Hi guys, it’s interview time again! Today we have for you an interview from the 1st Hero TV Fan book, with Kusunoki Taiten, Inoue Gou & Tsuda Kenjirou (Rock Bison, Sky High & Fire Emblem). Massive amounts of moe ahead!
Disclaimer: not a professional translator, doing this for fun, etc. Standard fantranslation rules apply.
Q: First, let’s go back to the 1st cour. Please tell us again what the appeal of this series is.
Kusunoki: When I was talking about this show with the team, I heard it was supposed to be a hero story. So I thought the fighting sequences would be the main part of this show. But when I read the scenario, I had this little “huh?” moment. I was a bit shocked with the characters and the American comic style, because everything was different from what I had imagined.
Tsuda: The opening sequence gives you this feeling that everything happens very fast, and from that moment it captures your attention with a bang, right?
Inoue: I thought that every week, the heroes would fight with some monster-like enemies. I was surprised to see that the show focuses on relationships between the characters and their rivals. Oh, and the setting with working heroes is really fresh, too.
Kusunoki: NEXTs are beings with special powers, but just like normal humans they have their worries. They feel fear, they fall in love. Because they feel like real human beings, surprisingly, they’re even more interesting.
Inoue: It’s also fun to see how the atmosphere changes when other heroes get involved in something. There are serious scenes, but between these there are many moments that show the scenes from the heroes’ daily lives. That makes the whole show so much more lively.
Tsuda: Uhuh. When the action moves to the training room, I somehow feel relieved. I can see that everyone can just chill out there.
Kusunoki: Yes, yes. But hey, at least Barnaby takes his training seriously, yes? (laughs)
Q: Passionate veteran and a cool rookie. How do you feel about Kotetsu and Barnaby’s relationship?
Kusunoki: They were kind of paired up against their will, but I think they work well together. I mean, it’s not like even I know whether I really love Tsuda-kun or not?
Tsuda: Hey, you!! (laughs)
Kusunoki: (laughs) I think it’s because Bunny’s past is so dark, he acts the way he does. Kotetsu, on the other hand, was raised in a normal family. I think the balance between the two is really interesting.
Inoue: Rather than saying that their personalities are polar opposites, I’d say they just complete each other.
Tsuda: Yeah, it was one of the main points of the 1st cour.
Kusunoki: Well, it really makes you wonder why they can’t get along, and while you can predict they’ll get friendly sooner or later, the interesting part is just how it’s going to happen.
Tsuda: Well, a lot of hints get dropped here and there.
Inoue: Plus, there are some things that aren’t mentioned in the show but that are in the planning notes.
Q: Then, what do you think about Kotetsu? He’s a hero in his 30s, so age-wise he’s close to you.
Kusunoki: To be honest, he seems to be older than me. (laughs)
Tsuda: Yeah, he looks like someone in his 40s. (laughs)
Kusunoki: Inoue-kun, how old are you again?
Inoue: I’m 33.
Kusunoki: So age-wise, you’re the closest to Kotetsu, right? He’s already a parent, and he appreciates his mother, so I think he’s actually pretty level-headed. He’s even capable of controlling the tsun-tsuning Barnaby, so I think he’s quite mature.
Inoue: If he wasn’t, they’d always be fighting (laughs).
Tsuda: Yeah, they’re partners, but they don’t quite get along. Kotetsu has to make a lot of compromises.
Q: Kotetsu’s in his thirties, but his hot-bloodedness makes you wonder if he’s still a teenager.
Kusunoki: But you know, I think even people in their fifties or sixties have a part like that inside of them. I mean, I’m 44 and all over my current roles.
Tsuda: Oh boy, he admitted it himself. (laughs)
Kusunoki: What, I’m not allowed to do that? (laughs) I don’t want to be all serious. You’re like that too, right, Tsuda-kun?
Tsuda: Of course I’m enthusiastic, too, and I’m going to keep on being fiery~~!
Kusunoki: And of course, the same goes for our 30-something Inoue-kun.
Inoue: I’m enthusiastic about my work, too (laughs). I don’t feel like an old man at all. Who calls Kotetsu an old man anyway!
Tsuda: Dude, Barnaby. (laughs)
Kusunoki: But from Dragon Kid’s, Rose’s and Origami’s perspective, he must seem like an old man…
Inoue: But calling someone in their forties an old man is a bit, you know… For someone who’s in their thirties it’s even worse. I mean, I’m 33 and it doesn’t feel good…
Kusunoki: Hey, being in your thirties is the best time of your life! You still have a young heart, you’re still lively. When you make a 15-something kid the main character you can only tackle the problems of teenagers, but when you create someone like Kotetsu, you can add a lot of mature themes, too. So I think making him the main hero is what makes this show so interesting.
Tsuda: Yeah. It’d be awesome if more productions with mature characters started appearing.
Q: When you put it like this, it seems that Kotetsu should be popular.
Kusunoki, Tsuda, Inoue: He is!!!
Q: But he’s a bit dense when it comes to love.
Tsuda: Hey, but that’s good, too.
Inoue: Since he still has his wedding ring.
Kusunoki: He looks like someone who’d mess around, but he’s very serious when it comes to love. That’s why he doesn’t notice girls crushing on him.
Tsuda: Even from my manly point of view, he’s a very nice guy!
Q: Which parts of your characters are especially charming in your opinion?
Inoue: Well, Sky High is an airhead, but I think his strength is interesting too.
Tsuda: Yeah, his ability to fly is amazing.
Kusunoki: Actually, why can he fly? Thanks to his suit?
Inoue: He uses his wind-controlling power to float and then moves thanks to his jet pack.
Tsuda: Oh, so he doesn’t use it as a propelling power!
Kusunoki: His power to control wind is pretty useful when capturing criminals. Really, both his skills and character are so cool. But yeah, he’s a real airhead. (laughs)
Inoue: Yes, he’s a bit dumb when it comes to noticing other people’s feelings (laughs). But this difference between his personality and powers is what makes him so interesting!
Q: Fire Emblem is a pretty deep character, too.
Tsuda: I love his pop-like image. He’s fashionable, and I like the gap between his way with words and his looks. I think his charming point is his kindness? He’s very open-minded and has these maternal feelings.
Kusunoki: Fire Emblem’s looks and name are the most hero-like, I think. But he’s also an old man… or rather, an old lady?
Tsuda: He’s the older sis! (laughs) He’s the heroes’ mom. But he acts as the mommy more often than shows off his cool hero side. That’s too bad…
Kusunoki: When it comes to love, he always has to make a comment.
Tsuda: Of course. It’s the so-called girl’s talk! I bet he often goes out with Blue Rose and Dragon Kid to chat over dinner.
Kusunoki: But his fire is kind of delicate, right? I mean, he attacks his opponents and they’re still alive!
Tsuda: I think he only uses enough fire to make them go “ouch ouch!” or uses his fire on the surroundings to cut off their escape routes.
Kusunoki: Oh, so he uses it like that. Oh, and his car is really cool, too. I wonder if he ordered it himself?
Tsuda: Of course he did. He’s rich! (laughs)
Inoue: Well, he owns a company, right?
Q: What about Rock Bison?
Kusunoki: He’s a gentle soul, and a pretty serious person.
Inoue: He’s the heroes’ conscience.
Kusunoki: I think that’s why he kind of wasn’t made out to be a hero. And his power is just making his body hard. (laughs)
Tsuda: Well, it’s great for defensive purposes…
Kusunoki: Well, it’d be hard to beat him. He didn’t lose until episode 12 when Jake finished him in a blink of an eye.
Inoue: Got KO’d. (laughs)
Tsuda: Well, that’s one of the things that make him impossible to hate. (laughs)
Q: What do you try to be aware of while playing your characters?
Kusunoki: I try to be aware of just how cool I make my lines. I want people to hear the difference between – let’s say – moments when my character is surprised and his normal lines.
Inoue: When you look at the scenario, there are some of Sky High’s lines that seem very funny, but I actually can’t make them sound funny. Because if I do that, his words stop being hilarious. Sky High is funny because he says the weirdest things with a perfectly straight face.
Tsuda: In my case, I have to decide just how girly should I make Nathan’s lines sound. I’m so happy they left me a lot of freedom when it comes to playing him.
Kusunoki: Sometimes it feels like you got too much freedom! It’s hard to say your next line when you fight with an urge to laugh, you know. Same goes for Sky High. “Why do I have to repeat this agaaaaaain!” (laughs)
Tsuda: (laughs) Sometimes we try to get Hirata-san to crack up.
Kusunoki: Fire Emblem, Sky High and Saito-san would be responsible for that! But even when Morita-san (Barnaby) tries to make him laugh, he still somehow manages to keep his cool! (laughs)
Inoue: Hey, but I usually say the same things I did during the rehersal!
Kusunoki: That just shows what a good kid you are! Iwasaki-san who plays Saito-san always changes something. He wants to make it even better during the main recording so you have to be wary of him!
Tsuda: Yes, Saito-san is the most dangerous one of us all! Last time, during the recording for the 3rd mini drama CD, he was seriously creepy.
Inoue: When you tell Saito-san to reduce that sound his lips make, he can’t say anything. (laughs)
Q: Are you the only ones who add various ad-libs?
Tsuda: Well, yeah, but Taiten-san adds some here and there, too.
Kusunoki: Usually even when I add something, they just don’t use it. (laughs) But you two have your fun with ad-libs, don’t you. Like FIIIIIIIRE and such.
Inoue: Oh, that’s Tsuda-san’s ad-lib, yes! (laughs)
Kusunoki: But every time I want to add something when my character is using his skill, they always cut me out. (laughs)
Tsuda: Yes, I try to add extra stuff… But so far only one thing got used (laughs). But I’m planning to secretly make my lines with FIIIIIIIRE~~ popular!
Kusunoki: Stuff like Fire Gorgeous?
Tsuda: Like Fiery Whoosh Whoosh!
Kusunoki: Inoue-kun also changes his hero lines a lot.
Inoue: I’m playing a total airhead, so I just thought I should do what they expect of me! (laughs) I was scared that people watching Tiger & Bunny might think “Gee, he doesn’t add anything extra from himself”, you know. So when I can, I try to play around with my lines. But yeah, that might be hard for Rock Bison… How about some things like “Gyuu” or “Moo”?
Tsuda: You could yell stuff like “I’M A COW!!” (laughs)
Kusunoki: And when would I say something like that? Even I’m not crazy enough to say “ALSO, I’M A COW!!” after some serious line! (laughs)
Q: Just before you said there are things that aren’t mentioned in the main show, but could you give us some examples?
Kusunoki: Rock Bison apparently hates high places. So they told me I should sound a bit scared when I get blown away or stuff.
Inoue: He’s kinda useless.
Kusunoki: Yep. If you focus on him, you’ll notice he always gets scared first.
Tsuda: Fire Emblem is the owner of Helios Energy, but his hobby is being in charge of different, weird shops.
Inoue: Sky High eats the same thing all year long.
Kusunoki: What does he eat then?
Inoue: I don’t know to be honest, but he always eats only one thing because it’s apparently good for his body.
Tsuda: Everyone has something weird or something they lack.
Kusunoki: No one’s perfect. Well, it seems that Barnaby’s close to perfection, but he has his past.
Tsuda: His way of dealing with people isn’t that good, either. (laughs)
Kusunoki: (laughs) Yeah, but since episode 14 he seems to get along with a certain someone.
Tsuda: I wonder what will happen with Kotetsu and him after episode 16?
Inoue: It seems that everything might still change, so I think there will be some surprises.
Q: We’re in the 2nd cour already, so tell us how you feel about this show.
Kusunoki: Re-watching the 1st cour with all the knowledge we got so far, you can discover new little things. Try watching it again, too – while thinking where we could insert some ad-libs!
Inoue: In the 2nd cour, look forward to discovering the birth of new lines for Sky High! I bet they’ll let me add something here and there. (laughs) Look forward to the end of this show!
Tsuda: Because you like this show so much, dear viewers, we get more energy to work, too!
Kusunoki: But it also makes us feel a bit pressured, right? There are so many unique characters, I wish the episodes were longer.
Tsuda: Let’s make a movie! A spin-off would be nice.