Kent Ito as Gorou Shares Moments in OSHI NO KO

©Aka Akasaka x Mengo Yokoyari/Shueisha, "OSHI NO KO" Partners

It is extremely rare for the first episode of any anime series to be 90-minutes long. As such, we are excited to share another interview this week featuring Kent Ito, the voice of Gorou from 【OSHI NO KO】! We asked him about TV anime 【OSHI NO KO】and his thoughts about the first episode. 


Were you familiar with 【OSHI NO KO】 before you were asked to perform as Gorou?

Kent Ito: Yes, due to the manga’s popularity and how it was trending, I was able to actually read it before I was given the role. I’m actually now caught up with the series!

What was your first impression when you saw the script for the anime series?

One of the first things that I noticed about the script was that it’s pretty much the same as the manga, but I really liked how the director picked up on certain things to really emphasize.

For manga as a medium, it’s read at the audience’s own pace. But in the animation, you hear certain things you wouldn’t get from just the reading alone, which makes the anime, despite being so faithful to the manga, really interesting.

You can actually hear the characterization during the banter between Aqua and Ruby, which adds more length to it. The way the director adapted the anime from the manga is very interesting to me.

©Aka Akasaka x Mengo Yokoyari/Shueisha, “OSHI NO KO” Partners

For 【OSHI NO KO】, there was an audition to decide which voice actor would get the role. How did you prepare for the audition? Were you initially aiming to be Gorou?

Actually, in preparation for the audition, I read the manga. I read it to understand Gorou’s emotions because, in the very first episode, Gorou’s role, unfortunately, comes to an end. However, he continues on as Aqua, so it is important to understand Gorou’s motives and emotions and how they carried through to Aqua in order to understand the audition much better.

And yes, I did aim to be Aqua and Gorou initially. But I also think that the image of my voice is actually more suited to Gorou than Aqua since Aqua has an image that’s more energetic or handsome.

Gorou and Ai (voiced by Rie Takahashi) have a unique relationship, which becomes pivotal later after episode 1. What was the working experience like with Rie Takahashi-san?

While I am the “senpai” for two or three years (with 10 years within the agency), I’m really happy that I’m able to work with her again. Considering that she’s one of the voice actors at the forefront of the industry, I’m very honored to work with her again.

I also think it’s very interesting considering the dynamic between the characters as doctor and patient. They’re not just idols and fans, or man and woman. And, of course, idols having boyfriends is taboo in this culture, but this series really makes us think about things we don’t want to think about.

I think it’s a very eye-opening experience. When working with the rest of the cast, since Ai (Rie Takahashi) is the mom of the series, it sometimes felt as though we were the mother and father of the group.

©Aka Akasaka x Mengo Yokoyari/Shueisha, “OSHI NO KO” Partners

Could you share some highlights from the scenes you’ve voiced so far from【OSHI NO KO】?

As Gorou, the rooftop scene is a very big highlight. Ai is talking about the reasons why she lies and how Gorou is understanding that. During this scene in the manga, it’s written something along the lines of “You’re a dazzling, amazing star, and I’m just a fan of yours”… While the furigana of the word shows “fan”, the kanji actually reads “slave.” So the hidden meaning is very deep-rooted within Japanese culture.

I wanted to highlight this cause I needed to think about how to carry the nuance of the word “slave” when saying “fan”. And not just a normal fan, but one that understands and accepts Ai wholeheartedly.

Also, the ending of the first episode is where Aqua and Ruby are high schoolers and are off to school in the end. I think that scene is amazing because it’s something that was done in such detail that it tells the story of what happened within the 10 years of Ai’s passing.

As kids, you’d always see them bicker and argue, but in this scene, Ruby calls Aqua “Onii-chan,” which is something that you’d never heard from them before. And you can really see how Aqua BECAME the older brother and took that position through how he naturally protects Ruby even though his reason for living is revenge. Likewise, Ruby now has a lot of respect for Aqua, and I love how they captured that in the anime.

©Aka Akasaka x Mengo Yokoyari/Shueisha, “OSHI NO KO” Partners

Were there any memorable moments during the recording session for【OSHI NO KO】?

Because it’s a 90-minute episode, but my role was during the first 15 minutes, I was glad I was able to observe my fellow voice actors’ cause for the first 15 minutes. We all still like to observe each other. I’m really glad that I was able to meet everyone and see everyone’s acting, and that in and of itself is very, very memorable to me.

 

Today you had the live event and screening. Could you perhaps share some thoughts on the event, the fans reactions, and anything regarding today’s events?

I was very happy I managed to see the fans’ reactions. This further boosted my confidence in that this is a very good piece of art, which I’d already thought of in the beginning, but this further solidified that fact for me.

 

At the special 90-minute episode screening today, you guys were talking about the opening theme song by YOASOBI. What are your thoughts about the opening considering the hidden meanings within the song?

First off, regarding the lyrics, YOASOBI tends to create songs from stories. So when they talked with Akasaka-sensei to create the lyrics based on the story, I was very surprised. Truthfully, I’ve actually only heard the song twice so far, and I didn’t get a chance to really listen to it, but I really wanna read the story while listening to the lyrics to get a deeper understanding.

Regarding the song itself, YOASOBI has stepped into a new zone and something that has never been done before. It has that “idol sparkle”, especially in the chorus, but it also has that sense of mystery and secrecy, maybe even suspicion, that you can especially hear in the rap part. It doesn’t just showcase the of idol culture, but it also shows the not-so-sparkly side of what’s behind it.

©Aka Akasaka x Mengo Yokoyari/Shueisha, “OSHI NO KO” Partners

Any final comments to both fans in Japan and international fans?

It’s finally here! I’m very, very excited. I was actually selected as Gorou about a year ago, so I’ve waited to be able to say this for a very long time. Please enjoy Gorou even though he only appears for a very short time.

And because this touches on the entertainment industry in Japan, and how it’s depicted, I believe that the overseas fans will see a lot of cultural differences not only be a surprised, but also hold some suspicions as to why things are the way they are and accepted.

But, even Japanese fans might be surprised because they don’t always see the face behind the actor and there are quite a lot of impactful scenes that showcase this in【OSHI NO KO】. I hope that everyone enjoys them to the fullest. There are so many tiny stories weaved into this series and I hope that you all enjoy this story to the end.


Special thanks to Kent Ito and KADOKAWA for the opportunity. 【OSHI NO KO】 is now streaming on HiDive and other platforms. Yen Press is publishing the manga in English. The latest video contents are on the official 【OSHI NO KO】 YouTube channel. For additional information on 【OSHI NO KO】, check out the official EN Twitter account @oshinoko_global.

Interpreter: Adele San 

Translator: Solace

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