Photoshopped pic I saved long ago forgot where it’s from.
Bell is my favorite RL character so I wanted to keep the best for last. Sadly it’s not like Tomatsu Haruka magically says more interesting things than the others. There’s a part where they just talk about instruments, a subject which couldn’t be less boring to me.
I like Tomatsu Haruka’s voice acting, but I think she’s overcasted. It’s not her fault though, she needs to work to get money and live like everyone. It’s all those evil companies’s fault, who bet more on characters voiced with a popular seiyuu rather than developed characters or story. She’s overcasted but also voicetype casted, or whatever you call it. Back when I started reading Madan no Ou to Vanadis, I thought that Tomatsu Haruka would voice Ellen if they ever did an anime, and she did. It’s similar to how everyone knew that if they ever did a Prison School anime, Kamiya Hiroshi would voice that one guy. That’s not deep analysis or anything. These days, if you look around a bit at what kind of characters a seiyuu voiced before and their popularity, you can easily guess who’ll they’ll voice next. It may not always work though as not every single show follows that rule of hiring popular seiyuu for gaining a maximum amount of money. It’s also not the same as when a movie scriptwriter writes a movie with a particular actor in mind since in anime the decision is only driven by money.
Anyway what I wanted to say by repeating these things everyone knows is I wish things weren’t like that so more new seiyuus would get their chance too.
I don’t really know the first time I heard Tomatsu Haruka in anime, but the first time I noticed her voice was her role as Ichinose Yumiko Christina in Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou, which was a surprisingly good show despite being a one cour LN adaptation. To this day I even remember the characters’ names and story. It also had a French speaking character which made me laugh instead of cringe. Something that didn’t happen since Yakitate Japan or something. Too bad no one is translating the LN.
Tomatsu Haruka’s best role so far is Bell and it’ll probably stay that way.
1/What image did you have in mind for voicing Bell ?
I remember picking her info sheet at the audition, thinking of how she’s the rival team’s center. Bell’s info said that she has a very strict personality, but that’s because she’s influenced by the environments of Edel Rose and her own family, and that her true nature is that of a really nice girl. First off, I thought I had to act her in a way that would make the audience easily see her contrast with Naru.
In the first and second cour, I had to express her position as rival with Naru chan and the others, but also show the dignified and charismatic side she emits toward Wakana and Otoha. It’s by thinking of these things that I made Bell’s position.
I was roughly explained all this, so I knew from the start Bell sama isn’t actually cold, but that’s precisely why I had to first make her act like a villain, it wouldn’t have been good unless if I gave her a ZA RAIBARU feel. I haven’t done many roles like this before so there were many times when it was challenging.
(One of the many things I like about Bell is exactly this. They didn’t make her a spiteful jealous rival right from the start, picking the easy way out. This usually happens even in sports girls shows I always compare Pretty Rhythm to, like Attacker You, with Nami getting ultra mad at You right from the start. Meanwhile Bell doesn’t get mad when Naru never heard of her the first time they met face by face. Then she never gets riled up by all of Wakana’s taunts about Naru. It’s only a bit later that she starts hating her.)
(While I’m at it, a lot of sports shows have a scene with a kid being saved from a traffic accident in a crazy way. It’s a common pattern of sports anime. You’ve got Tsubasa getting saved by the soccer ball when he was a kid.)
(Edit from the future: video added.)
(In Attacker You, there’s that scene in episode 4 when Eri saves Sunny from getting run over by a truck by smashing a volleyball into him, pushing him out of the road. In Rainbow Live episode 8 there’s Kazuki saving a kid from getting run over, but in all of Pretty Rhythm sadly there wasn’t a scene with someone stopping a truck with a Prism Jump to save a kid. So I’m a bit disappointed. Well I guess there’s other crazy awesome things in the show)
(I always write here it’s because I like shows like Attacker You that I liked Pretty Rhythm and tell people to watch it, but I checked and apparently it’s not even subbed in English. And according to ANN it’s not licensed in English either. This really sucks. I guess either watch it raw or in French if you can understand. Edit from the future: There’s a french guy subbing it in english now, that’s where the youtube video above is from too, someone downloaded it and upped it on YT.)
2/ Plus she’s still a 14 years old girl.
Yes, it doesn’t feel like she’s 14 at all. Plus she’s the “sexy” fashion representative lol. She’s a girl that’s very adult like. You’d never think she’s the same age as Naru chan lol. The little girls watching are like “ah, a sexy fashion girl!” and are looking at her in admiration, I need to express her adult feel and fashion.
3/ And now Beru is changing more and more
Yes. She’s not “pure Bell sama” though lol. I wish I can show how she changed clearly. Her mischief/playfulness is still the same though.
4/ Bell manager in episode 29 was great (One of the few episodes of RL full of both comedy and story, compared to AD and DMF that are among the funniest shows I know)
It was shocking. Bell sama was so funny, I really wanted to see that. I was surprised myself at how expressive she was. It’s like how her room is full of teddy bears. It makes you realize she’s also a girl who likes girly things. It was always very fun to voice her as the story advanced and more and more sides of her were revealed.
5/Speaking of Beru reminds me of the « Prism Live » scene
During the dubbing, everyone of the cast was like “Today was pretty though”, that story left quite an impact. Bell until then always stood at the top and wasn’t afraid of anything, and she fell at rock bottom. She didn’t experience any big failure before then, and then she failed in such a way… it’s one of those unforgettable times. How she tore the rose and the cushion too. Her feelings were like “uwaah!” and she was very shaken. As I was voicing her, I also felt like I was consuming my physical strength myself. It was really hard to show how shaken her emotions were, I really felt like eating something sweet when I was done lol.
6/Is there any line of dialogue that left a big impression on you?
It’s not something Bell said, but one line that left an impression on me is how Wakana tells her “In the past you used to say thanks”. (Episode 17)
Bell couldn’t be honest, or rather she wanted to be honest but couldn’t express her feelings properly, and she knew it, but couldn’t control her emotions correctly. She couldn’t say clearly what she wanted, or she wanted to say something but wouldn’t, and would just let her anger talk and run away. As I was voicing Bell like that, when Wakana said that it really left an impression on me.
7/Around that time, harsh and difficult things kept happening.
In episodes that featured Edel Rose, Bell sama’s mental state and emotions were very unstable, she was wondering what she should do. In the scene when she flung around Naru chan’s hand too, when watching that part I felt like « wah, Bell is scary ! » but even though she said harsh words, she wasn’t just a bad person and I often adjusted myself thinking about how I can express that.
8//It’s not like she just hated Naru for no reason.
That’s right. She didn’t want to be made fun of. I had to express that.
9/What kind of girl do you think Bell is ?
I think she’s clumsy. She’s a huge perfectionist, stoic, and her potential is high, but she can’t do things that everyone else can do normally. Not skills or techniques, but for things like expressing yourself, Bell is very clumsy. That’s why I really love her.
If she was perfect in every way, my feelings of respect for her would be stronger, but even though she’s that perfect and dignified, and everyone calls her “Bell sama”, she can have problems over very small things, or when she’s feeling down she has trouble depending on others. When I see her like that I think she is very adorable.
10/Bell plays the violin, Tomatsu san do you play something as well ?
There was a period when I was trying to play bass, I even did a live once. But now, I even forgot how to touch it… now it just became part of my house’s decoration lol.
(In Japanese she says the bass became an家のオブジェ which means my house’s « objet ». Objet is « item » in French. Apparently in Japanese they use the word to mean artwork.)
11/Why did you want to play the bass ?
I like deep sounds. When I listen to music and there’s a “loud bass” like thing I could keep listening forever. That’s what made me start to think instruments are cool! I thought if I’d play I’d like playing sounds I like, so I tried it and it was really fun. So much that I wanted to do a live. I was mostly self learning but it was fun.
12/How long would you practice ?
Starting from when I decided on a song, it took around 2 months. But playing bass is hard, and my sense of rhythm is nonexistent… At the time of the live, there was pro band members, so I was like “Please tell me if a make a mistake! Please say it if I’m too fast!!” all the time while doing it.
13/It seems you’re a perfectionist like Bell
Ooh, you think I’m a perfectionist?! I think doing your job correctly is an obvious thing, “doing things right” is my motto, but I think the rules I put on myself, and the stoic rules of Bell sama are on different scales. I mean, when Bell sama can’t control her emotions, she rips flowers apart lol.
However, we are similar in terms of not satisfying ourselves with a goal. I don’t think things like: today was perfect, or I got 100 points, I’m the type who thinks about how to improve things even more.
In that sense, compared with how Bell sama wears herself out while aiming even higher, while our way of doing things is different, we may have the same feelings. Or rather, there’s times when looking at Bell sama when I feel I should become more and more stoic myself.
14/How do you think Bell’s love will go?
The other day, according to what sound director san said, Hiro is materially in love with Bell sama, but spiritually in love with Kouji lol. Probably Hiro likes Bell, but maybe I’m biased about that.
(He does like her, remember this was published before the show ended, she didn’t know yet he’d end up confessing to Bell and getting rejected. Saying this just in case because I know how some kids who will read this can distort words into their shipping.)
I wonder about Bell, back when she was villain like, they used to phone each other. I guess among the guys, in terms of who understands her the most, it’s Hiro. Especially the being isolated part. He also had evil bits as well, he’s the one that matches her the most. I’m looking forward to it too.
15/Who would you go out with ? (insert here same comment as the other interviews about this question)
Hijiri san! I’m fine with Hijiri san!! It seems he’s incredibly infatuated with himself though, so being together may be tiring. Like how he always flings back his hair lol. But I don’t hate that, I think it’s nice. I’m fine with an adult man like that.
16/A word to the readers to wrap things up ?
I think Bell is a girl a who holds a high potential from the start, so I really hope she manages to do 5 consecutive jumps. Also it’d be nice if she can do something with everyone, all seven… or at least all six of them.
It’s really a rewarding role to be voicing her, walls, mountains, valleys, she overcame them all, and now gets along with everyone, whether it’s girls friendship, or the joy of doing Prism Live, I’m very happy to share it with everyone, and I hope you’ll continue to support us.
Each time we do Prism Lives, there’s also the audience’s waaaa cheering. The audience’s feelings really are looking over the girls’s fates. I’m really happy that everyone together cheers us on.
(Wow she sure did sugarcoat her thanks. I’m kinda disappointed in this interview, I thought she’d say that Bell is the best character she ever voiced and that Pretty Rhythm is a masterpiece. That way I would have quoted her and sweet talked every Tomatofag into watching Pretty Rhythm)
(I had to click publish like 3 times for the post to appear on the front page, sometimes the publish date changes or the post becomes “scheduled” by itself. WordPress kind of sucks)