Yuichirou Umehara, who will be active in 2018 as well. Compared to when he made his debut, he has more leeway in his heart now, and it is impressive that he is facing his work and role even more. As an actor and as a person, he continues to fascinate us. We asked him about his recent situation and goals for this year.
“Idolmaster SideM” is a work that you have been involved in for a long time. Last year, you played Kyouji Takajou, Beit in the anime. How was it? Umehara: Up until then, I hadn’t voiced him in motion, so that was the first thing that was new to me. Compared to the other characters, Kyouji is often quite absent-minded, and he doesn’t move much even when everyone is acting is high spirits. However, I was able to get to know Kyouji from his detailed movements unique to TV anime, and I think I was able to reflect that in my acting. I feel that my image of Kyouji has become more concrete. For three years, I was always facing the job in front of me.
Episode 4 was Beit’s turn. Umehara: I didn’t think Kyouji’s older brother would appear. Beit has 3 people. I was wondering how it would sublimate within the frame, but the three of us got along well and made an interesting episode as a story. And Pierre is cute, isn’t he? I think he’s even more cute when he moves.
The TV anime broadcast has ended, but “The Idolm@ster SideM 3rd Live Tour – Glorious St@ge- will start from February! Umehara: I’m sure the fans will come to the live with the T anime fever still unabated, so I want to make sure I don’t lose to everyone’s enthusiasm. All the idols from 315 Production will gather for the Makuhari performance on the first day, where Beit will also appear. It’s the first time in the history of “Idolmaster SideM”, and it’s supposed to be a hell of a stage, so please look forward to that.
“Gakuen Babysitters” started airing in November. Umehara: Babies are cute anyway. If I were a student, the system of “partial babysitting” where students take care of the children would be “impossible” and I would put it away (laughs). I like it now, but at the time I didn’t like small children…
What made you fall in love? Umehara: Thanks to the increased opportunities to play with my relatives’ children. They were about 10 children around the age of 2-3 years, and when I played with them, I fell in love with them.
10? What kind of tension does Umehara-san play with children? Umehara: The tension is surprisingly high (laughs). However, I also like to play similarly, so I can’t scold them much.
On the other hand, the voice of Hayabusa Okuya is the type to scold children. Umehara: In a way, I think he’s a mature character. As for the direction, I was instructed to “Don’t treat him like a child, even if he’s a younger brother” and “Rather than scolding a small child, scold him as an interpersonal person.” He doesn’t show mercy just because he’s a child, but that doesn’t mean he’s cold. He deals with his younger brother face-to-face as a person-to-person relationship. He doesn’t yell at him, but he’s conscious of him saying, “I can’t do what’s wrong.”
It’s been a while since “Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE!” Umehara: At the post-recording site, I sit far away from everyone, so I don’t talk that much. I also remembered that someone asked to lend 100 yen the other day. Apparently, he didn’t have enough coins, so he couldn’t buy water before recording. Come to think of it, I haven’t received it yet (laughs).
Also from January, “Damepri Anime Caravan” started. What is the highlight of this anime? Umehara: The main characters are all people who have their own unique bad points. Kaito Ishikawa-kun, who personally plays Narek, was interesting in both the game and the drama CD, so I think he will be one of the highlights in the anime. Anyway, the pressure is amazing.
Is there anything you can sympathize with Vino? Umehara: When the other person tries to get his/her true feelings out, I think I’d just say something appropriate and run away (laughs). He doesn’t want to show his true feelings too much, so he tends to be very fussy at times like that. Even if they get along well, they tend not to show their true feelings.
From Umehara-san’s point of view, who is the most useless character? Umehara: Or rather, if I get involved, I think that he’s really stupid. I can’t keep up with the way he changes when he talks about his favourite story character “Cualan,” so I want to see her from afar.
Please tell us how you felt when you were selected to play the role of Siegfried in “Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These” which will start airing in April. Umehara: First of all, I felt a sense of responsibility because I was the one who played such a big role, and above all, there are many fans of the original and those who like Noboru Ishiguro’s version. I said that I was really happy, but I was worried before the dubbing started. There was quite a bit of time between when the role was decided and when the dubbing began, but at each turning point, I often thought, “How many more months is “Gineiden” going to start?” Even when I reread the original, I wondered if Kircheis was really good enough for me.
Kircheis is a popular character. What is your impression of him? Umehara: In the story there are two geniuses, Reinhardt and Yang. He doesn’t use that talent as his head, but rather, Kircheis uses his chair to support Reinhardt. Even at the audition I used to say, “Never rise above Reinhardt.” Even though he gave advice, Reinhardt always stays three steps ahead. I strongly felt that it was Kircheis’ personality and way of life, even when I was reading the original work and even when I tried to voice him after recording began.
During the post-recording, were you three steps behind Mamoru Miyano-san, who played Reinhardt? Umehara: That’s right (laughs). That said, no matter how hard I try, I can’t get above Miyano-san, so I think we fit the relationship between Reinhardt and Kircheis. Miyano-san’s play is really pulling me in, so I think it would be nice if I could somehow keep up with it, so I’m working on the post-recording.
About Yang played by Kenichi Suzumura-san, how do you like it? Umehara: Actually, Yang’s my favourite character. He also has a tremendous talent, but he is rather longing for a retired life, he likes history, and he is very fond of what he does. Suzumura-san is exactly what I imagined him to be. I haven’t had a direct interaction with him as a role yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing him who should have had a conversation with Yang in the original work.
From April, you will also appear as Hajime Sugimoto in “Tada-kun does not fall in love.” “I want the cool Umehara-san to play Mukana’s lascivious character!” said Mitsue Yamazaki.
Yuichirou Umehara appears on the cover of this issue! Out of the 3 patterns of costumes, I took a picture of Napy’s jacket style. Since he is a good friend of the photographer, Umehara-san is soft throughout. Meanwhile, in the cut while sitting on the sofa, when I ask him to put his feet on the trunk case in a slightly wild pose, there is a scene where it changes into a shockingly cool look! Please try it.
Next, change into a knit with a grey snood. Umehara-san was very interested in the props used in the studio photography, and quietly played with toys and browsed through books. I found the same book, and while the staff was getting excited, “Why two?” (I found another one!), and then I went outside and took pictures while walking along the river.
It was still a hot day at the beginning of the magazine, but when I told Umehara-san that this issue was to be released in January, he put his hand in his pocket and make a cold pose (laughs). At the end, the white knit and sweatpants outfit and hairstyles are also changed to a wet styling to create a more natural atmosphere. I also took a picture of him relaxing on the bed and a slightly sexy cut of his knitted clothes wrapped in depilatory cloth. It’s a cold season, but please warm yourself up with Umehara-san’s sweet gravure.