Courtesy of AnimeNYC and Warner Bros. Japan, during the recent AnimeNYC 2018, QooApp had a chance to sit down with Setsuo Ito, the voice Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama of the Mob Psycho 100 TV anime series as well as the actor behind the live-action stage play portrayal of the character!
Setsuo Ito at AnimeNYC 2018 Psycho Helmet Gathering
▍QooApp Exclusive Interview with Setsuo Ito
▍We know that you were inspired to become a voice actor after watching the first Pokemon movie. Were there any specific scenes from the movie that really inspired you to be a voice actor?
There were two scenes that really stood out to me. The first is when all of Satoshi’s (Ash) pokemon were taken and Pikachu is the only one left and he is carrying Pikachu and running away from the villains.
The second scene is when all the pokemon were fighting their clone. Although the Pokemon weren’t talking, so to speak, they only make the pokemon noises but the voice acting behind it was enough to express the emotions of the scene and move me as an audience.
▍It’s not very common for the voice actor to not only portray the voice of the character but also on stage. What made you decide to not only be the voice of Mob but also Mob on stage?
I would be happy if I could see someone else do it, but they offered me the chance to do it and I didn’t want the role of Mob to be taken away from me now that I was given the chance.
▍Have you considered pursuing a career in acting for both stage and film?
If I have the chance to do it, I would give it a chance but my biggest interest is still in voice acting for anime.
▍After portraying the voice of Mob, you have been known to have a very fresh and innocent voice in the voice acting industry. So what other kinds of character would you be interested in playing?
Hmmm… I would like to try to play darker and intelligent characters, for example, someone like Light from Death Note.
▍When portraying the voice of Mob, did One-sensei ever give you any particular instructions and pointers on how the character should sound?
Not particularly, he was very kind and thankfully he was very supportive.
▍Were there any personal touches that you added to Mob that may not have been as obvious or significant in the original character design?
I don’t think I added as much as the animators themselves for the anime series. In the original manga series Mob expresses fewer emotions but in the anime, he’s a little funnier. For the stage, I would exaggerate a little more to give more expressions to Mob.
▍If you weren’t cast as Mob in the Mob Psycho 100 series, which character would you think you would be suitable in portraying?
This is a difficult question. If we’re only talking about the first season, I would say Teru (Teruki Hanazawa). If we’re including about the second season as well, there are too many characters to choose from. If I could choose both male and female characters, I would want to play Tome (Tome Kurata), the head of the Telepathy Club because she’s an eccentric character.
▍What do you think about anime conventions in the US?
Obviously, it’s a lot bigger than I expected. Originally, I thought it was going to be different from Japan but in the exhibition hall, there’s a DJ booth with a lot of people waving their light sticks. After seeing it I thought to myself “this is very similar to Japan”. Then I realized the country doesn’t make a difference. Otaku is still Otaku.
▍With the borderless concept in mind. Why do you think Mob Psycho 100 is so successful here?
I was surprised at how much attention I was getting. I received letters and a lot of comments on Twitter in different languages, but I didn’t realize just how much people loved the series until I came here! I hope fans from Japan and overseas will be more excited for more.
▍Why do you think Mob Psycho 100 is so successful here? Do you think it’s because of One-sensei’s influence or other elements?
One-sensei’s works are very borderless. It can be accepted in Japan and overseas. Even in the serious fighting scenes, there is also something funny and that is accepted everywhere. I think that is why One-sensei has influence here and why the series is very popular.
▍Finally, we know that you are really good at drawing as well. Do you have a pixiv account or other similar accounts where people can see more of your drawings?
Haha! Hmm…. that is a top secret!
During AnimeNYC, the PV for the second season was also released! Mob Psycho 100 will air in January 2019 in Japan.
About the Series
Serialized since 2012, Mob Psycho 100, like the mangaka’s another work One Punch Man, revolves around young people with supernatural power. Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama is an extremely ordinary middle school boy who, however, possesses a strong psychic power that can destroy anything. As he starts working part-time for a self-proclaimed psychic called Arataka Reigen, he begins a life of expelling evil spirits while at the same time dealing with his emotions and jealous brother.