A new addition to Kamen Rider Saber’s writing team, Hiroki Uchida discusses how he became a scriptwriter.
Starting with episode 32 of Kamen Rider Saber (aired April 25, 2021), Hiroki Uchida joins the show’s writing team. At 29 years old, he has already been involved in shows like Ultraman X, Ultraman Orb, and Mashin Sentai Kiramager as well a number of anime and dramas. A tokusatsu fan himself, Uchida explains how he became a scriptwriter.
Hiroki Uchida, Fan of Tokusatsu and of Entertainment
Hiroki Uchida graduated from Tokyo Polytechnic University’s Department of Imaging Arts. He aspired to be a scriptwriter while working on independent films as a student, and at 23, Uchida made his debut on Ultraman X. He continued on to write for Ultraman Orb and for the Mashin Sentai Kiramager Talk CD, but he was also in charge for the drama Toshishita Kareshi (Younger Boyfriend). Uchida has even demonstrated his skills on anime productions such as A Certain Scientific Railgun T.
Regardless of the medium, Uchida loves all forms of entertainment. “I’m a fan of the Fuji TV late-night programming block ‘noitaminA’ in addition to tokusatsu. And in high school, filming for the Kamen Rider Kiva movie was close by, so I got a friend to be an extra with me,” he laughed.
Tokusatsu was also Uchida’s main impetus for pursuing scriptwriting. “I was really interested in the staff side of things while I was in high school, particularly in the scriptwriting,” he mentions. After enrolling in the Department of Imaging Arts, studying the ins and outs of video production inspired him to become a scriptwriter.
“I love all genres of entertainment. During my time in university, I thought it was great that scriptwriters could be involved in anime, dramas, movies, et cetera. I love writing too, so I thought it might be a better fit for me than acting.”
“There were scriptwriting classes,” Uchida continued, “but it was mostly self-study for me. I read scripts in magazines, and I studied the basics of scriptwriting.”
Making His Debut
While in university, an upperclassman introduced Uchida to Kengo Kaji, the director of shows like Ultraman Max and Ultraman Ginga. The train station nearest to where Kaji taught classes was the same as one nearest to Uchida’s school, so the two built up working relations. While helping Director Kaji on a movie, Uchida was introduced to Ultraman staff. Uchida admitted, “It was a really, really lucky streak.”
“At the filming site,” he recalled, “people introducing me said that I resembled Ultraman Ginga‘s Takuya Kusakawa [who played Tomoya Ichijouji]. Other than our hairstyles though, we’re nothing alike,” Uchida chuckled.
Uchida later entered a competition to work on Ultraman and caught his lucky break, debuting with the script for episode 12 of Ultraman X. “As a toku fan, I was very moved,” he confessed regarding seeing his work on TV for the first time. “I still go back and watch it sometimes.”
On the other hand, it was difficult being a fresh, freelance scriptwriter. “There’s no one to report to, and the more experienced writers I could talk to were usually away at other locations…”
Writing for Kamen Rider Saber
With his involvement in Kamen Rider Saber, Uchida has now had a hand in the three titans of tokusatsu (Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and Super Sentai). “There is some pressure,” Uchida admits, “but unlike with Ultraman where the scripts are finished before filming even starts, Kamen Rider scripts are written as episodes are filmed. It’s kind of refreshing to write scripts with working characters to refer to.”
Six years of experience has been invaluable to him as well. “I can write more quickly than I could when I started, and I can incorporate other people’s ideas during meetings. My motivation at the moment is to pour my efforts into my work without hitting a writing block.”
Regarding Kamen Rider Saber, “There are a lot characters, and each one has a purpose. I want to know more about all of them, so I have this urge to give them more screentime,” he laughed. “But right now, all of these characters are gearing up to face Master Logos. How they will fare is something to keep an eye on.”
Kamen Rider Saber currently airs on TV-Asahi on Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM (Japan Standard Time).
Source: Mantan Web