During the shooting, he responds to the cameraman’s request and shows a gallant expression, and in between, he makes fun of the scene. Appearing on distribution programs, etc. However, Toyonaga himself does not feel that he is providing services, and says, “I just want to enjoy my work.” An entertainer at heart, he takes the current situation seriously and seeks a direction in which he should proceed.
Events have been postponed or cancelled, and you’re still unable to meet your fans. Please tell us what you thought during this period. Toyonaga: As for the voice acting industry, I don’t think it’s been a big blow to me since I’ve been asked to record alone or with a small number of people. However, the staff will have to do the same work repeatedly. I really admire the staff who take care of us and set up the studio. I’m worried about the people who support me behind the scenes, because the number of jobs such as events and live performances is extremely decreasing. I’ll be on stage again. I also have the opportunity to experience the hardships of my colleagues in the same industry. It’s not just the economic situation of the actors, it’s also depriving the fans who are looking forward to the stage of their hobbies and relaxation. I just wish it would converge soon.
Under such circumstances, the “Honda Theatre Distance Tour” was a performance that was in line with the times, with live streaming. Toyonaga: It was my first time on stage in about a year, and the rehearsal period was short, so I was the most nervous in my life. I’m the type of person who puts the lines into my body, so I repeat them over and over again during rehearsals so that my body remember them. If the rehearsal period is short, it will feel like an overnight immersion (laughs).
How was co-starring with Shogo Yano-san, who is a junior at the agency? Toyonaga: So, I told him, “You don’t have to worry about it at all, so do what you want to do.” It’s a two-person play, so we have no choice but to overcome it with teamwork. I feel that the stage was created by the two of us while supporting each other during the actual performance. I want to do something more refined with Yano-kun. However, when it comes to the “Honda Theatre Distance Tour,” I think we were able to show the best form possible in the limited time we have.
“Dragon Quest Dai no Daibouken” starts in October. How do you feel about being cast in a movie that you watched as a child? Toyonaga: When my appearance was decided, there was nothing but pressure. Right now, I think I’m going to cut myself off and just perform pop in my own way. I want to take an approach that in I can only do because I know the original work well. Because I like it, I have a clear image of the character, so I focus on how much I can embody the pop that I have in mind.
How did you approach it? Toyonaga: As I continued to research, I realized that my approach might be similar to that of Keiichi Namba, the previous pop actor. I thought that if I did it in my own way, people might be able to feel the pop image of Namba-san’s performance, and from there on I’d try not to think about it strangely. I don’t think it’s right to imitate, so I’d like to come up with an approach where you can feel the scent of Namba-san’s pop from the new pop that I’m performing.
Previously, you said that you set a theme for each work you appear in, but what is the theme for “Dai no Daibouken?” Toyonaga: I can’t say it yet! (laughs) It’s a challenge, so I won’t know if I’ve achieved it until after I’m done. Please listen to it again when the broadcast ends (laughs). However, apart from the theme of each work, I find myself getting more stubborn each year, so I try to be consciously flexible. I want to create a situation where I can easily throw away my prejudices. I think I have more drawers and materials to create new things after throwing them away than when I was younger. I’m sure there are many things that I’ve lost by being stubborn, and I don’t think I need to lose them now, so I’m thinking of being broad and flexible.
Similarly, there is the anime “A3!”, which started in October. How does it feel to play the 27-year old Homare Arisugawa again in a TV anime? Toyonaga: I think that there is also the aim of the production side as a TV animation, so rather than just playing Homare at the beginning of the app, I want to act “flexibly” after knowing the aim of the animation. By acting together with the members of the Winter Troupe, I think things that I couldn’t express in the game will come out, so it might be like resetting once and cooking up a new Homare.
How do you feel about performing the same scene again? Toyonaga: At the time, if I had the feeling that I should have done better, I think I could take it as a chance to be able to do it again. It doesn’t feel like revenge. I always want to act with a fresh feeling.
Touching the Winter Troupe for the first time in anime, what kind of places would you like people to see? Toyonaga: Like the other groups, the winter group has strong quirks, but since they’re adults in terms of age, they have deep feelings. Well, suddenly fantasy elements will be added, so I hope you enjoy that kind of mysterious world and the way the Winter Troupe flies away.
How about your own music activities? Toyonaga: I have a lot of things I want to do, but thankfully I have a lot of things I want to do as an actor, and it’s hard to find the time to put them into action. In the same way, the staff members are also busy, so I’m saying that first we must coordinate our schedules. There are so many things I want to do! Please wait patiently.
Lastly, please give a message to your fans. Toyonaga: In a world where the entertainment sector is becoming more difficult to move in, I have nothing but gratitude for those who are reading this interview. We can’t have a job without people who look at us and who enjoy our work, so we are very grateful to have people around us. I think that there are many people who are stressed out or find it difficult to live, so I hope that after reading this article you will feel that there are people who have not given up yet… Also, I would be happy if you could remember me when your heart is about to break.
Column: Little Happiness: City Scenery
After the state of emergency was declared, when I left my house, I felt that the scenery I could see, the chirping of birds, and the wind blowing made me think that it would be nice to leave, and that the city was alive. At that time, I thought, I’m so happy, I hope this continue forever.