As the release of the Blu-ray & DVD of “Psycho-Pass 3: First Inspector”, the latest title of the series, on Jul. 15, 2020 is getting close, a 3-week interview has been conducted.
This is the 2nd part in which Horiuchi Kenyuu as Azusawa Kouichi talks about what difficulty he felt in playing the lunatic character, his impression of the character, and his thoughts on his role.

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Horiuchi Kenyuu as Azusawa Kouichi

――What was your impression on the TV series “Psycho-Pass 3” (hereinafter PP3)?

Horiuchi Kenyuu(hereinafter Horiuchi): I was told that the “Psycho-Pass” series was very popular, so it was a pleasure as an actor to be part of it.

――How did you interpret the role of Azusawa Kouichi, the First Inspector who does the dirty work for the mysterious <Bifrost>?

Horiuchi: I've been informed that he was a “villain”, but when I saw the line “I'm happy” in the 1st episode and was told to “Portray him as an elusive character,” it made me confused since there were so many patterns to play him in.

But after a few takes, I got a kind of “Not knowing if he is good or bad” feeling, and as the story developed I could grasp his past. The relationship between Azusawa and (Shindou) Arata's father (Shindou Atsushi) made me think he must have a scar in his heart. It was quite a challenge to figure out the elusive character little by little, but at the same time, was very interesting.

――Azusawa's character got revealed episode by episode. In episode 4 we found out that he was good at martial arts.

Horiuchi: He was so strong that the Audio Director told me not to use too much breath, haha. He even says “Ack-chooww!” Anyway, he was an interesting character. Oh, and he gives Enomiya Haruki a “choice” yet drives him to his death. He doesn't directly kill him, he lets him choose (death)… Azusawa is really crafty, haha.

――Azusawa, the First Inspector of <Bifrost> was one of the smartest criminals of the series.

Horiuchi: I've seen many villains in various series, but he may be the sharpest of them all. He dodges through the <Sibyl System> and kills people without staining his hue. How he gives his victims a “choice” was so scary, I would even call it lunacy.

But to him, this is just life. Everything that happens is within his expectations, so it doesn't mean much to him. In a way, he's a genius. Still, he has a hole in his heart, and his ambition comes from his desire to fill in that hole.
I felt that sorrow of his in Azusawa's lines when I played his role.

――Azusawa's partner, Obata (Chiyo)-chan, is a tough female that denounces him. But Azusawa doesn't mind, and even adores her. What do you think of their relationship?

Horiuchi: She was quite the partner. Exchanging lines with Obata-chan (Yahagi Sayuri) came naturally to me. I still wondered why Azusawa, as a superior as an Inspector, let Obata-chan be so harsh on him, haha.
But Azusawa has a lot of trust in Obata-chan. He never gets mad at her for making a mistake, and tells her it's okay. I once asked the director (Shiotani Naoyoshi) about their relationship, and he told me that Obata used to be an apparel designer, and she accidentally reached <Bifrost> when she was hacking in her spare time. Azusawa headhunted her to become an Inspector.
(Shindou) Arata and Kei (Mikhail Ignatov) are called climbing partners, but I believe Azusawa and Obata-chan have the same kind of relationship.

――So, they're the counterpart of Arata and Kei.

Horiuchi: In the scene where Azusawa tells Obata-chan about the story of “The Nutcracker (and the Mouse King)” (in episode 8), he is indirectly telling her about his plans. But since their conversation is so comical, the story sounds casual. I thought it was a beautiful scene.

――What did you think of the detectives of the Public Safety Bureau?

Horiuchi: I believe this is a series with many complex words. However, the actors play their roles so well that you can understand their lines, thanks to their skills. Personally speaking, I liked Todoroki (Tenma). He is a member of an elite family, yet he's a tough-looking Enforcer. It's amazing how carefully the past is depicted in the story.

The scene where Todoroki is delighted of getting a Dominator was so cute, haha. Also, when I saw the scene where Irie (Kazumichi) fiddles with the music box, I was like “Yeah, there are people like that.” Oh, I just remembered, Irie used to be a delinquent too… It was fascinating to watch the detectives being themselves, but pulling up their socks when they need to.

――In “PP3FI”, Azusawa takes over the Public Safety Bureau building. What was your impression on “PP3FI”?

Horiuchi: Even Obata-chan being taken in custody in the Public Safety Bureau building was within his expectations. I was purely impressed by his actions. There were also scenes where Obata-chan showed her skills, and seeing the relationship between the two was interesting.

――Azusawa finally confronts Shindou Atsushi's son, Shindou Arata.

Horiuchi: I would like everyone who watched the show to imagine what happened to Shindou Arata and Azusawa. Azusawa climbed the ladder from Enforcer to First Inspector, and wanted more. His expression when he talked about what his goals were was so intense.
It was terrifying, but at the same time, he seemed like he was in ecstasy. He had calculated way through so far, but just twice, he gets it wrong. The ending was quite sad. Obata-chan's last scene left a strong image on me.

――<Bifrost> gets unveiled in “PP3FI”. How do you feel about a society controlled by the <Sibyl System>?

Horiuchi: There may really be a society controlled by an AI in the near future. But I think there will be people who try to take advantage of the system.
<Bifrost> does exactly that. They're playing a game by taking advantage of the <Sibyl System>, so probably the same thing will happen in the near future. However, I also thought that maybe the people of <Bifrost> were trying to create a better system than the <Sibyl System>.

――What are your thoughts on playing the role of Azusawa.

Horiuchi: It wasn't difficult to take on the role of Azusawa, but I can't say I could fully grasp what kind of person he was, he was quite complex. To be honest it was hard work. However, it was a great opportunity to take on such an interesting role.
What's amazing about this series is that you can enjoy it from various perspectives. Each of the main characters or even different from them. The story doesn't conclude that Azusawa is “evil”. This gives the series the depth it has.

――How would you like the fans to enjoy “PP3FI”?

Horiuchi: Many elements from the former series appear in the show, so I believe all the “Psycho-Pass” fans can enjoy it.
However, we need more explanation from Azusawa. I was talking with Kaji (Yuuki)-kun (as Shindou Arata) the other day, and I said “Maybe Azusawa will come back as an Enforcer.” He told me Azusawa has too strong of a character, haha.
I wish that someday, he will tell us more about himself.

(C)Psycho-Pass Production Committee