The industry’s first original voice actor regular program “Say You to Yoasobi”, which is currently being distributed on the Anime CH of the new future TV “ABEMA” (ABEMA), celebrated its 4th 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 “Say You to Yoasobi” and their enthusiasm for the fourth year.
This time, we interviewed Nakamura Shuugo, the MC of the new program “WEEKEND,” which will be distributed irregularly once a month. Nakamura-san says that “Say You to Yoasobi” is “a bonus program for me”. What are your thoughts on the new slot “WEEKEND” with your partner Morikubo Shoutarou?
[Interview and text by Mori Motoyuki Mori, photography by Ayumi Fujita].
–What was your first impression when you received the news that you would be continuing as the MC for “Say You to Yoasobi”?
Nakamura: I was very eager to continue, so I’m honestly happy to be invited back.
With the new “WEEKEND” program, I’m sure the staff is thinking hard to make it a program that will keep the viewers happy, and since I’m being put in a challenging slot, I feel that I have to repay the favor and be the one to give the program momentum.
–Do you feel anxious about your new role?
Nakamura: I’ve worked with my partner, Morikubo Shoutarou (Morikubo-san), several times, so I feel confident that he will accept anything I do. I’m looking forward to it more than feeling anxious.
–Last year you were in charge of Mondays with Yasumoto Hiroki, what was your most memorable episode?
Nakamura: All of them are memorable, but I’ll never forget the one on my birthday. I was very surprised when my parents and grandmother appeared as a surprise. They live in Okinawa, so they had to appear on the phone, but my manager and the staff were able to communicate with them.
–Were you happy with the surprise?
Nakamura: I was very happy, but it was the first time for my parents and grandma to be in the media, so I was feeling uneasy during the show (lol).
But I hadn’t been back to Okinawa in over a year, and I had been talking about how much I wanted to see my grandma and give her a hug, so it was kind of …… heartwarming.
–Please tell us about any projects you would like to do in the new “WEEKEND” slot.
Nakamura: Morikubo-san and I also have a connection with “music” in addition to “voice acting,” so I’d like to invite guests from the music industry.
We’ve also played guitar together before in a special program of “Say You to Yoasobi,” and since we both love music, we’d like to have another session.
–Nakamura-san, you taught yourself how to play music, didn’t you?
Nakamura: Before I became a voice actor, I came to Tokyo to become an artist, and although I learned a little from others, I was basically self-taught.
I had a friend who was a musician and also a stage performer, and through him I came into contact with the stage and wondered what it would be like to be on that stage, so I started studying acting. After that, I realized that there was such a thing as voice acting and started my career as a voice actor.
–Even if you think it’s cool or interesting, it’s going to be hard to implement.
Nakamura: I’m the type of person who moves quickly when I’m interested. I’ve done a lot of things that didn’t come to fruition, but I found voice acting to be particularly interesting.
–I can see by looking at the program that you enjoy doing it. Are there any other days of the week you would like to visit?
Nakamura: I’d like to visit Maeno-san (Maeno Tomoaki) and Yasumoto-san (Yasumoto Hiroki) on Mondays. I’d like to see if the atmosphere is different from when I was in charge.
Then there’s Friday. I’d like to see Hatanaka Tasuku tense up when Seki Tomokazu tries to push him around. I’m sure they’ll make an interesting duo.
–How was it working with Yasumoto Hiroki as an MC in the previous season?
Nakamura: Before the show, I had never really talked with Yasumoto-san that much, but we had a relationship where we would talk a little bit when we worked together at events. He seemed to be interested in me and told the staff of “Say You to Yoasobi” that there was an interesting person named Nakamura.
Over the past year, we’ve become even closer. He’s like what they say in Okinawa, an “oni oni (big brother)”.
–The motif of the show is “playing at night,” but conversely, do you have a morning routine?
Nakamura: Hmm, there may not be anything special that only I do, but ……. I eat a hearty breakfast and try to eat a healthy meal in the evening.
However, I do eat quite a bit for the “Say You to Yoasobi” project. For Yasumoto-san’s birthday episode, almost all kinds of curry from his favorite restaurant “European Curry Aubergine” were prepared. There were also some projects where Yasumoto-san cooks a quick dish for me as he is good at cooking. I’m happy about the cooking project, but I’m worried about eating too much (lol).
–Is there anything you would like to tell Morikubo-san, who will be working with you on “Say You to Yoasobi 2021”?
Nakamura: “Please be careful not to drink too much alcohol.” He used to say that he drank too much and bumped his shoulder at home, and that his shoulder hurt all the time. Speaking of which, Yasumoto-san has been teaching me how to cook and I’m gradually getting better at it, so I’d like to serve a dish that helps with hangovers.
–Since it’s a new season, what things do you want to try this year?
Nakamura: Thanks to spending more time at home and the food project for “Say You to Yoasobi,” I’m about to surpass my all-time weight record. I want to maintain my social distance and focus on exercise.
–What does “Say You to Yoasobi” mean for you?
Nakamura: I’m really grateful to have a place where I can send out information to my fans through weekly live broadcasts. It was also thanks to “Say You to Yoasobi” that I was able to become close to Yasumoto-san, so this job is really important to me. There are no bonuses for voice actors, but I think this is a bonus program.
–Finally, do you have a message for your fans?
Nakamura: I will be in charge of a new program called “WEEKEND”. I’m sure that “Say You to Yoasobi 2021” will be a more enjoyable week than “Say You to Yoasobi 2020”, and I’d like you to watch me grow as well. I hope you’ll enjoy watching the various personalities every day. Thank you for your continued support.