Nana Mizuki and Toshiya Miyata (Kis-My-Ft2) (Voice Stars Vol. 14)

水樹 奈々 & 宮田俊哉

Toshiya Miyata, who professes to be a “serious fan” of Nana Mizuki, seemed to be nervous even before the interview. But when the shooting starts, there are two stars. Miyata also made a firm face… Huh, did your cheeks loosen a little? After all, the otaku heart overflows. How is the conversation going?

Miyata: In front of Nana-sama, I’m going to be just a nerd! Thank you for coming today! I was really curious about Mizuki-san’s costume…? Mizuki: Ah, did you understand? Miyata: It’s my member colour, right? I’m glad! Actually, I used blue (the image colour of Mizuki). Mizuki: Thank you! Miyata: Each time in this series, I’m going to have a conversation with a male voice actor of “Ikebo”, based on various themes. I just really wanted to do it, so I’m really nervous… Mizuki: Is it true? We’ve met in various places, haven’t we? Miyata: I didn’t think this conversation would really come true. Ever since I heard that the interview has been decided, I’ve been counting down how many days to go… Last night I couldn’t sleep at all, so I put my iPad on my stomach all the time, Mizuki-san. I was preparing by watching the live video of what Mizuki Super Idol is doing (laughs)! Moreover, Mizuki-san is the first female guest in this series.

Mizuki: I’m honoured! Miyata-kun loves anime and he’s watched a lot of anime, so he says he likes me, but as time goes by, young voice actors and characters are becoming more and more popular. I was wondering if it would (laughs). For example, you like the “Love Live1” series, right? There are a lot of young and cute members, but I’m grateful that you invited me to the commemorative first anniversary. Miyata: No, no! Besides, isn’t Mizuki-san Riko-chan’s mom from “Love Live! Sunshine!”

Mizuki: Ahahaha (laughs). Miyata: It’s a bit embarrassing, but today, I brought my personal goods, “Nana-sama”, a fan club membership card and a “Nakau” rice bowl made in collaboration with Nanette, Mizuki’s official character. How many times have I been to Nakau to get this bowl of rice? The Mizuki collaboration bowl is a rare item, so it’s the first time I’ve met a winner! It was so rare! I was really happy when I got it… I didn’t just go by myself, but when I was on location, I invited the staff members to say, “Are you guys hungry? If so, let’s go to ‘Nakau’!”

Mizuki: I’m happy! Are you actually using it? Miyata: During the self-restraing period, I made oyakodon and ate it for the first time in this bowl. But if it’s such a rare item, you can’t put food in it anymore. I will decorate it. Mizuki: No, no, please use it! I use it too. Miyata: Eh, it’s going to be the same! I wonder if this will become a trendy “smell” … Mizuki: (laughs). Miyata-kun is amazing. It’s the same with goods, but you still line up at my live performances and stage sales, right? If you tell me… I think every time. Miyata:I like it because I buy it myself. When I bought it, it will be engraved as a memory of the event, so I try to line up properly to buy it.

Mizuki: I feel loved. By the way, I was surprised to see that the membership card was introduced on a TV program (laughs). Miyata: In a program called “Can you do it with 1000, 000 yen?” Mizuki: Was it really unannounced? Miyata: That’s right. I was impatient. At that time, I felt murderous intent towards Nakai-san for a moment… (laughs).

Mizuki: When did you become a member? Miyata: My first one is the CD debut Kisumai. After that, I failed to renew my membership only once a few years ago, and I lost my membership for only one year. That year, I panicked, saying, “Even thought it’s my birthday, I haven’t received a letter from Nana-sama!” I thought this was wrong, so I re-joined in a hurry. It was the powerful and positive lyrics that pushed me forward. I first learned about Mizuki-san when I was watching “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A’s” (1st year) with her brother. The OP theme “Eternal Blaze” (12th single) sung by Mizuki-san was cool, and when I told my sister about it, her classmate introduced me to Mizuki-san’s song, saying, “Because it’s really good,”. Since then, I have listened to many different songs.

Mizuki: “Eternal Blaze” is already 15 years old. When I listened to it on the conveyor belt, the melody was perfect for the world of the work, and I’ve never heard a song like this before! It was a dramatic and wonderful song, so it was a quick decision. Noriyasu’s (Uematsu) songs are always described as “perverted songs” (laughs), but at the time there weren’t many opportunities to challenge songs with a lot of gimmicks, so I remember that the recording was extremely difficult. It’s also the song that made me think about expressing the drama of a song and having a singing voice that can match the power of the song. It was a thorny road from there, but now it’s a cute song (laughs).

Miyata: Uematsu-san’s songs are really good, aren’t they? Of course, I also love Mizuki-san’s lyrics. Many of the lyrics are written by Mizuki-san. Mizuki; I’m happy. Miyata: Yes, that’s all I wanted to say today. In “POP MASTER” (24th single), there’s a phrase that says, “It’s burning to the point where it’s impossible.” I got a mysterious job asking me to hit the stage, and although it was a project for “UTAGE!” Mizuki: Yes! Do you have experience with drums? Miyata:I played the role of the drummer in a play called “You’re beautiful” (1st year), so it’s just a little bit. However, when I was holding my head against “Kurenai” because it was tough, when I read the lyrics of “POP MASTER”, I felt a push against my back. At that time, I listened to “Kurenai” and “POP MASTER” alternately.

Mizuki: I would be happy if my song helped even a little. Miyata: Even I was surprised. There are songs that even Mizuki-san finds difficult. Mizuki: There is, there is! Especially Uematsu-san’s songs are Spartan. Perhaps because of that, the other writers are also burning with rivalry, and the hurdles are getting higher and higher with each release (laughs). Not only the speed of the tempo and the technical part like changing the key over and over, but also the expressive part. I feel like I’m being trained from every angle, and I’m expanding my horizons by exceeding my limits. But, like the phrase “POP MASTER”, I’m the type of person who wants the climb the bigger mountain, so in the end I’m enjoying it. Miyata: That’s a nice pose… everyone will fall in love with it!

Mizuki: (laughs). Through various challenges, I think I have sprouted a kind of indomitable spirit that keeps on recklessly. Miyata: I often sing Mizuki-san’s songs in the bath, but I can’t say “I’m singing” lightly. Mizuki: What are you talking about! Do you have a favourite or a song that you sing often? Miyata: “Kakumei Dualism” (collaboration single with T.M. Revolution). The moment I first heard this song, I thought, “I want to sing it.” It was cool to see Mizuki singing live. Mizuki: That song requires a lot of power.

Miyata: I also love “Zettai Kofuku Ron” (included in the 12th album “NEOGENE CREATION”). If I had a solo convert, I would definitely want to sing it as the last song. Mizuki: “Absolute Happiness Theory” has lyrics from a male perspective, so it’s perfect! I will definitely go see your solo concert! Miyata: Can I sing properly while being watch by Mizuki-san? Mizuki: That’s what happened live before. Kis-My-FT2’s performance at Tokyo Dome. I was invited but…

Miyata: Our members are bad guys (laughs). Mizuki: When I thought that MC was teasing me, saying, “Miyata looks a little different today,” I was surprised when he said “Mizuki-san is here!” “In front of all the fans?” (laughs). I stooped down and got smaller. However, I was impressed by how they were able to use every corner of the wide down and perform freely. Miyata: I’m happy! Before and after that, you sent flowers to Kis-My-Ft2’s live, right? The message card from that time, “To Kis-My-Ft2, Nana Mizuki,” is still displayed at my house. Mizuki: Then, when Miyata-kun’s solo concert is realized, I will give it to you again! Miyata: Speaking of which, the “playing around” from Kis-My-Ft2 members was also at the 2016 “FNS Music Festival” (Fuji TV). Mizuki: If I remember correctly, the seats were next to each other.

Miyata: Mizuki was on the right, and Tama (Yuta Tamamori) was on the left. At first, I was leaning against Tama saying, “I can’t get close to Nana-sama!” I panicked. After that, the sweat on my right side was amazing. Mizuki: What are you doing? (laughs). But it’s a program with unique tension, so it’s not an atmosphere where you can talk easily. At that time, I thought it would be nice if I could just say hello. I have a lot to say!

Mizuki: Come to think of it, the first time I found out that Miyata-kun was supporting me was actually by a recording engineer. Miyata: Eh, is that so? Mizuki: Kis-My-Ft2’s recording is well taken care of. He asked me if I knew Miyata-kun, and he handed me a Kis-My-Ft2 CD, saying, “I call Mizuki-san a god.” Along with the signature, “Nana-sama, I like you” was written (laughs). Miyata:  No, it’s embarrassing!

Mizuki: It seemed like Miyata-kun’s stage was about to begin, so he asked me to write my autograph. I signed the CD and sent it to him. Miyata:  That was seven or eight years ago. I will keep that CD as a family heirloom. By the way, I’m terribly sorry, but is there anything you would like to ask me, Mizuki-san?

Mizuki: Even though you’re busy, you watch a lot of anime every cool day, right? I wonder how you are using your time. Do you have a secret? Miyata:  Maybe he’s not that busy… Mizuki: What the Top Idol says (laughs). Miyata:Of course, it’s not like that during live rehearsals, but basically, I’m at home two days a week because the main thing is recording for TV. Mizuki: Although you learn singing and dancing, and you do training, right? Miyata: Certainly, recently I’ve been watching while doing muscle training called “planking”.

Mizuki: You’re going to do it together with the anime (laughs).  Miyata: I often use my travel time. The other day, when Mizuki-san delivered “Live Park 2016”, Kis-My-Ft2 was also broadcasting live, so the moment it ended, I quickly changed my clothes, removed my makup, got in the car and immediately enjoyed it. I was happy that it was just “ETERNAL BLAZE”.  At that time, an otaku friend contacted me saying “Nana-sama and Kis-My-Ft2 are both trending on Twitter.” We were having otaku-like conversations like, “This is how everyone is celebrating us.” No, I’m an otaku (laughs).

Mizuki: At that time, you were watching! Thank you very much! Miyata: My favourite live performance by Mizuki-san is “LIVE ZIPANGU 7”. There was a day when you sang only the drums (“Pray” on the 8th day of the tour), right? It was cool and I was drawn into it. I was happy to hear “WILD EYES” and “Himemurasaki” at the same concert… I’m sorry if this wasn’t a question at all! Mizuki: I could feel your passion (laughs).  Miyata: Also, it might be selfish, but Mizuki-san, you’ve always sung cool songs, haven’t you? Once in a while, I’d like to listen to a cute song that is all about “cute”.

Mizuki: I’m still me, even if I do “cute” things. Are you okay?  Miyata: No, it’s cute. Because it’s so cute! Mizuki: What I learned from my job as a voice actor is that one way of thinking can change the world! Miyata: It’s natural that live shows are amazing, but the other day, I had the opportunity to see Mizuki-san’s post-recording at a certain site. At that time, I was impressed that this person’s expressive power was so wonderful. Mizuki: That’s not true (laughs).

Miyata: Of course, I’ve never done post-recording before, but even so, I felt that it was something like a “skill” that made me think, “This is amazing.” If I remember correctly, the sound of the moment your lips hit the coffee cup in the coffee drinking scene was reproduced. I thought that this was a professional job or craftsmanship, and I was fascinated. This kind of technology, what do you learn in lesson? Mizuki: In a class at college, there was a lesson in ad-lib acting in a cut without dialogue. But most of all, I learned by watching senior’s performances on set and learning directly from them, “It’s better to do this.” For example, ad-lib acting such as the scene where you struggled in the water is processed just by watching the completed animation. I don’t know if it’s human power. When I went to the actual site, I was moved by the thought, “Put your finger on your lips and talk while shaking!” (laughs). It’s a stack of learning on the spot while doing my own research. Miyata: Including those aspects, it’s truly craftsmanship. Mizuki: That’s right. Recently, the glamorous side of voice actors is often spotlighted, but I think of myself as a genuine craftsman.

Miyata: We were given various explanations at the site, but it was a completely unknown world. Even if I was told, “I’ll match the dialogue with bold lines,” I had to understand from the point of “What is bold…?” Bold… a guide to which a character speaks at what length. Mizuki: It’s difficult if you don’t get used to doing your own performance within a limited time frame. I couldn’t do it at all when I debuted, so there were many recordings where I stayed behind. There were many times when I was worried that it might not be suitable for me…

Miyata: Mizuki-san also had such a time… Mizuki: When I consulted my seniors about what to do, they said, “That’s the free time I’ve been given. “I was taken aback when I was told that. It’s true that you’re in a hurry because you think you must do something in a limited amount of time. For example, even if you take a line like “Good morning”, you can say “Ohayo!” I learned that just one way of perceiving things can make you feel more relaxed and expand your range of expression.

Miyata: I will study. When I visited, I was soaring without thinking of anything. The person sitting next to me was a staff member whom I had never met before, but he suddenly said, “Nana is really amazing…” (laughs). After talking passionately for a while, I became embarrassed saying, “Oh my God, this person was the first person I met.” Mizuki: I also knew that Miyata-kun was coming to see me, so I did my best with the feeling of “I can’t show you the cool side!” I may have been more enthusiastic than usual (laughs).

Miyata: The recording of Gaya was also interesting (*Gaya: recording of the hustle and bustle of the city). There was a man and woman who were asked to improvise as a couple, and I suddenly thought that someday I would like to play the role of a couple with Mizuki-san (laughs). Mizuki: Let’s do it someday! Miyata: I will do my best! And it’s very regrettable but thank you very much for the really happy time today. Mizuki: No, no, thank you very much for your kind words. I only said hello after the live, so it was a lot of fun to be able to talk a lot like this. Miyata: Please come visit us again. I want to do a reward once a year (laughs). See you next time for our 2nd anniversary!

Tension, joy and embarrassment. Miyata finished the conversation with the existence that is equivalent to “God” while expressing all emotions. At first, I thought it would end up being a fan conversation, but when I opened the lid, I realized that (even with that element), the happiness between people on the front lines who respected each other’s work. Chemical reaction was observed. Expectations for the full-fledged co-starring of the two are only increasing.


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