[Interview] Animate Times – Omikuji Yon Kyoudai Cast Interview

Published: 2020/5/22
Original URL: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1587624437

Hatano Wataru (Shuu in Omikuji Yon Kyoudai)
Saito Soma (Ayame in Omikuji Yon Kyoudai)
Nishiyama Koutaro (Aoba in Omikuji Yon Kyoudai)
Takeuchi Shunsuke (Shiki in Omikuji Yon Kyoudai)
Komada Wataru (Ogata Kouichi in Omikuji Yon Kyoudai: Fuyu no Tantei wa Roast Beef ga Osuki)

Genda Tessyo

※This interview was to commemorate the series’ first-ever BD/DVD release, their Fuyu no Tantei wa Roast Beef ga Osuki event.

Omikuji Yon Kyoudai gained new potential with their first-ever guest member☆

Q: First, please tell us your impressions of the Omikuji Yon Kyoudai: Fuyu no Tantei wa Roast Beef ga Osuki reading theatre that was held last winter.

Hatano: Rather than a normal reading theatre, this one felt like a new form of entertainment. It was on a large-scale stage, so we had to run around a lot.

Kawajiri Keita-san’s script had me laughing just from reading it, and it took each of the actors’ characteristics into play. It was a reading theatre where I really had no idea what would come forth.

Omikuji Yon Kyoudai was originally only the four of us, but by inviting Komada-kun as our first guest, I feel like the series has taken a new step forward.

Takeuchi: This was the second reading theatre we did, the first being Haru wa Omusubi!. I wondered how it’d turn out, but we had Wataru-san as a guest and the script took on a different flavour, so it felt like a new wave of dialogues was born. It showed that Omikuji Yon Kyoudai had room for such new developments.

I wanted to act both the comedic and the heartwarming parts with everything I had, to figure out how to make it the most entertaining, for the sake of the next installment as well.

Saito: I really got tired from laughing so much *laughs*. As they said, I really felt like I’ve grown through these good brothers, good series, and good characters.

Our guest, Koma-chan was a key character in this reading theatre, and if you were to ask me to name an alternative actor for him, no one else comes to mind at all.

We created this stage with this amazing cast, and it was a wonderful event that gave me high hopes for the future of the four brothers… but, it was seriously exhausting. *laughs*

Ayame’s parts were long. I’d keep flipping and flipping the pages, but it’d still be on Ayame.

Komada: Don’t be like that. If we removed any more lines, it wouldn’t be interesting anymore.

Saito: I want to take this opportunity to state that I had the fewest ad libs. *laughs*

Hatano: Who had the most?

Saito: *immediately answers* It was you, Hatano-san.

All: *laughs*

Saito: You were doing that rigid dancing while the lights dimmed, and the evening session had a lot of ad libs, right?

Nishiyama: His movements were visually way more active than everyone else’s. *laughs*

Hatano: Before it began, Kawajiri-san said “The stage transition there is a bit long, so feel free to play around.” So I really did it, only to see that no one else was moving!

All: *laughs*

Hatano: It was so embarrassing!

Saito: It was so funny *laughs*

Q: What were your impressions, Nishiyama-san?

Nishiyama: Both sessions were held on the same day, but it felt like the day and evening sessions were quite different in tone. This was because after the day session, during the break we discussed changes we wanted to make based on the audience’s reactions. I think it was a day of utmost concentration for all of us.

Komada: Like Koutaro-kun said, the audience reactions between the day and evening sessions would make you think they were different shows. All of the cast members made things more entertaining, and it was a lot of fun.

I was participating as the series’ first guest, so I was really excited about that already. During rehearsal, I absorbed as much as I could of the four characters they’d been developing all this time, and went into the performance wanting to simply enjoy the atmosphere.

The gap formed from the powered-up characters is hilarious!

Q: In the after-talk, you talked about how this event was the culmination of what came before it. Regarding what you have in common with the characters you play, has anything changed since your first impression of them?

Saito: I don’t think I have anything (in common). *laughs*

Nishiyama: My first impression of Aoba was that he was the most cheerful and energetic of the four brothers. I also thought he’d be shy around people outside their family, but it turned out that he was unreserved towards Ogata-san in this reading theatre. I realized that he can treat everyone in the same cheerful way.

Komada: Just like you, right? You’re a milder version. *laughs*

Takeuchi: We make new discoveries each time we act as them, so I think every character has gaps like that.

Saito: I think they got deeper with this performance, like their facial expressions that are contrary to their lines. Like how Shuu-nii never fails to find the camera when he poses. The camerawork was excellent too.

Hatano: Shuu had a lot of lines that were directed towards the audience, so I guess it seemed that way. *laughs*

Takeuchi: From this video footage, I think you’ll understand what it means when we say “reading theatre isn’t only about reading.” 81 Produce should use this as teaching material in their training school!

All: *laughs*

Saito: Shiki also sang a lot more than usual.

Takeuchi: He was supposed to just be a karaoke enthusiast at first…

Hatano: It was like the technique of a wandering minstrel. Takeuchi-kun can sing about any theme.

Q: He had singing scenes with a variety of titles, right? I wondered if Shiki’s songs had lyrics and composition behind them.

Takeuchi: This is embarrassing to talk about. *laughs*

Saito: You should say it!

Takeuchi: It’s… Shiki’s mental state *nervous*. I’d prefer to leave it to people’s imagination, so I’m still not going to comment.

Saito: The fortunes are a matter of chance, after all. We don’t know what we’ll get until we pull them. On the other hand, that helped us grow.

Takeuchi: Indeed *laughs*. All of the characters have been powering up.

Saito: *immediately* Ayame was the same as always, though.

Hatano: He’s definitely powering up!

Saito: It felt like the script gave him the “entertainer” position. I didn’t expect there to be a red light overlaid on my face on the live camera… It shocked me again when I saw it in the footage *laughs*. Everyone broke character when it happened.

Hatano: That was something only you could do. *laughs*

Q: In the after-talk, Hatano-san said something along the lines of, “Did Shuu always like girls this much?”

Hatano: In the very first recording, I emphasized the character’s personality strongly, but was directed to keep him as an elegant young man, so that he wouldn’t come across as a philanderer. I’ve been maintaining that since then, but this time, the script made it seem like his pent-up thoughts exploded. So, I boldly went all-in.

But no matter what we saw of him here, that was only one side of his character. He has various sides to him, like how he cares for his brothers. It’s just that this performance made it clear that he loves girls more than he loves food. *laughs*

Saito: There was the part about green peppers too.

Hatano: “Girl pepper” was Aoba’s line.

Nishiyama: It was completely as written in the script.

Q: I see! I thought it was an ad lib. I’d like to compare with the script to see how much of it was ad-libbed.

Hatano: The part where I suddenly got excited about urban legends was completely my own ad lib. *laughs*

Komada: We naturally poked fun at it during the commentary, but Hatano-san was intent on expressing his love for urban legends. He went a long time without looking at the script.

Nishiyama: It was entertaining because it was purely ad-libbed.

Q: For the series’ first guest, Komada-san, what was your first impression of your character, and do you have anything in common with him?

Komada: My role was split into Kouichi and Kouji, who are complete opposites. Kouichi is calm and open-hearted, the type you’d expect to live in the western-style house that the story took place in. Meanwhile, Kouji is oppressive. Even though it was a dual role, it wasn’t particularly difficult to work with emotion-wise. Although, speaking in a mild tone followed by a sudden loud outburst was such a contrast that I’d have to hold back my laughter each time. I think it would’ve made the audience chuckle too, but personally… my attitude wasn’t as rough as Kouji nor as mild as Kouichi, so I was like a third person that was an average of the two.

All: *laughs*

Nishiyama: A third person that grew up watching Kouichi and Kouji, right?

Komada: Having both power and gentleness… That makes it sound like a good thing. Well, let’s leave it at that. *laughs*

Since it’s a video, the silent scenes are noteworthy too!

Q: You talked about the good camerawork as well. Unlike recordings for anime and whatnot where you stand in front of the mic, this reading theatre was like a stage play with visuals and props. What were your personal highlights, or things that can only be enjoyed because of the visuals?

Nishiyama: Everyone was aware that they could be seen at any moment, so I think it’d be interesting to observe our facial expressions. It was really neat how the footage switched between all of the different cameras showing us.

Komada: Since it’s a reading theatre, we naturally acted out the core lines faithfully, and mixed in some small, fun deviations in the non-important parts. Since there was a live camera, it was a unique reading theatre with many scenes that would make the viewers laugh unexpectedly. I think being able to enjoy that is the best thing about this BD/DVD release.

Saito: We were acting without being able to see what kind of footage was being shown to the audience, so when I watched the footage for this disc release, it made me want to draw attention to the silent parts, too. Since this reading theatre had movement involved, we were able to create “entertainment between the lines,” so the parts without dialogue actually seemed funnier. Komada-san in particular made great facial expressions this time… They really were wonderful. *laughs*

Takeuchi: Komada-san’s face was always there during the close-ups.

Hatano: Koutaro’s close-ups were also nice… and funny. *laughs*

Nishiyama: It didn’t feel like there were that many during the first half (which I commentated)…

Komada: No, there was definitely at least one *laughs*. It wasn’t just the two of us, though.

Nishiyama: Yeah, everyone was great! Koma-chan was good at finding the camera. He looked straight at it, as if he knew it was going to be released on disc. A lot of the things I didn’t know at the time because of the wide stage became clear thanks to this release.

Hatano: Everyone was competing with ad libs, so even the parts I did know greatly exceeded my expectations. The cameramen captured great moments, like when we weren’t speaking and turned to the side to hold back our laughter. Even though it’s in video form, it feels like you’re watching it live.

Hatano-san, the senpai who breaks through the sense of security with ad libs, and Takeuchi-san, totally the cute, spoiled youngest sibling♪

Q: By the way, was there anything you noticed about each other due to being senpais and kouhais at the same agency?

Saito: We were all friends to begin with, but when we’re on stage, it’s not about senpais/kouhais or being from the same agency—we’re all equal as “actors.” I always genuinely think, “Wow, they’re really good.”

For example, Hatano-san has an unwavering sense of stability, and even when the rest of us go off-track with ad libs, he’ll always bring us back to the main story. Or so we thought, but then he took the initiative to force ad libs in, making the rest of us go “Oh, fine!” “We’ll do it too, then.”

Takeuchi: It was like we were given the green light. *laughs*

Komada: Among all the chatter, in the end Hatano-san was enjoying himself the most. He also added things without telling us, making us laugh too. *laughs*

Nishiyama: He came out of nowhere. Despite that, Hatano-san’s presence kept the scene together. If he weren’t there, we’d get even more off-track, so I think he showed us the “logic” of acting.

Saito: On the other hand, Shun-chan laughed too much *laughs*. If you look closely, he’s hiding his laughter behind his hair.

Takeuchi: I really want people to watch the footage *laughs*. I couldn’t hold back my laughter, so I was trying to minimize risk and ended up looking down at my script the whole time.

Saito: That makes you like the youngest sibling; it’s cute.

Hatano: Right, when we see Takeuchi-kun during recordings, he seems like this cool, mighty character with a deep voice, but in this series he has the innocence of the youngest child. Seeing him suddenly smile brightly makes my chest tighten.

Nishiyama: In a way, it’s like his age is showing, and it feels like everyone’s doting on him.

Komada: Rather than the cool aura he gives off during work—please write “in a super low voice” here and make it bold—it constantly felt like he was approaching me like “(in a super low voice) Komada-saaan!” and I thought something like that was only possible because of this particular work.

All of us are from the same agency, we see each other regularly at various jobs, and we’ve known each other for a long time too, so we can relax around each other.

We also spent time making suggestions (including ad libs), and on the day of the show, rather than “It’s time for the real show!”, it felt more like “We finally get to do this.” I think Takeuchi showed that kind of cuteness.

What did the cast think was great about Saito-san, Komada-san, and Nishiyama-san?

Takeuchi: But when it comes to cuteness, it has to be Ayame…

Saito: …*peers at Takeuchi-san* Do you really think so? Look into my eyes and say that without hiding behind your bangs. *laughs*

Takeuchi: *laughs* Ayame really was amazing this time! Even during the picture drama recordings, Ayame’s always opening new doors. In response to that, Soma-san always “opens the doors for real,” not halfway.

Saito: Ayame was originally more normal, and had the impression of the second son that balances everyone out. Why did he end up like this? *laughs*

All: *laughs*

Takeuchi: But since you open the door all the way, it became convincing. The script was amazing too.

Saito: Yeah, I was generally acting according to the script.

Komada: Soma and I debuted around the same time and I know him well, so when I see the way he interposes lines during funny scenes and presents himself to the camera, I think “Well done.” *laughs*

Nishiyama: Soma made me laugh just from the picture. I think he also has the power to move us back on track when the conversation gets derailed.

Hatano: Honestly, starting from the rehearsal I thought each and every one of them was amazing. When I got the script, I initially imagined the stage and how it’d go, but when we actually did it, it greatly exceeded my expectations. And our guest, Komada-kun was excellent too.

Takeuchi: He has a sharp mind and a sense of humour.

Saito: During the evening session, Kouji evaluated the brothers’ costumes and adjusted them one-by-one, and that was all Koma-chan’s ad-libbing. The four of us did our own ad lib comments, and it was amazing how nothing missed its mark. It would’ve been impossible without considerable determination beforehand. I thought, “This guy’s amazing!”

Komada: I suggested it after the day session. Since the four of them were posing, I figured the audience would want to see more of it, and I did too. Plus, it’s hard to put on the costume on stage without a mirror, so I thought I could straighten out their costumes while everyone else was enjoying their poses. Even though I suggested it, I didn’t actually think about what I was going to say, so I gave my honest impressions on the spot. *laughs*

Nishiyama: You did it so well; it was hilarious. *laughs*

Komada: That was my highlight of the day. The “Well done, Komada!” scene.

Hatano: It was incredible! Koutaro was crazy, too. I wondered what was going on with his mental state.

Takeuchi: My personal highlight was Nishiyama-san’s bow during the curtain call. Normally you have your hands at your sides when you bow, but Nishiyama-san alone had them in front, like he was reaching down.

All: *laughs*

Hatano: It turned into a diving posture. *laughs*

Takeuchi: It looks like the start of a match, so we’ll need the judges to take a look at it.

Hatano: With instant replay.

Saito: In slow-motion.

Komada: I think he did it on purpose. *laughs*

Nishiyama: I wasn’t! It’d be insane to do that on purpose by myself. *laughs*

Takeuchi: Nishiyama Koutaro-san really is different. He’s a genius. I don’t think I’m the only one who thought that, so please chime in. *laughs*

Komada: His bow was just one example of how it feels like he claims things for himself.

Saito: I think it happened because he wanted to make people smile. The video footage tells it all, so please pay attention to Nishiyama-san.

Nishiyama: *laughs* I don’t mind at all if you watch me!

The setting for the next show…?

Q: This is something you’ll have to check in the footage. So, the next reading theatre is planned for autumn. Are there any situations you’d like to try, or things you want to challenge?

Hatano: Autumn has a lot of possibilities, huh?

Takeuchi: It’s said that autumn is the best season for reading, too. When you think of autumn, you think of the arts, and when you think of the arts, you think of singing…

Saito: Can we make mascots again like we did for the first show? Then again, a monster was created back then.

Nishiyama: What about the food? We’ve had onigiri and roast beef, so for a taste of autumn, how about fruit?

Komada: That’s good, and baked sweet potatoes. We’ll have a veteran from 81 Produce sing the baked sweet potato song, like Genda (Tessyo)-san, and it’ll be like “You can’t pass by the food cart without stopping!”

Q: That sounds like it’d become an amazing reading theatre. *laughs*

Nishiyama: The original concept we heard for this series was that it was seeking to be bright and fun. Omikuji Yon Kyoudai is something that’s comforting no matter when you watch it, so I want to continue having fun with it.

Hatano: Indeed.

Takeuchi: Oh, how about another set of four brothers?

Saito: Themed after cards, like diamond, spade, et cetera?

Hatano: They come from America, and the oldest son is Genda Tessyo-san.

Saito: That sounds interesting. “YOU guys call yourself the fortune BROTHERS, but you don’t pull fortunes very often, huh? HAHA”

All: *laughs*

Back to the original intent, and look forward to Omikuji Yon Kyoudai’s future developments!

Q: I’m excited to see how much of this gets implemented *laughs*. Lastly, please give a message for the fans looking forward to the BD/DVD.

Komada: Since it’s the first disc release, the selling point is that if you wanted to see it again or couldn’t come on that day: “Don’t worry. Everything is shown.” *laughs*

The making-of also shows a little bit of our planning before the show, so you can get a candid view of how it was put together.

Omikuji Yon Kyoudai is bound to keep doing new things, so I really hope I’ll have the opportunity to participate again.

Please enjoy the BD/DVD from various perspectives!

Nishiyama: This is the first time our reading theatre is being released on BD/DVD, so those who came to the event will be able to see it more thoroughly, and those who couldn’t make it can expand on their enjoyment of the picture dramas.

This time, we had Koma-chan as a powerful helper, and I think we were able to put on a bright, fun show. I hope we can act with Koma-chan again, so please watch the BD/DVD a lot and show your support.

Takeuchi: Please enjoy the audio commentary on the BD/DVD too.

Also, Omikuji Yon Kyoudai began with the voiced fortunes on the website, so I’ll be happy if this reading theatre encourages everyone to pull their daily fortunes again.

“Don’t forget your initial intent.” I want to continue trying to create those opportunities.

Saito: Indeed. I’d forgotten because this time we were making roast beef and having a Christmas party. *laughs*

This series has gone on for about four years, and it’s uncommon to have the chance to voice a single series or character for so long. I hope we can continue doing this forever at a relaxed pace.

This time we had Komada-kun too, and despite all that was said, the four of us were able to let loose (in an extremely good way) and have fun while putting all our effort into the show.

Thankfully, the next show is already confirmed, although there are still things we don’t know, like what it’ll be about and what Omikuji Yon Kyoudai’s next developments will be.

It’s probably going to be an autumn full of laughs, huh…?

All: *laughs*

Hatano: It might be ultra serious for all we know. *laughs*

Saito: That’s possible. You don’t know what fortune you’ll get until you draw it, so I hope we get a “very lucky” story.

Please continue to support Omikuji Yon Kyoudai!

Hatano: Omikuji Yon Kyoudai began as voice content that was enjoyed through the website. When we had our first reading theatre, Omikuji Yon Kyoudai: Haru wa Omusubi!, I thought “This might be the first and last time,” but thanks to each and every one of the audience’s support, we were able to perform again, which I’m thankful for.

This series teaches me how it’s important to do your very best every time. There’s entertainment that can only be created during those instants, and I hope we can continue to work together creating that.

Please look forward to the BD/DVD and the next reading theatre!

※This interview was conducted before the COVID-19 state of emergency was declared.

[Interview] Margaret 2020 #12 Edition – Maga-Oshi Vol.20 – Saito Soma x Shimazaki Nobunaga

Released: 2020/5/20

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

Umehara Yuuichirou

Q: What are you into right now?

Nobunaga: I recently started using cologne. It’s Dior’s “Sauvage.”

Soma: So mature~

Nobunaga: I didn’t have a habit of using it before, but now that I’m in my 30s, I want to give myself a stylish fragrance.

Soma: *sniffs Nobunaga’s cologne of choice* It’s a refreshing scent. A citrus type? It’s like, refreshing with a hint of allure…

Nobunaga: That’s a good way of putting it. I often get asked what it smells like, but since I hadn’t been using it before, I didn’t know how to explain it. From now on, I’ll say “refreshing with a hint of allure.” *laughs*

Q: Do you regularly use cologne, or only on special days?

Soma: If it’s only for special days, then if I meet Nobunaga-san and he smells nice, I’ll wonder if he thinks meeting me is a special occasion. *laughs*

Nobunaga: It’ll make you conscious of it, huh? *laughs* I don’t necessarily wear it on important days, but when I feel like it. Instead of using it to motivate myself, I want to use it casually.

Soma: What I’m into right now is a recording device called SonicPort. *Shows them the real thing*

Nobunaga: What’s this?

Soma: You plug a guitar or mic into it, and it lets you record what you play. I compose my own music, and this is good enough for making demo tapes. When I start using it, time goes by in a flash…

Nobunaga: You play with it?

Soma: Yeah *laughs*. It feels like a toy, or rather, I can casually play around with sounds in various locations.

Nobunaga: Nice, that sounds convenient.

Soma: Are you interested?

Nobunaga: Yes. One time, I was told “We don’t have enough time, so record your audition tape at home,” and I recorded it with my phone and it came out terribly. *laughs*

Soma: Ahahahaha!

Nobunaga: It worked out in the end because I passed the audition, but ever since then, even if there’s no time, I’ll always record at the office.

Soma: Did your agency staff also think it was bad?

Nobunaga: They probably thought, “Don’t let Nobunaga record by himself” *laughs*. So it’d be nice to have something like this!

Q: What were your honest reactions when you found out you’d be starring together?

Nobunaga: At first, I didn’t ask which role I’d be playing. I assumed that Soma-kun would be Rio.

Soma: Same. I approved of Nobunaga-san as Kazuomi! *laughs*

Nobunaga: Both of us thought it was the other way around.

Soma: So, it was shocking at first.

Nobunaga: Soma-kun being cast as Kazuomi was especially unexpected.

Soma: Yeah, because I’ve never played a character like him before. When I read the original manga, I couldn’t get a grasp on Kazuomi’s character, but I thought that Nobunaga-san would be able to do it. For me, it was a challenging role.

Nobunaga: I’ve actually done characters like Rio before, but I thought my recent image was more like Kazuomi. But, I can empathize better with Rio, so it was easier to perform as him.

Soma: I could also relate to Kazuomi’s human-like awkwardness.

Q: Do you see common aspects with the characters in each other?

Nobunaga: Kazuomi mulls over things in his head and ends up not being able to take action, which I think is an aspect Soma-kun has as well. I’m also like that, but I’m more of an idiot.

Soma: That’s not true *laughs*.

Nobunaga: I think a lot, but in the end I go “Whatever!” and ignore everything. Meanwhile, I think Soma-kun wouldn’t let that happen. It’s like baseball–there are different types of pitches, but at the very end, I’ll play it straight, while Soma-kun will throw a proper curve ball. *laughs*

Soma: Yeah, your “Well, whatever” approach does fit Rio. *laughs*

Q: What’s the highlight of this film?

Soma: Since it’s based off of a shoujo manga, it has scenes that make your heart race. Like when Rio puts his hands on Yuna’s cheeks and goes “I’m over here,” or Rio’s gesturing when he goes “Shh!” *laughs*

Nobunaga: It’s exciting, right? *laughs*

Soma: I like the straightforwardness between Rio and Yuna-chan.

Nobunaga: It’s not just about the romantic scenes, though. I think the characters are very relatable, and it moves your heart.

Soma: I think one of the great things about the story is that things go surprisingly poorly for the characters. They take one step forward, but two steps back. It’s realistic, and I think many people will be able to relate.

Q: What would you do if you could be a high school student again?

Nobunaga: I’d want to go to a co-ed school *laughs*. Going to a boys’ school was fun, so I don’t want to change the past, but it’s true that there was no romance within the school.

Soma: It’s a completely different experience, right? For me, if I could go back to my high school days, I’d want to go up to the rooftop that I couldn’t go to back then. In fiction, there are a lot of situations where the guy skips class on the roof and meets a girl there who’s also skipping class, and they get closer, right? That kind of thing is impossible in real life *laughs*. But, I want to experience it.

Nobunaga: Ahahaha. You could also meet someone in an unused A/V room.

Soma: Yeah! There you find a bookworm senpai with long black hair… I want to experience a story like that.

Nobunaga: I want to experience romance in a co-ed school too. It’s an age when you become conscious of girls, so having girls in the same school as you would change how you act, right? You’d want to look good in front of the girl you like, and you’d work harder at studying and sports. I’d also be interested in my friends’ relationships.

Soma: You could support them, right?

Nobunaga: Spying on a friend’s confession and congratulating them when it goes well *laughs*. I want to have that kind of experience.

Q: What if you were to appear in a shoujo manga?

Soma: I’d want to be one of the main character’s three male friends, namely the quiet type. Please let me be voiced by Umehara Yuuichirou-kun. *laughs*

Nobunaga: Ahh, we’re similar in how we let someone else have the spotlight. Stepping aside like that is cool, though.

Soma: Ahaha. And then, while the main story is going on, in the background I’m getting closer to the cool-type girl in the heroine’s group of friends.

Nobunaga: I can see that happening!

Soma: I’d want to be the star of a spin-off chapter. What about you, Nobunaga-san?

Nobunaga: Realistically, my position would be the stepping stool… but I’d like being the character that keeps the main characters on edge. My actions would make the hero take action.

Soma: Like, “I have to try harder too”?

Nobunaga: Yeah. And then the heroine is touched by what the hero does, and it ends with me being rejected or nothing happening at all. That would be realistic. But ideally, I’d want to live happily with my childhood friend.

Soma: In a mutually loving relationship?

Nobunaga: Yeah. There are a lot of stories where the childhood friend loses, right? Even though they’ve been supporting the protagonist all their life, they lose to a transfer student who suddenly appeared. The childhood friend position might be plain, but I’d want to be married for life to that kind of calm, warm childhood friend!

[Interview] Animedia 2020/6 Edition – Shimazaki Nobunaga & Saito Soma – “Furi, Fura” Love Lesson & Katari, Katarare Interview

Released: 2020/5/9

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

“Furi, Fura” Love Lesson

Q: What are your impressions of your characters?

Nobunaga: Rio ponders and ruminates over things, but in the end, his feelings take over. I can sympathize with the reckless things he does when that happens.

Soma: Kazuomi is a very gentle kid. I could really relate to how he tries too hard to balance everyone’s expectations with his own wants, and ends up not being able to do anything.

Q: The two of you co-act quite often. How did you feel when you were both cast for this film?

Nobunaga: Based on the characters we’ve been voicing lately, when we heard that we’d been cast together, we thought that I would be Kazuomi and Soma-kun would be Rio. So, we were surprised.

Soma: I thought it was a fresh take. But when we actually did it, both of us fit our roles better than expected. I had a lot of fun.

Q: Tell us your memorable scenes from the film!

Nobunaga: That would be Rio’s actions after realizing that he likes Yuna-chan. They were purely reckless, with no concern for his surroundings. I really liked watching him running desperately to confess his feelings, not caring about how ragged he looked. Rio’s growth and change throughout the story is very noticeable, so honing in on that might increase your appreciation of the film.

Soma: The last scene between Kazuomi and Akari. I have to keep the details a secret though, because it’s a spoiler *laughs*. And personally, I like Yuna-chan’s “Reject me” line. I think it’s one of the best scenes in the film, in part thanks to Suzuki Marika-san’s acting.

Q: Who do you think this film will resonate with?

Nobunaga: I recommend it to anyone who wants to become proactive. I hope it’ll spur you on to take that step forward.

Soma: People who want a taste of “adolescence.” The theme of the film is romance, but it’s also packed with all sorts of things from that age, like friendship, facing yourself, and conflicts regarding future prospects. And of course, love. The exciting, refreshing feeling you get after you finish watching it is second to none, so please experience adolescence through this film.

Katari, Katarare Interview

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: What do you think of 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: Rio and Kazuomi both struggle with their feelings and conveying them. If you were in their situations, what would you do?

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.

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

Released: 2020/5/9

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)

Q: What were your impressions after reading the original manga?

Soma: The original manga has many characters, but this film is focused on the story of the main four. It wraps up the 12-volume manga really well. I believe that it contains the original’s essence.

Nobunaga: There were many parts I could relate to, not just with my own character, but with all four of them. I think that anyone who reads it will definitely empathize with someone.

Soma: If we’re talking about that, I’m jealous that they get to go up on the roof. At the high school I went to, we couldn’t do that. Since I couldn’t go up there, I became a voice actor so that I could redo those years over and over again. *laughs*

Nobunaga: Yeah, series that depict high school life let you go up to the school roof.

Soma: Eating together on the way home after school, going to festivals… I didn’t have those experiences in my high school life, so I’m jealous. I end up trying to find meaning in each of those things, but for them, it’s part of their everyday life.

Nobunaga: They’re making the most of their youth, huh? It was fun how there was realism in those things. Thanks to that, I was able to voice Rio with real feelings.

Q: What are your impressions of Yamamoto Rio and Inui Kazuomi?

Nobunaga: Rio is relatively simple. He looks like a prince, and while he seems complex, he’s actually easy to understand. I think he’s a normal high school boy.

Soma: Rio-kun is cute. You expect him to be cooler, but that’s just because of his appearance. As you keep reading, he changes more and more.

Nobunaga: It’s because his very first lines have impact. *laughs*

Soma: Kazuomi’s character changed a bit between the manga and the film. But in both cases, he naturally says lines that make your heart beat faster. It’s only normal for girls to be interested in him.

Nobunaga: Kazuomi has an honest charm, and it’s because of his honesty that he gets lost in the maze of puberty. The path he takes was really interesting. Rio and Kazuomi were opposites—Rio opens up because of his honesty, while Kazuomi holes up because of it.

Soma: After reading the manga and taking the audition, I thought that Rio would be easier to voice. But when we did the recording for the film, I realized why I’d been cast as Kazuomi. I was just like him when I was his age!

Nobunaga: I think we were selected because we had a deep understanding of the characters’ natures, and that truly makes me happy.

Q: How was recording with Suzuki Marika-san?

Nobunaga: Suzuki-san voiced the pure Yuna-chan in a direct, honest way. Yuna-chan struck me as a character with inner strength, and Suzuki-san had that too.

Soma: I wasn’t there for all of her sessions, but whenever she was given a difficult request, she kept trying at it. I watched her improve and thought she was cool.

Q: If you were to fall in love with either Ichihara Yuna or Yamamoto Akari, which would it be?

Nobunaga: I’d pick Yuna-chan. Her honesty is dazzling. Everyone can speak proudly about their dreams when they’re a kid, but you lose the ability to do that when you become an adult. When you learn about society and yourself, you become more and more cowardly. But, there’s strength that comes from inexperience and naivete. I admire Yuna-chan’s innocence.

Soma: I think that Yuna-chan is lovely too. But, personally I like Akari-chan. Akari-chan thinks a lot about others, not just herself. She wants her family to get along, and she’ll hide her feelings because she doesn’t want to steal her friend’s crush. I’m sure she’s still just a normal high school girl, and I’m sure her positive traits will show up even more in the future.

Q: I’m excited to see where their love goes. Lastly, please tell us what your highlights of the film are.

Nobunaga: The transformation and growth of the four high schoolers are really interesting. The drama builds up firmly and the characters all go through changes during the 100 or so minutes of the film. When you watch it, it makes you really motivated too. I think it’s a wonderful film that makes its viewers more proactive.

Soma: The title Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare is truly amazing, and I think it summarizes everything. Just because one thing in your life goes well doesn’t mean that the next thing will. I believe that just like the title, our lives are a repeating loop of back-and-forths. Those who aren’t in high school yet, are in high school now, or were in high school before, will surely understand how precious that is when they watch this film, and I think these back-and-forths will move your heart. Please watch it and let the anxious, excited feelings take over.

[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.

[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] PASH! 2020/6 Edition – Saito Soma & Shimazaki Nobunaga – The Frustrating and Realistic Glimmer of Youth

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)

They thought they’d been given the opposite roles

Q: First, what are your impressions after reading the scenario?

Nobunaga: All of the characters felt very human; it was interesting how it constantly made you think “Yeah, people are like this” or “People like this do exist.” Sakisaka-sensei’s manga must’ve become this popular because many people could relate to the realistic characters. Since it depicts youth drama in addition to the romance, I wanted to be involved ever since the audition.

Soma: First of all, I think the title is wonderful. It contains the work’s essence, and the work itself does a really good job of depicting when things aren’t going well. Taking one step forward and two steps back, thinking you conveyed your feelings but it didn’t get across… but, the real world we live in is one where we’re constantly repeating that forward and back cycle. It really makes you feel “This is what real life is like.” My own teenage years aside, I thought it was wonderful how this work reminds me that my current self is also in this situation.

Q: What did you think when you found out you’d been cast as Rio and Kazuomi?

Nobunaga: Both of us auditioned for both characters, and when the results came in, they first told us the names of the cast we’d be working with. They told me “You’re with Soma-kun.”

Soma: I was told “You’re with Shimazaki-san.”

Nobunaga: When I heard that, I figured that Soma-kun was Rio, and I was Kazuomi.

Soma: I also went “Nobunaga-san is Kazuomi, huh? Makes sense~!” *laughs* And then they said “It’s the other way around.”

Nobunaga: Wasn’t it surprising?!

Soma: That was my first impression.

Q: It was an unusual casting for you two, right?

Nobunaga: I assumed that Soma-kun was more of a Rio, but when we actually did it, his Kazuomi was a perfect fit.

Soma: I trusted in their decision, and when we did the recording, it was interesting how well it worked.

Q: Indeed. How did the recording go?

Nobunaga: We talked about how the casting was unexpected, but actually, I can relate more to Rio. Rio ponders things but ends up acting based on emotion, and I’m the same way. Both Soma-kun and I are the type to think before acting, but after falling into that thought loop, my desire to take action will win out in the end, while Soma-kun is the type that places importance on his thoughts. In that sense, I think Kazuomi does resemble Soma-kun.

Soma: At first, Kazuomi comes off as really open and friendly, but he gets stiffer from overthinking things and ends up not being able to do anything. When I read the original manga, I thought that Kazuomi was difficult to grasp, but the film depicts his state of mind in a clearer way, so I was able to synchronize with him during the recording.

Q: What scenes were memorable for you?

Nobunaga: The scene where Rio realizes his feelings at the culture festival. Even though the girl he likes is right beside him, he runs off to make sure he follows the proper order.

Soma: It’s just like him not to confess there.

Nobunaga: Exactly! And for the confession scene afterwards, he was all worn out from running around, and I loved how his dedication took precedence. It’s one of the things I’ve always wanted to act out, so I had a lot of fun doing it.

Soma: The final scene with Akari was memorable, but I also thought Suzuki Marika-san’s acting when Yuna says “I like you Rio-kun, so reject me” was wonderful. I was touched by Yuna’s integrity.

Q: Thank you. Lastly, please give a message for the readers looking forward to the film.

Soma: I hope this film will reach a wide range of people, whether they’re currently in this springtime of life themselves, or will be entering it soon. I think that people our age will also find it touching and reminiscent of the past.

Nobunaga: Yeah, I think it’ll be a touching film regardless of what your current situation is. It’ll make you feel optimistic, so please give it a watch.

Yuna or Akari: Which is your type?

Nobunaga: For me, it’d be Yuna-chan. Now that I’m an adult, Yuna-chan looks radiant because she has what I don’t. Perhaps having such an honest person with me would influence me and bring back my pure feelings. Of course, Akari-chan is honest too, but I like the “inexperience” in Yuna-chan’s honesty.

Soma: Akari is more of my type, but I agree with Nobunaga-san that Yuna-chan’s pure honesty is lovely. Personally, I find myself oddly attracted to Akari’s clumsiness in how she thinks too hard about doing her best and ends up not being able to act. I think it’ll be exciting when that clumsiness is cleared away and we get to see the real her, and I want to see that happen, so I suppose I’m in the Akari camp.

[Interview] Ribbon 2020/6 Edition – Saito Soma x Shimazaki Nobunaga – Similar, But Different

Released: 2020/5/2

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

Deliveries are a pain right now because of the pandemic, so I did this while squinting hardcore at the digital version. I will just say that an acceptable resolution for manga is painful for small interview text…

Q: In what ways are you similar and different?

Nobunaga: We’re similar in how we tend to think with our heads, right?

Soma: Yeah. Although I get the feeling that Nobunaga-san is capable of taking daring actions in the end.

Nobunaga: I’m probably the stupider one *laughs*

Soma: No no, that’s not true!

Nobunaga: I do think first, but I end up going “Well, whatever!” Meanwhile, Soma-kun can control his feelings up until the very end, so I think that’s what’s different between us.

Soma: But you know, I’ve been learning how it feels to act on emotion.

Nobunaga: What, you understand what it means to move based on passion now?!

Soma: Yes. Lately, it’s been like “Oh, ‘thinking’ was only a hobby of mine.” *laughs*

Nobunaga: Ahaha, I know what you mean~!

Q: Which scenes made your heart flutter?

Nobunaga: I like the scene where Rio squeezes Yuna-chan’s cheeks and goes “I’m over here!” when she’s being shy.

Soma: When Kazuomi says “Fall in love with me” to Akari…

Nobunaga: Ah~! That was unfair of him *laughs*

Soma: It was! Rio and Yuna-chan’s honest romance also made my heart flutter.

Nobunaga: It’s great how direct they were. But I get the feeling that this work does more than make your heart flutter; it has many scenes where you can relate to the characters as people. Like how Rio suddenly becomes pretentious when attention is drawn to him. *laughs*

Soma: Yeah. Personally, I’m rooting for Rio’s friend, Agatsuma-kun! He’s really a good kid, and I love all of his scenes!

Q: What do you like about each other’s voice?

Nobunaga: Our voices have a similar quality, right? *laughs* Sometimes when someone asks me, “You voiced this character right?” it turns out that it was Soma-kun.

Soma: Yeah *laughs*. I really love Nobunaga-san’s natural acting. In works like Kimi no Na wa., his voice fits so well into the setting.

Nobunaga: Thank you! I love how Soma-kun captures the “sharp” aspects of characters. Like when they’re really coquettish or feisty…

Soma: I play a lot of peculiar roles. *laughs*

Nobunaga: Ahaha! But it’s your way of expressing them that I love!

Q: What kind of adolescence do you want to experience?

Soma: I want to go to the rooftop that I couldn’t go to during my actual high school years. That’s why I became a voice actor *laughs*. I admire the situations you often see in fictional worlds, like skipping class on the school roof and meeting a cool senpai there… I long for that.

Nobunaga: That’s nice. My high school was a boys school, so I’d want to start by going to a co-ed school. Showing off in front of girls, putting my all into playing sports with the guys, eavesdropping on a friend’s confession… I want to experience those!

  • Small thumbnail from the cover that I unfortunately can’t get a clearer version of:
  • Clean version of the bottom image:

[Interview] Elegance Eve 2020/6 Edition – Saito Soma in Sake to Koi ni wa Yotte Shikarubeki – Part.2

Released: 2020/4/25

※Part of this interview is repeated from Souffle – Saito Soma in Sake to Koi ni wa Yotte Shikarubeki.

Soma’s Recommendation Comment: “When you like a restaurant, it’s not necessarily for a logical reason—something just clicks with you. This manga is the same! Once I got a taste, I was already hooked, and both my page-flipping hand and sake-drinking hand were constantly in motion! Matsuko-san, let’s have a toast with cup sake!”

Q: Sake to Koi ni wa Yotte Shikarubeki depicts Matsuko’s heart swaying between Imaizumi and Date. As a man, are you able to understand this woman’s heart?

Imaizumi-kun and Date-san are both the types that’ll sway a woman’s heart, right? Matsuko-san goes through mood swings at the whims of the two men, but at the end of the day she’ll enjoy blissful alone time with her sake, and I thought those wildly changing emotions of hers were very charming.

Q: Between Imaizumi and Date, which do you have more in common with?

I think it’d be Date-san. I relate to his childish passion for his interests, and how he likes matching alcohol with food. Imaizumi-kun really has that modern day youth feel, though… so if you ask which one makes my heart skip a beat, it’s him *laughs*.

To be honest, I think Matsuko will have a hard time with those two. Date-san’s quite the ruffian, after all. We’ll see how the troubles continue in Volume 4 and beyond.

Q: The female characters are very unique too. Which one is your type?

All of Haruko-sensei’s characters are charming, so it’s hard to choose… but Matsuko-san would be the most fun to live with. She seems like she’d always be excited about delicious food. Seeing her drinking and going “That hits the spot~” would make me relax too.

But the one who’s my type is actually Shiraishi-san. I like the cool, beautiful onee-sans, so I thought “She’s my type” from the start. But thinking realistically, considering how fickle I am, I’d probably find myself pretty tied down by a stable adult like her. But then again, I’m okay with that *laughs*.

Mimori-chan is younger than me, but she’s strong-willed in a good way. So, she’d be the most likely to have me in the palm of her hand *laughs*. Shiraishi-san also says, “I think it’s impressive that she has so much confidence in herself at the age of 24.” She has her life clearly planned out, and shows it off in a way where I can’t tell whether she’s trying to discourage Matsuko-san or actually has good intentions *laughs*. She seems like she’d guide the person she’s going out with, so I think she’s reliable despite being younger.

Honestly, all of the characters are appealing.

Bonus: Off-shot from Soma’s stylist, Honda Yuuki:

Bonus: A blog post from Honda Yuuki about the styling:


(I won’t be translating it because he doesn’t allow reposting/alterations of his content)

[Interview] Seiyuu Men vol.17 – Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare

(Since this is still a very recent release, I won’t be posting full scans until more time has passed.)

Released: 2020/4/16

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

Intentionally performed ambiguously

Q: All four main characters of this work, including Kazuomi who you voice, are very kind and good-natured, which is why their unrequited feelings are so dramatic. What did you think when you read the original manga, Saito-san?

When I heard about the audition, it was right when I had to travel a long distance, so I figured I’d read Vol.1 on the way. I started reading, and I just couldn’t stop *laughs*. There are some manga that make me want to marathon them all in one go, and this was definitely one of them.

Q: The original manga is 12 volumes in total. How many days did it take you?

I marathoned it in about two days! But when I first read it, I got pretty jealous of Kazuomi. I thought he was really attractive at the start, and it was like I was perceiving the story from the perspective of Akari-chan, who’s captivated by him. I found my emotions being swayed by his words and actions the same way as her… *laughs*

Q: How did you grasp Kazuomi’s character?

I auditioned for both Kazuomi and Rio, but I was surprised when I was selected for Kazuomi. After that, I read the original work again, and saw that he valued the balance between him and the people around him, very much wanting harmony. Sometimes it goes well and sometimes it doesn’t, so people will have quite different views of him, making me think that he seems like a vague, elusive character.

There’s a scene where he says to Akari-chan, “Fall in love with me, then.” “See? You can’t fall in love with someone just like that.” It makes Akari-chan’s heart skip a beat, but for Kazuomi, he really meant what he said. He was simply saying, “Falling in love isn’t that easy, right?” Kazuomi’s words end up having different meanings depending on the views and state of mind of the receiver. So, I tried not to restrict the implication too much, so that the viewer wouldn’t see it as “He definitely thinks this way.” That way, the audience can experience it in different ways.

For example, one approach is to simplify it, making the emotions clear like “this part is spoken with anger,” “here he says he accepts it, but on the inside he really doesn’t.” But in Kazuomi’s case, I thought it was important to keep his statements ambiguous in a good way. He probably doesn’t have a clear-cut idea of what he feels either. So perhaps that aforementioned scene also made his heart beat faster, or perhaps he thought nothing of it. Starting partway through the recording, I deliberately tried to blend those feelings and thoughts together.

Q: So, since he was ambiguous, you intentionally kept it that way in your acting.

Yes, it’s a style of acting I’ve never done before. Kazuomi is a type of character I haven’t voiced much to begin with, so there were a lot of challenges in it for me. Thanks to this, I feel like I understand now that sometimes it can be fine to keep things ambiguous, and sometimes it’s okay to accept that.

It’s definitely important to convey things in a proper, easy-to-understand way, but sometimes there are lines that are complicated and difficult to convey. After all, sometimes I don’t even know what my own feelings are. I used to think that acting was about thoroughly analyzing that, but I was able to discover a different approach. This work taught me that there are probably many other feelings like this too.

Since they try so hard, it gets complicated

Q: It seems that Kazuomi gradually develops an interest in Akari as well. What do you think he found attractive in her?

Akari-chan is shown falling in love with Kazuomi, but Kazuomi’s side isn’t really shown directly. He also has less monologues than the other three characters. I think that ties into his elusiveness too… So, when I first read the script, I knew how he felt because I read the original manga, but many people would be finding out about FuriFura for the first time through this movie. I wondered how I could make it easy for those viewers to understand. But actually, there are scenes scattered around that make you think “Was he conscious of Akari-chan just now?” without using voiced lines. It really shows in his glances and slight changes in breathing. When I saw the completed version, I thought, “Kazuomi liked Akari-chan from the start, huh?”

Q: Indeed, when I watched it, his tone of voice would be blunt but his mouth would be slightly smiling. I felt that Kazuomi’s character was expressed through both the animated acting and the vocal acting.

Even in the real world, there are people that exude a certain warmth, because their words and tone are blunt, but you can tell that they’re speaking from their heart. I hope I was able to express that feeling well.

Q: Did Director Kuroyanagi Toshimasa or the sound director discuss anything with you at the recording?

At first, I imagined Kazuomi as having a low voice, but I was told not to make it that low. They said to go back to the cheerful childhood friend Kazuomi at the beginning of the story, and build up from there. But after that, there weren’t any other major trajectory changes, and my interpretations were respected. Beyond that, I got a feel for it as the four of us did our dialogues with each other.

Q: The four characters don’t just think of one way someone might feel, but even consider a second and third possibility. They reflect on their actions, and I was surprised at how mature they were. What did you think, Saito-san?

I think these four are at a very delicate age, where there are some things they already understand, but other things they don’t understand at all yet.

Yuna and Rio are the straightforward type, I’d say. Their narrow field of view might be childish, but the way they love someone deeply and honestly could be considered an adult’s sense.

On the flip side, Kazuomi and Akari are the considerate type, thinking about all sorts of things and wanting to make everyone happy somehow. This seems mature at first glance, but the way they aren’t honest with their own dreams and desires could be considered childish. They haven’t realized yet that their own feelings are making the situation more complicated. That’s what that age is like, and that’s what those relationships are like, and I think it’s wonderful.

This story goes back and forth between complication and simplicity. A lot of issues would’ve been resolved more quickly if someone hadn’t acted based on a wrong assumption, and there are a lot of instances of someone placing too much meaning on something that was just bad timing. There’s a lot of realism in that. Since they’re all trying their best in their own way, wanting to be kind to one another but also wanting to do what they want, living with those strong feelings, the story becomes complicated. Because they’re living earnestly, it can’t be a simple story. That’s what’s admirable about it, and it made me remember the same frustration I felt at that age.

I want you to watch it from each of their perspectives

Q: Hearing this has made me more excited for the premiere! Please go over the highlights of the film once more.

When I read the original manga, I felt that it was extremely proficient at depicting “things not going well.” As a reader, there were parts that were painful to watch, but it was great seeing their own conclusions come into view. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows—there’re a lot of feelings of selfishness and “Why won’t they understand how much I care about them?” that make you think “Yeah, these are feelings you go through in life.” It makes me remember that I was like that in the past too, and I probably still am like that now.

I feel that the title of this work summarizes everything. Getting depressed over a wrong assumption, cheering up from a single casual comment, suddenly being able to do something you couldn’t do before, or vice versa… I think our daily lives are made up of these little “back and forths.” There aren’t many works that resonate with as many people as this one has.

The animated version depicts this manga’s essence in a way that only anime can, so please look forward to the premiere. I want you to watch it from each of the four characters’ perspectives, so if you could watch it at least four times, that’d be great *laughs*. That’s how well this work teaches you that the world we see is very subjective, and happiness comes in different forms depending on the person. So, I hope that you’ll enjoy the film from each character’s perspective and that FuriFura’s world will have a large effect on you.

Q: Since everyone sees it from a different perspective, if you go with friends or a significant other, the conversation afterwards is bound to be enthusiastic.

Yes, please debate it out! “Was that scene right or wrong?” “Would you want that line said to you?” I think this film is great for spurring debate *laughs* so please go to see it with others, and enjoy the post-discussion and lingering thoughts as well.

Bonus off-shots: