Hello guys, it’s Aki again! This time I bring you a translated interview with Ryan’s voice actor, Nakamura Yūichi, as per request from one of our Twitter followers!
Without further ado:
Q: Your character didn’t have a chance to appear in the original TV series and in the first movie, but we heard you watched them nevertheless. What’s your opinion on them?
Nakamura: It’s the first time I’ve ever had a chance to play a main character that appears this late in the series. It was important for me to familiarize myself with the show, so I decided to watch it up to the very end as a part of my job. At first I was a bit worried about watching the whole thing, because the show has two cours and I really didn’t want to watch something that long if it turned out to be boring. (laughs) Thankfully I was pulled in from the very first episode and experienced the infamous “It’s time to go to bed… But one more episode won’t hurt!” syndrome.
Q: What did you find so interesting in the series?
Nakamura: I laughed a lot at the little comedy moments that always felt so natural. Ages ago one of my teachers said that there’s a huge difference between comedy and mere jokes. He said that comedy lies in all aspects of everyday life, and doesn’t aim to make you laugh directly, like jokes do. That’s precisely what makes comedy so funny. When you aim for the comedy, don’t force in needless jokes, he would often say. I remembered his words while watching Taibani. The characters have normal conversations and yet, their exchanges are hilarious. Thanks to that, I managed to enjoy Taibani without feeling like the show forces in some needless gags. Like for example the scene in the second episode, when Saitou burns Kotetsu’s old suit. That was hilarious! (laughs)
Q: Tell us about your feelings regarding the recordings.
Nakamura: Well, recordings can be quite tough… Like for example, when you are preparing for a play, you have to spend many days rehearsing before the first day of the show comes, or, if we’re talking movies, many days are spent on filming, right? In the case of recordings, it’s quite different, because you just enter the studio, finish your job, and go back home without any big meetings beforehand. Other actors were already used to their job, because they spent over two cours playing their characters, and I felt like I was lagging behind. It was my first contact with the series, not to mention that Ryan is a newly introduced character, too. And the auditions were done by sending in tapes, so recording was the first time I actually got some feedback on my role. I was a bit nervous, constantly wondering if everything’s gonna be okay. You want to do everything as fast and smoothly as possible, and that of course makes you feel the pressure.
Q: How were the actual recordings?
Nakamura: They started with the regular cast already gathered at the studio, and seriously, it felt like they’re a one big family, it was so funny. Hirata (Hiroaki) was the father, right? Taiten (Kusonoki) has taken the role of a character that gets constantly bullied by others, Ise (Mariya) and Kotobuki (Minako) were the daughters, and Morita (Masakazu) was the good ol’ big bro… It felt like the actors and their characters were fulfilling the same role.
Q: Could you tell us something about Ryan? What kind of a character is he? How did you play him?
Nakamura: I wouldn’t say he’s arrogant, but he does have his high and mighty moments. (laughs) He’s the least experienced hero, but he’s confident and quite prideful, and you definitely can’t call him modest. Even during his first meeting with other heroes, he didn’t have problems with openly speaking his mind. He never ventured into the “rude character” territory, though. For example, let’s talk about his relationship with Barnaby. At first it might seem like he tries to be a bit too familiar with him too fast, but if you let go of the first impression, I think Ryan just appears to be quite frank and that’s it. I don’t think he’s a bad character, really. That’s why I also tried to add little bits of positive, fresh cheerfulness to his persona.
Q: What’s your opinion on Barnaby?
Nakamura: He’s so serious! Maybe a bit too serious… I think he was meant to be one of “them youngsters” in opposition to older Kotetsu, but I think he really could use more adaptability and flexibility that’s characteristic for people his age. “Are you a freakin’ samurai, man!” was my first impression. (laughs) But I think his straightforwardness is what makes him so charming, although it is also his weakness. I thought that a lot while watching the original TV series.
Q: What would happen if Ryan or Barnaby became your partner….?
Nakamura: I think I’d prefer Ryan to join me. Even if I got paired up with Barnaby, there would be constant silence between us! (laughs) I mean, Kotetsu isn’t exactly a person to put up walls when interacting with people and that’s probably why their duo works together so well. Wouldn’t work with my personality, though. (laughs) I wouldn’t be able to argue with Barnaby about sitting in the driver’s seat like Kotetsu does and I would probably stay silent until arriving at the scene of the crime because I’d be so focused on work. Ohhhh that’d be awkward! (laughs) On the other hand, Ryan would start babbling on his own and that’d put me at ease.
Q: By the way, which hero are you cheering for?
Nakamura: I really like Kotetsu, but I gotta say… Probably Blue Rose. I think her crush on an older guy is nice. I’m an old dude too and I thought I’m done for, but Taibani gives me hope! (laughs) But ah, Kotetsu. When I was watching the TV series I couldn’t believe they went with a character like that. I myself played some young characters, and sometimes there are scenes when a girl thanks the main hero and he is like “Huh, did you say something?”, like, you know, he totally misses the important moment. I think the viewers hate it when a young guy does it, but with an old guy like Kotetsu? I gotta say it is kinda cute.
Q: Let’s move to “The Rising” then! Tell us what’s great about the movie.
Nakamura: I think the viewers should be looking forward to see the relationship between Ryan and Barnaby and how it develops. Their duo is different from the Hundred Power combination Barnaby created with Kotetsu, and I think their fighting style is something to look forward to. As for the story… There are a lot of shout-outs to the original series, I think it’s pretty nifty. The producers have yet to release some vital information about the movie, so I think right now, the fans are speculating their brains out and wondering how everything is gonna be like… Especially with Kotetsu replaced by Ryan. For example, “How Ryan and Barnaby are gonna drive the bike?” and such. We recorded scenes like that while keeping in mind the original series and I think the fans should be looking forward to them.
Q: Last question! Please give us a message for the PASH! readers!
Nakamura: The producers put a lot of attention to everything, and while we – the voice actors – have yet to see the final product, I believe the second movie will go beyond the TV series and the first movie in terms of the sound and art, so look forward to it! As Hirata said during the recordings, the second movie was created with cinemas in mind. For example, in the TV series, there’s no need for animating mouths and eyes of the characters that stand far away from the viewer, but the cinema screen is big enough to show all the details happening in the background, like the characters speaking or changing their expressions. Even if you watch it later on home screens, you might miss a lot of these little extra things, so I highly recommend seeing it in the cinema. The staff and the cast, including me, will be grateful for your support, too!