Saito Soma (William James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
Ishigami Shizuka (William James Moriarty (Child) in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
※The questions were omitted from the published interview, so this will read more like an essay (but it was still an interview).
The character I voice, William James Moriarty, deplores 19th-century England’s corrupt class system and is trying to create his ideal country. He’s modeled after Professor Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes series, and he’s depicted in an attractive way that skillfully and respectfully incorporates elements of the original. He’s not purely a clean-handed person; he also takes in dirty aspects. Nevertheless, he lives for the sake of his goal. I thought that was really cool, and at the same time, since he’s so mysterious, I wanted to learn more about him.
As an aside, when I was reading the original manga, I was quite shocked [by his lines] from the very beginning… Even now that I’m voicing him in the anime, I’m still constantly thinking, “Is he putting up a front, or is this how he truly feels? Is there a hidden intent behind this line, or not?” when I’m reading the script. At the recordings, I don’t really get any explanation about the intent behind William’s lines, so I have to sense the nuance myself. The number of everyday conversation scenes is increasing, showing us glimpses of William’s various faces, and I expect to get a stronger grasp of his character and how it differs in the anime compared to the manga.
William’s goal is to bring about revolution through crime, destroying the class-based society to create his ideal country. I think it’s his level perspective that makes him charismatic to both the aristocrats and the lower class. His liberal thoughts are very modernistic. The story is set at the end of 19th-century England, where the class system wasn’t so much a “system” but a “matter of course.” I think that recognizing it as a “system” and wanting to break it puts William far ahead of his time. His perspective is also incredibly fresh for that era—he doesn’t turn to crime out of self-interest, but he isn’t a saint either. I think it’s because he’s so different that he has the power to charm people.
Controlling the city through crime is a bold strategy, but the underlying ideology doesn’t feel that extraordinary when you look at it from our modern perspective. If he’d been born at a better time, I’m sure he would’ve chosen a path where he could bring more happiness to people without staining his hands. Thinking about it that way, it feels like this dark hero was created from a clash between a good citizen and the era he was born in.
As for what William and I have in common, I think people would say that we’re similar *laughs*. But I think in reality, we’re quite different? William has more of a “complex” charm. In the non-crime parts of the series, he shows surprisingly abnormal sensibilities, which is another thing I like about him. Even though we aren’t similar, since I’m voicing him, I feel a sort of admiration for him. I really think, “This person is cool!”
Episodes 2 and 3 showed how William was different from the others even as a child. His child form was voiced by Ishigami Shizuka-san, whose performance was wonderfully persuasive. At the end of episode 3, there was a scene that was extremely shocking even in the original manga. I thought it might be difficult to depict it in anime form, but it turned out to be just as shocking and meaningful as it was in the manga. I was enthralled.
The anime is still going on. As a fan of the original manga, I’m looking forward to seeing who will voice Bonde. I also hope that the end-of-volume manga scenes depicting their everyday lives will be animated one day! They really bring out Louis’s charm. Seeing those scenes will increase your appreciation for the scenes in the main story where he’s drinking tea. I’d love to see them in video form, perhaps as picture dramas.
Q: What do you think is important for making your ideal into a reality?
Daily effort and forming connections. If you can’t normally do something, you’re not going to be able to do it on the spur of the moment. When a chance comes to make your dream a reality, whether you can grab it or not depends on whether you’ve developed the ability to by putting in steady effort. It’s also important to be able to sense what will bring about that chance… Signals exist in various places, but you need to point your antenna in the right direction to catch them. As for connections, treasuring your connections means treasuring other people. I think it’s important to understand that you can’t be complete by yourself.
Bonus: Promotional image from Weekly TV Guide