As time flows, he grasps the challenges that emerge, and while firmly embracing the thoughts that surround him, he moves forward with a certainty.
When I interviewed you for this magazine about a year ago, you said that you wanted to find your own uniqueness, rather than imitating someone else. Chiba: Before I turned 25, I wanted to move one step up. Over the past year, I’ve experienced many different workplaces, and what I felt was that the seniors, who have a firm sense of themselves, are wonderful. Somehow, I feel like I’m going around once (laughs). When you look back, if you have a swing that is unique to you and you can clearly say, “I was like this at that time,” then you won’t have any boring regrets. At least I was able to reduce that kind of depression, I think.
“Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun” To play the role with Mitsuru Minamoto-san and Megumi Ogata-san, who plays the role of Hanako-kun, was a big seed that you got as a 24-year-old. Chiba: When the light hits a wall, it tries to change, and the movement of the heart is very human-like. So, I think it was thanks to playing catch with Ogata-san that I was able to create a production in which I was able to express my own raw emotions without being bound by the framework of the anime. Moreover, she said, “It’s good that you speak as your emotions go.” At the same time, I once again learned that no matter how much I think I’m right, it’s not the “right answer” unless it is properly communicated to others. It made me want to become a person who can respond flexibly to directions.
Daiki Kobayashi-san, who has a close relationship with you, played the role of Sousuke Mitsuba, who is related to the growth of Minamoto. How was it? Chiba: Minamoto said to Mitsuba, “It’s noisy,” but it was really loud, so I was able to say it from the bottom of my heart (laughs). Mitsuba was more original than I had imagined, so I was able to create a scene that I had read many times in the original work, but in a good way betrayed my own expectations. It was fun just being able to play with my friends. I’m happy that it was meaningful being words.
As Ikeuchi in Gleipner, you played an important role outside of the main character. Chiba: It’s also impressive. It’s right to be hated, and it’s okay to be somewhat uncool. It was a character that explores the ugliness of human nature, so I felt sympathy for him, and it was a lot of fun playing him.
One of the real pleasures of being a voice actor is to act “cool” to the utmost limit, but Chiba-san finds it more rewarding to be “cool” in a human way. Chiba: It might be the other way around. There is also the longing that an actor can be trusted only when the third one is made, and perhaps the seniors who have a family saying of being “cool” say things like “uncool is cool” or “hot but cool.” I think that the pursuit of some kind of hook keeps it alive. I always try to remind myself that I shouldn’t create a character just for the sake of being “cool.” In the drama CD series “Carnelian Blood,” I think that the coolness of Toxin comes not only from the face, but also from the shaky inner side. It was a role that I really wanted to play from the time of the audition because I felt that he had a personality in him, rather than an attributed personality that was born in rational values.
Toxin says, “I’d rather burn out than rust.” What is Chiba-san’s own policy now? Chiba: I want to surprise myself. I guess I look at the finished product. I’m very happy when I feel that it was better than I expected.
In music activities, you were challenged to stream live as SparQlew. Chiba: I was really happy that they entrusted us with the setlist, and that the staff worked hard to make the most of it, and I think it was an irreplaceable experience for us as a unit. As an individual, I felt that it was my immaturity to link emotions and voice too much.
I think that the reason why you can feel that “eyes meet” is because you believe that there are fans on the other side of the camera. Chiba: If you ask me, yes. When I heard that the camera work was decided and done properly, I thought it was a matter of course. Unless you can see it there, no one can see it. But when the performance started, before I knew it, I felt like I was “connected” with the camera. All the members conveyed their heartfelt words, and it may be thanks to that that I felt very lively.
On the other hand, there were many events that were cancelled. Chiba: I really wondered what live performances and events mean to me. Perhaps there is a reason for us and the customers to get together, more than just a place to express our gratitude. Rather than just talking and singing, it’s “fun,” but it’s “fun” when the feelings of liking the works and songs related to it are the foundation, and it’s not just a part of the activities. I want works and units to be things that connect to the next stage and are things that make it even more exciting. Yes, that’s why I was keenly aware that it’s not something that can be filled with such a simple feeling.
Also, one thing that has changed significantly in the past year is that the radio work that you said you wanted to do more has been fulfilling. Chiba: I really appreciate it. Of course, the fact that I was able to start “Kontokoya Suki” with Ken Washizaki was also very important. I thought an hour would feel like a long time, but it flew by! But I think it would be great if we could continue for a long time, cherishing the atmosphere of the site, the feeling of being hungry, and the relationship with the listeners, which is created by recording one hour at a time.
What are your goals for the next year? Chiba: I’m a lazy person by nature, so if I’m left alone, I won’t do anything. So, if I just don’t think about anything and think about what will happen when I turn 30, I’ll try to surpass myself by the time I’m 26. You may not be able to see if you’ve achieved that goal but live your life so that you can recognize that you’re different from who you were last year. It’s not an exaggeration, but right now I’m facing all the auditions with the most determination, so I’m really happy with the role decided there. I will continue to do my best to bring you as many good news as possible!
Column: Little happiness
After 5 years, I bought a new smartphone. Until now, I’ve been using broken speakers, so I’m happy to have music playing in the room just by putting them down. It’s nice to listen to new songs!