“The Crocodile Who Dies in 100 Days” depicts the daily life of a crocodile and its death in 100 days. The movie “The Crocodile Who Lived for 100 Days” is based on this book, and in addition to the message of the original, it is a film with original episodes about the friends after the 100 days.
It is a story that will resonate with more people now than ever, as it overlaps the lives of the characters with their daily lives and sense of values that have been changed by the corona pandemic.
For this interview, we asked Kamiki Ryunosuke, who plays Crocodile, Tomoya Nakamura, who plays Mouse, and Subaru Kimura, who plays Mole, to share their thoughts on the appeal of the film and the “friends” it portrays.
[Interview and text by Noshita Nao, photography by Ayumi Fujita].
■Characters as realistic as in a live-action movie
–First of all, please tell us about your memories of playing the characters and what you were particular about.
Kamiki: I was thrilled to be able to create the impression of the crocodile character with my own voice. I was able to decide how high or low my voice should be, and how I should speak, so I had to think about the balance between my voice and that of my other best friends, including Mouse, which was both difficult and fun because of the freedom.
The director ordered me to “talk as if I were with my best friends in a good, carefree way” and “use the pauses and tension of a crocodile talking in a relaxed, natural voice”, so I was conscious of this when I was acting.
Nakamura: Mouse oozes kindness in its actions and blank spaces, and it is a character that is sensitive and observant of its surroundings, but I felt that it has an overall air of bluntness. With that in mind, I tried to keep my voice expression as plain as possible.
Kimura: From the time I read the original story, I had the impression that Mole was a bit like an older brother to his best friends. He’s mature and has a sense of perspective. He wears a hoodie and looks a bit naughty, but I tried to keep the first impression I had of him and play him with a cool, unflappable air.
Kamiki: I’ve worked with Tomo-kun before in “March come in like a Lion” and “Shijinsou no Satsujin” and we’ve become good friends, so I believed in our bond, and I tried my best to create the atmosphere of Crocodile and Mouse who have known each other since childhood.
I worked with Subaru-kun about 15 years ago in “Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s Dinosaur 2006”. At the time, I was in the sixth grade of elementary school and Subaru-kun was the closest to me in age among the cast, so he treated me like an younger brother. I have known him since I was a child, so I felt at ease with him, and it was really fun to act with him.
Nakamura: I’ve never met Subaru-kun before, but I knew him from Ryu, and he was very frank when I met him. He doesn’t seem like it but he is actually younger than me.
Kimura: That’s right (laughs).
Nakamura: If you asked him to, he would even play the character of the anime he was in charge of. It was a lot of fun to post-record with such a fun group of people.
Kimura: I was happy to be able to try something new that I had never done before, because it was a work that required a reality similar to that of a live-action movie, which is a little different from the animation I usually do.
■Heart-wrenching original episodes
–The second half of the story takes place 100 days after the death of the crocodile. This will be an original episode for the film that is not in the original story. What are your impressions after watching it?
Kamiki: After an event that changes your daily life, there are people who try to be positive, people who can’t be positive, people who don’t even try to be positive, and people who don’t even want to look forward. I was wondering how the stopped time of those people would pass and how they would handle things.
In fact, when you see it in the video, after the loss of Crocodile, the friends realize that they should not have taken for granted what they did before . That scene made my heart ache.
I could feel the director’s message that “the corona pandemic has made the ordinary not ordinary anymore. Also, depending on how you spent your time with the crocodile and how you feel about it, the way you feel about it afterwards will change. I thought it was wonderful that the story carefully depicted these aspects.
Nakamura: I think when you build a house, you need four pillars. The addition of original episodes to the film adaptation of the original story made the pillars thicker and stronger, and I felt that it had a synergistic effect. As Ryu-kun just said, the message became much easier to convey, and I felt more familiar with the heart-breaking moments.
Kimura: On the day of the recording, the director told me, “I was actually thinking of putting in 80% to 90% of what is depicted in the original story and making the rest original. But the corona pandemic has severed the ties between people, and it is no longer unrealistic to expect people to die. That’s why I decided to make half of the story about Crocodile living for 100 days and the other half a new one.
After I listened to him say this and watched the film again, I realized that even though Crocodile did not appear in the film, I could feel his presence all the time. I thought it was a wonderful story that gave me a sense of sadness and warmth.
–How did you feel about the existence of an original character named Frog?
Kamiki: I was looking forward to seeing how Hiroki (Yamada) would play the role. When I actually saw him, I was really impressed. The character himself is cute and easy to watch, but I think the presence of the Frog helped convey the director’s message.
Nakamura: It’s not about Frog himself, but it was interesting to see how nervous Yuki was during the recording (laughs). I thought it was a character that Yuki seemed to be good at, so I’ve always wondered why he was so nervous.
Kimura: The existence of Frog itself is a foreign substance to his friends, isn’t it? But he also has a past, and he came to an unknown town. I was touched when the reason for his arrival was revealed, and I thought it was a reminder that we shouldn’t judge people by their appearance when we translate it into the human world.
→Next page: [What do the three of you think of “friends”?]
■A companion is someone you instinctively and naturally feel comfortable with.
–Crocodile and his friends are very natural, aren’t they? I thought it was wonderful that they were together when they wanted to be, but also that they had a good sense of distance. Throughout the film, what kind of existence do you think friends are?
Kamiki: It’s not just people who have the same goal ……, is it?
Kimura: That’s right. It’s not like we’re friends because we’re together.
Kamiki: Yes. But there are people you haven’t kept in touch with at all, and even though you haven’t seen them in a while, they haven’t changed.
Kimura: Yes, there are. Even if you only see them once every six months or so, the atmosphere quickly becomes casual and friendly.
Kamiki: From the perspective of the relationship between Crocodile, I think people who naturally and instinctively feel that they will be with these people forever are their friends. When I try to come up with a definition, I feel it’s not right. So I guess you could say that people who you can instinctively imagine being with are your friends, without having to define them.
Kimura: Kamiki-kun, do you have someone like that?
Kamiki: Yes, I do.
Nakamura: I don’t have anyone.
Kamiki: …… Do you want to form a comedy group with the 3 of us?
Nakamura: Please do not forget to put “……” for the silence before his words .
Kamiki (laughs). Even though I was playing Crocodile, I instinctively thought that the people I was with were my friends. I mean, Crocodile and his friends don’t have anything. Sometimes we get together to have fun, but we don’t always have a purpose. I guess that’s what makes us friends, to be together without being aware of it.
Nakamura: If I were in a group, I would definitely be in the position of Mouse. I thought so from the first time I read the script, and that’s why I didn’t do anything in the play.
Kamiki: What do you mean ” I’m Mouse, aren’t I”?
Nakamura: That’s right. He is not like Crocodile, who is always in the center of the action, but he is also not like Mole, who takes care of others. I don’t know what he is thinking, but when he joins in, he joins in; when he pulls back, he pulls back; sometimes he cares, sometimes he doesn’t care. I am definitely Mouse. From now on, please call me “Mouse Senpai”.
Kimura: I was envious of their relationship. I don’t have any friends with this kind of relationship.
Nakamura: You seem to have the most friends out of the three of us.
Kimura: It’s not what it seems (laughs). There are many people I know, acquaintances, people I can talk to openly. But there’s no one I can call my best friend, even though we have nothing in common. Crocodile and his friends live close to each other, don’t they?
Nakamura: That’s right, we’ve been together since elementary school, haven’t we?
Kimura: Yes, yes. It’s the kind of relationship where you can go to that park after dark and see if everyone is there. But for me, my best friends from school live in different places, and there’s no place for us to get together.
I formed a theater troupe with my high school friends and we are still active, but they are more like family than friends. So, I really envy those friends who don’t have to do anything. I would like to make such friends in the future.
■Do you have many small bits of happiness in your daily life?
–This story also made me realize that there is a lot of small bits of happiness in our daily lives. What small happiness do you feel in your daily life?
Kamiki: In a game, when my account appeared on the screen of a live broadcast of a competition held by YouTubers, and I got the top ranking and my name was called. I was like, “I just got called!”
Nakamura: Can anyone participate in that tournament?
Kamiki: You can participate, but you have to make a certain amount of effort to win. It’s fun to watch the competition on my smartphone and think, “I’m in the picture!” When I get on the ranking list, they call out my name and rank, so I tell my friends about it and feel happy.
Kimura: That’s quite a blessing, isn’t it?
Nakamura: What game is that?
Kamiki: “Mario Kart”.
Nakamura: I play games too, but I’ve never done anything like Ryu. …… My small happiness is that I finish work at 9p.m. It makes me feel like I’m done early. So, …….
Kimura: Today too? (laughs).
Kamiki: Please write “He looks at the time on his cell phone” (laughs).
–By the way, what is your golden schedule after you finish work at 21:00?
Nakamura: I like to take a relaxing bath, so I think my golden schedule starts when I realize that I can finish my work before 9 p.m. If it’s late at night and the next day is also early, I can’t do that because I prioritize sleep.
Kamiki: Please write down “glancing at his cell phone” (laughs).
Nakamura: Everyone bursts into laughter, applauds, and the hoisting up begins.
Kamiki: It won’t start (laughs).
Nakamura: In the bath, I read manga and scripts, and play music and the radio while I’m soaking.
Kamiki: That’s good, isn’t it?
Kimura: I have a lot of small happiness. When I press the button on the elevator and the door opens immediately. When a beautiful woman gives me a “like” on Instagram. When you see a beautiful woman next to you on the train you got on.
Kamiki Two thirds of them are related to beautiful people.
Kimura: Also, when I can finish eating a kebab without getting your hands dirty.
Nakamura: Wouldn’t you be happy if the lettuce didn’t come out in the first bite of a hamburger?
Kimura: I’m happy! But this kind of happiness often passes without us being aware of it, so I try to think of it as “lucky”. Recently, I’ve been using a machine that sprays alcohol on my hands, and the moment I hold my hand up, alcohol comes out.
Nakamura: There’s so many!
Kimura: Yes! Also, when someone comes to the door of my apartment building and opens the door before I can turn the key.
Kamiki: When the sensor doesn’t respond to my movement, I often wonder if I’m human.
Kimura: Also, when I finish wiping my buttocks clean with just one roll of toilet paper, that’s the best!
Nakamura: For Subaru-kun, please use the topic of toilet paper (laughs).
(C) 2021 “The Alligator Who Lived for 100 Days” Production Committee