Coming courtesy once again of ace translator and member of Team HJU, Levi Musashi, we have a fresh interview about Garo Spinoff, ZERO- Black Blood’s first movie, “White Chapter,” featuring lead actor Rei Fujita as well as director Ryu Kaneda.
Considered one of the top creators in the tokusatsu world, Keita Amemiya is the head director of GARO, source of the spinoff, Extinct Wolf (ZERO) BLACK BLOOD. The first movie, White Chapter, came to theaters on March 8th. The next day, lead Rei Fujita (the Silver Knight, ZERO), and the director Ryu Kaneda gave the following interview, which has only been edited for formatting.
–What do you think about Osaka?
Fujita: I came a year ago for the last GARO movie. The people of Osaka really have sharp wit, so I had to prepare myself for today. (laugh)So, I’m looking forward to greeting the fans, and I hope they take it easy on me.
Kaneda: My view of Osaka… well, the fans… actually, I just keep looking at the women. (laugh) Osaka women are beautiful!
–Mr. Fujita, when you heard about this opportunity, how did you feel?
Fujita: I have been involved with GARO for 9 years, and Konishi was always at my side, (Ryosei Konishi played Saejima Kouga) and we fought along side each other. This time, he went to promote the movie at the Japan Expo in France. But, as he is not at my side this time, I feel the pressure to fill his shoes.
–Mr, Kaneda, when did you hear about this project from Mr. Amemiya?
Kaneda: Actually, I brought up the idea. Exactly one year ago, I said, “I’d like to make a film starring Fujita as ZERO.” And he said, “Sure, sounds good.” It was just when we finished The White Night special, and I wanted him to warm up to the idea of a ZERO series. By chance, I had a chance to get together with Fujita after the first series of Makai Senki and I watched him grow. “Who is this little guy? He’s walking already!?” (laugh) During the first season, he was still a boy, at 17 years old, and couldn’t walk straight yet. (laugh) But, after the second season of Makai Senki, he picked up his stride. (Everyone in the audience laughs) Well, Fujita grew, and also story of the Silver Knight began to develop. Many things naturally came together at the same time, so we were able to make this movie.
Fujita: At the end of Makai Senki, we had a fan event, and I felt like I had graduated when I received flowers along with Konishi. I cried like a baby, but Amemiya said, “I wasn’t planning to let you go just yet.” I was really surprised. I didn’t know what to say.
–You went through a lot of changes working on the show in the past 9 years, from age 17 to 25.
Fujita: Yeah. This time, working together, I felt even closer to Mr. Kaneda. Working on the character of Rei again, I feel I have a better hold of his personality. This time I thought that he was not only a friend of Kouga, but the strongest character in the GARO world. So, even if he had lost a battle in the past, Kouga was always there to help in the end. But, as the character of Rei developed, he became more independent, felt the weight and responsibility of the Makai Knights, and I tried to use it to his advantage. Rei looked up to Kouga, so he wanted to use what he learned from Kouga. He respects Kouga.
Kaneda: He left Kouga with a feeling of respect. This time he shouldn’t forget that the genius Makai Wizard, Cain (Naoki Takeshi?) and for some reason Yuna, a woman using a Makai Sword are in the picture, too. They don’t have any lines in the movie, but when designing these 2 characters, we started from the point of view that they knew ZERO, also they respect and admire ZERO and would become his partners. So, we went to the set. So, on the set, I called him “Fujita Sempai”.
Fujita: It was really awkward. (shy laugh) The toughest part of the filming was being called “Fujita Sempai” (usually “sempai” is a sign of respect shown to older people, but in this case is being used by an older person to a younger one.) The action director even started calling me that, so I felt pressure to not make mistakes. They wouldn’t let me practice. But, I had Konishi Daisensei at my back!
Thanks to Levi Musashi for the tip and the translation! You can check out the interview in it’s original Japanese at Cinema Navi!
EDIT: MisTranslation fixed.