Shintarou Asanuma (Voice Newtype Vol. 74 2019)

浅沼 晋太郎

He is also a screenwriter and director of the entertainment unit “bpm” which belongs to him. He also participated as a cast member in popular content such as “A3!” and “Hypnosis Mic.” What kind of year has this been for Asanuma-san? 

I feel like I’ve seen Asanuma-san here and there this year. It was a year with more live performances than ever before. “Ensemble Stars! Starry Stage 2nd ~ in Nippon Budokan~” in January, and “A3! Blooming Live 2019”. Asanuma: I avoid singing in front of people as much as possible (laughs). It was an unbelievable year. That said, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to receive the power of the costumers directly. I think that I will have to get involved in live content from now on, so I think I’ll get used to it little by little.

It’s different from appearing in front of people on stage. Asanuma: The stage and live performances are completely different. Since there is a script for the stage play, I know in advance what will happen next. Of course, the reaction of the audience is different for each stage, so strictly speaking, no two performances are exactly the same, but basically, I have some idea of how it will begin and how it will end. On the other hand, it is impossible to predict what will happen to talk events and live performances. Especially when it comes to the stages I create myself, there are almost no ad-libs. For example, wouldn’t it be a problem if a lightning person on stage said, “The audience is laughing so loud, let’s brighten it up today.” But live, it can happen. It’s a completely different thing, so I’m still very nervous.

How is your job as a stage and voice actor? Are you in balance? Asanuma: When I participate in a work as a performer, I naturally don’t see myself as a creator. If it was a live performance, I would suggest things like, “How about doing this?” I’ll keep it around.

Completely changing the channel. Asanuma: I personally think it’s better that way. I don’t want people to think I’m a difficult actor to handle (laughs). I don’t want to leave my mark on my mark. Even in anime, if possible, I don’t want my name on the credits.

Are you embarrassed? Asanuma: Not embarrassed. Anime is often an ensemble drama. In that context, I think that leaving strong claw marks might end up adding strong flavour to the dish. That’s why I play with the belief that I can’t be more or less than the position and role that I’ve been given.

Thinking like a director. Asanuma: If the producer or director gives me an instruction to leave a mark, I will gladly leave it, but basically I think it should be firmly within that framework. Even though I say I’m switching channels between the creator and the performer, if they think so, it may be that director and screenwriter Shintaro Asanuma still remains. As a director, I like “actors who don’t stick out,” and I don’t approve of the weird tension that only Chiagikau has (laughs). I think that the first day and the final performance should be the same.

I was surprised to hear that Asanuma-san will be releasing a photo book. Did you have any thoughts? Asanuma: There is no change of mind at all (laughs). I had been approached several times before for a photobook from other places, and I was thinking of turning it down again, but the enthusiasm of the photographer, Hirokazu Kobayashi-san, was amazing. If I’m asked to do so, I do my best to accept it, but when it is difficult, I make it a point to clearly explain the reason for refusal. That’s why I met him face-to-face and told him why I couldn’t give him a good answer about the photobook. Then Kobayashi-san said, “Just as there are things that Asanuma-san doesn’t want to do, there are things I don’t want to do. How long would you like to talk?” he said. Then I thought it might be okay to do it. As a result, almost all of my hops and ideas were fulfilled. I didn’t want to leave any marks, but in a sense, I decided to create a work that had only my own works. So, let’s try to be completely selfish. Kobayashi-san found all of them amusing. I was very grateful.

About next year’s work. The anime “A3!” will finally start in January. Asanuma: I got the impression that it was a very carefully crafted piece. Games are recorded by one person, and the exact length is not decided, but in anime, the entire cast gathers to record, and no matter what happens, the length is decided. I have to apply my performance to the inside. Furthermore, in games, the physical distance between character is almost invisible, but in anime, you can see it with your own eyes. Every time I’m worried about whether people will accept the difference in my acting. I once again felt that it was difficult to do something that I had taken for granted for many years. That said, I would like the viewers to enjoy watching those characters start to move.

“Hypnosic Mic” has added a new division and is showing even more excitement. Asanuma: Isn’t it a little strange that Metlife Dome 2 Days will be decided after Osaka Castle Hall 2 Days as early as 2 years? Even people who don’t usually like anime or games know about the content called “Hypnosis Mic.” I’m happy, but I feel like I’m being caught in a long-span surprise (laughs). Now that I’m involved in something that is developing at this speed, I feel that I need to study more to keep up with it, rather than just being carried away. I feel that what I can do will become simpler when the content becomes this large. I have no choice but to improve.

In an interview with “KiKi”, Shinichirou Kamio-san mentioned Asanuma-san as a drinking companion. Do you like alcohol? Asanuma: It’s been a few years since I started drinking alcohol. It’s not that I’m strong, and I can only drink whiskey. Kamio-san is a Cinderella who gets sleepy at midnight (laughs). On the other hand, maybe because I’m a screenwriter, I’ve always been a right person. But I almost never go out drinking with voice actors. Everyone is busy, so I refrain from doing it. I haven’t drunk alcohol in a long time, so now I don’t know where to go drinking alone, so I go to magic bars and ghost story bars that have fun other than drinking. Going to a lively izakaya alone can be intimidating and going to a quiet bar makes me nervous. In the midst of all this, there’s something calming about watching a show where you don’t get stuck.

Finally, is there anything you would like to say to your fans? Asanuma: This year was the year when I really felt that “It’s not natural that there will be another one.” People who I thought would be there for a long time suddenly disappeared, or the work ended. So, instead of saying, “If there is an opportunity,” I want you to create your own opportunities, see what you want to see, and go see the people you want to meet. And if you have a feeling you want to convey, it doesn’t matter if you’re bad at it, I want you to do it more and more. That’s what I keep telling myself.

Column: My Christmas!

I love movies, so I yearn from Christmas unfolding on the other side of the screen. I don’t want thieves breaking in like I did in “Home Alone,” and I don’t want to go through the building’s air vents like they did in “Die Hard” (laughs).


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