In Pia’s interview with Zenkaiger‘s lead actor Kiita Komagine, he reflects on his experience on the show.
The almost year-long filming of Zenkaiger is coming to an end. Thank you for your hard work!
Did it go by very quickly?
The shooting period actually felt super long. I thought… “just another half a year?”… “just another month?” There were times when I felt drained, but that’s because a lot was going on.
But when filming was over, I felt like it was too soon. I honestly feel like it hasn’t hit me yet. While we’re done shooting, the broadcast and events aren’t.
That said, if you ask me if it feels too quick? I honestly feel like it’s been very long (laughs).
How do you honestly feel right now? Now that filming is over.
I feel like I’ve done everything, and that we can finally unload. It was a really great experience, and it was an intense year of growth for me. So I feel accomplished. I have no unfinished business, and I can say for myself that I really gave it my all (laughs).
In what way do you feel you’ve grown?
This is the first time I’ve ever played a lead, and it’s because of that experience that I grew so much. I learned little by little what film sets are like. I honestly feel like I’ve become more reliable as an actor. There are more people who see it that way now too. Maybe they see I’ve grown.
And in another aspect, I can now see how the Super Sentai series involves many and how it brings dreams to children. The more I have learned, the stronger my admiration for heroes has become.
You’re closer to being one compared to everyone else, but your admiration for them has deepened.
When I was cast as the lead of Zenkaiger I was like, “I get to be a hero people look up to!” But when I started playing one, I realized just how meaningful they are and just how far and out of reach their existence is from me. I really did believe that I couldn’t become a real hero.
Do you have any everlasting impressions after filming?
I enjoyed filming every episode. I really enjoyed having a boxed lunch with everyone during break. They were cold during the winter times, so we’d huddle around a heater to warm up our food and eat. It’s those little moments that I remember the most.
Maybe it’s because the majority of the cast are the same age.
That’s true. I was able to get along with everyone without thinking too much about their characters. I’m not the type to put on walls anyway but it’s because we had one year of filming that I knew I could just be frank with someone.
Tell us a story of how close you are with everyone!
Let’s see here… I can’t say it’s a story of how close we are, but everyone has such interesting personalities that none of us are on the same wavelengths (laughs). Like when we’re in the dressing room, there were so many times when they all thought I was talking about something else when I talking. I don’t bother correcting them and saying something like “yeah I’m actually talking about this thing…” I pretend not to notice and just continue on with my story.
That would be a very odd thing to see from the outside (laughs)
But it’s those times where I realize how much people look up to me. People would all call out to me at the same time saying, “Kii-chan, Kii-chan!”
Also, one time during filming, Ryo Sekoguchi who plays Stacey got flustered and I just shouted out to him “just do this!” We had tough days too, but I had a lot of fun.
You’re like the big brother presence on set.
You think so? (laughs).
Now that you’ve finished filming, tell us about the strong points of Kiita Komagine — The Actor
My ability to bond quickly on set!
Perhaps it’s because of everyone being around my age…
Also, I now realize once again that I hate losing. I could not perform any action or do any post-dubbing at first, and I felt frustrated. So I devoted myself into overcoming my frustration and put in the time to practice more. That is my strong point after being on Zenkaiger.
I’ve interviewed you many times for Pia, and I realized that you’ve mentioned how you find dubbing difficult each time. Have you gotten used to it after a year now?
I really was bad at first, but now it’s gotten easier. During recording, the producers and ADR staff hardly give me any orders now. At first, I read what was written and that took everything I had. But I’ve been slowly been able to adlib more and more spontaneously.
You’ve grown because you faced your challenges without backing down.
I’ve been getting more compliments from the voice actors. I wasn’t told this directly, but apparently a voice actor told a producer “Kiita is really good at recording!” I was like, “Tell me, not them!” (laughs). You have to tell me or else I wouldn’t think I’m growing (laughs). After knowing that, I was able to take on dubbing with more confidence.
Now, tell us about an issue for Kiita Komagine — The Actor
Let’s see here… probably the fact that I don’t take things seriously.
How is that an issue?
I feel like it could be an issue one day. I hope I’ll be able to shift moods appropriately. For better or worse, there were many times where my weaknesses on set turned out to be my strengths. It was a place where me not taking things seriously worked in my favor. Above everything else, the character, Kaito, really freed me. Because… down the line, I stopped reading the script.
What? You stopped reading the script?
Maybe I don’t read it thoroughly, would be more correct. I thought it would be better not to read the script in order to play Kaito more true to my heart. I thought it would look more natural if I took the script, and added my own expressions that I’d think up on scene.
There was a lot of ad-libbing on the set of Zenkaiger. It was a place where cast and staff played around, and I’ve really just gotten used to that environment so I’m really uneasy about going to work on other sets…
Part 2 of the interview will be released on a later date.