Interviews as promised
also, whenever there's a (laughs) or any other action within parenthesis, that was in the interview. Any comments in a (**) are my own personal comments.
I hope you enjoy reading them :) If there's any questions or comments, please feel free to post. I will try to post scans soon.
Mahou Sentai Magiranger Special Round Table Discussion
Interview date: 8/25/05
Hashimoto Atsushi = Ozu Kai
Matsumoto Hiroya = Ozu Tsubasa
Kai Asami = Ozu Urara
Beppu Ayumi = Ozu Houka
Itou Yuuki = Ozu Makito
Ichikawa Yousuke(Icchi) = Hikaru
Interviewer: Magiranger has finally come out on DVD. Have you watched it?
Everyone: Yes, we have.
Interviewer: How was it seeing your acting towards the beginning of the series again?
Atsushi: It made me sad.
Ayumi: It was like watching my own child, and I was admiring the growth.
Asami: The transformation poses... are a bit dangerous.
Atsushi: Yeah, they really are. (laughs)
Asami: Our bottom halves don't quite have it right. Or rather, we seem to be shaking our hips a bit.
Atsushi: At first we were asked to "put your hips into it"... but... yeah...
Itou: It looks like we're dancing.
Ayumi: At the time, we thought we were doing great and now that we look at it, it looks horrible. I'm sort of surprised that we thought we were doing great at the time.
Interviewer: In what ways have you changed since?
Asami: I think that I've finally got the role down?
Ayumi: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Asami: Before I was just going by what was written, but lately I've been wondering what kind of person Urara is, and I think I'm able to get into the role easier now.
Itou: Our transformation poses still aren't completely together, but I think our roles and our acting are now along the same line.
Ayumi: This isn't about myself, but Atsushi's become an adult. A man.
Atsushi: What's that supposed to mean? (laughs)
Ayumi: At first I saw him as an adorable little boy. And then right around the time we started shooting episode 30, I noticed that he changed. From about 17 to 19.
Atsushi: I don't think I've changed much (laughs).
Interviewer: But I can understand what she's saying.
Atsushi: Really? Well I noticed that my face looks a little thinner, and that I'm still growing in height.
Atsushi: Since we started production, I've grown 3 cm. I'm now at 175cm.
Ayumi: And you're going to keep growing, keep it up~.
Hiroya: When we first started, he was shorter than me. But now he's taller.
Interviewer: Did you watch the episodes of the series before Hikaru comes in, Ichikawa-san?
Icchi: Yes, I borrowed the videos and watched them all in one day.
Ayumi: And what did you think?
Icchi: I didn't notice anything weird like you guys mentioned. Any "inexperience" that I saw, was the "inexperience" that the characters were feeling as new magicians.
Ayumi: You say really good things (laughs).
Icchi: It made me feel like I wanted to cheer you guys on even more to get better.
Atsushi: Thank you, Sensei.
Ayumi: Yeah, that comment was very sensei-like.
Icchi: But senseis can't be inexperienced when they start. (laughs)
Interviewer: I think in sentai series, you also see how characters develop over a year. Have there been changes since you first started?
Atsushi: I think for myself it was around episode 9? What was written in the beginning was "His sense of justice is very strong and he hates things that are wrong/unjust. He acts at his first thought." but right around the time he saved the horse he started to change, and in episode 14, he was able to put his family before himself. It wasn't a big change, but gradually he's changing. I think that's how Kai is going to grow up until the last episode.
Hiroya: What was written for me was "He's cool and quite cynical.". I think I'm going to leave it like that.
Ayumi: Like, "Hey, this is me"? (laughs)
Hiroya: And that's why I haven't changed at all, I'm just me.
Interviewer: But Chii-nii can surprisingly be pretty passionate, can't he?
Hiroya: Yeah. And I think that's something inside Matsumoto Hiroya.
Interviewer: When do you get passionate?
Ayumi: Yeah, when, when?
Hiroya: I haven't shown you guys.
Hiroya: Or rather, I think I'm more passionate/enthusiastic when I'm on my own rather when I'm with everyone. So in episode 7, when he tells Kai "don't run off on your own!", Tsubasa is actually doing the same thing himself.
Interviewer: What about you, Kai-san?
Asami: Urara has changed alot. What was written was, "Serious and quiet. She likes books and she loves her family and gets mad at times.". I tried to portray someone that's a little older than me and is an adult...
Interviewer: You're a very bright and happy person aren't you, Kai-san?
Asami: Yes, well, we do have things in common too. I love my mom and my family too, and when other people are talking, I like to listen.
Atsushi: No, you don't.
Asami: Yes, I do!
Atsushi: No, you really don't
Ayumi: He added a "really" in there...
Atsushi: It's impossible.
Asami: But I remember what everyone says, I really do!
Hiroya & Icchi: ........
Asami: Could you please cut out the part about me liking to listen to people please?
Interviewer: Oh my... (laughs)
Asami: But I usually don't get mad, just like Urara who's usually calm and only gets mad once in a while. Once I found out she has alot of things in common, I think I've been able to figure Urara out some more.
Ayumi: I also thought that me and Houka are the same from what was written, "She's a free spirit and only thinks of herself.". But as soon as I started playing her, around episode 1 and 2, I realized that we weren't the same. I think I was a little concerned about Houka's childish side. At first, I thought that if I just acted like what I thought of, I would be able to be Houka. For example, in episode 3 the scene where she's eating strawberries with Onii-chan. I realized that she doesn't really calculate anything. So since then, I've been playing her more as an image of a child.
Interviewer: But despite Houka being such a free spirit, she can be quite a sly character. It seems she can see right through her siblings.
Ayumi: She sees through them left and right (laughs). It's probably just by instinct, but she really does watch them alot. She probably then just picks all the fun things and then leaves all the stressful things to Urara.
Asami: Houka is really childish.
Itou: You mean Houka is ALSO really childish.(*implying that ayumi is also childish*)
Asami: What the heck? Houka IS really childish.
Itou: Houka is ALSO really childish.
Interviewer: And now I ask you the same question, Itou-san.
Itou: To me, I think the character's personality is set as soon as they appear on the screen. So when an actor tries too hard to change a character in the middle, I think it also confuses the viewers. Especially since Makito is pretty much a set character.
Interviewer: He is indeed a character with alot of impact.
Itou: So I plan on acting him out as he was originally written to be.
Hiroya: And he sort of exploded in episode 3
Asami: Yeah, he really seemed like an older brother.
Itou: Even that wasn't something I especially planned out, but I acted out thinking about Makito's character.
Interviewer: I see, despite that, do you think he's changed at all?
Itou: I don't think it's really changing, but just expanding. Recently, I'm thinking it would be nice to show Makito's childish side too. Since their father was gone since a young age, I think that Makito's time as a child was cut very short. So if there's a part where he can just be a kid, I think his character will become deeper.
Interviwer: There was an episode where Hikaru appears and Makito lost all of his will. When Ichikawa-san became part of the cast, were there any changes within you, Itou-san?
Itou: After hearing that we were going to get a sixth member, I think everyone felt something. As for me, I wanted to make sure that the first time I saw Ichikawa-kun was a lasting impression. I wanted to make sure to remember whatever happened when we first met. I thought that what I felt then might be the basis of what Makito felt toward Hikaru-sensei. So I didn't really have to stress too much about how Makito would feel or build up any unnecessary walls.
Icchi: On the other hand, I felt some anxiety. When I found out I got the role of Hikaru, not only did I watch the videos, but I went onto the net to find any information I could on the series up to that point. And then I found out that three of them were still 18. Two years before, I had experience in student teaching, and they were the same age as the kids I had taught then. I realized I was going to be going "hiyaaa" and such with kids that age (laughs).
Interviewer: I guess that could make one feel a bit of anxiety.
Icchi: I was supposed to play the older teacher character that can't show any anxiety, but inside I really was rather nervous. I made sure I was at least careful about how I stood, to make sure I at least looked confident in my stance.
Asami: On the opposite side, we found out that someone 7 years older than me was coming into the cast. We heard that he was very smart and I was really nervous that it'd be very hard to bond with him.
Interviewer: And what was your actual impression after meeting him?
Asami: It was exactly the opposite of what I thought it'd be. (laughs)
Hiroya: Can I say something completely honest?
Asami: Eh? What? You're making me nervous.
Hiroya: When we were told that there would be a sixth member coming in, I honestly wasn't very happy about it.
Icchi: I see.
Hiroya: Did the air just get really heavy in here? Anyways, the sixth member is usually really cool looking isn't he? So I got a little jealous, I think that possibly all of us did a little bit.
Asami: Oh (laughs). You're so honest! You're an honest person.
Hiroya: Not only was he good looking, but I heard he was really tall (laughs). So I thought, "That jerk". So even when he came in, I wasn't going to overly push myself to be friendly with him. And then...
Asami: And then?
Hiroya: He was really natural and down to earth. (laughs)
Atsushi: You know, you're really not one to talk, Hiroya.
Hiroya: Icchi is really natural, and really funny. But despite being really funny, I have a feeling that he's thinking something up secretly.
Hiroya: You don't have an eye for these things.
Icchi: Correct. And thus ends our lesson for the day. (laughs)
Ayumi: Aww, the round table discussion's gonna end (laughs).
Atsushi: But really, we really were nervous before he came in. We were wondering if he would sort of disrpute the relationship that the five of us had built up and that he might just take all of the cool scenes.
Icchi: You guys were really thinking that?
Asami: Yep (laughs).
Interviewer: But I see that now you're in a relationship where you can just say that to the person.
Atsushi: He fits in really well with us despite us being younger, and he always tries to make us laugh. He's the biggest mood maker out of all of us.
Asami: He tries to make us laugh... no, i think that's just natural. (laughs)
Ayumi: I was actually really excited when I heard that we were getting an adult in the cast. He's 25 and plays our teacher and is going to graduate school. Our producer Tsukada-san told us that he was really hard to grasp.
Asami: That he was always smiling...
Ayumi: Yeah, so I pictured that he'd be very calm and just softly smiling....
Ayumi: He was totally a kid.
Atsushi: You're also a kid.
Ayumi: It's like he never gave up being a kid (laughs). But when we first met him, he was really quiet.
Atsushi: Yeah, like at our first reading.
Icchi: At that time, I was sort of embarrassed. Acting in sentai series can be rather embarrassing at first, can't it?
Asami: Like what?
Icchi: Like when you transform.
Hiroya: I wasn't embarrassed at all.
Asami: Me neither, I was really excited.
Icchi: But I got over that when we were actually shooting. The staff told me that if I was doing this while feeling embarrassed, that the people watching would notice.
Interviewer: So what was the reason you auditioned for the sixth member, Ichikawa-san?
Icchi: I actually auditioned for "Ultraman Nexus" before, and sadly I didn't make the final audition. And then I was told that there was a sentai series looking for a sixth member.
Interviewer: What do you think was the reason you won the role of Hikaru?
Icchi: Because I didn't make Ultraman, I think there was this aura about me that I really wanted to win the role. When I heard that it was a teacher role, I decided to bring my teaching license to add some appeal, and I brought magazines that I was in from modeling. Lastly, I just decided to go naturally and that was probably best. I basically thought that if I didn't fit their image, there was nothing I could do.
Interviewer: Can I ask the rest of you about your auditions? Were there any of you that REALLY wanted to be in a sentai series?
Ayumi: Yes. Even now, if I was asked who my hero was, I wouldn't hesitate say "Light Taskforce Maskman". I loved sentai series when I was little. My manager randomly told me that there was an audition for a sentai series and I thought, "That's it!". I said I'd do it no matter what!
Interviewer: You were probably after the role of pink?
Ayumi: No, I went in for red.
Atsushi: She did mention that, that she wanted to be red.
Asami: Yeah, she did. She said she'd do it no matter what, and was pretty pumped.
Ayumi: Speaking from my own experience, the one that usually stays on the kids' minds the most is the role of red. So at the audtion, I made a suggestion, that there really wasn't a reason that red always has to be a guy. That this year they should go with a girl!
Hiroya: Well yeah, it's not set in stone that red has to be a guy.
Itou: Those two are reformists. (laughs) A new political party.
Hiroya: I also thought that if I was gonna do this, I'd like to be red. Or that the sixth would be cool too.
Interviewer: Then would we be able to see the passionate side of Matsumoto Hiroya?
Hiroya: No, I'd be the same as I am now. I sort of want to break the rule of "red=passionate".
Asami: He really is a reformer.
Atsushi: I was the opposite, I never thought I'd get red and auditioned. I knew that it was going to be a siblings sentai series, but the role of red is usually the leader and who pulls everyone together, if it was following the usual pattern. I thought that even if I got a role, I'd be the younger brother because of my age. I thought I would be green.
Ayumi: And then you ended up getting red. I really was after the role of red so I really thought, "Who do I have to shoot?"
Icchi: Did you really beat him up?
Ayumi: Nope. I thought that he'd make a good red, actually inside I thought he'd get the role for sure. He had a really good voice, even then. (laughs)
Asami: But in my case, I wanted to be Ayumi-chan's pink. Blue is a boy's color. I think that little girls' favorite colors are pink, yellow, or white. I was trying to figure out how I could get girls to like blue. So even when I got the part, I wasn't really that excited about the role.
Interviewer: Do you still not like blue?
Asami: Well, now I absolutely love light blue (laughs). Most of my clothes and just little things have all become blue.
Interviewer: Did you have a particular color you were after, Itou-san?
Itou: Nah. I didn't really care about the color, just being a part of this show. Honestly, I thought that previously sentai series was a young actor's gateway to success. I had 8 years experience in an acting troupe, and so if I was able to do a steady acting job for a year after just turning 20 it was amazing. Just like Ichikawa-kun mentioned, I think I had a similar type of aura. Like I was sort of threatening the others who were auditioning with my intention of getting this role.
Ayumi: Yeah, the aura was definitely there. He had a really nice physique and a tight shirt. On top of that long hair and he was wearing boots. I then thought that Tokyo was a really scary place, it was quite a culture shock.
Hiroya: Exactly where the hell were you living before then? (laughs)
Interviewer: Alll right (laughs). Lastly, could we do a relay type message to each member? Hashimoto-san to Matsumoto-san, Matsumoto-san to Kai-san, in that form. From the youngest to oldest.
Atsushi: Okay, so from me to Hiroya. Um...
Hiroya: Hey, wait. This is embarrassing.
Atsushi: Yeah, it is... well, okay. Here I go. The first time I actually got to sit down and talk to Hiroya was when we were shooting in Kyoto. Before that, there were alot of things I didn't know about him. I thought he might be sort of vague. But then, I found out that he's actually thinking about alot of things. But he doesn't like to show how hard he's working, and usually keeps it in the dark so people often misunderstand him.
Hiroya: Okay, seriously let's stop...
Ayumi: Aww, are you crying? Could we get some tissue please? (laughs)
Atsushi: I really think it's sort of a waste. If you were able to do things a little more dexterously, you really would... crap, I think I really am starting to cry.
Ayumi: He would give a better impression.
Atsushi: That too, and I think that he'd be able to grow even more.
Ayumi: Well done. Very well said.
Hiroya: You actually managed to make me cry, especially after seeing you cry.
Asami: I'm starting to cry too.
Hiroya: Thank you very much. Okay, now from me to Asami.... er...wait, are you seriously crying that much?
Asami: I can't help it, it just really made me happy hearing that.
Hiroya: Um... as you can see from her crying, she really has a pure heart. She's full of emotion, and her smile is really cute. If you can use that in your acting, I think that you'd be able to show all sorts of sides of you character. So please, keep up the good work.
Asami: That makes me so happy... thank you. (starts bawling)
**We took a slight break until Kai-san's emotions settled down a little because she really did start crying**
Asami: I'm really sorry... Um, okay. Ayumi-chan doesn't really let her worries show, but she really puts alot of thought into creating Houka's character. I always admire that. When I moved to Tokyo, I had no friends, and I had no girls I could talk to, Ayumi-chan would always be there to listen and try to cheer me up. So when you're troubled, I want you to rely on me sometimes too. Ayumi-chan, please keep up the good work.
Ayumi: Thank you very much.
Asami: Waah. I'm sorry, I'm the one that started crying again.
Ayumi: Thank you, let's keep doing our best (laughs). Onii-chan is also Onii-chan even when he's not acting. His advice is always right, and everyone looks up to him. I don't think he realizes it, but I think there are times he tries so hard that he wears himself out. I want to help him, but it always seems that I'm always the one that ends up relying on him so I apologize.
Itou: Okay, so me to Hikaru-kun. I think that since Hikaru-kun has come in, the set has been very comfortable. We were doing really well with just the five of us, but I think we were also missing something. Within that, he was able to bring this confortable air very naturally. I have absolutely no complaints, and it feels like he's the one person we absolutely needed. I feel this about everyone, but even after Magiren is over, I would like to spend some time with him and just hang out.
Icchi: Thank you very much.
Asami: They're totally adults.
Icchi: And lastly, from me to Acchan. I think that Acchan has alot of pressures being red, and I think he actually has alot of insecurities. If he was able to have a little more fun and not put so much thought into it, I think we'd be able to see even another side of Kai. Also, he sometimes says things that hit hard (laughs).
Everyone: Yeah, he does.
Icchi: But after that, he always follows with his killer smile. That's really not fair. (laughs)
Atsushi: Yep! (Killer smile). Thank you very much.
Asami: Yep, very good, very good.
Interviewer: All right. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule today.
Individual thoughts on the last half of the show:
Atsushi: Since most of the episodes with Red as the main character are all sort of serious stories, in the last half I would like to have some side story episodes that you get to see more of Kai's character. Magiranger shows us how important the bond of family is. If the fans get to watch the show with their parents, that makes me very happy.
Hiroya: I want to do a band battle with Nai & Mare, or do a dance battle, something that has to do with my strongest point, music. Also, I would like to have revenge on Meemy who beat me in a lightening battle. With that, I will keep doing my best the last half of the show so please watch! Thank you to everyone reading this book!
Asami: I want to do a magical sisters episode with Ayumi-chan again in the last half. Magirangers is a project that gave me a once in a lifetime chance to meet such wonderful friends. I will keep doing my best to make it a fun show so please look forward to it.
Ayumi: In the last half, I would like to do something not so serious. Something fun with the whole family... like a sports competition (laughs). I would love to keep making this a fun show with the wonderful cast I get to work with. So please keep cheering us on and take care of your family.
Itou: I've had episodes with Kai and Houka, so in the last half I would like to have episodes with the other two.(Especially with Tsubasa that I've barely had any interaction with). I think that the magiranger story and members are going to get even better. So please enjoy.
Icchi: I want to be able to finally settle things completely with Meemy. I would sort of like to see Hikaru offer to help, but Meemy foolishly declines and is destroyed. Being an actor, the fans support really does become encouragement. Please keep on supporting us.
Mahou Sentai Magiranger Memorial Round Table Discussion
Interview date: 1/6/06
Hashimoto Atsushi = Ozu Kai
Matsumoto Hiroya = Ozu Tsubasa
Kai Asami = Ozu Urara
Beppu Ayumi = Ozu Houka
Itou Yuuki = Ozu Makito
Ichikawa Yousuke(Icchi) = Hikaru
Interviewer: Happy New Year!
Everyone: Happy New Year!
Interviewer: All of you seem to be very busy. On New Year's Day, you had a show at Sky Theater.
Atsushi: Yes. But it was a little differnt from usual, and was a talk show with fewer people.
Itou: It's sort of harder to do shows with fewer people. Since our characters are rather established, that if someone says something funny and we want to reply to that, if we try too hard, we might fall out of character...
Atsushi: That happens sometimes when it's just the two of us...
Icchi: That was my first time at Sky Theater. The first time I was on stage, the thing that surprised me was how close you are to the audience. I was so nervous that I think I might have forgotten to do Hikaru's famous *runs fingers through hair* bit for my greeting.
Asami: But they loved you.
Icchi: There were some kids wearing little Hikaru costumes and it was really cute. But I seem to have some trouble answering questions asked by little kids...
Asami: Oh yeah, that was pretty funny. (laughs)
Ayumi: What, what?
Icchi: They asked like what Hikaru ate when he was a frog. (laughs)
Ayumi: Really? What did you say?
Icchi: Um... "Maybe bugs...?" (laughs)
Itou: Something similar happened when it was just me and Atsushi. It was a rather dangerous question, "Pink or Blue, who do you like better?"
Atsushi: That's right. And Nii-chan's explanation was REALLY long (laughs)
Itou: "Well um... we're all siblings so there's not really any like or dislike... or rather, we're all adults so..."
Atsushi: Too long, too long. (laughs)
Hiroya: It's too long and it didn't make any sense. (laughs)
Interviewer: When you're interacting with kids, is there something you're careful about?
Itou: I think we try our best to make sure we don't get out of character.
Icchi: That's why we have some trouble answering the kids questions sometimes.
Hiroya: Really? I don't really have that problem.
Atsushi: Hiroya has it easy since he's a bad/villain character.
Hiroya: That's not true. Tsubasa's a pretty quiet character so he doesn't talk much.
Atsushi: You lie. You go around saying "Magiren Foooo". (laughs)**
**("Foooo" is a catch phrase by a Japanese comedian by the name of Razor Ramon HG. If Hiroya really goes around saying that, that way beyond amusing)
Itou: Character images are shattering everywhere. (laughs)
Interviewer: You're also approaching the last days of shooting for Magirangers. In the last year that you were Magirangers, has something about you changed?
Ayumi: Yep! Um...
Itou: Your three sizes?
Ayumi: No (laughs)
Itou: Your age?
Ayumi: No! (laughs). My way of thinking! I think it's refered to as a 180(degrees), it's changed.
Hiroya: Don't you mean a 360?
Asami: Then she's back to where she started.
Ayumi: A 180! Everything from 1 to 10. I think it was right before summer, I was working so hard at perfecting my acting skills, my body just couldn't keep up. That's when I first learned the limits of my physical and mental energy. But then again, falling as far as I could go, made me come back up more naturally. (*I really wish I knew what Ayumi was talking about...lol wtf?*)
Interviewer: Did all of you notice that about her as well?
Atsushi: She's usually the first to physically show it out of all of us.
Everyone: Yeah. (laughs)
Ayumi: Because of that, I've learned the importance of balance for many things. Other than that, I wonder how I word this... I feel as though all the cells in my body have become purified/prettier... (*I swear I'm not making this up, this is what she's really saying, lol*)
Interviewer: So you feel like you've been reborn in a sense?
Ayumi: Yes. I feel very happy and fortunate.
Interviewer: And how about you, Matsumoto-san? Have you changed at all?
Hiroya: I haven't changed at all. But people keep saying my face looks different.
Itou: You've changed it, haven't you?
Ayumi: You changed it, right? Yep, you did. I know you did. (laughs)
Interviewer: I've also heard alot of people say that your acting has changed too(for the better).
Hiroya: Really? Thank you very much. That makes me really happy.
Atsushi: Are you drinking before filming?
Hiroya: No, I'm not! (laughs) I'm only 19. (*drinking age in japan is 20*)
Atsushi: Maybe you got a girlfriend?
Hiroya: How the hell is that supposed to change my acting?
Itou: Well actually, most people would change if they have a girlfriend.
Hiroya: I don't have one, jeez. (laughs) But I really haven't noticed the changes myself. I don't think I've been trying extra hard or anything. I just sort of go with the flow.
Interviewer: By the way, in the round table conversation we had in the first volume, Hashimoto-san said that you didn't really want people to see you trying hard, didn't he?
Hiroya: Yeah, he did. But I really haven't done anything.
Itou: Should we cover our ears?
Hiroya: I really don't.
Interviewer: All right. How about you, Hashimoto-san?
Atsushi: I wonder if this is considered as changing? When you're doing the same role, in the same locations for a whole year, you sort of get tired of it. It was around the time that we finished shooting the movie, but I started figuring out everyone's roles and nothing new was happening so it became boring. But then I read the script with the tie-in with Wolzard and it was really good. And there were also times where Kai would be the main focus, and the staff really took great care of me. For the first time, I realized that I was being helped by the people around me. The staff, the cast, the fans, they're here and that's why I'm able to be here. I realized how important it was to not forget my first intentions when I started this project, that was my biggest change.
Interviewer: What about you, Kai-san?
Asami: I don't think I've changed with my acting, just like Hiroya said.
Hiroya: Don't answer the same as me. (laughs)
Asami: But I think I've started to pay more attention to everyone else's acting. At first, I was so worried about myself doing well. But then I realized that everyone's acting has helped myself grow as well as an actress.
Interviewer: Do you think that attitude will help you with things other than acting?
Asami: I can't tell for myself, but the staff has told me that my face has changed.
Interviewer: It might mean that you have more of an eye for those around you rather than yourself. Well then, what do you think, Mr. Groom?
Asami: How about it, Mr. Groom? (laughs)
Icchi: Well let's see, lately we have alot of scenes with just the two of us and I've noticed that she plans out exactly how she wants to do a scene while we're doing our test shots right up until the time we're about to shoot the actual scene. You can tell that she tries her absolute best to try to make the scene the best she possibly make it.
Asami: Sensei! (laughs)
Interviewer: I see. Then what has changed about you, Ichikawa-san?
Icchi: I guess you could call it my hungry spirit, or rather, my desire to always better myself. When I first started, I came into the middle of the show so I was always felt slightly pressured. Whenever we were doing scenes or after recording, just getting the "Ok" from the director made me feel relieved. It was like "I wonder if they're going to Ok this take... wait, maybe this wasn't an ok take...". But now, even if I get an "Ok", if I think I could do the scene better, I ask if we could do the scene one more time.
Interviewer: What about you, Itou-san?
Itou: Before this, I had alot of work in movies, and usually movies wrap up in about 3 to 5 monthes, so it was all work that required just short term concentration. But since this project films for a long span of a year, I found out just how hard it can be. In acting, I believe that the closer you are to the character you're portraying, the more real the character becomes. So it was always important to keep myself in good shape. But we as humans have biorhythms, if we have our good days, we'll also have our bad days. Finding out just how this one year has affected my biorhythm has been an eye opener. And to stay in good shape, I realized that the most important thing is to live your life as you normally would.
Interviewer: It seems that all of you had things you worried about and somewhat changed as a result. Where there otherA hardships you went through?
Atsushi: The episode where Kai and Houka switch places, that was really hard.
Ayumi: That was the first time I read a script that gave me a headache. (laughs)
Atsushi: At the time, we had alot of events going on too so we really didn't have time to prepare for the roles and we went right into shooting. That seriously made me worry so much I thought I was going through neurosis/an identity crisis.
Interviewer: What parts were you concerned about?
Ayumi: Kai-chan is sort of like the spark of the Magirangers, like he's the first one to just to burst out in a situation. He's usually the first to react, and he's always pushing the others forward with him with his will, so you need the ability to persuade others into trusting you. I thought I really had to focus on that alot.
Atsushi: You kept trying to overly be bowlegged (laughs). In that sense, I guess it might be easier for a guy to play a girl. Using Houka as an example, if I let all my energy go, kept my chin up, and sat with my legs crossed, it looked alot like Houka.
Ayumi: Yeah. I thought about exactly how differently guys and girls' bodies were made. With me playing Kai-chan, I couldn't do the parts where he was being cool exactly right. It just sort of went all...blah. (laugh)
Interviewer: You also tried a scene using stunt explosives, right? (*I don't know how to word this right in english, but basically she did a scene where like when someone is cut or shot at in a sentai series, there's a slight explosion that happens. She did one of those scenes herself*)
Ayumi: I don't remember it at all. (laughs) I was so scared about it that my memory of the whole event is gone.
Hiroya: I had an incident where I was really scared too. When we were filming at the Kyoto location. When we were cosplaying as ninjas and I was fighting on the roof, I seriously kept slipping toward the edge.
Itou: Yeah, even watching that was a bit scary. It looked like the tiles were going to fall down.
Hiroya: But I was able to get over the fear and get through the scene.
Interviewer: You also had a scene in the water, didn't you, Matsumoto-san?
Hiroya: Yes, I did. In episode 40.
Icchi: We shot that in November.
Hiroya: The water temperature was 2 degrees Celsius. I actually did have a wetsuit on, but the size wasn't exactly right so water just kept coming in.
Itou: Then there really wasn't a point in the wetsuit was there? (laughs)
Asami: Wow, you must have been really cold.
Ayumi: His skin color totally changed, it didn't even look human (laughs).
Icchi: There was a line in that scene where I had to say, "Stay calm, Tsubasa". While shooting that scene, I wondered to myself just exactly what would happen if I were to mess up that line (laughs).
Hiroya: Really? (laughs)
Interviewer: This project is something that all of you worked very hard on, but what about the story? If you have a favorite episode, please tell us.
Hiroya: For me, the episodes with Cyclops(episode 37 and 38).
Itou: Oh yeah, that was fun.
Hiroya: I got lectured by the young and the old (laughs).
Atsushi: Mine would be when their father returned to normal(episode 34). Also, we're shooting it right now, but the last episode. It's an amazing script. We asked the director Mr. Watanabe if we could actually wear the suits and got to wear them. We're still in the middle of shooting it, but I think it's going to be the episode with the most memories.
Itou: As for me, it was just recently, but the story with Houka and Titan(episodes 45 and 46) left an impression on me. Those episodes mostly just involved me, Houka, and Titan and there was a very small staff. I also thought I was able to concentrate on my acting more than usual, which I thought helped make it dramatically good. I really enjoyed it.
Ayumi: I have to agree. Afro-kun. It seemed like an episode that summed up Houka's one year. I wanted to do my best to show that Houka really did grow up a bit.
Asami: For me, it's the episode we're doing right now, episode 47. I had heard early on that Urara and Hikaru would end up together. So showing how little by little Urara was expressing her feelings for Hikaru finally comes to this conclusion...
Interviewer: When is the shooting for the wedding?
Asami: Next week, on the 12th.
Icchi: Eh? Isn't it the 16th?
Asami: No, it's the 12th!
Icchi: Wait a sec, um...
Itou: I'm starting to wonder if this couple is seriously going to make it or not...(laughs)
Asami: It's already going to be a Narita divorce!(*Narita rikon/divorce basically means a marriage that ends right after the honeymoon. If there's an english phrase for it, I can't remember it ^^;*)
Hiroya: Fooo! (laughs)
Icchi: Oh yeah, it is the 12th(laughs). Um, my favorite episode would be episode 42. When Hikaru learns something from Kai. After everyone gets there legend powers, I ended up getting beat up alot. Even kids were saying that Magishine lately wasn't really cool anymore. So I was wondering what I could do to get my dignity back as their teacher, and then I was able to actually experience the phrase "A teacher learning from their student". I felt that my distance from the five got even shorter so I liked it. I also liked episode 47 in a similar way. To propose to a student, that means I'm not their teacher anymore. We see at the same eye level. (laughs)
Interviewer: Just like Kai-san did, were you dropping hints that you two were going to be tying the knot?
Icchi: In that sense, Hikaru is natural, or rather... clueless. (laughs). But I had put alot of thought into about how it would feel to be able to ask someone to marry them, even though they knew they were going to die the next day. I even read the wills of some members of special ops forces. I was rather grateful that I had alot of time to prepare for episode 47.
Interviewer: All right, next, in the previous volume, we had you comment on the person just next to you in relay form, but this time I'd all of you to comment on each person.
Hiroya: That sounds like fun.
Interviewer: Then would it be okay if we started with you, Matsumoto-san?
Hiroya:That's not too fun. There's nothing you can really poke at with me.
Itou: Well, since we started shooting the second half of the show, the amazing teacher Matsumoto has started to talk alot more. A bit after summer started, he started to talk to me alot more (laugh)
Hiroya: I think I just finally got used to everyone.
Ayumi: Ooh, me~! There's something I realized about him today!
Itou: Your perception of things seem to be a bit shallow.
Ayumi: He made me realize that my first impression of someone is the exact opposite of how they really are!
Hiroya: Wait, what?
Ayumi: Well my first impression was, he's cool, right? Quiet, right? And a bit on the strong side. But in real life, it seems to be the exact opposite~ (laughs)
Asami: Yeah, he's nice, actually very nice.
Ayumi: He's really nice to girls.
Itou: The way I think of it, is he's like a piece of charcoal. If you look inside, he's really hot, but he doesn't show it outwardly.
Atsushi: He's all black on the surface though. (laughs)
Itou: And he's actually very warm. But once it goes out, it's like it never comes back on. (laughs)
Ayumi: Well that's no use then. (laughs)
Interviewer: And how about we next go to Kai-san?
Atsushi: At first, we were talking about how Urara and Asami are rather opposites, right? To me it looked like that gradually, you could see Asami's personality melding with Urara.
Asami: Melding? (laughs)
Atsushi: At first, you didn't really know anything about acting, but you kept studying and practicing and was able to show us all sorts of expressions naturally.
Itou: Asami is able to naturally cry during scenes where she's supposed to cry. And she's able to do it without making her eyes all red. It's probably because she's the water element.
Ayumi: My impression of her has changed completely from when I first met her. In a good way, she's like a totally different person and she's gotten even cuter.
Interviewer: What do you think, Mr. Groom?
Icchi: Groom...(laughs). My wife is really... no, "really" isn't a good enough word. She's so full of emotions and her ability to absorb and adapt to situations is amazing. However, sometimes she absorbs a bit too much. That worries me a little sometimes. Also, she's very pure/innocent, to the point that I think she could even be a little more wily. That's how Asami-chan is.
Interviewer: Then next, how about Itou-san?
Hiroya: He's really passionate/enthusiastic. (*he uses the word "Atsui", which means hot or passionate*)
Itou: Eh? Is that all....?
Ayumi: A-TSU-I, that's 3 letters. (laughs) If you write it in Kanji, it'd be done in two letters (laughs).
Atsushi: No, there's more (laughs). Onii-chan acts very responsible and seems like a very strong person on the outside, but inside he's the most fragile.
Hiroya: Everyone thinks that.
Atsushi: Fragile, and feels lonely very easily. But when you see that, you realize how warm he is and how easy it is to interact with him. As Makito or Itou Yuuki.
Asami: You can really see that he likes to entertain people. Whenever we're shooting, he makes sure we're all laughing and having fun.
Itou: And that always gets me yelled at (laughs).
Hiroya: It's great to have the ability to make others laugh though.
Ayumi: Onii-chan is what makes me laugh. He's a genius. His wit is so amazing and he made me think, wow this is the celebrity world (laughs). I seriously look up to him. I worship him (laughs).
Interviewer: Right (laughs). Now moving on to Ichikawa-san, does the bride have any words?
Asami: My husband is... how do you put it? I don't really know. (laughs) Sorry.
Icchi: And I complimented you so much...
Asami: See, there you go with that. Right when I thought you said something positive, you go and say something negative. I have a feeling I'm getting played (laughs).
Itou: Depending on how people would take what you just said, it could be quite a statement (laughs).
Asami: That's not what I meant. I seriously think he's teasing me.
Itou: He can be sarcastic without being mean. He's very easy going, that's what I really like about him.
Ayumi: I think that he might actually be a woman.
Ayumi: Well no, I mean he's very much a guy. He's just got this very girly way about him.
Asami: I think I can understand. He's slightly different from like Hiroya and Atsushi, meaning he's sort of easier to talk to at times.
Interviewer: And what do the guys think?
Hiroya: Icchi's a really good guy.
Atsushi: This is a serious statement, I really thought it was great that the sixth person's personality was the way it is. For us the younger cast, we really appreciated the fact that Hikaru-kun is not overbearing and modest.
Interviewer: Next, what about Beppu-san?
Hiroya: She's really hard to interact with, isn't she?
Ayumi: Eh? Why??
Itou: Her view of the world is very unique. She talks about big dreams, and that she wants this or that, and wants to be like this or that... yet even if she doesn't get any of that, she seems very happy.
Asami: Yes, she's very happy. I think she probably laughed more than all of us on set.
Atsushi: She's a mysterious person. Always full of surprises.
Hiroya: She's a different person everyday. She changes her opinions and her way of thinking everyday.
Icchi: Her acting is amazing. It's almost like she's not even acting when she plays Houka because it's so natural. As an actor, I look up to her alot.
Ayumi: Just as an actor?
Icchi: No, ALSO as an actor (laughs).
Interviewer: And lastly, what about Hashimoto-san?
Ayumi: Me, me! Just like me, I think his way of thinking is rather different, especially after a certain day. Before that, out of a ratio of 7, EIGHT of his comments were negative things about himself, but then all of that just dispersed.
Interviewer: After a certain day?
Atsushi: It was while we were shooting in Kyoto in May. Up until then, I was very worried about the responsibilities of playing Red, and I talked to Watanabe Azusa-san about it. **For Reference, please see the interview in the first volume with Watanabe san**
Ayumi: I admired him before when he was trying so hard, but I really like him the way he is now.
Hiroya: He still does it from time to time though. All the sudden he'll just yell, "AAAAAAAAAH!!" (laughs)
Asami: He really does. All of the sudden he'll just yell.
Itou: "AAAAAAAAAAAAAH aah, I feel better". But he doesn't feel any better, at all. (laughs)
Atsushi: I haven't said anything like that.
Icchi: But his 8/7 ratio that were negative comments, now the 8 is just him going "Aaaah!" (laughs)
Hiroya: Yeah, that's exactly right (laughs)
Itou: Nah, I seriously think Atsushi's a good kid.
Asami: Even though he's really hard on himself.
Ayumi: It's probably because Atsushi's so hard on himself, that I was able to work harder without complaining.
Asami: Yeah, I think all of us thought the same thing.
Atsushi: Eh~? You don't have to try so hard to compliment me... I don't think I was really needed for Magiranger...
Hiroya: See? See, see? (laughs)
Itou: Another negative comment. (laughs)
Icchi: But now he's just saying it just because. (laughs)
Ayumi: He doesn't really think it. (laughs)
Asami: Yeah he's just saying it now.
Atsushi: All right, I think we all get what everyone's trying to say (laughs).
Interviewer: And lastly, what does Magiranger mean to everyone?
Ayumi: Magiranger is something that makes everyone happy. It made people watching the show, the staff, and the cast happy. And out of all of those people, it made me the happiest.
Atsushi: To me, it was a project that I lost absolutely nothing. There are only things I gained. My friends here and the staff... and I learned so much about acting. It made the base of the actor Hashimoto Atsushi alot stronger.
Hiroya: Magiranger is... courage? No wait, that's sort of a lame answer... um... it's my first regular role?
Atsushi: You're really not putting much thought into this, are you? (laughs)
Hiroya: No really, you have no idea how happy I was about my first regular role. Anyways, everything on this project was a first for me and it was alot of fun. I think my level has increased in alot of ways. Thank you very much.
Itou: Magiranger is my family. The situation at my own household was not very good, but despite that I was given my own future, and I was able to give people the idea that it'd be great to have a family like this. Also, I was able to experience that for myself.
Asami: I think what Onii-chan just said is exactly right. I built up courage and I came to Tokyo alone leaving my family back in Kumamoto. I was rather nervous, but everyone here and the staff treated me as like I was part of the family. It's like I have another home to go back to, and that makes me very happy.
Icchi: I also think it's basically a family. It's so important to me that I can't even imagine my life without Magiranger. Even when the other cast's family members came to the events, I couldn't think of them as strangers. That's how amazing this whole experience was. It is my fortune.
Atsushi: It really is.
Interviewer: All right. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule today.
Individual Fan Messages:
Atsushi: I want to really thank everyone that have supported us. The six of us are going to be walking our own paths as actors, but we will always keep everyone's support in our hearts and keep working harder. The next sentai series is about to start, but there will always be DVDs. Please continue to support Magiranger!
Hiroya: To all of our fans, thank you very much for all of your support. I don't know, all I can really think of are words of appreciation. I think that I won't be able to be on tv with the members here as much anymore, but I would love it if everyone would remember the moments we do have together. Even now, I'll seriously do my best.
Asami: To have so many people cheering us on, to think that I was able to go through this wonderful experience is absolutely amazing. Please keep cheering on the sentai series. I want to grow into a great role model not just as Urara, but as Kai Asami for all of the kids who have cheered me on as both.
Ayumi: I want to thank everyone for their support. For the last year, I worked very hard for the kids and the families watching, but did everyone have fun? Mothers and Fathers, please raise your children to become wonderful adults. Thank you.
Itou: What did everyone think of Magiranger? If people can say simply say that they enjoyed watching it, I would be very happy. We worked very hard on a series that has been going on for 30 years. So please, continue cheering on the new Sentai kids.
Icchi: To everyone who has cheered on and supported Magiranger, thank you very much. Everyone's support has definitely been our strength and that's why we were able to come this far. Magiranger is going to end, but please continue to support the six of us.