Yuji Mitsuya Press Conference at Otakon

You may or may not know this veteran seiyuu (voice actor), but Yuji Mitsuya was a guest at Otakon. Many of his roles are of older titles, that you possible could have seen or not. (Ranma 1/2, Saint Seiya, Touch, Stitch! etc.) He also has roles that are outside the realm of anime, such as being the Japanese dub for American films. At this point of his career now, he is the sound director, who’s roles is to cast, and see what type or roles fit for an anime. His well known projects as a sound director include, 5 Centimeters Per Second, Rurouni Kenshin, and Yu-Gi-Oh. These were points mentioned during his press conference.

These are notes from what I wrote down.

Mitsuya’s Take on the field of voice acting.

  • The emergence of idol singers like Nana Mizuki definitely brought awareness of popularity to the voice acting field.
  • The field of voice acting is now much more narrow and compartmentalized, as compared to years earlier, when voice actors were also television actors, now there are people specifically trained to be voice actors.
  • Voice actors used to be nurtured and chosen by the production team of a title, now new voice actors are trained in a school, and there is the norm of “Use and forget.”
  • There is a five year mark for voice acting, once beyond that, then there is an individualized character opportunity.
  • Best to be able to gain as much experience as possible, so Mitsuya advises to act on stage to get a variety of skills.

Mitsuya on dubbing roles.

  • Must understand the original voice actor intent before moving into the role. “Necessity to dub with an intent.”
  • For Japanese original produced work, the seiyuu has the freedom to create something new. But with dubbing roles, there is a role already created, so the work is maintain the original work, but also create a Japanese feel to the project. Or at least that was the case when Mitusya worked on Back to the Future’s Marty Mc Fly’s character, now a change in Japanese dubbing is to just mimic the original actor.

Mitsuya on perspective on roles that he didn’t get.

  • There was one project, Rokushin Gattai God Mars, he auditioned for the younger brother, but got the older brother’s role instead. His role became so popular, the production team resurrected his character, and gave additional projects to Mitsuya.
  • Another role he didn’t get was the dubbing of Jar Jar in the Star Wars movies, so when the anime the Clone Wars came, he got the part of Jar Jar.
  • The motto of these stories are if you want it hard enough, it will come for you.

Mitsuya on transition from seiyuu to later roles as well as sound engineer/director.

  • He was reluctant for his initial role as a sound director, but with experience, and production teams wanting his experience. He fits into the role now.
  • Spoke about empathizing with younger voice actors. Because of his own experience in voice acting, he knows what the younger actors are feeling.
  • Clear difference between being a seiyuu and a sound director, in being a seiyuu – he would only have to worry about his own role’s lines, but as director – he worries about everyone’s lines.
  • Easier being an actor than a sound director, but if Mitsuya would want to work on both roles.

So this is my press coverage on on Otakon 2010, be sure check out Anime Diet’s Flickr for photos from Otakon. Also be on the look out for Jon’s video coverage of this convention.

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