In this interview with Oricon News, Kamen Rider Revice‘s Kentaro Maeda talks about his role as Ikki Igarashi / Kamen Rider Revi and the impact of Kamen Rider‘s 50th anniversary.
Please introduce yourself!
I am Kentaro Maeda, and I play Kamen Rider Revi / Ikki Igarashi. Ikki is serious and single-minded. He gives all he has to protect what’s important to him namely his family and the bath house. While he fights alongside the devil Vice, I hope that people take note of their batner because that’s also interesting. It’s also interesting how the show combines the ordinary family theme with the unusual devil theme. That’s another point of note.
What were reactions like when your role was revealed?
A lot of pictures were taken the day the Kamen Rider Revice movie came out. (The movie was played directly after Super Hero Senki finished). So many were being taken I couldn’t check my phone at all. When I finally checked, I saw I had 70 messages on LINE, and I think I had about 100 by the end. A lot of people congratulated me, and it felt like a lot of people saw the movie. I felt that I had to work even harder.
What messages stuck out?
There were people who saw the movie and told me they were moved. Even when I appeared in dramas in passing roles, friends would tell me they were so happy they were about to cry, but now that I’m in a movie and a TV show… Everyone was very excited for me.
Your impression of your partner Subaru Kimura
So I really like anime! And getting to be next to Subaru Kimura during after-recording… I was already excited going in, but hearing him was like music to my ears (laughs). The two of us will buddy up and fight. We’re “partners”, but I also see Ikki as something of Vice’s mentor. I’m looking forward to spending a year with a voice actor I respect.
What made you feel “So this is a tokusatsu set”?
There are a lot of action scenes. I think it’s especially in Kamen Rider where everyone practices beforehand and can do the action really well. I’ve done karate, so I want to learn a lot this year to make action one of my strengths. I can observe the suit actors up close too. I want to say that I’m good at action after this year.
The transformation is a big draw to Kamen Rider. How is it here?
Because Revice celebrates the franchise’s 50th anniversary, the “Igarashi pose” makes a 50 with the hands. This is crucial. The hands are also important when he says, “I’m boiling up!” Show the back of your hand and waggle your fingers, particularly the pointer, middle, and ring fingers. Think of the hot spring mark when you try it for yourself.
So detailed! Where did the idea come from?
That would be [Revi’s] suit actor Yuya Nawata. The transformation pose and basic body language came from Mr. Nawata, and from that, I added a bit of myself to the gestures. So this pose was from his ideas and my personal touch.
How much did you practice?
We started filming for the movie shortly after we settled on the pose. Mr. Nawata took a video of our transformation pose, so I watched it at home in front of the mirror, practicing over and over for the movie. Later, I got a belt for filming use, so I practiced while wearing it. It felt strangely nostalgic transforming while wearing the belt. It was supposed to help me practice, but I pretended that I was transforming. I might be 21, but I enjoyed practice this way.
How did it feel to put the belt on?
There have been so many Kamen Riders across the fifty years before me. I could feel their presence in the belt, making it seem very heavy.
What Kamen Rider do you remember the best?
Kamen Rider Kabuto. I was such a weak kid, unathletic and all. But Souji Tendo was the complete opposite of me. He was strong and held himself properly. He was every bit the man I wasn’t then, so I really admired him.
Do you feel pressured from Revice being the 50th anniversary series?
I really feel it, yeah. In Super Hero Senki, heroes from every Kamen Rider and Super Sentai production appear. Even for just the Kamen Rider side, we (working on Revice) have to follow after them. There’s a lot of pressure there. But filming every day is the most fun part right now.
Have you watched Super Hero Senki?
I have! And I had no idea how it was going to use the Revice footage. To be honest, I wondered how much of a surprise it’d be when I watched the movie. At the very end, when I saw the stamps for “Kentaro Maeda” and “Subaru Kimura” being pressed, it really felt like my name was being put out into the world. It made me really happy. It felt like I fulfilled my dream.
What did your family think?
Seems like my parents and my younger sister saw it. But they all watched it separately? Like, my sister took her friends to surprise them, and my mom took her friends to surprise them. But why did Dad go alone? (laughs) But I’m glad they went to see it. I wonder how many times Mom will go see it though. (laughs)
A message for Subaru Kimura
Mr. Kimura, I think I’m going to cause a lot of trouble for you from here on out. I’m going to see you as my mentor my whole life. Thank you for your kindness so far. I look forward to working with you!
What are some highlights for Revice?
I think the atmosphere of Revice will be very different. There are a lot of Kamen Riders that are solitary, but the theme this time is “family”. Be it familial love or human connection or sibling relationships, there’s this theme of people getting closer together that I think everyone will relate to. And this Rider fights alongside a partner. I think it’s cool that Ikki and Vice fight together, and it’d be great if kids looked up to us. I’m sure there are kids who don’t like baths, so I think they might want to jump into the bath if they see how much we’re enjoying it (laughs). We’ve put our all into making Kamen Rider Revice a cool show, so I hope you’ll watch it.
Kamen Rider Revice is the third Reiwa-era Kamen Rider series and celebrates the 50th anniversary of Kamen Rider. The main character Ikki Igarashi signs a contract with Vice, a devil living inside his body, and transforms into Kamen Rider Revi. He fights alongside Vice (who transforms into Kamen Rider Vice), and together, the two fight Kamen Rider Revice against the diabolic organization Deadmans. After making his start in Kamen Rider Saber, Takayuki Shibasaki takes the helm in directing Kamen Rider Revice. Hanta Kinoshita, known for his “Nightmare” series of books, will be in charge of script writing.
Kamen Rider Revice airs on TV-Asahi at 9:00 Japan Standard Time on Sunday mornings.
Source: Oricon News