From left to right;
Shimazaki Nobunaga: Katakura Keiichi
Matsuoka Yoshitsugu: Hashiba Natsuki
Eguchi Takuya: Matsunaga Tomoya
Uchiyama Koki: Naoe Tsuyoshi
The cast has been retained from the drama CD. The cast for the four female counterparts are Tsuda Minami (Kobayakawa Anna), Uchiyama Yumi (Tsutsui Mari), Ishigami Shizuka (Asai Yukiko) and Kayano Ai (Matsunaga Nozomi).
Q: Tell us – what were your honest thoughts when you heard that Nijiiro Days was to be adapted into an anime?
Matsuoka: I was actually wondering whether it would be turned into an anime and when I heard the news, I was genuinely glad.
Eguchi: I’m happy that we’re doing this with the same members as on the drama CD. During recordings for the drama CD the 4 of us would go for meals and talk about how “it’d be great if this became an anime”, and now it has become reality.
Shimazaki: It’s fresh and exciting to gather together a cast that is from the same generation. I really enjoyed working on the drama CDs and with these 4 members and I’m sure we’ll make a good show.
Uchiyama: With the announcement of the anime, I was very happy to learn that the cast would remain as it is. At the same time however, I do feel pressure to have been entrusted with this role.
Q: Do you share any similarities with your character? How about differences?
Matsuoka: I was able to voice the character without any discomfort. I think we resemble each other where we both have unshakeable self-belief. Maybe also our stubbornness and how we tend to act without thinking first. However, when it comes to women I’m unable to be as straight out with my emotions the way Natsuki is – I was that little bit jealous, but had fun voicing him.
Eguchi: (Matsunaga Tomoya) is a playboy! The anime starts off from the point where he’s been dumped but in the manga he had 5 girlfriends – he’s a character who’d go out with many girls at the same time. As for myself, I spent my junior high and high school days without getting involved with any girls at all so I admire how he’s leading such an active life. You could say that I found it easy to voice him precisely because of the admiration I have for him; through acting as Tomoya, I can enjoy the kind of life that I myself could not lead.
Shimazaki: (Katakura Keiichi) is normally a gentle person but he has another side to him where he can instantly switch into “super sadistic mode” with a whip in his hand…
Eguchi: He’s the perfect character for you!
Shimazaki: Eh, perfect for me!? I don’t have a hobby of getting a whip out though (laughs). I think I resemble him when he’s in normal mode. Unfortunately I do not have a heart for SM play so I’m not able to understand the feelings of a sadistic person but I think it’s because I’m so far removed from the character that I can voice him from different angles. I also learn more about SM..nah, I don’t think I actually learn anything (laughs). But I’ll be acting in this role with the hopes that I can express the 2 sides of his wonderful character.
Uchiyama: I play a character called Naoe Tsuyoshi who’s very low-key; there are many instances where he takes 1 step back and just stares at the other 3 when they get into hyperactive mode, and I think that’s quite similar to how I am normally. Also, he’s really into anime, manga and games while I, on the other hand, have very shallow knowledge of those subjects so when I come across words I don’t understand I’ll refer to Nobunaga-kun.
Shimazaki: Leave it to me! I know pretty much everything!
Uchiyama: I think I’ll just rely on Shimazaki-kun (laughs).
Q: Were there any specific requests from the author or director with regards to the acting?
Matsuoka: This is a series that depicts the extraordinary daily lives of a group of high school students so I tried not to be too over-the-top with my character creation…right? Nobunaga-kun.
Shimazaki: That’s right. We did talk about performing in a natural and relaxed manner. In truth there is a bit of an age gap between ourselves and our characters but I was conscious of the fact that they’re larger-than-life high school students so I tried to keep their conversations as natural as possible.
Q: The 4 of you sing the ending theme ‘Rainbow Days!’ – how was it for you?
Matsuoka: I get quite a lot of chances to sing character songs but this one was tough for me. I tried to sing it finely, while chewing…it was as if I could form a hamburg steak inside my mouth…
Eguchi: Eh? What did you say?
Shimazaki: I think what he means is that he’s chewing and mashing his words ‘til they turn to mince?
Matsuoka: Yes (laughs). It seems like that’s how I was singing it and that made me think that ‘singing’ can be fun but also scary. You have to put your heart and soul into it. Ah, in short – it was difficult (laughs).
Eguchi: I too, thought the song was like chewing a hamburg steak… I think this is a song about hamburg steaks…
Uchiyama: Are we going with this for real? (laughs)
Eguchi: Nah (laughs). I felt the song was one that expressed the worldview of Nijiiro Days well. It’s like their love and peaceful daily lives are represented by ‘rainbow-coloured days’. It’s a song where the 4 of us are in a boisterous mood and it’s very much like the boys, always wanting to finish things off in a jovial atmosphere. I tried to sing it in the style of Mattsun (Matsunaga Tomoya); I had a lot of fun singing.
Shimazaki: I sang it while having a dilemma over which of my character’s 2 sides to show. When I next sing (if there are character songs, that is), I think I will do a bit of research on how much of his 2 personalities I should show through the songs. The more I chew the more I think the song tastes like a ‘cuttlefish song’ but if you stumble over ‘Rainbow Days!’, gravy will spurt out…
Eguchi: And, that means this is…!?
Shimazaki: A hamburg steak song! (laughs) It’s easy to understand and makes you feel good, it’s cheerful and happy; a song that reflects the boys’ youthfulness. I hope you listen to it and feel cheered up.
Uchiyama: Nobunaga-kun apparently recorded his lines before me, so when I went to listen to it I though “that’s a cool voice”. So I was supported by his voice as I sang (laughs).
Shimazaki: I am forever the voice of support for Uchiyama-kun. Even during today’s recording session, I kept telling him “You’re amazing!” (laughs)
Uchiyama: Come to think of it, there was a karaoke scene in episode 1 where (we) sang a bit of the song (laughs). This series does have a bunch of gimmicks thrown in.
Q: There will be a screening event on the 18th December where the 1st and 2nd episodes will be shown – let’s hear some words of enthusiasm for it.
Matsuoka: This might be clichéd but, I feel all fired up for it. It’s a show where we stake our lives to breathe life into the characters. I hereby invite all of you to come to the venue for a ‘Rainbow Cruise’ ….that’s all (laughs)
(all burst into laughter)
Eguchi: We’re the ‘Rainbow Crew’ so we provide the rainbow colours (laughs). I am glad that we can share in this together. The recording for today’s episode was done with full-coloured visuals, and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product on the 18th. I hope the 4 of us can deliver our passion to you on that day.
Shimazaki: I’d like to have a fun time together with all of you at the screening event. Though I feel confident, I do worry over whether we can ‘make it fun for everyone’ so if you guys could send your aura that says ‘It was fun!’ across to us when we appear on stage after the screening is over, we’d be really thrilled! (laughs). After that, we will set sail on the ‘Rainbow Cruise’ (laughs).
Uchiyama: It’s quite rare to have coloured frames ready in time for recording and when I saw those visuals it was as if the author’s illustrations were in motion. I think this will be a series that lives up to the expectations of fans of the original work. Please look forward to it.
Q: What are the easy and difficult points about recording using all-colour frames?
Uchiyama: In normal situations, recording is carried out with the ‘when your [character] name comes up, it’s your turn’* kind of style and I’m so used to that, it’s almost like it’s ingrained in my body. So for these recordings, I had to pay extra attention to the character’s mouth movements and facial expressions, more than I usually do.
*referred to as ボールド (bold), the coloured boxes that signify when it is a character’s turn to speak
Q: So you guys went out to have meals together during recordings for the drama CD, but are the relationships between the 4 of you as clear as the ones your characters have? Like who’s the comic, and who’s the straight man.
Eguchi: I don’t think we have anything fixed.
Shimazaki: It depends on the situation.
Eguchi: Yeah. I don’t even remember what we talked about (during the meals).
Uchiyama: I think we were talking about some really private stuff.
Shimazaki: I do remember what we were discussing, but I can’t really say what it is now (laughs). You guys don’t recall at all?
Eguchi: Er, it was probably something like the stuff junior high school students would talk about…
Uchiyama: Adult talk too…
Eguchi: Ah, us adults who still seem like junior high school students…that’s what we’re like all the time?
Shimazaki: What is that summary you just made up (laughs).
Eguchi: We’re forever junior high school students…nope, it’s like the rainbow days of our time in high school.
Shimazaki: Fortunately (the anime) is recorded at night so I think we can continue to build our relationships by going for meals or a drink. We might even get something done by the time the end of the show rolls around…
Matsuoka: What is that ‘thing’ you’re getting done (laughs)
Shimazaki: Something that has ‘shape’.
Eguchi: I have no idea what you’re talking about (laughs).
Shimazaki: Nah, I’m referring to the comic and the straight man.
Eguchi: Ah, I see.
Q: So lastly, please tell us if there are any parts you want to highlight.
Matsuoka: The part that I want all of you to pay attention to is their individual romances. I’d like people who have not read the original work to enjoy the anime every week as well.
Eguchi: You’ll get to see how the 4 of them grow through their pain and worries, how they support each other through their friendships. I want all of you to see their “youthfulness”.
Shimazaki: I’d like you to watch the show comprehensively, but it’d be great if you could have fun watching how the boys enjoy their high school life through their friendships, love and events. Also, for fans of the original work, please look forward to how your favourite scenes turn out in the anime.
Uchiyama: I think that the atmosphere when the 4 boys are conversing is an important point in the anime, so I’d be glad if you could experience the same flavours in the anime as you did when you first read the original manga.
Show starts airing in January! Looking forward to it~~