(Translated by sumire from an article in the November 1995 Animage)

Hikaru Midorikawa and Takehito KoyasuSearch For Your Star Prince! Operation 1

Hikaru Midorikawa vs. Takehito Koyasu
Rivals Born of These Times

Now, this era is Hikaru Midorikawa and Takehito Koyasu. Since they act together in three works, "Shin Kidou Senki Gundam W," "Fushigi Yuugi," and "Slayers," and their relationship is that of rivals in all of them, we've come to wonder, "What is there between them?" We approach the mystery of the greatest, strongest rivals appearing in 1995!

Hikaru Midorikawa
Gundam W / Heero Yui
Fushigi Yuugi / Tamahome
Slayers / Zelgadis
Takehito Koyasu
Gundam W / Zechs Merquise
Fushigi Yuugi / Hotohori
Slayers / Akahoshi Rezo

A Fateful Meeting!?

AM: When was it that you first met?
Koyasu: We acted together in "Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden" ("Legend of Galactic Heroes Supplemental Story") I played Kircheis, and Midorikawa-kun was Reinhart. After that suddenly ended, we did the CD drama "Gestalt" and "Battle Girl Ai." I have the feeling we were rivals in "Battle."
Midorikawa: Yes. Actually, I remember the first time I met Koyasu-san. It was at an audition for a certain work.
sitting on the floor, chattingKoyasu: I don't remember that at all.
Midorikawa: That was the first audition I ever got, and Nobutoshi Hayashi was there, too. Somehow, Koyasu-san's face and other things made a lasting impression on me. So, when we started working together, I recognized him and thought, "Oh, it's that guy." But that doesn't mean I particularly remember anyone else.
Koyasu: Wasn't it that you were in love with me?
Midorikawa: Wha~t are you saying?! (laughs)
Koyasu: That's love at first sight, isn't it? Geez, if that's the case, you should have just said so in the first place. (laughs)
Midorikawa: But it's only recently that we've been able to talk often like this.
Koyasu: "Gundam W" and "Fushigi Yuugi" and "Slayers"--with these three, we meet three times a week. Even if we didn't want to, we'd have to end up talking to each other. (laughs) What's more, we're rivals in all three. I wonder why.
Midorikawa: There must be something like the "Shijintenchisho" [the "Four Gods Sky and Earth," the magic book in Fushigi Yuugi].
Koyasu: It's destiny.

Love Rivals

AM: Now, in "Fushigi Yuugi," the two of you are rivals for love...
Koyasu: For Hotohori, it's over already. He knows he's been jilted. No matter how much he tries to protect her with his life or give up his life, it won't reach Miaka, because Tamahome is there. I guess it's death by poisoning. (laughs)
Midorikawa: He always says this kind of stuff in the studio. (laughs) But lately, in regards to this matter, Hotohori has ended up spiritually enlightened...
Koyasu: It's really true. It was different in the beginning. He thought of Miaka with all his heart and did all sorts of things for her. But in spite of that, three scenes later, she'd be going "Tamahome...*heart mark*." Even though he's been doing a "love call," and he worries about her... geez. Recently, Miaka told Tamahome, "It's because I was about to be fickle"--not serious feelings, but fickleness, she said, and Hotohori got a shock and was enlightened.
AM: How does Tamahome feel?
Midorikawa: Well... It can't be helped, can it? (laughs)
Koyasu: Fine, enough already, I'm going to Yui-chan. (laughs) Yui-chan's good, too. Isn't she cute? She's twisted, but it's understandable that she's twisted. But I guess Miaka's the type who's more popular with boys.
Midorikawa: Given Miaka and Yui, I prefer Miaka. She's true to her feelings, and unpretentious--that's what I like about her. And I think that's the type of girl you can have a future with, date for a long time.
Koyasu: In the original work, Hotohori ends up giving up on Miaka. But personally, I prefer a Hotohori with lingering affection who thinks of her forever, really.
AM: If the two of you were love rivals, how do you think things would unfold?
Midorikawa: What would happen, I wonder.
still talking...Koyasu: But ultimately, how she feels about it is the most important thing. If she meets two guys at the same time, in the end she has to like one better--girls are like that, right? When that happens, if she were to choose Midorikawa, for instance, would I give up, or would I keep approaching her and steal her away--or would I do neither and just kill Midorikawa or something (laughs)--that's the question. I wonder what I would do. I might stay attached to her and try various things with my mind made up that I'll make her turn around.
Midorikawa: If it's me the way I am now, I might back off.
Koyasu: Why?
Midorikawa: There are other things I have to do.
Koyasu: Hey, hey! (laughs) You're really crazy about her, this girl. She's going to be taken away by some other guy. Don't you want to get her back from the guy who took her from you?
Midorikawa: It's all right.
Koyasu: It's okay? You don't mind giving up?
Midorikawa: .......
Koyasu: Midorikawa-kun, you're thinking it over, aren't you. (laughs)
Midorikawa: I guess it would depend on my state at the time.
AM: Koyasu-san, are you the type to go straight for one woman?
Koyasu: Well, no, maybe not that. I'm always like, "What a great girl--oh, that girl is, too." (laughs) But it's different when it's a scramble. Then, I really can't think there are lots of other girls.
Midorikawa: It's not that I'd be wondering what to do; I suppose I would work hard to get her to turn around. To get her to like me, I'd master all kinds of abilities. That's what I'd do. And then, having tried to train myself, if it still didn't work, then we just weren't meant for each other.
AM: So, Midorikawa-san, your opponent is yourself. Koyasu-san, who is your opponent?
Koyasu: My opponent is the man who stands against me. (laughs) I'm persistent. Mental attack, physical attack. "Hey, you. You like that girl? Well, then, shall I make you transfer to another school?"--things like that, somehow manage to run the son of a bitch out of the school. 'Cause I'm a villain.
Midorikawa: ..... (laughs) But that itself shows that your love is deep.
Koyasu: I wonder. That and this might be different matters. When I'm determined, the means and the end sometimes switch places. (laughs)

The Relationship as Soldiers

AM: Now, let's talk about "Gundam W." Heero and Zechs also fight like rivals.
Koyasu: That comes across as one-sided. Only Zechs thinks of Heero as his rival, doesn't he?
Midorikawa: No, hasn't Heero has also started to be aware of it? Besides, when they fought one-on-one at the South Pole, he said, "He's not that kind of person." He acknowledges his superiority, although an enemy is an enemy.
Koyasu: Zechs seems to think of Heero as an ideal. Zechs has a lot of things he can't throw away, so he wishes he could fight like Heero, clearing everything else away.
Midorikawa: He sees Heero as the perfect soldier.
Koyasu: I guess when Zechs met Heero, he realized how weak he himself was, and all the self-confidence he had had up until then started to break down like angry waves. It's not an unusual feeling for the elite. Zechs has a lot of connections, so he's always worried about something. I play a lot of characters like that. They're troubled because they bear their burdens alone. I guess my personality is like that, too.
Midorikawa: (laughs) In contrast, I play a lot of characters who push straight on, "Whooa!" Heero's like that, too. Heero probably doesn't think about the meaning of his fighting and things like that the way Zechs does. The mission is the only thing in his mind. But lately, he's finally started to think about himself a little.
Koyasu: That's right.
Midorikawa: Up until now, he's taken action with what he's been given, but lately, it's as though he's just using that as a base for his own thoughts. I'm looking forward to seeing how he changes in the future. Although it sounds like it'll be difficult to act. (laughs)
Koyasu: Because we really don't know how the show is going to turn out.
Midorikawa: Heero will get more and more difficult.

I'm Supposed to be Cool, But...

AM: Finally, what do you think of each other?
Koyasu: I don't make a good impression. (laughs)
Midorikawa: Hey, but you play lots of complex characters. At first glance, you seem to be a man with an air of danger. And you do have a side like that, but you're pretty open, so it's easy to be friends with you, and you're older than me, so you're a good big brother.
Koyasu: Somehow, I just can't be cool in front of Midorikawa-kun. (laughs) Every time I'm with him, I end up showing how uncool I am. I wonder why.
AM: In what way are you uncool?
Koyasu: There was what I call the autograph board incident--that was uncool. The other day, there was a "Fushigi Yuugi" event, and during the present corner, they brought out autograph boards signed by the voice actors. The lady who was acting as MC introduced them saying, "We have these, too!" and the audience screamed, "KYA~!" Waiting in the wings, I heard that and thought, "They're going for the autograph boards--good, good." And then, when it was my turn to come on, I grabbed the autograph board in front of me and--"Look!"--I pretended to throw it into the audience...
Midorikawa: And it slipped from his hand, and the autograph board...
Koyasu: Went fluttering away in a disgracefully flimsy way. What's more, it just barely dropped behind a part of the stage that didn't reach the audience. Oh, what should I do? I rushed over and went like this (stooping into a half-sitting position) and confusedly tried to pick it up. Just like a ball boy. (laughs) It was incredibly uncool. Somehow, I did too much.
Midorikawa: The audience was pretty unsympathetic, too, wasn't it?
Koyasu: That's right. The audience was looking at me like, "What the heck is he doing?" (laughs)
Midorikawa: You even got a "manager check," too. She told you, "Get a grip on yourself." (laughs)
Koyasu: So, every time I do something like that, Midorikawa is always there (laughs), really. Even though I'm supposed to have a cool image...
final shotMidorikawa: I like that side of Koyasu-san. Like the way he always stubs his toe on the same table at the "Gundam W" studio. (laughs) Because a very cool person is doing it, it's fine.
Koyasu: I just can't look good, can I?
AM: Koyasu-san, what is the Midorikawa-san you see like?
Koyasu: He's taught me all kinds of things. The person who told me it's fun to go to game centers was Midorikawa-kun. Midorikawa-kun and I are a year apart, but we're friends of the same generation. We've lived through the same period, so when we talk about what we've done in our lifetimes, "Oh, yeah, that's right"--we understand each other right away. From that standpoint, he's easy to talk to, and he's interesting to talk to, too. But he hardly knows my cool side, so that might cause misunderstanding. (laughs)
AM: Thank you very much.

Photographs by Kazuo Kawamura

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