My short bio: Hello! My name is Megumi Ogata. I’m a Japanese singer as well as a voice actress for Japanese animations. My 25th voice actress debut anniversary will come in a few months on October 10! For this anniversary, I am now doing a crowdfunding project on Tokyo Mirai Mode.

▶ My notable roles: Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files (as Kurama)

Sailor Moon (as Haruka Tenou/Sailor Uranus)

Neon Genesis Evangelion (as Shinji Ikari)

Angel Beats! (as Ayato Naoi)

Danganronpa: The Animation (as Makoto Naegi & Nagito Komaeda) and much more.

▶ About my project Title: "Animeg. 25th" Megumi Ogata 25th Seiyuu Debut Anniversary Project Project Duration: Ongoing till July 10 (PDT) Project Page: https://miraimode.com/projects/animeg25th

▶ Why produce an album through crowdfunding? 1. To simultaneously provide genuine copies of her album to fans residing within and outside of Japan. 2. To raise awareness in Japan and overseas about the current status of the entertainment industry.

I am doing this with a translator, so please understand it may take a little longer to reply, and things may get lost in translation. Questions asked in Japanese wiill also be answered and translated back into English! 日本語のご質問も大歓迎です!英語に翻訳してシェアさせていただきます。 Ask Me Anything about my project, and about myself!

My Proof: https://twitter.com/Megumi_Ogata/status/872408936476844034

Start: Jun/7 19:00 PDT, Jun/7 22:00 EST!

Comments: 218 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

liamquane409 karma

What was it like working with Hideaki Anno?

Megmi_Ogata386 karma

I respect him greatly. He knows what he wants, and makes work without compromising his vision.  

Megmi_Ogata396 karma

Thank you everybody for all the questions! I'm so happy to have received all of them. There are so many I still really wish to reply to, but I've got a recording appointment to rush to here in Japan (it's around noon time now!). I'm so sorry but it's time for me to run! Thank you again for participating, and please check out my crowdfunding page (https://miraimode.com/projects/animeg25th) for my new album! I would very much appreciate it.

I hope we are able to meet in the future. See you again, byebye! (・_-)-☆

Megmi_Ogata365 karma

Hello Everyone! This is Ms. Ogata's translation team. Although the AMA is now over, we figured fans might appreciate being able to see her own answers in Japanese as well!

The process consisted of Ms. Ogata typing her answers in Japanese which the translation team then translated to English, so the Japanese is Ms. Ogata's own words .

日本語でご覧になっている方々、緒方さんご自身の返答文章が準備できました!緒方さんがそのまま日本語で打ち、翻訳した英語が返答になっていますので、緒方さん本来の思いをご覧になりたい方は下記のリンクからどうぞ!

https://miraimode.com/projects/animeg25th/updates/5939092ec333c5d91dc5082a

yourforeverwaifu212 karma

What is your opinion regarding the situation of the seiyuu industry right now and what has changed from the 90's?

Megmi_Ogata464 karma

The concept of "Idol-seiyuu" which was born in the 90s is now bigger than ever, for better or for worst, but it seems that seems to be the focus of the seiyuu industry right now. At the same time, what's expected of someone working as a seiyuu is different now as well. To be more like an idol, to be better looking, to know how to sing and dance, and you have to be great at talking and variety too. If you don't have all those qualities, then you're not likely to debut at all. If you're over a certain age, then you're also bound to get replaced by someone younger soon too. Since lots of works are now filled with young rookies, as a new seiyuu you don't have many senpai to learn from, and the turn-over risk is very high. I think that's a sad thing. But in any industry can be the same environment of competitiveness, so the people who do stay can say they are truly talented and worked hard to get there. In that sense, it's not all bad.

ttough158 karma

What got you into voice acting in the first place? Favourite roles?

Megmi_Ogata316 karma

Before I became a voice actress, I was actually a musical theater actress. But injuries prevented me from continuing my career in dancing in any professional capacity. My fellow theater companions, who saw my work when I played roles of young males or androgynous women, recommended that I use just my voice to continue my career as a voice actress since I could no longer dance. That would be the what first motivated me.

freckles12288 karma

What do you do to overcome nervous feelings when performing?

Megmi_Ogata212 karma

I think nervousness stems from having to make yourself "seem" better to the people before you. I always try to face my performances by simply being just myself, or in terms of playing a character, as the character "his/herself", which is why I never really get nervous!

WhiteHairedAnimeBoys86 karma

Hello, thank you so much for doing this AMA! I'm such a huge fan and you are my all time favorite seiyuu! I was so excited to see that you were doing this!

As for my question, between the timidness of Shinji, the toughness of Haruka, and the eccentricities of Komaeda, how do you prepare yourself when you voice such a large range of personalities? What do you do to get into the mindset of each character?

Megmi_Ogata177 karma

First, for any role I try to understand the situation and circumstances that the character has been set in. We're all born on a blank slate. What our parents were like when they raised us, how we were treated, those things affect the people we grow up to be. With that understanding, I pull out the parts in myself that I feel match the character and return my emotional state to a younger age to match the character in their mindset. Once that happens, I can pretty much live as the character.

DirtBug82 karma

What is your favorite Angel from NGE? (tell me it's Ramiel-chan)

Megmi_Ogata358 karma

Since I (Shinji) was quite tortured by these angels I actually don't like them all that much haha. That hurt you know! But, if I had to pick... Kaworu-kun! haha

Shitposter201781 karma

What goes through your head when you're reading an emotional line? Is it embarrassing to act out a breakdown or pretend to cry in front of your coworkers or do you see it as just part of the business?

Megmi_Ogata134 karma

Haha, well that's the job, so I just see it as part of the business.

yndr4hope67 karma

I hope someday I can hear a "Zettai Kibou Birthday" live performance, (especially 『ずっと ! 』), would you plan to tour in the United States?

Megmi_Ogata114 karma

I really would love to perform in the US! If the album that I'm currently crowdfunding does well, then I may be able to consider a tour in the US!

paradiselist65 karma

Hi Ogata-san! Do you have favorite Uranus and Neptune (ウラネプ) moments from the 90s Sailor Moon anime? :)

Megmi_Ogata178 karma

Every scene...I'll love Neptune always, and forever.

Erubox63 karma

What's your favorite drink? And your favorite snacks?

Megmi_Ogata174 karma

Haha, my favorite drink is Scotch or Burbon highball. As for snacks, I don't really like sweet things, but I enjoy 80% cacao dark chocolate sometimes.

Keisuka40 karma

Hello, Ogata-san! Congratulations on your anniversary. I have a quick question... If Yu Yu Hakusho were to have a 25th anniversary remaster of the series, would you reprise your role as Kurama? Thank you very much for your hard and inspiring work over the years!

Megmi_Ogata62 karma

If I had the opportunity, absolutely yes.

MiyazawaLulu37 karma

Hello, Ogata-san! Thank you so much for this AMA! As a voice acting and anisong fan I plan on backing your project as soon as possible! ☆

We usually hear about actors choosing to do certain things or going to certain places in order to connect better with their characters.

As a voice actress, what would you say is the most strange thing you've done in order to understand a character better outside of the usual methods?

Megmi_Ogata83 karma

For a drama CD that I've done for Rurouni Kenshin as Kenshin, I actually frequented Kendo dojos during that time. When playing SAMURAI DEEPER KYO's Yukimura Sanada role, since Yukimura is based on an actual historical figure, I visited places that he's been and tried to build on his emotions and thoughts through that. Those would be some examples, among others!

DS-Primity37 karma

Hello, Ogata-san! I'm a big fan of yours. Thank you for doing this AMA.

As a veteran in this field, surely you have met with and worked with many different seiyuu, and have observed several newer seiyuu, also. Who are some of the older and newer seiyuu that stand out to you in particular, and why?

Megmi_Ogata52 karma

Amongst my seniors and senpai, almost everyone had an unforgettable voice... I couldn't pick just one haha. Out of the newer seiyuu...since recently the industry trends towards "natural" acting and voices that sound natural as well, their voices tend to not stand out as much as older seiyuu that came before me. But I also know many newer seiyuu who are just as talented in other ways and are great to work with, though I still couldn't pick just one :)!

ZeroFinite37 karma

What kind of feeling was it when you heard your voice in an anime for the first time?

Megmi_Ogata59 karma

Absolutely amazing.

petronella-osgood34 karma

Hello Ogata-san! I've been a fan of your voice roles for around 20 years or so (since I was 6!) and really got into your music this year, I now have physical around half of your albums, despite - as your crowdfunding reinforces - the very difficult circumstances of obtaining them internationally. Real/Dummy is, I think, the best all-round album I've heard from ANYONE for several years, so this initiative you're trying to launch is really exciting for me personally, and I was one of the first backers when the International page opened, in the hopes that one day people might be able to hear albums as awesome as your with more ease.

My questions are is: What songs are you most proud of, and which do you enjoy performing most?

Megmi_Ogata61 karma

Thank you so much! I'm really, really happy to hear that!! Originally, I was a huge fan of western rock, so when I was still an amateur that was really all I listened to. I also did some guitar and singing gigs at a local bar. And when I debuted as a seiyuu and was releasing music as a seiyuu, I thought that most people would only want me to sing songs as the characters I was playing. Since that was what was expected of me from the staff on the works I had been doing at that time, I sang a lot, in many different voices, and in words written by other people, and "acted" out the song.

I've only started to separate myself from that in my musical career and making my own music just around 10 years ago. "rebuild", "Desire - Kibou -", and my new album "real/dummy" are what I can finally call "Ogata Megumi's music". My music, what I call "Yell Rock", is rock music made to bring people a positive message and cheer them on. I really hope to be able to continue singing like this in the future.

liamquane31 karma

Hi Ms. Ogata, congratulations on your anniversary! May I ask: as an actress, what is the best thing a director can do for you? Thank you! :~)

P.S Happy Birthday for the 6th. Mine is today. We have, like...so much in common (!) :~P

Megmi_Ogata51 karma

I'm already very happy that any director would think of me and ask me to be a part of their work, but I suppose I'm most thankful for directors who take an effort to communicate with me.

liamquane31 karma

What are your thoughts on the "Whitewashing" (casting of white actors/actresses) of anime characters in western live action adaptations? It's become something of an annoying trend to hear filmmakers accused of being "racist" due to them casting a white actor/ actress to play an anime character. Death Note being the most recent example, the director gets public abuse for this and I'd like to know your thoughts on the matter? If the question doesn't sound too loaded, that is? :~P thank you! :~)

Megmi_Ogata126 karma

It's not limited to live-action adaptions of anime, but for me the most important is "respect" towards the source material. So I'm not bothered by the race of the person playing the character, but whether I'm able to feel their love of the work and role they are portraying. Those emotions come out very clearly across the screen, so it's easy to see. And I think fans are able to feel the same thing. My wish is for everyone to share the same love we have for the work.

lunacrossing29 karma

緒方さん、amaしてくれてありがとうございます!

a couple of questions:
- which role do you feel has impacted your career the most?
- you voice a lot of different types of characters. do you have a preference? (gender, age range, etc)
- do you have a favourite character you've voiced? or a character you're particularly fond of?
- what kind of things do you like to do in your spare time?
- do you get recognised in public? do people ask for autographs etc?
- which other seiyuu are you good friends with?
- what do you think about the government's "cool japan" initiative? how do you think it could be improved (if at all)?

lastly, this isn't a question, but i also love tanemura arina, so i enjoy seeing whenever you interact on twitter, haha. thank you for this ama ♥

Megmi_Ogata86 karma

Thank you for participating in the AMA!

-I've been strongly moved by every role I've taken. They all make a part of me and I love them all equally; I'm not so sure if I can pick only one role has impacted my career the most.

-I do love every character that I play, but I think I prefer playing younger male characters between 13 ~ 18, when they are still developing most emotionally. That's when I feel like I can be myself the most when acting... maybe because I'm very "Chunibyo" myself haha.

-I sleep alot! haha. My other hobbies include weight training, and relaxing! Things like sitting down in cafes and drinking good coffee, walking around in the park, massages, yoga, movies. And I love to drink :).

-Actually yes. Suprisingly lots of people recognize the faces of seiyu...but my stature is big as well, so maybe I'm noticeable that way haha.

-I go out and eat with lots of my fellow seiyuu, both those around my age and my kohai as well. Actually yesterday I went to eat with Nobuyuki Hiyama, who plays Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho.

-I'm happy to see that there are fans who know enough about the industry to mention Cool Japan! However, it seems to me that the initiative is very surface level, and those of us who reside beneath this surface are suffering, and frankly in bad condition. If I can be honest, I wish that intellectual property like anime, game, and music could also be included under the TPP, and also bring down taxes for these properties to more easily export to other countries so to reach overseas fans.

hydraui27 karma

Hello, Ogata-san! Appreciative all of your hard work, participation in this AMA included. I would like to know what some of your more memorable experiences were acting for Yu Yu Hakusho, and additionally (or alternatively) how do you prepare to do any sort of recording?

Megmi_Ogata56 karma

Yu Yu Hakusho is my debut work, so I have quite a lot of memories... I'm so happy and blessed to be able to have met Kurama and be picked to be his original seiyuu. But since he's a yokai who has lived for hundreds of years, his character itself is very deep, and that was a very difficult thing for me when I was first starting out. I really tried my best, but I think the me now, may actually be closer to Kurama's character. So if I had the chance, I really would like to voice him again... though I don't think there's any plans for that just yet haha.

liamquane26 karma

What dd you think of 君の名は。 (Your Name/ Kimi No Na Wa?) And what do you think of Makoto Shinkai as a director?

Megmi_Ogata62 karma

I aboslutely love Your Name. And I really loved direct Shinkai's work before Your Name as well. His backgrounds are very beautiful, and I especially love his the small artistic details that go into his art. I think I've watched "Kotonoha no Niwa" (The Garden of Words) about 50 times on DVD haha.

liamquane25 karma

What is it like playing working on Cardcaptor Sakura? I grew up with that show in the UK and am so glad to see that it's back! :~D

Megmi_Ogata43 karma

Thank you! I'm so happy to be working on it again as well. I loved voicing in this series and I really look forward to the new series.

liamquane23 karma

What do you think of Mamoru Hosoda's works?

Megmi_Ogata63 karma

I love Mamoru Hosoda's works! Actually, for Summer Wars, I auditioned and made it to the final round, but sadly I wasn't able to debut as a role in the movie. If there's another chance I really would love to work together with director Hosoda again.

Anthea270620 karma

Would it be possible to listen to your song about Haruka or how's her feelings to Michiru again? I really love the song 潮風にのせて! I am so excited for the upcoming album too!

Megmi_Ogata34 karma

If I had the chance, I'd love to sing it overseas! Please share listen to my album and let others know about it, and if I had the chance, I hope to be able to visit your country in person! :)

liamquane12 karma

What do you look for in a script? :~)

Megmi_Ogata44 karma

First I read the entire thing over quite objectively. On my second read, I read as the character. In doing so I'm more able to see where my character lies in the bigger picture and see how they should behave.

liamquane11 karma

What was it like voicing Renjo Kyu and then for Ryunosuke Kamiki to portray the character in live action?

Megmi_Ogata12 karma

I think he was the perfect fit. :)

roux_onpu11 karma

Hello Ms. Ogata! My friend mong and I are both huge fans of yours. Since she doesn't have a reddit account, I'll ask on behalf of her: what is your favourite song to sing during karaoke?

Thank you for doing an AMA! Really looking forward to reading all of your answers.

Megmi_Ogata24 karma

I don't actually go to karaoke very often, but I tend to choose songs that gets the atmosphere going! Punk rock mostly. If I'm with friends who are into more relaxed songs, I'll sing some ballads. I like western rock music! Especially from the US and UK, and Northern European.

liamquane9 karma

What does Japan do better than anywhere else in the world? Besides Vending Machines (with Hot coffee and tea? Out of a vending machine? You're so lucky. :~P)

Megmi_Ogata30 karma

"OMOTENASHI". And public safety.

liamquane8 karma

Whenever an anime movie or series gets a lot of attention, westerners seem to only know how to do describe the director as the new "Myazaki" They have done it with two different directors now (Shinkai for Your Name and Hosoda for Wolf Children.), Am I right to think that this an ignorant thing for them to say?

Megmi_Ogata31 karma

Every director has their own unique talent, and it's a shame to just group them all under one identity. But in a way I'm grateful, since doing so gets people unfamiliar with anime to pay attention to a more unknown up and coming talent. Then they can notice these unique directors and come to love them in their own right.

freckles1227 karma

Were you surprised when you were introduced to characters who were in "abnormal" relationships, such as Haruka with Michiru and Yukito with Touya?

Megmi_Ogata72 karma

I didn't focus too much on the sexuality part of the relationship since I think that everyone has at some point in their live "loved" someone of their same sex. So to me they were normal, and I could easily relate to that aspect. It wasn't a matter of "normal" or "abnormal" to me, and was able to act out of love for my companion character.

liamquane7 karma

Would you ever like to do some acting in an English language project?

Megmi_Ogata25 karma

If it were possible, I'd like to try voicing characters I've played in English.

Felkyr7 karma

Do you find that the roles you take have an impact on your own personality?

Megmi_Ogata16 karma

I would say every one.

TheEliteNub6 karma

Aniki!

Would you rather go on a date with Yukito or Yue from Cardcaptor Sakura?

Also, what are some rock bands that you like? I'm a big fan of Japanese band きのこ帝国!

Megmi_Ogata23 karma

Well... Yue and Yukito, are both techinically a part of me... so it would be like dating myself! haha. As for rock bands, some I used to really love are Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Hall & Oates, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Gino Vannelli, Nirvana...Gregory Lemarchal, KEANE, Maroon 5, etc. That was a lot but there are more than I can write haha. For Japanese bands, I love The Blue Hearts!!

PBL375 karma

[deleted]

Megmi_Ogata25 karma

The ball I guess...? To me emotional communication can be like "emotional catchball". And if the moon were made of cheese? I'll travel to the moon with my favorite Bourbon highball in hand haha.

liamquane3 karma

What is your favorite anime?

Megmi_Ogata17 karma

I don't think I'd be able to list all my favorites! There's too many.