KONOSUBA: [Legend of Crimson] cast interview: Takahashi Rie

Pre-screening! Dialogue with the cast, KONOSUBA the movie, Part 3: Takahashi Rie, voice actor of Megumin

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『KONOSUBA: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!! Legend of Crimson』 In cinemas Aug 30 (Friday) © 2019 (C)2019 Akatsuki Natsume / Mishima Kurone / KADOKAWA / KONOSUBA Production Committee

KONOSUBA: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!』(KONOSUBA) is back as a movie! Leading to its release in theaters on August 30 (Friday), Da Vinci News gathered the 5 main cast members to talk about their passion and deep love for KONOSUBA. The novel has now sold more than 8.5 million copies,  with the anime doing well. Through these interviews, we get to the bottom of how the staff and cast get together, the wonderful laughter, the wonderful energy that KONOSUBA brings to everyone who’s watching.

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Let’s get teased by Takagi-san together!

“Let’s get teased by Takagi-san together!” – Takahashi Rie & Ōhara Yuiko who were immersed in their middle school club activities

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In a certain middle school, there is a girl named Takagi-san, who sits beside a boy named Nishikata, this story is Skilled Teaser Takagi-san, where Nishikata tries to get back at Takagi-san’s teases. With the change of seasons, they are now 2nd year students, and the “battle of teasing” continues in the 2nd season which will be aired on AT-X and other platforms. Today, we got the voice actor for Takagi-san, Takahashi Rie and the opening theme performer, Ōhara Yuiko for an interview regarding the series and the song.

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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.

Nikkei Entertainment interview with Takahashi Rie

Hisanori Yoshida, more commonly known by his nickname, Yoppi, sat down with Takahashi Rie for an in-depth interview earlier this year. It was published as an article in Nikkei Entertainment’s magazine, and compiled in 2019 edition of Seiyuu Bible. As such, the interview is less rigid than usual, but also offers an inside look in Takahashi Rie’s acting thoughts on being an otaku, voice actor and finding acting.

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Takahashi Rie

A new star with many lead & heroine roles under her belt, talks about “The way of a female voice actor”, and also about her “Thoughts” that was born through her love for anime.

 

It has been 5 years since her debut as a voice actor in 2013. Takahashi Rie possesses sweet and crystal clear voice as well as her impressive acting skills that has helped to elevate her performances for her roles. In 2015, she landed her first lead role in Sore ga Seiyuu, as well as being selected as part of the main cast for Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace and Gakkou Gurashi, and has since became the main lead in Mahou Tsukai Precure.  Through her wonderful acting as the main heroine, Takagi san, in the popular manga Karakai Jouzu no Takagi san, she brings to us a brilliant performance.

There are usually two polar opposites when it comes to an image of a voice actor, one whose love for anime and games became their reason to become one – or in other words, a voice actor who possesses otaku attributes, the other which is the opposite, and often taking a completely different route to become one. Despite being on board with Takahashi Rie for numerous events and radio programmes, we have not established which type of voice actor she is, so the purpose of this interview is to get a conclusive answer.


Yoshida: It wasn’t really the case in the past, but recently I feel that there has been a spurt of otaku-ish voice actor who joining the industry because of their overpowering love for anime, and to put it in all honesty, I feel that Takahashi-san exudes this otaku-ish characteristic, but on the other hand, that doesn’t feel like it too. So, which is the case here!? – that is the theme for this time round.

Takahashi: I see! That’s a really happy theme (laughs).

Yoshida: Really!? Why is that so?

Takahashi: That was something that weighed on my mind when I entered this industry. Liking voice acting as a job makes me treat it importantly, it can be put as someone who is passionate about his/her job, but because I really like voice actor, subconsciously I would have constant thoughts of  “It’ll be nice if there is a voice actor like this” or “I want to become a voice actor like her”.

For me, I also got to know about voice actor through anime, so there’s definitely an otaku inside of me that loves anime, but if I happened to meet them (the voice actor who appeared in the anime) on-set and tell them “I watched this anime~”, it gives off a feeling that I’m coming to work to play instead. So even if I meet a person I admire or a person involved in an anime I like a lot, I want to stay focused and keep these thoughts within myself, and properly carry out my responsibilities for the job that I have been entrusted to. I think that is the basic etiquette that I should observe as actors on the same set. I would like to keep ‘The voice actor, Takahashi Rie’ and ‘The otaku, Takahashi Rie’ as separate entities.

Yoshida: That’s great. It sounds like something that Downtown-san¹ would say.

¹ Downtown is a Japanese comedy duo from Amagasaki, Hyōgo consisting of Hitoshi Matsumoto and Masatoshi Hamada. Formed in 1982, they are one of the most influential and prolific comedy duos in Japan today. (Wikipedia)

Takahashi: Ah, is that so?

Yoshida: By that, I don’t mean that you are expressing yourself as an entertainer. But somewhere in the middle, it shifted to being able to be responsible for the work itself. I had a chance to hear from Nozawa Masako-san, who told me that there was no profession known as ‘Voice actor’ in the first place. That is why she said she doesn’t think of how and what a voice actor should be like. Times have since changed from back then, and I feel that is the reason for this way of thought now.

Takahashi: I feel that is a new mindset now.

Yoshida: In my era, there were many voice actors in their 40s who got entrusted with roles in anime, while it was a given that there would be thoughts on characters and voice acting as a job, but I feel that it is the ‘New generation’ that kick started the notion on how voice actors are seen as.

Takahashi: New generation eh… I wonder.(laughs).

 

Getting into anime through ‘Higurashi’


Yoshida
: Was your love for anime from an early age, so much that you discovered that ‘you only like anime’?

Takahashi: I was absorbed into the world of Hinamizawa² back in the 2nd year of middle school (laughs). I was really deep into Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.

² Hinamizawa is the fictitious village that the events of Higurashi is centered around.

Yoshida: This is already the generation that ‘Eva’ doesn’t get mentioned already (laughs). But anyway, you didn’t get into it when it was first released, right?

Takahashi: Yeah. I couldn’t follow it back then, so I started after it got adapted into a manga series and played the game after that, I also only found out about the anime afterwards. But I learnt a lot after entering the world of Higurashi. It spawned doujinshi, character songs, and I also learnt about the other shows that the cast appeared in. In a sense, this was my portal to the otaku world.

Dōjinshi (同人誌, often transliterated doujinshi) is the Japanese term for self-published works, usually magazines, manga or novels. Dōjinshi are often the work of amateurs, though some professional artists participate as a way to publish material outside the regular industry. (Wikipedia)

Yoshida: So that was your life back in middle school, how about back when you were a kid?

Takahashi: My mum gave me free rein to do the things I wanted to do, so my education policy was relatively based on my free-will. I liked singing as a kid, so I joined the neighbourhood theater troupe, as well as doing rhythmic gymnastics for around 8 years and playing the piano!

Yoshida: That’s quite the devotion you put into learning.

Takahashi: Surprisingly, I tried out many different  things. I even joined the soft tennis club in middle school.

Yoshida: And the number 1 question that everyone asks themselves after entering a club in middle school is “Why did I choose this club?” (laughs)

Takahashi: That’s true (laughs)! Furthermore, my seniors were really strict.

Yoshida: (laughs). That is why you got  into Hinamizawa.

Takahashi: Yes, under the influence of my friend (laughs). There was an otaku group in the class whom I got along well with, and thereafter was introduced to Higurashi. Since I like the horror genre, maybe that is why they introduced the manga to me. But, even though I was under the impression or reading a horror manga, I learnt of the moe subculture through some moments while reading.

Yoshida: I see. In the first place, getting into Higurashi is not the usual route (becoming an otaku) you would take. If you are used to moe stuff, getting into horror afterwards might be a little jarring.

Takahashi: That’s right. I went into this world via the other side (laughs). After that, I found out about Nico Nico Douga  and also fiddled with portals like Koebu (laughs). That’s really nostalgic.

⁵ Nico Nico Douga is a video sharing website that was launched on 12 December, 2006.
⁶ Koebu was a community portal where users can record lines, upload recordings as well as listen to recordings from other users. It was used by many middle and high schoolers who were aspiring to become voice actors. Koebu concluded its service on September 30, 2016.


Yoshida: When did you start having aspirations of becoming a voice actor?

Takahashi: It was during the 3rd year of middle school.

Yoshida: So you took the auditions back then?

Takahashi: No, that was during high school. To be honest, I already had all the materials for becoming a voice actor back then, so I was really determined to go down that path. However, my parents insisted on graduating first, so I set my sights on joining the broadcasting club and practicing singing in high school. After graduating from middle school, I joined the broadcasting club as well as the light music club.

Yoshida: Light music club!?

Takahashi: I felt that just being in the broadcasting club was insufficient, and since I wanted to practise more, and K-On! was very popular back then (laughs), buying a Les Paul was not out of the question too.

⁷ Les Paul is the guitar of choice for Hirasawa Yui in the anime, K-On!

Yoshida: So you bought it right (laughs).

Takahashi: Yes (laughs). However, I really liked being in the recording studio for the broadcasting club activities since I could talk about otaku-related topics, but at that time the general consensus of otakus was not too well received, and since the light music club was more on the fashionable side, I kept K-On! a secret from everyone inside there. Instead, I would give suggestions like “Hey, let’s play Stereopony’s Namida no Mukou⁸ ~”

⁸ Stereopony was a 3-member girl group who disbanded in 2012. Namida no Mukou was used as the 2nd opening theme for the 2nd season of Gundam 00.

Yoshida: That just about qualifies as an anison (anime song).

Takahashi: Ah, but I would usually bring tea and sweets to club (laughs). Everyone was wondering why, but in my heart I was like “Let’s have a girls’ talk and enjoy some after-school tea time⁹!” (laughs)

⁹ After-school tea time is the band name of the 5 main characters in K-On!.

Yoshida: You managed to adapt to the situation well enough instead of controlling it.

Takahashi: The first step starts from conforming to others (laughs).

Yoshida: So, how exactly did you get about becoming a voice actor in high school?

Takahashi: Back in high school (and the agency she belongs to now), I took on the auditions held by 81 Produce,  but I did not receive any notification (of passing) which left me shocked. After that, I knew I had to work harder and went on to represent the broadcasting club at the national meet, wrote that down on my records and took on their auditions 1 year later again, and this time, I managed to win the special prize. That said, it was more of earning the rights to begin training at their facilities. Although I had not formally entered the agency, it was a big step for me.

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‘Female voice actor’ as an occupation

 

Yoshida: You mentioned earlier about ‘Liking voice acting as an occupation’.

Takahashi: While in high school, I watched tons of anime for the purpose of becoming a voice actor, and after entering the broadcasting club, I found the expression of voices to be interesting, and that was about how I became a voice actor otaku (laughs). It wasn’t the anime themselves that captivated me, but the narrative behind the acting, and I became interested in the past records of the voice actors and their lifestyles. After looking into them, I realised that there are already people of my age group in this industry, and since I like watching their singing and dancing expressions, I went to Sphere and StylipS’ concerts several times. I’m sure it was not so much on gaining more in-depth knowledge about the anime, but rather, it was the moment that I grew more invested in the world of voice acting, especially ‘female voice actors’.

Yoshida: In the present day, I hear that there is a code to live by for female voice actors, or simply put, their “Strategy”.

The best way to bring out my potential was to join EARPHONES and to distinguish myself from others.

 

Takahashi: I believe it exists. I thought of setting my sights on that, but I realized that even among all the seniors, everyone of them has their own strategy on how to stand out from the rest, so no one is doing the same thing. That is what gave me the resolve to join EARPHONES.

Yoshida: EARPHONES certainly feels like a project that is fresh off the bat.

Takahashi: When I started activities with EARPHONES, it was different from the image of female voice actor unit that I had in my mind (laughs). But I think it’s all good, since we got to head towards an interesting direction. I think EARPHONES is really great for me.

Yoshida: It’s rare enough to find someone who’s a female voice actor enthusiast, that’s why I find that Takahashi-san has looked at the overview of this subject, and that there are really few voice actors out there who understands the context as much as you.

Takahashi: Ah, I think I still got a long way to go from looking at the complete picture…

Yoshida: I think you are already doing well enough in that department!

Takahashi: Because I really like the world of female voice actors, I end up paying attention to them.

Yoshida: Let’s put aside the talk about acting for now. It’s a given that no one is neglecting that, what do you think about your own specialty and how do you act upon that?

Takahashi: I always think that it would be great if I can make the the series enjoyable through my acting, and to allow everyone to feel the earnestness that I put in the process. However, I don’t want it to be a case of the viewers just looking at the character being voiced by Takahashi Rie, it would be the best if everyone can think of that as just one character involved in the series and to enjoy the series as a whole.

From my own viewpoint, for example, if there’s an anime you like, and you like it so much that it becomes the reason for living. Once you reach that stage, you would be curious about what kind of feelings and mood the production team had when they created that series. And if their passion and feelings align with yours, you would definitely be over the moon. That’s why I feel that if I hope to properly convey these feelings of earnestness and importance of the work to me in the series, and for the viewers to enjoy watching without worrying about anything else.

Yoshida: That sounds almost like a shrine maiden, making sure not to neglect the deities (fans).

Takahashi: (Laughs). Because I like the work, I would like to convey my appreciation to the fans in the greatest way possible, which is by my acting and enjoyment in the series. For the purpose of achieving that, I’m in the midst of trying out things and ironing out the flaws.

Yoshida: For example?

Takahashi: For events and interviews like this, I’m still thinking on how should I present myself, or maybe how I should proceed on a whole. Using Twitter is also part of the bigger picture. I try to make my tweets relevant to the words that were conversed on-air, but to be frank, I’m still really bad at it. I’d take 20 minutes to draft out a tweet… (laughs). Since we are at the era where voice actors appear on the public stage, I would like to think of the broader picture and how to support the series moving forward.

 

4 hours for script checking!?

Yoshida: Takahashi-san left a very deep impression on me with your portrayal of Kobayashi in Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace.

Takahashi: Thank you for watching it!

Yoshida: It was a series that I really liked. Furthermore, I felt that since the role is played by a female voice actor, she must be really up to the job and that she should be specialized in playing the roles of a young boy for a long time.

Takahashi: Ah!

Yoshida: That is why when I saw Takahashi-san’s portrayal of Kobayashi, I felt that you were really good and also thought you brought out the essence of the character.

Takahashi: It makes be really happy to hear those words. I was a newbie at the time of Rampo and that made it possible for me to act out the role, or should I say, because I was empowered by my surroundings, I was able to find my inspiration and act out a difficult role like that. That was also the impetus that led me to be able to act out the role on the theater last year too.

Yoshida: You reprised your role as Kobayashi right?

Takahashi: That’s right. Uezu Makoto-san who was in charge of the series composition for the anime was also back in as the screenwriter and supervising director, but he told me this “What’s wrong? You aren’t able to act out Kobayashi anymore? (like how she was able to do because it was her first time)”. That stung me and made me frustrated. I wanted to prove that it was not a fluke the first time round so I gathered my thoughts and tried again, and this time I got the approval. Two years have passed by since the broadcast of the anime.

Yoshida: I had no idea that happened!

 

While chasing after the image of the voice actor, I discovered my number one love, acting.

 

Takahashi: That said, since acting is something you express with your entire body, I had interest in it. Ever since being told “A voice actor is an actor.” back in training school, I always wanted to appear on a stage someday, so I took part in this project. Not just the acting part, but being able to talk with the other actors about acting was enjoyable too. Everyday was stimulating, and it made me feel throughout my whole body, that I really love the expression (of acting).

Yoshida: At that point, you must have felt a love for acting that exceeded the love for a voice actor.

Takahashi: I think so too. While chasing after the image of a voice actor, I discovered that my number one love is acting, and that is something that made me want to give my best.

Yoshida: That is certainly putting the audience as the priority.

Takahashi: You really think so? There are times I’ve been told that I’m over thinking a little…

Yoshida: While that may be the case, I feel that that is something the voice actors of today have to consider.

Takahashi: Actually, while that was ongoing, I heard “Voice actors are really too good”, and that made me a little sad. At that period, I was thinking about Kobayashi the entire time. How would Kobayashi eat his meals, how would he walk home, to list a few examples. Although I’m happy with that, the fast switch from being a voice actor surprised me, or should I say, saddened me.

Yoshida: I see~!!

Takahashi: It was about playing one role in the morning and another role in the afternoon, and I felt apologetic on realizing the relative lack of time I had for each of the characters. However, I feel that voice actors who can do this switch between the characters and expressions are true professionals, and it is something that I’m lacking in.

Yoshida: Somebody once told me that voice actors are like divers. When you are ready to go, you submerge into the waters in that instant, and when it is time to withdraw, you come back swiftly.

Takahashi: That’s indeed relatable. But I’m the type who wants to make use of every possible minute to work on the role…

Yoshida: I took it that you were gaining experience by putting your 100% into the role through the stage play.

Takahashi: Although there are also people who finish their script checking in an hour, I took around 4 hours for mine at that time. I guess it’s like embracing my profession as a voice actor?

Yoshida: Are you talking about efficiency here? But that aside, efficiency comes later on. It’s the end result that matters after all. If we put it this way, it feels like you are thinking about many different things. I can only say it is like a mystery.

Takahashi: You are right, I think there is really a lot to think about (laughs).

Yoshida: I’m sure that is what makes the voice actor, Takahashi Rie. On one side, you are an otaku, and on the other, taking care of what the viewers see.

Takahashi: That will be nice if that is the case.

The places you put in effort as a voice actor

 

Yoshida: I think the currently airing (at the time of this interview) Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san is a wonderful anime. The emotions of the characters are expressed in a delicate manner on a whole, and everyone performed their roles perfectly!

Takahashi: I agree. Even the movement of an eyebrow adds detail to the scene, it feels like every little thing consolidated to form Takagi-san as a complete product.

Yoshida: Takagi-san is certainly a role that required the input of many thoughts.

Takahashi: That’s right (laughs). I started from “The things that Takagi-san likes”, “The things that Takagi-san likes to do”, “Her favourite Nishikata’s reactions”, “The things that fans of the original work wish for” to list a few, so I gathered thoughts like these before the first recording session (As well as plenty of notes written down on A4 sheets, as well as hand-made character memos which Takahashi-san showed during this interview)

Yoshida: That’s amazing. Is it really okay for me to look at these!?

Takahashi: Yes! Maybe my notes are a little difficult to understand though… I thought that if I didn’t do this beforehand, I won’t be able to grasp the image (of the character). Even though the direction of the acting changes at the studio, I have to fix the fundamentals clearly in my mind, since there’s no luxury of time at the studios. Doing it like this makes me grasp the situation clearly and that is a hypothesis that I have come to form for myself.

Yoshida: (In the memo) “From the director, the pace of the middle schoolers on the island” is written. Was the setting based on an island!?

Takahashi: It wasn’t specified in the manga, but in the anime, you get to see the sea and experience the laid back feeling pretty often. The director specifically wanted me to portray the pace of middle schoolers living by the sea, and not of those from the city, so it’s something like dictating your own life by your own pace.

Yoshida: That’s really amazing, going out of your way to prepare these materials for the interview.

Takahashi: I feel uneasy if I don’t have them at hand (laughs).

Yoshida: I feel that Takahashi-san has done everything that was needed of the role. Things like controlling the situation fittingly and making a decisions on certain parameters. I think that is a role that a generic voice actor cannot carry out.

Takahashi: Thank you. Takagi-san was a really difficult role… Since there are many fans of the manga, there is considerable pressure and responsibility that fell on me on how to answer to their image of the ideal heroine through the anime. That is something a voice actor has to put in effort for!”.

Interview: Hisanori Yoshida

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This interview was published in Nikkei Entertainment’s Anime Special “Seiyuu Bible 2019”. You can buy the magazine at Amazon. All images and videos you see here belong to their respective owners.

Special thanks to Pyrite for proof reading!

Takahashi Rie (2012)

Voice acting is an industry that not everyone can make the cut. Competition for roles, jobs and juggling the time spent at working part-time while going for vocal training are some of the struggles that newbie seiyuu face.

Before her breakthrough role as Ichinose Futaba in Sore ga Seiyuu!, Takahashi Rie was part of a seiyuu unit called ‘Anisoni∀’ which she formed together with fellow trainees at that time, Ueda Reina, Tsumita Kayoko and Hayashida Chieri. Unfortunately it seems that only Takahashi Rie and Ueda Reina are still active today.

I found a gem while clearing out old magazines I bought, and I believe this is her first appearance on a printed media.

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Birthplace: Saitama
Birthday:
27 February
Favourite anime
: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, K-on (favourite member:Ricchan [Ritsu])
Skills: Cartwheel

1) What are your thoughts on appearing on this issue of the magazine?

It feels like I got to do some actual activities (as a seiyuu), so I’m really excited about it.

2) What is your first impression of the other members?

Hayashida (Chieri) san is the adult and the mood maker of the group, she brings lots of fun to us.

Ueda (Reina) san is dreamy and makes me feel calm and relaxed.

Tsumita (Kayoko) san is really well mannered black haired beauty. You’ll feel “She’s a nice person” when you see her for the first time.

3) What made you want to become a seiyuu?

I got to know of this (seiyuu) world from watching anime back in middle school and wanted to experience this world for myself.

4) What are your feelings on appearing on an event for the first time?

Is it really okay for me to perform on such a big stage for our first ever event? At the same time, I’m itching to do something so please let it come faster!

5) What challenges do you want to take up in the future?

A radio show with everyone in the group. And eventually a solo live (one man live with the group)

6) A message to the readers, please.

I’ve just started out as a newbie, I hope to inject my energy and cheerfulness into my activities and pass it on to everyone!

 

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This interview was first published on the August 2012 edition of Newtype. All images and videos you see here belong to their respective owners.