[C3 CHARAEXPO’16] INTERVIEW WITH EMI NITTA, JUNYA ENOKI AND MARK ISHII [J-EXPERIENCE]
Following up the Soramaru Interview last year, we bring you now not one, not two but three voice actors – Emi Nitta, Junya Enoki and Mark Ishii!
Emi Nitta is a Japanese voice actress and a singer. Her first major role was Ricca Morizono in Da Capo III. Her biggest role to date is undeniably Honoka from Love Live. In 2014, she debuted as a singer with her first single – “Egao to egao de hajimaru yo!” and currently has five singles under her belt. Not just a talented voice actress, she also plays the piano.
Junya Enoki is a Japanese voice actor whose main roles include Shion Kiba in Cardfight!! Vanguard G and Takeru Takaishi in Digimon Adventure tri 1.
Mark Ishii is a Japanese voice actor and a graduate of Tokyo Announce Gakuin, a college cultivating aspiring voice actors. Of Filipino and Japanese decent, his main role to date includes Bellri Zenam in Gundam: G no Reconguista and Chrono Shindou in Cardfight!! Vanguard G.
The three were in Singapore as invited guests of the C3 Chara Expo 2016. We managed to catch them for a brief moment to learn more about them! Please enjoy!
Emi Nitta + Junya Enoki + Mark Ishii INTERVIEW:
Q: What are your impressions of Singapore?
Mark: I originally come from the Philippines, so I find some similarities between the Philippines and Singapore, such as having large screens on buildings, the humidity and the weather. Food-wise, I find it similar to the Philippines as well! So, I feel very comfortable and at ease here at Singapore.
Junya: I had dinner at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) last night. There was a lot of greenery around the area! In other parts of the city, there are also skyscrapers and the shapes of the buildings are quite unique which we don’t see in Japan. At night, I got to see a laser beam performance at MBS, which was quite entertaining.
Emi Nitta: The last time I came to Singapore was a couple of years ago. I really, really enjoyed myself the last time I was here. I was taken to restaurant after restaurant. So for this time, I wanted to do something else. So I decided to pay myself and do what I want. It feels like I am having a holiday here!
Q: What kind of food do you want to eat in Singapore?
Mark: This is my first time visiting Singapore. So I would like to experience a lot of things. I heard that Singapore is a very multicultural and multinational country, so I would want to try some of the local food.
Emi Nitta: Actually, this is my second time visiting Singapore! The last time I was here, I tried the chili crab and the chicken rice. So this time round, I want to try Laksa!
Junya: I don’t know what kind of food is famous in Singapore, so if you don’t mind, please give me suggestions on what to try.
Emi Nitta & Interviewers: Chicken rice! You should try it!
On Voice Acting & Singing:
Q: What are the requirements of being a good voice actor/actress?
Junya: There isn’t any particular requirement to become a voice actor from what I understand. Once you set your goals and work hard for it, you can become a voice actor.
Emi Nitta: The script that you read during voice acting only describes a certain point. You would need the ability to read between the lines and draw out what the producer is trying to make. To me, that’s actually the hardest yet most interesting part of being a voice actress.
Mark: I think the most important thing is to not give up. If you want to become somebody, you will have to stick to it and make an effort to do it. When you meet a wall, you need to overcome it. Try hard and you can achieve it. It’s helpful if you can be good friends with the staff as well!
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring voice actors or singers?
Mark: If you are really keen on becoming a voice actor or a singer, I don’t want you to give up in the middle. There may be objections from your parents. You wouldn’t know until you start. Even so, you should not give up.
Mark: From my experience, my parents said no for me to become a voice actor. However, I pushed through and went to a special voice acting school and became a voice actor.
Junya: I think that you would have to be an ordinary person and not a celebrity. The reason why I am saying this is because in voice acting, you would need to communicate with a lot of people. You would need to understand that there are worries of people on both sides. When delivering the story or singing the song, you need to make your audience sympathise with it and then find it interesting. In order for that, you need to have the feeling of an ordinary person and not of an extravagant person. When people feel sad, you would have to feel sad. You would have to be a grounded person.
Emi Nitta: I feel that you would need to experience a lot of things, and then watch lots of anime and movies. You have to be able to feel the emotions throughout your life – be it sadness or delight. By doing that, you will have a lot of emotions reserved inside you, so that you can take it out when you do the voice acting. Inside the feelings, similar to what Junya-san said, is the ordinariness or sometimes, it’s the extraordinariness. If you have all these, you can utilize them when you do the voice acting!
Q: Which do you like more – being a singer or a voice actor?
Junya: I feel that you cannot compare voice acting and singing on the same level. I wanted to become an actor, so voice acting is very important. I wanted to make my voice acting solid. Along the way, singing is also required as a voice actor. I want to do it good as well and to deliver the enjoyment to the audience.
Junya: In terms of voice acting, voice acting is part of, and like acting. To make one episode, you will need a lot of things, like sounds and animations. You’re a fraction of the whole process. That’s the fun part. It’s not up to you. You’re part of the unit.
Junya: As for singing, i don’t sing so much. When i do sing, I sing and act as a character. So it is fun to express the character through the songs, that’s the fun part!
Mark: For voice acting, it’s fun because you can meet a lot of different kinds of people. These days, there are many new voice actors coming into the industry more frequently. You can mix with all these people, and that’s fun. At the end, when the work is completed, you can also see the work objectively as an audience, which is also part of the fun!
Mark: In terms of singing, it is similar in a sense that there is a lot of stuff – writing the lyrics, making the songs, etc. However, primarily, when you sing, you are the main focus on the stage. If i sing on the stage, I want to make quite comfortable environment for the audience.
Emi Nitta: I like both singing and voice acting very much. In terms of voice acting and singing, the way to deliver either is different. However, whenever i sing or do the voice, i would still put my 100% effort in it. The way to deliver either is so different. But what i want to deliver to the audience is my thoughts, feelings and also the enjoyment. It’s the same for both, so I want to do my best!
Q: How do you feel about performing as a group and solo? Is there any difference?
Emi Nitta: One thing similar about singing as a group or solo is to try and deliver the enjoyment to the audience with the help of the staff. Depending on which role you’re singing as, it is different – the kind of atmosphere that I need to deliver. On the stage, I just try to deliver enjoyment to the audience.
Emi Nitta: Actually, the three of us have a song but we have never performed it on stage. So i don’t know what it’s like to perform it live.
Junya: Actually, I don’t sing solo. I always sing in a group. When i sing in a group, I cannot just think about myself. I need to think about my teammates as a whole. Sometimes, my teammates may forget their lines or the lyrics. In that case, I should remember the entire song, so that I can follow up. When performing in a group, you have to time with your singing partners, so you need to check their every movement and go in at the correct timing. .
Mark: I don’t have so many singing sessions. I used to sing as a unit. At that time, it was important to think about the balance of the entire group. You cannot just come forward on your own, as it would become off balance. It is important to talk to your singing partners first to be on the same page so that you can deliver the tune as a unit.
Mark: On singing solo, I attended one of my karaoke events. I picked my favourite song. When i sang it, I try to deliver what I have – myself to that song. That is what i think.
Q: Your voice is obviously very important. What do you think is the unique about your own voice and how do you take care of your voice?
Emi Nitta: I want to point out that sometimes, people make the mistake that you need to have a certain voice to become a voice actor. This is not true. What is really important is that you need to play the role. You need to act out the role using your voice. The expression that you deliver is more important than the voice itself.
Junya: Your voice is like a fingerprint; everyone has a different voice. Through the microphone, your voice will sound very unique. The most important thing is whether you can deliver the story with your voice and express the feelings of the characters through the voice. That’s the important part.
Mark: When you think about voice actors, you will automatically think of their cute voice, their smart voice, or their funny voice. However, these characteristics are actually just an image. It’s not particularly important. Everybody has a different voice. Any voice can be used to voice another character, so it actually depends on the expression.
Mark: In terms of the quality of the voice, it’s not particularly important what kind of voice you have. The important part, to be a voice actor, is to take good care of your throat.
Interviewer: Any personal tips?
Mark: Try not to catch a cold or flu. Try to also avoid your throat being too dry. Whenever you feel any discomfort in your throat, go and see a doctor immediately!
Interviewer: In Singapore, there are lots of spicy foods.
Mark: Ah! I’ll try and avoid any spicy food then, just before my work!
That’s all folks! We hope that you have learned a thing or two about your favourite artistes. Please do continue to support all three of them in their endeavours!
Emi Nitta’s hobbies include visiting cafes, singing karaoke and studying on dinosaurs.