Taku Yashiro (Voice Stars Vol. 14 2020)


Stay Home with RADIO 〜Now, I want to hear your voice〜03 Part

Face Yashiro and send it out. A good relationship between me and the radio. The most beloved character in the world of voice actors. The night when Taku Yashiro talks to you gently is a moment when you can feel calm. Six years ago, he started a new program on BayFM, which he has been with since his first regular radio appearance six years ago. He talked about his stance on radio.

In “Good Things” (BayFM), which started this spring, Taku Yashiro talks about his favourite things. “Moon Gen wasn’t very good at expressing himself,” he says. But now I feel like I’m really enjoying it. An encounter with a person who had a great influence on his life as an actor.

What kind of program is “Good Things” for you? “Up until now, BayFm oversaw live broadcasting for MOZAIKU NIGHT and ON8+1, but this time it’s a recorded program. it’s a place to take on a new challenge.  “I think it’s a very comfortable program to listen to thanks to the gentle way of speaking.”

Is talking alone different from when you have a partner? “Yes. It’s fun to see how they react when something unexpected comes out of the other person. But when that person is not there, the things to talk about come out only from within. Moreover, when you’re talking alone, you’re more aware of what’s on the other side of the microphone. That’s a big difference.”

I was encouraged by Yashiro-san’s words. The other day, I received an e-mail that said, “What kind of relationship do you envision with your listeners? “In my normal work, I entertain customers through anime and games, but with “Good Things” I have a vague goal. When I talk with my friends and colleagues, I sometimes think, “Oh, I see, that way of thinking is good.” For those who are listening, I wish I could be one of them. I don’t say much (laughs), but there are quite a few words that resonate when people say them in everyday conversations. “Good Things” has the most realistic tension of any radio show I’ve done so far, so I’d be happy if there were moments or words that made you feel good. That’s why I think our relationship with our listeners is closer to that of friends.”

Among the “favourite things” that Yashiro-san has introduced in the program so far, is there anything you would particularly recommend? “Each time, I introduce only things that I can strongly recommend. It’s a documentary that is ongoing. When I was in junior high school, it was played by a teacher in one of my social studies classes, and it was very memorable. In addition to the video, I was particularly impressed by the theme song, “Is Paris burning?” However, I didn’t remember the title exactly, so I looked up the song title first. When I found out that it was the theme song for Eizo no Seiki, I watched it on Amazon Prime, and I thought it was a really good show. Due to the nature of my work, anime is often picked up as recommended content, and I think listeners have many opportunities to experience it. While touching on that, of course, when I introduced it to other genres and tried it out, the reaction on SNS was different from usual, and it was interesting.”

You’re also doing a radio drama in which you act differently. How can you apply this experience to your work in animation and dubbing? “Since the program has just started, I think that it is a place for output at the moment. I hope that this program will bring out all sorts of ideas. I can send you a “single voice play” every week in the obi. I think that it is a very rare to have such an experience, and I feel that I have had a valuable experience. Intuitively, it’s close to a place where I can express my sensibilities and what I’ve cultivated so far. Listeners might be happy if they get a glimpse of a voice actor’s main job on the radio, and it’s fun for me to do it myself.”

BayFM has overseen the program for about 6 years, but is it a special occasion for you too? “I was very happy that I was able to take over the “MOZAIKU NIGHT” that Showtaro Morikubo-san, who I admire, used to be a personality for. And the director (Masaya) Narato, who has been indebted to me since that program, is an important person to me. Thank you for listening to the radio, and “You taught me the importance of being interested in people. When I started “MOZAIKU NIGHT”, my vision was narrow, and there were many things I couldn’t think of. Narato-san enthusiastically made me realize what was necessary for the program one by one. Working together for three and a half years on “MOZAIKU NIGHT”, I learned a lot. Being able to reunite with Narato-san in “Good Things”, it’s a big story for me too. When I first met him, he had a very strict image, but in reality, he is a kind and passionate person. In the days of “MOZAIKU NIGHT”, I would come into each block and get criticized (laughs), but now I’m allowed to do things relatively freely. It’s not that there aren’t things, but… I think it’s a great person to say and do what is necessary for the program, rather than the thoroughness of the radio station.”

Didn’t you say, “I can’t tell you (laughs).” “He’s a very masculine person. That’s why I don’t think he would say such embarrassing things. But deep down, he’s passionate. He doesn’t praise me, but I don’t get criticized either, so maybe I’ve matured.”

No, and on the contrary, “Be careful without being told? “I wonder if there is an exchange without words there.”

You are selecting from.. Is this song selection your intention, Yashiro-san? “No, basically Narato-san chooses. I’ve always felt that music is essential for BayFM because it’s FM only. On other programs, I would choose one song every week. This time there will be a section for “single-voiced plays,” and when I talked with the director about “What is Yashiro currently focusing on?” I’m neither a musician nor a musician, so I concluded that I should put more weight on the “actor, Yashiro Taku.” Of all the BayFM programs I’ve done so far, this may be the program in which I’m least involved in music. But for that reason, I feel like Narato-san’s selection of songs is close to the program.”

  • It’s a wonderful feeling. “If Narato-san seriously selects, I feel like it will be a parade of songs that no one knows (laughs)”. Is that so? “I really like music, so if I choose seriously, I think it will go in a pretty deep direction (laughs). Considering the people who are listening, they select wonderful songs that suit them.”

The medium of having a voice-only medium for a voice actor whose weapon is his voice. At the same BayFM, Yashiro was the Thursday DJ of “ON8+1” until March this year. This was a live broadcast every week, but as you say earlier, “Recording is a new challenge,” does your attitude change between live broadcasts and recorded programs? “In my mind, when it comes to live broadcasting, I have the feeling that ‘once it starts, it’s over.’ It was an image of running through at full throttle with the antennas stretched out. While working your head, your heart continues to burn. The biggest difference between live broadcasting and recording is that the time series is off. Live broadcasting shares time. Because I can have it, it’s fun to raise the amount of heat together with the listener, but I was worried about whether the heat would be properly conveyed when listening to the pre-recorded material. In that case, I thought that shifting to a less silly topic would fill the gap for the audience. It made me realize that not sharing time is surprisingly difficult in the medium of radio. If anything, I think it would be better to have a conversation with friends at a family restaurant, regardless of the time. On the contrary, I am enjoying that difference now.”

Furthermore, in the currently airing “Murase-kun and Yashiro-kun (provisional)” (Nippon Cultural Broadcasting Super! A&G+), he co-starred with Ayumu Murase, his senior at the office. I’m here. Where should I listen to this? “This is too much fun for me personally. Talking with Murase-san is just fun. The reason is that Murase-san is a very interesting person (laughs)! In “Good Things” you have to put everything out of yourself, but in “Murashiro” Murase-san does everything from 0 to 1. He created a lot of unexpected things from nothing, and it’s natural (laughs). I like talking with Murase-san, it’s fun. I thought it would be nice if the listeners could enjoy that conversation, so I kept going, and before I knew it, it had become a fairly long-running program (laughs). It’s the longest radio program I’ve been on. In the beginning, my relationship with Murase-san wasn’t that deep, and there was a period when I was thinking, “How should I interact with him?” I was excited to say, “Wow, I can meet Murase-san again this week!” (laughs). I am really grateful to Nippon Cultural Broadcasting for continuing such a program. Now that “time at home” has increased and it is no longer possible to meet people, radio programs that say, “I can always hear someone’s voice and feel safe,” I feel like the good side has been highlighted.”

Nonetheless, with the diversification of media such as television and the Internet, what do you think radio will be like in the future, and how will it interact with listeners? “I think that radio tends to be viewed as something retro, but I feel that it will not disappear as a medium. There were many. There is a great sense of security in hearing people’s voices, and there is no doubt that it is important as a news report. But hopefully, I would be happy if the fun of radio as entertainment would be appreciated more. Unlike YouTube, it is not easy to watch the genre you want to see right away, and you can spend money on projects like TV. But that’s why there are DJ’s who speak to you in your ear as a familiar presence. Also, I think it’s a medium where you can feel the routine of “the voice on the day of the week at the time”. Ah, I felt like I heard this voice at this time last week as well. I think that the sharing of time that is peculiar to radio is unique. In addition to that, with emails and postcards, because of the culture, the sense of distance with customers is closer than others. Considering that programs are built on listeners, there is something interesting that can only be done on the radio. It’s a medium with such a long history, so I’d like to be someone who can convey even just a little of how interesting it is.”

I think that Kumi is a big culture that has been cultivated since the 90s when the word “aniraji” was born. Do you think the position of radio has changed for voice actors since then? “I don’t know if my standing position has changed or not, but I think that the voice actors who are now able to speak on the radio are thanks to the seniors who paved the way. It’s a field that has been ploughed by, so I can only thank you for that.”

What do you think is the power of radio that only voice actors can demonstrate? “Since it is a medium where you can only hear your voice, I think it is very meaningful for voice actors to have a radio program. I feel that whether to release Sonal is a personal preference. As a voice actor, I also feel that I am disturbing the medium of radio. Through the radio, there is a possibility that it will be an opportunity for people to know about the work of voice actors. It’s such a great place, and I think it’s a field that voice actors can never let go of in the future.” I complained about “that project” to Shugo Nakamura!”

By the way, the shooting theme this time is “Morning”. Please tell us about Yashiro’s morning routine. “It’s like a YouTuber’s question (laughs). Well… First, when I wake up, I fill the bathtub with hot water and sleep twice until it’s full (laughs). When it’s full, it’s a protein called EAA, drink, take a bath in the morning, dry your hair, and then go out.”

How long do you spend in the bath? “It depends on the time you wake up, but basically, I set the alarm to wake me up for 30 seconds to 4 minutes. If the time is extended, the bath time will be about 10 to 15 minutes (laughs). I used to only take showers, but recently I started soaking in bathtubs. After that, I feel like my metabolism has improved, and after all, my first voice is different (laughs). The blood flow must have changed. I’ve always heard that it’s good to soak in a bathtub, but I couldn’t beat my sleepiness (laughs). But when I tried it, I felt that it was really good.”

Is there something that triggered you to become immersed in it? “I moved a while ago. After that, the bathroom became so clean that I wanted to go in, and I thought that I could keep it clean because I would clean it every time. With the excitement of moving to a new house, I thought I’d try to get into the habit of taking a proper bath. I often get bath salts, but I didn’t have a habit of taking a bath, so it was just accumulating. When I took a bath with bath salts, it felt so good! However, this year is said to be extremely hot, and it seems too hot to soak in a bathtub at this time of year.

There is also cool bath additive. “Eh, really? That’s good. I’ll try it!”

When you take a bath, you can get rid of your fatigue. Also, in private news, did all the members of 8P have a remote drinking party? “There are eight people, and there were several people, including myself, who were new to remote drinking parties, so it was difficult at first (laughs). It was fun to get to know everyone’s rooms, such as the curtains, but Arthur Lounsbery-san’s was a little more than the camera from the middle looking up.  When I wondered, “Why can’t we look at each other?” I said, “Actually, you’re playing Monster Hunter, aren’t you? Arthur-san, it seems to be true, but I thought that remote drinking parties wouldn’t bring out individuality.”

Speaking of fellow voice actors, Kotaro Nishiyama-san used to invite Yashiro-san to join the “Nishiyama Corps” on the radio. Are you doing it? “Nishiyama-kun, Eguchi Takuya-san, Enoki Junya-kun, Shirai Yusuke-san, Hanae Natsuki-san, Yamashita Daiki-san and I formed a group last year, but we’ve never been in operation (smile).”

Please wait a moment, I’ll look it up now… (While looking at my smartphone) The last talk was “Yusuke Shirai left last August” (laughs). If VOICE STARS-san meets Nishiyama-kun, please listen to him (lol). “I understand (lol).”

Well, this issue will be released at the end of June, when you can feel the signs of summer. Summer and, speaking of which, when you search for Yashiro-san’s name, it’s “Sunflower” that appears in the suggestions. “Is that true?”

I think it was triggered by Leslie Kee’s serial product in our magazine “Vol. 10” Regarding this project, it seems that Hiroki Yasumoto was bullied by “Seiyuu to Yoasobi” (ABEMA)…? “Regarding that, there is something I want to say! It seems that I was teased that I was doing something amazing. At that time, Shugo Nakamura also said something like, “What are you doing, Taku? It’s all about it, so I can understand why people in the same industry would want to mess with it… Right after that (Vol.1 in our magazine), Shugo also appeared in the same project! With a face like, “The guy who was messing around with me has this kind of expression?” (laughs)! When I met Shugo in person, I thought that I would absolutely criticize him, but I ended up saying it here. When I meet him, I plan to have him read aloud the questionnaire he answered in that project. If you were born again, what would you be like? A: “Shugo Nakamura” (laughs).

Please let me know how it goes after you run it (laughs). Lastly, could you give a message to the fans who are comforted by your voice? “Even in difficult circumstances, I think there are a lot of people working for someone. First, I would like to express my gratitude to them. Thank you very much. I also love the fact that not only DJ’s and listeners, but also listeners can connect with each other through the medium of radio. Once upon a time, listeners became friends and received an email saying, “The three of us are sharing a house.” In the meantime, I’m very happy that all the listeners are doing well and enjoying the radio. I would be happy if it became a place for everyone to relax, and I will continue to talk energetically!”

Both on the radio and in interviews, Taku Yashiro’s words convey his caring, gentle, and slightly natural personality. In these uncertain times, his soft, cotton-like voice brings warmth as if it wraps around us. With that voice, it should continue to entertain many people.


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