Attack On Titan voice actor Trina Nishimura talk past roles and tales from the recording booth

LG-photo_G2586-e1457852318291-1038x576

From beginnings as Namiko in Desert Punk to her much anticipated appearance as Mikasa Ackerman in Attack on Titan, Trina Nishimura’s agile voice has brought her critical acclaim.

Trina will be visiting Australian shores for Supanova Gold Coast and Supanova Melbourne this year. We caught up with her in anticipation of the occasion and talked about her past roles, Attack on Titan and tales from the recording booth.

This upcoming Supanova appearance is your first visit to the Gold Coast and Melbourne? Anything you’re planning to see during your trip?

I’m looking forward to meeting everybody in Australia. I’m looking forward to seeing some koalas, I’m looking forward to spending some time with good friend Brina Pollencia and Bryce Papenrbook will also be there so I’m really excited about it. This will be my second time in Australia and I’m excited to explore more of the country.

You’ve starred in over 100 different anime series, how do you feel those reflect your own tastes in anime?

I feel like the series vary so greatly that it’s difficult to say. I feel like they reflect various aspects of my personality and it’s cool to finally get paid for all the voices in my head, right?

You jumped from community theatre into voice acting. Can you tell me about the learning curve there?

So I started acting when I was 9 years old in community theater and I started touring when I was 13. I decided I was going to be an adult and I was going into law when a friend called me about Funimation and he was like ‘you should come and audition for this show’ and I was like, ‘no no, I can’t, I’m a grown up. I’m going to be a grown-up’, and he was like, ‘it pays’, and I was like, ‘what time should I be there?’.

The transition in general was a little difficult at first because you take advantage – in-film and on-screen – of the nuances and the tools you are afforded when people see you: your facial expressions, your cadence, your physical presence and everything else. So when all that’s stripped away and it’s just your voice it’s definitely a little challenging at first but I picked it up and got the swing of it after a while. It was a difficult transition but I’m glad I could do it and expand my acting chops.

What would you say is a dream project or anime series that you’d like to one day be involved in?

My dream project for me would probably be Pixar. Anything that pixar has done. I adore Pixar in general and I’ve been following them since their inception. The work they do is just inspiring. It’s a really great company and if I be at Pixar or in any of their movies that would just be really awesome.

In our first interview (lost to technical malfunctions), you talked about how excited you were for Zootopia. If you were to appear in Zootopia, what animal would you lend your voice to?

I want to be a sloth! I love sloths, I’ve always loved sloths. They are the coolest animals ever and the way they portray them in Zootopiais really funny.

So, back on track, the main series that a lot of anime fans know you from is Attack on Titan. Can you talk a little about your interactions with the fanbase?

The fans for Attack on Titan have been really great. Initially, there was a little bit of trepidation on my part because it is such an important series and it is such a beautiful series. The artwork is amazing, the storyline is awesome and it’s just a very cool anime in general to be a part of. I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s really really neat and I really like it. The fan base itself has been very welcoming and very sweet, initially trepidatious as well as far as what a dub would sound like a what that would mean for the anime –  And rightfully so, I can emphasize with that.

When you love a person’s art so much you want to make sure that any secondary form holds true to the original intention – which I think we’ve done. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done and it’s been very well received. I’m very very lucky and it’s been an awesome experience to meet so many cool people.

Building on that, do you have any interesting anecdotes from the recording booth you can share?

Ah! Interesting anecdotes! Well, because Attack on Titan is so dark and because it is so hard at-times to be in that world and to be so tough and to be so sad and experience such heart wrenching scenes as that character it can get a little draining. You’ve been in that sound booth for X amount of hours and you’re just by yourself – isolated and in this world where your your mind is, what your character is going through and everything else. So a really funny something thing that the director Mike McFarland would do when he saw me getting too sad was he would pull up cat videos on the screen for me. Just to pull me up for a minute so I didn’t want to die.

To wrap things up, what do you think is the biggest asset that young voice actors have coming into the field today that you didn’t have?

I think the biggest asset that voice actors have now is that there is so much more technology out there. I mean, you can be Youtube-famous and and you can learn so much from social media outlets and it’s something I didn’t have when I was younger. There’s this whole community and it’s something I didn’t have when I was younger and there’s support and information. It’s really interesting to see what people bring to the genre and voice acting in general that are from a younger demographic and a younger generation. It’s been interesting to see what they come up with and where they’ve gone with it. It’s been really neat.

Supanova Expo will be heading to Gold Coast on the 9-10 of April and Melbourne on the 16-17 of April.

Tickets options will range from Day to Weekend Passes, all the way to premium ticket options for super fans. Tickets are now available through Moshtix.

For more details about Supanova, head to their official website.

Article originally appeared on our sister site The Iris. Interview by Fergus Halliday.