[Interview] Seiyuu Grandprix 2020/6 Edition – Shimazaki Nobunaga & Saito Soma – Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare

Released: 2020/5/9

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

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

Q: The original manga, Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare is the final chapter in Sakisaka Io-sensei’s three-part “adolescence” series. What did you think after reading the story?

Nobunaga: I felt realism in each and every episode. The characters are all very human, and it makes you relate to them and get excited. I think that’s why Sakisaka-sensei’s works have so many supporters.

Soma: I felt that it was a work that’s skilled at depicting “when things don’t go well.” You think you’ve taken a step forward, but now you’ve gone two steps back; when you think your feelings got across, they’ve now been misunderstood again. I thought these back-and-forth developments were realistic. Also, the title is great and embodies the essence of the work.

Q: What did you think when the cast was decided?

Nobunaga: During the audition, we both tried out for both Rio and Kazuomi. When the cast had been decided, we were only informed of the cast itself and not the assigned roles, so both of us assumed that Soma-kun would be Rio and I would be Kazuomi. *laughs*

Soma: I was all, “Nobunaga-san’s Kazuomi, huh? Makes sense~” *laughs* and then they told me “It’s the other way around.”

Nobunaga: Yeah, we were both like “Oh?!” *laughs*

Q: It was an unusual casting for both of you, then.

Nobunaga: Neither of the roles would’ve been strange, but based on the roles we’ve done in the past, Soma-kun seemed like a better fit for Rio. But when I actually tried acting as him, it was a perfect match. I like characters like Rio, who do ponder over things but end up leaping forward anyway. Both Soma-kun and I tend to get caught up in overthinking, but I’m more of the type whose emotions will take over and cause me to take action *laughs*. Meanwhile, Soma-kun is more of the type to prioritize his thoughts, although it seems like he’s been changing lately… He might be similar to his character in that sense.

Soma: I trusted in the casting, and when we actually went and did the recording, it worked out perfectly. Kazuomi seems really open and friendly at the beginning, but he overthinks things and becomes introspective… His parents oppose to his dream, and he also gets stuck relationship-wise because he’s too considerate of everyone else. The film depicts his perspective more clearly than the original manga did. When I first read the manga, I found him difficult to grasp, but the film version of him had a lot of things I could relate to. Through the film recording, I was able to synchronize with him.

Q: What scenes stood out to you during the recording?

Nobunaga: I love how Rio acted when he realized his own feelings at the school festival. He ran with all his might… and his confession wasn’t cool, but it was earnest. I really like acting out scenes where the character clumsily acts on their feelings.

Soma: For me, it was the last scene with Akari-chan. Also, I personally liked Yuna’s “I like you… so reject me!” Suzuki Marika-san’s acting was wonderful there, and Yuna-chan’s pureness struck my heart.

Q: Yuna and Akari have completely different views on love. What did you think their strengths were?

Nobunaga: They each have their own appeal. For Yuna, it’s her pure honesty.

Soma: Yep, yep.

Nobunaga: She’s radiant from our current perspective. I think people have a harder time staying honest as they grow older. It’s because we have experience that we can’t be frank. We can’t directly say “That’s wrong,” we can’t say “I love you” when we know we’ll be rejected… and we definitely can’t say something like “Reject me.” At first it was Akari leading Yuna, but she gradually gets pulled along by Yuna’s strength. I thought that change was interesting.

Soma: Akari is forced to act mature because of her situation, and she’s not good at examining her true feelings. Like Nobunaga-san said, she’s transformed by Yuna’s pure energy, and starts to clumsily think about her true desires and feelings. I thought it was really cute how she faces herself. I think Yuna and Akari’s charms lie in how they’re a positive influence on each other because of how different they are.

Nobunaga: They really are complete opposites. Their differences are so lovable.

Q: For Suzuki Marika-san who voices Yuna, this is her first time appearing in an anime film. Did you two give her any advice during the recording?

Soma: Rather than so-called technical advice… I think Yuna’s pureness was a reason for the casting decision, so we watched over her with an “It’s okay, just relax and be honest” attitude.

Nobunaga: As we were just saying, Yuna’s charm is her honesty that you can’t find in adults… so I thought Suzuki-san could produce the kind of acting you can only do when you’re new. Feelings are important in youth dramas, so I thought it’d be best if she could honestly express her feelings as Yuna. If anything, it was the rest of us that had to work harder. *laughs*

Soma: Han Megumi-san was like the big sister. Nobunaga-san would call out “It’s okay~!”, and I’d go “Yes, yes.” *laughs*

Nobunaga: That’s important! It’s really important to have someone giving that affirmation. Anyone would be nervous to suddenly be cast as the main character of a major work, and I personally think that just like in sports, you can perform better if you’re relaxed. We all tried to create that relaxing atmosphere for her.

Q: Who do you recommend this film to?

Nobunaga: I think it’s a film that’ll touch your heart no matter how old you are or what your circumstances are. I recommend it to everyone who wants to be encouraged.

Soma: I believe that everyone has their time of youth, no matter what form it takes. Whether you’ve yet to experience it, you’re in the middle of it right now, or you experienced it a long time ago, I think it’ll touch your heartstrings. For people around our age, it might make you think “I should’ve made the most of my youth ten years ago!”, but that’s not a painful thing. Although there are times when things don’t go well, it’ll make you feel refreshed. So, I don’t think I have any specific types of people I’d recommend it to.

Nobunaga: As long as you’re not thinking, “I really don’t want to be moved right now! Now’s a bad time!”, you should go see it! *laughs*

Q: In the film, Kazuomi takes Akari to an important place. What are your important places?

Nobunaga: In my hometown, there was a cliff adjacent to a vacant area. The area was kept maintained, but thinking about it now, it was still a dangerous place. But since it was high up and empty, the stars were beautiful there. At night, I’d walk around with my butterfly net and stop by there, looking at the stars while dangling my feet off the edge. That was certainly “youth.”

Soma: I was in a band in high school, and a band member’s uncle had a sort of detached building from their house that we borrowed to practice in. We also played games there, and it was exciting because it felt like a secret base. Unfortunately that base doesn’t exist anymore, but it was an important place to me.