Eiji Akaso lends his voice to the narration of “World of Wild Pokemon – Lentil Region -“, highlighting encounters from the upcoming Nintendo Switch game New Pokemon Snap.
On April 22, the Official Pokemon YouTube Channel released a video titled “World of Wild Pokemon – Lentil Region –“, a documentary-esque video that observes various Pokemon living in the Lentil Region, the featured area for the upcoming game New Pokemon Snap for the Nintendo Switch. As of this writing, the video is restricted to viewers in Japan.
Narrated by Eiji Akaso, known for playing Ryuga Banjo / Kamen Rider Cross-Z in Kamen Rider Build (2017-2018), the viewer can see Pokemon in their various habitats such as
- Venusaur being watered by Sobbles,
- Meganium glowing at night,
- Lapras protecting Squirtle from a pursuing Sharpedo,
- Zangoose and Seviper facing off,
… and many more!
Behind the Scenes
This was Eiji Akaso’s first time recording a narration. He entered the room with a refreshing smile and was handed a copy of “New Pokemon Snap” to try.
“The graphics look great!” exclaimed Akaso, who had played the Nintendo 64 “Pokemon Snap” game with his family when he was a child. “This takes me back!” He enjoyed being absorbed by the game, wearing a youthful smile as he played or expressing frustration if he missed a good photo opportunity.
“It really feels like I’m sightseeing,” he said. “We can’t really go on outings right now, so this (being able to enjoy a similar experience) is great.”
Akaso became very serious when recording began. In a nutshell, he challenged himself by trying small adjustments in his voice from mature tones to slightly brighter ones.
There were multiple takes on lines for different intonations or for words that are easy to stumble on, so he looked very pleased when the director was satisfied. Every line, every word was recorded with care.
After recording finished, Akaso was given a surprise Pokemon present. The pure joy in his smile was infectious, bringing smiles to all of the staff members around him. From start to finish, recording was a pleasant time.
Interview with Eiji Akaso
This is your first time doing narration. What do you think?
It’s pretty tough. With acting, you can convey things through the space or through facial expressions. By using only your voice, it gets this extra dimension, but it’s not like it’s intentional. Even the slightest nuance can change how a line means or how it’s received. It was a very interesting experience.
What do you feel is the biggest difference between narration and acting?
Definitely, the awareness involved in conveying things by voice. In acting, it’s great to have someone with you to bring communication to life and convey that beyond a screen. With narration though, you have to be conscious of how your voice conveys things. I think that’s the key difference.
Were there points you were particular about?
I put in a lot of effort in looking for ways to be easy to understand.
Did you do anything to prepare for this recording?
I rehearsed my lines beforehand. I figured that narration and I wouldn’t be a best match to start, so I put in a lot of practice thinking that it was going to be hard. I also did some research about narration online and listened to people’s speech. There’s a lot that goes into narration, so I tried to consider what would be most like me going into today’s recording.
Your popularity has soared not just in Japan but in Asia as a whole. How do you feel, frankly speaking?
I’m really pleased. You see, I didn’t plan on going global when I started. I just thought it’d be great if people just learning about me enjoy what I do, but reaching people outside of Japan through my work made me rethink things like how it has nothing to do with language or borders but about the “person”. I feel like I have to keep working hard for those fans too.
You’ve expanded from acting into narration. What new challenges do you want to face after this?
Acting, of course, will be how I want to make my living, but I think I’d like to try narration again or even to try voice acting. I want to try pushing myself with different things.