Japan's Oldest Pro Shogi Player's Seiyū Dream Comes True in Layton Anime

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Japan's oldest pro shogi player Hifumi Katō is making his voice acting debut at the ripe age of 78. Katō, known affectionately as Hifumin by his fans, debuted in the shogi world at 14, holding the record for the youngest pro shogi debut until Sōta Fuji took the title in 2016. Katō has since retired from the professional shogi world and seems to have set is sites on being a part-time voice actor.

Katō is joining the cast of Layton Mystery Tanteisha: Katori no Nazotoki File in the fourth episode where he will voice a giant computer. In the episode, protagonist Katrielle "Kat" Layton is asked to capture the London jewel thief named Seine. Katō voices a giant computer used by Kat's assistant Noah Montoir. The role was a challenge for Katō, who said he wanted to try voice acting in the past but thought it would not be a possibility for him. He considered the prospect of being a voice actor just a dream, and said he's extremely happy to see it realized.

The anime will be based on Level 5's Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy game that focuses on Katrielle "Kat" Layton, daughter of Professor Hershel Layton.

Like the game, the anime is set in London and follows Katrielle as she solves mysteries with her talking dog Sherl. The anime premiered on April 8, but is not currently available for viewing for English-speaking audiences.

Katō went on to say that he found his first voice acting experience very exciting and the director was kind and gave him detailed instructions when performing his role. Katō has been a fan of animation since he saw Anne of Green Gables, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, and Meiken Jolie. He has continued to watch anime with his family and children for many years. Although not a voice actor, he admired orchestra conductor Hiroshi Aoshima tenor voice.

Katō previously appeared in television ads promoting the manga series March comes in like a lion.

Source: Comic Natalie

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