[Interview] Animate Times – Kimi dake ni Motetainda. – Saito Soma & Uchiyama Koki & Tomizono Rikiya & Umehara Yuuichirou

Original Article: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1573263330
Published: 2019/11/9

Saito Soma (Furuta Tokio in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)
Uchiyama Koki (Ashida Shigekazu in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)
Tomizono Rikiya (Tojima Koutarou in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)
Umehara Yuuichirou (Gotouda Shun in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)

Matsuoka Yoshitsugu (Sahashi Aki in Kimi dake ni Motetainda.)

Q: What were your impressions of the setting and script?

Soma: When I first heard about it, I thought it was going to be a traditional adolescence story, as seen in theatres. But when I read the script, I found that it was quite ambitious. First off, the “Motemen Koshien” concept was unique, and the story wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It depicts the bittersweetness and naivete of the teenage years from various angles.

Ucchi: My first impression was that it must have a nonsensical setting because of the Motemen Koshien. The introductory phase also went by quick, so I wondered if it was going to become a fantastical story. But as the story progressed, they did things like training for the contest and worrying about their social status at school, and the problems they faced were more realistic than at the start. It was a pretty big gap.

“Motemen Koshien” sounds like a weird name, but there are events in real life that assign value to people’s appearances too, so if you substitute one of those in, the story might not actually be that far off.

Rikiya: When I first heard “Motemen Koshien” I thought the name had a lot of impact. But as I read the script, I saw that the contest had various different parts to it, that wouldn’t be so strange to see in reality. In fact, a real-life version would probably go viral, so I got excited reading the script.

Ume-chan: Not all of the information had been released at the time of the audition, so I went in imagining it’d be a bittersweet adolescence story. After getting the actual script and going through the recording, how do I put this… it was the opposite? Well, it wasn’t the opposite, but… *laughs*

All: *laughs*

Ume-chan: Rather than a bittersweet adolescence story, it was more like, you see these guys talking and it makes you laugh at how stupid boys can be. There’s also a confession scene at the end, and I think the film can be enjoyed by various types of people.

Q: What was the audience’s actual reaction when you went to the theatre screening?

Ucchi: From the stage, it looked like most of them were female fans. So, I’m interested in what guys or people from different age groups would think of it.

Soma: It’s still new, and I think the experience will vary depending on the person, so we’ll be seeing more different opinions. I’m excited to see how everyone interprets it.

Q: Now, please introduce your characters and what you thought while voicing them.

Soma: Tokio-kun is seen as a chuunibyou by his classmates, but he’s actually a boy who feels uncomfortable interacting with people. I think his personal “ideal self” is too fleshed out, so he can’t approach it in reality. He has a vast imagination, but he also has the emotional swings of a teenager.

Ucchi: I voiced Asimo, who’s very energetic and in high spirits from the moment he wakes up. He also has a bit of an idiotic side, but he’s a good person, and I got the impression of a youthful guy.

Rikiya: Koutarou is a boy who isn’t popular because he’s too cute, but on the inside he wants to be cooler and manlier. He aspires to be like Shun-san, but Shun-san tells him that it’s okay to be cute, and there’s a scene where he accepts his cuteness and becomes more popular.

Ume-chan: Gotouda Shun is Horiko’s butler, and he keeps himself in check, not showing his emotions as outwardly as the other characters. I think that butler-like restraint is everyone’s first impression of him, but he’s actually the same age as the other four, so he has his own worries that he’s been keeping bottled up.

Q: At the screening address, you talked about whether you resembled your characters.

Soma: Umehara-san was a perfect match.

Ume-chan: Really?

Soma: Your voice was.

Ucchi/Rikiya: Huh? *laughs*

Soma: When I read the script, he was really convincing. I thought, “If Gotouda said this to me I’d probably go through the training too.”

Ucchi: Oh, I see! He really forced them into it at the start. *laughs*

Soma: Yeah, it was kidnapping!

Ucchi: They got thrown into vans that appeared out of nowhere, then taken away and told to enter the Motemen Koshien. *laughs*

Q: They got dragged into it.

Soma: And in Aki and Koutarou’s case, it doesn’t seem like they understood what they were getting into.

Rikiya: Yeah. *laughs*

Ucchi: They were completely brainwashed. *laughs*

Soma: They defected to the enemy side.

Ucchi: Yeah, it was surprising. And it’s the voice that gives him that persuasive power~

Soma: That voice has a magical power~

Soma: I think that everyone focused more on how the characters would react to the information they’re given, rather than whether the characters resembled us or not.

Q: What kinds of things did you pay attention to while acting?

Soma: For Tokio-kun, I started him off in a more cowardly way, but was asked not to use that approach. As I said earlier, he has an ideal that he aspires to be, and he’s pretty stubborn about it. That stubbornness is what prevents him from breaking out of his shell. So instead of expressing cowardliness, I was asked to express that stubbornness of “This is how I want to be.” I hoped that meeting everyone would loosen him up.

Q: At the screening, Uchiyama-san also talked about the direction he received regarding Asimo. What kind of direction was it?

Ucchi: In the plan I had, Asimo was generally energetic all the time, but there’d be times when he was calmer and spoke quietly. But I was told “That’s not right.”

All: *laughs*

Ucchi: He’s always loud and annoying, even if he’s talking to someone right next to him. Basically, he has no sense of distance. Usually, you have to differentiate between people who are close or far away or else they’ll correct you, so I had to deliberately do things that would normally get corrected. I couldn’t get used to it though. *laughs*

All: *laughs*

Ucchi: I thought of him as a character that operates under different rules than normal people.

Q: He doesn’t seem like the type of character you usually voice, right?

Ucchi: That might be true. First of all, I didn’t audition for Asimo to begin with.

Soma: Really?! It must’ve been Tokio or Aki, right?

Ucchi: At any rate, I recall sending in lines for a different character, but was asked to voice Asimo instead.

All: *laughs*

Ucchi: If that means there’s someone out there who wanted to gamble on my unknown potential, then I’m thankful for that.

Soma: It sounds like a challenge.

Ucchi: As for whether it was a hit or a miss, please watch the film and see for yourself. *laughs*

Q: Can you tell us any behind-the-scenes stories from the recording, or what it was like?

Ucchi: There were a lot of people.

Soma/Ume-chan: Yeah~

Ucchi: Since it was a school setting, there are a lot of other student characters, and I vividly remember the studio being full of people.

Soma: About what Uchiyama-san was saying earlier, since he got that direction for Asimo, he gradually shifted into high gear until they were like “All right, that’s it! That part’s all set.” And then he was all ready to keep going as that Asimo… but we were instead told “All right, time for lunch break!” *laughs*

Ucchi: That timing.

Ume-chan: It was right when he’d solidified the role.

Soma: What a shock~

Ucchi: I was grateful that they’d prepared a proper lunch for us, though.

Soma: We usually don’t get those kinds of lunch boxes! *spoken for Rikiya to hear*

Rikiya: Oh, I see.

Ucchi: I was really happy that they’d shown that consideration for us.

Q: Was everything recorded in a single day?

Ucchi: The lines were, yes.

Ume-chan: It took a long time.

Soma: It really took the whole day.

Ucchi: It felt like we were there from morning ’til night.

Q: I heard that this was Tomizono-san’s first recording. Did anything leave an impression on you? Was it your first time standing in front of a mic?

Rikiya: I had lessons to learn how to do it, but this was my first time doing it for a job. Unlike the lessons, there were a lot of people around, so I was really nervous speaking into the mic by myself in front of everyone.

Soma: Tomizono-kun said it was his first time, but his mic work was really good.

Ucchi: Oh, yeah! He got the group technique right.

Soma: That was amazing. At my first recording, I couldn’t get to the mic.

Ucchi: I failed a bunch of times too.

Soma: And I got yelled at.

Ume-chan: Ah~

Soma: They were like, “Get in there even if you have to push someone out of the way!” and I thought, “No way, I can’t do that~!”

Rikiya: It’s because everyone made it easy for me to get in. And Matsuoka-san would gesture to me like “Over here!”

Ucchi: By the way, did you know that there’s a rule where you use the same mics during the recording that you did during the test run?

Rikiya: Ah, yes. I learned that.

Soma: So diligent~

Ucchi: I messed it up all the time, so don’t worry. *laughs*

All: Ahahahahaha *laughs*

Soma: We were a bit lazy about it. *laughs*

Ucchi: But, I think it’s amazing that you’re already able to record in a group like that.

Rikiya: It’s because of the lessons…

Soma: It’s impressive that you were able to execute what you learned at your very first recording.

Ucchi: You must’ve worked hard.

Soma: *peeks at Ume-chan beside him* Huh? Are you alive?

Ume-chan: I’m alive!

All: *laughs*

Ume-chan: I was just thinking about how nostalgic the first recording is. *laughs*

Q: What was the most memorable scene or line to you, Umehara-san?

Ume-chan: The part where everyone’s feelings for Horiko start becoming clear. Gotouda has his circumstances and can’t be honest, and the scene where he has to harshly reject Horiko was memorable for me. When I read the script, it felt like this was one of the most exciting scenes, so I put my all into it.

Q: Gotouda certainly became the key. What were everyone else’s memorable scenes?

Soma: “Donguri Korokoro.”

Ucchi: Ah~ you sang it.

Soma: We recorded several variations of it, although I’m already planning on explaining everything at the second stage talk.

Ucchi: What do you mean? *laughs*

Soma: Tokio-kun says he doesn’t like singing, but the extent of his ability was subject to experimentation from me and the staff. We recorded different versions, ranging from surprisingly decent to completely tone deaf. I think the one they used was the most orthodox take, but I think I did the tone deaf one really well.

Ucchi: I see. *laughs*

Soma: I really think I did the bad one well. I wanted to hear that version too.

Q: I’m sure the fans would want to hear it too.

Soma: Yeah. I also never thought the day would come when everyone would hear me singing that kindergarten song in a movie.

Q: No one would expect to do that. *laughs*

Soma: It felt like being praised for being a good kid and going to kindergarten. *laughs*

Q: *laughs* What about Uchiyama-san and Tomizono-san?

Ucchi: Memorable scenes, huh? Hmm…

Soma: Isn’t it that one?

Ucchi: ?

Soma: “Can y’all be quiet for a second~?!” Even though people are cheering for Asimo-kun, he goes “Shut up!”

Ucchi: That rough treatment, huh?

Soma: It’s like, is it okay to say that?

Ucchi: And then it’s gotta be his shocking talent of leaking milk from his eyes.

Soma: Are there really people who can do that?

Ume-chan: Probably?

Ucchi: That’s Asimo’s selling point. I want to praise the fact that he sealed it away for the contest. That’s real growth right there.

Soma: He put a limiter on himself. *laughs*

Ucchi: What’s important is that he purposefully didn’t show off what he was good at.

Rikiya: For me, I think it’d be the stalker.

Ucchi: Oh yeah, there was that.

Soma: That was bad…

Rikiya: The one who hides in the classroom locker, and when Koutarou gets up from his seat she bursts out and says “I love you!” It was a confession, but it scared me.

Q: That situation was nothing but scary.

Rikiya: Yeah, it’s not something that you really come across.

Q: Speaking of confessions, are there any confession situations or lines that would move your heart? They don’t necessarily have to be confessions of love.

All: Confessions…

Q: It could be something like a confession of gratitude or praise.

Soma: A confession that’d move my heart, huh~?

Ucchi: You know, I don’t like it when my heart races.

All: Huh?

Ucchi: Like when someone texts me “There’s something I want to talk about” first; I hate that.

Soma: Oh~ I think I know what you mean.

Ucchi: It makes me think, “Just say it then!”

Soma: I get you. “Are you busy?” I hate that kind of thing.

Ucchi: Yeah, and “There’s something I want to ask.” Then ask it! It feels like I’m being trapped in my head, and it makes me think “Is it that? Did they find out about that bad thing I did? *laughs*” Just say it without that preface~

Soma: I totally understand. You don’t want them to leave it for the next day.

Ucchi: Exactly. So in that sense, I think I might hate confessions. If someone tells me “I have something to confess tomorrow” I’d be like “Just tell me now.”

Soma: It’d be better to hear it outright.

Ucchi: Yeah. Just write it directly in the message.

Soma: Yeah~

Ucchi: Maybe I have a fear of confessions. They really stress me out. *laughs*

Soma: I know exactly what you mean.

Q: Are you the same way, Saito-san?

Soma: I’m the type that doesn’t want to carry my worries over to the next day. If it’s just a matter of making mental preparations then that’s fine, but I dislike vague situations where I don’t know if it’s going to be a good thing or a bad thing.

As for romantic confessions, when I was in high school, I had a pretty similar mindset to Tokio-kun. I’d fantasize about joining the literature club and having a mysterious senpai ask me, “You’re reading this book too?” So, I also wished I could experience a super cliche situation just once. You know, like on the rooftop, after school, with the sunset!

Ucchi: Ahh, that’s nice~

Q: It’s something everyone aspires for at least once.

Soma: I became a voice actor so that I could do that.

All: *laughs*

Soma: As a voice actor, I can become a high school student as many times as I want *laughs*. Well, I would like to experience a situation that’s too cliche to be likely to happen in real life.

Q: Ahh~. What about you, Tomizono-san?

Rikiya: It’s not a confession, but I find situations like the one at the end of the film where the friends are watching fireworks together to be emotional. I want to experience that.

Q: And share your feelings?

Rikiya: Yeah~ I want to watch fireworks with guy friends in one of those local little-well-known places.

Q: That really is adolescence. What about Umehara-san?

Ume-chan: Hmm… I want to be confessed to.

(Everyone laughs at how he says that with a serious face)

Soma: This is going to be difficult to continue from. *laughs*

Ume-chan: I’m digging my own grave *laughs*. But when I was a student, I was the type to confess myself.

All: Oh~

Ucchi: You would rather love than be loved, huh? *laughs*

Soma: This conversation is tough. *laughs*

Ume-chan: So well, now that I’m at this age, I think it’d be nice to be confessed to.

Q: If someone were to confess to you now, how would you like it to go?

Ume-chan: Hmm, I wonder. Hmm…

Soma: Well, you want to be confessed to directly, right? Like “Umehara-san, I love you!”

Ume-chan: Ahh, I don’t want that.

Soma: What?

Ucchi: Huh?

Ume-chan: I wouldn’t like that.

Soma: What are they supposed to do?!

Ume-chan: I’d be a bit put off if they came at me forcefully…

Ucchi: Then what?

Soma: This guy’s kind of conceited.

Ucchi: What can they do to make Umehara-kun fall?

Ume-chan: I won’t fall~

All: *burst out laughing*

Ucchi: You won’t?! *laughs*

Soma: Well, this conversation’s fallen flat. *laughs*

Ume-chan: I just meant that I’d like to experience being confessed to *laughs*. I usually don’t get to feel that kind of excitement.

Q: Thanks for the entertaining discussion! *laughs* Finally, please give a message for the fans.

Ume-chan: Since it’s an adolescence story, you should first enjoy watching the boys work towards their common goal. You’ve probably experienced the excitement resulting from love consultations among friends, so I hope you’ll recall those bittersweet memories of youth. And of course, I think people who are currently in that springtime of life will enjoy the film too.

Rikiya: This film is only 54 minutes long, so you can watch it whenever you want that heart-racing feeling. I also recommend it to anyone who wants to recall what love was like, regardless of gender.

Ucchi: I think Kimimote was created in an easy-to-watch way. Also, the main cast is made up of different types of characters, so if you’ve already watched the film once, I recommend going to the theatre again to watch it from a different character’s perspective.

Soma: I think this film likely depicts adolescence from a different perspective than what the viewers had in mind beforehand. People will experience it in varying ways, but at the very start of the recording, the director said that “This is a story about clumsy boys forming a team and working together towards a common goal.” I interpret it as their one summer of youth, so I hope you’ll enjoy Kimimote’s youthfulness in your own way.