Following the TOKYO MX anime, “Prison School (監獄学園)”which started showing in July this year, the live action drama of the same series will be showing on October 25 on MBS, and October 27 on TBS. The two people acting as the main character, Kiyoshi, voice actor Hiroshi Kamiya(40), and actor Taishi Nakagawa (17), came together to share their thoughts on the manga, the anime, and about the live action drama as well.
“Prison school” was a manga series by Mangaka Akira Hiramoto. It serialized in Kodansha’s weekly “Young Magazine” in February 7, 2011, and the anime adaption premiered in July this year. The story revolves around strict girls high school that has now admitted males students into their system. The main character, Kiyoshi Fujino, and four other friends, Takehito “Gakuto” Morokuzu, Shingo Wakamoto, Jouji “Joe” Nezu, and Reiji “Andre” Andou, relish the fact that they are the only male students in the whole school of girls, and attempted to peep at some girls in the shower room. They were caught peeping by the “Secret” Student Council, and ended up being thrown into prison, in their own school. The story from then on, tells about their daily life in that prison, and their attempts to escape.
Question 1: What you do think attracts people to read the manga?
Kamiya: When director Mizushima told me that he wanted me to be in the anime version, I went to the book store and bought the manga for “Prison School”. At first, I really thought, “should I take the offer?” (laughs) I couldn’t tell if some parts of the manga were serious or they were just cracking jokes. But when I came to the part where the guys were wearing rubber suits, I thought, “Oh my, these guys are idiots!” At the moment I thought, “ This is bad, it’s really interesting!” I can’t really put into words to explain why this manga is interesting, but I guess you have to see if this sort of story suits you or not.
Nakagawa: When I read the title, I thought that this manga was probably a serious one. But really, the characters in the story really do stupid things right? Even then, there’s also suspense and seriousness in the story. It really sucks you into the world of “Prison School”.
Kamiya: When you look at the manga at the surface, you may think that the characters are just dumb, but the story really gets you hooked. While preparing for recording, I might sometimes read a specific scene in the manga to check how it was done, but I would end up reading more than what I meant to. This series has some mysterious power. It’s amazing that Hiramoto sensei (the mangaka) can draw something so amazing.
Nakagawa: That’s really true! I’m 17 this year, and people my age have many dreams and desires, and most of us are really crazy about manga and anime.
Kamiya: I’m 40 this year but really, it’s the same with me. I guess guys are still guys, no matter if they are 17 years old or 40 years old. This manga is awesome as it outrightly shows what boys are thinking, like how they long for the naked bodies of the opposite sex.
Nakagawa: No matter how old I become, I’ll never want to forget this feeling!
Question 2: What do you think about Kiyoshi?
Nakagawa: Kamiy-san, what were the things you thought about while acting out the main character “Kiyoshi”?
Kamiya: It is the same for any role I act, which is not to make the character a hateful one. As the protagonist is the one that is heard most of the time, if the audience hates the anime, they won’t even continue watching it. I don’t really have concrete advice on how not to make your character hated by the audience, but we should keep that in mind. What about you, Nakagawa-san?
Nakagawa: I loved the “Prison School” series, and I am really happy to have gotten this role. While acting this role, I want to remain as true to the original work as possible. Being in a school where the ratio of boys to girls is 1 to 200, is really a situation that we can only dream of. So, in a way, I felt that I was acting in a fantasy drama, and thus I could enjoy myself during the process, rather than feel embarrassed while acting out those embarrassing scenes where the boys are acting crazy.
Kamiya: Yeah, that’s how an actor should feel.
Nakagawa: I guess that’s a prerequisite. (laughs) While I was reading the scene where Chiyo drags Kiyoshi into the girls’ bathroom, I was thinking to myself, “can this scene really be done in the drama?” When I got the script, I found that they did include the scene, which made be really happy I was literally jumping up and down.
Kamiya: Yes, now that’s a good kid. (laughs)
Nakagawa: But really, I felt small on the set, there were so many naked female bodies I felt a little dizzy…
Kamiya: That’s awesome! I can’t imagine what the live action is like!
Live Action Drama “Prison School” will be showing at the following timings:
MBS: Sundays, 12:50am to 1:20am
TBS: Tuesdays, 1:11am to 1:41am
If you happen to be in Japan, do try to catch it!