20-year-old Konomi Suzuki’s explosive career in the Japanese music industry began after winning the fifth annual Animax All-Japan Anisong Grand Prix in 2011. Her 13th single, ‘Blow Out’, was released in May 2017 and was used as the opening theme song for the Spring 2017 anime series, Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor (Roku de Nashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Record). Her song ‘There is a reason’ was the theme song for the anime film, No Game No Life Zero, which was released in Japanese cinemas in July. The song was also included in her latest album, No Song No Life, which was also released in July. Konomi also made her first appearance at the huge international anime convention Anime Expo in Los Angeles as one of the anisong artists who performed during the Anisong World Matsuri on 1 July 2017. Join us as we ask Konomi (affectionately known as Konomin) questions about her perception of Los Angeles, her voice acting debut, and her personal taste in both manga and anime.
Have you enjoyed your stay in Los Angeles so far?
Konomi Suzuki: I just arrived yesterday so I haven’t had the chance to explore or experience as much as I’d like. But I did get to see the beach in Santa Monica. I was moved by how far and wide the sky, the beach, and the ocean all were. I’m definitely planning on seeing more of Los Angeles after Anisong World Matsuri.
Do you look up to anyone in the Japanese industry?
Suzuki: Megumi Nakajima and May’n from Macross Frontier really inspired me. Watching the series and hearing them sing was what made me go, ‘Ah, I want to sing anime songs, too.’
You’ve sung theme songs for several anime series. Which series was your favorite?
Suzuki: I try to watch all the series I participate in so it’s hard to specifically choose one series. But Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo really had an impact on me. I really liked that world and singing the theme song, ‘DAYS of DASH’, was a memorable experience.
You’ve made multiple appearances at the Animelo Summer Live (otherwise known as the Anisama), the largest annual anisong music festival. How does your time so far at Anime Expo compare to your experiences at Anisama?
Suzuki: I can’t honestly tell what sets the two events apart. But I am looking forward to strolling around and looking at various booths. This is also my very first performance in Los Angeles which has me a little nervous but more excited.
Do you do any sort of good-luck rituals before a concert?
Suzuki: Yes, I do! I ask for someone to slap me hard on the back.
Your first major role in an anime series will be as Rin in the upcoming original anime, Lost Song. Have you been doing any special preparations for this role?
Suzuki: The broadcast date for Lost Song hasn’t been announced yet, so I haven’t been called in to start recording. But what I have been doing is watching anime with a different approach. Paying attention to the voice actors and trying to figure out how they said this particular line or how they were able to convey the character’s emotions. I want to apply what I’ve learned to make Rin come across as Rin and not just a character voiced by me. I’ll be putting Konomi Suzuki aside for this role!