[Interview] Weekly Shonen Jump 2020 #50 – Yuukoku no Moriarty Special Cross-Talk – Saito Soma x Sato Takuya

Released: 2020/11/16

Saito Soma (William James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)
Sato Takuya (Albert James Moriarty in Yuukoku no Moriarty)

Suzuki Tatsuhisa (Blitz Enders in Yuukoku no Moriarty)

—Your impressions of the manga?

Soma: I bought Volume 1 because I was attracted to the illustration of William on the cover. I think it’s wonderful how it adds bold interpretations to the Sherlock Holmes series, turning it into a crime suspense story that appeals to a modern audience as well.

Takuya: I first picked it up because of the audition, but I was so interested in the rest of the story that I bought all of the available volumes at once. I’m drawn to the way the characters are presented and how they’re compelled to turn to murder.

—How do you interpret William and Albert’s relationship?

Takuya: Albert resents his noble bloodline, but is bound to it against his will. To him, William is truly a divine messenger. I think that meeting William is what gave him his way of life. But I don’t think that the two of them want to know what the other is truly thinking deep down inside.

Soma: True! Albert is also the first person William’s met of that type, and I think he’s the best possible business partner for him. They do have brotherly love too, of course, but joining forces was a means to faster accomplish their goal of reforming the British Empire. Just like William, Albert seems to keep some of his power in reserve, which I think makes him more trustworthy.

—What do you think about the third brother, Louis?

Soma: Louis is cute!

Takuya: He’s cute, and I think he must have a hard time. *laughs*

Soma: William reveres him, and I think he wants to protect Louis’s innocence. Those unexpected times when he shows his attachment are touching too.

—What scenes in the anime left an impression on you, up to Episode 6?

Takuya: Count Enders is a refreshing piece of trash. *laughs*

Soma: He sure was mass-producing quotable quotes! Tatsuhisa-san gave it his all, and his acting was amazing.

Takuya: It makes you wonder, how did he interpret the script in that way?!

Soma: The character was already eccentric in the manga, but he left a deeper impression in the anime.

Takuya: His efforts are amazing in Episode 7 too, so please pay attention to them there.

[Interview] Animate Times – Kabukichou Sherlock Interview No.04 – Yamashita Seiichiro x Saito Soma

Original URL: https://www.animatetimes.com/news/details.php?id=1574273014
Published: 2019/11/25

Yamashita Seiichiro (James Moriarty in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Saito Soma (Kyougoku Fuyuto in Kabukichou Sherlock)

Suzuki Tatsuhisa (Sugimoto in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Tachibana Tatsumaru (Kobayashi Toratarou in Kabukichou Sherlock)
Suwabe Junichi (Mrs. Hudson in Kabukichou Sherlock)

※Contains spoilers up to Episode 7.

Episode 5 nonchalantly displays Moriarty’s nature

Q: What was a memorable scene from the episodes that have aired so far?

Soma: There’s too many to list. Was the bathhouse trip Episode 4?

Seiichiro: The Momotaros, right?

Soma: At the end of the A-part, Moriarty says “Don’t worry, he’s a famous detective!” and it shows Sherlock, with a circled “Sher” over his crotch.

Seiichiro: But during the recording, it was dangling in plain sight. *laughs*

Soma: Sherlock shakes off the water and Moriarty goes “Don’t worry about a thing!”, and I thought yeah, Seiichiro-kun’s good at this kind of thing.

Seiichiro: Am I?

Soma: You didn’t put too much implication into it, and it was a perfect, amusing ending to the A-part. It was also funny how Watson had no idea how the bathhouse worked.

The next episode was about the sisters, Mary and Lucy?

Seiichiro: With the sumo wrestler.

Q: Right. If you pay attention to Moriarty, we find out he has a younger sister in Episode 3, and in Episode 5 he has an interesting conversation with Lucy.

Seiichiro: He casually reveals his nature in that conversation with Lucy.

Soma: Yeah.

Seiichiro: He doesn’t try to help Bunmaru, instead saying “I think he’s about to jump. Don’t you?” I thought long and hard over whether to insert meaning into that line or to let it pass smoothly. When I’m voicing Moriarty, it’s important to make him “normal,” but it’s not that there’s nothing hiding within, considering he tore apart a butterfly. I’m looking forward to seeing what meaning those kinds of scenes hold later on, when I watch with the completed visuals.

Soma: In Episode 6, that one guy had a lot of impact. *laughs*

Seiichiro: *laughs*

Soma: The animation for that rap scene was really good. Actually, the animation is great overall. Moriarty’s really cute.

Seiichiro: Moriarty’s become that “beautiful girl” type who they have to keep looking pretty.

Soma: Kyougoku’s chin sticks out, so the same doesn’t apply to him. *laughs*

But so far, I think Episode 6 was the best one yet. It made me cry. Tora’s a good character, and it felt like I was watching a different anime. Episode 3, the Kyougoku one, made me tear up too, but out of laughter: “It’s over… the party, that is.”

Seiichiro: Indeed. However, we were oblivious to the fact that that memory would be recovered much later on.

Soma: Honestly.

Seiichiro: We can’t talk about it, so please look forward to it. *laughs*

The stories behind the Detective’s Row House members, and Suzuki Tatsuhisa-san’s character construction

Soma: Back to the topic at hand, Tatsuhisa-san was amazing in Episode 6.

Seiichiro: Sugimoto, right?

Soma: I wonder where he got the ideas for that character construction. When he went “Tamaaa!” I was like, why?

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: That betrayed my expectations. I was like, “Whoa?! That’s how he’s doing it?!” Which shelf did he pull that out of? It was a masterpiece.

Soma: The rap line where he goes “And for some reason, I’m mooning your ass” was exactly as written in the script, but it made me think, “Seriously, why?!”

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: The rap was funny, but I thought I shouldn’t think too deeply into it.

Soma: There are a lot of shocking scenes, like drinking tons of Ramune and going “I can fly,” and Chinkill’s group telling Moriarty to “get fapping” to their birthday present for him.

Seiichiro: The photo book! After that, the highlights disappear from Moriarty’s eyes and he says that dead “Thanks.”

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: When I saw the completed footage, the book cover was spicier than I thought it’d be. You could kind of see something.

Soma: The pose was dangerous too. Speaking of Episode 3, Sherlock’s sudden “Poop.” was funny too, and it was cute when he was rolling on the bed going “It can’t be Pu…”

Seiichiro: Yeah, it was surprising because he’d solved all the cases flawlessly until then. It showed us that he isn’t perfect, and the two-stage development was fun.

Overall, the art style, or rather the colour usage, is pretty vivid. I think it’s intentional, but besides the neon lights, the kids’ squad is also made up of a variety of races.

Soma: Yeah, those kids have a lot of personality to them too, like the girl that says *mimics voice* “Marry someone who makes 100 million yen a year.”

Seiichiro: Their faces were detailed too, like Renko who Hondo-san voices.

Soma: The animators really were attentive.

Q: Renko looks like one of the younger members, so I was surprised by her foul-mouthed line in Episode 6. *laughs*

Seiichiro: The Kaneko boss was cool in that episode too.

Soma: Episode 6 really was great. When Yoshio-kun reveals the truth to Moriarty and Moriarty says, “You may be able to be the leader of this town,” the inflection there was good. I liked how it ended with “ja ne” instead of “yo” or “kamo na.” If I were Yoshio, I’d cry too.

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: We became Yoshio there. *laughs*

Even though the Row House crew all fight and curse at each other, in the end, they have a deep, inseparable connection. The friendship, love, and sense of family really shows in Episode 6, and I was moved by how Tora was willing to sacrifice himself to save them.

Soma: It was also great how he cried when he saw that the person he saved before drew a manga with a protagonist that looked like him.

Seiichiro: What was his name again?

Staff: Wakazou. (Greenhorn)

Soma: That name’s a bit lazy, huh? *laughs*

Seiichiro: Indeed *laughs*. He also wore a beret, like he was some kind of “God of Manga.” When I watched the broadcast version, there were a lot of funny parts that made me go “No way.” *laughs*

Soma: There’re a lot of obvious references.

Seiichiro: Like Cobra.

Soma: We could go on forever listing them, but at any rate, I think it’s a series that “breaks its shell” in a good way.

Q: I’m sure some people have noticed the various references. When you watch it the first time, you only grasp the main story, but if you look closely, there are things tucked away in places.

Soma: Yes, there are so many little references. With the recording done, I know I can say that I want you to watch it multiple times.

Jack the Ripper, Kyougoku’s love story, and the upcoming new characters are a must-see!

Q: We’re getting more and more interested in the upcoming episodes. What should we look out for?

Seiichiro: I think it’d have to be one of the major themes in the show, Jack the Ripper. It becomes key to later developments.

Soma: We’ve been talking all about the funny parts so far, but this series is constructed cleverly, with quite a lot of foreshadowing hidden among the comedic parts. If you look at the non-funny parts, I think you’ll gradually realize that the story is quietly making steady progress. Please watch as these little scenes converge towards their resolution.

Seiichiro: It’s like the points form a line. Also, the casual remarks made by the Row House members become set-ups for later, so I think there’s value in scrutinizing them now.

Soma: Also, if I can make one personal addition…

Seiichiro: Go ahead.

Soma: “Kyougoku’s crush.” It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it the most important theme in the series… well, actually, yes it would be *laughs*. But it makes you want to watch over him tenderly.

Seiichiro: Indeed.

Soma: Besides that… there’s a lot of new characters that haven’t appeared yet, or that you haven’t seen everything about yet.

Seiichiro: Yeah, like Mycroft.

Soma: There’s a scene with Mycroft where he says “It’s been a long time, my brother” to Sherlock who’s hiding under a table, and the way he holds his arms up *poses with arms covering his face* made me think “Oh, this is a dangerous one.”

Seiichiro: He’s a weirdo behind that overly serious exterior.

Soma: He’s the real deal. Please look forward to the new characters like him. *laughs*

Q: In Episode 7, we meet Irene and a guest character voiced by Sugita Tomokazu-san, so we’re at a point where we’re wondering who else will be appearing. When we asked what we should look out for in a previous discussion, Konishi-san said “Kyougoku,” so there must be something else about him on the way.

Seiichiro: I guarantee you that you’ll be cheering him on fondly.

Soma: Thank you.

Anyway, there’s too many highlights to list, but personally, from a viewer’s perspective, I really enjoy entertainment that’s a big mix of different elements, with scenes that are fun, sad, strange, and scary. This series is a jumble of all of those things while also having an intense lead-up into the climax, so please at least watch until Episode 12 first. Really, just once, that’s all I’m asking.

All: *laughs*

Q: Looking back at the episodes that’ve aired so far, what do you think Sherlock and Watson are in relation to your own characters?

Soma: Generally, Kyougoku isn’t shown to have any kind of special feelings towards Sherlock and Watson. He’s more concerned about himself, but later on, he has more conversations with Watson, and they get closer.

Seiichiro: He starts calling him John, right?

Soma: Yes, all of a sudden.

All: *laughs*

Soma: I’d like you to pay attention to why he becomes friends with Watson, because rather than him opening up his heart and growing closer as a result of mutual understanding, there are circumstances that force their relationship to change. You’ll understand when you see it.

Q: At first I thought that the detectives were rivals with Sherlock, but it seems that that isn’t the case.

Soma: Kyougoku has a lot of self-confidence, so he tends to look down on the other detectives, and he doesn’t see Sherlock as a worthy opponent. In Episode 3, he says “Now, I think it’s time you admitted your mistake,” B-zou-style, and it feels like he generally tries to get ahead by himself. But it’s still early in the series, so please look out for what happens next.

Moriarty and Sherlock’s first meeting and the nature of their relationship also become an essential point?!

Seiichiro: As for Moriarty, he’s surrounded by grown-up detectives as well as a detective his own age (Mary), but among all those people, this high schooler is able to talk to the eccentric Sherlock as an equal, with the same values and perspective, unlike Watson. I found this intriguing, and I’m sure the viewers do too. You can sum it up as “It’s because he’s a genius high schooler,” but as for why everyone’s favourite Moriarty-kun ended up that way with Sherlock, it all goes back to their first meeting. I hope you’ll look forward to seeing how they met and what kinds of conversations they had that led to what they have now.

Also, I think Moriarty sees Sherlock as special. For example, even though Kyougoku looks down on people, he can still hold conversations with them. Sherlock feels different in nature, and the other detectives have difficulty communicating with him. Despite that, his perception and skillful deduction are a cut above the rest, and he was probably already a special existence there before Watson showed up. I think the nature of his relationship with Moriarty, who can interact with him on equal footing, will become a critical point.

In that sense, I think he was the one to cast the first stone at Sherlock’s heart, not Watson. They get along well, and it feels like they’re on the same wavelength. Sherlock has something that draws Moriarty to him. I’m sure Moriarty feels comfortable being with him.

Q: In Episode 4, Moriarty starts calling Watson by his name instead of “Old Man.”

Seiichiro: I’m sure he must be interested in Watson as well. Please look forward to the future changes in their relationships.

Q: Here’s a personal question themed around the series. Do you have any memories of the real Kabukichou?

Soma: No… It appears in a lot of fictional works, and in reality it’s close by since we work in Tokyo, but since it’s not really somewhere I can go, my idea of the place probably gets more exaggerated as time goes on.

Kabukichou Sherlock takes place in a fictional world, but I still see Kabukichou as that kind of chaotic place. I don’t really go there; in fact I don’t think I’ve ever been there, and yet it feels like a place I know well. It has the impression of an abstract district, like something from a fictional story.

Seiichiro: My memory of the place is from when I first started working. I was trying to walk home to Shinjuku from a shop in East Shinjuku, and I got lost in Kabukichou.

Soma: Ohh.

Seiichiro: I didn’t know which way to go, and I was surrounded by neon lights in all directions, with signs and people advertising their “services”… I came from the countryside, so it felt like I’d entered a fictional city from a drama. There were people like Kabukichou Sherlock’s Chinkill, and I was pretty scared.

Like Soma-san said, it’s close by, but it feels unrealistic. Even though there are people who live there, it feels dramatic and fictional. It was a mystifying feeling back then. I was excited but scared, not sure if I’d be able to return home, and panicking over what to do if I got taken somewhere strange. It would’ve been scary if there were barkers like Dylan.

But the arch you see in the key visual is impressive, and it has that admirable “When you reach the other side of the tunnel…” feeling to it.

Q: True, even though it’s inside Shinjuku, the area beyond the neon gate feels like a different world.

Seiichiro: It’s a unique place. It has that underground feel, but on the other hand, it’s not like that throughout the entire district. It has regular movie theatres too, and they do accept outsiders, although it has that “if you underestimate it, you’ll get burned” atmosphere as well.

Soma: Since I don’t go there, it’s like my internal image of it hasn’t been updated.

Q: For younger people in other regions who haven’t seen Shinjuku, they might watch Kabukichou Sherlock and think that’s the kind of place it is.

Soma: I think so too. I’m from a rural area too, and I think Tokyo represents this vague feeling of admiration and longing, so that might actually be a good thing. For example, if I meet someone 10 years later who became a voice actor after watching Kabukichou Sherlock, I might decide to take them to the real Kabukichou. *laughs*

Seiichiro: It could be like a pilgrimage. It’s nice when things expand like that.

Yamashita-san and Saito-san request a one-on-one chat over drinks and a Hiroshima tour

Q: It’d be great if this series leads to something like that. Now for another series-themed question, do you two have any requests for each other?

Seiichiro: Detective Soma-san? He does seem like he’d be good at riddle-solving.

Soma: Hmm, I’d just want to go shopping together or something.

Seiichiro: That’s an offer, right? *laughs* Let’s go.

Soma: I usually don’t go clothes shopping with friends, but I like the way Seiichiro-kun normally dresses. We might have similar tastes.

Seiichiro: He talks to me about music as well, so I think so too. It’s an honour.

Soma: Even today… *pulls out a hat from his bag that’s a similar colour and shape to the one that Seiichiro is wearing* See?

Seiichiro: Ah! It does look similar. We’re matching.

Soma: So I’d like to go clothes shopping together, and have a relaxing one-on-one chat over drinks.

Seiichiro: That sounds good. Let’s do it for real.

Soma: I’d also like a tour of his hometown. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Hiroshima before, so I’d like to visit.

Seiichiro: It’d be an honour. Hiroshima often gets featured in anime, and there are a lot of other voice actors from there.

Soma: Yeah. Please take me on a tour of Hiroshima.

Seiichiro: Of course. You’re like… a scholar to me, so there’s a lot I want to talk about. That doesn’t have to be a request, right?! *laughs*

All: *laughs*

Q: You could accomplish it at the same time as Saito-san’s request.

Soma: All right, so first we’ll meet at Kabukichou and talk all night, and then we’ll go to Hiroshima.

Seiichiro: Sounds good.

Q: There’s also a night bus from Shinjuku… How many hours does it take?

Seiichiro: That brings back memories. It departs at 10 p.m. and arrives at about 8 a.m. the next morning. *laughs*

Soma: That’s rough…

Seiichiro: It’s a fond memory from my younger days, going home while complaining about the soreness.

Also, Soma-san knows a lot about books and music, and he’s released his own books, so I want to learn about his recommendations and interests… Basically, I just want to talk to him, even though I’m already doing that right now.

All: *laughs*

Seiichiro: I just want to be the interviewer.

Q: So your request is to be Saito-san’s interviewer. *laughs*

Seiichiro: I’d start with “What led to your debut?” since I think that’s something you only see in magazine interviews.

Soma: True, we don’t get a chance to talk about why we became voice actors in the first place.

Q: It looks like both of your requests are to get closer to each other, but they’re also fitting for the next question, which is “Kabukichou Sherlock has a web radio, manga adaptation, and novel adaptation as well, but is there anything else you’d like to do?”

Seiichiro: The manga and novel adaptations sound interesting.

Soma: I’m interested in a potential collab cafe. Something like “Sherlock’s Special Whipped Cream Sushi”…

Q: A collab cafe menu was discussed in a previous interview too, and the fried rice with canned peaches was referenced.

Seiichiro: Canned peach fried rice…

Soma: It’d work if it only looked that way, and the taste was different. Also, that “Ramune that gives you energy.” And, what was it called, the Dokkiri-man sticker? I want that Rakugo Camel too.

Seiichiro: That sticker wasn’t on the back of the phone, right? It was where you flick the screen.

Soma: That was really bad *laughs*. As for what I’d like to do…

Q: Yamashita-san mentioned mystery-solving earlier. That would be a nice thing to do.

Soma: I’d want to do it with everyone together.

Seiichiro: There’s already an event planned for April 2020, so I’m curious about what we’ll be doing there.

Q: There’s a quiz corner in the web radio.

Seiichiro: I heard from Tatsumaru-kun that it was really hard.

Q: Tachibana-san and the other host Suwabe-san were debating whether it was even a feasible quiz.

Looking forward to the soundtracks and the drama CDs♪

Soma: To be honest, I want to do drama CDs. The anime has a set length that we talk according to, and at most we can add a little bit of ad-libbing.

When we were recording the drama CDs for the BD/DVD bonuses, it turned into something crazy because we didn’t have enough time…

Seiichiro: We had to record other things in the same time slot, so we were panicking because time was running out. Everyone was clattering around.

Soma: Yeah, it was basically recorded in a single take, and that live feeling was fun. *laughs*

Seiichiro: It was interesting. *laughs*

Soma: Drama CDs are where we have the most freedom. Even if your ad libs or lines overlap, it’s still fine, so I’d like to do one with everyone.

Q: It sounds like it has a different atmosphere from anime recording.

Soma: I think our clattering made it into that drama CD though *laughs*. It’s probably noisier than usual.

Seiichiro: A readers theatre would be interesting too. I’m sure everyone wants to see Konishi-san’s rakugo live.

Soma: Konishi-san said that “Sherlock isn’t supposed to be very good at rakugo,” so I think it’s difficult to do that so-called “character rakugo.”

Seiichiro: Originally, you’re not supposed to change your voice for rakugo, but he said he did it on purpose. I’m sure it must be different when it’s illustrations instead of real life.

Konishi-san’s rakugo is really good in that it holds up no matter what the subject is. For this series, I think a drama CD would be better than character songs…

Soma: Oh, but I want to hear B-zou-san’s character song. I also want to read B-zou-san’s “Western Dream” book. I also want goods that make you wonder who would buy such things. Like a room key from the “HIGH QUALITY” hotel Kyougoku uses in a later episode. *laughs*

Seiichiro: Or a Cobra glove *laughs*. You could use it as a hot pot scoop or buy a toy gun and play pretend. One of those “who benefits from this existing” goods.

Soma: I really want one! Aren’t nonsensical goods great?

Seiichiro: I think it’d be possible to make it.

Q: Another possibility is a figure that plays B-zou lines when you push a button. I know I’d want to keep pushing the button to hear all of them.

Soma: Yeah! Like *mimics voice* “That’s wild!”

Seiichiro: I like it!

All: *laughs*

Soma: It could say things like “Your heart is becoming hard.” I really want one so I can use it when I don’t know what to say during a radio or event.

Seiichiro: It’d be even better if it could translate for you.

Soma: As for character songs, there are characters that sing, like Mrs. Hudson.

Q: In Episode 4, the rock/anisong singer Gero-san made a guest appearance too.

Seiichiro: It was a powerful performance. And since they went to the trouble of recording Mrs. Hudson’s song, I’m hoping it’ll be included on the soundtrack.

Soma: All of the music is really good. The OP, ED, and BGM are all perfect. Nakamura-san was also wondering if the song would be on the soundtrack, and I want it too.

Seiichiro: The BGM is great and brings the series’ messy parts together. Since a soundtrack release is guaranteed, I’m looking forward to it.

Q: Finally, please give a message for the fans watching the anime.

Soma: We’ve already finished the recording, and we were able to enjoy it from various angles. I suspect that people will have various different opinions about this series, but at the current time of airing, the story is approaching its core. From here the series shows a different face, so I implore you to watch until the end. Once you know the whole story, I’d be delighted if you’d watch it a second and third time.

Please support the dream of the Detective’s Row House’s steadfast ace, Kyougoku Fuyuto. I hope you’ll continue watching Kabukichou Sherlock.

Seiichiro: I’m really happy to see all of the reactions the series has gotten since Episode 1 aired. It’s pretty rare for the recording to already be completed at this point, so every week, I anxiously await seeing those reactions to all of the hard work everyone put in.

Moriarty’s story is only just beginning. There are some painful, uneasy parts, but I hope you’ll enjoy it with the feeling of attending a show at a rakugo theatre. Even if not every episode grips you, I hope you’ll be curious enough to come watch, and that some of the stories will be to your liking. It’s a detective show, but you can also clear your mind and laugh at the gags all you want. I hope it’ll give the viewers energy and a change of pace.

That said, it also has emotional moments and an overarching story, so I hope you’ll follow along and enjoy the quirky characters and unexpected twists. Lastly, I look forward to the time when we’ll be able to discuss it together. Your comments are what motivate me to work hard, so please continue to support Kabukichou Sherlock.