We had a wonderful time at Anime North with so much to see and do at the convention and in Toronto. We did make time to take out our notepads and sit down with Tomoyo Kurosawa, actor and voice actor. She has lent her talents to characters in Aikatsu!, Black Bullet, Active Raid, and was the voice of Kumiko in Sound Euphonium. Tomoyo’s visit was orchestrated by Navito World, an official Canadian anime figurine distributor.
You began acting when you were very young. When did you decide that voice acting was a path you’d like to pursue?
I got my first voice acting role as a minor character on “Welcome to the Space Show.” I was able to watch famous voice actor Shinichiro Miki work and developed a great respect for his working attitude and that encounter had a big effect on my decision.
You play many quiet characters such as Tina Sprout from Black Bullet. Would you like to play louder characters?
I personally believe that I’m not as cute and sweet as the characters I play. So, I do feel great when I play young female character roles that feel different than myself and people assume they’d like to protect them. I feel great playing those roles since I’m not like that.
Can you give us an example of a character that you feel is closer to your personality?
I’m in Sakura Quest and my character, Erika Suzuki, is kind of a jackass. By coincidence the audio director for Sakura Quest is the audio director for Yuuki Yuuna is A Hero, a series I did before. He saw my performance for my character in Sakura Quest and he said he came to realize that he made a mistake in casting me as the sweet and quiet Fu Inobouzaki in Yuuki Yuuna.
What job do you think has challenged you in your career as a voice actor?
I would say every job that I have is challenging; at the same time, every job is not in a way. When I worked on the game Final Fantasy I did the voice of one of the young boy characters. The characters’ grandfather is killed in front of him and since this is a video game performance you must do the recording again and again for several hours. So, after crying for three hours it was very tiring.
Do you have a dream character that you’d like to voice in the future?
In the future, I would like to play a role that touches my heart as a person. I would also like to play a role in a great battle or a great war a character in a great army.
Thank you for talking with us today. I’m sure all our readers will enjoy our interview. Thank you.
Derek Steven Prince
The halls of Anime North were busy, but your intrepid reporter Honey-chan was able to pull aside voice actor Derek Stephen Prince for a quick interview on his way to a panel. He is most famous for his role as Keitaro Urashima in Love Hina, and the Digimon Empreor in Digimon. He has also provided voices for Naruto and Bleach and most recently is part of the LA-based cast of Dragon Ball playing Frieza.
Derek Steven Prince
Your name has been attached to some really big projects like Digimon and Naruto. What is it like being attached to such successful franchises?
It’s like anything, it’s only popular as long as its shown or people remember it. I think if you go back to shows I’ve done like Bleach and Naruto as opposed to Digimon you have a lot wider of a fan base for Digimon. The writing allowed for a much wider impact emotionally with the fans.
Do you think the pace of the industry has sped up with demand for faster dubbing for US release to follow closely with the Japanese release?
I think there still is a bit of a lag-time. We see some shows that premiere in Japan not come out dubbed into English until six months later in US markets. I think the fastest turn arounds are for shows like Sword Art Online where the movies came out in Japan and three months later were dubbed into English.
What is your favorite character or show you’ve done?
I think Digimon Season 2. I, and fans, think that out of all the Digimon storylines it’s one of the few that had an arc that extensive. The kind of arc where you start with a particular character, like the one I did with the Digimon Emperor, and the story was like an onion being unpeeled until you got to the core of it. You got to find out who [the Digimon Emperor] actually is and why he became and who he became. You find little things as you watch the series that at the time don’t piece together but do in the end. I found it very rewarding as an actor to breathe life into that and make it expansive as a storyline.
How do you find the character’s voice?
It really depends on how much information I’m given. If there is a breakdown of the character or if there is a vocal reference especially in anime. It helps give me an idea of what direction to go in.
What was the most fun character?
This year I will be part of the second English cast based out of LA for Dragon Ball for distribution in South East Asia; I was cast to play Frieza. I was able to make the character my own.
We know that conventions are busy times for the guest and they have a lot of people to meet, so we again thank Derek Steven Prince for taking time to talk with us. We may not have had much time to talk in Toronto but hope to sit down for a more extensive conversation in the future.
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.