On Earphones’ official web page, they have a feature for short questions & answers. It will periodically get updated as time passes, so I will continue to update in the index page. Do check back if you are interested in knowing more about the trio!
1) Please give us a self introduction.
Takahashi Rie (Takahashi): I’m Takahashi Rie, a newbie seiyuu from 81 Produce, and I voice Ichinose Futaba*.
Kouno Marika (Kouno): I’m Kouno Marika, a newbie seiyuu from Mausu Promotion, and I voice Kohana Rin*. I just realised ‘Rin-rin’ (Kohana Rin’s nickname) and ‘Marinka’ (Kouno’s nickname) sounds a little similar, and that made me happy.
Nagaku Yuki (Nagaku): I’m Nagaku Yuki from Kansai, everyone calls me Gakkyu.
*The characters are from their debut show together, Sore ga Seiyuu.
2) Describe your personality in one word.
Nagaku: My pace (wasei for doing things at your own pace.)
3) Tell us about your strong and weak points.
Takahashi: I would say I’m serious about the things I do, but tend to be too absorbed in them.
Kouno: As for my strengths, I’d say I hate quitting and I’m really restless until I can’t put in my best. My shortfall is being clueless and killing the mood. Also, I guess my stubbornness.
Nagaku: Both my strong and weak points lie in being fixated in minor things.
4) What’s your most definitive weakness?
Takahashi: I will feel listless if I don’t have an aim or any work.
Kouno: My mind and body are full of weaknesses!
Nagaku: Ghosts and horror.
5) What’s your pet phrase?
Takahashi: Something like “There’s no such things!!”. I blurt out this phrase often unknowingly.
Kouno: “That’s it.”
*in Kansai ben (dialect)
6) What’s inside your bag?
Takahashi: There’s a candy-shaped pouch, where I keep some candies and a throat spray.
Kouno: Beef jerky and plum paste sweets.
Nagaku: Comb, throat candy, hand phone, wallet, spectacles, candies.
7) Was there a moment you thought that you were a genius?
Takahashi: I managed to predict the next person who got up from the seat in the train.
Kouno: While sleeping in the train, I woke up just before my stop.
Nagaku: When I think of a bad pun!
8) What’s the one thing you want now?
Takahashi: Gel nail kit! It’s more fun doing your nails yourself!
Kouno: Funds to buy a house and land.
Nagaku: Time and dokodemo door* because I miss my family.
9) What’s your fashion style?
Takahashi: I like designs that have collars and buttons as their features.
Kouno: My fashion tips are mostly from my elder sister. I wear stuff like jeans, all-white outfits, sports sandals. I supplement those with things that I like.
Nagaku: I don’t really have any particular preferences, but I like wearing one piece dresses because they are easy to put on and you can’t fail with them!
10) What are your 3 most painful moments so far?
3rd – When I had to record with an ulcer on my tongue.
2nd – The miserable feeling when I made a mistake during recording.
1st – The crestfallen feeling when I failed at the final stage of an audition.
3rd – I was skipping happily but I overestimated my arm’s length and ended up hitting my finger on the guardrail.
2nd – Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
1st – I was wearing some clothes that I thought was really cute, but my boss told me “That’s not good.”.
3rd – When I attached a soft toy to my outfit for an audition..
2nd – When I thought Hidakaya (日高屋) was pronounced as Kaikouya, and Kinokuniya (紀伊国屋) was Kiikuniya
1st – I was cycling back (most likely from school) while wearing indoor slip-on shoes and noticed it only during the journey.
11) Which movie did you watch recently?
Takahashi: Baymax! (Big Hero 6) I watched it twice.
Nagaku: The 3rd part of Code Geass: Akito the Exiled
12) Do you have a keen or dull sense?
Takahashi: I’d like to think that I’m more intuitive than oblivious.
Kouno: Keen sense! Call it a woman’s sixth sense.
Nagaku: I think I have a dull sense. However, when girls cut their hair, I will notice it right away!
13) How many books do you have at home?
Takahashi: I sell off everything except for the ones I really like, so I have about 20 at home.
Kouno: I have around 5 shelves of books, of various genres.
Nagaku: I have around 20 at home, but back at my parents home, perhaps around 100.
14) What is your guilty pleasure?
Takahashi: Cleaning my mum, dad and brother’s ears. It feels good.
Kouno: Ramen at night and beef jerky.
Nagaku: I have a fetish for smells. I have a habit of sniffing at everything.
15) What desserts do you like?
Takahashi: I like mango and anything with matcha (powdered green tea).
Kouno: Fruits! Tiramisu! Cheesecake! Framboise! (Raspberry) Beef jerky!
Nagaku: I like pudding and crème brûlée.
16) Are you a romanticist?
Takahashi: Yes. I think most actors are romanticists.
Kouno: Though I like romance, I’m a realist.
Nagaku: I always liked shoujo manga, so I guess I’m one. (lol)
17) Which part of yourself do find cute?
Takahashi: When I get shy, I speak in a rapid speed.
Kouno: My clumsiness. I often bump into things and drop things.
Nagaku: Eh…..The part of me that dislikes bugs? (lol)
18) What can you live without? (Pick something from the list: Love, Money, Friendship, Health, Parents, Treasure, Heart (emotions), Time, Dreams)
Takahashi: Treasure. I don’t think I will be troubled even if I don’t have it.
Kouno: Money. I believe I will treasure the other things in the list. Even if I lose money, I can get them back one day. That is what I always tell myself.
Nagaku: Eh……!? What’s ‘Treasure’..? So I guess ‘Treasure’ then..
19) How do you spend your off-days?
Takahashi: I go to the shopping mall with mum and we wait to buy the eggs at 4pm (bargain sales timing).
Kouno: Laze around at home and watch movies, hang out with my sister, recharge myself by going for a massage or a trip to the onsen (hot springs).
Nagaku: Laugh it out with the variety shows I’ve recorded, shopping and repaying my sleep debt.
20) Mountain? Or the Sea?
Takahashi: Whichever the case, I want to go to an onsen~
Kouno: I’m bad with bugs, but if it’s a mountain like Mt Fuji, I’m fine with it. I like the joy of climbing and being able to see the clear sky makes you feel refined. However, if they are mountains with bugs, I will choose the sea.
Nagaku: Having a barbecue by the sea, setting up a tent and staying overnight! I’m bad with bugs though…
21) Who was the hero that you looked up to as a kid?
Takahashi: Ojamajo Doremi-chan! Even now, I end up playing the gacha when I see it.
Kouno: Chopper Man.
Nagaku: It was a giant robot. Although I have forgotten which series it came from, I used to have lots of pretend play with my dad.
22) What are your favourite words?
Kouno: Rascal, Viewpoint-Forcepoint-Actionpoint, Hambuuuuuurg!
Nagaku: Thank you, like/love (好き), You got to be kidding! (なんでやねん, kansai ben)
23) What is beside you now?
Takahashi: Hanging illustrations of the characters I voiced.
Kouno: Beef jerky. Really!
Nagaku: Stationery, phone, schedule notebook.
24) Do you think that you will be able to meet your destined one in life?
Takahashi: I think so. I would like to think so!*
(Note: She has already met her destined one. Ueda Reina refers Takahashi as her destined one.)
Kouno: Since middle school, I have met many of them inside of my screen and I think I will continue to meet even more from now on.
Nagaku: I think everyone I have crossed paths with are all destined people in my life. That includes Rierie and Marinka too!
25) What do you want to do when you are old?
Takahashi: It will be nice if I can continue to work as a seiyuu..
Kouno: I want to live in a big house on a huge piece of land surrounded by animals.
Nagaku: I want to work as a seiyuu until my dying breath.
26) How long do you sleep for?
Takahashi: I average around 6 hours of sleep daily. However, if I’m free, I can sleep for more than 10 hours!
Kouno: 3-20 hours.
Nagaku: 3-7 hours depending on the day.
27) What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Takahashi: I wake up to the sound of Earphones’ song!
Kouno: Feed my pet cat.
Nagaku: Get in the bath to force myself to wake up.
28) Which do you like more, rainy or sunny weather?
Takahashi: I like a refreshing sunny day, not too hot though, I’m not good with the heat.
Kouno: I love heavy rain.
Nagaku: Sunny weather without saying!
29) Please share with us your foolish moments.
Takahashi: Leaving around 3 cm worth of water undrunk every time.
Kouno: I can’t think of one at the moment.
Nagaku: Talking to the same person about the same topic without realising it. People often tell this to me, “Hey, how many times have you told me about this already?”
30) What are the subjects you are good at?
Takahashi: I have confidence in art, music, health and physical education, home economics, technology, information.
Kouno: Physical education, art, science.
Nagaku: Maths, physical education, music,
31) How about your weak subjects?
Takahashi: History. Because the teacher was poor (at explaining). (laughs)
Kouno: Social studies, english, history.
Nagaku: Social studies and Physics.
32) What’s the first thing you do upon returning home?
Takahashi: Saying out “I’m back.”
Kouno: Put down my bags and head for the bathroom.
Nagaku: Go to my room and change my clothes.
33) Please tell us your best pick up line.
Takahashi: I can’t tell you that! It’s my trump card after all. (laughs)
Kouno: Thanks for the marikawork today!*
*おつかれさまりんか！is the original phrase, which is a combination of おつかれさま (Thank you for your hard work) + まりんか (Marinka)
Nagaku: Sorry, I can’t think of anything else but “I like you.” (Kansai ben) now. (sweats)
34) Are you good or bad at lying?
Takahashi: I can craft lies for the sake of other people, but I’m bad at lying for my own interests.
Kouno: Bad. Or rather, I can’t craft out one. I get exposed straight away whenever I try to. I can’t seem to open my mouth whenever I try to.
Nagaku: It shows on my face immediately, so I guess I’m bad at them! (laughs)
35) What type of flowers do you like?
Takahashi: Sunflower! I like the colour as well as the shape, especially the form of the bloom when facing the sun.
Kouno: Marinka* and sunflower.
*Marinka is the Japanese word for fuchsia.
Nagaku: Cherry blossoms! I like their colour ♪
36) You obtained the power to turn into a guy for one day. Who do you want to become, how would you want to spend the day?
Takahashi: I want to borrow the body of a fan and go to seiyuu units’ live.
Kouno: I don’t want to.
Nagaku: I would like to enter a standing drinking bar without people judging me.
37) What are the things that make you feel glad that you were born as a woman?
Takahashi: Being able to enjoy wearing all sorts of different clothes.
Kouno: Being able to put on makeup and wear fashionable clothes.
Nagaku: Being able to wear a skirt in summer!
38) What’s your favourite season?
Takahashi: I like the cool feeling in the room when turning on the air-conditioner during summer.
Kouno: Winter. I hate bugs!! Also, bathing in the warm rays of the sun while in the bath or on the bed is really nice.
Nagaku: I like spring the most.
39) What is the place that holds important memories for you?
Takahashi: Shinjuku BLAZE. That’s where I took the auditions to join the industry.
Kouno: Grandma’s house.
Nagaku: It is by the riverside, during training school. I often hung out there with my cohort and practised together with them. Since I stayed nearby then, I would often go over alone to do some voice projection training, script practice for 外郎売* as well as running training.
*外郎売 (Uirouuri) is a well known kabuki (classical Japanese dance-drama) that is used by many seiyuu and haiyuu (actor) agencies as speech practice.
40) Do you have a good concentration?
Kouno: I don’t think so.
Nagaku: I’m confident of concentrating on things that are related to my hobbies and interests!
41) Are there any dishes that you are good in?
Takahashi: Rolled omelette. My mum taught me how to make the sweet version.
(Note: Takahashi has since gone on to get her own cooking show (nanitsuku) which is a programme for seiyuus learning to cook. In the first episode, she licked her fingers after touching raw meat!)
Kouno: Miso soup.
Nagaku: Hamburg stuffed with cheese. Creative cuisine.
42) What are the things you define as your treasure?
Takahashi: Works and characters that I was involved in.
Kouno: Fan letters.
Nagaku: It’s a little cliche, but I’d say family, friends and fans.
43) What gestures from a male would make your heart flutter unknowingly?
Takahashi: Rather than gestures, a lovely smile would hit me hard!
Nagaku: From a shoujo manga point of view, I would go awwww from a scene where the guy pats the girl on head!
44) If you have the world in your grasp, what is the first thing you want to do?
Takahashi: Erect a house at a prime location in Tokyo.
Kouno: Devour all the beef jerky, cheese and sweets in the world.
Nagaku: Sing “We are the world” with everyone.
45) What’s your preferred sleeping posture?
Takahashi: I sleep in a pajamas with bear ears attached to it which was given by a friend (laughs).
*Search ジョジョ寝 on google images to see the hilarious collection of photos.
Nagaku: I use my dad’s old jersey as a one piece pyjamas to sleep in.
46) Who are the people you respect the most?
Takahashi: There are many people, including people who take care of me at work, as well as my parents.
Kouno: My mum.
Nagaku: Family and close friends.
47) Are you holding onto anything that you borrowed in the past but forgot to return?
Takahashi: Well…if anything, I’d say I have unreturned things from people… (laughs)
Kouno: I have many unreturned things that I lent out.
Nagaku: I don’t think so. But if there really are, please let me know directly (laughs).
48) What are the good points of the other 2 members?
Takahashi: I really respect Gakkyu for being able to brighten up the mood naturally, and Marinka for being able to give clear-headed answers even if we are in a pinch.
Rierie: Even though she’s cute and clumsy, she’s very good in dancing and always quick to understand (instructions).
Gakkyu: She always gather and summarises our event reports and interviews neatly.
Rierie: She is always cheerful and gives us energy!
Marinka: My first impression of her was a gentle and quiet person, but she is pretty straight to the point so I got caught off guard by that gap! Both of them are firm and full of character.
49) What is Earphones to you?
Takahashi: Important companions. They are people who I can work hard together with. Earphones is a precious unit to me.
Kouno: They are my companions who deliver dreams to everyone’s ears together with.
Nagaku: They are my friends, rivals and best companions!
50) What are your future goals, ambitions for Earphones?
Takahashi: A live studio event. We will continue to devote all our energy to each and every activity!
Kouno: For now, our activities are within Tokyo, but I would like us to expand to the other regions as well!!*
*Earphones recently held a live tour at Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo as part of their 3rd anniversary celebrations. You can view my event report here.
Nagaku: As for our immediate aim, I would say to continue to put in our best for all our activities. I hope that Sore ga Seiyuu and Earphones can get popular enough overseas, so that we can hold events overseas. Although I’m new to this industry and not familiar yet, I was allowed to be part of this group. I will continue to work hard if it allows me to grow for even just a bit, so please continue to support us from now on!
51) What was your first impression of Earphones’ naming?
Takahashi: I just bursted out in laughter (laughs).
Kouno: Dorky, yet cute.
Nagaku: I thought it was catchy and easy to remember.
52) What catchphrases would you come up with for the 3 of you?
The princess of the Kingdom of Beef Jerky, Marinka!
Supporter of clumsiness, Supreme Gag Machine (self-proclaimed), Gakkyu!
Transcendental earnest girl with stiff shoulders, Rieri!
Rieri – Mango Angel
Gakkyu – Bruised and cute princess
Marinka – Beef Jerky Angel, runaway princess
Rieri – Ichigo? (strawberry), Dango?, Ringo? (apple), nope! My favourite is Mango! ☆
Marinka – I’m the Marine blue of Earphones! ♪ Turning everyone’s hearts into beef jerky! (I’m taking away a little of everyone’s)
53) How about a memorable game?
Takahashi: Banshee’s Last Cry (Kaimatachi no Yoru)
Kouno: Final Fantasy X
Nagaku: Dragon Quest! (Though I played 7 & 9 only, I enjoyed watching my dad play when I was young)
54) What type of song do you want to sing for your next release?
Takahashi: Grow up! With all your strength, Cinderella (Seichou! Zenryoku Cinderella)
Kouno: A cool rock song, a healing ballad!
Nagaku: A song where various characters introduce many other characters!*
*Earphones 2nd album title track has a song that has 16 different roles.
55) If you could send one message to yourself back when you just started, what will it be?
Takahashi: Take advantage of the time you have now to read more books.
Kouno: It’s good to polish your acting skills, but it’s more important to hone your voice acting skills!
Nagaku: Challenge the things you are interested in!
56) What did you cry over the most this year?
Takahashi: Receiving a bouquet of flowers after the final dubbing sesion for Sore ga Seiyuu.*
Kouno: Having a senior tell me, “Relax, you will definitely be able to make it.”* At first, I was stirred by her strong words, then I realised her kind gesture and I got moved to tears.
*Actual wording here used was [大丈夫、君は絶対売れるよ], which is transliterated as “It’s okay, you will be able to sell.”
Nagaku: After receiving the notice that I got selected as Ichigo at night, I bawled in my room.
57) How has your impression of each other changed since the first meeting?
Takahashi: They looked so young and fresh → Judging by the way we eat, maybe not..
Rieri – My first thought of her was that she’s like a baby bear who doesn’t care much → She’s very strict on herself and is very firm person.
Gakkyu – She looks like a reliable elder sister → Actually, she is a weird natural airhead who likes to tell bad jokes.
Rieri – She gave off the air of a mature adult → She will pull us along and is the mood maker of the group.
Marinka – I never expected her to like beef jerky that much…
58) What’s your current obsession?
Takahashi: Beef Jerky, they are surprisingly tasty.
Kouno: Saving the world in my dreams.
Nagaku: Online mahjong, collecting strawberry accessories.
59) Which song choreography would you recommend?
Takahashi: I like all of them, but I want everyone to pay attention to the part where our choreography matches that of the characters in the anime.
Kouno: It has to be Sore ga Seiyuu!. It is the song we trained the hardest in until we had the moves implanted in our bodies. Even now, I still can enjoy the moves to the fullest!
Nagaku: For me, it is 3rd high point of Sore ga Seiyuu! where we gathered and shouted out “I-YA-HON-ZU!”. I hope that everyone can shout that out together too!
60) What do you want to hear from Earphones’ fans?
Takahashi: What’s the element that makes you want to support us? I’m curious.
Kouno: What’s your favourite Earphones song?
Nagaku: What’s the 1 merchandise you want us to make?
61) What other songs you like outside of anime?
Takahashi: Character songs.
Nagaku: For JPOP, I like Ayaka-san and Kiroro-san. I also like Oku Hanako-san.
62) What blunder did you make recently?
Takahashi: I lost the key to my house… I had to get in and out from the back exit.
Kouno: I realised I had already read Asano (Masumi) san’s Line message (without replying).
Nagaku: I wasn’t able to send out a present to my mum on the appointed day.
63) What do you usually buy at convenience shops?
Takahashi: Onigiri (rice ball) seasoned with salt. I really want the salmon roe type but they are so expensive.
Kouno: Beef Jerky.
Nagaku: Onigiri , plum tablets, strawberry au lait, snacks.
64) What do you do when you are feeling down?
Takahashi: I go out to get a massage.
Kouno: Get on the net and do some window shopping.
Nagaku: Set a timing, and nap or play some games until that time.
65) What’s your favourite animal?
Kouno: Cats! I like all animals in general.
Nagaku: Dogs (especially small breed!). Sometimes I’ll go over to the pet shop to indulge in some dog therapy.
66) What do you want to do this summer?
Takahashi: Make my own t-shirt! If I can’t get it out in time, I’ll continue in autumn and winter. It’s something I want to try out.
Kouno: Something that is exciting.
Nagaku: I want to watch the fireworks! Actually, I think I want to set off some.
67) What was something that you was glad that you bought?
Takahashi: Rental soundproof room! It costs about 10000 yen a month, but I can practice anytime I want at home!
Kouno: 128GB phone.
Nagaku: Contact lenses! I used to think it was scary putting them on, but when I tried it, it was surprisingly normal. This meant not having any mark left behind by wearing glasses!
68) If you are a home appliance, what will you be?
Takahashi: Robot vacuum cleaner. I think the image of the robot crawling on the floor continuously and colliding with the wall is similar to me.
Kouno: A learning music player – I want to enjoy reading out sounds to people.
Nagaku: A TV might be nice, moving the hearts of people who watch.
69) Which flower do you relate with spring?
Takahashi: Cherry blossoms! But, I don’t really pick cherry blossoms flavored drinks or food.
Kouno: Cherry blossoms.
Nagaku: Cherry blossoms and tulip.
70) What comes to your mind when you think of summer?
Takahashi: Wet tissues are a must to bring around. They are really useful!
Kouno: Candy apple
Nagaku: Whiteberry-san! I always want to sing (natsu matsuri) in summer.
71) What’s the place you always makes you feel calm and relaxed?
Takahashi: Close friends’ homes (female seiyuus).
Nagaku: It has to be my hometown! As for the place that gives me energy, it is during a LIVE! I always get lots of energy from the fans.
72) What kind of characters do you want to voice in the future?
Takahashi: I want to voice a role from the viewers’ view point for a kids show in the morning and evening time slot. I hope to sprout new feelings in them through my acting.
Kouno: A mascot character that resonates with everyone.
Nagaku: A magical girl, and princess of a country!
73) Who is the most reliable person in the unit?
Takahashi: Going by elimination, maybe me..? (laughs) I’m not saying that they aren’t reliable though!
Kouno: It’s definitely not Gakkyu.
Nagaku: I can confirm that it’s definitely not me.
74) Who is the hardest worker in the unit?
Takahashi: Gakkyu. She would practice secretly by herself on the parts of the dance that she is not good in.
Kouno: I think all 3 of us are trying our best. Or rather, we have to work hard.
Nagaku: I think everyone is working hard! When we see each other putting in our best, we can’t help but to work even harder. That is the type of unit we are!
75) Who is the most gutsy person in the unit?
Takahashi: Marinka. She is very decisive on the stage. When push comes to shove, she will be able to make the decisions quickly.
Kouno: Although I’m told that I’m composed, I think the other 2 of them have their own values too. Rieri who desires everything, Gakkyu who is confident in her bad puns – I think both of them are gutsy in their own ways.
Nagaku: Marinka! She’s really like Rin-chan～♪
End of Part 1
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This report was published in Earphones official web page.