#19 – Nakae Mitsuki

I wrote a bit about her on my other blog recently, but here’s a recap – Mitsuki is a musician first and foremost, particularly on the doujin circuit with her circle ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY but also as part of the unit Shoujo Byou. She however, signed with Mausu Promotion in 2013 (where she is in the same trainee group as Kakuma Ai) to pursue her voice acting ambitions and is currently juggling both endeavours. This season, Mitsuki is singing the opening theme for the Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai anime.
19_nakae
Mitsuki is a fantastic singer/songwriter but an unknown quantity as a seiyuu. I profess to having no idea about her acting talents but being a fan of her music means I will be watching out for her career in earnest. This is a translation of Da Vinci’s feature and interview with her from June 2014.

Q: Up until now, you’ve mainly focused on music activities.

A: I have been providing vocals and writing lyrics for Shoujo Byou using the name Mitsuki, while for my solo project ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY, I write lyrics, sing, release CDs and perform songs for games and OVAs using the name Nakae Mitsuki.

Q: Recently, you have been active as a seiyuu too.

A: In 2009, I was able to make my major début as part of Shoujo Byou, but originally I had aimed to be a seiyuu. As I wanted to chase that dream of becoming a seiyuu, I left my agency in April last year.

Q: Since then, you have appeared in two games. What sort of role is Reineria from Tsurugi no Machi no Ihoujin (Xbox 360)?

A: Rein is a female elf. She’s got tanned skin and looks like a strong female warrior but as the head of the family, she speaks in a very polite manner. Still, when she “loses it”, she turns incredibly violent. I worked hard at calibrating my on-off switch so I could (easily) move between those dual personalities!

Q: How about Mula from Tokyo Shinseiroku Operation Abyss (PS Vita), what sort of character is that?

A: Mula’s a stuffed doll-like mascot character that can talk. I’d say it has more of a boyish character. Kind of like a rabbit with a bit of a ‘filthy’ mouth (lol).

Q: What other works have you appeared in?

A: I voice 3 characters in the trading card application Heroes’ Placement. They’re local mascots representing the prefectures as well as cities, towns, wards and villages. There’s Fukaya Negi-chan from Fukaya City in Saitama Prefecture who gets mad in a tsundere way if you call her ‘Negi’ (lol); her special technique ‘Magical Allicin’ has the ability to add splendid colours to table pots. Then there’s Lilie Weissberger-chan from Hakusan City in Ishikawa Prefecture who is well-versed in songs of curses and is a fairly serious fairy of the black lilies.

Shinamatsu Emi-chan from Eniwa City in Hokkaido is the type of girl who’d call the shots in the army squadrons, yelling ‘Onwards!’ or ‘Fire!”. All three characters were fun to voice. Personally, I love the Japanese style so I’d like to play a character from Kyoto! Apart from that, I provided the narration for children’s anime LAMI – I have voiced 9 roles in total.

Q: Your ‘fields’ are widening! By the way, did you originally like anime?

A: I used to love fantasy back in the days. But recently I’ve been into modern fantasy shows that have a school setting but where characters possess exceptional talents.

Q: Are those tastes that you’ve just mentioned reflected in your music activities?

A: They are. When I was into fantasy, I’d insert parts in the chorus with a language I made up myself, but slowly, the direction of my preferred lyrical style changed and I’ve been favouring a more direct lyrical approach as of late.

Q: From what and where do you draw inspiration for your lyrics?

A: I write lyrics while listening to instrumental music, or my favourite songs. There are many times where as I listen, I think to myself ‘how great this (song’s) world view* is’…and I begin to expand on those ideas, as if I’m playing a word association game. For me, it takes quite a while before I can start penning lyrics but once I do start, it takes around 2 hours to complete. As I build the world view* and expand on the themes within myself, there will come a point where I think ‘Alright, it’s time to go!’ and I’ll start writing like crazy.

*’世界観’. I doubt I’ll ever find the perfect way to translate this phrase..

Q: Shoujo Byou and ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY both have their own world views, don’t they?

A: That’s true. The world view of most of ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY’s material is based on Japanese fantasy, so the costumes have a ‘Eastern Goth’ feel to them as well. For Shoujo Byou there is usually a story in place and I convey that story and its world view through the music; and in them, a different me, named “Mitsuki”, exists. There are also many fans though, who combine these 2 different activities and listen to them as the music of “Nakae Mitsuki”.

Q: It seems that there will be new developments this year for Shoujo Byou?

A: Yes! The ‘Majo series’ we have been doing up until now will see the 3 witches begin to move once again, and all 5 witches will assemble! There is a female narrator named Seksalis, and my agency senior Sawashiro Miyuki-san is in charge of her voice. “Starting with a character named Anastasia, I will be recording as a seiyuu. I’d be glad if you would look forward to more collaborative opportunities in future storylines!”

Q: You must be really busy. Is there anything you do to refresh yourself when you have days off?

A: I like peaches. So I’ll go around buying peach-related foods and eat them up (lol). There are quite a lot of types of limited edition peach-flavoured confectionery. Also, I also write Tareko.

Q: That’s the mascot character that appears on your blog, right?

A: Yes. It’s a mascot that I designed, and its presence is soothing for me. Basically (Tareko) just chills around, eats and sleeps, eats and sleeps…what an ideal life (lol). I’ve been making (Tareko) goods such as stuffed toys and t-shirts for lives and making up my own voices for it.

Q: Where can we find Tareko?

A: Tareko appears in my solo project CDs and sometimes pops up on my radio shows. ‘Tare’s here~♪’ is how it’ll go (lol). Tareko’s a bit impudent and will say things like ‘Bring me peaches!’ (lol). Tareko’s catchphrase is Tareko + Mattari (chill out): “Mattare~”.

Q: That..that’s really soothing…

A: Maybe it’s because ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY has unexpectedly been as stoic in its activities as the world view it adopts, that my fans have referred to me as ‘Empress’. I think Tareko’s existence would serve as the counterpoint to the Empress (lol). Thus, I’ll (wake up and) think “Which one of my 2 modes should I use today – the ‘Empress Mode’ or the ‘Tareko Mode’? Still, my true form is probably that of Tareko’s (lol).

Q: Maybe someday, chara songs too?

A: Yeah, I wanna sing (Tareko’s) chara song! It’d be the song of the character that I play, so I’d definitely long to do that. I could find a new “me” separate from Mitsuki and Nakae Mitsuki; it’s a challenge I’d love to take on.

Q: Last but not least, please leave a message for the readers.

A: Once again, my name is Nakae Mitsuki! It has been a pleasure to participate in this interview that has allowed myself to reflect on everything (that’s happened up) until now and to think about how I want to move forward in the future. Putting (thoughts) into words has also enabled me to reaffirm certain things. There are still so many things that I would like to do so I’ll be doing my best working towards my goals! I would be ever so grateful for your support.

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I honestly have no idea if Mitsuki will make it as a seiyuu. Obviously I’m biased so I adore her voice to bits, and her acting is solid for me (samples on her profile). Only time will tell whether she’ll catch any acting breaks, but for now I am just enjoying the fact that she’s still operating freely in her musical capacity – just last month, she was a guest at a Shenzhen video games expo event and she is 100% involved in her doujin music projects.

You can catch up with Mitsuki on her blog and Twitter or check out some of her music. Alternatively if you ever head to Japan, just hit her up at the ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY booths during Comiket and M3.

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