The press conference for Live Spectacle NARUTO was held at the Resorts WorldTM Theatre, and we were honoured to be graced by 4 members of the cast of Live Spectacle NARUTO, in their full costumes and make-up, as well as the scriptwriter and director for the stage production.
The host of the press conference did an introduction of Live Spectacle NARUTO, before inviting the cast and stage director on stage. Attending the press conference in full-gear, was Koudai Matsuoka (who plays Naruto), Ryuji Sato (who plays Sasuke), Yui Ito (who plays Sakura), and Kenta Suga (who plays Gaara). Last but not least was Akiko Kodama, the script-writer and director of the production.
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A series of questions was asked by the host of the event:
Q: After performing this show in Japan as well as Macau and Hong Kong, how do you feel to be here in Singapore?
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A: (Matsuoka) Hi everyone, I am Koudai Matsuoka. I am very happy to be here, and all the staff and cast are also very happy to be here to perform in Singapore.
(Sato) Hi everyone, I am Ryuji Sato, acting as Sasuke Uchiha. Having put on all our make-up and costumes for the press conference, we feel like we can give our best and perform on stage as well as all our other performances before. Also, all of us are very happy to be here in Singapore.
(Ito) We will be doing a total of 62 shows in total, and at the moment, after performing in Malaysia, we have already performed 58 shows. Although our performances spanned over four months, it feels as though everything was over very quickly, and we are very glad to come to Singapore for our last stop.
(Suga) We want to bring the entire performance in which we did in Japan, in its entirety, to Singapore for all of you.
Q: You have performed in four different regions in Japan, namely Fukuoka, Osaka, Tokyo, and Miyagi, as well as overseas countries such as Macau and Malaysia, and finally, Singapore. Were there any memories that you had from the different locations you performed at? How was the stage received in Japan?
A: (Ito) The atmosphere was different at every location, and in Japan, we first staged the performance in Tokyo, before moving on to the 3 other cities, and staged a performance again in Tokyo after touring Japan, Although we were performing the same production in the same city, the atmosphere was really different. A lot of fans sent their encouragement and cheers to us via SNS as well, which made us very happy.
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Q: How was the final stage in Tokyo after touring Japan? (a question for Koudai Matsuoka)
A: (Matsuoka) We could see that the cast had matured and grew during the many performances we did, and we really hope to bring this performance to Singapore as well.
Q: How was the performance in Macau then? (a question for Kenta Suga)
A: (Suga) I was very nervous as it was the first overseas performance. However, although we were performing in a country outside of Japan, the audience was very warm, and the show was very well received.
Q: How was the performance in Malaysia? (a question for Ryuji Sato)
A: (Sato) The greatest difference was that the reaction from audience was amazing. The part which was most memorable for me was when I said “Uzai yo” to Sakura, there was a loud booing from the audience.
The scriptwriter, Ms Akiko Kodama, was asked if she felt that there were any differences between staging the performance in Japan as compared to overseas.
A: (Kodama) What I felt surprised was the difference in the audience in Malaysia and Macau compared to that in Japan. The Japanese audience usually scrutinised every detail of the performance, but the audience in Malaysia and Macau just enjoyed the show, and were very eager to participate in the performance as well. The cast had to concentrate a lot more during the performances in Japan, as everything had to be perfect, and I guess it was quite difficult for them. However,when the audience in Malaysia cheered us on, the positive feedback actually made us more relaxed. They were also a very responsive audience.
Q: How do u feel about the performance that is coming up this weekend?
A: (Matsuoka) I am very grateful to have the chance to perform here, as there are many big names from Japan who came over here, and even artistes from overseas as well.
(Suga) I felt very happy when I saw the big poster of Naruto outside, which made me very glad that we have come this far with the production.
(Ito) The theatre that we will be performing at is huge and nice, and I feel very thankful to be able to perform in such a nice theatre in Singapore.
(Sato) Whatever I wanted to say was said by the other three already. laughs from other cast members
Questions were then opened to the floor, and a few questions were asked by the media.
Q: What were the challenges that you faced while doing the show?
A: (Matsuoka) I had to read all the volumes of the manga, as well as watch the anime, in order to get into character.
(Suga) The thing I am carrying now (gaara’s gourd) is actually a part of my body, so one of the challenges I faced, was how to be one with it.
(Ito) Sakura is a very energetic character, and I had to try my best to live up to the energetic and lively character that she is.
Q: What was the most difficult part about arranging the manga into a st production, and also what was the part that you were most concerned about?
A: (Kodama) It was important to make it such that the fans of Naurto would enjoy it, and those who don’t know Naruto would also enjoy it. It was difficult to condense all 27 volumes of the manga into this two-hour-long show.
Q: What is one attribute of your character that you can identify with?
A: (Matsuoka) Naruto says a lot of set phrases during the manga, and one of it was “never give up”. I also feel that of myself.
(Suga) I have a big forehead just like Gaara, and Ito also feels the same way, about her character, Sakura.
(Sato) Like Sasuke, I am the strongest here!
It was time to close the press conference, but last but not least, the cast gave their messages for the Singapore audience.
(Suga) We will like to bring the love of Naruto to Singapore, so please come and watch us!
(Ito) We will be bringing whatever we have been performing in Japan, to Singapore, and we would also like to bring the enthusiasm of the Japanese audience to Singapore as well. We look forward to seeing your happy faces at this huge theatre!
(Sato) Don’t underestimate the power of the Uchiha clan! That’s all I have to say.
(Matsuoka) Thank you all for coming to this press conference today. I feel that it is very important that this Japanese work is performed by Japanese actors and actresses, and we hope that many people will come to see us, and that our performance can touch more people.