We were lucky enough to interview voice actresses Mariko Miyase, Manami Tatsu, and Runa Katagiri, as well as famous manga artist Kia Asamiya during the recording of their radio shows for Studio TRON! Every week they bring cheerful, unique, and friendly conversations to the airwaves (and web-waves). Let’s have a look at what they shared with us about manga and radio.
Could you give us a self-introduction and tell us about your hobbies?
Ms. Miyase: I’m Mariko Miyase. I’ve been able to do a lot of things without being bound by my role as a seiyuu, such as playing smaller roles in anime, appearing in games, and hosting radio shows like this. I’ve also worked as a radio reporter and an event MC.
My hobby these days is horse racing. I actually had the opportunity to be in some events as an “Umajo” (a girl who likes horse-racing), and I’ve gotten to make predictions and present the race results a few times. I have been horseback riding once, but since it’s expensive, I’m planning to save up for lessons with my wins from betting on the races.
Ms. Tatsu: There’s this catch-phrase that I always say: I’m the cute, brown seiyuu, Manami Tatsu. Brown is my favorite color. I think that a lot of people actually quite like it. Whenever you have to decide between new accessories like bags, shoes, belts, or watches, it’s an easy color to choose. It’s not like I really want to wear brown from head to toe, but I like that it’s the kind of color you pick without really noticing. Also, chocolate, curry, and fried chicken are brown. I really like fried chicken.
As for hobbies, I really love J-dramas. I watch them a lot on my days off. I watch about 7 shows a season, so I have a hard time recommending one in particular. If I had to choose one show from this season, I think it would be Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo with Takeru Satou. I also like Ryouma Takeuchi in Theseus no Fune.
Ms. Katagiri: My name is Runa Katagiri. I’m an actor, and I’m affiliated with the production company, Artist Crew. As for my hobbies… Well, I really love Disney, so I’ll go to the parks when I can. I even have an annual pass.
What do you hope to get across with your radio program?
Asamiya-sensei: The concept for my program Asamiya Kia Kakuchou Keikaku (麻宮騎亜拡張計画, Kia Asamiya Expansion Project) is simply an information-based talk show. The other girls’ programs are also information-based, but because they each add their own twist to it, I leave a lot of things up to them. That’s where you start to find the differences, and I hope that each individual personality is able to reach the listeners.
This program actually started about 8 years ago, and we’ve kept it going pretty much every week. I’ve always liked radio. I think that broadcasting only with sound actually frees you to do a lot of things.
Ms. Miyase: Since there are things about us as seiyuu that still need development, the concept for my program (宮世真理子侵略計画, Mariko Miyase Invasion Project) is about how we can become more well-known and how we can improve our skills… We talk about whatever we like. I’ll do things like answering listeners’ questions from Twitter or calling in a friend or a guest to have a chat. It’s a very free-form show. We run it as a 10 minute “mini-radio” program. The program itself is every Friday, and I trade off as host with Mr. Asamiya every other week.
Ms. Tatsu: I would say the concept for my program (辰まなみ熟成計画, Manami Tatsu Aging Project) is being true to myself. I’m a pretty open person, so I just talk as myself. I’ll talk about things that have happened that day. If I have a guest, like today, I’ll call in someone I get along with and just have a normal chat. I like to show the kind of people we are and the kind of things we do. I want to be an attractive woman, like Hitomi Kuroki; she’s always cute and always cool.
Ms. Katagiri: Since my program is called Katagiri Runa Ikusei Keikaku (片桐留奈育成計画, Runa Katagiri Bring Up Project), I guess that I would say it’s about letting people get to know me as a seiyuu and to see how I grow. I only just entered my production company a little over a year ago, so I’m just getting started.
What made you choose voice acting as a career?
Ms. Miyase: I first started acting in high school, in the theatre club. So at first, I started on stage and performed in front of people. But in the theatre, you get chosen based on your appearance, so I only ever got cast as strong-willed or strong-looking women. I wanted to try a bunch more roles. Right at that time, my friend’s older sister was trying to become a seiyuu, and I realized that jobs like that existed. I always liked manga, games, and anime, so when I realized I could combine my otaku hobbies with my love of acting, I decided to become a seiyuu.
Ms. Tatsu: When I was in elementary school, I really loved Megumi Hayashibara. There was this presentation we had to do about someone we really respected. We were at the age where most kids don’t really know a lot about anime, like 3rd or 4th grade, and I just went on and on about Megumi Hayashibara. That was around the time when I started to think about the job, “seiyuu.” I went on to high school and university, and when I was in university, I took a night class at a trade school. It was after that when I got into my seiyuu training school.
Ms. Katagiri: Well, I don’t just want to do voice acting; I also want to appear on stage and on camera. I always loved manga, and I wanted to try acting. So when I thought about ways to act that had to do with manga, I decided that becoming a seiyuu would be a good fit. I studied at a trade school for 2 years before I entered my current company. I haven’t been on stage many times yet, but I sometimes do plays or staged readings.
How did you meet Asamiya-sensei?
Ms. Miyase: The first time we met was when Mr. Asamiya used to play darts as a hobby, and an acquaintance of mine was hosting a darts event. We met there, and I got to know him a little bit. And just after that, Mr. Asamiya put out an ad to audition to be an assistant for an online radio program. I thought that it sounded just perfect, so I applied and got selected. That was where it all started. It was about 3 years ago.
Ms. Tatsu: I was introduced to him about 4 or 5 years ago, through my senior seiyuu, Kousuke Okano. He was good friends with Mr. Asamiya, and they even did a photo exhibition together. Mr. Asamiya had a lot of cat pictures, and Mr. Okano had a lot of bird pictures, so that was the theme of the exhibition. I helped out with reception at that event, so that was where I met Mr. Asamiya. After that I was called in for an audition for Mr. Asamiya’s previous radio show, and I was selected. We’ve been doing radio shows together since then.
Ms. Katagiri: Mr. Asamiya is also affiliated with my production company, so I was introduced to him by a mutual acquaintance of ours. I had heard his name before, but I didn’t really know about his work at the time.
What do you like about manga? Which one is your favorite?
Ms. Miyase: Hunter x Hunter is my favorite series. I especially like the old anime. It was actually the first series that made me aware of the idea of seiyuu. One of the seiyuu whom I really admire is Junko Takeuchi, who played Gon in the old anime. I want to be able to play young boy roles like that someday. I like shonen manga a lot, especially Jump series. Rather than love stories like you see in shojo manga, I like manga that deal with life-or-death problems. Although recently, I’ve started to get into yuri (girls love) and BL (boys love) comics, so I would say that I read a pretty wide variety.
I like that it’s not based in reality. You can use it for escapism, but the really great thing is that you can find a manga for any kind of mood. There are manga that are great for when you’re feeling down, manga that help relieve stress, and there are even educational manga. Manga and anime can become a great common ground for people. I have a lot of friends I made because we started talking about manga. I actually used to cosplay as a hobby when I was younger, and a lot of the friends I made then are still my friends now.
Ms. Katagiri: The one series I’ve really liked since I was a kid is One Piece. Right now, I really like Haikyuu!! and other series like it. As for what I like about it… I don’t know! Series like Haikyuu!! and other sports manga let me experience a world I’m not familiar with, and One Piece is based in a world that isn’t reality. It’s fun to learn about a bunch of different worlds.
Ms. Tatsu: I love manga. My favorite is Case Closed (Detective Conan). I’ve been reading it since I was in elementary school, so much so, in fact, that a lot of pages have gotten black from reading them too much. I even use sticky notes to mark the important parts like the parts with the Black Organization so that I can review them when a new movie comes out.
I like that I don’t have to think about reality when I’m reading manga. I get so absorbed that I sometimes have dreams about it. It feels like flying to another world.
Which appealing part of manga would you like international fans of manga to know about?
Ms. Miyase: I mean, I’m one among many manga fans, so I want to say that we should enjoy it together. I’m happy that people from overseas enjoy manga from Japan, and I would like to read more comics from other countries myself. I think it would be nice if we could connect the world through manga and anime.
Ms. Tatsu: There are so many different genres. Even just one author can put out so many different kinds. You can never run out. I love manga, but the series that I know, let alone read, are just a tiny fraction of what the industry has to offer. You can get just about anything you can think of. There are just about as many kinds as there are stars in the sky! Everyone has their own tastes, so it’s nice to learn about other worlds that way.
Ms. Katagiri: I can’t say anything really grandiose, but I think manga has a bunch of variety with a little bit of something for everyone. I hope that the international fans read not just one, but many types of manga.
Asamiya-sensei: The first time I had an English version of my manga published was in the early 90s with Silent Möbius. Since then, thanks to several international conventions, I’ve had many opportunities to interact with fans. International fans are as crazy, if not even crazier, as manga fans in Japan. I think that like with numbers, pictures can easily overcome international boundaries. I hope that everyone can feel just how amazingly powerful manga is.
Thank you very much for your time!
More information about our featured seiyuu can be found on their profiles here: (Japanese)
Manami Tatsu: http://ssp-create.com/tatsu.html
Runa Katagiri: http://artist-crew.net/voiceactor.html#katagiri
Mariko Miyase: https://twitter.com/miya_mari38
More information about Asamiya-sensei’s project can be found on his official website: (Japanese)
If you want to check out these programs for yourself, they are available on the official Studio TRON YouTube channel: (Japanese)
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