Saito Soma (William James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
※The questions were omitted from the published interview, so this will read more like an essay (but it was still an interview).
Yuukoku no Moriarty is a series I enjoyed as a reader of the original manga. My first encounter with it was at the bookstore. I saw the cover with William James Moriarty on it and thought, “This has an aura.” It’s a crime suspense story that takes place in 19th century London, and what’s more, William is based off of Professor Moriarty, the antagonist from the Sherlock Holmes series. I love this genre, and it’s appealing how William is broadminded—he isn’t fully good or evil.
The battles of wits further unfold when Sherlock enters the scene, and other talented characters appear at the right place at the right time, acting in accordance with William’s plan, with multiple operations taking place simultaneously. These get wrapped up cleanly at the end, making each episode feel as grand and fast-paced as a movie.
William’s role was decided by audition. I personally like this type of character so I really wanted to try voicing one, but it’s extremely rare for me to pass the audition for them, so I try not to expect too much. Because of that, when I was told that I passed, I was really happy.
William works in the shadows as a crime consultant with the goal of destroying the class system. In the early recordings, especially the anime-original first episode, I thought it would be better to depict him in a mysterious way, such that his full intent wouldn’t be clear to the viewers right away—his attitude could be interpreted as either amused or strict. I wanted people to think, “This is going to be an interesting story.” William’s full intent hasn’t been shown yet in the scenes recorded so far, so I’m going to think about him more and deepen my internal image of him.
Since William is a crime consultant, he gives advice to his clients. Personally, I’d say that I’m also more of an advice giver than a taker. I rarely ask people for advice. When I’m stuck on something, I can’t relax unless I solve the problem myself. I think there are two types of consulting: one where you want specific advice, and one where you just want the other person to listen. When someone consults with you and you interpret it as the wrong type, they might get upset… It’s important to consider their feelings carefully. So, when I’m giving someone advice, I make sure not to do it based on my circumstances alone. This is because of the responsibility that comes with saying something regarding the person’s life and feelings. In that sense, I fully understand that William advises his clients knowing what they’re thinking and what they want to do. That’s why I think he’s an elite consultant.
If I had William or Sherlock’s powers of perception, I’d also want to try being a consultant, albeit not restricted to the topic of crime. Discerning a feeling such as “I want to get rid of the fear I’m feeling right now” from a person’s gaze, breathing, and tone of voice, and accurately verbalizing it for them to help them understand their emotions… Right now, even if I could see that kind of feeling, it would ultimately only be a hunch. I wouldn’t be able to confirm whether it was true, and asking the person out of nowhere would be acting beyond my position. If I had William and Sherlock’s perceptive and communicative aptitude, I wouldn’t have to worry about misunderstandings. I could tell the person with confidence that “It’ll be all right.” I wish I could counsel people in a way that gives them a positive attitude. Even though I normally don’t share my worries with anyone, I’d like to receive that kind of counselling! If I’m given a precise answer and I think, “Oh, that’s right!”, I’d probably feel much better.
Q: Who do you find charismatic?
Generally, I don’t find myself wildly admiring anyone. Even when it comes to my favourite literature, I’m the type of person who sees the authors and their works as separate things… But if I had to give one name, it’d be Nakajima Ramo-san. I really love the worlds that he crafts, so in that sense, I might consider him a charismatic person. For lack of better words, I like how his works contain humour and pathos, and I’m fascinated by his way of life.
Bonus: Promotional image from Weekly TV Guide