Chapter 4: Debut – From Kondou Nana to Mizuki Nana
Become a seiyuu
- She talked about her love for anime. When she was a child, she mostly used money for manga, games, anime and seiyuu related stuffs when she received performance wages or rewards from singing contests. She even went to anime shop alone during her middle school’s field trip in Kyoto and called the first anime shop she went as the sacred place (that’s why otaku fans love her so much).
- Dad wasn’t pleased with her “silly” hobby but she shut the annoying nagging dad up (yes, she called him annoying) with excellent results in enka training and study. It was another reason why she never complained about his harsh lesson.
- Aside from her dream to become a singer, she also wanted to become a seiyuu since she was a child. Hence, she decided to study professional course for voice acting and applied for seiyuu career while still pursuing her dream to become a singer.
- She passed an audition for the role of Kadokura Chisato in NOëL~La neige PS game when she was studying in the last semester of her 2nd year and debuted when she was in 3rd year. It was her first time being able to have “special leave” from school for work.
- She uses Mizuki Nana as her stage name because there was a singer with the name Kondou Nana already.
- Due to her remarkable singing skill, the PioneerLDC game company decided to release a character songs album, NOëL~La neige~depart Chisato x Nana, which was quite odd to have a full album for a single game character that was voiced by a newcomer.
- During the beginning of her seiyuu career, she was harshly condemned (by hardcore otaku?) that she saw seiyuu work merely as a tool to get singing career. This made her felt upset since she loves both jobs equally.
- She said some people sarcastically called a person who takes 2 jobs at the same time like her as a “two-timer” and her response was: “Who care about being called two-timer? There is no rule to prohibit being one! If nobody did it before, I’m willing to become the first example!” (LOL I like it when she was being stubborn and full of confidence XD) and she proved herself she can handle both jobs well.
- Seiyuu work was more difficult than she thought. She was scolded and told to go back home by a game director because she made many mistakes during the first few recordings. She had to practice very hard to understand how to express emotions through script reading while she was able to do it easily when she was singing.
- She wasn’t (and still isn’t) good at speaking or being interviewed in public.
Leaving the greedy benefactor to Kings Record
- Behavior of her enka teacher, who was also her agency’s executive, was getting worse. He initially didn’t agree with her decision to become a seiyuu but started talking about money most of the time after she debuted and released a cd.
- When she didn’t have seiyuu works, Nana had to work as a general staff in the teacher’s office. She got fixed 50,000 yen salary per month but had to pay him 10,000 yen for singing lesson. She didn’t know whether the salary had included wages from her seiyuu works since all her income went directly to him. Being inexperienced in business at that time, she never questioned him about this issue.
- 40,000 yen per month wasn’t enough for her after debuted. Not only she had to pay for living expense, sent money to her parent, and returned some to high school scholarship, she also had to buy new clothes, cosmetics and other necessary stuffs for her career. She received fan letters complained she usually wore almost the same outfits.
- The teacher opposed her idea of getting part-time job but, later, agreed if she helped him in recording demo tapes for the songs he composed (not related to her jobs and no extra pay). That was how she learned about sound recording by herself. (Ironically, Nana can use complicated sound engineering program but is really bad at using basic computer softwares, such as MS Office).
- She had worked part-time job as customer service staff in beauty salon. She really liked this job as she could learn makeup tips and used free cosmetic samples.
- She had chances to hold concerts but in small venues with capacity around hundreds seats and the agency didn’t try to invest more for her.
- She met a person who changed Mizuki Nana’s life forever. That person was Mishima Akio, a King Records’s staff and her current producer. He immediately wanted to sign a contract with her after he attended her live. However, the teacher made it difficult by trying to sell his own works to Kings Record more than promoting Nana and refused Mishima’s offer as he didn’t comply.
- However, Mishima didn’t give up. He contacted her directly and asked her to come to record studio for sample recording. Her first recorded song under Kings Record was Suichu no Aosora but it was used in her third single, The Place of Happiness. Mishima promised he would try his hardest to promote her to the executives since he believed “the real talent can be sold”. However, for Nana, the real talent that Kings Record need isn’t her but Mishima himself.
Suichu no Aosora
- Mishima asked Nana to leave her teacher’s agency as he was an obstacle to her success. However, she initially refused, still thinking that she owed him a lot that she should return his favor by becoming a singer from his agency. She even started to doubt Mishima’s and other staffs’ intention when they pressed this issue further. Later, she learned that it was because she was affected by Stockholm Syndrome (paradoxical psychological behavior of kidnap victims who, over time, become sympathetic towards their captors).
- However, the teacher didn’t bother to promote her seriously and sexual harassment started to get worse that she could no longer stand it, so she decided to ask for Mishima’s advice. It was the first time that she revealed her 5 years traumatized experiences to other. Mishima was very angry when he heard it and told her to leave the teacher’s house immediately. Kings Record staffs offered their help for her. They moved her stuffs out of her teacher’s house without letting him knew while Mishima kept an eye on her outside the cafeteria where when she went to tell her teacher about leaving his house and agency.
- After she left her teacher’s office to Kings Record, there were some threatening calls from him but nothing happened as she was watched over by KR staffs.
- She said she feel like an idiot for still feeling thankful towards her teacher. She can’t fully hate him after all bad deeds except the sexual harassment that she still can’t forgive.
Some songs from NOëL~La neige~depart Chisato x Nana
Thermidor (Original ver.)
Merry X’Mas (Holy Night ver.)