Shimoda poses with shikishi given to her by fans

Asami Shimoda at Kawaii Kon 2016

Shimoda and Wilkerson at Opening CeremoniesVoice actress Asami Shimoda attended this year’s Kawaii Kon as a guest of honor, holding autograph sessions and Q&A panels on April 8–9 at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. Affectionately called “Asapon” by her fans, Shimoda has played many roles in anime and games, but she is known mainly for the twins Ami and Mami Futami from the Idolmaster series as well as Vocaloid characters Kagamine Rin and Len. During the autograph sessions, she also talked briefly with fans and had pictures taken together, while the Q&A panels led to her discussing various aspects of her personal life and career, including how she became the voice behind Kagamine Rin/Len and what it was like during the recording process.

Shimoda at the Kawaii Kon 2016 Opening Ceremonies

Opening Ceremonies

Asami Shimoda appeared on stage as the first Japanese guest after an introduction by bilingual voice actress Lisle Wilkerson. Loud cheers erupted beforehand when the introduction mentioned the Kagamine twins, and even louder cheers as well as a flock of yellow glow sticks (some of them official Idolmaster merchandise) welcomed her as she stepped onto the stage. Eager for a bigger response after her first “aloha”, she repeated the phrase again to get an even louder shout of “aloha” back from the audience. “Thank you! How are you doing?” asked Shimoda in English. Wilkerson then ran up to Shimoda and said in Japanese “Asami-san, your English is so good! You really don’t need an interpreter, do you?” Shimoda then hurriedly corrected Wilkerson with “I really need one, please…” in Japanese.

Wilkerson then commented on Shimoda’s outfit, saying that it was quite Hawaiian. “Thank you! I love you,” said Shimoda in English after some cheering. She then continued with “Oh! I’m so nervous!” with a big smile on her face. Then she proceeded with the rest of self-introduction in English: “I’m Asami Shimoda, voice actress. I’m so happy that I’m able to come to Hawaii and Kawaii Kon. Thank you.” Amidst the roar from the audience, she then high-fived Wilkerson and gave her a hug, telling her that she was so kind. Wilkerson, after confirming with Shimoda, mentioned that she will be having autograph sessions and panels “tonight and tomorrow,” telling people to make sure to always check the schedule in case of room changes. Finally, she asked the audience to give Shimoda another round of applause. “Thank you! See you later! Arigatou!” said Shimoda as she waved and exited the stage.

Shimoda poses with signed Kagamine Rin/Len V4X Box

Autograph Sessions

Shimoda’s autograph sessions were roughly one hour long each afternoon, with fans congregating around the official autograph area hours beforehand. As per standard Kawaii Kon policy, lifetime members and VIP ticket holders were given priority in line over regular attendees, and the official autograph policy stated that she would sign a single piece of official merchandise and that no photographs were allowed. However, upon her suggestion and a discussion with management and convention staff, the no photograph policy was rescinded—fans were allowed to take photos of her as well as with her, as long as they weren’t physically touching her. As a result, many interesting photographs started popping up on Twitter (e.g., [1][2][3]) with fans in Japan initially confused about this “mysterious/strange” event taking place in Hawaii. Various items were signed, including Idolmaster CDs, Vocaloid merchandise, convention booklets and blank paper signboards, i.e., shikishi.

Autograph sessions on Friday initially had lengthy chats between Shimoda and her fans, but as the session was drawing to a close, the length of the rest of the line was daunting. Insistent on making sure everyone still in line got a signature, she sped her way through the rest of the fans. While she arrived barely in the nick of time for the start of her Friday Q&A panel, the panel started a few minutes late due to preparation time.

In order to let the Saturday session run more smoothly, fans were limited to three minutes with Shimoda, and several fans opted for a group shot with her instead of individual shots; the fan whose towel Shimoda held up jokingly mentioned that he’ll never wash it again. A group of fans also presented her with a shikishi containing messages from each of them.

Shimoda signs an Idolmaster concert T-shirt Shimoda poses with shikishi given to her by fans

Friday Panel

Panels on both days consisted of Shimoda along with Wilkerson acting as the interpreter; the panel would open with a brief discussion, followed by questions from the fans, who lined up behind the microphone. After a delayed start for Friday’s panel, Shimoda introduced herself and Wilkerson (whom she called “Ricchan”), noting Wilkerson’s propensity for jokes and puns—in addition to Wilkerson using phrases such as “otsukare, katsukare,” [the former thanks someone for having finished some task, whereas the latter means pork cutlet curry] she also noted how Shimoda’s English kept on improving and asked whether she wanted to conduct the panel entirely in English, to which Shimoda gave a resounding “no!”

Shimoda and Wilkerson at the Friday panelAfter the introductions, Wilkerson commented that it was Shimoda’s first time in Hawaii. Shimoda then noted that she had always wanted to come to Hawaii, and although this was for business instead of for pleasure, she wanted it to be just like a private trip, talking to everyone as if they were family.

She then continued with her thoughts on the autograph session immediately held before, noting that fans came from all over, including Hawaii, Japan and of course other parts of the United States; she was very moved that so many people attended and noted that her fans from Japan all came dressed in Hawaiian shirts, which made them stand out like a sore thumb among the rest of the convention attendees. Wilkerson then asked the audience how many were present at the autograph session, to which a large number of hands raised up.

Shimoda and her hula skirtContinuing on the theme of Hawaiian clothing, Shimoda pointed out that she was wearing a hula skirt, [in addition to a white shirt with “Aloha” written on it] but then told everyone that she actually bought it in Japan. According to Wilkerson, hula skirts are really popular in Japan with many shops that sell them. Shimoda was even asked by some fans earlier about whether she bought them here in Hawaii. Although she bought the skirt in Japan, she was really looking forward to sporting them for the first time, in Hawaii.

She then mentioned that she did buy locally some of the fashion accessories she was wearing, noting that she spent only 10 dollars or so on them. Wilkerson then pointed out that Shimoda really loves bargains, to which she replied “cheap.. ? so cheap!”—the interpreter then corrected Shimoda, saying that the best way to say it in English is that she’s a “smart shopper,” instead, and that smart shopping was yet another one of her talents.

And with the comment on talents, Wilkerson segued into asking what initially propelled Shimoda towards her profession, which consists of voice acting and singing. Apparently, Shimoda herself does not recall, but she knew that she wanted to become a voice actress since she was 10 years old; it was probably due to the influence of anime like Sailor Moon. When she was in elementary school, she pondered when Luna, the cat from Sailor Moon, would come into her life.

Now that she is involved in the industry, she no longer really watches that much anime; watching anime would just remind her of work, and that she’d start hallucinating timecodes overlaying the show when there was none. [Timecodes are embedded on work-in-progress footage for synchronization, and the voice recording process often uses these videos.] At this point, Shimoda commented on how Wilkerson was able to really deliver her thoughts to the audience, to which Wilkerson replied “our spirits are the same!”

The talk segment then transitioned into what Shimoda does in her spare time to relax. However, before she could start, a fly few by, distracting the panelists. Wilkerson noted that this fly was also Shimoda’s fan, with Shimoda’s reaction being saying “oh really? Uh, sorry. I’m sorry. Be quiet. Go away!” in English to the fly.

As for her hobbies, she enjoys listening to music and traveling by herself; she loves the ocean and like other Japanese people who love the ocean, she likes going to the beaches of Shonan by herself. She also mentioned that she started playing the ukelele. When asked about what types of music she likes, she said that as for Japanese music, she likes listening to the Japanese rock band Southern All Stars (SAS) as well as, more recently, Superfly. She pointed out that, just like the fans presently in the audience, she loves going on “expeditions” to attend concerts.

While Bali is next on her list, now that she is in Hawaii, she wants to visit places where SAS member Keisuke Kuwata went for video shoots when he took part in a JTB commercial; she pointed out that she wasn’t too different from the fans in the audience, alluding to the fact that anime fans often made “pilgrimages” to locations in anime or places their idols have visited. Now that the two of them discussed briefly Shimoda’s hobbies and career, they opened the panel to questions from the audience.

How she got to voice Kagamine Rin/Len

After a jog to the microphone stand (Shimoda: “Wow, he’s fast!”), the first fan asked in Japanese how Shimoda came to be involved with Crypton Future Media and voicing the Vocaloid characters Kagamine Rin and Len. After confirming with the fan and explaining in English the question to the audience, Wilkerson yielded the microphone to Shimoda for her response.

She prefaced her response with a “maybe” in English, and said that it was probably because of her popularity on the Japanese video sharing website Nico Nico Douga at the time. Before she was asked to voice the Vocaloid twins, Nico Nico Douga had just gotten popular, with videos featuring Ami and Mami (whom she voiced) from the Idolmaster video game sometimes receiving over 1 million views. Shimoda said that it was probably because people from Crypton watched those videos and thought she was amusing, and hence that was also probably why the Vocaloid twins kept the same yellow color scheme as the Idolmaster twins. Her response was capped off with another “maybe” in English.

Collaboration with μ’s

The next fan asked about the joint performance at Animelo Summer Live 2015 of the Idolmaster cast with the members of Love Live’s idol unit μ’s and how it came about. She wasn’t exactly sure, but mentioned that a producer behind the concert was a big fan of both groups and wanted to “work a miracle”. This collaboration was kept as a big secret before the performance, and thus the performers were quite nervous beforehand about what kind of a reception they would receive. Of course, the performance became a great success. Shimoda noted that the Idolmaster cast and the members of μ’s did kind of treat each other as rivals originally, but thanks to the joint performance, they all became friends with each other and wanted their respective fans to get along with each other as well.

When asked about learning the dances to the songs, Shimoda noted that it was quite a challenge—Idolmaster’s girls would normally do dances while holding microphones, whereas μ’s would perform with headsets. She was given the okay to also use a microphone during the performance, but of course that meant the dancing would be a lot more difficult. Although it was difficult, she decided to go with holding the microphone anyway. Apparently, the teacher who taught the dance moves was someone who had taught her before, back when she was in a previous idol group, and thus she was able to learn the moves easily; she felt that it was like a reunion with her former teacher.

Vocaloid recording process

The next question came from a fan who asked her about her thoughts on the recording process for Kagamine Rin and Len as well as how it felt to be the voice provider behind all of the songs that eventually were written for them. She said the recording process was quite complicated, and that it felt like chanting magical incantations. Every day, she’d sing meaningless phrases like “aa-ii-aa-ii-aa” for approximately three hours while matching pitch with the sound coming from her headphones. This would take place over many days, with some days designated as “Rin days” and some days as “Len days.” As Wilkerson was about ask about how Shimoda prepared for these sessions, Shimoda’s tiny fan, the fly, came back to the table for a small interruption.

For days which were a continuation of a previous day, she’d listen to some of the previous day’s recordings to prime herself so that she can sound the same. She was also asked to sing these chants with different emotions, e.g., while smiling or while angry. The gentler/whispery recordings weren’t so tiring, but the angrier recordings were taxing to do for 3 hours straight; it was especially difficult for her to belt out in a male voice for Len. During the breaks, she’d suck on some cough drops and then spit them out before heading back into the studio, continuing this pattern over and over again with each break.

Last year, the V4X version of Kagamine Rin/Len was released, and that included English voice banks as well. The recording process for those were somewhat different, with her chanting English words instead of meaningless incantations. There’d be a “blonde beauty” by her side during the recording process, and she’d mark segments for retakes afterwards. Shimoda would then have to keep correcting these (e.g., “walk” and the “per” in “perfect”) until they passed, which was quite tiring. Sometimes it was hard for Shimoda to tell exactly what was different between the takes, and doing it on pitch complicated matters. In closing, she said it was a lot of work and hoped that everyone would buy the product, to great applause.

What to expect from Platinum Stars

The next fan asked Shimoda in Japanese if she could tell everyone what they should be looking forward to in the upcoming PlayStation 4 video game Idolmaster Platinum Stars, to which she replied in English: “Of course!” She said that with the ongoing advancement of technology, the graphics in the game are really beautiful. As for Ami and Mami, while they are usually pretty interesting, this time the scenario writer really pulled out all the stops, with the addition of tons of new puns. When asked whether the fan would buy the game, he replied that he had already preordered it.

Shimoda reacts to an audience memberOn 10th live

A Japanese fan then asked Shimoda about how things have changed through the years, seeing how that a concert was held commemorating Idolmaster’s 10th anniversary last year. Wilkerson first attempted to confirm in English with the fan, but then realized belatedly that it was actually a Japanese fan and apologized to him. Shimoda then jokingly told Wilkerson that “no, don’t worry about him; he’s really good at English.”

The first difference Shimoda mentioned was that the concert was held in Seibu Prince Dome, a gigantic venue. She then mentioned the importance of the Dome: “The protagonist, or rather the main heroine, a girl named Haruka, would have this line that went ‘producer! It’s the dome! The dome!'” As the game was about raising idols so that they can become top stars and perform at huge venues, she said that particular line was equivalent to saying “I’ve attained my dream!” Having Haruka being able to say that line was something that Shimoda wanted all this time, and hearing it in person moved her to tears. While initially standing in the venue, she was still in a sense of disbelief, but hearing that phrase really solidified the reality of the situation—“we’ve really come this far…”

Now that this dream had been attained, it became a bittersweet moment, because for a while, they had always been climbing towards this goal. However, having spoken to many of the fans earlier during the autograph session, she thought that maybe it would be possible to aim for an Idolmaster concert outside of Japan; this comment was received with thunderous applause.

Her role as Kotomi in Seitokai Yakuindomo

The next fan asked her whether she enjoyed playing the role of Kotomi Tsuda in the anime Seitokai Yakuindomo. “Lots of dirty jokes, right?” Shimoda asked, and then continued with: “Just between all of us here, I love dirty jokes! Being able to tell dirty jokes as part of my work is the most awesome feeling!” However, she wondered what non-Japanese people felt about Japanese dirty jokes and whether they translated well, since comedy doesn’t always translate well across cultures.

She also mentioned that constantly telling each other somewhat embarrassing dirty jokes is one way to get everyone super chummy with each other. People won’t say it out loud, but everyone secretly loves these jokes.

The “ginger” light stick

Riding on the discussion about dirty jokes, a Japanese fan eagerly headed up to the microphone and asked Shimoda to explain a certain suspicious-looking product Lumica made for the Iwashita New Ginger Museum. Shimoda asked Wilkerson: “What do you think it is, Ricchan?” to which she replied: “I dunno.” After the exchange, Shimoda slowly and proudly proclaimed that this product is “… a light stick!” And then in English, she continued with “but! looks like! … um…. adult… night? toy?” with Wilkerson covering her ears and pretending not to hear. [Last year, one such light stick was sent to the IT Revolution radio show that Shimoda hosted with voice actress Marina Inoue.] At the end, Shimoda jokingly told the fan to “put it away!” and “go away!” before finally thanking the fan while trying to hold back her laughter.

The “loading song”

For the final question, the first person to ask a question returned, albeit a bit taken back by the previous question and not knowing how to follow up. However, after composing himself, he proceeded to ask Shimoda about how the “loading song” from Idolmaster 2 came about. This was the tune that Ami sang during a loading screen in the game. Apparently, during a typical day in the studio recording Ami’s lines, after recording some standard lines, the staff suddenly asked her to “sing something,” even though she was provided with no lyrics, melodies or anything at all. According to her, the staff said “if anyone can pull it off, it’s you” and then foisted the task upon her. Afterwards, she just went ahead and started singing off the top of her head. And since the scene in question was a loading screen, she started making up lyrics like “loading… loading…” At this point, she decided to give the audience a live performance of the song (which had no backing instrumentals to being with) with some help from the fan with regards to a part of the lyrics she forgot. The lyrics basically consisted of her singing about the game data being loaded and hoping it would go faster, representing the player’s feelings. This song turned out to be a big hit and apparently now people enjoyed waiting for the game to load, with even some fans taking out the disc to prolong the song.

In closing

The panel was closed with a final message from Shimoda: “it was really enjoyable being able to talk for so long with everyone, but it’s somewhat sad now that it’s coming to an end.” She then asked everyone to come to her autograph session and panel the following day, noting that she might not be able to talk as long with everyone at the autograph session due to time constraints. The fans gave her a great round of applause as she started to leave the room, but before she left, she told everyone that she really enjoyed the coconut pancakes from Egghead and was “loading” them earlier.

Shimoda (right) and Wilkerson (left) at Saturday's panel

Saturday Panel

Before Shimoda’s arrival, Wilkerson filled in the time by first introducing herself and the format of the panel, even fielding a question from one of her fans in the process. Then, upon seeing Shimoda entering the room, she yelled out “otsukare katsukare” to her. Apparently not only was she delayed slightly by the autograph session, she also went to the wrong room, since Saturday’s panel was held in a different room from Friday’s; she was waiting outside the wrong room for the previous panel to finish and then finally peeked in to see a random blonde person talking, at which point she realized she had the wrong room.

The two then started talking about having had burgers at Teddy’s yesterday. Some fans said they already ate there, and then some fans stated that they’ll definitely eat there this evening. Shimoda said the meal was delicious, but that she’s definitely gotten “bigger” since yesterday. Wilkerson consoled her and told her that “life is short; enjoy it while you can.” After the burger discussion, the two formally started the panel, with Wilkerson saying that it is again in Q&A format, and Shimoda proclaiming that “any question is fine!” Wilkerson claimed the first question, asking Shimoda about what she’s wearing today, including the octopus ice cream cone on her head.

Starting with the octopus, she said that she saw a lot of people wearing this cute character on their heads the previous day and thus wanted one too. She also noted that there were a lot of people at the convention not with full costumes, but rather with a little hair accessory here and there. When asked about the differences between cosplay at this convention versus Japanese cosplay, Shimoda noted that Japanese cosplayers tend to be people who go all out with their costumes, whereas cosplayers she saw here would sometimes have simpler outfits, where it’s just something on their head or a tail, etc. She attributes the difference to the fact that there are so many all-out cosplayers in Japan that they take most of the spotlight.

Continuing on with the rest of her outfit, she said that she was walking through the Ala Moana Shopping Center, when she saw an interesting dress, paused to consider and eventually ended up buying it after a very fervent saleswoman came up to her asking her to try it. She initially asked for some time to consider after hearing the price, but the saleswoman immediately responded by asking how much would she be willing to pay for it. The two then talked about how in Japan, the salespeople aren’t as aggressive as they are in the US.

At this point, Wilkerson asked the audience to raise their hands if they’ve been to Japan, and a good number of people raised their hands, although oddly the Japanese fans didn’t. Shimoda then asked the audience where in Japan people went, with Tokyo, Sapporo, Iwakuni, Tokushima, Shiga, Hakone, Hakata and Osaka given as answers. A handful of people were also planning to go to Japan for the first time, with Shimoda asking if they were going there for Comic Market, followed by “which day?” She explained that Comic Market happens over a three-day period, with somewhat perverted books on the third day. And with this comment, the panel opened the floor to questions.

Voice impressions/character impersonations

The first questioner from Friday’s panel reprised his role and asked Shimoda about how her knack for voice impressions affected her career. Shimoda then noted that the set of voice samples on her official profile page used to include some voice impressions, such as those of the titular characters from Crayon Shin-chan and Yawara. After giving short demonstrations of both to the audience, she then said that having them on her website did have an effect on the offers she received—Yawara has a more sedate, mature voice compared to the usual energetic voices that she did early in her career, and that voice sample helped her get offers for calmer roles.

Following up the question, Wilkerson asked Shimoda what kinds of voice impressions she’s really into nowadays. While Shimoda pondered for a bit, an eager Japanese fan in the audience shouted out “Shimo-chan!” and got a dirty glare from Shimoda. [On her IT Revolution radio show, Shimoda played a character named Shimoemon, or Shimo-chan, who is supposedly a robotic cat from the future who specializes in dirty jokes.] She then responded that she wasn’t sure, but asked if people in the audience had requests. In the end, she talked about how she’d do impersonations of the Idolmaster girls, for example Yukiho; she then proceeded to give a live demonstration, and received thunderous applause for it.

Voicing characters from harem shows

The next fan asked her how voice acting in a harem show or a show with a lot of “sexy” content differed from acting in other types of shows. In response, Shimoda mentioned that a lot of shows recently have really upped the amount of sexy service shots; for example, the camera would randomly focus on a girl’s chest, or if a girl trips over and falls, for some reason she ends up in a revealing pose showing her panties, even though it would normally never happen in real life. “Why?!” exclaimed Shimoda as she proceeded to mime the poses, explaining that it was quite strange for someone to fall on their stomach but then somehow end up on their back. As a result, during recording, the voice actors and staff in the studio all laugh together at the bizarreness of the situation. As for real differences, sometimes she has to really get into the character, regardless of how embarrassed she gets; if she accidentally makes the director laugh, then it’s a retake. Hence, having to do a lot of retakes of “sexy” scenes really is taxing, since it’s quite embarrassing, and having to keep doing these scenes really felt like some sort of bizarre sexual roleplaying.

On cosplay

When asked by a Japanese fan on what type of cosplay she would like to do, outside of her usual outfits for Idolmaster performances, Shimoda said that she would really like to do some group cosplay, something that felt like creating a new world with everyone in the group; she had seen a bunch of cosplay groups around the convention. She also wanted to do some quite revealing outfits if only she “had a better figure.” Having come to the U.S., she thought that maybe cosplaying a character from a Hollywood movie instead of anime would be more appropriate as well. When asked for an example, she said she really liked Taken and Terminator. As for anime, she then mentioned Sailor Moon, a show she grew up loving. Finally, she mentioned that while she has cosplayed Kagamine Rin before, she would like to cosplay Rin together with someone else, although she admits it’s kind of difficult to get right because the two of them would have to be matched up well enough to cosplay twins.

Tongue twisters

The next fan asked Shimoda whether she’s gotten better at English tongue twisters since her panel from Anime North the previous year, where she was asked about them as well. This time, the fan came prepared with a list of tongue twisters and handed them to the panelists. After receiving the tablet, Shimoda jokingly accepted the device as a gift before asking Wilkerson to do one of the tongue twisters first: “In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire hurricanes hardly ever happen.” Due to the difficulty, Wilkerson eventually led Shimoda through the tongue twister word by word. Afterwards, Shimoda proclaimed: “The end!”

Relationship with newer Idolmaster girls

Shimoda was then asked about her relationship with the younger generation of Idolmaster girls, since Shimoda has been there since the beginning. Since she debuted when she was 17, seeing the younger girls coming in made her nostalgic for old times. Gradually, she started changing until she felt like a mother to the newer girls, thinking of them as daughters rather than comrades. She supported them when they couldn’t figure out how to do certain things, remembering how she once felt herself. Sometimes she thought it would be great to be young again, but then realizes that there are certain things that only come with experience; in short, while the newer generation of girls are all cute and sing/dance quite well, she will not lose to them on the performance front.

On SideM

The next fan, wearing a 10th live outfit, asked Shimoda if she had a favorite idol group from the SideM Idolmaster games, which feature male idols instead of female idols. She said that unfortunately she wasn’t too familiar with SideM, and when someone suggested her to “just say Jupiter,” she responded with “definitely not them!” While Jupiter was a cool group, she instead preferred cheering on the group “W”, which also featured twin characters who also had yellow as their color scheme.

On her favorite Rin/Len songs

The following question came from a girl who was wondering about how Shimoda stumbled upon voicing Rin/Len and which songs she personally liked to sing. In terms of what left a big impression on her, Shimoda mentioned a cover album of hers from 2009 featuring Kagamine Rin/Len songs, and that Rin Rin Signal was her favorite from that album. She then proceeded to do her “Vocaloid impression” of the song to the audience. When the questioner mentioned that The Butterfly on My Right Shoulder was her favorite, Shimoda also did a short impression of that as well. When Shimoda goes to karaoke by herself, she’d sometimes sing duets with Rin or Len, even though the song wasn’t really a duet song, but rather a song with two versions. She then sang a longer segment of the song, starting out as Len but then shifting over to Rin; after the audience finished clapping, she shouted out an “arigaho” in Len’s voice, meant to imitate an imperfect Vocaloid rendition of “thank you” in Japanese.

As for how she got involved with Vocaloid, Shimoda reiterated her answer from the previous day, mentioning how her Idolmaster character’s songs was quite popular on Nico Nico Douga and that people from Crypton Future Media really liked her voice. After getting her question answered, she went up to the panel and handed the panelists green tea flavored Kit Kats.

On Jupiter

The final person asked Shimoda to share any interesting stories about her coworkers. When Shimoda replied that she has too many coworkers, she was then asked about interesting stories about Jupiter. She thought that Matsuoka who voiced one of the characters from Jupiter was a very mysterious person; it was always hard to tell what he was thinking. When Jupiter was initially announced at Makuhari Messe, he seemed to her as someone who was quite nervous about how the audience would react, but then as years went by, now he’s become quite a man.

She then mentioned that she really doesn’t interact much with the SideM cast, and that there hasn’t really been a concert where both “sides” of Idolmaster performed together; she really wants to perform together although there hasn’t been opportunities so far. Although, if there were enough vocal support for such an event, then it might just happen.

Final questions

With five minutes left on the clock and still some questioners to go, the panel decided to speed up the process. The next person asked about what inspired Shimoda to get into voice acting, whether it was anime. She reiterated her response from the previous day, in that she doesn’t remember exactly but realized she wanted to do voice acting ever since she was 10.

The next fan noticed that she went to the beach and asked her in Japanese if she wore a bathing suit, to which she replied in English: “Of course!” And then she said that if she saw anyone in the audience, she’d hide under water the whole time. She then recommended that everyone go visit the beach if possible.

The next fan asked her whether she liked Rin or Len more, and whether she could sing Servant of Evil. Shimoda replied that unfortunately she can’t quite remember the song and thus can’t sing it presently. In consolation, she mimicked Len in saying “sorry” back to the fan.

At the end, the panelists thanked everyone for coming and apologized for not being able to answer everyone’s questions. Shimoda hoped for people to invite her again and said that she wanted to “come to Hawaii every year”; after saying “have a nice day!” in English, Shimoda and the audience traded greetings of “mahalo” to each other as she left the room.


She spent the Sunday in Hawaii purely for leisure and then flew back to Japan, and then pretty much zoned out for two days due to going too overboard while in Hawaii, according to her blog post. She later added two more blog posts with pictures from Hawaii.

Article writing assistance and photography: Tim Yeh ( and MushroomP

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