Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger‘s Junya Ikeda shared that he was diagnosed with depression two years prior.
Junya Ikeda, best known for playing Gai Ikari / Gokai Silver in 2011~2012’s Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, has since furthered his career in acting, voice acting, and screenplay. Since Gokaiger, he appeared in 2013’s GARO ~Yami wo Terasu Mono~ as Takeru Jakuzure / Flameblade Knight Zen and was announced to voice Knives Millions in Trigun Stampede in July. He even started his own performance series En*Geki in 2015.
While speaking with Oricon News about En*Geki’s sixth production, titled Suna no Shiro (translated: Sand Castle), Ikeda revealed that he was diagnosed with depression two years prior, calling it the “turning point in his life.” Because of the COVID pandemic, the previous work -4D-imetor was forced to be cancelled in 2020 (although the performance would be held in 2021). Ikeda further told that “many things had come up” in his private life and “[he] truly felt like [he would] die.”
However, he continues, “But I’m alive, and I want to show myself as I am now, all of it and candidly.” All of his pain and joy are put into Suna no Shiro, Ikeda explains. “This production is crucial for me to move forward. It’s the first step towards a new me.”
“People can’t do things alone,” he adds. “I truly feel that they have to connect with others, and I want to make that connection through this production.”
Following the publication of Oricon News’ article, Ikeda continued to elaborate through his Twitter account. To quote:
“I wasn’t trying to hide it, but since I touched on it in yesterday’s [Oricon News] article, I figured I should make more mention of it.
About two years ago, I was diagnosed with depression. Though there was suicidal behavior, a series of coincidences saved me, and I finally found it in me to go to a hospital.
After talking to my doctor, I learned that I’ve been suffering fom depression for so long I don’t even know when it started. That said, I’m still here.
But don’t misunderstand, this isn’t all bad! The ability to focus on your time is vital for creative work, and being in touch with your emotions is an incredible power in this world!
I think it is because of these feelings that the meaning of my life shines, so again, it’s not all bad at all.
And thanks to these feelings, I could write the story for Suna no Shiro. And look at that, You can still buy tickets for it! (laughs) Direct marketing at work! Please come see the show!”
Suna no Shiro will be performed in Kinokuniya Hall (Tokyo) October 15-30 and in ABC Hall (Osaka) November 3-13.