[Interview] Natalie – Yuukoku no Moriarty – Saito Soma x Sato Takuya x Kobayashi Chiaki – Afternoon Tea Experience Report

Published: 2020/12/10
Original URL: https://natalie.mu/comic/pp/moriarty02

Saito Soma (William James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
Sato Takuya (Albert James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
Kobayashi Chiaki (Louis James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)

※This is a report + interview on the “Afternoon Tea Experience” that was filmed as bonus footage for Vol.2 of the anime’s BD/DVD release.
※※Due to visual similarity between Saito and Sato, I switched to using first names outside of direct quotes.

Saito Soma x Sato Takuya x Kobayashi Chiaki
Afternoon Tea Experience Report

A few days before the TV broadcast of Yuukoku no Moriarty began, Soma, Takuya, and Chiaki gathered at a certain location—Salon “Three Tiers”, a inconspicuous hideaway in Meguro, a residential district in Tokyo. On this drizzly day, to coincide with the setting of Yuukoku no Moriarty, the three of them came here to learn about British-style afternoon tea.

First was the filming of the opening footage. The weather was unfortunate, but they said, “This weather is actually Moriarty-esque, right?”, “London doesn’t give the impression of clear weather”, “I can imagine nobles using umbrellas a lot.” They already had the friendly atmosphere of the three brothers.

It was their first time experiencing real afternoon tea, and they nervously went inside. First, the owner, Shintaku Hisaki, explained Three Tiers and the 80-year old Western house it inhabited, which is a registered cultural property. Faced with the historical building and the numerous furnishings inside, Soma murmured, “I want to live here…”

Five types of black tea were brought to the table. “Royal Wedding” makes an impact with its rose fragrance and bright flower petals. “Darjeeling First Flush,” which uses the first-picked leaves, has a clear astringency similar to green tea. “Farrer’s Lakeland Special” is notable for its small leaves, and is suitable for milk tea. “Elderflower” has the sweet fragrance of osmanthus. Lastly, there was England’s representative tea, “Earl Grey.” Soma began by smelling the tea leaves. It was such a diverse lineup that he had a different reaction to each one.

Next, Takuya and Chiaki enjoyed the fragrances as well. “It’s like the scent is coming straight to my brain,” Takuya said. He seemed to be relatively knowledgeable about black tea compared to the other two. “Simply enjoying the fragrance is nice too, right?”

Chiaki said he liked milk tea, and when he smelled each type of tea leaves, he gave honest reactions like, “Whoa!” “Oh, it’s completely different!” and “It’s a simple, nice scent.” Soma and Takuya seemed to enjoy his pure reactions.

After much deliberation, the teas they chose were brought to them. They tasted them and shared their impressions.

Soma was impressed, saying, “Interesting! It seems like the refreshing type for a moment, but then the astringency comes when it reaches your throat… This is really good. I seriously feel like I’m going to awaken.”

Next, Takuya said, “It feels like it showed me a different side of itself from when we first met. It has a slight astringency too… it’s not only sweet.”

“That sounds kind of lewd…” quipped Soma.

“Is that love?” continued Chiaki.

Chiaki’s comment was, “The fragrance doubled. It’s astringent at first, but then the mellowness comes out. You can enjoy the transformation.”

To find out which teas they chose, please watch the BD/DVD.

Then, the centerpiece of the day was brought before them: the afternoon tea set. The bottom tier had sandwiches, the middle tier had scones, and the top tier had colourful desserts. They were amazed by the beautiful sight.

The three listened earnestly to Shintaku’s explanation of each dish: the cucumber sandwiches which were considered a delicacy back in the day, the freshly baked scones that aimed to recreate the taste of England, and the compote and Mont Blanc made with plenty of seasonal fruit.

This being their first time having afternoon tea, Soma asked about table manners. Shintaku answered, “Japanese people worry about manners and etiquette, but when you ask British people, they say, ‘Can’t you start from anywhere?'”

Surprised by the answer, the three each began with what they were interested in. First, Chiaki reached for the freshly baked scones. He put plenty of jam and clotted cream on them and dug in, letting out a quiet, “It’s good.” Combining it with the tea, he declared, “I could have this for breakfast forever.”

Next, Soma said, “I think I’ll try the scones too…” but went for the beef stew instead. After one mouthful, he beamed happily, made eye contact with Takuya and Chiaki, and finished eating it while nodding silently. “The stew is good, but so is the pie that goes with it… I’ll introduce this to my diet.”

Takuya the sweet-tooth began with the desserts. Using the antique knife and fork to eat the small Mont Blanc, he said, “The cream is rich, yet the aftertaste is light…” He sipped his tea, smiled, and said, “It cleanly resets the palate.” Soma and Chiaki couldn’t hold back their laughter at his numerous words of wisdom.

They enjoyed their afternoon teatime to their heart’s content while talking about Yuukoku no Moriarty. “That was a great time,” “I want to come here every week,” they said, reluctant to leave. The filming concluded with Soma reflecting on the day and saying honestly, “I wish this would become a regular thing… I’ll be praying for the powers that be to do something. *laughs*”

Saito Soma x Sato Takuya x Kobayashi Chiaki

“We learned a lot about Chiaki-kun today *laughs*” – Soma

—How was today’s filming?

Takuya: Ahh, it was a lot of fun.

Chiaki: I was purely enjoying myself, forgetting that it was work.

Soma: I knew about afternoon tea, but I’d never gotten the chance to try it, so this was a valuable experience. Also, personally, I was happy that the three of us got to film something together. It’s actually the first time for us.

Takuya: It’s the first time we’re all together outside of the anime recordings.

Soma: These days, even at the recordings, we can’t get the time to talk properly… I’m really glad that the three brothers got to spend this time together today. Eating together really does deepen bonds.

—Even though you weren’t eating from the same pot.

Takuya: It really does. It’s strange—eating the same flavours and sharing the sensation feels like the fastest shortcut to closing the distance on a spiritual level.

Soma: Also, we learned a lot about Chiaki-kun today. *laughs*

Chiaki: …What?!

Takuya: Yep, we did. *laughs*

Soma: I even asked your manager just now.

Chiaki: About what…?

Soma: “Is it okay for Chiaki-kun to be like that?”

All: *laughs*

Soma: It’s great for us, though. *laughs*

—During the Episode 1 screening, Kobayashi-san was the only one who could only appear in a video message. It was amusing how you two watched over him. *laughs*

Takuya: He was the only lively one there. *laughs*

Chiaki: I mean, you don’t appear as a video message that often, right? I didn’t know what the mood was going to be like there… *laughs*

“It was shocking when I added clotted cream and jam” – Chiaki

—Did anything particularly stand out to you from what you ate today?

Chiaki: It’d have to be the scones.

Takuya: They were extremely delicious.

Chiaki: I’d never eaten scones before, so I thought they’d be more flavourless…

Takuya: It was like, is this bread? A cookie? Which one?

Chiaki: Sweet but not sweet… It wasn’t an easy-to-understand flavour. But it was shocking when I added that clotted cream and jam. The scones themselves were already delicious, but eating them like that was a surprise.

Soma: What surprised me was that it was okay to eat with our hands. I thought it’d be more formal, and that we’d have to eat elegantly, but it was unexpectedly casual, if I can call it that. We were allowed to have fun, which let me savour it more genuinely.

Takuya: True, that was a big factor.

Soma: Also, when Shintaku-san gave us information like how cucumbers used to be a high-class delicacy… it made them taste “extremely cucumber”…

All: *laughs*

Soma: Learning those things was fun too.

Takuya: Cucumber sandwiches come up a lot in British novels, right? I always wondered why, but now I know. It was an extremely enjoyable and luxurious time spent, where we got to enjoy the country’s food, history, and culture. I thought about why the British value teatime so much, but realized that it must be because tea and food are important for building human relationships.

“I said that line without thinking” – Takuya

—I’d like to ask about the tea as well. You each chose from the five types of tea leaves, and I thought it was brilliant how Sato-san compared tea to a woman…

Takuya: *laughs* I knew about names like Darjeeling and Earl Grey, but I didn’t actually think about how different the tastes would be. There were five types prepared for us this time, and the differences were an unprecedented surprise for me. I said that line without thinking.

All: *laughs*

Takuya: I’m just saying whatever I want. *laughs*

Soma: I don’t drink a lot of black tea, but I liked the format of afternoon tea. I like being able to choose from different things, like obanzai or those sets where you can choose three small dishes. The restaurant also had a lovely atmosphere, and I’d like to come back many times. I also want to try the other types of tea.

Chiaki: I usually eat strongly-flavoured foods or box lunches from the convenience store, so I think my tongue has become less sensitive. But this time, I thought, “Maybe this is what true deliciousness is.” And though there was no alcohol involved, I really enjoyed drinking together with you two.

—Do you think that this experience will influence your future voice acting and character building?

Takuya: Extremely so. At the very least, I’m sure there’ll be a difference in the atmosphere when the three brothers are at home together.

Soma: In the tea-drinking scenes, I’ll have a definite idea of the taste, so the way I handle those situations will change.

“The drama and the realism are both depicted with care” – Soma

—Now then, I’d like to ask about the series as well. First, what were your impressions after watching the anime?

Takuya: Fans of the original manga may have been surprised that Episode 1 was an anime-original story. However, it was created to be an optimal introduction to the brothers’ stories. I think it was done to say, “This is what Yuukoku no Moriarty is like.” With only 30 minutes per episode, I imagine the director and the rest of the staff have a difficult time deciding which stories and scenes to show from the manga, but I get the impression that they’re making sure not to leave out anything important.

Chiaki: Manga and anime have different presentation styles, and there are directions and expressions that shine more in anime. In that sense, I think the anime is created in a way that you can enjoy it as an anime. Today we were given the opportunity to see and feel an antique building and furniture resembling England’s at that time, which made me realize that the anime depicts that era realistically. The director and the staff did a lot of research.

Soma: Exactly. (said in English)

All: *laughs*

Soma: It’s really as the other two said. I think the anime takes the manga’s essence and presents the appeal of Yuukoku no Moriarty in a different medium. Manga and anime each have their own strengths, and both of them show the series’ charm in their own ways. To give a specific example, “So when William is smoking, there is music in the background and feathers falling from the sky.” *laughs*

All: *laughs*

Soma: I think the drama and the realism are both depicted with care, so I hope you’ll enjoy it whether you’re a fan of the manga or you’re starting with the anime.

“William is a ‘Louis Protection Extremist'” – Soma

—One of the themes of this series is the bonds between the three brothers. How do you interpret the characters’ relationships in your acting?

Soma: Albert is an extremely sharp and capable person. Ever since he was a child, he felt uncomfortable with the world, but he couldn’t tell what exactly was the problem or what he should do. Then he met the young William, and the path was opened to him. To William, he’s the most trustworthy partner in crime. He thinks about things from the same perspective and can take practical action from a different position. In that sense, Albert is the brother who does the most actual work. On the other hand, Louis is a special person to William. I think that William has a “Louis Protection Extremist” side to him. *laughs*

Chiaki: *laughs*

Takuya: He can’t stay logical when it comes to Louis. *laughs*

Soma: William is prepared to face self-ruin as a result of using crime to reform the world, but he doesn’t want to get Louis involved. He wants to keep Louis away from uncleanness. So even though it seems like it’s Louis who admires William, William seriously cares about Louis too, in his own way. I think it’ll be shown in the anime later too, but their bonds deepen after Louis speaks his mind. The change in the brothers’ relationship is one of the charms of this series.

Takuya: I think that Albert is quite unusual. The three of them are on the criminal side, taking the lives of the greedy, arrogant nobles, but Albert grew up right in the middle of those nobles. He should’ve been raised to think that it’s normal for nobles to act like that, and not to question it. Yet, he felt that his world was crooked and even reached the point of thinking that it had to be destroyed. It wouldn’t be wrong to say he’s eccentric. If anything, he’s a dangerous individual. He experienced a form of divine revelation when he met William and Louis, and found his purpose in life.

—He found partners who he could trust.

Takuya: I guess you could say… he met a business partner who could turn his ideals into reality, with the actual results to back it up. He trusts William and Louis to accomplish his dream, but I think part of why it works is because they aren’t his real brothers. Since they aren’t related by blood, they don’t get overly reliant on each other. There’s an absolute sense of distance and tension between them, which I think is one of the curiosities surrounding the Moriarty brothers.

Chiaki: I agree that to Louis, there’s a sense of distance between him and Albert, because unlike William, he isn’t related to him by blood. But on the other hand, he does trust Albert. I think that William and Albert trust Moran and Fred to some degree, but Louis felt wary when Fred visited their house at night—he doesn’t really open up to others. In that sense, I think that Albert is the only non-blood relative that Louis trusts.

—And he has something resembling absolute trust towards William.

Chiaki: Right. If carrying out their plan meant losing William, I can’t even imagine what Louis would choose. His trust exceeds the realm of brotherly love. But that doesn’t mean he blindly believes William—at first I thought it might be better to voice him with affection towards William (though not to the point of having hearts at the end of lines *laughs*), but as I was reading the script, I saw that he asked William questions like, “What does that mean?” or “Isn’t that dangerous?” If he really trusted William wholeheartedly, it wouldn’t be out of place for him to accept everything without question, but he thinks about William’s words and voices his concerns. I think that Louis wants to protect William and Albert’s home in his own way.

“I’d like to go to a pub and drink beer from large mugs with Hudson-san *laughs*” – Soma

—By the way, are there any characters you like besides the ones you voiced?

Chiaki: I like William-niisan.

Takuya: So fast! It’s as if you’ve never changed from your first impression. *laughs*

All: *laughs*

Chiaki: I always answer that question with William-niisan.

Soma: …But what’s the truth?

Takuya: …Do you mean it?

Chiaki: I think that Jack is austere and cool, but… No *laughs*. I tend to get immersed in my role, so it’s easy for me to like the characters that my character likes. Regardless of gender. So William’s scenes catch my eye, and I end up following him with my eyes, thinking that he’s cool.

Soma: I see.

Takuya: I like Inspector Lestrade. He seems like he’s seen much of life *laughs*. He also prioritizes his own justice over his police work. He must have quite the mental fortitude in order to associate with a problematic person like Sherlock, and I also really like the human kindness he shows in not being able to do things coldheartedly.

Soma: I like von Herder. As for why, I’ve always liked that kind of unconventional character *laughs*. Also, Hudson-san. She’s very charming as a woman, and I’d like to go to a pub and drink beer from large mugs with her. *laughs*

Takuya: Oh, that sounds nice. In that case, I want Moneypenny-san at our office.

Soma: Ohh, I know what you mean!

Takuya: She’s very capable. *laughs*

“Will there be a swimsuit episode, as I hoped for at the Episode 1 screening…?” – Chiaki

—This feature will be published when the first cour has reached its climax. Please give us a message for the readers.

Soma: First, thank you for reading this far. At the time that we’re doing this interview, we’ve just finished recording up to Episode 8, and we’re enjoying encountering new mysteries, characters, and anime-specific appeals. Please enjoy the show that we’ve put 120% of our excitement into, and use the manga to speculate about what’s to come. We hope for your continued support.

Takuya: I’m always looking forward to every recording because of how fulfilling they are. The production team is also doing their best, adjusting every last detail to deliver the best that they can. We want to bring you a wonderful story and characters. I’m sure there will be various developments from here on out—after all, I never expected to be going for afternoon tea with these two today *laughs*—so please look forward to those as well.

Chiaki: The manga and anime present the story in different ways and some of the developments differ as well, but on the flip side, I think that means the people who read the original manga can also enjoy new things in the anime. And personally, I’m interested in what role Louis will play later on. Will there be a swimsuit episode, as I hoped for at the Episode 1 screening…? *laughs*

Soma: Yeah, it could be an anime original.

Takuya: It’s not a complete lost cause.

Chiaki: Right? It could even be a 5-minute anime. I won’t abandon hope. *laughs*

All: *laughs*

Chiaki: Well, I’m only half serious *laughs* but I think it’d be nice to have scenes where they take a breather. I’m looking forward to the story developments, and I hope the viewers will continue to do so as well.

[Interview] TV Guide (Web) – Koisuru Voice! – Saito Soma in Yuukoku no Moriarty

Published: 2020/11/18
Original URL: https://www.tvguide.or.jp/column/column-497769/

Saito Soma (William James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)

Sato Takuya (Albert James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
Kobayashi Chiaki (Louis James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
Uemura Yuto (Fred Porlock in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
Terasoma Masaki (Argleton in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
Furukawa Makoto (Sherlock Holmes in Yuukoku no Moriarty)

—I heard that you were a fan of the original manga to begin with.

One of my hobbies is going to the bookstore and buying books based on their covers. When I saw volume 1 of the manga with William on the cover, I bought it, thinking “This looks interesting.” I also love the crime suspense genre, so when I read it, I thought “This is interesting!”

—The role of William was auditioned for, right?

When it comes to auditions, there are times when you just can’t win. Personally, I try not to expect too much. The more you want to play a role, the more frustrating it is when you lose… although it does make you stronger for the next one. For this series, since I liked the manga, it made me want to voice William even more. I actually overheard the screening process, and as the candidates got whittled down, I heard that I was still in the running and got excited *laughs*. In the end I was fortunate enough to get the role, and I was truly happy about it.

—What is your impression of the Sherlock Holmes series that Professor Moriarty comes from?

I definitely can’t say I like it the way that Sherlockians (passionate Sherlock Holmes fans) do, but I’ve read some books from the series. As for Professor Moriarty, I’m a big fan of Ohtsuki Kenji, who’s the vocalist of the band Kinniku Shoujo-tai. One of their songs, “Peten,” has a lyric that goes “Atop Reichenbach Falls” (the location where Holmes and Moriarty faced off), and that influences my impression of Professor Moriarty. Trying to control a city with one’s individual strength makes for a very intriguing perspective as a reader. Yuukoku no Moriarty’s William is a fresh take that shows respect for the Sherlock Holmes series. He’s really cool and a good match for the present era.

—William’s brothers are voiced by talented actors too—Albert James Moriarty, the older brother, is voiced by Sato Takuya-san, and Louis James Moriarty, the younger brother, is voiced by Kobayashi Chiaki-san. What did you think when you heard who you’d be starring with?

When I’m reading manga, sometimes I think, “This character seems like they’d probably be voiced by this person,” and sometimes I don’t. In the case of Yuukoku no Moriarty, I enjoyed reading the series without thinking too much about potential casts. When the cast was revealed, I thought, “They’re all first-rate…!”

Also, everyone gets their information so quickly. When I met Yuto-kun at another studio, he said “I look forward to working with you!” but I didn’t know yet that he was going to voice Fred Porlock *laughs*. I respect these cast members as both actors and people, so I’m really looking forward to what we’ll create in the upcoming dialogues.

—How is the recording atmosphere?

I’ve known Sato-san, who voices Albert, for a very long time. As for Chiaki-kun who voices Louis, recently we’ve been working together quite often. How do I put this… it really feels like having an older and younger brother. Both of them are very kind and calm, so our breaks have a relaxed atmosphere. At the episode 1 recording, I got a full grasp of how Albert and Louis were going to be, which was impressive. It started off with a scene of the three brothers talking, and it felt completely natural. I had a feeling that we were going to make a great trio, and that made me really happy.

Also, the guests are too amazing! In episode 1, Terasoma-san voiced the antagonist. I was floored by how he expressed so much with every breath in his ad libs. Battling incredible senpais with my reliable brothers was unbelievably fun.

—Furukawa Makoto-san voices Sherlock Holmes, who engages in battles of wits with William.

I’ve worked with Furukawa-san in a variety of places, but I think this is the first time our characters are facing off in this way. Furukawa-san is extremely skilled too, so I’m looking forward to it!

—Were there any directions regarding your acting?

There’s a line that goes, “I, crime consultant William James Moriarty, accept your request.” It was part of the audition too, and he’ll be saying it throughout the series. I thought it could go two ways: emphasizing it as a catchphrase, or keeping it in William’s gentlemanly tone. First I tried emphasizing it, but the sound director, Hata Shouji-san, said “It’s an important line, but sound-wise you don’t have to make it stand out too much.” I think we’ll continue to make these detailed balance adjustments as the recordings proceed. But besides that, I don’t really get told “Do it like this.” Instead, I analyze William’s thoughts myself and discuss them. I think I’ll be able to create something good that way.

—Lastly, what are you looking forward to in this series?

I don’t know which stories from the manga are going to be adapted yet, but I’m particularly interested in the ones where everyone executes a plan together. I’m also interested in finding out who voices Bonde! Each story feels as grand and fast-paced as a movie, and they’re all worthwhile watches, so please look forward to them!

[Interview] Weekly Shonen Jump 2020 #50 – Yuukoku no Moriarty Special Cross-Talk – Saito Soma x Sato Takuya

Released: 2020/11/16

Saito Soma (William James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
Sato Takuya (Albert James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)

Suzuki Tatsuhisa (Blitz Enders in Yuukoku no Moriarty)

—Your impressions of the manga?

Soma: I bought Volume 1 because I was attracted to the illustration of William on the cover. I think it’s wonderful how it adds bold interpretations to the Sherlock Holmes series, turning it into a crime suspense story that appeals to a modern audience as well.

Takuya: I first picked it up because of the audition, but I was so interested in the rest of the story that I bought all of the available volumes at once. I’m drawn to the way the characters are presented and how they’re compelled to turn to murder.

—How do you interpret William and Albert’s relationship?

Takuya: Albert resents his noble bloodline, but is bound to it against his will. To him, William is truly a divine messenger. I think that meeting William is what gave him his way of life. But I don’t think that the two of them want to know what the other is truly thinking deep down inside.

Soma: True! Albert is also the first person William’s met of that type, and I think he’s the best possible business partner for him. They do have brotherly love too, of course, but joining forces was a means to faster accomplish their goal of reforming the British Empire. Just like William, Albert seems to keep some of his power in reserve, which I think makes him more trustworthy.

—What do you think about the third brother, Louis?

Soma: Louis is cute!

Takuya: He’s cute, and I think he must have a hard time. *laughs*

Soma: William reveres him, and I think he wants to protect Louis’s innocence. Those unexpected times when he shows his attachment are touching too.

—What scenes in the anime left an impression on you, up to Episode 6?

Takuya: Count Enders is a refreshing piece of trash. *laughs*

Soma: He sure was mass-producing quotable quotes! Tatsuhisa-san gave it his all, and his acting was amazing.

Takuya: It makes you wonder, how did he interpret the script in that way?!

Soma: The character was already eccentric in the manga, but he left a deeper impression in the anime.

Takuya: His efforts are amazing in Episode 7 too, so please pay attention to them there.

[Interview] Jump SQ. 2020/12 Edition – Yuukoku no Moriarty Special Cross-Talk – Saito Soma x Sato Takuya

Released: 2020/11/4

Saito Soma (William James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
Sato Takuya (Albert James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)

※Can be bought digitally on sites such as Bookwalker (I have included the first scan because it’s in the free preview). There is one more black-and-white photo of Soma on page 60.

—Have you two read the Sherlock Holmes series before?

Soma: It’s a common topic in anime, so I read the books whenever I have the chance to appear in a series that references them. They’re extremely high quality entertainment, easy to read, and it’s refreshing to watch Holmes easily solve cases with his brilliant mind.

Takuya: I read it in elementary school in the form of children’s literature at the library. Holmes is an eccentric with much better perception than the average person, so I’ve wondered, “If I were his friend, would I be able to conduct myself as well as Watson?” It’s as if the charming characters are living in another world, and I wonder if that’s why anime, dramas, and movies continue to be made from the series, generation after generation. The original illustration of Professor Moriarty also appears in this anime’s first episode…but it had quite the impact. *laughs*

Soma: He wasn’t actually young. *laughs*

—Did you know about the Yuukoku no Moriarty manga, then?

Soma: I like going to the bookstore and buying books based on their covers, so I bought Volume 1 because I was attracted to the cover illustration of William pointing a gun at his head. It’s interesting how it adds bold interpretations to Sherlock Holmes‘ framework, turning it into a stylish crime suspense story that appeals to a modern audience as well. When I heard about the audition, I thought, “I knew it was going to get an anime adaptation!”

Takuya: As for me, I first read Volume 1 because of the audition, and I was so interested in the rest of the story that I bought all of the volumes that’d been released at the time (around ten) *laughs*. I like the showiness when new characters like Moran are introduced to Moriarty’s circle. Also, it’s definitely not a story about a “hero of justice”—it’s about using evil to control evil. That’s one of the reasons why I really wanted to be part of it.

—What’s your favourite story from the manga?

Soma: I love all of them, but one of my favourites is the one where the young man from the printing business sneaks into William’s university to take the exam (“The Adventure of the One Student”). Mathematicians often say that “a beautiful formula resembles poetry.” I felt something similar from this story, and it gave us a better look at William’s nature. I also love the relationship between Irene and Sherlock, and I’m curious about how Hudson-san really feels about Sherlock *laughs*. William’s group does their work calmly, while Sherlock’s side is always noisy. It’s a nice contrast, like stillness and motion.

Takuya: The story about the Burtons, which was adapted in Episode 4 of the anime, left a deep impression on me. Rushing to your lord with your child who has a high fever, only to be turned away, is too cruel… It makes me wonder how it would feel to live in a world like that.

Soma: That story was heartbreaking. When we’re recording for the anime, we’re told that we’re allowed to ignore the “boards” (indicators showing how long the lines should take), and the two voice actors who portrayed the Burtons performed wonderfully, pouring their souls into it.

—Who are your favourite characters?

Soma: Mine is Von Herder, aka “Q”! I think he’s the only character who can truly be considered comedic relief. I also like that slight pitifulness!

Takuya: I totally understand! *laughs* I like Sherlock’s older brother, Mycroft. When I was reading the manga, he was first introduced as just “Mr. Holmes,” so I thought, “Huh…? It’s the same person?!”

Soma: “Did he change his hairstyle?”

Takuya: Yeah, it deceived me into thinking that Sherlock also had a hidden side. I like how they have completely different auras despite being brothers. As the voice of Albert, the politics between him and Mycroft are appealing to me as well.

Soma: They have mature conversations.

Takuya: Right. I like how he isn’t straightforward, how both of them want to follow through with the plan, and how they stick to their beliefs.

—Please tell us about William and Albert’s charms and personalities.

Soma: William is sharp-minded and there’s an aspect of him that even his brothers Louis and Albert can’t understand. That character profile makes him an appealing protagonist, and I’m curious about his future.

Takuya: William has an alluring charm that draws people to him. Whether that’s a beneficial medicine or a strong poison depends on which side you’re on, though… But I think that for Albert, meeting William was something like a divine revelation. The reassurance of having him as an ally, how convincing it is that he really could change the world, and the confidence behind his words… These are his charms, but they also tend to be frightening.

Soma: Albert has the broadmindedness you’d expect from the eldest brother. I’d say that generally, William formulates the plans and Albert handles the fine-tuning and necessary follow-ups. If you ask me which one of the brothers I’d marry, I’d definitely choose Albert.

Takuya: …Kyaa! *laughs*

Soma: *laughs* Just think about it! First of all, William would make an attractive boyfriend, but when it comes to marriage… *laughs* I like him, but he’s pretty much an oddball, right? And when he works his brain too much, he falls asleep. Louis is cute, so he’s the type I’d want to dote on. On that note, I want to be doted on by Albert. But on the other hand, sometimes I have no idea what he’s really thinking. When he’s talking to Mycroft, I find myself wanting to explore how many layers he has inside him. Albert also has that “reassuring yet mysterious” charm.

Takuya: As the eldest son of the Moriarty family, he surely would’ve received gifted education. It makes you speculate as to why he came to hate aristocrats to the point where he wanted to change the world. If it’s his form of kindness after once experiencing despair, then I think he’s a highly sinful person.

Soma: Albert is peculiar too, in a way. I think he’s the best business partner that William could’ve hoped for.

—The anime has currently aired up to Episode 4. What were your notable scenes?

Soma: Episode 1 ends with William’s signature phrase, “the perfect crime.” Internally I was thinking, “This is a tough line to pull off!”, so that was a memorable scene for me *laughs*. I also thought it was interesting that the anime began with an original story to broaden the scope. Please pay attention to when William compliments Louis’s omelette in Episode 1!

Takuya: Right after the recording for Episode 1, I suddenly had to audition for the role of “Child Albert.”

Soma: Ahahaha! *laughs* Yeah.

Takuya: William and Louis are younger, so their child forms were played by female voice actresses, but apparently they wanted to see if I could do a suitable voice for Albert first. Thanks to that, in Episode 2 and 3, I got to play a pubescent child for the first time in quite a long while, which was a challenge.

Soma: Everyone except for Sato-san was grinning. *laughs*

Takuya: I was like, “Oh no, Soma-kun… They said I’m going to do it…!”

Soma: *high-pitched voice* We wanted to do it too, you know?! I wanted to at least try…!

Takuya: *laughs*

—Lastly, please tell us what to look forward to in the rest of the series.

Takuya: The story’s pace quickly accelerates when Sherlock Holmes, the Moriarty side’s balance breaker, takes the stage. I hope you’ll enjoy the anime’s unique charms!

Soma: William’s team is working to reform the British Empire through theatrical crimes. The series’ appeal builds with each passing episode, so please stick with it until the end. There are still a lot of characters for whom the cast is unknown to us, so I’m looking forward to finding out who they are—and I hope you will too.

Q: What did you focus on while voice acting?

Soma: Since I’m turning 30 next year, I want to broaden the range of the characters I voice and try different things with my new roles, using the experience I’ve accumulated as a foundation. Among those, William seemed like he’d have a lower voice than my natural voice, but rather than overly constructing the voice, I wanted to try using my acting instinct for this character. I was happy that that got me the role.

Takuya: When I was voicing Albert’s child form, I had to study the physical development of a pubescent boy who was raised as a noble, whether his voice would have changed yet, and so on. I also had to consider why he formed a brotherly pact with William and Louis, and how it would have affected him to witness Louis sear his own face in the burning building. I feel that these will be very helpful when voicing Albert.

[Interview] Animedia 2020/11 Edition – Yuukoku no Moriarty – Genius vs Genius

(Anime visuals only; not posting scans)

Released: 2020/10/10

Saito Soma (William James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)

Sato Takuya (Albert James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
Kobayashi Chiaki (Louis James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)

—Tell us about your impressions when you read the original manga.

I thought the antihero premise of the protagonists turning London into a city of crime for their goals was cool, and it made me want to marathon the rest of the series. I also liked how the high-level battle of wits between brilliant minds trying to outwit one another was depicted in a stylish way.

—What do you find similar about you and William?

Recently, I was told that something I thought was normal actually wasn’t normal. William also has quite unique sensibilities and values, so we might be similar in that respect.

—What are your impressions of the older brother, Albert, and the younger brother, Louis?

I think that Albert is cunning. He trusts William and does a lot of things behind the scenes. William considers him a partner in crime, and a comrade that he can trust. On the other hand, I think that William wants to protect Louis’s clean hands.

During the actual recordings, Sato-san and Kobayashi-kun’s acting matched my expectations, so the brothers’ dialogues came together well. I feel at ease knowing that we’ll certainly form stronger brotherly bonds as the recordings progress.

—Are there any characters besides William that you like or are interested in?

Everyone is great, but I think Louis is the cutest by far. I also like Moran-san’s pitifulness *laughs*. I’m also curious as to how Von Herder creates weapons while blindfolded. Since the story is so serious, it’s comforting when Herder shows up and makes things more comedic.

—Please give a message to Animedia’s readers, including what we can look forward to in the rest of the series.

I’m happy that this wonderful manga is being adapted to an anime by an amazing team of staff. I think the anime will have its own unique advantages, so I hope you’ll enjoy the manga and anime’s different worlds of Yuukoku no Moriarty and get excited about them with us. Thank you for your support!

Questions About the Moriarty Brothers

Q: If you were going to dress up the brothers in a modern style, what would you choose?

They seem like they’re always dressed up, so I’d like to see them in casual clothes, like a rough sweater or a shirt with a loose neckline. Then there’s the typical Japanese-style clothes, since I think they’d look good in them. I’d also like to change their hairstyles. As for colours… Can I get all three of them to wear pink? *laughs* Different brightnesses of pink. Let’s make Moran-san wear it while we’re at it!

Q: What would you give the brothers as a taste of autumn?

It might be difficult this year, but what about sanma (Pacific saury)? I won’t hide it—I really love sanma! It’s my favourite of all grilled fish. I don’t think they’d know much about Japan back then, so I’d have them grill sanma on a shichirin grill and wear pink Japanese clothes. It’d be cute if Louis tasted the bitterness of the fish guts and said “No thank you.”

Q: If you were the fourth Moriarty brother, what position would you want?

In my family, I’m the oldest of three children, but if I was going to be one of the Moriarty brothers, I’d want to be the third son. I think it’d be the most desirable position because the two older brothers would help me with things, while Louis would be my younger brother listening to what I say. I think being the third brother is the position that has both the deliciousness of having a younger brother and the strengths of having older brothers. I want to reap all the benefits. *laughs*

[Interview] Newtype 2020/11 Edition – Yuukoku no Moriarty – A London Steeped in Red

(Anime visuals only; no scans provided)

Released: 2020/10/10

Saito Soma (William James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)

Sato Takuya (Albert James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
Kobayashi Chiaki (Louis James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)

—I heard that you were originally a reader of the manga.

I saw it at the bookstore and thought the cover was really stylish and cool, so I bought it based on that. When I read it, I found out that it was a type of antihero story, with the crime consultant William and his allies turning London into a city of crime. I was pulled in by the battles of wits and deception between the talented characters.

—What’s your impression of the character you voice, William James Moriarty?

William is depicted as a character who shows a variety of expressions, in the manga as well. I consider his elusiveness his greatest appeal. He’s calm and collected, to the point of being coldhearted at times, but on the other hand, he has a unique sensitivity and he’s earnest. Since he’s so mysterious, it makes you want to learn more about him.

—What do you think about Albert and Louis, who work with him?

My first impression of Albert was that he was crafty and more than meets the eye. That might be exactly why he makes a good partner in crime for William. On the other hand, since Louis is the younger brother, I think William wants to keep him clean. At the recording, when I acted with Sato-san and Kobayashi-kun, it fit together better than I’d imagined, which was great. It’s really interesting how we gave the brothers three different styles of coolness and elegance.

—What appeals to you in 19th century London?

From a modern perspective, it feels like a very dreamlike era. While the Industrial Revolution was progressing, unscientific concepts like alchemy were still very much alive. That profundity appeals to me. I also thought that the dangerous contrast between the lifestyles of the upper class and everyone else was important. I think that William would’ve had a different way of life if he were born in any other era. It might be tragic, but I think it’s because of those gears of fate that the story is this way.

—How do you portray William’s “charm”?

His speech and expressions always feel steeped in charm, so I strive to not stray from that axis. In order to ascertain that axis, I thoroughly pore over the script before going to the recording.

—What are you looking forward to in this series?

As a reader of the manga, I’m very excited to hear how the voices are handled for the upcoming characters, like Sherlock. I’m definitely also looking forward to seeing how William’s group will change London. Please witness it with your own eyes too.

[Interview] PASH! 2020/5 Edition – IDOLiSH7 Second BEAT! – TRIGGER Special Interview

Released: 2020/4/10

Saito Soma (Kujou Tenn in IDOLiSH7)

※This was presented as three separate interviews with each of the TRIGGER members. Only Soma’s interview is translated here, as well as Soma mentions from the other interviews.

Hatano Wataru (Yaotome Gaku in IDOLiSH7)
Sato Takuya (Tsunashi Ryuunosuke in IDOLiSH7)
Masuda Toshiki (Izumi Iori in IDOLiSH7)

Tenn strives for perfection

Q: How did you feel when Season 2 was announced?

Soma: Rather than being excited like “Phew, it’s happening!”, it was more of a natural acceptance, like “The time has finally come.” In the mobile game’s story, the second arc and beyond has the idols’ relationships and surrounding circumstances becoming more complex. I was personally hoping to see it in anime form, so I was very happy about the Season 2 announcement as both an actor and a fan.

Q: Did you talk about the announcement with the other cast members?

Soma: I have a lot of chances to see them at various recordings, so we definitely brought it up. We mostly talked about our favourite scenes and the scenes we were looking forward to. In IDOLiSH7, the characters face many setbacks and obstructions… Honestly, the story is heart-wrenching to read at times, but watching them overcome their trials and grow stronger makes me feel like I’m being given a push on the back. Although it’s not quite the same as them, we’re performers too, so we get excited talking about the scenes that struck home.

Q: What did you think of the completed Episode 1?

Soma: I first watched it at the “IDOLiSH7 Fan Meeting vol.5 Welcome! Ai na Night!!” event. The story was great, but I also noticed that there was a lot of thought put into the details. There was a lot of meaningful direction, not just in the characters’ expressions and lines of sight, but also in the sound effects and blocking. The information was also dense, and Episode 1 felt like it was an hour long. Anyway, there was also foreshadowing scattered throughout, so whether you’ve read the game story or not, don’t blink or you’ll miss something.

Also, I have a personal theory that there must be someone in the staff who wants to make Iori cuter *laughs*. He was cute enough to make me think that. He looks cool at first glance, but he pouts when he’s angry and smiles when he’s happy. It’s a normal thing as far as humans go, but when you’re only looking at them as idols, you tend to forget the finer behaviour that adds depth to the work. But of course, everyone else is cute too!

Q: Was there any memorable direction during the recording?

Soma: At the end of Season 1, Tenn acknowledges his younger brother Riku as an idol, so during the test run for Season 2, I approached it with Tenn’s love towards his brother rather than the strictness of a professional. However, I was told to be strict. In the game, Tenn’s attitude towards Riku has changed a lot, so it was hard to rewind those feelings. But rather than tracing my past performance, I strived to express him in a way that could only be done in anime.

Another memorable instruction was in a later episode, when Tenn gets into an argument with Iori. Even though Masuda-san spoke in a relatively mild, comedic tone, I was asked to make Tenn’s tongue-clicking “dead serious.”

Also, there’s a scene where Tenn sighs after a conversation with Riku. For that, I was told “Please express Tenn’s conflicted feelings after saying harsh words while actually being concerned about Riku, with only a sigh.” It was difficult to get the balance right, but I like that delicate, clumsy side of him.

Q: I see. So, Tenn’s way of breathing is a must-check in Season 2. What else should we keep an eye out for?

Soma: Tenn is TRIGGER’s center, and such a perfect idol that people call him a modern-day angel. He spares no effort in giving the audience the greatest time of their lives. His high degree of professionalism results in him being harsh on both himself and others. In Season 2, I get the feeling that they’re intentionally emphasizing that stoic-ness of his. While watching, if you try to imagine why he’s saying harsh words and taking a cold attitude, and what feelings are hidden behind them, you might be able to sense what’s going on inside him. I believe that the person known as Kujou Tenn has a lot of charm packed in there. Please pay attention to his complicated relationship with Riku, who’s his twin brother as well as a rival competing with him to reach greater heights.

Q: What is Kujou Tenn to you?

Soma: In short, he’s someone I respect a lot. When Tenn says something harsh, there’s always a reason behind it. He says it because it’s necessary to say it. Tenn acts as a helpful warning to me, making me question whether I’m worthy of being the one responsible for his weighty words.

It shows in his attitude towards Riku too—since Tenn is stoic, he has an extreme side to him as well. While he appears perfect, there are times when I think he’s actually someone who’s striving towards perfection. That side of him is really precious, and I’m sure he’s going to keep improving in the future, so I want to improve alongside him too.

Q: You’ve participated in several IDOLiSH7 events so far. Which ones were the most memorable for you?

Soma: It’d have to be the concerts. For the 2nd Live “REUNION,” we went through a lot of ideas trying to figure out how we could make it even better than the 1st Live “Road to Infinity.” The direction intent behind the set list was clear, and I remember discussing and rehearsing with Hatano-san and Sato-san countless times. After the concert was over, I felt a sense of accomplishment, as well as the desire to put on an even more expressive performance as Kujou Tenn next time.

Q: Lastly, please give a message for the readers who are looking forward to IDOLiSH7 Second BEAT!

Soma: First off, thank you for supporting us thus far. TRIGGER and IDOLiSH7 have a perfect rival relationship, teaching and learning from each other at the same time, and now Re:vale is joining in as the reliable big brothers. I think you’ll find the anime even deeper if you pay attention to not just the characters’ words, but also their expressions, tones of voice, and the camerawork. I’ll also be looking forward to the broadcast every week, so let’s enjoy it together until the end. Please continue to support IDOLiSH7.

Q: Out of all the TRIGGER songs that have been released so far, which one stands out to you the most?

Soma: When we were recording “Leopard Eyes,” we were instructed to prioritize sexiness, so we did. When I heard the finished version afterwards, I felt as though I’d gained a better understanding of Kujou Tenn. When I’m singing as Tenn, I change my singing style and enunciation depending on the song, but even now, I still use “Leopard Eyes” as my baseline.


  • Satotaku: “Due to scheduling, it was difficult to record at the same time as Hatano-kun and Saito-kun. But even under those circumstances, I’d think ‘Those two would definitely voice it this way,’ and I’m sure they were doing the same. The trust and respect for each other that we’ve built up over the years resembles TRIGGER. On the other hand, when I do get to see them, I’m happy from the bottom of my heart. The moment I open the studio door and see their faces, I go into TRIGGER mode.”