Team TakoNet interviews Hayato Isomura about his role as Alain / Kamen Rider Necrom in Kamen Rider Ghost and the significance of takoyaki to his character.
(Caution: This interview contains spoilers for Kamen Rider Ghost.)
Takoyaki (balls of octopus fried in batter) is a popular Japanese stall food and a staple at most festivals around Japan. In Kamen Rider Ghost (2015~2016), takoyaki became an important part of Alain’s character and his development. In this exclusive interview, Team TakoNet spoke with Hayato Isomura about playing Alain and why takoyaki became so important.
Thank you for letting us have this interview!
My pleasure. I’m happy to hear that I have fans around the world.
For readers who might not know, can you tell us about the character you played in Kamen Rider Ghost?
I played Prince Alain who transforms into Kamen Rider Necrom, the third Kamen Rider to appear in the series. He starts out by leading the Gamma to take over humans, but as he experiences more of the human world, he turns to fight for humans instead.
The enemy-turned-hero is becoming increasingly common in Kamen Rider characters. How did it feel to change sides?
It was very interesting to see Alain change over the course of the series. He is very firm in his beliefs, and you can see him struggling as he experiences things that contradict those beliefs. The way he learns more about humans is a lot like how a child might experience the world around them for the first time. I think this “pure and innoncent” side of Alain was really important in making the change feel authentic to him and to me. As Alain grew and changed, I feel I grew a lot alongside him in learning about how complex the world and people can be, and that made the role a lot of fun to play.
A lot of fans really enjoyed how takoyaki became a recurring theme for Alain. Can you tell us more about how that happened?
So in the show, Alain meets Fumi, an elderly woman who runs a takoyaki stand. Because Gamma don’t need to eat, it was a new experience for Alain to taste food for the first time. She became a guide of sorts to Alain with her wisdom and perspective until the character passed away. As his way of remembering her, Alain wears outfit Fumi made for him and is often seen eating takoyaki after this point.
As for the takoyaki, it is shaped like a ball, so it fit the eye motif in the series, but really, it was inspired by Riku Asutori. He’s an artist who made a YouTube video praising takoyaki that became very popular that year, so the staff wanted to take advantage of the timing. I was really surprised when I first read the script, but it started to piece together when I learned about Riku Asutori’s video. (laugh) Please give it a watch because I think it’s a unique reaction to takoyaki.
How about the scene where Alain is fighting in his new outfit while holding a box of takoyaki? What was that like?
It was a little hard at first. (laughs) I practiced a lot to get used to moving while holding the box, and it was a lot of fun to watch after we finished recording. I was really happy to see how well it turned out. I’m really grateful for the stunt team and Director (Koichi) Sakamoto for their guidance in choreographing that fight.
Did you enjoy getting to eat takoyaki throughout the show?
Absolutely! Even now, takoyaki reminds me of the fun I had on the show and with the cast and crew. (laughs) I should really see if we (the cast) can get together for a takoyaki party at some point.
Thank you again for letting us interview you. Can we have a final message?
I’d like to say thank you to Team TakoNet for this opportunity and to the Alain / Kamen Rider Necrom fans out there. It really fills my heart knowing that I have many fans outside of Japan. Kamen Rider Ghost‘s ten-year anniversary isn’t far off now, so hopefully there will be something fun for the fans. Lastly, if you haven’t yet, please try takoyaki when you get the chance, and I hope you enjoy it!
(NOTE: While it is true that Isomura played Alain / Kamen Rider Necrom in Kamen Rider Ghost, this interview is a work of fiction.)