A Taiwanese cosplayer is booming in Japan.
Okita Rinka, who lives in Taipei, Taiwan, has over 30,000 followers on Twitter in Japan and also participates in Comiket and photo sessions in Japan. This is the report of the interview with the new-gen cosplayer from Taiwan along with a photo report.
―― What made you interested in cosplaying? And what are your usual cosplay activities?
Okita Rinka: I always liked anime and games since I was a child. I started cosplaying when I saw my friend doing it in middle school. It's been roughly 8 years since then. I usually attend as a cosplayer in ACG event (general doujin events of anime and games) in Taiwan.
―― What are your favorite anime and manga?
Okita Rinka: It's difficult to pick one anime out of so many. I like Otome games in general!
―― What are your special features of cosplaying?
Okita Rinka: I'm good at sensual gestures and expressions like cute faces and emotionless faces.
―― What do you think made you so popular?
Okita Rinka: I held many exhibition booths at various doujinshi conventions in Taiwan. Selling my cosplay photo collections at these events brought along more and more supporters. Also, constantly posting photos on Facebook and Instagram helped too. I'm so glad that such steps I took in the past brought me to where I am now.
―― Tell us which cosplay left a strong impression on you.
Okita Rinka: That would be Shuten Douji from “Fate/Grand Order”. The shooting was so exhausting. We had to climb deep in the mountains for the shooting and by the time we could leave, it was so dark we couldn't see anything. We were about to get lost in the mountains.
―― How many times have you been to Japan?
Okita Rinka: 7 times in total, but the summer of 2018 is the only time I attended Comiket.
―― What keeps you cosplaying?
Okita Rinka: The strongest motivation would be my love for anime and games. Also, the fans who support my cosplays always give me confidence.
―― In what style do you like to be photoed?
Okita Rinka: I believe the composition and the color tone are the most important. Furthermore, sharing an image with the cameraman is the most important!
―― What do you value in your cosplay?
Okita Rinka: I didn't know anything when I began cosplaying. I worked hard to become better at make-up and styling the wigs. From there, I try to get as close to the essence of the character as much as I can. That's the approach I believe I should never forget.
―― Tell us about your future goals.
Okita Rinka: I want to hold an exhibition booth at Comiket and distribute my cosplay photo collections! I also want many more people to know me in Japan, interact with other cosplayers, and improve on my cosplays.
The World Cosplay Summit Executive Committee has announced that they will hold a “Cosplay Film Festival”. According to them, this will be the world’s first short film contest featuring “Cosplay”. Entries for the screenwriting competition have opened on June 1st, 2021.
“Cosplay Film Festival” has a unique process of choosing its entry films. First, they hold a screenwriting competition, and then they recruit the actors (mainly cosplayers) who match the roles in the script.
By matching the film creators and the cosplayers, the committee aims to provide a new style of video production to the creators and a new platform for the cosplayers to succeed.
The committee will choose eight plots from the entries and create a pilot film for each work after recruiting a cast. The pilot films will be available on "DOKUSO Eigakan", an unlimited streaming service of indie films. There will be public voting to choose the winner for the grand prize, the best leading actor, and the best supporting actor. The winner of the grand prize will receive an additional subsidy of 1 million yen to complete the 30-minute short film.
Entries for the screenwriting competition are open from June 1st to July 18th, and the cast recruitment will start on August 9th. For further information, visit the website.
Cosplayer Enako challenged her first and last "erotic photobook"(!?), which is the collaboration photobook with "BEASTARS", called "Enako X BEASTARS Wild Kick" has finally been released on May 31, 2021.
"Enako X BEASTARS Wild Kick" is based on the erotic photobook, "Wild Kick" toward herbivorous in the animal version of the youth anime, "BEASTARS". This is a powered-up version of "Wild Kick" that is more extreme than the original as it expanded on the idea "There is a carnivorous version of 'Wild Kick'" of the original author, Itagaki Paru.
The photobook will contain Enako's transformation as "Insulted Black Rabbit" that was also used on the cover page, "Wet Rabbit" that will catch any worldly desire with her small body and long ear, "Sexy Purple Wolf", "SM Leopard", and the depiction of Enako by Itagaki "Chameleon".
"Enako X BEASTARS Wild Kick" is priced at 2,200 JPY (tax included), and it is currently available in the stores.
Also, the digital limited photobook "Enako Beastars" that features all the unused photos of "Wild Kick" has also been released.
When someone asked me to recommend some manga, I will answer with my favorite work "BEASTARS", but I was quite surprised when I received this offer...! This time, I will be featured in a slightly odd photobook based on the erotic photobook "Wild Kick" for the herbivorous from the world of "BEASTARS". I believe this will be my first and last time being involved in an erotic photobook (haha), so please buy it!
The erotic photobook from BEASTARS has finally been recreated in the actual world!! And to think it will feature the top of the cute Hominidae of the mammal, Enako! I can't believe it!
The cosplayer Enako has appeared on the cover and head gravure of "Shounen Champion Issue 26" (Released on May 27, 2021).
The head gravure featured the photos from the collaboration photobook "Enako X BEASTARS Wild Kick" with "BEASTARS" that are released in advance.
Also, the magazine will come with a double-sided big poster "Enako X BEASTARTS Collaboration ver." and a campaign that gives a limited QUO card to all applicants.
The "Shounen Champion Issue 26" featuring Enako on the cover and head gravure is priced at 320 JPY (tax included), and it was released on May 27, 2021.
This is a bit strange photobook with the theme of "Wild Kick", an erotic photo book for the herbivore that appeared in "BEASTARS". I believe this will be my first and last time to be involved with an erotic photo book (haha), so please buy it!
(C) Koike Shinichiro (Akita Shoten) 2021
"Japan No. 1 Cosplayer" Enako has appeared on the weekly magazine "FLASH" (Issue released on May 18, 2021) for the first time! She will be featured on the front cover and the gravure on the head article.
As this is her first appearance on "FLASH", she has shown a mature-like appearance instead of her trademark, which is cosplay. Regarding the photography session for "FLASH", she commented "As FLASH gives off a mature feeling, I put on natural make-up and arranged my hair in a way that it won't look childish. I love the hair style on the first page! This is my first wavy hair since I having bob hair, so it quite refreshing."
There is also an interview regarding her private life, such as her family-oriented side and her clumsy side, which is "I got bruise all over my left leg". As she will be featured on the front cover and 9 pages of the head article, this will surely be a magazine that you can enjoy the different Enako anytime.
The price of "FLASH" with Enako on the front cover is 480 JPY, and it available at the stores now.
(C) Koubunsha/ Weekly "FLASH" Photo by Kikuchi Yasuhisa (vale.)
Hanae Natsuki, voice actor of Kamado Tanjiro from “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba”, is part of the main cast of the movie “Gyoko no Nikuko-chan” which premiered on Jun. 11, 2021.
The movie is based on the original novel written by Nishi Kanako, and was awarded the 152nd Naoki prize holding a sales record of 350,000 copies. Akashiya Sanma was involved as a producer in the the anime movie.
The plot follows a journey of growth of Nikuko-chan and Kikuko, a mother and daughter living on a boat in a fishing harbor. The next day after the release was announced, voice actor Hanae Natsuki was also announced as being part the cast, quickly raising awareness to the movie.
Hanae voices Kikuko’s classmate, Ninomiya, a young boy who plays an important role in the development of the story.
We have interviewed Hanae via email and asked questions about the highlights of the movie and production anecdotes involving Akashiya Sanma.
■ What was some of the advice received from Akashiya Sanma? "He was there for the recording, but..."
—How did you feel when you were first proposed the role, given that Akashiya Sanma was involved as a producer?
Hanae: When I first got the proposal through my agency I was told that Sanma would be producing it. But I only decided to accept the role after taking a close look at the development papers from STUDIO4°C. I was quite impressed by the retrograde aesthetic of the visuals, such as the decaying fishing harbor town, which evoked a sense of nostalgia, and I also found myself being fond to the work as a whole.
—What was your first impression of Akashiya Sanma?
Hanae: I grew up watching him on the TV since I was a child, so the impression I have of him is of "being that guy on the screen". He always seems to be enjoying himself when he talks, and that puts me in a happy mood.
—The original novel by Nishi Kanko won the 152nd Naoki Prize selling more than 350,000 copies. What's your opinion about the novel after reading it alongside the screenplay script? What did you find interesting about it?
Hanae: The dialogues between Nikuko and Kikuko were very funny. And the plot twist is compelling as well. Despite being narrow in terms of themes touched upon, the world building itself felt huge.
Also I was looking forward to seeing what kind of way Nikuko was going to turn out on the big screen since her sense of presence in the original work is so powerful; and the movie ended up blowing my expectations. I think it turned out this great due to the visual quality of the animation and the superb performance by Otake (Nikuko’s voice).
—What kind of character is Ninomiya, the young boy you voiced?
Hanae: Ninomiya isn’t a character who gets much of the spotlight. However, he serves as a guiding light for Kikuko, reminding through his dialogues with her about what the important things really are.
—In regards to character building, what were some specific things you were careful about or what were some foundational points that served as a basis for your performance?
Hanae: Ninomiya is a mysterious kid. I was given some pointers from the director such as “to speak in a way that almost sounds like he is engaged in a conversation but at the same time isn’t”, and “saying all the things he wants to say one sidedly during the dialogues”; so I decided to focus on that. Because of that I feel that my character has the smallest voice among all the characters that appear in the movie…. (laugh).
Also, people normally don’t really pay any special attention to stuff like voice intonation or the way they speak when they're talking to others, let alone an elementary school kid like Ninomiya . So I tried to voice him in a natural manner as much as possible rather than focusing on more technical aspects of performing.
—Was there any particular directing orders from Akashiya Sanma in regards to voice acting?
Hanae: There was this time when I stuttered during the recordings. Sanma was present during that, and he told me to be careful about it (laughs).
—In Jan. 21, 2021 you appeared on his show “Sanma no Manma”. Do you have further appearances scheduled?
Hanae: Well I was very nervous during the show, but it was a lot of fun at the same time. I would love very much to make another appearance if another opportunity presents itself in the future!
—Anything you want to say to the audience who are about to see the movie?
Hanae: It’s a movie made for people of all ages. You can watch it with your family, friends, or lover. And I think it’s the type of movie that changes people. After finishing it you’ll feel a little bit different inside when thinking about the important people in your life. I hope that people will be invigorated after seeing the powerfulness of Nikuko on the theaters. Do look forward to it.
(c) 2021 “Gyoko no Nikuko-chan” Production Committee
Distributed by Asmik Ace
Sato Takeru played the main role in the live-action movie series "Rurouni Kenshin". The first movie in the series released in 2012 became a big hit, and in 2014 the sequel to the two-part series also became a hot topic.
And this time, the final chapter of the series "Rurouni Kenshin Saishuushou: The Final" was released on April 23 (Fri), and on June 4 (Fri) the series will be completed with "Rurouni Kenshin Saishuushou: The Beginning".
So, in March, Anime! Anime! held the shooting of the battle scene, which was supposed be the climax of "Rurouni Kenshin Saishuushou: The Final". We also conducted an interview at the same time. We will also report what director Otomo Keishi said at that time.
■ Action that feels the "spirit" of men crossing swords
"The Final" is a story about the battle between the main character, Himura Kenshin, and Yukishiro Enishi. Kenshin, who killed his beloved , Tomoe, and Tomoe's younger brother are crossing swords in revenge.
Their past strongly connected, they will fight a different death battle with Shishio Makoto, who became the main enemy from the previous work.
Otomo-san said, "For Enishi, his sister Tomoe was an irreplaceable person who was like a mother to him. Strong feelings not only for Tomoe but also for revenge at the swordsman who took her life have sprung up in Enishi. On the other hand, for Kenshin, Enishi is an opponent with who he does not want to fight but must fight. Because of these two people, the introduction of battle is also different from before. The tension is not like, "Now, it’s a fight!"
Perhaps because of that, the battle scene that I added this time seems to be quite powerful. The script was a little over 11 pages and 125 cuts, which was a dynamic and discerning shoot.
Arata Mackenyu played Enishi. Director Otomo commented, "He is a "full-blooded" action star, but at the same time, he excels in delicate plays that capture the subtleties of his heart. Enishi is not just a man obsessed with revenge, but a young man who originally had a kind heart. I thought that Arata Mackenyu, who has both high physical ability and naive acting abilities, would be a good match."
In addition, he seemed to bring the potential and presence to compete with Sato, saying, "If anyone will hit Sato Takeru, it would be him."
During the shooting, I have drawn in the powerful Kenshin performance by Sato. The swordsmen's muscles drawn with well-trained bodies are straight and heavy. There, I could feel the length of time that Enishi had lived for revenge.
Sato and others chat between the shoots, but they were brief moments. Suddenly, I saw a serious expression confirming the movement.
There were also moments when he gave off an air that no one could approach, and he was breathtaking at his crazy and sad aura.
The actions of Sato, who starred in the movie, have an impression of lightness. In the difficult action scenes like going around the pond in the atrium of the Western-style building by putting his feet on the sides of the stairs and the pillars, he practiced many times and got used to his body.
Also, in this scene, there is an important moment using wires. A wire extending from the center of the pond supported Sato, and a scene was shot that used centrifugal force to run through more dynamically.
Director Otomo commented that "Rurouni Kenshin" is "sticking to analog-like action shooting." By using wires and turning around to add to the physical strength of the actor without performing digital processing as much as possible, the scene became a sweaty scene with realistic images. Sato, who has shaped this kind of commitment in the past three works, may have a sensuous grasp of how to make a better picture. He didn't have any gaps in the angle of the sword he was holding, his toes, or his fingertips, and he was thrilled.
Otome also said, "Since it is a battle for a woman (Tomoe) who is not there, I think that it is good to show emotions in small movements and swings, not just offense and defense, so I asked Tanigaki (Kenji), the action director. Kenshin is surely confronting while accepting the attack of Enishi, "Isn't it different?","Can you understand, Enishi?". I want viewers to feel the atonement from actions"
"The movie is packed with the ideas that the action team has accumulated over the last five years and gained shooting art to support those ideas, and the wisdom and ingenuity of all the staff.," said Otomo-san. The best action movie in the history of Japanese movies has become a supreme movie this way. Please check at the theater to see what the culmination it is.
“Kotobuki Minako's Another Wonderland in the UK" is a series of interviews with voice actress Kotobuki Minako, who is currently living in the UK, to tell us in her own words what her daily life in the UK is like.
In the last issue, we asked her about how she spends her time in the UK now that the lockdown has eased in February and also about her announcement of extending her planned one-year stay in the UK until this fall.
In Episode 13, we look back at her life in the UK over the last month with photos taken by Kotobuki-san herself.
We also asked her about her Easter with her host family and relatives, what she wants to do now that the lockdown restrictions have been relaxed, and her thoughts on her YouTube channel "Kotobuki Minako's -Maji Kotobuki!-“ which will celebrate its first anniversary this April.
[Interview and text by Kaori Yoneda].
■Delighted to be reunited with schoolmates! Looking forward to the opening of cafes and the theater!
--In the UK, where the easing of the lockdown began in February; you must have had many days of free activity in March.
Kotobuki: I was allowed to meet up to six people outdoors, and I even got to see my Iraqi friends again for the first time in about six months!
--That sounds great! Is it still possible to eat at cafes and restaurants?
Kotobuki: It was difficult in March, but since April 12, we have finally been able to eat and drink outside (*The interview was conducted in mid-April.) Since clothing stores and beauty salons were also going to open this day, I was excited that “the day had finally arrived!”
I heard that there were many people who were even more excited than I was, and when the pubs opened at midnight on April 12, there were many people waiting in line. It was snowing in England that day, but everyone was really into it!
--Kotobuki-san, have you been to any restaurants yet?
Kotobuki: No, I haven't yet, because basically you can't eat or drink indoors yet. But before I came to England, I had a plan that I would try to go to a cafe every morning when I started my life in England. I'm looking forward to finally being able to put this into practice.
--You much be really looking forward to April and beyond!
Kotobuki: The first thing that makes me happy is that I can make plans with my friends. I used to say, "I want to go there! I can't go now, but..." So far, all I've done is make vague promises.
The theater is scheduled to open in May, so I've already secured tickets for four or five shows.
--On the work front, you appeared as the last voice acting guest on the Nippon Broadcasting System's radio program "Mu~Comi+Plus" in March.
Kotobuki: I was really happy that they invited Sphere as the last voice actor guest, and I was watching the last episode on March 25 on "Issho Ken Channel" (*a YouTube channel where the personality, announcer Yoshida Naoki, goes as a VTuber), and when Tanaka Rie and motsu-san came out as a surprise, I laughed out loud. I was entertained all the way to the end, but at the same time, I felt sad that the show was coming to an end.
--Let's take a look back at the memories of March with photos.
■To Kensington Park, that appeared in your first play, "Other People's Eyes.”
--Right away, that's a photo taken outdoors. Where was this taken?
Kotobuki: This is the Victoria & Albert Museum, which has a large collection of arts and crafts from all over the world. This is where Britain's jewels lie, and I've always wanted to go there someday, so I was happy to see the exterior for the first time. Unfortunately, I can't go inside yet.
--So, did you come to this area for some other purpose?
Kotobuki: It was near a massage parlor that I was introduced to. When I was in Japan, I used to go to a massage parlor once a week for constant maintenance, but since I hadn't done that at all for the past year, my body was starting to reach its limits.
It was a massage parlor run by a Japanese guy, and he was the best I've ever had! I felt so much better, so I decided to go for a walk and then go home.
The place in this photo is "Kensington Park". In my previous performance, "The Public Eye" (2017), I had said "Kensington Park" many times in my lines, so I was thrilled to say, "So this is that Kensington Park!”
■Overcoming my dislike of the “telephone“ in the UK
--Then there is your Easter photo, which was also shown on YouTube. In the video, you mentioned that you overcame raisins and rum after coming to the UK, but are there any other habits or behaviors that you were not good at that you have overcome?
Kotobuki: I feel like I'm getting over the "telephone," although it wasn't originally, since I came to England, I've felt uncomfortable with the telephone. I still can't speak English smoothly, so I have to use facial expressions and gestures to convey nuances, and I was really uncomfortable on the phone when I couldn't do that.
If it was face-to-face, I could just say "this one," but on the phone, I had to explain in detail, and I didn't have the confidence to convey that well. ...... The phone was the biggest hurdle for me, so I avoided it as much as possible, but I am getting over it now.
--Are there any specific episodes where you felt that you were able to overcome?
Kotobuki: It was when I made a phone call to a store that sells Kobe beef, which is rare in the UK. I was supposed to place an order for pickup on Friday, but I mistakenly placed it on Thursday. I called them and asked how to cancel the order, but they said, "Like this? Like this? I asked a lot of questions, but he was very polite and helpful.
I was able to cancel without any problems, and when I went to pick up my order on Friday, I was pleasantly surprised when she noticed me and said, "Minako? (laugh)
--It was definitely a delicious restaurant, even including the episode.
Kotobuki: It tasted really good too! You can see a little bit of rice in some parts, but that's because I couldn't resist and ate one piece before taking the picture (laughs).
→Next page: "I want to watch Japanese anime in Japanese": What is the appeal of Japanese anime and voice actors?
■”I want to watch Japanese anime in Japanese." What is the appeal of Japanese anime and voice actors?
--Did you spend Easter with your host family?
Kotobuki: I spent time with my host family and their relatives. It was a time when we couldn't meet other people indoors yet, so we had a bonfire in the garden and grilled sausages and did some activity-like things. My host family's grandchildren love anime, and they always do their best to talk about it, which made me feel lovely.
--Speaking of anime, it was announced that the release date for "Gundam Reconguista in G III the Movie: Legacy from Outer Space" has been set for July 22 (*Kotobuki-san will be playing the role of Noredo Nag). How is Gundam's popularity overseas?
Kotobuki: When the live-action film adaptation of the "Mobile Suit Gundam" series was announced the other day, I saw a lot of excitement on the Internet. That's how much "Gundam" is loved all over the world, and I felt that it is immortal.
--Hisashi: What kind of Japanese anime do the people you meet in England watch?
Kotobuki: Everyone I meet says that the first anime they watched was "DEATH NOTE". They talk about the psycho-horror elements and the interesting story line.
The other day, I was talking about Japanese anime with a friend and they said, "I want to watch Japanese anime properly in Japanese," which left an impression on me. When I asked them why they didn't watch the anime dubbed in English, they said, "The emotions that Japanese people produce are so realistic that I can't believe it's anime. They said, "When it is dubbed, it sounds like they are talking in a children's cartoon.”
Maybe that's what it sounds like because, in the UK, anime has an image of being educational. I think it's good that the characters are well-drawn and you can see how they live their lives.
--Didn't the dubbing story sound very gratifying to you, Kotobuki, as a voice actor?
Kotobuki: I was so happy! It's an honor to know that people can sense the emotions from my lines even though they don't know what the Japanese means. Language is important, but it made me realize that emotions are the most important thing.
■The first anniversary of "Kotobuki Minako's Maji Kotobuki!” A look back at my first year as a YouTuber
-- "Minako Kotobuki's -Maji Kotbuki!-“ will be celebrating its first anniversary in April. How do you feel looking back on your year as a YouTuber again?
Kotobuki: Thankfully, I was able to continue for one year. It's thanks to all of you who have been watching me.
In March, I uploaded more than 100 videos, “I want to preserve this scenery!”, “I want to share with my fans in Japan!” There are so many things in the UK that I want to share with my Japanese fans, so I'd like to post more videos in the future!
--Personally, I liked Kotobuki's "Study With Me" because it showed your real life in the UK.
Kotobuki: Really? Actually, that video was something I struggled with for about a month before I finally released it. Personally, I've watched a lot of Study With Me videos, and I like the ones with music, so I kept asking myself, "Is it really okay if it's silent? I had a lot of discussions with the staff. In the end, I was very happy to hear that many people said it was good.
In the comments, some people said they wanted a longer version, so we hope to release a longer version in the future.
--May is the first anniversary of "Sphere's 4 colors LABO," and each of the four members has their own unique style in their videos, so please tell us about your favorite videos.
Kotobuki: Since we're here, let me introduce my favorite video by the other three members. For (Toyosaki) Aki, it's her makeup video.
I knew she liked make-up and cosmetics, and I saw her always talking about them with a twinkle in her eye, so I really like her.
As for (Tomatsu) Haruka, the legendary "milk and natto chazuke" (laughs).
I had heard about it, but I had never seen it. When I saw the video for the first time, I thought, "Maybe I will become interested”.
(Takagai) Ayahi, the video talking about the contents of her bag.
She has often said that she wanted to introduce the contents of her bag, and I thought it was wonderful that she was able to do so. Ayahi always has a lot of luggage (laughs), so I thought it would be worth seeing.
--Each time, when you introduce yourselves, you make one comment that is very Sphere like.
Kotobuki: When I'm thinking about it, my adrenaline is pumping and I'm in the mood to say, "This is going to be good!” But when I look at the self-introductions again, I often think, "What the heck am I saying? (laughs).
--It's still fresh in my mind when Yuuki Aoi made her first appearance as a guest. Is there anything new you would like to try in the future?
Kotobuki: I'd like to have Aoi and others as guests again. What I want to do most now is to travel within the UK. When things ease up, I'd like to be able to bring you scenes of England other than London.
I'd also like to introduce afternoon tea stores, and since I didn't film the Harry Potter Studio Tour when I went there before, I'd really like to film it next time and show you what it's like inside. Please look forward to it!
The 2nd PV for TV anime Ahiru no Sora has been released and features the passionate plays of a freakishly tall basketball club member. Broadcasting information was released at the same time. The series will be aired on TV Tokyo’s channel 6 starting on October 2nd.
「BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!」 and its 4th tie-up with Lawson as of September the 3rd, has been revealed. The campaign is to give out a limited quantity of originals goods which will be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis
From TV anime "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind" comes blazers and pants (slacks) which can be worn together as business suits inspired by Giorno Giovanna and Bruno Bucciarati. Pre-orders are available at "Premium Bandai" until Dec. 26, 2019.
“Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation”, which had been announced to be animated, was decided to be broadcast as TV anime in 2020. In addition, the first visual depicting the four main characters and a PV by the new animation production company “Studio Bind” established for this work were released.