Sorry I took so long to get this translated. You can still view the live stream of the event @periscope. I think it’ll be available until end June. I might or might not translate the stage greeting report that took place after this red carpet event…
Kento: Hello everyone. I’m Yamazaki Kento who played Shin. Thank you for coming today. Kingdom to me is a really precious project. I filmed this with a lot of passion. From now on…*clears throat*… what is it………….. Well, the movie will open on 19 April. Today we have the completion screening which will be the first time the general public watches the movie so I’m really excited. Eh this Kingdom– Ah! (LOL) Really, this is a movie that represents Japan, using the latest technology and filled with action. It’s a really interesting movie, so please look forward to the release. Thank you in advance for today.
Ryo: I’m Yoshizawa Ryo, who plays Eisei and Hyou. I’m really happy that so many of you are gathered here today in this chilly weather. Thank you very much. Today the audience are finally able to watch it. Before the filming started, I was already very pumped up for this project, and now that everyone is able to watch it, I’m very nervous. I think it’s a really amazing movie that will definitely be interesting to all kinds of people, even if you aren’t familiar with China history. So I’ll be glad if you can watch it. Thank you.
Masami: I’m Nagasawa Masami who played Yotanwa. Thank you for coming today. I felt a lot of pressure playing Yotanwa, cos she’s a very popular character. But when I watched the completed movie, I felt that its intensity could be brought out splendidly on the theatre screen. I’m confident that it’ll reach you. Please look forward to the movie. Thank you in advance for today.
Kanna: Good evening, everyone. I’m Hashimoto Kanna. I played Karyoten. The movie opens on 19 April, so it’s not released yet. But everyone kindly gathered here for this Kingdom event. I really could feel that many people’s eyes are on this Kingdom movie. Thinking of the tough filming we went through, I hope that everyone will be able to watch it soon. That it’s been completed and that I’m able to stand here in front of everyone, I feel really blessed. The movie too of course, but I also hope that you will enjoy today’s event to the end. Thank you in advance for today.
Here, the MC introduces him as “Hongo Kanata-SAN” but there seem to be an inside joke about how he should be called “Hongo Kanata-CHAN” instead. Kanata-chan interrupted them and said “Can I speak already?” XD
Kanata: Hello everyone. I’m Hongo Kanata who played Seikyou. I watched the completed movie, and it’s super duper interesting. I felt that it’s without a doubt Japan’s top class entertainment mega-blockbuster. I hope everyone will watch it in the theatres. It’s a very powerful movie so please look forward to the release. Thank you in advance for today.
Mitsushima: Everyone, Spring is here. Good evening. I’m Mitsushima Shinnosuke. My role is called “Heki” but written as “Kabe” (wall). Nobody is laughing at this now, but before, during the announcement press conference, people laughed. If you’re thinking why people laughed then, the ones who laughed were all our own people. I was able to participate in a movie that makes you think “I’m glad to be living in this era”. Until now there are many movies made that are adapted from mangas I’ve read. But this one is different. When I watched the movie, I thought that this has become a wonderful piece of work, that it might be that one Japanese movie that the world can relate to. This is the result of the efforts of the cast starting with Yamazaki-kun, and the thousands of staff that worked on it together. There was filming in China, so we were able to interact with the locals there as well. Not only in Japan, but to bring this movie to the world, we need all of your support! The sakuras are in full bloom today. We are counting on everyone for your support to make this movie bloom as beautifully as these sakuras. Thank you in advance for today.
Takashima: I’m Takashima Masahiro who played Shoubunkun. Thank you for coming. It’s still kinda chilly. Is everyone cold? Is everyone alright? Oh, that’s great. I was able to watch the movie before the release, and really, it’s become a movie of grand scale filled with the sweetness of youth. Hara-sensei also told us that we don’t have to be bothered too much by the original manga. But the completed movie is totally the world of Kingdom. Usually there are many people who go “what the…” whenever movies that are adapted from mangas are released, but this time I don’t think there will be such complaints. It has become a work I’m very satisfied with. We’ll need everyone’s support from now, so please. Thank you.
Kaname: I’m Kaname Jun. I’m a fan of the Kingdom manga. When I heard that it’ll be made into a movie, I was like “I don’t care what role I get, I just want to appear in the movie”. I really didn’t expect that I would get the role of Tou. Every day after filming ended, I felt sad and happy at the same time. I was filming it while savouring the world of Kingdom. Now that it’s finally going to be released, I’m really happy. I also watched the completed movie and it’s really wonderful. I think that fans of the manga like me will also be very satisfied with it. Please look forward to it. Thank you in advance for today.
Osawa: I’m Osawa Takao who played Ouki. Thanks for coming today. Everyone has spoken so I’ve nothing much more to add but the filming started around this time last year in China. It’s the live action adaptation of a super popular manga, so I was also very anxious as to what’s gonna happen. But starting with Yamazaki Kento-kun, the splendid cast, the staff, and more than anything, under the direction of Director Sato, we filmed for a few months in China and Japan. The other day I watched the completed movie, and what everyone said just now wasn’t an exaggeration. I really feel that it’s something I’ve never seen before, something that might break the records of Japanese movies, a really wonderful entertaining movie. 19 April is the release date. We need the support of everyone of you, to bring this movie to the world. Thank you in advance for today.
Sato: I’m the director Sato Shinsuke. Thank you for coming. Kingdom is a masterpiece among mangas that accumulates the best of techniques to date. I was able to be part of the project that adapted this into a movie. I work with the same group of staff and there were many of my past projects which we also thought were not possible to be made into motion picture, but this time was indeed on a different level, even the staff voiced out their concerns to me. I started creating this movie with the belief that we will succeed in producing a magnificent piece of work. This movie was created after loads of discussion with the staff and cast. “Is this really a Japanese movie? Where is this?” We were aiming to create such a movie that has no boundaries, and I feel that it has indeed become such a movie. It’s set in BC200 in China, and there have been many historical movies in China before, but I feel that this is a very special new historical work that has never been depicted before. I hope that you’ll discard any prior information you have, reset your mind, and enjoy watching the movie. Thank you.
Hara: Hello, I’m Hara. 13 years ago, in a one-room apartment in Iogi in Tokyo, Kingdom started with just a paper and pen. Now that it’s become this huge, me being here now feels like a dream! I’ve watched the movie twice and I think it’s a movie that can be enjoyed by fans of the manga as well as people who’ve never heard of the manga, a super exciting movie that will make you feel satisfied. Please watch it in the theatres. Thank you in advance for today.
MC: First of all, we heard that Hara-sensei was in charge of the script this time. Please share with us more details on that.
Hara: When I first knew about the movie, I thought “I definitely want this to succeed”. If they cared too much about the manga, on the contrary in order to make it fit into a 2-hour movie, they might not cut parts of the manga that should be cleanly cut. So I told them to do it the way they want. After that, I took part in the script meetings, which started with me saying “Let’s reconstruct this into an enjoyable 2-hour movie that will leave people feeling a little refreshed”.
MC: Director Sato, while filming this on an awesome scale, what was the part you were most careful about?
Sato: What I was most concerned about was, to be honest, that rustic and violent touch of the manga, that we wouldn’t be able to bring out if it’s made into a live action. Because we’re filming real people after all. But I was thinking of things like “how should we turn the passion found in that into moving picture?” and there’s one more, because it’s a historical piece, filming it normally will result in it being a “taiga roman”. Instead of that, “how should we do it so that it has a totally different taste”? I created this movie thinking of all these.
MC: Yamazaki-san, you did filming in both China and Japan. Please tell us what you paid attention to and the hardships of playing Shin.
Kento: While playing Shin, as he’s an honest slave boy who has infinite possibilities and who can fly higher than anyone else, I placed most importance in my emotions including the action scenes, and was only always giving my best effort. Including the lines I had to deliver, I gave my all.
MC: I heard that you also shaped your body for it?
Kento: Yes. Because he’s a slave boy, he should look as slim as possible, so I restricted my diet. I also did a lot of training for the action scenes, so I gradually became thinner.
MC: Is your physical condition alright?
Kento: It’s alright now!
MC: Yoshizawa-san, I heard that Hara-sensei spoke to you too. What did you pay attention to when you played Sei and Hyou?
Ryo: I spoke to Hara-sensei when he came to visit the China location. When we were eating at the food stall, Hara-sensei happened to pass by, so we ate and talked together. At that time, many of the cast including Kento were around too. The scene of Hyou’s final moment that was shown in the trailer– it’s alright to talk about this right?
Kento: Don’t worry!
Ryo: If it’s shown in the trailer, it should be fine to say it right?
MC: The trailer was shown just now too, so I think it’s fine.
Ryo: I played two roles, and the role Hyou died halfway through. The scene where Hyou died in the manga was also one that Hara-sensei placed great importance on. He told us that, and when we heard it, both Kento and I have yet to film that scene, so we got really fired up like “let’s use our best effort to do that scene!”, and the finished scene was rather good, right? *looks at Kento*
Kento: *looks at Ryo* That’s right.
Ryo: It was good!
MC: The way you both looked at each other~ I think it’s lovely.
Ryo: Thank you.
MC: Nagasawa-san, you played the mountain king this time. How was it like playing Yotanwa? What did you pay attention to?
Masami: It was a role that has absolute strength, so I had to make sure I didn’t lose out, emotions wise. Hence I did it while feeling the huge pressure.
MC: How was it like when you actually watched the movie?
Masami: Yeah. Indeed I felt a lot of the intensity that’s brought out by Director Sato, not only the parts I played but the rest of the movie as well. He made me a much stronger Yotanwa than I thought. I felt that the staff have really helped me… It’s because there was a sense of trust within the set that such great stuff can be brought out in the film.
MC: Hashimoto-san, you have acted many times with Yamazaki-san and Yoshizawa-san. How do you feel about acting with them again this time?
Kanna: This is the first time that we had that many scenes together. As Karyoten, I was always with Shin and Sei, so just by following them, I was relying on them both.
MC: How was the atmosphere like during the filming?
Kanna: It was enjoyable and harmonious on the set. Indeed, we filmed in many many places, in China and Japan, so there were also a lot of standby and waiting time in between set changes and camera setting changes. Basically there were many places we filmed at that had no signal. *sound of car horning* Eh, what’s wrong? (LOL) Yeah there were no signal in places like the cave or deep in the mountains. So it felt like we could do nothing but talk. We formed circles and talked, it was a good atmosphere. The filming was harsh, but I felt that everyone also kept a “let’s enjoy it!” feeling.
MC: Hongo-san is playing an enemy role, so to speak. What did you pay attention to while playing him?
Kanata: I thought “It’s better to make myself as hateful as possible” and I want people watching to go “I really hate this guy!”. So yeah, I played a really hateful guy. When I watched the completed movie myself, I was thinking “uwah, I really hate this guy!”.
MC: This means you succeeded.
Kanata: Yeah, I guess this means it was a success.
MC: You and Yoshizawa-san play brothers, so regarding that, was there anything you paid attention to?
Kanata: Eh? Paid attention? Yoshizawa-san, your face is really handsome. I’m happy to play your brother.
Ryo: No no, really, you have a pretty face. Thank you. I really love Seikyou. To be so thoroughly evil is on the contrary really cool. Even towards the end, he was laughing foolishly, so it was like “even under such circumstances, this guy can laugh!”. I think that was very cool.
Kanata: I’m happy. Thank you very much. Sei was super cool!
MC: Mitsushima-san, how about you?
Mitsushima: Throughout the filming, we all chatted a lot. We weren’t talking, but chatting, really casually. This team kept praising each other. That’s so wonderful! I don’t think I’ve met such a team before. Things like “Yoshizawa-kun is so handsome” or “Kento’s action is so awesome”. Everyone were saying good things about each other. At first I looked at them and laughed, like “these guys are really young”, but this has become a really good team. Everyone saw Kento-kun’s body starting to take shape, and his face changing, and we said things like “you’ve gradually changed, right?” etc… It’s the team that took shape not during the filming but from the conversations we had during filming breaks. This was also reflected in the movie. The atmosphere we created was converted into the energy needed to go bring down Hongo-kun (Seikyou). I feel that the human bond we have that doesn’t lose out to the magnificent scale of the production was clearly brought out on the screen. This part makes me feel that I’m glad to be part of “Kingdom”. Yup. Well, nobody has praised me before though, not even once.
MC: Oh, nobody has praised you before? Then, Yoshizawa-san, please do so.
Ryo: Well, Mitsushima-san! (LOL) But really, he’s a funny person. He was always warming up the set, everyone would be laughing heartily at his gags.
Kento: *to Mitsushima* You are cool!
Mitsushima: I’m happy!!
MC: Are you satisfied now?
Mitsushima: Yes, very.
MC: That’s great. Thank you. Well then, Takashima-san, as Shoubunkun, you had many scenes with Yamazaki-san and Yoshizawa-san.
Takashima: All in all, including the two of them too, everyone of us were enveloped in the bliss that says “I’m appearing in the movie called Kingdom!”. The armour was heavy, the filming location was in such a huge set in China, but stepping out of that set, there were toilets and food stalls. After returning to Japan, we filmed the mountain people scenes at the borders of Miyazaki prefecture and Kagoshima. It was muddy and not sure if it’s because of someone’s evil deeds, it started raining… The armour was already so heavy, but everyone had to stand on the muddy slopes. Our ankles were sore. In such tough filming conditions, we were saved by the fun conversations we had during filming breaks. Without those, I think there’d be many people including the staff who would have gone home feeling angry… Because we did it over and over again till the Director was satisfied. Although that made us feel assured, no matter how tough it was for the cast and staff, we had to keep doing it until the Director gives his OK… But when I watched the completed film, I thought “this is really awesome!”. I realized that we wouldn’t have achieved such a fantastic film without any compromise.
MC: Kaname-san, as Tou, you did a lot of filming with Osawa-san who played Ouki, right?
Kaname: Osawa-san is one of the actors I really respect, so I was nervous when filming together with him. All of my scenes were with him, so with Osawa-san around, it was really fun. Everyday, he treated me to hot pot. China is the home for hot pots, and we both love hot pots, so when filming ended, he’d say “wanna go for hot pot?” even if it was already late. And I’d be like “is it okay?” and thus we spend every day together talking about loads of things. It was a really blissful time for me.
Osawa: There weren’t many other places to go, and when it was time to go for meals, somehow Kaname-kun was always beside me (LOL) so I invited him.
MC: How was the role Ouki?
Osawa: When I read about Ouki in the manga, I thought he’s so godlike, so I was worrying about just how human-like I can portray him to be. I discussed this with the director. Once I got on the set, all these wonderful cast were there, and like what Takashima-san said earlier, they all really lived as their roles. Even though they were actors and actresses I know, they were like strangers as I could only see them as their roles. I was really moved by that, and was able to naturally become Ouki. I’m really thankful to everyone.
MC: How was it like acting with the younger cast?
Osawa: They were very professional, and didn’t feel like they were my juniors. On the contrary, I was the one who learned from them. I didn’t want to lose out to them in terms of my feelings towards ‘Kingdom’, but the younger team really brought so much more passion onto the set, and I was really happy and glad that they were together with me. We have to gather all our forces together, to make this Kingdom movie a big success, so that it’ll reach everyone in the world, even if it’s just one person more.
MC: Please tell us what you feel is the moment that made you think ‘this is Kingdom!’.
Kento: This is Kingdom… Well… There were too many… There were too many moments that made me feel that it’s ‘Kingdom’… That’s right…. That’s right… There’s a scene where I was walking together with the mountain people. While walking, the feeling of excitement I had, I was filming it thinking “this is really Kingdom”.
MC: Everyone, please pay attention to that scene.
Kento: Yeah, it’s a bit of a spoiler, so… The feeling of “moving on”… that “wohhh!” feeling… Yup.
MC: How about you, Yoshizawa-san?
Ryo: There’re really many… of such moments where I felt were ‘Kingdom’. While filming, I thought indeed it was the moment when Ouki appeared. His build, and the persuasive power of his aura, it felt like he wasn’t a human being like us, like his body’s exuding this “an amazing person is here!” feel. It’s like “This Ouki–” Ah, this is also a spoiler. Okay, let’s stop here (LOL)… But really, the tension and sense of responsibility that Ouki brought really helped me in playing Sei. Indeed, with such a fantastic cast… and actually I played the King and should be the one right on top, but that scene with Osawa-san brought out that tension, and it was then that I really thought that “this is Kingdom”.
MC: From Hara-sensei’s point of view, which moment in the movie did you feel was ‘Kingdom’?
*Masami and Kento starts whispering to each other*
Hara: It was really interesting. Every moment of the two hours was interesting. What I felt was a success was, there were so many scenes that would make you cry. “To make someone cry” sounds easy but it’s difficult. The power of the cast and the director together created scenes that made you cry from the heart. That’s really ‘Kingdom’, and I can say that with confidence. It’s a really interesting movie.
MC: Sensei, you cried too?
Hara: I cried about 5 times. I couldn’t stop crying.
MC: I see. Then, we hope everyone will look out for those scenes.
Kento: Sorry, can I say something? About the answer to the question just now. I was only focusing on the scenes, but what defines ‘Kingdom’ is indeed… our ‘PASSION’!
Mitsushima: Was that what Nagasawa Masami-san was telling you from the side just now? I thought I saw you guys whispering…
Kento: Honestly, I also thought this way!
Masami: *to Kento* You have to tell them your feelings!
Kento: I will! I also thought the same, that if it’s Kingdom, it’s PASSION!!! Everyone, the cast and staff, everyone did it with a lot of passion!… That’s what I wanted to say (LOL).
Mitsushima: Also, I just noticed something. The soldiers that are standing at the sides now are wearing the same costumes that we wore… Perhaps? It is, right? The same armour and weapons that were used in the movie.
Dir. Sato: We brought those back to Japan. There were only a few sets that we could bring back.
Mitsushima: I felt really nostalgic looking at those. I’m feeling strange now thinking back on those moments… I just wanted to say that.
MC: Finally, with this passion, Yamazaki-san, please give a closing comment.
Kento: Representing everyone, I really… I really think that everyone of the staff… I think everyone really has a lot of passion towards ‘Kingdom’, and Hara-sensei has also lent us his power, and all kinds of emotions are poured into this project. The completed movie is really amazing, and I can say confidently that it’s interesting, so please look forward to it. We’d be glad if you could help to spread that passion. Thank you very much for today!
Photos from the event: