Staff Highlight: Akino Murata, the Voice of Sochie Heim

This is the seventh in my series of staff highlight posts. My sources include various written and video interviews, audio commentaries, and individual research.

Akino Murata is a voice actress who voices Sochie Heim.

staff_murata
Akino Murata is a voice actress who voices Sochie Heim. Coming from voicing female lead Hime in Brain Powerd, she was considered a shoo-in for the role.

Below is a highlight of info pertaining to her time on Turn A Gundam.

  • Previously voiced Hime, the female lead in Brain Powerd, so she had prior experience working with director Yoshiyuki Tomino in a major capacity.
  • Auditioned for Sochie and was cast as Sochie, to no one’s surprise. Coming from Brain Powerd, she was considered a shoo-in for the role, as Hime as a character is not too dissimilar to Sochie.
  • Initially focused hard on raising her voice to match her character, but Tomino instructed her to speak normally. His philosophy was that voice actors are an extension of their characters, so he advised them to avoid overthinking their roles. This gave her confidence to perform.
  • Didn’t view Tomino as unreasonable or difficult to work with but admits that the aura he exuded was intimidating.
  • She had difficulty pronouncing the letter “L”, so saying certain names such Lily Borjano’s was always a struggle.
  • When she first saw Sochie’s design, she was worried that she wouldn’t be able to voice such a cute-looking girl.
  • Views Sochie’s emotion at the end of the final episode as unforgettably sad. Also has similar sentiments towards the wedding dress scene, which follows Gavane’s death.
  • Was confused when Sochie accepted Gavane’s marriage proposal, but ultimately chalks it up to Sochie being an irrational character who feels emotion and then acts on it. That and the throes of war pushes people to make rash decisions. She also sees it as a case of “better to be loved than being the one loving”.
  • Always wanted Sochie to end up with Loran.
  • Considers Sochie to be a character who, despite her radically changing environment, remains fundamentally the same throughout the course of the show.
  • Despite the fact that Sochie Heim and Gavane Goonny were characters who had a relationship in the show, Akino Murata and Houchuu Ootsuka (Gavane’s VA) had very little interaction with each other otherwise.
  • Many of her peers consider her to be the real-life splitting image of Sochie. Romi Park, in particular, has commented on this several times.
  • Has always had short hair.
  • Still regularly listens to the song “Moon”.

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