Kamen Rider Baron: the Banana Who Split on Gokaiger – Henshin Justice Unlimited

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Yutaka Kobayashi, the actor for Kumon Kaito (Kamen Rider Baron), was interviewed by Hyper Hobby and reveals that he almost became Gokai Red and the secret behind his dislike for bananas.

Hyper Hobby: How did you feel when you first got the role?
Yutaka Kobayashi: I just couldn’t believe it when I got the role. I kept thinking, “I’m finally becoming a Kamen Rider!” Then I saw the design for Baron. I was very skeptical, I’ve never been to fond of bananas. Takebe was there when I saw it, we talked for about 20 minutes if I was okay with a banana Rider. That’s when I realized, the day has finally come. The day where I have to overcome my dislike for bananas. So I’m doing my best everyday to try and like bananas. I hope I can set a good example for the kids, don’t be picky.
HH: Have you had the chance to eat bananas on the set yet?
YK: No, not yet. The first thing I do when I get the script is checking if I need to eat bananas. I’m actually scared that it’s gonna happen soon. I didn’t always hate bananas. I participated in a marathon once, and I only ate bananas that day. At the end of the day, I just felt so sick and I blamed the bananas. Ever since then, I’ve just stopped eating them. Kids know me as the banana guy know, so I have to work on it.
HH: Who did you tell first that you got the role?
YK: I told my parents first. They were really happy for me, that I got to be in such a big franchise. I didn’t tell that many people, most of my friends found out after the first press conference.
My friends called my immediately when they found out, cause we had been talking about this before. I told them I’d be a Kamen Rider once I become an actor. We were all equally surprised that it actually happened.
HH: Why did you say you wanted to become a Rider?
YK: One reason is that I love Kamen Rider. But there’s more than that. It’s commonly said that Kamen Rider can open up a path in your career for new actors. I wanted to seize that chance. Some of the hottest actors right now, all started with Kamen Rider. So I thought, let’s become a Kamen Rider then. I even got a driver’s license for bikes because of this. I actually pulled it out during the audition, but the timing was completely off. (laughs)
HH: Is it true that you auditioned for Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger?
YK: Yeah, I was there right until the end. But I had to turn it down because of another job that I had at that time. So, Ryota Ozawa got the role instead and honestly, I think we look very alike.
HH: What are some difficulties with playing Kaito?
YK: He’s the complete opposite of me. I really have to forget who I am and become someone else. I’d never be able to say as cool stuff as he does in real life. He’s constantly seeking power and often comes off as a jerk because of that. While he might come off as an unlikable jerk, this is a story of growing up. It’s gonna be interesting to see how he changes and matures.
HH: What’s your impression of Kamen Rider?
YK: They’re basically cool heroes. I used to watch it as a kid, and I really liked Ryuki. Interestingly enough, just like Ryuki, Gaim also has multiple Riders. I was really happy to hear that. Baron is also based on knight, just like Ryuki too, which made me look past the banana. I can actually imagine kids putting bananas to their ears and pretending to be Baron. I’ve been doing it myself already. (laughs)
HH: How is it working with Eitoku, the suit actor?
YK: It’s been great. There’s been a lot of communication going on. We both know that Baron is supposed to the cool type. We’ve been trying hard to coordinate together, we came to the conclusion to keep things simple. Baron’s transformation pose is very simplistic, which adds to his cocky attitude.
HH: Lastly, what are your hopes for your character?
YK: I’m really looking forward to see how he changes. He’s not really a bad guy, but he might say harsh things. After Kouta, he’ll slowly change, I’m really stoked to see how that unfolds. Hopefully the kids can mature as he does.

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