Category Archives: Hosoya Yoshimasa

#179 – Golden Kamuy Cast Interview Part.5: Hosoya Yoshimasa


The series continues with Hosoya Yoshimasa, voice of nice guy Matagi Tanigaki Genjirō. Love his delightful relationship with Huci & Osoma in the show!

Q: Tell us your impressions upon reading the original manga.

A: It was very interesting. I think the premise itself is amazing: the map of the location of the gold has been tattooed across the bodies of a group of prisoners and to decipher the code, you’d have to carve the skin off each of them. It also tells the tales of soldiers who went through the Russo-Japanese War; the way historical facts are mixed in with the story is mesmerizing. The protagonist Sugimoto is a very human kind of guy. The series doesn’t only choose to take a positive approach, it also includes elements of savagery and craftiness – it’s the kind of story that guys would love.

Q: It’s fascinating to see how these different elements come together.

A: It’s not just serious developments all the time – there are plenty of gags thrown in as well. Furthermore, those gags aren’t flattering at all for women since they actually end up looking rather masculine. What’s great about author Noda (Satoru)-sensei is that he simply draws whatever he wants to. The characters’ faces are made to look deformed during the gag scenes – he could probably draw them prettier if he wished to, but that grotesqueness (excuse me for saying that) is what makes it so fun and amazing.

Q: What impressions did you have of Tanigaki as a character?

A: He reminded me of the actor Takakura Ken. Sugimoto has a little bit of crazy in him; an aura that shows through the stillness of his motions and speech, while Tanigaki is the opposite. He may have experience of killing people in the war, but he’s a very pure and clumsy guy at heart. That’s what made me think of Takakura Ken. I’m hoping that I can [make Tanigaki] live up to the image of Takakura Ken that I have in my head.

Q: Can you describe your feelings when you found out about being cast as Tanigaki?

A: I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be better if he wasn’t voiced by me?’. After all, Tanigaki’s not the talkative type. I feel that, when such people express themselves, there is a need for their words to possess the kind of power to persuade others, and I also think that they should sound deeper, lower, and rougher. My voice isn’t anything like that though, so I hoped to bring it closer to the character as I imagined him to be.

Q: Is there anything that you’re particularly conscious about when playing the role of Tanigaki?

A: From time to time and wherever possible, I try to channel Takakura Ken (laughs). Though it’s probably at a level where viewers wouldn’t actually be able to recognize it as so (laughs)

Q: Did you receive any specific directions from Director Nanba (Hitoshi) or Sound Director Aketagawa (Jin)?

A: In terms of the character’s image, what I had imagined was practically the same as the vision that the Director and Jin-san had. However, for the scene in episode 3 where Tanigaki discovers Asirpa up in the tree, there was a particular line of dialogue that serves as the crucial point – in order to maximize its impact, the preceding line needed to be ‘spoken gently’. The difference in impact between those 2 lines was much more apparent in the final take than what I had originally come up with, so I was very grateful [to the Director and Jin-san] for the improvements that were suggested.

Q: Do you think that your performance has changed, progressing further into the story?

A: Tanigaki is one of the soldiers of the 7th Division, a position that puts him under a lot of stress. Being a soldier, his commander’s word is law. As he spends time living with the Ainu people away from the 7th Division, you can feel his demeanour softening. Actually, the tempo of the dialogue on the guide videos that we received prior to recording was markedly different; I could tell that his lines had been modified to sound gentler. I do believe that he wouldn’t be able to get along so well with the Ainu people he cares so much about if he had approached them with the mindset of a Japanese soldier. Rather than changing as a person, I think it’s more a case of different aspects [of his character] emerging, depending on the situation he’s in.

Q: Along the way, he encounters Nihei Tetsuzō.

A: The scenes between [Tanigaki] and Nihei, played by Ōtsuka Akio, had great impact from start to finish. It was a priceless experience for me, spending time with him. I haven’t had many opportunities to work alongside Ōtsuka-san prior to his, so I was keenly observing the way he spoke and carried himself while we were in the waiting area. I recall that during breaks, Ōtsuka-san would insist that he wanted to do the voice for Nihei’s hunting dog Ryu (laughs). ‘cos he knew that Ryu would stay alive even after Nihei’s death (laughs). Seems that Ōtsuka-san really likes this series.

Q: Do you have any memorable stories to share from the recording sessions?

A: During the recording sessions, we have sections where we record background noises, things like the sound of people talking in a crowd etc. As a rule, we have to adopt voices that sound different from our own characters. For whatever reason, Tsuda (Kenjirō), Kobayashi (Chikahiro) and myself, oh and probably Sugita (Tomokazu) too, decided that we’d talk as if we had severe underbites (laughs). That was funny.

Q: Going through recording, are there any lines from the series that you feel are important in making the character’s charisma and presence felt?

A: Personally, the line that I thought most captures Tanigaki as a person was one from episode 9 – ‘So there are people who intend to betray Lieutenant Tsurumi? Who?’ [said to Corporal Tamai]. No reason behind that choice, I just really like that line.

Q: We look forward to seeing how Tanigaki develops moving forward. Finally, please leave a message for the fans.

A: It’s a series that has assembled a wonderful cast and is a very professional place to work – the more you chip away at the characters, the bigger their presence becomes. The actors and staff members will similarly work towards bringing this series to a higher level, so it would bring me much joy if you were to look forward to the developments as you watch the show.

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#173 – Megalo Box: Hosoya Yoshimasa

Megalo Box is the 50th anniversary ‘inspired by’ Ashita no Joe (Tomorrow’s Joe) project, starring Hosoya Yoshimasa in the lead role of Junk Dog. After taking a 6-month hiatus due to illness in mid-2017, Hosoya’s back in full-force this season with a string of major roles in shows like Caligula, Sareryu, Golden Kamuy and Devil’s Line, but JD looks to be the most intriguing of the bunch. Read his thoughts on both Megalo Box and Ashita no Joe in this interview by Animate Times.

A series where you can feel the humanity radiating from each and every line

Q: How did you feel when you found out you’d landed the role of Junk Dog in Megalo Box?

A: I was happy. I’d been planning on going on hiatus* at the end of April last year, and the audition for Megalo Box was the last one I took prior to my break.

I found out that I’d been chosen for the role midway through my hiatus, right when my health and the condition of my throat were both on the verge of full recovery. Rehabilitation progressed at a gradual pace, but I was sure I’d be able to make it in time for recording so I was pleased to have passed the audition in the end.

This is a personal thing but anyway – when I went to New York during my break, I happened to watch Creed (2015 movie) on the plane. I kinda thought that I’d be like Rocky if I were to return in this way, and I wondered if that was what a comeback would feel like (laughs). I was very grateful that the stars aligned for me to get this role.

*Hosoya announced a hiatus from 27 April 2017 in order to receive treatment for an unspecified throat ailment. He resumed activities in October the same year.

Q: How do you view Junk Dog?

A: What I like about Junk Dog is his awareness of the situation he’s currently stuck in; he wants to maximize his own potential but yet, he does not attempt to change circumstances he knows cannot be changed and that ends up with him being cynical with himself. That’s a fascinating side of Junk Dog’s that I can really identify with.

Q: I can see that you were conscious about that part in your acting.

A: This will be a story about the senses. When [Junk Dog] faces off against Megalo Box champion Yūri (CV: Yasumoto Hiroki), it would’ve sufficed for him to throw out a riposte of any kind but I tried to look at it from Junk Dog’s point of view and came up with a bold response designed to leave an impression upon his opponent – “what a disgusting fellow you are”.

Though I must say that I think his contempt may just be a form of admiration (laughs). It’s true that everybody wants to have a good job. Though to be honest, you could be working at your dream job but still get frustrated every once in a while and have the urge to complain. [JD] would love to taste the prospect of being in Yūri’s position, so instead of getting mad and just attacking, I thought it’d be better for JD to be sarcastic and exude mannerisms that would aggravate his opponent instead. That was a point I kept in mind for my acting during the earlier stage of the series.

Q: Please tell us what you found tough about the role.

A: This is just an example, but a single word like ‘thanks’ can carry many different connotations. Normally, it would be used to express gratitude but if it was uttered in a disgusted tone then the meaning of the word might change depending on the scene at hand. The script depicts humans in a way that leaves me pondering what kind of nuances I should apply to certain lines, and whether it’d be uncool if I let someone else decide [for me].

Even if I wasn’t sure of the nuance to be used, I could draw a conclusion based upon the dialogue on hand. I do think that the humanness of the story is one of its selling points. Anyhow, I think the script is amazing. I do believe that the other actors probably feel the same way too.

This series has a question for you: “Do you have the courage to change your present situation?”

Q: Did you discuss these difficulties with the director?

A: Yeah I do. But Director Moriyama [Yō] doesn’t really talk about wanting things to be done in a specific way. I did let him know that to speak up if he wasn’t convinced by my acting and wanted retakes. But he didn’t say much about my performance so I couldn’t help but feel anxious (laughs).

After the completion of recording for episode 9, staff and cast got to watch the 1st episode. I was delighted by its high quality and thought, ‘Ok, I’ve got this’ (laughs). It is Director Moriyama’s first time supervising a show so I was wondering whether he was just being considerate and trying not to give out orders. What’s more, when the Director gives his stamp of approval he’d say something casual like ‘that was mega good’, and that alone started giving me doubts (laughs)

Both: (laughter)

A: So yeah, recording went on like that it was soon, the 1st episode premiere event arrived and I was watching with my heart pounding. It looked to be turning out to be an excellent series and that was the moment I resolved to work hard to make the rest of the show even better.

Q: You’ve seen the 1st episode – what are its highlights?

A: The confrontation scene between Junk Dog and Yūri & Shirato Yukiko (CV: Mori Nanako), which happens after Junk Dog rides out into the night on his bike to distract himself from an earlier fight that he’d eventually been forced into fixing. That scene brought to the surface stinging resentment, born from the envy that Junk Dog has been harbouring inside him.

Yūri continues to be the Megalo Box King (Champion) because he is able to perform at 100% of his ability thanks to the technology and funding he possesses. On the other hand, you have Junk Dog who, despite having natural-born talent, has no choice but to throw away fixed matches as an underground Megalo boxer in the Unlicensed District, for the sake of money and his lifestyle. Junk Dog’s frustration is a point that came across very convincingly to us [actors] as well.

So let’s describe Megalo Box as being multifaceted, with an ‘entertainment’ side and another side focusing on Junk Dog’s mental state – I thought that particular scene effectively highlighted the mental aspects.

Q: Recordings have gone all the way up to episode 9 – are there any scenes that have been memorable for you thus far?

A: The monologue at the beginning of episode 1. I thought, ‘this is what Director Moriyama intends to convey’. I think you can see the appreciation for Yabuki Joe* as a character clearly throughout Megalo Box, as well as the affection that Director Moriyama has for Junk Dog as a character.

*Yabuki Joe is the titular character in Ashita no Joe

It’s the question, ‘Do you have the courage to change your present situation?’. He’s been walking down the path of the life of a faker, resisting becoming the genuine article. Junk Dog has been knocked down many times before and in him you can see the spirit of Yabuki Joe – no matter how times he’s been smashed up, he’ll still head into matches.

Although he understands that he’s not in a position to match Yūri, he decides to take that step forward and continues fighting. I think that particular aspect highlights his similarity to Yabuki Joe, and perhaps shows the influence that the Director received [from Ashita no Joe].

With Hosoya and Yasumoto present, what is the recording studio like?

Q: What’s the atmosphere in the recording studio like?

A: Basically, quiet. Senior veterans who I’ve often worked with on film dubbing productions appear as guests on this show, so I wouldn’t describe it as a lively and upbeat studio – it’s more one where each individual is focusing on the task at hand.

Also, there are extensive meetings going on during the period between tests and the actual recording so we do spend quite a bit of time waiting around. It wouldn’t do to drag the tests on for too long and I’d get nervous if I hung around in the studio, so what I’ll do is head straight out to the lobby for a break and only go back in when I’m called for my turn. I don’t stay in the studio much save for tests, recording and retakes.

Q: You mentioned that the studio is quiet – did you feel a sense of tension in the air?

A: This is just an example: there is a scene where 3 characters speak simultaneously, but only 1 or 2 people are available to record. The aim is to achieve a level of quality to make it sound like 3 people are recording together, so instead of staying in the same place and try to concentrate, I would go out of the room to reorganize [my thoughts].

For separate recordings*, I try to remember specific scenes where mood plays a big role, and act accordingly during those parts. The Sound Director [Miyoshi Keiichirō] utilizes the same techniques that are used in recording theatrical films, making us even more aware of the quality of this series, not just in the sound department but overall, and driving us to come up with methods on how we could make [the production] even better.

*別録り (betsudori, lit. recording separately) – actors can’t always sync their schedules for recording, so some will have to record their parts separate from the rest of the cast. When an actor records alone, it is called ‘betsudori’

Q: You do a radio show (Tensai Gunshi) with Yasumoto-san, who voices Yūri. Did the two of you discuss the anime?

A: We were often asked ‘the two of you get along well, so did you have discussions?’ but the truth is we don’t. You wouldn’t tell other people about a winning tactic that you’d thought of in advance, would you? (laughs) It’s fun to see what we come up with in response to each other’s acting as we go through the tests, so I choose to say nothing about it beforehand.

Even when each episode is over, the actors would be doing their best to find ways to emphasize the appeal [of their characters] in line with what is in the scripts. After all, there is the possibility that our respective characters may be the focus of any given episode, so thinking about how to accomplish that is enough to preoccupy us [every week].

Though actually, Yasumoto-san and I did discuss and make predictions about possible future storylines when we were in the studio; we were like kids talking about how a weekly manga series develops. We don’t talk about the acting parts at all though (laughs)

I wanted to encounter a character like Yabuki Joe

Q: Megalo Box was conceived as a 50th anniversary project for the Ashita no Joe manga serialization – did you watch Ashita no Joe?

A: I first watched Ashita no Joe when I was a ‘research student’, training to become a seiyuu. Anime series would be broadcast at fixed times, such as during extended holiday periods for students ie summer vacation and winter breaks.

The first scene I saw was a conversation between Nori-chan and Joe*; seeing Joe talking the way he does made me think, ‘He’s so amazingly cool’.

Many of the animated works of that period featured hot-blooded types of heroes. I do think that the ‘way’ of the heroes of those times is completely different from those found in the works of our [current] generation.

My teachers often taught me that ‘(Dialogue) words exist to convey meaning to others’. But Aoi Teruhiko-san, the actor who voiced Joe, adopted a way of speaking that oozes a ‘you may not hear what I’m saying, but this is what I’m thinking’ kind of feeling, and it appeared wonderful in my eyes. From that point onwards the hope that I would get to play such roles and act in such productions bubbled inside me.

*likely refers to a scene from episode 14 of Ashita no Joe 2, “Where is..Joe’s Youth’, where a negative Nori-chan expresses her disapproval of boxing, a sport that hurts Joe, whom she holds a torch for. To this, Joe replies quietly, ‘I’ve felt the burning sensation of accomplishment many times now, up there in that bloody ring. My fire is nothing like the scant and sputtering flames that you can find anywhere – though only for a moment, my fire burns hot and dazzlingly bright. And then, all that is left is pure white ash. No embers, just pure white ash’. This is considered one of the famous scenes that illustrates the way of life of Yabuki Joe.

Q: What elements of the story did you enjoy?

A: These scenes have probably been mentioned to death, but the parts that go:
‘Get up! Get on your feet! Joe!’
‘I’ve burned out, into pure white ash…’
‘Cross counter!’
…I don’t know them in too much detail though (laughs)

For my graduation performance in vocational school, we performed a story depicting the student movement of the mid 1960s-70s. There was a line ‘We are the Joes of Tomorrow’ in the script and when I asked about its meaning, I was told that it was to signify that we would get up again no matter how many times we got knocked down. Ashita no Joe is a work that is somewhat close to my heart, so I am pleased to be involved with the series this way through Megalo Box.

Q: Please do leave a message for those who will be watching the show.

A: What I’d like to let Ashita no Joe fans know is this: Megalo Box is a story created by a director who has learned much from a variety of works, just like the people who were influenced by Ashita no Joe.

I would not be as bold as to say that this is a modern-day version of Ashita no Joe, but I do think the series unquestionably reflects the respect it has for the original, as well as having a similar impact and poignancy. The ability that Ashita no Joe had to move people’s hearts echoes in Megalo Box and I hope that both fans, as well as others who have not encountered [Ashita no Joe] will take the opportunity to watch this series.

As this is an original animation, I would be grateful if viewers would enjoy watching the show without having any preconceived notions, particularly as I believe it is a series that will make you eager to watch the next episode right after you’ve finished the previous one. This is a high-quality production that will represent the best of 2018, so please look forward to seeing episode 1. Thank you!

Q: Thank you very much.

[Interview, text: Uchida Kōji, Photography: Aizawa Hiroaki]

Shingeki no Kyojin cast Q&A

An interview with the main cast of the Attack on Titan series, following the completion of recording for the 3DS game Shingeki no Kyojin: Shichi kara no Dasshutsu, released on 11 May by Koei. It is the first adventure game for the series with an original story – Seko Koji is supervising the story with visuals by Wit Studio and partial voice-acting by the anime cast.

6 Questions
1. Thoughts on completing recording
2. Recommended points, impressive scenes or things to look out for from what you recorded
3. Surprisingly different sides of the characters that you saw, or lines that left an impression
4. People or things you’d consider your ‘partner’, any stories that made you feel ‘connected’ to other people
5. 2017 is looking to be exciting with the release of this game & season 2 of the anime. What do you want to achieve or accomplish this year?
6. A message for the fans

Kaji Yuki [Eren Yeager]

1. Thoughts – As it’s an adventure game this time out, I wondered ‘Oh, I might not have to fight so much this time!’ and as I looked over the script I thought to myself ‘Hmm! I might not even have to shout that much any more!’ …but now that recording’s over, my throat is shot… ah, I’d forgotten that this guy [Eren] is a weirdo with a loud voice… (laughs)

2. Recommended scenes – In any case it’s a spinoff story this time, so the presence of a protagonist who’s a member of the 104th Training Corps is memorable. This time you’ll get to see a lot more of expressions Eren normally doesn’t show his colleagues as he’s basically operating with just another person [the protagonist] alongside him. Getting to play an Eren like that somehow gets me buzzing as well (laughs)

3. Different sides – You’ll get to see stills of members of Levi’s squad doing low-level work side by side…that sub-episode about them cleaning up was very impressive (laughs). As always, the Captain is beautifully obsessed with cleanliness.

4. Partners & stories – The bond between the Shingeki no Kyojin members really is quite strong. Not just the cast but also among the staff as well, the director and sound director included – we have built a solid relationship. That is why the studio was like a battlefield.

5. Aims for 2017 – Body building! I want to climb Mount Fuji!

6. Message – It’s an ‘escape adventure’ this time, so I think you’ll be able to feel a different type of excitement compared to previous Shingeki games. Be the protagonist & team-mate of Eren & the 104th Training Corps, join forces with a variety of different characters and escape from your predicament! Look forward to it!

Ishikawa Yui [Mikasa Ackerman]

1. Thoughts – With the game this time being a completely original story and added to the fact that it’s been a while since I’ve recorded anything Shingeki-related, I felt a bit nervous as I was rehearsing at home over whether I could voice Mikasa properly. But when I turned up at the studio on the day of recording and was shown the packaging and in-game illustrations, the images came rushing back – although it’s a spinoff, I was able to perform as the usual Mikasa! After all, Eren is always life to Mikasa…!

2. Recommended scenes – Amongst the various Shingeki-related collaborations we’ve seen so far, there haven’t been too many where we get to guide the users, converse with so many characters or even have proper one-on-one talks with the users. Especially for Mikasa who isn’t the type of character who freely opens her heart; to see her development as the trust builds up between [the user & Mikasa as] partners was unusual to see. Thus I think you’ll get to see sides of her that you don’t normally do. I’d like you to pay attention to that!

3. Different sides – Rather than leaving an impression, this is more something that I’m personally interested in…in the game, the user will select a character and within their storyline, attempt to escape. The script I received contains only the scenes that Mikasa appears in so I’m really curious about what the other characters are like! For example, we have Connie who’s an idiot but always manages to calms things down and it makes me wonder if he can actually cooperate well with the [user’s] protagonist to escape safely… and so on. I’m definitely curious about the characters that rarely act solo!

4. Partners – My script[s]. They’re an actor’s “partner”!

5. Aims for 2017 – To ride a horse. And to get a general medical check-up.

6. Message – Having ‘you’ as a partner, you’ll get to see different sides of various characters that have never been seen before! It’s a game that can be enjoyed by anyone, whether you’re a guy or a girl. By all means, make Mikasa your partner and play around with the world of Shingeki no Kyojin!

Inoue Marina [Armin Arlert]

1. Thoughts – I am happy that I managed to confidently act out the story of Armin and the player(s). Shingeki no Kyojin recordings are always battles, but it was an absolute bloodbath this time around (laughs). Armin’s storyline has a lot of exposition and observations so I feel like I needed a lot more concentration than I normally would.

2. Recommended scenes – Armin is a character who has shown a tremendous range of growth throughout the series so I am always careful to consider what stage he is currently at when voicing the role; this time, I imagined him at a point after Eren has fixed the hole. I think the story will give a glimpse into the direction in which Armin grows going forward. There are times when it may get painful thinking about Armin but the ending was one that made you think that it might be the catalyst for his future.

3. Different sides – I never thought we would get such fanservice-y scenes for each character. However, I was disappointed to discover that the Captain [Levi] who is normally so fond of his tea would be on ‘that’ side instead of ‘our’ side. Is it because he is an adult?

4. Partners & stories – I (arbitrarily) think that the Shingeki members are bound together by bonds similar to those formed by comrades who have survived life-or-death battles together. I believe this confidence will remain unchanging in the future.

5. Aims for 2017 – From spring 2017, the long-awaited second season of Shingeki no Kyojin begins. My biggest aim is to be able to go all out in voicing Armin. Also, I need to go for a medical check-up.

6. Message – The Shingeki no Kyojin franchise has seen many action games up until now but this time, it’s a simulation game so I too am really looking forward to enjoying the storylines of each character. I hope that all of you would play through each path as well. With Season 2 of the anime, we look forward to your support going forward!

Ono Daisuke [Erwin Smith]

1. Thoughts – I said my lines while imagining the tension and heat levels that were present during the anime recording sessions. I’m dreadfully exhausted.

2. Recommended scenes – As a leader, I did put quite a lot of spirit into my instructions and words of command.

3. Different sides – I think the vast amount of information found within is precisely what makes the game such a pleasure. The more you play the game and appreciate those little details, the more new charms you will find in Shingeki.

4. Partners & stories – I just took part in the Shingeki-collaboration real escape game the other day. I could feel the bond between the cast then.

5. Aims for 2017 – Of course I want to have a ‘big hit’. To be able to contribute to that, all I can do is to give my best as an actor.

6. Message – Advance, into a new world of Shingeki no Kyojin!

Kamiya Hiroshi [Levi Ackerman]

1. Thoughts – I was wondering how it would turn out since I have a lot more dialogue here than in the anime, so I am relieved to complete recording without any problems!

2. Recommended scenes – There are familiar scenes and there are scenes that are closer to being gag-like but no matter what, Levi remains as serious as ever so please pay attention to them!

3. Different sides – In the scenes where conversation is being held with the original characters, the content of the dialogue changes a bit depending on the strength of the ‘bond’. However, Levi has such a difficult personality to comprehend that it’s hard to tell the difference!

4. Partners & stories – I do feel the bond between the cast when we’re all in the studio, working towards the same direction to improve the quality of the work! That is the kind of title Shingeki no Kyojin is!

5. Aims for 2017 – For 2017, I’ll be more careful with my health and give my best, more than ever!

6. Message – Please continue to support Shingeki no Kyojin from now on!

Park Romi [Hanji Zoe]

1. Thoughts – The volume of content is…amazing. Let me say that one more time. The volume of content is…amazing.

2. Recommended scenes – What I want you to pay attention to… On the contrary, how would you players like to pay attention to Hanji? That’s what I want you to pay attention to (laughs)

3. Different sides – Hanji appears to only be looking at the Titans but it was truly interesting to see how her comrades are reflected in her eyes.

4. Partners – My beloved daughters (pet dogs) Saran and Mian are awaiting my return so no matter what, I will overcome that battle field!

5. Aims for 2017 – I just want to travel around the power spots and store up energy!

6. Message – Thanks for your continued support. We’re gonna scale up the Shingeki no Kyojin world more and more! Don’t dare take your eyes off Hanji’s “research”!

Taniyama Kishow [Jean Kirstein]

1. Thoughts – I’m stepping into the Titan world after a long absence. It was pretty damn intense.

2. Recommended scenes – I put quite a bit of effort into the scene where Mikasa strangles and nearly drops [Jean] (laughs).

3. Different sides – I think Jean does show growth throughout the story. That makes me glad.

4. Partners & stories – Whenever I feel like things are going really badly, there’ll always be someone who comes along to lend me a hand. That’s what life is like for me at the moment.

5. Aims for 2017 – Move house, a new smartphone, travel overseas.

6. Message – Look forward to it!

Shimono Hiro [Connie Springer]

1. Thoughts – Up until now there have been various projects involving the Shingeki no Kyojin license but few opportunities for Connie to talk as much as he does in this particular work – it felt really fresh and I enjoyed it.

2. Recommended scenes – Basically there are many new discoveries. Memories of family – there are many things that are depicted well. You’ll see many scenes like that so please be sure to pay attention.

3. Different sides – This time you get to see a lot of scenes involving daily life that we’ve not really seen before so it was truly refreshing to see various aspects of the characters, Connie included. It made me feel a little bit joyful.

4. Stories – Recently, a person* in charge of the music of a certain anime work that I auditioned for (& won a role in) turned out to be the composer working on my solo artist activities. I didn’t know that beforehand but when I found out later, I felt like it was a fateful bond between us.

[*note: that person would be Takahashi Ryo, who composed Shimono’s first single Running High and also wrote the music for the ACCA anime as well as being part of ONE III NOTES]

5. Aims for 2017 – Obviously I want to work my hardest for Shingeki no Kyojin this year but since it appears that I will have increasing opportunities to do live concerts when compared to last year, I’m hoping that I’ll pull them off well too. Gonna give my best both for my acting and my singing!!

6. Message – Shingeki no Kyojin will have an exciting 2017 with various projects including the anime. I’d be glad if you could please give Shingeki no Kyojin: Shichi kara no Dasshutsu a play so that you’ll learn more about the various characters and grow to love them even more! Thank you!!

Kobayashi Yu [Sasha Blouse]

1. Thoughts – I am very pleased to have the opportunity to voice Sasha once again. This time, the game has an original story so we have a Sasha that we’ve never seen before and that also allowed me to experience a similar [new] impression. I was really pleased to get to meet that side of my beloved Sasha for the first time ever. At the same time, I took great pleasure in seeing parts of Sasha’s identity blow up so nicely. One thing that can’t be left out when talking about Sasha is “food”. She’s hard at it this time too, and you can see that [obsession] delivered in a couple of variations here. She’s someone whose comically charming side shines through but at the same time she can also be diligent and serious, which makes her a picture-perfect character. I’ll always brace myself when I’m voicing a multi-faceted, charming character like Sasha, handling her carefully to the best of my ability. Thankfully, Sasha plays an active role this time so I am deeply grateful not just as the actor behind the character but also as one of Sasha’s fans. Thank you!

2. Recommended scenes – There are many, but amongst them is a a scene containing a lecture about hunting that I found very impressive. Through that scene I got to see a shining Sasha, demonstrating her cherished way of life as a native of a hunting village. When teaching [others] how to use a bow, Sasha uses a uniquely genius method of teaching. It’s lovely to feel how ‘Sasha-like’ her masterfully wild intuitions are. Seeing the others’ reactions to those lectures gives you a glimpse into the ‘richness’ of each of their characters and it makes me smile.

3.Different sides – The butler & maid café was shocking to me. I’m glad to see that everyone had such such a great time, particularly as they are constantly living in danger. Each character has a distinct personality; it’s a lot of fun and one of the things to look out for. This time around we get to see Sasha experiencing a ‘suspension bridge effect’ like the maidens I admire plus she gets to wear maid clothes as well, showing various expressions for the first time ever. I was deeply impressed by these new charms that Sasha shows and it fills me with excitement.

4. Partners & stories – The time spent together with all of the staff and cast who I am under the care of is important & represents irreplaceable moments for me; I can feel the bond between us.

5. Aims for 2017 – I apologize for having the same goal every year, but I will continue to devote my strength and all I have to every single day in 2017.

6. Message – Thank you to everyone who is looking forward to the game’s release. This is an original story where you, the player, becomes the hero and advances together with the characters as your partner – what a most exciting and tasteful work it is. There is also human drama and moving scenes to be found amidst the fear and urgency of the mighty Titans. While going back-to-back with the crises of life, there remain heartwarming episodes that will make you smile here and there, so you can enjoy the game from that angle as well. I would be happy if you could immerse yourself in the world found within this game. Thank you.

Hosoya Yoshimasa [Reiner Braun]

1. Thoughts – As it’s an original story, I had to spend quite a bit of time taking stock of the situation at hand. I’m happy to have finished recording without incident.

2. Recommended scenes – Maybe the cats… The scene where the cat comes out… objectively speaking, it might be the kind of scene that provokes laughter.

3. Different sides – I still think the cat left the biggest impression. Since it’s an original story, I think it’s fun to see these ‘alternate’ tales, completely separate from the main plot.

4. Stories – When I met up with a friend from my elementary school days for the first time in about a year, he said ‘Long time no see’ to me and we both felt uncomfortable hearing those words. I thought, ‘Ah, so we’re both living our lives feeling the same sort of emotions’.

5. Aims for 2017 – Season 2 will be starting soon. I hope that I can take what I learn from encountering people through my work, to do more as a person. After all, you only live once. I want to enrich myself.

6. Message – It’s a clichéd one but… ‘Dedicate your hearts!’

Hashizume Tomohisa [Bertolt Hoover]

1. Thoughts – It’s been a while since I’ve gone all out in voicing Bertolt. It’s an adventure game so the scenarios are quite detailed so now I get to understand and connect his feelings with the events of seasons 1 & 2 of the anime! And while thinking of that, I realize that season 2 is finally starting soon.

2. Recommended scenes – He always goes together with Reiner so it’s unusual to see him depicted in such a way this time around. From the beginning to the end of the scenario, I would like you to feel the changes and subtlety of his feelings towards the protagonist.

3. Different sides – The title is ‘Escape from Certain Death’ so obviously the content of the main storyline is quite serious but you’ll also get to enjoy sub-stories that are unique to the game; they’ll make you go ‘Eh!? This character or that character does something like that!?’

4. Partners & stories – I’d say buddy but he’s more like a big senior to me; after mentioning that ‘this is the first time I’m taking part in such an event’ during the Shingeki Festival, Kamiya [Hiroshi]-san was a great help to me on stage and came to my rescue when I got stuck during the talk parts. When I felt uneasy about [us] having to take turns to speak individually, I turned to see Kamiya-san’s face on my left and felt relieved.

5. Aims for 2017 – Bodybuilding on a casual level. I did a bit in summer and managed to put on quite a bit [of muscle] but by winter they had evolved into something that wasn’t muscle, so I’d like to take on the challenge again. I’ll try to build more muscle by taking part in active things like bouldering, cycling and so on.

6. Message – Finally, Season 2 is here! It makes me happy just to think that I’ll be able to get into the studio and voice him alongside the rest of the cast. I’ve had the chance to be involved with the franchise in various ways following Season 1 and it’s made me even more excited. The wait has been long enough so please hold on a bit more and look forward to it!

Mikami Shiori [Krista Lenz]

1. Thoughts – As it is an original story there were many new discoveries to be made and I was able to record with a fresh feeling. There were scenes I had never seen before so I had a lot of fun acting.

2. Recommended scenes – The scene where [Krista and] Ymir talk about their respective childhoods got me. I’d be glad if you make sure not to miss how important Ymir’s presence is to Krista, and how Krista continues to grow throughout everything that happens.

3. Different sides – I like the scenes where Connie and Sasha are helping everyone with their studies. It warms me up inside, thinking & wishing that such peaceful times would last forever.

4. Partners & stories – The other guys who always listen to my stories are both my buddies and my comrades. Fujita Saki-san, who voices Ymir, has been very supportive all this while so it is now my turn to become stronger so I can support [her] in return…!

5. Aims for 2017 – Since I’ve always held a driving license, I hope I can get used to driving around in the city center to a point where I can tell people that my hobby is going for drives.

6. Message – There are plenty of charming stories packed in here. I’d be happy if you could choose Ymir and Krista to be your partners so that you can enjoy their story. Thank you!

Fujita Saki [Ymir]

1. Thoughts – Whenever you enter the world of Titans, you need to have a certain amount of preparation for it and what you’ll get out of it is similar to the sense of accomplishment and elation from running a full marathon – it was the same feeling this time. As players you will enter such a world and try to survive together [with us] so being Ymir, I’m able to show a lot of different expressions as well.

2. Recommended scenes – I do want [you] to successfully escape! I work together with Krista so there may be dialogue that the player feels sounds a bit harsh but I hope that you’ll be able to grasp the clumsy tenderness behind her words!

3. Different sides – The butler & maid café. Make sure you check it out. What outfit will Ymir be wearing? Look forward to it!

4. Partners & stories – There are so many that it’s hard for me to single any one out. In Shingeki no Kyojin recordings the staff and cast go all out in making the show together and you can really feel that bond there. Each and every person perseveres and holds on, taking on the challenge of the job with their absolute might; everyone helping to create the story’s worldview. With such an atmosphere you don’t even need to say a word to be able to feel [the strength of] that bond on your skin.

5. Aims for 2017 – I want to get into the habit of exercising, even if only a little bit. (laughs) Go me.

6. Message – Jump into the world of Shingeki no Kyojin through this game that is scheduled to be released on May 11th. If you could also watch the TV anime broadcast at the same time, you’ll be able to feel like you have signed up for the Survey Corps yourself! Please continue to support the increasingly exciting Shingeki no Kyojin!

#121 – Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge: Ono Kensho & Hosoya Yoshimasa

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One of my favourite shows of the season – I’m generally not that fond of 4-koma styled comedy anime but somehow, Tanaka-kun is hitting all the right spots for me. Absolutely loving the bromance between Tanaka and Ota, plus those Twitter short animations are really fun! If there was anything I wanted to complain about in the show, it’d be that there are too many girls ww

Bandai Visual interviewed the lead pairing of Ono Kensho & Hosoya Yoshimasa. Great performances from both of them too, especially Hosoyan who often has to express a huge range of emotions with just one word: “Tanaka…”

In a quandary over how best to express the ‘listlessness’ found in the anime’s title

Q: First of all, tell us about your respective characters’ charms.

Ono Kensho (Tanaka): I think Tanaka’s charm lies in how he makes sure not to waste too much energy or effort to do things.

Hosoya Yoshimasa (Ota): Ota basically plays the role of protector, but I think his charm lies in how he’s able to respect the individuality of the person he’s dealing with.

Q: Tell us how you’re similar, as well as different to your own characters.

Ono: For similarities – the fact that we can both fall fast asleep no matter where we are. I personally thought it was amazing how he’d just nod off even when he’s only in the background (laughs). He’ll doze off in the blink of an eye, suddenly shoot awake and then come back on-screen, as if nothing had ever happened (laughs). I might also resemble him in that we both put in effort so that we can have a bit more rest time; working hard so that we can slack off. As for how we’re different – I’m not that much of a nuisance to others. ‘Nuisance’ might not be the right word to use here but yeah, I wouldn’t get other people to do things just because I’m lazy to do it myself. Tanaka must have that special something to make Ota go to such lengths to look after him (laughs).

Hosoya: To be honest we don’t have much in common, probably only how we both like sweet things and that we share the same voice (laughs). [We] see a lot of letters from fans saying how “Ota is a motherly figure” – he tries not to impress his own opinions upon other people and goes out of his way to accommodate the other party’s personality; we might be slightly similar in that way. Still, I’m not fond of meddling in other people’s affairs so I guess we’re really not that similar.

Q: Was there anything that you were particularly conscious about when voicing your character?

Ono: I was in a quandary over how best to express the ‘listlessness’ in the anime’s title, right from the point when I received the call for auditions. At first, I vaguely imagined him doing things slowly, speaking at a very leisurely pace. However, I thought I’d wear myself out that way and it might even be painful for the viewers to watch. So I was conscious about trying to speak at a normal tempo but in a way that would make him sound listless. At the same time, Tanaka’s (acting) parts have a tendency to swing in severity so during tests I’d go ahead and improvise as I saw fit, before making the necessary adjustments for the actual recording.

Hosoya: Ota has Tanaka as a sparring partner so there isn’t really anything that I’m particularly conscious about when it comes to acting out the role. What I’ll normally do is take in all the other actors’ performances and to make sure my own acting goes with the flow. If you plan too much you might end up having weird expectations or overthinking things. Obviously I do take the time to understand the meaning of the dialogue but if one reflects on it too much it might result in you reading your script as if you’re reciting the definition of the words; for me, I try instead to keep things spontaneous and not think about it too much until I have to say my lines for real. Having said that, a lot of my lines [in Tanaka-kun] are quite long and it is a bit difficult as Ota is the passive type as opposed to being the sort of guy who would initiate the conversation. Thus, I try to focus on thinking about how Tanaka would say a given line, or how Miyano or Shiraishi would say it. I wouldn’t be as greedy as to think about how “I” would say the line. However, as recording progresses I have been considering that it might be interesting if I tried speaking in a more ‘elderly’ manner (laughs). Not like a grandfather or anything, but an Ota who speaks about things philosophically – that would be interesting.

During recordings, the tests are filled with aggressively attacking ad-libs

Q: Tell us about any characters apart from your own that you’re interested in.

Hosoya: I’ll say Ota’s sister Saya. She’s the one that stands out in this anime’s world. Why does Ota have such a cute, normal sister? She’s the opposite [of everyone else], that’s why I’m curious about her (laughs). She has this kind of refreshing feeling about her that makes you think, ‘did she come here from a different anime?’

Ono: I’ll say Saionji-san, the WcDonald’s employee who’s in episode 9. Hopefully she’ll appear often in the future; I’d like to see how she reacts to and comments on the antics of Tanaka and Ota since she’s a member of the general public who’s not involved with Tanaka’s group of friends in any way.

Q: Were there any interesting episodes from recording sessions?

Ono: I wouldn’t call it an episode, but most of the dialogue in the show is like what you’d hear in natural conversations proceeding in a straightforward manner so it’s hard to create something like a climax point. What we do to compensate is to go all-out attacking with the ad-libs in tests during recordings.

Hosoya: When we’re doing ad-libs you can tell right away whether you’ve ‘won’ or ‘lost’. For example, you would definitely know it if you made a slip at some point (laughs). I recall in the 1st episode during the scene where Ota’s trying to help Tanaka get out of his gym clothes and he says ‘Good luck’ – that’s actually an ad-lib. It got a good reception from the staff and my colleagues, so I kept it in there…but from then on we ended up overusing the phrase ‘good luck’ [in the dialogue] (laughs)

Ono: One of the recent ad-libs that I think was a winner was in episode 9 where I was simulating the sound of Tanaka vigorously sucking on a straw.

Hosoya: Yeah that was a winner (laughs). The staff even said ‘please do that during the recording’…

Ono: The sound director Kameyama (Toshiki)-san gave me a compliment, saying “That was good, it was memorable’ which makes me think it was a winner. But if I watch the broadcast of episode 9 and find out that the scene has been cut, I’ll be really disappointed (laughs)

Hosoya: That’d make you think ‘Grown-ups are all liars!’ (laughs)

Ono: To be honest, I’d been secretly practising that scene since the day before recording. I put quite a bit of effort into it so I hope it makes it to broadcast (laughs)

Q: Did your interactions with director Kawatsura Shinya leave any deep impressions?

Hosoya: When we were celebrating the birthdays of the cast members born in February, Director Kawatsura was the one who brought the cake into the studio. I know this is my own one-sided impression, but the Director kind of exudes the same slacker atmosphere that Tanaka does (laughs). With him being like that, the studio has a similarly strange environment and everyone gets sucked up in it and they don’t move from the spot that they’re occupying. When the people who were in the toilet during the break finally returned to the room, we got around to the birthday celebration and the Director blew out the candles by himself. Amidst all that, the sound director Kameyama-san said ‘Okay, let’s start recording~’ and we had to get back to work without even having had a proper break – it was very surreal and amusing (laughs). Left an impression on me.

Ono: I can’t remember which one exactly, but I bumped into Director Kawatsura at a station and when I greeted him first he replied with a shocking scream, the loudest I’ve ever heard in my life. His expression and reaction at the time was so funny, I still remember it now (laughs).

This is my own impression, but Ota’s ‘role’ changes by the episode

Q: Which of the episodes that have been broadcast thus far left the biggest impression on you?

Hosoya: Episode 7. That’s the one where Tanaka’s sister Rino appears for the first time. This is my own impression, but Ota’s role changes depending on the episode and in the 7th, it felt like he was stuck in a romantic comedy. It’s just my personal feelings but in my head, it felt like [Ota and] Rino were a couple in a romantic comedy (laughs). At one point Ota says, “the coffee’s tasty!” to Rino, and I tried to act that scene out with the emotions of a hero in a romantic comedy.

Ono: I see, that’s deep (laughs)

Hosoya: I acted out that part with Ota as the hero in my mind, so it was particularly memorable for me.

Ono: Those scenes where Rino first appears left a big impression on me as well. I’m very grateful towards Yuki (Aoi)-san, the voice of Rino, for informing my performance but I found myself getting caught up in it and that threw me off my rhythm, making me forget what pace I was supposed to operate at. At that point, I realized for the first time how difficult it was to have two similar characters that speak in the same way appear together and it sent me into a slight panic mode (laughs). Anyway, I think this kind of anime is more strongly geared towards the thinking where ‘this line here was fantastic’ rather than remembering specific episodes. In episode 2, there’s a scene where Tanaka visits Izumo Taisha and Ota asks him “Do you know where this is?”. Tanaka says “Probably Tottori” and Ota replies “It’s Shimane” in return – that scene was truly fantastic. Also, I like the scene where Tanaka loses his cool in episode 1.

Q: How about you, Hosoya-san – were there any lines that left a deep impression on you?

Hosoya: There’s a scene in episode 1 where Tanaka and Kato are at the drinking fountain. Kato tries to say something while he’s drinking the water and Ota jokingly chides him “Drink or talk, pick one!”. Meanwhile, Tanaka is looking at them, letting the fountain shoot water at his cheek and Ota says to him “Tanaka, that’s not your mouth!” – that particular scene somehow managed to leave a big impression on me.

Q: Tell us more about the charms that are unique to the Tanaka-kun anime.

Ono: That would definitely be the ‘intermissions’. I myself am a comics reader and there’s no way you could insert intermissions in there. In that sense, ‘intermissions’ are a bit of magic made possible only through animation. Things like what kind of music would fit a particular scene – you might be able to sort of imagine it in your head but you can’t really feel it when you’re reading a comic. The intermissions in Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge are quite significant; seeing them makes you realize just how extra important they can be.

Hosoya: This is related to intermissions – the various sounds that flow from the screen are charming too. I think you’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve seen the opening scene in the first episode, where the intermission isn’t buried by the music. You can hear the birds twitter, the faint sound of the wind. You’re not seeing any character speaking on-screen, yet the atmosphere of the anime is wonderfully represented. Also, the grass in the field that Tanaka is lazing upon in the ending sequence is so realistic; I personally found it very interesting and addicting to watch (laughs).

I think I’ll aim for Paris instead of Hollywood in the future (laugh)

Q: Tanaka’s sister Rino first appears in episode 7 and Ota’s sister Saya in episode 9 – Ono-san, please leave a message for Rino and Hosoya-san, for Saya.

Ono: ‘As always, thank you’. I think my message will get across with that one phrase (laughs).

Hosoya: ‘When I heard Saya’s voice for the first time, I thought I had accidentally changed the channel’. I’ll go with that. Saya really is a nice girl and it was lovely seeing the two of them on the way home. They’re siblings but it felt like I had changed the channel and was watching a romantic comedy instead. I don’t really comprehend it myself, but I feel like Ota enters a sort of ‘romantic comedy’ mode whenever a younger sister type of character appears (laughs).

Q: Tanaka is aiming to lead a listless life. In your own daily lives, when are the times that you feel ‘listless’?

Ono: 2-4pm in the afternoon. After lunch, you’ll definitely start to feel a bit listless (laughs).

Hosoya: I’m the type of person who wouldn’t get listless unless I have other people doing stuff on my behalf. After my job is done I’ll go home and if I don’t have to get up early the following morning, I’ll have a drink after taking my bath – that is when I start to get listless (laughs). I’ll get drunk, pull out my guitar and start playing it..the sounds that emanate tend to be extremely listless too (laughs).

Q: Finally, please tell us about the show’s future highlights, and leave a message for the fans.

Ono: For other shows, we’d usually say something along the lines of ‘please watch the characters’ growth as we approach the climax of the storyline’ but for [Tanaka-kun], it’s tough to answer the question ‘what are the highlights?’. I am however, curious about how the anime will conclude. Having said that, it’ll probably just progress as normal and just come to an end..(laughs). Personally, I hope it finishes in a way that might lead to something else. For example, due to a certain incident, Tanaka ends up getting kidnapped (laughs).

Hosoya: Up to this point, [we’ve] been saying “we want to take this to Hollywood” at events and such, but in my opinion this anime is a grand production with high artistic quality and is more befitting of a French arthouse movie screening so in the future, we’d like to take it to Paris in France instead of Hollywood (laughs). To do so, I’d like to suggest this ending – without explanation, a second Tanaka appears onscreen and the two then proceed to engage in a nonsensical conversation. Ota emerges and upon seeing the two Tanakas, ends the show with just one word – ‘Tanaka…’. That would make it an artistic show and hey, wouldn’t you like to see the continuation? With that, I’d like to take this series to Paris so please support the anime in the future.

#39 – Hosoya Yoshimasa

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Name: Hosoya Yoshimasa (細谷 佳正)
DoB: 10 February 1982
Hometown: Hiroshima
Agency: Freelance (left Mausu Promotion in 2014)
Representative Roles: Arata Wataya in Chihayafuru, Kawabuchi Sentaro in Sakamichi no Apollon, Shichika Yasuri in Katanagatari, Reiner Braun in Shingeki no Kyojin, Hyuga Junpei in Kurono no Basket, Azumane Asahi in Haikyuu!!

Going all the way back to #1 in the male seiyuu’s series of Seiyuu no Wa brings us to one of my favourites, Hosoya Yoshimasa.

1. Please tell us how you became a seiyuu.
When I was in high school I watched the Nadesico movie that a friend had lent me. After watching a warp scene featuring the character Hokushin who was voiced by a seiyuu I admired then (and still do), Yamadera Koichi, I thought to myself “I’d like to be able to warp too”. That was the reason I thought about becoming a seiyuu.

2. What was your début anime role?
I think it was probably the role of one of the shuttle crew in an anime called Gallery Fake.

3. Of all the shows you have acted in thus far, is there any character that has left a particularly strong impression?
Yasuri Shichika in Katanagatari.

4. Please tell us if any of the characters you are voicing now share any similarities to yourself.
I’ve done a lot of different types of characters, so maybe the only similarities we share are the voices.

5. From all the shows you’ve been in, please tell us about any one scene that left a particularly strong impression.
In the last episode of Katanagatari when Togane died.

6. Please tell us any horror stories or memorable tales from the recording studio.
When I went to my first recording I didn’t even know what a ‘bold’ was. I even said my lines without paying attention to the ‘required length of speaking’. I was embarrassed when my mistakes were pointed out by my seniors after that.

*bold (ボールド) refers to the small boxes that appear on rough animation cuts (see here), signalling the character that is speaking
** “required length of speaking” basically, is the amount of time over which a single line of dialogue should stretch in order to match the animation of mouth flaps. If the seiyuu reads his lines too fast, it’s a 早上がりand if he reads too slow, it’s a こぼれ.

7. Are there any seiyuu you see as rivals or as someone to aim for?
I used to have many of these but nowadays, I think it’s more important that I focus on finding out more of my strengths, and work on polishing them.

8. If you weren’t a seiyuu, what do you think you would be doing now?
I’d probably be working at a bar opened by my friend.

9. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced as a seiyuu?
When I couldn’t even afford to pay my phone and utility bills, when I couldn’t even live a normal life. I even had to resort to taking showers at a friend’s place.

10. On the flipside, what’s the happiest thing(s) that has happened to you as a seiyuu?
When I get letters from people who have watched shows that I appear in, telling me “You really have done your best in many things”, or when they say “Thanks for being born into this world” on my birthday.

11. Do you like singing? What has left the biggest impression when it comes to singing thus far?
There are times when I love it and there are times when I find it tough to handle. As for memorable moments – when I performed Shiraishi Kuranosuke’s Kuchibiru live. When I started singing the first notes during the evening portion of the Tokyo lives, I was surprised to find that I still had a voice to sing.

*Shiraishi Kuranosuke is a character from Prince of Tennis

12. From all the radio shows you have hosted, were there any mails that left an impression on you?
“People may find you hard to understand, but I myself love your talks”. That made me happy…

13. Is there anything you take particular care about when you’re acting?
Bringing life to a character. To make the character more human. Even if the character’s not human, it’s important to consider its emotions.

14. What kind of roles would you consider your specialty?
Characters who have no parents, but wish to….maybe? I can’t exactly say that I am execptionally good at it, but just that…I can relate to their feelings.

15. Tell us what goals and dreams you have as a seiyuu?
To work at this for the rest of my life. I want to be in a Japan-made film that charms people the world over. I also want to meet my overseas fans.

16. To the people who are aiming to become seiyuu, please give them a word of advice.
Just experience as many things as possible, and become someone who’s interesting!

17. Apart from the shows that you’ve been in, are there anime that you like to watch?
I was crazy about Cowboy Bebop. Also, Doraemon, Esper Mami, Slam Dunk & Rurouni Kenshin.

18. In relation to the above, are there any types of roles you’d like to voice or perhaps, characters that you admire?
Cowboy Bebop’s Spike. I really, really like him.

19. As a viewer, what kind of anime do you like?
I prefer films to running series. Psychological-suspense types like Perfect Blue might be my kind of thing.

20. What kind of child were you?
I was a shy child, but kind of precocious. Also, I was a TV-obsessed kid…I loved Jackie Chan.

21. Please tell us what TV programmes do you often watch?
The news, the weather forecast…and sometimes, Terrace House.

22. Tell us what your favourite books are.
Ushio & Tora, Murakami Haruki’s South of the Border, West of the Sun. These are the two that popped into my mind first.

23. Tell us what your favourite games are.
What I’m playing now is Prince of Persia on the Super Famicom.

24. Tell us what your favourite movies are.
What I’d like to watch now is The Bridges of Madison County.

25. Tell us about your favourite songs.
Mr.Chilren’s Tenohira, Makihara Noriyuki’s Donna Toki mo.

26. Tell us what your motto is.
“If it’s not fun, it’s not life. If it’s not fun, it’s not work.” I read it in a book recently, so let’s go with that.

27. Tell us about any of your experiences with sports.
Basketball club: quit after a week
Kendo: 1-dan
Unicycle: can only move forwards
Skateboard: can only skate forwards

28. Tell us what songs you often sing when you go to the karaoke.
I don’t go to karaoke.

29. Tell us what your favourite foods are.
Sea urchin, gorgonzola cheese, kalbi (ribs), salad, ume-nankotsu (chicken cartilage in plum sauce).

30. Tell us what foods you hate.
Oysters! Aojiru (green juice). Spicy curry.

31. Tell us about the stores you often go to.
Wine Bar. I am close to the owner and the staff there and they’re good at choosing delicious wines that fit my tastes. I’m also fond of strong cheeses and am always on the lookout for recommended places to go for that.

32. Do you have any favourite snacks?
Off the top of my mind, Jaga Pokkuru.

*you can buy them at all major JP airports

33. Do you drink? If you do, what sort of drinks do you like?
Sweet white wine. Whiskey. Sweet Vermouth wines.

34. What did you do on your last day off?
Cleaned my room.

35. If you had a whole week off, what would you do?
Onsen trip.

36. Are there any hobbies that you’ve been obsessed with recently?
Trying to hold conversations with people. Read self-help books.

37. Tell us about any qualifications you have.
EIKEN Grade Pre-2. (I was just three points away from Grade 2, but I think it’s already impossible for me). Kendo 1-dan.

38. What challenges would you like to take on within the next 10 years?
Travel overseas. Go on a solo trip.

39. What type of girl do you like?
Someone with common sense and is kind and loves to laugh. An honest person.

40. Which part(s) of a girl do you notice most?
Her aura.

41. Tell us the most expensive thing you’ve bought recently.
A leather jacket.

42. What is the one thing you most desire now?
Happiness.

43. If you could bring only one item to a deserted island, what would it be?
My best friend.

44. If you had 1,000,000 yen that you could spend as you wish, how would you use it?
I’d save it.

45. Please tell us if there is anything that you do on a daily basis, habits etc.
Go to bed early.

46. Please leave a message for your fans.
I’m going to do my best from now on, so please cheer me on!

47. (Question from fan) What is the layout of your house?
It’s a secret.

48. (Question from fan) What type of jazz do you like?
Moanin’, My Funny Valentine.

*Both were featured in Sakamichi no Apollon.

49. Please tell us which seiyuu you get along well with.
This is just my own assumption (lol) – Ono Kensho-kun, Ono Yuki-kun, Eguchi Takuya-san, Kimura Ryohei-san, Ishikawa Kaito-kun, Ono Daisuke-san, Sakurai Takahiro-san, Kaji Yuki-san, Kondo Takayuki-san, Okamoto Nobuhiko-san.

50. Please leave a question for our next interviewee (Sakurai Takahiro)
Sakurai Takahiro-san! How can I be like you, with a mysterious air and a presence that makes people interested in me?