“I don’t know where I am. During these days, I first chose the place I aimed for, voice actor.” It wasn’t a dream world. But he goes on. Leverage the smiles of the characters and the stimulation of your friends.
What made you decide to become a voice actor? Urao: In junior high and high school, I was devoted to the activities of the track and field club. I began to have thoughts like this. There were times when I cried on the train because I didn’t know what I was living for. When I faced myself for the first time, I thought about what I really wanted to do. My profession is voice acting. For the first time in my life, I took action on my own initiative and started attending a night course at a vocational school.
Did you have any hesitation or anxiety about choosing a career? Urao: To be honest, there are things I didn’t think the world would be so harsh (laughs). I was happy to be praised for doing something in front of people, and I thought it would be nice if this kind of time could continue forever. My parents gave me the condition that if I was going to audition for an agency, I would have to get one job offer through job hunting, so I had an interview. But I had no choice but to continue acting. However, when I finally graduated from the training school, I could not join the agency. At that time, one of my co-workers was Yuya Nakata-san, who played Kuro Kiyosumi in “The Idolmaster SideM.” In fact, I had also taken the audition for Kuro, so I was surprised to hear a name that I know so well, and it was really frustrating. I always had friends who would leave me behind and move on, and I think that’s why I couldn’t give up on this path.
It is so. Now, it is unthinkable to have someone else as Daigo Kabuto in F-Lags. Urao: Actually, the next role I received was another one. On the spot, I was told, “Daigo, try it too.” Daigo is an idol who values “smile” the most, and before I knew it, I was naturally able to smile with the same feeling. For “The Idolmaster SideM 6th Live Tour ~ Next Destination~” everyone practised hard, but the Hokkaido performance was postponed, and the feeling of wanting to meet the producers quickly grew stronger. I don’t know how I’ll feel on stage when the time comes. But first, I will do my best for the Tokyo performance. Even under the mask, everyone’s smile is clearly transmitted. I want to hit my thoughts with the power not to lose.
In “Zero Jigen Idol,” which focuses on voice dramas, you play the role of Nezuru Makurano, the leader of Hisame. Urao: I received another role and was told, “Try playing Nezuru, too.” A genius idol who does everything smoothly is nothing like me, but even so, when I tried to express his honesty with what I have, I was in the same unit. Ryosuke Kanemoto-san said, “I thought you were going to be a more perfectionist handsome guy, but it’s nice to be human.”
Hearing the origin story, he was betrayed by someone he thought was a friend, and expressed his frustration, saying, “You must have been laughing in your heart!” Urao: I will never forget what he said, “Believe in yourself. Don’t believe in yourself. Betray yourself. But please take care of me when I’m worried.” As I said, I have an inferiority complex, and I can’t trust myself, so I couldn’t act with 100% confidence. But that’s not a bad thing for an actor. If you think you understand everything about a character, the play will become boring, and it’s precisely because you have doubts that the character’s flavour will come out and become interesting. What’s more, in order to draw out my feelings, he purposely rewrote the lines that had been decided for me. When I call her “Mother,” he gets mad at me, saying, “I don’t remember giving birth to you!”
The words are not limited to acting. It’s something that resonates. Urao: Yes. Live performances are really fun once I get on stage, but until then I’m scared, and I’m trembling on stage (laughs). But at times like that, it’s the presence of powerful friends who push me back. They gave me a stimulus that made me feel like I couldn’t lose, and they taught me the importance of putting it into words and praising one another.
By the way, how do you spend your days off? Urao: I like female idol groups, and recently I often watch their livestreams.
For studying performances. Urao: That’s right. I was a bit embarrassed, but from the point of view of the viewers, I can see that it would make me happier to appeal this much.
Do you have a dream of your own? Urao: I really like space, so my dream is to one day go to the moon naked.
Naked? Urao: I think that if you dream about something that seems possible but you can never do it, you can live a long life.
So, that’s it. Finally, please tell us what kind of voice actor you want to become in the future. Urao: The fact what I was able to be featured in a magazine alone like this was a dream come true, so I got on top of it and got myself a perm (laughs). I’m a slow mover, but I think everyone is teaching me that everyone is working properly and making progress. Even now, like when I was a student, there are times when I don’t know where I am, and when I look up at the moon, I just think, “I still have a long way to go.” I am truly grateful to those who have supported me, and nothing makes me happier than being able to see the fan art and impressions, and to be able to feel that they love the character I played. I look forward to working with you and my characters in the future!
Column: Happy Holidays!
At the end of the year, I go back to my hometown and tell my classmates and friends from the track and field club how we spent the year. It’s difficult right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, but when I met at a friend’s wedding, she said, “I’m watching “Hanyou no Yashahime!” I was so happy.