Otakon 2016 – Makino Yui panel

Makino-san opened by greeting the audience, noting that it was her first time in Baltimore and she was very happy with yesterday’s concert. She was thrilled that everyone was able to sing with her. The audience started calling out ‘Hello!’ in response. Makino-san smiled as she said that she was initially afraid that she was going to be singing by herself. *fans awwed* “I’m so happy to sing with you. Thank you very much!”

The host asked the fans of their favorite song during the concert. The audience began calling out different titles including ‘World Tour’ and ‘Amrita’. Makino-san looked surprised. “Ehhh…how did you hear about my songs? The internet?” There were a few responses from the audience including other concerts in Japan. I’m sure many have heard of her songs through the extensive anime themes that she has done. “I’m so happy, thank you!” The host noted that it was such a heartwarming concert yesterday especially when she transitioned into the keyboard. The host asked the audience to share our thoughts of her piano playing to which we responded with applause and cheers.

The host asked about how the fans first heard of Makino-san. There were calls of various outlets including segments from NHK, the theme songs from Aria, Sakura from Tsubasa Chronicle as well as other roles. The host continued pointing out that Makino-san is both a seiyuu and a singer. She asked for comments from the audience about how we felt about the different roles that she has done in comparison to purely singing. More applause was given. “Thank you!”

The floor opened for Q&A with a long line forming at the mic. Makino-san was surprised at the response.

    Q: You sang in the first Aria series. Are you working with the next Aria that is coming out?
    A: No, not for the new one that is coming out.
    Fan: That’s disappointing.
    Makino: *in English* Me too. *audience laughs*

    Q: On Twitter, there were news that you’re involved with Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari. Can you tell us anything about it?
    A: Actually, the recording for the series has not started yet, it will start a couple weeks after I return to Japan. The manga itself is very interesting, make sure you guys check it out.
    Host: Sounds interesting, what is the story like?
    Makino: Do you know about Kagawa prefecture? It is famous for udon. The main character’s family has an udon store. In a turn of events, he returns from Tokyo to Kagawa where he meets a tanuki. It’s a cute story.
    Host: What is your role?
    Makino: The tanuki watches tv and she is a character on tv. An anime within an anime. In the anime within an anime, there is a character called ‘Gao gao-chan’ and I’m Mimi, the one with Gao gao-chan. Gao gao-chan is very cold. Do you know the Yakuza game series? One the main characters in the game is doing the voice of Gao gao-chan. It’s very interesting! Please check it out.

    Q: Are there any projects after the world tour that you are very excited about?
    A: In October, there is the new Monster Hunter. I’m going to be doing the Ayuria in the series. In Gundam Build Fighters Try, there is going to be a special. There is going to be a famous project soon but no information has been released yet. It will be announced in the very near future. Please look forward to it!

    Q: My friend and I will be attending Cinderella Girls 4th Anniversary live next month. Can you share anything about what can we expect from that live? Also, did you start your dance lessons already?
    A: You’re going to be attending the Cinderella Girls live? I can’t really share with you the program. I started my dance lessons since July. Everyone else must be working hard, yesterday, today and tomorrow, but I’m here having a fun time here with you all. I’ll do my best when I go back. *fans applaud loudly*

    Q: Was there a different approach with your work as a seiyuu and a musician?
    A: Both ways, I need to express the feelings of the song or the character. The body [movement] is different when I have to do voice acting and singing so the approach is different. I take on different roles as a seiyuu and a singer and in that, it’s very different.

    Q: You didn’t perform last year in Cinderella Girls live, but you’ll be performing this year. If you could sing any song personally, which song would you sing?
    A: *silence* It’s a difficult question. Already, the songs that I sing in the Cinderella Girls series are songs that I enjoy. It’s not like I’m being forced by anyone to sing, so I like all the songs that I get to sing. It’s a difficult question. There is no song that is number 1 for me.

    Q: About the song you sang yesterday, ‘World Tour’. In the lyrics, you mentioned different cities and you have been to many countries as well. Is there any city in that song that you haven’t visited yet? Where would you like to visit?
    A: The city I want to go…. *pause* Ah, I want to go to Venice! It’s alot like Aria.

The next question was a request from a fan for Makino-san to do a yandere impression of one of her characters. Makino-san was very surprised and the interpreter was confused. Makino-san noted “I don’t usually do this kind of thing. But I will do this, but you need to keep this a secret! I never this before.”

The request was met with much applause and cheering from the fans. Definitely a unique moment that is saved in our memories (since recording and video was not allowed. XD

    Q: Since you play the piano, are you a fan of classical composers like Chopin?
    A: I like Debussy and Ravel.

    Q: Personally, I’m fascinated with Japanese convenience store culture. What is your favorite chain of convenience stores and what is your favorite thing to buy?
    A: I like 7-Eleven, I like their chicken salad and boiled eggs. *in English* What is your favorite?
    Fan: My favorite convenience store is Family Mart, but there is this sandwich that can only be bought at Lawson. It has strawberries and cream, like a dessert sandwich.
    Makino: I’ll go check it out then!

    Q: In Gundam Build Fighters, you voice Fumina, the heroine. How was it voicing someone with such strength in comparison with your typical roles which is more quiet and even sometimes villains?
    A: My debut role was Sakura from Tsubasa Chronicle, she is a princess type who is also cute. Recently, I have been trying to do different types of roles, as you said Fumina-chan is very strong, she is a sports athletic type. This is new to me, but I want to try different characters. The series my character Fumina is in is more sports-like in story. The story is about teammates getting together, trying to best to win, I thought alot about that and preparation for this role.

    Q: I have a crush on Fumina. *audience laughs* If you have to choose between Sekai and Yuuma, who would you prefer? I’m not going to be involved.
    A: You’re not going to be involved in this? *audience laughs*
    Fan: I would, but if you would have to choose, who would it be.
    Makino: It’s hard to choose. Who would you choose? *audience laughs and applauds*
    Fan: I would prefer Fumina to go with Sekai. Yuuma is fine but it looks like she is going for Sekai for the most part.

The fan continued with a request, asking Makino-san to sing ‘Anime ja Nai’ with him as shown in episode 11 of Gundam Build Fighters Try. Makino-san did one line before the host asked to move on to other questions.

    Q: Makino-san has an extensive experience on the piano and she is a seiyuu. Do you do any composition work for video game or anime?
    A: I’m always interested and looking for a chance to do that.

    Sekai Project: Well as a game publisher, we’re always looking for- *audience applauds* *switches to Japanese*
    Makino: Producer-san, onegaishimasu!

    Q: I’m a huge fan of Tsubasa Chronicle. I heard you sing ‘You are my Love’. How did you feel voicing that character?
    A: I actually don’t have any seiyuu training before the audition so I didn’t think that I could land that role. For my first recording, I was so nervous that I couldn’t eat beforehand. When recording, I hold the script in one hand and there is a screen. It was hard at first to look at the script and the screen at the same time to get lips right. Because I couldn’t look at both at the same time, I memorized the whole script when I first did my recording. Of course, I’m not doing that anymore. *audience applauds*

    Q: From the very beginning, what inspired you to play piano?
    A: Both my father and grandfather played piano so that was how I started.

    Q: Based on your past work with other seiyuu, which seiyuu did you get along the best with?
    A: I usually get along with everyone I work with. In Gundam Build Fighters Try, I got along with Togashi [Kazumi]-san whom I went with dinner with before. I was friends with everyone from Pripara and they came to see my concert last time.

    Q: What has been your favorite anime to work with?
    A: I can’t decide so I say everything!

    Q: Are there any musical artists you are a fan of?
    A: I listen to Enya alot recently. Her voice is very beautiful and it seems like her voice is the only one in the world.

    Q: Before your performances, is there anything that you do to manage your nerves?
    A: I do stretches.

    Q: [my question ^_^] Are you gunpla fan and is there any gunpla that you especially enjoy making?
    A: I’m a Gunpla Fighter you know! I have not made Super Fumina yet. Has anyone made it? *polls the fans* Wow! I made Star Winning Gundam in Real Mode. And Bearguy. *audience applauds*

    Q: For the fighting anime, did you do any image training since you’re the protagonist?
    A: I did survival games.

    Q: Besides your usual character type, what other type of character would you like to play?
    A: I’m challenging myself by playing other character types such as Mayu-chan which is different, or Sakura who has lost her memories. Alot of characters that she is doing now have a darker side. Recently, I’ve been wanting to go back and doing the regular cutesy girl characters. I’m very thankful that I’ve been other types of characters and I want to keep on challenging myself though.

    Q: As fan of Aria who would you want to voice in the series?
    A: President Aria.

    Q: From yesterday’s concert, was there a song that you wanted to add to yesterday’s concert?
    A: I wanted to sing Symphony for an encore. I had brought the music, but there wasn’t an encore.*audience awwws and asks for an Encore*

    Q: What is a mobile game that you are now playing?
    A: I don’t play that many games. But I do play Shironeko Project. *someone calls out Neko Atsume* Neko Atsume is cute too, but it’s different. When I don’t have anything to do, I do this pulling hair game. If I swipe too hard, the hair breaks. But it feels very good when I pull it out cleanly.

    Q: Before you performed in Gundam Build Fighters Try, did you watch Gundam before that?
    A: Gundam is a famous series, I know about it and seen it before though I didn’t watch everything. Gundam Build Fighters has a lot of parodies relating to the original series so after getting the part, I would go back to see the original and see. ‘Anime ja nai!’

The host was excited as she announced that they were going to get to watch the PV for ‘World Tour’. Makino-san shared a few thoughts before the showing. “I went to so many places which helped me create this PV. My fans in Japan were checking on Twitter to see how the concert went via hashtag. If you put on Twitter, ‘Makino Yui did this!’ the fans in Japan would go ahhh!” The fans asked for the hashtag so Makino-san asked the audience to create one. A fan offered Makinoatotakon which was met with scattered applause.

Unfortunately, the PV ultimately was unable to be shown due to technical difficulty. The contact for Makino Yui was placed on the screen. Then the attention turned to Makino for the last words.

    Makino: Thank you all for coming. There are not that many opportunities for me to hear fans’ response and do a Q&A so this was alot of fun. I don’t often come from Japan, but please continue to follow me and cheer me on!