Thoughts on Tokyo Encounter
I have been watching Tokyo Encounter and it has easily evolved into my favorite seiyuu show ever.
Though I’m going to hide the fact that this is the one and only seiyuu show I ever watched.
What makes Tokyo Encounter so good though? Before I get to that, I will confess that I honestly don’t really watch seiyuu shows or even check out their radio programs at all. Maybe only tiny bits and pieces from youtube but that’s it, there’s the fact that they rarely get translated of course, but I guess I’m not that invested myself even if I do like seiyuu and can appreciate them for their phenomenal work in voice acting (I mean, I don’t really like them to the extent that I would yell “SUUGIITAA-PYOOOOONNNN <333333!!!"… or anything). What makes Tokyo Encounter so good though is that it's pretty much a video game show-and said show pretty much involves two guys (sometimes three featuring a guest) sitting down lazily and playing video games.
Playing games is also one of my favorite pastime, so it’s a no surprise that I would come to like this show, but another reason I like it is because the two hosts are seiyuu I’m very familiar with. Nakamura has voiced characters like Tomoya, Gray and Oreki and I guess I don’t even need to mention Sugita, who voiced characters like Gintoki from one of my favorite anime. Admittedly, I don’t really care about “seiyuu shipping”. I do ship, but I ship the characters they played rather than the seiyuu themselves. But still, it is fun to get to know the voice actors a little bit more outside of the characters they played-and is something Tokyo Encounter accomplished perfectly.
In fact, just from their personalities, you can understand why they are picked for some of their roles in anime. In the show, Nakamura is mostly the straight man while Sugita is the funny man who makes random references, impersonations and talks dirty jokes all the time-he’s pretty much Gintoki in real life.
I mean, hell, right now I even know some of their gaming tastes! The two hosts Nakamura and Sugita are the most obvious-Nakamura is the type of gamer who likes cool and flashy stuffs like swords, guns and Michael Bay-like explosions. Sugita is the type of trashy gamer who likes playing shitty dating sims nobody even heard of, and probably have thousands of gaming waifus (Note: His Amagami SS waifu is Kaoru). Of course, the two hosts are huge gamers and they probably play just about everything (one thing they have in common is their fondness for fighting games), their personal preferences couldn’t be even more obvious though. Most of the guests only appear for like 2 episodes each so I have a lesser chance to know their gaming tastes, but I get that Shimono likes horror games (he even voiced the main character of Corpse Party!). And oh, Miyano and Horie Yui play Monster Hunter.
Also by watching how some of the guests interact with the two hosts, some of the dynamics they have with them are fun because being vets in the seiyuu industry, they are pretty much longtime friends by now. The episodes with Sakurai are good not because Sakurai himself is a funny guy, but it’s because he’s the one whose able to relate the most to the references and jokes thrown around by the hosts randomly and sometimes, quite haphazardly. Furthermore, all three of them can impersonate Wakamoto! If we’re talking about funny guy though, Miyano is definitely noteworthy, while I don’t think he bounced off the two hosts quite well, he’s like a one-man comedy train.
I normally don’t really check voice actors all that much, and if any of you who are like me, all the names I mentioned will probably be lost to you. But that’s the nice thing about Tokyo Encounter, it’s because I care about the show, I’m also checking out each and every one of their guests-at the very least, I wanted to be familiar with some of their roles before I watch their episodes. Before I knew it, I seem to have a deeper knowledge of seiyuu as compared to before I watched Tokyo Encounter-I become familiar with the roles they play and how their voices sound. As far as I’m concerned, being on Tokyo Encounter is definitely good publicity no matter how many self-depreciating jokes they made about their own show. Another thing I like about the show is that they often share behind-the-scenes stories of their voice acting works, which again, show little more facets of themselves outside of the anime roles they played.
Now as for the video games themselves, they don’t really give off an impression of playing them really competitively or anything, aforementioned, the atmosphere’s pretty chill, just guys sitting lazily and playing games. The games they played however, are very diverse, they played a lot of obscure Japanese games (while making dirty jokes about them whenever they can, well mostly Sugita) which never made it to the West, sometimes they play Western games like GTA, Red Dead Redemption and so on. There are also times they play newer Japanese games like the episode they did with Okamoto when they played Dengeki Bunko (and making tons of LN references). They even play zombie games which they think are cute for some strange reason.
I don’t really watch a lot of seiyuu shows, but Tokyo Encounter is a great show to me purely because all my interests very naturally tied together in one show-anime, games and seiyuu. I guess what I’m trying to say is-if you happens to be a gamer, Tokyo Encounter might just interests you.