In my last post I mentioned how seiyuu usually only change agencies if they’re not happy with their management (or they’re following their old managers) or the way their careers are going. Maybe they’re not getting acting jobs or even auditions and the situation can drag on fo years until they quit acting altogether, or they can try to change their fortunes.
I’d like to point out Ishigami Shizuka as one of the latter group of people – she’s a rare case of a seiyuu who got absolutely nowhere at her original agency and has only turned her career around after shifting companies. Ishigami joined 81produce after graduating from Tokyo Media Academy’s seiyuu vocal class and made her debut in a bit-part role in 2010 in Bakuman, but made zero headway in the three or so years she was there. Her only notable anime appearance when she was in 81p was in Cardfight!! Vanguard as Tobita Mai, a role she was forced to vacate when she left the agency (it was taken over by Okubo Rumi). Within a few months of joining Pro-Fit in early 2014, Ishigami was voicing the second-lead heroine Kiyuna Kiriko in Kenzen Robo Daimidaler, her first ever role won through an audition.
Currently, Ishigami is voicing the lead roles of Kajo Ayame in Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai shinai Taikutsu na Sekai and Tobitatsu Haneru in kids’ show Tribe Cool Crew, as well as Mito Ikumi in Shokugeki no Soma and Leiur in Symphogear. She will also voice the lead role of Stella Vermillion in upcoming autumn anime Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry. Other minor roles of hers you may know: Kashiwagi in Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, Ellis Fahrengart in Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance and Syr in Danmachi.
Voice-wise, she has often been compared to Inoue Marina, Koshimizu Ami and Shiraishi Ryoko. I would also like to offer Kobayashi Sanae as a comparison – Ishigami’s voice is similarly husky and pitched lower, enabling her to pull off both young boys and sexy oneesans with ease. She also appears to be competing with Hikasa Yoko in the ero heroine stakes – they worked together on Daimidaler and both were fun to listen to.
Ishigami is also a pretty good singer, was part of Kneesocks (Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance) and was tapped for the Tsukiuta project this year. Check out some of her singing:
I translated Q&A with Ishigami from earlier this year (source here, with videos featuring her Tribe Cool Crew colleague Hara Yuko):
Q1. Why you became a seiyuu.
A: Because I wanted to become a magic user.
There are two reasons I wanted to become a seiyuu, this was one of them!
I wanted to do things that I couldn’t do for real. How wonderful it is to breathe life into an anime character, it’s like I’m casting a magic spell!
(the other reason is something that’s more realistic!)
Q2. Recommended movies, books, manga.
A: Total Recall.
I’m referring to the 2012 remake of the 1990 original*. It’s set in a future where the gap between the rich and poor has widened significantly. The protagonist of the story learns about, and pursues “the implantation of his favourite memories in brain in order to enjoy life more”.
I really like the climax of this movie, I highly recommend it!
*note: both were based on the Philip K. Dick short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
Q3. What you are addicted to now (hobbies etc)
A: Caramel latte. Watching videos.
Whenever I stop by a cafe I’ll order caramel latte. I like it hot!
Rather than being addicted to watching videos, it’s just something that’s become a daily routine for me.
I’ll fire up some of my favourite videos to watch while I’m eating breakfast.
Q4: The first thing you do when you wake up.
A: Play mobile games (while still in my futon)
I can’t get out of bed immediately after I open my eyes so I let my eyes adjust by playing games!
Q5. What you must do before you go to sleep.
A: Take a bath.
I love taking a piping hot bath just before I go to bed.
I think it helps me sleep better.
Q6. A person you admire most, or seiyuu.
The ones who are always cheering me on at all times, the ones who understand me the most, the ones who are always supporting me. The gratitude I feel towards my dad and my mom now that I have grown up. Thank you for your unconditional love.
Q7. The good things about being a seiyuu.
A: Putting a smile on people’s faces.
When I can put a smile on the faces of the people who watch my anime and characters. This isn’t something I can do by relying on my own strengths. That is why I am truly, truly happy when someone like me can help put a smile on somebody else’s face.
Anime is wonderful.
Q8. An anime character you fell in love with.
A: Kenzen Robo Daimidaler’s Shoma-kun.
Recently, I really like Shoma-kun from Kenzen Robo Daimidaler!
Having these feelings makes it easier for me to play my characters so it seems natural for me to be attracted to them!
I’d also like to mention Tribe Cool Crew’s Haneru-kun! I voice him myself, but his lines and movements are just so straightforward and cute…I love him! If I went to the same junior high school I’d definitely fall for him!
Q9. What kind of seiyuu would you like to be in the future.
A: “When you’re in trouble, call on Ishigami Shizuka!”
“This character’s tough…what should we do?”
“Hmm, let’s just leave it to Ishigami Shizuka!”
I want to be the kind of seiyuu who can do anything!
Q10. Place of birth, dialects (languages).
I was born and bred in Tokyo so regrettably, I know no dialects.
Kansai-ben, Kyoto-ben etc – it’s fun listening to dialects, I love them!
Watching Shimoseka and its related programmes, you can tell Ishigami has zero inhibitions + a super dirty mouth, freely spewing vulgarities much to the bemusement of her male co-star Kobayashi Yuusuke. Her audition involved screaming man〇〇 & chin〇〇 at the top of her lungs and she still got the role despite misreading the character Onigashira Kosuri’s name (鬼頭 鼓修理) as Kito Kosuri…alas, we’ll have to wait ’til the blurays for completely uncensored dialogue. Looking forward to hearing Ishigami simulating sex between flies in its full glory!