Akio Otsuka: Solid Snake and Naked Snake are my alter egos

In a book called Seiyuu Tamashii (声優魂 Voice Actor Soul), Akio Otsuka, the Japanese voice actor for Solid Snake and Big Boss, talked about playing these roles. Translation by Kotaku.


At this point, the characters I played, Solid Snake or Naked Snake, are my alter egos. I’ve spent a long time with them, and my own feedback has been incorporated into the games. They are characters I can act with the mindset “If it was me, I would do this.”

Otsuka also talked about how his acting differs between playing Big Boss or his clone Solid Snake.

Naked Snake in particular is so much as though you plopped me down as is, you could say “that’s me.” Director Kojima said to me, “Naked is a very human character”, so I used the most human, most base parts of myself for my acting.

Solid Snake is a little different. He carries the issue of being a clone, and carries out his battle between dominant and recessive genes in his conflict with his rival, Liquid. He has his darkness, but the excess parts that make him human are thinner than Naked. 

Otsuka compared playing a protagonist to carving out a statue, chipping off all the unnecessary parts until only the core parts remain.

When first handed the script, Otsuka couldn’t get the full picture of what was going on in the story due to the nature of the medium, but after playing the completed game, he felt huge fulfillment.

My work on Metal Gear Solid started from reading the scenario that was completed at the time. But, what I didn’t realize back then was just how much content was in a game’s scenario. I stared at the pile of paper 20 centimeters high and could only scratch my head thinking, “what kind of story is this?”

I started reading from the beginning, but it’s not like a movie or an anime where the story progresses in a single line, but instead contains broken interactions for each event, making the flow indecipherable. Not only had I never really played video games before, but Metal Gear Solid itself was an entirely new style of game, making the completed form impossible to imagine.

He worked trough the ‘ocean of text’ bit by bit, but due to the lack of visuals he still did not have a clear picture of what exactly he was working on. Only when the game was finished and he could play it himself, he understood the whole picture.

I’ll never forget that feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment. Because I remembered the dialogue from the various scenes… or rather, I remember saying the dialogue from various scenes, so it felt like I had actually gone to Alaska for a shooting of Metal Gear Solid.

Otsuka stated that he’d like to continue voicing Snake.

The series has become a forefront of the Japanese game business, so I’m sure Director Kojima feels a lot of pressure, but I’d like to continue to walk together with Snake until the day he says to me, “Thank you for your work for so long.”


To read the full translation, follow the link in the source section below.

Source: Kotaku

  • Cipher

    Good to hear from the Japanese Snake
    thanks for the news

  • Plissken

    Pretty awesome to hear that both Akio Otsuka and David Hayter feel the same way about the character they’ve played.

  • Gatsu

    I’d like like to meet Otsuka-san someday, shake his hand and say domo arigatou for his incredible work :).
    Always nice to hear him or David talk about MGS, the franchise they’ve been involved with for such a long time.

  • Shalashaska

    Wow. This was a Nice interview. Good stuff. What Im really REALLY happy though is that despite the lock down from Konami On kojipro , we are still able to keep get tidbits and some really good stuff delivered to us. Not only keeping this site alive but keeping us fans happy. Thank you. Nyxus and the rest of the mods for your work on this awesome Community / Site 😀
    As for the voice… I know He is awesome as Big Boss and Im sure Kiefer Sutherland will do an amazing Job in the english version.. but tbh, i cant help but miss David Hayter’s voice being in TPP

  • kirtanloorii

    Too bad Hayter can’t say the same about Naked and Solid. At least, not anymore.

    • César H. Sandoval

      He can, even if he got replaced, David always says in interviews how much either Snake is like a part of him.

  • MichaelPayneV

    Thank you Akio, that’s all i’ll say.

  • Wondering why he didn’t say a word about Solidus… Cough, cough…

    • Probably he was talking about lead characters specifically.

  • Vegas

    Its strange how the japanese voice wasn’t changed. Snake should have a more mature voice, right? Or is it because he also voiced Solidus?

    • It’s because the Japanese version is the dub. So Akio does just the voice work, whereas Kiefer provides the other acting (motion and facial).

      Here’s more info on that if you’re interested: http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=8231

      • Vegas

        I see. Thanks, Nyx 😀

      • Kol Leqejza

        i always understanded that kiefer = face & akio is the body. hmm…

        • Old Liquid

          And who told you that?

          Kiefer does Big Boss’s facial captures, and Erik Brown does the body capture.

          Ground Zeroes credits literally says this lol.

          Akio is only doing his JPN dub, like the rest of the Seiyuus.

          • Kol Leqejza

            i read it.

        • PrinceHeir

          Otsuka-san used to do that in the older MGS games until MGSV.

          • Kol Leqejza

            thanks for clearing that.

    • PrinceHeir

      It’s probably because they didn’t want the media to be leaked. They want to keep the voice actors out of the loop so it has no risk being leak ahead of everyone.

      Though this has changed and mostly in Japan voice acting takes place in one big room with all the characters.

      Otsuka has always voiced older and mature guys. Just hearing his Batou voice really feels he has been through a lot just like Old Snake. Or Rider from Fate Stay Night series etc.

  • Vegas

    I think voice recording would be a lot better if the person knew what was going on in the game. I dunno, it makes no sense to me.

    • Yeah, but that’s the job of the voice recording director, to explain to the characters how they have to approach the dialogue.

      • PrinceHeir

        Interestingly Kojima actually approached Otsuka himself when directing MGS4. So it varies by games.

        I do wish more directors would actually communicate with the cast, since the cast might have a better understanding on what they want for them to show.

        • Yeah, Kojima is the voice director for the Japanese cast, for the English cast it’s Kris Zimmerman.

  • Captain

    Hearing Otsuka describe Liquid as his arch-rival really makes me want an MGS1 remake

    • MichaelPayneV

      Why not just play the Original MG:S?

  • Vegas

    I know its off-topic but i was playing MGS 3 just now in the forest you fight The Fear. Then, I heard Sigint talking about the dangerous traps and I was like “meh”. Thats when I saw this:

    Have you ever seen it before?

    • Vegas

      Sorry, the pic is 90 degrees wrong for no good reason.

    • ThreeMadFrogs

      Spiky booby trap?

      • Vegas

        No, the guy with his internal organs destroyed by it.

    • Shalashaska

      Yup, surely seen it before. and maybe.. JUST MAYBE… if you Codec call, they comment on him. Im not really sure though.. i remember someone saying in codec about scientist who’d die trying to escape.. dont really remember when it was though… Either way.. YUP. Seen it before. Awesome how we find new things you didnt know exist in a game that is so old… happens, afterall.. its MGS3 😀

      • Mini gear

        we could probley find sep 1st written on some tree :p

        • Kol Leqejza


      • Vegas

        Tried, no one said anything. But Sigint do comment about the scientist trying to escape but I only saw this later (I heard the call and turned the game off). Good catch. “You’re pretty good”.

  • ThreeMadFrogs

    So much respect for Akio Otsuka.

  • Joaquin Romero Victorica

    Anyone knows when exactly the book of akio otsuka was released ? . I want to know if this statement was before Kojima ; Konami issues or after The whole Drop bomb . Thanks =)

    • 223hzy

      this excerpt is from his autobiography that wast just released one week ago so what do you think

  • invader_skoodge

    YongYea is trying to get an interview with Lori Alan and she replied to the message.


    Go home Jack!

    • kirtanloorii

      He’s becoming addicted to interviews.

      • MichaelPayneV

        Or maybe he just got a Contract with Frag Nation to use his popularity as basically The Best MGS YouTube Channel to get he people working on MGS for Interviews.

        He deserves it, he is already like 3 years old on youtube if i’m not wrong, so hey, he makes some money, and we get some answer while getting entertained.

  • PrinceHeir

    Good stuff Otsuka-san 🙂

    Been a legend the voice acting industry. From Villain to Hero, Mentor and support character. He has done it all.

    I don’t mind him voicing Snake the last time for MGSV. Same with the original crew and all.

    Getting hype for MGSV now! I’m sure Kojima is giving it all till the end!

  • Ninja_Se7eN

    Offtopic – just 150 days more until V day 😀 !

    The same number of days as Pokemons you could collect on the original Red and Blue games for Gameboy (not counting Mew) :P.

    • Andrea Feletti

      Right ahahahahaha

    • WrongDirectionZ

      But instead of pokemon, i´ll catch sheeps and goats…. Catch ém all 😀

      • Ninja_Se7eN

        And don’t forget to catch those rare S-rank soldiers as well :P.

    • MichaelPayneV

      And 150 missions.

    • Gatsu

      Oh maaan, good old Gameboy Pokemon Red and Blue lol, then later Silver and Gold. I remember playing them a lot. Epic memories from childhood ;). Gotta catch ’em all, soldiers and animals in TPP!

      • Ninja_Se7eN

        Tell me about it, I have very fond memories of Pokemon Red. I finished that game a lot of times :).

        Hell yeah, my to do list on TPP is as follows:
        1 – Rescue Kaz.
        2 – Bring back a ton of materials, diamonds and soldiers back to mother base!
        3 – Resume story!

  • A bit off-topic. But maybe someone wanted to know about this. 🙂

    This beauty may be the next interviewed.

    Have a nice day 🙂

    • Javier

      Yeah, but, I don’t know why is important an interview of someone who puts his face on a game. She is just going to talk about how good is hideo and can’t say anything about the game. She is a model.

      Not even have boobs.

      • WrongDirectionZ

        I agree, but maybe she leaves some hints about Quiets backstory. And after all we don´t know if Quiet really don´t talk for the whole game. It´s Kojima ^^

      • MichaelPayneV

        She has more inside sources then us, plus she could tell us more about Quiet as a Character, about the making of TPP, and all of this while standing there like an eye candy.

        Seriously, Eye Candy talking Metal Gear, hos is that not great?

        PS: Yes Stefanie, i know you’re more then Eye Candy, i just found this a good opportunity to use it as a Joke.

        • Javier

          Yeah, she is freaking beautiful. But I think it’s better and interview after september.

          • MichaelPayneV

            Nah, i want to see Stefanie confirming that Quiet is not Chico, so that people could finally stop that Theory.

          • That’s weird. But at the end of Ground Zeroes, Skull Face tells Chico “Be Quiet…”
            So if Chico is traumatized or something, he could change genre in order to protect Snake. Be Quiet, literally, who knows. 😛
            The only thing that is strange would be the superpowers of Quiet.
            Could someone change DNA and convert a normal person into someone with superpowers? Hm..

            And yes, she told us that Quiet is a total woman and is not a boy (or something like that in the video that Nyxus pointed in the next post), but that doesn’t mean she WAS Chico.
            If you change your genre, and you feel like a woman, well, Stefanie only needs to say “She is a female” while “Chico is a boy” in order to avoid the direct answer. Let’s see 🙂

          • MichaelPayneV

            Maybe Quiet is Paz Reborn from her own Ashes, hence the Smoke Effect when getting Visible/Invisible, and not being able to talk as she did snitch.

          • That could be also. Argh, we can’t do much without the whole puzzle (game).

            Well, Quiet at least we can listen her singing or humming. Here. I think she is humming one of the OST from the game.

          • MichaelPayneV

            Yes, she is humming the first 2 and a half minutes from the E3 2013 Trailer, which means that the song may be Quiet Theme Song, that’s plausible.

      • Kol Leqejza

        what kind of a retarded comment is that?! do us a favor and lock yourself up in a basement & and throw the key away.

        if it was supposed to be a “joke”, than it’s a bad one…

        • Javier

          And what exactly do you expect of this interview?

          Yong : – Thanks stefanie, you are so beautiful. Tell me something about quiet and the game.

          Stefanie: – Oh, thanks yong. Well… Quiet is the older sister of sniper wolf, but you are going to know this at the end of the game. She meets with big boss in a mission where she saves him. And in the end of the game kaz and snake are no longer friends and ocelot betrayed them all.

          Yong: – You spoil bitch.

          They can’t say anything right now.

          And it’s not good to use the word retarded as an insult. They are people like all we.

          • Kol Leqejza

            i was referring to ur chauvinistic part of ur comment. unnecassary.

  • Schmojima

    Guys, sorry for the off-topic, I just have this stupid question: is it possible to play mgo cross-platform?! It is, right?

    So, if I have a PS3, and all my friends a PS4, it still is no problem to play mgo together, right?

    A bit of advice would be greatly appreciated! ヾ(@⌒ー⌒@)ノ

    • ObsessedGeorge

      The devs won’t allow it just as they did with The Last Of Us. They said they’re not doing it because it wouldn’t be fair for the last gen playing 30fps less.

      • Schmojima

        You are right, I thought so, but I really had a shread of hope left… It obviously makes sense, regarding the framerate nonetheless. ;-;

    • Venom_Sina

      Hey,man.Sorry,but I don’t think that’s going to happen.All of cross-gen titles (Call of Duty,Battlefield,etc) only allow to play with the exact platform.PS4 with PS4,360 with 360 and so on.Probably this will apply to MGO3 like the other titles.

      • Schmojima

        Hey man, thank you for the heads up! Shit, so I really am buying the ps4 für this…

        I mean, it’s not that bad, it’s just the pile of cash one has to blow to have a good gaming experience with his friends (and hopefully the mgi community!) 😀

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