Q: As seiyuu, what do you consider your creed?
Okamoto: To have fun! If you lose that, everything would become meaningless.
Kawanishi: For me, it would be to ‘listen carefully to what other people are saying’. When I was still a fledgling seiyuu, I would read the scripts and think ‘oh, this is what I should do’ but when it came to the real thing, you’d have to act in partnership with and respond to your co-star(s) – completely different from what you do when you’re rehearsing at home. It’s something that I picked up recently and I’m having a lot of fun.
Important things I was taught by my seniors
Q: What was the turning point for you as a seiyuu?
Okamoto: While working on a certain show, I had my seniors teach how to read my script – there was a certain senior who taught me to place emphasis upon logical script reading and spatial perception but there was another senior who, on the other hand, told me to discard logic. By talking to these two seniors I was able to recognize that there are many truths [in this world].
Kawanishi: For a certain show, I watched how a senior would keep changing up his lines by inserting ad-libs. When it was my turn to engage in dialogue with that senior, I tried something out during the test but I still felt like there was a better way to approach it so when it came to the actual recording, I worked in a bit of variation and that senior in turn responded in a different pattern from when we did it in the tests. At that moment, I thought – ah, it’s fun to interact.
Ah, I have occupational disease (>_<)
Q: Tell us something that’s a common occurrence for seiyuu.
Okamoto: Repeating words that are difficult to pronounce when you’re walking about on the streets. I once had this line ‘Ima, ore no ato tsuketeta daro’ [you’ve been following me all this while, haven’t you?] that I found particularly tough so I was walking around reciting it and people started treating me suspiciously.
Kawanishi: That does happen. Also, I find it hard to wholly enjoy watching anime.
Okamoto: That’s true, like for dubbed movies.
I wouldn’t be able to play a child (lol)
Q: If you could appear on any NHK programme, what would it be?
Okamoto: On Science ZERO, there was an episode titled ‘The Great Revolution of Artificial Intelligence! Deep Learning’ which was a special feature on AI. I’d loved to have visited the set and write a report, learning more about AI in the process.
Kawanishi: I’d like to be on Let’s Tensai Terebi-kun. It’d be nice to have an older brother kind of role, or a CG character would be fine too. But of course I wouldn’t be able to play a child (laughs)
What I would like to cherish even as I continue to change
Q: To you, what is a ‘seiyuu’?
Okamoto: I wonder what a seiyuu is?
Kawanishi: Difficult to say.
Okamoto: But I think it’s a job that keeps changing.
Kawanishi: I’m hoping that voice acting will continue to be a specialist profession.
Okamoto: Certainly, I hope it stays that way.
Kawanishi: The things that are demanded of a seiyuu may change, but I hope it remains a specialist profession for as long as I am one.
I won’t mind if you have high expectations!
Q: Last of all, please leave a message for the fans looking forward to 3gatsu no Lion every week.
Okamoto: I think you can highly anticipate this show. I think it will be a work that exceeds expectations. See it and enjoy it, hear it and enjoy it, even during the silent parts, you will enjoy it.
Kawanishi: This is an anime that is based on an original manga and I believe that the anime and manga will converge into one, becoming something that [people] will say is ‘good’. Please look forward to it.
I’ve got another 3gatsu no Lion interview with Okamoto coming up….soon. Fingers crossed x