Iwanaga & Onozuka Interview

from Toei Hero Max 56

The two characters are Dan Kuroto, who lead (?) the story while causing chaos with his strong and incomparable character, and Kujou Kiriya, who disappeared early on in the first course but was resurrected to liven up the final stages of the story. The mature talk of this duo of datamakers will be the final part of the talk special celebrating the conclusion of "Kamen Rider Ex-Aid"!

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"I haven't forgiven you" That sense of distance is good in a relationship


Interviewer: First of all, I would like to ask you about Kiriya's resurrection.


Onozuka: At the time of the game over (episode 12), I could only think "Maybe?" And the way things were going, I wondered, "Is there really any chance of a comeback?" I didn't want Kiriya to get left behind, but in the end we were able to revive him with a good flow. I am very grateful to Takahashi-san for the script.


Interviewer: When was the resurrection confirmed?

話を聞いたのは春頃だったと思います。ただ、撮影はまだかな?と思ってるうちにどんどん話が進んでいたので、このままオールアップしちゃうんじゃないかと (笑)。

Onozuka: I think it was around spring when I heard about it. Are we going to start filming yet? As I was wondering about this, the story was progressing so fast that I thought it was going to be all up (laughs).


Interviewer: Were you wondering how he would come back?


Onozuka: Since Kuroto was an ally now, I was particularly interested in how the two of them would interact.


Iwanaga: There was Emu-kun between them, so they managed to get along… somehow.


Onozuka: We made good use of the fact that Kiriya fully believes in Emu. In episode 36, there was an exchange with Kuroto saying "I haven't forgiven you" and "I'm not asking for your forgiveness." It doesn't mean that they've resolved their differences, but more like there has been a reset… I like that kind of relationship. That is one of the scenes that I have a deep personal attachment to.


Interviewer: The stage before that, when Masamune had just revived him, was also a great place to show off. Some of the more discerning viewers wondered if the "kick" was different when he was pretending to be manipulated.


Onozuka: Of course, I intentionally changed it. I wanted to expand the "dark side" of Kiriya's personality, so I tried to make his speech less inflected and plain, and his transformation pose more violent than the normal spinning pose… I thought it would be better if it was easy to understand. Anyway, during the last part of the game, I kept laying the groundwork just to make the most of the last line, "What? Did I take you for a ride?"


Interviewer: As a result, Kiriya is in a position where he hasn't changed at all, while Kuroto is a character who has changed a lot...


Iwanaga: At the end of the day, it was totally like a "revival art", but I am motivated to challenge new things everyday (laughs). In fact, since I've been revived as a bugster, I've been shooting a lot of scenes in the monitor separately from everyone else, and I've been talking to the assistant director alone all the time, so it's been difficult to maintain that tension...


Interviewer: I mean, when you talk to me like this, I feel a little confused because the tension is so different from Dan Kuroto.

ハハハ、確かに (笑)。

Onozuka: That's right (laughs).

もう、台本の段階で「アァアァァー!」とか書かれてたんですよ。 それで「あぁ、そういう演技を求められてるんだな」と思ってやってるうちに、いつの間にかあんなことに… (笑)。

Iwanaga: It was already written in the script, "Aaaaah!". So I thought, "Oh, that's the kind of acting they want me to do," and before I knew it, I was doing that... (laughs).


Interviewer: By the way, Onozuka-san, how did you see the changes in Kuroto that took place while you were out?

貴利矢は黎斗の“内に秘められた狂気”のようなものを感じ取っていたからこそ警戒心を抱いてたんですけど、まさか「私は神だァ」とか、あそこまでイッちやってるとは思ってませんでしたよ。リプログラミングの力でああなったんですかね? 何が起きたんだって、逆に可哀想になってきちゃった (一同笑)。

Onozuka: Kiriya was wary of Kuroto because he sensed his "inner madness", but he didn't expect him to say "I am a god" and go that far. Was it the power of reprogramming that did it? I feel sorry for him, wondering what happened to him (everyone laughs).


Iwanaga: You poor thing!?


Onozuka: I think he's been reprogrammed a little too much…


How to live as contrasting bugsters


Interviewer: In episode 42, there was a hot development of the two of them creating antibodies to the Gemdeus virus together.


Onozuka: The resurrected Kiriya is in a bit of a difficult position. He left Emu with the hope of eradicating the bugster, so he comes back and asks "What do you think now?". In the case of Kuroto, his ambitions are clear, such as completing Kamen Rider Chronicle at any cost, but Kiriya is searching for a way to live as a bugster.


Onozuka: I wanted to show that part of him, so even in the scene where everyone was screaming because Taiga's life was in danger, he was the only one who looked away from the scene, and in episode 42, he thought that it was finally time to fulfill his responsibility as a bugster. It was an important scene in the sense that it was the first time he was able to say his true feelings since his resurrection, as well as to settle his fate with Kuroto.

僕の考えとしては「人間、死ぬからこそ頑張れる」みたいなところがあって、たとえば僕は今24歳なんで、生きられてもあと60年ぐらいかな? ってところでいろいろ思うところがあるんだけど、これが一旦死んで、この姿のままでバグスターとして何世紀も生き続けるとしたらどうすりゃいいんだって絶対に気が抜けちゃってボーッとする時間が増えるんじゃないかと思うんですよ。やっぱり、命に限りがあるからこそ「どう終わらせるか」みたいな動機づけになるんじゃないかなって。

Onozuka: In my opinion, human beings can do their best because they die. For example, I'm 24 years old now, so I'll probably live for another 60 years or so, and I have a lot of thoughts about that, but if I were to die and continue to live as a bugster for centuries, I'm not sure what I would do. I think the fact that our lives are limited motivates us to think about how to end them.


Iwanaga: Eh, I didn't even think of that. Sorry, I didn't think about that at all.


Onozuka: Isn't it enough that Kuroto never seems to run out of ambition?


Interviewer: I think Kuroto seems to have a positive mindset. Not dying is, in a sense, the dream of humankind.


Iwanaga: It's called "eternal life."


Onozuka: Moreover, they can also teleport. We also make use of this ability, and in the story, we play an espionage role and act as raid team leaders.


Iwanaga: Kuroto is dying on purpose as a strategy.


Interviewer: You would think he can come back to life indefinitely, although eventually he would be down to 1 life remaining.

黎斗だったらまた何か新しいことを考えるんじゃないですかね。階段にカメを持ってきて踏んだらライフが増えるとか (一同笑)。

Iwanaga: Since it's Kuroto, he would probably just think of something new again. Maybe he could bring a turtle to the staircase and when you step on it, your life will increase (everyone laughs).

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Description text of image for screenreaders.


A year in which the characters we played became flesh and bone


Interviewer: Earlier, Onozuka-san mentioned their reunion at CR as a memorable scene, but what is Iwanaga-san's favorite episode?


Iwanaga: One thing I would like to mention is that in the early days, Genm was in the position of being told to "reveal himself," but in the battle in episode 35 when the Lazer Turbo is revived, Kuroto is the one who tells him to "reveal himself," which I thought was an interesting contrast.


Interviewer: I see. That may be because Takahashi Yuya-san wrote the script by himself.


Onozuka: I really think the way he collects lines and foreshadowing is amazing.


Interviewer: Onozuka-san, do you have any other memorable scenes?

忘れがたいといえば、もちろん12話ですけどね。回想シーンでも何回使われたんだよっていう。あれだけでオープニングに名前入れておいてほしかったぐらいですよ (笑)。あとは35話の永夢との浜辺でのシーンですかね。あの撮影は「トゥルー•エンディング」と平行して進んでいて、あっちでも雨でズブ濡れになってたもんですから、週の半分ぐらいズブ満れでした。なので、最初は浜辺のシーンは「今日は俺、海に入らないからね」とか言ってたんですけど、飯島くんがあんなに頑張ってるのを見てたら「俺も満れとくか」って気になっちゃって。本来なら会話が終わったあと、陸に向かって行くはずなんだけど、さりげなく波打ち際を“殴られ待ち”みたいな角度に歩いたりして (笑)。

Onozuka: The most unforgettable is, of course, episode 12. I wonder how many times it was used in flashback scenes. I wish they had included my name in the opening credits just for that scene alone (laughs). Then there was the scene with Emu on the beach in episode 35. That scene was shot in parallel with "True Ending", and I was soaking wet from the rain in that scene as well, so I was soaked for about half of the week. So, during the beach scene at first I said to myself, "I'm not going in the ocean today," but then I saw Iijima-kun working so hard, and I thought to myself, "I'll go in too". Normally, I would have headed for land after our conversation, but I casually walked along the beach at an angle like I was "waiting to be hit" (laughs).

—お二人の重要回は、山口 (恭平) 監督が多く撮られてるなという印象があるのですが。

Interviewer: I have the impression that Director Yamaguchi Kyohei has shot many important scenes of the two of you.

人やバグスターの生き死にが関わる回は、だいたい山口監督かなって。で、そこに黎斗が関係してることが多いというか、すべての元凶は黎斗なので (笑)。

Onozuka: Whenever people and bugsters are involved in life or death matters, it is usually directed by Yamaguchi. And Kuroto is often involved, or rather, he is the source of all conflicts (laughs).

黎斗のキャラクターも山口監督によるところが大きいですね。自分としては黎斗がトラブルを撒き散らしているようなところがあるので、少し違う演技に変えてみようかなと思ったときもあったんですけど、山口監督の回で「もっとドーンとやってよ!」みたいに振り切った表現を求められることが多くて、それが今のキャラの始まいでした。そしたら諸田 (敏) 監督のときにも「俺のときにはやってくれないの?」とか言われちゃって、なぜか上半身脱ぐことになったり (笑)。それで結局、どの監督のときにもあのキャラで通さなくちゃいけなくなっていったんですけど、もともとブロデューサーの大森(敬仁)さんから「黎斗は共感されないキャラ」と言われていたので、その方向を極められてよかったと思います。

Iwanaga: Kuroto's character is also largely due to Director Yamaguchi. There were times when I thought about changing my performance to something a little different because Kuroto seemed to be spreading trouble, but in Yamaguchi's sessions, he would say, "Do it with more of a bang!", and that's how he came to be the character he is today. Then, even when I was with director Morota Satoshi, I was asked, "Why don't you do it like that with me?" and for some reason I had to take off my clothes (laughs). So, in the end, I had to play that character no matter which director I worked for. Originally, Omori-san, the producer, told me that "Kuroto is a character who is not sympathetic," so I am glad that I was able to master that direction.


Interviewer: Now, as we come to an end, please give us your thoughts on the past year.


Iwanaga: At first, I really didn't know how to expand the character, as this was my first attempt at a drama, but in order to differentiate myself from the other riders, I thought, "Let's go all out on the crazy parts," and that's what I did. I was happy that what I thought about and did received an OK from Director Yamaguchi and was also recognized by everyone. Playing the role of Kuroto, I found a switch that transformed me, or rather, when I felt like I was about to be defeated, I said to myself, "I am God!" I hope I can continue to challenge myself in the future.

徹っちゃん自身がマジで天才だもんね! ホント、黎斗に一ハマってたと思うし、貴利矢にしても僕の地を拾ってキャラクターの肉付けをしていただいたところもあるんじゃないかという気がしてます。1年といっても僕の場合は半分ぐらいなんだけど、それでもずっと貴利矢という役について考えていただけに、アドリブなんかも九条貴利矢として言ったのか、小野塚勇人として言ったのか自分で区別がつかないほど我が身に馴染んでる感じが強くて。あと、離れてた期間があったからこそ、「人はなぜ「仮面ライダーエグゼイド」にハマるのか?」を客観的に見られたところがあって、そういう関わり方ができたことが貴重な体験でした。そして、最終話で永夢がゲーム病の被害者の名前を読み上げていく中に「九条貴利矢」とあったことで、「どう死のうか」から「まだまだ死ねないな」という考えになれたのも良かったです。まぁ、ラストシーンが作さんとだったのは意外すぎましたけど (一同笑)。

Onozuka: Tetsu-chan himself is a real genius! I think I really got into Kuroto, and I also think that he picked up on my ground and fleshed out Kiriya's character. In my case it's only been half a year, but I have been thinking about the role of Kiriya for so long that I feel so familiar with him that I cannot tell whether I am speaking as Kujou Kiriya or Onozuka Hayato when I ad-lib. Also, because I was away from the show for some time, I was able to ask myself, "Why do people get hooked on Kamen Rider Ex-Aid?" It was a valuable experience for me to be able to be involved in such a way. In the last episode, when Emu read out the names of the victims of game disease, I was glad to see "Kujou Kiriya," which made me think "I can't die yet" instead of "How shall I die?" Also, it was too unexpected that the last scene was with Tsukuru-san (everyone laughs).

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