ANN Tamashii no Radio: Koike Teppei
An Elegant Talk with Koike Teppei
We are in the last stages of summer! The August TamaRadi is into the final week of its theme “The Ikemen Month” (Ikemen: Handsome men). And the most suitable person to come just before we wrap up, is the young ikemen, Koike Teppei. Koike–san is in the middle of his first solo concert tour and has put aside a big chunk of time in his schedule just for us.
F: “I’m really sorry to have to call you over in the middle of your concert tour.
K: “I’d want to come even if I was too busy.”
A straightforward articulation of his love for Fukuyama-san. In response to that, our monarch couldn’t help but say
F: “All right then……let’s get married.”
All the while looking absolutely delighted (^^;)
So after sending the hearts of his citizens into a flurry with his “Nyu….Nyu….”, the monarch has finally set his own heart on Koike-san, who’d have thought of that…..?
F: “Looking at this (Koike-san’s tour schedule), your agenda is all filled up. Is this your first solo tour?”
K: “I’ve been asked by different people ‘Are you worried about it? Feel OK about the MC?’ but surprisingly I found I could talk quite comfortably.”
F: “You’re the type who can chat up with anyone, aren’t you? I think Teppei, you are. At the time you came to my Arena concert, we could have kept on talking. Of course, the expression ‘You can chat’ doesn’t sound right in itself though. (laugh)”
The impression we get, is that his (WaT) partner Wentz-san tends to be the talker in front of the general media. But Koike-san is very good at it too. And his smooth talk doesn’t lose out to Fukuyama-san’s, either. Because of a servicing spirit, he has no qualms about talking non-stop (with us), despite being on tour. It appears Fukuyama-san can see a bit of himself in Koike-san.
F: “Come, have a lozenge! These throat drops are very effective!”
K: “But it’ll make sounds in the mouth when we talk.”
F: “No worries, no worries! We broadcast these sounds every week!”
Though we can’t be sure if it does happen in every show, but we did get to hear those throat drops a couple of times in the broadcast last week…..
Koike-san, who is finally having his own live tour, started his career slowly through street performances. It seems a bit shocking.
F: “How long have you been doing street performances?”
K: “A bit more than a year.”
F: “But you’ve had your debut by then, wouldn’t it be a bit difficult with all the crowds around?”
K: “On the contrary, there wasn’t anybody watching. I hadn’t starred in any TV drama yet…..In fact, there were only a couple of people who recognized my partner Wentz from Tensai Terebi-kun (天才テレビくん Mr. Genius Television)*1, that’s all.
F: “Where did you perform?”
K: “On top of Jingu Bashi (神宫桥)*2 Saying to the Visual Kei bands ‘Sorry to be singing next to you…..’ And so on. Or we’d be at the back of NHK. We only did cover versions, like songs from Sakai Masaaki-san*3….The moment I said I’ll be doing live street shows, my dad said “Won’t you be able to attract more people if you sang old songs”.
F: “The wisdom of an Osaka businessman.*4 Not to choose whatever you want to sing or convey, but first to consider how to make the pedestrians stop and listen.”
K: “But it didn’t draw in anyone to stop by us.”
F: “‘Dad, it’s not working! Was that the feeling you got?”
K: “Dad, you were wrong!”(laugh)
Next they talked about how Koike-san, despite his ambition in music, had to start out as an actor on TV, just like Fukuyama-san. His big break came on the JUNON Super Boy contest (ジュノンスーパーボーイコンテスト)*5
F: “You started by auditioning as a JUNON Boy.”
K: “Yes I did. But I wasn’t interested in the entertainment industry. I’m not the type of person with strong aspirations for the future. I simply liked to make music, and of course I’d never acted before. But to tell the truth, before the JUNON Boy Contest, I had participated in another audition……
F: “What? Which one was it? Are you allowed to say?”
K: “I went to audition with Amuse-san! For the movie…. ‘Docchi Go! Go! (ドッチGO!GO!) that’s the name.”
F: “Are you serious?”
K: “My mother just happened to see the advertisement on the newspapers which said ‘If you’re bored and have nothing to do, come for an audition.’ And I made it to the final round! I started thinking ‘Perhaps I can see Masaharu’s back’. But then I totally lost out in the final round.”
F: “Oi!! Amuse!!…..I’m so sorry for that.”
K: “No no, but that (failure) gave me motivation. That was the first time in my life that I could feel regret.”
F: “Let me tell you frankly…..It’s not too late to do it now.”
K: “And the set piece for that contest was Sakurazaka.”
F: “So everybody was singing it?”
K: “They were.”
F: “Oi Amuse, will you stop being so embarrassing? We have to respect individuality here! (laugh) I didn’t know this happened..…..and so after many twists and turns, we finally got to meet.”
S: “You’ve got a very, very dangerous look now!!”
K: “But it’s true, if you pray hard enough for something, it will happen.”
F: “If Koike-kun were a girl, we’d be married for sure.”
Although Fukuyama-san’s talk has reminded us once again of that ever-present suspicion of homosexuality (^^;), it is exactly because they share the commonality of being forced to take up acting during their early state of void, that they are able to understand each other so well.
K: “It was only after I got the job, that I could slowly build my interest in acting and then gradually come to like it.”
F: “Shouldn’t there be an offer before we can take on an acting role? And that is only possible if you’re being wanted. So that by itself has an element of persuasion. And you won’t feel bad about it. Even though you didn’t like (her), you slowly will after she confesses to you. Similarly, the job may be totally unrelated, but once we’ve been asked “Do you want to give it a try?” it feels like their hopes are pinned on us.”
S: “Especially so if you get commended after the job as well, right?”
F: “Like being told ‘That was great!’ after your work out in bed.”
K: “So there’s the connection….” (laugh)
~ Extract from ANN TamaRadi Blog 2009.08.25 ~
*1 Eiji Wentz - more info
*2 The Bridge in Harajuku (Jinguubashi). On days without school it becomes the meeting place for lolita and visual kei cosplayers. There are always cameramen and curious foreign tourists there. For more info, see here.
*3 Masaaki Saki - more info
*4 In ancient times, it is said the wisest merchants all came from Kansai, especially Osaka.
*5 Junon Boy Contest - home page
Translated from sunnydolphin’s blog here, with reference to the original ANN TamaRadi blog post 2009-08-25
This English translation was first posted on MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums. (Registration required to enter.)