[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)