Yuko Araki & Kengo Kora

Exclusive Interview Fall 2019

From “Ex-Enthusiasts: MotoKare Mania”

Yuko Araki & Kengo Kora

In this next exclusive interview, stars of our current Thursday night drama series, Yuko Araki and Kengo Kora, talk about many of the exciting behind the scenes gossip from the popular love comedy. We hope you enjoy it!

Q So, this is the first time that you guys are working together?

Yuko Araki

I had this impression of him as this reserved guy before I met him, but when we all had a meeting for the first time, he was like really frank with me which was really nice. He seemed really dependable, and it really made me feel like following him. I hope to continue discovering many inspiring characteristics about him.

Kengo Kora

I wish to find out more about her as the filming continues, however, I thought that she was a really dignified person when I first met her. I hope to be able to support her in every way I can on set.

Q Let’s talk a bit about your roles. What do you think about the characters Yurika and Makoto?

Kengo Kora

I don't think Makoto's character can simply be described with a few words like ‘kind’ or ‘straightforward.’ His values might be considered a little different from the norms of society. Like, as he seems to stir up Yurika sometimes, it's important to play the character in a way which best suits his demeanor. Also, I think that one of the interesting things about the story, is Yurika’s super enthusiastic characteristics. I think it's very cute. One of the most important things for love comedies, is to have a heroine who is comical and the audience can cheer on. I think that Yurika is being played perfectly by Yuko Araki, and as the character meets these requirements, the drama series is becoming a really entertaining one. Also, each of the characters is very interesting to watch. That's why I'm sure that there are many viewers who can empathize with them. Of course, some people may not be able to emphathize with one’s ex. However, I think the drama is something which everyone can enjoy, despite the possibilities for some differences of opinion towards the main characters...

Yuko Araki

Yurika is a super positive character, however, the way she always searches for her ex on SNS, and being obsessed with the past is something which may be perceived differently from a third person’s perspective. However, for Yurika on the other hand, it’s almost as if she’s able to turn anything which occurs in her life to a positive way of thinking, and completely accepts her own feelings for Makoto without doubt. I think it’s cute the way she accepts the way she is. It’s made me think that even though it’s a relationship from the past, if it’s something that makes one to be so positive like her, then it could be okay. I think that she’s a good role model, as she shows us to live positively. In terms of Makoto, I think that he's a very natural and outspoken person. He’s a kind of guy that you rarely come across, and I’m interested to see how he will develop the role of Makoto in this love comedy series.

Q So what did you think after reading the original story?

Kengo Kora

With mangas, of course the characters have their original way of expression, unique lines and actions. And as an actor, I think that it would not be enough to simply play the role according to how it is in the original manga. However, we have to keep the excitement and the comedy value of the original story. And this excitement revolves around observing another person’s relationship, which includes ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends. In some ways, this is something which maybe challenging to comprehend from a third person’s perspective. However, since it’s a manga, observing these situations become a fascinating one (laughs).

Yuko Araki

I usually like to read girls’ manga, but this is one story which I thought was 'enthusiastic and over the top' beyond words (laughs). But despite all of this, there’s so much element of reality, and has a strong aura of attracting the viewers in one way or another. I’m of course one of the fans. And, one of the things I find interesting, is the 'fantasy' meetings. I’m sure that everyone has another version of oneself, who is always holding ‘fantasy’ meetings. And as you have seen in the episodes, Yurika's 'fantasy' meetings are quite funny, as well as Makoto’s too (laughs). Observing the differences of the feeling between Makoto and Yurika’s are quite entertaining to watch! You have many kinds of characters with various personalities in the meetings, and it’s amazing how the sorts of people which appear depend from person to person.

Q So in general, what do you think of the whole principle of not getting over one’s ex?

Kengo Kora

I think that one’s past is important, because it’s a part of history. But, I'm not sure about how I would be feeling. The past may be full of flaws, but present is here to remedy some of these mistakes. For me, forgetting about the past completely is something which I won’t be able to do. I think that the present is made up of experiences from the past, so there’s no need to make an all-out effort to forget about it. However, being always influenced by one’s past love, and not being able to move on may be a sorrowful one. But, if one can be as positive as Yurika, then I think it’s actually great!

Yuko Araki

For me, I think it depends on the circumstances which revolves around the relationship, like how I was feeling at the time. I also think that the past is particularly important. Apart from long-gone relationships, things that I continue to treasure as valuable past memories are still influencing me a lot even to this day. I think that it is because we have these precious past experiences, that we are able to feel and think the way we do today. So, I feel that it’s important to treasure these experiences as a valuable part of history.

Q If you were to describe yourselves as a ‘mania’ of something, what would it be?

Yuko Araki

One of the things I realized recently, is that I like going to actual locations. You can feel the ‘on site’ atmosphere and the aura of unity which I particularly like (laughs).

Kengo Kora

I think I might be similar to you. I like going to actual locations, and I love being immersed in the world of production at its forefront. It's not like I don't feel happy if I'm not at actual locations, but this has been something which I think is a 'mania' for me in one way or another. I also like trips, so I go travelling a lot. Like, I was on a trip for 8 days before filming for this!

Q How would you react if you actually met your ex?

Kengo Kora

That’s a tricky question. I hope that both of us are living a happy life at the time.

Yuko Araki

Yeah, I agree. I think that if I met my ex on my own, then it would be good to reminisce about the good old days together, but if I was with a friend, then I would think twice...

Q Lastly, do you have a message for the viewers?

Yuko Araki

I think that it’s a love comedy very different what's been around. The main character is over the top and with a super enthusiastic personality, whom others may be sympathetic of. But, letting go of all these factors and living life to the full whilst accepting your true self is also exciting. And, after reading the original story, I really felt that life is how you make it. I hope that the viewers will be able to enjoy these kinds of aspects too.

Kengo Kora

The script itself is entertaining, that’s why we are able to enjoy working for the series. I hope that the viewers are empathizing in the same way with the characters, and even if this is not possible, I'm sure it's being a series full of pure entertainment value.

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