Takuto Yoshinaga, Kaito Ishikawa, Daiki Yamashita (Voice Newtype 67 2018)

吉永 拓斗, 石川 界人, 山下 大輝

A boy meets girl about 100 years in the future, which begins when a boy meets a humanoid robot called hIE. Takuto Yoshinaga as Arato Endo, Kaito Ishikawa as Ryou Kaidai, Daiki Yamashita as Kengo Suguri, the head of the village, and the three main stars of “Beatless” talka about the fun of science fiction.

The ITV anime “Beatless” is based on a sci-fi novel by Satoshi Hase that was serialized in Monthly Newtype. What impression do you have of the genre “SF”? Yoshinaga: Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of older SF movies. Famous movies include “Star Wars,” “Back to the Future,” and “Blade Runner.” All of the works depict “that kind of era may come someday, but it’s magnificent world that would be difficult to see in person,” and it’s really exciting. I like it because it makes me think, “What if something like this happened?” Ishikawa: I think that “SF” is a genre that tests the receptiveness of the audience. There are unique settings and worldviews, but there is no end to the need for consistency. There are works that can be enjoyed by returning to a child’s mind and looking like a boy, and there are also works where you can enjoy the fun of finding your own conclusions by considering the settings from an adult’s point of view. I think it’s a genre where you find your own way of enjoyment. Yamashita: I think “SF” is “anything goes.” That’s why I like the creativity and thoughts of the people who make it. I think that is the genre that appears on the surface of the work. I think that “Beatless” also shows your originality. Even if there are works with similar settings, if you take a closer look, they are completely different. I believe that science fiction is a genre in which the personality of the writer comes out.

I see! What kind of impression do you have on the work “Beatless” from that science fiction point of view? Yoshinaga: When I first received the materials for setting the characters and the world, there were a lot of difficult terms such as “hIE” (the general terms for humanoid robots in this work) and “analog hacks” (described later). I felt a unique worldview and it aroused my curiosity. It made me wonder what would happen if this was made into an anime. Ishikawa: I’ve always like stories about the relationship between AI (artificial intelligence) and humans. I thought it would be nice if I could be involved in such a work someday in my life as a voice actor. I was happy that I was able to get involved in such an early stage. Also, I didn’t know how to pronounce “hIE” at first, so during the audition I read it as “hie” the whole time (laughs). Yamashita: The stage of “Beatless” is set in the not-too-distant future, and there is a sense of reality that this kind of era will really come. I’m looking for a work that allows you to experience both reality and fantasy at the same time.

Please tell us your impressions of the characters you are in charge of. Yoshinaga: Arato is frivolous (I thought it was just his personality) (laughs). but I don’t want you to misunderstand that he’s just that kind of person. He’s fragile, but he has a pure kindness in his heart. If someone is in trouble in front of him, he can impulsively help them. That kind of thing makes me want to follow suit. In the first place, where are the high school boys who can make sweet and sour pork? Actually, he’s a good guy. Ishikawa: Ryou has a different impression in the original work and in the anime. In the original, Ryou has a strong sociable side, but in the anime, when he interacts with Arato and Shiori, he suddenly changes his attitude. He is a brainy character and uses difficult words, but since I’m talking to Hiroshi Kamiya-san (who plays Ginga Watarai), it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by his senior’s acting. Yamashita: I was at the audition. (Village owner) gave me a picture of Kengo and there’s no light in the eyes. He had a bad expression. Seeing that, I thought he must be doing something behind the scenes. There is a gap between what he looks like when he is a student with Arato and behind the scenes. I wonder if there is a conflict between what he really wants to do and reality. I felt that he was involved in something big and that I was helpless.

Are there any similarities between you and the characters? Yamashita: Is Kaito-san (Ishikawa) a normal person? I always had the impression that he used difficult words, and I thought that was typical of him. Ishikawa: Do I use difficult words? Yamashita: Maybe for me (laughs). Yoshinaga: Before I received the script, the manager asked me, “Who do you think will play Ryou?” I thought you were a foreigner. Ishikawa: Thank you. Actually, I was auditioning for the role of Kengo. But when I heard about the character, I thought it might not be me. On the day I received the manuscript, I was given the role as Ryou. At that time, I asked Director Mizushima-san, “What kind of person is receiving Kengo?” Yamashita: Haha. Kengo is swept away. He may have a similar sweet spot (laughs). Ishikawa: Certainly, when I went up on stage with Yamashita-san at an event for another work, I thought Yamashita-san wouldn’t be able to overwhelm me (laughs). Yamashita: Kaito-san’s improvisation is unreasonable. It was the first time in a while.

How about Arato? Yoshinaga: Arato is a life-sized character who is close to my age, and there are many things that inspire me, so I feel that he is close to me. Especially when it comes to Arato’s reaction to being toyed with by Lacia, I’m doing it while thinking that I might be like that too. Ishikawa: I’ve been working with Takuto-kun on another project for a long time, but I never thought we’d be able to work together again so soon. At first, my manager asked me, “Who do you think will play Arato?” but I had no idea. When I was told that it was Yoshinaga-san, I was surprised to hear that it was Takuto Yoshinaga-kun. At the post-recording site, Takuto-ku is being teased like Arato. Sorry, I always mess around. Yoshinaga: No, no!

Arato is said to be “easy”, what do you think about that? Ishikawa: I think it’s like a high school boy. Even if you are objectively an “hIE”, subjectively you are a girl. If I get my body close to you, my heart will be pounding. I think it’s healthy. Yoshinaga: When I read Arato’s reaction in the script when he was called by Lacia as “San”, I wondered if he would react this far. However, during the recording the other day, Nao Touyama-san (playing Lacia) called me, “Should I call you by “san” too, Takuto-san?” I’m confused. As I waited, I thought Arato’s reaction was correct! Ishikawa: It’s a little devil (laughs). Yoshinaga: I thought this may have been “analog hacked” by Higashiyama-san. Ishikawa: In short, it’s demonic (laughs).

The “analog hack”, which has just been talked about, is “inducing human consciousness by taking advantage of the nature of humans instinctively having various emotions in human-shaped objects.” What do you guys think about the “click factor?” Ishikawa: It’s called “Analog Hack.” I think it’s a common way of thinking in the work of an actor. We alternate “analog hacks.” I think I’m doing a job that repeats itself over and over again. Yamashita: Certainly, sometimes I want to induce someone to act out. Ishikawa: It might be something like a woman’s heart. I ask the other person, “What do you want to eat?” (laughs). Yoshinaga: If you think that everything is “analog hacking”, you will become sceptical (smile). Ishikawa: Acting in an attempt to impress others is also an “analog hack.” Being able to “analog hack”. It may be close to becoming an adult (laughs).

It’s funny. So, what do you all think about the theme of this work, “Do things have a heart?” Ishikawa: I don’t think so! Yamashita: It’s the same. If disposable chopsticks have a heart, they will become difficult to use. Therefore, even if “hIE” becomes available in the future, it will still be a convenient tool, like a voice recognition assistant terminal such as “Google Home,” that will cook and clean for you. I think that it’s close to “hIE”. Ishikawa: I think it’s up to humans to feel the heart in things. if I had to choose between a new luxury watch or a 100-year old reasonably priced watch, it would probably be the latter. Arato was quick to develop feelings for her, and soon became able to empathize with Lacia… I think that’s what it means. Yoshinaga: Either human life or things, choose one! I think a normal person would choose “human life.” But Arato gets lost because he can’t let go of things there. On the contrary, I like Arato’s single-mindedness.

So, what are you looking forward to in the future development of “Beatless?” Ishikawa: Director Mizushima-san told me not to read the original work. If the original was made into a movie as it is, it would be difficult to see it as a work. He said that in the anime version he was conscious of that and reconfigured it for the video. However, since he was reading the original at that time, he could understand various things as to whether this part had been restructured. I’m looking forward to seeing how the future anime version will be structured until the end. As directed by Director Mizushima-san, I haven’t read the original work, so I approach the work based on the impression I get when I read the script. It looks like there will be more and more thrilling scenes in the future… If possible, I hope Kengo doesn’t die. Yoshinaga: Me too. I still don’t know what will happen after this. However, no matter what the ending is, I want to be Arato until the end and be “analog-hacked” by Lacia and the others.

Column: New myself

  1. Takuto Yoshinaga

I want to learn English conversation. I wanted to know what my favourite artists were singing in English. I have more opportunities to come into contact with English than before, so I think it would be great if I could master it.

  • Kaito Ishikawa

I think I should study so that I can qualify. This year marks my 8th year as an artist. In the future, I would like to find something useful in my life.

  • Daiki Yamashita

I would like to have a pet. I think that the sense of responsibility of taking care of one’s life will give one’s current life a sense of vitality. Also, I’ve been watching cat videos all the time, so that’s one of the reasons why I’m getting tired of it (laughs).


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