[Interview] Animage 2020/6 Edition – The Flavor of Love and Adolescence

Published: 2020/5/9

Saito Soma (Inui Kazuomi in Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare)
Shimazaki Nobunaga (Yamamoto Rio in Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare)

Suzuki Marika (Ichihara Yuna in Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare)
Han Megumi (Yamamoto Akari in Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare)

Q: How did you feel when you got your roles?

Nobunaga: Soma-kun and I both auditioned for both Rio and Kazuomi. So, when we were informed that we passed the audition, I thought “Oh, Soma-kun’s Rio. Yeah, he’s a perfect fit for prince-types,” and Soma-kun also thought “I guess I’m Rio.” But it turned out to be the reverse, which was really surprising.

Soma: I was surprised too. But, I trusted in the casting, and at the recording it was a perfect match. I was impressed by Director Kuroyanagi’s discretion.

Q: What did you find appealing in the original manga?

Nobunaga: It had a sense of reality in the four characters’ worries and internal conflicts. The main theme of the series is definitely romance, but I’d be happy if you also paid attention to how realistically Rio, Kazuomi, Yuna, and Akari are depicted.

Soma: It depicts how adolescence never goes the way you want it to in a vivid, dramatic fashion. You think your feelings got across, but they actually didn’t, or you think you’ve taken a step forward, but you fall two steps behind… Watching these four try to move forward nonetheless made me think, “I have to move forward too.”

Q: What are Rio and Kazuomi’s positive traits?

Nobunaga: The way that Rio acts on emotion is cool. For example, what he does at the culture festival after realizing his true feelings. Even though the person he wants to confess to is right in front of him, he first runs to his friend who’s been getting closer to her to say “I love her too,” because he wants to follow the proper process. The confession scene itself becomes hasty and awkward, but it was wonderful nonetheless.

Soma: Kazuomi appears to be open-hearted and living freely, but he gradually comes to a standstill. His parents oppose his dream job, he’s interested in Akari but he knows that Rio also likes her, and he gets stuck in his thoughts. His inner conflicts only get worse as the story continues. But, all of that is because of his kindness. His personality shows in every action he takes.

Q: What do you think of Yuna and Akari?

Nobunaga: I like how Yuna is pure and honest. As you grow older and experience different things, you lose the ability to say certain things directly, right? But her inexperience and strong beliefs allow her to express her feelings honestly. She’s very radiant.

Soma: Akari is a girl who has to act mature because of her family situation. I thought it was charming how Yuna’s pure energy affects her and causes her to change.

Nobunaga: When Yuna’s not confident in herself, she confesses by saying “Please reject me. I like you,” while Akari says “You like me, right?” instead of confessing her own feelings. They’re both awkward but lovable.

Q: For Yuna’s voice actress, Suzuki Marika-san, this was her first time appearing in an anime film. Did you give her any advice?

Nobunaga: For some people, as they gain experience and get wrapped up in their technique, their acting starts to sound a bit fake. Since Suzuki-san didn’t have experience in a leading role, I hoped she would be able to perform honestly and comfortably, and strived to create a relaxing recording atmosphere for her.

Soma: Also, at the recording studio, Han Megumi-san (who voices Akari) took on the role of the big sister looking after her. Nobunaga-kun was like the big brother, while I stood off to the side nodding along. *laughs*

Q: What were your memorable scenes?

Soma: The scene that was used in the PV, where Kazuomi says to Akari, “Fall in love with me.” It made my heart race. This scene has a very bittersweet, adolescent atmosphere. Also, the scene where Kazuomi and Akari are fighting, which is more on the bitter side. Their relationship is such that Akari has the slight edge, and as the story progresses, it becomes Kazuomi chasing after her. During all that, Akari says something like “Kazuomi-kun, you sure are good at talking in a roundabout way,” which boomerangs back at her. It was a slightly bitter fight scene that prickles the heart.

Nobunaga: It looked like she was angry at Kazuomi, but she might’ve been reflecting on herself as well. I also recommend Yuna’s first confession to Rio. It’s a sweet scene mixed with some bitterness, that makes your heart ache. She knows she’ll get rejected, but she confesses anyway, saying “So, reject me.” You can feel her honesty and futility.

Q: What kind of people do you recommend this film to?

Soma: I think everyone has their own ideal adolescence, but Furifura has several scenes that are guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings. I was touched too, and it made me think “I should’ve made the most of my youth too!” I recommend the film to everyone: those who haven’t experienced adolescence yet, those who are in the middle of it right now, and those who have long since passed it.

Nobunaga: To add on to that, people who want to move forward. Whether it’s in love or friendship, if you think “I want to change my current situation,” this is a wonderful film that’ll give you a gentle push on the back.