Ryohei Odai (小田井涼平) and Takashi Hagino (萩野崇) recently spoke with MyNavi regarding Kamen Rider Ryuki. The show has recently made news for the upcoming release of the Kamen Rider Ryuki Complete Selection Modification (CSM) V-Buckle and DragVisor release.
Ryohei Odai portrayed Shuichi Kitaoka/Kamen Rider Zolda, a self-proclaimed “Super Lawyer,” while Takashi Hagino portrayed Takeshi Asakura/Kamen Rider Ouja, a criminal who loved to fight.
The relationship between Kitaoka and Asakura began from the Super Lawyer representing Asakura’s defense. During the Rider Battle, Asakura relentlessly pursued Kitaoka.
Hagino: Since the very beginning, Asakura was like a stalker, right?
Odai: The details weren’t in the script, so I couldn’t understand his grudge (laughs). I don’t know, but Asakura was really hated.
Hagino: That’s right. At that time, it was the style to gradually let the drama unfold. In the beginning, I had to act without knowing much about each other’s relationship.
Odai: Well, I later learned he had a grudge against me (laughs)
Hagino: A strong feeling of opposition (laughs)
Hagino’s character appeared in Episode 17. He’s a dangerous man who was given a card deck in prison and became a Rider. He can’t help but often feel frustrated, which makes the Rider battle more tense. The character appears very dangerous, which seemed unusal to broadcast during this time.
Hagino: Well, that was the setting (laughs). At that time, it was a drama that aired at 8AM on Sunday mornings. A story about Riders killing each other for a year.
Odai: I think it was interesting and exciting to have a battle between Riders. Sometimes it got confusing where there were six or seven Riders battling. It was a lot of run, but when we did the voiceover, it turned into a melee (laughs). The hands and feet of the Rider’s suits were similar, so I was confused on when to perform the voiceover.
Hagino: Ah! Yes, it was.
Odai: I didn’t know who hit who and could only make sounds like “Hmph!” and I wished I could say “Excuse me, which Rider are you?” so I had to ask (laughs). That’s why we had fun shooting and doing voiceovers. There were so many dogfights between the Riders…
Hagino: That’s why Asakura is so unforgiving… (laughs)
Odai: Ouja also had Raia and Gai’s contract monsters, eventually fighting with three monsters. It was special amoung the Riders of Ryuki.
Hagino: I still remember it well. In the last scene of Asakura’s appearance in Episode 17, I looked at the camera and said “I’m irritated being in such a place.” Later, Shinichiro Shirakura (白倉伸一郎) said there were many viewer complains from that scene.” (laughs)
Odai: That’s great!
Hagino: I was being called a bad guy even though I hadn’t done anything yet (laughs)
Odai: Because I can’t objectively see my character, there were many moments I didn’t understand well. Then Ryuki finally became clear when Asakura appeared. In the beginning, I didn’t yet understand “Kamen Riders kill each other” because Kitaoka hadn’t yet killed any Riders. We were just fighting until that point. When Asakura came and disturbed everything, I realized “This is it!” and it became tense. Well, children may have been scared, but they were supposed to be. Riders were killing each other. Well, everyone was but Asakura was the real “bad” one.
Hagino: Yes, that’s right. Asakura was actually a really nice person. (laughs)
Odai: In addition, Kamen Rider Scissors, who appeared in the beginning was also important to build the unique world view of Ryuki. It was clear that if the Kamen Rider died, they would be eaten by monsters. Also, Kamen Rider Imperer was very impressive.
Hagino: He appeared last.
Odai: He was sad at the end. He was trapped in the Mirror World and couldn’t return to the real world. He helplessly watched his girlfriend on the bridge.
Hagino: When I remembered your story, I remembered that one too.
Odai: The Riders of Ryuki showed a tragic aspect as well.
Asakura doesn’t hesitate in taking people’s lives, which makes him intriguing, but ocassionally, there were times he showed his human side. He was impressive. Especially in Episode 42 when he was smiling with Shinji.
Hagino: Ah, I did.
Odai: Asakura unexpectedly participated in a gag part.
Hagino: Just a little in the second half.
Odai: Because of how the scene is directed, Asakura comes out a little cute in the second half (laughs)
Hagino: He’s a character with many complaints (laughs)
Odai: Because Asakura was doing terrible things from his first apperances, I was compelled to make peace with my past misdeeds. Like in Episode 30, I got spaghetti on my hear from an exchange with my former Secretary Megumi (laughs)
Hagino: When I went to a Toei party, I was told by an important person “It’s a kid’s program, play around a little bit.” and I was worried about what to do honestly. So when I consulted with Shirakura, I was told it was okay. I didn’t mind so much after that.
Odai: That’s Shirakura!
Hagino: At that time, Asakura was so scary, that when I met with parents and children, the mother asked for a photo but the child moved to her other side. Well, I felt lonely because I wasn’t a “hero.”
Odai: I saw a lot of those moments with Hagino, too (laughs)
Hagino: There were some children that liked Ouja. But those children, if they saw Asakura, they wouldn’t want to get near him. I guess they didn’t know what to do (laughs)
Because Asakura is never satisfied, the impact on his meal scenes are powerful. In Episode 27, he eats noodles, in Episode 34 eggs, and in 42nd he ate a roasted lizard. Do you remember those meal scenes?
Hagino: I guess I wanted to show that Asakura was still human and needed to eat.
Odai: It must have been fun to roast a lizard and eat it.
Hagino: That wasn’t real, it was made of rubber and minced meat, but I actually roasted it and ate it. I was told “Please eat the meat portion”, but the rubber part was melted in by the fire. Well, maybe that’s just bullying from Toei (laughs)
In Episode 41, Asakura also ate mussels that were cooked in with seafood pasta with herbs.
Hagino: Those mussels… I was ordered to “eat every shell”, so I decided to bite into it once. but I couldn’t bite it. After that, the shells were crushed in advance and I was told to eat those. This was also bullying (laughs)
Odai: This was when Asakura interrupted Kitaoka’s meal. Both I and Goro were in that scene, and we couldn’t stop laughing, even during rehearsal.
Hagino: Later a “crunch” sound effect was added in. When I saw this, I thought he wasn’t even human anymore.
Are there any memorable scenes when Kitaoka and Asakura confronted each other?
Odai: In Episode 40, when Kitaoka went to see Asakura, you kicked the chicken wire! I was really surprised because you didn’t do that during rehearsal.
Hagino: I did it (laughs)
Odai: Since I was kicked near my face, so my reaction was real. I was really scared, but I thought it would be a joke, so I endured.
Hagino: I’m sorry. Please forgive my rashness.
Odai: If you’re interested, please re-watch that scene from Episode 40.
Hagino: Well, during that time, I was crazy about acting.
Odai: In Hagino-kun’s case, he was part of the role, so he crafted his own world around it. I also found out he was doing this, so I thought it was better to act with some distance. As a result, I think we had a good relationship.
Odai reprised his role in 2017 and Hagino again in the spin-off Kamen Rider Brave. At that time, please tell us more about the beginning scene of this V-Cinema.
Hagino: I said “Mackerel, huh…!” (laughs) Basically there were parts with past villains getting together, like with Asakura appearing for the first time in 15 years since the end of Ryuki. I was told to take a bite of raw fish, but the scales were hard so I couldn’t chew them. I asked that you pause that scene, at least.
Odai: Even after all these years, you still can’t eat what you can’t bite… (laughs)
Hagino: At least add some salt (laughs)
There was also a scene when you died your hair to look like Asakura back then. Your attachment to the character is appreciated.
Hagino: I had a wig prepared, but it wasn’t the right image of Asakura. So I decided to dye my hair blonde again.
Odai was performing in the game world in Chou Super Hero Taisen.
Odai: That movie was like a festival. Not only Zolda, but there were many Kamen Rider and Super Sentai heroes. I was doing it and thinking it was like a festival. The Kitaoka I played is just a character in a game and not the real Kitaoka. That’s why I had mixed feelings about it. But, well, I heard that Hiroki Iijima (飯島寛騎) Emu Hojo/Kamen Rider Ex-Aid watched Ryuki when he was a child, I thought “Oh, the child who was watching Kamen Rider on tv at that time was so impressed that when he became an adult, he decided to play a Rider.”
Hagino: I was glad and honestly grateful because Toshiki Seto (瀬戸利樹), who played Hiiro Kagami/Kamen Rider Brave, was excited. Even now when I’m performing on stage, I hear that many young actors watched Ryuki.
Odai: I jrealized that those who were watching Ryuki are steadily working on the same stage as us. I’m glad I was able to appear in such a wonderful work.
Premium Bandai’s Kamen Rider Ryuki Complete Selection Modification (CSM) V-Buckle and Drag Visor is currently accepting reservations. It is scheduled to ship in December.
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Article Sources: MyNavi