Mabu character description: Works together with Reo at the Asakusa Kawauso kouban. He lost his life in the Kappa-Otter war, but the Otter empire revived him. Maintenance is necessary for his body, but for his partner Reo who he thinks of as precious, he strains himself to make Reo’s favourite food Ningyoyaki.
Miyano: Playing the role together with Hosoya was fun and I loved it, wondering ‘where will Reo and Mabu’s relationship end up?’ was also fun. Is it really ‘love’, or shared feelings, shared attraction to eachother? No matter which they have a bond, while fighting against this both of them are finding their truth. So, in the end, its a relationship where they love one another. They have a very deep connection.
Hosoya: The scene where Mabu eats Brocolli in front of Reo left a deep impression. When we did the recording test, Ikuhara entered the booth and said, ‘Because of Mabu’s defectiveness he doesn’t want to swallow but, Reo will directly say to him ‘this is defective’. Regarding that, while its not necessary, by eating Brocolli he can show to Reo ‘I’m human’. He appears clumsy, he’s not human, a person who hasn’t eaten food but who is now trying to eat’ – that’s the direction I got.
Interviewer: What were your impressions of recording for ep 10? Hosoya: When Mabu got his shirikodama extracted, ‘Ah, don’t let this get embarrassing’, Ikuhara really fussed over that scene. And also, the Otter cucking scene, he really fussed over that one too. The director always said, ‘It isn’t what I wished for, but I still have to do it, ‘alright then, I won’t resist’ so he became like an empty shell. That kind of image is what Ikuhara asked for, ‘Mabu doesn’t feel anything’. He’s not the Reo he feels love towards, so he did that towards the Otter.
Ikuhara: I thought it would be good to think about various words like ‘desire’ and ‘connections’. For example, ‘desire’ and ‘life’ are two words that are interchangeable. The word desire generally has a bad image, right? I took a liking to the word desire, it has a negative nuance. ‘Don’t let go, desire is your life’, to put it simply I wonder if it has the same meaning as ‘Don’t let go of love’ or ‘don’t let go of life’, I thought a lot about that.
Ikuhara on his intentions with Reo and Mabu’s story: ‘With Reo and Mabu, regarding what is called connections, I thought that I wanted to depict the story of people who lost their final chance. While I don’t think I’m skilled at conveying it, I still wanted to do that. ‘Let’s return to the time that was best’, a story like that, because people want to return to the past. Thinking solely about the good times, so that you can’t see what’s in front of you now. What I wanted to do is that ‘Reo cannot see the Mabu in front of him now.’
Interviewer: It was surprising when in ep 11 Reo and Mabu got revived from Keppi’s charms, wasn’t it? Utsumi: Ep was the climax of their story, so so I thought their story ended there. Then Ikuhara-san said, ‘I want someone to lend a hand to Kazuki et al at the end’, how about those two to appear? And everyone thought that was a good solution. There are people who take it as ‘they came back to life’, and there are people who take it as ‘they exist as spiritual beings without a physical body’, I think. Which of them it is, is left up to you to decide.
Migi: At the start Reo didn’t have sharp teeth, but in 2018 the time when we first displayed the drawing of ReoMabu, when checking the rough sketch, Ikuhara suggested that he wanted sharp teeth.