Ryohei Odai Discusses Becoming Kamen Rider Zolda and Future Dreams

Kamen Rider Ryuki figurines are now included with Kamen Rider Magazine Volume 27, May 2018 edition. One of the most notable characters from the series was Kamen Rider Zolda.

Ryohei Odai (小田井涼平) is a member of the musical group Junretsu. He recently announced his marriage to the actress LiLiCo. Odai is well-known for his role as Shuichi Kitaoka/Kamen Rider Zolda in Kamen Rider Ryuki.



Odai first considered adutioning for Kamen Rider Ryuki when he was preparing to go back home. After college, he worked as a model, which worked well for him since he was 190cm tall. By the time he turned 30, he felt his career was beginning to slow down.

Odai was considering moving back home and helping out the family business. When he was looking over the role, he had no experience acting. The audition paperwork stated that they were seeking actors, but they had to be 29 and younger. Odai didn’t finish reading the paperwork for awhile, but ended up trying for the role anyway. His audition went well and he was accepted into the role of Shuichi Kitaoka. After hearing the good news, he had to rush to stop the cancellation of his apartment lease and called his family.

When Odai was young, he watched Showa era Riders until Kamen Rider Stronger. To learn more about Heisei Riders, he watched DVDs of Kamen Rider Kuuga and Agito to prepare for his role. He understood the new generation of Riders, but Ryuki’s storyline turned out to be much more complicated. He had no idea how the storyline would turn out.



Odai was also impressed by the Kamen Rider helmet designs. “What struck me the most was the eye design of Zolda. He had no eyes. The Rider’s unique, round eyes were nowhere to be found.

Kitaoka is first introduced as a “self-proclaimed super lawyer.” Odai’s character was arrogant and self-centered and not the most upstanding lawyer. Odai felt puzzled as to why such a character would be in a children’s program. He said Kitaoka was like an outsider, especially to the two main Riders, Shinji Kido/Kamen Rider Ryuki (Takamasa Suga (須賀貴匡) and Ren Akiyama/Kamen Rider Knight (Satoshi Matsuda (松田悟志). He was not their friend or co-worker. Kitaoka was a rival and considered the two his opponents.

Kitaoka’s role began to change when Takeshi Asakura/Kamen Rider Ouja (Takashi Hagino (萩野崇) was introduced. Asakura turned into a Snake-like Rider, while Kitaoka was seen as a snake on the inside.

Kitaoka was only held back by his sickness, which is why he wanted to wish for eternal life. Asakura committed crimes for his own pleasure, while Kitaoka took on new jobs for his own benefit.



But, Kitaoka wasn’t alone. He had an assistant, Goro Yura (Tomohisa Yuge (弓削智久), that often helped him. They were also close friends who lived in Kitaoka’s home office, even if all of their bonding moments weren’t shared on screen.

Odai’s character was only supposed to appear for half a year. His character became highly popular and managed to survive until the last episodes. Kitaoka finally gave in to his illness and passed away on his soda.

Odai stated “Zolda’s attacks were flashy, but he wasn’t killed by one of the Riders.” The other Riders didn’t know that Kitaoka passed away right before the final battle. To fulfill Asakura’s desire to fight Kitaoka, Goro took over the role of Zolda.

Odai admitted that he would like to see a spin-off of Kamen Rider Ryuki in the future. He wants to see how the world of Kamen Rider Ryuki has changed after almost 16 years. He wants to see a story about a hero intertwined with pure drama. If Asakura has survived, he would like to see how he has transformed into a devilish man or a Terminator. He would also like to see more fighters in the Mirror World appear, such as Spiders.

The story of Kamen Rider Ryuki would be limitless.



Article Sources: Asahi Shimbun

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