“Drop” (2009) is an autobiographical novel written by Hiroshi Shinagawa, a member of the comedy duo “Shinagawa Shoji,” which was made into a movie by Shinagawa himself. “OUT” is a sequel to this work, which was a box office hit of 2 billion yen. This time, it has been made into a live-action film, also directed and written by Shinagawa.
Tatsuya Iguchi (Yuki Kura), a legendary delinquent, is released from a juvenile detention center and sent to a yakiniku restaurant run by his uncle and aunt far from his hometown. Since he’s on probation, the next time he fights, he’ll be out. Iguchi is frustrated by his inability to fight, but one day he meets Kaname Abe (Koji Mizukami), the vice president of the motorcycle gang Kirihito. Iguchi gradually becomes embroiled in conflicts between biker gangs, but now that he has “things to protect” such as his family and new friends, his fighting style begins to change.
In addition to popular young actors such as Yuki Kura, Kotaro Daigo, and Koji Mizukami, three members of JO1, the most popular global boy group, were also cast. Sho Yonashiro, the leader, will play the role of Keigo Nagashima, the kamikaze commander of the motorcycle gang “Zanjin,” Yoshio Ohira will play the role of Shuya Meguro, the captain of the Guard, and Aoi Kinshiro will play the role of Ryo Sawamura, the promising rookie. We interviewed them about their thoughts on the work.
First movie appearance
── “OUT” is a classic Yankee movie with a clean story, but it also had a strong attention to detail, so I couldn’t take my eyes off it from beginning to end.
Yona Castle:thank you. There are a lot of Yankee movies out there, but I think the ones that have a lot of humorous scenes are typical of director Shinagawa. He placed great importance on the dialogue and the tempo of the story. The filming was also very creative, with new ideas and direction being added to the script. It was my first time filming a movie and I was very nervous, but everything was new to me and I had so much fun doing it.
Kinjo：Mr. Shinagawa didn’t make many demands on my acting. There were times when I was worried, wondering if everything would be okay, but I felt like they trusted me and left things to me, which made me happy. I was able to act with peace of mind because of the close-knit team structure from the previous work.
──This is your second time participating in Shinagawa-gumi, following the drama “Drop” (WOWOW, 2023).
Kinjo:That’s right. Last time he was an antagonist, but this time he was welcomed as one of the main members. I was very happy when the staff said warm words to me, saying, “It’s been a long time,” and “Welcome back.”
Become a Yankee
──It might be hard to imagine from the usual stylish image of JO1, but everyone was really into the special attack clothes and Yankee-like hair and makeup.
Yona Castle: The character I played, Keigo Nagashima, is a martial arts master who can defeat opponents with a single wooden sword. He’s a bit old-fashioned and doesn’t speak much, but he’s a dependable guy who takes the lead when it comes to doing things, and I think he’s a very attractive character. He might be similar to me when it comes to the atmosphere during his conversations.
Kinjo：I was really into Sho-kun because he had his own unique pace.
Yona Castle:But of course I was confused by the hairstyle (lol). “Are you sure you’re going with this?!” I have extensions added to the back and nape, but the front is all natural hair.
──Among the three of you, Ohira-san, who has the image of an angel among your fans, had the biggest gap between you and your role?
Ohira: I really think so too (lol). Shuya Meguro is a cool, calm and unwavering man. Both the martial arts itself and Meguro’s character are far removed from my usual self. But for example, in the original story, Meguro doesn’t wear a hat, but on set we talked about how it would look more like Meguro if he wore one, and they added a hat, and Meguro has a complex about it because he hides his eyes. I choose glasses while giving my opinions. I feel like I was able to get closer to the role by working with the staff.
Kinjo:I played Ryo Sawamura, who is my junior to the two characters. Although he is modest at first, he becomes a key person in the second half. It was a bit difficult to switch back and forth, and I was worried whether I would be able to play the roles separately, but I was able to do my best in my own way, and I was relieved that I was able to blend into Sawamura’s character.
Take bold action
──There were a lot of action scenes, and each character had different fighting styles. I think everyone’s high physical abilities and the results of their regular training were on full display.
Yona Castle:I think I probably had the widest variety of movements. Nagashima uses a wooden sword, but he also practices ancient martial arts and fistfights, and even stands up to attacks with knives. He had to learn a lot, such as how to use a wooden sword, and it was more difficult than he had imagined. But it was a great experience. I learned how fun it is to express myself by moving different parts of my body, and I wanted to do more of this and that. In the future, I would like to take on a role that allows me to utilize action skills again.
Kinjo:I worked on my body to be able to move more than usual. I’ve been familiar with karate and martial arts for many years, so I’m proud that I was able to do the action without any difficulty (lol).
Ohira：I am the complete opposite of Aomi, and this was my first time trying martial arts. Meguro’s specialty is fast boxing style combat. I don’t even watch martial arts, so I started with no idea what it was like…
Yona Castle：But Yoshio was able to shake it off in the end (lol).
Ohira: It’s a bit of a misunderstanding, but in the end he said, “It’s fun to hit someone!” (lol). Naturally, I was scared of hitting someone at first. However, after my teacher and I learned the basic movements and got a feel for boxing, I started to enjoy the action. I might want to continue boxing in the future.
──The action scenes using cars were especially powerful.
Ohira:That was really scary!
Yonashiro:Even though I was told to “avoid by giving a signal,” when it actually started, the speed was quite high and it was scary.
Ohira:I had ridden a car that was lightly drifting in the “Tiger” music video, but this was probably the first time I had ever experienced a stunt-like scene like this. Another thing that was scary was the scene where I pull down the person on top of the container and throw him on the floor, breaking the glass and slamming him into the ground…
Yona Castle：As a character, Yoshio also does some pretty terrible things (lol).
Kinjo:For me, the scene where Shou-kun fights with the enemy in a fistfight was impressive. Many serious punches were thrown close to my face, and I honestly thought it was amazing as I watched. They were both big, so they were very powerful.
We wrote the theme song ourselves
──JO1 is still active in music activities. The band has been on tour since the summer, and will be performing in Japan and Asia starting in November. I also heard that the new song “HIDEOUT” has been chosen as the theme song for the movie (editor’s note: the interview was conducted in early August).
Yona Castle：When it was decided, I was really happy. It’s definitely a special feeling to be able to sing the theme song for my first movie.
Ohira：Actually, the recording is tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to that. I like this song because it’s a very stylish song that is perfect for the ending of a movie.
──Does it not have the image of a hard-core Yankee movie, but rather a “fashionable” one?
Kinjo: It’s a Yankee movie and there’s a lot of action, so you’d think it would have an intense, pounding tone, right? However, it is a very bright and positive support song. Please look forward to that as well. I really want you to see a lot of movies!
Ohira：Every scene is really full of highlights.
Yona Castle: There’s action, humor, friendship, and some heart-wrenching scenes. Anyway, it’s a movie with a lot to offer. Please take a look!
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Released in theaters nationwide on Friday, November 17th!
©2023 “OUT” Production Committee
Official website: https://movies.kadokawa.co.jp/out-movie/
Born October 25, 1995, from Okinawa Prefecture. He is the leader of the global boy group JO1, which was selected for Japan’s largest audition program “PRODUCE 101 JAPAN”, which caused a social phenomenon in 2019. Her first drama appearance was in her drama series W “Fence” (23).
Born on April 13, 2000, from Kyoto Prefecture. A member of JO1. He made his first voice acting appearance in the movie “Poupelle of Chimney Town” (2020), and in 2022, he provided the voice of Higashi Masaki in the anime “Gunjo no Fanfare”.
Born May 6, 2000, from Osaka Prefecture. A member of JO1. She made her first appearance in a drama series in “Drop” (23), directed by Hiroshi Shinagawa. She has demonstrated extraordinary physical ability due to her martial arts experience, and in this, her first live-action movie, she shows off some spectacular action.
Interview and text by Yuki Takugawa, photography by Teppei Hoshida, editor by Fumi Yokoyama (GQ)
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