[Interview] Cho Animedia – Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare – Shimazaki Nobunaga & Saito Soma

Original URL: https://cho-animedia.jp/movie/171781/2/
Published: 2020/6/1

Shimazaki 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)

※A few of the questions and answers are the same as the Katari, Katarare section of Animedia’s interview in their paper magazine.

Q: The two of you have co-starred quite often. What did you think when you found out you’d be co-starring in this film?

Nobunaga: Both Soma-kun and I auditioned for both Yamamoto Rio and Inui Kazuomi. So, when I was contacted about the casting, based on the trends of the characters we voiced recently, I first thought, “I guess Soma-kun is Rio and I’m Kazuomi.” It was actually the reverse though, so I was a bit surprised.

Soma: Indeed. I had also assumed “I guess Nobunaga-san is voicing Kazuomi. Makes sense!”

Q: Was it an unusual casting?

Nobunaga: It was really just what we thought based on the roles we typically get cast as and the fact that it was me and Soma-kun voicing Rio and Kazuomi. When we talked to each other about the casting, we found out that we’d both thought the same thing.

Soma: When it actually came time to voice Kazuomi, it was a better fit than expected. I thought it was unusual at first, but now I don’t doubt the staff’s choice one bit.

Nobunaga: Indeed. I had a lot of fun voicing Rio too.

Q: What were your impressions after reading the scenario?

Soma: First off, I thought the title was really great. I think those who read the original manga will know what I mean when I say that the work’s entire essence is contained in the title. And this work’s story does a very good job of depicting “when things don’t go well.” Feelings that don’t get across, unrequited love. Just when they think they’ve gotten closer to that person, they drift apart again. These back-and-forth relationships are no different from ours in the real world. And I found it was fascinating that the worries the characters have in the film are things that I can relate to even as an adult.

Nobunaga: I also enjoyed the realism of the characters and story. It made me think, “Yeah, this would happen in that situation” and “People are like this these days.” When I imagine myself in the characters’ shoes, they always do what I would’ve done. All of the characters in this work are very human. Even though the theme is romance, it’s also a story of human drama.

Q: Tell us about the heroines, Ichihara Yuna and Yamamoto Akari.

Nobunaga: Yuna-chan is charming because of her honesty when it comes to both love and friendship. She’s dazzling. I think that this kind of honesty is hard to maintain when you become an adult, especially when you’re concerned about what other people think or afraid of failing. That’s why Yuna-chan’s honesty is radiant and appealing. On the other hand, Akari-chan has relationship experience, so she starts off guiding Yuna-chan, but Yuna-chan’s honesty gradually gets to her, and it was sweet watching her come to terms with her own feelings.

Soma: I think Akari-chan is a girl who has to act mature because of her complicated family situation. That makes it hard for her to be true to her feelings, which is where her story begins. Akari-chan becomes changed through Yuna-chan’s pure, honest energy, and it was comforting to watch her face her feelings, clumsy as it might’ve been. I think anyone who’s gone through puberty will be able to sympathize with that awkwardness of hers. The two girls are completely different in personality and their approach to love, and the story of how they influence each other really pulls you in.

Nobunaga: They really are opposites.

Soma: I like the game that Akari-chan plays throughout the film. I loved how she wouldn’t confess herself, instead trying to draw a confession out of him. I also thought the most dazzling scene was Yuna-chan’s direct “Reject me” line. It’s great to see the girls’ different approaches to love.

Q: What was it like voicing the characters?

Nobunaga: I said earlier that I originally thought I’d be voicing Kazuomi, but I found that I related to Rio more after voicing him. He’s the type that acts based on emotion, which is similar to me. So, while he’s extremely handsome, I loved how he became a mess for the sake of expressing his love. I’ve wanted to act out such a scene for a long time now, so I gave it everything I had.

Soma: When I read the original manga, I couldn’t get a grasp on Kazuomi’s character. He has a caring and sociable personality, but he thinks too much about balancing his own feelings with other people’s expectations, and ends up getting stuck. I couldn’t get a good read on his heart at first. But when we began recording and I followed the story again from his point of view, it somehow settled in. The last scene where Kazuomi becomes honest with his own feelings left a deep impression on me when I acted it out, so please pay extra attention to that.

Q: For Yuna’s voice actress, Suzuki Marika-san, this was her first appearance in an anime film, and after the recording, she said she felt how amazing the veteran voice actors were. Did you two give her any advice?

Nobunaga: We didn’t have anything to say regarding acting, right?

Soma: Right. I think the three of us, including Akari’s voice actress Han Megumi-san, reassured her and told her to take it easy.

Nobunaga: Yeah, I think you can put on your best performance when you have both nervousness and relaxedness in moderation. As her senpais, all we did was create that atmosphere for her.

Soma: Han-san was especially supportive of her.

Nobunaga: They were like sisters. *laughs*

Q: It sounds like it was a very warm recording session. As for the completed film, Rio and Kazuomi both go through love where they have a difficult time expressing their feelings. What would you do in their situations?

Nobunaga: I think I would make a move. I’ll ponder over things for a while, but in the end, I tend to be true to my feelings. Even if I make a move and it doesn’t work out, that’s a weight off my shoulders, and I think it’s always important to express how you feel. That’s also why I respect people like Akari and Kazuomi, who can repress their feelings for the sake of others. It’s admirable because it’s something I can’t do.

Soma: Wow, I agree with everything he said laughs. If I had to find something different, I think it’d be that I admire the idea of “a love that might not come true,” and worrying that your feelings might never reach the other person. But in actuality, I don’t think I’d be able to keep my feelings a secret and worry like that. If I realize I love them, I’ll probably take action right away.

Q: Who would you recommend this film to?

Soma: The theme of this film is “love,” but I want it to be seen by a wide range of people, without narrowing it down to that one point. This is because I think everyone has some form of “adolescence.” Whether it involves love, friendship, or something else, I think there’ll be parts of this film that’ll tug at your heartstrings. If you’re an adult like us, it might make you think “I should’ve gotten more out of my youth.” *laughs* But that’s not a painful feeling; rather, it’s something you feel in a refreshing, touching way.

Nobunaga: Indeed, I think it’ll move your heart no matter how old you are. Personally, I highly recommend it to people who want to become more proactive. After watching the film, I’m sure it’ll make you want to take action.

Soma: Yeah! It’s especially recommended for people who want to be proactive.

Nobunaga: In that case, I recommend it to everyone except for people who really don’t want to be moved, or want to maintain calmness in their heart. *laughs*

[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.

[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.