Gakuto Kajiwara (Seiyuu Men Vol. 19 2020)

梶原 岳人

The long-awaited artist debut, how are you feeling now? Kajiwara: Honestly, I’m very happy. I have loved music ever since I was a child and have played instruments such as the piano and guitar for many years. I was surprised when I was given the job so quickly on top of that.

Were you making an appeal that you wanted to do music activities? Kajiwara: No, I didn’t really put it out myself, but I always said that I like music, so maybe that’s why I was given this chance, I think.

Is that so. What kind of music have you been listening to so far? Kajiwara: Ever since I was little, I have liked the songs of live bands. I especially listened to Mr. Children. I bought their albums when I was in elementary school. I spent my high school years abroad, so I played only Western music, but I have always liked band music. In addition, I was influenced by my parents to play Yumin (Matsutoya Yumi). Also, I also like old folk songs. I listen to them a lot.

I heard that you actively participated in the production. Kajiwara: First, we had a discussion to decide the direction of the song. At that time, I said, “As straight as possible. I’d like to do something that doesn’t look like a dress-up,” I suggested. I wanted to make music that doesn’t look cool, both the music and the lyrics.

So that’s it. By the way, what is the meaning behind the title “A Walk?” Kajiwara: Originally, the letter “A” was very important to me. It’s sometimes used to refer to characters that don’t exist, and that’s also the first role a new voice actor takes on. They aren’t given names in the play, but the voice actors themselves still have names, and I think “Murajin A” in the story is living his own life. Even if you are just a “Friend A” or “company employee A” at first, if you work hard and accumulate relationships and achievements, there is a possibility that your name will be called by people around you. I was no one at that time, and that is where I started.

Is it the “A” that stands for yourself? Kajiwara: That’s right. Another thing is that it’s the ED theme of “Black Clover,” and Asta who I play is exactly that kind of character. Gradually, it was loved by many people and began to be called by its name. That’s why this “A” is also related to Asta’s “A.”

It’s crowded, isn’t it? Kajiwara: The themes depicted in “Black Clover” are very hot and straight. Originally, there was something in common with the direction in which I wanted to express myself. That’s why I think I was able to balance to both in a natural way. I sang this song not as Astra, but as Gakuto Kajiwara, but the fact that I have been playing Asta for three years has become an important part of my life. I was able to incorporate my feelings and the worldview of the work into my songs without difficulty, and I thought that was the right way to do it.

Kajiwara-san, you have sung many character songs, but what kind of difference do you feel between singing as a character and as yourself? Kajiwara: This is just my case, but rather than singing as a character, singing as myself is smoother, and I feel like I’ve just stepped into the world of music. I think I was able to express my feelings more directly, and it was very easy to do.

Were there are some phrases that you particularly resonated with? Kajiwara: After all, I wanted to create a part that was linked to “Black Clover,” so I was asked to include various phrases that were reminiscent of the work, such as “magic,” “oath,” and “limits that should be surpassed.” Impressive, isn’t it? I think the song is full of energy so that when you hit a wall or stumble, you can escape from it. It’s also a theme that I put into it, so I was able to particularly relate to it.

Kaji-san was a rookie when he debuted three years ago. Now you can clearly hear the voices of many people calling your name. Kajiwara: Hmm, I feel like people are starting to get to know me little by little (laughs). Because there are so many of them, so the “voice calling me” isn’t very clear, and it sounds like ringing in the ears from far away (laughs).

(Smile) The MV is quite emotional. I was surprised at how well it was expressed. Kajiwara: I was able to do it without embellishing it with an image that was close to my own. Of course, I think everyone is somewhat like that, but in my case, it is said that it is quite remarkable in that case (laughs).

Kajiwara-san has a relaxed and self-paced atmosphere when he’s talking to someone. For example, do you sometimes get emotional when you are alone? Kajiwara: There are things (laughs). There are things that I hate to lose, feelings that are too hot, things that aren’t very beautiful, and if possible, I don’t want to show them. I approached the filming with a sense that was closer to my own nature, and with the addition of video, I could use not only voice but also changes in facial expressions and fine hand movements, so I felt that my range of expression had expanded.

Your emotions fluctuate wildly, but you never give up and stay positive. Kajiwara: Yes, I live with the feeling that I want to somehow break through the status quo and look back. I am still in the middle of a struggle, but I have high goals to aim for, and I am always motivated to go higher and higher. I will do my best. I always wanted to write a love song.

The coupling song “Orange” was written by you. Kajiwara: I proposed that I wanted to write the lyrics. I’ve always loved music with a nostalgic atmosphere, and many of the lyrics are found in love songs that make you look back on the past and feel sadness. When I was in a band, I had the experience of writing songs and lyrics, but at the time I couldn’t write songs like that. So, if one day I can write songs freely, I definitely want to write a nostalgic love song.

How was it actually written? Kajiwara: It was more difficult than I thought. Up until now, I’ve been adding lyrics to my own melodies on the spot, so I didn’t have to worry about inserting the lyrics. But this time, I had to guess the lyrics that fit perfectly with the song I received, so sometimes the words I wanted to put in didn’t fit well, and that was a struggle until the very end. It’s no use thinking about it all the time until the day before the deadline.

I was able to write it all at once. Kajiwara: In the end, I think we came up with something we were happy with. It’s like watching an old film, and I think it’s a song that makes you feel like you’re looking back, and your heart tightens.

Were the lyrics based on your own experiences? Kajiwara: No, I have a little bit of real experience, but I make up for most of it with my imagination. I want people to listen to it, and it would be great if we could deliver this music to people who don’t usually watch anime.

Your reputation as a voice actor is increasing, including winning the Best New Actor at this year’s Seiyuu Awards. Do you feel yourself growing? Kajiwara: Of course, I think there are areas where I have grown. There are times when feel very frustrated there.

There are plays that can only be played in the present, and at the same time, there are plays that cannot be reproduced in the past. Kajiwara: That’s right. I think it’s true that there are plays that can only be done at that time, but even so, I still think that I’m still lacking in experience, and I’m going to play various characters in the future. I feel that it is absolutely necessary to raise my level to do so.

Which is your favourite? Kajiwara: There are many, but if I had to pick one, it would be a love story. I often get to play to play a hot protagonist like Asta, and it’s a lot of fun, but it’s the opposite of my personality (laughs). I’m gloomier and more negative, so far example, I feel like I can play a role that is close to me, such as a boy who is worried about a romantic relationship, so I would like to try it.

On the other hand, you want to be able to create a play that only you can. Kajiwara: Yes, we have been doing projects by inviting a variety of guests based on the concept of making friends, but recently we have taken a step forward and have been doing more and more individual projects. It’s fun to expand what you can do.

Did you actually make more friends? Kajiwara: That’s right. Whether it’s seniors, juniors, or people of the same generation, the number of people I talk to has increased significantly. I feel like my life has become easier (laughs).

Voice actor, solo artist. The fans are happy to see Kajiwara-san in various fields such as YouTube. Kajiwara: I guess I’m not very good at pretending. If so, I’m happy.


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