Premium Bandai Shop Interviews Ryoma Sengoku Actor
To promote the recent release of the Dragonfruit Lockseed, Premium Bandai interviewed Tsunenori Aoki, who played Ryoma Sengoku in Kamen Rider Gaim.
The film, Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider Drive & Gaim: Movie Wars Full Throttle releases on December 13th, and one of the revelations shown in the trailers is the shocking return of Ryoma Sengoku! Previously thought to have been be hurled to his death from the top of a building by Overlord Baron in the final episodes of the television series, the brilliant yet unprincipled scientist is seen in trailers wearing a respirator mask and using a never before seen energy Lockseed, the Dragonfruit Lockseed.
Today, Bandai Premium announced on their website that a DX version of the Dragonfruit Lockseed is now available for purchase. The Lockseed works with the existing DX Genesis Driver transformation belt, and features unique Dragonfruit themed jingles, attack names, and well known quotes used by Ryoma Sengoku from the television series including, “Kill Process!” (for terminating the functions of other Genesis Drivers), and “It’s just something I’m into. What can I say?”
In an interview with Premium Bandai, actor Tsunenori Aoki had some fascinating perspectives on what went into his portrayal of the playful yet unprincipled scientist:
Interviewer: “What are your reflections after a full year of playing Ryoma Sengoku?”
Aoki: “It was difficult because I myself am not a genius and had to play a genius… so it was pretty difficult to play Ryoma Sengoku… There were times that I had to act like a genius and other times that I had to act like a fool.”
Interviewer: “What went into your portrayal of Ryoma Sengoku?”
Aoki: “I had heard from the beginning that I was going to have an amazing death. Then I heard I was going to become the major bad guy. But when I was reading and rereading this character’s lines in the script, I thought there was a part where I couldn’t see how that was going to happen; I couldn’t grasp just what kind of character he is. So at first I was thinking that may they hadn’t given me the part they described after all. A lot of the character’s personality was just me kind of playing it like I wanted. “Let’s just go where the wind takes me.” — so it ended up with me telling people ordinary things or explaining how things work while being incredibly smug. There were some really great lines, but they’re really hard to remember.
Aoki: “At first I was wondering, ‘Is he supposed to be a cool character?’ but when I read the script and I saw the Sengoku Drivers saying things like ‘Fi-Fi-Fi-Fight!’ or ‘Soiyaaaa!’ I thought, ‘This probably isn’t something a cool person would really be inventing…’
Interviewer: “When fans heard that Ryoma would be returning after such a long time in the film, fan expectations seem to have been increasing.”
Aoki: “I know! Well, in the movie version, something will happen that didn’t happen before: Takatora will finally face Ryoma. When we were shooting the face-to-face scene with Ryoma and Takatora, we were surrounded by a huge number of fans of the characters, and more and more were showing up. First time I’ve ever experienced that.”
Aoki then goes on to play with the DX Dragonfruit Lockseed, commenting on its weight, construction, and discusses the oddity of using a Dragonfruit when the Duke armor that he previously wore was based around a Lemon; the interviewer mentions the new form’s very stylish looking red appearance, flowing cape, and increased level of power.
When asked about his favorite Lockseed from the television series, Aoki says that it’s the Walnut Lockseed used by Team Baron member Zack. Aoki relates a touching story about Gaku Matsuda, the actor that played Zack during the show’s run:
Aoki: Gaku told me began to learn dance around the time of his high school exams from a very skilled instructor. Gaku told me he too really came to love dance, and he called his teacher “Mr. Walnut” (Kurumi). Unfortunately, this dance teacher passed away at a very young age due to an illness. Gaku said he practically rejoiced when he heard he’d been chosen to be one of the actors and dancers in Team Baron, but when they told him that he was chosen for the Kamen Rider Knuckle role, Gaku said, ‘Mr. Walnut’s still looking out for me.’ — it really touched me. I think because it meant so much to him, I really cherish the Walnut Lockseed too… I think that would have touched the heart of even an indifferent professor. Zack’s an amazing character with a great heart. To go from ‘BANANA?! BANANA?!’ to what he became… Zack became a really great role.
The DX Lockseed is available only for order on the Premium Bandai site. Pre-orders begin now, with orders concluding at 11 PM JST on January 5, 2015 and orders shipped in March of 2015.
Source and Image Credit: Premium Bandai
All English translations are accredited to The Tokusatsu Network staff members. Please do not repost without crediting and directly linking back to the original Tokusatsu Network article.