Kato Taihei on doing play-by-plays for Yuri!!! on ICE


The “Bento Announcer”!?, Katō Taihei, and the show that has left the Queen speechless!

Katō Taihei (TV Asahi Announcer), who plays announcer Morooka Hisashi

T/N: During his college days, Katō—not to be confused with the skier with a similar name (different kanji)—was known for his aggressive and dynamic plays as a forward in the Waseda University soccer team, the Inaho Kickers. Following graduation, he has worked on the announcing team at TV Asahi. He’s known as the “Bento Announcer” amongst fans because he often tweets about the boxed lunches he eats in the course of his work. This interview was part of the “Sports News!” broadsheet that came with the January 2017 issue of Newtype.

Meet the announcer Katō Taihei, who has achieved great success doing live commentary (play-by-play and analysis). The design of the announcer he plays, Morooka, also seems to be based on Katō himself, complete with his cheerful and refreshing personality.

—As we plunge into the Grand Prix Series and watch the performances of the skaters one after another, I suddenly realised that each of them was graced by your voice, in ‘live commentary’ mode.

Katō: The other day, Toyonaga (Toshiyuki)-san took a little playful jab at me, like “It feels you’re the one who has the most lines, don’t you think?” (chuckles). Read more of this post

A little update on where I’ve been…


If you’re wondering where I’ve been the last few weeks…well, the picture above just about sums up how I’m feeling at the moment. I usually take a one or two week break from posting after finishing up my 12 Days of Anime posts…but the start to this year has been crazy. The immediate reason, of course, was the Rakugo Shinjuu interview that I translated—and in some ways, it’s kind of fitting that I’m talking about it again this week, given what happened in episode 5.

I had been looking forward to having a rest after that, to recoup and catch up on a long backlog of anime and translations. But then Lauren Orsini published a piece arguing that screenwriter Okada Mari’s work on the latest Gundam is entirely in keeping with what we’ve seen in the franchise so far. And that’s how my 15th post on Anime ‘Writing’ came to be. I had to do a fair amount of research for the piece—Iron-Blooded Orphans is NOT “Mari Okada’s Gundam”—but it worked out, since I was long overdue for another editorial on screenwriting in this medium!


But putting aside the Okada interruption, I’d actually planned to have the Ishida x Hayashibara interview translated before starting on my 12 Days posts. So why did I find myself still wrestling with it on the night before the second season started? Well, if you follow me on twitter, you’d know the answer to that. For those of you that don’t, however, here’s what else I’ve been doing over the last few months: Read more of this post

Celebrating the Sexiest Female Voice in Anime Today

When a certain seiyuu special aired two weeks ago as part of the ongoing celebration of 100 years of Japanese animation,1 I suspect that the initial reaction in the West would have been “Who…??” Whilst older fans—and anyone watching this season’s best show, Rakugo Shinjuu—would undoubtedly recognise the names of Yamadera Kouichi (Sukeroku), Seki Tomokazu (Yotarō) and Hayashibara Megumi (Miyokichi; also Rei in Evangelion), I suspect that many of the younger crowd would have drawn a blank even on these talents.


Once you know how this ranking was created, however, the results shouldn’t be a surprise. Read more of this post

Rakugo Shinju: Ishida Akira x Hayashibara Megumi on the challenges they faced

And here’s the second half of the interview from Febri vol.34. Once again, please do not copy and paste more than a sentence or two elsewhere, though feel free to link to it if you wish. And if you happen to spot any careless mistakes i have made, please let me know! Otherwise, please enjoy!

Interview and text: Maeda Hisashi


—Thinking back over the entire show now, are there any scenes that have left a deep impression on you?

Ishida: In the end, the most daunting and difficult scenes were the rakugo ones. Having to perform famous stories like “Shinigami” and “Kajika-zawa1 right from the start, and do them well, no less…I was like “These aren’t stories that an amateur can pull off just like that!” Read more of this post

Rakugo Shinju: Ishida Akira x Hayashibara Megumi on our tragic trio


This two-person interview appeared in Febri vol.34, which was released in April of last year, after the first season of the show. I had originally planned to have the entire interview translated and checked before the second season started, but unfortunately, a certain anime about figure skating derailed just about all of my translation plans in the fall season. Hence, this is just the first half of the interview; it is also the more controversial half. Since these two seiyuu are people that I’ve never translated or even read interviews with before, and haven’t had the chance to ask anyone else to check it, there may be a few mistakes here and there, which I hope you will forgive me for (if you happen to have read the interview in Japanese and spot any, please let me know!). As usual, please do not copy and paste more than a sentence or two elsewhere, though feel free to link to it if you wish. And even if it suggests something that goes against your interpretation of the show, I hope you’ll find it as interesting as I did.

Ishida Akira (Yakumo/Kikuhiko) x Hayashibara Megumi (Miyokichi)

A fateful bond1 is a strange thing… Ungoverned by logic and reason, such are the relations between men and women. The relationship between Kikuhiko and Miyokichi, too, is filled with incomprehensible matters. How did the actors behind these characters portray such an afflicted relationship? In this discussion, we ask the two of them to share the depth of their feelings towards the show and their characters.

Interview and text: Maeda Hisashi Read more of this post

Remembering Matsuki Miyu

As many people will have already heard, the seiyuu agency 81 Produce announced on Monday last week that Matsuki Miyu (real name: Matsuki Mieko) passed away on October 27, at the tender age of 38. She’d been ill since the start of the year, and had stopped working in July to undergo hospitalisation and treatment for what turned out to be acute pneumonia (edit: later revealed by her family to be Chronic active EBV infection, so as to raise awareness of the disease).

Some fans today will probably know her as Shimoneta’s Anna Nishikinomiya. However, one of Matsuki’s most endearing projects was not an anime, but rather, Cherry Bell, a radio show that she had hosted alongside Sakurai Takahiro and Suzumura Kenichi since 2003. And, as a testament to the fact that she was one of its three pillars, her fellow hosts took to the airwaves one final time last Friday night to remember the bubbly, vibrant colleague who had somehow managed to keep them in line.

The ‘Matsuki Miyu gets married?!’ photoshoot from the 2011 JOQR calendar…

As someone who has not seen many of the series Matsuki was in, and who had to put Cherry Bell aside to try and finish her studies, sharing the words that came from Sakurai and Suzumura and the staff of the show is about all that I can do. You can listen to Cherry Bell‘s final episode yourself on niconico, but if you don’t know Japanese, here is some of their tribute, as written up on yahoo.

There are some who hope that we will carry on. But we’ve thought about this deeply, and could only come to this conclusion. This is something that the three of us worked so hard on together, and we had a lot of fun doing that… But without all three of us, it’s just not Cherry Bell anymore. We’re sorry, so sorry, that this is the conclusion we have to ask you to accept.

Back in July, when Matsuki was hospitalised, it was actually at her bidding that they kept going with the show:

Please continue making the silly program that is Cherry Bell. Please keep it as a place that I can return to, as if nothing happened.

It’s because we wanted to protect this place, the place that Matsuki could return to, that we were able to keep Cherry Bell going.

They related that they often visited her—including for her birthday party in September—and texted her their encouragement and support.

She also kept us updated on how she was going. But she asked us not to tell you, and we wanted to respect that. She always told us:

I don’t want to worry them all. No matter how difficult this is, or how long it takes, I want to come back as if there was nothing to it, and just laugh when I report that ‘Actually, it was pretty tough, haha’.

She would also say:

I want to get over this, and write a book on it someday. I want to encourage all the people who are fighting the same illness as me.

She always fought with that amazingly strong will. She truly believed that she would recover. She was an entertainer right up to the end, going about her work with her great, positive spirit.

Holding back their tears at the end, Suzumura and Sakurai sign off on Cherry Bell for the last time:

We will always remember our time with Matsuki.
She will be with us for as long as we live.
We hope that it will be the same for you.

Rest in peace, Matsuki Mieko-san. I’m sure that you will always be remembered, both by those who knew you, and also by those who may learn of you henceforth.

Summary/Translation: Nishio Ishin Special Presentation (2011)

The first of three Kizu films will grace Japan’s screens in January next year…
Anyone remember when it was originally meant to be released?

In commemoration of a date finally being announced for Kizumonogatari—well, for the first of the three Kizu movies—here’s an old translation/summary I finally updated: the Nishio Ishin Special Presentation on nico, broadcast online on September 15, 2011. To this day, I think this has not been included on any of the BD/DVD releases, though I believe you can still find it on nico. That’s where I first watched it, which is why there are a few mentions of nico viewer comments that the MC, Yoshida, doesn’t mention. This updated summary combines the two posts I wrote on Animesuki, and adds a few other details here and there. My comments are in the [square brackets] as usual.


Opening narration (Araragi)

Apparitions are what make up our world, so unlike living things, they are connected to the world. You can’t shine a light on them with the tools of science alone. Just as a human that has been attacked by a vampire will continue existing forever, even if there is no darkness in this world that cannot be illuminated, darkness itself will never disappear.

Read more of this post

Aldnoah.Zero EXTRA DAY: One final day together


Sunday, June 21st, was the first time—and the last, so I’ve assured the friend who helped me obtain the tickets—that I’ve been to a special anime event in Japan. For those who’ve followed me on this blog or on twitter for the last seven months or so, it probably is no surprise that that event was the Aldnoah.Zero EXTRA DAY. But for me, it makes more sense to think about it from the opposite direction: it was my long-time interest in seiyuu that really got me to the event. That’s not to say that I’m not interested in the ideas behind the series, but EXTRA DAY was actually the reason I started collecting the BDs in the first place, even before the show ended. As mentioned in my previous post, a special code for preordering tickets was included in BD 6. At the time, I also knew that I would be back in Japan for work around June/July…and so, I ordered it, asked my friend a huge favour, and finally checked the box for something I’d been wanting to do ever since I developed a voice fetish about 10 years ago. And it was completely worth it. Read more of this post

Aldnoah.Zero EXTRA DAY teaser: ToroKen vs. Hanaho, Round 3!!

Extra Day has finally come and gone, and despite certain personal circumstances, it was a total blast! The full write-up will take me a little longer, but as a little teaser, let me wrap up the rivalry between our two protagonists ^^

Updated: The chibi face-off from the back of AZ Key Animations 2/2!! (source)

In case you need a reminder, the score so far is one round each. And do pardon me for the lack of pictures from the event — not surprisingly, we weren’t allowed to take any photos once the show had started. So, without further ado, let the third and last round begin!

Read more of this post

Aldnoah.Zero S2 countdown, zero hour: whither to?

Zero hour is finally here!!!

Finally, as the story starts turning again, it’s time to wonder: where might it be heading? Here are some pointers from Hanae, Ono, Aoki and Takayama…

Read more of this post