ReFlap: Kentarou Kumagai, Daiki Hamano, Yuuji Ikuta, Yuri Matsuoka, Tomohisa Sakou, Amatsuki, Takahide Ishii (Seiyu Grand Prix plus homme vol.2 (2020)

熊谷健太郎, 濱野大輝, 生田鷹司, 松岡侑李, 佐香智久, 天月, 石井孝英

  1. Reiji Kujakuseki: Debt Daruma, former host, young businessman. Born on 9 June, 29-year-old. I am from the South Island. He worked as a host in college and became the number one in Ikebukuro and became an entrepreneur after retiring as a host. He’s been having a trouble with his business lately and has a lot of debt. His favourite food is egg dishes (especially boiled eggs). Is there anything you keep in mind when taking on a role? Kumagai: I’m the second oldest after Mizuto-san, so I thought it would be nice if I could show “adult leeway” in every part of my words. I’m sure he’s proud of himself, and I don’t think he wants to show that he’s having a hard time. Also, I grew up in Okinawa, so I grew up on the same southern island as Reiji, but I feel that he himself sees the “islandness” as a weapon he can use. I guess he’s not to mention that he came from the island. In my work, I usually use standard language overwhelmingly. So, I guess that kind of atmosphere is close. I think I was able to bring out Reiji’s nuances.

Do you have a favourite lyric in a ReFlap song? Kumagai: “Hyakusenrenma Kakunai da Overflowing flow” Tsukasa participated in 3 songs. Among them, the solo song “Spotlight” is a song that says, “just look at me” and “I’m the main character”. I feel that these words are reminiscent of Reiji. It’s interesting how the lyrics convey Reji’s “parts he wants to show”. Like, “There have been many things that happened, but each time, I’ve won.” Reiji is good at turning the glaring parts into sparkles. He has a strong fighting spirit hidden inside him, but he shows it as a shining expression. I think it’s good that it’s linked to his lyrics and his own characteristics. There’s a secret inside.

Please tell me if there is an episode that makes you think. There are big and small failures, but I haven’t seen the “bottom” yet. Kumagai: What made me feel sick was simple soccer. When I was a boy, injured my knee, and although I entered this industry, it was a time when I couldn’t do acting work. It was mentally tough at that time, but it might be lukewarm to say rock bottom. When I’m depressed, I’m moving my body. I started playing baseball last year after being invited by an acquaintance of mine who is a writer. I haven’t been able to do it in earnest this year, partly because of the new coronavirus, but if I sweat wholeheartedly and practise swinging the bat, it will be fine.

2. Mizuhito Washino:Lonely hardcore guitarist. Born 21 May, 33 years old. He used to work as a professional guitarist. After the band disbanded, he became an office worker again. He decided to become an idol that his late wife liked when the beloved woman he married passed away due to an illness. His favourite food is alcohol (whiskey).

Is there anything you keep in mind when taking on a role? Hamano:  I act in such a way that I can feel the passion inside of my calm tone. There are some funny scenes, so I’m conscious of conveying the mischievousness at such times. But I don’t do a lot of special roles. Since I’m close in age to Mizuto, I act relatively naturally. He has long hair and is a sexy character, so I’m careful to make him look more “adult” than I usually do (laughs).

Do you have favourite lyric in a ReFlap song? Hamano: “Beautiful Revenger” <Flawless is the fluctuation of the flame that burns when you know defeat>, <2nd Voting – Consolation Match>, even in the audition for a comeback, the two songs are the thoughts of “I’m going to go higher” is clogged. “Beautiful Revenger” is a song filled with the feeling that I’m going to hone my weapons and rise from here. Overall, it’s a song with a strong attack, but the D melody is calm and relaxed, and I sang it to convey Mizuto’s feelings. I also like the lyrics. <Be sure to take it back> <Because the steel that strikes with sparks will become stronger>.

Please tell us if there is an episode in your life that makes you think, “I’m at the bottom…” Hamano: When I first started working as a voice actor, I had a part-time job. Gradually, I started getting voice acting jobs, and the hardest part was the “interval period” when I couldn’t get a part-time job. It was a time when I was overwhelmed both financially and mentally because I was overjoyed to be able to work with my seniors and conflicted over my own abilities. Just like ReFlap, see your friends working hard and the fans who support you to inspire yourself. I was able to get over the wall by having a strong feeling that “I have to do my best too.”

3. Syunya Kanegae: Former idol group leader, born on 11 July, eighteen years old. He is the former leader of the idol group “ALNAIR”. He left after a scandal was set up by other members belonging to a major office. After that, he was scouted by the manager to join ReFlap. His favourite food is ramen.

Is there anything you keep in mind when taking on a role? Ikuta: O, I think that the so-called main character can overcome even the complex in a cool way, but in the case of Syunya, he is not the stylish type and is unrefined. He’s human and hot. That’s why I try not to forget the boy’s heart. It’s amateurish in a good way. When I try to act out what I’m saying, things that I’ve experienced myself seem to come out in words. In normal post-recording, I sometimes put that feeling into my voice, but Syunya is pure, so I think I have to feel it properly and express it with my voice. I have a lot of fun friends, so I’m allowed to do it freely (laughs).

Do you have favourite lyric in a ReFlap song? Ikuta: “Believers” <No matter how many times I keep chasing it, I’m frustrated, crumbling, torn, crumbling, but still aiming> When I read the lyrics of “Believers”, it really resonated with me. The moment I listened to the song, it came straight into my heart and brought tears to my eyes. It’s one of my favourite songs that I remember. For the recording, I practised many times at home using the data I received in advance. I like all the lyrics, but these words stick to me any at any time. Thinking about where I want to go if I replace myself, remembering my original intentions… I haven’t lived that long, but I feel like “life is like that”. Let me.

Please tell us if there is an episode in your life that makes you think, “I’m at the bottom…” Ikuta: I had my first girlfriend when I was in high school. She was in the class next door, and there were other good friends in that class, so she would often hang out with them. However, it seems that her friends didn’t think very well of me for always greeting her first. I ended up talking it over with my friend and made up, but I wasn’t feeling well at the time. However, it may have been a good experience because I was absorbed in music and thought about various things during my refusal period.

4. Hinata Takamiya: Former No.1 Idol. Born on 22 January, he is 18 years old. Synya’s childhood friend, former idol who was active in “ALNAIR”. He received an invitation from him, and he becomes a RePLayer. He is an honour student who does everything flawlessly, but he is not good at MC and his favourite food is curry.

Is there anything you keep in mind when taking on a role? Matsuoka: Hinata-kun cares a lot of his friend Syunya-kun, so I’m most conscious of that single-mindedness. And Hinat-kun is not good at expressing emotions and is a clumsy type. He is thought to be “possible” by those around him. He is also conscious of that sense of balance. In fact, he is often thought of by those around him… After his role was decided, I talked with the staff, and there were certainly some points that I incorporated my own elements into the setting, but it wasn’t like I was able to match the roots of his personality. Despite that, we have a lot in common. He feels destined to meet a human named Hinata-kun.

Do you have favourite lyric in a ReFlap song? Matsuoka: “Fly” <Try I’m gonna try? I like the words of the chorus of “Fly”in the coupling of “Entertain” of the first released album. I think it’s the main feeling of RePlayers. Also, in “Fly”, I sang the words <for you> with Mizuto-san, and I sang while feeling the weight of the two of us. I also have fond memories of the rap part. For me, this song was my first attempt at rapping, so the recording was exciting. It was a challenge to see how far I could express it while thinking “I’m grateful” to see a new scenery. I feel the weight of singing the word “for”, and I also have a fondness for the knob part.

Please tell us if there is an episode in your life that makes you think, “I’m at the bottom…” Matsuoka: Basically, I like animals, but I used to have a dog, so I especially love dogs. I used to have the type of dog that would run around the house, but when I was in elementary school, he ran away the moment I opened the front door. I searched for about 20 minutes, but I couldn’t find it.

5. Kei Kamomebata: He has two faces. A stage actor who was born on 13 March, 23 years old. He criticizes the theatre company members and directors on SNS and is dismissed from the theatre company. He now runs his own theatre company. He usually has a warm personality. “There are times when a person who seems to be another existence who calls himself “Tadashi Akira” appears. His favourite food is sandwiches.

Is there anything you keep in mind when taking on a role? Sakou: I am conscious of the dual nature of “I say it when I say it, but I don’t say it when I don’t.” When he (Akira) comes out, it’s when Kei has something to say. I think it’s cool that he can tell everything without hiding his thoughts. Akira is fun to play (laughs). Sometimes I wonder, “Is it okay if I go this far?” I have been taught that “If you convey your thoughts properly, you will be able to convey them properly to the other person.” 

Do you have favourite lyric in a ReFlap song? Sakou: “Entertain” <If I keep this up, uh, I’ll miss a killer pass. Not only that, I also won’t even get a uniform number>. I’m also involved in music activities myself, so I can really understand how you feel. When I read these lyrics, I felt that I shouldn’t be satisfied with the current situation. Also, I have nothing but bitter memories of the audition. At the audition I applied for when I was in junior high and high school, I received a harsh opinion and thought, “I can’t stay like this”, which is the basis of my current activities. Playing these guys who fight in the middle of the audition and never forget the feeling of “I still hope for someone’s smile”, makes my heart warm.

Please tell us if there is an episode in your life that makes you think, “I’m at the bottom…” Sakou: I got a girlfriend when I was in the second year of junior high school. I sent an e-mail to my girlfriend saying, “I love you”, and while I was excitedly waiting for her reply, I got an e-mail from her mother saying, “What’s going on?” I was so upset that I thought, “It’s over.” I was outside at the time, so when I got home, I said, “Mom is the prettiest” (laughs).

6. Reona Iojaku: Born on 8 November, Reona is a genderless former child actor, he is 20 years old. She has been doing entertainment activities since he was a child actor, but his invective comments set him on fire, and his work decreased. His hobbies are ego search and visiting clothing stores. He professes that he is love interest for both men and women. His favourite foods are kiritanpo hot pot and sweets.

Is there anything you keep in mind when taking on a role? Amatsuki: When I received the offer, I had no idea what kind of child he was. When I saw the picture, I thought that he was a cute or sharp-tongued character, but that’s not the case. I thought it would be nice if I could act while considering the balance between cuteness and seriousness. While acting, I feel something like Reona’s goodness every day. Just looking at Reona makes me feel happy. That’s why I support Reona as a fan too.

Do you have favourite lyric in a ReFlap song? Amatsuki: “They say” <If you worry about this and that, it’s boring> There are many words in ReFlap’s lyrics that make you feel like you’re losing and fighting to “lift up people who have fallen”. This one phrase I sang in “They say” has that plus of Reona-ness in it. The way Reona sticks to himself, the way he doesn’t care about anything else… That kind of character of Reona is expressed, and I like it very much. Also, I don’t have much experience in rapping. There is no right answer in rap, so you can add nuances freely. It’s not just this song, it’s interesting wherever you sing. I am having a good experience.

Please tell us if there is an episode in your life that makes you think, “I’m at the bottom…” Amatsuki: There are many things (laughs). In elementary and junior high school, I didn’t get along well with my friends and didn’t get used to school, and there was a time when I didn’t go to school in high school. At that time, I was immersed in my hobby. Now that I think about it, it may have been an escape for me. Now that SNS has developed, I don’t think it’s necessary to follow a set path. Talent has become easier to find, and it has become easier to be evaluated from multiple perspectives. I don’t know if it was the correct answer to go to school seriously until I forced myself to do it. Rather than thinking that it is an escape route, it might be more interesting to have the feeling that “I will make it in the correct answer.”

7. Iku Mukawa: A fearless bungee comedian without a string, is cute. Born on 7 August, 25 years old. He is currently active as a pin entertainer, but his monthly income is around 10 yen. When he started wondering if he could entertain people in a way other than comedy, he learned about ReFlap. His favourite food is fruit in general (especially bananas).

Is there anything you keep in mind when taking on a role? Ishii: Gear up. Anyway, it’s about playing brightly and having fun. when you’re cheerful, it feels like you’ll naturally become him. Other than that, I don’t really have much in mind. Because Iku-kun has a constitution that is easy to be teased, but I am also often teased, so I think we have a similar personality (laughs). That’s why it’s easy for him to act out what’s inside of him. He plays naturally without being too defensive, so I feel that the synchronizing rate with him has increased considerably. But I also think that only Iku-kun can bring out that brightness.

Do you have favourite lyric in a ReFlap song? Ishii: “Believers” <Ah, what if I do that at that time, my wish increases with my selfish thoughts>. The rap part sticks. There’s a straight line that says, “It’s hard to get rusty and I’ll start walking again and again.” Because of my work, I often get lost, so I sometimes feel uneasy thinking, “I wish I had done that.” Also, I’m a person who gives up quickly, so the words “I start to hate myself halfway through everything I want to do” also stuck with me. For me, voice acting is the only thing that has kept me going. If I hadn’t found this job, I might have been repeating “fun” and “impossible”.

Please tell us if there is an episode in your life that makes you think, “I’m at the bottom…” Ishii: I’m quite a positive person, so even if something bad happens, I can get over it by sleeping. However, there was a time when I thought, “Maybe I’m not suited for being a voice actor”. When I was just starting out, I recorded a voice sample, but I was beaten up saying, “I can’t play the role, I can’t even do the basics”. I was so frustrated when he calmly pointed out that I was confident that I would be able to do it. I went to karaoke to release my stress, but I couldn’t release it, so I sang ballads (laughs). Now that I’ve made a lot of progress, I can act in my own way.

Interview with members of ReFlap:

Even the acting side can’t read the development! A thrilling project, ReFlap is a novel project unlike anything you’re seen before. Ikuta: I thought it would be interesting to combine content with real lie. Unlike in anime, there is a human called Syunya, a character who is like me but different. That’s why, rather than doing my best to support Syunya, I feel like I’m entrusting it to everyone. Hamano: What I thought was the most innovative was the RePlayer (where the characters come forward and the voice actors act behind the scenes) and the auditions are held in a realistic way. In a normal anime event, we often appear in place of the characters, but I thought that RePlayer was a new attempt to appear in.

Ishii: My first impression was, of course, that it was “innovative”. I was originally selected through an audition, but after that there was another audition, and I had to keep winning. In that sense, I was worried. But, as Hamano-san said earlier, it’s not us who step forward, but the RePlayers who step forward and move away from us. Kumagai: When I see them interacting with fans on their respective Instagram accounts, I feel like I’m alive. After the Pre-voting (pre-voting before the main game), the 1st voting, the 2nd voting is being voted. The number of votes is determined by the hard work of these RePlayers, and the next development starts from there. So, we can’t predict. I think it’s fun content to imagine. Sakou: It really just happened, but when I received this offer, I was actually thinking the same thing. “I want to be an idol for 100 years!” Everyone (laughs).

Kumagai: That’s a rare coincidence (laughs). Sakou: It’s a joke, but I feel like the real us and the virtual ones are so close yet so far apart. Be devoted to polishing your daily technology. When you work together with them towards the same goal, you can’t help but empathize with them. I think it would be nice if I could continue to aim to be a 100-year-old idol myself (laughs).  Hamano: I’m also a 100-year idol…

Sakou: You’re lying! (laughs). Amatsuki: (laughs). Just kidding, it was an unknown world to receive another audition. At first, I didn’t know anything, so I was worried, but the 7 RePlayers… above all, I’m really glad I met Reona. As I acted as a very individual and good child, something like parental affection began to grow. Matsuoka: At first, I thought, “This is pretty serious project.” This work is the first time I’m in charge of the main character in voice work.  Thinking that the role I was given for the first time could be lost depending on the outcome, I think I’ve come to a ridiculous world line (laughs). But RePlayers, I’m rooting for you as a fan. It is novel and wonderful work.

Then, please tell us about the RePlayer that each of you will play. Ikuta: Syunya is a dedicated boy who likes idols. Various things happened to him, and he was forced to leave the school group he used to be in. My initial image of him was that he was hot-blooded and straightforward, but I have a complex about him. As I played him, I came to think that he was a human character.

Matsuoka: Hinata-kun grew up as a childhood friend of Syunya-kun. In the story, the figure of two people growing up is drawn. I have a strong desire to improve my performance and my feelings for Syunya-kun. My first impression was that he was stylish, cool, and earnest. Sakou: Kei is a character with two sides. Akira can say things that Kei can’t say honestly. I’m the type to say what I want to say without choosing words, but I think it would feel good if I could say that much (laughs).

Amatsuki: Reo is a unique character in RePlayer. I thought he was just a personality, but he is a hard worker. Because of her straightness, she tends to be sharp-tongued, but she is full of charm. His hard work is reflected in his ability. He’s also very good at dancing. Hamano: Mizuto has lost someone important to him and is participating in ReFlap’s audition in the form of inheriting that person’s feeling. Among the members, he is a relatively older character with an older brother character. As the story progresses, knowing what everyone has, gradually a sense of unity is born with everyone.

Ishii: A sense of unity is born; Iku is like a mood maker. He’s an entertainer, so he has a strong desire to make people laugh. He’s a fun character, but he’s so bright that he consumes a lot of energy (laughs). Kumagai: Reiji is the former number one host in Ikebukuro. He started a business to aim higher, but it didn’t go well. He has a strong desire to change the status quo. But he also a cool side, saying, “I won’t show you the part where I’m working hard and suffering.”

On Saturday, 2 November last year, a kick-off meeting was held where RePlayer interacted with ReViver (fans) in real life for the first time. Was there anything that left an impression on you at that time? Ikuta: The impact of Mukai-san, who acted as MC, was amazing (laughs). It was very interesting. The venue was “harevutai” in Ikebukuro, and it was a perfect stage for RePlayer. It’s amazing to be able to play around and laugh so much in such a place (laughs).

Hamano: It was the first time I was able to meet ReViver as a cast member, so I was looking forward to seeing what kind of passion everyone would have. I felt strongly that I had to support them. Kumagai: I was happy to be able to stand in front of everyone as the person in charge of the voice and see your face first. Unfortunately, the concert scheduled for August this year has been postponed. But what kind of performance will they have next time? I’m looking forward to it.

Ishii: At that time, many of the cast members met for the first time. I was a little worried about whether I would be able to get along with the characters fighting each other, but when I opened the lid, everyone was nice. Not only the event that day, but also the usual release events, live broadcasts, and this interview, I enjoy doing it every time. Sakou: There were a lot of announcements on that day, we are the characters. When I introduced my profile to everyone, I was excited to see how RePlayer would fight.

Amatsuki: While we were both worried about how things would turn out, we were able to see the faces of the members around us and the fans who were trying to support us, and at the event we were able to reconcile our feelings. I got off to a good start dash. Matsuoka: Me and Ikuta-kun were very moved to be able to meet Syunya-kun and Hinata-kun on the screen. Other things that left a deep impression on me was being able to talk with the cast members in the dressing room. It is on this day that 7 people communicate the first time. I though again that I’m happy to be able to liven up the work together with this member. Surviving strict rules to the next stage. By the way, how do you feel during the voting period? Amatsuki: Do you still have tension and pressure? Kumagai: When the voting period comes to an end, there are limits to what we can do. That’s why I think I had the same feeling as everyone at ReViver. I secretly voted myself. Everyone (laughs) Matsuoka: Yes, I do! Sometimes (laughs).

Kumagai: I don’t just support my own characters. That’s why I honestly didn’t like seeing the result announcement (laughs). Even if Reiji stays with us, it’s not like we’ll be able to let go and be happy. Ishii: When you look at the standings, it’s a feeling that you can’t say anything about. Rather than being characters, they are each “alive”. Ikuta: You know. At first, I had a strong feeling of “my own child”, but it changed with each passing day, and that’s what makes it interesting. Of course, I would be happy if you supported Syunya, but I changed my mind and thought that it would be nice if I could endorse her favourite RePlayer. (At the time of the interview) it was right after the 2nd announcement was made. It turns out that all seven people have the qualities of a 100-year idol, and this time they form a unit. A vote to decide the centre will be held in the future…. It means you can vote!

Hamano: I can’t read ahead! I am looking forward to the development of the story because the relationship has deepened. Ishii: I want to see more. What will happen to these seven people? Matsuoka: There must be a side that I don’t know yet!

In October, “ReFlap End and Beginning” [Kyanime Limited] will be released. Matsuoka: It’s really been a long time since all 7 members’ songs have been released. After this long voting period, I think the way the seven of us interact will change. In addition, the postponed event will be held in November.

Ikuta: I will perform for the first time with 7 members. It’s the first time we’ve all been in front of an audience together. Sakou: Yes, that’s why I’m looking forward to it. Amatsuki: By the way, when you’re singing (Kei or Akira) which one is it? Sakou: Eh? I can’t say that (laughs). I want you to see and feel the performance. Ishii: The original title was Summer Love. It’s November, but the title remains the same (laughs). It’s sure to be a hot live!


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