What Did the Sailor Moon Voice Cast Think About Their Roles?

The voices of the five Inner Senshi

The voices of the five Inner Senshi

As I try to track down every bit of bizarre Sailor Moon trivia you could possibly imagine, I end up purchasing a lot of old magazines, books, and watching hours upon hours of long-forgotten commercials and promotional tapes.

And that’s the part of this job I love.

It’s not uncommon that, in my pursuit to answer one question, I end up coming across two or three more that I’ve love to look into. And today’s article is just one such case.

Today we’ll be looking at the responses given by eight of the Sailor Moon voice cast to a survey on what it’s like to work in the voice acting industry, and how they feel about their various roles. If you’ve ever been interested in getting a bit more insight into the people behind the characters, this one’s for you!

Voice Talents 1995

Voice Talents 1995

The survey I’m referencing today comes from Voice Talents 1995 (ザ・声優 1995), a “mook” released by Mediax. For those of you who quite understandably aren’t familiar with what a mook is, it’s a combination of the word “book” and “magazine,” used in Japan to refer to a one-shot magazine that is, for all intents and purposes, treated like a book at stores.1

I bought this magazine mook a while back when I was looking into the type of voice direction that Megumi Ogata and Masako Katsuki were given in how to portray Haruka and Michiru.

While flipping through it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it contains a brief questionnaire with 100 voice actors and actresses active during the 1994/1995 anime season — including many of the Sailor Moon cast members.

I’m not exactly sure why the entire cast didn’t make the cut, to be honest. Megumi Ogata is notably missing from this, as is Keiko Han, voice of Luna… and Queen Beryl. It might have something to do with their availability, possibly they gave boring answers (since this was limited to 100 voice talents, they had to cut someone), or maybe their respective studios or agents didn’t want them to answer. I doubt we’ll ever know. But in any case, I’m really happy to have stumbled across this resource!

So, without further ado, let’s get this started!

Questions

For the sake of simplicity, I’m only going to post the questions once, here, rather than repeating them for each person. Also, not that it’s too important, but I’m posting the voice actresses/actor in the order that they appear in the original source material rather than rearranging them into proper… senshi order?2

  1. Tell us about your first voice acting job.
  2. What is the toughest role you’ve ever had to perform?
  3. What do you think is necessary to be a voice actor/actress?
  4. Are you friends with anyone else in the industry?
  5. Do you have any other strange jobs you’ve worked outside of voice acting?
  6. Have you been particularly impressed by any other voice actor/actress?
  7. Are there any roles or character types you’d like to try your hand at?
  8. Is there anything you’ve been fixated on (hobby, etc.) lately?
  9. What do you want most right now?
  10. Would you like to say something to the readers?

And now for the actual responses!

Rica Fukami (Minako Aino)

Rica Fukami (Minako Aino)

Rica Fukami (Minako Aino)

  1. No response
  2. Princess Kaguya, in the anime Yaiba.3 I love villains, but I just can’t do an attractive villain laugh. During the new years holidays, I was down in the tropics and constantly practicing my high-pitched laugh, even down at the beach!
  3. Your health!!
  4. Everyone in my age group are all friends, we even travel together. It’s easy to get close to each other when you’re a member of the main cast on the same show.
  5. When I was in my teens, I works as an MC for a puppet theater. I also worked as the in-store announcer for Mitsukoshi Ginza4 for two years as a part time job, around 19 and 20.
  6. No response
  7. Nothing in specific, but I’m always thinking that I want to be able to play my roles as if the character really existed.
  8. I was really hooked (?) on psychology, so I got a license as a hypnotherapist in the US.
  9. No response
  10. I still have so, so many dreams, so I hope that we can fulfill our dreams together! I hope you’ll continue to support me!
Masako Katsuki (Michiru Kaioh)

Masako Katsuki (Michiru Kaioh)

Masako Katsuki (Michiru Kaioh)

  1. I was super excited, freaked out, nervous, and exhilarated.
  2. It was Myaa in Future Policeman Urashiman, I think.5 It was really tough for me to cry and express emotions. I love cats, so it was a lot of fun for me.
  3. An eye for observation and sensitivity.
  4. Yuko Kobayashi. I have a lot of other friends, but if I start naming them, it’d never stop.
  5. Not really.
  6. Bin Shimada really impressed me with the way he approaches work and life. He really gives it his all and is just a great person. I’ve learned a lot from others as I work and talk with other people.
  7. A down-right cute, adorable character.
  8. F1 [racing]. Going to Karuizawa. Pottery.
  9. A fax machine.
  10. I hope you’ll keep supporting me!
Emi Shinohara (Makoto Kino)

Emi Shinohara (Makoto Kino)

Emi Shinohara (Makoto Kino)

  1. My first role was as B-ko in Project A-ko.6 But that’s only because it premiered through a promotional campaign event. My actual first experience doing recording was for Musashi no Ken.7 Michie Tomizawa was already a good friend of mine at the time and played a guest character, and I played some A or B character who was a member of the kendo club. I had maybe one or two lines.
  2. If I thought about all the hard times I had, it’d be too overwhelming for me.
  3. I’m not really a big enough of a deal to be able to answer that.
  4. No response
  5. When I wasn’t really working yet and was doing some part time work, I sang at a large bar. My upperclassman introduced me to that job. I sang everything from German folk songs, to Viennese songs, to musical numbers. When I sang in a Viennese restaurant in Shinjuku, I wore this really cute traditional folk clothing as a uniform. The restaurant had a classical look to it and was really nice.
  6. No response
  7. Probably the character of Sara that I played last year, in B.B. Fish.8 She was a really refreshing character to me, but unfortunately the dramatic part of the story didn’t last that long. I’d love to try my hand at that kind of role, where the character is in that uncertain state between a young girl and a woman.
  8. I’m going on a trip soon. It’s only a 4-day trip, but that’s really revolutionary for me. I’m going to play my heart out, recharge, and think about my future. Maybe my hobbies will increase if I change my approach to life.
  9. A little room to breathe, emotionally. It might just be because I got so busy so quickly, but I’m no good in how I manage my time, and I always feel like there’s something I need to do. I want to change how I think and be able to use my time efficiently.
  10. Thanks to all of you, my dream of singing came true, and I was able to release an album. I want to give it my absolute best, a full 110%. If all that’s left of my efforts is that some of you out there remember me, that would be enough to make me happy.
Michie Tomizawa (Rei Hino)

Michie Tomizawa (Rei Hino)

Michie Tomizawa (Rei Hino)

  1. I think my first job was on a western show, The Professionals.9 My role was as a pregnant woman getting taken away by an ambulance, so my performance was mostly just breathing heavily, but since I was surrounded by all these industry veterans, I actually felt like I’d be out of breath and might pass out. (laugh)
  2. That would be my role as Shiiko Kotobuki [C-ko] from the Project A-ko OVA. She’s just so naive, excitable, adorable, full of energy, and…! If I didn’t play the role like it was “C-ko vs. Michie!!” there’s just no way I’d make it through without C-ko taking me over. But my chance encounter with C-ko really turned my luck around.
  3. There’s no way I could put myself up on a pedestal like that. But I guess maybe if you’re healthy in both mind and body and have the vitality, I think you can push through and try anything.
  4. Tons! We often get together at each other’s houses, go to theme parks, see plays and play golf together… that sort of thing. Friends truly are a treasure to me. But if I start writing them down, I wouldn’t be able to stop. Sorry!
  5. My first jobs in the industry weren’t as a voice actress, but actually as an actress. I played a young woman on an NHK educational program teaching first-year social studies to elementary school kids, I played Onatsu in the the NHK morning serial Oshin,10 I played a role in Toho Cinema’s Daijoubu, My Friend 11 and some other drama work, I was a singer on Nippon TV’s Tondeke Gucchonpa,12 I was a member of Sonny Chiba’s Japan Action Club for a time,13 and I even served as a reporter and assistant for Princess Tenko before.14
  6. All the veterans I work with are amazing. I’m always learning from them.
  7. A character like Tamiko from The Aster Grave.15 Put simply, she’s, well… the heroine in a Greek tragedy. I’ve also always been drawn to Audrey Hepburn’s role in Roman Holiday. (She’s great!)
  8. Golf is really my sport. It’s tough waking up early, but it revitalizes me. Whenever I see some really cute golf clothes, I just can’t stop myself and wind up buying them.
  9. Recently, I’ve been wanting to buy a car and go out driving. So what I want most is a car, and then a huge house. (laugh)
  10. Just living day to day, life is full of hard, tough moments you just have to bear your way through. But… actually, because of that, we can keep on these happy faces, be happy, and push on together. You’re definitely not alone!
Toru Furuya (Mamoru Chiba)

Toru Furuya (Mamoru Chiba)

Toru Furuya (Mamoru Chiba)

  1. When I was in the sixth grade, I played the leading role on a tv series. My lip-syncing was totally off, but Ichiro Nagai (who was playing the villain) would tap me on the shoulder to keep me in sync with the lines.
  2. It would be Commodore Fork from the OVA Legend of the Galactic Heroes.16 He was a young, charismatic officer who was emotionally unstable. I had a real tough time with his over-the-top and long lines and eccentric performance.
  3. 1) your health; 2) be cheerful and frank; 3) be brave; 4) speak in standard Japanese dialect; 5) have an appealing voice; 6) love to read; 7) have good manners; 8) have a wide range of emotion; 9) have many hobbies; 10) love sports; 11) be smart; and 12) have a pretty face. There’s no end to the ideal attributes. The the most important is “having the passion to want to be a voice actor.”
  4. Kazuhiko Inoue, Hideyuki Hori, Keiichi Nanba… the list goes on. I’ve become friends with then through hobbies like skiing and computers.
  5. I did backup voice overs for night-time sports games on a guest basis. I guess that’s pretty uncommon for a voice actor.
  6. I’m always impressed with Kotono Mitsuishi’s (from Sailor Moon) creativity in making her character, her range of expressions, and ability to focus on the job.
  7. I’d love to try all sorts of things, like villains, or characters with a dark past. But, of course, the roles I really want to play are the cool guys, or the roles that feel right. No matter the case, I want to play a role where people feel like “Only Toru could really pull this off!”
  8. I spent this year windsurfing, on computers, skiing, and playing tennis.
  9. A Pentium computer with a huge monitor, a color laptop, a Harley Davidson (motorcycle), etc. Maybe I’ll buy them someday. But what I really want is time to enjoy myself.
  10. This recent “anime boom” and “voice actor boom” is all thanks to the fans’ passion for anime. Thank you! I truly appreciate it!! If I could be a little selfish, I hope that they’d also support more than just the pretty girl or fighting anime, and also the anime with seemingly boring themes but high level of polish, those with a deep story, and more. I hope you’ll keep loving anime, no matter how old you may become.
Kae Araki (ChibiUsa Tsukino)

Kae Araki (ChibiUsa Tsukino)

Kae Araki (ChibiUsa Tsukino)

  1. It was a preschool girl in Maisson Ikkoku.17 My lines were running through my head on a constant playback from the night before.
  2. No response
  3. Ability to act, concentrate, and desire to improve… I’d say.
  4. If I had to pick someone, Konami Yoshida. (she’s a longtime friend of mine)
  5. I worked as an assistant for Yuki Hyodo (a reporter) on a program where she went to interview people at junior high schools across Japan. In between takes, I got to hear what junior high school kids really thought. It was interesting!
  6. I’m always impressed by the parts of other people’s personalities that I don’t have.
  7. No response
  8. Picking up little trinkets in the countryside, sketching. Reading! Jun Fukami’s Waru,18, Saeko Himuro’s books… this all really lift my spirits.
  9. Dayan merchandise from the Watchfield series.
  10. I’m so, so thankful to receive letters about what people think of the TV series, movies, CDs, OVAs, and more that I’ve performed in. I hope you’ll all continue to watch over me as I make my way forward, one step at a time.
Aya Hisakawa (Ami Mizuno)

Aya Hisakawa (Ami Mizuno)

Aya Hisakawa (Ami Mizuno)

  1. It was “Student A” in Kiteretsu Encyclopedia.19 However, the episode never actually aired (there was a special broadcast in its place), and it’s become a mythical episode.
  2. No response
  3. Luck, talent, drive, and character.
  4. No response
  5. I’ve worked as staff at events, a staff at a Japanese inn, done deliveries, phone receptionist, dishwasher, table tennis instructor, attendant at a gas station, waitress, and more. This was all while I was in training.
  6. No response
  7. A character I’ve never played before.
  8. Skiing, watching TV, and watching TBS’s No Longer Human.20
  9. Time to sleep.
  10. I hope you’ll continue to look out for me!
Kotono Mitsuishi (Usagi Tsukino)

Kotono Mitsuishi (Usagi Tsukino)

Kotono Mitsuishi (Usagi Tsukino)

  1. I was so nervous, I felt like my feet weren’t even touching the ground.
  2. No response
  3. I have no idea.
  4. No response
  5. I did video packages,21 I worked as a reporter, and did administrative work in an office.
  6. No response
  7. I’d love to try any role, really.
  8. I go to the pool whenever I have time.
  9. Enough time where I could travel.
  10. I believe that I’ve gotten to where I have thanks to all the wonderful people I’ve met, and I truly appreciate that. So I’m going to keep doing my best. That’s all I can do. In the end, I do it all for myself. I truly value encounters, both with people and experiences.
How I'm sure you all must feel after making it this far

How I’m sure you all must feel after making it this far

To all of you who made it all the way to the bottom, I just want to say congratulations — that was intense!

Read also:  Why Are the Sailor Moon Characters Always at School?

I usually try to avoid straight translations in this blog, except where I feel like I can add commentary to the original text, such as adding additional insight into Ikuhara’s liner notes, but this was one of those cases where the material itself was just too interesting to pass up. After all, it’s not every day that you get to learn about Aya Hisakawa’s time as a table tennis instructor, or that all Masako Katsuki really wants is a fax machine.

I hope you found this interesting!


References:

  1.  See Mook (Wikipedia)
  2. Speaking of which, what is the proper way to order the Sailor Senshi? Personally, I always do it in order of appearance, with it being Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Pluto, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn. But that doesn’t include ChibiMoon. Or Tuxedo Mask. Maybe I’m over thinking this? I probably am.
  3.  See Yaiba (Wikipedia)
  4.  See Mitsukoshi Ginza
  5.  See Mirai Keisatsu Urashiman (Wikipedia)
  6.  See Project A-ko (Wikipedia)
  7.  See Musashi no Ken (Wikipedia)
  8.  See B.B. Fish
  9. Known in Japan as Special Investigation Squad: CI5see The Professionals (Wikipedia)
  10.  See Oshin (Wikipedia)
  11. This appears to be a mistake, as the movie was produced by Shuueisha; see Daijobu, Mai Furendo
  12. See とんでけグッチョンパ (Wikipedia)
  13. This was a group that apparently performed stunts in movies and tv shows; see Sonny Chiba (Wikipedia)
  14.  See Princess Tenko (Wikipedia)
  15.  See Nogiku no Haka
  16.  See Legend of the Galactic Heroes (Wikipedia)
  17.  See Maison Ikkoku (Wikipedia)
  18.  See Waru (Wikipedia)
  19.  See Kiteretsu Encyclopedia (Wikipedia)
  20.  See No Longer Human (Wikipedia)
  21. A “video package” is a promotional, event, or training material video usually contained on a tape and meant for informational purposes. Now you know!

5 thoughts on “What Did the Sailor Moon Voice Cast Think About Their Roles?

  1. “(…) I got a license as a hypnotherapist in the US.”

    And that was just the first actress. This was dense in the best of ways. Other entertaining tidbits were Aya Hisakawa’s dozen jobs. We tend to think of these actors as preternaturally successful, particularly someone as prolific as Hisakawa…

  2. Also, Michie Tomizawa was in Japan Action Club? The one that trained suit actors/stuntmen for Tokusatsus? That’s strangely amazing. She’s not someone I would imagine doing stunts…

  3. Lol MITSUISHI answer to number 3, feel like something Usagi would actually say to a question like that or similar, lol. XD

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