Renowned voice actress Paku Romi attended Anime Revolution 2016. She is best known for her roles as Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, Nana from Nana, Temari from Naruto, Loran from Turn A Gundam, and Hanji from Attack on Titan. The panel began quickly with a brief introduction and jumped immediately into questions. Questions asking Paku Romi to recite lines have been omitted.
Day 1 Panel
If you were in the Attack on Titan universe, which legion would you join?
Paku Romi: I’d make my own.
In a special event show for Naruto: The Last back in 2015, Shikamaru’s voice actor, Showtaro Morikubo was asked, if he was Shikamaru how he would propose to Temari. As Temari, how would you respond?
Paku Romi: No.
Of all the characters you have played, which role was the hardest to play?
Paku Romi: My first male role as Loran from Turn a Gundam.
What was your favorite part about playing Ragyo Kiryuin from Kill la Kill?
Paku Romi: Getting to battle my daughter.
From a reader’s perspective, what would you say to Edward Elric?
Paku Romi: Calm down.
How was your experience singing a duet with Mamoru Miyano?
Paku Romi: I did sing with him! It was fun but…..he was annoying. [laughs]
While you were growing up, what was the anime/manga/show that influenced you?
Paku Romi: Mato Hagio’s Poe no Ichizoku. Anyone who hasn’t heard of this manga, I highly recommend that you should Google it after this. It’s my BIBLE.
My friend in the audience is a big fan of Hanji from Attack on Titan. Can you propose to her as Hanji?
Paku Romi: Hey you. Do you like titans? You do? Will you also love Sonny and Bean? You will? Great! Let’s get married!
What’s different about playing a boy and a girl?
Paku Romi: I’m a woman and so this one is the B cup and this one is the G cup. [audience laughs]
If you could have the powers of any of the characters in Full Metal Alchemist, what power would it be and why?
Paku Romi: The power to make automail.
Since you’re a veteran in the voice acting industry, do you have any kouhai and what advice would you give them?
Paku Romi: Uhh………….. Koki Uchiyama. He’s like an old man.
What was your favorite scene or arc in Full Metal Alchemist?
Paku Romi: When Al and Ed were children and learned the lesson behind “All is one and one is all.”
What was your most memorable line or moment from your recording sessions?
Paku Romi: I had an audition for a role and the line was to act out a drop kick. But I overdid it and fainted. It was an episode for Air Master. The staff was very surprised and said, “She’s perfect.”
Who was your favorite homunculus from Full Metal Alchemist?
Paku Romi: Greed.
Who’s your second favorite anime character that you’ve voiced?
Paku Romi: Other than Loran, I like the rest equally.
When you first started voice acting, did you imagine you would be where you are today?
Paku Romi: I wouldn’t have imagined that I would be as successful as I am now. I didn’t even think I’d be a voice actress at all. It was all because of Yoshiyuki Tomino, the director of Turn of Gundam. Before Turn a Gundam, he actually got me to voice as a character in Brain Powerd and that’s how he pulled the talent out of me.
Out of all the characters you’ve voiced, who would you like to be?
Paku Romi: Maki Aikawa from Air Master.
What was a life changing event throughout your experience as a voice actress?
Paku Romi: Being able to meet all of you has been life changing.
Day 2 Panel
By the second Q & A panel, Paku Romi’s translator Yoshi had taken up her persona, often mimicking her tone and characteristics while she answered questions.
What’s your favorite thing about voice acting?
Paku Romi: To meet you all in person!
Have you ever thought about the romantic relationships involving the character’s you have voiced? For example, Shikamaru and Temari from Naruto?
Paku Romi: I can’t tell you!
What was your experience working with Yoshiyuki Tomino in Turn a Gundam?
Paku Romi: He was like a father. He was very caring and looked out for me. In the first or second episode, there was a line for Loran and he asked everyone to come back to the booth. We all jumped into the recording booth. There was the TV monitor, over there was a microphone, and he was standing near the monitor and screamed for all of us to come closer to the screen. He said the line himself, “Come on! Closer to the screen!” He’s a very high spirited person.
Of all the people you’ve worked with, who has left you with the biggest impression?
Paku Romi: Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh…….Megumi Hayashibara. She’s my mother. Minami Takayama is my father.
As a female voice actress, what do you think of characters who have a dirty mind?
Paku Romi: They’re the best.
You dubbed two very popular shows, namely Legend of Korra and Adventure Time. What are your impressions of these shows?
Paku Romi: I love Adventure Time. I really love it. The moment I hear Adventure Time, I get really excited. I can’t describe how much I love the series.
Did you read the recent Attack on Titan chapter? If you did, what do you think?
Paku Romi: I actually haven’t read the manga. I look forward to the script so I hold back from reading the manga ahead.
What do you feel about the difference playing a part in a mobile game, a regular video game, and an anime?
Paku Romi: During anime recording sessions, there are always other voice actors in the booth with you. So I can look at their acting. But with a video game, it’s just me. I just thought about how I wish there could be a person like me who could talk about what she felt during the session to me.
While you were recording as Edward, did he have an effect on your personality or did you think your personalities were similar?
Paku Romi: He’s a very ruthless boy, who raided my heart and walked out with everything, leaving me pretty exhausted. So, he and I aren’t alike at all.
Out of all the voice actors you’ve worked with in your career, who was the most interesting person? Is it Miyano Mamoru?
Paku Romi: [laughs] You just said it! Miyano Mamoru.
You’re known for voicing a lot of different boy roles. Do you approach the role differently from a girl role?
Paku Romi: This is pretty difficult question. I try to sound like a boy, but I end up acting like a girl because I am a girl. So, I try my hardest to not sound like a girl.
Do you ever feel bad when your characters tease other characters?
Paku Romi: Nope. Not even a little.
In Shikamaru Hiden, Shikamaru asks Temari out on a date. Her reply is that it’s “too troublesome,” which is Shikamaru’s phrase. Can I request that you say that line as Temari?
Paku Romi: Can you ask me out?
Me? Will you go out on a date with me?
Paku Romi: It’s troublesome, but sure.
Who was the easiest voice actor to work with?
Paku Romi: NOT Miyano Mamoru. [laughs]
How did you feel starting out with voice acting? Do you have any stories from when you first started? Was it difficult?
Paku Romi: It’s so much fun! I’m Paku Romi and in Japanese to skip a line is “pakuru,” which sounds like my last name. At the recording sessions, I would often hear that word and I thought they were referring to me. I would think, “Am I being bullied? Is it because I’m a new voice actor?” And later Shinichiro Miki tapped on my shoulder and reassured that they were not talking about me. After that I felt relieved.
What is your skin regimen is? How do you keep yourself so beautiful?
Paku Romi: I get my energy from all of you. But otherwise, it’s a secret.
Out of all of the characters you have voiced, which character would you cosplay?
Paku Romi: Ragyo Kiryuin. But I won’t actually cosplay her. Though I would really like to, I won’t.
Aside from these panels, what is your favorite memory from being in Canada?
Paku Romi: I actually haven’t been anywhere! I’ve been very busy with panels. Do you have any recommendations?
I would recommend the “Fly Over” ride.
Paku Romi: I know of it! Toshihiko Seki told me about it and boasted about it. I was very envious.
When you were voicing Edward, did you see Al as a little brother?
Paku Romi: Of course. Rie Kugumiya is like my younger brother.