Marie Kai, who portrayed Chiyoko in Kamen Rider OOO, looks back on the series in an interview with Yahoo!.
Kai, who portrayed Chiyoko, a well-loved character by Japanese fans of the franchise, talks about what it was like being an actress in Kamen Rider OOO with Yahoo!
Yahoo: How did you feel when you were offered the role of Chiyoko?
Kai: I was happy to appear in a series that I’ve always wanted to appear on. I used to be obsessed with Dengeki Sentai Changeman with my little brother when it was on TV. I loved the action scenes so much that I joined the martial arts aikido. After I finished theater school, I appeared in some stage plays. Around that time, I went through an application with the Super Sentai series and went to an audition. After that, after some time had passed, I got an offer to appear in a tokusatsu series and felt that it was fate. My brother was thrilled too.
Yahoo: What did you feel when you heard about the role of Chiyoko?
Kai: It felt like it was the father type of role and I was really honored.
Yahoo: That role began with Tobei Tachibana, who was portrayed by Akiji Kobayashi in the Showa Kamen Rider series right? That character would watch over the house or shop the main character leaves every day and plays a vital role in many of the series.
Kai: But I felt like my character wasn’t like the ones you see in the main Kamen Rider series, but more like the one you see in the parody Kamen Norider by the comedy group the Tunnels (laughs).
Yahoo: You portrayed a character that was free-spirited and into cosplay. Can you tell us about the hardships of your role?
Kai: There wasn’t anything in particular. But Kamen Rider OOO had a story that even adults could enjoy, so there were a lot of serious scenes. I felt like Chiyoko’s main role was to add some light-hearted comedy scenes in the show. She’s able to fit into whatever costumes she had. In fact, the staff asked me what kind of costume I wanted to wear, and I told them that I wanted to try wearing an outfit similar to Heidi from the 70s anime Heidi, Girl of the Alps. They actually made me a traditional and festive Swiss outfit in one episode.
Yahoo: Sounds like a great set.
Kai: Tokusatsu has a long history, and there’s a lot of sets that are very intense. But whenever we filmed scenes at Cous Coussier, there was no looming atmosphere. I was like “what the heck is this warm and cozy atmosphere?”.
I only have pleasant memories of Kamen Rider OOO. I meet up with my costars every now and then. Watanabe Shu (Eiji), Riho Takada (Hina), and I had a small reunion at the beginning of this year.
Yahoo: What’s your most memorable memory?
Kai: Being a part of the 1,000th episode in the history of the Kamen Rider franchise. I got to appear as a Shocker Queen.
Yahoo: This past September celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the series.
Kai: I actually keep my hair and appearance similar to Chiyoko just in case I get called in for some kind of 10th Anniversary project. I didn’t called for anything in the end, but the show remains important to me. Even now, I still see a lot of “I’ve watched Kamen Rider OOO” and messages of thanks on YouTube and on other apps. Whenever I hear words like those, I realize that just how loved the series is.
You can check out Marie Kai’s YouTube Channel Here: