The miraculous movie adaptation of Maya Mineo’s Tonde Saitama which sold over 620,000
copies starring Nikaido Fumi and GACKT! Unheard of! The “Saitama dissing movie” of love and
hilarity opens in cinemas on Friday, 22 February. Before it’s release, Nikaido Fumi & GACKT
have arrived in Fukuoka to convey the “charms of Saitama” in the Nihon Saitama-ka Keikaku!

—— This is Nikaido-san’s first male role, so what was it like when you first received the offer?

Nikaido: Initially, I was asked what I thought about a female playing this role, but the original
story has strong perspective, so we had a discussion about whether I could take this male role if
possible, and then I took that challenge. The world view is rather absurd, so I thought that my
playing a male role might just work (smiles).

—— Did GACKT-san smoothly accept the offer to play a high schooler?

GACKT: I initially rejected it. I thought that such a high schooler doesn’t exist and that it’s just far
too impossible. And then the author, Master Maya Mineo said that he hoped that I would do it
because that’s the sort of thing he wants to transcend. I myself am a fan of Master Maya
Mineo’s works, so since he’s said that to me, I did it.

—— While acting the role of a high schooler, was there anything in particular that you kept in

GACKT: Nothing. But during the very first time we filmed, Fumi-chan was dancing alone
in an exceptionally extravagant set of a student council president’s room even though the
camera wasn’t rolling. When I saw that, I felt confident that this movie will go well. From that, I
clearly understood the world view, so I could proceed smoothly from there.

Nikaido: I don’t remember that, but perhaps it was the atmosphere of the site, but I get the
feeling that perhaps was drawn by the grandeur of the set and began to dance. But I guess it
was a good thing if that was what gave GACKT-san a peace of mind and believe that things
would be alright.

—— Did you have fun playing a male role?

Nikaido: I had the chance to take part in scenes that male roles typically have, like taking part in
a fight, and such powerful scenes so that was very enjoyable. I think those who watched the
Tonde Saitama trailers would know too, but this time, it’s a story that has quite a lot of gags but
in the second half, it becomes a story of love and revolution, so I’m truly honoured to have been
given the chance to play a male role that confronts that.

—— Is there a cast member who left quite an impression on you, or is someone viewers
should take note of when watching the movie?

GACKT: For me, Kyomoto’s acting really tickles my funny bone, and during filming, the Kyomoto
magic is just too much (smiles). In the movie itself, the world view is memorable too, but it’s as if
Kyomoto’s world hits back against that. Anyway, Kyomoto Masaki-san leaves an impression.

Nikaido: There’s a scene of a fight between Saitama and Chiba, and there, on one side it’s the
Saitama natives while on the other it’s the Chiba natives, you can affirm that things like that. It’s
a scene I really love, so I think it’d be great if you’d pay attention to that.

—— What do both of you think is Saitama’s charm?

Nikaido: The other day, I had the chance to go and apologise to the governor of Saitama, and it was then when the governor told me, “Saitama is, in any case, a tolerant place, an open-minded place”. It was just as he said, and I could feel the generosity of this place considering that they let us make such an absurd movie and worked with us on it too.

GACKT: In one word, nothing (smiles). There’s nothing at all. But everyone says that Saitama natives say ‘The fact that there’s nothing is a good thing’. But in general, there are a lot of good people among Saitama natives.

At this point, there was a surprise where the two of them gave out a famous confectionary from
Saitama, Soka Senbei, to the fans gathered!

—— Lastly, please say something to everyone in Fukuoka.

Nikaido: Everyone, please take care of Saitama. Thank you for being here despite the cold. I’ve
felt Fukuoka’s warmth, please do enjoy the movie!

GACKT: Knowing that I’d be staying in Fukuoka today, I was really looking forward to it. This time I’ll be heading off just like that, but next time, I’d definitely come and visit Fukuoka and have fun! But if there’s an event when it’s released, we’d come to Fukuoka first, so please do wait for us.
To those from Fukuoka, from Hakata, you might have absolutely no interest in Saitama, but it’d be nice to know that Kanto has such a problem, just because. I think that this movie is this
century’s biggest, no, the biggest comedy in the history of Japanese film. I’ll be glad if you’d
laugh while saying that it’s lame when you’re watching it. Please do go and watch it multiple

Tonde Saitama the movie will begin its nationwide roadshow on Friday, 22 February.


Translation: GACKT ITALIA Team

Translation © GACKT ITALIA