Let’s start the year right.
(massive thanks to digiroko for doing QC on this one :D)
And by that I mean another feature translation, this time from Aida Rikako’s 30-page spread and cover/opening feature for the January 2018 issue of Seiyuu Animedia. This massive Rikyako special includes: an equally massive 150-item Q&A of anything and everything Rikyako; a three-part interview; and a joint interview between Rikyako and burgeoning voice actress Akane Fujita (which I’m actually looking forward to working on if nobody hasn’t yet once I get through this three-parter) A bit more on these after the actual TL, as I realize I shouldn’t make these intros so long xD
As I always state in these translations, I’m still learning the language myself so there will be some misses here and there. では,ではっ!!!
Within this shining time and place I found,
that I am allowed to grow, to dream anew
Achieving a big break in 2017, Aida Rikako, for the first time appears solo for a seiyuu magazine’s front cover and opening feature! Only in this issue will you be able to see: gorgeous gravure packed with all sorts of facial expressions; a super long interview; and lastly a peak into her private life — a 150-item Q&A. A massive special feature to understand everything about this girl, delivered to you!
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.
Now, I want to experience as many kinds of work as possible
A seiyuu who was able to grow in many ways in the year 2017
— Aida-san has already been featured as the back cover for the September 2017 issue of this publication but, this time finally, you’re the opening feature! Not only that, but this is also your first time appearing as the front cover for a seiyuu magazine!!
『 Thank you very much! As the photoshoots wrapped up, and now me having this interview — this is all still something that I can’t believe is happening. When I first heard about it from my manager I really had trouble taking it in; felt like it was someone else’s affairs and not mine (xD) 』
— And your mental state now?
『 I’m half-ecstatic, half-“Is it really ok if it’s me?”-worried (xD) 』
— It’s okay to have a bit more confidence in yourself y’know? (xD) I would think that you doing this big feature at this juncture should be enough for most to realize that 2017 was quite the breakthrough year for Aida-san. Looking back on it now yourself; how does it all feel?
『 Hectic, with a feeling that all sorts of things were happening at once. The times I appeared in front of people increased and a lot of merchandise came to be, but on the other hand, there were also things that haven’t been seen of me. And now, towards the very end (of this year) Seiyuu Animedia-san of all places have given me the pleasure of being featured on a front cover. It truly has been a fulfilling year! 』
— Given all this, did you ever expect you’d be this busy?
『 When I first saw my schedule for 2017 I thought to myself “this is insane!” (xD). But then at the time there were also things that hadn’t been decided on yet and dates kept piling on for other stuff, further adding to that insanity. Nonetheless, being able to weather these things out one way or another, I now think of as proof — if only just a little — of my own personal growth 』
— In August of 2017, the anime-movie 「Kuma no Gakkou: Pattisier Jackie to Ohisama no Sweets」(Kuma no Gakkou) has also premiered. This was your first time as a starring role for a movie; was this also a massive experience?*
『 Yes. It’s a work that a lot of people know about and my co-actors were all just wonderful so, amidst all that, it stands to reason that I felt massive pressure taking on that lead role. But, starting first from Touyama (Nao)-san, I’d received support from a lot of people (involved) while also learning from all of them, and as a result I carried it out without a hitch. Likewise a bunch of stuff happened at this 「Kuma no Gakkou」 event and while we always moved as a group for the most part, for me, appearing as “Aida Rikako” in front of people was really exciting. Rather, thinking “you have to keep it together!” kept me strong; and at the same time, as an individual voice actress doing such activities is an experience in itself, and for a lot of reasons I think I was able to grow from it all 』
*Note: Kuma no Gakkou Interview here
— Well then, other than your work, is there anything else you can think of as something you’ve challenged?
『 Let’s see now…… this is something that still leads to me talking about my work but for the first time in my life I was able to go (scuba) diving. To fully enter the sea like that is something that my body hasn’t felt in a long time; it was really fun 』
— You’ve been interested in diving for some time?
『 I was, yes. But, really I’m no good with the water. Also, since I’m an indoors-type by nature, “marine sports and winter sports have nothing to do with my life” was the image that I had (for myself) (xD) But, as with anything, you won’t really know about them unless you give them a try. In all actuality, once you experience such things there’s this feeling of “a world like this also exists!”; expanding your horizons 』
— That’s, again, a single step more towards growth in being able to do something. While we’re on the subject, how are you with swimming?
『 I’m pretty good y’know! In all likelihood though, I can only swim no more than 25m (xD) 』
— (xD) For diving, did you go underwater by yourself?
『 I did my best on my own for about 5~6m. “You won’t get any work done if you don’t go under!” is what I thought to myself; man that was a struggle (xD) 』
— What a wonderful pro mindset!
『 I say all that, but it was only by putting on the (diving) weights and by properly releasing the air (from the buoyancy compensator), that my body went and naturally sank towards the bottom of the sea. But from there on it was a battle against my fears…… (xD) 』
『 There’s that too but, being underwater, there’s this feeling of confinement. From the start I was already a bit claustrophobic, and even though the seas seem so vast, my field of view (from underwater) was so narrow that I ended up feeling like I was trapped. And so I really was a little afraid at first 』
— Well, it’s not often you get to play around with fish and enjoy the scenery under the sea, so did that help at all?
『 That is true. Or, well, I say that but the truth is I’m also not that good with fish either. As such, that too was its own ordeal (´∀｀;). Talking about this though, a lot of people might get surprised thinking “why did you take the job then?” (xD) 』
— I can see why they would. Is there a reason why then?
『 I did at first think to myself “can I really do this?”. But missing out on such opportunities by not allowing myself to give them a try is a feeling that I don’t think I’d want to have. That’s why I decided to take on this challenge with all my might 』
— In experiencing different things, did the thought of wanting to change how you are ever cross your mind?
『 Yes. Moreover in performing (as an actress), when talking about experiences, I won’t always know if I’m really cut-out for the role, but nonetheless I’ll challenge whatever they may be 』
— And have you always that kind of assertiveness in you?
『 For the things that I love — from as far as I can remember — I always make a dash straight towards them. There are times where I get too caught up (in what I’m doing) and I lose sight of the things around me (xD) For that though, “carelessness won’t do me any good”, is something I keep in mind. Just, I become optimistic even towards the things that I feel I may not be good at, because these are the things that I took on in having been granted the opportunity to do voice work. It’s the same with this here front cover but, if all of my fans find delight in my broadening of my range of activities, I think I would want to meet their expectations althemore 』
— I see. Well then, any fun memories in your private life for the year 2017?
『 I went to Los Angeles for work but I was able to meet some of my dear friends living over there who I haven’t seen in ages! We were able to talk a bunch, and we even got to do some sightseeing; it was fun 』
— Are you still able to speak English now?
『 If it’s just everyday conversation then there’s no problem. Just, it’s also true that little by little, (my English) has become questionable (´∀｀;) Because of that, lately whenever I watch foreign films and all I hear are English words, I listen hard so I can I check (the words) out in secret (xD). Moreover <Special Skill: able to hold conversations in English> is written in my profile*, so in order for that to not be a lie, I think I’d want to keep the barest minimum of my English-power (xD) 』
*Note: It really is.
— As I hear you talk, it really was a year of all sorts of work
『 Yes. But, rather than taking a break, I want to do as many kinds of work as possible. I’m the type that wants to build up experiences, so for me, (having done so) would make me very happy 』
— Even so, I would think that the fatigue (of doing all that) adds up; in times like this, what do you to “refresh” yourself?
『 I’ve been going to hot rock saunas a lot recently. You can give your mind a reset from a lot of different things, and it can also change the condition of your skin, so it’s reeaally good. Add to that, while there are times where I go alone I usually go with a friend or my mom, and we’d always just chat while working up a sweat. That’s also a nice way to relieve stress…….. Thought I say that, towards the end it always gets so hot that it renders us speechless really (xD). There’s that and of course getting to go home! Whenever, Wherever — I’m the type that goes home right away so, when I do (get to go home) it really is nice; I’ve been fondly thinking about that lately (xD) 』
***Thoughts and Takeaways
– In the Q&A feature of Seiyuu Animedia September 2017, Rikyako mentioned wanting to challenge diving “again”, particularly because the first time didn’t go so well. She mentions getting to dive here, though I’m curious whether she’s talking about the same event. High chance that she is (’cause she does say it was for work), otherwise she would have gone diving in the time between that issue and this one (…in October-November, lol)
– Rikyako not a fan of being underwater (and fish xD), reminds me of how she was the topic of a special summer feature despite not being a fan of summer.
– English-power !!!!!!
I teased starting up another translation project on the last one that I did for 2017 but yeah no, initially I planned on doing the 150-item Q&A first/instead but digiroko already has that covered (read the first part here if you haven’t yet!) and as per the rule that I imposed on myself, since she’s already on it then I’ll work on something else — which is this here interview; or well, the first part of it at least.
Now, I messed up. I’m reading the interviews as I go along (meaning I’ve only read up to that parts that I’ve actually translated) so I had no idea what the theme of the parts of the interviews were going to be until much later. The first (this) took a look back at Rikyako’s growth and experiences in 2017 and the second coversly looked ahead to her activities in 2018. The third part (and I say this with bated breath) was purely about Christmas, and had I known that ahead of time, I would’ve tried my darndest to finish that up first just in time for the holidays 🙁
So yeah, parts 2 and 3 some time in the foreseeable future unless someone drops a TL of the entire thing in the meantime (lol).