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MY HERO KAGEKI TALK

Writer/Director: Saitou Yoshimasa
Cast: Serika Toa, Hozuki An, Asazuki Kiwa, and Oto Kurisu


Saitou: This is Serika-kun’s second lead and her first lead in Tokyo so I feel a sense of joy and responsibility in serving as the head of this production. Now, Serika is really blooming, and I want her to be even larger so I created this show to show everyone a side of Serika that you’ve never seen before. As you can see from the poster, the characters in the play are a lot, aren’t they.

Serika: They are (laughs)

Saitou: The comedic elements in this show are strong like a dramatic comic strip. But I think the story is simple and easy to understand. There is friendship, love and unforgettable nerve, so I want to show these four grow. Noah Taylor, played by Serika is a famous actor . His father was a Kamen Rider-like action stuntman. At odds with his father, Noah declares he doesn't want to become an action stuntman who never shows his face. So he goes to extremes to become a famous actor. On the inside, there’s a conceited bastard of a star.

Serika: (laughs)

Saitou: Then there is Noah’s supportive friend Terry Bennett played by Chinatsu (Houzuki An). He’s a fellow actor who does stunts, so Chinatsu wears a mask too!

Serika: Hehehe (laughs)

Houzuki: What are you laughing at? (laughs)

Serika: I’m looking forward to seeing you in a mask.

Saitou: They said there’s a high to wearing masks.

Serika: It really is exciting because after all, you become a hero!

Saitou: Even when we were shooting the poster images from the very beginning you looked good from your first pose in the mask.

Chinatsu: I’ve never really had any special fondness for masked heroes but when I saw Kiki (Serika) in the costume I thought, ahh she looks really cool. I think it will make the audience excited too.

Saitou: The two of them are classmates from university. Noah basks in the spotlight while Terry is hidden behind him. They have really tense conversations. Noah meets Hirame-chan (Asazuki Kiwa) who plays Chloe Spencer when he is struck by scandal and his movie contract falls through. She’s a former professional tennis player ranked 901st in the US turned gravure model whose popularity is waning.

Serika, Houzuki, Asazuki, Oto: (bursts into laughter)

Asazuki: Sensei’s (Saitou) shows have a lot of roles with very strong personalities. When all these personalities are thrown together a synergy is born. I think it makes for an interesting performance. I’m really looking forward to it.

Serika: Kiwa-chan (Asazuki) and I read the same script together. It was interesting because she said "oh that happened? How are we going to perform that"

Asazuki: That is not how it happened.

Saitou: Chloe has a lot of debts, so the pair of them who have hit rock bottom meet. Chloe becomes Noah’s manager and they become friends but he takes on a lot of weird jobs.

Houzuki: That’s exciting (laughs) What kind of jobs I wonder?

Saitou: The finishing blow is the amusement park show, MASK★J. At that time Noah meets Myra played by Oto-kun, who is volunteering at senior citizens home. When she was four, she was in an accident that left in her wheelchair bound. Yet she’s got a big heart and gives everything her all. Oto-kun will also be playing her character at the age of four.

Houzuki, Serika: There’s nothing she’s not good at.

Saitou: You’ve been certified by your sempai

Oto: O...kay (laughs)

Saitou: When Noah and Myla talk it seems they share courage and a touch on the subject of his father’s unknown past.

Oto: This role is in charge of giving courage. I want to learn a lot from the upperclassmen and I will do my best.

Saitou: So while Noah’s life is falling down around him, Terry is steadily becoming a well known as a star. But he’s getting support from Smile Company.

Houzuki, Serika, Asazuki, Oto : Smile Company?! (laughs)

Saitou: In fact they have plans which will become obvious later. The goal of this show is to give the audience courage and to send the feeling that even if parents and children clash they can recognize and work together.

Serika: I haven’t been in Sensei’s (Saitou) shows outside of El Halcon so when I read the show’s summary I thought, what, showing my face is forbidden?? (Laughs) but after hearing what he’s talking about now I think it will be interesting and have a lot of substance. Now I’m nervous if I’ll have enough time to rehearse (laughs)

Saitou: We are planning a film shoot too, you know. We are planning to project the trailer for MASK★J during intermission.

Serika, Houzuki, Asazuki, Oto: Oh that sounds fun!

Saitou: Noah is an uptight young man that you can’t hate. The way he moves and speaks is rude. And he throws abusive language at Terry

Serika: (to Houzuki): Sorry…

Houzuki: (laughs)

Serika: I’m happy because I’ve had a string of really good characters recently. After all, this is an action show so…

Saitou: Of course there is a lot of action.

Serika: I’m a little nervous about the action, but I am really looking forward to it.

Houzuki: Kiki (Serika) has had a lot of traditional Takarazuka roles but she’s someone with a playful heart and Saitou-sensei has one too. I’m really looking forward to seeing her in this show.

Serika: Thanks, but backstage before I put on my makeup I’m not traditional at all… I’m always playing jokes or teasing you. (laughs)

Houzuki: Yeah (laughs)

Serika: During Me and My Girl, Chinatsu and I played opposite each other as Gerard and Jackie, but this time we are both playing men in the play.

Houzuki: Since we haven’t ever done this I can’t wait to see how it will be.

Saitou: I thought about how are both of you opposite types. And I thought that I wanted to see you both square off against each other. The musumeyaku are different types too. So I thought it would be nice to show off the contrast of the two. So in the end I want Oto-kun to give her thoughts on being in this show.

Oto: This is the first time being in Saitou-sensei’s work so I’m nervous, but I’m really looking forward to being part of a wonderful show.

Saitou: I really want you to give it a run without being timid. This time you’re going to be limited to a wheelchair, but you’ll still dance in the finale.

Serika: Ah! There will be a finale! Hooray!

Saitou: This is a Takarazuka Hero show (laughs)

Serika, Houzuki, Asazuki, Oto: (laughs)

Saitou: So, Hirame-chan (Asazuki)..

Asazuki: Listening to us talking, I’m getting excited. I’m sure the audience will be excited too. From all the characters, I want to fulfill my role and I want to make a wonderful and fun show.

Saitou: I think Hirame-chan is going to be in charge of setting the tone of the story. So I look forward to how she plays it. Chinatsu (Houzuki), how about you?

Houzuki: I think there are a lot of elements that the audience wants to see, so I want to do my best to really create the show sensei built.

Saitou: I’m looking forward to you playing a non-traditional otokoyaku hero opposite Kiki. And finally Kiki-chan.

Serika: As expected, providing entertainment is the most important part of a Takarazuka show, but it's not only that, I think it's best if we can convey a message to the audience. So I’ll do my best!

Saitou: I think this show can give Kiki a sense of encouragement in the future. This year I wrote a message in Kageki but I…

Serika: We read it (laughs)

Houzuki: You used it to advertise My Hero (laughs)

Saitou: I did, I hope you look forward to the passionate drama of these four heroes and heroines, and the tale of their growth.



translator note: I've always wondered when they did these, the answer to that seems to be really early in the rehearsal process in this case because I got the impression that nobody had read the script more than once.

updated on 4/11/2017 with beta's suggestions

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