For this time, we have Takahashi Minami! Everyone (should) already know her as the voice behind the bubbly Tadokoro Megumi in Shokugeki no Sōma. How was she given her break, and what does she do in her free time?
Read more after the tab!
This is ‘Seiyuu Zukan” (Seiyuu pictorial book), where we interview highly anticipated seiyuus, how they got their opportunity to become a seiyuu, their first work, as well as their personal life and any other interesting things, together with a mini photoshoot.
For the 59th edition, we welcome Takahashi Minami, the voice behind Tadokoro Megumi (Shokugeki no Sōma), Rikyuu Rumina (Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku) and Baba Konomi (Idolmaster Million Live!).
Q: The anime adapation of “Weekly Shounen Jump’s Shokugeki no Sōma” has aired at last. How was your role for Tadakoro Megumi decided at the auditions?
Takahashi: Actually, I was cast as a different character, but a staff member asked me if I wanted to try for the role of Megumi instead. Thankfully, perhaps it was the work of fate. Megumi was born in Tōhoku, which is also the birthplace of my parents. It was this connection which made me feel the affinity with her.
Q: What type of girl is Megumi like?
Takahashi: She’s a really hardworking person and treat cooking seriously. Though she has the skills, she can’t display them because of her nervousness, and has an inferiority complex. I also have many areas that are lacking, so when I see Megumi putting in effort but end up not having things go her way and getting depressed….I can understand that kind of feelings.
Q: Makes you really want to root for her eh!
Takahashi: I really want to support her when I was reading the manga, and was so happy that I got to voice her! I want to breathe life into her character in the way that I am supporting her character personally.
Q: As for the Manga, it has progressed really far right?
Takahashi: That’s right. That’s why even though I know what she’s like before her growth, I had to reset my feelings so that I can act as Megumi from her starting point. Because she is such a lovely girl, I want to translate these feelings to everyone, let everyone walk together with her on her journey, and acknowledge her growth in the end.
Q: Certain sections for the series’ website are already accessible, and I should say that the images of the food dishes are irresistible.
Takahashi: Truly a terrifying food show to watch late at night (laughs)! After all, the anime started with the cooking preparation and supervision of the beautiful cooking expert, Morisaki Yuki-sensei. Though there were no images for us to refer to at the time of recording, When Sōuma (CV: Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) says out the line, “And add this ingredient to the dish… Dig in!”, you can imagine the dish being served. That is greeted by the rumbling sounds of the stomach (laughs). Everyone else’s stomach also growled (laughs).
Q: How was recording at the studio like?
Takahashi: Really just kind people everywhere. Matusoka-san and Taneda-san (Erina) gave us the school campus-like atmosphere,Kayano-san (Ryouko) provided a gentle voice on set. Sakurai-san (Isshiki) drew us into the scenes so well, brought out Isshiki’s character as his own and gave a performance that only an anime adaption can allow. I wanted to give my best after seeing that for myself!
Oonishi-san (Hisako) started out as seiyuus together with me acting as background characters, so the chance to co-perform with her was great. Though because everyone is rather busy, it is difficult to have a meal together…..Oh, but a while ago, I managed to invite Banjō Ginga-san (Senzaemon) out for a meal!
Q: Ehh, Ginga-san??
Takahashi: Yeah, but it was a chance together with some of the staff, so I decided to take a chance and asked him to come along.
Q: You’re rather pro active eh? (laughs)
Takahashi: We talked quite a bit in the studios. I really wasn’t expecting him to accept the invitation when I called out to him. While I was eating some sweets, I thought it was chocolate but it turned out to be cheese cake flavored instead. At that time, Banjō-san kindly told me that there appeared to be chocolate ones too. I became fond of him after that, and every time I see him in the studios, I will end up calling “Banjō-san, Banjō-san”, and talking to him (laughs).
It was a wonderful opportunity to hear from Ginga-san about his experience in the field, the weights of his words are different, as well as being a fashionable gentleman! Being able to work together with him is really a blessing! …That said, I try not to be carried away and chit-chat too much! (laughs)
Q: No, I think Ginga-san enjoys talking to you too (laughs). Let’s hope that this will be a long running series.
Takahashi: It seems that the manga will be continuing for a while, so it’ll be nice if this can continue for a long time! Tsukuda-san (original manga author) also came on-site quite often. “I am sorry that you have to put up with our pranks” (laughs), he’s such an interesting person. Although I didn’t appear at the start of the anime, I requested to be allowed on-site so that I could witness the recording sessions from the start. It was really fun, and I hope everyone will watch the finished product.
Q: Let’s hear about your other roles now. Speaking about which, I have the impression that you have a lot of activities recently.
Takahashi: It feels like there’s some kind of connection, since both my other roles in Aikatsu and Idolmaster are idol-related shows.Could the real me inside be an idol? – A feeling like that. Especially for Idolmaster, the moment you stand on the stage looking at all the faces of the producers-san, you straighten out your back almost on instinct. When everyone looks with their glistening eyes, that’s where I feel like I am standing on the stage as an idol.
Q: There are quite a few events for “Idolmaster Million Live!”, what’s your thoughts up to now?
Takahashi: A while ago, while I was singing Suichuu candy (Underwater candy) for LTH (Live Theatre Harmony), the scenes of fans crying left a deep impression on me. The song itself is very emotional and a song I love a lot. When I saw the fans crying, it made me want to do the same too. But, I told myself this is not the time for crying. I think it’s really wonderful for the work and characters to be loved so much. I really like to thank my seniors who made the series (Idolmaster) possible.
Q: You also participated in quite a few activies for Sehagirls (Sega Hard Girls).
Takahashi: I think my appearance in events started increasing from Sehagirls. The ending theme song “Wakairyoku* – SEGA HARD GIRLS MIX -” for the anime adaptation of Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girls is really fun.At the recent wonfest*, many staff from Sega did the call and response together (laughs).
For the anime too, there are many jokes that only Sega fans would understand. The moment when Dreamcast-chan (CV: M.A.O) feels like a gag, also because the joke that she’s not a popular console, and also the virtua fighter joke that the polygons on-screen felt jerky..many Sega jokes like this really make the series interesting to watch.
*wonfest = wonder festival
Q: By the way, what do you collect or do in your private time?
Takahashi: I keep a black cat at home, so naturally I collect lots of cat stuff. I also like electronic gadgets! I often go to the electronics store alone. Recently I bought a humidifier for my room. Furthermore,it’s a portable humidifier that’s good for the face. It’s also good for moisturizing dry throats, so I had my eye on this for a long time (laughs).
Q: How about the other stuff?
Takahashi: I like to watch trains and planes, so I go out with my dad to Haneda airport to watch the planes! Haneda airport is really enjoyable right? I was originally from Ōta, where the head office of Sega is located,so maybe the connection with my fondness of planes came from there.
Q: And what about trains?
Takahashi: I love riding those trains that stop at every stop. You get to see all kinds of people getting on and off the trains, this change of scenery in the train is enjoyable to watch. The furthest I’ve ridden to is my dad’s home at Akita, enjoying the mood of riding alone in the train. And the urban legend of the kind old woman offering you an orange on the seat next to you actually came true for me (laughs).
Q: It wasn’t just an urban legend after all? (laughs)
Takahashi: Also, when I went on a solo trip to Germany, at a town called Rothenburg, the uncle sitting next to me talked to me, “You’re so tiny, and you’re travelling alone?” And since the next train was still 2 hours away, he brought me around the town. There was an interesting store selling all sorts of stuff, but in the end, I wasn’t allowed to buy any souvenirs (laughs). I wanted to buy a teddy bear, but when I saw the price, I backed out (laughs). Encounters like this are really enjoyable.
Q: As with the talk about Banjō-san earlier, you are really proactive eh (laughs).
Takahashi: Basically I’m shy around strangers, but when you go on travels, it’s always fun to be able to meet people for the first time.
Q: Lastly, what do you wish to challenge as a seiyuu from now?
Takahashi: For a job that requires us to breathe life into characters, I would like to become a seiyuu who can make people think that I would be suitable for that role when casting auditions are announced. As an actor who stands at the forefront, to draw people to listen to you, to move people emotionally, to warm up their hearts – I want to become a person who can convey these emotions….words aside, it’s really difficult eh (laughs) There’s nothing more that makes me happier than conveying these emotions to you!
Please look forward to the next edition of Seiyuu Zukan!
And here’s a special video commentary by Takahashi Minami for Seiyuu Zukan, subbed by me.
Thank you for reading!
Please look forward to the next issue of Seiyuu Zukan!
Interview: Azabu Tanu
Photography: Yamamoto Tetsuya
Photography assistance: Magic tone studio
Casting cooperation: Yoshimura Naoki
This interview was first published on 17 April 2015 in ddnavi.com. All images and videos you see here belong to their respective owners.