[Interview] Margaret 2020 #12 Edition – Maga-Oshi Vol.20 – Saito Soma x Shimazaki Nobunaga

Released: 2020/5/20

Saito Soma (Inui Kazuomi in Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare)
Shimazaki Nobunaga (Yamamoto Rio in Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare)

Umehara Yuuichirou

Q: What are you into right now?

Nobunaga: I recently started using cologne. It’s Dior’s “Sauvage.”

Soma: So mature~

Nobunaga: I didn’t have a habit of using it before, but now that I’m in my 30s, I want to give myself a stylish fragrance.

Soma: *sniffs Nobunaga’s cologne of choice* It’s a refreshing scent. A citrus type? It’s like, refreshing with a hint of allure…

Nobunaga: That’s a good way of putting it. I often get asked what it smells like, but since I hadn’t been using it before, I didn’t know how to explain it. From now on, I’ll say “refreshing with a hint of allure.” *laughs*

Q: Do you regularly use cologne, or only on special days?

Soma: If it’s only for special days, then if I meet Nobunaga-san and he smells nice, I’ll wonder if he thinks meeting me is a special occasion. *laughs*

Nobunaga: It’ll make you conscious of it, huh? *laughs* I don’t necessarily wear it on important days, but when I feel like it. Instead of using it to motivate myself, I want to use it casually.

Soma: What I’m into right now is a recording device called SonicPort. *Shows them the real thing*

Nobunaga: What’s this?

Soma: You plug a guitar or mic into it, and it lets you record what you play. I compose my own music, and this is good enough for making demo tapes. When I start using it, time goes by in a flash…

Nobunaga: You play with it?

Soma: Yeah *laughs*. It feels like a toy, or rather, I can casually play around with sounds in various locations.

Nobunaga: Nice, that sounds convenient.

Soma: Are you interested?

Nobunaga: Yes. One time, I was told “We don’t have enough time, so record your audition tape at home,” and I recorded it with my phone and it came out terribly. *laughs*

Soma: Ahahahaha!

Nobunaga: It worked out in the end because I passed the audition, but ever since then, even if there’s no time, I’ll always record at the office.

Soma: Did your agency staff also think it was bad?

Nobunaga: They probably thought, “Don’t let Nobunaga record by himself” *laughs*. So it’d be nice to have something like this!

Q: What were your honest reactions when you found out you’d be starring together?

Nobunaga: At first, I didn’t ask which role I’d be playing. I assumed that Soma-kun would be Rio.

Soma: Same. I approved of Nobunaga-san as Kazuomi! *laughs*

Nobunaga: Both of us thought it was the other way around.

Soma: So, it was shocking at first.

Nobunaga: Soma-kun being cast as Kazuomi was especially unexpected.

Soma: Yeah, because I’ve never played a character like him before. When I read the original manga, I couldn’t get a grasp on Kazuomi’s character, but I thought that Nobunaga-san would be able to do it. For me, it was a challenging role.

Nobunaga: I’ve actually done characters like Rio before, but I thought my recent image was more like Kazuomi. But, I can empathize better with Rio, so it was easier to perform as him.

Soma: I could also relate to Kazuomi’s human-like awkwardness.

Q: Do you see common aspects with the characters in each other?

Nobunaga: Kazuomi mulls over things in his head and ends up not being able to take action, which I think is an aspect Soma-kun has as well. I’m also like that, but I’m more of an idiot.

Soma: That’s not true *laughs*.

Nobunaga: I think a lot, but in the end I go “Whatever!” and ignore everything. Meanwhile, I think Soma-kun wouldn’t let that happen. It’s like baseball–there are different types of pitches, but at the very end, I’ll play it straight, while Soma-kun will throw a proper curve ball. *laughs*

Soma: Yeah, your “Well, whatever” approach does fit Rio. *laughs*

Q: What’s the highlight of this film?

Soma: Since it’s based off of a shoujo manga, it has scenes that make your heart race. Like when Rio puts his hands on Yuna’s cheeks and goes “I’m over here,” or Rio’s gesturing when he goes “Shh!” *laughs*

Nobunaga: It’s exciting, right? *laughs*

Soma: I like the straightforwardness between Rio and Yuna-chan.

Nobunaga: It’s not just about the romantic scenes, though. I think the characters are very relatable, and it moves your heart.

Soma: I think one of the great things about the story is that things go surprisingly poorly for the characters. They take one step forward, but two steps back. It’s realistic, and I think many people will be able to relate.

Q: What would you do if you could be a high school student again?

Nobunaga: I’d want to go to a co-ed school *laughs*. Going to a boys’ school was fun, so I don’t want to change the past, but it’s true that there was no romance within the school.

Soma: It’s a completely different experience, right? For me, if I could go back to my high school days, I’d want to go up to the rooftop that I couldn’t go to back then. In fiction, there are a lot of situations where the guy skips class on the roof and meets a girl there who’s also skipping class, and they get closer, right? That kind of thing is impossible in real life *laughs*. But, I want to experience it.

Nobunaga: Ahahaha. You could also meet someone in an unused A/V room.

Soma: Yeah! There you find a bookworm senpai with long black hair… I want to experience a story like that.

Nobunaga: I want to experience romance in a co-ed school too. It’s an age when you become conscious of girls, so having girls in the same school as you would change how you act, right? You’d want to look good in front of the girl you like, and you’d work harder at studying and sports. I’d also be interested in my friends’ relationships.

Soma: You could support them, right?

Nobunaga: Spying on a friend’s confession and congratulating them when it goes well *laughs*. I want to have that kind of experience.

Q: What if you were to appear in a shoujo manga?

Soma: I’d want to be one of the main character’s three male friends, namely the quiet type. Please let me be voiced by Umehara Yuuichirou-kun. *laughs*

Nobunaga: Ahh, we’re similar in how we let someone else have the spotlight. Stepping aside like that is cool, though.

Soma: Ahaha. And then, while the main story is going on, in the background I’m getting closer to the cool-type girl in the heroine’s group of friends.

Nobunaga: I can see that happening!

Soma: I’d want to be the star of a spin-off chapter. What about you, Nobunaga-san?

Nobunaga: Realistically, my position would be the stepping stool… but I’d like being the character that keeps the main characters on edge. My actions would make the hero take action.

Soma: Like, “I have to try harder too”?

Nobunaga: Yeah. And then the heroine is touched by what the hero does, and it ends with me being rejected or nothing happening at all. That would be realistic. But ideally, I’d want to live happily with my childhood friend.

Soma: In a mutually loving relationship?

Nobunaga: Yeah. There are a lot of stories where the childhood friend loses, right? Even though they’ve been supporting the protagonist all their life, they lose to a transfer student who suddenly appeared. The childhood friend position might be plain, but I’d want to be married for life to that kind of calm, warm childhood friend!

[Stream] Kitsutsuki Tantei Dokoro – Full Cast Assemble!? SP

Broadcast: 2020/3/21 @ 6pm
Original URL: Unavailable (exclusive to Fami-geki Neo subscribers)
Original Name: TVアニメ「啄木鳥探偵處」放送記念・全員集合!?SP
Guests: Asanuma Shintaro, Sakurai Takahiro, Tsuda Kenjiro, Ono Kensho, Saito Soma, Umehara Yuuichirou, Furukawa Makoto, Hayashi Yukiya

This stream was later uploaded officially to YouTube:

  • The stream began with a screening of the first half of Episode 1, then cast introductions. They then took turns pulling questions for everyone to answer. (For the sake of my free time, this summary will be centered around Soma.)

  • When it’s Soma’s turn to draw a question, Sakurai asks him to show them his “somami” (Soma taste) and Tsudaken asks if somami is green (sure enough, it’s a green gachapon capsule). Soma makes a show out of picking it up and Ume-chan goes “It’s not that heavy” and everyone laughs. Soma finally picks up the capsule and starts rolling it in his hands (“He’s doting on it!”) and after some laughs and snarky comments, Soma says “I don’t know what my direction is anymore!”

  • The question itself was “Is there another character besides your own that you’d like to play?” and Soma’s answer was Akutagawa (and everyone ends up making a chuuni pose for the camera).

  • Another question is “If you were going to have another profession in addition to being a voice actor, what would it be?” and Soma of course mentions that before he went into voice acting, he wanted to be an author. Everyone encourages him and says he can pull it off now. As for the genre, he says he wants to write a traveler’s journal, where he writes about a place he visits (and of course the alcohol there). He wants to go somewhere lush with nature, and Tsudaken suggests Alaska, which Soma laughingly agrees would have a lot to write about.

  • When talking about the voice direction, Sakurai comments that sometimes the sound director uses examples that he doesn’t understand but Soma does (because he reads a lot of books), and Sakurai thinks “Dammit, this guy” when that happens. Soma says that the sound director (who he calls Shimizu-sensei) often goes “You know what this means, right Saito-kun?” for other series too, so every time when Soma’s checking the script, it feels like preparing for a question and answer session, because he expects to be asked about certain things. He also says he gets to learn about a lot of things through Kitsutsuki.

  • When asked if they think they have anything in common with their characters, Soma says yes, because of the way Isamu looks at things with a cynical attitude. When everyone’s interested in something, Isamu thinks “It’s no big deal”, and Soma says he used to be similar in the past, back when he was really interested in pursuing literature. So, when he voices Isamu, he gets a complicated feeling in his chest as if he’s looking at his past self.

  • The next question is “If you were to become a poet, what would your pen name be?” and everyone turns to Soma who wants to become a novelist. The question says poet, but they say a novelist pen name is fine too. Soma says he admires cool names like the author Mushanokoji, but would also like something like “kuchinashi” (no mouth). Using words, but without a mouth. Everyone latches onto it and Soma goes “This is embarrassing, hurry up and move on to the next person!”

  • “If you were a detective and had to pick someone from the guests here to be your partner in solving in a case, who would it be?” Ume-chan names Soma because of his vast knowledge, (Tsudaken calls him kuchinashi again) but Soma says he’s bad at solving mysteries and is terrible at mystery-solving board games. It’s like everything he knows is coagulated inside him, so he needs to be able to think flexibly. His answer to the question is Takahiro-san, but apparently he’s no good at mystery-solving either.

  • Tsudaken continues to call Soma kuchinashi, much to his embarrassment, wanting it to become an established name (#kuchinashi). Soma says that would be way too painful, and says to the camera “Don’t you dare put it on Wikipedia!”

  • For the giveaway at the end, they have to come up with a keyword and Ume-chan suggests “kuchinashi,” much to Soma’s chagrin. Soma’s given the marker and Asanuma says he can write his latest song’s title as the keyword (“They’re not going to allow that!”) and that he can name his next song “kuchinashi.” Tsudaken tells him to write his own fetish, and Asanuma says to write something he’d be happy to see trending on Twitter. They try to come up with something that would benefit the series, but whenever they try to think of what was exciting during the stream, they can only remember kuchinashi, so Soma gives up and writes kuchinashi. Tsudaken remarks on how this is Soma’s first time signing with his pen name, and everyone applauds (Soma is dying of embarrassment at this point and hides behind the sign).

  • At the very end, the sound director Shimizu comes in with sake for everyone, and when he’s pouring Soma’s cup, he points at him and says “You’re a drinker, right?” and Soma laughs it off and asks for just a little.

[Stream] Uchitama?! 3rd Street Correspondence: January Edition

Broadcast: 2020/1/29 @ 9pm JST
Original URL: https://live.nicovideo.jp/watch/lv323443554 (no longer available)
Original Name: うちタマ?! 3丁目通信 1月号
Guests: Saito Soma (MC), Hatano Wataru (MC), Umehara Yuuichirou, Maeno Tomoaki

Choice Quotes

(Cast is talking about Episode 2)
Hatano: So like, before the real recording, we do a test run, and most voice actors will use that time to perform their dialogues for the director to hear, right? That’s the point of the test run, right?
Everyone: Yeah (already starting to laugh)
Hatano: So normally the people ad libbing in the background will stand back from the mic and keep the volume down, right? They’ll be louder in the real recording, but during the test run they don’t want to get in the way. But like… Beh (Uchida Yuma) was SO into it.
Ume-chan: He was such a nuisance that we couldn’t hear our own conversation…
Hatano: He kept going “Wait~! Wait~!” and we couldn’t hear anything else
Soma: But it’s hard to stay smiling like that the whole time, and even though he was suffering, he still wouldn’t stop
Maeno: His heart is so strong
Hatano: He has that actor’s determination, going all-out during the test run… well, it was annoying though
Soma: LOL
Ume-chan: But then during the real recording, Beh was recorded separately, so during our conversation it felt like something was missing
Hatano: Yeah! It felt wrong because I got used to that background noise…

(Still talking about Episode 2)
Soma: When we recorded Episode 1, their initial description was that it was a healing anime, so I kept that in mind. Then I got the script for Episode 2, looked at it, and went “Huh? ‘Healing’ is a really broad term…”

(Talking about the chaotic test runs)
Soma: In Episode 1, it starts with Tama and Pochi going on a walk, and Tama gets distracted, goes into someone’s yard, eats their food, and goes “YUMMM!” (said in a really weird way)
Everyone: *bursts out laughing*
Ume-chan: That’s what it sounded like during the test run
Soma: Yeah and that was kind of… They were like “What do you think this is?”
Hatano: We all knew the director well, but even that director went to Soma right after the test run like “What’re you going to do for the real recording…?” He wasn’t sure if you were serious LOL
Soma: As the episodes progressed, the test runs got to the point where he’d check first to see how serious we were
Maeno: Like “you’re not actually going to do this, right?”
Hatano: He was concerned LOL

(Corner where they practice taking photos with “pets” (Uchitama plushies) following themes drawn at random)

Soma: *unfolds paper* WHY IS THIS SO LONG?! “Theme: a 2-shot with the owner that has cuteness appeal. While you’re at it, making eye contact with the camera will make it great for social media. Since you live together, put your faces together and make it a nice scene full of love. It can be either a selfie or a normal photo.”

(Testing the camera. Unintentional theme: “Beauty and the Beast”)
(Soma’s photo. “When you live together, your faces become similar”)

Ume-chan: *pulls from the box* “Theme: Playing with his owner. Photos of owners and pets playing without looking at the camera are popular online too. It’s just a stuffed animal today, but please play with it somehow.”
Everyone: LOL
Ume-chan: Does this mean someone has to take the picture for me?
Soma: Or you could be the director
Hatano: You can have someone model for you
Soma: You could also have someone be your pet
Hatano: Wow… Saito-sensei is really something
Soma: Oh but it says to use a stuffed animal
Hatano: We’re actors though, so we can become stuffed animals

(Cameraman Soma)
(Ume-chan’s photo with “pet” Maeno)

Maeno: *pulls from box* “Theme: Cuteness appeal on top of the owner’s lap. A playing or sleeping scene will have explosive cuteness. Take a photo of the pet on your lap from your own point of view. It’ll be even better if it has a daily life feel to it.”

Ume-chan: It doesn’t say “stuffed animal”…
Maeno: Well then… I have three pets, you know?
Everyone: *nervous laughter*
Maeno: Oh hey, there’s exactly three of you! What a miracle!

(Maeno’s three adorable pets, Yuu-chan, Wata-chan, and So-chan)

Premium Corner: Do you know our Tama? (Hatano, Ume-chan, and Maeno have to guess how Soma would answer the questions)

Soma: Let’s start with a beginner level question, that anyone who knows Soma would know

Q: What comes to mind when you think of a place that’s easy to get lost in?

Soma: You see, our Soma gets lost pretty easily

Soma: *writes his answer* When you think of Soma, it’s gotta be here
Ume-chan: Huh? There’s a place like that?
Soma: I’m pretty confident in this one… *laughs*
Ume-chan: Confident? What does that mean??
Soma: I think you’ll probably get it right

Hatano: Wave Pool
Ume-chan: Shinjuku Station (East Exit)
Maeno: Tokyo Station Exit

Hatano: My thought process was completely different
Soma: What a clean 2-vs-1… Umehara-san and Maeno-san picked stations, and yeah it’s easy to get lost there. They’re pretty much correct
Hatano: Mine’s correct too, right?! A wave pool
Everyone: What…
Hatano: When you look at the videos, sometimes you can only see people’s heads above the water! You can get lost there
Soma: Uh, anyway… allow me to present the correct answer:


Everyone: What?! How???
Soma: I like going to the bookstore, and everything catches my eye, and I end up wandering deeper inside
Maeno: This is beginner level?!
Hatano: In a way, my thought process was the closest!!!

Q: When thinking of house pets, there’s cats, dogs, and _____. What’s the third animal that comes to mind? (A pet that Soma would own)

Maeno: Do you like animals?
Soma: I’m not good with them… ah yeah, I might pick something unconventional
Soma: *writes answer* Wait, am I allowed to write this?
Everyone: Huh? Is that what’s going on? Because it’s a premium stream?
Ume-chan: I was kind of avoiding that kind of thing though
Maeno: I’m avoiding it too, please don’t misunderstand my answer
Soma: Wait, I’m not avoiding anything though… ok then I’ll write something that does avoid that
Hatano: Seriously??
Soma: Oh, but the answer is essentially the same thing
Everyone: Wha…

Hatano: Axolotl
Ume-chan: String (slang for gigolo)
Maeno: Pig

Soma: What……
*staff laughing in background*
Soma: All of you are weird
Everyone: No we’re not!
Hatano: LOL pig
Maeno: Pigs are clean animals! So I thought it’d suit him… Don’t interpret it as something weird!!!
Soma: Okay yeah, pigs are pretty cute
Hatano: So you meant an actual pig LOL

Hatano: Okay so what about the middle one…
Ume-chan: I figured he’d have a string
Hatano: You mean like a regular old string?
Ume-chan: Yeah, of course, definitely
Soma: I don’t think you can run from this anymore Umehara-san
Hatano: What’re his friends going to think when he introduces a string as his pet?!

Maeno: Okay so Hatano-san…
Hatano: I put axolotl
Soma: I get it though, they ARE cute


Hatano: Oh, THAT’S what you meant…
Soma: I think Umehara-san was actually the closest LOL but Maeno-san was right in terms of keeping things clean, and the axolotl has a cute form too, so you were all right

Q: Describe Uchitama?! in a single kanji.

Everyone: This is a tough one…

Soma: Hmm… well, it’s probably this, but I don’t know if I can write that kanji…
Everyone: The kanji?!
Hatano: Can you not pick a difficult kanji 🙁
Soma: Okay well, let’s make it acceptable to write the kanji in hiragana

Soma: *writes his answer* Is this kanji right…? *shows it to staff to ask if it’s right*

Hatano: Fun
Ume-chan: Healing
Maeno: Love

Maeno: It’s a series packed with love, and we put so much love into it, so I thought Soma-kun would definitely write “love”
Soma: Thank you

Ume-chan: Is this kanji right?
Hatano: I’m impressed you were able to write that!
Soma: Indeed, Uchitama is a healing show

Hatano: The recording sessions were so fun, after all. We never stopped laughing

Soma: Well… first, let’s look at my answer:


Soma: Soooo, everyone was right! We all pretty much thought the same thing 🙂

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

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

Released: 2020/1/10

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

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

An EP resembling what comes after the end of Season 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: How easy was it to sing?

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

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

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

Q: How was the music video filming?

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

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

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

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

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

Power pop and a hymn–a variety of themes

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

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

Q: The song is also rather up-tempo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Which is?

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

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

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

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

Q: The lyrics have a dangerous aroma to them.

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

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

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

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

Q: That’s what happened?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: I’m looking forward to that!

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

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

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

◼ Sky (空)
◼ Sea (海)

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

◼ Earth

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

◼ Blue Flames

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

◼ Indigo (藍)

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

◼ Lapis Lazuli

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

◼ Blue Paint

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

◼ Sports Drink

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

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

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

◼ Hydrangea

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

remarkable 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Your perception has changed.

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

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

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

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

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

Q: You’ve broadened your views.

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

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

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

Q: Is that your goal for this year?

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

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

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

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

Q: You want to voice unconventional roles?

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

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

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

Q: That’s also fate. *laughs*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Are you interested in mentoring the next generation?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shop-specific bromides:

Animate-exclusive poster:

Autographed Polaroids (raffle):

Off-shot from Soma’s stylist:

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


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

[Interview] Animate Times – Kimi dake ni Motetainda. – Saito Soma & Uchiyama Koki & Tomizono Rikiya & Umehara Yuuichirou

Original Article: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1573263330
Published: 2019/11/9

Saito Soma (Furuta Tokio in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)
Uchiyama Koki (Ashida Shigekazu in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)
Tomizono Rikiya (Tojima Koutarou in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)
Umehara Yuuichirou (Gotouda Shun in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)

Matsuoka Yoshitsugu (Sahashi Aki in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)

Q: What were your impressions of the setting and script?

Soma: When I first heard about it, I thought it was going to be a traditional adolescence story, as seen in theatres. But when I read the script, I found that it was quite ambitious. First off, the “Motemen Koshien” concept was unique, and the story wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It depicts the bittersweetness and naivete of the teenage years from various angles.

Ucchi: My first impression was that it must have a nonsensical setting because of the Motemen Koshien. The introductory phase also went by quick, so I wondered if it was going to become a fantastical story. But as the story progressed, they did things like training for the contest and worrying about their social status at school, and the problems they faced were more realistic than at the start. It was a pretty big gap.

“Motemen Koshien” sounds like a weird name, but there are events in real life that assign value to people’s appearances too, so if you substitute one of those in, the story might not actually be that far off.

Rikiya: When I first heard “Motemen Koshien” I thought the name had a lot of impact. But as I read the script, I saw that the contest had various different parts to it, that wouldn’t be so strange to see in reality. In fact, a real-life version would probably go viral, so I got excited reading the script.

Ume-chan: Not all of the information had been released at the time of the audition, so I went in imagining it’d be a bittersweet adolescence story. After getting the actual script and going through the recording, how do I put this… it was the opposite? Well, it wasn’t the opposite, but… *laughs*

All: *laughs*

Ume-chan: Rather than a bittersweet adolescence story, it was more like, you see these guys talking and it makes you laugh at how stupid boys can be. There’s also a confession scene at the end, and I think the film can be enjoyed by various types of people.

Q: What was the audience’s actual reaction when you went to the theatre screening?

Ucchi: From the stage, it looked like most of them were female fans. So, I’m interested in what guys or people from different age groups would think of it.

Soma: It’s still new, and I think the experience will vary depending on the person, so we’ll be seeing more different opinions. I’m excited to see how everyone interprets it.

Q: Now, please introduce your characters and what you thought while voicing them.

Soma: Tokio-kun is seen as a chuunibyou by his classmates, but he’s actually a boy who feels uncomfortable interacting with people. I think his personal “ideal self” is too fleshed out, so he can’t approach it in reality. He has a vast imagination, but he also has the emotional swings of a teenager.

Ucchi: I voiced Asimo, who’s very energetic and in high spirits from the moment he wakes up. He also has a bit of an idiotic side, but he’s a good person, and I got the impression of a youthful guy.

Rikiya: Koutarou is a boy who isn’t popular because he’s too cute, but on the inside he wants to be cooler and manlier. He aspires to be like Shun-san, but Shun-san tells him that it’s okay to be cute, and there’s a scene where he accepts his cuteness and becomes more popular.

Ume-chan: Gotouda Shun is Horiko’s butler, and he keeps himself in check, not showing his emotions as outwardly as the other characters. I think that butler-like restraint is everyone’s first impression of him, but he’s actually the same age as the other four, so he has his own worries that he’s been keeping bottled up.

Q: At the screening address, you talked about whether you resembled your characters.

Soma: Umehara-san was a perfect match.

Ume-chan: Really?

Soma: Your voice was.

Ucchi/Rikiya: Huh? *laughs*

Soma: When I read the script, he was really convincing. I thought, “If Gotouda said this to me I’d probably go through the training too.”

Ucchi: Oh, I see! He really forced them into it at the start. *laughs*

Soma: Yeah, it was kidnapping!

Ucchi: They got thrown into vans that appeared out of nowhere, then taken away and told to enter the Motemen Koshien. *laughs*

Q: They got dragged into it.

Soma: And in Aki and Koutarou’s case, it doesn’t seem like they understood what they were getting into.

Rikiya: Yeah. *laughs*

Ucchi: They were completely brainwashed. *laughs*

Soma: They defected to the enemy side.

Ucchi: Yeah, it was surprising. And it’s the voice that gives him that persuasive power~

Soma: That voice has a magical power~

Soma: I think that everyone focused more on how the characters would react to the information they’re given, rather than whether the characters resembled us or not.

Q: What kinds of things did you pay attention to while acting?

Soma: For Tokio-kun, I started him off in a more cowardly way, but was asked not to use that approach. As I said earlier, he has an ideal that he aspires to be, and he’s pretty stubborn about it. That stubbornness is what prevents him from breaking out of his shell. So instead of expressing cowardliness, I was asked to express that stubbornness of “This is how I want to be.” I hoped that meeting everyone would loosen him up.

Q: At the screening, Uchiyama-san also talked about the direction he received regarding Asimo. What kind of direction was it?

Ucchi: In the plan I had, Asimo was generally energetic all the time, but there’d be times when he was calmer and spoke quietly. But I was told “That’s not right.”

All: *laughs*

Ucchi: He’s always loud and annoying, even if he’s talking to someone right next to him. Basically, he has no sense of distance. Usually, you have to differentiate between people who are close or far away or else they’ll correct you, so I had to deliberately do things that would normally get corrected. I couldn’t get used to it though. *laughs*

All: *laughs*

Ucchi: I thought of him as a character that operates under different rules than normal people.

Q: He doesn’t seem like the type of character you usually voice, right?

Ucchi: That might be true. First of all, I didn’t audition for Asimo to begin with.

Soma: Really?! It must’ve been Tokio or Aki, right?

Ucchi: At any rate, I recall sending in lines for a different character, but was asked to voice Asimo instead.

All: *laughs*

Ucchi: If that means there’s someone out there who wanted to gamble on my unknown potential, then I’m thankful for that.

Soma: It sounds like a challenge.

Ucchi: As for whether it was a hit or a miss, please watch the film and see for yourself. *laughs*

Q: Can you tell us any behind-the-scenes stories from the recording, or what it was like?

Ucchi: There were a lot of people.

Soma/Ume-chan: Yeah~

Ucchi: Since it was a school setting, there are a lot of other student characters, and I vividly remember the studio being full of people.

Soma: About what Uchiyama-san was saying earlier, since he got that direction for Asimo, he gradually shifted into high gear until they were like “All right, that’s it! That part’s all set.” And then he was all ready to keep going as that Asimo… but we were instead told “All right, time for lunch break!” *laughs*

Ucchi: That timing.

Ume-chan: It was right when he’d solidified the role.

Soma: What a shock~

Ucchi: I was grateful that they’d prepared a proper lunch for us, though.

Soma: We usually don’t get those kinds of lunch boxes! *spoken for Rikiya to hear*

Rikiya: Oh, I see.

Ucchi: I was really happy that they’d shown that consideration for us.

Q: Was everything recorded in a single day?

Ucchi: The lines were, yes.

Ume-chan: It took a long time.

Soma: It really took the whole day.

Ucchi: It felt like we were there from morning ’til night.

Q: I heard that this was Tomizono-san’s first recording. Did anything leave an impression on you? Was it your first time standing in front of a mic?

Rikiya: I had lessons to learn how to do it, but this was my first time doing it for a job. Unlike the lessons, there were a lot of people around, so I was really nervous speaking into the mic by myself in front of everyone.

Soma: Tomizono-kun said it was his first time, but his mic work was really good.

Ucchi: Oh, yeah! He got the group technique right.

Soma: That was amazing. At my first recording, I couldn’t get to the mic.

Ucchi: I failed a bunch of times too.

Soma: And I got yelled at.

Ume-chan: Ah~

Soma: They were like, “Get in there even if you have to push someone out of the way!” and I thought, “No way, I can’t do that~!”

Rikiya: It’s because everyone made it easy for me to get in. And Matsuoka-san would gesture to me like “Over here!”

Ucchi: By the way, did you know that there’s a rule where you use the same mics during the recording that you did during the test run?

Rikiya: Ah, yes. I learned that.

Soma: So diligent~

Ucchi: I messed it up all the time, so don’t worry. *laughs*

All: Ahahahahaha *laughs*

Soma: We were a bit lazy about it. *laughs*

Ucchi: But, I think it’s amazing that you’re already able to record in a group like that.

Rikiya: It’s because of the lessons…

Soma: It’s impressive that you were able to execute what you learned at your very first recording.

Ucchi: You must’ve worked hard.

Soma: *peeks at Ume-chan beside him* Huh? Are you alive?

Ume-chan: I’m alive!

All: *laughs*

Ume-chan: I was just thinking about how nostalgic the first recording is. *laughs*

Q: What was the most memorable scene or line to you, Umehara-san?

Ume-chan: The part where everyone’s feelings for Horiko start becoming clear. Gotouda has his circumstances and can’t be honest, and the scene where he has to harshly reject Horiko was memorable for me. When I read the script, it felt like this was one of the most exciting scenes, so I put my all into it.

Q: Gotouda certainly became the key. What were everyone else’s memorable scenes?

Soma: “Donguri Korokoro.”

Ucchi: Ah~ you sang it.

Soma: We recorded several variations of it, although I’m already planning on explaining everything at the second stage talk.

Ucchi: What do you mean? *laughs*

Soma: Tokio-kun says he doesn’t like singing, but the extent of his ability was subject to experimentation from me and the staff. We recorded different versions, ranging from surprisingly decent to completely tone deaf. I think the one they used was the most orthodox take, but I think I did the tone deaf one really well.

Ucchi: I see. *laughs*

Soma: I really think I did the bad one well. I wanted to hear that version too.

Q: I’m sure the fans would want to hear it too.

Soma: Yeah. I also never thought the day would come when everyone would hear me singing that kindergarten song in a movie.

Q: No one would expect to do that. *laughs*

Soma: It felt like being praised for being a good kid and going to kindergarten. *laughs*

Q: *laughs* What about Uchiyama-san and Tomizono-san?

Ucchi: Memorable scenes, huh? Hmm…

Soma: Isn’t it that one?

Ucchi: ?

Soma: “Can y’all be quiet for a second~?!” Even though people are cheering for Asimo-kun, he goes “Shut up!”

Ucchi: That rough treatment, huh?

Soma: It’s like, is it okay to say that?

Ucchi: And then it’s gotta be his shocking talent of leaking milk from his eyes.

Soma: Are there really people who can do that?

Ume-chan: Probably?

Ucchi: That’s Asimo’s selling point. I want to praise the fact that he sealed it away for the contest. That’s real growth right there.

Soma: He put a limiter on himself. *laughs*

Ucchi: What’s important is that he purposefully didn’t show off what he was good at.

Rikiya: For me, I think it’d be the stalker.

Ucchi: Oh yeah, there was that.

Soma: That was bad…

Rikiya: The one who hides in the classroom locker, and when Koutarou gets up from his seat she bursts out and says “I love you!” It was a confession, but it scared me.

Q: That situation was nothing but scary.

Rikiya: Yeah, it’s not something that you really come across.

Q: Speaking of confessions, are there any confession situations or lines that would move your heart? They don’t necessarily have to be confessions of love.

All: Confessions…

Q: It could be something like a confession of gratitude or praise.

Soma: A confession that’d move my heart, huh~?

Ucchi: You know, I don’t like it when my heart races.

All: Huh?

Ucchi: Like when someone texts me “There’s something I want to talk about” first; I hate that.

Soma: Oh~ I think I know what you mean.

Ucchi: It makes me think, “Just say it then!”

Soma: I get you. “Are you busy?” I hate that kind of thing.

Ucchi: Yeah, and “There’s something I want to ask.” Then ask it! It feels like I’m being trapped in my head, and it makes me think “Is it that? Did they find out about that bad thing I did? *laughs*” Just say it without that preface~

Soma: I totally understand. You don’t want them to leave it for the next day.

Ucchi: Exactly. So in that sense, I think I might hate confessions. If someone tells me “I have something to confess tomorrow” I’d be like “Just tell me now.”

Soma: It’d be better to hear it outright.

Ucchi: Yeah. Just write it directly in the message.

Soma: Yeah~

Ucchi: Maybe I have a fear of confessions. They really stress me out. *laughs*

Soma: I know exactly what you mean.

Q: Are you the same way, Saito-san?

Soma: I’m the type that doesn’t want to carry my worries over to the next day. If it’s just a matter of making mental preparations then that’s fine, but I dislike vague situations where I don’t know if it’s going to be a good thing or a bad thing.

As for romantic confessions, when I was in high school, I had a pretty similar mindset to Tokio-kun. I’d fantasize about joining the literature club and having a mysterious senpai ask me, “You’re reading this book too?” So, I also wished I could experience a super cliche situation just once. You know, like on the rooftop, after school, with the sunset!

Ucchi: Ahh, that’s nice~

Q: It’s something everyone aspires for at least once.

Soma: I became a voice actor so that I could do that.

All: *laughs*

Soma: As a voice actor, I can become a high school student as many times as I want *laughs*. Well, I would like to experience a situation that’s too cliche to be likely to happen in real life.

Q: Ahh~. What about you, Tomizono-san?

Rikiya: It’s not a confession, but I find situations like the one at the end of the film where the friends are watching fireworks together to be emotional. I want to experience that.

Q: And share your feelings?

Rikiya: Yeah~ I want to watch fireworks with guy friends in one of those local little-well-known places.

Q: That really is adolescence. What about Umehara-san?

Ume-chan: Hmm… I want to be confessed to.

(Everyone laughs at how he says that with a serious face)

Soma: This is going to be difficult to continue from. *laughs*

Ume-chan: I’m digging my own grave *laughs*. But when I was a student, I was the type to confess myself.

All: Oh~

Ucchi: You would rather love than be loved, huh? *laughs*

Soma: This conversation is tough. *laughs*

Ume-chan: So well, now that I’m at this age, I think it’d be nice to be confessed to.

Q: If someone were to confess to you now, how would you like it to go?

Ume-chan: Hmm, I wonder. Hmm…

Soma: Well, you want to be confessed to directly, right? Like “Umehara-san, I love you!”

Ume-chan: Ahh, I don’t want that.

Soma: What?

Ucchi: Huh?

Ume-chan: I wouldn’t like that.

Soma: What are they supposed to do?!

Ume-chan: I’d be a bit put off if they came at me forcefully…

Ucchi: Then what?

Soma: This guy’s kind of conceited.

Ucchi: What can they do to make Umehara-kun fall?

Ume-chan: I won’t fall~

All: *burst out laughing*

Ucchi: You won’t?! *laughs*

Soma: Well, this conversation’s fallen flat. *laughs*

Ume-chan: I just meant that I’d like to experience being confessed to *laughs*. I usually don’t get to feel that kind of excitement.

Q: Thanks for the entertaining discussion! *laughs* Finally, please give a message for the fans.

Ume-chan: Since it’s an adolescence story, you should first enjoy watching the boys work towards their common goal. You’ve probably experienced the excitement resulting from love consultations among friends, so I hope you’ll recall those bittersweet memories of youth. And of course, I think people who are currently in that springtime of life will enjoy the film too.

Rikiya: This film is only 54 minutes long, so you can watch it whenever you want that heart-racing feeling. I also recommend it to anyone who wants to recall what love was like, regardless of gender.

Ucchi: I think Kimimote was created in an easy-to-watch way. Also, the main cast is made up of different types of characters, so if you’ve already watched the film once, I recommend going to the theatre again to watch it from a different character’s perspective.

Soma: I think this film likely depicts adolescence from a different perspective than what the viewers had in mind beforehand. People will experience it in varying ways, but at the very start of the recording, the director said that “This is a story about clumsy boys forming a team and working together towards a common goal.” I interpret it as their one summer of youth, so I hope you’ll enjoy Kimimote’s youthfulness in your own way.

[Interview] MovieWalker – Saito Soma, Uchiyama Koki & Co. Discuss the Highlights of “Kimimote”

Original Article: https://movie.walkerplus.com/news/article/210904/
Published: 2019/11/3

Saito Soma (Furuta Tokio in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)
Uchiyama Koki (Ashida Shigekazu in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)
Tomizono Rikiya (Tojima Koutarou in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)
Matsuoka Yoshitsugu (Sahashi Aki in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)
Umehara Yuuichirou (Gotouda Shun in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)

Q: Please tell us about the characters you voiced. They’re described as being “unfortunate” ikemen…?

Soma: I voiced Tokio, who’s not good at dealing with people. The people at school think that he’s a chuunibyou.

Ucchi: I voiced Asimo, an energetic, hot-blooded boy. He has a childish side to him, and it’s a character type I usually don’t voice.

Rikiya: I voiced Koutarou, a boy who struggles because his extreme cuteness prevents him from being popular.

Tsugu: I voiced Aki, who looks flashy but isn’t interested in girls, and tends to distance himself from others.

Ume-chan: I voiced Shun, who is a butler and has a more mature aura than the other four. However, he’s still inexperienced in some things, and this shows in the latter half of the story.

Q: All five of you were together for the recording. Did anything stand out?

Ume-chan: It was tough because we had to record it in a single day, but I remember the refreshments being luxurious. *laughs*

Soma: They were! Ucchi-san had a pretty hard time, right?

Ucchi: Yeah, I had a high-spirited role, so it drained all my energy…

Q: Uchiyama-san often voices quiet, cool characters, right? Did it feel like you used more power than usual?

Ucchi: It took some trial and error to get Asimo’s aura right, but I wouldn’t say that voicing quiet characters is easier. I did the best I could as usual.

Rikiya: This was my first time recording for an anime, and I was really nervous. But, I gradually calmed down as we ate lunch and talked about random things. I pored over the script and built up the role, but at the recording I was told to use a more normal voice, and that was a struggle.

Ume-chan: Matsuoka-kun was helping Tomizono-kun out.

Tsugu: Everyone’s nervous at first, and sometimes it doesn’t go well. It’s the same for the rest of us *laughs*. But when you’re standing in front of the mic, the senpai and kouhai hierarchy doesn’t matter. For the sake of creating something good, I wanted to set that aside and help Tomizono-kun when he was struggling. We worked on his scenes together.

Q: Which character do you think would be the most popular?

Tsugu: Isn’t it obviously the heroine, Horinomiya Sakiko? *laughs*

All: *laughs*

Tsugu: But among us five, I think it’d be Asimo. He’s fun to be around, and I think every school has that “kind of stupid but keeps everyone in good spirits” guy. The type that isn’t hiding anything.

Ucchi: I’ll return that and say Matsuoka-san’s Aki-kun. I like his whimsical, enigmatic aura. It makes you wonder what kind of person he is.

Soma: I want to root for Aki-kun too. Gotouda might be the most popular, but while Aki-kun is harder to approach, he doesn’t have any “unfortunate” qualities *laughs*. And perhaps because of Yoshitsugu-san’s acting, he seems suited to be the reliable one that keeps everything together.

Ume-chan: Maybe Koutarou? Isn’t that kind of Harajuku-style, androgynous guy popular these days?

Tsugu: He’s the cute type.

Ume-chan: Then again, if I were a girl, I’d want Koutarou to be more manly too. *laughs*

Rikiya: I like how perfect Gotouda is. Tokio is good too, though. He’s the protagonist after all!

Ucchi: Is that the reason?!

Ume-chan: He wins based on title alone. *laughs*

Soma: But, in this film it feels like all five of them are the protagonist.

Q: Aki wins with two votes. Matsuoka-san, how do you feel?

Tsugu: But the popular one is Aki, not me *laughs*. Wouldn’t anyone be fine if they voiced him?

Ucchi: No, you’re the only one capable of voicing that Aki.

Tsugu: In that case… I’m honoured! *laughs*

Q: What are the highlights you want people to notice in this film?

Rikiya: The visuals are very pretty. My character Koutarou is the cute type, so there are many scenes where he looks upward, and he’s really sparkly during those scenes *laughs*. Please notice that!

Ume-chan: My character Gotouda is the calm and composed butler of the Horinomiya family, but age-wise, he’s a high schooler just like the other four. You can sense his inexperience as the story progresses, so I hope you’ll pay attention to those inner workings of his heart.

Tsugu: It’s an adolescent story about five people struggling as they move forward. I hope everyone will see for themselves how the relationships between them change. The characters’ emotions also go through ups and downs, and I hope you’ll enjoy watching that.

Ucchi: At first, they aren’t that serious about winning the popularity contest, but through that contest, they run into the problem of “What does it mean to be popular?” They slowly form bonds with each other and tackle the theme of popularity. There’s also a scene where Asimo sings, and they actually composed a proper, complete song for it even though only the first part gets sung.

Soma: My top pick is the scene where Asimo funnels milk from his nose to his eyes! I really like it because you can feel Ucchi-san’s meticulousness as an actor, so please check for it *laughs*. The popularity contest is the major theme, but there are also slice-of-life scenes of high schoolers just having fun, so please enjoy those too.

Tsugu: The characters’ emotions rise up during the climax, so please enjoy it with them in the theatre!

[Event] Kimi dake ni Motetainda. Screening Address

Date: 2019/10/26 @ 3:50pm (address at 5pm) and 6pm (address at 7:10pm)
Guests: Saito Soma, Uchiyama Koki, Tomizono Rikiya, Umehara Yuuichirou
Event Reports Sourced: https://natalie.mu/comic/news/353043 https://mantan-web.jp/article/20191026dog00m200044000c.html https://mantan-web.jp/article/20191026dog00m200045000c.html https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1572247563

Regarding the story:

Soma: “The story seems simple, but it goes through various phases.”

Ucchi: “It was like a rollercoaster.”

Rikiya: “I was moved by how Koutarou gained confidence in himself.”

This was Rikiya’s first time doing voice recording, and Tsugutsugu was giving him advice. Rikiya said it was “like a dream.”

Regarding their characters:

Ume-chan: “He looks mature, but as the story progresses you see that that’s not entirely the case, and I like how your impression of him changes because of that gap.”

Soma: “I like books too, and the way he fantasizes about meeting a heroine in a story felt nostalgic, because I was like that in high school too.”

Ucchi: “He was very energetic *laughs*.” Ucchi’s character is the opposite of him, and during the recording, he was told to “Keep it at 100 the whole time.”

Regarding the film’s theme of “popularity”:

Rikiya: “I think people who give it their all are the coolest.”

Soma: “Surprisingly, I thought the same thing!”

Ume-chan: “These days, I guess it comes down to money *laughs*. So when I look at this film, I reflect on what popularity used to mean in the past.”

Soma: “That’s so sad!”

Regarding who has the biggest gap:

Soma: “Absolutely Ucchi-san. He has this cool image and the characters he voices are cool, but I feel really happy when we’re chatting during breaks and he laughs. It’s so cute!”

Regarding the theme song:

Ume-chan said it was a good song that gets stuck in your head, and even now he still finds himself humming the melody. Rikiya said that when he first saw the PV that used the song, he got goosebumps.


Soma: “It seems like a traditional adolescence film, but when you watch it, you see that the story isn’t so straight forward. That said, it’s also a pure depiction of its central themes of falling in love and mustering the courage to move ahead. I hope you enjoyed it.”