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?
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?
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?
17. In relation to the above, are there any types of roles you’d like to voice or perhaps, characters that you admire?
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.
22. Tell us what your favourite game is.
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.
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.
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.
30. Tell us about the stores you often go to.
I often go to Shibuya, Harajuku, Roppongi.
31. Do you have any favourite snacks?
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?
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?