Feature Translation: Seiyuu Animedia January 2018 — Aida Rikako, Interview (Part 2 of 3)

Phew. It’s still January (lol)
Thanks to the kind folks over at the Japenese StackExchange (lol) for helping clear up some stuff, as well as to digiroko for QC. 😀

This is the conitinuation to the special long interview found in Aida Rikako’s 30-page spread in the January 2018 issue of Seiyuu Animedia (which also has her as the front cover — check out the first part of the interview here if you haven’t yet!)

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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 distinctive marker for when interviewees display what we’d call wry smiles (usually when they’re talking about something embarrassing) 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.

My goal for 2018 is to become a better “person”;
and if I can, to go on a trip (xD)

In 2018 I want to break out of my shell and learn a lot different things.

2017 for you was a year of experiences and growth. Have you then thought about what kind of year you want 2018 to be?

 This is something that’s always been on my mind from this past year but — I want to do my best in letting even more people know about the person that is “Aida Rikako”: appearing in a lot of different kinds of work; performing different roles; and to garner recognition as a seiyuu from many people. To that end, I wish to keep improving as an “individual (person)” 

As a voice actress, what are some areas where you currently find yourself lacking in?

 There’s a lot. But, the number one thing would be breaking out of my shell. For example, the role of Jackie in「Kuma no Gakkou」that premiered in Summer 2017; she was a very mischievous and carefree little girl — my usual self in comparison is pretty low-tension* so there was just no way (xD). For that reason, when the time came to play that role, there were a lot of things that I just had to keep in mind. “To completely become like a kid” — I wanted to imagine such innocence. Nevertheless, and not limited to Jackie, from now on as a voice actress I’ll do at least that much — it wouldn’t do me good if a role that I could play got away from me after all. Though I say that, I have to first break out of my shell; absorbing (learning) a lot of different things; is something I believe I must do. 

*Note: Amusingly, in the previous SeiAni interview that I TL’d Rikyako says the same thing, but instead of “low-tension”, it was mistranscribed in the article as “rotation”
which didn’t make a whole lot of sense at the time, lol, now I know why

Then, is there something that you usually do to expand your horizons and discover things you don’t have in you?

 I watch a lot of movies. I hear the performances of a lot of different people, thinking stuff like “I can’t draw that out of myself” or “I’d probably perform that in the same manner”, then I see the things that I’m lacking. 

In practice, do you try saying the lines out loud?

 I do, yes. Sometimes I’m able to express the nuance in the same manner, but it’s in my voice so it’s completely off, and when I hear it I feel down (xD) But, these are also great learning experiences as it is important to learn about my own vocal quality. 

From here on; are any genres that you’d want to challenge?

 I want to actively take on work in foreign films (dubbing)*. My love of movies aside, during my time in (seiyuu) developmental school, “you might be better suited for dubbing” was praise the I’d once received. I myself believe that my voice isn’t the typical anime voice and, if anything, I do think that maybe my voice is more cutout for roles with more realism. Before, even people from my agency had also thought the same thing. Because of that everyone was surprised when I suddenly started singing and dancing as I am now in front of a crowd (xD) 

*Note: Check this out!

That just means you have the talent for those kinds of stuff right?

 No, I’m still not at a level for either for me to puff out my chest and say “I’m good at this!” (´∀`;) Moreover, even now this still happens, but from time to time I’d receive work for foreign films. While I really am happy for the being granted the experience, I’d mess up a lot, and by the end I always trudge on home feeling down (xD)  

— Well then, outside of work, something you would like to improve on yourself would be…?

 Let’s see now……. This still, ultimately ties in to my work but, getting over my shyness when appearing in front of people, and getting a better grasp of who I am as an individual voice actress. In「Kuma no Gakkou」, since it was my first time in a lead role, a sense of “I have to do my best” gave me a fair amount of strength to challenge it. But, it’s not really that easy to change your personality……..(´∀`;) Even during the launch screening, without even thinking about it I ended up sitting at one of farthest corners (of the theater), and both my co-stars as well as people from the staff shot me looks that said “you’re the starring role so you should be sitting in the middle” (xD). At that time too I thought to myself “Really, I’m kinda hopeless huh.” 

From now on, juniors will be coming in (to your agency) little by little, and the circumstances where not only would you be co-starring with them but times when you have to give them a hand might increase.

 That’s right! When I think about that, it makes me a bit uneasy. In the first place I myself, for better or worse, don’t really care much about where a younger person would stack up in the vertical hierarchy (of the organization). The courtesy shown towards seniors isn’t really something I yearn for. I won’t look for that in my juniors either. However, there may come a time from now where, if someone were to see my work, they may then become interested in voice acting. If that time does come, in order for me to be able to confidently pass on a lot of different things, I think that I myself must first grow. 

Next up; we also wanna hear a bit from your private life — is there something you want to do this 2018?

 I want to take a trip to Kyoto! 

That was a fast response (xD) Is there someplace in particular you wanted to check out?

 Not really, I was just thinking I’d stay at an inn and just take it easy. Just, if that were the case, it’d be like “it’s fine if it isn’t Kyoto” then (xD) 

Certainly (xD)

 But, I haven’t had the chance to properly walk the streets there, and I’ve really been wanting to do that. Besides, when I first thought about it, I figured it would be within my means to go, so sometime before this I’d already bought a guidebook (for Kyoto). I don’t really know where it is in my room though (xD) 

— (xD) Would you go there alone?

 I’d want to go with a friend but, the feeling of travelling by yourself to Kyoto would be nice too right? ………. Ah. That might not be such a good idea after all. No one would come wake me up so I’ll end up just sleeping all the time in a hotel; if I’m going then I’m inviting a friend or my mom (xD) 

In the first place, do you like travelling alone?

 I don’t proactively go travelling by myself and I’d prefer if a friend took the lead and thought up of a lot of different plans. I’d tell them the 1 or 2 places that I absolutely have to go to no matter what, and if they can include those in our itinerary, then that would be good enough for me (xD) 

Are you normally not one to make plans that often?

 Outside of work I feel like that’s the case, yes. I’m not all that confident with making travel plans, much less with my ability of executing them, so I always just go about it haphazardly (xD) That said, I’ve gone on very little trips this past year. …….. Oh I know —  then I’ll make it my goal this 2018 to go travelling alone. More than that, “Going out as much as possible during my off-days”. Yep, I’ll do that (xD) 

(xD) And now, just this one last thing:
At this time we’ve actually had you write for us your New Year’s resolution for 2018. What was the thought behind the words, “Delivering (my) Feelings”?*

 In 2017 there had been a lot of instances where fans relayed their feelings in lives and events that I performed in. But, while I do intend to properly convey my own, a lot of times I feel like it’s not enough. The root of this is without a doubt my inexperience** in being expressive. Because of that, along with improving myself even more this 2018, I want to do my best in properly letting my feelings reach! 

*Note: Interesting that she used the kanji「想い」(omoi, lit. feelings) here
instead of the more common「思い」(omoi, lit. feelings)
which is the same usage found in「想いよひとつになれ

For this one she says「未熟」(mijuku, lit. young, unripe)
as in 「未熟DREAMER

***Thoughts and Takeaways
– Overall, probably my new favorite Rikyako interview (Well, not that I’ve done that many, lol, but she laughed so much here!)
– I found the part where she talked about dubbing for foreign works to be really interesting. I never thought about that being a viable career path for seiyuus, which in hindsight, now sounds like a no-brainer considering what voice acting work in general entails. I wouldn’t really know about the trajectory of seiyuu activity outside of anime, so I do wonder whether the overlap between voice actors dubbing over foreign dramas and the voice actors for anime is actually fairly wide.
– Not just in this interview, but in almost all of her interviews that I’ve translated so far, whenever Rikyako gets asked specifically about her private life most of the time she defers it to her work life instead. At first I took it as, she’s just so busy that her work life is pretty much her life in general, but I thought about how it could be an agency mandated thing where she’s inclined to actively dodge questions that probe too much into her private life.
–  The subtle callouts to Omoi yo Hitotsu ni Nare and Mijuku Dreamer at the end is just <3 (well, of course, it could all just be coincidence, but it’d be nice if she did do it on purpose)

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Part 2~!!
I’ve fallen into a nice groove as to how I pace my translation work, mostly one where I don’t burn out by doing a little at a time, so rest assured I will be seeing this interview through to the end with Part 3 (hopefully within the month still). The interview for that will be themed around Christmas (really no use rushing it at this point, lol), so do look forward to it. After that I still plan to do the joint interview of Aida Rikako and Akane Fujita some time in the immediate future as well before ultimately moving on from SeiAni Jan 2018 (’cause *wink wink* *nudge nudge* we’re gonna get yet another 30-page special from Rikyako coming in the next couple of weeks, and I am all but hyped xD)

However (!!!) Next TL that I post might not be Rikyako-related *gasp* (hint: I’m not sure how to go about spelling her name ……. ) lol. Emphasis on “might” though as I’m not a 100% sure whether or not this will be a thing, so yeah we’ll see how this pans out.

Till then! 😀

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