TEKKON KINKREET THE ANIMATION [KURO]
NINOMIYA KAZUNARI interview
Don’t be afraid of the dark.
Give me the power to protect Shiro!!
For the sake of protecting this town… and Shiro, I ran. I soared. I screamed.
I have to show everyone something that they will be satisfied with; that was the pressure that I felt.
There was nothing especially difficult about acting with just my voice. If you ask how is this different from television or radio, isn’t it exactly the same thing? I didn’t think too much about something like having to express myself well with just my voice.
Besides, I am quite a gloomy person (laughs), so even at home I’d collect the instruments and do something like recording some imitations. By myself (laughs). That’s why I don’t feel any difficulty when it comes to doing something in front of a microphone.
Rather than that, the one thing I felt more strongly was that everyone (on the staff) really worked very hard. While I was doing my recording, there are images on the screen in front of me, and on the top right side of the screen, the date is shown. Dates like this day of May 2003, or that day of August 2004 – everyone, regardless of it being the end of the year or New Year’s or Obon, you know that they are working. When I looking at this, without meaning to, I felt pressured…
Actually, the time it takes to complete one page, was one of those days. You get to know that to complete that one page, it takes a huge amount of days, that it really takes years and months. It was only one of the dates amongst the thousands of pieces that I saw on that day, but everyone faces it every day to the point where it is possible for love to turn into spite. When I think about that, being able to join by just being given the task of putting in my voice, I have to produce a result that everyone can be satisfied with; that was the pressure that I felt.
I mentioned that I love Tekkon, so in the beginning I thought it was a joke.
There was no particular audition which decided that I was going to be playing Kuro. Our meeting was a sudden one. I was shocked. At the end of February 2006, I was suddenly told “It’s been decided” by the office. Even if you told me it’s been decided… (laughs) I didn’t know to that extent that it was like, “Ah… I see.” Till then, I totally didn’t hear anything about it. Suddenly, I was told “Tekkon Kinkreet’s going to be made into a movie, it’s been decided.” Because I’ve been saying that I love Tekkon for a long time, at first I thought it was a joke so I said “There you go again~” but I got an extremely cool reaction like “No, it’s really been decided.” (laughs)
After that I went home, and while I was looking at the materials, I went “Crap, it’s really been decided” (laughs) I started getting more and more hyped up. I was frankly happy.
5 years ago, there was a pilot version that received an award at the media arts festival by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. At that time, the person who did the voice for Shiro and Kuro was a friend of mine. And now, it’s my turn to do it, so I was really shocked.
It feels like my voice was the closest to Kuro’s for Mike.
The first time I met (director) Mike, we talked about going out for a meal. When we went out to eat, Mike was like a child, saying “This one’s Shiro’s theme song” or “This is Kuro’s theme song” while letting me listen songs that he had put in his iPod. Eventually, he said “I’ll let you listen to something interesting” and then my voice started playing. Mike said, “I’ve already listened to so many people’s voices that I feel like I’m cursed” and when I looked at it, there was a huge amount of voices from young actors and actresses my age that made the final round. Since there was nothing voices, you can say that they are only picked based on their voices. I was told that it was really difficult searching for the right voice. Probably, my voice was the closest to Kuro’s.
I did my recording alone, but I really cried my heart out.
I first saw this work as a manga, a 2-dimensional production, and I’ve always been reading it because I love it, but then it becomes something with a form on the screen and moves around. I was really happy about this. Morning comes and it turns to night, the sun and moon comes out. And then, I hear the other characters talking. Playing this (character), I felt like I’d entered that world. When I went to collect Shiro’s hats and came back to find out that he was gone, I really felt heartbroken. I recorded alone with my back facing the staff, but when I was talking about the story of the ant and the grasshopper, I really cried my heart out. The director and the producer were there behind me, but I’m glad they didn’t see it (laughs).
After that, when he was shot at the amusement park, I really felt pain. When he was angry I got really angry, when he hit someone I didn’t really hit someone, but in my heart I thought I had hit them. The first day after I finished recording, I went home and got into the bath, and there were some marks on my left arm. I didn’t know why it hurt so much. Then, the second day. When I was recording Itachi*’s scene at the end, it hurt again. When I looked at it, I was grabbing the same place with my right hand… and I thought, “Ah, this is it!” Without realizing it, I was grabbing my left arm with my right hand so hard, bruises were left on my skin. Because I couldn’t move my body, I expressed the power in that way.
I’ve decided that I would follow each and every word from the director.
The one thing that I was most careful with during recording was to “not get used to it.” Even on the second day, I kept thinking… “Not to get used to it, not to get used to it.”
Because I’ve been reading the original form too much, I think I’ve had my own image of the other characters, and my own way of reading it. My own interpretation would be different from those who were looking at it for the first time. Of course even as a movie, Matsumoto Taiyou-sensei’s script is different so it would turn into my own way of reading. That’s why, if you express that during recording, as expected, people who will be watching it for the first time will be thinking something like, “What is this?!” Because of that, I’ve decided to follow each and every word from the director in order for something like that not to happen.
But recording was tough. It was really tough. My recording went on at quite a fast pace, without anyone else’s voices being included. I couldn’t even listen to Shiro’s voice at all.
But, because I’ve always been reading the original work, once I read the script I can somehow hear the other characters’ voices flowing inside my mind. In me, Shiro’s voice was flowing, and I acted while depending on that. There were a lot of places in which the lines and the original work was alike, so I could somehow memorize them. I’m a mania to the extent where I don’t need the script (laughs).
Through my intuition, the image of it being completed during the after-recording was stronger.
It might be a very intuitive expression, but whenever I act on stage or television or in a movie, the character’s… the person’s life is entrusted to me for a short time. It’s like I’m going through a part of that person’s life. That person also has a goal, so since I was only entrusted to only a small portion of that time in that person’s life, I feel strongly about my role to bring that person’s life to the next stage.
However, after I’ve experienced the after-recording, at places where there was nothing, the sound of a car comes in, the sound of a clock’s ticking comes in, the cawing of a crow comes in… In that way, it being slowly extended has a strong image to me. Intuitively, the image of it being completed during the after-recording was strong and was a very mysterious and fun phase. If I get another chance (like this), I’d definitely want to do it again.
*also known as Minotour in the English subs