Q&A with Kohara Konomi (22/3/19)

Kohara Konomi does a Q&A on IG every now and then. Do check out the previous ones here! Also, she answers some questions that are written in foreign languages. For those questions and answers, I did not translate them and left them as they are. They are indicated in MAROON.


54266360_2148192025491509_8657344315306417138_n.jpgQ: What made your day recently?

A: It has to be the fan meet event for Kaguya sama ♫ It was one of my wishes after all ✨ Being able to look at each and everyone in the eyes and talk was a real blessing. I hope I can do an event like that again.

Q: What do you do to turn your mood around?

A: Hmm. Look at news on my phone, browse Pinterest and look at photos. Getting ideas from looking at them is fun!

Q: What characteristics do you think you share with Hagoromo Lala (Star☆Twinkle PreCure)?

A: Her bright personality maybe… Ah! We love eating onigiri! 🍙 Will I get to eat with her one day… Lol

Q: Do you have a a daily routine to follow ?

A: I don’t have any particular preferences when it comes to this lol. I love bathing my body in the warm morning sunlight, then changing the water for the flower vase, and enjoy a cup of coffee… something like that lol. Bet you think that doesn’t feel like me right? Lol

Q: Do you pay attention to any specific detail when voicing your characters?

A: Inserting the character’s personality into my mind, but doing that properly isn’t straightforward. I form the image of the character inside my mind and discuss it together with the director at the studio.

Q: I love your voice~ Do you have a favourite hero or heroine?

A: Thank you. That makes me happy. (cries) My favourite hero is Ashitaka from Princess Mononoke! There isn’t such a person in reality right… ✨ lol. As for heroine, which also can be classified as a hero, Sailor Moon. It’s one of my favourite anime.

Q: What are your wishes?

A: Hmm… I didn’t really think of my own wishes. But every time I go to Kawagoe, I would make sure to wish for “Everyone to be happy”. Of course, I’m happy too ✨It may feel like “I’m pretending to be a good girl!” but I really wish for that! Lol

Q: What are the things you take note when meeting people?

A: Do not be rude to them, don’t do things that you wouldn’t want others to do to you. Also, always remember what your parents have taught you like “Gratitude” for example.

Q: When your favourite series end, how do you get over that loss?

A: You will get lonely whenever something is over. That’s the same for me. But, there is something new next time! And, there could be a sequel in the works! And just pray for that to happen! Lol

Q: What was the most memorable story from all the events you took part in last year?

A: It has to be the fan meet (Kaguya sama). It was fun and went by in a flash. There were some people who said to me “I’m sorry that I couldn’t talk to you properly!”, but that really wasn’t the case. Even trivial things are fine. As long as we got to talk, it’s meaningful ✨ Your feelings got to me perfectly. Thank you.

Q: Can you spare a word or two for those who are becoming full fledged members of the society?

A: Since you are starting off, there will definitely be difficult times. Don’t be discouraged when you come across things you can’t do! A single word “Do your best!” can’t convey all my thoughts. To borrow the words of an actress I admire, the late Kiki Kirin-san, “Don’t try too hard, but don’t lose heart.” I think it is important not to overwork yourself, and to have the strength to not be discouraged. Every job has its own hardship, but also its own worth and value. Be proud of how you carry yourself. I’m supporting you!

Q: Do you have a favourite race horse?

A: I don’t watch horse racing so I’m not sure about the specifics. But it sounds fun ✨ Sounds refreshing!

Q: What is your favourite scenes from Kaguya sama?

A: There’s a lot! The one with the most impact has to be Chika’s rap. Ah! Recently I’ve sung the full version of Chikatto Chika Chika ♡ ! It was so fun ●´ー`●)

Q: PreCure movie was great! Any stories from the recording you want to share?

A: Thank you! My seniors showered me with warmth. (cries) Ah, and, the Star Precure Team line was supposed to be delivered by Naruse-san alone, but Komatsu-san, Yasuno-san, the 4 of us discussed and thought it was better if we do it together, and it felt so lively when we did it, that I almost ended up crying. Acting is best when we do it together! That incident once again made me feel that way.

Q: What are the anime you grew up with?

A: Sailor Moon, Doraemon, Crayon Shin-chan, Ask Dr. Rin!, and also Anne of Green Gables! I love it!

Q: Do you like sports?

A: Yes! I still play badminton once in a while!

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This Q&A was first published on 22 March 2019 on Instagram. All images and videos you see here belong to their respective owners.

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54463841_370870440181110_5689641851930748836_n.jpgQ: What flowers do you like?

A: Sunflower! Sakura! I also like the dried craspedia which I have had at home for more than half a year now. (It’s a vibrant yellow flower)

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Picture credit : Seed empire

Q: Which seiyuu are you close to?

A: Firstly, my husband (Ishigami Shizuka-san) ♡, followed by Maekawa Ryoko-chan and Shiraishi Haruka-chan. Also, Kino Hina-chan, Nagae Rika-chan, Owada Hitomi-chan, Shimabukuro Miyuki-chan… But, the first person I would talk to, and spent most time with, is still Zucchi.

Q: Do you like novels?

A: I haven’t been reading recently. The other day, I received a book but haven’t got around to read it yet… (cries) Previously, I recommended Love Generation and I’m glad to have received a long message regarding it. I get into love stories easily. Also, slice of life.

Q: I’m worried about the future and I hope to have your support…

A: “You’ll be fine!” I can’t say something irresponsible like that. But you know, worries are part of our lives. Everyone has different reasons or circumstances, but there is no such thing as a person without worries. I’m the same. Don’t turn your eyes away from them, okay?

Q: What is something that a doctor must possess?

A: Technique. Since the person’s life is entrusted to you. I think the other one would be the determination to save.

Q: On a pleasant and warm day, do you go out for a stroll or go for a drive?

A: I like walking, so I guess I’m the “go out for a stroll” type! But driving sounds fun too.

Q: Are there no events that I can see you?

A: Not at the moment maybe… They were all in February ( ; ; ) But I’m sure there will be a chance again! Lol. Don’t write something like this to jinx it okay!

Q: My girlfriend will be moving to Tokyo next week… Do you think you can say some words of encouragement to me?

A: You said it before right… I remembered. It’s been on my mind. So the time has come… I know that you must be having all sorts of worries like, whether it will work out… or your getting lonely. I feel that if you think about the distance, you will only make yourself feel worse. Even though the time you can meet up with her will lessen, I think it will be nice if both of you can find a balance through this distance. I feel that maintaining a good balance is important. Being far away or nearby has their own fair share of hardships. I’m not really sure on how to say it, but please don’t forget about your feelings of empathy. It will be hard on everyone if you have a one sided mindset. At first, it will be good if you could think positively like  “I wanna meet her… Next time will be this date, so I’ll work hard until then!” I don’t believe in the saying “Long distance relationships don’t work out”. I mean, I know people who got married even though they were far apart! Pick yourself up and face forward, and send her off with a smile okay? ✨ I’m sorry if I pass off as someone looking down from above. But I’m honestly supporting you!

Q: Was Koko-chan the honors student type like Kaguya sama, back in school?

A: No! Not at all!! Lol. I was really weak back then…… People who could study are really cool… Someone please teach me… (cries)

Q: Is Koko-chan suffering from hay fever?

A: Nope! Not at the moment. But the thought of getting it is scary. (cries)

Q: Did Koko-chan ever get a telling off at work before?

A: Not really. But I think people who get angry at you are precious, really. It’s natural to want to refute their words, but after that, I think you will see the reason why and feel grateful.

Q: Did you cry during graduation?

A: I cried! I’ve been crying more often recently. Of course sometimes, it was due to sad moments, but I’ve been crying more often because my heart got moved.

Q: What is a must-buy at convenience stalls?

A: Milk! I want to say that but… it’s Frisk maybe… lol

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Q: This isn’t a question but, thank you so much for doing the Q&A even though you are busy.

A: Not at all (●´人`●) I like answering them too. I’m doing it at my own pace, but if you find it enjoyable then all is good ♫

 

Please follow Koko-chan at her IG!

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This Q&A was first published on 22 March 2019 on Instagram. All images and videos you see here belong to their respective owners.

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Q&A with Kohara Konomi (21/3/19)

Kohara Konomi does a Q&A on IG every now and then. Do check out the previous ones here! Also, she answers some questions that are written in foreign languages. For those questions and answers, I did not translate them and left them as they are. They are indicated in MAROON.


53759568_670364063395836_8449041887106388205_nQ: What is Kohara-san’s favourite word and word that holds the greatest importance?

A: My favourite word would be “Natural”, while the word that I hold dear to me is “Thank you”.

Q: Why is “Thank You” the word you treasure the most? Is there any specific reason behind this?

A: When I was 12, my beloved grandpa passed away and I cried a bucket of tears. Back then, my grandma told me “Do you know? For a short period after someone passes away, they would be still be able to hear. Isn’t it a waste to be crying away? Wouldn’t saying [Thank you] to that person and sending him off with a smile make them feel much happier?” At that time, those thoughts didn’t register in my mind, but when my grandma passed away, once again those words came back to me. I understood the importance of those words. Your feelings of happiness and positivity will reach the person you want to convey to. That is why [Thank you] that my grandma taught me is such an important word to me.

Q: Is Kohara Konomi your real name? I love your name 💕

A: Thank, thank you… (blushes) I’m elated lol. It’s my real name. My dad & mum contributed one character each to my name. “好” from my dad, and “美” from my mum. Hehhehheh. It’s difficult to read, but I appreciate your support moving forward. lol

Q: Did Koko-chan take part in club activities in school?

A: I was in the basketball club in grade school and the badminton club in middle school. I really wanted to join the track and field club but there wasn’t any lol.

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Kohara voiced Erena in Hanebado! (Badminton themed anime).

Q: When did you feel that “I’ve found my calling” while being a seiyuu?

A: When I felt the joy of everyone enjoying the shows!! That makes me the happiest.

Q: Who are the seiyuu you respect, want to work together with?

A: Too many! As for co-acting, it will be Ishigami Shizuka-san 💕 I hope that we get on the same production again.

Q: Please host a radio show!!

A: I also wish to!!!! Does everyone want something like Dotto Ai*? What segments would you be pleased with?

*Dotto Ai is her first and only solo radio show to date.

Q: When you are feeling uneasy and worried, what do you do to lift up your own spirits?

A: I always struggle “What should I do? What should I do!? 💦” until the last moment. But once time is up, I just got to do it! I will flip on my serious switch and work hard! There is no way I can run away from all these worries and uneasiness…as long as I’m alive. I also wish to become tough enough to withstand all of these (●´ー`●) fufufu.

Q: What colours do you like?

A: Green, red! As for clothes, beige, navy, black and raw beige. I also like colourful stuff. lol

Q: I hope to see your acting as Mizuno Akane again!

A: Many people are asking for this. It makes me really happy. It’s been 2 years since Tsuki ga Kirei now. I’m also hoping to get the chance to act as her again (*´꒳`*) Please let that day come.

Q: Please leave a message for those who aspiring to become a seiyuu!

A: Do you struggle with understanding what acting is? I’m the same, I do not know what is right or wrong when it comes to acting. But, I think that’s fine. If you let your thoughts and feelings of moving forward stop, then nothing will change. If you surrender yourself to time, the chance will slip away from you!

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: Making accessories! Although I’ve not made anything recently (´••) collecting ear piercings, I also love cute stationery! When I was in high school, I made an album for my friends birthday present, I like making collages and layouts 💕 I’ve also liked taking photos since middle school. I hope that I can do something related to that in the future.

Q: What are the things you wish to take on in the future?

A: Plentiful. There’s acting, narration for example. I’m also glad to see your comments of support saying “I’ve watched that CM! (which Kohara voiced over)”. The others would be stage plays, and the above-mentioned photography related jobs… Previously, I also did a little bit of modeling.. Someday, I dream about doing such jobs.

Q: What are the apparel and cosmetics shops you like?

A: Tons of questions like this came in (*´꒳`*) For clothes, I go to bulle de savon, KBF, Muji and UNIQLO. I’ve been wearing this beige skirt from UNIQLO for events ✨ As for cosmetics, I go to to/one, KORRES for my lip butter. I like their rose series, but it has been discontinued… I still have 3 sticks left in my stock so I’ll use them sparingly lol.

 

Please follow Koko-chan at her IG!

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This Q&A was first published on 21 March 2019 on Instagram. All images and videos you see here belong to their respective owners.

Q&A with Kohara Konomi (20/3/19)

Kohara Konomi does a Q&A on IG every now and then. Do check out the previous ones here! Also, she answers some questions that are written in foreign languages. For those questions and answers, I did not translate them and left them as they are. They are indicated in MAROON.


53183078_2318461565099775_4485496227477656802_nQ: Koko-chan, thank you as always! I’m supporting you!!

A: There were many messages like this. (cries) Everyone is so warm. It’s really nothing much, I should be thank you guys instead. I appreciate your continuous support.

Q: I love Koko-chan!

A: Kyaa ❤️ Happy!! I also love everyone for sending me all these messages that are full of warmth! I’ll be supporting everyone, since everyone is supporting me too. This is a lovely feeling.

Q: Can I send in a letter?

A: Of course!! I’ve kept all these precious letters I’ve received so far in a box at home. If you send it to Office Osawa’s address, I’ll definitely receive it. I’m waiting~

Q: What is your favourite item to receive?

A: Letters!! Of course I’m grateful to get presents too, but letters make me the happiest. Because a letter contains all the precious time and effort spent by the person.

Q: Gotcha YO!

A: I knew I would definitely get a “Gotcha UO!” response haha thank you! That makes me happy!! Lol

Q: What type of music, and which artiste(s) do you like?

A: I received lots of questions like this! I’m glad that people liked it when I posted on my stories on the music I’m listening to. ✨ I love the soundtrack of [Queen of Lunch] . My favourite tracks are Flow and Pullulate. The latter invokes all sorts of emotions in me and I always feel like crying when I listen to it. I think everyone would feel the same too. As for artistes, there are many of them. For example, ELT-san, Christina Aguilera-san and Aimer-san. I like If I Never Met You and Crimson Painted. There are many more!

Q: What’s your favourite food?

A: There are quite a few, but white rice still takes it. I also like onigiri (rice ball)! And… Tonjiru (soup boiled with pork and miso). Houtou Udon. And maybe yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) recently.

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Photo credit: http://www.houtou-fudou.jp/english.html

Q: Please share with us your favourite milk!

A: It has to be [Special Rich milk], I drink it everyday. I also drank the [White Rose milk] which is on my smartphone casing ✨

Q: I’m not good with milk… Is there anything I can do to overcome it?

A: There are people who can’t take them after all. If you aren’t good with drinking them, you can try using milk for stews! It can be used for dishes, not necessary just drinking it ✨ But, don’t push yourself too hard okay?

Q: Why did you think of becoming a seiyuu?

A: I get plenty of these questions every time I do a Q&A. I began thinking about acting in grade school during the Arts Festival. So, I always had an interest in acting since I was young. But I’ve always led a normal life just like everyone else till high school. When I was in grade school, my mum told me “Why don’t you try out a voice-related job?”, and those words remained in my heart. At the age of 23, I decided to give it a shot and sent my CV to Office Osawa.

Q: What does Koko-chan do when you get depressed? Do you have your fair share of these experiences?

A: Of course. I’m the same with everyone else. As long as we’re alive, there will be good times, as well as hard times. The good times pass by in a flash, but we feel the effects of the bad times for much longer. Be as depressed as you want when it hits you. But don’t stay there forever. For me, I think of what to do next. As humans, we grow a little each time when we overcome these hard times, and become more of an adult. In a real sense, you become more gentle. I think gentle people have strong hearts. Everyone, let’s work hard together, to overcome those obstacles in front of us.

Q: For all the characters you have acted out so far, who is the one you like best, and who is the one you have the deepest emotional attachment to?

A: I can’t decide! I treat each and every role with importance. As for the one that I’m most emotionally attached to, I guess it would be Tsuki ga Kirei’s Mizuno Akane-chan and Mahoujin Guru Guru’s Kukuri. Both of them taught me how it was to act like myself.

Q: I’m watching Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure! I love Lala!

A: Thank you! I’m happy to hear that! ✨ Ah! Thank you-run ♪ lol Please continue to support it-run! Runrun

Q: It’s the sakura season soon! Will you be going to Kawagoe?

A: Definitely! I’m been wanting to go ✨ I’m heading for Hikawa bridge!

Q: I’m thinking of going to Kawagoe. Do you have any spots to recommend? ✨

A: First, I think you should walk along the streets and look at the streetscape. It’s really pretty. And Kumano Shrine! You can witness the renjakuchou procession that Shotaro was involved in the anime. Also, there are many emas there, I also put up one the last time round. For everyone who is going, please write down your wishes of blessing. After that, you can head over to Hikawa Shrine and bridge! The blooming sakura will be amazing! Recently, plenty of wonderful shops have popped up, so I wanna make plans with my sis (Maekawa Ryoko-chan) to go over.

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Photo credit: kizuki2011

Q: Where do you wish to go to?

A: Many places! I’ve been wanting to go to Izumo Taisha in Shimane. I hope to be able to go there someday. Also, Kanazawa and Yakushima. And the ranches in Hokkaido! I had many questions about Hokkaido and I hope to answer them later on ✨ Please wait for me (*´꒳`*)

 

Please follow Koko-chan at her IG!

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This Q&A was first published on 20 March 2019 on Instagram. All images and videos you see here belong to their respective owners.

Takahashi Rie: Voice acting is my dream, not a goal

Backtracking to May 2016, Takahashi Rie did a short interview with Fresh YanYan, where she talks about her role in PreCure, her aims and goals as well as her past. You can see how much her thinking has changed in the 3 years by reading this interview by Nikkei Entertainment.

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The spirit of the up-and-coming heroine actress

Takahashi Rie

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“Continuing in the voice industry is my dream, but not my goal.”


ーーIt is listed in your profile that your blood type is either A or O, why is that so?

Takahashi: I didn’t take the test when I was born. There was once I wanted to donate blood and went to have it checked, but since it was winter, I was told my blood vessels were too thin and they couldn’t plunge the needle in. Since then, I have gone for further checks.

ーーIf you were to make a guess, what type would you be?

Takahashi: I share the love of eating with my dad, so maybe I’m an O. That said, I don’t really believe in personality profiling by blood type. To assign people into 4 different types of personalities, I think that’s a little…… (laughs).

ーーPutting aside that, when you were voicing Futaba in Sore ga Seiyuu, you mentioned that “Her serious side is similar to me”.

Takahashi: I spend excessive time choosing the ideal words while composing a text. I’m also confident to say my room is neat and prim like hers, and I’m clumsy with my fingers. Ah, I guess that doesn’t really have any relation to the serious side (laughs).

ーーWere you the honours student back then?

Takahashi: Probably not? It was just easy for me to get immersed in the things I was interested in, so Biology and Language was my best subjects. On the other hand, for subjects I wasn’t interested in…… (laughs).

ーーSo you liked Biology?

Takahashi: I love drawing the cell division process (laughs). Since the process of separation was interesting, I got absorbed into drawing them subconsciously.

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ーーEver since last summer where you got to act in 3 anime including Sore ga Seiyuu, you have burst onto the scene.

Takahashi: No, not at all. In any case, it’s not my aim to become popular. To borrow the words of Futaba-chan, I just want to be able to continue in the voice industry. I wish to convey the charm of all these wonderful characters and the shows to everyone.

ーーBy that, do you mean to say that your aim is to become a polished voice actor?

Takahashi: Of course, I’m an actor after all. With the number of characters now as well as the wide repertoire of voice actors available, I may be replaced by another person. There must be a reason for me to get chosen even then, so I’m sure there are characters whose appeal and charm can only be drawn out by me, I would like to keep that on my mind as I continue to advance.

ーーWas that the mindset you had ever since you set your sights on becoming a voice actor?

Takahashi: That’s right. In the first place, the use of voice was what got me interested. When I was in elementary school, I volunteered to be the the reader for karuta competitions. I’m bad at snatching the cards (laughs), so I went on to become the reader for the prefecture competitions for 4-5 years? I’ve received comments like “Rie-chan’s voice is pleasant on the ears and that allows me to concentrate on the game itself.” Although I hadn’t aspired to become a voice actor back then, it was what seemed like the start of my interest in voice related activities.

ーーYou also said that were aspiring to be a singer rather than a voice actor in the beginning.

Takahashi: Back in kindergarten, all the kids around me was saying “I want to become a patissier”, “I want to be florist”, I thought the ring of “singer” was cool so I got interested. I wasn’t particularly good in singing, so it was more like a vague feeling of wanting to become a singer. I was just a kid who was not against the idea of standing in front of people. The kid wanted to do something that is different from the rest.

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ーーWhen you debuted as a voice actor, were you expecting to have activities in the mould of EARPHONES?

Takahashi: Recently, there is an influx in idol-related productions, and since Sore ga Seiyuu also revolves around the activities of the unit formed by newbies in the voice acting industry, I was thinking if we will get to sing too. However, after the anime ended, the management staff told us that they wanted us to continue our activities as a unit, that there were requests for us to do so. I did not think of that probability in the beginning. Although I had trained in singing and dancing back in training school, it was never my aim, and my vision of singing was limited to character songs at most. I haven’t thought of carving a career out of being an artiste, and it was not my dream. As long as I get to act and express my voice, I’m happy enough.

ーーHaving a string of roles under your belt at a young age, surely you didn’t need to slog it out from the bottom like Futaba?

Takahashi: That wasn’t the case at all. I also had a time I went without any jobs. I was doing part-time all that time. I have worked as a waitress in a family restaurant, receptionist in a sports centre, and as a demo salesperson grilling wieners in a supermarket…… When I got the sausages, I also saw the PreCure sausages on the shelves. I was thinking “Ah, I wanted to grill those instead……”

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ーーAnd now, you are acting the lead role in MahoGirls PreCure! (Mahōtsukai Precure).

Takahashi: It was decided quite some time back, but I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, even my family was kept in the dark. When it was announced in January, I received many congratulatory messages and that made me feel really warm and fuzzy inside. “It’s really amazing”- that was the kind of emotions I had (laughs). The fact that I was going to be inside sunk in gradually and when the anime aired, I saw many kids memorizing the ending choreography.

ーー To be entrusted with the phrase “Our miracle! Cure Miracle!”, was that an honour to you as a voice actor?

Takahashi: The transformation phrase is something that only exists in the PreCure universe. It is unique only to MahoGirls PreCure!. It’s a real blessing.

ーーWas there an experimental process when acting as Mirai?

Takahashi: When I received the script, how she was like growing up wasn’t written, so I had to consider that. Her inquisitive and straightforward nature is similar to me, so I went to my mum and asked her “How was I as a kid?” along with other thoughts of that nature. I wanted to convey how and what instigates her to act.

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ーーDid your image of Mirai change from your initial impression?

Takahashi: At first I had the impression that she’s the natural airhead, cheerful and bubbly girl. It’s not that she can’t properly convey what she thinks, it’s because of her strong apprehension of danger, she speaks out her thoughts one thing at a time, and that is her persuasive strength. How she arrived with that kind of mentality is revealed as time passes. It seems like she will continue to change and I’m looking forward to it.

ーーSeeing that your dream of becoming a voice actor has been realised, do you you have any visions for the future?

Takahashi: Even though I realised my wish back in middle school of becoming a voice actor, it was more like that of “fulfilling my dream”. For me, that isn’t the goal. Because I love the voice industry, I want to continue doing it no matter where I end up. That is my dream, and not my goal.

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Photo: Kusakari Masayuki
Hair & Make-up: Enta Hitomi
Text: Saitō Takashi
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This interview was published in Fresh YanYan 2016 Vol.2 on 10 May 2016. You can buy the magazine over at one of the merchants here. All images and videos you see here belong to their respective owners.