Aisaka Yuuka is a name I’ve heard bandied about without actually knowing much about the person in question, so her featuring on Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry’s radio show a couple of weeks ago was timely, and quite enlightening….though perhaps, for all the ‘wrong’ reasons.
Dirty jokes asides, Aisaka’s got a fairly interesting voice that’s quite close to my strike zone – not too high-pitched, not too airy. Plus, she’s going to début as a solo singer with Flying Dog next year with a tie-up with Active Raid! Exciting times ahead for her!
The following is a translation of the first of a three-part interview regarding Aisaka’s role in Ange Vierge (I’m not translating the other parts that talk about the game).
Can’t live without moisture?
Q: Please tell us why you wanted to be a seiyuu.
A: I watched Card Captor Sakura when I was a child and that was when I first got interested in anime. From then onwards, I started to read a variety of anime magazines. I love art and at first I thought that it would be nice to be a mangaka so I took up illustrating for a while. However, I found that I was more suited towards acting out the material of a story rather than creating a story myself, and that is why I decided that I wanted to become a seiyuu.
Q: Did you like acting as someone or something else?
A: I was a member of the broadcasting committee from elementary school all the way to high school – I was also the chairperson. I think that’s why I’ve always liked using my voice. Rather than acting, I liked expressing myself through my voice.
Q: Among your works thus far, which has left the deepest impression?
A: The anime Sakura Trick. I voice Noda Kotone-chan; I am interested in stories where girls get involved with other girls – to have a desire of mine come true in my first ever anime made me extremely happy.
Also, I have had a longing to try voicing a tsundere heroine, so having the chance to voice Tsube Aika-chan in Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu. also left an impression on me.
Q: Please tell us any moving stories or episodes of struggle from your time working as a seiyuu.
A: I am always moved when I see the performance of other actors. That’s something that doesn’t change no matter what show I’m working on. As for struggles – the throat is the tool of our trade so it’s imperative that we always maintain it in the best condition. It’s something that can be destroyed by really trivial stuff so it can be tough to take care of it.
Q: What do you pay particular attention to when it comes to maintaining your throat’s condition?
A: Moisture. I can’t live without moisture (laughs). The wetter it is, the happier I am; as soon as the dry season starts my face mask will be out. In summer time I’ll have dried out if I didn’t have air conditioning, but there was a point in time when I left the aircon on overnight as I slept and of course, I caught a cold… It also affects the nose so I’ve had to be careful all the time since then. Masks are amazing!
It’s because I’m shy that I go for broke!
Q: From an objective point of view, what sort of person do you think you are?
A: Someone who’s easily swayed by emotion. As soon as I think “This is it!” I’ll have started to do it; I don’t believe I’m the logical type. It seems the Aisaka Yuuka who would say “Hey there, calm down a bit” barely exists in my brain (laughs).
There is a part of me that absolutely believes in my own senses and I’ll spring into action as soon as I feel my blood stirring. That also means that I have many regrets but that’s still preferable to the murky feelings brought about by not being able to do or say something. It’s a “Just go ahead, and go for broke!” kind of feeling. I’m actually quite a shy person so this attitude may have stemmed from my many regrets of “I wish I had said that at the time…”. That is why I have come to be able to honestly say whatever is on my mind.
Q: How would most of the people around you describe you?
A: I’m often told that I’m shy. I do have fun chatting with people once I’ve gotten to know them but before that happens, it’s a bit rough. I turn silent in front of people who I’m meeting for the first time. My good friends keep telling me that “I thought you were angry at me when I first met you” (laughs). In truth, I was just thinking “What should I do know, should I talk to them?”!
Also, I’m told that I’m straightforward. I do actually want to be like that – I say what I mean to say and try to lead an honest life. It seems that other people do think that it’s nice that I’m straightforward like that.
Q: Please tell us who you most admire.
A: My mother, who has taught me so much. I respect everything about her. She’s always upstanding and a very beautiful person. Above all, she never wavers when it comes to her way of life. Being with her, seeing how she brings a smile to everyone’s faces – she’s like sunshine. I respect her, and I want to be like her.
When I’m in trouble I will always seek my mother out; she has everything that I lack and gives me lots of advice from angles I never thought of. I think it wonderful to be able to possess that kind of thinking and I want to learn from it. She has helped me a lot and there are many times when I feel grateful that she is my mother.
To be a seiyuu that shines upon others
Q: Is there anything you’ve been obsessed with of late?
A: There is an artiste I like – I bought all their CDs and collected all their music videos. I feel much joy at seeing all their works lined up side by side.
The artiste in question had a director make a short movie soundtracked by their songs. I like to watch the movie in my room with the lights off, like a movie theater. This is what gives me energy in my life now!
This artiste made me realize that it’s because we don’t pay much attention to emotions, that there are many people who could empathize with those who can honestly express themselves. Thus, in order to keep in mind the many different feelings I have, I write down the day’s thoughts and what I feel in a notebook. That way, I will never miss out on any of them. I collect everything without missing any feelings, no matter how insignificant they may seem. I had never kept a diary up until now, and I have fun facing my thoughts straight on.
Q: Is there anything you put particular effort into when it comes to voice work?
A: Recently, I’ve been trying to pick up different genres which I think I’ve definitely got to see a lot more works of in order to expand my range of expressions and vocabulary. I like productions that depict everyday life but I’m thinking that I need to pay more attention to genres I’ve rarely touched like science fiction, and so on. I’ve got to absorb new things in order to keep growing.
I’d like to improve my skills when it comes to power of expression as well, so I want to be able to pull off expressions that people can empathize with. At the moment I’m working on coming up with realistic expressions by putting myself in the character’s shoes, so I’d be happy if I could develop a higher level of expressive ability so that I can bring a bit of cheer to everyone.
Q: What kind of seiyuu do you want to be in the future?
A: It’d be great if I could produce the type of expressions that would bring happiness to as many people as possible. Personally, I have received much zest for life by working on all manners of productions. As someone whose profession is to ‘express’, I would like to continue to convey such expressions. The audience isn’t only made up of people who live each day happily. I would be happy if I could bring joy to other types of people as well.
Since I am in this position of being ‘one who expresses’, with the aim of evoking empathy by producing expressions that convey a heart’s delicate motions that only I am able to do, I will work hard again starting tomorrow. To do that, I am now absorbing as many shows as possible and working by trial and error to see what I can do. Thus, I will work even harder from now on!