The Japan premiere for Tonde Saitama was held today, 28 January, at Tokyo Dome City Hall and was attended by the cast; Nikaido Fumi, GACKT, Iseya Yusuke, Brother Tom, Shimazaki Haruka, Kato Ryo, Masuwaka Tsubasa, Nakao Akira, Kyomoto Masaki, and director Takeuchi Hideki.
Tonde Saitama is a live-action movie adaptation of Maya Mineo-san’s manga of the same name. It is a comedy where Saitama citizens who are being oppressed by Tokyo citizens for them “Saitama Liberation Front” to fight for their freedom. The original was announced in the 1980s and was out of print for a long time until recently when it was revived after 30 years, becoming a hot topic on SNS for the intense dissing of Saitama citizens. In the movie, the legendary Saitama citizen, Saitama Duke, and Saitama Prefecture’s eternal rival, Chiba Prefecture makes an appearance too, adding new elements into the story.
Like in the movie, the Japan premiere too was set based on “Saitama disses”. In the hall, members of the “Saitama Assault Troops” = SAT were on the prowl, looking for hidden Saitama citizens, while the seats for the invited audience members who were selected before this event were “Saitama Special Seats” = SSS, which were aluminium foldable chairs put on straw. There was no let up on the dissing of Saitama even before the screening.
Dannoura Momomi’s Nikaido Fumi and Asami Rei’s GACKT arrived on the grass-coloured green carpet, which was inspired by the line from the movie; “Saitama citizens, eat
the grass over there!”. They showed their smiles as they faced the hall packed with fans.
In this movie, GACKT plays the role of Asami Rei, a high school student transferring from America to the prestigious Tokyo school Hakuhoudou (but he is actually a Saitama citizen). He confessed that when he heard that it was a role of a high school student, he initially immediately declined. However, “They said that ‘even though he’s a high school student, he’s a special high school student’. Wouldn’t you start to wonder, ‘what kind of high school student is a special high school student’. (From then on) I came to understand the movie”, and he read the original work and finally decided to do it.
Also, GACKT said with a smile, “When we started filming, on the first day, it was a kiss scene (with Nikaido). What a process”. Even so, he appealed with the charms of the movie, saying, “(The first day) was in a ornate and luxurious set, so it was as if our appearances matched while the staff’s clothes looked weird. The makeup of the other actors was also amazing, and since the gateway in was in such a form, I was immersed in the world view”.
Nikaido, who plays Dannoura Momomi, the student council president of Hakuhoudou school, recalled the filming, saying, “Highly individualistic people were gathered. It was as if people from different planets came to earth, did everything with a flourish, and then all went home with a flourish”. With regards to the equally quirky cast members, she admitted, “I did my job while thinking that I was the most decent one”, and immediately, GACKT too, asserted, “I thought I was the most decent one though”. The emcee then asked “Who thought that they were the most decent one around?” and almost all the cast members present raised their hands, drawing laughter from the audience.
GACKT finally got to meet Kyomoto Masaki, who plays Saitama Duke, for the first time. Looking back, GACKT said, “I’ve always been acquainted with Kyomoto-san’s makeup artist so I’ve heard of Kyomoto-san a long time ago. Probably 15 years ago”. In addition, speaking of their first encounter, he divulged that when he went to Kyomoto’s dressing room to greet him, Kyomoto called out to him, saying “We finally get to meet~! But, you know, we’re the same type, aren’t we!”, yet “without thinking, I ended up blurting ‘Are we!?’”. While the audience laughed, Kyomoto explained, “Throughout these 15 years, I’ve never met him, yet during that time, no matter where I went, I’d get compared to GACKT”, rousing even more laughter.
In addition, GACKT said, “Kyomoto’s world is amazing, you know?”, divulging how Kyomoto stopped during a long line of his during filming. He happily spoke of how Kyomoto kept insisting that his crisis was “an ‘interval’”, while Nikaido charmingly appealed with a smile, “This is a movie that is packed with the gallant figure of such a Kyomoto-san”. Continuing, she closed off the event with, “I hope that we will be able to increase the number of hearts that love their
local areas through this movie. Do watch it!”.
Translation: GACKT Italia Team
Translation © GACKT ITALIA