Animate Times’ Nichinare coverage continues and this time, we have someone from ARTSVISION – Lynn. This covers part one of the interview; part two will come around whenever it’s posted.
Q: Please introduce yourself.
A: My name is Lynn and I am from the Artsvision agency. I’m blood type A but often get asked ‘Are you sure you’re not type B or AB?’ instead, so others probably think that I’m a bit weird (laughs). Most people call me by my name but there is one person who calls me ‘Orin’. Obviously it’s not fixed (laughs). I’m on the lookout for a nice nickname.
Personality-wise, I’m a moody kind of person who likes to do things at her own pace. That can be both good and bad – I blow hot and cold easily so once I’m hooked on something I can get quite obsessive, but I’m also pretty fickle-minded about things.
Q: What are your hobbies and special skills?
A: Style is my hobby. I like fashion and make-up and regularly check out magazines covering them. I also like taking photos and people often praise them, saying ‘they don’t look like they’re taken with a smartphone!’. I was influenced by my mother who also loved photography so I’ve always liked taking photos as well as having my photo taken since I was young.
Q: Is there anything else you’re addicted to right now?
A: I love cats so much, I spend my nights watching cat videos and looking at cat photos on Twitter and Instagram. I’d love to keep one, but there’s a ban on pets where I’m living right now. That’s why I go visit pet shops and cat cafes to play around with, and be healed by them.
Q: You seem like a girl of the times. You’re even good at cooking.
A: To be honest, I haven’t cooked at all lately. After I moved to Tokyo and started living alone I’d look up recipes on the internet to make but it became too much of a bother. I do love eating delicious food though, and I believe the dishes made by restaurants taste way better (laughs).
Recently, I’ve begun setting aside ‘coffee time’ in the mornings. I like the aroma of coffee as it’s calming. I’ll get up slightly early and make drip coffee to get my fix.
Q: Moving on to talk about your current works. You play the protagonist Kaminashi Nozomi in the autumn anime Keijo!!!!!!!! – surprisingly, it’s your first time voicing a lead role in a TV anime.
A: That’s right. I have voiced heroine roles before but this is the first time where my name is listed at the top of the cast credits, so I did feel quite a lot of pressure. It’s a series that I’ve become deeply fond of.
Q: What are your impressions of Keijo!!!!!!!! ?
A: When I first learned about the setting I thought it would be a bit of a naughty kind of show but once I read the manga I found out that it was the complete opposite. It’s a very fun, hot-blooded sports series and I found myself immediately getting drawn into its worldview. When I went to the bookstore to buy the manga volumes I thought they’d be too heavy for me to carry so I only bought half, but I got more and more absorbed in the story as I read on and ended up going back to buy the rest the following day (laughs).
Q: The setup is a bit like a boat racing school where the girls grow by working together as well as through their rivalries – it really is a battling sports series at its core. Similar to horse racing, cycling and boating, keijo is staged in a public arena on top of the ‘Land’ – what makes it unique is the special moves of the players.
A: I think Sorayomi Daichi-sensei, the creator of such a unique world, is a genius. That is why I was certain that this would turn out to be a fun series. People who are not familiar with the manga might initially see the anime and be surprised by the outrageous skills on display but as the girls continue to power up, so do the gags – the skills that pop up will get you laughing. Isn’t it interesting, watching this world and these girls who are taking their sport so seriously?
Q: The way the special moves are drawn and portrayed makes it look like a Showa-era sports show.
A: I feel a bit nostalgic when people say how ‘they used to make anime like this back then’. Director Takahashi (Hideya) had that image in mind when making the show as well, which you can see through how the lines are drawn thicker during race scenes, like you would see in shonen comics – that makes it even more striking.
Q: What kind of character is Kaminashi Nozomi, whom you voice?
A: An innocent girl who radiates joy, she’s very friendly and personable. She has this ability to draw people closer to her. Despite being a girl she’s actually quite the typical shonen lead character and I’m voicing her with the hope that she will be liked by other girls as well. I wanted to make her the kind of person who’s got the power to make other girls look at her and think ‘She’s cool’ or ‘I want to follow her’. Basically, she’s always smiling and tends to make the odd dad joke but she’s got that passion at her core that I hope to bring across.
Q: Nozomi’s Kansai dialect has its own flavour.
A: The Kansai dialect is very tough. I get M.A.O-chan, who voices Miyata Sayaka, to teach me, plus I watch talk programmes featuring comedians – I was studying even as I went into recordings. By speaking the Kansai dialect, I found that I could slip into the role of the cheerful Nozomi naturally, once I flipped a switch.
We tend to imagine Kansai residents as being over-exaggerating, effervescent personalities so I tried to maintain similar tension levels and mood. There may be many aspects that differ from the real thing but I hope you will look upon [my performance] with an open mind (laughs).
Q: We see that killer move ‘Vacuum Butt Cannon’ being deployed as early as the 2nd episode.
A: It’s a move that was born by chance during training, but that’s just what makes Nozomi so amazing. I thought it was cool too, to see her having to wear the UTM (Ujibe’s Training Mailsuit) while undergoing training to master the Vacuum Butt Cannon.
There is a scene where Ujibe-sensei tells [Nozomi] she’ll be expelled if she dares to use the Vacuum Butt Cannon due to its lethal nature, but Nozomi is determined to learn the skill no matter what and ends up in a dogeza – that was the scene that I had to do the most retakes for. I allowed myself to get too heated up and came off sounding strangely forceful. It should be different from the kind of pressure that is felt when one becomes angry. What I found difficult was that the ‘I want to be the Prize Queen, I want to be the strongest!’ scene comes to the fore right then, but I hope that you can see Nozomi’s straightforward, pure personality from it.
Q: What’s the atmosphere in the recording studio like?
A: It’s a studio filled with ladies; during breaks we’ll be looking through the manga and debating stuff like ‘this body line is hawt’ or ‘the shape of her boobs is beautiful’ – we sound like old geezers (laughs). However I’m often seeking M.A.O-chan’s advice on Kansai accents at break-time so it’s been said that I’m hard to approach. Even Onishi Saori-chan (voice of Toyoguchi Non) said ‘the two of you were forever practising so I thought it’d be rude to interrupt’. That was how desperate I was [at improving my Kansai accent].
Q: The girls of Room 309 – Nozomi, Miyata, Aoba and Toyoguchi sing the ending theme Fantas/HIP Girlfriends!.
A: I was the last to record for the song so when I heard it with the other 3 girls’ parts included, I could tell that it would turn out to be a very bright, youthful idol type of song. Nozomi’s passion and powerful singing voice added a nice balance to the mix, I thought.
The lyrics are linked to the story as well. ‘I’ll give my all taking you on in a Race but when I’m off the Land I’m your friend. Let’s do our best together’ – it’s that kind of song that’s filled with warm friendship. It’s a song about having someone else’s back, a song of support; a fun song that looks forward positively and brightly. Plus the title ‘Fantas/HIP’ is so typical of this series (laughs).
Q: There are individual character versions for each of the 4 girls as well.
A: There are solo versions of the song as well as each girl’s character song. Nozomi’s Wish! is a cool, rock-oriented song – its lyrics are filled with her strong emotions and message of ‘I want to win’ and ‘I want to go higher’ and I had fun singing it.
Q: You are also hosting the Nekketsu! Kaiketsu! Keijo Radio!* show.
A: I am co-hosting it with Onishi Saori-chan and as the show’s name and the corners ‘The End of the DistrASS’ and the ‘We Solve Your Big Ass Problems!’ suggest, this is a radio show that is pushing butts all the way (laughs). In the past I couldn’t even say the words ‘boobs’ or ‘ass’ out loud…they’re not things that girls would often talk about (laughs)….but thanks to this series, my resistance towards [those words] totally melted away and I’m saying them repeatedly on the show. A new door has opened for me (laughs).
In the anime, various special moves are revealed so we’ve got a corner for everyone to come up with original techniques – please enjoy listening to the radio show alongside the anime!
*note: literally translates to Hot Blooded! Decisive! Keijo Radio but the kanji used for ‘ketsu’ is 尻 (butt) instead of 血 (blood) & 決 (decision)
Q: Please tell us the highlights and charm points of the Keijo!!!!!!!! anime.
A: I hope that you will enjoy watching how these girls are giving their best, seriously taking on what seems to be a silly little [sport]. The highlight would definitely the special moves – more heated battles will be unfolding in upcoming episodes.
It’s an anime that I think anyone can enjoy and it might be fun to watch it together with people on Twitter and so on. It’s like watching a sports event, so I hope that you will support the girls as they fight hard. Also, all you good kids – please do not imitate those special moves because they’re dangerous. You probably can’t pull them off anyway but who knows, if you do hard-ass training like Nozomi & co’s figure-eight butt exercises, you just might be able to do it (laughs).