Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sakura Con Coverage - Press Conference with Mayumi Tanaka

Mayumi Tanaka had two translators at her press conference, where representatives of the press were able to ask her questions about her work. Tanaka-san debuted playing a boy character and said that she finds playing women the most challenging. She also said that she has played some animals, including Babe the pig (in the Japanese dubs). She even sang the signature "La la LAAA!" for us.

When she was asked about cosplayers, she said that she likes seeing American cosplayers. She noted that, in manga, the proportions are more idealistic, using eight heads high. This is unlike cosplayers in Japan. So, when she sees American cosplayers, who are taller, she said it is like seeing what the characters would look like in real life.

Nevertheless, Mayumi Tanaka is surprised by the enthusiastic response of fans in North America because all of her roles are in Japanese, not English. So it makes her wonder if people in North America are watching in Japanese. (I guess she's not familiar with how popular subtitled anime is here, so it must seem very strange!)

Mayumi Tanaka likes to play parts in coming of age stories. She has had some roles that are rather lengthy or extended and she said that preparing for tales about a character who is growing up is a lot different from preparing for a role as a character that never changes. She does not get as attached to shorter roles, or even ones that last about a year or so. She finds longer roles are more important.

Becoming a seiyuu was never Mayumi Tanaka's first choice, it was not something she intended to do at the beginning of her career. She actually found voice acting strange at first because she's naturally very physical in her acting roles.

Most of Mayumi Tanaka's voice acting experience has been in shounen, even though there are boy characters in both shounen and shoujo. She is usually not called to even audition for roles in shoujo anime, but she remembers her role as Robert in an episode of Sailor Moon (she appeared in Sailor Moon Supers, in episode 143 as the victim of the episode). She said it was different for her because she's used to shounen.

Stay tuned for more Sakura Con convention coverage! There's lots more to come.


Anonymous said...

She is also the voice of luffy from the hit show ONE PIECE!

Emily said...

Luffy was one of the roles that was mentioned a couple times by other press representatives, but Mayumi Tanaka didn't really speak about most roles specifically. She just said that she most enjoys the longer roles where the character she plays grows over time. I'm sure it was one of her more enjoyable roles :)