootsuka: We were all hot from the rehearsal. I’m in too much of a mood, I was careful not to forget the calm part of the unit’s catchphrase, “quietly hot.” Miyazaki: I was more burned out than I thought at the beginning, and it seems that I was making a listless face when I wasn’t on camera. I have no regrets because I did everything I could, but I am a little remorseful.
What are your thoughts on the audition? Ise: At the audition, even the first judging tape recording was stressful, for better or worse. It may fade with experience, but I don’t want to forget the feeling I had at that time. Miyazaki: “If I had to use it,” it was close to the stage name I was thinking of, so I felt destined for the name “Momo Hanazono”. It was raining the day we taped and the day of the studio audition, so I came to love rain. Ootsuka: I remember being asked if I could perform as well as my seniors. It was an audition that made me feel the love of the staff because it is a work that has been loved for a long time.
Please tell us what you value in playing an idol and what you have in common with your character. Ise: Amamine is a freshman in high school and has the ability and trust to serve as the student council president. Studying and exercising are taken for granted. But there is also the charm that you can catch a glimpse of the cuteness of a 16-year-old. I’m barely in my teenage years like him, so I want to spend this year especially well. Miyazaki: Ise-yu is the best among us. He’s young, but he often talks to me cheekily with the stance of “I can do it, but Miya-tan can do it too, right?” which makes me fall into the illusion that I’m talking to Amamine-kun (laughs). Ootsuka: I think I understand (laughs). Miyazaki: When I was asked about it at the audition, I thought it would be a negative evaluation for a voice actor, so I couldn’t say it. I don’t have much confidence in myself, and I have a habit of taking notes of what I was told and thought, and I was surprised to find that he had the same thing.
Ootsuka: Not only in preparation for the interview, but also in the recording process, the first step is to write down the lyrics by hand in a dedicated notebook. I also make a note of the directions. Ise: It was a shock when I was shown the notebook. Their performances are amazing, and not only their dancing their facial expressions are bright and captivating. Ootsuka: Eishin Mayumi’s parents are both famous actors and are thoroughbreds. If I had to say it, he’s not the type to hang out with a lot of people, so he doesn’t get involved with people more than necessary. His appeal lies in the fact that he casually extends his hand to people who are in need of help. It’s difficult because if he lets his guard down, he’ll end up being too gentle, but I want to cherish the strength of his heart when I play him. Ise: Rather than intervene deeply in the problem, the three of us will be in charge of the feeling that they will watch over us from a distance. I also feel Take-shin in the radio “315 Pro Night!” Also, both as an actor and as a character, he is my senior, so there is no doubt that I’m really relying on him. But…just like Senshin-senpai, it’s missing and there’s a tsukkomi. Mizayaki: I understand! Hundreds of people are Mayumi, because I have the same feeling that I have with Ise-kun, “Why is this person interesting, I want to get along with him.” I think there is a sense of security and a gap that overlaps in areas that are hard to see.
What kind of unit songs do you have? Were you able to put C.First-ness into it? Ootsuka: “We’re the one” has a heavy impression with the lyrics, especially since it feels like you have a hard heart, so I’d like it to be cool while being conscious of performing brightly as an idol. I sang the English lines in such a way that the sound cool, with the thought of “Follow me, let’s go.” Miyazaki: How does Dodo-kun feel when he sings “Leave it to me” I was very worried. I’m sure that the nuances will change each time because he’s a child with a wide range of emotions, but I also have expectations, anxiety, and fear. He sang to Pii-chan while holding everything in his arms. Ise: While that song still has a sense of hesitation, “Not Alone” should aim more clearly. I got the impression that I could see the light. I think it’s a very bright word, like “The future is waiting for you.” Ootsuka: As I sang it, I felt my emotions build up. Miyazaki: Nature and feelings are linked, aren’t they? The part where the three of us sang, “Don’t be afraid of complicated dreams,” became a solo by Amamine-kun at the end, telling himself, “Don’t be afraid of any darkness.” I thought it was wonderful where I was.
Lastly, please tell us about your enthusiasm for the Tokyo performance to meet the producers. Miyazaki: It makes me happy to think that I’ve become a member of 315 Production when I sing all the songs. “Drive A Live” was my first recording, so it was the beginning of my life as a voice actor. After experiencing various stages from now on, I’m sure I’m looking forward to the 6th Live Tour first, thinking that my feelings will grow deeper. Ootsuka: “Next Stage!” is a song that give me the power to look forward as a performer, so I sang with the feeling that the seniors and C. First were by my side from the time of recording. “I’ve been waiting for this moment!” I can’t wait for the moment when I can say that. Ise: There was quite a bit of time before I met with the two of them after it was decided, so I didn’t know what the unit was like, and to be honest, I thought, “I should only be watching Amamine Shun.” But now, it’s really fun to see the three of us on the radio or for interviews every day. As an idol group, the three of us are working hard so that we can properly show C. First on stage to the producers. I will come, so please look forward to it!
Column: Happy Holidays
- Takeo Ootsuka
Whether it’s Christmas or New Year’s, if it’s my day off, I want to stay indoors and play games all day long.
- Masaya Mizayaki
I once rented a kitchen and had a party with about 10 men. Everything from shopping to cooking to cleaning up is fun with my friends.
- Yuri Ise
At the end of the year, I go to my grandparents’ house. However, I couldn’t go there for the first time last year due to the corona misfortune. I miss the kotatsu, so I miss that “warmth.”
Yuya Hozumi (Voice Newtype Vol. 81 2021)
Every time you release the shutter, the expression will change over and over. A body full of energy stretches up towards the sky. Yes, Yuya Hozumi is always looking forward. I want to get a little closer to that back. I’m sure you’ll be fine.
It’s been about a year since the last appearance. What kind of year was it when you look back? Hozumi: It was positive. We are still in the situation of corona misfortune, but once it starts, it will end someday. I think there is no point in worrying too much, so I’m always positive. Instead of lamenting that I can’t do anything, I try to think of something pleasant, saying, “I can do that, I can do this too.”
Where does Hozumi-san’s positive way of thinking come from? Hozumi: If you’re looking for something fun, you’ve naturally come to think of it that way. People will die one day, so it’s better to have fun, and it’s a way of thinking that you don’t have to go through hard times. Well, I think it’s okay if that spiciness leads to something. However, I clearly believe that there is no need to force yourself to do something fruitless.
This year, you played the main character for the first time in the TV anime “Redo of Healer.” Hozumi: My first leading role was an edgy role, and I learned a lot from it. I’ve had the chance to play the main character in an anime before, but this is the first time I’ve played a role that speaks so much. It was a really good experience. Keyaru/ Keyaruga, who I played, is a character with a slightly different range of emotions. Here I have this feeling, but here I have a different feeling. After all, it was my first time playing the lead role, so it seemed like I put a lot of effort into it. But I was happy to be able to proceed based on what I had brought with me.
It’s your first time starring, so it’s hard not to get nervous. Hozumi: No matter where you turn the script, you can find your own lines, so it’s really exciting. I keyed Keyaruga can speak quit well, so I was exhausted after each post-recording session. I don’t have much of a daily part, but rather than that I’m always laughing loudly, or my teeth are really strong. Burning with revenge, I unconsciously gritted my teeth.
“Identity V manor radio” will reach the final round. Hozumi: Since it’s a game-themed program, we try not to deviate from the work, but have fun talking about various things. I really enjoy working in radio. I’m doing this “Shoen Radio” and SparQlew’s “Our Music Park”, but I want to do more programs. I’ve never done a live broadcast program, so I want to try it, and I have a lot of stories to talk about (laughs). I would like to continue working in radio.
SparQlew’s 15th mini-album “Daybreak” has been released. Hozumi: The lead song “Dance in the Twilight” is a song that completely changes the image of SparQlew so far. Playing with SparQlew so far, there were many songs with a lot of pop. Or maybe you feel like an idol. There were cool and cute songs within the framework of SparQlew, but the previous work “Helvetica” was a song I made with the intention of creating something different from the image I had before. This time, “Dance in the Twiligth” is a song that was created with the desire to change it further. From this time, we also participated in the song selection competition. There were a lot of songs that we could imagine singing, but we decided to change them, so we ended up with this song. Mature and fashionable, overly determined but not overstretched. I think it’s a song with just the right lines. Right now, it’s like, “We’re going on this route, but what do you think? Look at everyone!”
Your solo songs are also included. Hozumi: My solo song “ALARM” is a stylish song with a lot of pops (laughs). What I aimed for was the current J-POP. It’s a crisp electronic sound, but it’s not just pop, it’s a bit rounded, and it has a jazzy and fashionable sounds, and I wanted a sound that sticks to my ears. Please listen to what you have suggested and ask for some further revisions. I wanted to cherish sound, but I think that the person who can create lyrics that you can get hooked on is the person who made the song. So, I asked the composer Kana Yabuki-san to write the lyrics. I dared to ask them to write the lyrics in such a way that the meaning would be hard to understand, and I asked them to put a lot of words into the few sounds. It’s like now, isn’t it? As a result, we ended up with a song that was more than just singing. I think you will be surprised (smile).
You’ve really put a lot of effort into it. Hozumi: I was even allowed to participate in the truck down. We fine-tuned the effects and the reverberation of the sound. While listening to various sounds by changing headphones and speakers many times. As the title “ALARM” suggest, you can listen to it in the morning instead of an alarm, or you can listen to it when you go to work. I wanted to sing a song that could apply to any kind of everyday life. When it’s bright and when it’s dark. Because I wanted to be close to you.
Hozumi-san, who is familiar with beauty, tell us about the beauty method you are addicted to recently. Hozumi: The face is made smaller by correcting the skull. I’ve been going to Sakusuru for 3 or 4 years now, but recently I’ve also started going for facial distortion correction. Humans have a habit of chewing, and their faces become asymmetrical. By loosening the four muscles of facial expression, return them to their original positions and make a mouthpiece in that state. By wearing it several times a day, you can let your body remember it. It’s a treatment.
Do you feel the change? Hozumi: I think things are getting better somehow. If the face is distorted, the facial expressions on the left and right will look different, and even if you take a nice photo like today, you will end up with only NG cuts. This is an adjustment to make the face look OK no matter where it is taken. I like cosmetics, but I also like beauty, including this kind of treatment.
The days will continue when you can’t meet the fans who support you in person. Is there anything you would like to convey through this forum? Hozumi: I would be happy if you started thinking about ways to make your days more enjoyable, and I hope I can help you with that as well. Let’s find fun things together. I will do my best to spread fun too. I believe that the world is full of love. I’ll give you love as much as you have given me, I will give you double the love.
Column: Recommended movies for long autumn nights: Spirited Away
When asked what my favourite movie is, I say Studio Ghibli’s “Spirited Away.” There’s a bit of a mysterious atmosphere on days with long nights, so I feel like I’ll be drawn into it even more when I see stories from other worlds like this.
Kentarou Kumagai (Voice Newtype Vol. 77 2020)
Happy, depressed, but he’s still going to do it. For Kentarou Kumagai, the job of being a voice actor seems like a fateful relationship. Seriously, what is he thinking about now? the more I listen to it, the more interesting it becomes.
How did you spend your time during the stay-at home period? Kumagai: I spent a lot more time at home, so I read manga and books for the first time in a while. It was before the recording of “Ikebukuro West Gate Park,” so I reread the original work and read the long series. If you think about it, don’t dare to think about anything, try to make time. Try not to think too much while touching stories and entertainment. Even so, as time passed, the stress of not being able to act grew, I was spending my time thinking that I want to go out to the set and act as soon as possible.
Did you have any new beginning during this time? Kumagai: I bought an ab roller. I like exercising, but it became difficult for me to play sports. But I felt that my physical strength was declining, so I used the abdominal muscle roller to do sit-ups, and then resumed squats. I still continue to exercise at home.
Winter starts in October. You will play Omi Fushimi, it will be the story of the Autumn Troupe of which you’re a member of. Kumagai: Animated three years after is started as an app game. What I felt when I played Omi again in the anime was that his kindness was a casual kindness. I don’t try to force it on you. People around me call me “Oka-san”, and I’m conscious of being considerate and kind, but if I go too far, I will no longer be a retainer. During the recording of the anime, I became aware of the exquisite sense of distance that Omi does unconsciously so as not to make the other person feel uncomfortable.
I’m looking forward to the hard-boiled atmosphere unique to the Autumn Troupe. Kumagai: For those of you who have been working with game apps since the early days, I think you will be able to hold your love. When I read the anime scenario again, I was also warmed by the distance between the members. (At first, Banri Settsu was a character that didn’t get hot, like, “I can’t afford to do this.” You know, don’t you?
In the anime “Ikebukuro West Gate Park” starting in October, you will play the main character Makoto. How did you feel when the decision was made? Kumagai: After the audition, I was very happy when I was contacted that I had been selected for the role of Makoto. When I got the news on the phone, I even said to myself, “Okay!” The original novel is really loved by many people and it is a wonderful work that is still in progress. The popular drama version still has many fans. Since it is such a work, there is a lot of pressure.
What kind of character is Makoto? Kumagai: He is kind and will not refuse if asked. He usually works at his parents’ Majima fruit and vegetable store, and someone shows up with a problem. Surrounding him are many outstanding figures such as Takashi, the king of the G Boys, and Kyoichi of the Red Angels. Compared to that, I think Makoto is a normal person, but I think he is also not normal. What I personally think is amazing that he never gives up. He never stops thinking. Whenever he faces a problem, he is always thinking of a solution. He has excellent communication skills and is very personable. Of course, there are some bad points, but even that is lovely. It’s not cool or perfect. It is very difficult to act.
It sounds like you’re thinking a lot while acting. Kumagai: If you don’t think about it anyway, you can’t do anything. Not all emotions are written in the script. There were many moments when I thought too much and got stuck and couldn’t get out of it. On the other hand, not thinking about it is also wrong. There are places where you do it by intuition, and places where you think about it. I would like to be able to control it more subconsciously. Thankfully, it is a worksite with many challenges every time.
It’s a work that can get good assignments. Kumagai: That’s right. Every time I go, there are walls and problems arise. I’m very grateful to be able to feel that while talking as the main character. I think it’s a feeling that can only be experienced now.
In addition, you have continued to appear in popular works such as “The God of High School,” and “Fugou Keiji: Balance Unlimited”, and “Get Up! Get Live!” Kumagai: In “Get Up! Get Live”, I play a young man who aspires to become a comedian. The more you do it, the more you want it. So far, I’ve actually done a live skit without a scipt, and I’ve also been able to do a radio program with Youhei Azakami-san, who plays Ren Kitami, my partner. We started bumping into each other. Even when we’re matching ideas, I’ve come to be able to say that I want to do this, and that this part should be done this way. So, there are moments when the air gets tangy. But I don’t feel any discomfort. That’s how I finished my training, and when I say goodbye, I feel refreshed.
It seems like a really funny combination. Kumagai: It’s a relationship. It’s just like you said. Even so, when I look at the works that have been broadcast recently, I think that the types f roles are wonderfully different (laughs). Han Daewi of “God of High School” isn’t the type to show strong emotions, but he’s actually passionate and care about his friends, and the reason he fights in the first place is because of his best friend. On the other hand, Shinnosuke Kamei, “Fugou Keiji: Balance Unlimited”, is a detective who does not have much enthusiasm for his work. When I interacted with Kato (Haru) played by Mamoru Miyano-san, I was even given the direction, “With a feeling of no respect.” A frivolous man who treats even seniors roughly, I think it’s really a blessing to be able to work with such diverse characters. I believe that all these things are due to relationships with other people.
What are your thoughts on theatre now? Kumagai: Everyone says, “There is no right answer in acting,” and I don’t think it’s possible to simply talk about good or bad. But I want to get better. There are times when I think, “Am I trying to do well like that?” I still don’t have an answer for that. If you have the technology, you can expand the range of things you can do, but I think it would be wrong to rely on technology alone. I don’t feel that my skills have improved, but I have to be better than when I debuted. However, I sometimes think that I was acting better in my first year.
Sounds like a Zen question. Kumagai: I’ve said similar in an interview before, but at that time my worries weren’t clear. I’m a negative person, but since that time I’ve been blessed with more connections, and I’ve been able to entrust my voice to various works. Every time I touch on a part of the character’s life, I’m troubled by this and that. People around me sometimes gave me advice, saying, “What I’m worrying about right now is what I need to do in order to take the next step. The road may suddenly open up, so it’s okay to keep worrying about it now.” In the past, worrying itself made me uneasy, but now I strangely don’t feel scared of worrying. Be positive and be negative, I’ve become that kind of person (laughs).
Column: Little happiness
I really like leather products such as the gloves and leather shoes used in grass baseball. I feel happy when I’m innocently polishing leather. I also enjoy the time spent cleaning things I love, and the sense of accomplishments I get when I finish polishing them is irresistible.
Takeo Ootsuka (Voice Newtype Vol. 74 2019)
A sincere look that shines in a quiet smile. The facial expression Takeo Ootsuka shows during filming reflects his attitude towards acting. What made him decide to become a voice actor?
What kind of boy was Ootsuka-san? Ootsuka: When I was in elementary school, after school, all my friends would gather at a nearby park to play. At a friend’s grandma’s house, 3 or 4 people get together and play games. It’s normal, isn’t it? When I was alone at home, I often read books. “Harry Potter” and “Darren Shan series.”
Did you have any favourite anime back then? Ootsuka: I think I started watching anime properly when I was in high school. I remember crying a lot when I saw “CLANNAD” recommended by a kid in the same soccer club. It was around the time when the game began to have voice actors. I never thought would become one.
So, what made you think about becoming a voice actor as a profession? Ootsuka: It was around the time I started job hunting in college. When I thought about whether I would be able to get a job at a regular company like this, I couldn’t think of a specific image in my mind. At that time, for some reason, the path of becoming a voice actor suddenly popped up in my mind, and I thought it might be good to have such a future.
You didn’t have any acting experience before? Ootsuka: That’s right. It’s strange even for me, but I think it’s because it’s something I’ve never done before that I decided to take on the challenge. After that, do some research on the training school make various preparations, and tell your parents. At first, there was a lot of opposition. But I had a strong feeling that I didn’t want to regret not doing it, so I started running even though I knew the risks.
When you first started working, what kind of memories do you have? Ootsuka: The first job I received was the dubbing of Gai for the 2016 movie version of “GANTZ:O.” I was at the stage where I belonged to an agency while going to a training school, so I didn’t really know how to behave in front of the microphone yet. All I remember is that I was so nervous that I hit my head against the monitor (laughs). The first work in TV animation was “Amanchu!” Toshiki Iwasawa-san and Tadachi Date-san, who were my seniors at the agency, also appeared in the film, so I have memories of being taught how to turn the pages of the script. I studied a lot before coming in, but when I actually entered the site, I didn’t even know where to sit.
Not long after that, in 2018, you starred in two films in a row. Ootsuka: “Shiki Oriyo” is an omnibus movie, and I played the role of Remo in “Shanghai Love.” It’s directed by Haorin-san, and it’s very stimulating because it’s a play that touches on a different culture from Japan. It was rewarding because I was able to play Rimo’s boyhood and adolescent years. In boyhood, the faint feelings of puberty and the feeling that you can’t be honest with girls. During his adolescence, I drew a little troublesome emotional turmoil that could not be resolved even with the passage of time. Capturing the roots of Rimo’s heart that appear moment by moment.
In “Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru” you ran through 2 cours in the middle of an impressive cast. Ootsuka: The theme of the story was a hot and wonderful Ekiden, and while I was drawn to that energy, I was unsatisfied with the chairmanship. The characters are runners, so while cherishing their breathing, put their feelings into it. They acted with such realism that I had the illusion that the characters actually existed. Toshiyuki Toyonaga-san and everyone else who co-starred with me gave me impressions that I had never thought of, and I learned a lot. Being able to complete 2 cours has given me a lot of confidence. The post-recording scene was like a college boy’s glue during the work and it was really fun.
Your latest work is “Our Seven Days War” which is currently airing in theaters. Ootsuka: The original is a work that has been loved by many people for many years. When it was decided that I would be appearing in the film, the reaction from the people around me was overwhelming, and I was reminded of the greatness of the original work. This work is a new “Pokura’s Seven Days War,” which is set about 30 years after the original work. Hiroto Honjo, who I play, is a grown-up boy who keeps his distance from his classmates. That said, there are course high school-like qualities and boy-like qualities of this age. That’s why, it’s not like he’s really grown-up, he’s a stubborn child who thinks that this is what it means to be an adult.
How was the recording? Ootsuka: Everyone was able to record the high school characters, so I think we were able to create a unique atmosphere. At the scene, I was overwhelmed by the performances of actors Takumi Kitamura-san and Kyoko Yoshine-san. Both of them have their own atmosphere, and that fits perfectly into their characters. The feeling of getting caught up in that atmosphere. Maybe the way you read the script is also different. We write down various technical things, but it seemed that the two of them were almost memorizing the script, just like a live-action film.
What kind of charm do you think the film has become? Ootsuka: The theme between the series “The battle between adults and children,” is attractively depicted in this work as well. First of all, enjoy the story. I would be very happy if you could give it a try and watch how Hiroto grows. I think it’s a work that will have a deep impact on both teenagers of the same age as Hiroto and others, people of my age who have just left that era, and even more mature people. I would love to see it in theatres.
Finally, please tell me about your future goal of your image as a voice actor. Ootsuka: I would like to do a job where people who don’t usually watch anime can say, “I know this character’s voice.” For that reason, we have to take care of each site one by one. As for the role, I would like to challenge myself to play a villain. A hopeless piece of crap with whom there is nothing to sympathize with, or a person who is absolutely terrifying. I think it would be blessing to be an actor if I could be so deeply hated by the audience. Anyway, I want to challenge without doing anything.
Column: My Christmas!
I would like to spend some time abroad someday. In particular, I heard it from a friend who thinks the Christmas market is great in Germany, so I’m longing for it. I want to immerse myself in an atmosphere that is hard to find in Japan, like the world of fairy tales.
Yuto Uemura (Voice Newtype 67 2018)
We asked Yuto Uemura, who continues to dedicate himself to his work, about his recent work, what he thinks is important in expressing the main character who cries out in the middle of the world.
The movie “Bungou Stray Dogs Dead Apple” is being screened. What kind of work did you end up with? Uemura: I think it’s a movie that can be delivered with depth because it’s been a while after the TV series has aired. Takuya Igarashi-san (director), Yoji Enokido-san (screenwriter), and Kafka Asagiri-san (original author) have created a luxurious original story unique to movies. As a story, the focus is directly on the different abilities themselves. The person’s individuality becomes a prominent ability, and they are forced to face the different abilities of the phenomenon. Atsushi also had a big wall to overcome, and all the staff members encouraged me by saying, “It’s tough, but this time it’s up to Uemura-kun,” and I managed to record it.
How did the dubbing go? Uemura: The recording this time will be divided into several days. I often recorded with Kensho Ono-san, who played Ryunosuke Akutagawa, and Sumiri Morohoshi, who played Kyoka Izumi. It was different from the TV series that everyone recorded together, and there was an atmosphere unique to the three of us.
Atsushi, Akutagawa, and Kyoka are the three younger members with supernatural powers. Uemura: Although they belong to different affiliations, they are the younger generation who will be responsible for Yokohama in the future. But even among them, Atsushi was too lame this time (laughs). Kyouka-chan keeps following me, and Akutagawa, who should have been my rival and can’t show carelessness, ended up pulling him. But even in that exchange, there was an interesting balance between the three of us, and it was a fun recording.
Name a particularly memorable scene? Uemura: The lines that Atsushi speaks to Dazai at the end are wonderful. Atsushi, who can say that line naturally, gives me a deep sense of meaning, and I’m deeply touched. As an actor, it’s important to say it smoothly without adding nuances because it’s an important line. There are many parts that I don’t talk much about and leave to the viewers. That’s why it’s important to express the small fluctuations of emotions.
From the end of last year to February, there was also a performance of “Bungou Stray Dogs,” and I heard that you saw it. Uemura: Coincidentally, Kensho Ono-san was also there on the same day, and by chance Atsushi and Akutagawa were together, and the we thought it was really interesting. I was overwhelmed by the spirit and my heart throbbed. As expected, I was glued to Yuki Torigoe-san who played Atsushi. Previously, when I greeted Torigoe-san, I told him that I wanted to see “As an actor, it was very encouraging.”
Uemura-san, you also experienced acting on stage when you were a child actor. Uemura: I am very interested. However, even if I was asked to play a role like Atsushi, I don’t have that kind of physical ability… (laughs). Miyano-san (Mamoru) has also appeared on the stage, and this movie was recorded during the performance. I would like to challenge various expressions.
On the other hand, this is also the starring work “Darling in the Franxx” and broadcasting continues. What is the response after the number of episodes broadcasted? Uemura: Atsushi Nishikori-san has been saying from the beginning that the team spirit of the “children” is important, and I feel that this is becoming more and more important. There are people from a wide range of careers, from newcomers to veterans, and each one of them faces the challenge by exposing their inner self. It’s a work that can’t be played.
The dialogue as an ensemble drama and the movement of emotions are also delicately depicted. Uemura: When I practise alone, there are many things that are difficult, but in the scenes with Zero Two (Haruka Tomatsu) and other scenes, I cherish the breath that comes out of the dialogue, and I’m willing to do so. As time went on, I began to feel that I could meet Zero Two as soon as possible, I would be able to respond. Also, this time, I’m happy to be able to be able to play the role of best friends with Yuichirou Umehara-san.
On the other hand, the monologue is also impressive. Uemura: Monologue is difficult, but I’m conscious of a neutral voice. Don’t put too much emotion in it, don’t leave it out too much. Unlike the narration, I think it’s something that shows a lot of emotion, so at first I had to consult with the directors a lot to make adjustments.
Also, the radio program “Our Music Park” with Shoya Chiba, Yuya Hozumi, Shun Horie, and Takuto Yoshinaga is distributed twice a month. Uemura: I’m sorry for always being so busy and noisy (laughs). Our unit’s name is a combination of Sparkle Park, Quinted, and Crew. I read all of the unit proposals sent by everyone, and thought about them seriously, so it’s a great fit. Just today, before this interview, I was working with SparQlew, but it was the first gathering since the unit’s name was announced, so we shared the joy. “Hello, I’m SparQlew.”
In the program, there is also a corner that looks back on the great trajectory of Kiramune seniors. Uemura: The passion of each member of SparQlew for this activity is growing as well as realizing the greatness of the seniors. I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I hope we can discover our uniqueness one by one.
In addition, serialization has been decided on “KIKI” from April, what kind of content will it be? Uemura: Every day, I think about various things and write them down in my notebook, so I would like it to be in my notebook, so I would like it to be an extension of that. I have always liked reading books and writing, so I would like to write down my feelings as faithfully as possible. Depending on how the letters are spelled, I think it’s possible to make them feel the warmth. I’ve also consulted with Yoshiki-san (Nakajima) and Souma Saitou-san, who are seniors in the serialization at “KIKI”, and I hope to make it fun while making use of those connections.
Uemura-san, who is active in many fields, how do you refresh your daily life? Uemura: I try to make time to go to a café and drink coffee before work. Read a book or write a sentence there. I try to take it easy for at least an hour early in the morning to clear myself before I go to work. I would like to keep progressing by layering the input and output firmly.
Column: New myself
I want to start exercising this spring. Lately, I’ve been mostly watching the games, but my mother is good at tennis, so I’d like to try tennis, hoping that I’ll be able to do it too (laughs).
Tetsuya Kakihara (Voice Animage Plus January 2018)
Makoto Miyazaki, YouthK Saeki, and Kohei from SIMONSAYZ are providing the music for the 6th single. Kakihara: This time, we had three people write a song at the same time. it’s music that sounds like it’s going to be played in a club, and everyone seems to have an image of me playing in private, so I thought it would be interesting if I could express that in a video. We aimed to create a “celebrity-free and playful” atmosphere that is different from the previous single “Tokonatsu Wave.” The theme of the song is “What is the essence?”, and the outfits in the music video also include the meaning that you don’t need to dress up because everyone is a diamond. For that reason, I wore a long pullover, denim, and sneakers. We rented out the club for the shoot, and it went smoothly… until the middle (laughs).
Did something go wrong? Kakihara: No, I shot a scene where I used it, but that’s when the obsession of me and the staff exploded (laughs). In the actual driving scene, I went around the city in high spirits, saying, “I have free time, so now is the time!” It took about twice as long as the original shooting schedule, so we were able to shoot a cool video! But they knew me very well, and they put in a lot of effort for me. I think that kind of connection is also present in this wonderful MV.
What is your impression of the coupling song? Kakihara: The second song, “Gomenne, Arigatou,” was originally a wonderful ballad that YouthK-san could relax and listen to, but I thought it might not be suitable for me to sing now. I asked for a retake. And he finished a song with a medium tempo on the subject of “past love.” YouthK-san’s songs make me feel like I’ve experienced things that I’ve never experienced before. As an actor I am immersed like I’m reading a script. I was able to do it, and I felt sad singing that much… “MOVING” was written by Kohei-san, and it’s a song with a strong digital sound. We started working on it at the same time without deciding which one would be the title song, so it’s a wonderful song that would be a waste to include as a single coupling. But I don’t like being stingy, and I’m the type of person who wants to do everything I can right now. For this single as well, I challenged myself with everything I had.
A live DVD “DRUNKER” will be released on the same day as the single. How would you like to look back on the performance? Kakihara: I feel that the final performance at Makuhari Messe has taken me to another new stage. I was strongly aware that it was not easy to stand alone on a big stage, and I went up on stage thinking that I would have to reflect on various things when it was over. The fun far outweighed the fear (laughs). I felt apologetic towards Nings, saying, “I have to stand behind you…” but even with that negative feeling, I thought, “If I do it anyway, I’ll be surrounded by strings. Let’s sing like this.” I was able to change myself in a positive direction. In fact, this single release came true when I selfishly said, “I want to release a single.” It’s because the tour was so much fun that I wanted to sing and express myself even more!
What are your ambitions for future activities? Kakihara: I think it would be great if we could do things for male fans in the future. A lot of men come to my concerts, but I think it takes courage and energy to mix with women and listen to the songs and get excited. That’s why I want to respond to the feelings of male fans, and even though I’ve made songs for my friends that can be listened to regardless of gender or age, I’ve never sung songs for men… I think there are some male fans who like me as a voice actor and come to my live performances, but I would be happy if you liked the artist Tetsuya Kakihara as well.
In March, “Kirefesu 2018” will be held at Yokohama Arena. Kakihara: For me, this event is like New Year’s Eve and New Year’s, and without it I don’t feel like the year has ended or even begun. But as I often say on stage, I just want to remember the feeling that it’s not a given that it happens every year. And this year we have new guests Yuto Uemura-san, Shoya Chiba-san, Yuya Hozumi-san, Shun Horie-san, and Takuto Yoshinaga-san. I feel happy for you! I want you to complete a stage that only the five of you can do without fear of failure. If you’re afraid of failure or shy about performing, you’ll still have regrets five years later. I’m looking forward to seeing the new members play an active role, and I want to give it my all.
Wataru Hatano (Voice Newtype Vol. 82 2021)
In order to get close to the hearts of those who want to deliver music to works, characters, and music, he released the single “Breakers” and ran through this year. Burning in his heart is the unchanging thought of origin.
It was a year in which you showed further evolution as an artist, such as taking on the challenge of your first acoustic live performance. Hatano: I was surprised and moved by how much the arrangement of a song that I have sung live so many times can change the world view. The way I sang it naturally become Bossa Nova-like, and when I acted, it felt like I was opening a drawer inside myself, and it was a lot of fun. There was also a surprise from my hometown, and when I received my family’s feelings again in the form of a letter, there was something overflowing.
The ED theme “Breakers” of the TV anime “The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window”, in which he plays Rihito Hiyakawa, became a song because he deeply understands the work. Hatano: By the time we were recording, the post-recording had already started, so being able to sing while fully immersed in the worldview was a big deal. I chose falsetto for the beginning of the song, and by deliberately choosing an unstable sound, I was able to express something that exists between the front and back of this world while maintaining the mysterious viewing experience of anime. It’s because I wanted to. It was composed by Evan Call, who is charge of the accompaniment for the play, and it was created as a part of the work, so I ended up playing an outrageous character. While feeling the pressure, I wanted to fulfil my responsibilities in the music part as well. When I was enrolled in Elements Garden, I was directly indebted to Evan-san for the TV animation “Dances with Devils,” and I was happy to meet him this time.
I would like to ask you about the lyrics of the song, but is there anything that you remember about how you were able to break the “enclosure” yourself? Hatano: I think it was when I moved to Tokyo from Nagano. Born and raised in a farm village surrounded by mountains 360 degrees, was only a world of imagination. But even though I jumped over the great fence thinking, “I’m going to make my dreams come true!” When it became difficult to come and go due to the corona crisis, I realized again that although it may have been an enclosure, it is also the roots that I want to cherish forever. On top of that, I think I was able to make it to where I am today thanks to the new “encounters” here in Tokyo.
Hiyakawa, who grew up in a closed environment and had a gap in communication, is saved by “meeting people.” Have you had any encounters that have had a positive impact on you recently? Hatano: The joy I feel in meeting the characters has not changed at all since my debut. The role of Paddington in the dubbed “Paddington’s Adventure” has been decided. The moment I found out, I cried so hard that I couldn’t get up even though I was sitting in a café thinking, “Even though I’m recording after this!” In fact, Paddington is a “reunion.” I used to play Paddington in a magazine supplement, but the production company changed, and when it came time to turn it into a series, another audition was held. For a voice actor, it’s a good thing to have someone else play a role once they’ve won it, but even so, they still have a special attachment to it, so the happiness of being able to play it again is twice as much.
There was one day late at night when the name of Hatano-san’s character was trending on Twitter. Hatano: I’m really happy that people love the characters I play.
The topic of discussion in the evening was “My Hero Academia”. Hatano: It was Hitoshi Shinsou. I sympathize with him from the bottom of my heart, saying that even though he failed the entrance exam for the hero course and went to the normal course, he never gave up on his dream and continued to work hard. I also don’t want to lose the starting point of “I want to be able to remember names” and “I want to be the main character of an anime,” and I still feel like “I’m going to be a voice actor someday.” On top of that, I want to play a lot of different roles without being bound by one personality. In that sense, this year’s characters have extremely strong personalities, and it was a great blessing for me as an actor to be able to meet characters who are completely different from each other. Every character is born from a drawer that he created from his own feelings and experiences. It is an important part to me.
If the title song is a tie-up, the coupling tends to be “120% Hatano Wataru,” but in “Heart to Heart,” you can honestly express your thoughts on what you like. The theme that is expressed through music activities is sung that it is okay to shout. Hatano: This time, based on that, I sang with the theme of “accepting diversity.” I believe that when someone else recognized the feeling of “like,” people feel fulfilled and become able to be kinder to themselves. I realized it while shedding tears (laughs). Live well with this show. I hope that there will be something that can be conveyed to those who are troubled through songs, just like the “Fab 5” who are remodelling their guests who are unable to get around.
You will release your first single in February 2022, and you will hold a live performance in March. Hatano: As the ED song for the TV anime “Orient,” we made a song with a refreshing sense of speed. Hideo Kosameda, whom I play, looks like a good person, but he has a very peculiar character, so it may make you feel a little complicated (laughs), but that is also due to me being his voice actor. I would be happy if you could take the fun of music activities and enjoy them with anime. Every time I thought, “I wish I could release the next song,” I did what I could at that time, and before I knew it, 10 years had passed since my debut as an artist. I would like to enjoy the treasure-like music that I have created with the people I met so far, hopefully in the same space as you.
Column: Happy holidays
My favourite thing about New Year’s Eve is the mochi rice cakes that my grandma sent me from my parents’ house. I’m happy to eat it with sugar soy sauce.
Aoi Ichikawa (Voice Newtype Vol. 81 2021)市川 蒼
Aoi Ichikawa will turn 30 on his birthday on October 2nd, a few days after the release date of this magazine, and the final episode of the TV anime “Sonny Boy” will come to an end. About 5 years after his debut, Ichikawa-san, who has been steadily building his career, talked about his real feelings at the end of his 20s.
“Sonny Boy” is your second lead role. What is the difference from when you first starred, such as your attitude as chairman? Ichikawa: At the time of “Just Because,” I didn’t know what to do because it was just after my debut. I feel like I was able to do it without worrying. But I didn’t really feel like I was the chairperson. By recording with a small number of people with whom I have a conversation, the other people are also fixed, so I feel that I will create this work with those people.
Things to keep in mind when playing, etc. Ichikawa: Shingo Natsume-san wants you to do it naturally. I received an order from the director not to read too much into the script. After that, I thought, don’t think too much. Normally, when I receive a script, I would read it in and check it, but with this work, I was conscious of not overthinking it as much as possible.
That sounds difficult. I agree. Ichikawa: I tried not to think about it, but since it was an original work that I didn’t know what was going to happen, I had questions. However, Nagara was a child who was obedient to what he was given and has a strong attitude of accepting, so while I was in the same position as him, I acted by accepting what I was given as it was.
The final broadcast will be around the same time as the release of this magazine. Ichikawa: What I learned about the ending, I thought, “Are you serious?” (laughs). I think that various impressions are born depending on the people who see it. I think there were a lot of impressions up until the final episode, but I’m sure there will be many different interpretations even after watching it. I wonder… I’m looking forward to everyone’s impressions from now on.
How did you feel when you finished recording? Ichikawa: It was strangely sunny. People can live by doing it. I think there are a lot of things in life that can’t be done. I’m having fun, but other people don’t think I’m having fun. But in the end, playing Nagara made me realize that I shouldn’t be bound by other people’s evaluations, and that I should value my own judgement. It’s a feeling that’s hard to put into words, but I feel like it’s made my life a little easier.
In your experiences so far, do you feel that you have grown or changed? Ichikawa: I feel like I’m less nervous and have more time to enjoy myself. While having fun, I was able to have a kind of play where I tried to approach things in a certain way. I still get nervous when I’m on site for the first time, but I’m no longer dominated by nervousness.
Then, on the contrary, what do you keep in mind so as not to change? Ichikawa: It means that you should cherish each and every role you’ve been given. No matter what role I play, there is a process in which the character has lived, and I think that it is there, so I always think that I should not be negligent.
It’s hard to face each other politely when it comes to characters with little information. Ichikawa: I think it’s difficult to understand anything. I don’t know if even my family understands me properly, and I think that only I can understand myself. That’s why I don’t want to be the one who decides what the character is like, and I try to think about what kind of side he has. Right now, I enjoy playing while imagining a number of different scenes and searching for the parts that are most convincing to me and the parts that I feel comfortable with.
You turn 30 on your birthday this year. Ichikawa: My 30-year-old friends tell me to come quickly, but I’m not looking forward to it at all (laughs). In my mind, I had an image of a more mature adult. I’ve lived a rather uneventful life, so I’m worried about whether I’ll be able to turn 30 at this rate. But when I turn 30, those ties will disappear, and it will be easier. Everyone says it will.
I would like to confirm for myself if this is true. Ichikawa: As we approach October 2nd, I’m excited to see what kind of feelings will be born (laughs).
What do you wish you had done in your 20s? Ichikawa: It’s “muscle training.” All you must do is train your body properly. I think this every year, but I never do it.
In an interview with the site KIKI (January 2020), you said that you started muscle training…? Ichikawa: I started out, but after that it took off, and this year in particular was a year where I didn’t push myself too hard. Basically, I tend to lead a lazy life, and at some point I’ll watch my sugar intake or do muscle training, but after a month or so, I’ll say, “I did my best,” and quit. It is repeated with high frequency (laughs).
So, you can’t lose your passion for theatre? Ichikawa: It’s partly because I ended up getting a job, but I guess you can’t really get serious about things other than acting.
Then, what is the charm of theatre that makes you take it seriously? Ichikawa: What’s so appealing… I don’t like myself very much, do I? I didn’t really like my face, personality, or my voice, but when I acted, I was able to forget myself, and I feel that being able to be someone other than myself was a charm. In the course of doing this work, I received more and more compliments on my voice, so little by little I came to like it.
Do you have an ideal 30-year-old image? Ichikawa: It’s a dream that won’t come true because I can only grow a moustache that looks like downy hair. As far as acting is concerned, I would like to try a role or a job that I have never played before. I also want to do planetarium narration and audio guides for exhibitions. I love planetariums because I can be alone, I can relax, and I also like looking at the stars. I think it would be fun if the narration was done. I’ve heard that voice actors are often used for voice guidance, so I’d be happy if I could give it a try when I’ve gotten a little bit better.
Please give a message to your fans. Ichikawa: Thank you for your continued support. Since last year, I have had the opportunity to read aloud, and the number of letters I have received has increased. I’m very grateful that you are willing to spare time for me, even though I have to be careful about travelling due to the corona crisis. It’s the same with radio and my work and being able to feel something about what I’ve expressed and receiving feedback gives me vitality. I can only repay you with a play, but I will do my best to repay you, so please support me as much as you can.
Column: Recommended movies for long autumn nights: Crayon Shin-chan The Glorious Yakiniku Road that calls the storm
Since it’s autumn, the autumn of appetite, “Yakinikurodo.” I like all “Crayon Shin-chan,” but this work is attractive because it shakes off the jokes. I tend to think about dark things at night, so I hope you can sleep with a laugh while watching the movie.
Jun Kasama (Voice Newtype Vol. 77 2020)
While active as a voice actor and narrator, Jun Kasama has written original scripts and performed readings on his own distribution program. His raison d’être as an actor is to make people notice the obvious happiness. We approach the thought of talking about himself as a device.
How did you spend your school days? Kasama: I love to sing, and when I was in high school, I used to sing along with my friends on the street. I wrote and composed the lyrics myself and was in a band in college. The faculty is the Faculty of Education. At the welcome party for new students, I was involved in the operation as one of the core members, and I liked creating something as a team and producing results.
When you became aware of your work as a voice actor? Kasama: It all started with “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” which was on air when I was in the first and second years of junior high school. But it wasn’t until I entered the workforce that I actually decided to take up the challenge of becoming a voice actor. After two or three years of employment, I wonder, “What have I been doing? Can I say that I have enjoyed my life?” It became like this. After that, I started attending the office’s training school while working.
And debuted in 1 year. Do you have any memorable memories from that time? Kasama: When I first made my debut, the big thing for me was the presence of my friends who studied together. Every time I had a drink with my fellow actors, we would talk about the play and discuss our goals. I made my debut in my late twenties, so compared to people who have been active since their teens, I always felt like I was lagging behind. But there is no other way but to work hard. If I was behind them, I would always think, “I will do my best to overtake them.” In a sense, my negative emotions may have been my strength to move forward.
What do you think is the charm of a voice actor that attracts Kasama-san so much? Kasama: I can’t decide, there are too many elements I like (laughs). When I receive a letter from a fan who listens to my plays and sings and says, “I was able to do my best,” I am extremely happy. I also think of it as a repetition of transcendence. When I can feel my own growth, I feel that I am glad that I continued. It’s difficult to ask why I’ve continued to do this, but on the contrary, I think the best answer is “I’m continuing now.”
I think Amehiko Kuzonoha from “The Idolmaster SideM” is the character that helped many people get to know Kasama-san. What kind of person is Amehiko to you, Kasama-san? Kasama: I think it can be said that this character was a turning point in my career as an actor. Of course, I have equal affection for all the characters, but it was an opportunity for many people to see my expressions, and there aren’t many characters I’ve been with for such a long time. In terms of what an actor should be and how to create a role, it was Amehiko who laid the foundation for that. It is precisely because it is necessary to create roles not only in plays but also in various channels such as singing and dancing that I’m able to express myself as a living human being.
How do you feel about the producer’s support? Kasama: I remember saying at a live performance before, “I can be Amehiko because the producers are my producers.” Whether you are a student or a member of society, I want you to think that you are a producer the moment you touch the work. I think that’s a wonderful thing. It would be nice if we could all walk together like that, like playing an epic RPG.
In the streaming program “Jun Kasama’s Tasogare Koshodo,” you read the original script aloud that you created together with the viewers. Kasama: At the root of my way of thinking is an actor is the idea that it’s more fun to work together than to work alone. And I hope that will lead to confidence in the viewers. In this day and age, happiness is causing inflation, so people rarely praise me. For example, no matter who can play baseball, not everyone can become a major leaguer. But I think that the fact that I took a step forward and accomplished something should definitely be praised by someone. Having the setting sent to the program turned into a work and read in front of everyone is sure to be a great experience of happiness for that person. So, I want you to satisfy my desire for approval.
I have never heard of any other program with such a stance. Kasama: Probably not (laughs). I’m nothing more than a device to make everyone feel happy, and I think that’s fine. Everyone worked hard, sent letters even though they were nervous, saved money and went on an expedition… It’s nothing more than a device that amplifies that step many times and makes you feel happy. If you are not happy, you will not be able to receive my expressions. I want you to feel happy. That’s what I’m here for.
Have you ever thought about being a voice actor during the corona crisis? Kasama: I’m still thinking about what I can do in a situation where even the places where I can express myself are limited. What an individual can do is limited, but it would be great if I could help everyone look forward. Personally, the amount of time I spend facing myself has increased dramatically. It made me realize that humans depend so much on other people. Self-restraint opening is also changing at the post-recording site, there was a transformation. I think that the cast and staff communicate more often than before. I thought everyone was lonely.
Is there anything you want to challenge in the future? Kasama: Write a feature-length script and have an acquaintance of an actor perform it. Also, playing the main character in anime. Up until now, I’ve often assisted the main character or acted as a watcher. But I also really want to play the main character someday. What I want to do privately is build a garage house where I can park my car. On top of that, I think it would be nice to have a café by the time I become a grandfather.
What kind of voice actor will you be in the future? Kasama: Someday, I want to meet a character who has a definite line like the seniors I respect so much. I want to be a voice actor who can live with one character for a long time.
Finally, please leave a message for all the fans. Kasama: Again, I’m nothing more than a device for you to feel happy in your daily life. I would be very happy if you could bring this device to your side and use it as an opportunity to feel happy. Hopefully, it will be a device that you can keep by your side for many years to come.
Column: Little Happiness: The presence of others
It was the first time in a while that I was able to talk with various people at the post-recording site. And I was able to do a play. I was very happy just to be able to feel the presence of others. During the stay-at-home period, I cried while hugging my cat (laughs).
Sho Nogami (Voice Newtype Vol. 74 2019)
It’s been about a year since you said, “Someday I’d like to have a starring role” in the “New Colour Voice” of the website of “KIKI”. Expanding the range of his activities, he is finally blessed with a starring role this year. Sho Nogami, who continues to challenge himself stoically, talked about his current feelings.
You must be tired of taking pictures. Nogami: It will be the first appearance in the magazine alone. I think that “Voice Newtype No. 056” where High x Joker was interviewed, was my first appearance. This is my first time being interviewed as “Nogami Sho”, so I’m very grateful.
This year was also a starring role in “Zoids Wild Zero”, was it a busy year? Nogami: I agree. It may have been the year that felt the fastest since my debut. I’ve also had more opportunities to visit the live performances of “Idolmaster SideM” and “TsukiPro”. Yes, I approached with the feeling of throwing all my thoughts onto the stage. Perhaps, I was the most nervous during the “Idolmaster SideM” live so far.
In October, there was a live event “S.Q.P. Ver. QUELL”. Nogami: This was the first solo event for QUELL. Shunsuke Takeuchi-san, Koutarou Nishiyama-san, Shugo Nakamura-san, and I have been working together. I was nervous, but the moment I stepped out onto the stage, the full audience jumped into my field of vision, and I struggled to hold back my smirk from happiness (laughs). I think that I was able to realize that QUELL is supported by so many people and that it was the best solo live.
In “8P”, variety are also being challenged. Nogami: In “8P” I was sent to the countryside. Roughly, taking a photo with the circus. I was able to take pictures and hold the 3rd anniversary event, which made me realize once again how long 3 years have been. However, since I didn’t change anything in particular during the program, I sometimes feel like, “Huh? It’s been three years?” (laughs). Regularly held events such as “Shofuku Shorai!” with Shoya Chiba-san, who is also in “8P”, and “Kumagami Coffee ~ Premium Blend” with Kentarou Kumagai-san. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to listen directly to the voices of listeners from all over the world. Through the many different types of work that I have done so far, I have been able to reconfirm that what is at the centre of my heart is the feeling that I want to use my voice to act.
And in “Zoids Wild Zero”, the main character Leo Conrad was shot. Nogami: When I auditioned, I never thought that I would pass the role of the main character, considering the current trend and my age. That’s why I was surprised when I found out that I had passed the exam. I was suddenly called into the office, and the manager and staff congratulated me. I was happy, but to be honest, I didn’t really feel it at the time. After a while on my way home from the office, I was filled with joy. I went straight to the toy store and bought a Beast Tiger Zoid (laughs).
Nogami-san brought it at the time of shooting. The first time you met Beast Tiger, who kindly helped you, was on the day you heard you had passed the exam. Nogami: When I got home and took a break after building the Beast Tiger, I burst into tears for the first time. It’s embarrassing (laughs).
At the “Zoids” site, you were working with sound director Yuki Matsuoka-san, whom you called your mentor in the KIKI interview. Nogami: Without Matsuoka-san, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today. For me, Matsuoka-san is like the “Father of Tokyo.” He taught me a lot of things that are necessary at the post-recording site of anime. The first time we worked together was when I was a regular on the Yu-Gi-Oh! I did. After that, he invited me to play the role of the mascot character Turbomin in a work called “Kamiwa the Wanda.” I felt that he was taking good care of me, and since then I wanted to hear more about him, so I was able to talk to him myself. That’s why I was so happy when I learned that I could work with him on “Zoids.”
What left an impression on you during the dubbing? Nogami: Matsuoka-san is very strict about sounds as well as acting, and he had a conversation with Liger during the post-recording of “Zoids.” When I was in the scene where I was playing, he gave me instructions, saying, “You can speak gentler, because you’re a partner. It’s not a boss and a subordinate, it’s a partner. I have to tell the audience about the relationship between Leo and Liger in this one episode.” Matsuoka-san takes great care in teaching each conversation. I believe that his attention to detail is at the core of his current play. After recording, I had the opportunity to have dinner with him, and I was happy when he told me, “You look more like an actor than when I met you last time.” It may sound impertinent, but since I haven’t been told that I’ve gotten better, I wonder if I’m still feeling the so-called room for growth (laughs). Also, his words left an impression on me, saying, “You should raise the bar for this work.”
Those are nice words. Nogami: Since “Zoids” is a long-term series, various voice actors participate each time, and I feel that I must convey the passion and momentum of the scene.
So, you’ve been taught how to prepare yourself as a chairperson. Nogami: That’s right. It was my first time to star in the film, and Hazuki Chida, who plays the heroine Sally Rand, also made her first appearance as a voice actor. It is a scene where the cast has a sense of unity.
It was such a busy year. Do you have any personal memories that left an impression on you? Nogami: Meeting a childhood friend. We’ve been seeing each other about once a month before, but lately we haven’t been able to find time for each other. A casual conversation with a friend is the best refresher and encouragement.
What would you like to challenge as an actor in the future? Nogami: In the past, I admired and even envied my peers and seniors around me, but one day I realized that I could never be that person. I didn’t know the hardship of those people, and I just saw the shining parts and thought, “I envy you.” The people I was envious of have all gone through hardships and efforts in their respective fields and have now arrived at a place where they can shine. I was spoiled by only looking at the beautiful parts and wanting only those parts (laughs). “I” is only “myself.” “Sho Nogami” is just “Sho Nogami”, but I thought that I had to expand my field little by little with the help of the work and characters. The feeling of wanting to be the gear of the work will never change, and I hope that I will not forget that feeling in the future and just keep walking straight ahead.
Column: My Christmas!
I don’t want to do anything particularly unusual. A normal day with a subtle Christmas element might be ideal. That’s why I don’t make it look like a big party or event. I want to spend a small Christmas in my everyday life.
Makoto Furukawa (Voice Newtype 67 2018)
“I don’t I’d believe it when I told my childhood self that I was going to play Nataku,” laughs Furukawa-san. Looking back with a smile, the 3 lives of “Idolmaster SideM”, where he appeared as Café Parade, were also the best. With an artist career and a serialized article in KIKI, you can feel the power that radiates from within, even though he has a calm and sincere air about him. Keep an eye on Makoto Furukawa, who continues to shine.
How do you like the role of Nataku Li in “Hakyu Hoshin Engi”? Furukawa: When I first met Nataku, it was around the time when “Houshin Engi” was being serialized in “Weekly Shounen Jump”. What’s more, the first time I read it was when Nataku was born, so I thought that he might be the main character in this story (laughs). After that, when I read the continuation, I knew right away that Nataku was not the main character, but when I was selected for the role, I was happy that my first chance encounter had come to fruition in such a place, and I was lucky. I felt what I ordered. That’s why I’m full of joy, but there are many things that I think are difficult when I act. Considering his upbringing and relationships with the other characters, it’s hard to forgive him, and communication is a low priority, so it’s difficult when it comes to speaking.
You’re careful when you act. What’s the point of that? Furukawa: From the beginning, I’ve always kept in mind that he’s a treasure shell human being and that he’s an incarnation of a lotus flower. While eliminating humanness, he still has something like a human heart. Probably, I think that Nataku himself wants to become stronger. It’s fun to do it because there are some ups and downs in the battle scenes and they show their motivation. He himself shared the feeling of “fun”. I’m happy to have it, and I feel that I’m one with him.
On February 3rd and 4th, there were 3 live performances of “Idolmaster SideM” at the Makuhari Event Hall. What preparations have you made? Furukawa: This time, there were 4 new songs: 2 overall songs, 1 new song from Café Parade, and 1 joint song with 3 units. I’m not good at dancing, so I had a hard time getting into the choreography, and I have a strong impression that it was really hard. However, seeing everyone at the venue waving their penlights and cheering us on, and hearing the cheers, we felt that it was a direct strength for us, and I really feel that it was a wonderful live. The second day felt like the culmination of our previous performances. We were able to perform all the songs and unit songs that we have sung so far, and the members also had conversations behind the scenes, saying, “It was the happiest I’ve ever been at a Café Parade live.” In that sense, I think I was able to return the power I felt from everyone on the first day with my performance.
How do you feel about the concerts in Fukuoka on March 25th and Shizuoka on April 28th? Furukawa: By the time this magazine comes out, the performance in Fukuoka will be over. To be honest, I’m completely satisfied with everything I’ve done on the second day in Makuhari, so I have no idea what the next show will be like. However, I have had the experience of being successful once, and I feel that it is because of you that we are able to do it. So, in Fukuoka, I think we will be able to put on a live performance that is as good as the first two days in Makuhari. At Shizuoka in April, I hope to deliver a performance full of happiness that will conclude the tour.
What kind of relationship did you have with the members during practice? Did you talk? Furukawa: I’m pretty close with the members of Café Parade, so I’ve only talked about things that I can’t write here (laughs)! After practise, we went out to eat and talked until the shop closed, but it wasn’t enough, so we moved to a 24-hour shop. I often feel that people don’t want to go home. I feel that the camaraderie among the units grows with each live performance.
Since you will be starting you solo career this year, please tell us your thoughts on singing under your own name. Furukawa: At this point, I am half anxious and half motivated. Until now, I’ve been singing with the help of the work, but I’m worried about how many people will enjoy my solo music activities as Makoto Furukawa. To be honest, I feel scared that I personally have to take on the part that the character has taken care of. However, to that extent, I can, in a sense, get rid of the shackles and deliver the thoughts and methods of expression that I have only been able to convey through my characters, in a wider range of options than ever before. I’m really looking forward to it. Hurry up on stage, I want to see everyone’s reaction.
It will be serialized in KIKI from April. Please tell us what kind of series you want to make, your ideas, and your enthusiasm. Furukawa: I’m on Twitter, but I only talk about announcements or “Fate” (laughs). I think it would be great if I could let people know that I am here.
Please give a message to your fans. Furukawa: This time, I was asked to take a photo that I think it the most mature one I have ever taken. I also think that I look different than usual. The costumes and staging this time are very close to what I had longed for when I was working as an artist, so when I present the song to everyone, if you think back on this photo, the image will expand even more. Since the serialization will start on KIKI, I think that I will have more opportunities to communicate with everyone!
New column: New myself
When I first came to Tokyo, I was busy with my part-time job, but I discovered a lot. Please stop by. Staying home is the most wasteful thing!
Daisuke Ono (Voice Animage Plus January 2018)
For Ono-san, this will be the first tie-up with the opening song, but what was the process behind the decision? Ono: After it was decided that I would be playing the role of Keigo Saikawa in “Gakuen Babysitters”, I was asked if I would like to sing the OP song. It’s a very warm and wonderful story, so even though I’m happy just to be able to appear in it, I was nervous about whether it would be okay for me to sing the song that symbolized the OP. Actually, I’ve been saying “I want to sing a OP song” for a long time, and it really came true.
What was your impression when you first heard the song? Ono: It was full of kindness and warmth, and I thought it was a happy song. It was the same feeling I had when I read the original manga, and I was moved by that. For me, the opening songs are the ones that immediately made me think of the work when I hear it and bring back the excitement I felt when I saw the work. I felt that this song was exactly like that.
Did you have any requests for the song? Ono: I asked the golden duo of composer Takuya Watanabe-san and lyricist Aki Hata-san, who have been working on my music for a long time, to produce this song. I had faith that they would definitely make a song that closely followed the work. That’s why I didn’t make any specific requests, and the songs that came out as a result far exceeded my expectations.
What was the recording like? Ono: I felt very happy when singing. There’s a part at the beginning that says, “I’m happy when you smile.” That’s why I felt that this is a song about “Gakuen Babysitters”, and at the same time, it’s a song about me. I was conscious of singing so that I could get close to the song. It was smooth as a whole, but I recorded it by repeating retakes quite carefully until I was satisfied.
The MV also has a very warm atmosphere with the puppets. Ono: The first plan was that I was the cameraman. It was about becoming a singer and filming someone’s happiness. I thought that was good too, but I wanted the MV to be close to the work. At the time, the director gave me a hint of an idea, “Bring me a video of baby who stopped crying.” I got the idea from that, and it took the form of co-starring with puppets. At the filming site, everything you see is already a gentle world! The backgrounds are not drawn but made of soft materials such as velour. Moreover, the production of the puppets was handled by a different artist than the background production, but I heard that such an extravagant request is rare. In addition, the professional puppeteering team is in charge, and the emotions are beautifully expressed with just the movements. When I looked at the puppets on display, they were just dolls, but as soon as they started moving them, they came to life. It was performed with the feeling of being at home.
Did you have a script for your performance with the puppets? Ono: That’s all it’s about. There are explanations such as, “In such a situation, this kind of person will appear,” but you don’t know what kind of play you will do until you try it. However, the puppeteer manipulates the puppet while saying lines in such a low voice that it cannot be heard within the surroundings. The lines are also ad-libs that the puppeteer thought up for the scene, but it seems that the puppet’s performance can be more emotional if they say it out loud. So, there are scenes when I tried to speak out. Even though I was allowed to operate the puppet for a little while, my left hand felt like it was going to cramp (laughs). I really had an experience that I can’t do anywhere else.
The jacket has a mysterious impression. Ono: This is also a slightly new challenge. At first glance, it looks like they are filming on a flat surface, but actually I am lying on the floor and filming from directly above. It’s a technique often used when taking pictures of babies, so it’s linked to the work as well. Rather than sending out a plan that I decided to “want to do myself”, the staff responded with all their might to “Isn’t it possible to do this?” I was really happy that it was such an amazing thing.
What kind of song is the coupling “Take Nigh Safari?” Ono: I don’t know how to explain this (laughs). As a first step, I wanted to make a song like the song played on NHK’s Minna no Uta. Even if it’s a coupling song, I think it’s good to have a song that is somehow connected to the work, something that children will enjoy. That’s how this song came up. Actually, the original title was “Maji Pane” (laughs). But even though it’s an unprecedented melody, it’s also a song that’s an extension of the dance songs I’ve sung up until now. Also, all of the characters in “Gakuen Babysitters” have animal names, and this song also uses animals as motifs, so there’s a subtle link between them. It has many meanings, but when you listen to it, you don’t really understand it. It’s fun.
The Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka tour will start form the end of June. This is your first time on tour, but will you be challenging yourself to new things on stage? Ono: At the last Budokan solo live, I was finally able to be positive about singing under my own name. From there, I feel that the things I can express are expanding. Now, I feel like I can do anything that I can confidently say, “This is Daisuke Ono’s live performance.” It was unthinkable when I started my career as an artist, but at the Budokan live there were songs that overflowed from the set list and I couldn’t sing them. So, on the tour, I’m sure I’ll sing songs that I never even thought of. Nothing has been decided yet, but I would be happy if you could look forward to it.
Kentarou Kumagai (Voice Newtype Vol. 82 2021)
The word I chose to represent this year is “advance.” It is said that the environment surrounding entertainment has seen a bright sign, and that it also contains the determination to progress and evolve. His eyes were already staring into the future, frankly saying that he wanted to act more and more, and that he felt frustrated.
What was 2020 like for you? Kumagai: It was a year that reaffirmed the joy and gratitude of being able to work. While hoping to be able to record with all the performers as soon as possible, on the other hand, I renewed my determination to do what I can do in the current situation without rushing. In my private life, I enjoy reading manga, watching professional wrestling broadcasts, and watching videos on the internet for a change of pace. Nogami Sho-san told me about the performances recommended by Team NACS, and I bought the DVD.
In the anime, “TsukiPro The Animation S2” you play Hiro Yuzuki, “Yokai Gakuen Y ~ N to no Sugu~, you played a wide range of roles, including the role of Oujiro. Kumagai: I have been in charge of Yuzuki since the drama CD, but this is the first time he appeared in the anime. It was refreshing to interact with members other than QUELL, where he is the manager. Yuzuki’s “ordinary sensibility”, which does not waver even after going through various events, is felt from him. That normalcy is also a difficult part, but I’m acting while thinking that I can convey the charm that comes from that. Oujiro, who I was in charge of voicing in “Yokai Gakuen Y”, has a straightforward personality and a strong sense of justice in his own way. However, he was a very worthwhile character to play, as he was troubled and shaken over his friendship with Gomanda Suguru, played by Teruyuki Tanzawa. The playful parts that he occasionally shows are also good. I feel like an older brother. Recording was a lot of fun.
Next year, you play roles in “Tribe Nine” as Hyakutarou Senju, “Ao Ashi” as Ryuichi Takeshima. Kumagai: “Tribe Nine” is an original anime. The work depicts a battle action story in which unique outlaws fight against each other in a fictitious Tokyo. Hyakutarou Senju looks like a hard character, and in my mind, I have the image of him being written as “man” and read as “man.” Please look forward to what kind of activities he will show, including his unexpected side, and what kind of drama will be drawn! I am happy to serve you. I used to play soccer when I was a student, so when I read it, I felt a burning sensation in my heart. Ryuichi Takeshima, who I entrust my voice to, is also a defender, and when I catch a glimpse of his views on soccer and his thoughts, there are parts where I agree with him. Ryuichi, who is in Youth, and I are on completely different levels, so it’s presumptuous (laughs). I would like to perform with all my strength while remembering the passion I had when I was devoting myself to soccer.
Your performance in app games are also impressive. This year, you are in charge of Otone Minami in “Kini no Corda Starlight Orchestra” and Marks in “Senjuushi Rhodoknight”. Kumagai: Otone sounds from a place I’ve never used before (laughs), so those who play the game may have been surprised. At first, I had an image of a tone that was a little closer to the natural voice when I went to the set, but I started with sound director Hiromi Kikuta and the staff, and through careful discussions, I created the foundation for the current sound. I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of expressions and changes will be shown in the future. “Senjuushi Rhodoknight” depicts the sequel to the much loved work “Senjuushi.” Marks is a noble musketeer who will participate in this work. At the same time, I felt some pressure to participate in this work, but I hope that all the masters will love Marks a lot. In January next year, the theme songs CD’s of Like Two (played by Yuya Hirose-san), George (Taku Yashiro-san), and Jitte (Hinata Tadakoro-san) will be released, so I’d be happy if you could listen to them.
At “A3! Third Blooming Festival” and “The Idolmaster SideM~6th Live Side Kobe Tour”, you performed in front of fans for the first time in a while. Kumagai: I think there were plenty of people who have been waiting for me for a long time, and I felt like I was waiting too! It was really the first time in 3 years for the “Bloom Festival”, and I was very happy to be able to stand in front of the producers together with Hideo Akuno on the 6th Live Tour in “The Idolmaster SideM” and show off our performance. At the promotion event in March, I was so fired up, but I think I was able to face the 6th Live Tour with just the right amount of tension.
Speaking of events, you participated in a professional wrestling tournament as a special guest commentator. How was the day? Kumagai: I heard from DDT. At first, I was hesitant as to whether I would be okay with it, but I decided to go to the venue because I was honoured and given such a valuable opportunity. On the day of the event, Kenta Kobashi-san, also known as “Tetsujin”, was next to me, so I was really nervous. There were times when I returned to being just a fan (laughs), but it was really fun!
In “No.77”, I heard that you purchased an abdominal muscle roller. Kumagai: While continuing to use the abdominal muscle roller, I also resumed going to the gym. My favourite strength training is the squat system, especially the Bulgarian squat. Wataru Komada-san has invited me to go muscle training, so I think I’ll have him push me hard next year (laughs).
Finally, please leave a message to all your fans. Kumagai: This year, too, I encountered new works and characters, such as my first experience as a regular in an overseas drama with “Euphoria.” I would appreciate it if you could enjoy it even a little, and it would enrich your daily life. And next year, I would like to progress and evolve so that we can deliver even more than this year. I wanted to act in more and more different works, and I thought that I would put all my frustration into it and move on. I appreciate your continued support.
Column: Happy holidays
New Year’s fun is the local Okinawan cuisine, Hone-jiru, a type of soup. Bone-in meat is simmered to make a dashi stock, which is then seasoned with salt. It goes well with white rice! I hope the day when I can eat it again will come soon.
Sho Nogami & Takeaki Masuyama (Voice Newtype Vol. 81 2021)野上 翔 & 益山武明
Now in its 6th year, the young voice actor project “8P” is expanding its activities beyond variety shows to include music, drama CD’s, and games. This is the final round of the dialogues that appeared in order. What are your thoughts about the evolution of the project and the trust you have gained in your colleagues through your activities so far?
Please tell us about your first impressions of each other, how it changed during the “8P” activities, and how it remained the same. Masuyama: The first I met Nogami-kun was on another radio program, and since then he has been a person who listens carefully to what people are saying and returns the ball properly. My first impression is that he’s a polite person. Even now, when I talk with Nogami-kun, I naturally feel happy. I think it’s wonderful that he is good at talking and listening. Nogami: When I was on the radio, I really felt Masuyama-kun’s chivalrous spirit. So, at first, I got the impression that he was a solid person. In the “8P” scene, he organized things, but just because he’s masculine doesn’t mean he’s stubborn. There were some things that made me want to go out (laughs), and I got the impression that he was a cute person. Masuyama: Nogami-kun is often criticized during “8P” activities, and people who don’t know Nogami-kun may think he’s a sharp person, but that’s just to liven things up. He will do it properly even if he’s criticized. Even though he says he don’t want to do it, I wonder if he’s hurting himself by being so serious about the job (laughs). Nogami: It’s a tough world to live in (laughs). Masuyama: It’s cute to see. He’s skilful in his actions, but clumsy in his way of life.
Through the activities of “8P”. Nogami: If I may say this without fear of being misunderstood, at first I thought that I had zero value as “Sho Nogami” because I was not involved in the work, and I had nothing on my shoulders. I was very reluctant to put myself out there. If anything, I still have that feeling a little bit, and I think that the clumsy way of life that Masuyama-kun talked about is due to that. The reduction in that sense of resistance has been a major change in the activities of “8P.” Masuyama: For me, variety activities “8P” was my first time. As a voice actor, there are many times when you have to carry it all by yourself, so I think I had to think about how I could make it more interesting, such as whether I had to be strong in “8P” at first. In a good way, I felt a sense of relief from my shoulders, wondering if it was enough just to have fun. Even if I didn’t like it, people around me followed up on it and made it interesting, so I no longer had to worry about it all by myself.
Was there a trigger for this relationship? Masuyama: It’s not that there was an event, but rather that when we were working together to create the “8P channel”, when we were hurt, we were hurt together (lol), and it felt like all eight of us were getting a feel for it so naturally we were friends. Awareness began to grow. Nogami: A sense of solidarity was created. For example, in an etude, one when you do something funny, everyone gets excited? After all, one person seems to stand out. However, there is always someone who assists. In “8P” “Only I stand out, I’ll do it!” Masuyama: I think each other actor has his or her own ego, but it works in a good direction. If the spotlight is on me, I will shake it off without hesitation, and if it’s on someone else, I’ll do my best to cheer them on. In that sense, everyone may have had the basics of teamwork. Nogami: There were eight stand-up plays, and as a result, it became teamwork. I don’t think “8P” is a team play, so it might be a special form.
Is there anything you are inspired by or want to absorb from the members? Nogami: I am inspired. However, there are things that are suitable for people, and whether or not you want to absorb them is another matter. Everyone is so nice. No matter who you are alone with, you can have a good time and have a lively conversation. Eight adult men gathered together, and I think this kind of harmony is rare (laughs). Masuyama: As a voice actor, I work in the same industry, but I’m also a rival. It makes me happy to see it. Rather than saying, “I’m frustrated, I’ll do my best too,” I feel like, “You did it!” is more stimulating, it makes me feel better. I feel good about my friends who make me feel that way.
Let us know what you think of the drama CD “Heaven & Lost”. Masuyama: Castor, played by Nogami-kun, and my Altair were both shocking developments. Nogami: It was a different subject than “8P” has done so far. When I read the script, I was surprised by the life-scraping story, and I thought it was interesting that the members were divided into friends and foes. As for the characters we play, parts that you don’t understand in Vol.1 alone will be revealed in Vol. 2. Masuyama: At first, we were split into four groups, but when we found out that Castor might have a connection on the enemy team, I thought it would be fun to see the place where the relationship changes. Besides, I still haven’t heard about Altair’s former teacher. Many unexplored settings. I think there are various things… Well, I betrayed you (laughs). Nogami: That’s the most surprising thing. Masuyama: We are still digging deep into the content. As Nogami-kun said, listening to it again will give you a different impression, so please look forward to future developments.
Please tell us about your future enthusiasm and what you want to try with “8P”. Nogami: If I get too enthusiastic about any kind of work, I end up running out of steam. I hope that I will not be overly enthusiastic and just say, “It will work out somehow.” Our collaboration with Otomate (the romance adventure game Paradigm Paradox) has also been well received, and we are seeing unexpected developments. I want to have a mindset that I can look forward to. Masuyama: Thanks to the support of all the fans, I was able to continue for five years. For collaboration projects, people will think, “If this is the kind of content that continues, I’d like to team up with “8P”. In the future, I hope that we will be able to do collaborations that will surprise people and make them wonder, “Are the voice actors collaborating with this?” I think it’s cool, and I’d be happy if people thought “8P” was amazing!
Column: Recommended movies for long autumn nights
- Sho Nogami (Vibo)
It is a musical animated film distributed on Netflix. It was a work recommended by the director who, and the song is wonderful, and it made me want to be able to dub it like this. It’s a story that both children and adults can enjoy, and I ended watching it two days in a row (laughs).
- Takeaki Masuyama (Beauty and the Beast)
When I was a child, I thought of Gaston as the worst of all evils, but when I saw him as an adult, I found a certain refreshingness in seeing him do whatever it takes to get the girl he liked. I felt it, and I didn’t hate him (laughs). It’s interesting to feel the difference in perspective as an adult.
Yuya Hozumi (Voice Newtype Vol. 77 2020)
Yuya Hozumi, who is also active as a member of SparQlew, is active as a new era voice actor who expresses himself. We searched for the search of power to enjoy any kind of work with all one’s might.
Since this is your first appearance in this magazine, could you tell us what inspired you to become a voice actor? Hozumi: When I was in the first grade of elementary school, I admired Kamen Rider after watching “Kamen Rider Dark Uga.” Even after that, the desire to become a Kamen Rider never disappeared. When I became a junior high school student, I looked it up on the internet and found out that I had to be an actor to become a Kamen Rider. When I looked up what I should do to become an actor, I couldn’t find anything about it, even if I looked it up on the internet. After that, I saw a lot of voice actors’ names written in “Kamen Rider Den-O”, and there was a boom in anime at school, so I recognized the profession of a voice actor. I wanted to be both an actor and a voice actor, but I couldn’t do both at the same time. I wonder if it’s okay. It turns out later that it was a shallow idea (laughs).
After that, you went on to a voice acting school. Hozumi: A high school friend told me that he was going to Tokyo Announce Gakuin for a trial admission, so I went with him and decided to enrol. To become a voice actor, you have to enter an agency after graduation, but among the many voice acting agencies out there, it was said that it would be difficult to get into Ken Productions because of the high odds. At the time, my school didn’t have an on-campus audition for Ken Pro, so I thought I’d give it a try, so I applied for the general competition. I couldn’t get in at that time, but Ken Pro invited me to join the newly established basic class, and after that I was able to join.
You want to go to the direction that you think is difficult. Hozumi: I thought that if I didn’t go where it was said to be difficult, I wouldn’t be able to become a voice actor anyway. But then I appeared in a live-action drama with SparQlew. It was then that I realized how amazing the actors were… It wasn’t easy at all (laughs).
What are you going to do as a voice actor? Hozumi: Every day I think it’s difficult. There are things that depend on my condition, and most of all, it’s difficult to manage my emotions while acting. Not only the throat, but also the physical condition of the nose and stomach are greatly affected. Emotionally, it’s difficult to keep up with the fluctuations in the character’s emotions. Even if you are good at reading the lines, even if you are good at reading the script, that alone is not enough. Even if I understood the director’s direction in my head, I couldn’t get it to work the way I thought it would in an instant. Every aspect is difficult.
What kind of voice actor do you aim to be? Hozumi: Everyone is amazing, and I don’t look up to a specific person or imitate someone. I have my own style. It may be impertinent to someone, because I don’t think I can create my own style if I’m admiring someone else. Of course, there are people who refer to it depends on their role. But rather than chasing someone else, I think running in my own way suits me better. I don’t talk to people much, but sometimes I talk to my seniors as a chat in the studio.
Recently, you’ve been working as a voice actor too. Hozumi: There are more things to put things. I love to stand out, so I think my current job is my vocation. But when I first debuted, I was unconsciously nervous and couldn’t speak. When I go out in public, I think I must do it properly, but I think too much. At that time, I always tried to maximise my potential, but compared to those days, I think I have become more relaxed.
Is there anything that you consider important in your activities? Hozumi: Be satisfied with yourself. I don’t think you can make others happy when you are not happy with yourself. I’m usually concerned about my appearance because I want to be satisfied when I look in the mirror. I don’t call the people who support me “fans”, but “everyone”, but since everyone is an important existence inside of me, I feel that the expression “fans” draws a line. I love everyone, so I always try to tell them how I feel.
SparQlew’s live on August 9th was a livestream without an audience to the cancellation of the scheduled tour. Hozumi: Since I had the experience of appearing in live performances that I had been to before, I was able to perform live with a warm feeling that everyone was in front of me, even without an audience. We were able to show it in a way that could only be done through a live broadcast, such as filming the stage with a single camera, and we were able to show our new charms, so I was able to face it with a positive feeling.
You have a new tour planned for next year. Hozumi: Be prepared! I really don’t know what’s going to happen (laughs). I was able to calm during the broadcast live, but I think there are a lot more things I can do with everyone, so I want to hit it with all my might!
The unit “Sakutasuke” born from the TV anime “Actors – Songs Connection” has been released. Hozumi: It’s a unit that was born in anime, but I’m really grateful that we were able to put out an album with just the three of us, Saku, Aosuke, and Uta. We were able to make it happen because there were a lot of voices from everyone who supported us through the anime and the original drama CD, who wanted to hear Sakutasuke’s CD. Sakutasuke’s three voices are well balanced. It’s something that I’ve felt since the time it aired, so I’m glad it became a CD.
The CD “Boku to de Iijanai E.P.” will be released on October 7th. “Parahos” is a new type of content that combines parara x host. Hozumi: I play a popular host named Kaguya Kou. The song of the club “Dream Love” that we belong to is full of euro beat feeling. Above all, Kishou Taniyama-san’s singing voice in “Night Of Fire” is the best (laughs). They asked me to sing in a relaxed way, so I sing in a very intense way. We even had a champagne call, but it was OK (laughs).
What kind of person do you want to be in the near future? Hozumi: Right now, I’m an incomplete “Yuya Hozumi”, but I want to become more complete. I want to complete myself as a work of art. I’ve been blessed with so many people that I’ve been able to make it this far, and with everyone’s help, I’d like to get closer to my ideals.
Column: Little Happiness
It’s work. I’m the type of person who can’t start running without a destination, so when I have work to do, I really enjoy the preparations. I was previously interviewed by KiKi, and this time I was able to appear in this magazine. I feel happy to be able to build relationships like this!
Yoshitaka Yamaya (Voice Newtype Vol. 74 2019)
Yoshitaka Yamaya appeared in many works and events this year as well. The appearance of always devoting himself to the character warms the hearts of those who see it. Looking back on many activities in 2019, we asked him to talk about his expectations for the new year.
This year is already over, and what a year it was. Yamaya: Looking back, I feel that I was given the opportunity to do many things this year. As I get older, I feel like a year is getting short and shorter (laughs). It will be released in January next year, but “Digimon Adventure Last Evolution Kizuna” was a big work for me. I was very happy just thinking that I might be able to appear in the work that I was obsessed with when I was a child after taking the audition. When I was asked to do so, the pressure was so great that I almost ran away (laughs). Partly because it’s a big project, but also because I’ve never played a role previously played by someone else. I inherited the role of Iori Hida from Megumi Urawa-san, a great senior. That great senior is playing a partner Digimon next to me. Of course, she was definitely reliable, and she was a very kind person, and she pulled me along.
So, did you receive any instruction to play the grown-up Iori? Yamaya: Do, I didn’t. During the post-recording, Director Taguchi-san and everyone in the production team told me, “Don’t forget the feeling you had during the audition. Since the audition was for everyone to face “Digimon” once again, interpret it, and submit it, I trust you guys.” As the title suggests, the atmosphere was one of cherishing the bonds of those who were involved in the work.
“Hoshiai no Sora,” which is currently airing, is also a hot topic. Yamaya: I was surprised because it was completely different from what I imagined from that picture. Each of the characters has their own troubles, such as their home environment. I play the role of Yuta Asuka, who is X-gender and part of the LGBT community (sexual minority). It was very difficult for him to act because he was still a child who didn’t know where to categorize himself. The main character, Maki Katsuragi, who appears there, is the first person who understands Yuta. “Isn’t that normal? I know someone like that, too.” If you look it up on the internet, you will find that there are people just like that, but I think it was very reassuring to hear that there are people close to me. It’s not a fantasy, it’s everywhere in today’s society, but we don’t have the opportunity to know about it. I think it’s a great work that takes up such a topic.
“Stand My Heroes: Piece of Truth” where you play Natsuki Sugano, was also a noteworthy work. Yamaya: The original app game is very complete. At first glance, it looks like it’s for women, but it’s fun for men too. I want to make anime with a drama taste. Everyone was enthusiastic, and when I saw the video, it really felt like a live-action mystery drama. At the post-recording site, Tomokazu Sugita-sam, who plays the role of Itsuki Aoyama, took care of all the cast and led everyone. All the actors were highly motivated, and it was a very rewarding work.
And from January, the anime “A3!”, which is also based on an app game, will start. Yamaya: It is a work that makes me feel the magnitude of Kantoku’s (fans) love. Whenever we receive a new scenario, record it, record a character song, or perform a live performance, we give it our all, but we’re always amazed by Kantoku’s enthusiasm. This work is one in which the characters grow and age. The summer troupe’s Muku Sakisaki, who I play, is originally a cute boy, but he wants to become cool and become a prince someday, so he’s learning a lot. I’m sure he’ll continue to grow as they perform more and more in the future.
You will also appear in “If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die”. It’s based on a very popular manga. Yamaya: This role I play the role of an idol otaku. Up until now, I have acted as an idol, but this is the first time I’m supporting them. At first, I thought it would be okay because there were so many things I didn’t know, but when I tried it, it turned out to be a lot of fun. Idol circumstances are so severe that it was a surprise. We were also given the roles of idols, but I felt that we were given the opportunity to do so in a very warm environment (laughs). I think it will change the way you look at idols. I’ve come to think that top idols are people who put their blood, sweat and tears into their efforts.
What kind of otaku are the acting group? Yamaya: I’m an underground idol otaku, but compared to Gachiota’s Eripiyo and Kumasa-san, I have a so-called serious love. I want to get closer to idols and hopefully date them. While the two of them devote their entire lives to being idols, Motoi’s sense is close to that of someone who isn’t an idol otaku, so I was able to perform without thinking too hard.
You are active in a wide range of fields, but do you still have the desire to be a voice actor. Yamaya: It doesn’t change. I think the ideal would be to focus on my work as a voice actor, dubbing animations and foreign works, and having my work recognized, and then enjoying other activities as well. I’m still not good at showing my face, but in this day and age, there’s nothing I can do about avoiding it. I want to make it as difficult as possible.
It’s a busy day, how do you take a breather? Yamaya: I like walking around town to see furniture and interior decoration in an unfamiliar city. I’ve also been into foreign movies and dramas for a long time. I’ve seen popular series like “Stranger Things,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Game of Thrones.” I’m currently watching the Avenger series. It’s a popular series, but I’ve never seen it before. There are too many people, and I wondered if there were too many differences in individual abilities (laughs). But I wanted to know why they were so popular, so now I’m watching each hero’s work one by one.
I would like to ask you to share your resolutions for next year for all of the fans who support you. Yamaya: In today’s world, there are so many fun things to do, and there are people who like voice actors and anime, and there are people who like me. Sometimes I wonder, “Why me?”, but people come to events, listen to radio, and find me saying, “You appeared in that work.” Just hearing those voices gives me energy. I’m not a diligent person, so I haven’t been able to post much on Twitter (laughs), but I’d like to continue to cherish opportunities to interact with fans. I hope I can tweet as much as I can next year!
Column: My Christmas!
I would like to live in a house with a decorated Christmas tree. The ideal would be a big tree like “Home Alone” with lots of presents under it. Rather than green, I’d rather have the feeling of falling snow. It would be great if I have a dog too!
Kentarou Kumagai (Voice Newtype 67 2018)
Kentarou Kumagai, a voice actor from Okinawa whose motto is “Let’s do it!”
What made you want to become a voice actor? Kumagai: When I was in junior high school, I saw Mamoru Miyano’s MV on TV and thought he was cool. That was how I got to know about the work of a voice actor. When I looked it up, I found it changing what I wanted to do in the future. Teacher, Pilot, Auto Mechanic… I thought that if I became a voice actor, I might be able to simulate everything. With just one voice, you can become something other than yourself.
How were your high school days? Kumagai: I have been playing soccer since I was in elementary school. It was the last competition in junior high school. I was burned out at the time, so I decided to take a part-time job to raise money to study voice acting in Tokyo. Two weeks after he was a child, what he wanted to do in the future had changed. After graduating, I attended a vocational school in Okinawa once a week and moved to Tokyo when I was 18. So, I saved money again and entered the training school of the current office. Even while I was saving money in Tokyo, I was able to help out with theatre-related projects, and my passion for acting never faded.
You can tell that it was not a half-baked decision. How was your life in Tokyo? Kumagai: I was able to cultivate the hungry spirit of not losing (laughs). The part-time job to pay for my living expenses was quite tough, and every day I struggled with anxiety as to whether I would really be able to belong to an agency. There were a lot of classmates at the training school, so I wasted no time trying to figure out how to get people to notice me (laughs). People often said to me, “Kumagai-kun, you don’t get nervous, do you?” I was holding out with the feeling that I was going to show you what I could do!” Actually, I’m quite nervous.
Was there anything that surprised you when you actually became a voice actor? Kumagai: To be honest, I thought that as soon as I entered the office, I would be able to get a so-called mob role immediately. Now that I think about it, it was a pretty sweet idea. If I could become a piece in the work, I would be grateful for the many people involved in the work, the office staff who recognized my existence, and so many other people. It’s something that requires strength. I don’t want to forget that gratitude, and that’s the reason why I cherish greetings on site.
With Hideo Akuno of “Idolmaster SideM” you passed the audition for the first time. Kumagai: It’s been three years since we met. Whether it’s a play or a song, the more I learn about Hideo, the more things I want to do, and the things I can do increases. Also, since I got this role, there are people who have been watching over me since my debut, which is very reassuring. Originally, I was not good at singing, because I wanted to do voice acting, so at first, I was worried whether I would really be able to do the work and whether I should sing. Without a doubt, it was the reactions of everyone who enjoyed the songs and live performances that broadened my horizons. That’s why.
“A3!” depicts the world of a stage actor. Kumagai: Sometimes I play the role of “Kentarou Kumagai played by Omi Fushimi,” so I’m confused (laughs). One thing that I had a lot of trouble with was the line when Omi, who had no acting experience, auditioned to join the company. I have a good physique and my voice is loud enough to get through, but I still have to lean towards a “stick reading” that feels stiff, but many times I get retakes saying “I’m still a little good”… As an actor, it’s an interesting theme, and the music is also a fascinating work, so I’m looking forward to the future development.
What kind of role did Aston in “Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans” become for you? Kumagai: During recordings, I was often told, “Don’t overdo it, don’t take it too seriously.” If anything, I think that acting with a strong attack is my strength, so it was really difficult for Aston, who talks like he’s half talking to himself. On the day of my last performance, I didn’t want to go to the studio. If I said that line, he would no longer be able to live in this work. However, when I thought that what I should act is not “death”, but “life” until the very last moment, I felt like I could see a little bit of what I should do from now on.
Thankfully, he will remain in the hearts of those who see him. Kumagai: However, Aston has become a high wall inside me. From now on, I must overcome that experience on my own.
And you got your first leading role in an anime as Theo in “Grancrest Senki”. Kumagai: When I was called by the manger with a serious look on his face, I thought I had messed something up. Even when I was told, “The main character has been decided.” I couldn’t understand it for a while, so I was like, “…Ugh?” (laughs). It was a turning point for Theo, and I would be happy if you could feel a little bit because it changed the consciousness of the play a little. While watching the performances of my seniors, I thought, “I wonder if I can steal that feeling somehow,” and tried to challenge myself. As a result, far from stealing I really don’t know what to do what I was taught.
Theo is a young man with high ideals. What do you want to stick to in this world? Kumagai: I’m not as good as a person as he is, but I still want to do voice work for the rest of my life. “I want to be something other than myself,” and I want to keep the original feeling unwavering.
You also do a lot of work for radio and NicoNico. Kumagai: When I was a student, I often listened to Hideki Ogiwara-san’s radio and loved chatting, so the job itself was one of my dreams. But speaking to the majority of people, I thought about how difficult it was. It’s scary because the way people feel about it changes depending on the listener, but I’m having fun doing it.
I was overwhelmed by your passion for conveying the charm of professional wrestling while feeling that your voice was very pleasant to listen to. Kumagai: It is said that there is no sharpness in the voice. It’s like listening to AM radio. Only because I like professional wrestling, I can explain things in other words. I think it’s a skill that can be achieved with “like”.
Other than watching professional wrestling, how do you spend your days off? Kumagai: Rent a car and drive around without deciding where to go. Go to karaoke by myself and sing without hesitation. Even though I miss it more than anyone else, I’m a troublesome guy likes spending time alone (laughs).
Lastly, please give a message to those who are paying attention to Kumagai-san’s activities! Kumagai: I’m a negative person by nature, but this year, I want to turn that around and my best in a positive way. I will do my best to increase the number of opportunities for everyone to listen to my performances, so please give me your encouragement!
Column: New myself
When I came to Tokyo, I thought “Trains are very convenient.” I was worried about living alone for the first time, but the excitement was bigger. I like jumping into a new environment even though I’m not chattering.
Hiroyuki Yoshino (Voice Animage Plus January 2018)
Feel the power of nature with a magnificent and refreshing MV!
What kind of theme was the lead song “Innocence” of the 4th mini album “Emotional” produced? Yoshino: It all started with a suggestion from the director that this song would require the voices of the audience, and that we should make a song that relied heavily on the voices of the audience rather than a call-and-response. The image is that I sing while the audience sings, so when I sing live, I might feel lonely if the audience doesn’t sing (laughs). My style is usually to choose the lead song after recording a few songs, but this it was decided with a bang. When I listened to the song, what I felt was “liberation of the soul” and “liberation of emotions,” so Kisuke-san wrote the lyrics with that as the theme.
Yoshino-san, what image do you have of the word “innocence”? Do you like it? Yoshino: When I heard only the word, I had a childish image of innocence. However, when I looked it up, it also meant that there was no attachment, no worldly desires, and purity, so it seemed like a good title for this song. If I were you, I tend to pick up words in the lyrics and use them as titles, but I think it’s wonderful that the title is “innocence” in these lyrics.
When I listened to “innocence”, I felt that it was a song that suited the vastness of nature, and the MV was exactly what I imagined! Yoshino: I also thought that if we were to shoot a music video for this song, it would be better to do it in an open space rather than indoors. This song is one that reverberates, so I wanted to shoot with a voice that matches that. When I told the director what I was associated with, such as lakes and bonfires, he put together a plot based on that. I’m glad the weather was nice on the day of the shoot, but it was really cold (laughs). The boat scene was actually shot near the shore. They took this picture while I was holding the boat in the lake.
It is so. In the video, it looked like they were actually crossing the lake on a boat. Yoshino: I could have just released it, but the camera couldn’t keep up (laughs).
I would like to hear about other recordings as well. “Encounter” is rock with a sense of speed. Yoshino: This song was actually one of the songs that was on the list when we were selecting Uncle Bomb songs, but it wasn’t selected. However, the director said it was a good song, so I corrected the parts that bothered me and proceeded with it as my song. The key word in the lyrics is “love at first sight”, but there are many different things about love at first sight. There are romantic things, encounters with things, and different types of rice (laughs). I didn’t dare to specify in detail, I just told him to write “impulsively, passionately.” Also, the first person in the lyrics is not “boku” or “ore”, but “self” as it applies to everyone. I gave it a minute.
What kind of image did you create for “Twisted Night?” Yoshino: I asked him to create a song that would develop dramatically from the beginning of the song, imagining the theme of a certain anime, and make it feel like it’s driving you up. At the time of the interview, it wasn’t finished yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of song it will turn out to be. “Siren” is a song that was made because I wanted to do something a little bad looking like rock music. While “Twisted Night” has lyrics from a female point of view, this one is more masculine. I also asked Kisuke-san to write the lyrics. The chorus explodes with the hoarding, making it an appealing song.
“Sayonara” is a beautiful medium, it’s a ballad. Yoshino: There are parts that sound bright, but it would be nice if I could express the moment when winter changes to spring with a slightly sad song. At first, I wrote the lyrics myself while having discussions with the director. But I wanted to use it as a keyword. Now I feel that it would be difficult for me to sing the lyrics I wrote myself with the theme of “broken heart.” After thinking about it, I decided to ask Saeki youthK-san for the lyrics. For songs with these themes, I prefer simple expressions rather than abstract words. However, Saeki-san put it in the lyrics. I felt that this kind of atmosphere was good, so I asked him to incorporate it into the lyrics. In this mini-album, the overall line-up has a lot of lonely elements, so “It’s a Show Time” is a happy song. The production was based on the image of the moment when a person who is usually unattractive becomes the main character. I chose the lyrics in a competition, and I like the part “It’s a Show Time” written by Moritsuki Cass-san, which includes wordplay such as “Iza Invitation” and “Love’s True Identity.”
It’s a mini album with a lot of variety, but which song left a particularly strong impression on you during this recording? Yoshino: “Siren” maybe. Slow singing with a double chorus… It has a mellow feel, yet the world view is very clear, and the lyrics are dark. If you make a mistake, the character song going to take a more casual approach than singing, but if I do that, it won’t be a song as Hiroyuki Yoshino, so it was difficult and hard work.
Yoshino-san, you often use the word “Goen” on SNS. Especially in the last few months, there have been many live performances and events, and I think I have made many more connections. Yoshino: If the event is held only in Tokyo, there will be people who will try their best to come, but there will be people who will find it difficult to come. Thank you for your help. It made me realize once again that there are people who are difficult to meet if we don’t go. I feel that there are not only connections that are made through your efforts, but also connections that are made through my efforts, so I want to increase that number even more. An event is a once-in-a-lifetime chance, so I would like you to cherish that moment and share it.
Yuichirou Umehara Ume Goyomi” ~ Kanbai Photobook 2021 (Part 6)
- Lego Block (November/December 2020 issue)
When I can remember, I had Lego at home. I used to play with it all the time when I was little. In a dark corner of the room, and alone (laughs). I remembered all the parts I had back then. When I had an idea of what I wanted to make, such as a spaceship or an airplane, I could imagine it in my head, “I will use that in this way,” and I had memorized the entire process of making it. Even if it broke a little, I was able to rebuild it exactly the same. When I think about it, I realize that I was more focused in the past than I am now (laughs).
This is the first time I’ve touched Lego in a long time, but I’ve never done it before, and it was fun to create something in such an irregular shape. It was my first time to touch a large Lego. When I was looking at Lego pamphlets and stuff like that, I used to make fun of myself as a child (laughs). “I’m not going to play with such a childish toy,” I said. Somehow my pride wouldn’t allow it, even though I was a child too (laughs). But I tried it this time, and it was fun because it’s not easy to get inside Lego. There was also a feeling of building blocks rather than Lego.
I personally like Lego, so it was fun. Just the other day, I bought a Minecraft Lego for my relative’s child as a birthday present. Come to think of it, at the time, I was making gold bars because I thought it was the “thing I wanted most,” but now the value of gold has fallen considerably (laughs).
- Balloon art (January/February 2020 issue)
Balloon art is not suitable (laughs). Because of my lack of planning, I started making things without thinking about the future, and ended up with inconsistent things. I don’t want to do that for the rest of my life (laughs). Speaking of balloons, I remember crying a lot when I let go of the helium-filled balloon that my sister had bought for me when I was little, and it flew away. “IT” by Stephen King. I watched the drama version when I was in elementary school, and I remember thinking, “What is that punchline?” even though it was really scary (laughs). But the old footage is scary and interesting, so please watch the drama version.
I once tried making a whole roasted chicken by myself for Christmas. I bought a whole chicken and one chicken, prepared the day before, and grilled it for about three hours on the day of the event. It went well and was delicious, but it was beyond my imagination. 2020 has been a lot of things in the world, but it was quite fulfilling for me it was another year. When work is stopped due to self-restraint, I can take a walk around the house, go to the park, and relax. Now I feel that it is good to be able to work at my own pace in a relaxed manner.
This was a mess, wasn’t it? It seems that I’m not good at making amezaiku or something in the shape of a good animal… does it mean I don’t have love for it? It was the first time for me to experienced full-fledged tree decorations.
- Guitar (March/April 2020 issue)
I think the first song I copied on the guitar was “Wheeler Song”, which was included in the score of Bump of Chicken’s “Yggdrasil” album, which I bought when I was in my third year of middle school. At the time, my friends and I were both living in apartments, so we would get together in the park and play. It was youth (laughs).
I haven’t touched the guitar in about six months. I thought that I had to do it, but I skipped it. I often watch videos on YouTube of a guitar instructor named Ko-Jun. When I actually play it, I can’t play it that well, so I’m disappointed (laughs). I learned a lot as I assembled the instrument while he explained everything from the beginning to the details, such as adjusting the string heights. I let him play the finished guitar, and the frets were polished, so it was smooth and easy to play. My criterion for choosing a guitar is, after all, the appearance. Also, I have small hands, so I tend to choose a Telecaster type that has a narrow neck and is easy to play. As for sound, I like crisp high notes, so I like Strats and Telecasters for that reason.
I have an adjustment kit, but I didn’t really understand how to use it, so I’m glad you taught me here. I thought I should adjust the guitar at home regularly. I haven’t connected it to an amp yet, so I’m looking forward to it.
Bonus photos at the end of the photobook. Enjoy!
Tomohito Takatsuka (Voice Newtype Vol. 82 2021)
Tomohito Takatsuka, who has sung character songs for roles he played, including the role of Minori Watanabe in “Idolmaster SideM”, will make his long-awaited artistic debut in January 2022. Takatsuka, who says, “I have loved music since I was little,” talked about his debut mini album “Hoshi no Oto.”
Now that you’ve made your debut as an artist, how are you feeling now? Takatsuka: I’ve always wanted to work as an artist, and I’ve never said no to the opportunity, so I’m happy. I’m finally able to deliver my own song to the fans who say they like my song. I received words of encouragement from fellow voice actors who debuted earlier, saying, “Let’s do our best together.”
Please tell us about the concept of the mini-album “Hoshi no Oto.” Takatsuka: For me, music is something that adds colour to my life. I always listen to music when I’m on the move, but the roads I walk and the scenery I see while listening to music are different, and the songs I listen to are different. The impression also changes. In that sense, music may be something that dramatically changes your life. That’s how important music is to me, so when I thought about what kind of music, I wanted to deliver to everyone, I thought it would be “beautiful music.” As a view of the world that expresses that beauty, I decided to use my favourite starry skies and nights as the theme.
What is the production of “Hoshi no Oto”? How did you start? Takatsuka: First, I wanted to tell the direction of the music I wanted to do, and then ask a producer who can handle various kinds of music. Also, I love songs that use the piano. I had a strong desire to include piano in the songs on this album. Adding the sounds of instruments such as piano and violin makes the whole song very beautiful.
Starting with the lead song “Hoshi to Eien.” How did you feel when you listened to it? Takatsuka: We were asked to put together about 9 candidate songs for the album, and among them, this was a song that blew me away. Not only the sound, but also the lyrics at the beginning, “Hey, do you remember?” I wanted to make a song that starts with a question mark. How did you know that? It’s a song that I really fell in love with just the intro. The whole song is one story, and it’s painful and mouth-watering. That’s why when I was recording, I sang with the feeling of sorrow as important. “Sadness” is my favourite emotion. That’s why I sang it so that those who listened to this song would be able to fully understand my feelings.
Since the lead song, which is packed with Takatsuka-san’s worldview and musicality, comes first, it seems that you will be drawn into the world of Takatsuka-san’s music. Please let us know your thoughts on the other recorded songs as well. Takatsuka: The second song, “Aouta”, is a song that you will want to listen to while taking a walk. When you’re feeling down, look up at the sky for a moment and cheer yourself up. Actually, I put this song on the album after receiving a message from a fan who wanted to hear a song on the radio that made them think, “I’ll do my best from tomorrow onwards.” I’m a positive person myself, and I’m the type of person who can my feelings with music and feel positive, so I’d be happy if everyone’s feelings lifted up even just a little while listening to the song. It’s also instructed as if it dawned with the song and the bright day had arrived. The next song, “est”, is a song that means “superlative”, as the lyrics say. It’s a gentle song that speaks with a tense heart, telling yourself and others that you’re alive that it’s okay, it’s okay to be pampered. “Tsuygari Hero” is a Vocaloid-like up-tempo song. When I thought about what a person’s “strong core” is, the word “hero” came to mind. My favourite is the lyric, “Laughing last is a hero.”
“Tsuyogari Hero” is the song with the brightest image in the album, and the last two songs have a slightly calmer image. Takatsuka: That’s right. “Anemone” is a ballad that brings sadness to the fore. At first it was a different song name, but I insisted that I want to name it after my favourite flower. I love “Anemone” so much that it even became the name of the band I was in when I was in high school. The language of flowers, such as “fleeting love” and “suffering of love”, fits perfectly with the image of the lyrics, and it’s a wonderful song with piano as the main element. The last song, “Walk,” has a beautiful acoustic guitar melody. It’s the type of song I like, but the taste is different from the songs I’ve sung so far. I chose it with the intention of fighting. So, for me, it’s the day of the audition, and for the fans, it’s great to hear it on the day of the big game, such as exams and competitions.
How was your first recording as an artist? Takatsuka: I’m the kind of person who sings whenever I have free time, so I was really happy that I could finally show my full potential. I’ve received a lot of emotions from music so far, so this time I sang with all my heart that I want to deliver those emotions to everyone. In addition to being able to express myself and sing freely, I also learned the technique of putting emotion into the song, so it was really fun. Of course, even though I was taught techniques, I realized that there were things that I couldn’t produce with my current self. I realized that I wasn’t there and saw a new issue. However, I think I was able to say that this is the 100% that I can do now.
How was the MV shooting for “Hoshi to Eien”? Takatsuka: I had a hard time (laughs). I like the sound source the most because I want to hear the sound cleanly. Also, when I listen to music, I choose it based on my mood and situation, with an active feeling of “I want to listen to this song right now!” But with MV and live performances, the feelings and effects of the sender, who wants people to listen to this, come into my mind visually. However, I told them that I wanted to make a “beautiful” MV like a mini album. The finish is really nice, and the video makes you feel the sadness that is found in the song.
Ahead of the release of such an album, what kind of year was 2021? Takatsuka: It was a year in which I felt that I had taken a step forward by making the most of my experience. 2022 will start with my debut as an artist, so I want to gain momentum, and I want to challenge various things without being afraid, and I hope I can return all of them to the role of an actor. I want to keep moving forward both as a voice actor and as an artist, so I would be happy if you could support me.
Column: Happy Holidays
I look forward to listening to the Christmas songs released by various artists every year and watching the townscape twinkling with illuminations. After all, music really lifts my mood. Christmas is my favourite event of the year.
Daisuke Hirose & Shunichi Toki (Voice Newtype Vol. 81 2021)
廣瀬大介 & 土岐 隼一
“Project Sekai Colourful Stage!” It is a content where you can enjoy the story of five units growing up under the guidance of a virtual singer, newly written songs by popular creators, and numerous famous songs in a rhythm game. This time, one of the units “Wonderlands x Showtime” Daisuke Hirose, who plays the role of Tenma Tsukasa, and Shunichi Toki, who plays the role of Kamishiro Rui, talk about the appeal of “Project Sekai.”
It has been years since the app distribution started. What kind of year was it for you two? Toki: Including the games and music, it’s been a very busy year, and it’s only been a year. That’s my impression. Hirose: Thinking about it since the audition, it’s been about two years since we started working together, so maybe it feels like more time has passed. Toki: Me and Daisuke-kun do an informational program “Project Sekai Wandasho Channel” once a month. I feel that it was a very packed year. Hirose: More and more new things. There is new information every month, and I didn’t think that “Wandasho Channel” would also be distributed every month (laughs). I believe that I still have many things to draw on, and I’m looking forward to the year ahead.
How has the reaction been from the fans? Hirose: There have been many opportunities to feel closer to them through “Nneru.” Toki: My personal impression is that “Project Sekai” has increased the number of opportunities for people to get to know me. Vocaloid seems to be close, but it’s a world far away. There are many music games out there, and we have had the opportunity to sing character songs, but I think this is the first time we’ve sung together with a virtual singer like Hatsune Miku. Vocaloid fans knew about me thanks to “Project Sekai.” Hirose: I feel that the passion and love of the users is amazing. Fans are familiar with virtual singers, but I think it was unknown how the original characters would intertwine and whether they would be accepted by everyone. However, when I opened the lid, I felt that all the people who loved the work were enjoying “Project Sekai” with a strong amount of passion and love. Toki: In a good way, it stretches your spine. Hirose: Same.
What do you have in common with the characters? Please tell each other. Hirose: You are good with words and the amount of knowledge of Rui-kun and Toki-kun are plenty. That knowledge is not dormant, and it opens up in various directions instantaneously. Toki: Tsukasa and Daisuke-kun have “flowers”. I’m speaking of charisma. It might be nice, but when you’re on stage and when you’re performing, you’re eye-catching. Also, Tsukasa is still in the development stage and is dangerous, but I feel that there is something about him that attracts people, and he is a character that is loved and teased. Daisuke-kun is also a beloved character, and when he’s with someone he’s on good terms with, he gets teased (laughs). I think that Tsukasa and Daisuke-kun are close in that they have a charm that makes it fun to mess around with them. Hirose: Toki-kun is always good with words like this (laughs).
Do you feel that you have something in common with the character you play? And what do you like about it? Toki: I’ve been thinking about how Rui-kun can be interesting. Rui-kun is always thinking about what he should do to make everyone smile in this situation. I even acted strangely. That’s something I don’t have (laughs). But I’m an entertainer who wants to make everyone smile and create a warm atmosphere. I want to emulate the ability to retain, and I think it’s close to my roots. Hirose: Tsukasa is self-assured and assertive, but at the same time, he watches his surroundings very much. I always want to do something for the people around me. One of Tsukasa’s strengths is his strong feelings toward others, and I would like to emulate him. He’s usually cheerful, but when he’s worried about the other person, he takes on a serious tone. Toki: Daisuke-kun is also doing it. On the live broadcast, when he’s there, he’s playful, when he’s not, he’s serious. Perfectly consolidate your drawers. Hirose: When Toki-kun is here, I will do something about it, I’m kidding (laughs).
The characters in the story inspire each other and continue to grow. What character inspired you? Toki: Actually, it’s Rui-kun. He’s a relaxed and carefree character. This is the first time I have such a character. Hirose: There is also the atmosphere of a mad scientist. Toki: Yes, it is also glossy. Playing Rui-kun is a new attempt for me. Hirose: Speaking of which, I’m also Tsukasa. It’s the first time I’ve ever had a character like me. Toki: Personality-wise, it’s the opposite. Daisuke-kun is shy (laughs). Hirose: I’m the type to say, “I’m sorry, sorry” (laughs). Tsukasa’s positive attitude and the fact that he has no negative opinions is cool, and I am inspired every time.
Lastly, please give a message to your fans. Toki: We’re celebrating the first anniversary, I think it’s thanks to everyone who enjoys it. I think it reflects all the efforts of those who genuinely enjoyed the app, even though we weren’t able to hold an event with a large number of people. We are also proud to be a member of “Wandasho.” I would like to create a performance together with the staff, so please continue to support “Project Sekai,” “Wonderlands x Showtime,” and Rui. Hirose: I think that singing a Vocaloid song is a very high hurdle. After a year, I’d like to return to my original intentions, or rather, because it’s been a year, I’d like to strengthen my mind and devote myself to delivering even more wonderful things. Also, I would be happy if the fans would continue to send us their passionate love, and your love will become our energy. I hope that you will continue to liven up “Project Sekai” and run with us, so please continue to support us.
Column: Recommended movies for long autumn nights
- Daisuke Hirose (Atashinchi)
It’s a story about a mother and a mandarin orange swapping places, and it depicts the hardships of the mother and the children. Looking at it now, I can understand the feelings of both of them, and it makes me cry when I say “Atashinchi”. I was moved in many ways. I recommend watching “Atashinchi” after becoming an adult!
- Shunichi Toki (Nice Tie)
I like to watch horror movies in hot weather, but this is the last movie that I definitely watch in early autumn. A clumsy lawyer searches for a witness to a case, and that person is the ghost of a samurai, a comedy film by Koki Mitani-san. It’s not scary, so even those who don’t like horror can enjoy it!
Chiharu Sawashiro & Kento Hama (Voice Newtype Vol. 77 2020)
沢城千春 & 濱 健人
The anime of “A3!” Season Autumn & Winter will start broadcasting from October. We asked Chiharu Sawashiro, who plays the role of Banri Settsu, the leader of the Autumn Troupe, and Kento Hama, who plays Taichi Nanao, the mood maker of the Autumn Troupe, about their thoughts on the work and characters.
How did you feel about re-acting the story of the Autumn Troupe in the anime? Sawashiro: The “A3!” game app is now in its fourth year. I was very happy to hear that the game was being adapted into an anime. Playing Banri in the anime again, I think I was able to deepen the work and character in myself. Hama: I remember, but there were quite a few things that I almost forgot. For example, how Banri and Juza Hyodo fought (laughs). Sawashiro: Certainly (laughs). Hama: As something unique to the Troupe, we do a one-man show called “Portrait”, in which you talk about your life on stage. I have to say my biggest regret in public. I don’t think I can talk about it in a good mental state, so I was really worried about how I should act as a play and whether I should listen to the voice of the game again. In the end, I didn’t dare ask, went to the studio and groped.
Please introduce the character you are playing. Sawashiro: Banri Settsu has a straight and serious side at his core, but when he joined the company, he thought that every day was boring. Because he has the dexterity to do everything well, he also feels indecisive to himself. I think he’s a child who can’t find what he wants to do, and he’s feeling confused.
Why did a delinquent like him join the theatre company? Sawashiro: That’s why he joined the theatre company? (laughs). But that haphazard event ended up being a turning point in Banri’s life.
On the other hand, Hama-san played Taichi Nanao. Hama: Taichi has things he wants to do, and he wants to be like this, but he can’t do it well. If you look at Taichi and think he’s flimsy or you don’t really like him, you’re right. I want you to think about why you thought that through the story of the Autumn Troupe, and I want you to see the ending.
What kind of group do you think is the autumn group? Hama: Everyone is strong! Sawashiro: And at first, we thought of each other as enemies (laughs). Hama: The group consists of Omi (Fushimi) and Taichi. It would be terrible if it didn’t. Those two is relatively mild-mannered, but Banri, Juza and Sakyo (Furiuchi), the three of them are always bouncing off each other. Omi and Taichi and the other three connect the path of sexuality. I think it was a big part of what I was trying to do. Sawashiro: Omi is a story if you don’t stay (laughs). Don’t think it’s the command tower of the shadows. Hama: Omi immediately notices change in his surroundings. Sakyo is the fortune of the theatre company. A person holding a cloth and thinking of things more reasonably. He rationally thinks that he need money to live. If it weren’t for him, the theatre company’s budget would be in serious trouble (laughs). Sawashiro: It’s hard to hold back the Autumn Troupe with only Omi. When a fight starts, Sakyo-san will give a shout. Thank you. Hama: If it wasn’t for Sakyo-san, the relationship between Banri and Juza might have gotten even worse. Sawashiro: Because Sakyo-san but the two of them in the same room. I think the idea was to get along with each other by thoroughly facing each other. Hama: Banri wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Juza. Sawashiro: Yes, if there were no Juza, there would be no Banri in this story. I think Juza is the purest person. Hama: Maybe he likes acting the most in the Autumn Troupe. Sawashiro: And most of all, clumsy. I think clumsy people will eventually surpass skilful people. I’m clumsy too, so I’d like to believe that. I feel sympathy for the clumsy Juza, so I want to support him. Hama: That’s me too!
Frankly, what did you think when you saw the world of “A3!”? Sawashiro: The stage performance of each group is cleaner now. Hama: The three-dimensional effect came out! In games of course, but I think it’s drawn even more wonderfully in the anime. It leaves room for imagination. Well, I’ll follow up on the content of the performance. It’s getting easier.
How do you feel about your growth over the years? Hama: In the game, Taichi became a college student, so they asked me to lower my voice intentionally. Looking at everyone’s reactions on social media, I’m glad that many people noticed that my voice was low and that I had matured, and that they accepted me. Sawashiro: Banri was the first audition. There were a lot of rough words like, “Don’t be silly!” He was basically arguing with people, but as the story progressed, he became softer. I think he’s changed because he’s becoming tsukkomi and talking brightly with everyone, but these days. Too many people… Hama: Looking for stimulation? (laughs) So, when another problem arises in the future, I secretly hope that there will be a scene similar to the old Banri. After all, the Autumn Troupe wants to go crazy (laughs).
How did you two spend your time during the period of refraining from going out? Hama: As I mentioned in “Voice Newtype No. 076”, I play games all the time at home. However, during this period, I enjoyed playing games, but I think that people who are working hard every day looking forward to anime and events must have accumulated stress. After that, I’m very happy to announce that I have resumed work and have been involved in an interesting work. I felt that I is important not to push yourself too hard at this time of year and to find what you can do. Sawashiro: When I see you all again, I want to become a person who has grown a step further, so I thought I would use this time to input and accumulate various things. I would like to change my way of thinking that a crisis is an opportunity and meet everyone in the best possible way.
In the anime “A3!” Season Autumn & Winter, please tell us what to see. Sawashiro: I think you enjoyed the refreshing and energetic “A3!” Season Spring & Summer. Hama: I’ll become a carnivore (laughs). Sawashiro: Those who have been interested in the anime will be able to enjoy it even more if they also play the game. I also do stage performances, so I would like you to see all of “A3!” Hama: I also hope that you will that this opportunity to like “A3!” more and more. I would be happy if the circle of “A3!” expanded further.
- Chiharu Sawashiro (Ramen)
I often only 1-2 meals a day, so I don’t gain a lot of weight. When I eat, I sometimes eat ramen, half rice, and gyoza all at once. I’m happy when I eat a lot of my favourite foods like that (laughs).
- Kento Hama (Sake)
I gained weight due to self-restraint, so I went on a diet of sugar restriction and alcohol abstinence for 17 days. After that, when I drank alcohol for the first time in a long time, I thought it was really delicious and I was happy. Even now, I limit myself to one can of alcohol a day!
Kentarou Kumagai & Shouhei Komatsu (Voice Newtype Vol. 74 2019)
熊谷 健太郎 & 小松 昌平
“Goalous5” formed by Kentarou Kumagai, Shouhei Komatsu, Junta Terashima, Shugo Nakamura, and Toshinari Fukamachi started activities in May this year with the concept of “conquering the world”. This time, we asked Kumagai-san, who is in charge of blue, and Komatsu-san, who is charge of green, to tell us the story behind the birth of “Goalous5.”
First of all, please tell us about your first meeting. Kumagai: The first time we met was at the set of “Idolmaster SideM,” so, three or four years ago? Komatsu: At that time, we often talked about working hard together as fellow students. But other than that, I didn’t have much contact with them, so I was happy to be able to work with them on “Goalous5” this time. Kumagai: Back then, for some reason the two of us went to orchestras together. Komatsu: I also went to a ramen shop. To be honest, at that time I didn’t know how to get along with him, so I just had to talk to him, and I felt like I was forcing myself (laughs). Kumagai: In order to deepen our friendship, you were working hard. Komatsu: I can be natural in front of Kumagai-kun. Kumagai-kun and I have always wanted to do something together. I’m cool, I love people! Kumagai: What, all of a sudden (laughs). Although we work in different offices, we started working in the same year. When I found that I could create a program with Shouhei, I was genuinely happy.
How do you feel about the setting of “Goalous5”, an “evil organization” and “conquer the world with your voice?” Komatsu: Nothing was decided at first. Kumagai: It all started with a meeting where everyone got together. Since there are five people, how about a squadron? Komatsu: The phrase “world voice fortune” also came up at that meeting. So, when it comes to world domination, it’s aliens, and that’s when I started creating the settings… Fukamachi-san, who was in charge of pink, has that remnant (laughs). After going through many different ideas, we picked up some interesting ones, and now we have Goalous5.
This is a group made up of everyone. Was the image colour also in the meeting? Komatsu: The image colour was a process of elimination. Kumagai: We talked about removing colours that were difficult to use, and it was a vague way of deciding who would choose which colour. Komatsu: At first, it was just a colour assigned according to the atmosphere of the place, but now it feels right. I’m glad it was green. Kumagai: I didn’t feel uncomfortable from the beginning. Komatsu: Blue is perfect from the beginning (laughs). We all pointed fingers at each other. “Who thinks it’s blue?” Kumagai: I think it took a long time to decide on white. I think everyone is familiar with it now.
Goalous5 Channel started on YouTube and it’s expanding. Are there any changes in your relationships? Komatsu: I have a strange relationship with White. Formerly, I didn’t know how to deal with him. He is an upper system; the words are also unique… (laughs). But gradually I get a sense of the distance! Kumagai: The relationship between white and green values are rough in a good way. Komatsu: That’s right. There were some parts that I refrained from, but even in the exchange, rival settings were added, and it was simply a friendly relationship. I think it’s gotten better. Kumagai: My first appearance on the program was in the same episode as Shouhei-san. Yellow, white and pink are in charge for one month. After that, the episodes of those three people were really interesting. I tried too hard to something interesting and ended up being just a weird person… Komatsu: It’s the funniest thing to see right now (laughs). Kumagai: I’m too embarrassed to be seen (laughs). After that, as we worked together, I began to get a feel for how the five of us interacted. There are a lot of interesting people here, so I decided to go with the flow. We were good friends from the beginning, but the biggest change for me personally was that I became more comfortable.
On January 2nd, the first event “Seifuku Daisukusen!~Gathering! Goalous5~” will be held. What kind of event do you want to make? Kumagai: Everyone who comes to the venue is a member of Goalous5, so I would like to make an event that spreads good word of mouth. I hope that people will say, “That evil organization was fun,” and spread the word. Komatsu: We’re executives, so I’d really like you to become Green’s subordinates. I want to increase the number of Green friends! If you want to join the Green team, please wear Green goods and cheer for Green when he or she is about to lose heart. I want to create an event that makes people think, “I want to work under this executive.”
What kind of activities do you want to do with “Goalous5” in the future? Komatsu: Of course, as a voice actor, I want to captivate everyone with my voice. I think it would be great if there were more plays and voice content. Kumagai: Like the Goalous5 drama CD. The CD of the theme song “Go! Goalous5!” was released in November. Even if there is a drama track as the basis, it might be interesting. And since there are five of us who work with voices, the content that has been delivered is good.
Please give a message to the readers. Kumagai: It’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve been able to post this on “Voice Newtype” this time, and it’s already a blessing for “Voice Newtype!” I would be happy if there were more people. Komatsu: You took a lot of pictures, and I wonder if those of you who are interested will watch our program… Kumagai: It’s crazy (laughs). Komatsu: If you don’t stop there, and if you become captivated by our gap, that’s what makes me the happiest. “Goalous5” is an evil organization, but it’s an organization with many sides. I’ve heard that gaps are popular with women around the world, so I hope you enjoy watching the gaps between interesting videos.
Column: My Christmas!’
- Shouhei Komatsu
When I was working part-time, the store manager bought me a cake for Christmas. I was hoping for a raise (laughs). Now, rather than the hourly wage, I would like to thank you for giving me the best gift of being a member of Goalous5.
- Kentarou Kumagai
When I was in kindergarten, I had a vague sense of Santa’s existence, so I relentlessly searched the whole house for presents (laughs). My ideal Christmas is basically for indoors, so I want to spend it in a warm room while eating delicious chicken and ice cream while watching the “Goalous5” video!
Junta Terashima (Anium Premium Vol. 4 2019)
Today, I would like to ask about Terashima-san’s upbringing, life as a voice actor, and future prospects. Terashima: I live in Ueda City, Nagano Prefecture, and my family consists of my parents and my younger sister. Our house is about fifteen minutes by car from Ueda Station, near the Chikuma River, a large river, and there is mountain nearby. It was an area full of fields and rice fields, with many farmers. In the past, we really played outside, building a secret base in a small vacant lot, riding a swing in the park, and playing outside all the time.
Even now, you’re pretty outdoors. Terashima: Not at all now. Actually, even when I was in the countryside, I started liking games from the time I was in junior high school… (laughs). When it came to hanging out with friends, I felt like playing games or watching TV at home.
It was a baseball club. Terashima: Club activities begin in the 5th and 6th grades of elementary school, so everyone joins some kind of club activity. I joined the baseball club, but I didn’t really like baseball that much (laughs). I wanted to join the basketball club after I entered high school, but I didn’t have any close friends who would join the basketball club, so I joined the baseball club against my will. If you don’t have acquaintances, it’s quite difficult. I was cheap and shy at heart, so even if I was interested in something, I couldn’t go without someone I knew, so I missed out on many opportunities.
You have an introverted personality. Terashima: That’s right. Speaking of missed opportunities, there is a local festival called Ueda Wasshoi every summer. It’s a big festival, but when I get invited to dance, only girls from the same district come out, which makes me feel uncomfortable. That’s why I never took part in the dance. I think it would have been better if I could have appeared at least once.
Maybe someday you’ll get a chance to dance. Terashima: Well, if I’m over my 60th birthday, by all means (laughs). When I’m this age, I think, “I need to liven up my hometown.” Four years ago, Ueda Castle and Ueda attracted attention in the wake of the historical drama Sanada Maru, eventually I want to help in the field of “voice.”
Do you like your hometown? Terashima: Recently, I’ve begun to wonder if Nagano would be a good place to go. I have nothing to do. The only places I could go were karaoke, arcades, and a nearby shopping mall. Also, trains don’t through rural areas, so even if you want to go shopping, you have to tell your mother to get out of the car. It’s a kind of pity to let you go up, isn’t it? Also, all of my local friends of the same generation have come to Tokyo. That’s why I thought that returning to my hometown wouldn’t be so much fun. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I realized that my hometown was good. When I was in elementary school, there was a sushi restaurant that my father used to take me to every week when he won a game of pachinko. The owner is nearly 80 years old and said, “I’m old, so I’m going to close the shop by the end of the year.” It can’t be helped, but I feel lonely. I’m glad I made it in time.
You grew up in Ueda City, Nagano Prefecture, but when did you move to Tokyo? Terashima: For everyone, it’s the timing of high school graduation. However, when I was 17, I dropped out of high school in October of my second year of high school, so I spent a year working part-time and getting a driver’s license. In order to go to a vocational school, I passed the certificate exam for high school graduation at the same time that everyone else is taking university and came to Tokyo in the year I turned 19.
Before coming to Tokyo, you wanted to go to Comiket, but you didn’t have transportation expenses, but you’re going to try it. I heard that you used an excuse to visit Tokyo. Terashima: It happened in the summer when I was 18. When was 16 and 17, I went to summer comics and winter comics with my friends, but the Shinkansen fare was really expensive. So, it’s 12,000 yen… it’s a big deal for high school students, so I told my parents, “I want you to pay for my transportation because there’s a trial admission,” and I went to Tokyo by myself (laughs).
From that time on, you liked the culture of anime and Comiket. Terashima: Yes, one day, when I went to visit my friend’s house, he was reading CLAMP’s work called “Chobits.” It’s not an erotic work at all when you read it, but it’s aimed at so-called youth magazines and has a deep theme. I went to read the whole volume. After that, on my days off, I would go to bookstores looking for books with cute girls on the cover and browse and buy them. Then one day, I bumped into the friend who showed me “Chobits” at the bookstore. So, I honestly said, “No, I said that manga I borrowed before was disgusting, but I’m actually addicted to it too… Do you have any other recommendations?” I came out (laughs). That friend was also delighted, saying, “I’m glad you’re into it, too.” By the time I entered high school, I had become a full-fledged otaku. I played so-called gal games late at night, sneaking away from the parents. My parents said, “You were hiding it, weren’t you?” I gradually bought things like cute girl posters and used them as decorations. So, my parents also said, “My son is becoming an otaku.” That’s what I thought. But I never thought they’d say it’s nice. So, at first, I was surprised.
Didn’t they object? Terashima: They wanted me to go to Ueda High School, which was the best, but I hated studying anyway, so I went to a different school. Actually, I said that I wanted to go to the same place as my otaku friends, but that was also opposed, so I compromised and went to an intermediate school. I’m quitting.
When did you want to quit? Terashima: I was in my second year of high school. It was a lot of fun. I formed a band in the light music club, and I had a lot of otaku friends in my class, so I was enjoying my high school life. It was just around the time that there was an otaku boom in the world, and Akiba-kei was featured on TV. Even friends who have no interest in otaku culture. I recommended a game, and because it was fun, I preached and made more friends.
However, when I entered the second grade, the school system was completely divided into humanities and sciences. I ended up in a class with 2 or 3 boys, which was almost impossible. At the time, I was an otaku and couldn’t talk to girls. I got nervous when someone talked to me, and when I tried to hide my embarrassment and said, “What?” Well, the classroom was hell. I was silently taking classes in the first semester of my second year, but I hated studying, so I slept and couldn’t keep up with my studies. I went there because it was fun to talk with guys like that, but in the classroom, I was surrounded by girls on all sides, and I couldn’t talk.
From the middle of the first semester, instead of going to class, I started playing guitar in the clubroom and watching 2-chan (laughs). So, I made a thread like “School is too boring.” At that time, I wanted to become a manga artist or animator, so I pretended to have gone to school. After returning home, I continued to draw illustrations using a pen tablet, which I then posted on the Internet for evaluation. I also liked singing, but no matter which path I took, I would go to a vocational school, so I wouldn’t go to a normal four-year university. I don’t want to go to school anymore, so I thought I could quit school.
That’s right. Terashima: Then one day, my teacher said to me “If you take on more day off, you’ll be repeating this year,” and that was around August and September.I used to be a member of the school trip committee, so if I quit now, it would cause a lot of trouble for my partner’s close friends.
That’s serious. Terashima: I guess I didn’t want to trouble my friends. When I told my parents, “If I take one more day off, I’ll be repeating this year, and if I go on a school trip, I’ll quit.” So, the following days I took a rest as soon as possible (laughs).
Isn’t that perfect for repeating a year (laughs). Terashima: I thought I was going to get the final blow. I thought that my parents would be satisfied if I confirmed that I would be repeating a year. But I managed to persuade them by saying, “I want to go to a vocational school.” I was close to the deadline, so I consulted with my friends and applied for it, and my parents also agreed, saying, “It’s okay. Take it, spend a year immersing yourself in your otaku hobbies, and work part-time to earn money.”
How did you feel when you came to Tokyo? Terashima: At first, when I started living alone, it was really fun. When I entered school, unlike in the countryside, I could only make male otaku friends, and Akihabara is also close by. I can do it.
It’s a leisurely life. How was your vocational school? Terashima: At a vocational school for voice actors, I also study acting, which is something I like, so… but there are classes that teach the history of theatre and say, “I don’t need to do this,” but that I stopped going to in seconds. If I thought it was meaningless, I would stop going and never do anything. I like to move my body in theatre, so I don’t skip it. I did, though.
So that’s it. Please tell us how you joined the office after graduating from a vocational school. Terashima: Just before I graduated from a vocational school, someone from the Kenyu office came to me for an internal audition. The other offices had instructors from training schools, but the Kenyu Office had the president himself. What’s more Kenyuu Horiuchi-san told each person, “If you read it this way,” or “I think your voice will be better this way.” I remember feeling amazing that he gave me that advice. Luckily, I was accepted as a custodian. It was also unusual. At other agencies, I passed the training school instead of being affiliated or entrusted. There are two years of vocational school, and one or two years of training school.
That’s too bad. Terashima: If you go to a vocational school for two years and then go to a training school again, you should have gone to the training school from the beginning, right? I jumped on it, but… at first, I was not as skilled as the people around me who belonged to custody. When a student joins a group of seniors who have worked as professionals, I really can’t keep up.
Did you eat and practise there? Terashima: No, I skipped that in my first year (laughs). I was like, “Yeah, a guy who only does acting once a week will never get better,” so my first year was terrible. I thought I had a great future, but as time passed, I should have gotten better, but I feel like I’m getting worse. I thought, “This is how it is.” Since then, I went to theatre workshops on my own for two years. I got serious from there.
That’s how you climbed the path to becoming a member. Terashima: Gradually, over the course of two or three years, the number of projects I worked on increased, the number of directors who used me increased, I appeared in dubbed works and I began to receive titles and main roles. It really felt like I was steadily building up.
That is so. By the way, do you remember the first time you got a job? Terashima: I remember. My first job was about a month of two after I entered as a custodian. It wasn’t a BL drama CD, the main couple, but a colleague with a name. I was happy to suddenly get a role. I was happy, but when I looked at the setting, I was a father of two children. Moreover, the role of a colleague was Kenji Nojima-san. Moreover, the fact that he is the father of two children made me feel confused.
That’s an amazing setting for a first-time site. Terashima: When I took it home and read the lines, my voice sounds childish. At the time, my voice was younger than it is now, and my acting was even more clumsy. Played by Kenji Nojima-san, a father of two children. Colleagues… How should we match? People who started out as otaku and aspired to become voice actors have really good ears. I’m a fan, so when I practised and record myself, I can tell myself, “I’m not good at it, I can’t do it anymore.” But I don’t know the correct answer, so I’m addicted to the depth. So, in the end, it was my own voice, but I ended up acting with a strange voice that was like a mimicry of “Oh” (a little dandy voice) that I made, and it was a mess.
At the site, there were several seniors from the same office, and the manager seemed to have told me in advance that it was my first time at the site, so I said, “It’s my first time at the stie, so I should say hello.” At times like this, it’s better to do this. At the time, I wasn’t trying to be cool, but I was embarrassed to do that. Everyone was proudly going to the site as a professional, but I was the only one who was like a student who experienced the site, saying “You should do that,” and “Don’t be nervous, relax, relax!” It’s embarrassing because it’s being used! Even if I acted in such a situation, it wouldn’t go well, so the director told me, “Let’s take a deep breath first. You’re nervous and you’re just reading, so let’s act.” I started by pointing out, “You’re in a bar right now, can you speak at this volume when you’re in a bar?” In my first year, the failure at the site was a big loss, and when I got the next job, I had a phobia of “I’m scared of the site.” I’m happy that the job has been decided, but at the same time, what should I do if I get caught?
If that happened once, I would be scared you know. Terashima: That’s true. In my first year, I felt like I had a phobia (laughs).
When did that fear go away? Terashima: I think it was about my third year. It was a so-called regular job where I went to the same site every week. I was nervous during the greeting stage because I was meeting a lot of different people for the first time every time. “You look like you just drank tea, so I have to go get some.” One day, I happened to meet a senior who was rudely talking to a newcomer who wasn’t paying attention, and when I heard something like, “Hey, even though you’re a newcomer, you don’t make coffee.” I thought, “Oh, if I don’t do it, I’ll be the next one,” and it made me think, “I have to be more considerate than acting!” Even at a drinking party, a newcomer has to act as an accounting secretary, but I’m really not good at it, so I don’t want to go to a drinking party… and that’s why I don’t want to go to a place where a drinking place is likely to happen…It’s already a spiral. “If he came to the scene with just one line and didn’t come to the drinking party, why did he come?” It seems that there are times when it is said. That was the era. It’s an actor who remembers his face and connects it to the next scene! There are fewer drinking parties now, and there are more seniors of our generation, and fewer people are forced to participate in drinking parties, so I would like to believe that juniors are doing it freely.
Many people think like that. Terashima: I was surrounded by seniors like that, and I thought I was too, so I was afraid that if I went to a drinking party and couldn’t move, I wouldn’t be used anymore. You don’t know how to behave at the age of 21. That’s why I did a lot of rude things and got scolded for it. I was worrying too much.
It was like that for about three years. Terashima: At the regular set, the number of friends gradually increased, and even if I didn’t ask them to remember me at a drinking party, my seniors would remember me and say, “Terashima-kun, right?” I see them every week, so I don’t get nervous, and they casually ask me, “Terashima-kun, do you want to go out for a drink?”
Only the first one was painful. Terashima: I like acting, but until I became a voice actor, I hadn’t been considerate of my superiors, so I didn’t know how to interact with them. I was a junior. I really wanted to get along, but I thought it would be rude to my seniors, so I only talked to the bare minimum. People who can say, “Let’s go out for a drink!” or “That work was great!” are amazing. I thought it would be rude to say “I’ve seen someone’s anime” on set (laughs). When I think about it now, I don’t think so, and even if I was told that, I would think, “Thank you for watching.” I can’t say anything because they might say, “I’m here at this site.” I cared so much that I couldn’t talk to my seniors at all.
Somehow, I understand that feeling. Next, I would like to ask you about your acting. Is there anything you are conscious of or value in your play? Terashima: After all, when the character comes out to the world, I want to hear my voice and not feel uncomfortable, that’s all. It can work both positively and negatively, but what I have always pointed out is that “the play becomes small because the character setting and pictures draw too much attention.” That’s what it means. Actors in the past used to show their individuality, and at first, they said, “The voices don’t match,” and change negative evaluations into positive ones with personality. I’m an otaku and I’ve been watching the series, so from a fan’s point of view, it’s the most difficult thing to concentrate on when the voices of the characters and the voice actors don’t match. The more I feel about the original of the work, the more I’m disappointed if it doesn’t match, and from the next week, I’ll be doing well with the manga instead of the anime.
I have such experiences as a viewer, so I am very conscious of it. So now that I’ve become a voice actor, I can raise and lower my voice, how I speak, and how I act to make the character speak properly, make it look like it’s best to use your own voice or create a play to eliminate the sense of incongruity. If I feel that my voice is not suitable for the role, I can somehow make it work with the way I speak and the atmosphere of the play. At the very least, I try not to say, “The way you speak doesn’t match at all.” The most important thing I always keep in mind is not to be told, “I lost my mind watching this work because Terashima’s voice doesn’t match.”
So that’s it. So far, you’re played quite a few works that left an impression on me. Terashima: All the roles were difficult, but Shin Ichijou in King of Prism was a role I had never played before. In foreign animation, mascot-like birds and ghosts. I’ve played a lot of non-human roles with a pure heart like a boy, so I often play roles like a normal human with a high-pitched voice, bright and active. It was difficult in that regard. In fact, there was a time when I thought, “Let’s do our best so that I can get a role that’s as old as I am.” I got it. Around the time I was in my third or fourth year, Natsuki Hanase-san, Daiki Yamashita-san, Ayumu Murase-san and others made their debuts and said, “It can’t be helped if I compete with my juniors.” If I try hard, I can raise my voice, but when I shout, I sometimes turn inside out or get rattled. At that time, I was invited to the studio as Shin Ichijou, for some reason, in an audition for a low-pitched and mid-high-pitched character. I was told “Try saying your lines,” so I decided to give it my all. When I tried it, I was accepted and said, “In a high tone I passed!” I was surprised.
Your lines were short. Terashima: Yes. I wonder if the pass will be revoked… (laughs). At the audition, I had a high-pitched tone, but as I was speaking, it gradually got looser, and I was desperate. It’s a funny story now, but I used to learn how to make high notes in the bath all the time. By likening the voice to the engine sound of a motorcycle. I’m going to make a sound, wiiiin… (high tone).
It’s amazing. You can get a really high-pitched sound, right? Terashima: Thank you very much. I remembered what I learned at a vocational school for the first time in five or six years.
Were you able to hit the high notes on set? Terashima: Somehow…but it was tough. In the work, Shin Ichijou was screaming “Wow!” “Haaaa!” There are quite a few voices like that from the beginning. I’ll be parched soon. It was recorded by people, so I lavishly took a break every minute. Fu-san brought water and tea to the studio, and after drinking it, he said, “Let’s try again.” He told me to take a break from work, but I managed to do it. It was the biggest challenge of my life, and I felt a great sense of fulfilment because I was allowed to record until I could produce what I wanted. I was the only one, so I was very particular when I received it, and I feel that I really grew through that work. Gradually, I started to understand the range where I could listen while maintaining the character even if the leaves were a little high, such as the law and where to relax. Now, compared to those days, I can produce high-pitched sounds without overdoing it, so thanks to Shin Ichijou, my range of roles has expanded.
It is so. Your career lasted about ten years, but do you have confidence that you have now taken root in the industry as a voice actor? Terashima: I don’t know… But the biggest thing I thought was that Takuma Terashima-san has been very active since his debut. Sometimes I go to the temple with a mob I used to work with, but when I told him I was Terashima-kun, who wasn’t Takuma, he was like, “Oh, it’s you.” Junta was remembered. Taku Atsushi-san, who was with me on the set at the time, said to me, “You’re from the Terashima tribe!” Recently, I’ve been getting more and more people calling me “Junta Terashima” by name, and I think they recognize me. It’s a big thing to be remembered by name. Also, I’ve been able to get calls from staff members I don’t know. When I say, “I’m Junta Terashima, who plays the role of **, some people say, “Oh, of course, I know.” It’s nice to be called by name.
Now I would like to ask you about 2019. This year’s works are “Midara na Ao-chan wa Benkyou ga Dekinai” and “King of Prism – Shiny Seven Stars.” How did you like it? Terashima: When the chairman called me, I was like, “I’m really nervous, so please stop!” (laughs). He said, “I’m the chair, so I have to work hard, but in the position of the content chair, I have to work hard in a different way than I usually do, so it’s tough. I’m a man who has run away from the centre of attention in class and club activities, but by playing the lead role, I’m placed in the centre of attention, and I can’t escape. I try to make communication as easy as possible for everyone. At events, I’m often entrusted with being the MC, so I must do it properly. If it’s true, there’s a junior who has more leadership than me and is good at organizing and managing things. I’m treated as a chairman, so I’m grateful for that. I’m serving as a chairman without thinking about it.”
He must have a lot to worry about. Terashima: But sometimes you have to be considerate of that sort of thing. If you don’t put yourself in a position of responsibility, I think you’ll end up just being lazy. I wondered if it’s important for adults to show them that regularly “He’s not just giggling.”
What kind of year has 2019 been for you? Terashima: This year really flew by, and if I kept moving towards the next thing, it would have felt like December already. First of all, my debut as an artist was a big event. The performers around me, including Issei Takahashi-san, were all veterans, and at first, I thought, “Is it okay for me to be here?” Anyway, it was reckless. Partly because of my nervousness, I only think about Moomin when I have time to record Moomin. Well… When it comes to content with live performances like “The Idolmaster SideM” and “A3!”, that’s the only thing I can think of… and if I just keep doing what’s in front of me, it’ll be December already. I think it was a year in which I was able to run through super high praise. It was heavy. I thought that even if I tightly condensed five years from 21-26 years old, it wouldn’t be able to beat the depth.
That’s how intense this year was. Terashima: However, when I was really that age, I played pachinko and mahjong. It was just that (laughs).
I can’t beat that now. Terashima: So, if you take a close took, I think it’s less than half of what it was this year.
As you said, you made your debut as an artist in 2019. Did you find it difficult to sing without a character filter? Terashima: At first, it was difficult. I had this habit, so when I came up with my own style of singing, I was like, “What should I do…” If I had a character, I could sing along with the character, but I didn’t have any character, so I told Junta Terashima’s true story. At first I didn’t know what kind of singing voice it was.
Was it difficult to establish one’s own individuality among many artists? Terashima: Right now, I think we are in the process of establishing it. The way we sing is different between the first and second mini albums, so I wonder if it will change each time, we release it. Even when I ask artists, they always say “changes”, so I wonder if that’s what it is. I thought that if someone had a distinctive voice, they would have too many characters to change, but in both B’z and Mr. Children, even though their voices haven’t changed, their singing styles have changed. I think everyone changes in that way, so I feel like I’m looking for points while enjoying the changes.
Terashima-san, do you like to express yourself in both singing and voice work? Terashima: Yes. But when it comes to everyone, I can’t say anything. All speech classes were cancelled. For example, let’s say there is a cruel depiction in a battle manga. But when you want to tell someone that the cruel depiction is wonderfully draw, you can say it to your otaku friends. I would say something like, “That scene in that manga was really gross, but isn’t that bloody drawing bad?” I wonder what I should do if there are people who don’t like cruel depictions (laughs). So, it was a childhood when I thought about so many things that I couldn’t say anything. Even so, the feelings and claims that I couldn’t say will gradually accumulate in my heart. I put those thoughts in some form and put them through a good filter to express the. It was the plays and songs that I could trust.
The best way of expression for Terashima-san. Terashima: Yes. I think you can read from the play that I like that work. It’s the same with songs, and now I write lyrics, but I try not to write too much directly. With that method, I believe that even people who have the opposite way of thinking can think it’s a good or fun song. Even if the true meaning of the song is not conveyed, I’m happy that it is heard. It fits my personality. It doesn’t convey too much of what’s on your mind, but just a little bit can be conveyed to those who understand. That’s why it’s great to participate in a work, write lyrics, and sing. On the other hand, I don’t think I can write essays or blogs, where I write down my thoughts in a flash because I’m afraid. I used to blog a long time ago, and there have been many times where I wrote all night, finished it in the morning, then reread it and deleted it. I feel like if I write something like this, I might get hit… (laughs).
Are you scared of being hit? Terashima: As long as I’m a voice actor, I think that if I get hit, it will cause trouble for the work. That’s why I think it’s better not to expose too much of the voice actors’ inner thoughts, but these days I have to push my personal side to the forefront. It is also true that the number of people with disabilities is increasing, and I think that the industry is also suffering quite a bit.
If you expose yourself too much, it will clash with the image of the work. Terashima: If it’s true, I think the position of an actor is just right. It’s because the image of the role is fixed and if that happens, it won’t appear in variety shows. Originally, it might be good for voice actors to be like that, but I can’t say that. That’s what’s bothering me right now. Thankfully, I get a job asking for me to “talk a lot!”, so when I get a job to appear in, I’m Junta Terashima. If you look at my work, and listen to my voice, and become curious about Junta Terashima as a voice actor, you might get disillusioned with the gap between the role and the character. I’m a person who says things… I’m a little disappointed,” and “I can’t tell you.”
Terashima-san, you are also facing a dilemma as you proceed. You said that this year was an intense year, but what kind of year do you want next year to be? Terashima: Yes. I had a lot of output this year. I feel like I’ve run out of things to talk about on the radio, so I’d like to make it a year of input where I can experience many things. Recently, there are things I want to do, but I’ve been thinking more and more that my skills haven’t caught up. I thought that if I didn’t create another period of growth around here, I wouldn’t be able to reach my ideal line of “I want to do this” at the age of 40.
Input for the next decade. Terashima: There are also the Olympics, but I’m the kind of person who don’t really watch events or sports like the Olympics, so when everyone is obsessed with the Olympics, I’m thinking of secretly practising various things to outsmart everyone (laughs).
Sounds good. 2020 will be the year of input. So far, I have asked many questions about Terashima-san. Is there anything you would like to say? Terashima: Yes. Compared to the past, I think the possibilities for the voice actor profession are expanding. I’ve always liked voice actors, and I’m an otaku, so I have this image of what a so-called voice actor was like 10 or 20 years ago. But now that image is being updated more and more, and I have Junta Terashima, and otaku, and Junta Terashima, a voice actor, in my heart. I have a feeling that “Since I’m a voice actor, I should do my best to act first,” but in today’s world, by working hard on my work and exposure other than acting I can further expand the possibilities of voice acting. As a voice actor, I also have an opinion that it may be possible to open up. Even voice actors can do this, and even if you’re doing artist activities, variety shows, events, or radio, you can do normal anime plays, dubbing, games, and drama CD’s. Voice actors can do a lot of different things, and there’s a lot of demand for the “voice” that everyone casually listens to in the world. I want to show it to people who want to become voice actors.
You mentioned collaboration with people outside the industry, but do you have any specific ideas in mind? Terashima: It’s the voice of an artificial intelligence (AI). It’s a read-aloud, but I think there will be a huge demand if that voice becomes smoother and more like a person speaking. It would be interesting if we could customize it to a different voice, etc. It is said that human jobs will disappear as AI develops, but I believe that the jobs of voice actors will not disappear. I would like to expand the possibilities of the game and find something that everyone can enjoy.
You even thought about the possibilities of the voice. Lastly, what is your resolution for next year? Terashima: In order not to be told, “He’s doing more events and collaborations than his main line of acting.” I’d like to audition well for anime and foreign films and get roles in plays. I want to continue acting without neglecting the basics, so pleases continue to support me.
Terashima-san, who has his sights set on the possibilities of his voice, is looking forward to the future. Terashima: Thank you very much.
Kentarou Kumagai (Voice Animage Plus January 2018)
Hospitality with warm dishes in the cold winter. Kentarou Kumagai who plays Hideo Akuno from “The Idolmaster SideM” and Theo Cornaro “Grancrest Senki” that started in January, appear in this magazine’s gravure for the first time! Wearing an apron in the kitchen. It seems that he will stand and make lunch.
In today’s shoot, you took on the challenge of a cooking gravure, but do you usually cook, Kumagai-san? Kumagai: Since I started living on my own, I’ve made curry less often, since I can make it ahead of time! My brother and I shared the household chores and occasionally cooked simple meals. I think it’s fun to cook even if you don’t get many chances to do so. Maybe it’s because I’m doing it by eye, but I don’t have a good sense of seasoning (laughs).
It’s been 5 years since you moved to Tokyo from Okinawa, Kumagai-san. What made you want to become a voice actor? Kumagai: When I was in junior high school, I happened to watch a music program with Mamoru Miyano’s MV. I thought, “This person’s songs are wonderful,” and that’s how I got to know Miyano-sans’s as an artist. Later I was watching TV at home, “Mobile Suit Gundam 00” was being broadcast. I found Miyano-san’s name in the credits, and that’s when I first learned about the profession of voice actor. From there, it didn’t take long for me to think, “I want to be a voice actor!” What I want to be in the future has changed, but if I were a voice actor, I think I would be able to do all the jobs I wanted to do through the role (laughs). After that, I researched about voice actors, read the lines from the manga and tried to play them myself.
It was good, wasn’t it? After that, you made your dream come true and debuted as a voice actor in 2015. Kumagai:This is just a selfish opinion of mine, but for me, a “dream” is a situation where I don’t know how to achieve it, and once I see a path to that dream, the dream becomes a goal. I think it will change. So, the dream I envisioned when I was in junior high school was achieved. Now that my goal has changed, and I’ve been able to do voice work little by little, I’m able to dream again. Do your best to turn that dream into a goal and achieve your goal. I kept repeating it. I think it’s good.
In that case, what are your current dreams and goals? Kumagai: My dream is to be active for the rest of my life. I want to be in touch with voice work and play until I die. My goal is to increase the number of works that I can be involved in as a regular. Because I was able to experience the importance and difficulty of an anonymous role, I was able to live deeper in the work as a character. It’s good.
From here, I would like to as you about your performances. In “Idolmaster SideM”, former civil servant unit “Frame”, you play Hideo Akuno. Kumagai: During the audition, I was given the opportunity to play multiple characters, but Hideo Akuno was the one that I felt most comfortable with. But I was overwhelmed because there were so many people auditioning. I felt like I didn’t get many reactions during my turn, and I was also not good at singing, so I went home feeling depressed that way. So, when I got the news that I got the role, I was more surprised than happy (laughs). When I received the recording script, I finally felt that I was going to play Hideo. Hideo is the character I have known for the longest time, and it was also the first character I auditioned for, so I have a very strong attachment to him, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with him in the future. In the 3rd live tour starting in February, the level is higher than last time. I want you to see the appearance at the top. I want to make sure that all of the producers who came to see the performance were the best they’ve ever seen.
What do you value when playing the role of Omi Fushimi in the app game “A3!”? Kumagai: Omi is the mother of the Autumn Troupe, which he belongs to, and the “Mankai Company,” he is a character with a faint temperament. I act while thinking that it is good. Also, I am conscious of the backbone that is mentioned in the story. Actually, when I first saw Omi’s illustrations and materials, I thought, “Is it okay for me?” I think that many people imagine Omi to have a low voice, partly because of his rather good physique, but my own voice is neither low nor high. So, I was worried that I might not be able to express the character of Fushimi Omi, who is not close to his natural voice, but a lower and more core voice, and I remember thinking about several patterns for the voice during the first recording. This is the same for any role, but I want you to feel that character is speaking, not Kentarou Kumagai. I want to erase myself and play a role. So, I think it would be great if you could say that you didn’t realize that Kumagai was in charge of the voice.
Furthermore, in the anime, “Grancrest Senki” that started in January, you’re in charge of the main character, Theo Cornaro! Kumagai: I was a little embarrassed when I read Ryo Mizuno-sensei’s work for the first time when I went to the audition. As I read, I thought to myself that I might be able to grow with him. So, now I’m very happy to be able to play Theo.
The day before the dubbing for the first episode, I was so nervous that I couldn’t sleep at all (laughs). At the drinking table, when I told Sakurai-san that I would like to join him in “Grancrest Senki”, I spilled out all my nervousness and anxiety. Then he said, “Just do what you can, and you’ll be fine.” And when I actually met him at the site, he smiled and said, “You’ve started.” That made me think, “I have to do it anyway!”
2018 was when the relationship with wonderful works began. This year’s goal was “Live!” It was written on coloured paper, what do you think?” Kumagai: I want to spend the good health, and I want the characters I play to be livelier. What if I could live in the work as the characters instead of Kentarou Kumagai? I would like to do a play again this year and live with the characters myself.
Kumagai-san chose the outfit for the gravure in the kitchen full of warm sunlight. He said that his clothes were completely black, but he was also dressed in bright colours.
When photographing food, he deftly cuts vegetables with his skilful knife and picks up raw carrots, saying, “I like vegetables.” He loves white rice and vegetables and prefers to meat. Since he’s tall, they took care of the composition of the photo, such as stooping down so that his head would not be obscured by the range hood on top of the stove, and the shooting went smoothly.
Warm cream stew, delicious bread and fresh salad. “It’s delicious!” said Kumagai-san. In the interview, Kumagai-san talked a lot about himself and his play. In the winter, he wanted to eat mandarin oranges under the kotatsu, which he couldn’t do in Okinawa.
Yuichirou Umehara Ume Goyomi” ~ Kanbai Photobook 2021 (Part 5)
- Moccasin shoes (May/June 2020 issue)
When I was a student, I used to wear sneakers all the time. I wore indoor slippers in junior high school and toilet slippers in high school, so I never had the opportunity to wear leather shoes until I became an adult. The first time I wore leather shoes was for the Coming-of-Age Ceremony, and after that I moved to Tokyo and worked part-time at karaoke, but due to the store’s rule, I worked in the Coming-of Age Ceremony leather shoes for a while. Lately, I’ve been mostly wearing sneakers and no longer wearing leather shoes. Since dubbing is surprisingly moving, sneakers that are easy to walk in are the most comfortable.
The work of hand sewing was steady and difficult. I chose it myself, but the leather and thread were both black, so it was hard to see (laughs). Thanks to the teacher’s preparation and help, I managed to make the shoes in a short time.
Come to think of it, when I made a violin in this series before, I mentioned that it was like, “Whisper of the Heart.” I’m wearing shoes, aren’t I? Coincidentally, I remembered both because I like both movies.
This is quite useful as a recitation and dressing room wear. It’s soft and flat, so it’s easy to carry around. I crush the heel and use it like a slipper. In the summer, I used to go to the convenience store as an excuse. Also, I remember that the sewing work was very difficult because my eyes were tired.
- Seal engraving (July/August 2020 issue)
I don’t see the surname “Umehara” very often in Tokyo, but it seems to be quite common in Izu, Shizuoka. I’ve used “Ume” a lot in this series as well, so I thought it would be a convenient last name for a time like this (laughs).
I wrote letters with a brush for the first time in a while. My mother learned calligraphy, so there was a time when I tried to imitate her, but I still have to learn it properly. When I was a student, I remembered that it was very difficult to write my name when I was writing calligraphy because there were no symmetrical characters, and it was especially difficult to balance the character “Yu”.
Even if it’s not a brush, I think my handwriting is crude. Sometimes I write it in the script, but it’s already a mess, and it’s a character that can’t be read by anyone but myself. Due to the nature of my work, there are many opportunities for people to see my handwriting, such as signs and messages, but… So, I think I’ve become quite good at writing with a thick magic pen (laughs).
I remember that carving work was so fun that I was able to get used to it. If you carve too much, you won’t be able to write letters, so it was difficult. I haven’t pressed the stamp I made since then. The vermillion ink is a special ink called ink mud, and it is from where I buy it. Well, there’s also the fact that there’s nothing to push (laughs).
- Chopsticks (September 2020 issue)
Whenever I go to a department store, I ended up buying chopsticks. I feel that the atmosphere of a meal changes depending on which chopsticks you use, so if you put a lot of effort into making a meal, you want to eat with good chopsticks. The chopsticks I regularly use were given to me by my hometown tax donation. The design has a shell in the handle, and the thickness and lightness make it feel just right. I prefer angled chopsticks to round chopsticks, so square chopsticks are nice and easy to hold. I used a planer for the first time in a while, but it seems that I shaved too much because I was absorbed in it. It’s thinner than my ideal shape, and there’s even unevenness on the left and right.
I tried “Azuki Tsumami” with the finished chopsticks, but it was quite difficult. Originally, I was holding the chopsticks the wrong way. But when I was in my second year of high school, when I was taken on a school trip while eating, the way my friend was holding chopsticks in the photo next to me was so beautiful. Comparing yourself and thinking, “This is embarrassing.” From there, I started to fix it to the correct way to hold it. That’s why I still hold it in a slightly smart way, and I’m not very good at using chopsticks.
The chopsticks I made at that time are still in use today. I like it because it is very easy to use. This is the same as when making stamps, and it was difficult to cut too much, and it would get thinner and thinner. I just had the chance to do an adzuki pickle on the radio after this, and it went really well. Maybe it was good to be able to practise here (laughs).
Kent Itou, Yoshiki Nakajima, Reiou Tsuchida, Yuki Sakakihara (Seiyuu Men Vol. 19 2020)
伊東 健人, 中島 ヨシキ, 土田 玲央, 榊原 優希
Backstage report 1: Bokuraku
- What kind of person is Manshiki? In terms of position, he’s everyone’s big brother they can rely on. As I approach the shoot, I think that it would be better to create a slightly calmer atmosphere. Nonetheless, when it comes to the peace played by Manshiki and Itou-san, it’s similar to the image we have of ourselves. So, rather than trying to create a solid role, I’m doing it naturally without being conscious of “acting.” It would be ideal if, as a result of bringing out the parts that are as close to the original as possible, it would be universally understood. It’s rare to play such a role, so it’s fresh and fun.
- What other traditional performing arts are you interested in other than rakugo? I have many interests, but if I had to choose one, it would be comic dialogue. I think it’s a new culture among traditional performing arts, but I think it’s a very advanced art to make the audience laugh just by chatting with your partner through the centre microphone. I admire it and would like to try it. I think it tsukkomi that can be done with bare hands, but I’m also interested in bokeh. If possible, I would like to try various things. What should I choose? I think that the distance and tempo will show your particular tastes and preferences, so you may not know until you actually try it.
- What is Kento Itou-san’s charm that you noticed while co-starring this time? From my perspective, who had been working with you since your debut, I think your acting has become more sophisticated. Itou-san is a person who can play without a beat. You could say that he’s an actor who can come up with the idea of “if it’s normal, shouldn’t I go that way?” When I was a newcomer, I think people around me were confused because I had to act without a foundation. If you say that, it will be like looking from above. However, when I saw it this time, I thought that I should do an interesting play again.
- Wow. What kind of person is Kazuon? He is the oldest of the four members of Mousou-tei and is in a position to watch over him. At the same time, he is the type to lean forward when it comes to things that interest him. That being said, I created the role according to my image, so I’m not always conscious of the setting. However, I feel a little that the image of the name “Kazuon” may not be similar to mine. He has a calm and gentle image, don’t you think? (laughs).
- What was your most moe moment recently? It wasn’t “burned”, it was moe. Is there anything? It was my job, but I saw a video of several red pandas playing around, and I decided to send out various comments. The video was so cute and moe. I love animals in the first place. I often say that my favourite animal is a prairie dog, but red pandas, like prairie dogs, suddenly stand up straight. That gesture is cute, isn’t it?
- What did you notice about Reiou Tsuchida’s charm when you co-starred with him this time? Actually, there are many things I don’t know because we haven’t recorded the co-starring episode yet, but what I’m looking forward to is the exchange of rakugo parts. This rakugo scene will be performed by two people, so “catch ball” is very important. Whether it’s a mountain-shaped ball or a zip! My current impression of Tsuchida-kun is that he seems to have no vitality (laughs). He’s always easy-going, so he doesn’t look like he’s full of energy. I’m looking forward to seeing how that image will change.
- What kind of person is Kamitoshi? As a person who is a genius and plays the role of a balancer. Among these four, they seem to have many outstanding qualities, apparently (laughs). But when it comes to acting, there are not so many productions or rules that say, “I want to do this,” and I’m told that I can do it freely, so that helps me. The similarity with myself is that I think about the balance of my surroundings and act accordingly. I’m also the type who doesn’t complain when there’s a joke, but when there’s no blur. There has long been a place where we can discern roles that no one else has.
- Tsuchida-san, what is the appeal of BL? After all, show us the form of love that transcends gender barriers. The troubles and conflicts that are unique to same-sex couples can be felt, and I think they will be uplifted by feeling the movements of their human emotions. Of course, it depends on the work, but I think that’s the most important thing. I try to keep my voice raw as much as possible.
- What did you notice about Yuki Sakakihara-san’s charm while co-starring this time? He looks delicate, but what I saw was completely different and bold (laughs). On top of that, I was determined. I was with Sakakihara-kun for the first recording, but at that time Sakakihara-kun was already on his second recording. I was very nervous, but he cheerfully said, “It’s okay!” If you think about it, you can also look at the camera with aegyo and pretend to be unreasonable, saying, “From now on, Kamitoshi-san will say something interesting!” I thought to myself, “Stop that!” (laughs)
- What kind of person is Takemaru? In a nutshell, he’s a runaway locomotive! He’s rotten child with a lot of heat that makes him think, “I can’t do this anymore!” Even in the recordings so far, there have been scenes where I tripped into my own world several times. I acted with a smile while thinking that it was typical of him. I also tend to go out of control when it comes to mushrooms, sake, and illustrations, which I love, so I feel sympathy for them.
- What’s your latest obsession? Sometimes I draw illustrations on the birthdays of the characters I played, and at that time, I draw with my fantasies on how they spend their birthdays. For example, if the character is part of a unit, it would be fun to think about whether they would spend time with the members of that unit, or what kind of conversations they would have if they spent time together. It’s just an illustration that I drew as a fan’s delusion, so please be careful if you look at it (laughs).
- What did you notice about Yoshiki Nakajima-san’s charm when you co-starred with him this time? I’ve had the opportunity to co-star with him before, but he’s a busy person so I haven’t had much time to talk. When I spent the whole day with him during this shoot, I honestly wondered if he was someone I could talk to casually. However, when I actually talked to him, he was really friendly, he could be silly, he was snarky, and he was such a good senior! Besides, it’s amazing how the atmosphere suddenly brightens up when Yoshiki comes. I thought that I wanted to be a senior who could create an atmosphere like this.
Thank you for filming the MV for the theme song. I can visit the shooting site and listen to everyone’s stories. So, first of all, let me hear from you about your impressions after finishing the MV shooting. Itou: Even though it took a full day, it seemed to be over in no time. We shot in the studio during the day and in the Noh theatre in the evening, and the Noh theatre felt particularly special. There I was allowed to use the stage. I always felt so tense. Nakajima: … I mean, what is that T-shirt (the shirt Itou-san is wearing.) (laughter) Tsuchida: Isn’t it good to talk about that now? Itou: That’s right. It doesn’t matter now (lol). This is my impression. Nakajima: Right. The recording of “Bokuraku” is not limited to the MV, but the main story is long, but that makes it more like a team. Also, we filmed the MV after we finished filming all the main episodes, so while it feels like a culmination, I also feel like it’s going to continue. And I also feel like I want to see the four of us again, but I don’t think so (laughs). I think it’s because I’m tired, but at the end of the stage everyone in the dressing room couldn’t figure out why and was laughing so hard.
I heard it leaking. Everyone’s laughing (laughs). Nakajima: Is that so? Actually, I didn’t know what was so funny, but for some reason everyone was holding their stomachs and laughing. Tsuchida: I laughed many times at the same thing. Nakajima: It was fun space. How about Reiou-san? Tsuchida: It was my first time shooting a music video. I was very nervous at first, but I gradually loosened up. I feel like I’m having fun as a result.
At what point did you feel relieved? Tsuchida: Around the end of the first solo shot. Gradually everyone started shooting, and I got used to the lyrics. Sakakihara: At an early stage, I used to make puns while wearing zori. Hmm? Itou: What did you say? Tsuchida: Did you come wearing zori? So… Nakajima: It’s not at an early stage. After that, we moved to the Noh theatre in the evening. Sakakihara: That’s right! I’m too tired to remember. Turbidity is occurring. Nakajima: Hahaha! Itou: You’ve been getting dangerous since then, haven’t you? Sakakihara: By the time you read this, it will be quite cool. I think it is, but it’s midsummer now. Even though it’s hot just by wearing it normally, it’s hot under the kimono. It’s because I have a lot of things to do! I think it became too much fun and my memory became clouded (laughs). Itou: The kimono is fresh and good. I feel like my spine is growing. I want to buy the kimono I wore in the main story and MV. I don’t remember anymore, but I’ve learned how to put it on, so if I remember, even by myself I should be able to wear it. Nakajima: The training school at our office does Japanese dance, so I can remember the attachment.
I see, that’s what you learned. Sakakihara: I don’t do Japanese dance. Nakajima: Is that so? I didn’t learn karate and Japanese dance. Don’t call yourself 81 Produce! Sakakihara: Is that so? (laughs) I’m a little confused right now, I’m here!
(Laughs) So, what is your impression of the theme song recorded today? Please tell me. Itou: It’s a cool song and upbeat song that makes use of the Japanese taste in both the lyrics and the melody. In connection with BL Rakugo, racy words and Japanese musical instruments. It is an interesting song that, except for the chorus, it was a free performance, and there were many parts that were tested. So, it was difficult, but it new song that I can sing with the flow. It was fresh. Nakajima: What’s more, the person who made it was Hige Dry. He’s setting the bar, isn’t he? Itou: He’s a musician who’s making waves today. Nakajima: That’s right. I’ve known his name for a long time, but now he’s my friend’s husband. I’m happy to have a wonderful relationship through my music. The chaotic view of the world in the program itself, in a good way, is reflected in the song, and it’s stylish as well. I feel that it’s a song that transforms the feeling of hodgepodge into something wonderful. In the first place, “Bokuraku MV shooting” was on the schedule. When I saw it written, I thought, “Are you going to shoot a MV?” I did (laughs). Sakakihara: That’s right (laughs). I also had the impression that the temporary song was really cool, so I was looking forward to the recording. Takemaru-kun, who I’m working with, is so crazy that he’s called a “runaway engine” car. It was also interesting to think about where I should bring out his character in the song. I was afraid that I might get scolded for going too far. Nakajima: You won’t get scolded (lol). Tsuchida: I also remember hearing many compliments during the recording. You don’t have to follow a mock song, sing in a different mood. Even when I saw it, people said, “Itadakimasu,” and it was a really free recording.
Not much direction? Tsuchida: I don’t know… Maybe there was a little. Like “Please do this a little more.” To some extent… Nakajima: What do you mean? I can’t get it (laughs). Sakakihara: Yes, however, after receiving the materials, the two of us performed rakugo. As I learned more about what to do, I began to look forward to it. It changed. I practised before the rakugo recording, but on the day of the performance, I was really looking forward to it. Itou: Sakakihara-kun was doing rakugo at the training school. I think everyone in my generation received it.
Sakakihara-san took rakugo classes instead of Japanese dance. Sakakihara: In class, we challenged ourselves to a performance we had known for a long time, “Medicine Can.” The main character asks the names of various things in the retirement pretending to know, but the main focus is on the retirement lying in a flowing manner. Itou: That’s amazing. If there was a rakugo class in the curriculum when I went to school, it would have been crazy. Because it’s a field that doesn’t know left or right. However, since I said “I’ll do it” this time, I thought I’d take the challenge seriously. “I would like to practise in advance.” I prayed and learned how to use the folding fan and how to walk. I am grateful that they taught me. They gave me time to rehearse, and there was a lot of support during the recording, so I wasn’t that worried. This member also has a senior-junior relationship, but they know each other to some extent. I had a vague understanding of each approach, so it was easy for me to predict how I would take it. Nakajima: But what we do is BL x Rakugo, a new genre of entertainment. There should be no disrespect on either side, so it was a major premise to challenge with respect without making fun of it. the staff members were more conscious of that than the cast, so it made me feel that it was up to us to make it entertaining and interesting. As everyone says, the rakugo in this program is a dialogue between two people. It’s interesting that it will come back if you hit it, and I felt the real thrill of this project, but since it’s a new genre, I won’t know until it’s aired. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going on, just like the viewers.
By the way, could Nakajima-san and Itou-san tell us about the side of the juniors after spending a lot of time together? Nakajima: That’s right, I’m glad both of you are doing well. Tsuchida: Aren’t you a relative’s uncle! Nakajima: Also, you’re both skinny, so eat properly. Tsuchida: Isn’t he relative’s uncle! Nakajima: It’s a joke saying, don’t overdo it, tsukkomi. Keep it aside. Reiou-kun is old even though he’s a junior (laughs). I’m really tired, and Reiou-kun and Sakakihara-kun are youthful. It was bright. Itou: Yes, they’re very energetic. Because it’s Nakajima, you look sloppy when compared. I’m worried about it (laughs). Nakajima: The cameras for the making of the main part and MV shoot start early in the morning, and you feel like you can’t bring yourself to the usual tension from that time. But from behind, Sakakihara-kun said “Good morning!” Itou: The tension is perfect. Nakajima: That’s why I think this making-of video has a very bright atmosphere. Itou: I’d like people to look forward to the making-of video as well. Earlier, Reiou-kun said, “I was nervous.” I thought he was lying, but he was so lively. Nakajima: Well, he’s a liar, isn’t he? Tsuchida: Hey (laughs).
I’m looking forward to seeing what the video will look like. Tsuchida: I want you to get a taste of the chaotic mix of the members, including the main story, the music video, and the making-of. I’m sure you can feel the depth of the character. Please pay attention! Sakakihara: As Yoshiki-san said, both the filming of the main story and the music video took a long time, so I think the sense of teamwork and trust increased considerably. It feels like a travelling troupe that has been on the road for a long time. I think that this atmosphere oozes out in the exchanges of the main story as a sense of tension and warmth. “That must have been an unreasonable act that wasn’t in the script.”
Backstage report 2: The making of Bokuraku
“The ideal rakugo for us” consisting of a rakugo part and a conversation part at a café. Different pairs have different exchanges between recordings. Please feel the unique atmosphere created by each relationship.
The two of them (Nakajima-san and Tsuchida-san) attended the rakugo part from the morning until the afternoon. After that, they moved to the studio and recorded the conversation part at the café. We were able to get close to the recording of the café scene at the end of “Paper Invitation.” When I entered the scene, Nakajima-san and Tsuchida-san, dressed in Japanese clothing, had finished their make-up and were already on standby. Perhaps because the main part of the program, Rakugo, is over, the tension seems to have eased somewhat. Also, perhaps because they were on good terms, the chat was lively from beginning to end, and loud laughter resounded throughout the scene.
In any case, carefully read lines in the café scene. In particular, Tsuchida-san often looked down at the script and could be seen repeating the lines. When Nakajima-san said, “I don’t remember the line,” he said, “No, even if you say that, you should remember it. You’re the one who says that!” and went back to practising the lines.
The café scene started from the point where the top profit came to the store where all the scenes were waiting. Watching the boys who are regulars, the two of them engage in delusional talk. Compared to the 10-odd page rakugo part, the page of the café scene is not so long, but unlike rakugo, it requires a good tempo dialogue, and it is by no means an easy scene. Therefore, when the script was taken away by the staff, Nakajima-san said, “I’m sorry…” Tsuchida-san also said, “What should I do?”
The recording is a real performance without setting up a test. Biting, mistaking the position of the line of sight, etc. Despite some NG’s, progress was smooth. Nakajima-san continues, “Manjiro?” In addition, there is a scene where Tsuchida-san, who is frustrated that the next line does not come out, laughs and says, “Well, well.” Many times, we saw the composition of the juniors who took on the challenge seriously and became nervous, and the seniors who kindly followed up to ease their tension. It was impressive that Nakajima-san tried to soften by mimicking other comedians. The long filming that takes place from early morning until late at night is inevitably tense, but the reason I didn’t feel that at the scene that day was probably because of Nakajima-san’s concern. The expressions on the staff’s faces softened, and the laughter never eased.
After that, change the camera angle and record the scene of the dialogue again. In addition, the hands of Manshiki, who folds roses in straw bags while waiting for Kamitoshi, and the solo scene of Kamitoshi, who comes to the store, were filmed. By this time, Tsuchida-san’s nervousness had completely loosened, and he smiled happily when he got the first OK. I heard from the manager, “I’m wrapping it up,” and clenched my first, saying, “Good!”
In this way, the café scene of “Paper Invitation” is finished. After receiving a round of applause, Nakajima-san exclaimed, “Thank you for you hard work!” as if he had just returned home, and the staff retorted, “There’s still one more bottle left (laughs).” I think this kind of interaction was only possible because the two of them were in the field. It was a shoot that felt like that.
The recording of Sakakihara-san, who plays the role of Kazuon, Itou-san who plays Takemaru, is the same as Nakajima-san and Tsuchida-san, and the schedule is to shoot two episodes of rakugo part and café part in one day.
When I entered the scene, Itou-san put on his glasses and quietly read the script, while Sakakihara-san waited for the performance while chatting with his manager. Perhaps because they have paired up with Nakajima-san and Tsuchida-san and done several shoots, they seem to be already used to the atmosphere. Even though it was before recording, when I asked him to take two still shots, he kindly accepted and smartly decided on a pose. There is a sense of tension, but it is the bare minimum. The two people who were in close contact in August were lively, but this time the two were wearing a calm atmosphere. This is the day when the 6th episode “Yabu no loincloth” and the 11th episode “God visit” were recorded. We closely followed the recording of the café part of “Kamimode.” In preparation for the “Winter War,’ which every otaku would probably be participating in, Kazuon uses a calculator to calculate military funds, and Takemaru reveals that he has never participated in the war. In fact, according to the two, the number of lines this time is “pretty much a lot.” It’s nearly twice as much as the café part of the “Paper Invitation,” and even before the performance, “There are many this time?”
“Are you always talking like this?” I heard a conversation. I thought that I was completely used to it, but it seems that I was puzzled by the amount of dialogue. Perhaps because of this, Sakakihara-san was in pain because he couldn’t say the next line in the actual performance. It seems that he feels the difference from the voice acting industry, spinning lines while looking at the script. He couldn’t help but say, “It’s really long…” But it was also for a moment. In the meantime, when he read the script and hammered it into his head, he encouraged himself, “I can do it, I can do it!” Next, he succeeded with his lines. Little by little, he began to hold down the points, and in between shooting. There are also scenes where two people play around. There was a drink that calm and Takemaru ordered. However, “From now on, Itou-san” (asked by Kazuon), I’m going to spill the coffee!” Sakakihara-san exaggerated, and Itou-san shouted, “Burn!” Gradually the feelings came to then. However, around the middle of the recording, I often heard the loud sound of the motorcycles coming from outside the studio, and I had to stop the camera each time. No matter how smoothly the conversation between the two of them progresses, once the sound is heard, they can’t move forward until it stops. Originally, it was about 30 minutes behind the normal schedule, so I could see the colour of impatience on the staff’s expression. In the meantime, if the kimino is out of alignment, they have to make small adustments to make it fit, and the position of the calculator and glasses is also the same. The scene will inevitably get tense. However, there are two people who wear a calm atmosphere. No matter how much the filming was interrupted, they never showed any confusion and kept their own pace. It seems that Itou-san and Sakakihara-san’s clear and cheerful voices were transmitted to the staff and naturally calmed down the atmosphere of the site. For the staff, there’s nothing more reliable than that.
They tried to increase the dialogues by one rally to strengthen the tsukkomi side, and in the final scene where I went out of the camera, I improvised lines every time. The pair of Itou-san and Sakakihara-san were impressive as they tried to spread the word. I’m looking forward to seeing how it will be cut on air.
Taku Yashiro (Voice Newtype Vol. 82 2021)
“Why am I me?” Taku Yashiro faces the characters with deep insight, thinking about the meaning of their lives in that world, as if repeating such unanswerable questions. Looking back on the year when he was able to show the face of a “senior” with a wider range of roles than ever before.
One way to say each line. It’s been a year where I was surprised by the various approaches Yashiro-san has taken to characters, including “Project Scard: Praeter no Kizu” playing Kouga Tatsuma, which was full of unbelievable charm. Yashiro: “Praeter no Kizu” is actually younger than the middle of the group, but I felt a lot of pressure to play the oldest character in his late 30’s. I really thought about what to do. Whatever role you play, you are the yardstick. At first, I start thinking about what I would think. It also gives you the chance to take a bolder approach to roles that are further apart. What came to my mind was, “If you really mean it, you say it jokingly, and if you don’t mean it, you say it seriously.” If you don’t know what you’re thinking, and you’re not someone who speaks your mind frankly, I thought it would be interesting to turn things around. I think he was able to express his own words in the last episode, “You like this town, don’t you? I love you too.”
Gugu in “To Your Eternity” was a cool character who wore a mask and could be conveyed without showing his expression. Yashiro: Ever since I read the original work, I have felt sympathy and love for the character Gugu, who has a sense of justice, is kind because he is clumsy, and is lonely because of it, and is always searching for the reason why he is alive. I was really honoured to perform. It was almost time for me to “take over” from Ryoko Shiraishi-san, played the child version. The appearance is also muscular, but in order to convey the persuasiveness that he grew up from such a wonderful childhood, I tried to convey the nuances of his words and something like his “soul” even though his face cannot be seen. I cherish and perform. Also, meeting Reiji Kawashima-san, who plays the main character, Fushi, was also special. It was rare that he invited me to dinner. I was attracted to his personality.
“Yu-Gi-Oh! Sevens” is also a long-running series, but there’s something to be gained from co-stars. Yashiro: It’s a relatively young generation, and the main character, Tatsuhisa Kamijou, is 7 years old. I can’t put it into words well, but I’m happythat I can play the role of Luke, his rival and partner next to him. Because he grew up in a different generation, he can also absorb different things. Also, the character Guru Guru, who has recently appeared with Luke, is played by Kiku Ise, a junior in the same office. Just like Showtarou Morikubou-san says, “Pay it forward,” that he left behind when he went independent, I think that maybe there is something I can do as a senior. I hope that it will become a place where everyone can grow, even if just a little.
It is also impressive that you were active in various works in the so-called “Narou” series. “Banished From The Hero’s Party, I Decided To Live A Quiet Life In The Countryside” you played Ares. Yashiro: Unlike my rivals, I haven’t played a role that gives the main character a one-sided, unpleasant feeling, so I thought a lot about what I needed to do to play Ares. That’s why, at first, I focused on persuasiveness as a sage who could drive out the main character. But after that, it became my job to express his immaturity, the heat, and short-sightedness that lie within. I came to think that there was a meaning in acting.
“The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent” in which you played Jude, is similar to your own impression. Yashiro: It was a healing role, almost no role-playing required (laughs) Nonetheless, in the world where the story is set, the main character is the first person to become interested in medicinal herbs. That’s what I thought.
By the way, do you dream of being reincarnated in another world? Yashiro: I watch a lot of European football, but especially the English Premier League, which has taken root in my hometown. I really love it. People go to school or work on weekdays and go to watch games with their families on the weekends. When I see the spectacle of the stadium uniting and singing a song, I admire that kind of life. Well, in today’s world, I’m fully satisfied, so I don’t think I have that kind of imagination as much as I did when I was younger.
I think that the fact that there are many works that you have appeared in means that you have received more auditions than this number. When things don’t always go your way, what motivates you? Yashiro: With that said, the way I think about auditions has changed. Of course, I want to pass all of them, and I need to think about what I should do to be involved in the work, but right now, it’s more like a desire to “how I want to play this role.” I would like to place importance on whether or not there is a solid foundation. So, recently, even when I see a failed work on air, I can honestly settle my feelings when another actor takes a completely different approach than I do.
What kind of year do you want next year to be? Yashiro: This year, I have also appeared in many dubbed works, and in particular, being able to play the main character, Jace, in an overseas drama called “Swagger,” which was created based on the experiences of active NBA players, became a great source of inspiration for me. It is a human drama that goes beyond just adolescence, including social issues. It’s interesting, so I hope you’ll take a look at it. However, during filming, the coronavirus pandemic hit, and the actors began to wear masks as well. I also wore a mask during the recording. There are works that are unique to this era, and even though the situation is still changing, I was encouraged by the staff who tried to bring out our performance by devising in a limited environment. It was the year where in fact there were many works that I haven’t been able to tell you about, and I can’t wait for next year with the feeling that I want to act as soon as possible and have everyone enjoy it. Through my encounters with these characters, when I had the opportunity to talk to them again like this, they said, “I said something different from last year!” (laughs). I hope that this will be a year in which new ideas are born and progress can be made.
Column: Happy holidays
I would be happy if I could eat chicken at Christmas and mochi at New Year’s. However, when I gather around my family for New Year’s Eve, I feel refreshed and ready for the new year.
Seiichirou Yamashita (Voice Newtype Vol. 81 2021)
Face the given role with sincerity and do your best. Evaluate that attitude Seiichirou Yamashita, who has been steadily accumulating appearances, including not only the leading and main characters, but also nameless minor roles. Although he has a strong colour, he has expanded his range of activities, staring with stage appearances, to radio programmes and writing magazine columns. Now that the milestone of 10 years has begun to be seen, where is he headed?
When you appeared in 2017, it was the time where “Orange” (Kakeru Naruse) and “Touken Ranbu” series (Toushirou Yagen) were becoming a hot topic. Looking back from then until now, what role was the turning point for you? Yamashita: The big one is the role of Shougo Yumekawa of the male idol team that appears in “Idol Time PriPara.” Of course, it was rewarding to act, but he was also the first character to challenge the mainstream of young voice actors, “singing and dancing,” but he was very selfish. It has contributed to my own growth. Even after the TV broadcast ended, he continued to perform live performances for many years, and in 2018, I experienced performing on stage with my whole body. In that sense I use my own body, I have to pay more attention to my thinking and efforts in my daily life, so I have come to realize that being a voice actor who sings, and dances is not something that is half done. I still feel like I’m not good at dancing, but as I stood on stage and sang and danced repeatedly, I naturally gained courage. It’s like, “I’ve practised so much, I can do it.” I feel that the experience of overcoming that confidence and nervousness has been put to good use as the foundation of my acting and voice acting career. The length of time I have been involved in for five years, the density, and the richness of it all make it a really big core, or rather, the foundation.
Yamashita-san has appeared in many films and has played a wide variety of roles. Yamashita: I’m grateful that i don’t have a fixed image of what kind of role I want to play, and I’m given the chance to play a variety of roles.
Do you have any worries about switching roles? Yamashita: Putting aside the good and bad, I think I’m the type who doesn’t get stuck in a single role. In recent years, I’ve been able to play a variety of roles, and I’ve come to feel that voice actors need to make efforts to think about the work and characters in such a short period of time. It’s always been a challenge. In that sense, James Moriarty in “Kabukichou Sherlock” reminded me of the difficulty of acting with only voice. I learned by reading books and watching movies, but I think viewers can feel the fear of this type of human being because they can’t read their emotions from their expressions and the discomfort they feel when they act casually. It’s only possible with pictures, so it was difficult to express it with just my voice, and I experienced a lot of pain in the process of creating it. But in the second half, I was able to use some ad-libs, so I thought the work was really fun. Doing something that is not in the lines without permission, it’s a double-edged sword for an actor, but I’m grateful to the sound director for accepting it. But I still feel like I’m dragging my feet around with no resolution.
Keep searching for your own correct answer. It means that you are running. Yamashita: Yes, in 2020, the role that left an impression on me was Kosame Isshiki in “Appare-Ranman!” It was just around the time we entered the pandemic, and this was the first time I experienced post-recording with a small group of people. Unlike the character I’ve played so far, Kosame is a comedy-relief role with a good physique that requires gags, so it was also a new challenge. It was also a good time for me, I got comments on Twitter from fans in the United States, and I was happy to think that the work I appeared in was being watched overseas.
When the real event was cancelled, you were able to interact with fans on SNS. Yamashita: I agree. “Horimiya” (playing Tooru Ishikawa) which was created after the new recording method was introduced, is also impressive.
A boy meets girl story, depicting the daily life of high school students. Yamashita: The main characters, Hori and Miyamura, have a special way of meeting and interacting with each other precisely because it is an anime, but the flow of the script that makes it exquisitely realistic is also wonderful, and Haruka Tomatsu-san (who plays Kyouko Hori) and Kouki Uchiyama’s (Izumi Miyamura) acting is good. Miyamura and Tooru often flirted with each other, so in those scenes I would like to thank Nobuhiko Okamoto-san for Kakeru Sengoku and Daiki Yamashita-san for Shuu Iura. While being led by my seniors and learning from them, when I interact with Yurie Kozakai-san, who plays Yuki Yoshikawa, and Reina Kondou-san, who plays Sakura Kouno, I’m the one who gives the intentions and triggers for the play… I think that Tooru was a delicious role with a position that works in all directions. “Horimiya” was the first work in a long time since “Orange” to have the natural atmosphere and theatricality that I like. Taking advantage of what I learned in “Orange” of “trying to do it naturally is already unnatural,” I was conscious of the flow of the story and the exquisite sense of balance and making decisions. I feel that making a decision and cutting out what needs to be cut out is the part where I was able to grow.
In October, the 2nd season of “86” has aired. Yamashita: To be honest, from the audition stage, I thought there might be someone who would be a better match, but it’s hard to decide the image of the voice based on the character’s physical characteristics right away. I regretted that I had been so naïve. Of course, I’m conscious of the low pitch of his voice, but more than that, once I get to know Raiden’s personality and peculiarities, acting becomes a lot more fun. He portrays a harsh world without any compromises, and although there are some painful scenes, he is a charming and dramatic character who tries his best to be cool and snobbish. In the second season, the changes in the survivors become clear, so I can sympathize with their way of life and their worries, I think it will be easier to take it directly as something that belong to you. “Gyakusekai no Denchi Shoujo” is a work with a penetrating passion that says, “As long as it’s fun, it’s all good.” Hosomichi Kudou, who I play, is the main character, but the main character is the heroine. So, in terms of my position, it’s the only common-sense tsukkomi role, so in a way it’s a delicious role, and it’s a fresh role for me as well. I hope you can enjoy it without thinking too much about it.
What are your resolutions and goals for the 10th anniversary of your debut? Yamashita: In terms of age, I’m 30 years old, but I think it would be nice if the role I play changes as I get older. I want to live properly and gain experience so that I can use my own changes as feedback. My goal is not to be a “chameleon actor,” but to keep changing.
Column: Recommended movies for long autumn nights: Setoutsumi
It’s a movie I watch regularly, and the acting by Masaki Suda and Sosuke Ikematsu is really good. The length of the fries, and the fact that the two of them just keep on talking about something that doesn’t really matter, is interesting and I like it. It’s a movie that I want to be able to act in.
Shogo Yano & Daiki Hamano (Voice Newtype Vol. 77 2020)
矢野 奨吾 & 濱野 大輝
A new step “New Stage Episode” series that the 6th year “Idolmaster SideM” takes. The 1st and 2nd instalments, which decorate the opening, are a seemingly dangerous pairing of a healthy lamb and a hungry beast!
Mofumufuen’s “Wonder x Marching!” is a song that makes you feel happy. Yano: It’s also connected to the drama part where the three of us try to convey the appeal of toys. Shirou (Tachibana) and Kanon (Himeno), who knew how to play like children from beginning. (Nao Okamura seems to have learned how to open a toy box only after he met him). Because there is such a thing, it’s more fun to get the producer involved and play with three people instead of one, and more than three people. I wish I could express that. Hamano: Even though he’s so cute, I can feel his professionalism. That’s Mofumofueri’s strength, and what it has in common with The Kogado is the “fighting trio.” Yano: Yes. I’ve always said that Nao isn’t just cute, but he’s always fighting with himself to find out what’s cool. I’m encouraged by Nao, who has the courage to step forward and the strength to continue running after taking a step. Hamano: As much as I see Yano-kun and the others working hard at rehearsals, I feel that the glittering appearance of performing on stage makes me even more like 315 Production Idols. Yano: How does 11-year-old Nao turn on the switch? Besides, if you look around more, Shirou-kun and Kanon-kun are there too. Because there are two of us, I might be able to say that I’ve become accustomed to Nao-kun.
The Kogado is a “Hung Road” where you can feel the wildness of running. Hamano: There was something that had been built up since the first “St@rting Line” series. I was able to find that I was going to take on a different challenge than before. In terms of Michiru, I would like to stand at the true starting point of my days as a martial artist, and not as an agency or a unit, but as an individual, and I want to interweave and express the glaring passion of this song. Even the title of the song conveys the image of a carnivorous beast, rather than a voracious appetite. Yano: Lively and energetic. It’s a cool song! While it’s the culmination of the relationships between the groups, it makes you feel that The Kogado is really hungry, saying, “That’s not all.” Michiru is really big. In this song he also eats ramen with two other people (Takeru and Ren). It’s a song that’ll let you eat, isn’t it? No, I want to fill my heart, not my stomach (laughs). Yano: Your performance is also always overdone. You’re going beyond the past next time; I want you to fight in the air. Hamano: I’ll drive around the perimeter. Enjoy a large bowl of ramen while fighting two people in it.
You’ve also appeared in each other’s drama parts, but how did you feel about being in charge of the beginning of a new series? Yano: Fluffy. But when I think Nao and the others will discover more new “toys” in the world of idols and think about how to play with them, I’m genuinely looking forward to the future, and it seems like the possibilities of 315 Production. I wondered if it could become a unit that symbolizes many things. Hamano: I see. I’m a combination. I even thought it was inevitable. In terms of the pitch of the unit, even the highest and lowest parts of 315 Production have meaning, and they seem to be polar opposites, but in fact they are quite closely related. Shirou-kun admires Michiru, doesn’t he? Yano: There was also the time Nao became Ren’s disciple. Hamano: I think that there is a lot to learn from Mofumofuen, who has a high level of professionalism, in the case of The Kogadou.
What do you think about the new all-inclusive song “Next Stage?” Hamano: I think it’s a song that makes you feel the brilliance that it’s already different from those days. “Nice to meet you,” and then say, “Let’s go to the future together.” Yano: Actually, there are lyrics with a heart mark, but I thought that I was able to express myself because I had accumulated experience and confidence while valuing my original intention.
What have you recently discovered within yourself, or have you felt a sense of opening a door? Yano: The manager taught me how to keep the washing tub clean (laughs). I’m spending a fulfilling day by making a fresh start, cleaning the house, buying an electronic keyboard, and trying things I’ve never tried before. Hamano: Recently, I got a big role, and for some reason I got really scared. But if you look at the work as a whole, it’s still a part of it, and I think all you have to do is steadily present what you’ve done so far. That I don’t have to get too excited and try new things… and I’ve discovered that I’m timider than I thought. Yano: It’s a good story to talk about later! I’m the same age as Dai-chan and we’ve been co-starring since before “Idolmaster SideM”, so we’ve been working hard while showing each other’s faults. For me, it’s “Mabudachi”. Hamano: Oh, that’s a new discovery (laughs). Surprisingly, it’s the first time we’ve talked about “Idolmaster SideM” together, but I’m kind of happy that it’s time to start a new chapter.
What did you feel through the 2nd consecutive day in July of “Rainai Atte Tokubetsu Seisei Broadcasting!~M@ke you Proud~”, and what kind of existence “Idolmaster SideM” has become for you now. Hamano: I’m glad that I was able to once again feel the power of everyone who is usually active in their own places and faces the same direction. I want to develop my art so that I can give back to my teachers. Yano: I’ve seen videos of past live performances, and everyone is young, sweaty, and working hard. I thought there was something there that we should never forget. That is the “beginning” that I mentioned earlier. To be honest, it’s frustrating that the live was cancelled this year. I believe that all the staff and producers are part of 315 Production, so when I realize that I’m not alone in feeling that way, I feel doubly frustrated and want to do a live show. I felt stronger. When it is held someday, let’s hit all of them and have a blast!
Column: Little happiness
- Shogo Yano (Chatting)
Being able to talk to people and do what you are passionate about. When it was no longer taken for granted, I realized just how important it was for me. My first job after staying home was radio recording, and I was surprised at how much I could talk (laughs).
- Daiki Hamano (Challenge)
Being able to work every day and being able to take on new challenges at all times. Hoping for even greater happiness when that challenge bears fruit, I now live each day savouring the joy of the day.
Taku Yashiro, Daiki Hamano & Yuko Sanpei (Voice Newtype Vol. 74 2019)
八代 拓, 濱野 大輝 & 三瓶 由布子
The palms and situation we received in the southern paradise, we will dance brilliantly for the 5th anniversary year!
A gentle song that warms your heart. Hamano: I thought it was a fresh song with a calmness that expresses the personalities of these four members, and also a new side that you can’t see in the usual units. (Michiru Enjouji is more pressured than the other three, so instead of being belligerent, it’s important to sing in a way that’s easy-going and enveloping. Yashiro: Michiru-san looks good visually, don’t you think? In that sense, you might be the one who suits the cast the best (laughs). It’s a wonderful song that picks up the mysterious part of Thailand. “My pen light, SMILE” (it’s okay) and “cup cup” (thank you) were keywords that you had with Tsubasa, so it was easy to get into. Sanpei: It overlaps with the spectacle of the penlights lit by the producers, right? Yashiro: After all, it’s a work with a man who likes puns. Sanpei: There is such a “315 section” as well (laughs). I thought it was refreshing, and I thought it was nice to feel like I was in a foreign country.
“Mokuromi India Night” in India is like an Indian movie, a lively song. Sanpei: Yes, it is completely different from Thailand. Hamano: The colouring of the jacket is both golden, but the warmth of Thai Khom Loi and Indian, the difference between the gorgeous royal palace feeling is interesting, isn’t it? Sanpei: The song is about a musical-style drama, so I think I should sing with passion. I got through it (laughs). “Accha” is “Good” and Ryou it’s surprising that it had the opposite meaning to the “Gyaooo!” Hamano: The harmony of the three of us…
Can you get it, Sanpei-san? Hamano: At the end (laughs). (Heaven among the two people, Touma Amagas and Ryou-kun) There is a person named Kirio (Nekoyanagi). When the spice mixes and melts, I think it fits comfortably. Yashiro: No matter what kind of song it is, the individuality of the three of us will never disappear. I was impressed by the fact that combining them, the power increased even more. Has there ever been a song with so many conversations? It’s fun, like riding a roller coaster, with all kinds of sounds coming one after another. Sanpei: Our plan is to have everyone dance in the background. Yashiro: I want to enjoy free dancing!
What do you think idols will do in each country? Yashiro: The four Thais seem to be less likely to have incidents than when they are in their own units. Hamano: It’s true that there are no mischievous people. Yashiro: I think even Tsubasa is starting to feel so lonely that he doesn’t say “so-so.” Hamano: Michiru watches martial arts, goes around the food stalls and finds things that can be used in ramen, and he seems to have the most fun. Sanpei: Ryou is being swayed by Touma and Kirio. Also, as usual, he was forced to dress up as a woman by a local. Hamano: Ah, I can imagine Ryou being in trouble because he was proposed to by the Royal Family.
The song “Meet the World!” common to all series. “The IdolmasterSideM – 4th Stage~Treasure~” It’s shown everywhere. Yashiro: The theme song for this series. While singing, I became a voice actor. When I didn’t know right or left, I played the role of a wing. This and challenging the unknown. I thought that feeling was similar to “Idolmaster SideM.” I think Tsubasa also wants to travel the world with everyone, so he’s happy to be able to see various scenery in this way. Hamano: During live performances, I sang a lot. I felt the ease and wondered why. So, when I broke down the lyrics during the recording, I realized that Michiru was originally a man who was challenging himself to face the world. A song that has a lot of sympathy for Michiru, as it makes you feel like you’re going to take on more and more challenges with the hope you found while working with new friends. Sanpei: Good story! Me too, with everyone I hope I get the chance to sing. I thought 315 Production would finally aim for the world, but if we were to actually go, where would we go first? Hamano: Idol culture is also thriving, so I think Thailand would be good. Well, when I came back to Japan, I became a local person that Yashiro-san didn’t know. Yashiro: Huh, I made a mistake! Shugo Nakamura-san and Yuma Uchida-san noticed that! Hamano: Whether it’s on an airplane or on the Shinkansen, I can’t wait to see scenery that I’ve never seen outside the window. Hey, in the local area, you can experience new air, eat delicious food, and use your five senses. We value having fun. Sanpei: Ryou also sang, “It’s better to share.” I want to go with someone. Hamano: Same. Yashiro: I don’t travel alone either. When I went abroad for the first time, I was so excited that I boarded the plane without eating or sleeping, which made me sick. Also, if you have too many plans, it will feel like a job, so don’t worry about time. Do you want to enjoy yourself without being bored? Well, it all boils down to the five senses! Hamano: Was it five senses? (laughs).
Please tell us what you felt about the song “Pride Star” and your enthusiasm for future live performances! Yashiro: “Pride Star”. After looking back, I really like the fact that the world that spreads out from there is sung. That’s why, in the beginning, it was the three of us, Dramatic Stars, but it became such a beautiful universe. For me, I have a strong sense that Tsubasa is an existence that has been deepened by the past five years and the events with the people who have supported me, so I hope that the next live will also be filled with the splendour of “SideM.” I will do my best to enjoy it so that I can show it to you. Hamano: Up until now, you may have been worried that it was still a challenge, but this song is full of confidence, and it makes your masters think that you are shining instead of just doing your best. I don’t think so. I sang it first at Ani-Summer the other day, but the choreography is also big. It’s loud and open. I felt that it would be uncool if I didn’t do it openly. There are people who have loved idols for five years, and I have been doing it for three years. I hope that I can grow as a person as well. Sanpei: That’s right. I think there will be parts that will grow as actors and parts that will not change, but we also want to enjoy ourselves, and we want the producers who watch us to have the most fun, I want to create such a world. Especially since I couldn’t stand on stage with everyone this year, I’m looking to the next live. Let’s make 2020 such that when we look back on it, we can think, “It was an important time.”
Column: My Christmas!
Sanpei: Like a certain overseas comedy movie… Hamano: I want that to happen! Sanpei: No (laughs). I have always admired the large Christmas trees that appear in foreign movies. But first of all, I’m having trouble with storage. Yashiro: We have no choice but to plant a fir tree at home. Hamano: I like it (laughs). I wanted to try a whole fat roasted turkey, so let’s have a party at home. Yashiro: Then, you’ll dress up as Santa and bring presents to children. When I was a child, I couldn’t forget how I excited I was even to smell the wrapping paper of presents. I want to see someone’s happy face too. Sanpei: No, no, is there a place to plant a fir tree? Rah!
Takuto Yoshinaga, Kaito Ishikawa, Daiki Yamashita (Voice Newtype 67 2018)
吉永 拓斗, 石川 界人, 山下 大輝
A boy meets girl about 100 years in the future, which begins when a boy meets a humanoid robot called hIE. Takuto Yoshinaga as Arato Endo, Kaito Ishikawa as Ryou Kaidai, Daiki Yamashita as Kengo Suguri, the head of the village, and the three main stars of “Beatless” talka about the fun of science fiction.
The ITV anime “Beatless” is based on a sci-fi novel by Satoshi Hase that was serialized in Monthly Newtype. What impression do you have of the genre “SF”? Yoshinaga: Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of older SF movies. Famous movies include “Star Wars,” “Back to the Future,” and “Blade Runner.” All of the works depict “that kind of era may come someday, but it’s magnificent world that would be difficult to see in person,” and it’s really exciting. I like it because it makes me think, “What if something like this happened?” Ishikawa: I think that “SF” is a genre that tests the receptiveness of the audience. There are unique settings and worldviews, but there is no end to the need for consistency. There are works that can be enjoyed by returning to a child’s mind and looking like a boy, and there are also works where you can enjoy the fun of finding your own conclusions by considering the settings from an adult’s point of view. I think it’s a genre where you find your own way of enjoyment. Yamashita: I think “SF” is “anything goes.” That’s why I like the creativity and thoughts of the people who make it. I think that is the genre that appears on the surface of the work. I think that “Beatless” also shows your originality. Even if there are works with similar settings, if you take a closer look, they are completely different. I believe that science fiction is a genre in which the personality of the writer comes out.
I see! What kind of impression do you have on the work “Beatless” from that science fiction point of view? Yoshinaga: When I first received the materials for setting the characters and the world, there were a lot of difficult terms such as “hIE” (the general terms for humanoid robots in this work) and “analog hacks” (described later). I felt a unique worldview and it aroused my curiosity. It made me wonder what would happen if this was made into an anime. Ishikawa: I’ve always like stories about the relationship between AI (artificial intelligence) and humans. I thought it would be nice if I could be involved in such a work someday in my life as a voice actor. I was happy that I was able to get involved in such an early stage. Also, I didn’t know how to pronounce “hIE” at first, so during the audition I read it as “hie” the whole time (laughs). Yamashita: The stage of “Beatless” is set in the not-too-distant future, and there is a sense of reality that this kind of era will really come. I’m looking for a work that allows you to experience both reality and fantasy at the same time.
Please tell us your impressions of the characters you are in charge of. Yoshinaga: Arato is frivolous (I thought it was just his personality) (laughs). but I don’t want you to misunderstand that he’s just that kind of person. He’s fragile, but he has a pure kindness in his heart. If someone is in trouble in front of him, he can impulsively help them. That kind of thing makes me want to follow suit. In the first place, where are the high school boys who can make sweet and sour pork? Actually, he’s a good guy. Ishikawa: Ryou has a different impression in the original work and in the anime. In the original, Ryou has a strong sociable side, but in the anime, when he interacts with Arato and Shiori, he suddenly changes his attitude. He is a brainy character and uses difficult words, but since I’m talking to Hiroshi Kamiya-san (who plays Ginga Watarai), it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by his senior’s acting. Yamashita: I was at the audition. (Village owner) gave me a picture of Kengo and there’s no light in the eyes. He had a bad expression. Seeing that, I thought he must be doing something behind the scenes. There is a gap between what he looks like when he is a student with Arato and behind the scenes. I wonder if there is a conflict between what he really wants to do and reality. I felt that he was involved in something big and that I was helpless.
Are there any similarities between you and the characters? Yamashita: Is Kaito-san (Ishikawa) a normal person? I always had the impression that he used difficult words, and I thought that was typical of him. Ishikawa: Do I use difficult words? Yamashita: Maybe for me (laughs). Yoshinaga: Before I received the script, the manager asked me, “Who do you think will play Ryou?” I thought you were a foreigner. Ishikawa: Thank you. Actually, I was auditioning for the role of Kengo. But when I heard about the character, I thought it might not be me. On the day I received the manuscript, I was given the role as Ryou. At that time, I asked Director Mizushima-san, “What kind of person is receiving Kengo?” Yamashita: Haha. Kengo is swept away. He may have a similar sweet spot (laughs). Ishikawa: Certainly, when I went up on stage with Yamashita-san at an event for another work, I thought Yamashita-san wouldn’t be able to overwhelm me (laughs). Yamashita: Kaito-san’s improvisation is unreasonable. It was the first time in a while.
How about Arato? Yoshinaga: Arato is a life-sized character who is close to my age, and there are many things that inspire me, so I feel that he is close to me. Especially when it comes to Arato’s reaction to being toyed with by Lacia, I’m doing it while thinking that I might be like that too. Ishikawa: I’ve been working with Takuto-kun on another project for a long time, but I never thought we’d be able to work together again so soon. At first, my manager asked me, “Who do you think will play Arato?” but I had no idea. When I was told that it was Yoshinaga-san, I was surprised to hear that it was Takuto Yoshinaga-kun. At the post-recording site, Takuto-ku is being teased like Arato. Sorry, I always mess around. Yoshinaga: No, no!
Arato is said to be “easy”, what do you think about that? Ishikawa: I think it’s like a high school boy. Even if you are objectively an “hIE”, subjectively you are a girl. If I get my body close to you, my heart will be pounding. I think it’s healthy. Yoshinaga: When I read Arato’s reaction in the script when he was called by Lacia as “San”, I wondered if he would react this far. However, during the recording the other day, Nao Touyama-san (playing Lacia) called me, “Should I call you by “san” too, Takuto-san?” I’m confused. As I waited, I thought Arato’s reaction was correct! Ishikawa: It’s a little devil (laughs). Yoshinaga: I thought this may have been “analog hacked” by Higashiyama-san. Ishikawa: In short, it’s demonic (laughs).
The “analog hack”, which has just been talked about, is “inducing human consciousness by taking advantage of the nature of humans instinctively having various emotions in human-shaped objects.” What do you guys think about the “click factor?” Ishikawa: It’s called “Analog Hack.” I think it’s a common way of thinking in the work of an actor. We alternate “analog hacks.” I think I’m doing a job that repeats itself over and over again. Yamashita: Certainly, sometimes I want to induce someone to act out. Ishikawa: It might be something like a woman’s heart. I ask the other person, “What do you want to eat?” (laughs). Yoshinaga: If you think that everything is “analog hacking”, you will become sceptical (smile). Ishikawa: Acting in an attempt to impress others is also an “analog hack.” Being able to “analog hack”. It may be close to becoming an adult (laughs).
It’s funny. So, what do you all think about the theme of this work, “Do things have a heart?” Ishikawa: I don’t think so! Yamashita: It’s the same. If disposable chopsticks have a heart, they will become difficult to use. Therefore, even if “hIE” becomes available in the future, it will still be a convenient tool, like a voice recognition assistant terminal such as “Google Home,” that will cook and clean for you. I think that it’s close to “hIE”. Ishikawa: I think it’s up to humans to feel the heart in things. if I had to choose between a new luxury watch or a 100-year old reasonably priced watch, it would probably be the latter. Arato was quick to develop feelings for her, and soon became able to empathize with Lacia… I think that’s what it means. Yoshinaga: Either human life or things, choose one! I think a normal person would choose “human life.” But Arato gets lost because he can’t let go of things there. On the contrary, I like Arato’s single-mindedness.
So, what are you looking forward to in the future development of “Beatless?” Ishikawa: Director Mizushima-san told me not to read the original work. If the original was made into a movie as it is, it would be difficult to see it as a work. He said that in the anime version he was conscious of that and reconfigured it for the video. However, since he was reading the original at that time, he could understand various things as to whether this part had been restructured. I’m looking forward to seeing how the future anime version will be structured until the end. As directed by Director Mizushima-san, I haven’t read the original work, so I approach the work based on the impression I get when I read the script. It looks like there will be more and more thrilling scenes in the future… If possible, I hope Kengo doesn’t die. Yoshinaga: Me too. I still don’t know what will happen after this. However, no matter what the ending is, I want to be Arato until the end and be “analog-hacked” by Lacia and the others.
Column: New myself
- Takuto Yoshinaga
I want to learn English conversation. I wanted to know what my favourite artists were singing in English. I have more opportunities to come into contact with English than before, so I think it would be great if I could master it.
- Kaito Ishikawa
I think I should study so that I can qualify. This year marks my 8th year as an artist. In the future, I would like to find something useful in my life.
- Daiki Yamashita
I would like to have a pet. I think that the sense of responsibility of taking care of one’s life will give one’s current life a sense of vitality. Also, I’ve been watching cat videos all the time, so that’s one of the reasons why I’m getting tired of it (laughs).
Fumiyoshi Shioya (Anium Premium Vol. 4 2019)
How was the shooting today? Shioya: It was fun. Taking pictures with the natural scenery in the background, taking pictures outdoors is something I haven’t had before, so I really admired it.
It was good. Do you have any aspirations? Shioya: Am I dreaming about it? Well… Ah! I’m really yearning to go on an overseas trip now, and when I get the chance, I’d like to go abroad when I can speak English to some extent. I’ve never been there, so I’d like to go to England.
It’s a beautiful dream. Is there anything you want to do as a voice actor? Shioya: I like my work regardless of the format, so I want to be a person who can do everything from the stage to animation, games, and dubbing. Since I was a child, I have always been a shy person, but I really liked being exposed to expressions, and I had a dream of becoming an actor who could handle everything. Even during art appreciation parties at school, I was the only child who seemed to be the only one who was seriously watching while the other children didn’t seem to be interested.
Did that kind of childhood experience make you want to express yourself? Shioya: It wasn’t until I entered high school that I started to think about doing acting. I had no confidence at all, so I thought I would never be able to do it.
Are you the type to give up too quickly? Shioya: From that point on, I started watching anime with all my might, and at the same time I started to be conscious of the voice actors. At that time, I was watching an anime called Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion and playing the game “.hack//G.U.” On the other hand, in the game, I was playing a rough guy, like a yankee, so the gap between the two government offices was impressive and I was very surprised. I realized it for the first time when I saw the end credits. “A voice actor can play so many roles with just his voice.” I became so interested in the profession that I wanted to become one myself.
You wanted to try various things. Shioya: I think so. It’s really fun to be able to become someone other than yourself. There was a drama club in high school, so I tried it out. From then on, I became more and more addicted to theatrical performances. Actually, I wanted to be an illustrator before aiming to become a voice actor, so I joined the art club first. When I first joined the club, I found the five-minute play put on by the drama club really interesting, so I decided to join the art club as well. After that, I became more and more drawn to theatre, and narrowed it down to just the drama club.
Is that so. Shioya: However, in the first place, I was not very good at appearing in front of people, so that was the first barrier. When I stand on the stage, all my nervousness goes away, and I can concentrate on play the role (smile).
Is that so. You still do that when you act. How are you not nervous? Shioya: As expected, I was nervous until just before the performance, but once I started acting, the tension disappeared, and I started having fun. It’s a special environment, so I think there’s a tension that’s different from theatre. I wonder if it is.
When you talk, your voice sounds quiet and calm. What kind of roles do you usually play? Shioya: Certainly, government offices such as gentle characters and quiet characters that make use of the feeling of the voice of the earth. I have many opportunities to play the role of a borrower. After that, I play a character who has two sides, that is, the self I show, and my true self are different. There are many things.
It seems difficult to create a character with two sides. Was there a role that was difficult for you? Shioya: In other words, it’s the role of twins who hold a grudge against each other. The children are just quarrelling because of the environment around them. So, it was a struggle to play “I hate my brother” in that situation.
So that it. On the other hand, you haven’t played many screaming or energetic roles. Do you want to? Shioya: Well… I haven’t played many, but in a work that hasn’t been released to the public yet, I’ve been playing a character whose emotions are quite bare. I was able to re-record the scene several times. I think it turned out to be a good one because I was able to record it carefully, which is rare at the scene these days. I’m looking forward to it. I would be happy if you could do it (laughs).
There are things you take care of when you play a role. Shioya: Basically, I imagine things like how the character has lived up to that point, or what happened in the past, and think, “I’ve lived like that, so I’m sure you’ll think this way. What kind of action will they take?” Shioya: I try to synchronize with the character’s feelings. I think there is a sound that comes out of that feeling. For example, if I have a character who hates the other person, I think about why they hate that person, and try to make sounds by emphasizing and sympathizing with that character. Since I was originally in the drama club, I think that I value acting as a base. I have a great admiration for natural acting, and I want it to be vivid, like, “Oh! There are people like this!” Whether it’s playing a two-dimensional character or standing on stage, I’m very conscious of it, and I always want to be in sync with it and create a play that has a vivid presence just by being there.
Shioya-san, who came to Tokyo from Iwate prefecture to pursue his dream. Shioya: At the vocational school, I made my debut as a voice actor in an environment with 200 classmates.
What were you doing before the vocational school? Shioya: When I was in the first grade, there was a school festival, and we had the opportunity to perform a recitation drama together. There was a moment when the main character’s acting and my narration were in sync, and I was in the zone. I was told to magnify and express the vision flowing in my mind, so that I could let the people around me imagine the scene as it is. I was able to concentrate and talk. It felt good, and the first time I encountered that feeling was when I was in vocational school. After that, I was selected as the main character, and the play was about a Native American tribe, and it was a romantic piece about the reunion of two lovers who had been separated due to persecution. It’s hard to get out. In particular, I was really worried about the last scene where they run away and then hug each other. Because they don’t actually hug each other. It’s just that there’s a moment when it’s strange to be able to do it. I don’t know myself, but maybe I have no choice but to do it until I can (laughs).
I think you started acting because you enjoyed theatre, but you didn’t go on to become an actor. Shioya: Well, I still don’t have confidence in myself.
No, I think you’re handsome enough… Shioya: No, no, no! I had no confidence in my appearance at all, so I admired acting, but I never thought I would make it my job. However, it is a profession that does not have a very public image. Actually, I thought, “Ah! Once I knew about voice actors, I was single-minded about becoming one. When I was in junior high school and high school, I was enthusiastic and thought, “I’m not a person who ends up in the countryside like this!” My mother seems to have had an experience in the past when she wasn’t allowed to what she wanted to do, so she wanted me to do my best and willingly agreed to my move to Tokyo.
Its seems that you became homesick after moving to Tokyo. Shioya: I’m sorry (laughs). It was also my first time to take a train. It was really hard and stressful to be jolted by a crowded train every day. I was homesick for about half a year like that, but after that, I made some friends. I was able to do it, and there were a lot of like-minded people around me who were aiming for the same goal, so life in Tokyo became fun. So, it was frustrating to see my friends being praised more than me, but it was fun because we could work hard together. We were rivals, but we were like friends.
When you became a voice actor, did you have a real feeling? Shioya: Since it was an extension of my vocational school, it may not have changed that much. At our office, there was a rule that newcomers must perform on stage for two years, so in the beginning there was a lot of stage rehearsals. That’s why I feel that I’ve been doing theatre as long as I’ve been doing voice acting.
Did you have a hard time during the audition? Shioya: You’re going to have a hard time! Most of the audition manuscripts are excerpted from the dialogue. I can’t do it… If there is an original, I read it myself and check it, but if there isn’t it, I have to completely imagine the flow before and after. It’s not written in detail, so it’s very difficult to express the character with just one word.
Have you ever felt that a play didn’t go as planned and that it wasn’t fun? Shioya: Sometimes it’s hard. It’s the same when I think I can’t express my character well, but there are many times when I get stuck in the rehearsal of the play. “Wow, it’s going to be hard.” I’m rarely satisfied with my acting, and although there are times when I think I have passed, I am never able to give a perfect score. Even if I have a vision in my head that says, “I want to perform like this!” It’s hard to pass auditions, and when I’m not working, my feelings gradually become trapped inside myself. I’m sorry to those who are fans, but there are times when I want to quit… I’m sorry.
What do you do when you’re not acting? Shioya: When I read manga at home, I naturally end up reading out loud. Also, sometimes I do muscle training. I have a thin body, so if I don’t support the muscle around my stomach more, I don’t I will be able to produce a firm voice. It’s not practise, but as I said earlier, I still don’t get many chances to be in sync with nature, so I’m doing what I can to be able to meet those moments.
When you became a voice actor, did you set a limit within yourself that if you didn’t make it this far, you would give up? Shioya: “Idolmaster SideM” Oh, I felt it while I was taking the audition. In this work, auditions were held over a long period of time, and new voice actors were often hired, so I thought that if all of them failed here, there would be no next time. “If I miss this chance, I will quit.” I realized that I have to think about my future after the event is over. I’ve made up my mind.
After that, I think you played a named role in “Idolmaster SideM”, did you feel any pressure? Shioya: Of course. Until then, I had enjoyed this work as a fan, and I had auditioned several times, but I failed many times. At the end of the audition where I was asked to create a voice for the character, I was accepted for the role of Sora Kitamura, and when I found out that I would be involved, I was really nervous. Sora Kitamura usually has a stick at the end of his sentences. Even with a stick, I think the impression changes greatly depending on how you act. He’s not a very lively character, but he’s not particularly dark, so I had to bring out that exquisite side, but during the fist recording, he was said to be too lively, and on the contrary, dark. It was difficult to adjust. It was just like threading a needle.
I think you’ve been exposed to a lot of things recently, such as appearing live on “The Idolmaster SideM” and appearing on the radio. Did you feel reluctance to stand in the public eye? Shioya: That was not surprising. I have loved singing and dancing ever since I was a child, and when I danced at elementary school’s athletic meet, I was very enthusiastic. I danced with all my might, so I was asked to take the lead, and I had experience standing in front of people in theatre, so I didn’t have much resistance.
I think you often co-star with people of the same generation, but do you ever see voice actors as rivals? Shioya: When people from the same industry get the same audition, they are people competing for the role, so of course there are times when I think of them as rivals, but when I’m involved in the same project, I feel like I’m on the same stage. Since I’m a colleague to them, I have never tried to be cold to them because they are rivals. I feel like it’s a good synergistic effect. When there are many people of the same generation on site, it creates an atmosphere like a boys’ school.
When you audition for a character with people with the same voice quality, etc. is there anyone you often meet? Shioya: In my case, most of the people who have decided on the roles that I want to play are Nobunaga Shimazaki-san, Kensho Ono-san, and Miyu Irino-san. They’re people I’ve always admired, so I hope someday I’ll be able to surpass them in acting.
If you look at those three people, what do you think is missing? Shioya: I’m still inexperienced, and I think I’m not very good at it. However, it is often not communicated. When it comes to voice acting, you have to express your emotions only with your voice, so it becomes more pronounced and sometimes you can’t express yourself well. In order to pass the audition, I think precision is required, so I want to improve it even more.
Were there any characters whose synchronicity was relatively fast? Shioya: I play the role of a young man who helps out at a candy store in a certain drama CD. I work as a shopkeeper in the area, and I get to interact with the local children, and I feel that their appearance resembles me in some way, and I feel that I was able to act naturally without creating a role.
Is it difficult to play a role that you have no experience with it? Shioya: Yes (laughs). Today, while I was filming, what caught my attention was a tall person sitting on the bench, wearing a knit hat and fluffy boa fleece. He’s out in the city during the daytime on weekdays, so he’s probably not an office worker, but he might be a boxer (laughs).
You see that far! Shioya: Ahaha (laughs). I’m not good at putting it into words. I thought that there might be better nuances in what I’m saying now. I want to be able to express myself better.
Shioya-san, are there any worries you are currently having? Shioya: Am I worried? This may sound a little rough, but voice actors have auditions, and it depends on whether or not you get selected. The vague anxiety about whether I’m doing well as an actor is always with me, especially in an industry with a fast cycle, so I must constantly try to update myself so that I don’t get left behind. I have a feeling that I really like this world, so there are times when I feel uneasy, but when I’m working, it’s fun, and I want to experience that joy again.
That’s how you feel. Shioya: That’s right. There’s no point in thinking about the future, and I believe that by living hard in the present, that effort will naturally lead to the future. But I think this industry is a world where even negative personalities can become unique. I believe that if you can find it and communicate it yourself, you can become a good actor.
Was there a ga between you and the voice acting industry that you envisioned? Shioya: To be honest, I didn’t think it would be this difficult. But at the time, I hadn’t entered the industry yet, and I had no experience, so I didn’t know. At the audition, I thought, “It’s not glamorous at all!” (laughs). I had a glamorous image, but that’s not the case. Everyone is frantically chasing the momentary brilliance and fun that comes after all the hard work.
Shioya-san, what kind of position do you feel you have in the voice acting industry? Shioya: Honestly, I’m still inexperienced, so even after five years, I still don’t think I’m mid-level, and even so, I can’t pretend to be a newcomer forever. When I first entered the field, there were a lot of things I didn’t know about acting and manners, and I was troubled a lot. I had seniors who supported me, so I want to be a senior who can reach out to juniors in the same way.
You were helped by your seniors, weren’t you? Shioya: Yuusuke Kobayashi-san, who is a senior at the school, and I have performed on stage together, and I have played the role of a close friend, but there were many things that I could not do… So, even in the rehearsal hall, when I had a displeased expression on my face, he probably guessed it, and asked me various things, like, “How was your performance so far?” and gave me a lot of advice. I want to be close to my juniors in the same way.
That’s what I think. This magazine will reach you at the end of the year, but how was this year? Shioya: I feel like I have been able to do a lot of things this year. There were a lot of challenges. I was able to write the lyrics for that song, and I got more radio work than before, so it was a year when the number of places people could see me increased.
Are you good at speaking on the radio? Shioya: It’s not too late to come to a conclusion, so I’m often asked, “So, how was it in the end?” That’s why I always think that being able to concisely and accurately convey my thoughts is a challenge for me.
I will continue to support you in your future endeavours. So, what kind of year do you want 2020 to be? Shioya: Yes. Anyway, I want to be able to express my feelings honestly. Even if it takes a lot of work, I want to do it properly without my time. I want to be a person who can properly respond to what is being asked of me and can present even more options. I wonder if I can do this. I really thought, “Wouldn’t it be weird if I did that?” But I think this industry is a place where individuality is very much questioned, and even when I’m working as Fumiyoshi Shioya, I’m sometimes told, “It’s okay to put in more fun.” I feel that there are hints for growth in children, so I would like to incorporate more play next year.
Do you feel that you have grown since your debut? Shioya: It’s a little bigger than when I debuted. I don’t think I’ve gotten better, but… but I really feel that there must be things I couldn’t express if I wasn’t myself at that time. I wonder if it’s good. I’m moving forward recklessly and can express myself better. I think it would be great if I could act while valuing the goodness of my character.
Is that so. What kind of person do you want to be from now on? Shioya: I will be 27 years old, and I think that being a voice actor, or actor, in which the personality of a person is reflected in the play, and naturally the attractive side of the person is reflected in the play. So, it may sound like a cliché, but I always want to be an attractive and wonderful person. I want to be that person who thinks of how I want to be.
Nice, isn’t it? Finally, please give a message to the readers. Shioya: Actors and voice actors are in the world because the audience is watching them, and they can exist because they are watching them. I often think about the fans when I can meet them in person during events and recitations, but what I feel at that time is, “Many people actually watch the play…” When I receive feedback like, “This play was really good!” With the joy of being able to share the same thing with the fans, I was filled with the thought, “I got it right!” Anyway, I don’t want the people who support me to be disappointed, so I’d like to repay them with my behaviour and acting so that they can feel that I’m glad they supported me. I’m sure there are times when you want to support this person instead of me. I personally think that it can’t be helped, so I don’t mind if you recommend a completely different one. However, at random times, I thought, “This person is really good. I hope I can be an actor that everyone remembers.”
You said that you are not good at output, but were you able to convey what you wanted to convey? Shioya: Well (laughs), what I want to say it that I’ve become ready for when someone cheers me on. I always want to do my best so that I can receive it, so if you’d like, please continue to support me forever!
This interview gave us a glimpse of various aspects of the always humble Shioya-san. Shioya: Thank you very much.
Bonus: about the signature (While writing the cheque signature). Great sign, don’t you think it’s fashionable? Shioya: I have to write my signature with “Idolmaster SideM. Think hard at your part-time job when you can’t say “I got it.” Thank you very much. I have free time… It wasn’t that I was bogging down! (laughs).
Yuichirou Umehara Ume Goyomi” ~ Kanbai Photobook 2021 (Part 5)
- Violin (December 2019 issue)
In making the violin this time, the most difficult part was stringing. I’ve always been bad at changing guitar strings, and one of the reasons for my frustration was that the strings of the first violin I bought broke while I was tuning them, and I had trouble putting the strings back on. I had been taking piano lessons since I was in kindergarten, so I had many opportunities to come into contact with classical music.
I was more interested in Jack. But when I played in a band at the school festival in my third year of high school, for some reason my enthusiasm for the band suddenly cooled down (laughs). From that time on, I remember suddenly becoming addicted to classical music. I often went to the library to study for entrance exams, so I borrowed a CD from the library as well, burned it to an MD, and listened to it all the time. Beethoven’s “Kreutzer Sonata” is a very muddy and violent, and I like it.
Actually, I’ve tried the violin twice in the past, but it’s still difficult to learn the violin on my own. This is my third attempt, so next time I want to be able to play at least “Mary had a little lamb” (laughs). If I am ambitious, I hope to be able to play the opening part of Beethoven’s Violin Sonata “Spring.”
In the comments I made at the time, I said that I wanted to be able to play, but I haven’t played at all. After all, the sound is loud, so it’s hard to find time at home. At that time, a music student gave me a test to distinguish between the timbres of an expensive violin and an ordinary violin, and I was successful. All the ranking battles at the beginning of the year went in reverse (laughs). I don’t think I’ll ever become a top-notch artist.
- Fish handling (January/February 2020 issue)
I like YouTube videos of how to prepare fish, so I often watch them, but I haven’t had the opportunity to do so. Now that I’ve tried today, I thought it would be impossible for me to do it on my own. I’m more a fish person than a meat person. Ever since I moved to Tokyo, the fat in meat has gradually become unacceptable (laughs). I like sushi and sashimi, and the sea bream I cut today is one of my favourite fish. When I actually tried it, I realized that the sea bream that the teacher prepared was more delicious. I cut it too thinly, so I think I couldn’t bring out the unique crunchy texture of the sea bream. The way it is cut also change the taste.
2019 flew by. I was able to spend my time in good health, and while I was working, I was able to take some time off from my private life, so it was a peaceful year. A personal topic would be the growing passion for music. I went to Vienna, I went to the Blue Note (jazz club), and the radio director gave me the speakers. Come to think of it, the other day, before the tax increase, I bought another cheap guitar for practise (laughs).
I remember that the sea bream I cut at that time was very delicious. After this, I once handled the mame horse mackerel. I have to take out the internal organs to make fritters, so I’m not serious about it. (YouTuber) Kimagure Cook’s videos are still my favourite and I still watch them, but I don’t have any special equipment, so it’s quite difficult at home.
- Knife sharpening (March/April 2020 issue)
Just like the previous experience of cutting fish, I often watch videos on YouTube about sharpening knives. When I was little, I asked my mother to sharpen a knife for me, but it was a simple tool for home, and I always wanted to sharpen a kitchen knife seriously someday.
There were many knives for sale in the store, and the one that impressed me the most was the Damascus knife, which had a pattern on the surface. When I saw the real thing, I thought it was very stylish and cool with a mysterious atmosphere. It’s a daily item, but it’s no longer an art. I felt that it might be close to the product. It may seem like a simple task, but if the angle at which the knife hits the whetstone is different, it will not sharpen well. But as a I sharpened, I became more relaxed and gradually became more and more happy. When I cut tomatoes after actually sharpening them, they were extremely sharp. The whetstone I have was made by the same manufacturer as today’s whetstone, so it was a good reference for me to do it at home (laughs).
Just the other day, I used the whetstone they gave me to sharpen my kitchen knives. However, the knife seemed to be something that should not have been sharpened with a whetstone, so the blade became tattered and ruined (laughs). I think I’ll start by buying a proper knife that can be used with a whetstone.
Jun Fukuyama & Makoto Ueza (Seiyuu Men Vol. 19 2020)
Fukuyama: You graduated from art college, right? Didn’t you originally aim to be a screenwriter? Ueza: That’s right. I was not good at studying, but I went to art college only because I was good at drawing. Since I had a part-time web-related job, I was vaguely thinking that I might become a web designer in the future. However, I had absolutely no desire to improve myself, so I dropped out of college with excellent grades (laughs). I had nothing to do, so I was making a website and playing around with it. Fukuyama: So, there is such a scout (laughs). What kind of website was that? Ueza: The appendix of the TV magazine, I’m a good adult, but I play seriously and write stupid sentences. A guy who was writing interesting sentences on mpage. It was time to become a hero. Fukuyama: Yes, it’s a so-called text site. “Samurai Spirit” and “Chiyu 12-year-old” were popular. Ueza: That’s right. I changed the banner exchange with “Chiyu 12-year-old”. It was a relatively popular text and was introduced in magazines.
Fukuyama: You were like a popular YouTuber (laughs). But you had no experience writing scenarios. Did you learn your screenwriting skills from there? Ueza: That is, in my case, there was a period of training. I didn’t have anything to do with it, and as soon as I came to Tokyo, I was given the chance to write a script, which became my debut work. I believe that the TV anime “Ground Defense Force Mao-chan” and the game “Yumeria” were around the same time. Fukuyama: That’s amazing. It’s completely different from the creative activities you were doing on your website. Ueza: I had nothing to lose, and I think I was able to do my best because I was taught by Yosuke Kuroda-san, the screenwriter and master of the script, that I was not going to be killed, so do my best. It’s a golden saying.
Fukuyama: As far as I know, Ueza-san has a glaring image, which is rare for screenwriters. Ueza: Huh? I didn’t mean to do that at all. It’s good (laughs). Fukuyama: No, no, this is a compliment. It’s not about fighting back or being scared, it’s hard to see people who have the feeling of “I’ll definitely make something interesting!” and “Don’t hide that feeling.” I won’t take it. Ueza: That’s because of the influence of my teacher, Kuroda-san, and the animation director Seiji Kishi-san, who I’ve been working with since I was young. Both of them are very energetic people and they are the type to pull people along, so I think it’s a skill that I acquired as a result of trying to match their stride. Are you by nature extremely introverted and happiest when you are building plastic models in your room? (smile).
Fukuyama: That’s right. Ueza: On the contrary, from my point of view Fukuyama-san is a complete top ranker. Fukuyama: Thank you (laughs). Ueza: When I want to call Fukuyama-san I feel that it’s a card that can’t be cut normally when there is a chance of success or a clear plan for the work. Fukuyama: The first time I got the chance to appear in Ueza-san’s work was the role of the assistant in “Humanity has declined.” Ueza: That’s right, the assistant is a character who doesn’t speak at all, so I was so sorry that you didn’t have a line even though I called such a big name, so I couldn’t go to the meeting (laughs).
Fukuyama: It was a so-called cameo appearance, which was popular at the time. sound director Riki Iida-san and Director Kishi-san were laughing the whole time (laughs). Ueza: That’s completely the fault of those two (laughs). Fukuyama: Because he asked me to be handsome and cute. Ueza: Even though there are almost no lines (laughs).
Fukuyama: Ueza-san, when you write a script, to what extent do you imagine a play or a picture? Ueza: I wrote the play and the pictures with everything already taken into account. I don’t have many big-budget jobs where I can handle an unlimited budget, so I have to think first about how to finish with a limited budget and ingenuity. We started by clarifying our vision of how we would make it and how we would call it a success if it as received by our customers. Should we set a sales target for software such as Blu-Ray and make it for core fans, or should we ignore sales and raise viewer rating for a wide range of people? Because of that, even if it’s the same original, the method will be quite different. In any case, the vision of the finished product must be clearly shown, and the person who speaks vaguely will die first. It’s a world that goes on.
Fukuyama: That’s why it’s necessary to have as much of an image of the play and picture as possible at the stage of writing the script. Ueza: That’s right. Of course, we’ll decide that together with the director and producers, but since the script is the first deliverable, it’s necessary to clearly show where the work is heading. Fukuyama: How far do you think about casting? Ueza: I heard some voices while I was writing. There are times when I have an image, but I don’t really feel like, “This is the only person!” Even if it’s an original work, I basically don’t address it. However, when I wrote Ron, who Fukuyama-san played in “Laidbackers,” Fukuyama-san’s voice might have crossed my mind a little. The number of people who can understand gag breathing is limited.
Fukuyama: Certainly, Ueza-san, you also participate in the casting meeting, don’t you? Ueza: Of course. I also put in some requests for each character. However, I think that the cast line-up is the same as that of a theatre company, so if my first choice is the main character, even if it is decided, the balance may collapse depending on the face that solidifies the surroundings. That’s really difficult, and it’s the part that gives me headaches every time. Fukuyama: I understand very well. I played the final boss named Namikoshi in “Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace,” but actually, I originally auditioned for the role of Hashiba. At the same time, I also felt that if I were to do Hashiba, the other casting would be quite a headache. Ueza: No, that’s exactly right. This is a hypothetical story, but for example, if Takahiro Sakurai-san was already decided to play the main character, Akechi, and Fukuyama-san joined as Hashiba, this would be Rie Takahashi-san (playing Kobayashi, a newcomer at the time), and it will be very troublesome.
Fukuyama: That’s why I was really convinced when the main group was announced. To be honest, at the audition I had a pretty good feeling about it, but in the end, I see. Ueza: You’re clever. Everything is predictable. As you say, it’s sometimes difficult for skilful people to build their own decks. Fukuyama: I think I’ve experienced a lot of works so far, but when everyone on set is solidified by talented and popular people, there are times when I feel that it’s really difficult. People with ability have a strong sensory perception of the troupe, so when they feel that it is a work in which they can fully demonstrate their abilities, they naturally do their best. However, when that happens, the computer that connect and bundles them. The rol of the conductor is important, isn’t it? I feel that it is the same as saying to that person, “Dedicate yourself to your role as a conductor.” It was quite difficult to take on such a job because everyone was highly capable and able to demonstrate their abilities to the fullest. If there is even an inexperienced newcomer among them, the situation will change completely, and I think that a different way of being will be born. Ueza: That’s why I think the anime cast members are part of a theatrical company. Before the pandemic, we would always have a drinking party after dubbing because for us, it was also to assess that kind of relationship, or to take care of our weak points.
Fukuyama: I see. That’s right. Ueza: I think that the conductor on set should be one of the actors, but if it’s outside the set, we can go around to help. I think it’s the staff’s role to soothe people who seem to be in a bad mood, and to cheer them up when they’re depressed. First of all, I like actors, and more than anything else, I believe that a work that the actors don’t enjoy will inevitably fail. Fukuyama: Ueza-san’s words and deeds have helped me a lot, so I think I can understand how you compare the cast to a theatre company. Especially in “Assassination Classroom,” at the beginning he said, “If you have any questions about the dialogue, please tell me anything.” Ueza: In “Assassination Classroom,” Fukuyama-san acted clearly as a conductor. It was very easy for us to do it because he was kind enough to do it for us.
Fukuyama: “Assassination Classroom” is a special work for me. It was through that work that I became deeply involved with my juniors for the first time. Ueza: It’s true that your impression of Fukuyama-san has changed considerably with this work. Until then, you were somewhat of a lone wolf. Fukuyama: That’s right. Until then, I had decided not to get too involved with other people. I felt presumptuous about giving advice and pointing out things, and I didn’t really know how to get involved. However, in my opinion, it is fair to point out how to make a better work, but if you make a mistake, you will hurt the other person, and if you do it poorly, it will lead to vandalism. Things that weren’t a problem a long time ago in the easy-going days are very different now. Ueza: Of course, it depends on how you say it, but these days it’s hard to give caution or point it out.
Fukuyama: Even if I presented an opinion, it was up to the other person to decide whether or not to accept it, and my stance was that I would never say, “Do this.” However, I felt that this work alone would not go well with that stance. Koro-sensei educates the students while leading them to the future where he will die, but that is by no means a one-way education. Koro-sensei also received a lot of things from the students and piled them up. You can finally reach that climax by going through the motions, right? In that sense, I thought that I, who played Koro-sensei, would not be successful unless I received something from everyone. I wasn’t confident that changing the way I had been doing things would work, and it’s not like I was able to do it properly, but if I hadn’t been deeply involved with my juniors in that way, I wouldn’t have been able to do that climactic play. In that sense, this work was a turning point in my life. Ueza: About five years have passed since then, and now that I’m talking to you like this, it makes a lot of sense to me. Before, Fukuyama-san was so cool that I wondered if there was anything fun in life (laughs).
Fukuyama: Oh, Nobuhiko Okamoto-san said that to me. Ueza: At that time, Fukuyama-san replied, “I try not to create unnecessary conflicts.” But “Assassination Classroom” is a memorable work because even as a staff member like us, we have never been so involved in it in our lives. Fukuyama: In the first place, “Assassination Classroom”, it was a progression that the anime would end at about the same time, wasn’t it? This is a genuine question, but was that what you had in mind from the beginning? Ueza: That’s right. Shuesha proposed a plan to complete the live-action film and TV animation at the same time as the original work. However, in order to do that, we had to make the first half of the first season a success, and whether or not we could do the second season, which was the final version, depended on that. First of all, pitching with full power in the first term. As a result, it was very well received and we decided to do a second season, but when that happened, it was already a rage.
Fukuyama: At the time Ueza-san was writing the script, the original was still in the process of being serialized. Ueza: I wrote the last 10 episodes of the anime with the help of the author, Yusei Matsui-sensei. “Assassination Classroom” is a story in which the ending is decided from the beginning, so the path was already clear to Matsui-sensei. What’s more, he was very interested in the idea of ending the series at the same time as the anime. Thank you for your cooperation until the end. That’s why the 24th episode of the 2nd season, where everything comes together and bears fruit, had to be legendary, and we, the staff, were also burning with passion.
Fukuyama: In episode 24, there was no commercial during the main story. Ueza: That’s right. I decided to do that at the screenplay stage, and I’m preparing for it. Fukuyama: That’s right. As far I’m concerned, I don’t think that everything went well with the play, but I learned a lot during that time, including how I behaved on set. I think have reached the point where I can get confirmation that if that is the case, I should definitely think like this. Even if Matsui-sensei said otherwise, I would think, “No, I agree.” Later, when I checked the answers with Matsui-sensei, they were correct, so I’m glad I didn’t make any mistakes. But I think the reason I was able to believe so much because I threw away my previous style and approached the site, and that changed my sense of values. It was the first work in my life that made me seriously think about accepting others. Ueza: When such a change occurs to the task at hand if you’re doing your best, it’s nice, isn’t it? What does it mean to work hard. That kind of thing happens and it’s great I think it’s a wonderful experience. Fukuyama: Have you ever felt a change in your state of mind while being treated? Ueza: That’s right. Fukuyama: You mean now? Ueza: That’s right. Over the age of 40 and I think that the change in the way I work due to the influence of COVID-19 is a big factor, but I feel like I have to change direction.
Fukuyama: How is that? Ueza: The work that I have done so far has been to present a concrete image of the finished product as much as possible so as to not to cause misunderstandings among many staff members. That’s what it’s all about. It’s strange to say it myself, but I’m quite good at that kind of dexterity, and I’m proud of what I’ve been able to do. Up until now, I have felt joy in demonstrating that ability, and I have been asked to do so by those around me. But now, I’m no longer satisfied with such a clever way of doing things in that way. I can’t write a single line. I can’t write unless I’m genuinely satisfied with the lines and actions.
Fukuyama: I think I understand that feeling. When I was young, I also enjoyed watching the storyboards drawn only by Maryu and Ten and replaying the lines of the other characters in my mind and thinking about a play that would fit them perfectly. I was happy that the plan was perfect. But now it’s getting harder. Ueza: Yes, I used to feel a sense of satisfaction in suing technology to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I feel in my body that I can’t fight like that. Fukuyama: Compared to us, screenwriters spend more time working on a single work, so maybe that’s why they feel that way. Ueza: No matter how many anime scriptwriters write, at most they write about four works a year. Moreover, I tend not to agree with other people’s scenarios, so I have to rewrite all the stories myself as part of the series composition, so the number of works is narrowed down more and more. When I think about it, I realized that I can’t write so many numbers in my life anymore. That’s why each and every one of my future works will be a posthumous work. That’s why I can’t be happy unless I write something that I’m really satisfied with. People around me tell me, “Please do it with small skills as usual,” but physically and mentally I can’t do that anymore. So now, for the first time in my life, I chose a job. I’m doing a lot of things.
Fukuyama: Is that so? Now it’s true, you write what you want to write. Ueza: That’s right. All of the things I’m working on now are original works, but I don’t think about other people when I write them, and I put a lot of emphasis on whether I’m satisfied with them. However, every now and then, my bad habits show up, and I think it would be fun to have a character like this here (laughs). But I feel like I can write what I like without trying to impress people, and that makes me happy. Fukuyama: That is truly a new frontier. What kind of work do you think the work you are preparing now will turn out to be? Ueza: The themes that have never been dealt with before, such as LGBT and poverty, are hidden in the setting, and even I’m surprised. I never thought about it, but I actually wanted to make a work that touched on various social issues like this.
Fukuyama: Looking back, you had that kind of taste in “Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace”, didn’t you? Ueza: It was indeed a rough stone. However, at that time it was still rough, and even though there were many things I wanted to do, I couldn’t grasp the balance of how to express them. As an extension of that, you probably want to write something more thorough. Up until now, I have made it my theme to write stories for the weak, but I think this will become even more pronounced in the future.
Fukuyama: Sounds interesting. Are there any themes or genres that you would like to write about in the future? Ueza: It’s a true story. The movies “Argo” and “Dallas Buyers Club” are both true stories, but they’re all very touching. It would be great if an anime like that could be made someday. I have all the actual materials, so it’s fun to order the setting and art (laughs). Fukuyama: Well, listening to what you have said so far, Ueza-san may be struggling right now, and it may be a difficult time, but when I look at it from the outside, I think it’s interesting. Ueza: It is true that I’m still searching and struggling, but I’m also enjoying the changes. I was just an otaku who just liked robots and riders, but the day will come when I think like this. I really don’t understand life (laughs).
Fukuyama: I agree. I’m originally an otaku (laughs). But now, I think that what I really want to do as a play is a normal conversation in a normal living room. Ueza: If you can move people’s hearts with a play of ordinary everyday conversation, that’s already the best for an actor, isn’t it? Fukuyama: In the end, no matter how far I go, I guess I want to play “human subtleties.” Ueza: I also want to draw the same thing. Of course, it will be fine if there were flashy things like coalescence and transformation after that, but that’s where it starts. I’m deeply moved by the fact that Fukuyama-san and I are both in our 40s and have come to think that way again. Fukuyama: Really. I’m very excited to see what kind of works Ueza-san will write in the future.
Kaito Ishikawa (Voice Newtype Vol. 82 2021)
Enjoy shooting as if you were playing in front of the camera. Then, when the time comes to spin the words, the conversation begins to move forward cautiously and steadily. Kaito Ishikawa’s journey has been firmly trodden down. What did you feel this past year as you have come this far?
Over the past two years, you appeared in many productions. Are there any impressive works? Ishikawa: All of them were fun, but “Vanitas no Karte” was particularly impressive because it was a role I hadn’t played before. Also, when I just made my debut, I had a lot of roles with Hanae-san (Natsuki) as rivals and bad guys. I hadn’t been there for a while, so I was very happy to be able to perform with Vanitas and Noe after a long tie.
The new animation “Ryman’s Club” starting in January as an original animation with the theme of a badminton adult team. Ishikawa-san, what was your experience with badminton? Ishikawa: I was in a badminton club when I was in elementary school, so I’m a little familiar with it (laughs). This work belongs to the players who belong to the company. Souta Saeki, who I play, is a player with a cam playing style. However, he is a character who always has a sense of resignation somewhere, so I hope people will pay attention to how that influences his badminton. I think it’s okay.
A team of working people, not students. That’s why it’s a must-see. Ishikawa: That’s right. Not only badminton, but also the daytime work is clearly depicted. There are also setbacks and hardships outside of the competition, so I think that working adults will have empathy as well as discoveries. Above all, it’s a business team, so the degree to which you win or lose a game has a considerable impact on your life. Each victory has weight. Conversely, work such as desk work can affect a badminton lie. Enthusiasm for balancing work and competition. It can be said that it is more than a student. In the case of club activities, if you get a failing score in a test, you may not be able to participate in the game, but in the case of an adult team, the badminton club may be abolished if the sales quota is not properly met. In that sense, there is also a slightly tense atmosphere. And because we’re members of society, we can communicate with each other. I think it’s a work where you can see a new world.
The new anime “Tokyo 24-ku” is also an original story. What kind of character is Kouki Suidou, who you play? Ishikawa: One of three childhood friends called RGB for red, green, and blue. Ran Akagi, Shuuta Aoi, and Kouki Suidou, who is charge of the green. Stay calm, think logically, and make rational decisions. Among the three, I am positioned as the person in charge of the brains. Even so, I have the ability to make judgements that are appropriate for my age, and I have emotions, so I get lost and conflicted. Ran is quite free-spirited and has an artistic sensibility. My head spins so fast. Shuuta has a strong sense of justice and is kind, but he’s actually the type to process everything with his emotions. The three types are different. These three people get together and complement each other’s inability to move forward toward a single goal.
What do you think is the charm of the work, Ishikawa-san? Ishikawa: Since it’s an original work, I would like people to enjoy it with a open mind, but it’s a work where the so-called “trolley problem” is pushed out to the force. Is it okay to sacrifice many to save one. I ran into a problem that could be called philosophical. Sometimes, the way the three of us approach things and the answers we give are completely different. Of course, it will be interesting to see how the relationship between the three of them will develop in the end, and I think it will be very worth seeing as it will properly mention why such problems are occurring.
You started a YouTube channel last year. Ishikawa: I’m working on it with this thought in mind. I’m most obsessed with it now. In the first place, the fact that there were no opportunities to interact with fans due to the corona crisis where everyone felt lonely. The fact that it was started to dispel that is a big deal. Right now, I’m mainly focused on live streaming games, so I don’t need editing, but I also edit other videos myself. Editing is fun, but it takes 5-6 hours to edit a 10 minute video. Anyway, YouTube is a hobby for me. I think it’s time to relax the most.
You and Daisuke Namikawa-san have been working as MC’s on Thursdays for “Seiyuu to Yoasobi.” I think it takes a lot of energy to stream live every night. Ishikawa: I realized a lot of things in my own way. At first, I was thinking about the skills of myself and the person I was talking to, and what kind of perspective I needed when I was being filmed, but that’s not what’s important. It’s us MCs who stand out on the show, but it’s all because of the staff. They would laugh out loud in a pleasant way, and they would give out contests as the performance progressed. Above all, I think it’s ridiculous to squeeze out interesting projects for live streaming every week. At the same time as I felt that I should be grateful to be here, it also affected my other work. This is because, until now, acting as a voice actor has been something I thought of as acting independently. However, I once again felt that the reason I was able to play this role was because of the strength of the many people around me. I’m really happy that I got to be on this show.
What kind of person is your partner, Daisuke Namikawa-san? Ishikawa: I think he’s really amazing. It’s not uncommon for me to play around with Namikawa-san as a cheeky character on the show, but if I’m not afraid of being misunderstood, I can play around with Namikawa-san, and I don’t have to. But Namikawa-san’s choreography becomes more interesting when you play around with it. That’s why I end up playing around with him, but this is something that we both agree on. However, there are many people who watch without knowing that, and I want to make sure that they do not feel uncomfortable. Namikawa-san also said it really helps.
What things do you want to do next year? Ishikawa: I really want to do something. Long live on YouTube. Usually, I avoid broadcasting in the anime I’m appearing in or when the radio broadcasts, so… I’d like to do something like 12-hour game streaming. It may be difficult, but I keep wanting to try it. That’s how much I enjoy streaming.
Column: Happy Holidays
I say it every year, but the new year’s holiday makes me want to go snowboarding. I hope I can go this year. Also, it would be nice to get in a few cars with the friendly staff and drive somewhere.
Yuto Uemura (Voice Newtype Vol. 81 2021)
Yuto Uemura-san, who will be appearing for the first time since the special feature on the front cover half a year ago. “I want to be able to see my own positive side,” he said.
There are only three months left for this year, but this year, I heard that you have been working on the theme of the single word “knowledge.” Uemura: I used the word “knowledge” in the sense that I’m accumulating knowledge within myself and want everyone to know about it. I was blessed with a job to create, and I had a live tour with SparQlew, and I really felt that what I had accumulated so far had come to fruition. On the other hand, “I was blessed with new works like “Re-Main,” and I was able to realize that “I’ve come to be able to express myself to this extent, but there are still things I haven’t been able to do.” I think that this is a year full of “knowledge.”
The keyword of “Re-Main” is also exactly “we meet the unknown self.” Did you meet a new you by playing the main character Minato Kiyomizu? Uemura: Minato is pure, has the power to push forward, and is also a wonderful boy who cares about people. Before he knew it, he was in the centre of the group, and I learned a lot from Minato. I was able to naturally behave cheerfully and happily like Minato on set, and I feel that I was able to think more strongly than ever before that I want to enjoy this work together with everyone. This is all thanks to the power of the work and the charm of the characters.
In October, the TCG x original animation “Building Divide: Code Black will begin. Teruto Kurabe, the main character is played by Uemura-san. He said he likes bread. Uemura: That’s right (laughs). It was written in the audition materials that I like bread. I’ve loved TCG since I was a kid, so I’m really happy that I was chosen to play the role of Teruto. However, I put a lot of effort into playing each episode. Teruto is a cool character, so I personally get excited about TCG battles (laughs), but as Teruto, I try not to get too excited. My feelings change depending on the battle, so I’m going to play while valuing that atmosphere. Every time, I give myself a task, saying, “I’m going to focus on this today.”
For example, what should you focus on? Uemura: Do you want to bring out the atmosphere of the battle when you say, “If you play this card, the winner will be decided,” or “should you pull back a little and make it a nuance” like “I won with ease?” Each time, I act while thinking about what I should focus on.
So that’s it. Uemura: I would like to pay attention to such scenes. Please look forward to it! Various types of bread will appear in the series, so I think it will be fun to make predictions about what kind of bread will be available this time (laughs).
SparQlew’s 1st mini album “Daybreak” released on September 15th. What kind of thoughts did you put into “Letter,” which was your first solo song and the first time you were in charge of writing the lyrics? Uemura: For my first solo song, above all, I had a strong desire to write the lyrics. When I think about what kind of feelings I should convey, I come up with a single word that conveys a feeling of transience and sadness amid warmth and softness. I wanted to create a world view that cannot be expressed in words. While listening to the demo by Kentarou Sonoda, who was in charge of composing and arranging the song, I decided to write down the words that came to my mind. When I think about things, I often think about colours, and this time I had an image of pale purple. From there, I unwrapped it and connected it to the “violet flower,” and ended up with the flower language of “small happiness.” It’s been a long time since I haven’t been able to see you all, and I’ve had fewer opportunities to express my feelings. I think it was more like creating a story than writing lyrics.
I felt that you used a lot of originality and ingenuity, such as not using a single word in English and using different katakana characters. Uemura: I like to create words, so I also play with words. As with the title, “Letter,” I tried to use katakana for things that are important to me, such as “Kimi” and “Kimochi.” I would be happy if you could imagine various things by looking at the lyrics.
The solo songs of other members are also rich in variety. Uemura: I think that the individuality of each of the 5 members comes out. SparQlew is made up of 5 people of the same generation with different environments and ways of thinking. It’s a place where you can return what you’ve gained to SparQlew and receive inspiration from what everyone else has brought, and you’ll always see something new. That’s what SparQlew is for me.
What is the serialization “Yuto Uemura’s Yu Yu Report” on Voice Newtype’s website “KiKi” that started in April 2018 for you? Uemura: In the midst for the rush of daily life, it is an opportunity to stop and look back and ask, “What happened in the past month?” I really enjoy the time I spend thinking about what to do with everyone. At the beginning of the serialization, I think it was written like a report submitted by a university student (laughs), but I have gradually become able to write freely, so I will continue to write what I feel comfortable with. I would like to continue searching.
In the previous interview, you said, “I’m strong, I’m moving forward properly.” You wanted to be able to see your positive side. What are your thoughts now? Uemura: Every time I go to a production site, there are still many things that I think I still have a long way to go, but compared to before, I feel that I am trying to enjoy the work more. In that sense, I would like to tell them that they are making steady progress. At the same time, it is precisely because I’ve come to think so that I want to take on various challenges. Appearing in Kiramune’s reading live and mixed martial arts recitation drama “Tamers” gave me a lot of experience that I can only get from a live play, so I hope to have more opportunities like that in the future. I want to grasp various things without being satisfied with the current situation. Personally, I want to be able to do split legs. Just once in my life, I want to open it 180 degrees (laughs). Flexibility is important because it comes alive in anything.
Column: Recommend movies for long autumn movies: At the end of the matinee
Musician played by Masaharu Fukuyama and Yuriko Ishida. This is a work depicting an adult romance set in Europe. The townscapes of Europe are also beautiful, and I think this work is perfect for the autumn of art.
Shoya Chiba (Voice Newtype Vol. 77 2020)
As time flows, he grasps the challenges that emerge, and while firmly embracing the thoughts that surround him, he moves forward with a certainty.
When I interviewed you for this magazine about a year ago, you said that you wanted to find your own uniqueness, rather than imitating someone else. Chiba: Before I turned 25, I wanted to move one step up. Over the past year, I’ve experienced many different workplaces, and what I felt was that the seniors, who have a firm sense of themselves, are wonderful. Somehow, I feel like I’m going around once (laughs). When you look back, if you have a swing that is unique to you and you can clearly say, “I was like this at that time,” then you won’t have any boring regrets. At least I was able to reduce that kind of depression, I think.
“Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun” To play the role with Mitsuru Minamoto-san and Megumi Ogata-san, who plays the role of Hanako-kun, was a big seed that you got as a 24-year-old. Chiba: When the light hits a wall, it tries to change, and the movement of the heart is very human-like. So, I think it was thanks to playing catch with Ogata-san that I was able to create a production in which I was able to express my own raw emotions without being bound by the framework of the anime. Moreover, she said, “It’s good that you speak as your emotions go.” At the same time, I once again learned that no matter how much I think I’m right, it’s not the “right answer” unless it is properly communicated to others. It made me want to become a person who can respond flexibly to directions.
Daiki Kobayashi-san, who has a close relationship with you, played the role of Sousuke Mitsuba, who is related to the growth of Minamoto. How was it? Chiba: Minamoto said to Mitsuba, “It’s noisy,” but it was really loud, so I was able to say it from the bottom of my heart (laughs). Mitsuba was more original than I had imagined, so I was able to create a scene that I had read many times in the original work, but in a good way betrayed my own expectations. It was fun just being able to play with my friends. I’m happy that it was meaningful being words.
As Ikeuchi in Gleipner, you played an important role outside of the main character. Chiba: It’s also impressive. It’s right to be hated, and it’s okay to be somewhat uncool. It was a character that explores the ugliness of human nature, so I felt sympathy for him, and it was a lot of fun playing him.
One of the real pleasures of being a voice actor is to act “cool” to the utmost limit, but Chiba-san finds it more rewarding to be “cool” in a human way. Chiba: It might be the other way around. There is also the longing that an actor can be trusted only when the third one is made, and perhaps the seniors who have a family saying of being “cool” say things like “uncool is cool” or “hot but cool.” I think that the pursuit of some kind of hook keeps it alive. I always try to remind myself that I shouldn’t create a character just for the sake of being “cool.” In the drama CD series “Carnelian Blood,” I think that the coolness of Toxin comes not only from the face, but also from the shaky inner side. It was a role that I really wanted to play from the time of the audition because I felt that he had a personality in him, rather than an attributed personality that was born in rational values.
Toxin says, “I’d rather burn out than rust.” What is Chiba-san’s own policy now? Chiba: I want to surprise myself. I guess I look at the finished product. I’m very happy when I feel that it was better than I expected.
In music activities, you were challenged to stream live as SparQlew. Chiba: I was really happy that they entrusted us with the setlist, and that the staff worked hard to make the most of it, and I think it was an irreplaceable experience for us as a unit. As an individual, I felt that it was my immaturity to link emotions and voice too much.
I think that the reason why you can feel that “eyes meet” is because you believe that there are fans on the other side of the camera. Chiba: If you ask me, yes. When I heard that the camera work was decided and done properly, I thought it was a matter of course. Unless you can see it there, no one can see it. But when the performance started, before I knew it, I felt like I was “connected” with the camera. All the members conveyed their heartfelt words, and it may be thanks to that that I felt very lively.
On the other hand, there were many events that were cancelled. Chiba: I really wondered what live performances and events mean to me. Perhaps there is a reason for us and the customers to get together, more than just a place to express our gratitude. Rather than just talking and singing, it’s “fun,” but it’s “fun” when the feelings of liking the works and songs related to it are the foundation, and it’s not just a part of the activities. I want works and units to be things that connect to the next stage and are things that make it even more exciting. Yes, that’s why I was keenly aware that it’s not something that can be filled with such a simple feeling.
Also, one thing that has changed significantly in the past year is that the radio work that you said you wanted to do more has been fulfilling. Chiba: I really appreciate it. Of course, the fact that I was able to start “Kontokoya Suki” with Ken Washizaki was also very important. I thought an hour would feel like a long time, but it flew by! But I think it would be great if we could continue for a long time, cherishing the atmosphere of the site, the feeling of being hungry, and the relationship with the listeners, which is created by recording one hour at a time.
What are your goals for the next year? Chiba: I’m a lazy person by nature, so if I’m left alone, I won’t do anything. So, if I just don’t think about anything and think about what will happen when I turn 30, I’ll try to surpass myself by the time I’m 26. You may not be able to see if you’ve achieved that goal but live your life so that you can recognize that you’re different from who you were last year. It’s not an exaggeration, but right now I’m facing all the auditions with the most determination, so I’m really happy with the role decided there. I will continue to do my best to bring you as many good news as possible!
Column: Little happiness
After 5 years, I bought a new smartphone. Until now, I’ve been using broken speakers, so I’m happy to have music playing in the room just by putting them down. It’s nice to listen to new songs!
Shintarou Asanuma (Voice Newtype Vol. 74 2019)
He is also a screenwriter and director of the entertainment unit “bpm” which belongs to him. He also participated as a cast member in popular content such as “A3!” and “Hypnosis Mic.” What kind of year has this been for Asanuma-san?
I feel like I’ve seen Asanuma-san here and there this year. It was a year with more live performances than ever before. “Ensemble Stars! Starry Stage 2nd ~ in Nippon Budokan~” in January, and “A3! Blooming Live 2019”. Asanuma: I avoid singing in front of people as much as possible (laughs). It was an unbelievable year. That said, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to receive the power of the costumers directly. I think that I will have to get involved in live content from now on, so I think I’ll get used to it little by little.
It’s different from appearing in front of people on stage. Asanuma: The stage and live performances are completely different. Since there is a script for the stage play, I know in advance what will happen next. Of course, the reaction of the audience is different for each stage, so strictly speaking, no two performances are exactly the same, but basically, I have some idea of how it will begin and how it will end. On the other hand, it is impossible to predict what will happen to talk events and live performances. Especially when it comes to the stages I create myself, there are almost no ad-libs. For example, wouldn’t it be a problem if a lightning person on stage said, “The audience is laughing so loud, let’s brighten it up today.” But live, it can happen. It’s a completely different thing, so I’m still very nervous.
How is your job as a stage and voice actor? Are you in balance? Asanuma: When I participate in a work as a performer, I naturally don’t see myself as a creator. If it was a live performance, I would suggest things like, “How about doing this?” I’ll keep it around.
Completely changing the channel. Asanuma: I personally think it’s better that way. I don’t want people to think I’m a difficult actor to handle (laughs). I don’t want to leave my mark on my mark. Even in anime, if possible, I don’t want my name on the credits.
Are you embarrassed? Asanuma: Not embarrassed. Anime is often an ensemble drama. In that context, I think that leaving strong claw marks might end up adding strong flavour to the dish. That’s why I play with the belief that I can’t be more or less than the position and role that I’ve been given.
Thinking like a director. Asanuma: If the producer or director gives me an instruction to leave a mark, I will gladly leave it, but basically I think it should be firmly within that framework. Even though I say I’m switching channels between the creator and the performer, if they think so, it may be that director and screenwriter Shintaro Asanuma still remains. As a director, I like “actors who don’t stick out,” and I don’t approve of the weird tension that only Chiagikau has (laughs). I think that the first day and the final performance should be the same.
I was surprised to hear that Asanuma-san will be releasing a photo book. Did you have any thoughts? Asanuma: There is no change of mind at all (laughs). I had been approached several times before for a photobook from other places, and I was thinking of turning it down again, but the enthusiasm of the photographer, Hirokazu Kobayashi-san, was amazing. If I’m asked to do so, I do my best to accept it, but when it is difficult, I make it a point to clearly explain the reason for refusal. That’s why I met him face-to-face and told him why I couldn’t give him a good answer about the photobook. Then Kobayashi-san said, “Just as there are things that Asanuma-san doesn’t want to do, there are things I don’t want to do. How long would you like to talk?” he said. Then I thought it might be okay to do it. As a result, almost all of my hops and ideas were fulfilled. I didn’t want to leave any marks, but in a sense, I decided to create a work that had only my own works. So, let’s try to be completely selfish. Kobayashi-san found all of them amusing. I was very grateful.
About next year’s work. The anime “A3!” will finally start in January. Asanuma: I got the impression that it was a very carefully crafted piece. Games are recorded by one person, and the exact length is not decided, but in anime, the entire cast gathers to record, and no matter what happens, the length is decided. I have to apply my performance to the inside. Furthermore, in games, the physical distance between character is almost invisible, but in anime, you can see it with your own eyes. Every time I’m worried about whether people will accept the difference in my acting. I once again felt that it was difficult to do something that I had taken for granted for many years. That said, I would like the viewers to enjoy watching those characters start to move.
“Hypnosic Mic” has added a new division and is showing even more excitement. Asanuma: Isn’t it a little strange that Metlife Dome 2 Days will be decided after Osaka Castle Hall 2 Days as early as 2 years? Even people who don’t usually like anime or games know about the content called “Hypnosis Mic.” I’m happy, but I feel like I’m being caught in a long-span surprise (laughs). Now that I’m involved in something that is developing at this speed, I feel that I need to study more to keep up with it, rather than just being carried away. I feel that what I can do will become simpler when the content becomes this large. I have no choice but to improve.
In an interview with “KiKi”, Shinichirou Kamio-san mentioned Asanuma-san as a drinking companion. Do you like alcohol? Asanuma: It’s been a few years since I started drinking alcohol. It’s not that I’m strong, and I can only drink whiskey. Kamio-san is a Cinderella who gets sleepy at midnight (laughs). On the other hand, maybe because I’m a screenwriter, I’ve always been a right person. But I almost never go out drinking with voice actors. Everyone is busy, so I refrain from doing it. I haven’t drunk alcohol in a long time, so now I don’t know where to go drinking alone, so I go to magic bars and ghost story bars that have fun other than drinking. Going to a lively izakaya alone can be intimidating and going to a quiet bar makes me nervous. In the midst of all this, there’s something calming about watching a show where you don’t get stuck.
Finally, is there anything you would like to say to your fans? Asanuma: This year was the year when I really felt that “It’s not natural that there will be another one.” People who I thought would be there for a long time suddenly disappeared, or the work ended. So, instead of saying, “If there is an opportunity,” I want you to create your own opportunities, see what you want to see, and go see the people you want to meet. And if you have a feeling you want to convey, it doesn’t matter if you’re bad at it, I want you to do it more and more. That’s what I keep telling myself.
Column: My Christmas!
I love movies, so I yearn from Christmas unfolding on the other side of the screen. I don’t want thieves breaking in like I did in “Home Alone,” and I don’t want to go through the building’s air vents like they did in “Die Hard” (laughs).
Kenji Akabane & Shunichi Toki (Voice Newtype 67 2018)
赤羽根 健治 & 土岐 隼一
Celebrating its 3rd anniversary, the smartphone puzzle RPG “100 Sleeping Princes with the Kingdoms of Dreams” (hereafter, “Dream 100”) shows new developments under the theme of “New Dream.” Two “princes” escorted us to the world of healing and excitement.
What is your impression of the prince you are playing? Akabane: I’m playing the two princes of “Land of Jewels.” Lido looks like a prince, but he has the eyes of a normal person, which is the most attractive thing about him. Because of that, there are times when I’m forced to take on the role of Tsukkomi, but I can play without straining myself, so it’s fun. Recently, I was happy to be involved with Gracia, who has the same worries as the second son. The other Arumari is also a child who, contrary to his quiet and pretty appearance, has a solid core of his own, and is actually able to approach the main character. Both of them are attached to each other. During the recording, I tried to play two roles at the same time as much as possible, but it was still hard to switch between them (laughs). Toki: Oh, it would be interesting to see one person playing two roles! Theodore, who I play in “The Land of Records,” is also a bit of an eccentric prince who has an otaku temperament and is bad at talking with people. I think he’s the kind of person who makes you want to work hard together, instead of just saying, “Wow, that’s cool!” But when he drinks alcohol, a slightly different side comes out. Akabane: Eh, such a setting? Toki: Fufufu. By all means, please read the story of the prince! At that time, I had grown a lot as a person, and I was able to raise the level of those gaps and I was like, “Oh!”
Encounter the world of “100 Dreams. What are your first impressions and charm? Akabane: I was involved in the event even before the broadcast, so I thought, “What a gorgeous voice actor!” In the beginning, there weren’t 100 princes, so it’s deeply moving to think that the number has now nearly doubled. Toki: I was allowed to participate when the number of people exceeded 100, so I was able to play the game before the recording, but when I tried it, only really bright people appeared! They all have the dignity of a prince. While enjoying the story as if I was reading a shoujo manga, I was hooked on the elements of the puzzle game. Akabane: Is there anything you’re particular about when you play? Rather than forming the relationship between the princes, I form a party that emphasizes the skills that match the battle at that time. Toki: Me too. Also, a fan that collects people with voices that I like. Akabane: I’m going to make a tee! Toki: “Excuse me, I’m the prince of this event, so please forgive me!” (laughs)
Are there any “Princess Princes” other than the characters you both play? Toki: Will. That peculiar feeling is truly Akira Ishida-san! Akabane: Yeah, yeah definitely Akito. Takehito Koyasu-san’s character that I longed for and just saw on TV. A wide generation and a royal casting. Toki: In the first place, the characters are completely original with no motifs, and more than 100 of them have unique personalities. How many patterns can you come up with in terms of combinations of conversations? Actually, he’s handsome and really likes talking. Akabane: Is it limited to good-looking guys? I was just looking at mail (laughs). Toki: I’m also in this world as Theodore. I’m really happy to be able to be involved with more characters. Akabane: In that sense, not only the game, but also the stage version of “Yume 100” was really beautiful and exciting. My dream is to someday do something with the actors on stage!
What country would you like to be the prince of? Akabane: I would like to create a negative country (laughs). I would like to get involved with the shadowy princes in the series. Toki: I’m in the country of coffee shops. I like coffee shops, and I can easily stay there all day. Akabane: I know that. It’s interesting how things like