Sphere AFA Interview!

Yo. I’m temporarily back. Temporarily.

I just dropped by to post this (which is quite late as always ).

sphere afa

Anyway, here’s a few of the questions asked during the interview session of Sphere in Anime Festival Asia ’12, held last November 19 in Singapore. These are from different sources I found on the net, because unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch and God knows the reason why (Yes, I was broke, and even if I wasn’t, I doubt my parents will allow me to go overseas by myself *facedesk*). Alright, enough being depressed, here’s the Q & A!

Q: As a seiyuu, individually, the roles that they have done until today. Which role till today can they most relate to?

Haruka Tomatsu: The most relatable one should be Anohana’s Anaru. Anaru is very keen on her looks which I’m not but I feel very relatable to her.

Minako Kotobuki: I have been told a lot that Mugi from K-On! as I was told that I have as much musical talent as Mugi but I’m not as ojou-sama like as Mugi.

Ayahi Takagaki: Difficult! However, lately, I have been able to relate myself to the feelings of Lisbeth from Sword Art Online a lot. It does not matter whether their age or gender, I must be able to feel connected to be able to play the roles I play as a voice actress.

Aki Toyosaki: Difficult… I feel most connected to Yui from K-ON! As I feel that Yui and I do very similar things in real life, she plays the guitar, she sings thus I feel very connected to her. Just like Takagaki-san, I must be connected to the roles I play in some way. There is a part of me in the character and every character I play is like a persona of myself.

Q: What inspired you to take up voice acting as a job?

Haruka Tomatsu: When I was in elementary school, I watched Spirited Away and after that, I thought I would really love to become a voice actress. My first role was when I was 17 in Manabi straight.

Minako Kotobuki: When I was younger, I really love to sing and act. At home, I would watch Morning Musume and I would sing and dance along with them. I started slowly and eventually, I auditioned with my current company and became a voice actress. My first role as a voice actress was with Aki-chan as a Student A and Student B in the anime Red Garden.

Ayahi Takagaki: When I was in kindergarten I wanted to be Sailor Moon and use some magic but I realized that I can’t. In elementary school, I watched Slayers and I realized that if I become a voice actress, I can use magic. That was how I became a voice actress. My first role was in Ouran Highschool Host Club and though I was a student in that role, it led me to play other characters who use magic.

Aki Toyosaki: At first, I did not really like my own voice, I had a complex about it and wanted to change my voice. However, when I was in high school, I worked on TV & radio part time and discovered that my voice can make people happy and empower them. That was how I decided to become a voice actress.

Q: Which character do you feel most confident voice acting?

Haruka Tomatsu: Even though I voice many characters which may not fit with my personality, what I try to do is to find a common theme with the character and expand it in order to voice act that character.

Minako Kotobuki: Difficult, very difficult! My hometown is in the Kansai region in Hyogo.  I feel most comfortable with characters that speak in the Kansai dialect like A-channel’s Yuuko and Medaka Box’s Nabeshima.

Ayahi Takagaki: So…. Difficult! Sometimes it is difficult to be confident. But rather than be confident, I will use my skills to help play my characters. One example was that I used to study opera in a music school and I used these skills to help with characters I’m voice acting as.

Aki Toyosaki: I really love to play characters with animal-like characteristics. I like playing characters like Accel World’s Chiruyi.

Message for the fans:

Haruka Tomatsu: As this is Spheres first time overseas over at Singapore. It was very fun! To be able to see everyone here and their reactions, I’m very happy!

Minako Kotobuki: I got to meet everyone here and got to talk about my job and passion as a seiyuu and it was very fun for me.

Ayahi Takagaki: This is a first time as Sphere going to an overseas event and at first I was really really nervous but seeing everyone here not only the fans from Singapore, also fans from Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand all here to see us, I felt relax and had a great time. I felt the passion from everyone despite not everyone here speaking Japanese yet have the same passion towards Japanese animation. I’m going to take that passion back to Japan and work harder as a seiyuu. So please enjoy Japanese anime more!

 Aki Toyosaki: To be able to see everyone here, I’m really really happy about it so thanks for coming! No matter which country you are from, anime moves across countries and the language of anime travels across countries so I will continue to speak to everyone through my voice.

They were also asked about their show Sphere Club.

Q: Sphere Club is your first variety show not as guests, any special memories regarding the show?

A: Many,Many! Since it was a variety show, there are times where we accidentally laughed and it had to be NG. There were a lot of first experiences and as we get to sing and act it was very very fun.

~~~~~~~~~~ Here’s more of the interview from another site:

Q: Aside from personal and work activities during vacation, do all four of you go out together and can you share the feelings?

Sphere: We go out for meals together, and a few days ago, we went to Toyosaki’s house for Takoyaki. We are very good friends and we felt like one big family. We have been together for 7 years and we are like siblings.

Q: In your group, which one of you is the prettiest/love the most?

Sphere: We can’t decide. We are all very cute and we all like each other, so it’s hard to decide.

Q: How do you feel when the whole group is able to do anime together?

Haruka Tomatsu: When I first heard of this offer, that we can do anime together as a group, I was very thankful.

Aki Toyosaki: Our dream is to be stars of an anime and having been offered an opportunity like this was a dream come true.

Q: “Natsuiro Kiseki” is an anime where you four are working together. As you mention earlier that you all are having fun together, so in the future, do wish to gather again for another anime series?

Sphere: Of course. We will do our best to bring you the opportunity do together for another anime.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And of course, they were asked about their experiences in Singapore:

Q: What do you enjoy the most in Singapore and are there any places that you like to visit?

Sphere: We enjoyed seeing the Merlion! We want to go to the night safari. We had dinner at Marina Bay Sands and shopped for many accessories too. I enjoyed eating chi chong fan. We enjoyed walking along the streets a lot because there are many colorful and pretty buildings. Haruka-san ate a lot of durians because it was the first experience. Everyone had a bite and thought it was creamy. We were shocked by the taste at first, but we found it delicious eventually.

Q: During all the years that all four of you been working together, do you have any really fond memories or incidents that you like to share?

Sphere: There are times that we are together as Sphere because we are in the same company. Today, I choose today to be a part of the fond memories because it was the very first time we are in overseas performing, and our dream was realized. Another memory was when we had a live band at Nippon Budokan, an indoor arena in Central Tokyo, Japan.

Q: Is there any places that you like to visit apart from Singapore?

Sphere: There are many places that we would like to go to. It’s very fun and happy to be overseas and we would like to go out of Japan to meet a lot of people. If we go together, everywhere will be fun.


That’s all I found. Check out the pictures of AFA day 3 here: AFA – Diamond Stage I also found a short clip of the live dubbing and talk session. Taking pictures and videos were strictly prohibited but like hell people will actually follow that (maybe some) It’s here.

sphere afa mag

Some (or most) of the questions asked were from fans.

The question about the character they are most similar to, I couldn’t agree more with Aki’s answer. Many people have already said she’s a real life Yui Hirasawa, with the cheerfulness and all (but I don’t think Aki’s much as an airhead as Yui XD). Minako’s answer, I think it fits since I’ve always saw her as the most ‘Ojou-san’ f them all, except for the fact that the other 3 usually laugh at her for her fails (You guys know the ‘Minako Hole’? The term they use to tease Minako about her… uh, nonsensical answers or her silly little mistakes). I don’t know about Haruka’s and Ayahi’s answers, I don’t see much similarities with Anri and Lizbeth respectively, though, I do like Anri for Haruka mainly because Anri is awesome like her.

About the reason they became seiyuus, I’ve long known Aki and Haruka’s reasons. Aki said before, in a documentary (I think) about her first album that she used to dislike her voice, but then, since it makes people smile, she came to like it and continue giving them happiness, aww~

About Natsuiro Kiseki, if you don’t know anything about the pre-production and just watched it, you’d think it was specially made for Sphere. Really, everything fits them. Even the characters are closely similar, except maybe for Rin, since Aki isn’t as quiet and calm as her (Aki is much of a prankster like Haruka). It’s a nice story about friendship, with a touch of magic 🙂 and slight yuri *is shot and burned* lol Well, joking aside, it’s a good series, maybe not the best, but still good, and the music is great ❤

And also, they recently went to Aki’s house for Takoyaki? Hmm… I am curious. (If you guys have been following Sphere or just Aki, you’ll understand why it’s quite a surprise that they visited Aki’s house.)

For Aki and Minako, this is the 2nd time to be in AFA and in Singapore because they also participated in AFA in Singapore 2009 with the K-On! cast (Hikasa Yoko was absent though). Ayahi and Haruka are first timers. I’m glad they all enjoyed their stay and that their first overseas performance turned out great.

afa concert

Since Sphere’s management company is pretty strict, I won’t be posting any picture of the during the event, only those that are official. Please be contented with the few pictures in the link, at least it’s official so I won’t get in trouble. Music Ray’n is strict, for their own talents’ sake but I think they’re being exaggerated. I waited about 9 hours to watch the live streaming of AFA Diamond Stage to see Sphere but guess what? They freaking cut the show and didn’t broadcast their performance. Well, damn. They also warned those few people, who took pictures with Sphere, not to upload the pics in the net. Oh well, I’ll just think that they’re taking good care of their talents… to the extreme *sigh* By the way, here is Sphere’s set list during the concert:

  1. Future Stream
  2. Now Loading… SKY!!
  3. Hazy
  4. Moonlight Densetsu (cover of Sailor Moon theme)
  5. Happy Material (cover of Mahou Sensei Negima theme )
  6. Moon Signal
  7. Non Stop Road
  8. High Powered

So, that ends this post. Sorry if it’s late. Real life priorities are… still priorities *facepalm*

All credits go to my sources: Ani-cultureJPopAsia & AFA – Facebook

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