Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song- Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song-



Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song-
Cast Interview Vol. 3

Vivy: Atsumi Tanezaki
Matsumoto: Jun Fukuyama
■Vivy's evolution as a character during the one hundred-year journey
――Episode 6 has finished airing, but what are your thoughts on the first half of the series?
ATSUMI TANEZAKI  With each episode, you can really tell how much care has been put into depicting the scenes using the songs throughout the series. When you compare the same song being sung by one vocalist or two vocalists, they sound completely different, and sometimes a song is used so that it sounds like digital data...

JUN FUKUYAMA  We only get to hear the music after each episode is completed. Vivy's “My Code” was first heard in Episode 1, “A Tender Moon Tempo” in Episode 3, and the opening theme “Sing My Pleasure” in Episode 4. The Sisters, who are Vivy's sister AIs, also get to sing their own songs, so music is used abundantly throughout the series.

TANEZAKI  I was so happy to hear Estella and Elizabeth sing “Ensemble for Polaris” at the end of Episode 4. We got to hear Estella's solo version in Episode 3, and they sing it together in Episode 4, which was incredible.
――Kairi Yagi sings Vivy's songs, but from your standpoint of voicing the character, what were your thoughts on Ms. Yagi's singing?
TANEZAKI  She has such a beautiful voice and it makes you think, “Wow, it must feel so good to be able to sing like that.” I have so much admiration for her. And she's still a teenager and newcomer on the scene... She will experience a lot and continue to grow, but we were there to witness her first steps as a singer. Vivy gradually evolves by meeting different people in the series, which overlaps with what Ms. Yagi is actually experiencing.

FUKUYAMA  I was imagining all sorts of things on my own about the songs. The first song that Vivy sings in the series is “My Code,” but I imagined that maybe a different version of the song would appear later on. (Laughs) The story is based on Vivy's one hundred-year journey and how she evolves during that process, so I thought that there might be different tricks they would use in the music. There are a lot of songs that really stir the imagination, which is what makes this series is so appealing.

TANEZAKI  I'm also looking forward to how the music will embellish the world of Vivy in future episodes.
――Next, I wanted to ask both of you about each episode in sequential order. What were your favorite scenes from Episodes 1 and 2, when Vivy and Matsumoto first meet?
TANEZAKI  The first thing that comes to mind is when Matsumoto takes on the form of a teddy bear and all of his adorable movements. (Laughs) When I first read the script, I couldn't imagine what kind of character Matsumoto would be, who would be voicing him, and what the voice acting would be like...but when I first heard Mr. Fukuyama's acting in Episode 1, I knew that there was nobody else but him who could play this character, and it was as if the personification of Matsumoto was standing before me. After we started working on Vivy, I made guest appearances at events and shows with Mr. Fukuyama, and when I talk to him it still feels like I'm talking to Matsumoto. (Laughs)

FUKUYAMA  I'm very talkative just like Matsumoto, so when I see that I have a lot of lines in the script, it makes me happy. (Laughs) I had a lot of fun playing the character. Matsumoto doesn't care how his words or actions affect other people. So he doesn't care if people hate him when he says something, and in a way, there's something refreshing about that. (Laughs) In Episode 2, Vivy gets mad at him when he only gives her information about the future bit by bit, but he says to her, “It's because I don't trust you.” He can flatly say annoying things like that, which makes people resent him. But that line was important to me, because it made it so much easier for me to play Matsumoto from then on.
――In a previous interview, Ms. Tanezaki said that Vivy is a character with “a lot of human imperfections.”
TANEZAKI  Yes, that's right. Vivy's mission is to bring happiness to everyone with her singing. That mission is her AI programming, but the way she cherishes her mission makes her seem human. There is a scene right before the scene that Mr. Fukuyama was talking about, where Matsumoto almost installs an anti-personnel combat program into her without her permission, and Vivy worries about how that might affect her functionality as a singer. The way she responds in that moment, her attitude, and the subtleties in her expressions, is very human. Moments like that lead to the changes and growth within her, even though she is an AI.

FUKUYAMA  You can sense that Vivy is prepared to sacrifice herself for her mission. The goal of the one hundred-year journey is to alter history to stop the war between humans and AI, but when you watch Episodes 1 and 2, you can see that the lessons Vivy learns from this journey make up the theme of the story. These two episodes were very fitting for the opening of Vivy.
■The approach to Matsumoto's ad-libs
――Episodes 3 and 4 focus on how they prevent the space hotel from crashing into Earth.
FUKUYAMA  Episodes 1 and 2 portrayed Vivy and Matsumoto's relationship in detail, but in Episodes 3 and 4, Matsumoto is more of an observer. He obviously fulfills his role of communicating the purpose of the mission to Vivy, but Vivy and Estella are the focal points of the story. Since I'm playing Matsumoto, it was a great opportunity for me to take a step back and watch Vivy objectively as a series. There is no specific explanation in the story of how closely the mind of an AI resembles a human's, or who the Sisters exactly are, but you can understand these concepts just by watching these episodes. The episodes are full of entertaining battle and singing scenes, but they also delve into a question that is fundamental to Vivy, which is, “What is the heart?” They were very important episodes in terms of future developments in the story.

TANEZAKI  That's right. In terms of our acting, one thing that sticks out to me is that there is actually a fifteen year gap between Episodes 2 and 3. I'm not sure if that's the reason why, but when we were recording our lines, I got a little nervous when Matsumoto and Vivy meet again after being away from each other for so long.

FUKUYAMA  I also had a hard time figuring out my acting approach for that reunion scene. For Vivy, fifteen years have gone by, but for Matsumoto, who comes from the future, that amount of time is merely a piece of information. Plus, the ending to Episode 2 was quite shocking. I took the approach of being a little harsh on Vivy in Episode 3 and easing up on her in Episode 4.

TANEZAKI  I didn't know that! I was wondering why I was feeling so nervous during the recording. The mystery has finally been solved after a year. (Laughs)
――In Episodes 5 and 6, which are the end of the first half of the series, they go on a mission to terminate operations on the unmanned offshore plant, Metal Float.
FUKUYAMA  Episodes 1 and 2 focused on the relationship between Matsumoto and Vivy, while Episodes 3 and 4 focused on the relationships between other AIs, namely Vivy and Estella, as well as Estella and Elizabeth. But in Episodes 5 and 6, the relationship between a human and an AI, Saeki and Grace, is explored. Vivy's goal is to stop the war between humans and AI, so it is inevitable that the series would delve into the direct relationship between humans and AI. I won't say anything more about what happens to Saeki and Grace...

TANEZAKI  I had the most difficulty working on Episode 6... It's hard to explain, but Episode 1 is like when a baby is born and knows nothing, but Episodes 5 and 6 are the complex years of puberty... When I read through my scripts again for all the episodes, I noticed that for Episode 6, I had written a lot of instructions next to my lines like, “I want to protect you” or, “This action means so and so.” There were so many subtle nuances in the emotions that had to be conveyed, so I had to write in these instructions, or I would lose track of what I needed to do. Vivy had to react quickly to what was happening before her or what was being said to her, and she finally makes her decision...which led to that ending.

FUKUYAMA  I'm curious to see how the viewers will react to that ending.
――By the way, in Episode 5, Matsumoto ditches the teddy bear look and takes on the form of a cube.
FUKUYAMA  I was glad to be able to play Matsumoto when he took on the form of a cube again, which is how he originally appeared in the series. If we didn't bring back the cube quickly, people would start to think that he was always a teddy bear. (Laughs) With Matsumoto changing form again in Episode 5, my bad habit started resurfacing...
――What do you mean by your “bad habit”?
FUKUYAMA  Saying lines that aren't in the script. (Laughs)

TANEZAKI  But you were doing tons of ad-libs from the first episode. (Laughs) When Vivy tries to catch Matsumoto, he keeps on saying “Flap!” when he dodges her, which wasn’t in the script.

FUKUYAMA  I guess I meant to say that I got bold and started doing more ad-libs without holding myself back. (LAUGHS)
――Ms. Tanezaki, did you respond to Mr. Fukuyama's ad-libs in any way?
TANEZAKI  If this was a different series and I was playing a different role, as an actor, I would obviously want to be able to respond to another actor's ad-libs. But for Vivy, her attitude is that she's going to ignore Matsumoto no matter what he says. (Laughs) Mr. Fukuyama used his ad-libs in a controlled way, so they didn't interfere with the lines of the other characters, and the ad-libs actually helped to make the scenes even better. His ad-libs were all spot-on, so I was like, “Do as much as you want.” (Laughs)
■Similarities between Vivy and the Sisters
――The three Sisters: Estella, Elizabeth, and Grace, make an appearance in the first half of the series. What are your thoughts on them?
TANEZAKI  Ms. (Yoko) Hikasa, who plays Estella, said that she was conscious of making sure that the character sounded elegant. Estella is the owner of the space hotel, so she has an air of dignity, but she also has a warm and friendly aura. I really love the character. Personally, my favorite character is Elizabeth. I love that she is strong and vulnerable at the same time. I absolutely love the way Ms. (Yumi) Uchiyama said the line, “Wait” at the end of Episode 3. It’s subtle, but so much emotion is packed into it, and it gave me goosebumps when I heard it. Vivy has actually never spoken with Grace, so she can only imagine what Grace must be like. It might be because of that, but each of Grace’s facial expressions were so heart-wrenching.

FUKUYAMA  I was drawn to the setting of the story. For example, I imagined that Estella had more emotive facial expressions than Vivy because during the fifteen years that had passed, more advancements in AI technology were made... The Sisters don’t look similar to Vivy, but the way they interact with humans is similar. Estella's mission is to take care of humans as a “lifekeeper,” while Grace's mission is to save human lives as a nurse. Elizabeth is diligently working for Yugo Kakitani because he saved her, so she aligns herself to what the humans need.
――What are the highlights from Episode 7 onward?
TANEZAKI  Well, there’s so much we can’t talk about yet...

FUKUYAMA  That's especially true of Vivy. (Laughs) Episode 7 is kind of like the beginning of a new chapter, where a new story starts to develop. There are only a few remaining Singularity Points that Vivy has to alter, so please keep your eyes peeled and watch the show carefully.

TANEZAKI  Once you watch the upcoming episodes, you'll understand why I'm sitting here agonizing about not being able to tell you what's going to happen. So I hope you can see it for yourselves and enjoy what is coming up in the show.
――Finally, can you give a message to the readers?
FUKUYAMA  The people who have been watching the show already know, but there is a single powerful dramatic story that runs through the series, and we all worked hard to create it. Even if you finish watching the series and rewatch it from the beginning, I'm sure you'll discover new things, so I hope everyone watches it to the end.

TANEZAKI  Even though we already know what's going to happen in Vivy, it's still refreshing to watch the show every week as fans. Every episode is full of surprises that make you think, “Wow, I didn't think that would happen!” Episode 7 and the following episodes are full of fun surprises like that, so I hope that everyone watches Vivy’s one hundred-year journey with us to the end. Thank you.