[Editor’s note: this is the translation of an article published on 6 October 2018 by Akiba Souken]
Release the Spyce is a new original anime by writer Takahiro and manga artist Namori. This is the second part to the interview with Yukari Anzai, the rising rookie voice actor on her first main role as Momo Minamoto in the series. The second part will tell you more about the voice actor herself. We will learn more about her as a child, her first experience at Comiket, her favorite anime and many other charming sides of her.
You can read the first part of the interview here.
“Actually, I’m easily charmed (laughs).”
Did you like anime since you were a child?
Anzai: Yes. I lived in Taiwan when I was young and anime was a common sight over there, so you could say I grew up with it. I loved Cardcaptor Sakura and Super Doll Licca-chan. My brother liked Zoids and other male-oriented titles, so thanks to him I was exposed to a wide variety. Also, there was a period of time when I was into drawing and writing original content. I’ve always been interested in creating something.
We saw your tweet about buying a bunch of books from the Summer Comiket (laughs).
It was my first time at the Summer Comiket! I attended two days. My aim for the first day was to hand a fan letter to the manga artist I’ve always admired. Also, I love the Tales of series, especially the character Mithos (Yggdrasill) from Tales of Symphonia! I tend to like the boss-type characters (laughs). I met an artist who draws content related to the series and I was like, “I like you! Thank you! I’ll buy one! (rapidly)”.
The typical otaku rapid talk (laughs). From that, we can see that you’re rather open about this.
I just wanted to brag about my loot from the Comiket (laughs). Hold on, I’m just kidding! Just kidding!!
On the third day, the character designer of Release the Spyce, (Satoshi) Ishino-san released a new book which had Yuki was on the cover page, so I knew I just had to go. I sent Ishino-san a direct message on Twitter and he prepared a copy for me immediately (laughs). In the end, the damage to my wallet was just… I don’t really want to think about it…
We heard you were left with 310 yen.
You see, they say it’s always better to hold small change when you go for Comiket. I brought so much small change that I couldn’t close my wallet that day. On my way back, I only had 310 yen left so my wallet was like, flat (laughs). I rarely get the chance to come in contact with the things I like, so I naturally went into otaku-mode that day.
Please tell us about why you wanted to become a voice actor, and someone you admire.
One of the reasons for wanting to become a voice actor goes back to a recital I had in elementary school when I took part in a historical stage play. It’s not like I did extremely well back then, but I was really happy when I was praised (laughs). That was when I decided that I wanted to find a job where I could do something similar.
However, I soon realized that even if I wanted to act, it wouldn’t be in a movie or a drama, but in something that I really like. That was when my brother introduced me to an “awesome series”, which was Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A’s. From there, I heard Nana Mizuki-san sing the theme song and I loved the character she voiced. This was what made me strive to become a voice actress.
From then, I began researching about voice actors. Amongst those whose voices made me wonder “hmm, who voiced that character?”, it was Sanae Kobayashi-san’s voice that made me think the most. Ever since Kobayashi-san’s voice caught my attention in Ergo Proxy, I began noticing her voice more often in other series. I want to become a voice actor like Kobayashi-san, where I can make someone go, “who voiced that character?”.
Indeed, sometimes we watch the anime without thinking too much then go, “that voice acting was great, I wonder who it is?” and end up looking for the cast at the credits.
That’s right. That’s how it was for me when I heard Kobayashi-san’s voice. Besides that, I also grew to like Aoi Yuuki-san after watching a video interview where she explained her style of approach and way of thinking towards her roles. Through my observations, I came to have thoughts such as “I want to become someone like them” or “I want to have the same mindset”.
Is there anyone you look up to since you’ve become a voice actor?
Some time ago when I worked as the MC for the stage event of movie Yuuki Yuuna was Yuusha de aru: Washio Sumi no Shou, I met Kana Hanazawa-san. Back then, she called out to me, who was just an MC, and said, “great job, you worked hard.” I went “Hanazawa-san, I love you!!” in my mind (laughs). A people person, that’s what I want to become. In that sense, I admire Hanazawa-san.
Uh, could it be that… you’re easily charmed?
You got it. I get charmed easily! (laughs) After the recording session for Episode 1 of Release the Spyce, Numakura-san told me “you worked hard” and gave me a hug. I went, “Numakura-san…♡”. That set my heart racing. I used to fool around with my friends and hugged each other, but it was the first time someone hugged me out of appreciation, so that won me over immediately. Ever since then, I’d get nervous and tongue-tied every time I talk to her (laughs).
How about talking to Hanazawa-san?
I gradually lost the ability to do so (laughs). Although I only got the chance to meet Hanazawa-san thanks to some mob character roles, I’m so glad she remembers me. I thought, “I want to talk to her… but I’m sure she wouldn’t just stop here…” and then I’d just keep quiet. It’s not like I can’t talk to them freely from the start, but the more I like them, the more I hesitate (laughs).
Your movements are exaggerating… I mean, you sure move a lot when talking (laughs).
I sure do (laughs). I tend to move a lot during recording sessions, but I’d try my best to hold myself back least I generate any noise.
I think those who’ve watched videos of you would be able to imagine your movements. Speaking of which, what do you think about the live streams you’ve participated in so far?
I’d be really glad if anyone would take interest in me by watching them. On top of that, I’ve gained quite a bit of experience from these activities. Song recordings, Niconico live streams and talk events are all firsts that I’ve experienced with Release the Spyce. I’m very grateful for these valuable experiences that have broadened my horizons.
“I like robot-shaped stuff!”
Here’s a series of questions based on Release the Spyce. First of all, do you have a favorite spice?
I don’t know if this one’s considered a spice, but I love basil. I’d make basil chicken and use the spice in all sorts of dishes I cook at home.
Do you cook often?
I don’t cook very frequently, and I usually cook while following recipe sites. I wouldn’t say that I’m good at it (laughs).
Back when I was a child, my neighbor had a garden of flowers and herbs and would use them in their cooking. I grew up watching them, so I had some sort of admiration for using herbs in cooking. That’s why, with what little money I have, I’d buy lots of basil, and without hesitation, choose herb pasta whenever ordering pasta at a restaurant.
Then, do you have a favorite spy-related film or anime?
The first spy-related film I watched was Spy Kids. It was the first time I watched a film with 3D glasses on, so in that sense it left a deep impression on me. I vividly remember the many spy gadgets and the way the characters swiftly changed into their spy outfits and made their appearance in style.
Spy gadgets is also one of the charm points of Release the Spyce.
That’s right. I had the opportunity to look at some documents of the anime, they had drafts and every detail of all the gadgets invented by Hatsume, such as Tsukikage’s phone straps and weapons. I love illustrations of scenery and detailed stuff like these, so I got excited thinking if I could get hold of the blueprints of Tsukikage’s hideout.
I believe it’s especially the case for guys, things get exciting when you’re talking about gadgets and secret hideouts.
Yeah, it’s exciting! When I was a kid, I spent most of my time in an oshiire closet (laughs). I’d use the bottom compartment and my brother would be on top. That lasted for quite a long while. I used to build stuff by combining cardboard boxes.
It sounds like you’re heavily influenced by your brother.
That’s true. I love looking at shapes in mecha anime, especially how round and curvy the robot “Chamber” from Suisei no Gargantia is (laughs).
We never thought that you’d bring up Suisei no Gargantia (laughs). It feels like we’re now having a passionate discussion about mecha anime with a male fan…
Mecha anime is one thing, I also love those with deep plots. I like historical structures, and I absolutely love stories with futuristic settings such as Genocidal Organ and Harmony. The gadgets that appear in these stories just make me feel so excited (laughs). That’s why I’m especially curious when it comes to the intricate designs and assembly of the gadgets in Release the Spyce.
In that sense, Release the Spyce is a great title for your first main role.
I agree. This anime is full of things I love – gadgets, action and cute girls.
We could imagine how awesome the action would turn out just by reading the script.
I was surprised at how fluid the character movements were when I first saw the completed video. There will be more action scenes as the story progresses, so I’ll be great if everyone would pay attention to that.
You mentioned about liking Takahiro-sensei’s works from the previous interview. Do you have any other writer or creator you like?
I’ve always admired Makoto Shinkai-san and followed his works since his debut piece Hoshi no Koe! When everyone learned about Shinkai-san through Kimi no Na wa, I felt happy for him, yet at the same time a little lonely… (laughs). However, it feels great to know that so many people love the work that I love! I look forward to his future creations too!
It doesn’t seem like we’ll ever see an end to this session, talking about favorite works and creators. On top of Release the Spyce, let’s have another in-depth talk next time.
Yes, I’d be glad to!
Release the Spyce is currently simulcasting on ANIPLUS Asia in Southeast Asia.
The final episode airs/streams SUN 03:00 [02:00 id/th]. Encore broadcasts include SUN 23:00 [22:00], MON 18:00 [17:00] and FRI 21:30 [20:30].
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