Anime fans all over the world aspire to voice actors. They may seem like a far existence from us regular fans, and may sometimes seem that they are a figment of our imagination… No way! They also have their own otaku personality just like we do! They are just hiding it (or not)!
To learn more about the real personalities behind these fighters on the anime front lines, we started this mini-series asking them about what kind of otaku they are. If you want us to continue the series and hear more about the geekiness of voice actors, then don’t forget to share these articles with your friends and let us know what you think in the comments!
(Of course, we ask questions from you, the MANGA.TOKYO readers, so you can look forward to that, too!)
Our third entry in the series is an interview with Nozomi Nishida! Some of her most well-known roles are as Makina Nakajima in Macross Delta and Satori Tamba in Armed Girl’s Machiavellism. Keep reading to learn about her obsession with motorcycles and the countries she’d most love to visit!
First, could you introduce yourself to the readers of MANGA.TOKYO?
Hi everyone! I’m Nozomi Nishida. I’ve heard that many readers know about me from my previous roles including Makina Nakajima from Macross Delta and Satori Tamaba from Armed Girl’s Machiavellism. Thank you very much!
I’ve been a massive anime otaku since I was a little child. I loved Sailor Moon and my dream was to become Usagi Tsukino one day. When I was at middle school, I started thinking about working in an industry which was somehow connected to anime or the 2D world.
I was thinking about becoming a manga artist at some point. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good at drawing, so I decided to become an editor who supports manga artists. When I was job-hunting during my college days, I was informed that I if I wanted to become an editor then I’d need the ability to write. I thought, ‘it’s not for me!’ [laugh]
However, I still aspired to find a job that involves anime or manga. I thought about it over and over, and then I realized that I could be a voice actress. My aspiration for a voice actress became stronger and stronger over time. So, I enrolled at a training school for voice acting to become a voice actress.
I can feel your love for anime and such from your story! Do you have any other otaku stories? What kind of otaku are you?
I love motorbikes. I got my moped license three years ago and my motorbike just two years ago. I’m actually still a newbie rider. [laugh] I once traveled from Tokyo to my hometown in Gifu prefecture by moped. I really enjoyed the experience. Many middle-aged male bikers overtook me during the trip. I thought they were super cool. That’s how I became a motorbike otaku.
I can casually go wherever and whenever I like- that’s the advantage of motorbikes. I like visiting Enoshima, Okutama, Hayama, and Chichibu on my bike. Whether going to the seashore or mountains, I always enjoy the rides. It’s fun to ride without a particular destination in mind as well. I can spend the whole day riding my bike.
At what moment do you feel that you are truly a motorbike otaku?
When I’m considering the personalities of motorbikes. They have their own personalities depending on the engines they have. I often think: ‘she’s a class rep type because she is always well-behaved’ or ‘she keeps on going despite having a small engine.’ Motorbikes have various personalities, like the class rep type, the tsundere, and the tomboy.
I see. What sort of personality does your current motorbike have?
It’s a Honda CMX250. Despite its small appearances, it can powerfully charge forward like American bikes. I may sound like a shotacon [laugh], I’m curious about other bikes. At this moment, I’m interested in the Honda CB400. I feel like it’s a mature lady who I can rely on. It has a personality of ‘No worries. Just follow me’ type. If someone wants to be pampered or spoiled, I recommend it.
What bike would you recommend to our readers?
I recommend riding a big bike with a 400 engine, as the roads overseas are wider than in Japan. I really want to ride a bike on a wide road as far away as possible one day! I also wish to ride on a big bike like they have in some other countries, or just ride a bike which isn’t available in Japan.
It sounds fantastic to go overseas to speed away on your bike. Now, it’s time to reveal questions from our readers. ‘Have you ever portrayed a male character? If you got an offer, what would you do?’
I’d definitely accept the offer! I’ve portrayed male characters several times by now. I think I don’t have any problems in portraying boys as long as they are up to middle school students. I’d probably need to study how I could play the role of a high school student as his voice must have broken by then. If he looks like a shota, it might be easy to play his role.
Let’s move on to next question. ‘What type of characters do you want to play?’
I want to play a character who has the opposite personality to mine. A character who is quiet, calm, detached, or sheepish.
Ok. It must be worth the challenge to portray different characters. The next question is: ‘Who is your inspiration as a voice actress?’
Satomi Koorogi is my inspiration. I love her as Himawari in Crayon Shin-chan and Ushio Okazaki in Clannad. When I listen to her playing a child’s role, I feel as if I’m watching a child chatting in front of me. My mom once asked me if it’s a real child who was speaking when she heard Koorogi playing. I think her voice acting is great because even someone who has raised a child in real life wasn’t sure if she were a child or not.
Many of our readers want to ask about playing Satori Tamaba from Armed Girl’s Machiavellism. Could you tell us what were you particular about when playing her role?
Satori is a very difficult character to play because she is reserved and reluctant to express her emotions. I discussed with the director a lot to build the character. I wanted her voice to sound unsettling for conveying her mysterious and dreamy personality. So, I speak her line with semitone higher voice. It makes people feel a little strange. [Interviewer’s note: Nozomi actually demonstrated how Satori speaks during the interview!]
I certainly felt the strangeness of Satori’s voice! Next question is: ‘Which country do you want to live in? Tell us your Top 3 with the reasons.’
I have so many. I lived in Denmark for a year as an exchange student. I went around the country with my bicycle and enjoyed the experience so much. Let me think about which other countries I’d like to go to.
Well, I’m going to announce my top 3 counties! No.1 goes to Croatia, where European people spend their vacations. No.2 is Canada because there is a lot of nature. No. 3 is England, because the countryside seems amazing. Finally, an honorable mention goes to Russia. The reason is that I met a Russian rider couple once and they were so cool.
I can’t stop talking about the countries where I want to live. I actually visited Russia once. The climate was much better than I expected. I find similarities between Russia and Japan. I think it is a comfortable place to live for Japanese.
All those countries seem to be great places for bikers. Fantastic. The next question is: ‘Have you ever spoken with anime characters’ voice in your daily life?’
I often play with my cat by acting I’m one of the characters I portrayed. I improvise my lines. [laugh]
It sounds great fun. I want to join the play. Last, could you give your message to our readers?
I’m overjoyed to hear that anime fans across the world are enjoying anime works and my voice acting. I can’t believe it’s happening. I’m glad that anime works which we put our heart and soul into are watched in other countries despite language barriers. My heart is filled with thankfulness. Arigato!
I’m going to play a main character in a new baseball anime called Hachigatsu no Cinderella Nine. It’s an adolescent story depicting teenage girls’ struggles and triumphs which will touch your heart. Don’t miss it!
More Otaku Talks
Otaku Talks With Voice Actors! Vol. 1: Sarara Yashima
Otaku Talks With Voice Actors! Vol. 2: Mariko Honda