Voice Actress Minako Kotobuki Updates on Her Life in the U.K. Under Lockdown

posted on by Kim Morrissy

Voice actress Minako Kotobuki recently traveled to the United Kingdom for her previously announced study trip. Notably, she arrived in March and has spent the time since in lockdown.

On Thursday, Anime! Anime! published the first part of an interview with her, where she provided an update on her current life in the U.K. Since residents are currently under a stay-at-home order, she has refrained from going out of her host family's home except to buy necessities and perform other necessary activities.

"From the moment I arrived in the U.K. I've been [in lockdown]," she said. "So as far as I'm concerned, this is the only part of daily life in the U.K. that I've experienced, so it hasn't really been that stressful for me here. My homestay location is very spacious, and it's got a wonderful English garden, so I've been able to enjoy myself even without going outside."

She described the stringent measures involved in the U.K.'s response to COVID-19, including potential fines for people who go outside for reasons other than grocery shopping and exercise. She said that while she appreciated the concern that others have for her living in a country with such gloomy news regarding the virus, she herself is quite healthy.

In the interview, she also shares her reasons for studying abroad. She said that ever since she was around 26-27 years old, she really wanted to see more of a world that she didn't know. Because she particularly wanted to study language and drama, she decided that she wanted to go to England or New York. Between the two options, she chose England because she had been to the country before to visit her older brother, who had once studied as an exchange student in England himself. When she visited, she thought that it would be a nice place to live. She has also acted in a number of works that are set in England, including K-ON! (movie), so she felt a connection with the country.

She said that she received support from both her management team and her fellow members of Sphere, her voice actress and idol group. On the other hand, she mentioned that her father was hesitant about her going, and that her brother, who had previously supported her decision, changed his mind after hearing the news about COVID-19. She worried about whether she ought to return home for a while, but decided not to because she would have to self-quarantine for two weeks and there was nowhere at home to do that.

"On an emotional level, making the decision to go to the U.K. was the hardest thing to do. Once I made my decision, it became easier for me," she said. "Until that point, I had the desire to go, but I was also thinking about my job and other things, so I kept it locked away in the corner of my mind and tried not to make my desires known. Once I let go of that part of me that was suppressing myself, it felt like a load lifted from my mind."

Along with the other members of Sphere, Kotobuki is participating in a project started by Aoi Yuki where voice actors read out children's stories for the parents and children who are cooped up at home due to social distancing measures. She remarked on the irony that she wouldn't have been able to do voice acting online with her peers while living abroad if it weren't for the virus forcing people across the world to stay home. She has also started a YouTube channel where she talks about her observations about English culture.

Subsequent interview articles will draw from questions submitted by readers of Anime! Anime!. To submit a question, simply reply to or quote-retweet Anime! Anime!'s tweet.

Kotobuki's anime roles include Sound! Euphonium's Asuka Tanaka, Tiger & Bunny's Karina Lyle, Glitter Force Doki Doki's Rikka Hishikawa, Fairy gone's Sweety, Berserk's Rickert, Aikatsu!'s Mizuki Kanzaki, Bloom Into You's Tōko Nanami, and A Certain Scientific Railgun's Mitsuko Kongō.

The voice actress has performed many anime theme songs as part of Sphere, a four-member voice actress and idol group. The group has performed songs for anime including Bakuman. 3, Zakuro, Natsu-iro Kiseki, Squid Girl Season 2, Hatsukoi Limited, and Hanasaku Iroha - Blossoms for Tomorrow.

Source: Anime! Anime! (Kaori Yoneda)

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