Feature Translation: Seiyuu Animedia September 2017 — Aida Rikako, Interview (Part 1 of 2)

I love that profile card (look at her self-portrait!)

More from the September 2017 issue of Seiyuu Animedia featuring Aida Rikako aka Rikyako of Love Live! Sunshine!! fame — this time, the first of a two-part-er interview. I talked a bit about why I’m doing this over at my translation of the Q&A piece they had with her so do check that out. But yeah no, just doing this because I’m a fan of hers and no TLs of ’em are around at the moment. It’s not related to Love Live! in any way, but if you found yourself here as a fellow fan then hey, happy to oblige 😀

I did realize that WordPress might not be the most common place to put out TLs as far as this sort of stuff is concerned (tumblr appears to be the platform of choice for most of those that do do translations) but, well, I like it here. Plus, it’s easier to discuss errors in translation in a straight blog — which, and I feel I should throw this out now, is almost a given. Fingers crossed I did a good enough job but for those who know better, as always, point ’em out.

Well then. I’ll keep these introductions to a minimum. As I said this is your run-of-the-mill interview and is the first of two parts. Enjoy~!

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Some notes before we start:
– (笑), generally used to indicate laughter in transcribed Japanese interviews were transliterated into (xD) for this TL, ’cause lol why not (lol could work too I guess …)
– (苦笑), a more disntinctive marker for when interviewees display what we’d call wry smiles (usually when they’re talking about something embarassing) have subsequently been transliterated as (´∀`;)
– words found in parentheses are either words that I put in to clarify certain things, or words that I add to make up for nuances and inferences in the language.

Even though I love showing up for people,
I get extremely shy* when I’m in front of ’em … (xD)

*Note: The word here is 人見知り (hitomishiri lit. ‘person sees and knows’); a term used to convey a level of anxiety associated with being in the presence of other people (usually strangers). This is commonly translated as “fear of strangers”, but I found that “fear” might be a tad bit too strong in certain contexts, so I settled on “shyness”

Born on the 8th of August in Tokyo Prefecture, Japan. Blood-type, O. Known primarily for her roles in 「Love Live! Sunshine!!」 as Sakurauchi Riko and 「Sagrada Reset」 as Sera Sawako. Affiliated with Ken-Production.

As both a woman and a seiyuu,
I aim to stay true to myself

–– From here we think we’d like to draw closer to your personality.
First, if you could share a word or two of your own?

『 I get extremely shy when I’m in front of people (´∀`;) In my first time at a recording site I wasn’t able to talk to anyone at all. I dubbed over a foreign film for work not too long ago, but it wasn’t until at the launch event that I’d managed to talk to the people around. Our sound director even said that “that’s the first time I’ve seen you smile” (xD) 』

–– That certainly is fitting of someone with that level of shyness
『 It’s because of that that while I do carry feelings of “I want to get along”, I’m always just waiting for (that feeling) to voice itself out (xD) Even when I first met the members of Aqours I was never able to talk for the longest time, until Anchan (Inami Anju) who had been beside me, took it upon herself to initiate a conversation with me. It’s just, the people around probably don’t see it like that, so when talking about this they’ll definitely go “surely you’re lying?!” in surprise. 』

–– But in events you appear very much unperturbed………
『 I’m fine with standing in front of people. It’s fun after all. That is, and I do think about it myself, I really have a rather bothersome character (for this line of work) (´∀`;) 』

–– That is quite the conundrum (xD)
Well then, what do you spend your time doing during rest days?

『 Mostly napping. When a vacation comes up I end up thinking “guess I’ll sleep!” (xD) 』

–– Do you like just staying inside your own room?
『 There is that too, yeah. Just, if there’s a movie I wanna watch, that becomes top priority. You have to watch movies in a movie theater after all. Recently, I went and saw 「Ni-Juu Ni-Nen Me No Kokuhaku – Watashi Ga Satsujin-Han Desu」 (Confession on the 22nd year – I am the murderder) 』

–– Points of choosing (interest) for works?
『 (I go for) a lot of mystery. Alternatively, stuff with police. With that, there are a lot of Japanese movies to choose from that have either of the two. Of course, I also like Western movies, and I’ll see dubbed ones when I study expressions. 』

–– When you do watch Westerm films — subtitles? or dubs?
『 I lived in America when I was a child so I can get-by watching without subtitles, but sometimes it happens where a subtitle and the nuance of a line will be a bit off. I end up thinking “so thaaat’s how you’d translate that” and I lose my focus with the movie; I stop listening to the movie altogether and I get caught up just chasing the subs (xD) 』

*Note: Spotted a typo here from the mag — 書い直す ✖ -> 買い直す 〇

–– A concern unique to English-speakers (xD) By the by, are you a reader?
『 I like (reading), yeah. With books, as expected, there are a lot of choices for mystery, and often I read the works of Isaka Kotaro-san. I absolutely love the movie adaptation of 「Fish Story」. But, the number one work that left the biggest impression on me would be 「Golden Slumber」. Even now I’d still rate it as “Very Well Done”, and then I end up teary-eyed if I happen upon it. This might be something you wouldn’t understand unless you read the book, I think (xD). Again recently, I was reading Nukui Tokuro-san’s 「Gukouroku」 (Record of Folly) However, while I was halfway-done reading, I accidentally left the book in a hotel in Los Angeles when I went there for work. There was nothing I could do even if I wanted to know what happens next. Though I did end up buying a replacement copy, somehow it’s still frustrating; right now I’m still very bothered by it (xD) 』

–– (xD) Now then, your ideal man would precisely be someone like?
『 Sakai Masato-san! I love him as an actor, and I’ve seen just about all of his performances in movies and dramas. 』

–– Are you another “Black Hair” fetishist?
『 Positive. Of course, if I met a person like that (ideal) then whatever color hair is fine I think but, if we’re talking about what gives of a cool atmosphere the moment you lay your eyes on it, if that’s the case, then black hair definitely is number one I’d think, y’know? 』

–– I understand. And then, a person you hold in high regard is……?
『 Kitamura Eri-san. Some time ago, she worked on the anime 「Angel Beats!」 and 「Gakuen Mokushiroku (Apocalypse Academy) HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD」 both (airing) really close to one another, and these roles she ended up portraying couldn’t be any more different. I thought “(she’s) amazing!”, with her wide-range of expressiveness. It might not be my place to say but, her voice is truly gorgeous; and not just for a seiyuu, but as an artist as well she’s managed to define for herself a world-view that’s truly her own. And now I have settled on the path that only I can pursue, and her image as I soldier on is something that I admire. 』

–– Aida-san, have you personally ever dreamt “I want to try playing such a role”?
『 Not limited to just anime, when I watch movies and dramas, I always end up being drawn to supporting roles. As such, someday I wanna try playing the role of a villain with a huge impact. So much so that when they finish watching they’ll say “that person, I hate her!” about me (xD) Also, like the 「Gintama」 that changed my life, appearing in a work of comedy where I can make anyone laugh is also one of my goals. 』

–– It’s been nearly three years since you started voice acting. Has something in you changed? Or have you come to realize something (in that time)?
『 With regards to my expressions, my own voice is not like those that have a higher range, nor do I have an “anime voice”. The significance of that may be different for other people, but I came to think that I had to find my own expression. That is, some time ago, it might be because I did stage work, staff from the anime (production) would often say to me: “it’s nicer when you’re just being yourself while playing the role”. That’s when I thought, I will try to be as much “me” as I can in my expressions as possible. The most important thing is being able to draw emotion from within myself and earnestly bring out the voice in me. That’s something I will never change and will continue to cherish. 』

–– Next up; this magazine goes up for sale a day after the 8th of August, which will be the day you welcome in your birthday. During your birthdays when you were a kid, a memory that has stuck with you would be?
『 Unnnn………. It (the 8th) was in the middle of summer vacation, so I never got greetings from anyone at school — I still sulk about it (xD). So really I don’t have any particularly fantastic memories (´∀`;) 』

–– My apologies (xD) Then, lastly, to bring you back to better sprits, do tell us your aspirations for the next year
『 Just, staying true to myself, but taking on any challenge that comes my way. Being a woman who can go with that way of life is something I think I’ll do my best to aim for. 』

*** Thoughts and Take-Aways
– What stood out right away was her admission of being 人見知り (hitomishiri), as you wouldn’t really expect that from someone who’s work mostly does involve being in the presence of people (hence my apprehension to note it as straight-up fear). I do wonder if there are actually a lot of idols (even outside LL!) that regularly appear on stage and participate in conventional idol activities (meet and greets, handshake events) in spite of having this sort of anxiety. It’s curious, to say the least. If anything, it does hold true to the popular narrative of “idols doing their best despite their short-comings”.
– Her take on subtitles was interesting in that she does specifically say the word “nuance” in relation to whether words come across differently depending on the language — meaning her level of understanding for both Japanese and English is at a point where she can at the very least discern such differences.
– The book that she lost in LA did come up at one point in one of her social media updates. The anecdote was just hilarious overall.
– The amount of respect she gave to Kitamura Eri was very cool.
– Interviewer kinda dropped the ball a bit at the end with the whole “birthdays during your childhood” question (which ended up being both funny and sad really), but in their defense, there was no way they could’ve known, lol

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There you have it — arguably the most I’d put in to a translation so far (which isn’t really saying a lot consider I’d only been doing song translations before). Really though, a good chunk of time spent on this was me manually parsing lines of text and looking up kanji that I did not yet know (love radical builders).

On the brightside, since a lot of words appeared more than once over the course of this interview I learned a bunch of “useful” stock phrases (ie 印象に残っている is something I can now unmistakably hear during radio shows now :D)

Will post the second part of this interview at some point. Till then!

5 thoughts on “Feature Translation: Seiyuu Animedia September 2017 — Aida Rikako, Interview (Part 1 of 2)

  1. “Even when I first met the members of Aqours I was never able to talk for the longest time, until Anchan (Inami Anju) who had been beside me, took it upon herself to initiate a conversation with me.”
    Chika x Riko so strong it reaches even beyond the realm of 2D.

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