[Interview] Animate Times – Kabukichou Sherlock Interview No.08 – Konishi Katsuyuki x Saito Soma

Original URL: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1580462306
Published: 2020/1/31

Konishi Katsuyuki (Sherlock Holmes in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Saito Soma (Kyougoku Fuyuto in Kabukichou Sherlock)

Nakamura Yuichi (John H. Watson in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Yamashita Seiichiro (James Moriarty in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Tachibana Tatsumaru (Kobayashi Toratarou in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Murase Ayumu (Hokari Maki in Kabukichou Sherlock)

The gags mixed in with the human-nature stories… is because Director Yoshimura and Kishimoto-san are shy

Q: Now that we’ve broken into the second cour with Episode 13, what were the memorable scenes for you there?

Konishi: The scene with all the poop.

All: *laughs*

Saito: Episode 14, the Kyougoku episode, right? For the record, it’s because of that that Kyougoku was able to recover, and the episode’s punchline was poop too. *laughs*

Konishi: I was like “You’re kidding me…” when he walked onto it.

Saito: It’s because they didn’t check to make sure there was none left in the bag.

Kyougoku’s episode was memorable to me too, and actually, after Episode 11, I asked “What happens to Kyougoku after this?” and was told that the shock was so great that he can’t go outside and loses sight of himself for a while, but he does get an episode where his wounds are healed. Then I received Episode 14, and just when I thought it was a story about overcoming the past and getting back on his feet, the final, final punchline was that. It was fitting for the series in a way. *laughs*

Konishi-san said before that Kyougoku is a lovable idiot, and I said in a previous interview that I think he’s a pure fellow. I feel that Episode 14 is the strongest presentation of that. He’s a romanticist, idealist, and has dreams the way any 23-year old would. His childish side is shown a lot and he’s often the subject of exaggerated jokes, but I think this episode lets you come to like him as a normal human being.

The animation style changed for that last sword fight-like scene.

Konishi: It felt like a different anime? *laughs*

Saito: It did, and I had to talk in that samurai-style accent that made me go, “Wait, I did this?” It felt like a total mish-mash, but in the end it did work out to be a human-nature story, so it was memorable for me.

Konishi: Kabukichou Sherlock as a whole is a human-nature story.

Saito: Indeed. I think Director Yoshimura and the screenwriter Kishimoto-san are probably shy, so instead of telling the story directly, they sprinkle it with jokes. But the story itself directly depicts the inner workings of the heart.

Q: You can feel that everywhere throughout the show. For Sherlock, Mycroft appears in Episode 13, and he gave off an uneasy feeling.

Konishi: He’s creepy, right? When the sound director explained him to us, everyone recoiled like “What?!”

Saito: We didn’t just laugh it off like “Ahaha.”

Konishi: It must be hard for Sherlock, being monitored all the time.

After Mycroft shows up, there are some little details that you won’t notice unless you’re watching intently, like positional changes and things disappearing. He sets off all the alarm bells.

Q: Seeing Mycroft’s actions and the state of the prison that Moriarty’s in makes me wonder if it’s all connected to Ward Mayor Moran somehow.

Saito: That’s something I hope you’ll speculate about. In a previous discussion, Seiichiro-kun said that Moriarty is a friendly and sociable boy, but now there’s suddenly scenes that make you think he’s going to start something on his end. The viewers have various different opinions, like maybe he has another motive, or they want to shower him with love because he’s cute, but…

His first goal was to get revenge on Jack, so now that that’s accomplished, the show will follow what he’s thinking while in jail, and what’s actually going on there. From there, I think it’ll lead to a different axis for the story to revolve around.

Q: The original Moriarty was an enemy, but the Moriarty in this series feels more like a lovable character.

Saito: Yes, fate was not kind to him.

Konishi: I think many people are watching this assuming that Sherlock and Moriarty are going to fight, because they hone in on the Sherlock title. However, Moriarty isn’t depicted in a way that makes you think “He’s going to become an enemy eventually” at all, which I thought was a bit strange. Like Soma-kun said, he’s really cute and friendly, so it makes you wonder when he’s going to change his attitude. Then, the first cour ends with him desiring revenge and killing Jack, and we can’t tell whether he’s friend or foe. It makes you wonder if they’re doing that to simplify Moriarty’s “existence as someone for Sherlock to fight” from the original novels.

Now that he’s in jail and the story will show more and more of the events there, I’m sure the viewers will be very interested in finding out what he’s thinking and whether he’s truly friend or foe, because he usually doesn’t talk much about himself. So, please pay attention to those developments from here on out.

Q: It felt like there was something slightly off about him, and we went from his cute appearance to his revenge scene in Episode 11. During the flashbacks in Episode 13, he confesses that he felt that Sherlock resembled him, and rewatching from Episode 1 made me wonder if Sherlock was hiding a side of himself as well. It feels like the perspective is going to change for the second cour.

Konishi: Yes, I think each character’s viewpoint is going to change.

Saito: The start of the first cour was extremely comedic, but a major plot line was moving under the surface, building up the suspense. The second cour is being created with the assumption that everyone now understands how Kabukichou Sherlock’s story is told, and in my opinion, the story gets more complicated from here. It really feels like they’re using anime to accomplish something difficult. Comedy fans will surely enjoy it, but I hope that mystery fans will also speculate from different angles as they watch.

The change from moving forward spreads to all of the characters like a ripple effect

Q: Episode 14 returns to a slice-of-life comedy story, and while we’re enjoying the story for what it is… we’re also anxiously awaiting the next plot development. By the way, it feels like Sherlock and Kyougoku have changed after the Jack incident. Was there anything you were conscious of when acting?

Konishi: I think Moriarty changed the most. For Sherlock it’s a straight extension from before. It’s a matter of what the continuation of his relationships will look like after the events that’ve happened so far.

Q: There’s his actions towards Watson and the other Row House members. For example, do you think his shock therapy on Kyougoku was a natural course to take?

Konishi: It feels like it’s becoming natural for him to extend a hand to others, perhaps because of Watson. It’s like he doesn’t need a reason to expend all his effort to help someone. I get the feeling that his overall relationships are changing thanks to Watson, so Watson is an important influence on him. That well-built young man came along and asked him to take his request, but he gave him the runaround and that timid young man is still at it today. *laughs*

Saito: *laughs*

Konishi: That’s why I think Watson is in an incredibly important position in the story. Sherlock changes a lot because of him, and Moriarty is affected by Sherlock’s changes. Watson also has a certain synergy with the other characters, affecting them as well. In that sense, I guess you could say that Sherlock has changed.

Q: As for Kyougoku, he’s changed because of his crash and recovery after Maki-chan.

Saito: Indeed.

Konishi: He’s such a cool guy *laughs*. He really is precious.

Saito: I think Kyougoku’s changed a lot in ways other than his recovery. Like the story behind the gloves; Kyougoku has many more unique traits than the other characters, and cleanliness is one of them. In Episode 14, he’s not wearing his gloves for the whole time he’s hospitalized, but after regaining himself, he slips his gloves on at the end of the episode and says something along the lines of “The city calls for its ace”… and then steps into poop.

All: *laughs*

Saito: From there, he becomes a truly sympathetic person, who’ll rush to help a bleeding person without worrying about getting blood on himself. In the second cour, you can truly see him growing as a person behind all the gags. I didn’t make any deliberate changes to my acting, but I made a conscious effort to express how he’s changed. Episode 14 was certainly bizarre, though. *laughs*

Konishi: That’s the Kabukichou Sherlock way *laughs*. Kyougoku’s a real badass in the scene later on where he dives into blood of his own free will, despite being squeamish about it. They told us at the recording sessions that he was going to have an episode where he’s really cool, and I think everyone did change their opinion of him after that. *laughs*

Saito: Definitely. We’ll show you Kyougoku’s cool side, everyone! *laughs*

Konishi: We received the same assurance *laughs*.

I’m not sure if you could call it “moving forward,” but even though everyone’s lifestyle remains the same, their attitudes have all taken a small step forward, and now that’s spreading like a ripple effect.

Q: What are your opinions on the new ED song and video?

Konishi: I thought the second cour was Lozareena’s “Hyakuoku Kounen” again. *laughs*

Saito: “Hyakuoku Kounen” is also a wonderful song.

Konishi: Lozareena-san made a guest appearance on LINE LIVE so I got to hear her live, and it was really good.

Saito: I’m jealous.

Konishi: The new ED, Ishizaki Huwie’s “Parade” is good too. Since we watched it after all of the recording was done, we can see how meaningful it is. The things that symbolized Sherlock’s accomplishments and experiences are no longer symbols anymore. I think it’s a great ED with a lot of significance.

Saito: I said this in a previous discussion too, but Kabukichou Sherlock’s music is really stylish.

Konishi: Iga Takuro-san’s songs are a perfect fit.

Saito: It’s great how Kabukichou Sherlock noisily crafts a cruel story, but another great thing about it is its stylish music and visuals.

The ED represents the show’s mellow world really well; it feels like what happens after the noisy conversations, when everyone disperses and are left to their own devices. The more lively the episode, the more sad it is when it’s over. But, I really felt that that definitely isn’t a bad thing. And the ED animation is clean and stylish too.

Konishi: I like the photo with Kyougoku’s weird face on it.

Saito: The one that makes you go “Never mind, Kyougoku’s still…” *laughs*

As Konishi-san said earlier, together with the depictions of previous episodes, it’s an ED that I’d want to listen to while pondering how the series will end.

Q: “Hyakuoku Kounen” and “Parade” are both touching songs. The OP had hints about the first cour hidden in it, so it makes me wonder if the new ED has an intent behind it too.

Konishi: The staff like that kind of thing, so there might be something.

Saito: Why don’t you try enlarging each of those little photos? *laughs* I get the feeling that there’re tons of clues scattered among them.

Konishi: Since it’s a detective story, everyone loves to speculate. Although when I saw the PV from before Kabukichou Sherlock began airing, I thought it revealed too many answers for the first cour.

All: *laughs*

Saito: It had a lot of telling clues in it, and it made it seem like it was a really serious show without any dirty jokes. *laughs*

Konishi: When I started watching it, I saw that Episode 1 had a flood of information. But that jumbled-ness is what makes Kabukichou Sherlock.

If they were going to participate in a collab event, Konishi-san would compete as a pair with Nakamura-san, and Saito-san would go on a cafe date with Murase-san and the others?!

Q: As we asked in the previous interviews too, do you have any requests for each other?

Konishi: Soma-kun has a lot of fans, so I want him to announce “Konishi-san is really good” to his fangirls and raise my popularity.

All: *laughs*

Saito: When Konishi-san came as a guest on my TV show, I invited him for drinks after the filming and he declined. Afterwards, people @ed him on Twitter saying “Please go drinking with Soma-kun.”

All: *laughs*

Konishi: We’d spent pretty much the entire day eating and drinking, so I was stuffed. Since I’d already eaten and drank so much, I said “I kind of just want to go home after this” and the replies just came flooding in *laughs*. So, I do want to go someday.

Saito: In that case, I’ll make my request “I want to go drinking together,” and it’ll be win-win.

Konishi: You’re right. I just have to take a picture of us doing this *poses shoulder-to-shoulder* and post it on Twitter.

All: *laughs*

Saito: That’s it!

Konishi: It might make it into Trending *laughs*. During the show, we said Taiwan would be next, so maybe we can do it in Taiwan.

Q: Kabukichou Sherlock currently has collaborations with Shinjuku Copa Bowl and the spy experience attraction inSPYre. If you were going to go with another cast member, who would you go with and which would you go to?

Konishi: Uhh, I generally don’t socialize during my private time, so I don’t want to go. *laughs*

Saito: *laughs*

Q: What if it was for work?

Konishi: In that case, I’d go with Nakamura-kun since we’re the Sherlock & Watson duo.

Saito: I think everyone would want to buy a DVD of Konishi-san and Nakamura-san going bowling. *laughs*

Konishi: Normally I’d secretly go by myself. I won’t go with anyone because it’s tiring if it’s not for work.

If it’s for work then I’d go with Nakamura-kun as that duo. We could all split into teams like Mary & Lucy and Kyougoku & Toratarou and compete against each other.

Q: Previously, Yamashita-san said that Saito-san seems like he’d be good at riddle-solving, so it might be advantageous to go with someone who seems good at it.

Konishi: Soma-kun is a quick thinker, so I bet he’d have great flashes of insight.

Saito: I’m actually bad at riddle-solving, so I’m jealous of people like Konishi-san and Nakamura-san who can instantly think up things.

Personally, I think I’d have more fun drinking while watching the completed footage than actually participating, so if you two could go by yourselves, that’d be great *laughs*. If I were going, I think I’d go with Seiichiro-kun and Tatsumaru-kun, since we’re close in age and we also sat next to each other at the recordings. The other day, we finally got around to going for yakiniku together, and we went for tea after that as well.

Konishi: Really?!

Saito: Naturally, we wound up talking about Kabukichou Sherlock.

Seiichiro-kun is a polite young man, but he has a fierce passion hidden inside and a surprisingly pointed personality.

On the other hand, Tatsumaru-kun gracefully livens things up, but since he’s been touring the country as part of a theatre troupe ever since he was young, he has a somewhat philosophical side to him.

I want to watch those two very different people go bowling or puzzle-solving together, while I cheer from the sidelines. *laughs*

Konishi: I do feel a sense of understanding from Tatsumaru-kun, and a dazzling sense from Yamashita-kun.

Saito: They’re an interesting pair. Maybe those two could team up, and I could go with Murase Ayumu…

Konishi: That’d work.

Saito: Then the four of us can go on a cafe date. *laughs*

Konishi: You’ll have to make a reservation at the A*A Hotel then.

All: *laughs*

Q: That sounds like it’d be fun.

Konishi: I don’t think anyone would accept the offer. *laughs*

Saito: Murase Ayumu might.

All: *laughs*

Q: Lastly, please give a message for the fans watching the anime.

Saito: Thank you for watching Kabukichou Sherlock into its second cour. I really like how this series is a mishmash of humour, suspense, and human nature. Now that the first cour is over, the series will be gearing up for a new storyline.

If this interview has piqued your interest for the first time, I hope you’ll watch the first cour and join in for the upcoming story. As for the details, I think it’s best if you watch it for yourself, but if there’s one thing I want to bring up, it has to be what’s going to happen to Moriarty from here on out. There obviously has to be something going on, so please focus on his story as a central axis as you watch the series to the end.

Please continue to support Kabukichou Sherlock!

Konishi: As for me, all I have to say is “Please watch it.” *laughs*

Saito: *laughs*

Konishi: Kabukichou Sherlock is a very peculiar show, so I think opinions of it will be divided. Personally, I love it and I look forward to watching it every week.

There’s the original rakugo mystery-solving, and when you think an episode is a self-contained story, there’s actually various clues hidden within. It’s a series with lots of that kind of build-up, and there are still platforms where you can watch it from Episode 1.

Some people may watch Episode 1 and feel that there’s too much information so they can’t handle the detective work, but in that case, you can follow the relationships and inner emotions instead, and there’ll be surprising developments waiting ahead.

So, if you haven’t watched it yet or you stopped a few episodes in, please watch the first cour and keep following until the end. I think your impression of Kabukichou Sherlock will change greatly.

I hope you’ll watch until the end. Thank you.

[Interview] Animate Times – Kabukichou Sherlock Interview No.07 – Konishi Katsuyuki x Saito Soma

Original URL: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1579224447
Published: 2020/1/17

Konishi Katsuyuki (Sherlock Holmes in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Saito Soma (Kyougoku Fuyuto in Kabukichou Sherlock)

Murase Ayumu (Hokari Maki in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Sakamoto Maaya (Irene Adler in Kabukichou Sherlock)

※Contains spoilers up to Episode 12.

Recordings where they felt a strong connection

Q: Both of you have already done one of these interviews before, but since the pairing is different this time, tell us what your impression was of working together on this series.

Konishi: *reading the sample answer directly from the sheet* We see each other often, so there was a sense of security.

Saito: Indeed. *laughs*

Konishi: When we were recording Sherlock, there was a period of 1-2 months where I’d see Soma-kun almost every day.

Saito: It felt unnatural on days when we didn’t meet.

Konishi: Besides the work we were regulars on, we’d also run into each other at other jobs.

Saito: I really felt a connection between us in 2019 *laughs*. Of course, we’ve worked together before as well, but I guess when it rains, it pours.

Konishi: We don’t see each other at all now though. *laughs*

Saito: Yeah. *laughs*

Q: As the story got deeper, did your impressions of each other change?

Konishi: We don’t rank the cast by skill or anything when we look at them, so… nothing changed there. But with roles like Kyougoku, you just can’t help but poke fun at them, and I thought that must be tough. Soma-kun was always laughing in the middle of all that, which I’m thankful for.

Saito: Since Konishi-san and Nakamura-san were messing around with me, it was easy for me to adapt to the recording environment from the start. I’m thankful too, that everyone else joined in on the laughing. *laughs*

Kabukichou Sherlock starts off with a lot of gags and moves towards the serious suspense side in the latter half, but our recording environment was peaceful and I felt comfortable there.

Konishi: Kyougoku started off as a crabby, unpleasant role, but as the episodes progressed, we came to understand that “he’s technically smart, but he has the personality of an idiot…”

Saito: Yeah. *laughs*

Konishi: He’s become a very well-loved character now, and I think that’s part of why we all had so much fun.

Holding back during major developments, and adjusting on the spot

Q: It’s clear from what you’ve said that the recording sessions were fun, but the story itself has taken a heavy turn.

Konishi: It was shocking, right?

Q: When you were recording, did you know what was going to happen later on?

Konishi: They didn’t tell us anything *laughs*. We received a basic storyline, but I purposely didn’t read it. They did give us some explanation though, and we could ask questions if we didn’t understand something in the script, so I did that while acting.

Q: Do you think there’s a difference in your acting between knowing and not knowing?

Konishi: I think so. Knowing and not knowing changes your stance and way of acting, and I think that goes for everyone.

Q: On the other hand, Kyougoku had a scene where he changes so drastically that there was a fan theory believing that he was a fake.

Saito: It’s certainly a series worth speculating about, but when it went on air and I found out about that theory, I thought “So that’s how some people see it!” Although in actuality, he’s not a fake.

Q: The truth was revealed later. When you were acting that scene, did you receive any explanation or direction?

Saito: About that, during the first cour, I had a general idea of where the story was going. For example, I knew who the identity of Jack was. But I didn’t hear anything about Kyougoku going down that path, so when I received the script I was like “Isn’t this a different person?!” *laughs*

Just like Konishi-san, I asked what was going on, and they told me it was the effect of a drug. Then, during the recording, I continued to revise it based on the new information received there.

Q: Was that information shared in front of everyone?

Konishi: Kabukichou Sherlock wasn’t particularly closed off; the sound director and the other staff would explain the situation properly. They’d answer all of our questions about things we didn’t understand each time, so the information was shared to all of us.

Q: It sounds like it’d be exciting when you find out new things there.

Konishi: When we heard that Kyougoku was brainwashed, that sparked a conversation. We speculated about whether Kyougoku and Maki-chan’s relationship was real or fake. *laughs*

Saito: That became a big discussion. “How far did Kyougoku and Maki-chan go?” *laughs*

Konishi: It was a hallucination, a hallucination!

All: *laughs*

Q: Episode 11 was the solution to the Jack case and much was revealed. Sherlock’s rakugo scene felt thorough and complete too.

Saito: That scene looked like a lot of work *laughs*. It went on forever…

Konishi: I was going through the script and it was just page after page of rakugo. I laughed at how long it was. *laughs*

Saito: You really were amazing.

Konishi: During the recording, I didn’t know what the visuals were going to end up like, so I did it the way I wanted to. It wouldn’t be interesting as rakugo if it was just mystery-solving, so I did what I could and left the rest to the production staff.

Q: It was the return of the stunning rakugo.

Konishi: Even just among the rakugo scenes, it’s interesting that there’s various different ways they can play out, like the time when he tried to do rakugo but got interrupted. Personally, I like the faint, light feeling during the rakugo scenes.

Saito: Because the animation is normally quite vivid, right?

Konishi: Since it’s Kabukichou, there’s bright neon lights and the darkness of back alleys and bars. So, I like the soft feeling it gives when it suddenly brightens up with the light colours. It’s also nice how there are a lot of rakugo titles featured.

Saito: The character description says that Sherlock likes rakugo but he isn’t good at it, and I thought that must’ve been difficult to work with.

Konishi: It’s fine, because I’m not good at it either. *laughs*

Saito: That’s not true!

This isn’t related to rakugo, but during the scene where Sherlock gets embarrassed by Irene and starts reciting Jugemu, the script just had one section of Jugemu written out and said to read however much would fit in the allotted time. And then Konishi-san defied expectations by reciting it at hyper-speed. It was so fast; I was floored, thinking “This has to be an art.”

Konishi: Soma-san, that was because there was no need to say it clearly.

All: *laughs*

Konishi: It didn’t have to be properly enunciated.

Saito: It just had to be clear that he was embarrassed *laughs*. Even though the rakugo scenes had varying assigned lengths too, Konishi-san usually got them down in a single take, and I thought that was amazing.

Konishi: During recording, they told me not to worry about it, but in the end it still has to fit the anime’s time, so it was difficult to match that. As for the what and how, I made the clear distinction that this rakugo is for mystery-solving, not for telling an interesting story to entertain the audience. It’s a place where he displays the deductive reasoning that he went through.

Murase Ayumu-san’s ad-libbing continued into Episode 11’s ending?!

Q: The latter half of the first cour had many highlights, but some of the most memorable ones were Kyougoku’s with Maki-chan. What did you think of those two?

Konishi: Kyougoku really is a cold guy. A cruel man who passed the florist’s request because it was the minimum fee. *laughs*

Saito: *laughs* His first priority is to complete his objective. And after he starts dating Maki-chan, he suddenly starts acting high and mighty towards Watson.

Konishi: He became an adult, huh?

Saito: His “Don’t be afraid of failure” there was funny because it reminds you of something else. *laughs*

His outfit at the time also caught my interest… It reminded me of a character I voiced in another one of Director Yoshimura’s works. ((Probably referencing Dance with Devils))

The scenes with Maki-chan were definitely memorable, and the bed scene had perfect facial expressions and body lines even at the storyboard stage. The scene where Sherlock chases her down and she redoes her lipstick reminded me of a villain from a certain famous work when I saw the storyboard version, and even the completed version felt similar.

Also, Murase Ayumu is skilled at voicing characters like that. At the end, the ending theme crossfades in as the voiced lines fade out, but during the recording, he kept ad-libbing even after that.

It was an impactful character, fitting for the first cour’s boss.

There were also tons of little references, like the “HIGH QUALITY” card and the AMA Hotel. I think many of them were added after everything else was complete.

Konishi: The streets and small items didn’t have text on them during the recording, and sometimes there was only the outline. We didn’t know it at the time, but the staff love playing around with those. They added many things that we wouldn’t know about, so I’m sure the viewers have been discovering a lot of them.

Q: The characters and overall impression created by the cast during recording and the staff’s playful additions expand the fans’ imagination. Regarding Sherlock, I’m sure many people were struck by the scene where he apologizes after getting punched by Watson. What was it like voicing that?

Konishi: Sherlock wasn’t the type to get involved with people, but being with Watson is slowly changing him, and I don’t think he’s fully aware of that. I think he wants to know what emotions are and how they work, but he’s truly unconcerned about what those emotions lead to or how other people feel. That’s why he has no issue interacting with people unsympathetically, but now he’s gradually becoming more and more humane. This was discussed at the recording too, and the way he was able to say “I’m sorry” was a major thing.

Later on when Watson declares himself Sherlock’s assistant, the former Sherlock would’ve instantly said “Hell no,” but the fact that he instead accepts it by saying “Screw it up and you’re fired on the spot” proves that Watson has a major effect on him.

Q: Watson had been dejected ever since Irene’s entrance, so as a fan, I was happy to see him become Sherlock’s assistant.

Konishi: It was depicted with extreme care in that sense. While they had something of a duo going on from the start, they weren’t formally a team yet… so, please keep watching.

Saito: Watson was surprisingly good at handling Sherlock from the very start. It’s like when Sherlock asks “Do you want to know?”, Watson tries to get on his good side by acting interested. *laughs*

Konishi: He doesn’t know what to do with that person *laughs*. He buys a ton of weird canned food only to get told “I don’t like these ones.”

Saito: Watson’s cute, huh? Nakamura-san’s acting was a perfect match for those lines like “There’s nowhere for this old man to go,” or after getting his picture taken without permission, “What are you doing?!”

The viewers are mainly following the story from Watson’s perspective, so the way their partnership makes a comeback after that excessive downturn has a dramatic flair to it.

Konishi: Now it’s a matter of what happens next.

Saito: Indeed, and Episode 11 feels like a temporary stopping point.

Konishi: Even though the air date for the next episode is already displayed, many people thought this series was ending after one cour.

Saito: If it ends here, then Kyougoku would remain out of the game, and he’ll be the only one not redeemed, so… (we can’t let it end here).

Q: Since a lot of people were talking about Episode 11 when it aired, it looks like there are people who are going to get into the series now, as well as more people expressing excitement for the second cour.

Konishi: The viewers have varying perspectives. Since it’s a work where we do what we want, the opinions are actually quite clearly divided. But we all thought it was really interesting when we voiced it, so I hope more people will watch it, even if they’re only jumping in now.

Konishi-san’s waiting for the return of Irene (CV: Sakamoto Maaya)

Q: The story was laid out quite cleanly up to Episode 11, but I’m interested in seeing what’ll happen with the remaining unsolved mysteries in the second cour.

Konishi: Haha, it’s crazy.

Q: I’m really curious, so please give us a little hint!

Konishi: Kyougoku gets his chance to shine, Sherlock gets into trouble, and I’m sure it won’t go the way everyone’s expecting.

Saito: Indeed *laughs*. When you watch Episode 12, you’ll probably think “What was everything up until now for? It’s going back to a slice-of-life?” That’s how it leads into the second cour. I recommend honing in on Moriarty’s jail part, because you might be able to notice some things.

Q: Are there any interesting characters in the second cour?

Konishi: Plenty. At the end of Episode 12, a suspicious character voiced by Otsuka Hochu-san makes his appearance, and there are also characters that whisper mysterious numbers.

Saito: Oh, I also whispered those numbers as an additional role. There were a lot of extra roles in the second cour, huh?

Konishi: Yamashita-kun also got those extra roles thrown his way, and I felt bad for him *laughs*. There was an otaku, a policeman, etc. It seemed like a struggle.

Saito: You’ll have me and Seiichiro-kun doing our dialogues with each other, but when you listen closely, we’re also the policemen that’re scattered around.

All: *laughs*

Saito: It’s something you can enjoy besides the main story. “Was that voice just now…?!”

Konishi: It’s hard to list upcoming characters without getting into spoiler territory. Personally, I’m wondering if Irene will show up. *laughs*

Saito: She’s a lovely character.

Konishi: Sakamoto Maaya-chan who voiced her also talked about how interesting Kabukichou Sherlock was, and said she’d definitely watch it when it aired on TV.

Saito: When we met at another workplace, she was interested in how the story was going in parts that she didn’t appear in. And when I see the other cast members in other places, we always talk about how fun it is.

Konishi: It’s well-received among the cast. And since the recording finished before the show began airing, we were even more anxious about the broadcast. We couldn’t do the recording while watching the aired version and debating our opinions, so I’m curious about what the rest of the cast thinks after seeing the broadcast version now.

Q: After the series finishes airing, there’ll be an event held in April, and as a fan, I’m looking forward to hearing what you all have to say. Lastly, here’s a personal question: This series incorporates elements of traditional Japanese culture, such as rakugo and lucky items (daruma dolls, beckoning cats). Do you have any personal connection or interest in anything from Japanese culture?

Konishi: This is the exact kind of thing I did on Soma-kun’s personal variety show. Like candy crafting. *laughs*

Saito: Yeah, it’s about Japanese culture after all *laughs*. We also visited shrines and whatnot.

Konishi: I said I wanted to do falconry or horseback archery on his show, but they couldn’t organize it at the time. Those are the kinds of things I’m interested in though.

Saito: Have you ever done horseback archery before?

Konishi: No, which is why I want to. There are apparently places where you can experience it, though.

Saito: I see. I experienced a lot of different things on that show, like sword fighting. Playing the taiko was fun.

The idea for the program came about because I had a “traditional” image and looked like the type to wear traditional Japanese clothes. I did have a considerable interest in it beforehand, but through that show, I learned that there were many things I didn’t know as well as I thought I did, such as shrine etiquette.

Now I’m a lot more interested in it. For this series, I went to see a few rakugo shows, and I’d still like to see more.

Lately I’ve been interested in ukiyo-e, so I’d like to get involved with something related to that, like an exhibit narration.

Konishi: You should draw a shunga (erotic ukiyo-e).

All: *laughs*

Saito: That… would probably sell *laughs*. A collection of 48, each drawn by a different male voice actor. That sounds really fun!

Konishi: Drawn by 48 voice actors and combined into a single book. *laughs*

Q: That sounds like something the female fans would be interested in, for various reasons.

Konishi: I wonder if it’d get banned from being sold.

Saito: Maybe it’s too aggressive?

All: *laughs*

Q: Thank you. We’ll be talking about the second cour in the next interview.

[Interview] Seiyuu Grandprix 2020/2 Edition – my blue vacation

Tagline: Kimi-iro ni Somaritai (I want to be dyed your colour)

Released: 2020/1/10

※Soma was on the front page cover and had a 12-page feature. There was also a pin-up poster as well as several shop-specific bonuses (3 bromides and a poster).

(There are a lot of great Soma pictures in this magazine, but I won’t be posting scans because a digital version is available at sites like Bookwalker.)

An EP resembling what comes after the end of Season 1

Q: First, please tell us about how this EP came to be.

I released my first album one year ago and held a concert in Feburary, and at that point, I felt that I’d finished the “1st season.” After performing with a live band, I also felt that I really enjoyed making music with that team. Up until then, I’d constantly been outputting ideas, and I realized that in order to keep having fun with that team, I’d need time for input as well… so I chose to wait for a while.

Q: So, this EP is the start of the long-awaited 2nd season.

To be honest, I wanted to resume my musical activities sooner *laughs*. I had various structural ideas, like whether I wanted it to be an album or a single, but when I looked at how many songs I had in mind, I saw that it was the right number for an EP. Also… isn’t the word “EP” itself cool? *laughs*

Q: It does have a nice ring to it *laughs*

I’m a fan of the book Summer Vacation EP by Furukawa Hideo, and at first I was thinking of naming this CD “Blue Vacation EP.” However, I ended up settling on the current title for various reasons *laughs*. The tracks have a conceptual feel to them, but I think it’s only natural that they ended up this way.

Q: The leading track “memento” is themed around the end of the world, and has parts that feel like they follow from your “quantum stranger” album.

Yes, that’s exactly right! This EP is more like a “Season 1.5” than a full-blown second season. In anime terms, it’s like the OVA that comes after Season 1. So, it’s thematically similar to “Kesshou Sekai.” In that song, I sang about a world where everything turned to crystal, and “memento” confronts that same phenomenon from another point of view. To be more specific, it’s a more upbeat perspective: “If the world were to end, wouldn’t the time until then be like a vacation?” It’s something I hadn’t tried until now.

Q: The song paints the end of the world in a vibrant light. Was the “suikatou” (watermelon sugar) in the lyrics influenced by Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar?

Perhaps. But if I went too far in that direction, I’d end up at Season 2 instead of Season 1.5, so it’s a bit more reigned in than that. To put it simply, I’d already sung about sentimental situations in a mellow tone, and I wanted to see what would happen if I tried a more optimistic approach. So, the song was originally a lot more unsophisticated, but as production progressed, there were talks like “Should we put strings in?!” *laughs* and the final result was much grander. It was originally simpler, like “let’s all go on a drive until the world ends.” There were other ideas too, like the car being blue. The people in the song are awfully positive, so I think it can be interpreted in different ways.

Q: I see! Since the song is about embracing life when death is before your eyes, the title reminds me of “memento mori.”

I considered naming the song “memento mori,” but thought that might be saying too much. Then again, the “sono hi wo tsumi” (seize the day) in the lyrics means pretty much the same thing, so it’s already obvious. *laughs*

Q: How easy was it to sing?

When it was time to record, I found that the song was really hard to sing, and wanted to levy complaints against myself *laughs*. It’s an extremely difficult song, if I do say so myself. The hook uses a double track (layering recordings to produce a thicker sound), which is something like a self-collaboration. My singing technique has some holes in it, so I know for a fact that the arranger and sound engineer worked their magic to make it sound good.

Q: You said that you enjoyed making music with this team. Is that related?

Yes. Up until now I’d been creating songs that I could complete by myself, but after performing live, I was able to create songs that were the result of driving together as a team!

Q: How was the music video filming?

I feel like my requests are getting more abstract every time *laughs*. This time I didn’t ask for much at all from the filmers. Ever since I experienced the tremendous skill of arrangers and sound engineers, I decided to leave things to the experts.

Q: You must’ve trusted the video team a lot.

Yes. I did ask to make blue and gray the most prominent colours, but when they showed me the film set beforehand, all I could say was “Oh, this will be good as-is. It’s wonderful.” *laughs* They also included my request to make it band-style, and brought in a strings quartet and dancers. By leaving things to the pros, it became different from the world I’d wanted to construct, but that irregular feeling was enjoyable too.

Q: Is it similar to voice acting, in the sense of adapting to irregularities?

Perhaps. For the MV, it feels like I’m only one of the parts. I don’t know what the completed video is going to look like after they put everything together, and that’s part of the fun. But now that I understand that enjoyment, it might not be out of the question for me to direct my next MV all by myself.

Power pop and a hymn–a variety of themes

Q: Next, what was the theme behind “Paper Tigers”?

Even if you’re facing a tiger, it’s not scary if it’s made out of paper… “Paper Tiger” (as in paper-mache) is a historical Chinese phrase that describes an empty threat. The other inspiration for this song was Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie. The way it takes the negative idea of “as long as you’re confident, you can bluff your way through” and expresses it in an upbeat way is thematically similar to “memento.” As I was composing the songs this time, I realized that I liked taking concepts and words and shifting them away from their common meanings.

Q: The song is also rather up-tempo.

This song was actually completed last out of the ones on the EP. When we looked at the other four songs, we discussed how there wasn’t an up-tempo song, and I wanted a power pop song like something a band would come up with on momentum alone. So, I invited the producer Kuroda (Akihiro)-san and the arranger Saku-san to my place, where we had a band session and came up with the verse and chorus. The full song was completed after two days or so. In that sense, the song was created through “the wisdom of the crowd.”

Also, I just want to say that when Saku-san finished arranging the song, he even put his own temporary vocals in, and they were better than mine *laughs*. I think it’ll be a really exciting song to perform live too. It’s a song with a new perspective.

Q: What about the third track, “Waltz”?

I like songs in 6/8 time, but that rhythm always tends to become something delicate, so I wanted to make something bright and cheerful. Since it has whistles in it, genre-wise it might be considered toy pop, but the theme was “hymn.” The other image I had in mind was the anime Haibane Renmei.

Q: The original work of which was Abe Yoshitoshi’s famous work. It indirectly depicted the themes of “doomsday” and “salvation.”

Exactly! People say it was inspired by Murakami Haruki-san’s The Town and Its Uncertain Wall and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but at any rate, I love Haibane Renmei. You could say that this song is something like an unauthorized fan work *laughs*. But on the other hand, I also wrote the lyrics to have another possible interpretation.

Q: Which is?

This song is about a girl… in other words, an angel who can no longer fly, and it could be sung by the spirits who dwell in the atmosphere. However, they’re on different wavelengths now, so they can’t touch her anymore. Nevertheless, they say “We’ll always be close by, so it’ll be okay.” The concept of “sending your feelings to a higher plane” is similar to “quantum stranger.”

This song will probably shine if performed live with an acoustic set. I think this one was the one that took the longest to record. I shouldn’t complain about my own song, but there was so much chorus work… *laughs* But by not using instruments, I really wanted to push forward with the idea of a song that was completely sung by myself.

Q: Meanwhile, “Ringo” (Apple) is a jazzy song.

When I was first writing the song, the style I had in mind was the American singer-songwriter Fiona Apple. That’s why I named it “Apple.” But, the arranger Dewa Yoshiaki-san turned it into a really cool song. The first verse’s melody originally used a backbeat rhythm (accent on the off-beats), but Dewa-san’s arrangement used the on-beats in a wonderful way. So, I abandoned the melody and rewrote it in an unprecedented production process of Arrangement→Composition *laughs*.

Q: The lyrics have a dangerous aroma to them.

The song is about betting everything away in an underground gambling den and getting drunk in a run-down bar. It’s just that, the melody being what it was, it was difficult to write lyrics for it. Rather than the topics and so on, I prioritized how it feels when you hear the notes themselves. The verse is a repetition of the same melody but with an octave shift, and I like the dark mood that that gives off. This is another song that’ll probably change dramatically when sung live. I’m looking forward to performing it one day.

Q: What about the last song, “Tonight”?

The EP was planned to have a good balance of “realistic” songs and “fantastical” songs, and “Tonight” was designated as a realistic song. To be honest, I worried about how well it’d balance out something like “Waltz”, but I was fatigued from singing grandiose, difficult songs, so I decided to go with this.

However, I couldn’t sing it satisfactorily on the recording day. The next day, I asked to do a retake, but the sound engineer Hayashi (Kenichi)-san picked the best takes out of the countless attempts I did and put them together for me, and I was stunned at how flawless the result was.

Q: That’s what happened?!

There were many other ideas that transformed this song! It was originally supposed to feel like wandering around a park somewhere along the Chuo Line, but when Saku-san added a sitar to the beginning, I revised my impression of it, because the scope of this stroll was clearly much wider. Even though the lyrics hadn’t been written until the recording day, his arrangement accelerated the definition of this song’s world.

Q: It’s rare for a song to fade out at the end like that.

That was the universal decision of the entire team. It was never a question of whether it should fade out or not; the discussion began with how long the fade should extend for *laughs*. With this song, I really felt that they were all professionals, capable of implementing the ideas that I couldn’t put into words. The bassist, Ochi (Shunsuke)-san’s performance was truly splendid, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him.

Q: Finally, there’s a surprise secret track at the end of the EP.

This is only included on the physical CD, and its title “Epilogue” is only noted on the credits page. When we all got together to come up with the melody for “Paper Tigers”, it only took an hour to finish, so we started talking about making a song to keep in reserve, and I’d actually already been considering a song like this… so I let them hear the hook melody for “Epilogue”, which I didn’t even have chords for. Saku-san said, “This is good! Let’s do this!” and we made the short version right then and there. The concept was traveling to the end of the world in “memento,” finding an old record player there, and hearing this upon playing it.

Q: Is that why there’s a filter over it?

Yes. The lyrics are also extremely direct, and I’d like to be able to do a proper reprise of it one of these days…

Q: I’m looking forward to that!

Through this EP, I realized again that I want to create songs that don’t fit the j-pop formula, where you can’t tell where the hook is supposed to be. Right now, what I want to make isn’t an assertive, serious song that I’d want everyone to listen to; it’s unsophisticated music that blends into your daily life like ambient noise. “Waltz” might be close in meaning to that…

I still have a dream left undone for the 1st season (the “Epilogue” reprise), but after that’s done, I predict that I’ll be focusing on “subtraction” work. We’ve been “putting everything in” this whole time *laughs*, so now I want us to pursue a more lightweight groove together.

my blue vocabulation
(Saito Soma was asked to list 10 words associated with “blue”)

◼ Sky (空)
◼ Sea (海)

Now it reads like Master Kukai (空海) *laughs*. One of the greatest geniuses in Japanese history!

◼ Earth

*looking at a globe in the studio* I just had this thought; what if we’re on a globe right now, and some kind of transcendental beings are watching us from their own meeting room? That wouldn’t be hard to believe. They might be spinning us in the palm of their hand without us knowing.

◼ Blue Flames

The blue part has a higher temperature than the red part, right? It resembles the relationship between calmness and passion…

◼ Indigo (藍)

This is the name of a Sukima Switch song. It’s nice… I love that song. Ancient Japanese names of colours are beautiful. ((The Sukima Switch song is called Ai as in indigo, but the lyrics are about “ai” as in love.))

◼ Lapis Lazuli

I’m a fan of a Japanese rock band called Good Dog Happy Men, and they have a song called “Jewel Box” that has this phrase in it, which stood out to me a lot.

◼ Blue Paint

I’m used to the colour blue since I voice a lot of blue characters, but I don’t think I actually used it much when I was little. I feel like I was always drawing with green, and most of my clothes were red.

◼ Sports Drink

I’m waiting for a commercial offer! *laughs* ((This is a reference to Soma’s favourite drink Pocari Sweat, which has a blue label.))

◼ Springtime of Life (has the kanji for “blue” in it)

Maybe it was there, maybe it wasn’t.
I became a voice actor in search of it.

◼ Hydrangea

June in Kamakura. I prefer writing it in hiragana (あじさい) over katakana (アジサイ).

remarkable 2019

#1: I bought a guitar!
The guitars I played at my concert were borrowed, but I finally bought a guitar to use for work! In fact, the one I’m playing in the “memento” MV is my personal guitar.

#2: Moving
I moved! As part of the process, I got rid of all of my old humidifiers and the new ones just arrived yesterday. The vents are on the front, so you can stick them to the wall. It’s an excellent space-saving product. Very convenient.

#3: Matching Hats
A bizarre phenomenon has been occurring lately: Umehara Yuuichirou-san and I keep wearing the same hats. Neither of us usually wear hats that often, so why is this happening? *laughs*

I finally realized that there’s no benefit from trying to act alluring

Q: It’s 2020, and you’ve reached the critical 10th year as a voice actor. Is there anything special you feel?

When I started working, my senpais told me “Keep going for 10 years first, and that’s when it really starts,” and I had a vague idea of what they meant. But, after actually continuing for the first year and then the second, I understood the weight of their words.

It really does feel like I’m finally standing at the starting line now. And on a fundamental level, if I hadn’t worked as a voice actor, I think there’s a high possibility I would’ve stayed as a bitter, unsympathetic person…

Q: Does that mean it changed you on the inside?

Yes. When you’re serious about making progress in this industry, there are times when you’re forced to look at your inner self, and you’re not always going to like what you see. But, I feel that the process of understanding myself and thinking about what it means to care for others allowed me to give myself internal feedback, which had a major effect on me… To be honest, I used to be the type to think “I should’ve said _____ instead,” but now that’s not always the case.

Q: Your perception has changed.

This is going to be an awkward way of phrasing it, but I think you have to think about the fact that you have to change *laughs*. But as the years passed, my way of thinking became simpler. I can easily accept unsophisticated thoughts such as “I like this” or “My opinion is this.” Of course, there are still many times when I get arrogant or self-centred, but when I compare myself to ten years ago, it’s clear that those occasions are fewer than before. I think that’s not just because I’ve grown older, but also because I’ve been surrounded by the voice acting industry. I’ve also learned how to entrust things to other professionals, even in work.

Q: That reminds me of what you said about the “memento” MV.

Yes. You can only leave something in someone else’s hands if you trust both them and yourself. As for why…

Q: Is it because you’re responsible for making the decision?

That’s right. In the past, I only wanted to put out the “100%” I had in my head. I’m still not very broad-minded, but I’ve changed enough that I can vaguely understand that “my past self only thought about himself.” Also, even when I’m recording for an anime and think “Why isn’t this going well?” or “I think it should be like this, so why did they reject it?”, when I watch the broadcast version I’ll see that it was very well done. I learned that even if I can’t understand something in that moment, instead of getting hung up on it, I should be flexible and adapt my thoughts and acting.

Q: You’ve broadened your views.

I think I was too egotistical. First of all, that “100%” I keep talking about seems like a logical matter at first glance, but it’s actually ridiculously subjective. The number is manipulated to suit myself, so it’s seriously ill-natured *laughs*. I don’t think the past me ever tried to think deeply about my own senses, which is why I was completely biased to a logical approach. But sometimes, I inadvertently react to things based on feeling, before thinking. It’s something that happens all the time in daily life, and yet I’d detached it from my acting. In the end, I was just big-headed.

Q: It’s a trap you fall into by thinking too logically, then.

Yes… I think ideally, you want to have the earnestness to prepare like crazy until the day before the job, and then on the day of, wrap it all in brackets so that you can be flexible with it. It sounds extreme, but that’s what I finally realized after ten years. Since I’m a logical thinker myself, ideally I don’t want to throw that weapon of mine away, and instead value my senses as an addition to that… So basically, I want to make my next theme “living through my senses.” *laughs*

Q: Is that your goal for this year?

Not just this year, but on and on forever. If you interview me again when I’ve reached my 20th year as a voice actor, you might be talking to a Saito Soma who has nothing left but his senses. *laughs*

If it’s a suspicious character, it’s gotta be voiced by Saito Soma! That’s what I want people to think

Q: It seems like your range of anime roles is getting much wider too.

It seems that when non-anime forms of content are supported for a long period of time and get an anime adaptation, activity soars even more. It’s not up to us how long we get to continue voicing a character for, so I really am thankful. Also, in 2019 I got more extremely unconventional roles, so I’m secretly happy about that. *laughs*

Q: You want to voice unconventional roles?

I feel an indescribable attraction towards characters that are twisted in some way *laughs*. Your voice changes slightly as you continue to use your vocal cords for many years. It’s the so-called “way of life” for an actor, and I feel happy when I can adapt my voice in my preferred direction.

Q: You’ve recently been making an impression in roles such as Kyougoku Fuyuto in Kabukichou Sherlock and Vinegar Doppio in JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Ougon no Kaze.

I’ve always loved the original JoJo comics, so I was incredibly honoured to play that role. Doppio had been voiced by Miyamoto Mitsuru-san and Ishida Akira-san in the past, so I knew that if I did it the same way, there was no way I could win against them. So, I prepared several variations for the audition. Later, I heard that I’d been chosen for the role right away, which was a surprise. When I asked why, they said “Because your Doppio’s phone voice was the most disgusting,” and I thought, what good fortune *laughs*. I actually wasn’t feeling well during the audition, and during the Risotto battle when Doppio vomits out razor blades, I actually did feel like throwing up, which might’ve worked in my favour. *laughs*

Q: That’s also fate. *laughs*

I loved the original work and I had several plans ready, but in the end, sometimes the result is determined by something that has nothing to do with the allure or desire I put out.

In Kabukichou Sherlock as well, I started out by ad libbing a lot based on the elaborate preparations I’d done, but in Episode 3 when my character was talking to Seki Tomokazu-san’s guest character, I sensed that “Oh, if I stop to think, I won’t make it in time” *laughs*. At some point, they started writing “(ad lib the rest)” in the script more often. As I was saying earlier, I’ve always been logic-focused, so ad libs are my Achilles’ heel. But on the other hand, I was grateful for that role because it allowed me to practice seeing how the things I’d prepared would change during the actual recording. I’m still not at the point where I’d say I’m skilled at unconventional roles, but I’d like to eventually make them part of my arsenal, to the point where people say “If it’s a suspicious character, it’s gotta be voiced by him.” I want this weapon, no matter how much I have to pay! *laughs*

Q: I’m sure you’ve been getting more kouhais at work too.

Indeed. Shun-chan (Takeuchi Shunsuke-san) has a good grip on himself, and I learn a lot from him regardless of our hierarchy. He’s a natural, and a good person.

Nozuyama (Yukihiro)-kun from Rush Style is learning under Hayami Show-san’s guidance, and it amazes me how well he’s got it together… We haven’t had the chance to drink together lately, but he has a humane philosophy while also having the cuteness appropriate for his age, and I think that’s amazing. We’ve been planning to go for sushi with Hayami-san, but it hasn’t happened yet. *laughs*

Q: You must be good friends for that to come up.

I’m a passive person, so I’m thankful for anyone who comes to me, not just my kouhais. I’m especially grateful for friends who’ll drink with me, like Hirose Yuya from Arts Vision. Although it’s a bit embarrassing when he calls me “Soma-nii” *laughs*. I’d like to continue expanding my circle of friends in my own way.

Q: Are you interested in mentoring the next generation?

If I get the chance eventually… but first, I have to develop my own ability more. As for what I’d teach, I think it’d be fun to make a place where we can all study the flexibility of Japanese, like the effect a single particle can have on the nuance of a sentence, or how a word’s tone changes based on whether it’s written in kanji or kana. It might be elementary school level content, but it’s valuable to us.

Q: I’m looking forward to your future activities!

I’ve moved past the era of being frustrated with myself for not being able to do something, and into an era where I can now think, “Wow, I didn’t know you could do that! I can’t do it! Yes!”

If you really don’t stand a chance then there’s nothing you can do about that, but if you can vaguely make out a path, then all you have to do is go for it. That’s how you expand your arsenal. In that sense, perhaps I’ve finally figured out the direction of my compass after these ten years. Now that I can look at the map and think, “What? The world is this big?!”, I’m looking forward to traveling to various places.

Behind the scenes of Saito Soma’s first front cover feature in Seiyuu Grandprix

Saito Soma-san makes his first front cover and opening feature appearance! His vivid blue outfit makes quite an impact. What did you think of it?

The internal theme for this photo shoot was “On an ordinary day, Saito Soma-san casually buys a bouquet and champagne on the way home and presents them to you.” It was only light acting, without being too conscious of the theme.

During the session, Saito-san talked about how his latest fad is matching Nishiyama Koutaro-san’s fashion. When we pressed for details, it turned out that they have similar taste in clothes, and that the trick to pulling off the Nishiyama-san look is wearing pants that go 70-90% down the leg♪ Thanks to Saito-san’s gentle aura, it was a relaxed photo shoot from start to finish.

During the interview, he talked in detail about his latest release “my blue vacation” and his 10th anniversary as a voice actor. It’s full of the most current information!

Shop-specific bromides:

Animate-exclusive poster:

Autographed Polaroids (raffle):

Off-shot from Soma’s stylist:

Blog post from Soma’s stylist about the outfit (has a couple of other photos):


(I won’t be translating it, because he doesn’t allow reposting/alterations of his content)

[Stream] Kabukichou Sherlock Cast Special: “Let’s Enjoy Kabukichou Sherlock Together”

Broadcast: 2019/12/29 @ 8pm
Original URL: https://live.nicovideo.jp/gate/lv323121514 (no longer available)
Original Name: キャスト特番「歌舞伎町シャーロックをみんなで楽しむ番組」
Guests: Konishi Katsuyuki, Yamashita Seiichiro, Saito Soma

※A lot of things discussed on this stream were also talked about in the translated interviews, so I’ll only include the new information here (because I’m lazy)


  • This stream was packed with dirty jokes; I don’t even know how long this post will be if I list all of them out
  • Konishi introduced himself as Dean Fujioka, the actor who plays Sherlock in the Sherlock TV drama series that aired at the same time as Kabukichou Sherlock

Konishi: I’ve been with Soma-kun on programs and interviews before, but not Yamashita-kun
Yamashita: Yeah, this is our first time
Saito: Whoa, your first time is live! *whistles* ((“live” and “raw” are the same word in JP))
Konishi: Kabukichou Sherlock doesn’t hold back! I’ve taken Yamashita-kun’s first time!
(They start referencing Kyougoku’s hotel scene from the show)

  • Konishi said they had to do the detective rakugo at the audition too. Normally auditions are done alone, but for Kabukichou Sherlock they had several voice actors for different roles in at the same time, playing off each other. So, the ones auditioning for Sherlock had to do the detective rakugo (something they’d obviously never done before) in front of everyone else, and he was miserable.
  • Soma was talking about facing challenges as an actor when suddenly the background changed to a screenshot of Kyougoku’s bed scene making him stop in his tracks and laugh. He said that that scene actually took around 5 takes, and they recorded several variations of “M-Maki-chan” and “Nooo”
  • A screenshot of the scene where Irene pushes her breasts against Sherlock’s face is shown, and Soma said there must be a pervert among the staff (Soma also likes Irene a lot)

Recap Quiz

Q1. What year and class was “Sherlock Holmes” in?
① 2-1  ② 2-2  ③ 2-3  ④ 3-B

4 / 1 / 4

Yamashita: Oh, so I’m the only one who answered seriously
Konishi/Saito: Wait wait wait, we were serious too
Konishi: Most of the stream comments said 4
Saito: I thought the Sherlock staff were being humorous with it, showing a joke answer but it’s actually the real answer
Yamashita: I had a feeling it was second year, but there were a bunch of choices, so I went with 2-1 because my birthday is on the 21st
Saito: Are you trying to be cute?

Correct answer: ③

Q2. What was the name of the bank that was robbed by the thief Cobra?
① Hozumi Bank  ② Zuihou Bank  ③ USJ Bank  ④ Yotsui Sumitomo Bank  ⑤ KABUKIN BANK

Saito: Is the right answer really in here?
Yamashita: It wouldn’t be a quiz otherwise

3 / 3 / 5
(The text on Konishi’s references comedians that did a skit about the UFJ bank)

Yamashita: I picked 3 because Cobra has a universal impression. Yotsui seemed kind of plain and KABUKIN seemed too obvious
Saito: I thought it’d be too risky to parody financial institutions, so I went with this even though it’d be in-your-face

Correct answer: ①

Saito: Isn’t this visual in general kind of bad??
Konishi: Isn’t this the DKB?!

Q3. What’s the latest version of the real wife “Airi”?
① ver.4.5  ② ver.6.9  ③ ver.7.2  ④ ver.8.1

(looking at the viewer poll results which are overwhelmingly ②)
Yamashita: #2, uh… *in English* sixty-nine has the most votes
Konishi: Dude no, it’s six-point-nine, do you not see the dot?

2 / 2 / 2

Yamashita: They’d all make sense though; 45 (shiko = onomatopoeia for masturbating), 72 ((o)nani = masturbation), anything works
Konishi: What’s the last one?
Yamashita: Is it yaoi (801)? Wait no
Saito: *dying of laughter*
Yamashita: Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that
Konishi: Oh it’s pai (breasts)
Yamashita: Yeah you’re right
Saito: *still dying*

Correct answer: ②

Saito: Yay!
Konishi: Everyone’s correct (seikou)
Saito: Having sex?? (seikou)
Konishi: Everyone is seikou

Q4. The “PACHINKO” sign near Pipecat’s entrance has one letter dimmed out. Which one is it?
① P  ② A  ③ C  ④ H  ⑤ I  ⑥ N  ⑦ K  ⑧ O  ⑨ ☆

2 / 1 / 2

Saito: Well, Konishi-san and I…
Konishi: We went the obvious way to make it CHINKO (dick)
Yamashita: Oh, I picked 1 to make it like “Ah, chinko”
Saito/Konishi: *dying of laughter*
Yamashita: *long justification about how from a copywriter’s point of view it’d fit together than P-CHINKO, because the ‘A’ provides a sense of realization*
Konishi: Oh, that’s the clean version then, “Ah, chinko” compared to our “CHINKO!”

Correct answer: ②

Q5. What locker number did Watson use at the bathhouse?
① 025  ② 045  ③ 069  ④ 072  ⑤ 081  ⑥ 111

Konishi: What’s #6?
Saito: Ii–
All three: Iiiiii! (Yesss!)
Konishi: What are we doing in a group of three men…
Yamashita: We couldn’t do this kind of thing at the recording, because there were a lot of women present

Konishi: It’s a shame that #5 wasn’t 801 (yaoi) instead

4 / 4 / 4

Konishi: Yep, #4 – onani (masturbation)

Correct answer: ⑤

All: Uwaaaaa
Yamashita: It’s oyai!
Konishi: What’s oyai?!
*staff inform them*
All: Oh it’s OPPAI! (breasts)
All: We even said it earlier!!
Yamashita: So Watson’s about oppai…

Q6. In the late-night shogi match, Irene goes “Incredible! So much!”, but how many pieces were there actually?
① 1  ② 2  ③ 3  ④ 4  ⑤ 5  ⑥ 6  ⑦ 7  ⑧ 8  ⑨ 9

Saito: I wasn’t looking at that in that scene…
Yamashita: I was only listening to Irene’s voice!
Saito: Yeah, I was focusing with my ears
Yamashita: That’s a scene where you close your eyes
Konishi: Who’s looking at the screen?!

9 / 8 / 6

Saito: I had no idea, I just picked 6 because I thought it was the most perverted number

“Like this, right?”

Yamashita: I see, I figured if you enlarged 8 and turned it on its side, it’d look like boobs
Saito: LOL
Konishi: Are you a genius?
Yamashita: There’s a fine line between genius and idiot, and I think I’m on the idiot side

Correct answer: ⑥

(End of quiz segment for now. They move on to announcements)

Premium Corner: S-Level Quiz

Q1. How much money did the Morstan sisters have saved up in Episode 5?

¥690000 / 724545¥ / ¥530000

(After Yamashita says his number which is equivalent to “fap fap fap”)
Saito: HOLD UP
Konishi: Oi!
Saito: I don’t know you anymore
Konishi: You can’t do that just because it’s the premium stream
Yamashita: Wait but yours…
Konishi: Mine is just 690k, that’s all
Saito: He just figured it’d be around there
Yamashita: But I also thought…

Konishi: Shouldn’t the ¥ go at the front?
Yamashita: Oh I see, it’d be yen . . .
*Everyone dying of laughter*
Konishi: You made it hard for Soma-kun to give his answer!
Yamashita: I’m so sorry
Konishi: Okay so why 530k?
Saito: Huh? Oh… I just thought it’d be around 500k

Correct answer: 570,121

Konishi: So Soma-kun got the closest?
Saito: Thank you Frieza-sama!!!

Q2. There are two shiny cards in the “Dokkiri-man Choco” series. One is the Rakugo Camel, and what’s the other?

Saito: Master “Something”
Konishi: Guardian Seraph
Yamashita: See-through Zeus or Perverted Zeus
Correct answer: Bakery Panda

(No one was even remotely close)

Q3. The legendary martial arts “Baritsu” used by Sherlock Holmes also appears as the name of a building. What type of building is it?

Saito: A proper masseuse
Konishi: Telecommunications
Yamashita: Soapland Baribari! Baritsu! ~Way of Love~

Saito: What’s with that subtitle?!
Konishi: Umm… I know this is the premium section, but there are things you’re not allowed to say… “Soapland” is out
Saito: This is as far as you can go *holds up his answer*
Konishi: Either that or censor it out

Saito: It’s too late!

Correct answer: Sushi Restaurant

Konishi: A restaurant…?
Saito: Oh, because “Bar”…?
*Staff hold up full name*
All: Sushi Restaurant Baritsu??
Saito: How’re we supposed to know that?!
Konishi: What’s the sign next to it? Deep…?
Yamashita: Deep Dene…?
Konishi: Deep Dean Fujioka??

Q4. What’s the name of the department store Kyougoku and Maki-chan went to on their first date?

Konishi: Make sure to cover up any bad words

Isetan / Pawn Shop Bentendo / Haankyu

Yamashita: I toned it down but (Soma) turned it up…
Konishi: Young people would go to Isetan right?

Correct answer: Asatan

Konishi: I got pretty close right?
*Staff give him the point*
Saito: What about Haankyu?
*Silence from staff*

Q5. The USB was hidden inside a can of peaches. Where were the peaches produced?

Okayama / Morocco / Kawakami (river upstream)

*Konishi and Yamashita quietly laughing at Kawakami*
Konishi: Stop making weird jokes; if you’re going to joke at least make it something like Morocco

Answer: Yamagata

Konishi: Yamagata?! They aren’t strawberries!
*All incorrect*
Konishi: Which Kawakami were you talking about by the way?
Saito: Uh….. I dunno, maybe Tamagawa River
Konishi: Unfortunately you’re wrong then

Q6. What’s a virgin?

Yamashita: Is this a philosophical question?
Saito: Um…
*Staff clarify that it’s the definition in the show*
Konishi: I already started writing SEX! *shows sketchbook*

Kyougoku / Rocket Beam / Drawing of Kyougoku with “Haankyu…” written below

Konishi: Haankyu…
Saito: My answer is Kyougoku though
Konishi: That’s Haankyu
Yamashita: If you leave it like that, it’s going to be Haankyu
Saito: *struggles to cross out the Haankyu because he’s laughing too hard*

Correct answer: “Someone who’s never shot a rocket beam from their body”

Final Score:
Saito – 4
Yamashita – 6
Konishi – 3

  • The prize was wrapped in green paper so it became see-through

Konishi: I learned a lot about Yamashita-kun today
Saito: It’s like everything changed in the past 1.5 hours
Konishi: It’s going to be a good year

[Interview] Monthly TV Guide 2020/2 Edition – Voice Actor New Year’s Special

Released: 2019/12/13

Saito Soma

Nakamura Yuichi

Q: As a voice actor, you’ve lent your voice to many different roles, but I get the impression that your roles often have another side to them.

Soma: Facing setbacks or being toyed with by fate, then falling to the dark side or exiting the stage partway through… I voice a lot of characters like that. For example, Asano Keisaku from revisions.

Q: Why do you think that is?

Soma: It could be that the nature of my voice and my acting style make people think, “I want to corrupt this guy!” *laughs* I’d be really happy if people thought that way.

Q: It seems like you’ve been voicing more unconventional roles in 2019.

Soma: Indeed, like Doppio in JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Ougon no Kaze. As an anime watcher, I always liked those kinds of non-straightforward characters, so I’m happy to be able to voice them.

Q: Doppio is one side of a dual personality, and he does unusual things like vocalizing the ringtone for a fake phone call.

Soma: My fellow voice actor friends told me “You really let loose, huh?”, and at a JoJo event, Nakamura Yuichi-san said “Isn’t Soma-kun going to get a lot of ringtone work offers?!” *laughs*

Q: Meanwhile, Kabukichou Sherlock’s Kyougoku Fuyuto is a virgin detective dreaming of making it big.

Soma: Kyougoku-san looks cold and calculating on the outside, but when you look at what’s inside, it’s like “Oh, it’s this kind of person…”

Q: He’s actually a comedic relief that turns hyper when he gets switched on.

Soma: Apparently, Kishimoto Taku-san (Series Composition) spiced him up for me because “Saito-kun is bound to make him funny, so let’s make him a total nutcase!”

Q: The unconventional Doppio and the comical Kyougoku. The range of your roles is widening.

Soma: I wanted to hammer out my distinctive qualities while I’m still in my twenties. It feels like I’m gradually uncovering more of my arsenal as a voice actor.

Q: You’re also involved with the Hypnosis Mic franchise, where the voice actors play characters that participate in rap battles.

Soma: I always figured there’d be a voice actor rap project someday, but I didn’t expect it to become this popular!

Q: This unprecedented “The music is the original work” project began in 2017 and rapidly grew in popularity. In 2019, it won the singing award in the 13th Voice Actor Awards.

Soma: I’ve always enjoyed hip hop and rap music as a listener myself, but it was limited to things like “I like this kind of flow.” In Hypmic, I heard different styles of rap through the various characters, and it opened up my options when it comes to fitting words together.

Q: Aside from your voice acting work, you’re also active as an artist who composes music and writes lyrics. Are you influenced by Hypmic?

Soma: It gave me more ideas for interesting vocabulary and rhythms. It’s a useful reference when I’m writing songs, and it truly is fun.

Q: Your latest mini-album “my blue vacation” will be released on December 18th.

Soma: This time, I did all of the composition and lyrics myself. It also has songs that leveraged the extra options I gained through Hypmic.

Q: You also had your first solo concert on February 24th. Did that influence your new release?

Soma: At the concert, I got to experience creating music together with the live band members. Now when I’m composing music, there’s more I can leave to their expertise. In the end, it’s best to trust the experts. The mini-album has amazing musical performances, so please keep an ear out for those.

Q: I’m sure you must’ve received a lot of feedback through Hypmic and the concert.

Soma: It’s been around two years since my artist debut. If everything up until now was “Season 1,” then this upcoming mini-album is a “Season 1.5” that comes before Season 2. I’m taking my time heading into the second chapter. It’s a collection of songs that are different in musical tone from anything I’ve done before, so in the worst case scenario, it could’ve been more difficult to put together than a full album.

Q: In a past interview for this magazine, you said: “I once bought 18 books at once, and got laughed at by the clerk.” As an avid bookworm, this year you recommended books as part of Kawade Bunko’s “Best of Best” campaign, and it was a major success.

Soma: I’m very thankful. My original dream was to become either an author or a musician. But in high school, there was a period of time when I was a shut-in, and it was anime and movies that saved me. That’s why I set my sights on becoming a voice actor. I leaped into the work with conviction and continued on steadily, and now I’ve been given the chance to do book- and music-related work. It feels like I’ve been rewarded for my efforts.

Q: The range of your work is expanding.

Soma: But, my main focus will always be voice acting, now and in the future. I’m very grateful to be given various other chances by having that as my central axis.

Q: What are you the most thankful for in 2019?

Soma: This year, I was able to encounter an extremely wide variety of roles and series. These encounters aren’t something I can accumulate by myself. It’s thanks to everyone who feels something through my work and supports me, and all of the staff who decide “Let’s give this role to Saito Soma.”

Q: What would you like to strive for as a voice actor?

Soma: I’m a pretty presumptuous person. I tend to quickly come to the conclusion that my current work is proficient. By putting it into words like this, I’m warning myself, because I want to be humble while bringing out everything I have as a voice actor.

Soma’s New Year Holiday…

“I want to relax during New Year’s. It’d be nice to leisurely reread books I’ve read before. What I want to reread right now is Mono no Aware, a story by Chinese-American sci-fi writer Ken Liu. I haven’t read any sci-fi lately, so I really want to get into it. The protagonist of this story is Japanese, and it contains a poem by Matsuo Basho. I want to write my own prose while rereading it.”

Bonus: Shot from magazine raffle page

Bonus: Shop-specific bromides

Animate (6 types)
7-net Shopping

Bonus: Another Cut

Bonus: Another Cut
(This part of the photo shoot was themed around making breakfast on the morning of New Year’s. During the shoot, Soma taught the editing staff how to make sunny side up eggs without burning them.)

Bonus: Another Cut

Bonus: Off-shot from Soma’s stylist, Honda Yuuki

[Interview] Animate Times – Kabukichou Sherlock Interview No.04 – Yamashita Seiichiro x Saito Soma

Original URL: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1574273014
Published: 2019/11/25

Yamashita Seiichiro (James Moriarty in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Saito Soma (Kyougoku Fuyuto in Kabukichou Sherlock)

Suzuki Tatsuhisa (Sugimoto in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Tachibana Tatsumaru (Kobayashi Toratarou in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Suwabe Junichi (Mrs. Hudson in Kabukichou Sherlock)

※Contains spoilers up to Episode 7.

Episode 5 nonchalantly displays Moriarty’s nature

Q: What was a memorable scene from the episodes that have aired so far?

Soma: There’s too many to list. Was the bathhouse trip Episode 4?

Seiichiro: The Momotaros, right?

Soma: At the end of the A-part, Moriarty says “Don’t worry, he’s a famous detective!” and it shows Sherlock, with a circled “Sher” over his crotch.

Seiichiro: But during the recording, it was dangling in plain sight. *laughs*

Soma: Sherlock shakes off the water and Moriarty goes “Don’t worry about a thing!”, and I thought yeah, Seiichiro-kun’s good at this kind of thing.

Seiichiro: Am I?

Soma: You didn’t put too much implication into it, and it was a perfect, amusing ending to the A-part. It was also funny how Watson had no idea how the bathhouse worked.

The next episode was about the sisters, Mary and Lucy?

Seiichiro: With the sumo wrestler.

Q: Right. If you pay attention to Moriarty, we find out he has a younger sister in Episode 3, and in Episode 5 he has an interesting conversation with Lucy.

Seiichiro: He casually reveals his nature in that conversation with Lucy.

Soma: Yeah.

Seiichiro: He doesn’t try to help Bunmaru, instead saying “I think he’s about to jump. Don’t you?” I thought long and hard over whether to insert meaning into that line or to let it pass smoothly. When I’m voicing Moriarty, it’s important to make him “normal,” but it’s not that there’s nothing hiding within, considering he tore apart a butterfly. I’m looking forward to seeing what meaning those kinds of scenes hold later on, when I watch with the completed visuals.

Soma: In Episode 6, that one guy had a lot of impact. *laughs*

Seiichiro: *laughs*

Soma: The animation for that rap scene was really good. Actually, the animation is great overall. Moriarty’s really cute.

Seiichiro: Moriarty’s become that “beautiful girl” type who they have to keep looking pretty.

Soma: Kyougoku’s chin sticks out, so the same doesn’t apply to him. *laughs*

But so far, I think Episode 6 was the best one yet. It made me cry. Tora’s a good character, and it felt like I was watching a different anime. Episode 3, the Kyougoku one, made me tear up too, but out of laughter: “It’s over… the party, that is.”

Seiichiro: Indeed. However, we were oblivious to the fact that that memory would be recovered much later on.

Soma: Honestly.

Seiichiro: We can’t talk about it, so please look forward to it. *laughs*

The stories behind the Detective’s Row House members, and Suzuki Tatsuhisa-san’s character construction

Soma: Back to the topic at hand, Tatsuhisa-san was amazing in Episode 6.

Seiichiro: Sugimoto, right?

Soma: I wonder where he got the ideas for that character construction. When he went “Tamaaa!” I was like, why?

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: That betrayed my expectations. I was like, “Whoa?! That’s how he’s doing it?!” Which shelf did he pull that out of? It was a masterpiece.

Soma: The rap line where he goes “And for some reason, I’m mooning your ass” was exactly as written in the script, but it made me think, “Seriously, why?!”

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: The rap was funny, but I thought I shouldn’t think too deeply into it.

Soma: There are a lot of shocking scenes, like drinking tons of Ramune and going “I can fly,” and Chinkill’s group telling Moriarty to “get fapping” to their birthday present for him.

Seiichiro: The photo book! After that, the highlights disappear from Moriarty’s eyes and he says that dead “Thanks.”

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: When I saw the completed footage, the book cover was spicier than I thought it’d be. You could kind of see something.

Soma: The pose was dangerous too. Speaking of Episode 3, Sherlock’s sudden “Poop.” was funny too, and it was cute when he was rolling on the bed going “It can’t be Pu…”

Seiichiro: Yeah, it was surprising because he’d solved all the cases flawlessly until then. It showed us that he isn’t perfect, and the two-stage development was fun.

Overall, the art style, or rather the colour usage, is pretty vivid. I think it’s intentional, but besides the neon lights, the kids’ squad is also made up of a variety of races.

Soma: Yeah, those kids have a lot of personality to them too, like the girl that says *mimics voice* “Marry someone who makes 100 million yen a year.”

Seiichiro: Their faces were detailed too, like Renko who Hondo-san voices.

Soma: The animators really were attentive.

Q: Renko looks like one of the younger members, so I was surprised by her foul-mouthed line in Episode 6. *laughs*

Seiichiro: The Kaneko boss was cool in that episode too.

Soma: Episode 6 really was great. When Yoshio-kun reveals the truth to Moriarty and Moriarty says, “You may be able to be the leader of this town,” the inflection there was good. I liked how it ended with “ja ne” instead of “yo” or “kamo na.” If I were Yoshio, I’d cry too.

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: We became Yoshio there. *laughs*

Even though the Row House crew all fight and curse at each other, in the end, they have a deep, inseparable connection. The friendship, love, and sense of family really shows in Episode 6, and I was moved by how Tora was willing to sacrifice himself to save them.

Soma: It was also great how he cried when he saw that the person he saved before drew a manga with a protagonist that looked like him.

Seiichiro: What was his name again?

Staff: Wakazou. (Greenhorn)

Soma: That name’s a bit lazy, huh? *laughs*

Seiichiro: Indeed *laughs*. He also wore a beret, like he was some kind of “God of Manga.” When I watched the broadcast version, there were a lot of funny parts that made me go “No way.” *laughs*

Soma: There’re a lot of obvious references.

Seiichiro: Like Cobra.

Soma: We could go on forever listing them, but at any rate, I think it’s a series that “breaks its shell” in a good way.

Q: I’m sure some people have noticed the various references. When you watch it the first time, you only grasp the main story, but if you look closely, there are things tucked away in places.

Soma: Yes, there are so many little references. With the recording done, I know I can say that I want you to watch it multiple times.

Jack the Ripper, Kyougoku’s love story, and the upcoming new characters are a must-see!

Q: We’re getting more and more interested in the upcoming episodes. What should we look out for?

Seiichiro: I think it’d have to be one of the major themes in the show, Jack the Ripper. It becomes key to later developments.

Soma: We’ve been talking all about the funny parts so far, but this series is constructed cleverly, with quite a lot of foreshadowing hidden among the comedic parts. If you look at the non-funny parts, I think you’ll gradually realize that the story is quietly making steady progress. Please watch as these little scenes converge towards their resolution.

Seiichiro: It’s like the points form a line. Also, the casual remarks made by the Row House members become set-ups for later, so I think there’s value in scrutinizing them now.

Soma: Also, if I can make one personal addition…

Seiichiro: Go ahead.

Soma: “Kyougoku’s crush.” It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it the most important theme in the series… well, actually, yes it would be *laughs*. But it makes you want to watch over him tenderly.

Seiichiro: Indeed.

Soma: Besides that… there’s a lot of new characters that haven’t appeared yet, or that you haven’t seen everything about yet.

Seiichiro: Yeah, like Mycroft.

Soma: There’s a scene with Mycroft where he says “It’s been a long time, my brother” to Sherlock who’s hiding under a table, and the way he holds his arms up *poses with arms covering his face* made me think “Oh, this is a dangerous one.”

Seiichiro: He’s a weirdo behind that overly serious exterior.

Soma: He’s the real deal. Please look forward to the new characters like him. *laughs*

Q: In Episode 7, we meet Irene and a guest character voiced by Sugita Tomokazu-san, so we’re at a point where we’re wondering who else will be appearing. When we asked what we should look out for in a previous discussion, Konishi-san said “Kyougoku,” so there must be something else about him on the way.

Seiichiro: I guarantee you that you’ll be cheering him on fondly.

Soma: Thank you.

Anyway, there’s too many highlights to list, but personally, from a viewer’s perspective, I really enjoy entertainment that’s a big mix of different elements, with scenes that are fun, sad, strange, and scary. This series is a jumble of all of those things while also having an intense lead-up into the climax, so please at least watch until Episode 12 first. Really, just once, that’s all I’m asking.

All: *laughs*

Q: Looking back at the episodes that’ve aired so far, what do you think Sherlock and Watson are in relation to your own characters?

Soma: Generally, Kyougoku isn’t shown to have any kind of special feelings towards Sherlock and Watson. He’s more concerned about himself, but later on, he has more conversations with Watson, and they get closer.

Seiichiro: He starts calling him John, right?

Soma: Yes, all of a sudden.

All: *laughs*

Soma: I’d like you to pay attention to why he becomes friends with Watson, because rather than him opening up his heart and growing closer as a result of mutual understanding, there are circumstances that force their relationship to change. You’ll understand when you see it.

Q: At first I thought that the detectives were rivals with Sherlock, but it seems that that isn’t the case.

Soma: Kyougoku has a lot of self-confidence, so he tends to look down on the other detectives, and he doesn’t see Sherlock as a worthy opponent. In Episode 3, he says “Now, I think it’s time you admitted your mistake,” B-zou-style, and it feels like he generally tries to get ahead by himself. But it’s still early in the series, so please look out for what happens next.

Moriarty and Sherlock’s first meeting and the nature of their relationship also become an essential point?!

Seiichiro: As for Moriarty, he’s surrounded by grown-up detectives as well as a detective his own age (Mary), but among all those people, this high schooler is able to talk to the eccentric Sherlock as an equal, with the same values and perspective, unlike Watson. I found this intriguing, and I’m sure the viewers do too. You can sum it up as “It’s because he’s a genius high schooler,” but as for why everyone’s favourite Moriarty-kun ended up that way with Sherlock, it all goes back to their first meeting. I hope you’ll look forward to seeing how they met and what kinds of conversations they had that led to what they have now.

Also, I think Moriarty sees Sherlock as special. For example, even though Kyougoku looks down on people, he can still hold conversations with them. Sherlock feels different in nature, and the other detectives have difficulty communicating with him. Despite that, his perception and skillful deduction are a cut above the rest, and he was probably already a special existence there before Watson showed up. I think the nature of his relationship with Moriarty, who can interact with him on equal footing, will become a critical point.

In that sense, I think he was the one to cast the first stone at Sherlock’s heart, not Watson. They get along well, and it feels like they’re on the same wavelength. Sherlock has something that draws Moriarty to him. I’m sure Moriarty feels comfortable being with him.

Q: In Episode 4, Moriarty starts calling Watson by his name instead of “Old Man.”

Seiichiro: I’m sure he must be interested in Watson as well. Please look forward to the future changes in their relationships.

Q: Here’s a personal question themed around the series. Do you have any memories of the real Kabukichou?

Soma: No… It appears in a lot of fictional works, and in reality it’s close by since we work in Tokyo, but since it’s not really somewhere I can go, my idea of the place probably gets more exaggerated as time goes on.

Kabukichou Sherlock takes place in a fictional world, but I still see Kabukichou as that kind of chaotic place. I don’t really go there; in fact I don’t think I’ve ever been there, and yet it feels like a place I know well. It has the impression of an abstract district, like something from a fictional story.

Seiichiro: My memory of the place is from when I first started working. I was trying to walk home to Shinjuku from a shop in East Shinjuku, and I got lost in Kabukichou.

Soma: Ohh.

Seiichiro: I didn’t know which way to go, and I was surrounded by neon lights in all directions, with signs and people advertising their “services”… I came from the countryside, so it felt like I’d entered a fictional city from a drama. There were people like Kabukichou Sherlock’s Chinkill, and I was pretty scared.

Like Soma-san said, it’s close by, but it feels unrealistic. Even though there are people who live there, it feels dramatic and fictional. It was a mystifying feeling back then. I was excited but scared, not sure if I’d be able to return home, and panicking over what to do if I got taken somewhere strange. It would’ve been scary if there were barkers like Dylan.

But the arch you see in the key visual is impressive, and it has that admirable “When you reach the other side of the tunnel…” feeling to it.

Q: True, even though it’s inside Shinjuku, the area beyond the neon gate feels like a different world.

Seiichiro: It’s a unique place. It has that underground feel, but on the other hand, it’s not like that throughout the entire district. It has regular movie theatres too, and they do accept outsiders, although it has that “if you underestimate it, you’ll get burned” atmosphere as well.

Soma: Since I don’t go there, it’s like my internal image of it hasn’t been updated.

Q: For younger people in other regions who haven’t seen Shinjuku, they might watch Kabukichou Sherlock and think that’s the kind of place it is.

Soma: I think so too. I’m from a rural area too, and I think Tokyo represents this vague feeling of admiration and longing, so that might actually be a good thing. For example, if I meet someone 10 years later who became a voice actor after watching Kabukichou Sherlock, I might decide to take them to the real Kabukichou. *laughs*

Seiichiro: It could be like a pilgrimage. It’s nice when things expand like that.

Yamashita-san and Saito-san request a one-on-one chat over drinks and a Hiroshima tour

Q: It’d be great if this series leads to something like that. Now for another series-themed question, do you two have any requests for each other?

Seiichiro: Detective Soma-san? He does seem like he’d be good at riddle-solving.

Soma: Hmm, I’d just want to go shopping together or something.

Seiichiro: That’s an offer, right? *laughs* Let’s go.

Soma: I usually don’t go clothes shopping with friends, but I like the way Seiichiro-kun normally dresses. We might have similar tastes.

Seiichiro: He talks to me about music as well, so I think so too. It’s an honour.

Soma: Even today… *pulls out a hat from his bag that’s a similar colour and shape to the one that Seiichiro is wearing* See?

Seiichiro: Ah! It does look similar. We’re matching.

Soma: So I’d like to go clothes shopping together, and have a relaxing one-on-one chat over drinks.

Seiichiro: That sounds good. Let’s do it for real.

Soma: I’d also like a tour of his hometown. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Hiroshima before, so I’d like to visit.

Seiichiro: It’d be an honour. Hiroshima often gets featured in anime, and there are a lot of other voice actors from there.

Soma: Yeah. Please take me on a tour of Hiroshima.

Seiichiro: Of course. You’re like… a scholar to me, so there’s a lot I want to talk about. That doesn’t have to be a request, right?! *laughs*

All: *laughs*

Q: You could accomplish it at the same time as Saito-san’s request.

Soma: All right, so first we’ll meet at Kabukichou and talk all night, and then we’ll go to Hiroshima.

Seiichiro: Sounds good.

Q: There’s also a night bus from Shinjuku… How many hours does it take?

Seiichiro: That brings back memories. It departs at 10 p.m. and arrives at about 8 a.m. the next morning. *laughs*

Soma: That’s rough…

Seiichiro: It’s a fond memory from my younger days, going home while complaining about the soreness.

Also, Soma-san knows a lot about books and music, and he’s released his own books, so I want to learn about his recommendations and interests… Basically, I just want to talk to him, even though I’m already doing that right now.

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: I just want to be the interviewer.

Q: So your request is to be Saito-san’s interviewer. *laughs*

Seiichiro: I’d start with “What led to your debut?” since I think that’s something you only see in magazine interviews.

Soma: True, we don’t get a chance to talk about why we became voice actors in the first place.

Q: It looks like both of your requests are to get closer to each other, but they’re also fitting for the next question, which is “Kabukichou Sherlock has a web radio, manga adaptation, and novel adaptation as well, but is there anything else you’d like to do?”

Seiichiro: The manga and novel adaptations sound interesting.

Soma: I’m interested in a potential collab cafe. Something like “Sherlock’s Special Whipped Cream Sushi”…

Q: A collab cafe menu was discussed in a previous interview too, and the fried rice with canned peaches was referenced.

Seiichiro: Canned peach fried rice…

Soma: It’d work if it only looked that way, and the taste was different. Also, that “Ramune that gives you energy.” And, what was it called, the Dokkiri-man sticker? I want that Rakugo Camel too.

Seiichiro: That sticker wasn’t on the back of the phone, right? It was where you flick the screen.

Soma: That was really bad *laughs*. As for what I’d like to do…

Q: Yamashita-san mentioned mystery-solving earlier. That would be a nice thing to do.

Soma: I’d want to do it with everyone together.

Seiichiro: There’s already an event planned for April 2020, so I’m curious about what we’ll be doing there.

Q: There’s a quiz corner in the web radio.

Seiichiro: I heard from Tatsumaru-kun that it was really hard.

Q: Tachibana-san and the other host Suwabe-san were debating whether it was even a feasible quiz.

Looking forward to the soundtracks and the drama CDs♪

Soma: To be honest, I want to do drama CDs. The anime has a set length that we talk according to, and at most we can add a little bit of ad-libbing.

When we were recording the drama CDs for the BD/DVD bonuses, it turned into something crazy because we didn’t have enough time…

Seiichiro: We had to record other things in the same time slot, so we were panicking because time was running out. Everyone was clattering around.

Soma: Yeah, it was basically recorded in a single take, and that live feeling was fun. *laughs*

Seiichiro: It was interesting. *laughs*

Soma: Drama CDs are where we have the most freedom. Even if your ad libs or lines overlap, it’s still fine, so I’d like to do one with everyone.

Q: It sounds like it has a different atmosphere from anime recording.

Soma: I think our clattering made it into that drama CD though *laughs*. It’s probably noisier than usual.

Seiichiro: A readers theatre would be interesting too. I’m sure everyone wants to see Konishi-san’s rakugo live.

Soma: Konishi-san said that “Sherlock isn’t supposed to be very good at rakugo,” so I think it’s difficult to do that so-called “character rakugo.”

Seiichiro: Originally, you’re not supposed to change your voice for rakugo, but he said he did it on purpose. I’m sure it must be different when it’s illustrations instead of real life.

Konishi-san’s rakugo is really good in that it holds up no matter what the subject is. For this series, I think a drama CD would be better than character songs…

Soma: Oh, but I want to hear B-zou-san’s character song. I also want to read B-zou-san’s “Western Dream” book. I also want goods that make you wonder who would buy such things. Like a room key from the “HIGH QUALITY” hotel Kyougoku uses in a later episode. *laughs*

Seiichiro: Or a Cobra glove *laughs*. You could use it as a hot pot scoop or buy a toy gun and play pretend. One of those “who benefits from this existing” goods.

Soma: I really want one! Aren’t nonsensical goods great?

Seiichiro: I think it’d be possible to make it.

Q: Another possibility is a figure that plays B-zou lines when you push a button. I know I’d want to keep pushing the button to hear all of them.

Soma: Yeah! Like *mimics voice* “That’s wild!”

Seiichiro: I like it!

All: *laughs*

Soma: It could say things like “Your heart is becoming hard.” I really want one so I can use it when I don’t know what to say during a radio or event.

Seiichiro: It’d be even better if it could translate for you.

Soma: As for character songs, there are characters that sing, like Mrs. Hudson.

Q: In Episode 4, the rock/anisong singer Gero-san made a guest appearance too.

Seiichiro: It was a powerful performance. And since they went to the trouble of recording Mrs. Hudson’s song, I’m hoping it’ll be included on the soundtrack.

Soma: All of the music is really good. The OP, ED, and BGM are all perfect. Nakamura-san was also wondering if the song would be on the soundtrack, and I want it too.

Seiichiro: The BGM is great and brings the series’ messy parts together. Since a soundtrack release is guaranteed, I’m looking forward to it.

Q: Finally, please give a message for the fans watching the anime.

Soma: We’ve already finished the recording, and we were able to enjoy it from various angles. I suspect that people will have various different opinions about this series, but at the current time of airing, the story is approaching its core. From here the series shows a different face, so I implore you to watch until the end. Once you know the whole story, I’d be delighted if you’d watch it a second and third time.

Please support the dream of the Detective’s Row House’s steadfast ace, Kyougoku Fuyuto. I hope you’ll continue watching Kabukichou Sherlock.

Seiichiro: I’m really happy to see all of the reactions the series has gotten since Episode 1 aired. It’s pretty rare for the recording to already be completed at this point, so every week, I anxiously await seeing those reactions to all of the hard work everyone put in.

Moriarty’s story is only just beginning. There are some painful, uneasy parts, but I hope you’ll enjoy it with the feeling of attending a show at a rakugo theatre. Even if not every episode grips you, I hope you’ll be curious enough to come watch, and that some of the stories will be to your liking. It’s a detective show, but you can also clear your mind and laugh at the gags all you want. I hope it’ll give the viewers energy and a change of pace.

That said, it also has emotional moments and an overarching story, so I hope you’ll follow along and enjoy the quirky characters and unexpected twists. Lastly, I look forward to the time when we’ll be able to discuss it together. Your comments are what motivate me to work hard, so please continue to support Kabukichou Sherlock.

[Interview] Animate Times – Kabukichou Sherlock Interview No.03 – Yamashita Seiichiro x Saito Soma

Original Article: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1573202514
Published: 2019/11/11

Yamashita Seiichiro (James Moriarty in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Saito Soma (Kyougoku Fuyuto in Kabukichou Sherlock)

Konishi Katsuyuki (Sherlock Holmes in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Nakamura Yuichi (John H. Watson in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Tachibana Tatsumaru (Kobayashi Toratarou in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Suwabe Junichi (Mrs. Hudson in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Murase Ayumu (Hokari Maki in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Seki Tomokazu (Uchida B-zou in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Horii Chado (Chinkill Masumi and Potter in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Aoyama Yutaka (Michel Belmont in Kabukichou Sherlock)

※Contains spoilers up to Episode 7.

The director’s advice for Moriarty was “honesty and boyishness”

Q: First, please introduce the characters you voice.

Soma: *looks at Seiichiro* Shouldn’t we start with Morimori?

Seiichiro: Are we starting with Morimori?

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: Moriarty appears from Episode 1, but he has the role of an extremely ordinary high school student that drops by the misfit-filled Detective’s Row House.

That said, he’s capable of interacting on equal terms with Sherlock, understanding the man’s quirks that even Watson has difficulties with. So he seems like a strange, clever boy… at the moment. *laughs*

Soma: If you’ve been keeping up with the show so far, you should already know that Kyougoku is the steadfast ace of the Detective’s Row House. A keen wit, superior intelligence, smooth moves, and a cool demeanour—he’s got it all. Among all of the eccentric members of the Detective’s Row House, he plays the role of the lady-killer.

Q: Was it easy to grasp how to act as the characters?

Soma: Moriarty had some pretty detailed directions at the start, right?

Seiichiro: Yes. I was also informed of some of Moriarty’s future plot developments at the audition. But that said, calculating backwards from that didn’t feel right, nor did over-creating the role by myself or acting eccentrically to match the other detectives.

I tried to act with pure feelings, to make him come off as an honest person similar to Watson, while making the viewers wonder what his role would be. Director Yoshimura Ai also told me to emphasize that honesty and boyishness.

Q: We were told that at the auditions, Sherlock, Watson, and Moriarty were selected by looking at the balance between them. How was it for you?

Seiichiro: There was a really wide range of Sherlocks. I took the audition with Konishi-san who voices him, so I saw the prototype for Sherlock and there were various different types. There was a more “evil” Sherlock, and I thought it was amazing how each actor had unique sensibilities and rakugo styles.

I also auditioned for Watson, but I didn’t experiment much with that one. On the other hand, when I considered Moriarty’s age and disposition, I thought he’d have more possibilities and more people capable of voicing him, so I’d have to compete with a Moriarty of my very own. I usually don’t feel that kind of reaction at the audition stage.

Kyougoku Fuyuto’s character was established after Saito Soma was chosen as the voice actor?!

Q: What about Saito-san?

Seiichiro: There wasn’t an audition for Kyougoku, right?

Soma: Right, Kyougoku didn’t have an audition. I auditioned for Moriarty as well. Due to the audition time slots, there were a different number of people coming for the three main characters. When I went, there weren’t many people auditioning for Moriarty, so I kind of forcibly went, “I have free time after this, so…”

Seiichiro: I see.

Soma: I probably acted out Moriarty five times with five different patterns, thinking “I have to get Moriarty after this!” …but I was wrong.

All: *laughs*

Soma: I think they probably took those suggestions into account when they made me Kyougoku.

At first, I took the audition with the intent of voicing Moriarty, but back then, I didn’t know the full extent of how the series was going to link rakugo and mystery-solving. When I found out, I thought they were making something very interesting and novel. The director, the sound director Nagasaki Yukio-san, the screenwriter Kishimoto Taku-san, and all of the rest of the staff were having a lot of fun creating it.

A long while after I got the role of Kyougoku, I was talking to Kishimoto-san who I’ve worked with a lot, and he said that when they had the script meeting, all of the staff agreed that “If Saito Soma’s voicing him, let’s make him a total nutcase.”

The result is what you see now.

All: *laughs*

Soma: The recordings are a lot of fun, because there’re so many oddballs. Kyougoku acts cool, although the initial direction I was given was, “Just talk in an ikemen voice. It’s funnier the more seriously he believes that he’s cool.” *laughs*

I think that his dialogues will have a more natural, on-the-spot tempo if I don’t solidify his character too much. I let his dreams of rising up in the world and his virgin naivete symbolize his inflated ego. Each episode, I aim to strike a balance where others see him as a huge narcissist, but he doesn’t see it himself.

I’m not sure if I’d call his character “easy to grasp,” but whenever Kyougoku speaks, Konishi-san and Nakamura-san would be like, “Hey, can you stop messing around? We’re being serious here.” *laughs*

Seiichiro: Right, during the test run. *laughs*

Soma: They’d tease me like, “We have someone from the wrong series here,” so I thought I had the best role in the show, recording-wise.

Seiichiro: Even when you were ad-libbing, they’d tell you “Shut up.”

All: *laughs*

Soma: It’s true. There were a lot of “ad lib the rest” parts in the script, and I tried my best, but I’d get loving retorts in return.

Seiichiro: Someone would whisper “Kyougoku’s such a nuisance,” and the room would calm down. *laughs*

Soma: And “I’m trying to solve a mystery right now.”

Seiichiro: “Can you stop being like that?” Of course, we were just kidding!

All: *laughs*

Soma: Anyway, the recordings were full of endless laughter.

Seiichiro-kun and I are close in age, and we often sat together with Tatsumaru-kun who voices Kobayashi Toratarou. Konishi-san, Nakamura-san, and Suwabe-san kept things rolling, so it was a good recording atmosphere. I think that’s why it was so satisfying to mess around as Kyougoku.

Q: After hearing this, I now understand how Kyougoku’s “doesn’t think of himself as strange” mindset makes him seem even stranger.

Soma: Most strange people are like that. I want to emphasize that it’s the fact that they think they’re normal that makes them weird.

Seiichiro: They lack the self-awareness, just like geniuses do.

Saito-san likes Yamashita-san’s smooth ad libs

Q: The two of you were also both in Haruchika ~Haruta to Chika wa Seishun suru~ among other series. What did you think of each other in Kabukichou Sherlock?

Seiichiro: Soma-san has been helping me ever since my debut. In Haruchika, my character was the senpai, but we were also together in various other roles and series. This time, we got to work together as characters with a new degree of closeness, and returning to the topic of Kyougoku, it was unknown how Soma-san was going to flesh him out.

At the audition, there was only the cool-looking artwork. I never thought he’d be a character like that… and when Soma-san got to voice him, he completely exceeded my expectations. I was frustrated but happy.

Soma: *laughs*

Seiichiro: I was able to see Soma-san’s vivid depiction of “an actor repaints their role.” I was impressed all over again. It was such a weird Soma-san… role!

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: I think this might be my first time seeing Soma-san playing a weird role.

Soma: That’s true. Most of the other series we were in together were on the serious side.

Seiichiro: In Haruchika, Soma-san was a proper, genius type. The character had a bit of a quirk, but nothing to the level of Kyougoku. *laughs*

Soma-san, if you were to rank your characters by eccentricity, how high would Kyougoku place?

Soma: I actually don’t think Kyougoku is that eccentric; he’s just a pure fellow. I’ve seen the completed footage up to Episode 12, and the episodes starting here make me think he’s cute. But, people aren’t one-sided. He has an unpleasant side to him too, and his outward appearance really is cool, and he’s fairly young at the age of 23, so I thought it’d be good to include that inexperience in life…

I think it’s partially my fault that he ended up being gross *laughs*. I think it was Episode 7? He’s sitting at the bar with Maki-chan, and while she’s looking away, he does that to her cocktail… That was dangerous.

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: The sound?

Soma: They made it really loud.

Soma/Seiichiro: *laughs*

Seiichiro: I’m sure it’s because the other sounds would’ve drowned it out. *laughs*

Soma: During the recording, Murase Ayumu (who plays Maki) was grossed out and laughed. *laughs*

That aside, Seiichiro-kun and I have been cast as friends for a long time now, and while the relationship in this series is certainly unusual, I’ve always liked his acting from the start. How do I put this… he doesn’t bring his desire to the forefront; like, that bundle of desire that makes me try to make my acting entertaining when I’m voicing someone like Kyougoku.

I really like Seiichiro-kun’s ad libs. Rather than making it obvious that he’s doing something funny, he smoothly brings them in without destroying the overall flow of the work. I think he has a great sense for using minor additions to make it more interesting.

During the series, Watson calls Moriarty a “well-loved character,” and when I’m at the recording or watching the finished anime, I really understand what he means. Moriarty feels like he has a normal presence; he doesn’t put on airs or try to show off. He’s aloof, but acts like a 16-year old would. I auditioned for Moriarty too, but there aren’t many people who can express that aura.

Seiichiro: You’re too kind, but that makes me happy to hear.

Soma: I always think his acting is wonderful, and we often sit next to each other at recording sessions, but typically, all we talk about is rap.

All: *laughs*

Soma: Like, “I’ve been a fan of this lately.” The whole time.

Seiichiro: Yes, the whole time.

Soma: Every single time we see each other, we just talk about rap.

Seiichiro: Soma-san does it for work too, and whenever I see it, I think “Wow.”

In my mind, I think it’s the complete opposite of Haruchika. The things that Soma-san thinks about with Kyougoku are things I also did in Haruchika, albeit in a less experienced way. But now, I try to focus on the overall atmosphere with regards to my role as Moriarty.

On the other hand, I also felt the importance and necessity of being more creative when developing a character, without exceeding them, like Soma-san does. So, I thought it was amazing that he can act to that extent, and I was envious of that. The parts where it said “ad lib the rest” represent the expectations the director, Nagasaki-san, and Kishimoto-san have of him, and I’ve learned a lot from watching him.

Q: There are very seasoned voice actors there too, but since you two are close in age, I imagine he looks like a closer goal to reach.

Seiichiro: Yes, just by being in the same recording session, I feel my nervousness fade away. I’m happy to work with him, and I can rely on him.

At the recording for Episode 3, Yamashita-san witnessed the moment Kyougoku’s life changed!

Q: Were there any scenes that left an impression during the recording?

Seiichiro: The guest characters each week are all so unique, and I think Episode 3, when Kyougoku’s life changed, was the moment when Soma-san’s approach changed too.

All: *laughs*

Soma: The others talked about it in the last interview too, but Seki-san was rushing over from somewhere else and joined us for the B-part. When his lines for B-zou were recorded, it obliterated all expectations, so we went back to re-record the A-part…

All: *laughs*

Soma: But when I saw it on TV, it was incredibly convincing. “Break your shell,” really! It really felt like that.

Seiichiro: It’s all thanks to the ad-libbing.

Soma: Partway through, I had no idea what he was saying anymore. “Drinking without water” made me go “What?”

All: *laughs*

Soma: It wasn’t written like that in the script. He’d translated it on the spot, and I laughed out loud.

(They look at the script with ad lib corrections made, provided by the staff)

Soma: Most of his lines were corrected.

Seiichiro: “I tried to join them, but they wanted to drink without outsiders ((same word as ‘water’))” became “Me tried to be together with them, but they were drinking without water.”

All: *laughs*

Soma: Seki-san was amazing.

Seiichiro: It’s good that they didn’t add subtitles either.

Q: I think Saito-san is amazing too though, for handling that on the spot.

Seiichiro: His adaptability was amazing. I think it takes a lot of energy and brain power to go back to the A-part and redo what you already recorded.

Soma: It would’ve been off-putting if Kyougoku suddenly twisted out of shape for just the B-part. Since the B-part was recorded before the new A-part, his personality became even more developed, and his character is different between the two parts now.

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: He became really lively from the start.

Soma: At first in the B-part, I was tentatively acting like a certain rock singer, but the A-part ended up being surprisingly different, so I just rolled with it.

However, Kyougoku doesn’t have that many lines in Episode 1 and 2, and since he suddenly started out that way in Episode 3, I thought the viewers wouldn’t understand either. Sure enough, there were many comments saying “This makes no sense.” But, I think Kabukichou Sherlock is all about that kind of chaos, and it was entertaining.

Was there anything else funny that happened during recording?

Seiichiro: It was always funny. I think the benefit of mystery-solving series is that, when we’re all gathered in the same room discussing what the answer is, it builds our friendship and raises morale in the studio.

Each character had their own episodes, like the Mary/Lucy sisters and Kyougoku, and when it came time for the next person to get their episode, it was fun to focus the attention on them. And then there was the sense of security from rakugo tying everything up at the end. Konishi-san’s rakugo was fun to listen to, and there’d be ad libs from Watson too.

Soma: Those were great. Nakamura-san is really amazing too.

Seiichiro: Yeah. Watson is amazing, and you’ll be seeing more and more of how he’s not just a simple good guy.

Soma: The mood at the recording sessions was so good, that when I saw Konishi-san or Nakamura-san at other jobs, we’d get excited about how fun Sherlock was and wonder what would happen next.

Seiichiro: Chado-san said so too, right?

Soma: Haha! *laughs upon remembering*

Seiichiro: Why’re you laughing?

Soma: No, I’m just really excited to talk about Episode 6 today.

All: *laughs*

Soma: His voice as Potter was exactly the same as his other role in the show, so I thought, “You’re kidding me, right?”

Seiichiro: And his character is bad at rapping.

Soma: His “bad” acting was great.

Seiichiro: It was a perfect fit.

Soma: Anyway, we had a lot of fun with the recording sessions.

When you look carefully at the opening movie, there’s some obvious foreshadowing…

Q: Since Moriarty is Sherlock’s archenemy in the original Sherlock Holmes novels, many viewers were making predictions about him from the very start.

Staff: For example, the butterfly scene at the end of Episode 3.

Soma: When I saw the completed footage, I felt that the foreshadowing was fairly straightforward.

Seiichiro: Same with the OP… that Maki-chan.

Soma: I really laughed at Maki-chan.

Seiichiro: In my head I was like, “There it is!”

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: Moriarty’s smiling a bit too.

Soma: He has a lot of different expressions scattered throughout.

Seiichiro: The Sherlockians are paying a lot of attention to him, and the references to the original work are well-received.

It’s the first time I’ve seen such an elaborate handling of the preexisting Sherlock & Watson lore. It strikes a balance between the mystery-solving, Kabukichou setting, oddball characters, and the gaudiness that’s one step away from being indigestible. There’s rakugo on top of that too, and I think the anime brings everything together well. There are various parts that strike an impact, and it’s really entertaining. There’s a Sherlock TV drama airing right now too, so I guess there’s a boom going on.

Soma: Seriously, the vanity searching is a mess.

Seiichiro: You can’t tell which Sherlock they’re talking about.

All: *laughs*

Q: By the way, what image did you have of the original Sherlock and Watson? What was your first Sherlock work?

Seiichiro: I haven’t properly read the original novels. So even if I encountered them in dramas and whatnot, this series is my first time formally experiencing Sherlock.

Soma-san seems like he would’ve read them.

Soma: I think my very first gateway would’ve been the manga that a popular anime series was based on. The protagonist was a big fan of Sherlock, which caught my attention.

I’ve always liked mystery works, but when I read that in around middle school, I kind of shrugged it off and didn’t read the novels at all.

Last year, I happened to find A Study in Scarlet on Kindle, so I read it… and for lack of better words, Sherlock Holmes is ridiculously OP.

Seiichiro: I see!

Soma: He’s such a genius; it’s insane. He’ll suddenly pose a guess at Watson who just entered the room, saying that there’s “three reasons,” and all of them will be correct.

It’s a great time to read it now, too. Sherlock Holmes is the king of mystery novels, but while people recognize the name, they might find it hard to get into. But it’s actually surprisingly good entertainment, which I suspect is why there’s so many entry points to it now. I haven’t read too much of the original work either, but I’d like to go back and do so.

Q: Kabukichou Sherlock can be enjoyed by both Sherlockians and non-fans alike. But on the other hand, if your impression of Sherlock is too strong, it might be hard to get into it at first.

Seiichiro: Yes, but in a way, I think it’s natural for opinions to be divided.

Soma: I think that’s how it should be for this work. I’d actually be more concerned if it were universally praised.

Seiichiro: It’d be like, “Is this okay? It’s full of dirty jokes, you know?”

Since we’re all creating it with the mindset of making it entertaining in a way that’s never been done before, I think it’s only right for there to be a clear divide in positive and negative reception. That way, instead of being given a suitable rating and getting buried, it manages to leave a mark. When I look at what people are saying about it and see all of the different opinions, that’s what I think.

Soma: I really love 2000s anime, and I get the same kind of feeling from this. The rakugo mystery-solving is a new concept, but it feels similar… I wonder why. Is it the music?

Seiichiro: We talked about that at the recording studio too.

Staff: Could it be the jazz music, or Mrs. Hudson?

Soma: Mrs. Hudson’s enthusiasm in animated form is crazy. I laughed a lot at “Give me Pu!

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: Her clothes and hairstyle change every episode too.

Soma: Yeah. She actually might seem pretty novel to today’s teenagers, while people who liked the anime I liked as a kid would feel nostalgia.

Yamashita-san and Saito-san would like you to at least watch up to Episode 12 first!

Q: From what I’ve heard so far, there were a lot of ad libs. Saito-san’s ad libs were denoted in advance, but were the others also asked to ad-lib?

Soma: I think it depends on the person, but this time, there were a lot of cases where people chose to add ad libs by themselves. We usually aren’t expected to ad-lib, but I think everyone wanted to leave an impact, especially the guest actors who only had one episode to make their mark. It was crazy… Seki-san went completely off-script.

Seiichiro: Out of the regulars, Aoyama-san who plays Michel took the initiative the most often.

Soma: Yeah! Aoyama-san’s the best.

Seiichiro: He is, and the way Michel says everything he wants without ruining the flow is exceptionally charming. It’s cute.

Soma: Aoyama-san is a true master of his craft, and his acting pushed us to act more freely.

Seiichiro: His grumbling was amazing.

Soma: This series gives us the room to experiment more aggressively, and I don’t mean in the sense of screwing around. It became a battle of ad libs between everyone.

Seiichiro: It gradually started affecting us; for characters like Tora that’d say something stupid and get made fun of, their reactions would change based on spur-of-the-moment judgement, and that was great.

Q: In the previous discussion, Nakamura-san said that all of the characters came into shape as the recordings progressed.

Seiichiro: Yes.

Soma: They did. In this first cour, not every character had their own introductory episode, but by the first half (Episode 6), pretty much all of the Detective’s Row House members are brought into the overarching story. When I watched it myself, I really felt that it was taking shape.

Seiichiro: It might be because we’ve gotten used to Kabukichou Sherlock’s chaos.

Soma: Indeed, at first I was like “What the heck is this?”

Seiichiro: We gave up on scrambling to figure out what it was.

All: *laughs*

Soma: I couldn’t really understand from reading the script, and was left wondering.

Seiichiro: It wasn’t until the second half of the first cour that I started being able to accept that. After taking in all of the bizarre and ridiculous conversations each episode, I’m sure the viewers will also get used to the absurdity, and as part of the production side, I’d like them to keep watching until they get to that point.

Soma: I’m begging you, please watch all the way to Episode 12 first. Really, please do. *earnest voice*

Seiichiro: I felt that Episode 1 laid things out well and Episode 2 wrapped it up cleanly, and you can just continue on from there.

Q: The story begins to take big strides in the second half of the first cour, so it pulls you in.

Seiichiro: Episode 3 establishes that Kyougoku is trying to rise up in the world, and from there, more of the detectives’ motives and circumstances are revealed, so I think the viewers will be able to sympathize with and understand each of the characters.

[Radio] Kabukichou Sherlock ~Pipecat Radio~ #3

Broadcast: 2019/11/6
Original URL: http://www.onsen.ag/program/pipecat/ (Episode no longer available)
Original Name: 歌舞伎町シャーロック~パイプキャットラジオ~ 第3回

Host: Suwabe Junichi (Mrs. Hudson in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Host: Tachibana Tatsumaru (Kobayashi Toratarou in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Guest: Saito Soma (Kyougoku Fuyuto in Kabukichou Sherlock)

Yamashita Seiichiro (James Moriarty in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Murase Ayumu (Hokari Maki in Kabukichou Sherlock)

※I’m not an Onsen premium supporter so this summary excludes the bonus section.


  • Tatsumaru’s short description of Soma is “a refreshing smile, high potential” because he often smiles when he talks
  • At the recordings, Tatsumaru sits in the far corner, followed by Seiichiro and then Soma. The three of them are close in age and Tatsumaru is the same age as Soma, with their birthdays one day apart. Seiichiro recently (“yesterday”) made a LINE group for the three of them to go out for food sometime (Suwabe: “Is he lonely?”)
  • Soma’s appearance on the radio kept getting changed because of scheduling issues
  • Soma originally auditioned for Moriarty but got Kyougoku instead. During the audition, the documents didn’t have anything but the art for Kyougoku, and from his appearance he looked cool, smart, handsome etc. Soma was excited to get the role because of that, but then Episode 3 happened…
  • Soma and Murase Ayumu have known each other for a long time and often chat at work, eat together, etc. They also often get cast in strange positions together, and this time Soma was like “Ah, it finally happened…”
  • A listener asks what Soma’s personal bible is (the equivalent of “Western Dream” for Kyougoku) and Soma says he’s named several titles in his book-related work before, but what comes to mind right now as the one he’s re-read the most might be the manga Slam Dunk


1 ● 10 ▲ 100 500

Hint: It’s close by, but lately it’s becoming less close by (the national trend)

  • Soma is confident in his answer
  • Tatsumaru put ●=5 because the consumption tax has gone from 5% to 8% to 10% (Soma: Are you saying it’s going to end up at 500%…?!)
  • Tatsumaru guessed ▲=50 but it was based on flow alone
  • Soma reveals the solution; something close by that you’ve been using less often lately: coins (the numbers are the denominations that Japanese yen coins come in)