[Honey’s Anime Interview] Shiro Sasaki (President and CEO ANiUTa, INC) and Ryo Horikawa (Voice Actor)

Shiro Sasaki is the President and CEO of ANiUTa, INC. a new anime music service and FlyingDog Inc. a recording company. In 1982, he got his start in the music business when he entered Victor Music Industries. Mr. Sasaki has produced music for many series including Akira, Macross Plus, Macross 7, Macross F, Gunbuster, Cowboy Bebop, X, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex -- to name a few. He founded FlyingDog Inc. in 2009 and in March 2017 he created the anime music streaming service ANiUTa.

Ryo Horikawa is known for voicing some of the most iconic characters in anime. Some of his most well-known roles include Vegeta (Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super), Heiji Hattori (Detective Conan). He currently represents himself and other top talent as President of Aslead Company.


Shiro Sasaki
(President and CEO ANiUTa, INC)

Ryo Horikawa
(Voice Actor)
Interview with Shiro Sasaki President and CEO ANiUTa, INC

We were talking with Shoji Kawamori a few weeks ago about the beginnings of Macross. He was telling me about how Victor Music was responsible for finding the voice of Lynn Minmay (Mari Iijima). When you were auditioning people for the role, did you know what you were looking for?

Songs are such a big part of Macross. Instead of using a famous singer, I want to use newcomers every time so the audience doesn’t associate a different face with the characters.

You then went onto find the talent and produce the music for several of the other Macross franchises. When casting Megumi Nakajima (Ranka Lee) and May’n (Sheryl Nome), was it difficult to find the right voices?

Megumi Nakajima was chosen at an audition with over five thousand applicants.

You recently started an anime music streaming service called ANiUTa. I listened to it for more than an hour on the flight to San Jose. What need did you find in the marketplace for such an app? What sets ANiUTa apart from other streaming apps?

Other services like Spotify don’t have just anime songs or game music. They have all sorts of genres. What we wanted to create an app that was only anime and game music and only that, and push it out to people who love that all over the world.

Who do you think the core demographic listening to this app will be?

Japan is really the only country in the world where CDs still sell, but even so the younger generation doesn’t really buy the CDs anymore. So, our target is the younger digital audience. But we’re more than willing to have the older generation subscribe as well.
Interview with Ryo Horikawa

First, did you know or did you feel that Dragon Ball would be as popular as it has become?

I had no idea it would become as famous as it would become.

How do you approach the voice of Vegeta?

I think the most important thing when interpreting the character is expressing my feelings right from my heart.

Do you have any roles, other than Vegeta, that you are especially nostalgic for? Characters you really like playing or would like to play?

I am really lucky for playing this character (Vegeta). I’d also like to play Piccolo in Dragon Ball.

What advice do you give to young talent as they start in the business or to those who want to get into the business?

I, for example, help them with voice training. I focus on the technical aspects of enunciation.

Is there anything about the industry you think needs to change?

I think the talent in the industry need to remember where they came from and how they grew up in the industry and go back to the basics.

You’ve been an actor for a long time. You must like acting a lot.

I love being an actor. I love playing the character, not only in the anime but on stage or in front of the camera. I think acting for me is a very important thing. I can sing, I can dance, and I think the opportunities in acting are borderless.

Honey-chan would like to thank Ryo Horikawa and Shiro Sasaki for all of their sage advice on the music and the business of voice acting. The years of expertise really showed and the chance to talk with the voice of Vegeta and the man who gave us our greatest Macross idol was a real treat. We also know that the Honey’s Anime Hive will be rocking to our favorite anime soundtracks via ANiUTa. Zeke-senpai already has a subscription and listens to it on his way to work. We again thank Ryo Horikawa and Shiro Sasaki for their time.

050 [Honey’s Anime Interview] Shiro Sasaki (President and CEO ANiUTa, INC) and Ryo Horikawa (Voice Actor)


Author: Zeke Changuris

I’m a journalist, writer, photographer, video producer, social media manager and above all a storyteller. I’m located on the east coast of the United States but travel the world with the love of my life. I’ve been a nerd since birth with a love of history and science. I fell in love with anime, watching ROBOTECH and Venus Wars in the 80s when our only source was secondhand VHS dubs. A crazy new thing called the internet changed that, giving me access to new and amazing anime every day. I love to write for work and pleasure. I’m living the dream of every kid, getting paid to watch anime and loving every subtitled line.

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