Name: Hosoya Yoshimasa (細谷 佳正)
DoB: 10 February 1982
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.
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
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?
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?
41. Tell us the most expensive thing you’ve bought recently.
A leather jacket.
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?
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?