— How did you feel after first reading the script?
At its core, this is a sci-fi tale about artificial intelligence and changing the course of history, but it's really being driven by the dramatic elements of the story. I found myself deeply moved by the plot. I don't want to give out any spoilers, so I'm going to hold back from telling you which parts moved me, but really, I have to take my hat off to the team for being bold enough to tell this story in full in a single season, and for writing a story with so many subtleties.
— Please describe your first impression of the character, Matsumoto. What was it like actually playing this character?
I remember reading the materials for my audition and having a pretty good sense of what I should do to play Matsumoto, and what they wanted from me. So I don't think there was much difference between what I did in the audition, and how I sounded during the actual recording. I already knew from the information I'd been given that this character was supposed to talk fast and irritate Vivy, and that he can be comical, serious, and cynical. He can be portrayed from so many different angles, so I’m having a lot of fun playing him.
— Was there anything you were especially conscious of when you were voicing Matsumoto, or were there any challenges?
Making sure that I got enough sleep the day before I went in to record, I guess? (Laughs) Since I was quite busy during the time we were recording Vivy, that's the one thing I was conscious of. As long as my tongue and throat were in good shape, I always had fun voicing Matsumoto, and any challenges made the task even more rewarding.
— Tell us what you liked about the character you played, and what you could relate to.
I don't know if I related to him, but the way he uses facial expressions that are totally inconsistent with the words he uses to deliver information—that's something I've been known to do a lot myself. (Laughs)
— What do you think of Vivy, Matsumoto's partner, and what was it like working on the dialogue with Ms. Tanezaki?
I could see that Vivy was a truly difficult character to play. Regarding her actual performance, I thought Ms.Tanezaki did a superb job of acting, especially with how she was able to show that Vivy has clear intentions without it being obvious or being overly emotive. That's something that I could never pull off. Our exchange was a perfect balance of yin and yang. The more Vivy ignored Matsumoto, the funnier it made the exchange, and I found that totally exciting.
— Can you tell us about anything memorable that happened during the recording?
It really made me appreciate how fun it can be to be involved in an original title as one of the core characters. It was hugely cathartic to build something from the ground up with the staff, and to play my character while blending in my own interpretations for upcoming scenes. I also like the fact that when I say something that’s not in the script, the viewers won’t know where it came from, since there’s no original story for them to look up. (Laughs) I remember having fun geeking out with the director over sneakers during our breaks. (Laughs)
— Now that the show has started airing, what are your thoughts after watching it? Tell us what your favorite scenes were, and if you found any lines that were particularly memorable.
It was a lot of fun! (Laughs) I enjoyed it purely from a fan's standpoint. There were so many memorable lines. Lines like, “Because I don’t trust you,” and, “Outer space!” were especially funny.
— What should we keep an eye on in Vivy - Fluorite Eye's Song-, and what are the highlights we can look forward to in the upcoming episodes?
The show has so much going on: it's sci-fi, it has a captivating setting, there's all kinds of allusions, but the dramatic elements at the core are what are going to keep you emotionally engaged until the end. Each episode is going to be like an emotional rollercoaster, so I hope that everyone can let themselves enjoy the ride.
— Finally, how about a message for our viewers?
Those of you who are already watching Vivy, please stay tuned until the end. And those of you who are still on the fence about watching it, I really hope that you catch up on the episodes and watch the whole series. It's an absolutely incredible show, and I want to say that we won't let you down. (Laughs)