Amamiya Sora’s “Ten” words

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What are the 10 words that come to our mind when we think of Amamiya “Ten-chan” Sora? The January issue of Seiyuu Grandprix had a section where Amamiya Sora answered 10 words related to her.

Rain

On days I appear in events, I see many umbrellas…..
Of course I am not talking about just my events, but even for Trysail events surprisingly, It rains almost all the time.

Although there is this theory of me being a rain woman*, since it’s almost the same staffs that comes to our events, It isn’t impossible to say that one of them could be the rain man/woman instead – that is what I wanted to say but….the staff would just tell me that for there it doesn’t happen for the other 2 members of Trysail..
So I’ll just admit it, I’m a rainwoman! (laughs)

*someone who somehow manages to summon the rain

Kanji

When the kanji series* began, I would always carry a Wordboy (e-pocket dictionary)
with me. I will use it to check up some kanji whenever I had time. Then as it
got more busy gradually, I had no choice but to give it up.

However, thanks to that serialization in ‘Seiyuu Grandprix’, It was possible for me
to take time to think about kanji seriously once a month. If not for that, I wouldn’t
have taken (nationwide) Grade 1 Kanji Test**. I was really grateful for that series.

*Amamiya Sora used to have a monthly series in Seiyuu Grandprix where she
introduces one kanji (word) and tells the story behind them back in 2014.
https://www.bilibili.com/read/cv133830/
**Highest possible grade
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanji_kentei#Level_1

Meat

Whenever I’m at work, my seniors and people at my workplace will always let me eat delicious food. In my life, I think I was able to enjoy the best meat I’ve eaten after becoming a Seiyuu.

In the end, I still love inexpensive meat. Of course I enjoy eating high quality meat, but as my stomach is rather weak, I get bloated easily. My favourite is still grilled meat that you get from those yakiniku-ya chain stores(grilled meat restaurant/shop)! (laughs)

Song

The most impactful change I felt in myself these few years, was singing. I feel that I have come to learn and understand the form and style of my singing. Also thanks to Trysail, I was finally able to sing bright and cheerful songs, which I always had difficulty with (laughs). To say I am able to sing a more wide variety of songs may be a little too much, but compared to previously, I think I have less trouble with songs now.

Shōwa*

I love the famous songs of the Shōwa Era. My favourite are those from the 70s to
early 80s, the melody those songs were really beautiful! They leave an impression
in your ears, moreover many of the songs had sad melodies. Also, I love how the
singers could convey their expressions and singing skills well.

I thought about why I love the songs from Shōwa era and this was what I settled down
with.

*1926-1989 in Japan
Shōwa Period

Sleep

I see dreams pretty often in my sleep. But I get uneasy dreams and nightmares more often, for example, rolling off the stairs and getting woken up by my own scream. I would scream loudly, and then feel relieved that It was only just a dream while crying..then I’ll go back to sleep (laughs).

I do get to see good dreams once in a while but no matter what happy dreams I get, I feel that nothing is better than the life I’m living now.

Long hair

I have always had long hair, to the point that maybe some people think that I have an
obsession over keeping this length, but in fact I do not have much preference when it comes to my hair. I just keep it long just because it’s easy for me.

“What is the best way to avoid having to groom my hair too often?” I considered that and concluded that long hair is the most ideal. Even when I fail to cut them, there’s many different possibilities for hair arrangement during photo shoots. Also, when I don’t brush out my hair, I don’t get exposed…..there’s that I guess (laughs).

Tokyo

Though I lived in Tokyo my whole life since I was born, but as everyone would know, I’m a sloppy unfeminine girl who doesn’t know the streets of Tokyo at all. When I started this
job and needed new clothes, Momo-san who was from Fukuoka (Asakura Momo) had to give me suggestions on where to shop in Shinjuku. I didn’t even know such shops exist (laughs).

“Well, I’m from Tokyo, there’s no special reason for me to make the effort to explore……”
– Maybe I can use this excuse..?

Voice

The simple voices everyday, for example when calling out to the shop staff with “suima-sen”*, or saying a simple thank you.. the frequency of being told that i have a nice voice has gradually increased since my debut. While admiring the work of Seiyuus and after becoming one myself, I always thought that my own voice is average and doesn’t really stand out. So for me to hear these compliments really made me very happy.

As i continue to work, I wonder if i can improve the way of how I talk, how i use my voice…etc.

*casual way of asking for someone (sumimasen)

Rest days

I am the type of person that doesn’t need rest days. It’s true that if you don’t get a break
at least once a month, you may feel choked up but, even if I get 2 off days in a week, I wouldn’t know what to do with them……I don’t have plans to go out so I end up reading game scripts in advance, maybe compensate for the usual lack of nutrition – It all ends up being work-related.

I hope that someday I will learn to make use of my rest days meaningfully.

You can purchase this copy of Seiyuu Grandprix at Amazon.

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150 questions with Minase Inori #3

headerFinally, the last 50 questions from Minase Inori’s 150 Q&A with Seiyuu Animedia.
#1-#50
#51-100

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Q: What children’s story did you like when you were young?
A: ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ *「はらぺこあおむし」

Q: What was your most anxious moment?
A: When i received the first tape which I appeared in. I remembered my fingers shaking as I pressed the rewind button.

Q: Describe your mum in a few words.
A: Intense, full of passion.

Q: How about your dad?
A: Big! When you see him, you will get the impression that he has a magnanimous character as well.

Q: What would you bring to an uninhabited island?
A: An empty suitcase. I will stuff it with many different objects and use it as a kick board to get back home.

Q: Which do you prefer, short or long distance?
A: Short distance. I could make up 50m in 7 seconds back in school.

Q: What happens when you drink alcoholic drinks?
A: I don’t think anything changes but maybe I start using interjections* more randomly.
*these are short replies used by a person to acknowledge the flow of the conversation. (e.g mm, sou ne, naruhodo.. etc)

Q: What’s your high score in bowling?
A: 120. I average around 101~.

Q: Are you the cautious or daring type?
A: If i had to say, maybe daring?

Q: What do you do on days you have nothing planned for?
A: I go for a walk. And also maybe laze around in a bathhouse.

Q: What was the first accessory you bought for yourself?
A: When I was a kid, I think I bought a sparkly bracelet as well as a big star ring.

Q: Which are you better at, Math or English?
A: If I have to pick one, I’d say English.

Q: If you were to pick up a skill now, what would you want to learn?
A: Caligraphy. I want to be able to write more nicely.

Q: What news caught your attention recently?
A: A 3rd year grade school kid created a computer virus just to surprise his friends. I was really shocked, it felt like something that came out of an Anime!

Q: What’s the highest point you’ve been to?
A: Tokyo Sky Tree, Takao-san, Taipei 101……I love to go to high places!

Q: What changed the most after you turned 20?
A: Maybe my face? It could be also due to my stylist that people tell me I look grown-up more often now.

Q: Fortune telling or Magic?
A: Fortune telling. You don’t need any tools for fortune telling. Besides, it can be a really good conversation tool.

Q: Please tell me about the good points of the voice acting industry.
A: When you stand before the mic, the senior/junior barrier is broken and everyone is part of the team.

Q: What would you do if someone suddenly tells you a gag/one-liner at the closing party (celebration for completion of a project)
A: Go back home immediately. (laughs)**probably a joke in response

Q: Who is Japan’s superstar now?
A: Hanyu Yuzuru (figure skater). I really respect his expressive nature.

Q: Where would you want to travel with your family?
A: Laze around in an Onsen ♪

Q: What type of challenge do you want to attempt in the future for work?
A: Narration, and work that requires me to read out loudly and clearly as naturally as possible in relation to the script.

Q: Who do you often confide in?
A: A friend within the industry. ….I think you guys probably would know who that is. (laughs)

Q: Whats your image of a “grown up lady”?
A: Those who can be naturally considerate about their surroundings or people.

Q: What were some popular activity back in grade school?
A: Uni-cycling and roller blading.

Q: What are you currently collecting?
A: I was collecting stickers in grade school. Puffy and decorative stickers were really popular back then, we also brought them around in a thick folder to display them.

Q: Favourite fruit(s)?
A: Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, mandarin oranges etc… I think i really like yellowish to orange-ish fruits.

Q: Are you the methodical type?
A: I am not the type who would say, “I definitely must do it this way!”, so I guess not.

Q: What was the most adventurous thing you have done?
A: When I was in grade school, my friends and I had a competition to see how far we can cycle to. I couldn’t get back home, and I cried so badly when my parents went to find me.

Q: Favourite sushi?
A: Red sea bream.

Q: What’s the first cake that comes to your mind?
A: Ice cream cake.

Q: What do you use at home to watch the video recording?
A: Portable DVD player.

Q: What do you enjoy doing recently?
A: Making a compilation of all the off-shots from the photo shoot sessions and adding music to them to make them look like behind the scenes footage.

Q: If you could part-time at any place in the world just for a day, where?
A: “The land of dreams”!*
*Disneyland

Q: Are you the type that does homework as soon as the summer holidays start, or are you the last minute dasher?
A: At the very last moment. I wrote 1 entire month worth of summer diary in 1 day. (laughs)

Q: What’s your favourite Chinese dish?
A: Stir-fried pepper steak.

Q: How often do you go to the salon?
A: I would love to go once a month but recently it was about 2 times every 3 months.

Q: Do you believe in fate?
A: Absolutely!

Q: What gets you through hectic days?
A: Play. I go to concerts of my favourite artistes, break away from the hustle & bustle of everyday and make time for myself to unwind and enjoy.

Q: Whose concert did you watch recently?
A: I enjoyed TWICE’s live DVD recently. The dance formations from all 9 of them were really cute!

Q: What was a challenging role you had to take on recently?
A: There was this game I had to voice a sexy character! I had to use a lower voice compared to my usual to say out the lines, ” ~ Give . It . To . You ❤.”. Lines like that would make my fans burst out in laughter.

Q: What was the turning point in your life?
A: 2/12/2015. I turned 20 that day, and it was also the day of my solo debut.

Q: How about a comment for the 150th issue of Seiyuu Animedia?
A: Please leave the cover page of #1202 (my birthday) issue to me!

Q: What do you do when you are getting a hair cut?
A: Online shopping on my phone, read some magazines & talk to the hairdresser.

Q: At which point was your hair length the longest?
A: When I was in my 1st year of high school. It reached the top of waist if I remembered correctly.

Q: What’s the scariest thing in the world?
A: It has to be humans, right? (laughs)

Q: What do you want to study now?
A: I wanna take a term off to get retry for the World Heritage Certification test.

Q: What is on the top of you mind during  auditions?
A: Reply loudly and clearly!

Q: What’s the happiest season?
A: I always liked winter but for some reason I end up becoming a summer-person here.

Q: Do you believe in aliens?
A: They definitely exist!

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This interview was published on the 5th issue of 2018’s edition of Seiyuu Animedia. It can be purchased from Amazon as usual.

150 questions with Minase Inori #2

headerContinuing from the last post, this is part 2 of Minase Inori’s 150 questions. You can re-read the 1st 50 questions here.

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Q: If you could turn back time, what age do you want to return to, and what do you wish to do?
A: I would go back to my grade school days, apply sunscreen and make myself look lighter. (laughs)

Q: What is a recent happy memory?
A: When i was making my album. It was really satisfying seeing the album being built up gradually ♪

Q: What exercise would you want to take up now?
A: Yoga.

Q: What events did you like back in school?
A: Concerts. I loved swing my arms wildy and hit the conga*. (laughs)
*percussion instrument

Q: What beverage do you drink after recording sessions?
A: Water, hot water.

Q: What’s the best alcoholic drink you had?
A: Sparkling Japanese sake.

Q: Restaurant or Izakaya (Japanese styled bar) for first dates?
A: I would like to talk openly without reservations so i guess Izakaya!

Q: How do you choose your outfits?
A: It depends on the inspiration i get on that day. Sometimes, I will just go, “I wanna wear this!”.

Q: What gets you fired up unknowingly?
A: Online battle games!

Q: What’s the best way to treat a cold?
A: First, I’ll sleep. Then, I’ll eat some spring onions. Sometimes I’ll also put some
finely chopped onions beside my pillow as I sleep.

Q: What’s a must when you are travelling long distances?
A: My phone, slippers & neck-pillow.

Q: First thing you do when you get home?
A: Head straight to the bath while still carrying my bag.

Q: Tell me one sportsperson you know.
A: Ichiro san*. Being able to compete overseas for so long.. really amazing!
*Professional Baseball player

Q: What dreams do you see often?
A: I often dream of the ceiling closing down on me when I’m tired.

Q: What’s on your desk at home?
A: Pen holder, a box that has things like plasters and lipsticks, supplements.

Q: What do you carry around for taking notes?
A: I used to carry around a pen case with lots of my favourite pens, but it somehow got lost. Due to the shock of losing them, now i will just bring along a 3 in 1 pen.

Q: What shellfish do you like?
A: Mentaiko, grilled fish roe.

Q: Cold or hot weather?
A: It’s not so much about the temperature, but when it gets really cold, I hate it when my fingers get frostbitten.

Q: What do you want to do this summer?
A: (eat) Flowing noodles *Nagashi Soumen, a popular dish in summer

Q: What housework are you particularly good at?
A: Cleaning the washroom.

Q: If you were to open a store, what kind?
A: Accessories.. and small items.

Q: Which street would you want to live one day?
A: Colmar, France from the anime, “Gochuumon wa usagi desuka?” (Is the order a rabbit?)

Q: What movie genre do you like?
A: Musicals & music-inspired movies. I watched “The Greatest Showman” twice already!

Q: What is one food you will not eat no matter what?
A: Tomato. I won’t eat them even if someone gives me money to. (laughs)

Q: What was the first anime that influenced you?
A: “Sailor Moon”. I got so absorbed that I was cheering on as though I’m part of them.

Q: What do you look for in a marriage partner, Talent or Character?
A: Character.

Q: How would you describe your character?
A: I’d say I’m like a small dog. Cautious around people at first, but once I take a liking to you, I will be very attached to you.

Q: What would you make your kids learn?
A: If it’s a boy, football (soccer). If it’s a girl, then ballet. Since I am not flexible (referring to her own body), I would like to nurture my kids to have qualities I cannot have.

Q: How long do you need to get out of the house after waking up?
A: About 30 minutes. I always play it to the absolute last minute to wake up and get out though. (laughs)

Q: Favourite accessory?
A: Earrings. Recently I let my hair grow out a little, so I started using scrunchies(hair tie).

Q: What type of place you frequent when you eat outdoors?
A: Usually those places that offer set meals.

Q: Shower-person or Bath-person?
A: I go straight to the bath after coming home, but i usually finish off with a shower..

Q: If you could be reborn, what would you wanna become?
A: I want to become a skyscraper or any high structure. (tl note: what???)

Q: Most calming place in the world?
A: Right underneath the futon*.
*Japanese-styled mattress

Q: What’s the most peaceful moment in a day?
A: When I’m sleeping.

Q: What would really be a troublesome thing to lose now?
A: My eyelashes! Recently they have been falling off easily, so I always check them when
I wake up. (could be eyelashes attachment? I am not sure on this since I don’t use them)

Q: If you were a guy for just 1 day, what would you want to do?
A: I would earnestly shower a lady with affection. (laughs)

Q: What is in your mind during photoshoots?
A: I always keep a lookout for the staff’s reactions. I feel relieved when they say, “This is a good feel”.

Q: What do you usually end up taking photos of?
A: Fashionable dishes. When I see something ‘instagrammable’, I can’t help but take photos of them. (laughs)

Q: What’s the main colour of your room?
A: There’s not really a main colour, but I’d say the first colours you see are calming colours like white and light brown.

Q: What do you do when you get a 1 hour break in between work?
A: If the next place is a little far, I’d walk there. Or I’ll just go to some cafe to chill.

Q: How do you kill time in a departmental store?
A: I’ll go to the cosmetics & general section. I also like looking at the colourful stationery, lined up side by side, such as binders & files.

Q: Tell me the first trait that comes to your mind for people with blood type B.
A: Fickle-minded.

Q: What was the last thing that irritated you?
A: While trying to sort out photos I want to delete, I ended mixing up the folders and I got angry with myself with my carelessness.

Q: Favourite attraction in theme parks?
A: Merry-Go-Round.

Q: What type of girl do you have the image of “Girl power”?
A: People who sit down and immediately place their handkerchiefs on their laps.

Q: Which celebrity did you take interest in recently?
A: Yoshioka Riho san. She has this charm & girl-next-door feel that makes her very likeable.

Q: How long do you wish to sleep everyday?
A: About 6 hours is fine.

Q: What food can you eat for 1 whole week without getting sick of?
A: Ramen. I’ll eat it whether in daytime or nighttime.

Q: What red coloured food comes to your mind?
A: Apples.

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This interview was published on the 5th issue of 2018’s edition of Seiyuu Animedia. It can be purchased from Amazon as usual.

150 questions with Minase Inori

headerTo commemorate Minase Inori’s 1st Blu-ray live release, Seiyuu Animedia conducted a 150 Q&A with her. I will be translating them in 50 question batches, so do check back later for part 2&3!

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Q: What do you always end up buying at convenience stalls?
A: Drinks & Yogurt.

Q: What have you eaten recently that really impressed you?
A: A roll cake I received during a photo shoot. It was so tasty & amazing that i was surprised to hear that it was actually bought from a convenience stall!

Q: What do you buy from a food cart at the festival?
A: Candy-coated plum.

Q: Favourite noodle dish?
A: Ramen! The thicker the soup, the better it is, also i treat myself to Ramen whenever I had a really tiring day.

Q: When did you get your first handphone?
A: It was mid-way through grade school that i got .. a kids phone. (toy)

Q: What language would you want to learn?
A: It has to be english. It would be helpful for interviews during work, and when i travel
overseas to meet the fans. It will be great if i could talk to the fans.

Q: What is one item from the school lunch menu you like?
A: Fried bun topped with sugar. Also, i will mix in the excess sugar into milk, and drink it like that! (laughs)

Q: What do you always have in your bag?
A: Phone, Spare battery for my digital camera, and powerbank.

Q: What’s the best side dish for meals?
A: Mentaiko flavoured seaweed. Of course rice is the main dish.

Q: What was something you worked very hard for recently?
A: When i was recording for my 2nd album!

Q: What do you look out for when it comes to beauty care?
A: Skincare. I will always use what the beautician recommended (lotion,foundation,oil etc) even if it is expensive.

Q: What fashion item did you buy recently?
A: Pierced earrings.

Q: Which is the best card game (trump) you play?
A: I’m bad at those with speed involved, so i guess “Sevens”? (https://www.pagat.com/layout/sevens.html#introduction)

Q: Where would you like to travel to? (overseas)
A: Hawaii.

Q: Which car would you want to buy?
A: (Volkswagen) Beetle. Because Professor Agasa (Detective Conan) rides in one. (laughs) As for the colour, I’d say light blue.

Q: What kind of sweets did you like when you were young?
A: Beads-shaped, peach-flavoured Ramune. (Soda pop candy)

Q: Favourite beef dish?
A: Medium Steak.

Q: Which music instrument would you like to learn?
A: Violin. I wonder how long do I need to practice until I became decent on it though.

Q: What is a must-do before sleeping?
A: I have to stretch out my body like how you push off the blocks while swimming.

Q: First thing you do when you wake up?
A: Check the train schedule and timing.

Q: What sport are you good at?
A: Badminton? Not at the speed where they play at tournament though. (laughs)

Q: What’s the tourist spot that comes to your mind when we talk about Tokyo?
A: Asakusa! Kaminarimon & Senso-ji. I had also gone there during nighttime after the shutters have closed at Nakamise street to take some photos.

Q: What’s the one food that must be inside your Bento?
A: Spinach.

Q: What application do you use the most on your phone?
A: Line. I reply reasonably fast.. I think.

Q: One egg dish you are confident of making?
A: Scrambled eggs.

Q: What’s your best memory of an excursion in grade school?
A: It was some place that looked like a science technology lab.

Q: Spa or Massage?
A: Massage! Especially traditional thai massage where they step on your back, and also the part where they twist your neck – I really enjoy that.

Q: What animal would you try to keep?
A: After knowing there is actually a local tax for giant isopods, I became interested if I can really keep them!

Q: When are the moments that made you feel “I was glad to be a woman”
A: Even when i do things a little sloppily, People overlook them cause they think I’m a little boyish. (laughs)

Q: What is one item you have been using for the longest time?
A: I still use that short beige-coloured pen from grade 6.

Q: Use one phrase to promote your favourite theme park.
A: Close your eyes and be taken to a dreamland.

Q: What living thing are you absolutely bad with?
A: FROGS!

Q: Longest time on the phone?
A: About 4.5 to 5 hours. I was actually online gaming with Muranaka Tomo chan and voice-chatting with her. (laughs)

Q: Best way to reduce stress?
A: Go out. I get a lot of work so on my off-days I like to take a walk, or just
get on a bus, to just look at the outdoor scenery.

Q: Would you want your kids to be a Seiyuu?
A: Well….. I guess I wouldn’t go against their decision, but I don’t think i will fully support
them as well. Let’s put aside this question for now. (laughs)

Q: Who would you like to meet some day.
A: Matsuko Deluxe san. I just want to dive in and hug him. ♪

Q: What image do you have of your fans?
A: Because I am quite free spirited and light hearted, so I think my fans are people who do not get swayed or moved easily, and people who possess big hearts. (laughs)

Q: What spicy dish(es) do you like?
A: Chinese-styled hotpot (probably szechuan base) & Moko Tanmen (Mongolian Soup Noodles).

Q: Favourite scent?
A: I like the scent of the apricot-smell shampoo that I’m using now.

Q: Western or Traditional Japanese confectionery?
A: Traditional Japanese Confectionery. Actually, I prefer cakes so i guess somewhere in the middle.

Q: What would you want to be able to cook?
A: Stuffed peppers and Stir-fried pepper steak. I really like the combination of bell peppers + meat!

Q: Favourite fish dish?
A: Fresh grilled fish. Squeeze some lemon over it and it’s perfect!

Q: What is a must-order at a yakiniku-ya? (store that serves grilled meat)
A: Tongue. I can just eat grilled tongue and nothing else. (laughs)

Q: If ghosts exist, would you like to meet one?
A: I think I’ll probably scare them off if I ever meet them, so i guess meeting a ghost is ok!

Q: What type of new product catches your attention?
A: I’m poorly informed when it comes to this, so I tend to be unaware. (laughs)

Q: Outer space or the deep sea?
A: Deep sea. I really want to dive in myself!

Q: How about any habits you have?
A: I often clasp my hands together and stretch out my fingers.

Q: What would you say when you see yourself in a magazine spread?
A: “Thank you for choosing such a wonderful photo of me!”

Q: What type of mum would you want to be?
A: I would like to be a plucky mother (over a slightly “mama” image)

Q: Are you a notebook or smartphone person when it comes to managing schedules?
A: Smartphones. I use the calendar app to check on my schedules and it’s really easy
since i can categorize them with different colours.

 

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This interview was published on the 5th issue of 2018’s edition of Seiyuu Animedia. It can be purchased from Amazon as usual.

Takagi-san ED songs collection interview

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san ended recently, and one of the highlights was the different ending theme songs which are covers of popular songs from some time ago. There is a special interview in the CD booklet where Takahashi Rie is asked some questions regarding the songs.

You can purchase the album at Amazon JP or CDJapan.
THCA-60210

Firstly, Please tell us if there was anything you had to pay attention to while playing as Takagi-san.

Takahashi: I started by asking myself, “What are the things that Takagi-san wouldn’t do?” While i wanted to have a clear image of Takagi-san’s voice, I would also like to put myself in the shoes of the viewers. Wouldn’t everyone also have an image of Takagi-san back in their school days? So i pondered, “Wouldnt it be nice if i was made fun by such a person?”. That was how I got into the role of Takagi-san.

So basically, you are leaving some room for imagination.

Takahashi: That’s right. But, having said that, voicing a heroine with no clear direction, may also confuse the viewers, as well as lower the quality of the finished work. That is why i also try not to stray too far from the direction set by the animation.

Let’s talk about the album next. What did you think of the ED songs when you first saw them?

Takahashi: I was surprised! Some of the songs were from back when i was still in school, and they really made my heart pound. Also, I think that for everyone while watching the show, will reminisce about their time back in school with the ED songs playing in the background. It made me happy that the ED songs gave off these bittersweet feelings.

How about yourself? Which artiste(s) do you listen to when you were still in school?

Takahashi: Back in junior high, I loved FUNKY MONKEY BABYS so much that i would attend their live shows. I would also buy their CDs and merchandise, and even went to their Hachioji, where they started. At that time, I really enjoyed music in general, so i will go to the CD rental store to check out the Oricon chart rankings, rent everything home, and listen to them with my MD player.

Ah, you really wanted to know the trend back then huh?

Takahashi: That’s right. It was around middle school that I started liking songs and Karaoke. I really treasured the MD player i got from my dad and would always bring it along with me, listening to the songs wherever I went. The songs I knew were also the ones I had fun singing in Karaoke.

By the way at that time, what was that one memorable song?

Takahashi: I had a special ringtone whenever i received messages from my crush, and it was a song from when Nakama Yukie’s unit which was used for a CM (commercial).

Was it Koi no Download?

Takahashi: Yup! ….It was a very memorable song. (Laughs)

Ah, that was how it was (laughs). Next, I will ask you about the songs themselves. What are the thoughts you had while singing them as Takagi-san?

Takahashi: This time for the ED songs, to avoid any disconnect between Takagi-san and the songs, I would put up various images of Takagi-san’s expressions on the sheet music, singing out while looking at her different expressions. However, it was still difficult for me to properly bring out Takagi-san’s character.

Hmm, at which part did you feel that way?

Takahashi: For Kimagure Romantic, I tried singing with Takagi-san’s usual voice but i didn’t get a good feeling from it. I imagined Takagi-san having fun in Karaoke, yet i was asked over and over again to inject more fun into the song. So I had to try a different way to express Takagi-san’s voice, and add more bubbliness to the song.

In other words, the aim is to show Takagi-san enjoying herself, while retaining her essence.

Takahashi: That’s right. Whether it is (Takagi-san’s) charm or being a little startled by her whisper, if you are able to hear all these bottled-up emotions in the songs, and feel that Takagi-san singing the song, that will be the best!

So it is like, having all these thoughts, and to face 7 songs which are so different from each other?

Takahashi: Yes, for every song, I am grateful for being able to discover which vocal arrangements is better for the songs to properly bring out Takagi-san’s expressions. For Chiisana Koi no Uta, the acoustic range is lower than the original song and I thought it fitted Takagi-san well.

Ah, I think that was the only song with such a contrasting vocal range.

Takashashi: I would think so too. As I couldn’t use the same style of singing from when i used to sing it in Karaoke, The song was re-arranged to allow me to sing as Takagi-san. At that point of time, I was surprised that the range was so spread out. I thought I was finally able to see Takagi-san’s image with this song, and since I have sung the other ED songs prior to this, I thought i would have no problems doing this song.

Other than that, was there any songs that was felt particularly difficult?

Takahashi: I would say the rap portion for AM11:00. In the first place, the song is from the male perspective, so the lyrics would feel like that. But, there was one particularly difficult line —— “Very gentlemanly Yo! (lit. from maji shinshiteki ni)”. In my mind I was thinking, “Am i really going to sing that line??”. But it would have been weird to change the nuance of the lyrics, so I downplayed the “Yo” a little while singing that portion.

Ah, so how was the arrangement made for that portion which was not in line with Takagi-san’s feelings?

Takahashi: For that portion, i had to drop the image of singing casually in Karaoke. But when i add a a little emotion to it, I would end up going overboard with them,and the song loses the essence of being sung by Takagi-san. In this case, I had to compromise and strike the right balance. That is why i could not say for sure that the entire song represent Takagi-san’s emotions. On the other hand, you would have to figure out what exactly is Takagi-san’s real feelings which is really interesting. Certain lines also leave more impression than the rest, but there is how Karaoke is. Thinking about the song in that way is also enjoyable.

I see. By the way, was there any song you were pumped up for?

Takahashi: If there is one song I would like to mention, It would be “Ai Uta” from Episode 11. When i found out that it will be playing at the end of the episode, I was really getting pumped up for it. I really like that episode because of how the song starts playing at the point where the show zoomed in on the distance between Nishikata and Takagi-san’s relationship. I did numerous re-takes for the song to figure out if I should use a more gentle whispering style or focus more on the individual lyrics to properly present the song as a song that comes right next to you.

Lastly, do you have any messages for those who bought the CD?

Takahashi: Thank you very much! Even to the point of reading this interview! Whether it is one word, one line or even the entire sheet, if you can think that Takagi-san is singing the song to you, it will make me really happy. Please do listen to them many times, and feel the emotions of Takagi-san!

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PS: There are some lines that sounded strange when I was translating, so I had to rephrase them. Please let me know if I should change any wording!

You can access the raw manuscript data here!