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Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Gotou Yuuko @ Desucon 2011

I've been promising this for a long time haven't I? Here it is, rejoice!

First of all, I would like to thank Gotou Yuuko-san for taking the trouble of coming all the way to Finland to tell about her career to us Finnish anime fans. Though it really disappointed me how Finnish con-ners seem to not appreciate such a great opportunity, as listening to an actual seiyuu, as much as they should considering how empty the Sibelius hall was during her session (and frankly a lot of the people that were there, were behaving like retards -_-). Really a shame considering how packed it was for the AMV-competition and let's face it - you don't learn anything interesting there! Anyway, for it's worth listening to Gotou-san was definitely the most worthwhile thing to me that weekend.

Oh and btw, if you have no idea who Gotou Yuuko-san is (shame on you!) here you can find a list of her anime roles: [click for list]. Most people probably know her mainly for the role of Mikuru Asahina in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Gotou-san's interview

Here's the bits from Gotou-san's interview that I remember. Considering how late I am with this post, I am quite proud of the amount that I do remember. xD

Gotou Yuuko


What made you become a seiyuu?
- Here Gotou-san told how one of her senpai at university had told her she would make a great seiyuu due to her voice being quite interesting. Thus, Gotou-san decided to give it a try. She phoned up a seiyuu school and they told her that the application for that year was already over and she then asked if she could come work at the office instead - after which they thought she was nuts and decided to let her give it a shot. She got into the school mid-term. :)

First role
- Gotou-san told how she had applied for the role of the main heroine of a series and when she started reading the lines at the audition the  people there began howling with laughter until finally they told her to go home without even having finished the lines. She was quite depressed as she was sure she had failed, but the next day they called her and told her she got the spot. When she went there however she came to realize that she wasn't picked for the role of the main heroine, but some gay guy instead. Woops. xD

Dream roles
- Gotou-san started by saying that she had already gotten to do two of her dream roles - a magical girl in a magical girl anime and a badass mobile suit pilot girl who kicks ass in a mecha anime. As for the dream roles she has not gotten to do yet, she said she would love to do a very evil character at least once and that she always practices her evil laughter at home in her lonesome. She gave a demonstration and that was one amazing laugh! The interviewers also asked her what sort of voice she would do for an evil character and she gave a demo of that as well and wow, she can really do a very low voice. Really a shame no anime has utilized that yet, it's always the cutesy aloof characters that they give her. She also said it would be interesting to voice a male character (after the interviewers inquired about it), since the only one she's voiced is the gay guy who couldn't really be considered to be the manliest of men.


Gotou-san with the translator and interviewers

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Gotou-san told that for MoHS there was no audition for the five main characters, but every seiyuu had been hand-picked for their roles. She said that the first time they met up to learn about how to do their roles they had told the seiyuu of Haruhi (Hirano Aya) to remember that Haruhi is a normal girl who wants to be accepted deep inside and thus not be too loud and crazy all the time, and to the seiyuu of Kyon (Sugita Tomokazu) they said not to act like a complaining old man since inside Kyon is actually quite excited about the weird stuff the SOS Brigade does. When they got to Gotou-san however, all they said was "Gotou-san, just do what you always do". xD Gotou-san said it was annoying not to get proper instructions like the rest, but that at the same time it was flattering that they trusted her so much.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica
- Gotou-san said that for this anime she had been given a list of characters from whom she could choose which she wanted to voice. She read about the mother and that somehow clicked for her. The mother however was not on the list she was given, but she told them that the mother was who she wanted to do and they asked her to give them a little demo then to prove she could do the role. She said something in a mature low voice and the people there had been like "Gotou-san!! Remember - that character is still a female!!!" Haha, apparently she had sounded like a man. xD She did get the role though!

Most memorable role
- Here Gotou-san had to laugh and say Gotouza-sama (namely herself) in Lucky ☆ Star. She was like "Is this how people really see me??!" and said she did enjoy voicing her very much. I have to say that part was definitely one of my personal favorites from the series as well. xD

English roles
Gotou-san said that usually when she's given the role of an anime character who knows how to speak English, there are no lines ready for her, the anime staff just tell her "Just speak some English there for a minute" and then she does her best to say something that is relevant considering the anime and asks the staff if what she did was alright and they reply "Yeah yeah! We didn't understand a word of it!" Hahaha. No wonder English in animes is usually quite weird.. xD 

One of your hobbies is drawing. Could you draw us something?
- Gotou-san agreed to draw and we got to witness the process thanks to her drawing on top of a projector. She started drawing and it was quite soon easy to tell that she was drawing the Desucon mascot, Desu-kun. Someone shouted "Desu-kun!" and she was shocked we got it so fast, as she was planning on surprising us. We made a deal with her then that once she was finished we would all act surprised. And we did. xD Also, I have to say I definitely prefer her Desu-kun to the actual one haha.

Gotou-san showing her drawing

If you want to see some of Gotou-san's work, she has illustrations up on [her website].

Motorcycles is another one of your hobbies. Can you tell us about that?
- Gotou-san said she is a very enthusiastic biker. The people at her agency forbid her from driving to work on her bike though, since they're scared she might crash and kill herself. Why of course, a woman cannot be skillful on a bike, no sir.. xD

You have listed drinking as a hobby too...- Lots of laughing here and Gotou-san commented that Finnish beer is really good. xD

Singing is also a hobby. Can you tell us about that too?
- Gotou-san said that she's always liked singing but never thought she was anything special, so she was surprised when a record company contacted her and wanted to record something with her. She said about how she's done character songs and what not for anime. She mentioned how she had been praised for her singing as Mikuru, because it sounded so like Mikuru - someone who didn't know what to sing and pretty much just sang without a clue of what she was doing. So Gotou-san said she's not very sure if she should be happy about that praise or not, haha.

We have a surprise for you now at the end, Gotou-san shall sing a couple of songs!
- The first song she sang was from the Sketchbook anime I believe, I am not 100% as I did not know it.
- The second song she sang was, however, something I knew -Koi no Mikuru Densetsu! Hahahaa, this was such fun! She asked us to sing the part "Mi-mi-mirakuru Mikurunrun!" for her and everyone was clapping along to her instructions throughout the whole song (well I was anyway, I was totally into it xD). Gotou-san was really taken with how people participated and cheered for her and exclaimed after finishing the song: "Thank you! I am so happy!" aawwwwww, so cute. (^-^)

Her hair ornament fell during the first song and she threw it into the audience, really close to me - but not close enough. :(

Overall

It was a pity that the Desucon staff had decided to have her interviewed with a translator, since Gotou-san's English is quite excellent. Understandable though considering how many con-ners were quite young, but really 16-year olds should already know English well enough. It was funny because Gotou-san took every opportunity she could to communicate straight with the audience in English when the translator was looking the other way or something similar. xD

Also, I was really impressed by her. I mean, I don't particularly fancy any of the characters she plays in the animes I've seen, but even so she became one of my favorite seiyuu - she was just such a lovely adorable person and very skillful. I am definitely going to have to watch Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica soon to see Gotou-san doing a different sort of role than what she usually does. I am very grateful to have been able to see her in person and I am also happy for the girl dressed as Asahina in a frog suit, since meeting the seiyuu of her favorite character (or so I assume) seemed to mean a whole lot to her.

Thank you for visiting Finland, Gotou Yuuko-san!
後藤さんはとてもすばらしいです! ありがとう! (*^▽^*)

On a side note, if you're interested she wrote about her Finland trip in her [own blog] too.

Also, I am not going to write about Tanaka Kouhei as the interviewers mainly just questioned him about One Piece and Sakura Wars. :O

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