Takuya Eguchi (Voice Newtype Vol. 74 2019)

江口 拓也

Overcoming his weakness, Takuya Eguchi has expanded his field of activity since the opening interview about five years ago. You’re willing to give up everything else for what you really need. What is your own meaning of life that shines brightly in your determination to push yourself?

As a trip around the origin, I was allowed to shoot at the coast of Ibaraki and your alma mater, but he came, but do you remember him? Eguchi: Yes, it was fun. For a long time, I was not good at gravure, and it was around that time that I finally became able to face shooting with the feeling that “it’s okay to be natural.” Even now, I have come to think, “I can only do it naturally” (laughs). But I’m surprised that it’s been so long since then. I’ve turned 30, so I think I’ve had a change of heart.

What kind of change do you feel? Eguchi: It was the same with gravure, but I have a relatively clear idea of what I’m not good at. When I was in my 20s, no matter how hard I tried to make it “normal”, I was naturally no match for people who were already there. So, I thought it was important to develop “what I’m good at.” However, when I turned 30, I began to think that I would take on the challenge of overcoming my weaknesses and appeared on the stage of “Gin no Kokin no Uta” by the theatre company Kuroji. I just got passive about standing in front of people, and I don’t remember much, so I felt outrageous (laughs). I don’t know how I feel about anything unless I see it, and if I really hate it, I don’t do it again.

What was gained from the experience? Eguchi: On the stage, a group of people work together for months to create something. While talking face to face and exchanging opinions. So, I think my communication skills have improved somewhat. Also, the play is “Relay”. I became more aware of that. Even though I was a messed-up baton passer, if I’m good at receiving it, it can help to connect that feeling. That way of thinking has become more familiar to me, and I’ve come to enjoy acting even more.

As a live broadcast personality, you really broke new ground. “A&G Tribal Radio Edison” was a big challenge for you, wasn’t it? Eguchi: As I’ve said before, the reason I became a voice actor is because I’m on Nippon Cultural Broadcasting, so I’m very honoured to oversee a regular live broadcast there. There are many events on the weekends, so sometimes I can’t appear on the radio. I was hesitant at first because I could see that it was there, but I was grateful that I insisted on it. However, the more I enjoyed myself as a listener, the higher the hurdles I faced for myself. If I am entertaining people, will I be able to do it?

In the first place, do you get tired of talking to guests who are meeting you for the first time? Eguchi: It seems that I lied when I said that the first thing I learned after coming to Tokyo was “talking while looking people in the eye”.

It’s true, isn’t it? Eguchi: What’s more, since it’s a live broadcast, I must read the time and have a conversation with them. While paying attention to the necessary number of seconds, we must liven up the conversation, and no matter how exciting it is, we have to judge the timing and bring it to an end. If you decide to extend without cutting, calculate where to cut after that. I apologize for taking this on, but in the beginning, going to the studio every week was depressing. But, just like the stage, this is something that is created by a team, so I should whatever I can for them, and remember after that, the writer will be dependent on me so that they can enjoy it.

Originally, I don’t think you’re the type to be proactive and play, but the “playing with voice actors” that you can do while drinking is just like Eguchi-san’s usual. I get the impression that you’re having fun. Eguchi: All I’m doing is drinking and talking. But being able to do that at work is what motivates me now. As you said, I’m not very good at communicating. Originally, I’m a troublesome person who thinks “Please don’t get involved with me”. However, it is certain that this industry resonated with such a vain heart, and it has something that only I can create…I defiantly says (laughs).

Although you be defiant in this way, I think it’s a strength of Eguchi-san. Eguchi: The reason why I flutter is because I think about many things at the same time. So, if I choose what kind of action, I can take to show the best performance, I will naturally become flat. I think that my 20s and 30s was a period in which I’m stripping away all that unnecessary stuff.

Then, what is the part that was carefully protected without being scraped off? Is it clear what moved you? In other words, what is the meaning of life? Eguchi: What does that mean? There are many ways of thinking in the world, and it’s okay for each to have something to believe in. I’m not religious so I have to decide everything myself. Under such circumstances, when I thought about the meaning of being born, I didn’t have anything. If not, I have no choice but to make it. Always clarify what it is, and I’m getting a sense of what it is like to live.

Could you put into words the current meaning of life? Eguchi: “Have a drink and have fun.” I am grateful to myself for being healthy and for the people who are with me, and if I hadn’t been working in the first place, I wouldn’t be drinking. It seems simple, but it’s time to chew on various thoughts.

It’s not like you drink every day to see if there’s something you want to forget. Eguchi: Rather, it’s a moment that vividly recalls the day. On top of that, I say that I will wash away things that I don’t really have to think about. The key is alcohol disinfection. What remains in me is the real things.

Sounds plausible, but how real is it? Eguchi: Ha-ha (laughs). Well, drinking every night is the same as it was 4 years ago.

And because of your busy schedule, you must have a stronger determination. Eguchi: That may be the case. To live, I need “strength”. I think it’s about where I concentrate my energy as a human being.

Conversely, other than the “meaning to life”. And there are more things to throw away. You keep losing something. You are known for your “no savings” policy. Eguchi: When I turned 30, was going to stop. To be precise, I quit for about 3 months. But when I stopped doing it, I was like, “Oh, you can do it,” and it got boring. When I could see the goal, I had a wicked tendency to want to break the rails that were laid out toward that goal.

Such a life on the edge is what shaped the actor Takuya Eguchi. Eguchi: No, it just happened that Takuya Eguchi was an actor. It’s true that I can’t do anything halfway, so I’m barely in the right place. I think I should be able to express things that I don’t feel. I don’t want to justify myself, so when a junior asked me, “How can I become like Eguchi-san?” (laughs)

In “No.055”, it was the right timing to take on the role of Takeo Gouda, the main character of “Ore Monogatari”. As one of the representative works after that, I think that “Sanrio Danshi”, where you played the role of Kota Hasegawa, the main character, can be mentioned. I heard that Eguchi-san’s motto is “Don’t lie to yourself.” Eguchi: Indeed, it was. Now that can I say what I like when I want, I often receive reactions such as, “That’s crazy” and “That’s good.” The words “I’ll change my opinion, I am strong, so I do bad things. I think everyone is stuffy because of the premise that this is the kind of world we live in. “Sanrio Danshi” is a work that teaches us something very universal, that it’s okay to live without worrying about such things.

You don’t care what other people think. Eguchi: I must face the opinions; I think I just want everyone to accept me. But I have some dissatisfaction or complaints. I’d rather choose to be criticized for doing something. This is my honest feeling.

What experiences did you have? Eguchi: What I thought the most was when I came to Tokyo. When I aimed to become a voice actor, the passion of the people who gathered at the vocational school was so strong that I felt that I was at the bottom there. Everyone had an amazing knowledge of anime, and I’m doing theatre. But then, I think I about where I should reach out to them and crawl up. However, even after graduating from school and entering the industry. I had no choice but to work hard just like them, shining bright amongst my peers. The moment I realized that I lost sight of myself.

What made it easier was when I decided to stop comparing myself to others. Eguchi: That’s right. In the first place, it’s a world where there’s no correct answer, so you can’t just call yourself superior or inferior. Thinking about it, I realized that I was staying home doing nothing while other people were doing something. So, I decided to do something. Even now, I believe that no matter what other people do, I just do what I must.

When you get lost, you think about it, and the path you treaded firmly continues to this day. You played the role of Kaoru Hanayama in the popular title “Baki” and express the toughness of “Japan’s No.1”. Eguchi: I first read the original when I was in elementary and junior high school. I especially like Kaoru Hanayama. Just like in “Ore Monogatari”, I was in the position of being best friends with Nobunaga Shimazaki-san. I don’t have any talent for martial arts, but I admire him for being “cool”, and I think it’s unique to a voice actor that he can act with such strong feelings. In other words, in a fighting scene, I put in his voice, but Hanayama is silent. However, the voice he makes shows that he is not hurt. It was difficult for me, but it was fun. now that the second season has been decided, I’m looking forward to the recording.

And again, this year, there were many works that I would like to hear about the profession aspects of Eguchi-san’s play. Dan Moroboshi in “Ultraman” was a character whose deep voice echoed with pride and strong determination. Eguchi: Among the special effects Ultraman series, I especially liked Seven. When I read the original, I had a good feeling for it, so I was happy that I got the role. I can’t go into details about him because he’s not shown in the anime yet, so it’s going to be a spoiler. To put it bluntly, I have a narrow field of view, but the concentration of energy at such times is amazing.

I can relate to the story of alcohol earlier. Eguchi: Yes, yes, I often do things that make me wonder, “Isn’t it okay if I don’t go that far?”

Unlike Shinjiro Hayata, who inherits it legitimately, he can’t fly, but he still has his professionalism that he can kill his enemies without mercy. As a voice actor, can you say with confidence that you can do this? Eguchi: That is so… I am prepared to quit whenever he gets tired of it, and I’m confident that I will continue for the rest of his life. I’ve been able to eat this far. However, I think that if I lose my interest and my heart, it’s all over, so when that happens, I’ll go back to my parents’ house and work in the fields. Of course, it’s hard for me to learn farm work.  

I can sense Eguchi’s core, always thinking, “What is the most important thing?” It also overlaps with what Akihiko in “Given” is suffering. Eguchi: Akihiko lives with the person he likes the most, but he also knows that when he is tied up with that person, they lose each other’s talents. It’s a very difficult problem, but it’s something you really sympathize with, and I felt that it was a chance encounter with the role. It was at this timing that the animation was decided. I don’t think I would have been addicted to it if I haven’t been the one who received it 5 years ago. No, I wouldn’t have been able to do it even a year ago. People change day by day, and the play changes as well.

I’m also looking forward to the movie version that will be released next year. Akihiko is just silent. He seems to be thinking about something. That point of him is also like Eguchi-san. Eguchi: Even my parents say, “I don’t know what you’re thinking.” Recently Taku Yashiro-kun and Koutarou Nishiyama-kun told me that I suddenly stopped talking as soon as I got into a taxi. It’s unconscious, but it seems that switch is flipped. It seems that the two of them thought, “I wonder if he hates us,” and it was bad for me. That doesn’t change anything (laughs).

You continued to make anime adaptations of works that appeared in games. Wataru Hibiki from “Ensemble Stars” and Hattori You from “Stand My Heroes: Piece of Truth” are characters with impressive riffs that express their individuality in one word. Eguchi: Wataru Hibiki is the result of overdoing it after being told, “You can do more.” When he kept adding salt to his food, it ended up being salty (laughs). It was difficult for Hattori-san because he was allowed to use “pause” very luxuriously in the game. If the tempo changes even slightly, he tends to think that trajectory has changed. But if the staging changes, you can see a different angle of the person. In anime, I think it’s important that anime characters can be created and he’s there.

In Idolish 7, where you play the role of Nagi Rokuya, will be recorded in full voice from next year. Eguchi: The 2nd season of the anime is coming. Being able to record while feeling the other members at times was a big deal. I read the script and he didn’t come back just like I imagined it. The change in one person due to the direction effects of other people and the unexpected chemical reaction was interesting. The live performance was also tough for me, but I enjoyed it as much as the others, so we created a good team. In both my first and second year, after the live, I went to a yakiniku restaurant with just the cast. It’s standard on me to decide on a restaurant and take reservations under the name of “Yusuke Shirai” (laughs). Everyone said he wasn’t there, but when it came to making something like this, I thought that as a team like that, he needed time to participate. I wonder if they’re doing it.

Do the cast who play the members of “B-Project” Killer King nurture relationships in the same way? Eguchi: It’s a follow-up group that appeared in the anime from the second season, so the most important thing was how to get close to the atmosphere that was created from the beginning. Of course, if it’s Killer King’s stage, it’s ours, so we’ll do our best. In the practise before performing the song for the first time, I invited the three members to dinner. I thought they would be very careful with me as a senior, but I wanted to bring out their natural relaxed state.

Tenma Sumeragi of “A3!”, which will be broadcast from January 2020, is a talented thoroughbred actor. You often act as actors. Eguchi: I’m not a genius, but that’s why I enjoy spending time thinking, “Why is he like this?” It is an actor’s privilege to be able to become a different person at that moment. However, I may not be able to play the role of a genius. Because I’ll get into trouble. Well, there are geniuses who can become anything.

Do you ever think, “This person is a genius?” on set? Eguchi: Yes, I have. But the more genius you look, the more effort there are behind the scenes. I have never met a genius who didn’t try. The other day, I was very nervous when I was in a situation where there were two seniors from the office and me, Ryuusei Nakao-san and Toshihiko Seki-san, but as I listened to the old stories, I thought, “You two were the same as me.” I felt calmer. Even with moments and conflicts that sometimes make me feel embarrassed, I continue to walk, keep trying, and continue to be a voice actor. Why are they able to make such an effort. Don’t think of effort as effort. No matter how hard it is, I think it is important to try again.

Next spring, you will voice the main character Hikigaya Hachiman of “Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru”, which will be the final broadcast. With this, the expectations are raised. Eguchi: When I was about 23 years old, I was first selected for a drama CD, and I never thought I would end up with such a long relationship. There are things that I was able to do because of who I was back then and vice versa.

I asked about various roles, but once again, please tell us what is important to you as you play the characters’ voices. Eguchi: The first time I felt my work as a voice actor was “This voice actor is also doing this character!” I made a mistake. In doing so, I realized that there are many ways to do that. Up until that point, I had been aiming to use both high and low tones and say, “The voice tone is different, so you wouldn’t know it was the same actor.” I’ve come to think that it’s amazing that “things” can sound different depending on the song. I believe that if I pursue a wide range of roles through my voice and do further research to change my way of life, I will be able to expand infinitely.

Study only because you don’t have the steel skin of a genius. Eguchi: I think I have perverted skin (laughs). Ever since I was little, I’ve been a kid with his own obsessions. It was fun for me to crawl under the long slide and make mud balls by myself all the time and chasing others. When I was in elementary school, this was in Chiba, I used to collect milk bottle caps. In one year, I accumulated nearly 365 cards, and if I did it for 2 or 3 more years, it will be a considerable amount. My mother told me to throw it away, and I desperately resisted. Even in RPG’s, I’m the type that raises my bell by about 30 around the first village. Even if only the same monster appears all the time, I can play without getting bored. I think of myself as a voice actor until the day I die, so think I’m not the only one who keeps working hard on days when I do well and days when I don’t. I believe that the future will change depending on what kind of challenges we take on.

In addition to your acting work, what has Trignal’s music career, now in its 8th year, been like for you? Eguchi: If there are three people, there are three thoughts, and there is music that can only be done by these three people. Also, based on that, I was allowed to choose my own solo songs. Even though I’m a craftsman, I think I can make use of what I gained by the live performances of my works. It’s great that I’m here because everyone asks for me, but I’m very grateful that I have a field like that. From now on, I will continue to make what I feel into a single form, I would like to keep it.

Speaking of songs, it was shocking that you sang your song with curry as the role of Kai Akizuki in “Actors – Songs Connection”. Eguchi: It was a role that was given to me at a time when my love of curry tended to be picked up. It was originally a project to cover songs by Kaloid, so it’s deeply moving to think that if they hadn’t made it into an anime, it wouldn’t have happened. But I’m like to eat curry because it’s easy to eat.

You used to say, “Curry never disappoints.” Eguchi: Yes because there is no such thing as a failure. However, I was betrayed for the first time. At a certain cafeteria, I encountered something that made me wonder, “How did it come to have this flavour?” It was a shock. What was it?

Has your view on marriage changed? You used to say that marriage is a low priority if you spend less time drinking and working. Eguchi: It hasn’t changed at all (laughs). I heard that my local best friend is getting married, and I think it’s a very happy occasion. Marriage is more difficult than doing it, I think. People who have lived with different values now live in harmony with each other. Since before, he’s become able to compromise with his girlfriend, who doesn’t care about everyday life, but when he touches her, which seems to be “meaning of life”. Are you telling me to die? Isn’t it unreasonable for a person who is so stubborn to do so?

Is there something you’re interested in your private life that you would like to change? Eguchi: Hmmm… I wonder if it’s a car. I don’t drive as much, so people around me say it’s a waste of money to maintain. But isn’t it dangerous to drive when you’re tired? To do that, I must take care of myself daily, but that goes against my way of life (laughs). You need to be physically and mentally relaxed, so I think the people who can enjoy driving are those who lead a regular life and are decent people.

How was your holiday? Eguchi: I drank a lot the day before, went out for a haircut, and then went out drinking again in the evening. Sleeping without setting the alarm clock is the ultimate luxury.

Come to think of it, your hair colour is calm. Eguchi: I made it black for the stage, but now I want to make it gold again. I’ve endured preaching many times, but I was told that my colour was finally gone. Having said that, I’m now deciding whether or not to dye my hair (laughs).

In fact, according to the voices of the readers in the questionnaire, you are very big, and you appeared on the front cover this time. Finally, please give a message to everyone who supports Eguchi-san. Eguchi: Oh, I see. I want to say thank you for that. If you happen to read this article, I hope you write the name of the person you support. A game becomes an anime because everyone plays it, and it’s because of your voices that the sequel to the anime is produced. From now on, I will continue to do my best to provide fun things, and I think I will live freely, but please know that I say that everyone’s power is what moves things. Thank you very much!

Column: My Christmas

Takuya Eguchi: I really like the atmosphere of Christmas, but, if possible, I would like to enjoy it in the same everyday life as usual. So, the ideal is for me to spend my time without work. Also, as usual, it would be enough if we could celebrate Tetsuya Kakihara-san’s birthday (laughs).


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