Hondo is so fresh and new that I’m Enterprise hasn’t got a profile page for her yet. She’s got two major roles this season – Kukuru in Fushigi na Somera-chan and Kokoro in kids’ show Cocotama, so best to keep a lookout for her.
Kaede started attending NichiNare’s Nagoya branch in her 2nd year of high school and only just joined I’m in April this year – she’s being fast-tracked through the system real quickly so she must have that something special about her.
Q: How was the photoshoot?
A: I’ve never really liked having my photos taken and I’ve only recently gotten used to looking straight into the camera, so I did feel a bit nervous. The cameraman helped to make things lively this time around and I enjoyed myself.
Q: Did you wear your own clothes for the shoot today?
A: My normal style is loose clothing like parkas and shorts but I brought something a bit prettier today. It’s still the tail-end of summer right now so I chose lighter clothing but it’s unexpectedly cold today, isn’t it?
Q: Where do you normally buy your clothes?
A: I just moved here from Aichi so honestly, I haven’t had the chance to buy anything in Tokyo yet…my outfit today, I brought it along with me from Aichi (laughs).
Q: You made your début just this year.
A: Yes, I joined NichiNare in my 2nd year of high school and having turned 19 this year, I joined I’m Enterprise in April.
Q: Have you gotten used to Tokyo yet?
A: I’ve been very much surprised by the trains. And it’s not just because of the sheer number of them. Usually, when the train doors close I feel relieved, like “This is my position, phew~”. But in Tokyo, even when the doors are shut people can still barge in and that makes me feel a little unsettled. There are others too, who get into the train with their backs facing the door saying “if I don’t do it like this I won’t be able to fit in” and it makes me think “wow, so there such tricks you can use~”.
Q: Why did you want to become a seiyuu?
A: I’ve always loved performing in front of a crowd; I was a member of the drama club in high school. Once, there was this really cool role of a nurse that I wanted to play but because of my lack of height and my youthful looks I was told “Kaede-chan, you’re better off playing this junior high school student”. That made me think, “In that case, I’ll act with my voice instead” and that was the first step.
Q: You may have just made your début, but you’ve been involved with the recording of a variety of shows already.
A: Yes, I worked on Aoharu x Kikanjuu and Denpa Kyoushi.
Q: Are there any seiyuu you get along well with?
A: Han Megumi-san. We’re working on Himitsu no Cocotama together, and she always gives me a lot of tips during recording. We’ve gone out for meals together as well. I also get along well with Ozawa Ari-san and Naganawa Maria-san. I’m able to see them in the recording studio quite often, and I now call them Ari-chan and Maria-chan.
Q: You voice the main character in two of the new autumn shows. First of all, there is Fushigi na Somera-chan in which Naganawa-san also appears. What kind of anime is it?
A: Somera-chan is a late-night, 5-minute anime that is all about the lightning-fast gags. You never know what’s going to happen next and that’s what makes it so unique.
Q: It’s a Choboraunyopomi-sensei work, which gives it a similar feel to Ai Mai Mii.
A: That’s exactly so. You’ve just got to be ready for whatever is thrown at you or you’ll never be able to keep up (laughs). I voice Kukuru-chan, the younger sister of the lead character Somera. They live together; thanks to her bum of an older sister, Kukuru has to work hard at her part-time job so that she can lead a decent life – she’s the only person in the anime who has common sense.
Q: How about your other show Kamisama Minarai Himitsu no Cocotama?
A: Broadcast in the evening and aimed at young girls, it’s the complete opposite of Somera-chan (laughs). I play the heroine Yotsuba Kokoro-chan, who’s an quiet, kind 6th grader. She’s someone who cherishes everything she has and if she treats, for example, her piano with great care, the god of the Piano will come popping out. Himitsu no Cocotama is a story about Kokoro-chan and these gods, named Cocotama. The comedic elements may be strong but it is also a warm, heartful story that anyone would enjoy watching.
Q: What’s the atmosphere during recording like?
A: Like the anime, it is very warm. It is my first ever lead role, but some of the seiyuu behind the Cocotama such as Han Megumi-san, Toyosaki Aki-san and Kakazu Yumi-san are veterans who kindly protect and cover for me.
Q: Do you think that you’re similar to either Kukuru-chan or Kokoro-chan in any way?
A: Both of them are mature girls but if I was to pick the one I most resembled…probably Kokoro-chan. Kukuru-chan is the kind of person who can still throw in thumping comebacks even when she gets caught up in the chaos but I think I share Kokoro-chan’s gentle demeanour.
Q: Perhaps, voicing gentle characters might be your speciality?
A: It’s certainly easier to voice characters that are close to my own personality. However, if we’re talking about specialities in terms of performance then I’d say I’m good at playing babies – the way they whine or a newborn’s cries; I’ve been practising these a lot. I’d like to show off those skills in an anime someday.
Q: I see. A newborn’s cries…that isn’t something that happens in anime all that often though…
A: That’s why nobody practises, if such an opportunity ever arises then..please!
Q: Apart from that – as someone who went through the Nagoya education system, you’re also involved in project758, voicing the mascot character Takakura Hijiri.
A: I auditioned for the role while I was still attending NichiNare. The character is a motif of the Atsuta Baseball ground but…I’ve never actually been there. I’m so sorry! I’ve been to Nagoya Dome before though.
Q: Do you like sports?
A: In terms of actually playing sports, I did swimming for a long time and I also like endurance running. Nowadays I still run, from my house to the train station (laughs). For watching, I’m fine with anything but in particular, I love figure skating – it’s relaxing and exciting at the same time. Aichi University is traditionally strong in figure skating so a lot of figure skaters do actually come from the area, I want to see them do well.
Q: Name 3 of your favourite things, regardless of type or genre.
A: Spicy foods, my dog, and the 3rd…acting.
Q: What kind of spicy foods?
A: I like pepper-based spicy foods, foods that are so spicy they make you feel numb to the spiciness (laughs). Tabasco is my favourite; at my peak I would have dumped two bottles of Tabasco into my spaghetti without realizing it. Nowadays, I try to be a bit more conservative and limit myself to half a bottle…
Q: What’s the spiciest thing you’ve ever eaten?
A: The last time I felt that something I ate was spicy was probably back in junior high. There’s a famous Chinese restaurant in Nagoya called Misen and the first time I tried their Taiwan ramen – that was tough for me to take. I think that might’ve been when my taste buds got destroyed (laughs).
Q: Let’s talk about your dog.
A: She’s called Lily, and she lives back in my parents’ place. She’s a small Kaninchen Dachshund and every time I go back home we’re running to each other with open arms – we get along so well that we sleep together. Over here in Tokyo it seems that caring for pets is tougher, so I can’t keep a dog..
Q: Let’s talk about acting.
A: I just love acting. I can break free of my mundane daily life! It’s not like I can jump into the kind of crazy world Kukuru-chan is in nor can I become an alien, so to be able to do all that by acting…it’s just a whole lot of fun.
Q: Before you wanted to become a seiyuu, what inspired you to get into acting?
A: When I was on a field trip during my elementary school days, there was a middle-aged lady passing by who randomly said to me “You’d look better with make-up on” (laughs). At the time I didn’t know what her words meant and when I looked it up later I thought to myself “maybe she meant I could be an actress”. And I gradually started to want to become one.
Q: That lady probably never imagined that you would take her at her word and actually become a seiyuu (laughs). Last of all, please tell us what kind of seiyuu you would like to be in the future.
A: I want to be able to play a wide range of characters…but most of all, I want to voice a baby! Right now I’m learning a lot by studying the acting of Koorogi Satomi-san and someday, I hope I can hear this being said “When it comes to babies, it’s got to be Hondo Kaede”.