Masahiro Itou (Voice Newtype Vol. 82 2021)

伊藤 昌弘

After graduating from a music college, Masahiro Itou, was approached by the producer of “Bang Dream”! About three years have passed since he jumped into the world of voice acting with the desire to achieve something. As he expands his range of activities as a voice actor, he talks about his passion for acting.

How did you like the world of the play? Itou: It’s very difficult. The first time I stood in front of “Maikare no Ku” was an app game, but even though I thought I was acting, I didn’t follow my voice at all… I was also worried about the character that I didn’t have. In music, they wrote the lyrics, “I think he thinks like this,” so in a play, a person with such an ego cannot play a role. When I said, “to express,” I meant the same thing, so I wasn’t embarrassed, but the way I expressed it was completely different, so I struggled. I’m still struggling, but the people who saw it said, “Your heart wavered.” I feel rewarded when I hear the words, and I’m happy that I got it across. For those of you who say so, I want you to be surprised at how good I am… that’s my greatest motivation. In the past, I was thinking of putting my ego out of the way and putting on a role, but recently I’ve been thinking that I’d like to be able to express myself in my plays, and I can feel myself changing.

You can feel that acting is becoming more fun. Itou: I like acting more than before. But more than I love acting, I love the people who work with me. I really like my current environment. Without that, I think it would be even more painful. There are many people who accept me as I am.

In June there was a stage “Argonavis the Live Steage.” What has changed after experiencing the platform? Itou: It’s changed a lot! During the one-month practise period, I was with the members of Argonavis and Gyroaxia every day, so the cast members became even closer. Shoei Hashimoto-san and Shinichi Hashimoto’s W Hashimoto pulled everyone together, and I thought again that they were wonderful people. I’ve been standing on stage as a character in live performances for a long time, but I haven’t had many opportunities to speak, so I feel that speaking on stage has allowed me to build a character within myself. Also, I wasn’t used to talking and singing a lot, so I was worried about switching, but I was able to train myself (laughs). Itou: That’s right. It’s interesting because people are constantly changing without feeling age-limited. Once you get used to it, you will be able to switch automatically. To put it the other way around, you can do it until you get used to it, so I thought I had to do it until it was ingrained in my body. I became friends with everyone, learned many things, and had a really good experience.

“Theatrical Argonavis Meteor Obbligato,” I heard that the part that reconstructed the TV series was also a new recording. Itou: The recording for the TV series was just after I started working as a voice actor. I’m embarrassed to listen to it again (laughs), but now it’s finally a work that I can proudly say, “Look at it.” It was my first time to post-record a completed video, so I was able to experience the fun and difficulty of lip-syncing. At the same time, I felt that there was some expressions that I was able to do because it was my first time, and I thought that it is important to do the best possible acting at that time. Also, since the recording was right after the stage, we were able to bring the heat of the stage to the dubbing as it was, and we were able to interact in a very good condition. As much as the schedule was difficult, the things that came back to me were great.

The animation “Bokutachi no Remake” which broadcasted in July, you played the leading role. Itou: I played Kyouya Hashiba. When I auditioned, I read the original work, but since the stage is an art college and I graduated from a music college I could only sympathize, and from the bottom of my heart, I thought, “I want to play this role!” I was happy when the role was decided, and I thought about how to convey the feeling of sympathy I felt. If it’s an extreme expression, it’s fine to shake it off as much as you can, but it’s really difficult to make a natural play, and I still have a long way to go with things like delicate steering wheel operations. But the more difficult it was, the more interest I got in the play. I’m grateful that I was able to see what I lacked, and that I was able to play a character that was so close to my feelings. All in all, I think it was an irreplaceable experience.

Please tell us about your immediate goals as a voice actor and what you want to be like in 10 years. Itou: Even with detailed direction regarding performances, there were times when I was throwing the ball unexpectedly, so I want to eliminate that. My immediate goal is to play a lot and make the feeling of throwing the ball the same as the actual play. I also like foreign dramas and watch them every day, so I would like to try dubbing a foreign drama someday. Also, rather than a goal, what I would like to be able to do soon is animation and connecting music. I realized a lot about myself through acting, so I wanted a place to express myself again. Both music and acting keep me alive and enrich my life, so I want to give something back. As part of my role, I want to convey the wonders of both.

Finally, please give a message to your fans. Itou: 2020 was a corona disaster. Nevertheless, I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet you in person. I feel that it was a year in which I was able to grow as a person rather than as an actor. I would be happy if everyone could feel a little brighter and enjoy it. From now on, I want to deliver even more things, and I want them to be what I really want to do, and I also want to enjoy myself. I hope to see you next year!

Column: Happy Holidays!

When I was in second grade, I realized that Santa was my father. My father was in pajamas and carrying LEGOS (laughs). My parents were obsessed with Santa performances, pretending to call him, saying, “I want this.” At the time, I believed it, thinking, “Can he communicate in Japanese?”


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