Komatsu Shohei interview (last half) – “I was blessed with really good productions, I could really feel the connections with people.”
This is an interview with Komatsu Shohei, who is part of the currently-airing TV anime DAYS (as Sato Hideki) and in Idolm@ster Side M (as Kizaki Ren). This time, we’ll be talking about his feelings at the actual site [of the recording] and about his time with his senpai.
I want to show people the acting I can do because of my previous experiences with action.
As a member of HIROZ, since Komatsu-san was mainly in charge of action performances and MC, he went to Ken Productions in order to focus on his voice. And how did he actually start his work and study?
How was being a voice actor like?
Komatsu Shohei (Komatsu, for short): I had quite a lot of confidence, and I felt that I wouldn’t lose to anyone, because I used to do plays, but…’acting’ using only one’s voice is completely different, so from the beginning my confidence had been crushed completely (lol) But since I’d decided on doing it, I thought I had to focus on studying, so I went to our company’s training school. Every time I wasn’t recording, I was studying.
Your first [named] roles are from DAYS and Idolm@ster Side M. Since DAYS is a TV anime, how was it after recording?
Komatsu: Yoshinaga Takuto-san, who plays the lead character, is a rookie, but he’s [just as] awesome as the entire main cast. Every time I studied, I got to be part of dozens of workshop class lessons. I think that I really was blessed with a really good company.
Who was impressive to you, in particular?
Komatsu: I think Matsuoka Yoshitsugu-san is amazing. He plays Kazama Jin [in DAYS], a cool character, but [in real life] he’s a more passionate man than one might think, and every time he acts I feel like he’s the very embodiment of passion. And then there’s Seki Tomokazu-san, who is good at using different voices according to the scene. Anime is all about “how much of this can you imagine?” What kind of voice would you make, if you’re the one taking the place of the character on-screen? I thought it was amazing to be able to put myself in that position.
Because it really is amazing.
Komatsu: There’s also something else that makes me happy [about being a seiyuu]. Terashima Junta-san and Hamano Daiki-san are in the same unit as me as part of Idolm@ster Side M, and we’re also all part of DAYS as well. Even up to now, after recording would end, we’d all go out to eat together. In the midst of such great senpai, I’m grateful that I got to meet them.
It really seems like a good encounter.
Komatsu: The three of us are always talking to each other. It’d be nice if we all became well-known together, and meet in other productions again.
Recently, the opportunities for you to sing have increased, so how are you with singing?
Komatsu: In anime there are character songs, there are also songs within games, and there are seiyuu who go beyond their work and end up doing lives. I thought that it’d be nice if I was someone who could sing after all, so I studied voice acting and singing at the same time. And that’s also why I ended up making a band again [at the time] (lol)
What were you in charge of in the band?
Komatsu: I used to play the guitar a bit, but at that time I was solely the vocal. But since we broke up shortly before I joined Ken Productions, it felt as if I was just practicing singing normally (lol)
Aside from songs, seiyuu also have a wide range of activities such as radio shows and events.
Komatsu: I agree. Since I’d often talked and sung in front of people, I appreciate being able to make use of my past experiences. And that is also why I do not want to miss out on other skills I might have as a seiyuu. I have a few other things I’m a part of that are not just about recording, and I know I shouldn’t be content with just that.
By the way, what kinds of roles are you good at?
Komatsu: Considering how I use the experiences with what I used to be doing, I think I can characterize myself by not thinking of myself as just “a seiyuu who can do action [stunts]” but rather as someone who can figure out “what kind of voice should one do in action scenes?” For example, what kind of breathing would one make when they’re punching someone out, what kind of voice would one make when they’re on the receiving end of a blow? I’ve actually experienced these myself, so by all means I wanna get into more anime about fighting games or action stuff. Even if there’s no one else good at action [stunts] to [work off of], I can pretend to be someone punched out just fine (lol)
If [someone who was listening to Komatsu] was to close their eyes, they’d understand completely where you’d have been hit.
Komatsu: I also do work for drama CDS, and I think would like to be a seiyuu who can express when he has been beaten, what kind of movements he has been doing, even without video. In those kinds of situations, you can’t fight with anything but your own capabilities as weapons. There are lots of young seiyuu, after all.
Do you ever feel restless?
Komatsu: Because I’m someone who hates losing, I feel frustrated each and every day. If I see other people on Twitter saying “I’ll be part of this work,” I end up saying “damnit!” And whenever I see young seiyuu appearing in anime, I end up saying “GODDAMNITTTTTT!!!”
So that also becomes your motivation.
Komatsu: That’s true. In the face of that, it’s easy to say “I’m hopeless” or feel like “I have lost.” Whenever I see young seiyuu act in anime, I end up thinking stuff like “If I were in that role, I would do it this way,” “That’s good but if they did it a little bit like this, would it be better,” and I end up actually trying that voice out loud. It’s free training, yanno (lol)
When I’m just at home I usually just do stupid stuff, solo karaoke
Now knowing his past and his attitude towards work, lastly I asked Komatsu-san what kind of person he is normally, and he answered me from his heart.
You really are a person who hates losing, but can you talk about other facets of your personality?
Komatsu: I’ve also been called “too damned earnest” (lol) When I’m working there are times when I get too serious and there are times when I end up being boring, so I think I gotta study when to “let myself loose”. The way I’m thinking of going about this may be way too serious too, though (lol)
Let’s let go of work for a bit; what kind of person are you at home?
Komatsu: I keep talking about action this and action that, but on my off days I’m ridiculously the indoors type (lol) Because I didn’t wanna go outside at all, one time I bought all my food the day before, and decided “I am not gonna take even one step out of this house”, and just do stupid stuff. I watched TV and played games.
What kind of anime or games do you like?
Komatsu: I like stuff with robots in them. I’m rather good at the game “Super Robot Battle”. After I became a seiyuu, I think I’d like to do a role where I go and ride a robot.
By the way, what kinds of robots do you like?
Komatsu: The real kinds of robots, like those in Gundam. The super robots from way back are also cool, but I like those sharper kinds of robots.
Aside from that, what kind of ‘stupid stuff’ do you do?
Komatsu: Stuff so stupid that I don’t like other people knowing about it (lol)
Are you the kind of person who’s too loud in his room?
Komatsu: I’m insanely messy, and I end up looking very sloppy (lol) But since karaoke is my hobby, sometimes I’ll go out and go to the nearest karaoke place (lol) I’ll sing alone for around five to six hours.
What kind of songs do you sing?
Komatsu: Lots of kinds. I started playing guitar in high school through BUMP OF CHICKEN songs, but I also sing Visual Kei songs, songs from Johnny’s idols, female artists. I think of it as seiyuu practice, too.
Do you go out to eat with friends?
Komatsu: Fukuoka is my hometown, so I don’t have much friends living in Tokyo (lol) I didn’t go to college, and since most of the people I did the action group with are in Kagawa prefecture, I don’t have the opportunity to go out to eat with friends much. So I guess, if I get more friends through work who are as close to me as Terashima-san or Hamano-san, I’d be happy (lol)
So your wish right now is “I want friends”, isn’t it!
Komatsu: I like karaoke, but I don’t particularly like being alone, so right now, I’d like to have friends (lol) I think I’d get more friends as I get more work, though, so I’d like to have more work first! (lol)
Lastly, please tell us about your goals and what you look forward to in the future.
Komatsu: I’d realized that as I became a voice actor, my prior experience with doing action [stunts] onstage is my weapon, and I can use it to my advantage. There are also seiyuu who also take part in stage plays like Ono Kensho-san and Aoi Shouta-san, so I think it’d be nice if I were able to do that as well too, someday. But of course, first of all, I will focus on studying my voice, and as an active seiyuu, I’ll do my best to let my name be known.
My intent was just to ‘do whatever’, but it was only after my first loss that I realized I was taking it seriously…
It almost sounds like lyrics from a song, but unbelievably, these are his real words. Komatsu-san said that he is the kind of person who hates losing in any way. But, when I’d actually talked to him, the gap between the passionate heart of his that hates losing and his ever-smiling face that talks about ‘doing stupid things’ is also charming.
I think that whether it be in DAYS or Idolm@ster Side M, he had been blessed with good productions and good companions. And I look forward to his rapid growth, to him being part of series and stage performances making good use of his action [stunts], as well as roles that are far from the ones Komatsu-san are taking now; I look forward to see what kind of figure he’ll end up showing.
Article: Chiba Kenichi
Photographer: Takenaka Tomoya
Hair/Makeup: Nagaki Mizuho