Yuichi Hose & Ray Fujita (CUT October 2020)

帆世雄一 & 藤田 玲

Set in the theatre company Mankai Company, which has four sets of spring, summer, autumn and winter, a variety of lives intersect and change through theatrical performances. The anime version, which depicts the encounters of the spring and summer groups from January to June, will also progress to the story of the autumn and winter groups from October, and finally all the members will be gathered. As the time approaches, MANKAI STAGE “A3” has finished its 6th work, and the first live event “Four Seasons Live 2020” will be held from 17-20 September. To celebrate this milestone, CUT presents an exclusive conversation between Ray Fujita and Yuichi Hose’s Sakyo Furuichi. Sakyo is the person who triggered the start of the story, and his seemingly peculiar history of growing up as a yakuza after giving up acting gives the entire work a certain universality and depth. It can be said that it is a character that seems to be. Hose and Fujita, who have been close friends for a long time, gave an interesting talk by Sakyo, about theatre and A3!.

You two have known each other for a long time. Fujita: Yes, at first Hose-san did the stage setting operations for me. It’s about the story of this role. Hose: Sakyo-san has lived like that for half his life. Even though he’s such a nice person, the things that come out are very smart, so I thought it would be perfect. Fujita: The two of us are like Sakyo, and we don’t usually stand and talk about the play. We do what we do silently and talk about it in the play. I was surprised (laughs). Hose: I felt like, “Oh no!” (laughs).

I’m the type to reach out to you, but I thought that our hearts are similar, so I admired you, and I thought it would be nice to be with you, so what did you think when you first saw him at that time? Hose: It was as if I was thrusting my attention into every corner of the theatre, and I could feel from the way he stood that this person had lived an amazing life. I was numb. Fujita: When I saw “A3 Blooming Live 2019”, I was reminded many times, “It’s okay, I want to do it as soon as possible.” The unit theme for the Autumn Troupe, which also includes the new character (Seiya Konishi), showed me the future Sakyo-san, and I wanted to play Sakyo-san as soon as possible. “BUZAMA!” It has the sex appeal and coolness of an adult swinging a heavy sword. It was because I saw that that I was able to further pursue A3!’s “Ninkyoden”. Hose: Akigumi’s solo performance was wonderful, especially the sword fighting at the end. From the bottom of my heart, I thought, “I’ve done it!” Rei is putting his life on the line to create something that can only be created on a board, with everything from the space and audience of the theatre, the acting spirit and tenacity of the actors, the lighting to the music. There’s no actor who doesn’t feel nothing when he sees that.

Fujita: The script just says, “Hundred Killers” at the end, but when I asked about it in detail, he said, “Sakyo alone is a sword fight.” With those words, I felt like I was told, “I’ll prepare this place for you, so please do it to your heart’s content!” I also watched Hose-san’s song, so I thought I should do it seriously, so I talked to the director Fumiya Matsuzaki-san about various things. Even though the makeup and costumes are difficult, I think it is necessary for Sakyo’s way of life. In Japan, it’s rare for a director, a swordfighter, and an actor to be on the same level, but this time we’re able to work together, thanks to a lot of people. I felt something like the spirit of an actor who stands with the feelings of those who are not there. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to create a place where I can say, “Come with me!” The lighting staff and the sound staff did a lot of cool things, and I always felt like I was breathing with the whole theatre, and I felt like I was pouring out the pressure and gratitude that I received from various people.

Hose: That stage, I thought it was the light of Sakyo-san’s life. By watching that, I realized that Sakyo-san in the anime is still a man who doesn’t know that joy. I was able to feel even more deeply how empty it is. Since I projected that into the anime, I think I can show you the culmination of that human Sakyo Furiuchi that the two of us have built up together. I made it with a lot of influence, such as myself who incorporates Fujita-san’s method. Fujita: I’m really looking forward to it. Sakyo, who appeared in the spring and summer anime, has already been used as a reference for his movements, so I thought. “Portrait” for Sakyo-san.

It’s the first difficulty, isn’t it? Hose: The “Portrait” part is wonderful with a production that makes you think, “I see!” So, I’d like you to see it! However, due to the current situation, we can’t do all the post-recording together. After all, we all wanted to build on each other’s feelings for the Autumn Troupe, so that’s what I regret. It’s really frustrating for me to watch the spring/summer recordings while thinking, “I’m fine, next time will be autumn.” Fujita: I’m jealous of the Spring & Summer 2018 performances too, and the Autumn Troupe can’t lose either. I was thinking, so I really understand the feeling of “next time.” But I feel like that frustration suits the Autumn Troupe. If it explodes, it will be a good play.

Hose: There is that too. It feels like I played it. For that reason, I think acted with more consideration for the other person than usual, and when I saw other people’s performances on the side of the stage, I thought, “Did you do it?” It may have been close. I received a lot of wonderful things from “A3!” that I can’t honestly express. The Autumn Troupe might not be the most similar. Sawashiro-kun and the older group who don’t seem to be older at all (laughs). It’s the exact opposite of Sakyo-san. Also, Konishi-kun came in, and we were able to balance things out even more. However, he came and said, “Please teach me about voice acting!” He really looks like a little brother.

The stage is different, isn’t it? Fujita: It’s like a family here. I’m the father and Seiya Inagaki is like the mother (laughs). Including, Tokki (Tauchi), we used to go out to eat together a lot. It was cute. But I usually bring food, but everyone said, “I want to return it someday!” I prepared a restaurant where you can say it’s delicious! He made a reservation at a restaurant. He’s a really expensive guy (laughs). Then I said, “That’s a green onion, right?” But on stage, there are battles, especially with Kenta Mizue, the acting is completely different depending on who you are. That’s why there are times when it fails, but if you throw it hot, it will come back very hot. It’s interesting that Taro and Kenta are of the same generation.

Finally, all the A3! Groups gather. What is the fun part? Hose: Even though A3! Is doing a lot of theatrical performances, the music and dance have turned into musicals and expressed their emotions in a straightforward manner, and I think that the composition of “Four Seasons Live 2020” was really well done. So, in solo performances, the deeper emotions are sung, and all of the songs are deeply moving (laughs).

Fujita: Me too, I’ve received the baton that has been handed down all the way until the winter group’s solo performance, and I can say that this is A3!. I couldn’t be happier. Well, it didn’t work out that way, so I’m second only to Yuki who appears in A3!, so I’m looking forward to it.

Lastly, I’d like to ask you about what you gained from meeting A3! Fujita: Oh, it’s kind of embarrassing (laughs).

I understand! Fujita: I thought there would be a lot of difficult aspects, but I feel like I once again felt the “light” that theatre has when I met you. I hated it in my heart, “I know that there is a shadow, so the sun is born, but as an entertainment, it’s too dangerous… Do something about the theatre!” With thoughts like A3! saved me. It’s the same with the original, and I think it’s more because there an aesthetic.

I think that’s why Ray-san is genuinely having fun. Hose: There is an atmosphere of making something like that, and that’s why I have a sense of responsibility to be equal as an actor. Fujita: That’s right, so it’s all about bonds, friendships, and a sense of responsibility!


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