Ryuta Tasaki, director of Kamen Rider Gaim, was interviewed by the Uchusen magazine, he talks about the meaning of having dance in Gaim and comments on Urobuchi’s trap.
Uchusen: When were you first asked to work on Kamen Rider Gaim?
Ryuta Tasaki: I got a call from Takebe around Summer of last year. I had just finished my job on Akibaranger and Nintama Rantarou. At that time it was already decided that Urobuchi would write it. The samurai, fruit and lock motifs were already decided too.
U: But why was dance added into this?
RT: Dancing was Urobuchi’s idea. Urobuchi wanted to add young people growing up as a part of the series. Throughout this year, you’ll be able to see these young people growing up and moving on from the stage. They’ll start to see things from different perspectives and become more like responsible adults. The dancing is something cool for the kids to look at, but as the series progresses and the more they mature, the characters will move onto different things.
U: The dance teams are supposed to be an allusion to the Warring States, right?
RT: Yes, the characters will be using the Rider powers for settling the dance team disputes. The adults see them as kids playing with toys basically, but it will eventually change.
U: Why is it that Gaim is set in fictional city with a huge company running it?
RT: That’s also because of Urobuchi. Kouta will be changing drastically, so this gives him more room for creativity. For this, a bigger authority above Kouta and the others is needed.
U: So what do you think of Urobuchi’s job on Kamen Rider so far? Seeing that he’s new to this.
RT: Strangely enough, it’s very basic at the beginning. I think it’s easily accessible for the first time viewers though. But the thing is even if the first episodes are easily accessible there’s so many twists waiting to happen, it’s all just a clever trap.
U: Did you ask Gaku Sano to portray a certain way?
RT: That’s mainly Urobuchi’s job, since he’s the writer. I did want him to be more of a funny character, after Wizard’s Haruto being the handsome and serious type.
U: What about Takebe? Did she give you any specific requests?
RT: After Kamen Rider W, the Rider shows mainly had 2 Riders. Takebe wanted to scrap this idea, which is why she further pushed multiple Riders. Takebe wants to create an all new image for Kamen Rider. Urobuchi who loves Kamen Rider Ryuki thought multiple Riders was a good idea too. So Takebe told us to use the multiple Riders and make Kamen Rider Gaim more drama-like.
U: How does it feel directing a pilot episode of Kamen Rider after such long time?
RT: I did work on a few Wizard episodes, it feels good to work with the Kamen Rider team. But being the main directer is a bit harder, when you hand over to a different director you still want them to maintain the same image. Everyone has different vision and interprets the script differently though. And the actors who’ve never been on a Rider show might not be able to keep up with this style, which gives them more workload.
U: What is your personal goal with Gaim?
RT: I think this is the show where we can change Kamen Rider into something better. But the thing is, it’s not up to me. There’s so many factors that can make this a success. The film crew, the staff behind the toys and the people behind the creative process. Everyone has to pull their weight to make this into a success.
Because of this we’ve borrowed successful things from previous shows. Takebe asked Urobuchi to go back to early Heisei. Together, we’ve put a lot of Heisei references in the first 2 episodes. For example, the large amount of Riders like in Ryuki, Faiz’ Smart Brain and Gaim’s Yggdrasill. People who love Kamen Rider will probably be able to pick up a lot of these references. But the truth is, it’s all Urobuchi’s trap. He’s building up a story that most fans are used too, only to tear it down with new and surprising twists.
It’s not enough to just use successful things from previous shows, it’s uninteresting and you might as well watch that show instead.
U: How did you react when you first saw the design Gaim’s Orange Arms?
RT: Urobuchi was very surprised. As for me, I’m used to this. I remember being surprised when I first saw Ryuki, then Faiz. Now, I just wait for the actual suit and and see how Takaiwa moves around in it. Even if a design is cool, it’s nothing if we can’t make it look cool once it’s moving. It’s our job to make it cool, even if the design isn’t. I’ll have to admit Baron’s banana ears are shocking.
I would’ve never thought of putting together fruits with armors for a toy. But that’s the beautiful thing about it. How can we make something like that interesting and fun for the viewers?
U: What would you say is the highlight of episode 1?
RT: Probably the very first scene. Gaim riding a horse was a lot cooler than I imagined. Around July, when it was clear that Gaim was gonna be using a fruit armor we had to come up with an interesting transformation sequence.
There’s another thing I’d like the viewers to pay extra attention to, it’s the amount Riders we have. I’m sure you’ll be able to find your own favorite. Right now, the most popular one among the staff is Gridon. I like the little hammer Gridon has. I’m positive that the adults will love Gridon as well, possibly a character they can even relate to. Pay extra attention to Gridon as the character debuts.
U: Lastly, do you have any comments regarding the upcoming Fateful Sengoku Movie Battle?
RT: It’ll be celebrating the 15th Heisei Rider show. The previous 14 Riders will be appearing as Warrior God Riders. Definitely look forward to it. We’ve been using Toei’s Edo set in Kyoto for a very special scene.