I only got to know about Suwa when I hit up some Akuma no Riddle videos & radios while working on translating for #20. That was basically like opening up a can of worms (I mean that in the best way) to the point where I now think Suwa Ayaka is just…amazing. And I mean that in the best way.
Translating 50 Questions from the Seiyuu no Wa series. Source here. This article was published in August 2014.
1. Please tell us how you became a seiyuu.
I learned about seiyuu from Tennis no Ojisama (The Prince of Tennis), and I was drawn to how (the profession) involved not just acting, but also a wide range of activities including singing and radio etc.
2. What was your debut anime role?
The roles of a junior and a female student in Goulart Knights Evoked THE Beginning white.
3. Of all the shows you have acted in thus far, is there any character that has left a particularly strong impression?
Azuma Tokaku in Akuma no Riddle. It’s the show where I got to play the lead role for the first time, so it’s memorable (for me).
4. Please tell us if any of the characters you are voicing now share any similarities to yourself.
Jinsei’s Suzuki Ikumi-chan. For better or worse, she tends to act before thinking, and possesses an unfounded positive way of thinking – I think we might be similar in those ways (lol).
5. From all the shows you’ve been in, please tell us about any one scene that left a particularly strong impression.
In episode 12 of Akuma no Riddle – Azuma vs Azuma (Nio in disguise), where I got to voice both characters at the same time.
6. Please tell us any horror stories or memorable tales from the recording studio.
During rehearsals for a session where there were a lot of people present, I messed up my mic work* and missed my lines.
*mic work (マイクワーク) refers to when seiyuu stand in front of the studio mics to deliver their lines.
7. Are there any seiyuu you see as rivals or as someone to aim for?
In terms of seiyuu I’m aiming to be like, I’d say all of my seniors. There are many of my colleagues and juniors whom I respect as well. When it comes to people I admire – Inoue Marina-san, Sakamoto Maaya-san and Sawashiro Miyuki-san.
8. If you weren’t a seiyuu, what do you think you would be doing now?
I’d be a kindergarten teacher, or an announcer in my hometown.
9. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced as a seiyuu?
It’s not something that’s unique to seiyuu, but having to confront my own weaknesses and things I’m not good at, as well as dealing with my own immaturit(ies).
10. On the flipside, what’s the happiest thing(s) that has happened to you as a seiyuu?
That I get to voice fascinating characters. When people tell me that they like a particular show (I was in) or character (that I voiced). When I receive words or letters of support!
11. Do you like singing? What has left the biggest impression when it comes to singing thus far?
I love it. As to what has left the biggest impression, it’d be Tokugawa Matsuri-chan (from Idolmaster Million Live!)’s Festa Illumination.
12. From all the radio shows you have hosted, were there any mails that left an impression on you?
When people ask me the meaning of ‘Suwaru’ (mostly, it means that I’ve messed up;)
* Suwaru (諏訪る) – pun on her surname. If you have watched the Akuma no Riddle shows, you’ll have seen how she often creates chaotic situations out of nothing – to slip/mess up is to ‘suwaru’.
13. Is there anything you take particular care about when you’re acting?
I just follow my inspiration!
14. What kind of roles would you consider your specialty?
I’m still exploring, but I had fun voicing both cool Tokaku and simple idiot Ikumi who are completely opposite types. In future, I’d like to take on the challenge of voicing a ‘fluffy’ older sister, or a young boy!
15. Tell us what goals and dreams you have as a seiyuu?
I’m aiming to become an actress who can do a wide range of roles with passion so without losing sight of where I came from, I want to take on various challenges now!
16. To the people who are aiming to become seiyuu, please give them a word of advice.
Believe in yourself, and never give up ‘til the end.
17. Apart from the shows that you’ve been in, are there anime that you like to watch?
Bishojo Senshi Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, Slam Dunk, Akazukin Chacha, Fushigi Yugi, Jigoku Sensei Nube, Hikaru no Go, One Piece, Ranma ½, Meitantei Conan, Crayon Shin-chan, Doraemon.
18. With relation to the above, is there any role that you admired or would’ve liked to have voiced?
One of the Sailor Soldiers from Sailor Moon, or Echizen Ryoma from The Prince of Tennis.
19. As a viewer, what kind of anime do you like?
There aren’t any genres in particular. I’ll just watch whatever I feel like at the time.
20. What kind of child were you?
An innocent child?
21. Please tell us what TV programmes do you often watch?
Dramas, SMAPxSMAP, Ame Talk, Otameshika!, London Hearts.
Notes: SMAPxSMAP is a variety show hosted by the Johnny’s group SMAP. Ame Talk is a TV Asahi comedy/talk show. Otameshika! is a food ranking show – stars test out the food at an eatery and try to guess the top 10 selling items, but they can’t leave until they get all correct. London Hearts is a prank show hosted by manzai duo London Boots.
22. Tell us what your favourite book is.
Fuyu no Okurimono.
Note: the only publication I can find with that title is a picture book from 2006. Not sure if she’s referring to it.
23. Tell us what your favourite game is.
Hoshi no Kirby.
24. Tell us what your favourite movie is.
Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki’s Delivery Service).
25. Tell us about your favourite music.
Sakamoto Maaya’s songs.
26. Tell us what your motto is.
Tomorrow is a new day.
Note: Suwa says ‘明日は明日の風が吹く’ which literally translates to ‘tomorrow’s wind will blow tomorrow’
27. Tell us about any of your experiences with sports.
I haven’t really done anything except during PE back in school. I often used to play badminton with my friends.
28. Tell us what songs you often sing when you go to the karaoke.
DAN DAN Kokoro HIkareteku.
29. Tell us what your favourite foods are.
Hamburg steaks, omurice, udon, spaghetti.
30. Tell us what foods you hate.
Anything that smells fishy.
31. Tell us about the stores you often go to.
Tsurutontan, Obon de Gohan, Goemon, Denny’s.
Notes: Tsurutontan is an udon chain. Obon de Gohan is a chain that serves healthy, balanced set meals (there’re branches everywhere, including one tucked away in a corner of Narita Airport if you’re interested in trying..it was always one of my favourite lunch places when I was still staying in Tokyo). Goemon is a fusion Japanese-Italian pasta chain where you’re supposed to eat with chopsticks. Denny’s is..Denny’s. Cheap family restaurant with free refill drinks bar.
32. Do you have any favourite snacks?
(Meiji chocolate) galbos, potato chips.
33. Do you drink? If you do, what sort of drinks do you like?
I’m not good with strong drinks, so I prefer sweet fruit-based cocktails.
34. What did you do on your last day off?
I went to Disneyland by myself.
35. If you had a whole week off, what would you do?
I’d travel abroad to see the World Heritage sites.
36. Are there any hobbies that you’ve been obsessed with recently?
37. Tell us about any qualifications you have.
Kanji Proficiency Level Pre-2, English Proficiency Level Pre-2.
38. What challenges would you like to take on within the next 10 years?
A solo concert!? Also, a trip to Paris.
39. What type of guy do you like?
Someone who’s a good eater, someone with a big heart, someone who’s honest.
40. Which part of a guy do you notice most?
The nape of his neck.
41. Tell us the most expensive thing you’ve bought recently.
A cross bike.
42. What is the one thing you most desire now?
43. If you could bring only one item to a deserted island, what would it be?
44. If you had 1,000,000 yen that you could spend as you wish, how would you use it?
I’d like to ride a helicopter, or stay at a (hotel) suite room.
45. Please tell us if there is anything that you do on a daily basis, habits etc.
Nothing in particular!
46. Please leave a message for your fans.
I’m someone who works at her own pace but I’ll do my best to make sure everyone notices my activities, so please support me!
47. Do you remember the first time you met Kakuma Ai (note: she was the previous featured seiyuu in the Seiyuu no Wa series)?
We became good friends when we were doing Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara, but I had in fact met her once during recording sessions for Magi! Kakuma-chan’s the same age as me plus we debuted around the same time so I always feel at ease and comfortable when I’m with her.
48. “Do you prefer dogs or cats? When I asked Suwa-chan what sort of question she’d like she said ‘How about something easy like whether I preferred dogs or cats?’, so yeah I think I’ll just ask that☆If there’s some other question you’d like to answer, do go ahead and provide your own answers☆Yoroshiku☆☆☆”
Ahhhh, she really did end up asking that!! If I had to choose, I’d say cats☆I just can’t resist their tsundere personalities (lol) ♪
49. Please tell us which seiyuu you get along well with.
The girls from Akuma no Riddle’s 10th Year Black Class and everyone from Jinsei, Kiniro Mosaic and the iM@S Million Stars! Kakuma Ai-chan, Fujita Aya-chan, Iida Yuko-chan and Bridcutt Sarah Emi-chan.
50. Please leave a question for our next interviewee (Otsubo Yuka-san).
“If we were to hang out together, where should we go!?”
Do check out Suwa-chan’s ‘other’ musical talent – she first showcased her ability to accurately sing(?) the intros of the Akuma no Riddle theme songs (Famicom style, Numakura Manami described it) here, and has since gotten her very own CD release of Suwa-tros. It’d be a good idea to have a look through some of the Akuma no Riddle media too.