Veteran tokusatsu voice actor Tomokazu Seki plays Taishi Manaka and voices AkaRenger in The High School Heroes, airing July 31.
Note: The above video is region-locked to Japan only viewers
Upcoming tokusatsu drama The High School Heroes is a collaborative project between Toei, TV-Asahi, and Johnny’s Entertainment. The drama stars the members of Johnny’s Entertainment group Bishounen as the hero team, and familiar faces and names from other tokusatsu productions have been announced to join the cast, such as veteran voice actor Tomokazu Seki and Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger‘s Seiya Okada.
Toshiro Yanagiba as
Headmaster Danjuro Sumitomo
Headmaster of Itsuboshi Academy, Danjuro Sumitomo loves the school very much and hides traces of trouble to maintain the school’s image. He also conceals his great ambition and is the “final boss” in this production.
My family was very happy to hear that I got the role, and that’s the first thing that really pushed me forward. I’ve never even had a taste of this kind of production before, so this is probably the best kind of challenge to tackle as I turn 60.
I’ve thought about things I haven’t tried before, like intonation, accents, delivery of lines, and so on. My plan for rehearsals was to go in thinking, “Let’s try it this way.” I expected it to be over if I was dismissed, but they liked what I did, and I’m glad I tried. (laughs) I’m confident that you’ll see Toshiro Yanagiba like you’ve never seen him before. I felt inspired by the costumes as my outfit was decided, so I hope you notice that. I think it is an honor as an actor to take a role and have people wonder how that person will play the character. For me, I have a good feeling that this production and this character will break whatever image people have held of me.
This is my first time working alongside all these young actors, and I’m looking forward to spending this time with them. I’m also a big fan of Mio Nakayama, so it’d be quite a shame if we don’t have any scenes together. (laughs)
It’s a lot of fun to jump into a new production feeling fresh, and I hope you’re excited for this one!
Mio Nakayama as
Ruriko Manaka, Taisei’s mother
Ruriko loves her son Taisei dearly and warmly looks out for him, showing him new things about the world.
Never in my dreams did I think I’d be in a sentai hero show when I was told about the drama, but I figured this could be a new challenge if I went in and enjoyed it. As Rumiko, I want to play a mother that understands her son, Taisei (played by Taisho Iwasaki), better than anyone in the world.
It’s been so long since I performed with Toshiro Yanagiba, and it felt quite strange to meet him again like this. I don’t know if our characters will actually cross paths, but… (laughs)
We’re filming during a hot summer so I hope Taisho Iwasaki and the other boys take care to stay hydrated.
Tomokazu Seki as
Taishi Manaka, Taisei’s father
Taishi developed the hero system his son Taisei uses to transform. Taishi is also a former student of Itsuboshi Academy, and the truth behind his death remains hidden.
I’ve loved tokusatsu heroes forever, and my heart was racing when I heard what this show would be about. I got even more and more excited to learn that Himitsu Sentai Gorenger was connected because I watched that show as a child. I used to play pretend as Gorenger, and in the Super Sentai series, and many times I’ve been entrusted to voice AkaRenger when Naoya Makoto [AkaRenger’s actor] was unavailable. It really feels like fate brought to my destiny, to play this role.
As Taishi Manaka, I want my son to look up to heroes and to live strongly as one. And because Taishi is a character who makes the transformation devices, I’d also like to transform just once. (laughs)
Tomokazu Seki’s voice can be heard in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger in the narration and the Mobilates (the transformation device), AkaRenger in multiple tokusatsu films, the various parka ghosts in Kamen Rider Ghost, and more.
Shigeyuki Totsugi as
Advisor of Taisei Manaka’s Academy Defense Club, Kiyoharu Tenri is understanding of Taisei’s mannerisms and seems to be a teacher who’s there for his students. However, Mr. Tenri has a hidden past…
I’ll be honest, when I got the part, I was worried about being the noticeably older guy among all these young people. (laughs) But it really helped that everyone greeted me warmly. In playing a teacher, I felt that I had to be very open-minded and acted with that in mind.
The High School Heroes is a summer drama, and my eldest son, soon to be 5, has been saying that he’ll definitely want to break a watermelon this summer. I’m worried about how many watermelons I’ll have to buy for him. (laughs)
Yumena Yanai as
Hana is Naoya (MidoHero)’s sister and Ichika (MomoHero)’s classmate. She is also a member of the News Club and by chance gets deeply involved with the Academy Defense Club while gathering material around school.
This is my first time playing in a sentai hero show, but I’m really happy I can with the team of Manatsu no Shonen again. I’m playing a similar role again, but I’m excited to play her a little differently this time! In Manatsu no Shonen, I played a very strong character, but for a 17-year-old character, I really want to bring out her refreshing and energetic qualities as well as her sweet, innocent side. Look forward to being able to see Himitsu Sentai Gorenger. Enjoy the scenes at the retro cafe too.
Manatsu no Shonen (translated as Midsummer Boys) is a drama that aired from July-September 2020 that also starred the members of Bishounen.
Seiya Osada as
Fumito Kazami, the News Club advisor
Seiya Osada played Nada / Gaisoulg in 2019-2020’s Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger.
Ayaka Minami as
Ako Narusawa, Headmaster Sumitomo’s secretary
Yuki Wada and Kosei Hiyama as
Shuichi Sakai and Kenji Sakai, student council members
The High School Heroes begins airing on TV Asahi on Saturday, July 31 at 11:00 pm.
Source: TV Asahi