(Translated from an interview uploaded on Manga UP!)
Sakurada Dori x Shimazaki Nobunaga
The concurrent broadcast of both the anime and real-life adaptation of the manga series Kuzu no Honkai, demonstrates a unique development (By Yokoyari Mengo on Monthly Big Gangan). To commemorate this broadcast, check out the talk between the actor and voice actor of Mugi (Mugi is the name of the lead male character in the series) regarding Kuzu no Honkai on Manga UP!
“This is the real sentiment.”
—Firstly, please let us know how you first encountered this series.
Sakurada: About two years ago, I bought a volume of the manga because of the cover!
Shimazaki: Which was the volume which attracted your attention?
Sakurada: It should be either the 2 or 3 volume.
Shimazaki: Ah, it’s his Hanabi-chan (Hanabi is the name of the lead female character in the series).
Sakurada: I was attracted by both the cover and the title of the Manga series, Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s Wish).
Shimazaki: The blotted dots on ズ (zu) in the title was good too right?
—What was the impression that you held when you first read “Kuzu no Honkai”?
Sakurada: I don’t really have good memories of romantic relationships. In a world where nice words are often lined along with ‘love’, such as “love is great”, so when I saw this (referring to the manga), I was taken aback.
Sakurada: That’s why when I first read it, “This is the real sentiment”. Personally, I identified most with Moka’s episode (Mugi’s childhood friend) and her words almost brought me to tears. That left an impression on my heart.
—How did you feel about being selected for the role of Mugi?
Sakurada: From the time I’ve started reading, I always thought “If this becomes a production, I’ll want to be part of it”. Hence, I’m really happy.
—How about you, Shimazaki-san?
Shimazaki: For the preparation of the audition, I started to read the manga. But I was really curious about the ending and such, so I kept on reading and reading. I was completely absorbed and even finished reading the parts which are not in the scope of the audition. For me, when I read manga, I read about the feelings. But also, I often think a lot while I read. Hence I often go “Ah… so this is how the development can go. It’s intriguing.” when I read about a tragic or unsalvageable ending. But when I read Kuzu no Honkai, it made me go “Ahhh……” (a long sigh because of the loss of words to express). It made my heart feel so heavy and couldn’t get up to do anything. For it to pierce through the heart to this extent, I think this is really a good piece of work. That made me want to take up the role of Mugi and for the sake of that, I read it also from Mugi’s point of view. In that way, I achieved a synchronization with Mugi, and it was fun.
“Definitely the time to reveal will come.”
—For the both of you, what kind of impression do you have of Mugi?
Shimazaki: He’s so complicated (LOL). Besides that, he’s quite cynical. That’s what I felt. What about you?
Sakurada: He’s experienced lots of unpleasant things.
Shimazaki: Yes, yes
Sakurada: Truthfully high school students are at an age when they can experience love and have fun. Yet, he takes a philosophical view on many things regarding love.
Sakurada: It’s a part which I think is cool but also feel sorry about.
Shimazaki: There’s also this part which feels like he trying to put on a strong front isn’t it?
Sakurada: The part which he wants to be seen as an adult yar? Especially in front of Akane (Mugi’s one sided love).
Sakurada: That’s right.
Shimazaki: I pictured that “Mugi-kun is that kind of person…” and had the opportunity to share this directly with both the anime’s director and original manga author. I achieved an understanding but to many people, you may not be able to see Mugi’s true intentions now – what does he want to do, and what kind of person he is. The view about him varies from person to person – his actions might displease you, or you would think he’s quite scum – definitely the time to reveal will come. At that time, you will probably discover that he’s not perfect, but I hope through it you also see the more human-side him.
“Just say it already.”
—Mugi and Hanabi respectively have people they like, and are using each other as a replacement. What do you think of such a relationship? If it were you, would you be able to accept to such a relationship?
Both: (thinking…) No.
Sakurada: … meaningless.
Shimazaki: I think so too.
Sakurada: Mostly I think it’s meaningless… Moreover, I’m a clean freak so I don’t’ understand it.
—(LOL) Unless it’s really someone you can allow to your heart
Sakurada: It’s something I don’t really understanding. It’s difficult.
Shimazaki: Somehow it feels like the feelings will get very messy
Sakurada: Yeah, that’s right. The confidence of being able stay devoted to a person will be lost.
Shimazaki: Honestly what I think is, that’s precisely why when reading shoujo manga, “Just get together already!” and similarly, “Just say it already!”
Sakurada: That’s right.
Shimazaki: I understand that it can be intimidating, but first of all Narumi-san (Hanabi’s one sided love, who is actually in love with Akane-san) should go straight on with Akane-san.
Sakurada: It’s intimidating isn’t it? Going straight on to approach the person, might make the situation awkward. It’ll be very agonizing.
Shimazaki: Well, that’s also true. To arrive at Akane, getting a beautiful ending by going straight on with her… (in other words, uncertainty in achieving a good ending with Akane)
Sakurada: After all she’s the last boss (referencing to last stage in games, where last boss is usually the toughest).
Shimazaki: Yar, because she’s the last boss.
—Lastly, please leave a message to the viewers.
Sakurada: It’s an honour to be able to be involved in “Kuzu no Honkai”. From the beginning I’ve liked the original manga series. Hearing that the manga is getting an anime adaptation, I wrote on my own blog that I was looking forward to it. And now, that same person is here getting interviewed along with the Shimazaki-san, voice actor of Mugi. I don’t quite comprehend this development but I’m here, and it’s my “honkai” (desire) (LOL). I wish for more people to know about this piece of work, the TV drama, and definitely also the original manga series. It’s awesome and after watching the first episode of the anime, I felt it stayed very close and faithful to the original story. There are good points of watching how what’s on paper gets developed into animation, and also how the drama expresses this original series on TV. We try our best in doing all of these so that it’s also a merit to the original “Kuzu no Honkai”. As a person who likes the original manga series, I vouch that the anime is also something you can look forward to. Please look forward to it.
—Thank you. And now, Shimazaki-san please.
Shimazaki: On top of putting in the efforts to make the production, to me the love for it is important too. Today, it’s the first time I watched the completed promotional video of the TV drama. Albeit it’s a difficult theme and depiction, the direct approach in bringing out the storyline was very impressionable. Moreover, as I listened to what Sakurada-san said, he really holds a liking, or rather, a passion for this piece of work, but at the same time consciously bring it to fruition. Sakurada-san has sang praises about the anime, but I also look forward to the real-life adaptation of TV drama and Sakurada’s depiction of Mugi. The original manga series, TV drama and anime will end at the same time is one of the charms. On top of that, approaching each theme and answer with the excellent staff and cast behind the works deliver a great work. Watching till the end surely has its meaning, so please do watch Kuzu no Honkai.