- What is your image of winter? Uchida: It’s really cold! (laughs) I’m not very good with the cold, but I like winter because I can get by with a lot of clothes. I like summer too… I like all seasons (laughs). I think the good thing about winter is that the air is clear. The starry sky looks beautiful, and the dry air makes me feel a little sadder.
- Please tell us an episode related to winter. Uchida: I can’t think of any episodes related to me, but… There are many happy events in winter, such as Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s Day. I like hearing happy stories from people about such events. When I feel that everyone is happy, I feel uplifted too. So, I often go out for a walk in town. It feels good to touch the cold air outside.
- What do you like to do in winter? Uchida: Kotatsu! After I became an adult, I don’t remember sitting under a kotatsu. Since I started living alone, I would like to eat a hot pot and play games under the kotatsu. Speaking of games, I have fond memories of playing GameCube under the kotatsu at my grandma’s house. Even though it was quite hot, I was still absorbed in playing (laughs).
Always in the spirit of “hit and break”. What started to change in that? Today, you had the opportunity to shoot with the concept of “transparency.” Uchida: I was thinking of going into the shoot without getting overwhelmed. I hope I was able to relax and get my pictures taken.
Are you very busy with work now? Uchida: Thank you very much. I like this job, so just being able to do it makes me very happy! Working hard towards a goal makes me feel positive.
Uchida-san, it will soon be six years since you joined the agency. Do you feel any changes? Uchida: When I first started working, I was immersed in the field, and I was filled with thoughts of what I should do. Recently, however, I feel that I have been able to think about various things, such as whether there is anything I can add to the play, and what role I should play on set.
At the beginning of the debut, it was the spirit of hit and break. Uchida: My life is always “Hit and break” (laughs) Even when I decided to become a seiyuu, I was prepared to be crushed. After all, you don’t know if it will break unless you hit it, and you won’t give up if it doesn’t. If it breaks down, I think you should think about it at that time.
It’s an important consideration. Looking back over the past five years, what do you remember most? Uchida: One of the things that strikes me about working here is that there are a lot of people with a tremendous amount of passion in this industry. Meeting people like that and creating something together is very attractive and fun. Who is Kaito Ishikawa? When I was working on my role for Idolmaster SideM, we exchanged a lot of opinions about acting. He is the type of person who thinks things over carefully and finds the answer within himself. People with passion are really cool, and I look up to him.
Inspired by such things in life. That’s a very nice thing. Uchida: Yes. I believe that being a voice actor is a job where you put all your energy into what you want to do and what is expected of you. So, I want to become a more passionate person myself.
You appeared many times in anime that started this month. You are the main character in the shogi themed “Ryuo no Oshigoto!” Uchida: It’s a work that I’ve been associated with since the drama CD that was released two years ago, so I’m happy to see it made into a TV anime. Yaichi Kuzuryu, who I play, is a professional shogi player who became a professional at the age of 15. The drama CD had comical content, but the anime depicts shogi, so I’m sure there will be something that will move your heart. I sometimes feel that the work of a professional shogi player is similar to that of a voice actor. I feel that the attitude of facing against all kinds of pressure and wearing down your mental strength, and the relationship of supporting and being supported by the people around you overlap. That’s why I can really sympathize while Yaichi-kun.
“Yowamushi Pedal Glory Line” is also a hot work. Uchida: It’s a clash of beliefs. Watching the performances of the seniors on set from behind, I could feel how they were breathing when they were riding their bicycles, and how there were squeezing all their energy out to the very end. They look really cool. Even before I became a voice actor, I had a desire to “extend my capabilities to the limit” so I had a kind of admiration for sports manga. “Yowamushi Pedal” in particular is a battle against the mental aspect. If you’re reading this right now, I’m sure you’re looking forward to the appearance of Yuto Shinkai. I’m also fighting not to lose to the seniors, so please wait a little longer until I appear!
On the other hand, “Sanrio Danshi” has a cute world view. Uchida: At the time of this interview, dubbing had not yet started, but I hope that it will be a work that will bring healing to everyone. Seiichirou Minamoto, who I play, is a boy who looks masculine, so I’m personally looking forward to hearing about his encounter with Cinnamoroll and his feelings. More than anything else, just seeing boys around his age playing around with Sanrio characters makes me feel at peace (laughs).
By the way, do Uchida-san have any character goods from Sanrio? Uchida: It’s a little different from goods, but when I was little, I would often go out wearing pants that my mother made out of Bad Badtz-maru cloth (laughs).
From December “The Idolm@ster SideM 3rd Live Tour ~ Glorious St@ge!~” begins. Uchida: Just when I thought it was decided to make it into a TV anime, the broadcast ended in no time. It was during the last live scene that Kaoru Sakuraba, who I play, was able to keep pace with everyone while everyone was united. That’s why the TV anime ended, I feel that this is the beginning.
For Uchida-san, “SideM”, was its existence a big thing? Uchida: Yes. I’ve always liked “The Idolmaster”, and to the extent that if it wasn’t for “The Idolmaster,” I wouldn’t have ventured into the voice acting industry. I never thought I would be on the side of acting. Because of our long association, we can follow various trends together, and I’m very happy to be able to share my thoughts with many producers as a fan.
Please give us your enthusiasm for the 3rd live tour. Uchida: 315 Pro for 3rd Live Tour, all production units and a total of 46 cast members will stand on stage and make a new start. Right now, I feel like I should do my best.
Uchida-san’s live performance is truly spectacular. Uchida: Since I’m only acting for the voice part, I don’t think I can be a perfect Kaoru. I understand that standing on stage with a character on your back is a part of the play, but I worked hard to realize the possibility that “Kaoru might do this kind of performance.” I can only what I’m allowed to do. It’s a challenge for me to maximize my potential and see how close I can get to Kaoru. I will do my best to make everyone feel Kaoru as much as possible.
Lastly, please tell us about your goals for 2018 that you wrote on the coloured paper. Uchida: It’s “Fly Anywhere.” It has the meaning of being able to go where you want to go and do what you want to do. I can fly anywhere, anytime! (laughs) I want to be that kind of person.