[Interview] Weekly TV Guide 2020/2/28 Edition – Koisuru Voice! #35 – Saito Soma & Ono Kensho

Released: 2020/2/19

Saito Soma
(Tama in Uchitama?! ~Uchi no Tama Shirimasenka?~)

Ono Kensho (Pochi in Uchitama?! ~Uchi no Tama Shirimasenka?~)

Q: Would each of you say the other is more like a cat or a dog?

Soma: Kensho-san looks more like a dog, but on the inside he’s more like a cat.

Kensho: You might be right!

Soma: I’m a fan of Kensho-san’s smile, and lately we’ve had a lot of opportunities to talk to each other, so I see his side profile a lot and… *laughs*

Kensho: You said something about liking the skeletal structure?

Soma: Yeah, your side profile is cool, and the shape of your teeth too. When you smile, it gives the impression of a little dog. But, the way you carefully manage your disposition is more like a cat.

Kensho: Soma-kun has a cat-like face, and since his hobbies are reading and movies, it’s easy to imagine him having a cat beside him.

Soma: So you’re saying that even if I had a cat sitting beside me, I’d be doing my own things…

Kensho: That just makes you even more cat-like!

Soma: When I first heard about Uchitama?!, they said it was about anthropomorphized versions of the characters from the old series Tama & Friends ~Uchi no Tama Shirimasenka?~ and I thought it was a very bold project! I didn’t yet know what kinds of dogs and cats would be there, or what the world would be like…

Kensho: I didn’t know the specifics either, but when I got the role of Pochi, I thought, “Whoa!” because it meant I’d be playing a character that was already well-known for a long time.

Soma: Indeed.

Kensho: Then, both the original characters and the anthropomorphized versions were really cute, so I knew it was going to be a comfort anime. The producer also explained that they wanted it to be a show that women could come home to after a tiring day at work, settling in with a drink and letting themselves be healed.

Soma: When I auditioned for Tama, I was only given simple descriptions like “gets lost easily” and “brimming with curiosity,” so I didn’t do anything unconventional and simply expressed what I thought. I ended up being chosen for the role, so to me, Tama and the other animals feel like they’re coming alive from that “acting how you feel” sense.

Kensho: My character, Pochi, is a dog prone to worrying. On the other hand, Soma-kun’s Tama is a worrisome character that’s prone to wandering off to who-knows-where, and it’s that contrast that makes us feel like partners. Tama’s always dragging Pochi into his messes, but Pochi doesn’t hate him. It’s like, “Well, it’s Tama after all…” *laughs*

Soma: That was especially true in the first part of episode 1. Pochi found food, and while he was asking, “Whose is this?”, Tama was already chowing down *laughs*

Kensho: It’s Tama after all; he doesn’t mind what anyone does. Tama has a lot of lovable traits, so it makes sense that his name would be in the title.

Soma: I’ve been in the recording studio with Kensho-san a lot more these days…

Kensho: We’ve been co-starring in a lot of works lately!

Soma: I’m really happy about it. Kensho-san is a big senpai to me, but he’s really friendly. But, I can still rely on him to be a mentor when I need it. I’m really thankful to have him, because his presence is reassuring.

Kensho: Really? *laughs*

Soma: Yes. I’m the type that reads a book off in the corner, so when a happy-go-lucky person like Kensho-san says “It’ll be okay!”, it makes me think “Yeah, maybe it will!” That’s what I like about Kensho-san.

Kensho: Up until now, I didn’t get to be in the studio with Soma-kun much.

Soma: There was a period of time when Kensho-san and I kept auditioning for the same roles, and it’d always go to him. I like Kensho-san’s acting, and trying out for the same roles motivated me to try harder.

Kensho: It’s something that inevitably happens when your voice types are similar. But Soma-kun has many things that I don’t.

Soma: When we’re at the recording studio together, it means we’re playing different roles from each other, so I do see that there are parts where we aren’t similar, and Kensho-san’s originality comes through. It’s especially noticeable when our characters are talking to each other, and it’s a lot of fun!

Kensho: Our inner selves are actually completely different from each other, so we naturally build up a rapport while acting out our dialogues. It’s really exciting.

Soma: Oh, but when Pochi and Tama are talking at the same time, my ad-libs often coincide with Kensho-san’s. For example, how long we draw out the “Whaaat?!” reactions…

Kensho: It happens naturally. I guess we just match that way.

Soma: That’s one of the things I find really interesting when we’re acting.

Bonus photo from Weekly TV Guide’s Twitter: