Souma Saitou (Voice Newtype Vol. 77 2020)

斉藤 壮馬

Souma Saitou-san, who has been active in many works such as “Hypnosis Mic – Division Rap Battle” and “Fate: Grand Order”, which is now in the midst of a fruitful autumn, is expanding his range as a voice actor. His musical career, where he writes and composes lyrics, has entered a new phase, and he is releasing more ambitious songs. We listen to him as he talks about the ever-changing present.

First, I would like to ask about Saitou-san’s recent days. What did you during the spring and summer when you had a long time at home? Saitou: A long time ago, I was reading a long comic, and I read it again. My mother did so as well. I think it’s time for me to read long and good works such as “Boku no chikyuu womamotte ya”, “Jangaru wa itsumo hare nochi-gu~u”, and “Fullmetal Alchemist”. I will be 30 years old next year, and I was curious about the so-called adults’ point of view in all the works I read this time. I remember reading it when I was a teenager, and I’m glad I was able to enjoy it from multiple perspectives. I think and reread the work. I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn about my current state.

Through your work, you were able to objectively reassess yourself. At the same time, Saitou-san released three songs during this period: “Vetricor”, “Summerholic!”, and “Palette.” It was also a creative period. Saitou: As you said it, I released the songs I had written during this period through distribution. It was also a time when I really thought about what I was going to put out into the world. Originally, I was writing songs as a hobby, and I happened to be able to have them released as my own songs, so I have no intention of making a song with a message. I believe that the good thing about music is that it can be perceived in various ways by the listener. Some people say it’s a little scary. I would appreciate it if you could enjoy music freely like that.

Saitou-san will be appearing this fall in works that have been published and broadcast all at once. In the animation movie “Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare,” which is currently being released, he plays Kazuomi Inui, who dreams of becoming a film director. Saitou: When I heard about the audition, I read the original work, but it was a work that I read a lot because I was so worried about the future. It’s a work that depicts the days of high school students, but the misunderstandings between girls and boys are very carefully depicted. “Is it going well?” It’s a wonderful depiction of “things you shouldn’t say, but things you can’t say.” Kazuomi wants to become a film director, but his family does not approve of him, I think. Also, the director of this work, Toshimasa Kuroyanagi-san, was a very good person. The atmosphere at the recording site was great, and I was able to enjoy the recording.

In the smartphone game “Fate: Grand Order” (hereafter FGO), Saitou-san plays Kirschtalia Vodaim, who stands in the way of the main characters in Chapter 5 of Part 2. He appears as an enemy of the main character, but in reality, he is depicted as someone with a grand purpose. I think many of the people who played the main story were satisfied with Saitou-san’s appointment. Saitou: When I first received the offer, it was a very big deal, so was nervous about recording it. I remember. During the recording, I had the opportunity to speak with Kinoki Nasu (the original author). I played the role of Nasu’s avatar Swallow in the TV anime “Chaos Dragon Sekiryu Sentaku.” “I wanted to work with Saito-san again,” said Nasu-san, which made me really appreciate it. As you said, Kirschtaria is an important character in FGO, and he could have been the main character. The more I read the scenario, the more I fell in love with Kirschtaria. At first glance he looks like a bad guy, he may be wrong, but his words are serious. His words aren’t many, but I tried to make his words persuasive.

And from October, “Hypnosis Mic – Division Rap Battle Anime” will finally start broadcasting. I’m looking forward to Gentarou Yumeno, who is active in anime. Saitou: I’m looking forward to seeing this work, which has been developed based on drama tracks, finally become an anime. Gentarou in the anime still has a unique way of speaking, but it might give the impression that he is rather mild-mannered. Dice Arisugawa is as cute as ever, and Ramuda Amemura can be expected to develop in the second half (laughs). We hope that you will enjoy it from a variety of perspectives.

How much fun do you feel rapping as Gentarou Yumeno? Saitou: When I first received the project for “Hypnosis Mic,” I thought the combination of “voice actor x rap” was really interesting. I listen to rap music, and I like books, so I’m glad I met Gen-san. Gentarou is a character that is easy to move even if you look at it from the creator’s side. It’s like a tar, and there are a lot of very strong lines. It’s fun to be in charge of the voices of such a character.

Also in October, there is “Moriarty the Patriot”. How does it feel to play the protagonist William James Moriarty? Saitou: What’s interesting about William is that he combines an unusually normal side with a soft and cold side. Murdering and committing crimes are normal for him. He doesn’t show any conflict, but if you can find a momentary glimpse of his fluctuations, it may be a clue to understanding him. The original is very interesting, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it will be animated.

KIKI by Voice Newtype, will also have an autumn live stream performance on October 11th. Saitou: I’ve been involved with “Omikuji shi kyudai” for a long time, and it’s a really fun project. It is often said that it was a “recording of constant laughter,” but the recording of this work has a scene where laughter does not stop at a level where the recording can’t progress. Wataru Komada-san participated in last year’s event (reading drama “Omikuji shi kyudai: Winter Detectives Love Roast Beef”), which was wonderful again (laughs). It seems that something will happen in the autumn performance, so please look forward to this work that will make you happy.

And as you mentioned earlier, your music activities will also start “Chapter 2” from this year. What kind of activities do you think “Chapter 1” were? Saitou: Chapter 1 gave me the impression of a journey with no fixed destination. I think it was an activity that set off without thinking about where it would land, just like in a boy’s manga. Masayoshi Oshi-san gave me a wonderful song called “Fish Story”, and from there I was able to go on a stimulating journey doing things I had never done before with new acquaintances. From the 3D single “Date”. I started to compose and write my own lyrics. By facing the songs written by various creators, I was able to open a drawer that I didn’t have before, and by writing by own songs, I was able to experience the fun of giving shape to my own image down to the smallest details.

What kind of musical activities do you think “Chapter 2” will be? Saitou: For “Petrichor”, “Summerholic!” I’m thinking about developing a follow-up to these three songs, and I’d like it to be a song with the theme of “life.” I sang “Sekai no Owari” in “Chapter 1”, but even if that world ends, “life” would surely continue. I think it would be great if I could depict various forms of “life” in “Chapter 2”.

Saitou’s musical activities are attractive because of their conceptual nature. Saitou: Thank you. I belong to the generation that used to go to second-hand CD shops, buy jackets, and buy music. These days, I think it’s common to encounter songs one by one through subscribing, but I used to find joy in owning music as an object. I often encountered music through CD albums, and I was attracted to conceptual albums. I believe that the staff of SACRA Music has accepted my tastes and created music for each theme.

It looks like it will be a busy autumn with voice acting and artist activities. Saitou: “Palette” released in September. I would be happy if you could listen to the album. Of all the four seasons, autumns is my favourite season, but it seems that this year’s autumn will pass in the blink of an eye. I hope that I can feel autumn with my whole body even for a moment.

Column: Little happiness

When I start work very late the next day, I am happy to fall asleep without the alarm clock. I like to sleep very long hours. 8 hours is not enough for me. Because my hobby is sleeping. I’m happy when I have time to sleep comfortably.


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