I wonder if people consider somebody like Ito Kanae a ‘veteran’ nowadays. She made her début in 2007 and has built up an extensive body of work over these 8 years, though she has become somewhat less prominent of late. This season, you can catch her work in Pripara, tldr 2nd, Aikatsu!, GOD EATER and Fate Prisma Illya.
Q: How was recording today?
A: I had a lot of fun talking about various topics! I don’t get that many opportunities to do self-reflection, so putting my thoughts into words allowed me to notice certain things for the first time. There were also things that I had never mentioned before this.
Q: There were many questions asked today, were there any that were particularly memorable for you?
A: The question that went “What have your emotions been like lately?”. I felt a bit troubled. It’s hard to filter and consider your own feelings, isn’t it? Eventually…I ended up talking about things that were almost out of bounds, if you know what I mean.
Q: Ah, that “story”*. (lol)
A: Yes, that “story”. “Is it alright to talk about this~, would it be pointless~?” it was a fine line between those two thoughts (lol).
Q: We look forward to the airing (lol).
*The “story”: during New Year’s eve Kanae had influenza and wanted to go home to spend the holidays with her family but her mother told her not to so she wouldn’t spread her germs…it was the first time in her life Kanae felt so lonely 😦
Les Miserables – helped broaden my views
Q: You talked about “loving theatre since your school days” – have you gone to see any theatre shows recently?
A: At the end of last year I went to see Mozart, which Hirano Aya-chan appears in. There are also a lot of stage productions based on manga and games of late; I have been to see quite a few of them.
Q: Could you name any one work from those you’ve seen so far that made you think “This is amazing!”
A: I just mentioned Hirano Aya-chan – the actual reason why we get along so well is because I went to watch the Les Miserables musical that she was a part of. I had never seen the film version before so the stage show she appeared in was my first time experiencing the story and it was truly amazing! Obviously the name of the show itself holds much power, but watching it made me realize just how great a musical, utilizing music and with virtually no dialogue, could be….the impact I felt then was just amazing!
Q: Do the things you learn from watching stage shows affect you in any way?
A: That is exactly what Les Miserables has done for me! Normally I only watch Japanese films as I can’t keep up with the subtitles for foreign language films – by the time I’ve read the words he scene has already changed…while for dubbed films I tend to slip into seiyuu mode and treat it as research and think “Ah, so that’s how you’d express such a phrase!”, which means I don’t actually get to enjoy watching the film itself.
Thus, I think Les Miserables, which I only watched because I was determined to see more foreign films, has helped to expand my horizons.
Q: What do you see as being the appeal of theatre?
A: I think that the appeal lies in being able to see the performers, who can touch viewers’ hearts, live in the flesh. It’s true that making an anime out of a given original work can be very difficult, but adapting the source material for a stage requiring actual people to fill the roles is even tougher.
What makes an actor amazing, in my opinion, is when he or she is able to bring out his or her own charms without killing the character’s personality. With things like ad-libs, one can instantly make a character more vibrant than in the original work and that can be heart-gripping for the viewer as well. The moment I see something like this happening, I’ll get incredibly excited and thinking “This person is a genius!” (lol).
Future goal is to become “an unchanging presence”
Q: Moving on, what would you say was the most fun experience you have had as a seiyuu?
A: There have been many, but if I had to pick one I’d say Shugo Chara! recordings. Shugo Chara! was my first ever proper work as a seiyuu standing at a mic, so the show is of great significance to me. Especially Hinamori Amu-chan, whom I voice my family has even said to me that “she’s exactly like you, Kanae”. I spent a long time with this character, so I have great fondness for her. It was tough when I was voicing her but once it was over I could say what a “fun” production it was!
Q: Tell us what you have lined up.
A: The première for the theatrical version of Pripara, in which I voice Akai Meganee, will be on March 7 (Saturday). It features a different storyline so I’d be glad if you could come to the cinema and watch it not just once or twice, but three or four or more times. Also, the TV anime version of Pripara will be continuing this spring, so please look forward to it!
Q: Like its predecessor Pretty Rhythm that first started 5 years ago, Pripara looks set to be another long-running work.
A: That’s right. Pretty Rhythm was originally an arcade game where there were little gems decorated with clothing designs coordinated to the characters that girls (players) would happily collect, seeing how “prettily everyone shines”. It’s the same feeling I get from Shugo Chara! – seeing kids playing the games or watching the shows with smiles on their faces makes me feel happy as well. I’d love for (Pripara) to go on forever.
Q: Do you have any future goals that you’ve drawn up for yourself?
A: I talked about this a little during recording as well – I’d love to broaden my acting skills, I want to keep on growing but at the same time, remain who I am going forward!
Q: So you want to “be yourself”.
A: Yes. I’m basically a lively person. That’s why I want to share a variety of things with other people and entertain them as well so that I too, can have fun. I’d love to be able to create a world where everyone can be as noisy as they want at any given time! As for the future, I wish to become a familiar, “unchanging presence”.
Q: Lastly, please leave a message for the readers.
A: For this edition of Voice Switch, I had the chance to talk about episodes that I’d never touched upon up until now, and I was also able to reflect on certain things on the spot. Please watch the show, and I’d be glad if you could enjoy it while thinking “Ah, so that’s what it is!”
Q: Thanks for the good work!
Yeah I translated this short piece because (i) I found it interesting that Kanae and Aya get along well & (ii) it seems a while since I last heard Kanae in a lead role (Okami Shojo to Kuro Oji).
Here’s a two-shot of Kanae + Hirano Aya from May, when Kanae went to see Les Mis (from Aya’s blog):