Shimazaki Nobunaga (Yamamoto Rio in Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare)
Saito Soma (Inui Kazuomi in Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare)
Q: Please tell us what made your chest tighten when you read the original manga.
Soma: I liked Rio and Yuna-chan’s direct, honest feelings. Also, I’m rooting for (Rio’s friend) Agatsuma-kun! He’s a good kid.
Nobunaga: Not only did the series make my chest tighten, it was very relatable. Not just the romance, but it made me think things like, “People do do these things in high school” and “People like this do exist.” I could relate to each and every thing, so it really moved my heart.
Soma: When I saw the scene where they were preparing for the school festival, it made me wish I’d enjoyed my teenage years to the fullest too *laughs*. It’s a type of yearning, right? Being able to experience youth again through this work was thrilling in a big way.
Q: Please tell us which character you related to the most.
Nobunaga: Everyone had something I could understand. For example, Rio interacts normally when he’s not interested, but once he’s in love, he suddenly starts blushing. I relate to his faithful representation of a high school boy that tries to look good in front of others. As for Kazuomi, I relate to how he’s passionate about the things he likes—like how he becomes talkative when they’re talking about movies. The girls also had aspects that I could relate to.
Soma: Out of the main four, it’d be Akari-chan for me. Due to her circumstances, she’s forced to be mature, and she keeps herself balanced for the sake of maintaining good relationships with the others. I related to that, although my situation wasn’t as difficult as hers… I also related to her initial stance of guessing what others are feeling before acting, and then the process of facing her own emotions.
Q: Between Akari and Yuna, which is your type?
Nobunaga: Yuna-chan is the one who looks dazzling to me. Akari-chan looks around her and makes adult decisions, but I think Yuna-chan does things that you can’t do when you become an adult. She’s honest and true to her feelings. I think her inexperience and innocence are radiant. The one I relate to more is Akari-chan, though. What about you, Soma-kun?
Soma: I completely agree *laughs*. Yuna-chan is someone you appreciate more the older you get. But if I were a high school student, I don’t think I would’ve been attracted to her.
Nobunaga: Akari-chan is the more mature type, right?
Soma: *nods* I think I admired that. But at our age, Yuna-chan’s directness strikes our hearts. I end up thinking, “Stay honest as you grow up,” like I’m her parent or older brother *laughs*. But if we’re strictly talking about my type, it’d be Akari-chan.
Q: What did you think when you found out you’d be costarring together?
Nobunaga: At first, we only heard that we’d be costarring, and I thought, “Soma-kun’s probably Rio.”
Soma: I also went, “I see, so Kazuomi is Nobunaga-san.” *laughs*
Nobunaga: We thought the same thing *laughs*. But then I was Rio and Soma-kun was Kazuomi.
Soma: It was shocking. When I read the original manga, I couldn’t grasp Kazuomi, but I thought Nobunaga-san would be able to do it *laughs*. That was my first impression, but the movie script included the manga’s essence while adding its own interpretation, so I did feel in sync with Kazuomi while we were recording.
Nobunaga: I’ve been voicing characters in a similar position to Rio, and I relate to him more too, so he clicked with me and it was easy to act as him. It was refreshing, though.
Soma: It was. I don’t voice Kazuomi’s type much, and when I’m with Nobunaga-san, I often voice peculiar characters *laughs*. So it felt novel to me, and I felt secure seeing Nobunaga-san’s wonderful acting during the key parts.
Nobunaga: I think it’s something you always had; you just didn’t show it outwardly. I hope everyone will see this new door you’ve opened.
Q: Did you receive any new inspiration from this film?
Soma: I enjoyed the dialogue between the two towards the end of the film. Since Rio was performed with pure, honest acting and emotion, it was easier to express Kazuomi’s emotions too.
Nobunaga: Rio changes his attitude towards Kazuomi depending on whether he’s desperate or relaxed, so it was interesting seeing Kazuomi’s reactions to that.
Soma: Because the characters have drastic mood swings *laughs*. There were parts of the script that made me wonder if their emotions were jumping around, but in reality, things normally don’t happen in the proper order for people. Real people suddenly get annoyed or sad in the moment, so the story developments actually felt very realistic.
Nobunaga: I think dramas go through the steps to make things easy for people to understand, but this film has realism in the emotional ups and downs and the flow of the story.
Q: There’s also a live action film in the works, but tell us what the advantages of the anime adaptation are.
Soma: The way it directly expresses the atmosphere of the original manga. It shows the unheard sounds and the unseen colours in high quality. I think it’s appealing to see a manga you like in animated form.
Nobunaga: Personally, I think that since the anime is drawn by animators, it’s not “real,” but that means they’re working extra hard to give it realism. I’m sure the live action is also pursuing realism, but in anime, everything is fiction, and I think it’s amazing how they make every effort to create something real within that. I hope you enjoy the reality within the fiction.
Soma: Please watch both adaptations, and if you haven’t read the original manga, please read that too.