Round Table: The Cast of C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Controlby Mitsuru Uehira and Zac Bertschy, Apr 12th 2011
This interview is a summary of a Q&A press conference session with the main cast of the upcoming anime series C, which will be aired on Fuji TV's noitaminA slot, among others. (Please note: some statements have been paraphrased.)
The press conference took place at a studio in Nishi-waseda, Tokyo, on March 7, 2011. The main cast for “C” gathered at a conference just before their recording of the second episode.
First, the MC introduced “C” and its main cast:
MC: “C” is a new original series, written and directed by Kenji Nakamura. The series’ composition is done by Noboru Takagi, with character designs by mebae. We have other wonderful staff members, and the series is currently in production.
The main character is Kimimaro Yoga, who dreams of “becoming a government worker and leading a secure life”. He is just an ordinary person. Mr. Kouki Uchiyama plays Kimimaro Yoga; as you may know, Mr. Uchiyama won the Best New Voice Actor Award 2011 on March 5.
Standing next to Mr. Uchiyama is Ms. Haruka Tomatsu. She plays the character “Mashu”. Mashu is something called an “Asset” in the story. Mashu meets with Kimimaro in the “Financial District”, and helps him fight.
Also with us is Mr. Daisuke Hosomi. He plays the role of Sōichirō Mikuni, who is actually a skilled financier. Kimimaro admires Sōichirō as if he were his brother.
Then, there is Ms. Saori Goto. She plays Mikuni's “Asset” named “Q”. Q always looks sleepy, with a kind of “strange woman” atmosphere.
Ms. Yui Makino plays a role of Hanabi Ikuta, who is Kimimaro's classmate in college.
Finally joining us is Mr. Takahiro Sakurai, who plays the role of Masakaki. Masakaki, a banker, introduces Kimimaro to the Financial District.
The Main Cast is asked about the title of Nakamura's new series and their respective roles:
MC: Kenji Nakamura's main theme for this series is “money”. You might think that's an unusual theme for an anime. But we're talking today after recording for the 2nd episode. The series has just started production. The story has unidentified developments right now. So, please tell us how you feel about your roles and your first impressions of these characters.
Uchiyama: I haven't been in a show that airs during the noitaminA-slot anime since “Shiki”. So, I am happy to be back here. But, this time, it depicts Japan's situation today, which is unusual among recent anime series. So that attracted me. The Kimimaro character is a sophomore. Knowing that he is almost at my age, I was more personally motivated than usual. But I need to be careful and hang on to that motivation
Tomatsu: As for Mr. Nakamura's titles, I was watching “Kūchū Buranko” (“Welcome to Irabu's office :)”) every week. I really enjoyed it. Around the time that I was hoping that I could work with Mr. Nakamura someday, I heard that there was an audition for “C” taking place. I really wanted to be involved with this project. I was so nervous, but fully motivated. I took the audition. When I passed, I was so excited. The story involves a variety of themes, like society and money. So they gave me the materials to read before the recording got started. It was the first time that I had to study the world of the series. Mashu is a character who knows about the world that the story takes place in. I need to study hard and hope that I can contribute.
MC: The “asset” characters will need to do a lot of action scenes. People are looking forward to that.
Hosomi: Usually, I am a stage actor. I am new to this situation, a press conference for an anime title, so I am very nervous. I was chosen as Sōichirō Mikuni during the audition, but I was new to auditioning for a voice-over role, too. Before I knew what was happening, I'm standing here. That is why that I'm wearing a necktie, unlike the others, which is a sign of being excessively motivated. I will do my best. As for this title, while it has hard action and the quick plot development, I feel the deep meaning underneath every line. It may be just from the viewpoint of the role I play, but I hope that I can convey that to the audience as much as possible. Though I play Kimamaro's brother-like character, I am like a rookie, who needs assistance. Finally, the Sōichirō Mikuni character has a beard, and I am thinking about growing a beard to perfect my role. [laughs]
Goto: I play the role of “Q”. I'm Saori Goto. When I did the audition, I did not have much information about the character in advance. So, I did not have any preconceived notions. I could play the role of “Q” without being stressed out. But this audition was very different from the others. Not only that, it had a different atmosphere. It was a unique audition. Doing the audition itself was already fun. Even though I had not yet been offered the role, I should have felt satisfied just with the audition. When I got a phone call from my manager that I actually got the role, I couldn't have been happier. So, I felt highly motivated, but as for “Q”, I don't yet grasp the character … and still do not fully grasp her …so I am thinking about asking the director a lot of questions. Right now, all I can do is just to say, “I will do my best”. I hope that I can enjoy myself with the other staff and can be a meaningful part of this wonderful title.
Makino: I am (Yui) Makino, and I play the role of Hanabi. This is my first time working with Mr. Nakamura and Mr. Nagasaki (the series’ sound director). Saori-chan previously mentioned the audition process. At normal auditions, you just go into the studio, face the monitor, and do the lines. That's typical, but at this audition, I faced the glass of the mixer room and did my lines. During the audition, I thought, “Ah, this title has its own unique philosophy.” I play the role of Hanabi, who just made friends with Kimimaro in college, but they feel like childhood friends. She is very funny, but this show conveys the reality of modern society. Hanabi is a typical college student and speaks like a teenager, or someone in her early twenties. I feel it's very realistic, and I play the role that way. I was asked at the audition, “What would you do if you had 10 million yen (=100,000 dollars@100 yen/1 dollar)?" I replied, “My house is far from the train station. I would move to a place near the train station with my family. I would deposit the remaining money. Sorry for being too realistic.” But, when I was reading the script for the recording of today's episode, I found out that in the scene when Hanabi was asked what she would use [the 10 million yen] for, she answered without a doubt that she would deposit it. That made me feel like I was destined to play this role. It made me laugh. Finally, I hope that I can play this role and make it my own.
Sakurai: This is my 4th Nakamura title, I am really looking forward to the world that only Mr. Nakamura can describe and build, and the lines that only he can write. My character, Masakaki, looks suspicious and works as a narrator, like a pilot guiding the ship to the port. But he is unpredictable. We are not sure where he wants to lead us. As the story goes on, I think I will find that he is a quite an eccentric character. I enjoy playing this role during the recording. Moreover, the main theme of this title is “money”. I am also looking forward to seeing how Mr. Nakamura will visualize both the value of and the fear of money during this depression in this noitaminA series.
The Main Cast Discusses Their Enthusiasm for Their Roles:
Uchiyama: As I mentioned before, I share some background with Kimimaro, which could be my strength. Taking advantage of that, I will play the role in as natural a way as possible, trying not to overdo it. We already have other strange characters like Masakaki. So, I will just play it naturally. Kimimaro is a college student who gets embroiled in a series of incidents. But, at the same time, I hope that the series will become weird and surprising in the end.
Tomatsu: When I was at the recording of the 1st episode, I felt that (Mr. Nakamura) had an interesting directing technique; I really thought that I would like many people to see this series. This is a difficult role to play. I will do my best to live up to people's expectations.
Hosomi: My role, Sōichirō Mikuni, is different from the other characters, based on his nature. I hope I can add a different touch to the role. I'll do my best.
Goto: Q always looks sleepy for some reason. It actually has meaning, though. While she is usually low-spirited, she has action scenes. I had to do part of an action scene at the audition, but I still don't grasp how to flip the switch from her usual low-key nature during a normal scene to what's required in an action scene. Even so, it's fun and challenging to play the part. I'll do my best.
Makino: I could guess from the materials that they gave me that Hanabi was not the kind of person who would fight in the Financial District and that she was more of an onlooker type. But I just found out last week that what happens in the Financial District might have serious impact and cause trouble in the real world and that the series has so many different things going on, it made me wonder whether they would have enough to conclude all these stories in the series! I was thinking about perfecting my role as the typical young person, but maybe the series will not allow me to do that. Even so, I try to play the role naturally so that the audience can understand the story without effort.
Sakurai: Nakamura titles always allow us to experience something new in film making. So far, I haven't seen a completed episode, so I personally look forward to seeing how he depicts this story. I think there are many fans that are really looking forward to it. I hope that they watch the show and are satisfied.
Press Q&A Session
Question: Question for Mr. Uchiyama and Ms. Tomatsu: From the materials I got, I can't visualize the battle sequences. You mentioned that there will be action in the show but what will the battle scenes be like? Will they resemble Yu-Gi-Oh!?
MC: There aren't any action sequences in the first episode. They will have action scenes in the next episode, though. I assume that the cast members here have read the script and have an idea of what to expect. Please give us some comments based on what you will record today.
Uchiyama: Kimimaro, who I play, gives orders to Mashu, which Tomatsu-chan plays. Kimimaro has Mashu launch an attack and fight with an opponent's asset.
MC: In other words, in the Financial District, an “Entrepreneur” has the money, and an “Asset” like Mashu is an incarnation of an “Entrepreneur”. Then, the Entrepreneur spends the money and has the asset launch an attack. Whether you win or lose, you get damaged, and you lose money.
Uchiyama: If you lose, you go bankrupt.
MC: If you lose the game and all of your property, you will be evicted from the Financial District. That's the rule.
Tomatsu: You need money for food.
MC: Yes, you need it to survive.
MC: So you fight and save money, and you will be rich. This cycle repeats itself. Simply put, that is the system.
Question: You mentioned that the audition was unique. Did you all get the same audition questions?
Uchiyama: I was asked to speak freely. They asked me what I would do if I suddenly had 10 million yen. I answered, “I would quit my job”. Wait, that's wrong! It wasn't 10 million, but 300 million yen. With 10 million yen, that just isn't enough, right? If it's 300 million, I thought that it'd be okay to quit. So, I said so. I remember that I said that I would manage to live my life with just that money.
Tomatsu: I think that I also was told 300 million.
Makino: Then, maybe, it was 300 million…..
Tomatsu: They asked me what I would do with it. I answered that I would like to eat raw meat until I died. Though I said it in a hyperactive tone of voice, nobody laughed. I was hurt. [laugh]. I got burned. [laugh]
Hosomi: I have five cats at home, regardless of the fact that I'm allergic to cats. I fight with asthma every day. If I had 300million yen, I would live in a larger house, add some dogs, and then, build an animal kingdom. I said that at the audition. But my jokes didn't click either! [laugh]
MC: I heard that this kind of audition was rare.
Goto: If I had 300 million yen, I would buy a house for my family. Then, I would have a highly expensive condominium built…
Uchiyama: Are you going to have it built? (laugh)
Goto: Later I would receive the revenue from renting the condo out [laughter from the other panelists]. I'd donate the money left over.
Sakurai: As Makino-kun mentioned, I went inside the recording booth. The microphone faced the air-conditioner. People were grinning, and I wondered what was going on. Then, I found myself facing them…
MC: Right. Usually, you are not facing people while auditioning for a role.
Sakurai: Right……Then, the 300-million-yen question for all of us, except Makino-kun. [laughs]
Makino: That must have been specific for Hanabi! [laughs]
Sakurai: I answered that I would have this extravagant house built. Then, I kept talking for 10 minutes. I went on and on. Mr. Nagasaki, the sound director, commented, “that's realistic”.
MC: I think we've found out that you all answered in a realistic way.
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