Seiichirou Yamashita (Voice Newtype Vol. 81 2021)


Face the given role with sincerity and do your best. Evaluate that attitude Seiichirou Yamashita, who has been steadily accumulating appearances, including not only the leading and main characters, but also nameless minor roles. Although he has a strong colour, he has expanded his range of activities, staring with stage appearances, to radio programmes and writing magazine columns. Now that the milestone of 10 years has begun to be seen, where is he headed?

When you appeared in 2017, it was the time where “Orange” (Kakeru Naruse) and “Touken Ranbu” series (Toushirou Yagen) were becoming a hot topic. Looking back from then until now, what role was the turning point for you? Yamashita: The big one is the role of Shougo Yumekawa of the male idol team that appears in “Idol Time PriPara.” Of course, it was rewarding to act, but he was also the first character to challenge the mainstream of young voice actors, “singing and dancing,” but he was very selfish. It has contributed to my own growth. Even after the TV broadcast ended, he continued to perform live performances for many years, and in 2018, I experienced performing on stage with my whole body. In that sense I use my own body, I have to pay more attention to my thinking and efforts in my daily life, so I have come to realize that being a voice actor who sings, and dances is not something that is half done. I still feel like I’m not good at dancing, but as I stood on stage and sang and danced repeatedly, I naturally gained courage. It’s like, “I’ve practised so much, I can do it.” I feel that the experience of overcoming that confidence and nervousness has been put to good use as the foundation of my acting and voice acting career. The length of time I have been involved in for five years, the density, and the richness of it all make it a really big core, or rather, the foundation.

Yamashita-san has appeared in many films and has played a wide variety of roles. Yamashita: I’m grateful that i don’t have a fixed image of what kind of role I want to play, and I’m given the chance to play a variety of roles.

Do you have any worries about switching roles? Yamashita: Putting aside the good and bad, I think I’m the type who doesn’t get stuck in a single role. In recent years, I’ve been able to play a variety of roles, and I’ve come to feel that voice actors need to make efforts to think about the work and characters in such a short period of time. It’s always been a challenge. In that sense, James Moriarty in “Kabukichou Sherlock” reminded me of the difficulty of acting with only voice. I learned by reading books and watching movies, but I think viewers can feel the fear of this type of human being because they can’t read their emotions from their expressions and the discomfort they feel when they act casually. It’s only possible with pictures, so it was difficult to express it with just my voice, and I experienced a lot of pain in the process of creating it. But in the second half, I was able to use some ad-libs, so I thought the work was really fun. Doing something that is not in the lines without permission, it’s a double-edged sword for an actor, but I’m grateful to the sound director for accepting it. But I still feel like I’m dragging my feet around with no resolution.

Keep searching for your own correct answer. It means that you are running. Yamashita: Yes, in 2020, the role that left an impression on me was Kosame Isshiki in “Appare-Ranman!” It was just around the time we entered the pandemic, and this was the first time I experienced post-recording with a small group of people. Unlike the character I’ve played so far, Kosame is a comedy-relief role with a good physique that requires gags, so it was also a new challenge. It was also a good time for me, I got comments on Twitter from fans in the United States, and I was happy to think that the work I appeared in was being watched overseas.

When the real event was cancelled, you were able to interact with fans on SNS. Yamashita: I agree. “Horimiya” (playing Tooru Ishikawa) which was created after the new recording method was introduced, is also impressive.

A boy meets girl story, depicting the daily life of high school students. Yamashita: The main characters, Hori and Miyamura, have a special way of meeting and interacting with each other precisely because it is an anime, but the flow of the script that makes it exquisitely realistic is also wonderful, and Haruka Tomatsu-san (who plays Kyouko Hori) and Kouki Uchiyama’s (Izumi Miyamura) acting is good. Miyamura and Tooru often flirted with each other, so in those scenes I would like to thank Nobuhiko Okamoto-san for Kakeru Sengoku and Daiki Yamashita-san for Shuu Iura. While being led by my seniors and learning from them, when I interact with Yurie Kozakai-san, who plays Yuki Yoshikawa, and Reina Kondou-san, who plays Sakura Kouno, I’m the one who gives the intentions and triggers for the play… I think that Tooru was a delicious role with a position that works in all directions. “Horimiya” was the first work in a long time since “Orange” to have the natural atmosphere and theatricality that I like. Taking advantage of what I learned in “Orange” of “trying to do it naturally is already unnatural,” I was conscious of the flow of the story and the exquisite sense of balance and making decisions. I feel that making a decision and cutting out what needs to be cut out is the part where I was able to grow.

In October, the 2nd season of “86” has aired. Yamashita: To be honest, from the audition stage, I thought there might be someone who would be a better match, but it’s hard to decide the image of the voice based on the character’s physical characteristics right away. I regretted that I had been so naïve. Of course, I’m conscious of the low pitch of his voice, but more than that, once I get to know Raiden’s personality and peculiarities, acting becomes a lot more fun. He portrays a harsh world without any compromises, and although there are some painful scenes, he is a charming and dramatic character who tries his best to be cool and snobbish. In the second season, the changes in the survivors become clear, so I can sympathize with their way of life and their worries, I think it will be easier to take it directly as something that belong to you. “Gyakusekai no Denchi Shoujo” is a work with a penetrating passion that says, “As long as it’s fun, it’s all good.” Hosomichi Kudou, who I play, is the main character, but the main character is the heroine. So, in terms of my position, it’s the only common-sense tsukkomi role, so in a way it’s a delicious role, and it’s a fresh role for me as well. I hope you can enjoy it without thinking too much about it.

What are your resolutions and goals for the 10th anniversary of your debut? Yamashita: In terms of age, I’m 30 years old, but I think it would be nice if the role I play changes as I get older. I want to live properly and gain experience so that I can use my own changes as feedback. My goal is not to be a “chameleon actor,” but to keep changing.

Column: Recommended movies for long autumn nights: Setoutsumi

It’s a movie I watch regularly, and the acting by Masaki Suda and Sosuke Ikematsu is really good. The length of the fries, and the fact that the two of them just keep on talking about something that doesn’t really matter, is interesting and I like it. It’s a movie that I want to be able to act in.


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