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[InC-terview] Takeru Satoh on Playing Characters from Popular Manga Series!

By Flora  /  17 Nov 2015 (Tuesday)
Widely known for his lead role as Himura Kenshin in the live-action film trilogy ‘Rurouni Kenshin’, Japanese actor Takeru Satoh takes on another manga-to-movie role in upcoming film, Bakuman. 

In town last weekend for the WAKUWAKU Japan carnival, Satoh met with the media to talk about his filming experiences as Moritaka Mashiro in Bakuman. In the movie, Satoh plays a gifted manga illustrator who aspires to create a manga series for Shonen Jump Weekly. He pairs up with his high school classmate, who happens to be an aspiring manga writer Akito Takagi (Ryunosuke Kamiki)  to achieve their dreams together. 

Portraying a character that already has a legion of fans is always a double-edged sword - you either gain a whole lot of fans thereafter; or the die-hard fans will be out to destroy you. 

To the non-followers of Bakuman, the manga was the seventh best-selling manga series of 2011 and the tenth best of 2012, and had over 15 million volumes in circulation by May 2014 - that's some big shoes to fill. 

“For popular manga series, people will already have expectations and how the character will be, so I do feel that the hurdle becomes harder,” said Satoh. “However, the way that I create these characters is the same. It is more about whether the audiences will accept me playing these popular roles.”

The 26-year-old actor shared that he was initially worried about playing a younger character, but relied on his co-actor, Kamiki to help him with his characterisation. 

“Kamiki is about 5 years younger than me, so his time in High School is closer and more recent than mine. In a way, I kind of watch his acting and at times imitate him.” 

He added: “I was into dancing when I was in high school. I was breakdancing and that was actually the only thing I did in high school. After school ended, I will practice breakdancing till late at night and will be sleeping in classes the day after.”

Being a fan of manga, he listed ‘Hunter X Hunter’ and ‘One Piece’ as some of his current favourite series, but wasn’t able to name a character he desires to play in the future. 

“I can’t decide,” exclaimed the actor. “As a manga fan, I don’t think all manga should be made into live action films, but maybe in a hundred years or so when the technology is better.”

Bakuman opens InCinemas 19 November 2015!
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