“Concrete Revolutio ~Chojin Genso~”, set in a parallel universe of Japan with an alternate history with various “superhumans”, is an original anime television series with multi-layered drama on the motif of Shouwa era, filled with in-depth foreshadowings extended in a manifold fashion. The long-awaited second season will begin airing in April.
One of the most attracting aspects of the second season is what’s happening to the protagonist, Jirou Hitoyoshi who followed his own path. We interviewed Kaito Ishikawa, the voice actor for Jirou and asked him about his preparation for the role, his own thoughts toward the character, and the highlight of the second season.
■ Tackling with the logic thoroughly: Preparation for the role
— The second season of “Concrete Revolutio ~Chojin Genso~” is starting in April. Would you first tell us of your thoughts after 13 episodes of acting this character, Jirou Hitoyoshi, in the first season?
Kaito Ishikawa (hereinafter referred to as Ishikawa)
Let alone the story itself, but the character composition is also very logical. It was quite hard to act, but I learned a good acting lesson from it, and I hope it has helped me widen my scope as a voice actor.
abesan— What was the hardest in particular?
It has a high context structure including the story and the world view, and I often had to put a delicate nuance and emotion into acting, different from the literal meaning of the written lines. So, I analyzed the nuance logically and went like “I’ll need to act this line like this because that happened at that time”. That was the hardest part.
— I see. How did you feel after finishing the first season?
It was hard… is my honest word. The voice recording for the second season has started, and there are again a lot of hard parts. Since I’m not skilled enough as a voice actor yet, I would like to discipline myself more.
— By the way, are you informed of the sequel of the story beforehand, prior to the recording?
No, I only get to learn each episode every time. I’m acting without knowing what is happening in the later episodes, so it’s the same as the viewing fans. Also, the timeline switching back and forth was another hard part. For example, in the same one episode, it jumps years from 神化/Shinka/Apotheosis 42 to 46 instantly.
— How do you act differently?
It’s hard to say, but the emotion switches according to each situation, kind of.
abesan— Sounds like it takes quite an intellectual work.
Indeed. (laugh) I’m sure the viewers are using their brains too, but so am I as an actor. (laugh)
— It felt like we were filling in blanks as the story proceeded, like why Jirou Hitoyoshi decided to leave the Superhuman Bureau. Compared with the first season with many things unknown, is the second season rather easier for you to deal with?
There was this scene where Jirou confronted Kikko et al in the first episode of the first season. We had to fill the blank of “why it turned out so” by our own imagination while working on the first season. On the other hand, the second season unveils them as if verifying answers. So, I have to somehow make it up to keep consistency when I find out what I imagined is different from what happened, and I repeat this routine over and over. That’s where I’ve been trying to work out, talking with the director Mizushima, the sound director, and other staff members.
■ Who is your favorite “Superhuman”?
— In starting the second season, has Mr. Mizushima given you any directions as his requests?
— Does he mean “you have to think on your own”?
Instead of forcing me to “think”, I think he is probably seeking for potentials as “you can come up with something better when you think on your own”. So, I’m under a lot of pressure, but worth it.
— How is the atmosphere at the recording sessions?
As solemnly as it can get. We really have to get to the bottom of it, so it goes really quiet. It’s never like “cozy and friendly”, but instead strained with the tension. Of course, we do chat once we get out of the recording booths.
— Regarding the world view on the motif of the Shouwa era, what does it feel like for you as someone young, born in Heisei era instead?
Very new. To be honest, I’ve never watched 特撮/Tokusatsu/SFX drama and do not know much about it. Even then, I still find it fun and go “oh, so there was a hero like this”. So, I hope people watch it without getting too worked up about it.
—Which hero was impressive among the various who appeared in the show so far?
天弓ナイト/Tenkyuu Naito. Jirou admires him, and above anything, he’s got a great voice. (laugh) Also, Wakaba-chan is incredibly cute, the second daughter of the Morino family, who appeared in the episode about the “immortal family” by Tsuji (Masaki) sensei. Fuurouta has a crush on her and there’s chemistry between them and all, but they end up breaking up. Wakaba says something along the line of “we can’t get together because I’m a lot older than you think I am”, and it’s so sweet. She bids farewell to him and makes sure that Fuurouta would not linger on, while she degrades herself not to make him feel bad about it. Her considerate behavior really made me feel my heart twinge.
Speaking of heart twinging, I’d also love to hear about Jirou’s girlfriend, Emi Kino.
Wicked, should I say, considering the fact that she knows the whole intrigue, I can’t even… (laugh) Still, she is indeed a very attractive character. She has some axe to grind and use others, but she is also prudent and what’s best about her is her amazingly deep love for Jirou.
— What do you think about their relationship?
They don’t appear to be intimate. Especially Jirou seems to lack in such emotion, or should I say, he is unaware of it, I think. As I act the role myself, I’ve seen her as a childhood friend or my older sister.
■ Want Jirou Hitoyoshi dead?
— Since you are not informed of the proceeding story, you are in the same boat as the viewers. So, what do you think will happen to Jirou in the future? Or do you have an opinion of how it should go?
Well… I want Jirou dead.
— What?! Why, when it is the character you play?
You might think I’m only saying this for a laugh. (laugh) But indeed, there is a decent reason for this – a death of a character leaves the biggest impression remaining in your mind. Jirou has been asking himself “what is justice”, and most likely he will be carrying his belief through to the end of the second season. Therefore, as a mean to give a vicious blow to the world, I kind of figured that killing him in the end might suit the best.
— Soon to be a legend…?
I find that beneficial as a character. (laugh) But I have also grown a certain attachment to Jirou as I act, so I wouldn’t mind if there is a way for him to give a powerful enough blow to the world while staying alive, carrying out his justice through and through.
Anything else you are looking forward to in the second season?
I would love to see many of the characters we saw in the first season. Particularly, Wakaba-chan. (laugh)
— Finally, your message to our readers, please.
It may scare you out or you may hesitate when you hear that the main theme of the show is about superhumans in the era of 神化/Shinka/Apotheosis, on the motif of Shouwa era. But it is a very interesting show even for me, who knows nothing about SFX in Shouwa, needless to say I never lived in the Shouwa era. There are many foreshadowings thrown around here and there, and you can find it more enjoyable as you dwell on each scene in the show. I myself have been tossing around in my head and act the role of Jirou Hitoyoshi, and I would be really glad if you enjoy it too.
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