Kawaii-Kon 2012
Ryo Horikawa & Kenichi Miya Focus Panel

by Sarah Nelkin,

The Ryo Horikawa & Kenichi Miya Question & Answer was conducted in the same manner as the others: excited fans were asked to line up at a microphone in front of the honored guests. Excited to speak with them, I asked one of the first questions: "Mr. Miya, you're a new face in the industry. Is there any kind role you'd like to do?" Kenichi Miya laughed slightly and responded with a mischiveous grin, "I want to play a character that rides on a giant robot and screams his secret moves to activate them", which got a laugh from the audience. He also said that he wants people to watch anime and know his voice right away, and know him as a "nice guy" (he said this in English, with a thumbs up).

Another person in the audience asked, "What moment or role in your career had the most impact for you?" Ryo Horikawa responded to this first, saying that his previous roles are precious to him, but whatever role he's working on presently must be the most important in order to do an even better job.

"Next please." He said, referring to his next role.

"What did you like about playing Vegeta?" A boy in the audience asked Horikawa. He replied he liked that Vegeta got so angry all the time, and that he got to scream "You bastard!" and "Take this!" on a regular basis. After this question was finished, a girl from the front passed over a present to each of them - a chocolate rose. After a few adoring sighs from the crowd, the session continued.

Ryo decided to turn the session around, however, and asked the audience if they had an interest in voice acting. A few audience members raised their hands. He asked us why we think it would be a fun job. A Japanese boy said, "It's fun to be another person while you act." Horikawa and Miya both had the same sentiments. They both like voice acting because they can play characters they couldn't play in live-action productions, being in dramatic relationships, fighting big battles. Kenichi stated that he probably wouldn't be able to experience these things in his real life, so he feels happy playing those characters.

A girl asked Horikawa which is better for a voice actor - having a wide range, playing many types of characters, or just one? He responded that he can't say which is better. There are many famous seiyuu that do many types of roles and are good at it, and there are many seiyuu who only do one kind of voice and are also very good. He suggests to the audience that the key is to enhance what you're good at.

When asked what they'd create if they had a chance to produce a manga, Ryo didn't have a solid idea in mind, but did mention that he will be the sound director of the upcoming e-manga Magical Dreamers. He also told the audience he would have a role in the e-manga, and Kenichi Miya chimed in saying that he would have a role as well. Magical Dreamers is about a girl who goes to study at a school of magic, and her journey as she matures from childhood to adulthood. There will be an English-dubbed version but it is possible for English readers to read the Japanese with English audio, and vice versa with English writing and Japanese audio. Kenichi had a good idea about the kind of manga he would like to create. He wanted to make a manga that is fun, makes you angry sometimes, makes you cry, and is a big adventure manga overall, like One Piece (he showed the audience his Tony Tony Chopper t-shirt).

I asked one more question, "Do you have any friends in the seiyuu industry?" Ryo mentioned his friendship with Minami Takayama, who worked with him on Case Closed. He also said that after recording, he often went out to dinner with cast members. Kenichi hesitated a little, but said, "I'm still new in the seiyuu industry, so I don't really have any seiyuu friends yet. I'd like to do my best to make some."

Ryo Horikawa mentioned his seiyuu school in Japan. I asked him, in return, if there were any conditions for getting into the school. He said there was only one condition: "the love of acting". He also discussed the possibilities of opening an international school of voice acting, since only Japanese students currently attend the school, stating the rising interest of the voice actor occupation.

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