Sano Hayato • Furukawa Tsuyoshi • Morisaki Win • Itagaki Mizuki
Member Mix Interview for FAKE MOTION -King of Ping Pong- Vol. 01
“FAKE MOTION -King of Ping Pong- is an interactive entertainment project combining the talents of EBiDAN, a group of young talents who are quickly gaining momentum in the media, producer and artist Mafumafu, and manga artist Tanaka Ogoretsu into one star-studded ensemble. The project mixes media formats with television drama, music, and serial comics. Currently, the television series is airing on NTV.
Girlswalker managed to edge into the FAKE MOTION CD release event and have exclusive talks with the actors who will be appearing in the drama series! We will hold a series of 9 interviews with a mix of members from each cast. In addition to the interviews, check the “heart-stopping” comment TikToks that can only be found here!
The first volume of this interview series features Sano Hayato (playing the role of Takasugi Ritsu), Furukawa Tsuyoshi (playing the role of Katsura Koutaro), Morisaki Win (playing the role of Kondo Isami), and Itagaki Mizuki (playing the role of Hijikata Toshiki).
Enthusiastic About the Big Project! “Making EBiDAN known to more and more…”
There’s so many EBiDAN members slated to appear in this drama. When you first heard about that, what was your reaction?
Hayato: “I was pretty surprised! I don’t know how to say it…well, maybe this is kind of putting the cart before the horse, but, I thought like, ‘Wow, we made it big.’ I used to hear stories from our sempai that in the early days of EBiDAN they were struggling to make performances in times where not even 100 people would attend. Now, that little EBiDAN has been given the opportunity to be in a mainstream drama series where most of the main characters are from within our group, so I was overjoyed to hear it. And as well, that we will be the ones to sing the theme songs… I hope this makes EBiDAN known to more and more people everywhere.
With that said, was there a certain amount of pressure you felt as well?
Hayato: “As we were bestowed with blessings like good luck wishes from our superiors around us, of course there was a certain amount of pressure. But, rather than be carried away by the heat of the moment, it’s better to stay focused on walking the path of our sempai and keep trying our best to do well.”
Exposing One Another by Revealing Their Unseen Side ♡
There really is a mix of people here, so amongst the four of you there should be something you’ve recently discovered, or something that made your perception of the other person change? First, let’s start with things about Sano Hayato.
Hayato: “This is actually my first time properly meeting with Win, but the two of us (gestures between himself and Tsuyoshi) have been close for almost far too long, so…hmm, was there something that changed for you?”
Tsuyoshi: “Well, this is the first time we have been close together in a work-related setting. In that sense, when you’re working…there’s a particular attitude and seriousness you bring forth. For me, it was quite educational.”
Mizuki: “It’s also my first time being in a production where I’m actually together with Hayato. Let’s see, something that he might do to the point where it could be said to be his little quirk…Whenever he’s saying some important line or laughing really hard, without fail, he always crooks his neck to the side like this!”
Hayato: “Wait, really?!”
Mizuki: “And then, when you turn and look ahead suddenly, you blink a bit before staring. I mean, it’s like a little bit more on purpose than natural, because you’re trying to come across more cool.”
Hayato: “Hmm, I think it is kind of intentional… Nooooo… (laughs) I guess I’ve been exposed~ (laughs)”
Mizuki: “When you’re laughing you kind of go off balance a bit and such. That kind of acting is pretty good I think.”
Hayato: “Are you my fanboy or something?”
You guys are just how I thought you’d be. (laughs) Win, what were your preconceptions about Hayato?
Win: “We had exchanged greetings and such, but we had never had a proper conversation up to this point, and so I only knew things from seeing him on TV; however, now that we’re working together, I realized ‘Well, he’s the same off-screen as he was on-screen.’ Of course, he’s been known as a beloved leader by all. But this time, I could see for myself as well, ‘It really is the same up close.’ I especially cherish how he treats everyone equally with respect.”
Hayato: “…. (laughs). That’s way more praise than I truly deserve, really. Way more than I deserve.”
Tsuyoshi: “He’s being humble (laughs)”
What were your first impressions about Tsuyoshi?
Hayato: “I’ve known him since forever, but…really, he’s so serious. (laughs)”
Mizuki: “He really is so serious. I never thought he’d be like that.”
Hayato: “With the blond hair, and the way he didn’t really show any cute side in the theme song and all, he has this very brooding image. But, the truth is, he’s just taking his work very, very seriously.”
Tsuyoshi: “Ohoho (laughs)”
Hayato: “Actually, I’ve known about this part of him for a while, but when it comes to acting he is extremely serious. He thinks about things like how to act out so that the viewer can understand his intent more clearly, and pointing out inconsistencies or obscurity in the role. And furthermore, he has a way of communicating to the director his thoughts as well, and eloquently at that. So, I mean this in a good way but my perception of him didn’t change at all. Furthermore, he is a fantastic listener. No matter the situation, he can find the best part of everything and bring laughter. Sometimes when I say something totally useless and dumb, he can still follow even the most stupid topic and turn it into a whole conversation where we end up talking about pretty much everything under the sun. As someone who’s been in my life for so long, he’s only brought good vibes (laughs).”
Mizuki & Win: “Good vibes (laughs)”
What were your first impressions about Mizuki, then?
Win: “When we were filming for this project, I sensed he was a bit of a lost soul in many ways… (laughs) We are on the same team in the show, so there were many moments when I could feel it for myself. For our roles, we had to show a mother and child-type of relationship already, but through the series I really felt like ‘I’ll wrap him up and hold him close, comforting him like a crying child,’ as if I was feeling a capacity for motherhood inside of me that I had never felt before.”
Tsuyoshi: “That was beautiful!”
Win: “Sorry, it got weird (laughs).”
Mizuki: “No, that was really beautiful…”
Win: “There were some parallels to reality, so I thought it would make the drama all that more interesting. I could feel that Mizuki is very honest, but this makes him quite vulnerable. If there’s something that he doesn’t feel right about or fully understand, he says so. He’ll just say, like, ‘I’m not sure about this. Isn’t the way it is a bit wrong?’ Because he came to me, I felt like I in turn became the best at consoling his worries.”
Mizuki: “At the time, I was not sure if I should approach this drama as an EBiDAN talent, or as a general actor, and it made me very torn. Win happened to already be playing the ‘mother’ role as it was, so right in step with the role I found I really could turn to him easily. And it seems to go beyond parts we were acting as well.”
Win: “He always ran straight to me, but I feel like it may have been more enlightening for me than him. I have never felt anything even close to the desire to wrap someone up and comfort them or anything (laughs) I could finally recognize the real mother that had been hidden inside of me.”
And with Win, it’s nearly universally the first experience you’ve all had acting alongside him. What preconceptions did you have about him?
Hayato: “I said this to Win before too, but his aura was so intense! He really has a different feel than us. It’s like he is existing on some higher plane. I’m not just saying this because he’s my sempai, but when you see him it’s kind of like, ‘well, I can’t beat that.’ Not just in ping pong but in everything.”
Tsuyoshi: “Exactly! He was a bit intimidating. The first confrontation scene was quite unforgettable. It was like ‘well, we’re screwed now’ when he came on. He has a formidable presence.”
Win: “No way, really, I think you guys just saw me that way because you were wanting to see it (laughs). If it were only me who gave out such a threatening aura, it wouldn’t have such an impact. It’s because everyone in Hachioji cultivated and brought forth a similar energy that the impact could get across.”
Hayato: “….And that modesty is also something great about him!”
Mizuki: “As someone on the same team, I grew to appreciate his constant presence as a mothering figure. Even though it’s true that he’s the oldest, regardless of that there’s still not any of us here who could emotionally be able to play that role. Furthermore, he’s a very pure person. Even on set he was very considerate of all around him, and I had a feeling like, wow, I don’t think this person is even capable of harming another living being. I thought he was very wonderful. And he was a pleasure to work with.”
Win: “Thank you!!”
Getting Attention for the Theme Songs as well! The fantastical composition and jumping dialogue are a delight
There’s also been a fair bit of attention received by the theme song “FAKE MOTION” released under the name King of Ping Pong. Please tell us your thoughts on it, or any memorable parts you’d like us to hear.
Tsuyoshi: “There are not many opportunities like this for all of us to get together from our various groups and sing together, put on a CD, and even more than that be able to include major sempais like Kitamura Takumi and Win, so I was really happy to be given that chance. When I listen to it, I feel like a regular listener myself (rather than the singer).”
Win: “The song was produced by Mafumafu and what I particularly enjoyed was the usage of words that put a new spin on a sport everyone is familiar with, like ping pong. The melody is quite catchy as well, and once you hear it it’s something that will stick in your head and you’ll find yourself humming to it throughout the day. The wordplay and melody come together to create a fantastical image, so please give it a listen!”
Hayato: “In the middle there’s my catch phrase too! ‘I’m not ready to lose~’ Saying my phrase was kind of embarrassing (laughs) “
Tsuyoshi: “It was embarrassing for me too though (laughs)”
Hayato: “You have a line like that too (laughs). ‘Who’s going to be there when you’re sad except the team?’ DUN DUN DUNNN~”
Tsuyoshi: “Everyone cracked up laughing (laughs)”
[ENG SUB] TikTok Comment video to make your heart stop!
Check the improv-style “heart-stopping” comment video recorded by the members! This time, their reactions are to the prompt: ‘The words you say to the girl you like when you’d like to invite her to your next ping pong match!’