Yuki Kaji will be lending his voice to the stuffed toy Hokusai in the live action drama adaptation of Suzuki Sanami’s manga Hokusai to Meshi sae Areba (As long as there is food and Hokusai.)
Hokusai is a talking stuffed toy, which is loved by the main character, Bun (played by Mone Kamishiraishi). Hokusai’s unique way of talking always adds a touch of humor into its dialogues with Bun. Kaji spoke about how he felt about voicing Hokusai, ‘I was very excited to get the opportunity to be challenged in a new role of such an important character. I’ve never voiced a stuffed toy before.’
Mone Kamishiraishi as Bun (c)鈴木小波/講談社・「ホクサイと飯さえあれば」製作委員会・MBS
Kaimishiraishi heard Hokusai’s voice and commented, ‘Kaji’s voice gave Hokusai life and the drama became better and vivid. Kaji’s voice also encourages me just like how Hokusai encourages Bun.’ She also added, ‘I’m sure people will love the powerful and warm Hokusai.’
Before the drama series starts, a prologue titled Hokusai to Meshi sae Areba: Joukyou Shinkyo meshi keikakuhen will be shown via TBS at 1:43 a.m. on January 18, 2017. The drama series will start at 12:50 a.m. on January 23, 2017 via MBS, and at 1:28 a.m. on January 25, 2017 via TBS.
Hokusai to Meshi sae Areba is a serial manga published in Kodansha’s Young Magazine Third and the story takes place in Kitasenju, Tokyo. Main character Ayako Yamada, aka Bun, cooks various creative dishes with Hokusai during her university life. Three volumes of the manga have so far been released.
Mini Interview with Yuki Kaji
──How did you feel when you were offered the role? Have you ever played a stuffed toy before?
‘I personally love the director Hourai’s ‘gourmet dramas’, so I was really happy when I got the offer. I was very excited to get the opportunity to challenge a new role which was such an important character. I’ve never voiced a stuffed toy before.’
──How did you play the role? Are there any points where you were consciously trying to create Hokusai?
‘Basically, I played as I felt from reading the original manga. I felt that Hokusai was an interesting character who has two different images: the super cute looks, yet he speaks like a samurai. As such, I tried hard to be conscious of both his characteristics.’
──What did you talk about with the director before shooting?
‘For the first shooting, the director gave me advice and said “Please be conscious of being the character, but also being human at some point.” We didn’t talk much out of work since we were both shy. However, after we found out that we have worked together in the past, we got relaxed and enjoyed talking.’
──After shooting, did you find any differences working for drama and anime? Have you had any difficulty?
‘It was technically difficult to voice between the other actors’ lines that had already been recorded. However, I have noticed that other actors, especially Kamishiraiishi who communicates with Hokusai the most, acted amazingly considering Hokusai’s existence. It helped me a lot to do my job and I was even able to enjoy it.’
──What is a great point of the drama?
‘I think this drama is funny, impressing, cute,…and the dishes look delicious! Hokusai to Meshi sae Areba has been made into an amazing series that has various great points. I can tell Hourai’s kindness is communicated in this drama. I hope people will enjoy it.’
TV Drama Hokusai to Meshi sae Areba
MBS: at 12:50 a.m. ~ 1:20 a.m. on Sundays (essentially Monday mornings), starting January 22, 2017 *First and second episode will be at 1:05 a.m.
TBS：at 1:28 a.m. ~ 1:58 a.m. on Tuesdays (essentially Wednesday mornings ), starting January 24, 2017
Staff & Cast
Original Writer: Sanami Suzuki – Hokusai to Meshi sae Areba, serialised in Kodansha’s Young Magazine Third
Director: Tadaaki Hourai, Keisuke Shibata who directed the movie Hitomazu Susume, and others.
Scriptwriter: Harumi Doki
Producer: Takeshi Moriya
Projected and Produces by: Atmovie Inc.
Cast: Mone Kamiishiraishi, Elaiza Ikeda, Kouki Maeda, and others
(c)Sanami Suzuki / Kodansha, ‘Hokusai to Meshi sae Areba’ Production, MBS