Toshio Furukawa (古川 登志夫) Interview @ SacAnime 2013

Toshio Furukawa (古川 登志夫) Interview @ SacAnime 2013

Featuring a number of well-known Guests of Honor, including veteran Japanese voice actor Toshio Furukawa, SacAnime's Winter 2013 convention was a fantastic way to start off the New Year. Famous for his powerful male roles, including Ace from One Piece, Piccolo from Dragon Ball Z and Roy Campbell from Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Furukawa was gracious enough to find some time to sit down with us in a last minute interview and answer a few questions regarding his career as a voice actor and along with his role as a teacher in voicing acting.

T-ONO: First off, we would like to wish you a Happy New Year.


Furukawa: Happy New Year!

T-ONO: Do you have anything special goals or plans for the upcoming year?


Furukawa: This year, there seems to be a lot of job opportunities for voice actors for anime and dubbing over motion pictures. I'll also be hosting a radio show.


T-ONO: Can you tell us a little bit more about the radio show?


Furukawa: It's a Tokyo FM radio show called "Furukawa Toshio's Kuru Kuru Dream" dealing with dreams of the listeners. They would send postcards about their future dreams and what they want to do. I provide them with advice about what they should do to help make that dream come true.

東京のFMでやってる番組で「古川 登志夫のくるくるドリーム」というタイトルがあるんですね。タイトルがドリームなんで夢なんで、夢を語るというような番組でリスナーの皆さんの夢を伺って、それをかなえるためにどうするかをレクチャーをするような番組ですね。

T-ONO: Do you have any special moments with your listeners that you could share with us?


Furukawa: As I said before, they would send what they really want to do in the future and what they should with themselves. A usual topic would be their obstacles and how they can overcome them. We would talk about how we can solve that problem. There's a lot of people who usually ask how they can become a voice actor. There have been a number of people who I've had an opportunity to talk to that have become professional.


T-ONO: Are there any examples of people that have gone on to become notable?


Furukawa: Aside from the radio show, I've also teach at my production's training facility as a guest professor. The radio show hasn't been airing for that long, so I don't think there are famous voice actors that were inspired from my radio show yet, however I hear that lot of them actually got into training facilities and production from my radio show. So probably in the future there would be famous voice actors who maybe were influenced by my radio show.

In addition, there is a new voice acting course at Osaka Art University, and I also done lectures in those classes too. So through radio shows, the training facility, and through lecturing I have shown the path to many young voice actors onto how to become a voice actor. .

While I can't name any of the people who have gone through the school, many of the voice actors who have become famous and are in their 30s or 40s, in addition to 60% of the people who come from Aoni Production, has been a student of mine at one point at the training facility and have been given advice from me and my co-workers.

I've been teaching for over thirty years, so most of the famous voice actors at the moment have actually gone on to listen to my lectures.





T-ONO: How have you seen the anime industry change since you started teaching over the past thirty years?


furukawa1Furukawa: Here are three examples:

1) Back when I started, there weren't any events like SacAnime outside of Japan to be invited to. Nowadays, I've been travelling outside of Japan several times per year to attend these events.

2) The recording system has also become faster as well ever since the switch from analog to digital. Something that used to take a while to record now only takes a few moments and is a much shorter process.

3) There are many institutions now that are available for training voice actors now. Back then, there weren't as many schools that were so specific to voice acting.

Before, it used to be that becoming a stage actor was the easiest way of getting into the industry. They would start off as a normal actor before moving onto voices. Now, they can just start off as voice actors.





T-ONO: Has the way you approached roles changed since you first started voice acting?


Furukawa: Although the basics haven't necessarily changed, now I'm starting to think about how my role would be received to one hundred different people who watch my anime and the mass opinions. I would then add in my own feelings and personality into the role to produce the direction I want to go to go with their thoughts.


T-ONO: So out of your entire extensive career, which character would you say you identify with the most?


Furukawa: It would have to be Asuma Shinohara from Patlabor. For that role, it really felt like I could just be myself rather than act as someone else. While I was recording that role, the anime director Mamoru Oshii had specifically asked me to act naturally as if I was in a motion picture instead of just a character. It almost felt as though I should have named the character Furukawa Asuma or Toshio Shinohara.


T-ONO: Do you have any advice or opinions that you could give to any aspiring American voice actors who would like to become professional?


Furukawa: The first thing would always be to consider the mass opinion in addition to how you personally feel about conveying a role. When acting out any roles for villains, it's important to consider making them feel vulnerable and sensitive. For heroic characters, try adding a little bit of darkness can really help bring out that character and bring them to life.


T-ONO: And finally, any message to your fans at SacAnime and in America?

Interview conducted by Jason YoungTheodore Mak and Osman Numair.  Translations by Arthur Arends.

Last modified on Thursday, 26 November 2015 23:57
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