Monthly Archives: January 2015

#45 – Okamoto Nobuhiko

45_pikorin
Name: Okamoto Nobuhiko (岡本 信彦)
DoB: 24 October 1986 in Tokyo
Agency: Pro-Fit
Representative Roles: Accelerator in A Certain Magical Index, Kanzato Shin in Persona, Niizuma Eiji in Bakuman, Mikoshiba “Mikorin” Mikoto in Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun

Ahh Pikorin, one of my favourite guys! I liked him right from his first major role in the underrated Ghost Hunt, which was in 2006. He plays young and he plays ikemen, so it’s not surprising that he tends to pick up a lot of roles, be it as lead or supporting, across a lot of different genres. This season alone, you can hear him in Ansatsu Kyoshitsu, Kamisama Hajimemashita 2, Sokyu no Fafner EXODUS, World Trigger, Ace of Diamond, Akatsuki no Yona and Log Horizon 2.

This was the first Seiyuu no Wa feature in over 2 months – I was waiting and waiting…come on Davinci, what are your editors doing..?

1. Please tell us how you became a seiyuu.
A lot of things happened but to cut a long story short – I loved anime so I wanted to make a career out of it.

2. What was your debut anime role?
I think it was as a male student in N.H.K. Ni Youkoso! My first regular role was as John Brown in Ghost Hunt.

3. Of all the shows you have acted in thus far, is there any character that has left a particularly strong impression?
Accelerator from A Certain Magical Index. It was thanks to this character that I began to enjoy acting more.

4. Please tell us if any of the characters you are voicing now share any similarities to yourself.
When I look at the daily life of Ando Jurai Inou from Inou Battle wa Nichijoukei no Naka de, it’s like I’m looking at a mirror image of myself in my elementary school days.

5. From all the shows you’ve been in, please tell us about any one scene that left a particularly strong impression.
Maybe the scene where Accelerator has a line that starts with “kukaki….”. I had a hard time deciding.

6. Please tell us any horror stories or memorable tales from the recording studio.
In terms of impact level – there was this one time when the character I was voicing got crazily high to the point where I couldn’t breath and I ended up blacking out due to lack of oxygen. I got a taste of how abnormal this line of work is.

7. Are there any seiyuu you see as rivals or as someone to aim for?
It’s gotta be Koyasu (Takehito)-san, who I’m hoping to be like in many ways. I really respect him!

8. If you weren’t a seiyuu, what do you think you would be doing now?
There’s a possibility I may have seriously pursued Shogi but I could’ve been a tour guide as well since I like to travel.

9. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced as a seiyuu?
If I have 1 day off I’m happy but if I have more than 2 days off in a row I start to get uneasy. Yeah, there are times when I feel anxious.

10. On the flipside, what’s the happiest thing(s) that has happened to you as a seiyuu?
When I get to say cool lines from the bottom of my heart, that’s what this job is all about!

11. Do you like singing? What has left the biggest impression when it comes to singing thus far?
I do like it, but I’m not very good. I was really nervous when I had to sing in public for the first time.

12. From all the radio shows you have hosted, were there any mails that left an impression on you?
It was a mail from a girl that surprised me, saying “Girls suffer from chuunibyou too”.

13. Is there anything you take particular care about when you’re acting?
Any one element is fine, so I just have fun acting.

14. What kind of roles would you consider your specialty?
I’m still looking for it! The type of roles I find fun are the characters with horrible personalities.

15. Tell us what goals and dreams you have as a seiyuu?
As a seiyuu my goal is to continue working for as long as possible, but my dream is to make an anime.

16. To the people who are aiming to become seiyuu, please give them a word of advice.
Whatever it may be, just try out as many things as you possibly can!

17. Apart from the shows that you’ve been in, are there anime that you like to watch?
I watched a lot of anime when I was a child. I had the World Masterpiece Theater series on DVD and loved it so much that I’d watch it on a regular basis.

18. In relation to the above, are there any types of roles you’d like to voice or perhaps, characters that you admire?
When I was a child I watched Yu Yu Hakusho and Hiei was just awesome. I also admired Rukawa from Slam Dunk.

19. As a viewer, what kind of anime do you like?
Anime with a straightforward story.

20. What kind of child were you?
I was a kid with a weak body!

21. Please tell us what TV programmes do you often watch?
London Hearts, Ningen Kansatsu Variety – Monitoring and 7tsu no Umi o Tanoshimou! Sekai Summer Resort. I often watch shows with strong variety elements, or those that are prank-oriented.

22. Tell us what your favourite books are.
Dai no Daibouken (Dragon Quest). Hot-blooded drama, laughs, touching moments – it had everything.

23. Tell us what your favourite game is.
For boardgames – The Resistance: Avalon. It’s fun to be able to observe other people even though it makes them feel uncomfortable.

24. Tell us what your favourite movies are.
Toy Story 3. I don’t cry much, but this had me in floods of tears. It was awesome.

25. Tell us about your favourite music.
I have loads, but if I had to pick just one then I’d say TOKIO’s LOVE YOU ONLY. As for a song that would definitely make me cry – Kaze to Issho ni (from Pokemon)

26. Tell us what your motto is.
“Who likes his business, his business likes not him”

*William Hazlitt (1778-1830)

27. Tell us about any of your experiences with sports.
Badminton, swimming, kendo.

28. Tell us what songs you often sing when you go to the karaoke.
Butter-fly from Digimon Adventure.

29. Tell us what your favourite foods are.
Chocolate, meat, sushi. The recent aged meat boom is incredible.

30. Tell us what foods you hate.
Shungiku that is hard to chew. But I do make an exception for chewy shungiku tempura. Also dislike meat that’s tough.

31. Tell us about the stores you often go to.
Starbucks. I often order their limited edition beverages, and I basically really like their cafe mocha.

32. Do you have any favourite snacks?
My #1 favourite is Jean-Paul Hevin’s Quito.

33. Do you drink? If you do, what sort of drinks do you like?
Suzune or Mio.

*They are both brands of sparkling sake.

34. What did you do on your last day off?
I played Pokemon til I collapsed into bed, then I checked my scripts, then I played Pokemon and fell asleep.

35. If you had a whole week off, what would you do?
Travel!!!! I’d go to Macchu Picchu or Salar de Uyuni.

36. Are there any hobbies that you’ve been obsessed with recently?
Playing board games with (Kimura) Ryohei-san at his house.

37. Tell us about any qualifications you have.
EIKEN English proficiency Level 3…..

38. What challenges would you like to take on within the next 10 years?
Space travel.

39. What type of girl do you like?
A healthy person.

40. Which part(s) of a girl do you notice most?
What my eyes first notice are…the eyes, after all.

41. Tell us the most expensive thing you’ve bought recently.
Q-pot’s Halloween limited edition black cat ghost item.

42. What is the one thing you most desire now?
A new computer….I keep getting registry errors and every so often, BSoDs, so my current one is probably on its death bed.

43. If you could bring only one item to a deserted island, what would it be?
If I will get rescued after 1 week, then I’d bring a camera. If no one comes to rescue me then I’d like a Cessna with its gas tank filled up (lol)

44. If you had 1,000,000 yen that you could spend as you wish, how would you use it?
Go on a holiday to the Southern islands with everyone!

45. Please tell us if there is anything that you do on a daily basis, habits etc.
Consume aojiru tablets.

46. Please leave a message for your fans.
Recently I had a blood test done at the hospital and my results were fine!

47. What’s your biggest memory of Kimura Ryohei?
This was the truth behind an incident that almost defies common sense – a group of us had gathered to deduce our way through a boardgame called Black Stories, and we ended up trembling when Kimura solved the mysteries one by one, single-handedly.

48. (A question from Kimura Ryohei) So when are we going on that guys-only getaway?
How about February or June!? But if we’re going I’d like to stay for at least 2 days…it’s difficult…

49. Please tell us which seiyuu you get along well with.
Kimura Ryohei-san and friends of the Ryohei Circle. Of my age group, I’m fond of Kaji (Yuki)-kun, and Ono Yuuki is a lot of fun as well.

50. Please leave a question for our next interviewee (Ono Yuuki).
I’d like to do a show together with you. If we were to do one, what should it be about?

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#44 – Nanri Yuuka

44_nanri
Name: Nanri Yuuka (南里侑香)
DoB: 13 March 1984 in Sasebo, Nagasaki
Agency: Space Craft

Since I last posted about Yuuka, she has gotten married! Such wonderful news, considering that she had been seriously ill not too long ago and was actually hospitalized for 2 months. Flying Dog manager Nozaki Keiichi tweeted back in September last year that he had visited Yuuka after her discharge, the first time in six months he had seen her, and that she was recovering but still weak.

It’s great to see Yuuka healthy and happy again now and I hope that she takes things slowly as she eases back into work. Her radio show, Yuuka to OCHANOMITAI had been on hiatus since last May but she just revealed on her blog this week that it will return in the near future.

This time, I am translating Yuuka’s interview for Girlfriend (Kari). There are some parts of her story that we are already familiar with, and some new things to learn. I didn’t think she even watched anime at all!

Q1. How did you become a seiyuu?
I first developed an interest in acting when I went to see a musical with a friend. The realism of the sound and performances was an overwhelming stimulation of my 5 senses…! When I saw kids of my age performing up on stage I thought to myself “How fun it looks!”. Shortly after, I joined a theatre company and was active as a stage child actress until one of my agency’s staff said to me “Your voice sounds suitable for voicing ‘characters’ – would you like to audition as a seiyuu?”, and that was how I got my start as a seiyuu.

Q2. What are the things you try to keep in mind when voicing your various characters?
When compared with my peers who came through voice acting training schools, the way I think and approach acting and character creation are different due to my background in stage. I’m not able to do the same things that other seiyuu can do, so the first step for me is to consider what I’m capable of. These days I approach the process of creating a character in a similar manner as to what I do for acting but unlike on stage, I try to minimize body movement when I’m standing in front of the mic in a studio so that the sound of rustling clothing won’t interfere with recording. Also, I think that the facial expressions that a person has when acting are amazing (lol). Other seiyuu focus on the screen during recording but I think that my own expression tends to be a whole lot calmer…and it’s embarrassing when other people notice that (lol).

Q3. If you weren’t a seiyuu what would you be doing?
I love musicals and in truth, I actually wanted to join Takarazuka. However, my parents said to me “You can only join Takarazuka once you’re older”, so I ended up joining a theatre company instead. Time passed and when I graduated from high school I did have a chance to join Takarazuka but on the day of the audition, I came down with a cold…Nowadays, I tell myself “If only I hadn’t had a cold I would definitely have gotten in!” (lol). Still, I have always admired the stage so if I wasn’t a seiyuu I would probably be in Takarazuka or in musicals. I have a singing career at the moment so you could say I’m doing something similar; so I think I was always headed for something in that kind of direction. If we’re talking about something completely unrelated…having my childhood dream of owning my own cake shop come true would be nice.

Q4. Something that surprised you
Hmm..what has surprised me recently…maybe, what happened at the yakiniku restaurant? Right now, I’m really into the anime Gugure! Kokkuri-san and I love the opening song a lot, so much so that I often sing and dance along to it at home (lol). Just the other day, I was at a yakiniku restaurant and while waiting, my thoughts drifted to the song and its intro started playing in my head. At exactly the same time, the background music in the restaurant changed to the same song! Instinctively, I turned to the person who was there with me and excitedly, burst out “Hey hey hey!” but he/she didn’t quite share my sentiments (lol). I guess I might’ve scared the people around me right then, but I was seriously taken aback by what had happened.

Q5. A message for the fans
As there are so many characters in Girlfriend (Kari), it may be a little difficult for you to find a favourite but since all of the girls are cute I’m sure you will have an exciting time playing the game every day. I think that Yamano Kodama, the girl I voice, is one of the core characters – when I first recorded her lines I thought to myself, “She’s a really strange one, isn’t she?”. She’s the fluffy, gentle type but is also energetic and loves mountain climbing so that ‘gap’ between the two sides of her character is quite endearing. She’s also the ‘little sister’ type as well as being the ‘healing’ type, so for those of you who get to meet Kodama-chan, please make her your girlfriend and treat her lovingly, and she will show you her cute sides.

#43 – Kanda Sayaka: Anna from Frozen is an otaku?

43_kanda
I might not have given TRUSTRICK, performers of the opening theme FLYING FAFNIR for currently-running generic harem anime Juuou Mujin no Fafnir, a second look had I not already known who they were. Their set-up is similar to that of angela, fripSide or Jyukai – female vocalist, male musician, but their background, or at least that of frontwoman Kanda Sayaka, is somewhat more intriguing.

Let’s talk about Sayaka. She’s only 28 years of age but has 16 years of showbiz experience, officially making her début in the short movie Bean Cake, which won a Palme d’Or award for best short film in 1999. Adopting the stage name SAYAKA, she appeared in a bunch of CMs including one for Glico before making a musical debut in 2002 under Sony. Her first single ever since performed well on the charts (peak: No.5 on Oricon) thanks in part to its usage as a theme song for the Nagase Tomoya-fronted Fuji TV drama Big Money. Further singles did OK, but by 2005 Sayaka had announced a hiatus from all entertainment activities after a bust-up with her mother over her relationship with musician Kitano Masato led to her leaving home. At the time the blame for the split of Kitano’s group day after tomorrow was planted squarely at Sayaka’s feet though the authenticity of the rumours, as you’d expect, was never proven.

A bust-up with her mom…big deal? Not when that mother happens to be one legendary singer named Matsuda Seiko. Matsuda certainly made her feelings over her daughter’s choice of boyfriends obvious with public disapproval of both Kitano and actor Ishigaki Yuma, despite having a rather chequered love life herself. Mother and daughter appear to have made up somewhere along the way and are on much friendlier terms these days, often performing on stage together.

For a couple of years Sayaka’s activities were fairly limited. She apparently resurfaced as an actress using her birth name in 2006 and also participated in a couple of low-key music projects. In 2011, she released LIBERTY, her first full album in 6 years to celebrate her 10th anniversary in music.

The following year, I noticed Sayaka for a different reason – she had been cast in the anime Bimbougami ga! as Adenokouji Nadeshiko. In an interview in July 2012, she revealed that she had been attending voice acting training school for a year and that her #1 dream in life was to be a seiyuu.

Last year, Sayaka landed the voice acting gig of a lifetime – she was picked as the Japanese dub voice of Anna in Frozen. She has subsequently spoken of her shock and how she thought it was all an elaborate practical joke when her agency staff wheeled in a cake for a surprise party to celebrate her casting.

As Sayaka’s fame grew, she started to mention anime more often in her interviews – that she was a fan of Sailor Moon as a child, that she watched late-night anime, bought anime magazines and collected figures. Some of her recent favourite series include Inu x Boku SS, Yuru Yuri, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, UtaPri, AMNESIA, Guilty Crown, Macross Frontier and Danganronpa.
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Oh yes, Danganronpa. Sayaka was part of the cast for the stage play last year, playing the role of Enoshima Junko.

In July 2014, appearing on mainstream variety show Shabekuri 007, staff brought in veteran seiyuu Hayami Show, her former voice acting teacher (which I suppose means that Sayaka attended dwango creative school?) to surprise her. Hayami was fairly complimentary of her..but he would have to be, right?

At the end of 2014, another one of Sayaka’s dreams had come true – her newly-started unit TRUSTRICK (with musician Billy) had landed an anime tie-up in the form of the opening theme for Juuou Mujin no Fafnir, and Sayaka composed and wrote the lyrics for FLYING FAFNIR herself. She has also in the past, featured as a guest vocalist for the sasakure.UK project UK rampage on the track 二息歩行.

A lot of people still continue to doubt whether Sayaka is a “true otaku”, noting that “Danganronpa isn’t even an anime”, “she probably just picked a bunch of random anime names to sound cool”, or that she’s “just trying to appeal to the otaku crowd”. I’ll leave it up to you to make up your mind – listen to her talk about anime with Shimono Hiro when she guested on Bimbougami ga! radio.

By coincidence or by fate, I happened to walk past TRUSTRICK performing at their album release event in Ikebukuro Sunshine City in June last year. All I knew of them then was that “Anna from the Japanese Frozen” was the vocalist, and I only realized belatedly that it was actually Kanda (I had liked her back in her SAYAKA days). I wish I had paid more attention then but…I was too busy shopping ;(

TRUSTRICK’s new album TRUST is due out this week. Just don’t expect anything too anisong-like on there – I’m sure Sayaka has to keep that otaku side of hers in check if she wants to continue to land prestigious gigs like performing with Idina Menzel on NHK Kohaku XD

Follow Sayaka on Twitter, Instagram or her blog.

Note – This post was originally intended for my music blog but I thought it might pique the interest of some seiyuu fans, so here it is.

#42 – Sakura Ayane

42_ayaneru
Name: Sakura Ayane (佐倉 綾音)
DoB: 29 January 1994
Hometown: Tokyo
Agency: I’m Enterprise

I’m sure everyone knows more about Ayaneru than I could ever claim to. She’s one of the younger generation seiyuu whose voices I am quite familiar with and do very much like her husky tone, but she always seems to be in anime I don’t watch. Still, Ayaneru is very young and has plenty of time to expand her range & test her versatility; I definitely think she’s got what it takes to go the distance in the voice acting biz.

These are her 50 questions.

1. Please tell us how you became a seiyuu.
Since I was young, I was the kind of child who loved watching every aspect of a production from the show itself to the making-of videos. I went on to gain admission to a theatre troupe where my voice training teacher recommended that I aim to become a seiyuu.

2. What was your debut anime role?
In the ‘Keroro Gunsou Tanjou! Kyuukyoku Keroro, Kiseki no Jikuu-jima, de arimasu!!’ movie.

3. Of all the shows you have acted in thus far, is there any character that has left a particularly strong impression?
Hotarubi no Mori e’s Takegawa Hotaru.

4. Please tell us if any of the characters you are voicing now share any similarities to yourself.
I don’t think there are that many similarities; I always have to develop the characters from scratch. That by itself is a fun process.

5. From all the shows you’ve been in, please tell us about any one scene that left a particularly strong impression.
The scene in Kimi no Iru Machi where Asuka said “Liar,” to Haruto.

6. Please tell us any horror stories or memorable tales from the recording studio.
During a recording session for my TV anime debut series, I had no idea my skirt was torn until Ito Shizuka-san informed me. And then, I got to have Kawasumi Ayako-san mend the skirt for me.

7. Are there any seiyuu you see as rivals or as someone to aim for?
I admire Asano Masumi-san, Hanazawa Kana-san, Sawashiro Miyuki-san.

8. If you weren’t a seiyuu, what do you think you would be doing now?
Working part-time at a bookstore. I wanna draw on the POP boards*!

*The POP in POP boards/stands/panels/ads (ポップ/POP広告) actually stands for Point of Purchase. These are the ‘ads’, often hand-illustrated, that you see at bookstores & CD stores recommending or introducing certain products. See here.

9. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced as a seiyuu?
When I had a sore throat and lost my voice, I thought I saw my future going up in smoke. I tasted the feelings of despair I never would have if I hadn’t become a seiyuu,

10. On the flipside, what’s the happiest thing(s) that has happened to you as a seiyuu?
That I get to know so many wonderful shows. And as those shows near their completion, I am grateful that I have been involved with them.

11. Do you like singing?
Yes I do.

12. From all the radio shows you have hosted, were there any mails that left an impression on you?
I’m very happy to receive anything from casual mails talking about what happened recently in listeners’ daily lives to detailed personal impressions of my series and event. I haven’t got a blog nor do I use Twitter, so it’s only through radio shows that I can hold casual conversations and share my thoughts. Regardless of whether I’m able to introduce all the mails sent in on my radio shows, I do read each and every one and reply to them, even if only in my heart.

13. Is there anything you take particular care about when you’re acting?
Be confident, live and breathe the character. I believe that lack of confidence will lead to a shaky rendition of the character.

14. What kind of roles would you consider your specialty?
…this isn’t a specialty, but it seems that I tend to voice red-haired girls.

15. Tell us what goals and dreams you have as a seiyuu?
There would be no greater joy than to spend my whole life expressing myself through my voice. Also, I wish for my beloved training school teacher Amano Yuri-sensei’s words “Someday, I want to voice the role of Ayane-chan’s (character’s) mother”, to come true.

*Amano Yuri is a veteran seiyuu who was popular in the 90s, voicing Kiyone in the Tenchi! series.

16. To the people who are aiming to become seiyuu, please give them a word of advice.
I think you can get plenty of hints from everyday life. I’ll continue to put in the required dedication so that someday, I can meet you in a recording. Let’s work hard together.

17. Apart from the shows that you’ve been in, are there anime that you like to watch?
Gundam 00, Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san.

18. In relation to the above, are there any types of roles you’d like to voice or perhaps, characters that you admire?
In Gundam 00 I admired the Saji and Luis couple’s fated love, I remember being in tears over it. For Azazel-san, I loved Sakuma-san and wanted to be a university student like her.

19. As a viewer, what kind of anime do you like?
When my heart is up for it I like watching shows with a story to tell, or those that have a strong message to get across. When I’m tired I like watching gag anime where I don’t have to utilize any brain power.

20. What kind of child were you?
A tomboy.

21. Please tell us what TV programmes do you often watch?
Shabekuri 007, Ame Talk!, Sekai no Hate made Itte-Q!, Getsuyou kara Yofukashi, Matsuko.Ariyoshi no Ikari Shinto…they’re all variety shows.

*see here.

22. Tell us what your favourite books are.
For books, I like the works of Mukoda Kuniko, Isaka Kotaro, Shigematsu Kiyoshi. For manga I like the works of HERO, Tanemura Arina, Hotta Kiichi.

23. Tell us what your favourite game is.
Err…Tetris…maybe? Sorry, I’m not very good at games…but for Monster Hunter, I’m good at farming honey…

24. Tell us what your favourite movies are.
Hotarubi no Mori e.

25. Tell us about your favourite music.
I don’t have any favourite artists in particular, but Miyuki Nakajima-san’s albums used to be my lullabies.

26. Tell us what your motto is.
I want to become a person who makes her parents proud.

27. Tell us about any of your experiences with sports.
Basketball, swimming, gymnastics.

28. Tell us what songs you often sing when you go to the karaoke.
Mostly Tamura Yukari, Sakamoto Maaya, DECO*26, Supercell, Nogizaka46. Also bits of whatever songs I remember from the radio.

29. Tell us what your favourite foods are.
My mother’s cooking! There’s nothing she cooks that isn’t delicious.

30. Tell us what foods you hate.
Bitter foods, astringent* foods, spicy foods.

*a note about the word shibui (渋い) that is used here. When used with reference to food, ‘shibui’ is a particular type of taste that falls somewhere in between bitter (nigai) and sour (suppai), and is most frequently used to describe the taste of persimmons but also the taste of strong tea or red wine. ‘Tannic’ might be another way to translate shibui instead of ‘astringent’.

31. Tell us about the stores you often go to.
I could spend a whole day simply wandering around bookstores and shopping malls.

32. Do you have any favourite snacks?
Baum rolls, plum-flavoured snacks, FLO’s millefeuille langue de chat.

33. Do you drink? If you do, what sort of drinks do you like?
I’m still underage right now but once I turn 20 I’d like to go to a bar, be told “this is from the customer over there”, and get a drink zinged across the counter to me.

34. What did you do on your last day off?
Sleeping and eating.

35. If you had a whole week off, what would you do?
Buy a huge amount of books, manga and concert DVDs and indulge in them while accompanied by my dog, all without taking a step out of my house…unless someone manages to lure me outside!

36. Are there any hobbies that you’ve been obsessed with recently?
Attending various acquaintances’ live concerts. Collecting clothes or items with cat motifs. Playing around with my dog ‘til I lose track of time.

37. Tell us about any qualifications you have.
Microsoft Office Specialist’s Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, P-ken Level 2, IT Passport.

*P-ken (P検) aka ICT Proficiency Assessment tests general computing knowledge and ability. The IT Passport Examination is an official government-sanctioned certificate for IT professionals.

38. What challenges would you like to take on within the next 10 years?
To always be able to view myself objectively. To learn to enjoy the things I am not so good at.

39. What type of guy do you like?
Azumi Shinichiro-san!

*Azumi is a TBS announcer.

40. Which part(s) of a guy do you notice most?
Eyes? Not a body part, but his smile. Also, his bloodtype.

41. Tell us the most expensive thing you’ve bought recently.
A matching platinum necklace set I bought for me and my mom.

42. What is the one thing you most desire now?
Gift vouchers*…cute clothes.

*I believe the original article has a typo here (しょうひんけn), or maybe this is some new moon rune slang I’m not aware of…

43. If you could bring only one item to a deserted island, what would it be?
Family! If I had to pick an object…fire?

44. If you had 1,000,000 yen that you could spend as you wish, how would you use it?
Build a deck in my garden.

45. Please tell us if there is anything that you do on a daily basis, habits etc.
Dive into a futon and put on lip balm and a face mask, and read before I sleep.

46. Please leave a message for your fans.
Thanks to all of you, I am able to smile every day. Please send your opinions, impressions and requests to the agency office or my radio shows. I’m someone who still has much to learn but please continue to support me in the future.

47. Do you remember the first time you met Yamamoto Nozomi-san?
I’m sorry…but it’s so natural for us to be together these days that our first meeting is now a distant memory…

48. (A question from Yamamoto Nozomi) I often go out for meals with Ayaneru but we’ve not actually hung out together, otherwise so here’s a question! If you could take me out on a date where would we go? Please seriously think of a date plan so that we can put it into action someday (lol)
Hmm…first of all, let’s go to Ani(m)ate!
I love the “Nojo-san” who is looking at and talking about the things she loves so I’ll be able to stare at her intently while she does this!
And then, we’ll rock out at karaoke!
“Nojo-san” is that special someone whose high levels of tension match those of mine (lol)
I’ll stare intently at the “Nojo-san” who goes all-out singing, dancing and screaming!
Aaand theen, we’ll go for an all-you-can-eat meat meal, where I can stare intently at the “Nojo-san” who’s munching on her food.
Aaaaannd theeennn we’ll go back to my house, where I can stare intently at the “Nojo-san” who plays around with my parents and my dog!

49. Please tell us which seiyuu you get along well with.
Komatsu Mikako-san! Mikakoshi! Somewhere along the line, we started getting along really well! When I see Mikakoshi smile, all my weariness fades away.

50. Please leave a question for Komatsu Mikako.
Be frank with me…in Mikakoshi’s heart, what position does Sakura Ayane take up?

This interview was done in November 2013, and there has since been some internet talk about Ayaneru’s living status (she’s said to now be living on her own) as well as rumours of a relationship with Ishikawa Kaito…but let’s not go into that one!

#41 – Yoshimura Haruka

41_ruru
Figured that I might as well do Ruru’s 50 questions while I’m on a roll. This article came earlier (in March 2014) than the other two translations I’ve done so far and there’s a fair bit of repeat-answer stuff.

1. Please tell us why you became a seiyuu.
Because I’d always loved manga and anime since I was young♪

2. What was your début anime role?
Saki Zenkoku-hen’s Mase Yuko.

3. Of all the shows you have acted in thus far, is there any character that has left a particularly strong impression?
The one who has been with me right from my first ever audition – Jogasaki Mika-chan.

4. Please tell us if any of the characters you are voicing now share any similarities to yourself.
I think I might be fundamentally similar to Akuma no Riddle’s Kaminaga Kouko-chan. Hehe.

5. From all the shows you’ve been in, please tell us about any one scene that left a particularly strong impression.
I had fun having to express my feelings of a non-human character I was voicing just by saying the word ‘kyun’♪

6. Please tell us any horror stories or memorable tales from the recording studio.
When I accidentally picked up and used a pen that was lying on the skirt of the person sitting next to me (lol)

7. Are there any seiyuu you see as rivals or as someone to aim for?
My aim is to be like the many seniors of mine who give me important advice.

8. If you weren’t a seiyuu, what do you think you would be doing now?
A day-care worker♪

9. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced as a seiyuu?
How I wallow in helplessness over my own lack of ability- -。

10. On the flipside, what’s the happiest thing(s) that has happened to you as a seiyuu?
That I’m able to voice act.

11. Do you like singing? What has left the biggest impression when it comes to singing thus far?
I’m happy and delighted that people get to hear my singing♪ Karaoke is…ummm…..

12. From all the radio shows you have hosted, were there any mails that left an impression on you?
Recently, the mails that went “It’s embarrassing for me to write in to a radio show about my problems…” (lol)

13. Is there anything you take particular care about when you’re acting?
It’s important for me to keep in mind “I want to act out the role this way!” but at the same time, I try not to be bound by those rules.

14. What kind of roles would you consider your specialty?
Oh I would never be presumptuous enough to say that I have anything like a specialty ( ̄◇ ̄;)!

15. Tell us what goals and dreams you have as a seiyuu?
I want to be in a kids’ anime!!

16. To the people who are aiming to become seiyuu, please give them a word of advice.
L-let’s not be discouraged, and do our best together!!

17. Apart from the shows that you’ve been in, are there anime that you like to watch?
Precure~~

18. In relation to the above, are there any types of roles you’d like to voice or perhaps, characters that you admire?
When it comes to characters I admire, Cure Sunshine aka Myodoin Itsuki-chan, and Potpourri! I love them.

19. As a viewer, what kind of anime do you like?
Anime where the characters are all lively☆

20. What kind of child were you?
I had very little hair, my mom used to call me Hagechabin (lol).

*hagechabin is an Osaka-ben phrase – bald (hage) as a teapot (chabin).

21. Please tell us what TV programmes do you often watch?
Ame Talk.

22. Tell us what your favourite books are.
Lunatic Zatsugidan. It’s the first ever manga I bought♪

23. Tell us what your favourite game is.
Mario.

24. Tell us what your favourite movie is.
Precure movie.

25. Tell us about your favourite music.
I can’t choose, so I’ll pick my own songs (lol)

26. Tell us what your motto is.
“There’s no way that a person who wouldn’t even pick up a piece of rubbish lying at his feet could get picked up by chance in Aoyama!” – a line from Kinpachi sensei.

*refer back to this post for an explanation.

27. Tell us about any of your experiences with sports.
A bit of judo.

28. Tell us what songs you often sing when you go to the karaoke.
I don’t go to karaoke…

29. Tell us what your favourite foods are.
Plum candy, potatoes, meat, sashimi.

30. Tell us what foods you hate.
Vegetables (lol), cream stew, mayonnaise.

31. Tell us about the stores you often go to.
Old-fashioned teishoku restaurants.

32. Do you have any favourite snacks?
Plum candy, cola candy.

33. Do you drink? If you do, what sort of drinks do you like?
I’m not much of a drinker, but I do drink Cassis Orange.

*a cocktail that is part Crème de cassis, part orange juice

34. What did you do on your last day off?
I slept for most of it, then practised a bit of singing.

35. If you had a whole week off, what would you do?
Go back to my hometown.

36. Are there any hobbies that you’ve been obsessed with recently?
Drawing.

37. Tell us about any qualifications you have.
Normal driving license.

38. What challenges would you like to take on within the next 10 years?
To put it bluntly…I just want to voice the main character.

39. What type of guy do you like?
Someone with a gentle demeanour, or someone with a ‘dark’ personality.

40. Which part of a guy do you notice most?
The back of his neck?

41. Tell us the most expensive thing you’ve bought recently.
A bullet train ticket.

42. What is the one thing you most desire now?
Intelligence…

43. If you could bring only one item to a deserted island, what would it be?
My mom.

44. If you had 1,000,000 yen that you could spend as you wish, how would you use it?
Save all of it~.

45. Please tell us if there is anything that you do on a daily basis, habits etc.
Play Monster Hunter.

46. Please leave a message for your fans.
Thanks for everything! I’m always cheered up by your support. Yoshimura Haruka is going to do her best!!

47. Do you remember the first time you met Suzaki Aya-san?
Yes I do!! I got to know her during training school and our first conversation went like this “Hey there~if you’re free would you like to go have some tea?” (lol)

48. (A question from Suzaki Aya) If you came over to my place to cook a meal together, what would you like to make? If possible, choose something simple! ( ̄▽ ̄*)
Ehhh! But we messed up the last time we tried to cook instant noodles~ ( ̄口 ̄;) I guess we should try to get our revenge on those instant noodles~.

49. Please tell us which seiyuu you get along well with.
Numakura Manami-chan, Suwa Ayaka-chan, the good friends I made while working on iM@S and Saki, and of course, Suzaki Aya-chan ♪

50. Please leave a question for Numakura Manami.
Numakura Manami-chan, if I were an animal what would I be~?? I’d like to hear the reason too~ (^▽^)

#40 – MAKO

40_mako
Name: MAKO
Real Name: Sakurai Mako (桜井 真子)
DoB: 7 October 1986
Hometown: Tokyo
Agency: I’m Enterprise

Bubbly, bright MAKO did not start her entertainment life as a seiyuu – when she was young, she was already enrolled in the Nansho Kids group, a sister troupe of the Minami Aoyama Shojo Kagekidan that Chiba Saeko and Nanri Yuuka were both part of.

In 2001, MAKO was chosen to be a part of the Mew Five, a cosplay idol unit set up to promote the Tokyo Mew Mew anime (Akesaka Satomi was also a part of the group). A year later, MAKO joined BON-BON BLANCO, a concept idol group managed by her agency Spacecraft as the leader and maracas player. They released 11 singles including theme songs for Getbackers, ONE PIECE and Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge? but eventually disbanded in 2009, after MAKO had already moved into seiyuu work. Her playing the maracas also became a bit of a running joke over the years with various characters she voiced being shown with the instrument in animation sequences and CD jackets.

MAKO’s voice acting debut came as the lead Hitotsubashi Yurie in 2005’s Kamichu!. Other roles include Shishido Akiha in Sora o Kakeru Shojo and Ichijo Karen in the second season of School Rumble, the latter a role she inherited from her agency senior Nanri Yuuka. Incidentally, MAKO is a huge fan of Yuuka’s and has her autograph and photos in her collection.

In 2011, MAKO left Spacecraft and joined I’m Enterprise. She announced the birth of her first child, a daughter, in June 2014.

Her 50 questions were published in August 2013.

1. Please tell us how you became a seiyuu.
Someone from my agency asked me to go for an audition for an anime role.

2. What was your début anime role?
Kamichu!

3. Of all the shows you have acted in thus far, is there any character that has left a particularly strong impression?
I’d say Yurie-sama from Kamichu!. ‘cos that was my début series.

4. From all the shows you’ve been in, please tell us about any one scene that left a particularly strong impression.
If I had to pick just one, based on impact levels I’d go for Corpse Party. Having to see people getting beat up right in front of my eyes etc, made recordings tough.

5. Are there any seiyuu who you have been especially influenced by?
Maybe Koshimizu Ami-chan. We get along very well so I often seek her advice, and she responds to me emphatically.

6. Are there any seiyuu you see as rivals or as someone to aim for?
There are so many people I admire, but I do get particularly excited when I meet Yukana-san and Toyoguchi Megumi-san.

7. If you weren’t a seiyuu, what do you think you would be doing now?
I can’t imagine any other possibilities apart from seiyuu work. Thus, I’d be unemployed.

8. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced as a seiyuu?
I’ve never thought of it as being hard but what I’d like to work on are my talking skills, something I’m not very good at.

9. On the flipside, what’s the happiest thing(s) that has happened to you as a seiyuu?
I will never forget how I felt the first time I watched an anime that had my voice in it.

10. Do you like singing?
Yes.

11. From all the radio shows you have hosted, were there any mails that left an impression on you?
I get flustered when I have to do muchaburi-style* stuff. Having to do impromptu imitations makes me break out in a cold sweat.

* muchaburi (無茶振り), a type of gag style often utilized in Japanese variety shows where one guy builds up a joke or gag to the audience before passing the punchline to the other guy (the boke) who deflates the entire joke by saying something dumb.

Literally, ‘muchaburi’ means to do something recklessly, or pushing something beyond its limits. It’s kind of hard to explain in words but basically, you are being pushed into doing something that is unrealistic, and often times stupid. Hatena has an explanation (in Japanese).

12. Is there anything you take particular care about when you’re acting?
Nothing in particular.

13. What kind of roles would you consider your specialty?
Maybe dumb girls?

14. Tell us what goals and dreams you have as a seiyuu?
I’d be happy if I could remain a seiyuu forever.

15. To the people who are aiming to become seiyuu, please give them a word of advice.
It’s fun being a seiyuu. Please do your best.

16. Apart from the shows that you’ve been in, are there anime that you like to watch?
Sazae-san.

17. In relation to the above, are there any types of roles you’d like to voice or perhaps, characters that you admire?
Maybe Ikura-chan?

18. As a viewer, what kind of anime do you like?
Shows with cute girls, shows that are touching.

19. What kind of child were you?
An obedient child. I was ‘a lion at home, a mouse abroad’*.

*uchibenkei (内弁慶) – someone who is arrogant when he/she is at home, but turns timid and meek outside.

20. Please tell us what TV programmes do you often watch?
Entertainment news programmes..I guess?

21. Tell us what your favourite books are.
NANA.

22. Tell us what your favourite game is.
Tamagotchi.

23. Tell us about your favourite music.
BON-BON BLANCO (←A girls’ band I was in)

24. Tell us what your favourite movies are.
I’m having trouble deciding…I’ll go with Legally Blonde.

*it’s called Cutie Blonde in Japan.

25. Tell us what your motto is.
Nothing really…

26. Tell us about any of your experiences with sports.
I tried out lots of things but nothing stuck; doing dance as part of my work is about it.

27. Tell us what songs you often sing when you go to the karaoke.
SPEED’s songs.

28. Tell us what your favourite foods are.
Vegetables, raw oysters, abalone, shark’s fin, sea urchin. For offal I like the throat cartilage (urute, ウルテ). I also love fresh cream to the point I’d like to drink it on its own.

29. Tell us what foods you hate.
Coriander.

30. Tell us about the stores you often go to.
I often go to Shibuya, Harajuku, Roppongi.

31. Do you have any favourite snacks?
Strawberry shortcake.

32. Do you drink? If you do, what sort of drinks do you like?
My favourite is fresh fruit cocktails. I also often drink red wine and green tea liqueur.

33. What did you do on your last day off?
I went to eat sushi with my family.

34. If you had a whole week off, what would you do?
I’d like to go to Hawaii.

35. Are there any hobbies that you’ve been obsessed with recently?
Golf.

36. Tell us about any qualifications you have.
Normal driving license. I’m a paper driver.

*paper drivers are people who have the license but don’t use it.

37. What challenges would you like to take on within the next 10 years?
Get married and have children (lol).

*She did indeed get married & had a child within a year of this article. I guess she already knew the future she was heading towards 😉

38. What type of guy do you like?
A youthful guy, so we could play around like children.

39. Which part(s) of a guy do you notice most?
I’m the slim type so I’d like someone who’s on the chubby side. I wanna be hugged tightly~

40. Tell us the most expensive thing you’ve bought recently.
I don’t go for expensive stuff, but I do buy too many clothes.

41. What is the one thing you most desire now?
A purse. I’m fond of small bags so I’d like a small purse too.

42. If you could bring only one item to a deserted island, what would it be?
Friends. I really can’t survive alone (T_T)

43. If you had 1,000,000 yen that you could spend as you wish, how would you use it?
Go on a shopping spree in Hawaii.

44. What fond memories do you have of Nanri Yuuka-san?
I remember when (Yuuka-san), Koshimizu Ami-chan and I went over to Kikuchi Mika-chan’s place – the 4 of us had looong conversations over a hotpot meal.

45. Please tell us about any websites that you visit on a daily basis.
Nothing in particular.

46. Please leave a message for your fans.
As always, thank you. Please continue to support me.

47. Do you remember the first time you met Nanri Yuuka-san?
It was back in my first year of junior high. She was my theatre group senior, and I was such a big big big fan of hers.

48. (A question from Nanri Yuuka) Is there anything that makes you nervous during recordings? If there is/are, what do you to make it better?
Just during practice. When I’m in the booth I repeat my lines over and over as if I’m chanting a prayer.

49. Please tell us which seiyuu you get along well with.
I’d like to introduce someone who I just worked with recently – Tatsumi Yuiko-chan.

50. Please leave a question for Tatsumi Yuiko.
Yui-chan, your mom is a ditzy but really interesting person – have you got any recent stories about her that you can share?

#39 – Hosoya Yoshimasa

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Name: Hosoya Yoshimasa (細谷 佳正)
DoB: 10 February 1982
Hometown: Hiroshima
Agency: Freelance (left Mausu Promotion in 2014)
Representative Roles: Arata Wataya in Chihayafuru, Kawabuchi Sentaro in Sakamichi no Apollon, Shichika Yasuri in Katanagatari, Reiner Braun in Shingeki no Kyojin, Hyuga Junpei in Kurono no Basket, Azumane Asahi in Haikyuu!!

Going all the way back to #1 in the male seiyuu’s series of Seiyuu no Wa brings us to one of my favourites, Hosoya Yoshimasa.

1. Please tell us how you became a seiyuu.
When I was in high school I watched the Nadesico movie that a friend had lent me. After watching a warp scene featuring the character Hokushin who was voiced by a seiyuu I admired then (and still do), Yamadera Koichi, I thought to myself “I’d like to be able to warp too”. That was the reason I thought about becoming a seiyuu.

2. What was your début anime role?
I think it was probably the role of one of the shuttle crew in an anime called Gallery Fake.

3. Of all the shows you have acted in thus far, is there any character that has left a particularly strong impression?
Yasuri Shichika in Katanagatari.

4. Please tell us if any of the characters you are voicing now share any similarities to yourself.
I’ve done a lot of different types of characters, so maybe the only similarities we share are the voices.

5. From all the shows you’ve been in, please tell us about any one scene that left a particularly strong impression.
In the last episode of Katanagatari when Togane died.

6. Please tell us any horror stories or memorable tales from the recording studio.
When I went to my first recording I didn’t even know what a ‘bold’ was. I even said my lines without paying attention to the ‘required length of speaking’. I was embarrassed when my mistakes were pointed out by my seniors after that.

*bold (ボールド) refers to the small boxes that appear on rough animation cuts (see here), signalling the character that is speaking
** “required length of speaking” basically, is the amount of time over which a single line of dialogue should stretch in order to match the animation of mouth flaps. If the seiyuu reads his lines too fast, it’s a 早上がりand if he reads too slow, it’s a こぼれ.

7. Are there any seiyuu you see as rivals or as someone to aim for?
I used to have many of these but nowadays, I think it’s more important that I focus on finding out more of my strengths, and work on polishing them.

8. If you weren’t a seiyuu, what do you think you would be doing now?
I’d probably be working at a bar opened by my friend.

9. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced as a seiyuu?
When I couldn’t even afford to pay my phone and utility bills, when I couldn’t even live a normal life. I even had to resort to taking showers at a friend’s place.

10. On the flipside, what’s the happiest thing(s) that has happened to you as a seiyuu?
When I get letters from people who have watched shows that I appear in, telling me “You really have done your best in many things”, or when they say “Thanks for being born into this world” on my birthday.

11. Do you like singing? What has left the biggest impression when it comes to singing thus far?
There are times when I love it and there are times when I find it tough to handle. As for memorable moments – when I performed Shiraishi Kuranosuke’s Kuchibiru live. When I started singing the first notes during the evening portion of the Tokyo lives, I was surprised to find that I still had a voice to sing.

*Shiraishi Kuranosuke is a character from Prince of Tennis

12. From all the radio shows you have hosted, were there any mails that left an impression on you?
“People may find you hard to understand, but I myself love your talks”. That made me happy…

13. Is there anything you take particular care about when you’re acting?
Bringing life to a character. To make the character more human. Even if the character’s not human, it’s important to consider its emotions.

14. What kind of roles would you consider your specialty?
Characters who have no parents, but wish to….maybe? I can’t exactly say that I am execptionally good at it, but just that…I can relate to their feelings.

15. Tell us what goals and dreams you have as a seiyuu?
To work at this for the rest of my life. I want to be in a Japan-made film that charms people the world over. I also want to meet my overseas fans.

16. To the people who are aiming to become seiyuu, please give them a word of advice.
Just experience as many things as possible, and become someone who’s interesting!

17. Apart from the shows that you’ve been in, are there anime that you like to watch?
I was crazy about Cowboy Bebop. Also, Doraemon, Esper Mami, Slam Dunk & Rurouni Kenshin.

18. In relation to the above, are there any types of roles you’d like to voice or perhaps, characters that you admire?
Cowboy Bebop’s Spike. I really, really like him.

19. As a viewer, what kind of anime do you like?
I prefer films to running series. Psychological-suspense types like Perfect Blue might be my kind of thing.

20. What kind of child were you?
I was a shy child, but kind of precocious. Also, I was a TV-obsessed kid…I loved Jackie Chan.

21. Please tell us what TV programmes do you often watch?
The news, the weather forecast…and sometimes, Terrace House.

22. Tell us what your favourite books are.
Ushio & Tora, Murakami Haruki’s South of the Border, West of the Sun. These are the two that popped into my mind first.

23. Tell us what your favourite games are.
What I’m playing now is Prince of Persia on the Super Famicom.

24. Tell us what your favourite movies are.
What I’d like to watch now is The Bridges of Madison County.

25. Tell us about your favourite songs.
Mr.Chilren’s Tenohira, Makihara Noriyuki’s Donna Toki mo.

26. Tell us what your motto is.
“If it’s not fun, it’s not life. If it’s not fun, it’s not work.” I read it in a book recently, so let’s go with that.

27. Tell us about any of your experiences with sports.
Basketball club: quit after a week
Kendo: 1-dan
Unicycle: can only move forwards
Skateboard: can only skate forwards

28. Tell us what songs you often sing when you go to the karaoke.
I don’t go to karaoke.

29. Tell us what your favourite foods are.
Sea urchin, gorgonzola cheese, kalbi (ribs), salad, ume-nankotsu (chicken cartilage in plum sauce).

30. Tell us what foods you hate.
Oysters! Aojiru (green juice). Spicy curry.

31. Tell us about the stores you often go to.
Wine Bar. I am close to the owner and the staff there and they’re good at choosing delicious wines that fit my tastes. I’m also fond of strong cheeses and am always on the lookout for recommended places to go for that.

32. Do you have any favourite snacks?
Off the top of my mind, Jaga Pokkuru.

*you can buy them at all major JP airports

33. Do you drink? If you do, what sort of drinks do you like?
Sweet white wine. Whiskey. Sweet Vermouth wines.

34. What did you do on your last day off?
Cleaned my room.

35. If you had a whole week off, what would you do?
Onsen trip.

36. Are there any hobbies that you’ve been obsessed with recently?
Trying to hold conversations with people. Read self-help books.

37. Tell us about any qualifications you have.
EIKEN Grade Pre-2. (I was just three points away from Grade 2, but I think it’s already impossible for me). Kendo 1-dan.

38. What challenges would you like to take on within the next 10 years?
Travel overseas. Go on a solo trip.

39. What type of girl do you like?
Someone with common sense and is kind and loves to laugh. An honest person.

40. Which part(s) of a girl do you notice most?
Her aura.

41. Tell us the most expensive thing you’ve bought recently.
A leather jacket.

42. What is the one thing you most desire now?
Happiness.

43. If you could bring only one item to a deserted island, what would it be?
My best friend.

44. If you had 1,000,000 yen that you could spend as you wish, how would you use it?
I’d save it.

45. Please tell us if there is anything that you do on a daily basis, habits etc.
Go to bed early.

46. Please leave a message for your fans.
I’m going to do my best from now on, so please cheer me on!

47. (Question from fan) What is the layout of your house?
It’s a secret.

48. (Question from fan) What type of jazz do you like?
Moanin’, My Funny Valentine.

*Both were featured in Sakamichi no Apollon.

49. Please tell us which seiyuu you get along well with.
This is just my own assumption (lol) – Ono Kensho-kun, Ono Yuki-kun, Eguchi Takuya-san, Kimura Ryohei-san, Ishikawa Kaito-kun, Ono Daisuke-san, Sakurai Takahiro-san, Kaji Yuki-san, Kondo Takayuki-san, Okamoto Nobuhiko-san.

50. Please leave a question for our next interviewee (Sakurai Takahiro)
Sakurai Takahiro-san! How can I be like you, with a mysterious air and a presence that makes people interested in me?