Yuusuke Kobayashi-san says that he wants to play the main character who grows the most in the work, and that he wants to be particular about playing the main character. True to his words, the names of many of main characters are lined up. He said that he had little time for private life, but his expression was filled with a sense of fulfilment.
What kind of year was 2019? Kobayashi: It’s been the hardest year, I think. I have been given the opportunity to play a variety of roles, and there have been many productions, as well as interviews and events like this. I had a lot of experiences, but at the same time, I didn’t have time for my private life. It was a year that gave me a sense of fulfilment in my work.
Speaking of the works you appeared in 2019, you played Senku in “Dr. Stone.” Kobayashi: I voiced Senku for the first time at Jump Festa exactly one year ago and have been facing him for almost a year. The original manga is really interesting, so I thought a lot about what it would be like for me to add my voice to it.
How did you overcome that fear? Kobayashi: I was encouraged by the impressions of the fans and the words of the staff. In particular, there were many staff members who were big fans of the manga, and even during drinking parties they talked passionate about it. After the role was decided, I read it over and over again, and I had an image of what I wanted to do here, so I was happy to be evaluated on that, and it gave me confidence.
“Fire Force” also had 2 cours? Kobayashi: Arthur (Boyle) was a very difficult role. He’s stupid, but he doesn’t do it on purpose, it’s just that what he comes up with is stupid. If you try to find fun in that, you’ll end up with a bruise. That’s why I thought I’d just act like an idiot, but when I think about his mental state, I don’t understand how he can suddenly say something nice and earnest. I finally stopped.
In a state of “Don’t think, feel.” Kobayashi: That’s the point (laughs). It was difficult in the sense of not being greedy and restraining myself, but I was able to face it slowly and carefully.
Looking at the characters Kobayashi-san has played, many of them are geniuses. Kobayashi: That’s right. Certainly, this year is cool. I often played a character who had more than enough ability to the protagonist. “Kochouki ~ Young Nobunaga~” was a childhood Nobunaga who was weaker than the one you think of, but he was a charming character that attracted people. In “Kenja no Mago,” I wanted to enjoy strength, and it became a work that radiates. “Choujin Koukousei-tachi wa Isekai demo Yoyuu de Ikinuku you desu!” Tsukasa said that it would be sarcasm if you put out all the amazing things. I thought, so I’m working for the people. While performing, always thinking about it.
What did you think of the roles of the genius characters? Kobayashi: I never thought of splitting up the roles. I got all the roles through the audition, so it feels like I never forgot my first impression of reading the original work and the expressions I used at the audition. I have a policy of not doing what people think of first. Maybe because of that, I have a habit of facing characters with twisted ideas, and I wonder if my first impression is different from other people. Since I passed the audition, I think that I have been recognized for it, so I value that intuition.
Is there anything you would like to challenge at work in the future? Kobayashi: I want to do a reading drama. I’m a shy person, so when I’m at an event, I’m trying my best to keep in check (laughs). But reading aloud is something I can do without getting overwhelmed by people who are meeting me for the first time. A live stage is a place where mistakes are not allowed, so I think that the human nature of the person comes out quite a bit. It is very interesting to act while feeling that, reading the mood of the audience and calculating. I want to do more readings.
When you appeared on Voice Newtype’s website “KIKI”, you talked about having fun with your fellow voice actors? How have you been since then? Kobayashi: As always, I drink when I have time with people I want to drink with. Jun Kasama-kun, Yuto Uemura-kun, and Yoshisugu Matsuoka-kun are the most common, but recently I’ve been getting more and more invitations from my juniors. I’m happy that you called me. Personally, I’d like to be able to drink more with seniors, but I think you’re too busy to talk to me…
When you go out drinking with your friends, do you talk about plays? Kobayashi: I would rather just do that (laughs). At first, we were just chatting, but as the drinking progressed, it turned into a play. Sometimes I get into fights with Matsuoka-kun because I’m serious about it. It feels like we are arguing against each other. I’m an adult, so in the end I thought, “Well, in other words, I like Yuusuke.”
What kind of year do you want for 2020? Kobayashi: As an actor, my feelings for the main characters are still strong, so I want to make it a year where I can play the main character, and I want to enrich my private life, which I didn’t have at all this year. It would be nice if we could strike a good balance. I want to do my best with peace of mind.
Please give a message to our readers. Kobayashi: Seeing the letters I received from the fans and replies on Twitter gave me energy, and I’m glad that I did my best. I didn’t have the opportunity to talk about various works during the interview, so it was fun to be able to talk about the works I appeared in at the end of the 2010’s. For this shoot, I was assigned to be in charge of “moe sleeves” (laughs). I think Voice Newtype is the only place where you can see a cute Kobayashi, so I would be happy if you see both the photos and the article.
Column: My Christmas!
From the 24th, I want to spend time with someone important to me, and when the date changes, I want to say, “Merry Christmas.” Before I started living alone, I spent Christmas with my family. I would like to prepare presents and enjoy the event of Christmas.