You can find the previously translated interviews here.
Disclaimer: not a professional translator, doing this for fun, etc. Standard fantranslation rules apply.
Q: You just finished recording voices for the last episode, right?
Morita: Yes. There were 29 seiyuus around this time, never before had we so many people gathered in one place. It felt almost as if it was the main, big performance, and because everyone was here, our emotions were running wild. But, almost as if he knew what we were going through, director Satou told us to take it easy and do it the same way we always do. Thanks to that we calmed down, and managed to face the recording for the last episode naturally.
Hirata: Because Kotetsu lost consciousness, I had nothing to do in the A part of the episode, so I thought it’d be easier for me – but they told me to come in the morning anyway because hey, I’m the main character! (laughs)
Morita: Oh yeah, that’s how it went! (laughs) When we were recording the A part of this episode, you had to wait alone outside of the recording room, right?
Hirata: The recording itself went pretty smoothly, but it sure was a good ending! I had a really good feeling about it when I read the scenario for the first time. That’s how I wanted it to end.
Q: Did you know how it was going to end while recording episode 24?
Hirata: Nope, they didn’t tell us anything. I really doubted Kotetsu would actually die just one episode before the end, but with Tiger&Bunny you never know what might happen. When I asked the director “Is Kotetsu going to put a bandana on his head and go ‘Naa, omae~~?'”, he told me no one would catch a reference to such an old song.
[TL note: sadly, I don’t know what Hirata might be referring to]
Morita: And that’s why I call you an old man! (laughs)
Q: So you could experience the same surprises the viewers did, right?
Morita: Yes. We usually got the new scenarios for the next episode or a few of them in the break between recording of the A and B parts, and that was always the first time we got to know what’d happen next. The staff was pretty secretive about this show, we didn’t know much about the characters, but it also meant they thought a lot about how we should act out our heroes, gave us only the important facts we needed to know.That’s why we always looked forward to receiving our scenarios. When they were giving these out, everyone would jump to them hungrily and start reading. The studio always looked like some kind of a manga cafe when this happened.
Q: Which of the twists we’ve seen so far surprised you the most then?
Morita: Ever since Barnaby the rookie was forced to team up with Kotetsu, it felt like everything was just a constant flow of surprises. Like when it turned out that Jake wasn’t the real enemy behind everything. I thought Maverick was suspicious after his “Good night, Barnaby” line in the scene with the oxygen capsules, but I didn’t expect him to be on the same team as Ouroboros. I was surprised too when in the last episode Ouroboros was shown as a really powerful, big organization. Lots of surprises till the very end.
Hirata: At first, what surprised me the most about Kotetsu was the fact that he’s the main character even though he has a BEARD. Nothing managed to surprise me more. Oh wait, maybe there was one thing – he turned out to be a much bigger idiot than I thought he was. I really, really hated Maverick, but after Kotetsu discovered these pins and went to meet him, I kind of pitied the bad guy. I wanted to tell him not to waste that drug on someone like Kotetsu. I wondered if they were testing me, making me act like an idiot in such a serious scene.
Q: According to the director, Kotetsu’s image was created to make it easy for you to play him.
Hirata: Really? Well, I’m thankful for that. But if it’s really true… Shouldn’t Kotetsu’s character be closer to Barnaby’s, then? There were times when I had a hard time playing him.
Morita: No way, it always seemed to me that playing him came to you naturally. (laughs) Our recording mics were always next to each other, and thanks to your believable acting Kotetsu always felt so real. It made me so happy.
Hirata: And here you go again, you’re seriously killing me with your nice words! Do you want me to die from the pressure!
Q: How do you feel about Morita-san’s acting, then?
Hirata: Well, what words should I use to smother you with! (laughs) From the very beginning, Morita-kun was struggling really hard to express Barnaby’s emotions. When I was looking at him from the side, I could guess that huh, they ordered him to act out something difficult again. But he was always fighting till the very end, which made me think how serious he is about this, and maybe that seriousness was transfered to Barnaby, too. But well, Barnaby’s seriousness isn’t always easily noticed by people who surround him, so maybe it’s a bit different. I still think it’s one of these roles you can’t play if you don’t take it seriously…
Morita: Just a while ago, you admitted you’re closer to Barnaby’s personality, didn’t you! (laughs)
Hirata: Hm? (laughs)
Q: Did the first impression of your characters change while you played them?
Morita: At first, Barnaby seemed like someone who hates being around people. Until episode 5, I remember the staff telling me to just keep it cool for now. In the scenario, there were conversations between Barnaby and other people, but they actually forbade me from having an actual, real conversation, but you just want to respond somehow, you know. I was trying to somehow not listen to Kotetsu-san’s words, but when I tried, Hirata-san would always lay a trap for me and try to make me involved in the conversation on purpose. And that’s so mean! (laughs)
Hirata: No no no, oh come on! (laughs) But you know, wasn’t it like they always just told you to remain cold without explaining why? I always thought that maybe it’d be better to just ask something like, “Is his personality like that, does he just have to be cold to everyone?” or something to that effect. You’re pretty much struggling with your role when you don’t know where everything might be going.
Morita: Oh yeah, I did struggle my share with this role. But you know, when I look at it now, I wonder if Barnaby himself wasn’t the one who was supposed to be struggling with his emotions as well.
Hirata: Oh, now that you put it like this…
Q: In the second cour, Barnaby became much more pleasant.
Morita: I was so happy he finally become closer to Kotetsu-san, but the fans attacked me for this change in his personality. It was around Tanabata I think when in one of the high schools some students wrote a wish on a tanzaku for Barnaby to get his tsun back! (laughs)
[TL note: during the Tanabata festival, people write their wishes on cards called tanzaku, then hang them on bamboo, hoping for their wish to get fullfilled]
Hirata: Seriously, you’d think that high school students have more serious things to wish for! But you know, I think that for Kotetsu, every face of Barnaby’s personality is good, be it tsun, be it his dere. Kotetsu, too, has that part of his personality that often makes him not listen to other people. “Why are you so serious- oh well wait nevermind” kinda feeling. (laughs)
Morita: Yeah. (laughs)
Hirata: The 10 months after the Jake’s incident got omitted, but I doubt Kotetsu ever asked what happened to Barnaby after the change. Not sure why, but I bet that he wouldn’t think much about Barnaby’s good attitude towards him and just, you know, take him out for a drink or something.
Morita: Kotetsu is a very kind person, who doesn’t focus much on what bothers him, and I think it’s kind of amazing. He himself thinks it’s natural, but if you look at it from the outside, it’s not something everyone could achieve, I think it’s actually something to admire him for. I don’t want to be a saint or something, but I wish I was so very, you know, human like Kotetsu.
Hirata: Barnaby, who always refused to be close to people, after being only slightly “betrayed”, snaps and goes all “But I believed in you..!”. When I saw him acting like that, I thought that his tsuntsun is just a pose, that he so very much yearns for other people’s warmth. I think that Kotetsu just doesn’t even think about that, and just goes “I hurt you, I’m sorry about that”, but I wonder just how much he really understands. Yeah. Maybe he isn’t, like, tolerant, open-hearted or whatever, but just stupid like that. (laughs)
Q: From your standpoint, Hirata-san, were there any changes in how you view Kotetsu?
Hirata: At first I thought he was just too loud, but now I think he’s a bit uncool, too, haha. But I think at least his hero suit is cooler than Barnaby’s. And I really love the way Kotetsu runs around with his crab-like legs. And his personal clothes are unexpectedly stylish, too.
Morita: And he tried to look cool till the very end, didn’t he.
Hirata: Yeah, that’s the sad side of being an old man! In the last episode, I wondered if he’d really go down after coming this far. But sometimes I think I’d be better if he knew when to stop, you know the saying, “shop’s already empty and closed”.
[TL note: he’s quoting a manzai comedian here.]
Q: Quoting a certain performer, aren’t you. (laughs) Tiger and Barnaby could perform as a comedy duo, too.
Morita: I think I’ll pass.
Hirata: (laughs) That’d be quite hard with your role indeed.
Morita: Kotetsu-san looks like someone who’d throw jokes around, but in reality he doesn’t get to add many ad-libs to the show.
Hirata: The other six heroes seems to have fun with that. But well, most of Fire Emblem’s ad-libs get turned down. It’s kinda sad to see Tsuda Kenjirou’s woeful face after the sound director says no to his ad-libs.
Morita: Yeah, yeah. He gets maybe one ad-lib added per 10 minutes at best. But he can be evil, throwing in ad-libs during the main recording, even though he didn’t use them during the rehearsal. Sometimes he makes us laugh during serious scenes. Oh, same goes for Rock Bison and Sky High. You need to watch out for them, seriously!
Hirata: I think you’re forgetting someone.
Morita: Oh, right, there’s one more person we had to watch out for from the very beginning.
Hirata: Because he’s made out of ad-libs.
Q: And who would that be?
Hirata: Saitou-san, played by Hiroshi-san, of course! With the way he speaks, he often butts in into my parts, too. Then he says things like “Oh I’m so sorry, I just haven’t finished speaking yet~” or “So sorry, kind of fumbled with words here”, seriously, I don’t even know. (laughs)
Q: Among the lines, is there one you find very characteristic?
Morita: There are a lot of lines that come to my mind, because Barnaby’s feelings were changing so much every few episodes, but I really like his line about Kotetsu-san being old-fashioned, from the first episode. To say something so bluntly straight in the face of your senpai – I think it was something a child of modern times would say, someone who only lives in his own world.
Hirata: I think you’re right. If Kotetsu had answered in his style to that, I think I’d have been something like “Oh dear, now look who’s trying to be high and mighty!”
Morita: But you know, I think it wasn’t the first time someone told him that. It’s such a short line, but when you start accepting it as something that might carry the truth, you see its profound meaning. Director Satou said he wanted to cheer up the fathers who work hard every day, and when you look at the series as a whole you can see that being old doesn’t mean something bad – that it might be just the opposite of it. I think that’s what is so thrilling about this show. And then we have Barnaby, who gets his memory altered, gets drugged, a lot of things happen to him, one giant pile of problems. (laughs)
Q: He had his share of problems indeed, but don’t you think he earned a more human side to him thanks to that?
Morita: You know, I think that at that time more than a “human side”, he just wanted his human rights back. (laughs)
Q: What about Kotetsu, then?
Hirata: I guess that’d be the presenter’s line, “There he is! Wild Tiger!”. Maybe it’s not the famous “It’s A Bird… It’s A Plane… It’s Superman!” line, but when he appeared, I think that at least the hearts of these poor people waiting to be saved were filled with hope. Or at least I think that Kotetsu, who always wanted to be an admired hero, wanted them to feel like that. When the presenter says that line Kotetsu has yet to destroy something, no one yells at him for something he did, so I think that for him, for a hero, that little moment was the one when he was the happiest. And then he probably felt ashamed when the criminal he wanted to save told him he’d rather wait for Sky High.
Morita: I laughed at that part.
Hirata: Now that I think about it, I should have felt hurt about that!
Morita: Oh, come on! Oh, and by the way, I love Kotetsu’s character song. When I heard it for the first time, I cried a little. I thought it’s a song I’d like to sing with my drinking buddies till our throats would run dry. I put it on the loop today, too. The best song to listen to when you’re going to work.
Hirata: Seriously, stop it. (laughs) But well, I cried a little when they showed me the sample, too. “Man, do I really need to sing it that high?”
Morita: THAT is what made you cry!? (laughs)
Hirata: When we were recording our duet, I thought I should take it easy! Before I started singing, Morita-kun had already finished his recording. When I was listening to his singing, I really thought this song would be okay just with his part, haha.
Morita: I knew you’d say that, so I warned the staff not to listen to anything you say! I can’t let my guard down, seriously.
Hirata: They should’ve just included me as Saitou-style subtitles!
Q: And lastly, tell us what you feel now.
Morita: Using this opportunity, I’d like to thank everyone who supported us, and express my thanks for the staff. I’m really happy I could take part in making this show, and I see it as a real honor. There are still many mysteries left, and things I’d like to learn about. I want to play Barnaby again, so everyone, please keep praying that a day like that will come – and keep sending request to Sunrise! The tagline should be “Taibani over Gundam!” (laughs)
Hirata: Or “Taibani over Keroro!” (laughs) Everything feels like it was just a short moment, I can still feel the excitement, like I just got back from a theme park. We just finished the last recording, so I still don’t even know what I’m feeling right now, but I’m sure I’ll miss this show. Thanks to everyone who kept watching and enjoying this show, it made me happy. I haven’t had much experience playing the lead role, but thanks to the great teamwork I could really enjoy playing Kotetsu. Just like Morita-kun said, I’d like this show to continue- But wait, even if it did, Kotetsu still would only have one minute left. (laughs) But I’d love to be involved again in this show, in any way possible.