Copyright (C) 1996 by Jeff Okamoto. All rights reserved.
Photo of Megumi Hayashibara is Copyright (C) 1996 by Jeff Okamoto. All rights reserved.
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Welcome to issue #8 of the Hayashibara Megumi Internet Fan Club Newsletter! When I look back at when I started this Fan Club, it's amazing how much more popular seiyuu, or voice actors, have become.
In Japan, the "seiyuu boom" shows no signs of abating, as seiyuu produce more albums and production companies hold more events to showcase their talents.
Two magazines, "Voice Animage" and "Seiyuu Grand Prix" are completely dedicated to seiyuu and their doings. These magazines contain lots of photos and are definitely worth it for the seiyuu otaku.
A third magazine, "Aniraji" (short for "anime radio") covers all the major radio shows that feature seiyuu. Most shows are one-half hour long and feature an ongoing radio drama (usually 15 minutes or so and feature the seiyuu whose show it is broadcast on). The rest of the show is usually made up of interviews of other seiyuu, or the reading of postcards and/or letters sent to the show.
With luck, more seiyuu will come to American anime conventions, where they will find they are just as popular as the designers of the characters they voice.
You can now get all of the back issues online via your favorite Web browser. The URL for the fan club is:
PostScript copies of back issues can be retrieved from the same URL.
This is your last chance to win a fabulous item autographed by Miss Hayashibara herself! All you have to do is recruit someone to become a member of this fan club.
Have them send me mail to join, and make sure they tell me that you recruited them. Every new member you recruit adds to your chances to win. The winner will be drawn randomly and notified by e-mail.
In this issue is a transcript of the Press Interview at Anime America '95. The transcript was prepared by Richard Kim, who gave me permission to use it.
The photo for this issue was taken just after the press interview below.
Note: I tried to reconstruct the entire interview as best as could be done, but things will be a bit lacking in some places. (I need to learn to write faster.) Thanks for your understanding. --Richard Kim
When I discovered that Megumi Hayashibara was indeed giving a small, private press conference, I was elated. Unfortunately, I was NOT informed of when and where it would be held. After many trials and tribulations, I was told that the press interview would take place at 10:00 am on Saturday, July 8th, 1995.
Making my way to the second floor, I prepared my materials to transcribe the whole thing. As I entered the conference room, I had barely set down my gear when she walked into the room. Megumi Hayashibara.
Voice actress for such fan favorites such as Ranma-chan (Ranma 1/2), Nuku Nuku (Cat Girl Nuku Nuku) and Pai (3x3 Eyes) and idol to many adoring fans in Japan and America, standing in front of me. Needless to say, I was in awe... speechless. Seeing her in videos and in magazines was one thing, but seeing her in person was impressive to say the least.
It took a moment for it all to sink in when the questions started.
The press members involved were:
Richard Kim (Tsunami), Jeff Okamoto (freelancer), Miyako Graham (Protoculture Addicts), a representative from Anime America, and representatives from several other publications.
And the questions went something like this:
PRESS: Have you ever considered doing a music cross-over
for American audiences?
MEGUMI: I would very much like to try new styles of music.
PRESS: Do you think you've lost any privacy due to the
press coverage you get now?
MEGUMI: Sometimes when I go out shopping or right after an afureko ("after" recording, or recording session), someone will ask if I am Megumi Hayashibara, and it's a little embarrassing.
PRESS: Which is more difficult for you -- singing, radio
dramas, or voice acting?
MEGUMI: I find each of them difficult in their own way, but I enjoy all of them.
PRESS: When you're working, do you rehearse at all, or do
you just work from a script?
MEGUMI: When I do a radio drama, I only have the script to work from; when I'm voice acting for an animation, I have to watch the movements of the characters.
PRESS: What are the members of your family?
MEGUMI: I have a mother, father, and an older brother, who is 37; he's married and has a child.
PRESS: Do you think you have more choice when it comes to
MEGUMI: I DO have more choices, but I try not to refuse any of them, if I can help it. The money doesn't really matter.
PRESS: How do you think anime will change in the
MEGUMI: There are many new seiyuu coming into the field recently, which is good and bad; the new seiyuu work cheaper, but are less experienced.
PRESS: Is there very much censorship in Japan?
MEGUMI: None that I've ever had to personally deal with.
PRESS: Are you a member of any groups (singing, acting,
MEGUMI: I was a member of DoCo, which was made up of Ranma 1/2 seiyuu.
PRESS: Why aren't we allowed to video tape you here?
MEGUMI: I don't want my image used without permission for profit; I don't want people to make bootleg copies of my events or concerts.
PRESS: How have your characters changed over the years?
(examples were Pai from 3x3 Eyes and Aki from Tekkaman Blade)
MEGUMI: In the manga, Pai loses her memory in volume 3, so she acts like a different person. As for Aki, in Tekkaman Blade II, it is 10 years later, and something's happened to her; something heavy.
PRESS: What is a typical work week like for you?
MEGUMI: Well, every week is different for me. On Mondays, now that the Ranma OAVs are coming out, I have to go to the studio. And I am also doing commercials for Hello Kitty.
PRESS: What inspired you to go into voice acting?
MEGUMI: When I went to see the movie "Uchuu Senken Yamato" when I was young. I was amazed to find that a young, 18-year old boy was being played by a woman and that another handsome boy was played by a 40-year old man.
PRESS: Do you have any free time to watch movies, and what
are your favorite movies?
MEGUMI: Sometimes I do. I liked "Aladdin" and "Jurassic Park", as well as fantasy movies.
PRESS: How many fan letters do you get a day?
MEGUMI: For the radio show, I get 1000-2000 a week. I go through them with the staff, and read some of them on the air.
PRESS: Which is more enjoyable for you, comedy or
MEGUMI: Both of them. If I only did drama, I would become depressed. But if I only did comedy, I would become tired quickly. What I'm doing now is a good balance for me.
PRESS: Which character is the most similar to you?
MEGUMI: They are all like me, in a way.
PRESS: What's the most challenging part of voice
MEGUMI: Trying to tell the story in a more convincing way.
PRESS: What are the "highs" and "lows" of being a public
MEGUMI: When I became a seiyuu (voice actress), I was surprised when I had to show my face to people. But it allowed me to come to America for Anime America. (Transcriber's note: I think this was phrased badly by the questioner.)
PRESS: Other than anime songs, how have you used your voice
acting skills in singing?
MEGUMI: For my own albums, I want to put my own personality into the songs.
PRESS: In the future, do you want to become a wife and
MEGUMI: Well, I'd like to continue voice acting as long as possible, but when I retire, I want to open an aromatherapy shop. But yes, I would like to be a wife and mother some day.
PRESS: Are you as satisfied recording your songs in English
as you are recording them in Japanese?
MEGUMI: Yes, I'm satisfied recording in both languages, although I get some help for the English ones.
PRESS: Do you have any time to relax? What are your
favorite books or authors?
MEGUMI: I really like Snoopy and reading books that are emotional. I also liked the book "The Celestine Prophecy".
PRESS: Do you find your songs are written for characters
you've played before?
MEGUMI: I have to deal with the director about that. (Transcriber's note: this answer made little to no sense to me) (Editor's note: I think the question and answer referred to whether she had any freedom to tinker the song's lyrics or melodies in the studio, or if she simply did what she was told to do.)
PRESS: If you hadn't become a voice actress or you stop
being one, what would or will you do?
MEGUMI: I'll think about that when it happens. (she smiled here)
PRESS: Do you write any of your own songs?
MEGUMI: Yes. The ones written by me have the songwriter credited as "MEGUMI".
PRESS: How much longer do you think you will voice
MEGUMI: I have no plans really, I'm just doing this as I go along.
PRESS: What do you like about working with Yuzo
MEGUMI: I think that he must be a kind, gentle man (He bought me dinner once). In his stories, even the bad guys aren't really "bad".
PRESS: You're currently 28 years old. How do you feel about
MEGUMI: It's interesting to me. I can't do some things that I could when I was young, but I can do many things that I couldn't when I was younger.
PRESS: Do you do live events often?
MEGUMI: I've never done a live production (by myself), but King Records (her record company) has a live show every spring and summer.
PRESS: What kind of animals do you like?
MEGUMI: My favorite kind of animal are dogs, but I like all kinds of animals.
PRESS: Do you find yourself being typecast?
MEGUMI: In the beginning, most of the characters I did were similar, but since I play each one differently, there are no two characters exactly alike.
PRESS: Can anyone be a voice actor? What does it take to be
MEGUMI: I'm asked this question often. I think that everyone has the potential to be one, but it's probably not true. A voice actor has to be able to express themselves in every way, with just their voices.
PRESS: How many radio shows do you do a week?
MEGUMI: It differs from week to week. I have two television shows on right now (it will soon be four), and I host three radio shows.
After the Q&A session, the press photographers(myself included) were allowed a precious 15 minutes to take photos of Ms. Hayashibara.
The fifth anniversary of Anime Expo will be held on June 28-30 in Anaheim, California at the Anaheim Marriott (right next to Disneyland). For more information, send an e-mail message to
and you will receive an automatic reply.
To contact this newsletter, send electronic mail to email@example.com.Hayashibara Megumi Internet Fan Club / seiyuu.com!okamoto / 18 June 1996