Intro video subtitled by RF Subs. Check out his page for more seiyuu content!
This is Seiyuu Zuukan (Seiyuu pictorial book), where we interview up-and-coming
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 26th edition, we welcome Ōnishi Saori, the voice behind Piruluk (Selector Infected WIXOSS), Jamie Hazaford (Argevollen) and Fianna Ray Ordesia (Bladedance of Elementalers).
Q: Please share with us your reason for becoming a seiyuu.
Ōnishi: It was when I was in the 4th year of grade school. As both of my parents are working, I’ll spend the time watching TV alone until dinner time. I watched many shows, but I gradually grew to like anime more. After that, wanting to become a seiyuu grew on me naturally.
Q: What anime did you watched?
Ōnishi: For example, Saiyūki and Nanatsu no Umi no Tiko in grade school, Doraemon and all sorts of shows. Basically, I’ll sit in front of the TV from 5.30pm till 7.30pm, and switch channels around.
Q: When did you start pursuing a seiyuu’s career seriously?
Ōnishi: I was in the concert band during middle school, and went to high school without going to a training school (for seiyuus). After entering high school, I opted out of joining a club and went to a training school in my first summer break.
Q: What was your first work as a seiyuu?
Ōnishi: I think it was dubbing for a drama CD. I got surprised when I received the script as it wasn’t binded and was a few loose pieces of paper. I got worried and thought if I should fold the sheets and bind them myself (laughs). Thankfully, my manager told me it was normal and told me to just use the scripts as they were. I remembered being nervous as I went to the studio.
Q: What did you learn at your first workplace (studio)?
Ōnishi: There’s a vast amount of things to learn just by watching my seniors in the studio, starting from the greetings. I felt like I learnt many things intuitively. I was really taken good care of by my seniors back then.
Q: Moving on, how did you determine the acting style for Piruluk (Selector Infected WIXOSS)?
Ōnishi: In contrast to Aoi (CV: Akasaki Chinatsu), she is cold and expressionless, and is difficult to handle since she doesn’t talk much. On the other hand, I think it is easier to gain momentum for a bright and expressive character. But, for a quiet character like Piruluk who kills off words…I thought for a long time on how to flesh out her character.
Q: What was especially difficult for you?
Ōnishi: Piruluk has an ability to see through the moves of the opponents in combat. It was difficult to say out the names of their special moves which they tried to hide, in a monotonous manner, and perhaps a little sarcastically… Though the lines are short, I practiced countless times at home.
Q: She truly is a character whose emotions are hard to tell.
Ōnishi: At first glance, it would seem that she is loyal to Aoi as her LRIG, but she is gently opposing and is shrouded in mystery. For me, she is someone who has a hidden child kept within the confines of her heart. Since this is an original work, I tried to portray her as someone whom you try to get to know her behind her veil of mystery.
Q: Next, tell us more about Jamie Hazaford in Argevollen.
Ōnishi: Jamie is the polar opposite of Piruluk. She wears her emotions on her sleeves and is outspoken about her thoughts, I would say her body proportion is close to mine as well. Actually, I have a complex about low voices, so it took some convincing for me to accept this role. As she is more of a mature heroine, I allowed my voice to flow into the character rather than finding out a different approach for her. I’m really glad that I got to meet this series.
Q: How about the other character that you are voicing now, Fianna Ray Ordesia (Bladedance of Elementalers)?
Ōnishi: Fianna has a relatively calm voice. Her appearance and voice is that of an older sister but behind that, she also has a cute child side. From the original work, her age is gauged to be around 17.
Q: If I recall, she appeared in the 13th volume of the light novel right?
Ōnishi: Yeah! As it was a popular series, on one hand I was looking forward to (voicing her), but on the other hand, I felt some pressure. After reading the light novel, I felt compelled to live up to fans’ expectations of her character.
Q: This is just a random thought, but you really voiced many characters that use katakana in their names.
Ōnishi: Looking at my profile, that really is the case! Even for Strike the Blood, the character i voiced also belongs to this group (La Folia Rihavein). Folia also shares the same characteristics as Fianna, with her having silver hair and being the princess of a country. Unfortunately for Fianna, she had to step down as a princess due to circumstances…
Q: It seems that you like singing, do you go to Karaoke often?
Ōnishi: Yes. I like anime songs and they are my choice of songs to sing!
Q: You’re all set for jobs that require singing now.
Ōnishi: My first singing job was as a member of Knee-Socks (Ōnishi Saori, Kakuma Ai, Kido Ibuki, Yūki Kana and Ishigami Shizuka) for the ending song of Bladedance of Elementalers. I also did a La Folia Rihavein’s character song for Strike the Blood.
Q: By the way, is there anything you got into lately?
Ōnishi: I don’t really have many hobbies, but recently, I got interested in Cup no Fuchiko. I got her from a gacha (capsule toy) about 2 years back, but somehow she seems to have exploded in popularity recently, so I’m trying to brainwash some of my seiyuu friends into her too (laughs). Also, I watch lots of anime for research purposes!
Q: By the way, which seiyuus do you look up to?
Ōnishi: I admire Sakamoto Maaya-san and Kobayashi Sanae-san. I really look up to Sakamoto Maaya-san, she can sing as well as she can act. I think Kobayashi Sanae-san’s portrayal of shōnen (young boys,youth) is really cool and endearing. This is actually the first time I’ve talked about this topic.
Q: I think you will be looking up to more seiyuus along the way from now on! What kind of roles will you like to challenge in the future?
Ōnishi: Though my voice doesn’t have a distinct trait, I will like to take up more diverse roles in terms of tones. I want to explore a diverse set of emotions, but at the same time it will be good if people can recognise my voice from the roles I play. I also wish to voice more characters that resembles me closely, and I’ll be happy if my voice can reach everyone.
Q: Lastly, a message for all the readers please!
Ōnishi: I think there are many people who do not know me yet, so I’ll be happy if you can get to know me, and meet everyone at one of my events someday. Back in March, I appeared in my first event at Anime Japan as part of Knee Socks, and I was glad to be able to see each and everyone’s faces close up! It was enjoyable hearing so many voices, and I hope that we will get to see each other more often in the future.
Please look forward to the next edition of Seiyuu Zukan!
Interview: Azabu Tanu
Photography: Yamamoto Tetsuya
Casting cooperation: Yoshimura Naoki
This interview was first published on 12 September 2014 in ddnavi.com. All images and videos you see here belong to their respective owners.