Anime Central 2013
Yuu Asakawa: An Interview

by Theron Martin,

One of Anime Central's special guests was Yuu Asakawa, a singer and voice actress known for roles like Priss in Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, Sakaki in Azumanga Daioh, Motoko in Love Hina, and Hibiki in Amagami SS, amongst many others. She is also the vocal basis for the vocaloid Megurine Luka. After conducting a meet-and-greet with fans, she sat down for an interview with the collective press.

Press: What TV shows inspired you to become a voice actress?
Yuu: When I was young, in the second grade, I saw Nausicaa. Up until then I had only watched kids' anime, but that was the first strong female character that I was impressed by.

Is there any current game that you would like to do a voice for?
I am a big fan of Resident Evil, and would love a chance to voice one of the original English characters at some point.

What was your first career choice before becoming a voice actor?
I wanted to work for a hotel. In fact, when I became a voice actor I was working for a hotel.

What are your other hobbies/passions?
I am always playing games or watching foreign drama. I like foreign dramas because they are so much better than what we have in Japan. I play Biohazard and of course Resident Evil.

Ever played Pokemon?
(Laughs) I do not play Pokemon because I am afraid that I would not stop. I have seen many other seiyuu sleep-deprived because of that.

How would you compare Japanese fans to American fans?
In Japan, the way celebrities are handled is much more guarded. Celebrities are escorted more carefully and fans keep a distance. Even when the fans show that they want to talk to you, they stay several steps away. Over here, convention staffs allow us to be friendlier with fans. There's a more dry frankness.

Do you like where you are being Luka?
When I was first introduced to the character, I didn't even get to see a picture. I imagined she would be a cool character since I often get that kind of role. I was very satisfied that she didn't end up being a cool character. It was refreshingly different.

Do you consider vocaloids a competition to your own music?
That's a very, very difficult question. There's much more of an opportunity now for people to get their music out there. That definitely poses a threat to so-called “professionals” operating within the system. I don't feel personally threatened, though.

How did you first react to hearing your voice [as a vocaloid] in action?
The first impression I got was that I felt threatened since vocaloids are so perfect. I feared that I would look bad by comparison. I went to voice training again after that.

Who is your favorite American actor?
I really liked Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs.

How would Japanese crowds react to live voice actor readings?
I think it would be a great opportunity for prospective voice actors to see how it would be done.

What do you find most challenging, and what do you enjoy most in your studio work?
All the different types of work are all challenging and enjoyable, but when I audition for a main character and don't get it but instead get a supporting character part, this is a great opportunity to see the main character with my own eyes and learn from it.

Final Question: What is your impression of Anime Central?
This is my first time in Chicago, so it was a very big surprise that such a huge space used for this show. I also wasn't expecting the reaction to be so big.

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