Kent Itou, Yoshiki Nakajima, Reiou Tsuchida, Yuki Sakakihara (Seiyuu Men Vol. 19 2020)

伊東 健人, 中島 ヨシキ, 土田 玲央, 榊原 優希

Backstage report 1: Bokuraku

Yoshiki Nakajima

  1. What kind of person is Manshiki? In terms of position, he’s everyone’s big brother they can rely on. As I approach the shoot, I think that it would be better to create a slightly calmer atmosphere. Nonetheless, when it comes to the peace played by Manshiki and Itou-san, it’s similar to the image we have of ourselves. So, rather than trying to create a solid role, I’m doing it naturally without being conscious of “acting.” It would be ideal if, as a result of bringing out the parts that are as close to the original as possible, it would be universally understood. It’s rare to play such a role, so it’s fresh and fun.
  • What other traditional performing arts are you interested in other than rakugo? I have many interests, but if I had to choose one, it would be comic dialogue. I think it’s a new culture among traditional performing arts, but I think it’s a very advanced art to make the audience laugh just by chatting with your partner through the centre microphone. I admire it and would like to try it. I think it tsukkomi that can be done with bare hands, but I’m also interested in bokeh. If possible, I would like to try various things. What should I choose? I think that the distance and tempo will show your particular tastes and preferences, so you may not know until you actually try it.
  • What is Kento Itou-san’s charm that you noticed while co-starring this time? From my perspective, who had been working with you since your debut, I think your acting has become more sophisticated. Itou-san is a person who can play without a beat. You could say that he’s an actor who can come up with the idea of “if it’s normal, shouldn’t I go that way?” When I was a newcomer, I think people around me were confused because I had to act without a foundation. If you say that, it will be like looking from above. However, when I saw it this time, I thought that I should do an interesting play again.

Kento Itou

  1. Wow. What kind of person is Kazuon? He is the oldest of the four members of Mousou-tei and is in a position to watch over him. At the same time, he is the type to lean forward when it comes to things that interest him. That being said, I created the role according to my image, so I’m not always conscious of the setting. However, I feel a little that the image of the name “Kazuon” may not be similar to mine. He has a calm and gentle image, don’t you think? (laughs).
  • What was your most moe moment recently? It wasn’t “burned”, it was moe. Is there anything? It was my job, but I saw a video of several red pandas playing around, and I decided to send out various comments. The video was so cute and moe. I love animals in the first place. I often say that my favourite animal is a prairie dog, but red pandas, like prairie dogs, suddenly stand up straight. That gesture is cute, isn’t it?
  • What did you notice about Reiou Tsuchida’s charm when you co-starred with him this time? Actually, there are many things I don’t know because we haven’t recorded the co-starring episode yet, but what I’m looking forward to is the exchange of rakugo parts. This rakugo scene will be performed by two people, so “catch ball” is very important. Whether it’s a mountain-shaped ball or a zip! My current impression of Tsuchida-kun is that he seems to have no vitality (laughs). He’s always easy-going, so he doesn’t look like he’s full of energy. I’m looking forward to seeing how that image will change.

Reiou Tsuchida

  1. What kind of person is Kamitoshi? As a person who is a genius and plays the role of a balancer. Among these four, they seem to have many outstanding qualities, apparently (laughs). But when it comes to acting, there are not so many productions or rules that say, “I want to do this,” and I’m told that I can do it freely, so that helps me. The similarity with myself is that I think about the balance of my surroundings and act accordingly. I’m also the type who doesn’t complain when there’s a joke, but when there’s no blur. There has long been a place where we can discern roles that no one else has.
  • Tsuchida-san, what is the appeal of BL? After all, show us the form of love that transcends gender barriers. The troubles and conflicts that are unique to same-sex couples can be felt, and I think they will be uplifted by feeling the movements of their human emotions. Of course, it depends on the work, but I think that’s the most important thing. I try to keep my voice raw as much as possible.
  • What did you notice about Yuki Sakakihara-san’s charm while co-starring this time? He looks delicate, but what I saw was completely different and bold (laughs). On top of that, I was determined. I was with Sakakihara-kun for the first recording, but at that time Sakakihara-kun was already on his second recording. I was very nervous, but he cheerfully said, “It’s okay!” If you think about it, you can also look at the camera with aegyo and pretend to be unreasonable, saying, “From now on, Kamitoshi-san will say something interesting!” I thought to myself, “Stop that!” (laughs)

Yuki Sakakihara

  1. What kind of person is Takemaru? In a nutshell, he’s a runaway locomotive! He’s rotten child with a lot of heat that makes him think, “I can’t do this anymore!” Even in the recordings so far, there have been scenes where I tripped into my own world several times. I acted with a smile while thinking that it was typical of him. I also tend to go out of control when it comes to mushrooms, sake, and illustrations, which I love, so I feel sympathy for them.
  • What’s your latest obsession? Sometimes I draw illustrations on the birthdays of the characters I played, and at that time, I draw with my fantasies on how they spend their birthdays. For example, if the character is part of a unit, it would be fun to think about whether they would spend time with the members of that unit, or what kind of conversations they would have if they spent time together. It’s just an illustration that I drew as a fan’s delusion, so please be careful if you look at it (laughs).
  • What did you notice about Yoshiki Nakajima-san’s charm when you co-starred with him this time? I’ve had the opportunity to co-star with him before, but he’s a busy person so I haven’t had much time to talk. When I spent the whole day with him during this shoot, I honestly wondered if he was someone I could talk to casually. However, when I actually talked to him, he was really friendly, he could be silly, he was snarky, and he was such a good senior! Besides, it’s amazing how the atmosphere suddenly brightens up when Yoshiki comes. I thought that I wanted to be a senior who could create an atmosphere like this.

Thank you for filming the MV for the theme song. I can visit the shooting site and listen to everyone’s stories. So, first of all, let me hear from you about your impressions after finishing the MV shooting. Itou: Even though it took a full day, it seemed to be over in no time. We shot in the studio during the day and in the Noh theatre in the evening, and the Noh theatre felt particularly special. There I was allowed to use the stage. I always felt so tense. Nakajima: … I mean, what is that T-shirt (the shirt Itou-san is wearing.) (laughter) Tsuchida: Isn’t it good to talk about that now? Itou: That’s right. It doesn’t matter now (lol). This is my impression. Nakajima: Right. The recording of “Bokuraku” is not limited to the MV, but the main story is long, but that makes it more like a team. Also, we filmed the MV after we finished filming all the main episodes, so while it feels like a culmination, I also feel like it’s going to continue. And I also feel like I want to see the four of us again, but I don’t think so (laughs). I think it’s because I’m tired, but at the end of the stage everyone in the dressing room couldn’t figure out why and was laughing so hard.

I heard it leaking. Everyone’s laughing (laughs). Nakajima: Is that so? Actually, I didn’t know what was so funny, but for some reason everyone was holding their stomachs and laughing. Tsuchida: I laughed many times at the same thing. Nakajima: It was fun space. How about Reiou-san? Tsuchida: It was my first time shooting a music video. I was very nervous at first, but I gradually loosened up. I feel like I’m having fun as a result.

At what point did you feel relieved? Tsuchida: Around the end of the first solo shot. Gradually everyone started shooting, and I got used to the lyrics. Sakakihara: At an early stage, I used to make puns while wearing zori. Hmm? Itou: What did you say? Tsuchida: Did you come wearing zori? So… Nakajima: It’s not at an early stage. After that, we moved to the Noh theatre in the evening. Sakakihara: That’s right! I’m too tired to remember. Turbidity is occurring. Nakajima: Hahaha! Itou: You’ve been getting dangerous since then, haven’t you? Sakakihara: By the time you read this, it will be quite cool. I think it is, but it’s midsummer now. Even though it’s hot just by wearing it normally, it’s hot under the kimono. It’s because I have a lot of things to do! I think it became too much fun and my memory became clouded (laughs). Itou: The kimono is fresh and good. I feel like my spine is growing. I want to buy the kimono I wore in the main story and MV. I don’t remember anymore, but I’ve learned how to put it on, so if I remember, even by myself I should be able to wear it. Nakajima: The training school at our office does Japanese dance, so I can remember the attachment.

I see, that’s what you learned. Sakakihara: I don’t do Japanese dance. Nakajima: Is that so? I didn’t learn karate and Japanese dance. Don’t call yourself 81 Produce! Sakakihara: Is that so? (laughs) I’m a little confused right now, I’m here!

(Laughs) So, what is your impression of the theme song recorded today? Please tell me. Itou: It’s a cool song and upbeat song that makes use of the Japanese taste in both the lyrics and the melody. In connection with BL Rakugo, racy words and Japanese musical instruments. It is an interesting song that, except for the chorus, it was a free performance, and there were many parts that were tested. So, it was difficult, but it new song that I can sing with the flow. It was fresh. Nakajima: What’s more, the person who made it was Hige Dry. He’s setting the bar, isn’t he? Itou: He’s a musician who’s making waves today. Nakajima: That’s right. I’ve known his name for a long time, but now he’s my friend’s husband. I’m happy to have a wonderful relationship through my music. The chaotic view of the world in the program itself, in a good way, is reflected in the song, and it’s stylish as well. I feel that it’s a song that transforms the feeling of hodgepodge into something wonderful. In the first place, “Bokuraku MV shooting” was on the schedule. When I saw it written, I thought, “Are you going to shoot a MV?” I did (laughs). Sakakihara: That’s right (laughs). I also had the impression that the temporary song was really cool, so I was looking forward to the recording. Takemaru-kun, who I’m working with, is so crazy that he’s called a “runaway engine” car. It was also interesting to think about where I should bring out his character in the song. I was afraid that I might get scolded for going too far. Nakajima: You won’t get scolded (lol). Tsuchida: I also remember hearing many compliments during the recording. You don’t have to follow a mock song, sing in a different mood. Even when I saw it, people said, “Itadakimasu,” and it was a really free recording.

Not much direction? Tsuchida: I don’t know… Maybe there was a little. Like “Please do this a little more.” To some extent… Nakajima: What do you mean? I can’t get it (laughs). Sakakihara: Yes, however, after receiving the materials, the two of us performed rakugo. As I learned more about what to do, I began to look forward to it. It changed. I practised before the rakugo recording, but on the day of the performance, I was really looking forward to it. Itou: Sakakihara-kun was doing rakugo at the training school. I think everyone in my generation received it.

Sakakihara-san took rakugo classes instead of Japanese dance. Sakakihara: In class, we challenged ourselves to a performance we had known for a long time, “Medicine Can.” The main character asks the names of various things in the retirement pretending to know, but the main focus is on the retirement lying in a flowing manner. Itou: That’s amazing. If there was a rakugo class in the curriculum when I went to school, it would have been crazy. Because it’s a field that doesn’t know left or right. However, since I said “I’ll do it” this time, I thought I’d take the challenge seriously. “I would like to practise in advance.” I prayed and learned how to use the folding fan and how to walk. I am grateful that they taught me. They gave me time to rehearse, and there was a lot of support during the recording, so I wasn’t that worried. This member also has a senior-junior relationship, but they know each other to some extent. I had a vague understanding of each approach, so it was easy for me to predict how I would take it. Nakajima: But what we do is BL x Rakugo, a new genre of entertainment. There should be no disrespect on either side, so it was a major premise to challenge with respect without making fun of it. the staff members were more conscious of that than the cast, so it made me feel that it was up to us to make it entertaining and interesting. As everyone says, the rakugo in this program is a dialogue between two people. It’s interesting that it will come back if you hit it, and I felt the real thrill of this project, but since it’s a new genre, I won’t know until it’s aired. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going on, just like the viewers.

By the way, could Nakajima-san and Itou-san tell us about the side of the juniors after spending a lot of time together? Nakajima: That’s right, I’m glad both of you are doing well. Tsuchida: Aren’t you a relative’s uncle! Nakajima: Also, you’re both skinny, so eat properly. Tsuchida: Isn’t he relative’s uncle! Nakajima: It’s a joke saying, don’t overdo it, tsukkomi. Keep it aside. Reiou-kun is old even though he’s a junior (laughs). I’m really tired, and Reiou-kun and Sakakihara-kun are youthful. It was bright. Itou: Yes, they’re very energetic. Because it’s Nakajima, you look sloppy when compared. I’m worried about it (laughs). Nakajima: The cameras for the making of the main part and MV shoot start early in the morning, and you feel like you can’t bring yourself to the usual tension from that time. But from behind, Sakakihara-kun said “Good morning!” Itou: The tension is perfect. Nakajima: That’s why I think this making-of video has a very bright atmosphere. Itou: I’d like people to look forward to the making-of video as well. Earlier, Reiou-kun said, “I was nervous.” I thought he was lying, but he was so lively. Nakajima: Well, he’s a liar, isn’t he? Tsuchida: Hey (laughs).

I’m looking forward to seeing what the video will look like. Tsuchida: I want you to get a taste of the chaotic mix of the members, including the main story, the music video, and the making-of. I’m sure you can feel the depth of the character. Please pay attention! Sakakihara: As Yoshiki-san said, both the filming of the main story and the music video took a long time, so I think the sense of teamwork and trust increased considerably. It feels like a travelling troupe that has been on the road for a long time. I think that this atmosphere oozes out in the exchanges of the main story as a sense of tension and warmth. “That must have been an unreasonable act that wasn’t in the script.”

Backstage report 2: The making of Bokuraku

“The ideal rakugo for us” consisting of a rakugo part and a conversation part at a café. Different pairs have different exchanges between recordings. Please feel the unique atmosphere created by each relationship.

The two of them (Nakajima-san and Tsuchida-san) attended the rakugo part from the morning until the afternoon. After that, they moved to the studio and recorded the conversation part at the café. We were able to get close to the recording of the café scene at the end of “Paper Invitation.” When I entered the scene, Nakajima-san and Tsuchida-san, dressed in Japanese clothing, had finished their make-up and were already on standby. Perhaps because the main part of the program, Rakugo, is over, the tension seems to have eased somewhat. Also, perhaps because they were on good terms, the chat was lively from beginning to end, and loud laughter resounded throughout the scene.

In any case, carefully read lines in the café scene. In particular, Tsuchida-san often looked down at the script and could be seen repeating the lines. When Nakajima-san said, “I don’t remember the line,” he said, “No, even if you say that, you should remember it. You’re the one who says that!” and went back to practising the lines.

The café scene started from the point where the top profit came to the store where all the scenes were waiting. Watching the boys who are regulars, the two of them engage in delusional talk. Compared to the 10-odd page rakugo part, the page of the café scene is not so long, but unlike rakugo, it requires a good tempo dialogue, and it is by no means an easy scene. Therefore, when the script was taken away by the staff, Nakajima-san said, “I’m sorry…” Tsuchida-san also said, “What should I do?”

The recording is a real performance without setting up a test. Biting, mistaking the position of the line of sight, etc. Despite some NG’s, progress was smooth. Nakajima-san continues, “Manjiro?” In addition, there is a scene where Tsuchida-san, who is frustrated that the next line does not come out, laughs and says, “Well, well.” Many times, we saw the composition of the juniors who took on the challenge seriously and became nervous, and the seniors who kindly followed up to ease their tension. It was impressive that Nakajima-san tried to soften by mimicking other comedians. The long filming that takes place from early morning until late at night is inevitably tense, but the reason I didn’t feel that at the scene that day was probably because of Nakajima-san’s concern. The expressions on the staff’s faces softened, and the laughter never eased.

After that, change the camera angle and record the scene of the dialogue again. In addition, the hands of Manshiki, who folds roses in straw bags while waiting for Kamitoshi, and the solo scene of Kamitoshi, who comes to the store, were filmed. By this time, Tsuchida-san’s nervousness had completely loosened, and he smiled happily when he got the first OK. I heard from the manager, “I’m wrapping it up,” and clenched my first, saying, “Good!”

In this way, the café scene of “Paper Invitation” is finished. After receiving a round of applause, Nakajima-san exclaimed, “Thank you for you hard work!” as if he had just returned home, and the staff retorted, “There’s still one more bottle left (laughs).” I think this kind of interaction was only possible because the two of them were in the field. It was a shoot that felt like that.

The recording of Sakakihara-san, who plays the role of Kazuon, Itou-san who plays Takemaru, is the same as Nakajima-san and Tsuchida-san, and the schedule is to shoot two episodes of rakugo part and café part in one day.

When I entered the scene, Itou-san put on his glasses and quietly read the script, while Sakakihara-san waited for the performance while chatting with his manager. Perhaps because they have paired up with Nakajima-san and Tsuchida-san and done several shoots, they seem to be already used to the atmosphere. Even though it was before recording, when I asked him to take two still shots, he kindly accepted and smartly decided on a pose. There is a sense of tension, but it is the bare minimum. The two people who were in close contact in August were lively, but this time the two were wearing a calm atmosphere. This is the day when the 6th episode “Yabu no loincloth” and the 11th episode “God visit” were recorded. We closely followed the recording of the café part of “Kamimode.” In preparation for the “Winter War,’ which every otaku would probably be participating in, Kazuon uses a calculator to calculate military funds, and Takemaru reveals that he has never participated in the war. In fact, according to the two, the number of lines this time is “pretty much a lot.” It’s nearly twice as much as the café part of the “Paper Invitation,” and even before the performance, “There are many this time?”

“Are you always talking like this?” I heard a conversation. I thought that I was completely used to it, but it seems that I was puzzled by the amount of dialogue. Perhaps because of this, Sakakihara-san was in pain because he couldn’t say the next line in the actual performance. It seems that he feels the difference from the voice acting industry, spinning lines while looking at the script. He couldn’t help but say, “It’s really long…” But it was also for a moment. In the meantime, when he read the script and hammered it into his head, he encouraged himself, “I can do it, I can do it!” Next, he succeeded with his lines. Little by little, he began to hold down the points, and in between shooting. There are also scenes where two people play around. There was a drink that calm and Takemaru ordered. However, “From now on, Itou-san” (asked by Kazuon), I’m going to spill the coffee!” Sakakihara-san exaggerated, and Itou-san shouted, “Burn!” Gradually the feelings came to then. However, around the middle of the recording, I often heard the loud sound of the motorcycles coming from outside the studio, and I had to stop the camera each time. No matter how smoothly the conversation between the two of them progresses, once the sound is heard, they can’t move forward until it stops. Originally, it was about 30 minutes behind the normal schedule, so I could see the colour of impatience on the staff’s expression. In the meantime, if the kimino is out of alignment, they have to make small adustments to make it fit, and the position of the calculator and glasses is also the same. The scene will inevitably get tense. However, there are two people who wear a calm atmosphere. No matter how much the filming was interrupted, they never showed any confusion and kept their own pace. It seems that Itou-san and Sakakihara-san’s clear and cheerful voices were transmitted to the staff and naturally calmed down the atmosphere of the site. For the staff, there’s nothing more reliable than that.

They tried to increase the dialogues by one rally to strengthen the tsukkomi side, and in the final scene where I went out of the camera, I improvised lines every time. The pair of Itou-san and Sakakihara-san were impressive as they tried to spread the word. I’m looking forward to seeing how it will be cut on air.


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