Recently, voice actors have been appearing on TV more and more, and Junya Enoki-san, who plays the leading role in popular works, is no exception. However, even in the middle of the hustle and bustle, his appearance does not change. Quietly, indifferently, single-mindedly pursue what you are aiming for, and speak truthfully.
This year, “Jujutsu Kaisen” was a big hit, and the chances to see Enoki-san on variety TV programs have increased. Enoki: I think that the increase in my name recognition as the role of Yuuji Itadori in “Jujutsu Kaisen” had a great impact on me, such as appearing on TV and doing more narration work. The TV industry is using more and more voice actors… it feels fresh, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing.
Naotarou Moriyama-san participated as an advisor when you did the post-recording of “Kakuunu” Bokumo “Original Voice Comic.” Enoki: I acted. It was a project in which Moriyama-san experienced post-recording of my role, and it was interesting because it was a rare opportunity. I can feel the difference. I learned a lot. When I work as a voice actor, I feel like I’m just making more and more. Moriyama-san said that he would play a role in a drama. The director often tells us not to overdo it.
About the post-recording experience, Moriyama-san said, “It will still be difficult to put emotion into it, so you must try.” I’m also interested in the story. Enoki: Moriyama-san makes it natural for you to be conscious of only the sound of your body. That feeling was interesting and inspiring. Especially recently, the difficulty of the job as a voice actor has been discussed. I felt it more than ever…
What do you mean by that? Enoki: The “feeling” that I aim for at the animation site neither adding to nor subtracting from affection, a play that emits lines without lies. I think it’s hard to do. That is a feeling that I know, during my own interval I can’t say the lines in that scene. Playing in a space that recreates the harsh environment. There’s something wrong with that. In the process of gaining experience, it works well when the conditions are right. While I’ve come to understand the “ku”, I’m keenly aware that it’s not easy to get that right in the anime field, and i feel that I’m still searching for a way to make it work. I haven’t found it yet, but I have to keep looking. Because I chose such a profession (smile). The more you do it, the more difficult it becomes.
Were there any realizations while feeling the difficulty? Enoki: I think I’m influenced by the ideas of my current voice teacher. He has worked in the United States for a long time, so his way of thinking is Western style. For example, if you are told to “relax your back muscles,” you usually think, “I need to relax your back muscles,” and only focus on your back… It’s not like that, I just do it somehow.
Is it easy to understand if you say that it’s the same feeling as when imitating? Isn’t that what you’re doing? Enoki: I think that image of the body is very important for theatrical performances, so I’m trying to get that feeling into my body.
Did you notice that recently? Enoki: I’ve been told this for about a year and a half, but I still haven’t been able to grasp it. I’ve been able to grasp that recently. After that, it got a lot easier. I kept thinking, “Why is it not going well?” Diligent… I tried to do it reliably, but I couldn’t do it well, so I cherished the image of my body without thinking. So, when you’re done, you think about it again. I think that if the image of the body becomes more and more familiar to the body, it will change considerably. I think my proficiency level is still around 30%, so it will take at least another two years.
In the TV anime “Ryman’s Club”, which will began airing in January, you play the main character, Takeru Shiratori, a badminton player for society. Enoki: It depicts both the life of an office worker and the life of a badminton player, so I think it is a work that is twice as interesting. It seems that the producer has been playing badminton for a long time, and his love for badminton is very strong, so the game scenes are realistic and powerful.
Office worker and badminton player, where did you pull each element from when you acted? Enoki: I also work, so I think I know the side of being a company employee. As a badminton player, I can understand how sports win and lose… and I usually hold auditions to clearly separate those who get selected and those who don’t. That’s how I put myself in the place and started thinking.
Also starting in January, in the anime “Tokyo 24-ku”, you play the main character, Shuuta Aoi. Enoki: Like “Ryman’s Club,” it is an original work, but the story is full of mysteries and unpredictable. There are two ultimate choices, such as “If I help this one, I can’t save this one.” The action is dynamic and visually enjoyable, and I’m curious about how the relationship between the three childhood friends Shuuta, Ran Akagi, and Kouki Suidou will develop.
In 2022, there will be works that have already been announced. What year would you like it to be? Enoki: So that I can earn rent for the time being (laughs). There are more and more young people coming out, and one of the decisive factors in passing an audition is whether or not they are fresh as voice actors. I’m neither a newcomer nor fresh, so if I don’t take any measures, my work will definitely decrease. That’s why I feel that I need to improve my technique, as well as the “image of the body” I talked about earlier.
Finally, continuing from last time, you recently felt joy, anger, sorrow. Enoki: I guess the joy was in opening a securities account (laughs). I’ve always wanted to do stocks, so I’m happy to finally have an account. I don’t feel particularly angry. Sadness is having trouble falling asleep. I feel sad when I spend my time in bed in agony until I can sleep (laughs). Happiness is to be able to go home early. I don’t have the opportunity to record with a large number of people, and that’s part of the pain, but it’s nice to be able to go home early… It’s always difficult, isn’t it?
Column: Happy holidays
Unfortunately, I’m not interested in city illuminations at all (laughs), but at Christmas there will be a movie called “Jujutsu Kaisen 0,” and at New Year’s, the movie “Spider-Man: No Way Home” will be released. I’m looking forward to seeing it in theatres.