The industry’s first original regular voice-over program, “Seiyu to Yoruasobi (lit.: Nightlife with Voice Actors),” which is being distributed on the Anime CH of the new future TV “ABEMA,” celebrated its fourth anniversary on April 2, 2021.
Anime! Anime! conducted interviews with the voice actors in charge of each day of the week to celebrate the 4th anniversary and the start of the new season. We asked them about their journey with “Seiyu to Yoruasobi” and their enthusiasm for the fourth year.
This time, we interviewed Maeno Tomoaki, who is in the MC in charge of Monday. He is known to be a big baseball fan, but what kind of instructions will he give as the Monday MC? We asked him about his thoughts.
Interview and text by Mori Tomoyuki, photography by Fujita Ayumi].
–What was your impression when you first heard that you were going to be the new MC for Monday?
Maeno: Of course I was happy. The first time I appeared on “Seiyu to Yoruasobi” was as a surprise guest in the episode with Namikawa-san (Namikawa Daisuke) and Taniyama-san (Taniyama Kishou Taniyama). At that time, we were on location outside, and I had never actually been to the “Seiyu to Yoruasobi” studio, so I had been asking here and there if I could be a guest on an episode where we could have drinks.
I was surprised when I was asked to be the MC this time. I was looking forward to what day of the week I would be in charge and who I would be working with, and I was very excited.
–What is your impression of “Seiyu to Yoruasobi”?
Maeno: In a good way, I think it’s a very free program, where the MC and guests can go all out, and it’s a program that can have a different kind of fun other than TV.
It’s a valuable place where anyone can casually enjoy the show and expose the lesser-known aspects of voice actors.
–Since you are in charge of Mondays, do you have an image of what you would like the day of the week to be like?
Maeno：Mondays are the days of the week when people tend to have a negative outlook, to the extent that words like “I don’t want to go to work” are trending on Twitter in the morning.
As a professional baseball fan, Mondays are also the day of the week when there are no games, so it’s a day of the week when I start to feel as if I’m missing out on something fun.
I’d like to make people think, “I’m going to do my best this week because I have “Seiyu to Yoruasobi”. I want to make it a day of the week that is fierce and full of spirit.
–I’m sure you will have a lot of baseball talk on the show.
Maeno: I think there are two extremes when it comes to talking about baseball: those who find it interesting and those who don’t. I think it’s difficult to spread the word, but I think Yasumoto-san (Yasumoto Hiroki) is very knowledgeable about such topics, so I’d like to talk about various topics as well and try various projects.
–Maeno-san, you are a big baseball fan, what is the appeal of baseball?
Maeno：There is a definite drama and flow to each game. The mood of the game can change drastically from “Oh no, we’re losing” to one where you are winning with a single home run or a single play. That kind of big comeback is something you don’t see in other sports.
On the other hand, even after making an error, you can make up for it with the play of your teammates. That’s the beautiful thing about team sports, and I think it shows up more clearly in baseball.
–Is it different from other team sports?
Maeno: I used to like playing soccer very much, but it is very important for each individual to have his or her own flash of inspiration. I have the impression that baseball is a sport where that inspiration is controlled.
The color of a team can change drastically depending on the skill of the manager, whether it is a team that frequently uses its legs to aggressively run the bases, or a team that must bunt to advance runners one by one. I think that is the fun and exciting part of baseball.
In that sense, “Seiyu to Yoruasobi” is a program that can change completely depending on the MC, from “Healing Tuesday” to “Destructive Wednesday.
–The members of “Seiyu to Yoruasobi” could form a batting order.
Maeno: I’d like to do that. I think it would be interesting to create a positioning map of the voice actors, which we have done in the past, and although it’s a project that would never get the OK, I’d like to compare voice actor agencies to baseball teams. Also, if I were to declare FA, I’d like to see which offices would move to acquire me.
I would also like to make a legendary episode like the one where Seki-san (Seki Tomokazu) fell asleep in an oxygen capsule.
–Do you have any “I want to do this” projects?
Maeno: I’m sure there are many projects for each day of the week that involve physical challenges and recklessness, but I welcome such projects.
–In “Seiyu to Yoruasobi”, there are some projects that involve drinking alcohol, do you usually drink alcohol?
Maeno: Yes, I do. I was invited to the “Pajama Conference” before, but I drank a lot. I couldn’t remember anything at that time (lol).
I think it will be difficult for us to get together and drink for a while, so I hope everyone can at least see us drinking and feel like they are drinking with us at home.
–Who would you like to invite as a guest?
Maeno: I would like Kamei Yoshiyuki and Matsubara Seiya of the Yomiuri Giants to come to visit me in the off-season. I would like to talk with various people, not to mention baseball players.
–What day of the week would you like to go out?
Maeno: The first time I appeared on “Seiyu to Yoruasobi” was with Namikawa-san and Taniyama-san, so I would like to go on Thursdays when Namikawa-san is in charge.
I’d like to make a round of greetings on each day of the week. It would be nice if there was a time when Tasuku and I (Hatanaka Tasuku), the newcomers to “Nightlife with Voice Actors,” went to greet people. Also, since Uchida Maaya is a Fukuoka Softbank Hawks fan, I’d like to go talk to her.
–The motif of this program is “playing at night,” but conversely, do you have a morning routine?
Maeno: I always eat ice cream in the morning. I don’t think it’s good to cool your body down suddenly, I think it’s because I drank alcohol the day before, but when I wake up, I’m thirsty and hungry, so the answer is to eat ice cream to make up for both. It wakes me up crispy.
–Is there anything you want to say to Yasumoto-san as you team up with him?
Maeno: He’s a kind person, so I’m sure he’ll protect my image, but on Monday I hope to show him that “I’ve come this far even without his protection”. So I’d be happy if Yasumoto-san would actively give me a sign to take a full swing.
–Since it’s a new season, what do you want to challenge this year, Maeno-san?
Maeno：I would like to try throwing out the first pitch of a baseball game again. I’ve done it twice in the past, but I was so conscious of throwing without bouncing that I ended up throwing defensively.
I wondered if an amateur throwing with all his might would be able to reach the right spot. If I have the opportunity to throw out the first pitch again, I would like to give it my all.
–Finally, do you have a message for your fans?
Maeno: Monday is the beginning of the week, and I think it’s a day of the week that tends to make people feel a little depressed, but with “Seiyu to Yoruasobi”, I want to bring you a fun program that will make you feel positive, like you’re going to work hard today and study hard. Whether you are a baseball fan or not, I would be happy if you could watch it.