The word I chose to represent this year is “advance.” It is said that the environment surrounding entertainment has seen a bright sign, and that it also contains the determination to progress and evolve. His eyes were already staring into the future, frankly saying that he wanted to act more and more, and that he felt frustrated.
What was 2020 like for you? Kumagai: It was a year that reaffirmed the joy and gratitude of being able to work. While hoping to be able to record with all the performers as soon as possible, on the other hand, I renewed my determination to do what I can do in the current situation without rushing. In my private life, I enjoy reading manga, watching professional wrestling broadcasts, and watching videos on the internet for a change of pace. Nogami Sho-san told me about the performances recommended by Team NACS, and I bought the DVD.
In the anime, “TsukiPro The Animation S2” you play Hiro Yuzuki, “Yokai Gakuen Y ~ N to no Sugu~, you played a wide range of roles, including the role of Oujiro. Kumagai: I have been in charge of Yuzuki since the drama CD, but this is the first time he appeared in the anime. It was refreshing to interact with members other than QUELL, where he is the manager. Yuzuki’s “ordinary sensibility”, which does not waver even after going through various events, is felt from him. That normalcy is also a difficult part, but I’m acting while thinking that I can convey the charm that comes from that. Oujiro, who I was in charge of voicing in “Yokai Gakuen Y”, has a straightforward personality and a strong sense of justice in his own way. However, he was a very worthwhile character to play, as he was troubled and shaken over his friendship with Gomanda Suguru, played by Teruyuki Tanzawa. The playful parts that he occasionally shows are also good. I feel like an older brother. Recording was a lot of fun.
Next year, you play roles in “Tribe Nine” as Hyakutarou Senju, “Ao Ashi” as Ryuichi Takeshima. Kumagai: “Tribe Nine” is an original anime. The work depicts a battle action story in which unique outlaws fight against each other in a fictitious Tokyo. Hyakutarou Senju looks like a hard character, and in my mind, I have the image of him being written as “man” and read as “man.” Please look forward to what kind of activities he will show, including his unexpected side, and what kind of drama will be drawn! I am happy to serve you. I used to play soccer when I was a student, so when I read it, I felt a burning sensation in my heart. Ryuichi Takeshima, who I entrust my voice to, is also a defender, and when I catch a glimpse of his views on soccer and his thoughts, there are parts where I agree with him. Ryuichi, who is in Youth, and I are on completely different levels, so it’s presumptuous (laughs). I would like to perform with all my strength while remembering the passion I had when I was devoting myself to soccer.
Your performance in app games are also impressive. This year, you are in charge of Otone Minami in “Kini no Corda Starlight Orchestra” and Marks in “Senjuushi Rhodoknight”. Kumagai: Otone sounds from a place I’ve never used before (laughs), so those who play the game may have been surprised. At first, I had an image of a tone that was a little closer to the natural voice when I went to the set, but I started with sound director Hiromi Kikuta and the staff, and through careful discussions, I created the foundation for the current sound. I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of expressions and changes will be shown in the future. “Senjuushi Rhodoknight” depicts the sequel to the much loved work “Senjuushi.” Marks is a noble musketeer who will participate in this work. At the same time, I felt some pressure to participate in this work, but I hope that all the masters will love Marks a lot. In January next year, the theme songs CD’s of Like Two (played by Yuya Hirose-san), George (Taku Yashiro-san), and Jitte (Hinata Tadakoro-san) will be released, so I’d be happy if you could listen to them.
At “A3! Third Blooming Festival” and “The Idolmaster SideM~6th Live Side Kobe Tour”, you performed in front of fans for the first time in a while. Kumagai: I think there were plenty of people who have been waiting for me for a long time, and I felt like I was waiting too! It was really the first time in 3 years for the “Bloom Festival”, and I was very happy to be able to stand in front of the producers together with Hideo Akuno on the 6th Live Tour in “The Idolmaster SideM” and show off our performance. At the promotion event in March, I was so fired up, but I think I was able to face the 6th Live Tour with just the right amount of tension.
Speaking of events, you participated in a professional wrestling tournament as a special guest commentator. How was the day? Kumagai: I heard from DDT. At first, I was hesitant as to whether I would be okay with it, but I decided to go to the venue because I was honoured and given such a valuable opportunity. On the day of the event, Kenta Kobashi-san, also known as “Tetsujin”, was next to me, so I was really nervous. There were times when I returned to being just a fan (laughs), but it was really fun!
In “No.77”, I heard that you purchased an abdominal muscle roller. Kumagai: While continuing to use the abdominal muscle roller, I also resumed going to the gym. My favourite strength training is the squat system, especially the Bulgarian squat. Wataru Komada-san has invited me to go muscle training, so I think I’ll have him push me hard next year (laughs).
Finally, please leave a message to all your fans. Kumagai: This year, too, I encountered new works and characters, such as my first experience as a regular in an overseas drama with “Euphoria.” I would appreciate it if you could enjoy it even a little, and it would enrich your daily life. And next year, I would like to progress and evolve so that we can deliver even more than this year. I wanted to act in more and more different works, and I thought that I would put all my frustration into it and move on. I appreciate your continued support.
Column: Happy holidays
New Year’s fun is the local Okinawan cuisine, Hone-jiru, a type of soup. Bone-in meat is simmered to make a dashi stock, which is then seasoned with salt. It goes well with white rice! I hope the day when I can eat it again will come soon.