Appearance that wraps the whole body in kindness. The way he looks at the camera, the expression in his face when he finds a dog, and the attitude when he talks about what he likes. How will the atmosphere change when Koutarou Nishiyama appears on film? While feeling only such a premonition that it will surely become a work that will not fade.
How was the shooting this time? Nishiyama: In fact, this is the first time I have submitted a request for a photographer. I am grateful to Voice Newtype for making this film possible.
What kind of relationship did you have with photographer Mariko Kobayashi-san? Nishiyama: A few years ago, while looking at social media, I happened to come across a wonderful photo of Kobayashi-san’s work. As soon as I learned about the photo exhibition, I went to see it. From Kobayashi-san’s work, I can cut out the air, the wind, and the moment, and I feel the breadth of the bosom that he affirms, saying, “It’s fine as it is.” At first, I thought it would be nice if this photo was like that, but once it started, I completely forgot about it (laughs). It was just a relaxing and enjoyable shoot.
How was this year for Nishiyama-san? Nishiyama: This year was truly the year for live performances. “Ensemble Stars!”, “A3!”, “Idolish7”, “B-Project”, and “Tsukipro.” I think it’s been a year since I’ve thought about how I can appear as a character and how I can enjoy the place. Originally, I was not good at singing live, but I felt the unity of the team, including the staff, and my desire to take it more seriously grew.
It was a priceless experience. Nishiyama: I agree. Especially when I first performed at the Idolish7 live at MeLife Dome, I was worried about how the fans would react. “ZOOL” is a heel position, but I desperately devoted myself to the rehearsal, hoping that there would be a part that would be loved even just a little. However, when I opened the lid, everyone really welcomed me warmly. It was a live show where I felt a clearer bond with the characters and a connection with the players.
In the original content “Omikuji Four Brothers” developed on Voice Newtype’s website “KIKI”, you play Aoba, the third son. At the time of the interview, it was still before the actual performance, but the second read-aloud play “Omikuji Four Brothers Winter Detectives Love Roast Beef,” has also been decided. Nishiyama: “Omikuji Four Brothers” is a work that depicts a daily life that makes you feel warm. As long as I am on stage in a recitation drama, I would like to be able to express the character with my entire body, such as my eyes and movements. I’m looking forward to the chemical reaction with Wataru Komada-san, who will appear as a guest in this second leading drama!
How do you feel about the TV anime “Ensemble Stars!” which started broadcasting in July? Nishiyama: It was great to be able to experience the distance with my whole body by interacting with the members of “Ryuseitai” again in the anime. (At first, Kanata Shinkai had only the image of a fluffy Fushigi-chan.) I thought it was wonderful that he was in a position like a mother because he was at her own pace, but he also had warmth.
Episode 13 is a mark for meteor corp. It has become an impressive number of stories. Nishiyama: It was the main episode. At first, I thought, “We were so disjointed!” The five cast members are also very close. Everyone loves the work, and it is a member who thinks that together they can face various hardships. Recently, when I held an event at Fuji-Q Highland, I became ill, but everyone took great care of me and saved me.
From January 20, the “A3!” TV series will also start. What do you feel is the charm of “A3!” Nishiyama: I think that the music and the scenario overlap deeply. Even singing makes me feel good. However, since the songs are all very difficult, I have a hard time recording every time (laughs).
Was there a time when you were able to grasp the feelings of Tsuzuru Minage, who your acting as? Nishiyama: A big trigger was seeing Yuuki Maekawa playing Tsuzuru on stage at Mankai Stage “A3!” I realized that singing on stage is different from the way we record songs. On stage, it means taking on the story up to that point and singing it. I thought the depth of this expression was great. Right after that, I sang a duet song (“Fukutsu no Chant”), and I was able to face it with a different consciousness than before.
Nishiyama-san, you are acting in various fields, but what do you find enjoyable about your work as a voice actor? Nishiyama: After all, it reaches people who see it, and there is a reaction. The most important things is that the characters are loved and enjoyed. I would be very happy if you could send me a letter, or a Twitter reply about what you felt there. That’s why I always try to tell them when I can, but I want to say “Thank you” properly again. I’m a little embarrassed though (laughs).
Do you have any friends that you are close with in private? Nishiyama: With Reona Irie-san and Yu Taniguchi-san, the activity called “Oimachi Cream Sauce da” allows you to lose track of time and create things. I’m in a creative position, such as ordering goods and arranging photoshoots for pamphlets. I am now able to think about what I’m doing. Also, another person I’m close with in private is Takuya Eguchi-san.
Coincidentally, Eguchi-san is on the cover of this issue. Nishiyama: That’s right! Really? It’s an honour to be in an issue with you! It’s strange to say that, but I think Eguchi-san is a friend that I really want to cherish (laughs). That’s why I try to maintain a good balance of distance, not getting too close even when I’m getting close. I would like to continue to get along with him.
Finally, please give a word to our readers. Nishiyama: I truly feel that I’m able to carry out my activities thanks to everyone’s support. In 2020, I would like to try many more things, so I would be happy if you could get involved through works, radio, events, etc., even when you suddenly remember. Let’s take care of each other’s health and do our best next year!
Column: My Christmas!
Ideally, I’d like to gather with important people while listening to Christmas songs. If Shugo Nakamura-san strums the guitar, it will be a stylish and cool party (laughs).