Don’t forget while reading this was released 31st of July 2014.
Masuda Toshiki=Kazuki, Kakihara Tetsuya=Kouji, Maeno Tomoaki=Hiro.
Please tell us your feelings now that Rainbow Live ended.
Maeno: I feel a bit lonely. It would be nice to have the opportunity to voice Hiro again. When I was at the recording for the new song in the Over The Rainbow CD to be released this September, I didn’t feel like everything was over.
Kakihara: It’s the same for me at the right too !(右も同じ, literally: the same at the right, it’s an idiom to say you have the same opinion as the person who last spoke. I figured it out thanks to Aroma using it in episode 78 of PP, at around 10:50)
Maeno: I’m sitting at your left though lol.
Kakihara: Pretty Rhythm is a series that was already ongoing, so I’m glad we were able to be part of it with Rainbow Live. Now we have more and more activities and performances, it’s thanks to all the fans and the staff loving our 3 characters.
Masuda: It’s been months since the series is over now, but I often think about how I’d like to do it again.
Kakihara: Especially since we sadly didn’t participate in the dubbing for the movie. (PRASS movie)
Maeno: Actually, at the meeting party to celebrate the successful completion of Rainbow Live, director Hishida told us he wanted to make something new with Over The Rainbow and how he’s confident that if he can make it it’ll turn out good. So the 3 of us would be very happy if the day comes we’re able to voice the characters again in an anime or Drama CD.
Kakihara: It’ll depend of the support of everyone. For one, I didn’t even think we’d get an interview in one of these books lol.
How was the ambiance at the studio during Rainbow Live’s recordings ?
Masuda: The 3 of us would often go outside the booth together.
Maeno: Since the studio was full of girls and had a girl atmosphere.
Kakihara: It was a bit hard lol. It was a place that always had a nice scent.
Maeno: There’s a lot of characters so the studio was pretty much always full. Before the studio got renovated, there was only one toilet so sometimes it was difficult lol.
Also, it was a place easy designed to be easy to record chatting background noises, so whenever we needed those we’re record new ones instead of recycling the same ones over and over. (not sure about my translation so here’s the original jp: あとは、ガヤ録りに余念がない現場で、毎回ガヤを使いまわしせずに録リ下ろしていたんです。)
All the veterans seiyuus were actively participating too. The place always felt like everyone was doing something together.
Did anything happen during the dubbing sessions which left an impression on you ?
Masuda: Whenever I’d shout something, Morikubo san besides me would go “shut up!” lol. I’d answer “it can’t be helped”, plus Kazuki admires Kurokawa Rei which Morikubo san voiced. Kazuki is a youngster who imitates how Rei was back in the days, so I thought I had to shout as much as Morikubo san did when voicing Rei. It was fun. (Sakura Ayane also talked about this in her interview)
Kakihara: Since Pretty Rhythm is a series that usually doesn’t show love scenes directly, I guess I’d say the kiss scene between Ito chan and Kouji ? I was getting worried because it was probably their first kiss for them both lol. I put in a lot of feelings when playing that scene.
Masuda: It was really fun watching it. Like, Kouji is the guy but he’s the one running away, and Ito chan chases after him even though she’s the girl.
Kakihara: Because Kouji has a feminine side and Ito chan has a boyish side. But I know that boyish girls are actually the ones the most maiden like! Boys are attracted to this! That’s why personally, I like Ito chan the most among the girls. There was quite a lot of heavy developments between the families of Kouji and Ito chan, but rather than a drama that’s just flat and going with the flow, I like dramatic developments tangled with serious problems and such. It was really fun voicing in this show.
Maeno: Together with Masuda kun, when Hiro receives a shock and is like “hauua!”, we thought it was something Chairman Norizuki would do as a catchphrase. So when Miki san did it later(ep 45 11:00), and told us he inspired himself from how Hiro did it, the atmosphere was kind of weird lol. (Not sure of the translation, original japanese: Masudaくんと一緒で、ヒロがショックを受けた時の”ハウウア！ ” という言葉は法月主宰の口癖だったんです。だから三木さんがそれを後からやる時に、お手本やってみてって言われた時はかなり変な空気が流れましたね(笑)。)
I was able to do serious dialogues scenes with Miki san. Both him and Nakao Ryusei san are Great Senpais so I think I’ve managed to improve as an actor thanks to voicing with them. (Nakao Ryusei is Kou, Jin and Hijiri’s dad)
Kakihara san and you two, what kind of character do you think Kouji is ?
Kakihara: Kouji kun was raised by his mom who is carrying her past and trauma, so that made him able to be very considerate to the people around him. This also demonstrates itself in his talent for singing and songwriting. When it seems that he won’t be able to get away anymore from the darkness surrounding him, he meets the girls who becomes comrades handing out their hands to him, making him grow as a person. Seeing Rainbow Live from Kouji’s eyes, it’s a story about him growing to become an adult. Like if he was the main character. Pretty Rhythm has a thing for making it so seem every character is like a main character.
Maeno: Kouji is too honest, I don’t think he’s suited for the showbiz world lol.
Kakihara: He would immediately confess « I’m a ghost writer » lol.
Masuda: I think Kouji is the one who grows the most. He even got a girlfriend.
Maeno: Yeah he’s a riajuu. In the final episode it feels as if his character is freed or something.
Kakihara: I did think he was the type to jump that kind of jump. But in the end the most popular with girls was Kazuki.
Masuda: He got a double confession !
Kakihara: Well Naru chan and Ito chan fell for me too, that makes 2 as well.
Maeno: I got tons of people to say Hiro sama ! But Hiro belongs to everyone.
Kouji even made Naru’s song. His talent is really versatile.
Kakihara: He’s incredible !
Maeno: It was probably difficult for “IRL Kouji” too.
Kakihara: That’s Yamahara Kazuhiro san, he’s the one doing most of the Pretty Rhythm songs, especially ours. It’s fun if you think he did the song thinking of how Kouji felt when seeing Naru. Kouji got some sort of power that makes him see beneath someone’s surface, something like their aura, and then naturally makes that into a song. That’s why Naru’s songs reflects Naru, and Hiro’s song reflect how back then he only cared about how much he’d sell.
Kakihara san do you cook like Kouji ?
Kakihara: I used to cook a lot back when I was a student. Now I’m busy so not so much. I probably can only make stuff like pasta now.
Maeno: You’re the one who proposed Kouji makes pasta in the show right ? And you can do stuff like vongole bianco.
Kakihara: It’s easy to make. Also I think the name vongole bianco sounds nice.
Maeno: There was some too during the meeting party to celebrate the successful completion of Rainbow Live.
Kakihara: I often hear that men who like cooking are delicate, or narcissists, I think Kouji may be like that too.
Masuda san and you two, what do you think of Kazuki?
Masuda: Well there’s Hiro with his two face like personality, and Kouji who’s shouldering a trauma, so compared to them Kazuki looked pretty flat at first. In terms of story too, if not for his connection with Hiro and Kouji he wouldn’t have had any problems. He would have been fine as long he held on the feelings of Freedom. So he appears many times giving advice to the different characters, like a nice older brother. So I tried to voice him as someone who doesn’t hesitate, with a straight way directly displaying his feelings. He doesn’t put a filter on his thoughts before saying them. Especially with people younger than him, he’ll definitely say it if he thinks they’re doing something wrong. Thanks to that the people who are around him managed to change little by little.
Kakihara: Kazuki and Kouji are childhood friends so they’ve always got along, but sometimes they didn’t act too familiar with each other. I mean, Kazuki is always like “Freedom!” but he actually can read atmospheres very well, so sometimes he wouldn’t get too privy of Kouji’s problems. Like sometimes he knew he shouldn’t say any more to Kouji, keeping his distance, so in the end he may not be that Freedom lol. But yeah Kazuki is like the envoy of Freedom and love & peace. I think he’s the one who loves the others and takes care of them the most. I’m sure he’s loved by animals too. The girls who’ll fall in love with Kazuki probably have an animal side too lol.
Maeno: Kazuki is like a hot blooded character from a soccer manga. Thanks to the humanity he holds, he was also able to put Hiro on the right path. It’s thanks to him that Hiro grew. So I always thought Kazuki is a good character.
When he was younger Hiro was really similar to Kazuki.
Maeno: That’s right. He was like that until he spent a certain amount of time in Edel Rose. If he never met Chairman Norizuki maybe Hiro would have grown up to be like Kazuki.
Masuda san, who do you think Kazuki would pick between An and Wakana ?
Masuda: He won’t be able to choose. Well personally, I have a hair fetish so if it was me I’d say Wakana with her hair down lol. In the final episode, Kazuki fainted just from getting confessed to. I think he still got a long way to go before he can receive women’s feelings. l I don’t think he can choose Timing-wise as well. Because Kazuki also gets influenced by Hiro, he’s the one who pushed him to put himself on the spotlight. So before choosing either Ann or Wakana, Kazuki first need to understand their feelings, then decide whether he’ll answer them or say something like he’ll first focus on mastering dancing.
Maeno san and you two, what do you think of Hiro ?
Maeno: At first, I was like “what the hell is with this guy”, and I had trouble voicing him. I also asked the director for advice. Some of the staff helped me too, though I also got weird advice like “his heart wants Kouji and his body wants Bell” lol. As the story goes on and he grasps his own humanity, I think he’s one of the characters that grows the most. Once again I have to say I am really happy to have met a character like Hiro.
Masuda: Hiro had the role of the troublemaker. He’d provoke Kazuki and the others, and talks in a way showing he predicted they would get irritated by his provocations. Especially at the beginning, it felt like they were completely dancing on the palm of his hand.
Maeno: But it’s the type of people like Hiro that prevails in the showbiz industry. I’d like to have Hiro’s strength of the heart lol.
Masuda: In the second half after his development, with how much consideration he puts into satisfying his audience, I think Hiro is the strongest among the 3 boys.
Maeno: Yeah he got a professional side. Like how at his solo live he admits he’s not the one writing his songs.
Kakihara: When seeing Hiro on stage it makes me think he really is an idol.
Maeno san do you sympathize with Hiro’s commitment on being an idol?
Maeno: He’s a pro in terms of how thorough he is with his performances. Though there’s also times he do things that weren’t in the rehearsal lol. It’s something one can’t do unless they really are confident, so I think he’s a great entertainer.
Why Hiro was so obsessed with Kouji ?
Maeno: I think it’s because Kouji had talent which he didn’t have. It was a mix of respect and jealousy.
Masuda: I think it’s because his feelings of wanting Kouji to get in the spotlight were very strong.
Maeno: Then there’s how he was confident he was the one who could sing Kouji’s songs the best, and their friendship back when they were both in Edel Rose.
At the beginning of the show, it was surprising to see the opposition between his obsession with Kouji and all the evil things he did, and his tenderness to Bell.
Maeno: Because Hiro is a gentleman with women. But whenever something happens in relation to Kouji he becomes unstable. Then in presence of Kouji and the girls, he’ll act bright and nice as if he’s not concerned with Kouji. This was really fun to voice. (For example, that time he tells Naru and Ito that Kouji is someone who get angry fast, and lie ssaying he doesn’t understand why Kouji doesn’t like him)
Kakihara: It was like if there was a white Hiro and a black Hiro. Whenever he appeared the show would always get weird lol. But I think if it wasn’t for Hiro, Rainbow Live wouldn’t exist.
Maeno: He was an existence that brought in a nice spice.
Masuda: In the late episodes the boys have more and more presence too.
Kakihara: Pretty Rhythm is a series where girls are mainly drawn, but because there’s characters like Hiro that are worth drawing, the boys gets more and more screentime too. So as the opportunities raised for Hiro to be drawn, he got more and more screentime.
In the final episode there was a nice atmosphere going on between Hiro and Naru.
Maeno: That’s right. She comforts him. But I definitely think the only woman for Hiro is Bell. They have their own unique things like the time Hiro says 「きれいな薔薇にはチゲがある」/“Beautiful roses have thorns” and 「そういうこと」/“that’s how it is”. I think Bell is definitely the girl Hiro is the most interested in.
(too lazy to list which episode is which line)
(People who saw the Kinpri movie say the silhouette riding with Hiro during the bicycle jump is Bell, you can recognize her by the hairstyle, and that he still haven’t given up on her even after getting rejected once.)
The Over The Rainbow announcement and live in the final episode was a nice surprise.
Maeno: We were really surprised as well. We didn’t think we’d get to be the final performance of the show. (Technically there’s still Happy Rain footage later in the episode.)
Kakihara: Yeah lol.
Masuda:We were like « what ? Is it really okay ? » lol.
Maeno: Seeing the CG performance, we didn’t know whether to laugh or be excited.
Kakihara: It was also surprising how much Kouji got into the live. I didn’t think he could be so much in high spirits.
Masuda: But thanks to that live scene, we got to see Kouji’s CG model. We’re sorry they had to make a model so Kakihara could sing in the live too. The model only got used once lol.
Maeno: But it was also really fun. Like the « oh no we overslept !» part.
Kakihara: It was like we were competing how much crazy we could voice the jump scene.
Masuda: People weren’t expecting that performance, so in a sense, we and the director managed to betray the viewers’s expectation in a good way.
There’s a lot of people saying Hiro’s shows are the sexiest.
Maeno: Because of the belly button right lol. I also did whispering and stuff like that. At first it was embarrassing but around the live in the second half I tried doing it the most outstanding possible so it was fun.
The 3 of you sang many songs, but the first one was a cover of Boy Meets Girl
Masuda: We actually recorded Boy Meets Girl before the dubbing of the episodes began.
Maeno: I’m part of the generation that was really into TRF, but I still had a bit of trouble recording the song lol. But I was really happy, I would have liked to sing other songs by TRF san, like Survival Dance.
Kakihara: Back then I was living in Germany, but even then I still heard their songs from time to time. Seeing that we’d sing a trio on such an old song, I was thinking “sasuga Avex san” lol. It was an honor. It’s a simple song but catchy. The recording was done pretty fast. Since Pretty Rhythm has dancing and singing I think it’s a big thing we got to do such a powerful song.
As Athletic Core was recorded near the end of the show as opposed to the other songs, did the feelings you put into your characters were different ?
Masuda: As we said Boy Meets Girl was recorded after we were chosen to be the voices, but before the episode dubbing began, so when singing it I just sang it the same way I did Kazuki at the audition, with a belligerent feel. But when I actually started voicing him I was surprised with how much of a big brother he seems to everyone, so I think the way I sang in Athletic Core is closer to what Kazuki is.
Maeno: Hiro has apologized to his fans for everything he did, so compared to Pride I think he sings it with more true feelings.
Kakihara: I also recorded a version of Pride lol. It’s the song Kouji made, so I’d like to actually see him and Hiro sing it one day. I recorded Boy Meets Girl too, but in the actual show, it’s only Hiro and Kazuki that are singing it.
(The Hiro Vs Kazuki battle in episode 8. There’s Kouji singing there too. He’s in the credits too.)
Kakihara: I thought that if all three sang together, it means that they will end up getting along at some point, so I sang it thinking of that. Then at the end for Athletic Core, it’s a song that needs to show how the three of them changed as men, so I tried singing in a way that would reflect how much Kouji changed. It was fun.
A message to the fans to wrap things up?
Kakihara: Thanks to everyone, Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live could complete it’s year long run. It was long but it felt so short. As an actor I am really grateful that everyone likes the characters so much. If I ever get the chance to voice Kouji again I’d do it right away. I hope everyone will keep loving the Pretty Rhythm series from now on.
Masuda: Even if the show is over you can keep liking the characters forever. And if the support is strong enough maybe we’ll actually get to see a Rainbow Live sequel one day. I hope everyone who loves the world of Rainbow Live will keep loving it.
Maeno: I think the character’s stories are still ongoing. So even if the show is over I don’t feel sad. I believe the three of them will come back one day, so please keep supporting Over The Rainbow and the Pretty Rhythm series!