The first original regular voice actor program in the industry, “Say You to Yoasobi”, is currently being broadcast on the new future TV “ABEMA” Anime Channel.
Season 4 of “Say You to Yoasobi 2021”, started in April 2021, and the new hosts are broadcasting every day.

We at Anime!Anime! interviewed with Yasumoto Hiroaki-san, the Monday host, to commemorate his guest appearances on each day of the week. We asked him about the different charms of each day of the week and his “Oh well” spirit for living in this stressful society.

(Interview and sentence by Mori Motoyuki, Photos by Fujita Ayumi)

■The interview with Yasumoto-san is now available on “Say You to Yoasobi YouTube”!

――You’ve appeared as a guest on each day of the week. Tell us about the fascination of “Say You to Yoasobi 2021” you found through this experience.

Yasumoto: Every day has its charm, but I felt that the fundamentals are the same. Basically, it’s just a bunch of voice actors enjoying chatting with each other… that’s it. But I think this laid-back style makes the show interesting.

―― What does “Say You to Yoasobi 2021” mean to you?

Yasumoto: To me, it’s an amazing show that lets me enjoy a drink while working, haha.

Jokes aside, I hope that by sharing a good time with the viewers in this time we have no choice but to stay home, I can relieve some of their daily stress.

―― Nowadays, many voice actors are releasing videos. How is this show different from them?

Yasumoto: Today, anyone can stream on YouTube, etc., and I think many people do that.
On the other hand, “Say You to Yoasobi 2021” is developed through “ABEMA”, which makes it possible to create content with a higher grade. I believe we can deliver a “proper flair”, which gives the show a different taste than individual streamers.

―― Has anything changed since the new season “Say You to Yoasobi 2021” started?

Yasumoto: My partner has changed.


Yasumoto: I’ve been a host for the show for 3 years, and every time, I have a different partner. But I always enjoy the process of building relationships.
My first partner, Eguchi Takuya-kun, was someone I already knew how to perfectly communicate with, so I was able to go full throttle from the very beginning. On the other hand, my relationship with my partner from last year, Nakamura Sougo-kun, changed drastically from the beginning to the end.

Although I’ve known Maeno Tomoaki-kun for a long time, when we started hosting “Yoasobi” together, we struggled a bit at the beginning. I think I’m quite the square type, but he’s square to the core, so I wasn’t sure how far he’d go along with my jokes.

And finally, the other day, when I threw in a dirty joke, a rather silly one, he didn’t hesitate to react to it. That’s when I was convinced that I could work with him.
I might have been too hardheaded about him being square. Now that I know he can have some fun, I’m really enjoying the interaction with him.

――So your impression about Maeno-san is gradually changing.

Yasumoto: It is. I thought he was gentlemanly, square, and fresh, Someone who doesn’t show any weakness. But I’ve found out that he actually is quite vulnerable, in a good way.
I’m sure it’s not just me. The viewers probably see it too. I’m learning more and more about Maeno-kun and getting to know him better.

――It might be even more fun to watch the show thinking that Yasumoto-san is trying to figure out how to connect with Maeno-kun.

Yasumoto: I’d be embarrassed if I drew too much attention, so don’t overdo it, haha.

―― You appeared as a guest on each day of the week, how would you describe each day? We’d also like to know the charm of each day.

Yasumoto: Last year, Mondays were full of trouble. But I managed to overcome them at the last minute, so I used to call it “Manageable Monday”.
Let me think about this year… After appearing in the show for each day of the week, I found out that Monday was the only day I had a proper meeting, haha. So I’ll call it “Serious Monday”.

Tuesday was just as what I expected from the “Soothing Tuesday”. Actually, I was the one who started calling it that, so I was worried if I was putting an extra burden on Shimono Hiro-san and Uchida Maaya-san. But when I got there, I thought it was the perfect title for Tuesday.
Both of them didn’t seem stressed out, and the staff members looked like they were enjoying themselves. I thought it was “soothing” for everyone, so there’s no better title than “Soothing Tuesday”.

Yasumoto: Wednesday is called “Destructive Wednesday”. I saw Uesaka Sumire-san destroying herself, but I couldn’t understand what she was destroying, haha.

Since there are three hosts on Wednesday, we could call it “Rambunctious Wednesday”. It was a lot of fun for me to be in that space, and Tokui Sora-san was good at livening up the show.
Uesaka Sumire-san goes wild, and Komatsu Mikako-san holds it together. When you think about it, “Three-Way Wednesday” might be a good title. Just like the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Probably Komatsu Mikako-san as Cao Wei will win in the end, haha.

After appearing as a guest on Thursday, I realized the tremendous energy of Ishikawa Kaito-kun and the overwhelming generosity of Namikawa Daisuke-san. It was “Predictable Thursday” in a good way. You watch the show on Thursday, and you feel the comfort of the two of them being there. I think many people will feel at ease.

Friday is “Final-Boss Friday”. How should I say this… The difference in the amount of work between Hatanaka Yuu-kun and Seki Tomokazu-san is excruciating, haha. I believe that one day, Yuu-kun will have to strike back at Seki-san. I hope that Yuu-kun will reach the level as a hero to make an absurd request towards Seki-san. I’m calling it “Final-Boss Friday” with that kind of expectation in mind.

The weekends are hosted by two tanned men, so “The Dark Duo Weekend”, haha.
And Connect is just “Energetic Connect”. That’s it, haha.

――The relationship between the cast and crew of “Yoasobi” is also quite interesting. Was it different for each day?

Yasumoto: I felt it even through the screen, and yes, it was different for each day.

On Tuesday there’s a calm relationship of trust while Wednesday is like pro wrestling where the cast members don’t trust the staff, “in a good way”. It actually makes the show more interesting.
Some people may not like it, but it’s just a comprehensive pro wrestling match. I hope people will enjoy it with warm eyes.

Thursday is a bit like Monday. We curse at the staff, but we’re working it out just fine. I even thought that maybe Thursday was the day that the cast and staff are communicating the best. Namikawa-san seems to be keeping a lookout on the whole situation.
Also, we are more out of touch with the staff on Monday, haha.

On the contrary, Seki-san on Friday may not be paying much attention to the staff for the four years of this show, haha. Everyone tries to mess around with Seki-san at his pace, but he skillfully dodges them and passes it over to Yuu-kun, who tries his best to handle them… I felt that they work together with eh staff to create that flow.
Besides, Yuu-kun looks beautiful when he’s trying as hard as he can, so it works out. But I also want him to strike back at Seki-san one day, so keep up the hard work!

――Who do you think would be a good choice for a new host on Monday?

Yasumoto: If we were aiming for a completely different direction, I think Uchida Maaya-san would be a great choice. Maeno-kun and I would be like horses for her to ride in a mock cavalry battle. We would be able to show you the right way to treat a princess. I think we won’t be able to do it for the three members from “Rambunctious Wednesday”, haha.

Another choice would be Namikawa-san, though that would be too straightforward. If he were with us, I think Maeno-kun and I would be spoiled to the bone. We haven’t shown that side of us, so it will be a completely different kind of show. Those two would probably change the show drastically.

――I’d love to see both approaches , haha. You appeared as a pseudo-commentator for the project on Thursday, “Children’s Dream Jobs”, with Namikawa-san. If you were to go back to your school days, what kind o career would you like to pursue?

Yasumoto: As a child, I wanted to be a hero, but when I broke my arm, I realized, “Oh, I’m not a hero.” I also liked to cook, so I wanted to be a professional cook. I still think about it quite a bit, and I’ve been thinking about opening a restaurant when I turn 50.

――What kind of restaurant do you want to open, and do you have a signature dish?

Yasumoto: It would be a bar. The food will be only salty dishes.

I wouldn’t say I have a signature dish… I don’t mind putting time and effort into cooking, and I’m confident that I can make anything I want, as long as I have books and videos. Nowadays, there’s so much information, you can find detailed instructions for everything.
However, when I’m cooking for myself, I don’t want to spend more than 15 minutes, so I end up making stir-fried vegetables or something like that. But actually, stir-fried vegetables can be quite profound. You could start cold with low heat and pour oil over the top to make it crispy, or you could start with high heat to make it shriveled up. Both are delicious. So I guess my signature dish is stir-fried vegetables.

――It must have been quite hard to appear as a guest from Monday to the WEEKEND. What keeps you going?

Yasumoto: I think I was simply lucky. I just happened to find something I like, and through twists and turns, it became my job. Of course, I’m not free of stress but I don’t think I’m actually “working hard”. There are times when I think, “This is hard work,” or “It’s tiring,” but I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself. If I have complaints I tell my manager. I think I was also blessed with good people around me.

――Would your life have been different if you hadn’t met Takano-san, your high school classmate you talked about during your guest appearance on Wednesday?

Yasumoto: Takano-kun showed me all these anime magazines, and he was the one who brought the voice acting career to my attention. So I’m really grateful for him. Unfortunately, I don’t know what he’s doing now.

――You were producing a massage parlor for Tuesday’s project. Since we’re conducting this interview, I’d like to know what kind of news media you would produce.

Yasumoto: I don’t care if it doesn’t get many views, or if it doesn’t have a lot of information. I’d want it to be a platform with only reliable information. No articles with embellished content or speculations. Just plain and simple truth.
I wouldn’t mind people saying, “That media is bearing,” but it would be great if everything in it is true.

――So a media with only facts.

Yasumoto: People talk about things based on speculation and nowadays, the internet and social media accelerate the spread of such speculations. It becomes even more exaggerated and the messed up information keeps spreading.
I understand that it can make us laugh, but it also can hurt some people.

――Tell us your tips for enjoying “Say You to Yoasobi 2021”.

Yasumoto: First, I’d like you to be ready to go to bed. Finish your dinner, take your bath, and all that’s left is to go to sleep. This is the best situation to watch the show. If you can drink, have a drink. If you can’t bring your favorite beverage that makes you relaxed.

Also, don’t feel disappointed even if you fall asleep. It’s something you can’t fight. There’s not much you’re going to miss anyway, haha.
So just watch the show without any feelings of regret or anything like that. I think there shouldn’t be anything left other than, “That was fun.”

――Would you like to say something to your fans?

Yasumoto: Watching “Say You to Yoasobi 2021” may be a waste of your time. But I hope the time wasted becomes a moment of luxury. Please lay back and enjoy.

――Do you have any wasted time in your life?

Yasumoto: Every day.

――Is that a conscious choice?

Yasumoto: When I was young, I was energetic and active, but at this age, there are many times when I have something I have to do, but my body doesn’t move and I just don’t get it done.

I accept it as something that can’t be helped. I give up with a positive attitude, thinking that it was probably not something I actually had to do.

――What can people overwhelmed with different things and tasks do to make room in their minds?

Yasumoto: If they have to-do lists and have to get their tasks done, they probably need to do it. There are also people who get anxious if there’s a gap in their schedule, so they’ll pack it with things to do. In any case, I think it’s important not to think that you are being pressed.

There are many things that I want to do but can’t do. But I try not to feel bad about it and forgive myself that it was OK. It’s better not to do anything that you regret doing. Of course, there are things you actually have to do. It’ll be easier if you get them done and accept that there are things that you can’t do.

――In Friday’s project, you were called “the discerning man, Yasumoto Hiroki”. Is there anything you keep in mind to practice your discerning eyes?

Yasumoto: I used to judge things only by my standards when I was young, but at this age, I try to listen to others and acknowledge the person in front of me. So as I grow older, I’ve come to like people more and more.

I feel that if you try to understand others, you will naturally start to see the differences. And if you can enjoy these differences, you’ll probably enjoy your life until the end.

――I feel like this also leads to your “Oh well” spirit.

Yasumoto: You’re probably right. We’re all different, aren’t we?