Fumika Baba interview article in “Kamen Rider Drive Character Book: Volume 2 Tomodachi” (English translation)

2016/11/23

I decided to pass away with a smile at the very end

One of my strongest memories is from shooting episode 11 of Kamen Rider Drive. It was my first time appearing on the show, and I didn’t fully get how to portray my character. Because of that, I thought there’s no way I can do this…and I didn’t have a lot of experience as an actress to rely on either. Even though I’m confessing it now, it was really painful for me back then. It’s only recently that I’ve felt more confident in my role. It wasn’t until around episode 37 and episode 38 that I started to really get comfortable portraying Medic. She was a mystery to me up until then.

In Episode 38, Medic shows her true emotions for the first time. After Heart’s ultra-evolution, she drops to the ground crying and beating the ground, because some of her fellow Roidmudes have been destroyed. That was the first time I felt like I was able to open myself up to Medic as a character. I started to seriously thinking about Medic’s character, and I think that helped me to portray her better than I had in the past. Even though Brain becomes stronger throughout the series, he never understands Medic despite her motives being clear.

After that, I felt more comfortable and familiar with Medic. It became a lot of fun to integrate her character and essence into my life. The cast and the staff had a lot of conversations with me about my portrayal of the character and my acting ability. After I gained more confidence, I was able to better relate to my colleagues and communicate with them better. My manager even noticed and said, “You’ve really changed haven’t you?” It was around then (June 21st) that I turned 20 years old and hit a milestone in my personal life. I got to a really good place. I only wish I had taken the opportunity to blossom like that sooner…that’s what I think. (Bitter smile)

Understanding my role with an extended field of vision
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Rio Uchida interview article in “Kamen Rider Drive Character Book: Volume 2 Tomodachi” (English translation)

2016/11/21

Backing up heroes, that was Kiriko’s and my mission

My last appearance was in the final episode where I had received a written invitation to be alongside the others in the waiting room (in the special investigation section of the station). Even though it was my final appearance, the final scene shooting didn’t feel lonely. Actually I was just relieved that during the final shoot nobody was injured, there were no accidents, and I could finish out the show by saying, “Thank you for your work this year, thank you all so much.”

My honest feeling from the final day of shooting was that everybody – the staff and the cast – all really loved Kamen Rider Drive. Although the Kamen Rider series has been continuing for a long time, for many years, it felt like the cast and staff had worked together to create a very special version of the beloved series. And I feel so happy that I got to be a part of it.

Takeryou (Ryoma Takeuchi) thought the same thing too, and Mr. Seiji Takaiwa (one of the Kamen Rider Drive suit actors) talked a lot about the role of the heroine in this series – one who had a deep relationship with the main cast members and had gained their trust for the first time in the series. Even in the fight scenes, we all wanted to talk with each other and keep up communication. It was wonderful to hear Mr. Takaiwa’s thoughts, especially since he is a veteran of the series.

There were other things I enjoyed too. At the premiere for Kamen Rider Drive: Surprise Future, when I came into the waiting room, (Baba) Fumika and the other Roidmude actors and actresses were there. I had gotten there just after the interviews had ended, and many of my friends were there. Afterwards we all went out to dinner together. Everyone came, and by the time we were on stage together it already felt like we were all close friends. Truly, I loved working on the show especially because of the other cast members I had the fortune to work with.

Honestly, I was so happy to get to know everybody. And I think, “I hope I see everyone again”. Because we have a bond from working on “Drive” together for a year, I believe we’ll stick together in some way another, no matter what changes in our lives.

To be a Heroine
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Rika Izumi screenshots from “Sanma & Okamura Matsuri” episode 4

2016/11/14

Rika Izumi appeared in episode 4 of the comedy show Sanma & Okamura Matsuri which was broadcast on 9 August 2016. Her model colleagues Emma and Reina Michelle Mama from Stardust Promotion Section 1 were also guests on the show:

They had an “American-style BBQ”:


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Miyuu Sawai in “The Single Teacher Miss Hayako” episode 7

2016/11/05

Miyuu Sawai appeared in episode 7 of “The Single Teacher Miss Hayako”, which was broadcast in June 2016. Her character mistook the woman walking with her ex-boyfriend as his new girlfriend, and attacked the woman. The woman played along until the actual new girlfriend arrived to clarify the matter.


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Keiko Kitagawa in “Nikkei Health” November 2016 issue

2016/11/04