Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Animage Original: 5th Issue Fukuda Mayuko (福田麻由子) Interview

Taken from mayukofukuda.seesaa.net.

On page 34-35 of the 5th Issue of Animage Original, an anime specialized magazine, published on Nov 2009, an interview of Fukuda Mayuko, who is the voice actress of the heroine, Aoki Shinko, in the anime move, "Maimai Shinko to Sennen no Mahou".

Interview of Fukuda Mayuko in the role of Aoki Shinko.

"From a young actress and talent, she become unexpectedly fit as a voice actress." Whenever a new anime movie is made, there will be a lot of gossips and news about who will lend the voices to the characters. As for "Maimai Shinko to Sennen no Mahou", we will listen to Fukuda Mayuko talks about how she became conscious of the anime's location.

Interviewer: Do you remember your experiences with anime when you were young?
Fukuda: I love the first season of "Digimon Adventure" (1999-2000). When I was younger, I don't really like sports in general, and I don't have such hobbies. That's why, television became my enjoyment. Above all, I would recorded "Digimon Adventure" and rewatched it multiple times.

Interviewer: Why did you like it?
At the time when I was watching it, the protagonists are older than me. That's why, I would strongly want to become like them, I love their bonds with the digimons. At that time, though I had a lot of close friends, I would still long for a digimon-like partner, somehow, I would imagine that Agumon is there next to me. For example, when sleeping, I would want him to turned back to Koromon (laugh). As for the story, I was deeply moved by the frustration of Yamato when he's unable to protect Takeru. My childish mind would often thought, "I don't think I would be able to be be devoted to the point of frustration." Thus, even now, I will still think back at the story, currently, though there are various things that I'm frustrated at, when I'm compared at the older days, I found I'd grown.

Interviewer: During the period of Digimon mania, did you also appeared in drama?
It was from when I was 4th years old, I did appeared. But, to appears in drama at that time, and then going to school, it was very ordinary thing to do. From then to 1-2 years, it swiftly became something special, my consciousness changed.

Interviewer: For such change, what happened?
I became a first year junior high student (7th grades), everyone around be started to have club activities. For the junior high students that come in, everyone will set their mind on finding their dream, but as for me, I had work and can't join club activities. Because I didn't have anything like that, I was feeling extremely depressed. But now, "to continue with work" is my only dream.

Interviewer: Your first anime work was "Piano no Mori" (2007) right?
Yes, it was my first.

Interviewer: Though it was a completely different girl role, was it difficult?
It was difficult. Even though just a while before, I did try dubbing a Western Movie .

Interviewer: Dakota Fanning of "Charlotte's Web" (2006) right?
That's right. I borrowed the video home, and with the whole film there, I would practice my lines a lot. But, at the actual spot, no matter how I tried, I wasn't able to deliver it. I wasn't able to match the lip movements. When I in the normal drama, everything was spoken in monotone, so I did a lot a reflections. With such reflections, for "Piano no Mori", in order the fill the whole time, I practiced multiple times. At that time, I notice the importance of high and low voice. With a loud volume, the differences between rise and fall of your voice could be noticed. But at that time, I still felt that "It's not quite there yet."

Interviewer: With these two works, they already gave you hardships right.
If it's work that deals with voice, you must be able to deliver on time and what is asked. When to call myself a voice actress by playing around, and unable to give them the fundamental, I would be extremely embarrass. In addition to this, for "Maimai Shinko to Sennen no Mahou", because the basic is Yamaguchi dialect, I used my the clips from the two earlier works as I was working on this.

Interviewer: Because the director is Katabuchi, what kind of guidance on acting was there?
Basically, it was "relaxed". But during the rehearsal and test, I wasn't able to relax at all. I would recalled the uncomfortable feelings from the time when I was doing "Charlotte's Web". But, as I used my voice a lot at home, I felt that I gradually become Shinko. Thus, at the recording, not forget the "relaxed" advice, I was able to work.

Interviewer: For the trivial portions, did the director gave you any instruction?
When Shinko is sad, feeling down, and becoming angry, my mood would also be down. The director would explain to me the meaning, "Even in that setting, Shinko's strength and positivity will not be falter."

Interviewer: From your performances, Shinko's character is a bit different right?
Shinko is, an 3rd grader, with everything in front of her eyes, doing things and not thinking about the consequences. The story of how she "want to become a companion", I can't be like that. Shinko is, not thinking about things, speaking what she think, as for myself, I always think of various things as I was playing Shinko. That gap gave an extremely unpleasant feeling... As I tried that, the things I thought about came out with the voice was pointed out, I was told, "Don't think about anything while talking." This way, it became more fitting. "For this, raise your voice a bit." and small instructions we given, and there are scenes that the advice of "Don't think of anything." were given. In such way, as the recording complete, I realized that I understood the the director's acting guidance completely.

Interviewer: For the "Don't think about anything!" advice, what kind of scene was it?
It was the second half of the Bar California scene. Because I was thinking of various things, the way I speak gradually became unnatural, and the work became fake. In the end, the without thinking take was used for the movie.

Interviewer: You had abundance of drama and movie experiences, but from there, do you have any feedback for anime?
When for a clip in a drama, things such as voice are not accounted for. For how long, as usual, not caring about the voices, if I had to say then, I think the experience of animation is making the picture coming alive portion is more important. In the case of the clip, according to your partner's facial expression and way of talking, you can transformed your way of talking from there. In the case of anime, there's also always facial expressions, but when you compare, there are much more parts where you have to think about the person. For Kiiko's role, Mizusawa Nako-chan's voice is not heard but consciously it's there.

Interviewer: Then, is Mizusawa Nako-san at a different recording time?
No, everyone, even Nako-chan, are recording together. But, at the site, I was able to properly reacts to Nako-chan's way of speaking. For the recording of "Piano no Mori", it's just one person at a time, but this time, the discussing things over was fun, because I was able to see Nako-chan's Kiiko, I felt that I experiences a wonderful drama.

Interviewer: Comparing the anime and video dubbing, which is easier to do?
Of course, there are a lot of experiences for video dubbing, you can make it fit. There are also dubbing for movie, but the recording studio is like a different world. But, you can't experience a clip if you are only consciously aware of just the "voice" portion. Concentration is needed in order to received it.

Interviewer: What do you think of the professional voice actors?
For things like the timing to match mouth movement, the comprehension of how to deliver the voice, the voice actor is very talented. I'm unable to match them. With the direction of the clip and just able to perform adequately, to be able to get accepted to do voice works, I would shamefully think "Am I alright?". With great pains I accepted, I have no choice but to try to do it with all my might. I, who's not a voice actor, if I were to choose, I want to recorded in an environment where the children, and everyone, can produce it together. For this reason, you need to considers the things you can do and need to do, and not acted like a spoil child. You can't think that "It's because I'm not a voice actress.", and you can't think of trying to overtake a voice actor. Because "using voice to act in anime" or voice actor is an occupation, I can't go in thinking that I am at lower position. "The usual drama, and this time is just doing voice acting", you can never have this naive thoughts, I would thought it over again.

Interviewer: But while watching "Maimai Shinko", I never once thought it was Fukuda-san's voice.
: Thank you very much. That really made me happy. I'd never played such character before, that's why, I think it's somehow a miracle.

Interviewer: From the beginning, it seems like director Katabuchi was thinking the role is for Fukuda-san.
That's because, from the beginning to end of the recording, I was able to listen to his instruction (laugh).

- As expected, when she started to talk about voice acting, my head started to hurt so the translation became even more confusing.
- I'm also a fan of Digimon Adventure, and learning that she liked it as well as a kid, I'm surprised. The parts where she talk about Digimon really bring me back to my childhood. lol
- As expected, Mayuko is very serious in her work. I'm surprised and awed at her professional attitudes. I was extremely impressed.

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