Japan has always been influential in Asian popular culture and each generation creates work with a strong resonance. However, with the change of platforms, the audience has gradually been divided, and it is no longer easy to gather the audience's attention again.
Fortunately, Netflix has adapted Utada Hikaru's classic song First Love into the TV series First Love 初恋 and we can see how actor Taisei Kido stands out in this series. He has inherited the classics of the previous generation and has become a new-generation actor who has attracted worldwide attention through his superb acting skills.
Taisei Kido has acted in many dramas since his debut, but First Love 初恋 not only made him famous, but also opened the door to a bright future for him. For the sudden change, Taisei believes that his acting career has not been reborn because of this work, but he has evolved into a new version of himself. Taisei said "I feel that I do not have a defined moment of “rebirth”, but I could say each role I play requires a reset and a fresh approach. It doesn’t seem as dramatic as “rebirth” but combining what I have learned from each character I’ve played, and over time, looking back, I have evolved into a new version of myself through repeating that process."
Recalling when he read the script of First Love 初恋, Taisei said that he was deeply moved by the lines in it, not only falling in love with the character immediately, but also regarding him as a challenge. Recalling that moment, Taisei said "I fell in love with Harumichi Namiki right away. I was eager to play him. The dialogue was written beautifully. Yuri Kanchiku wrote the script so poetically so that sometimes the lines are not literal but metaphorical and have meanings only in the story. Like the “what’s your favourite food?” line, for example. Having to ask someone that question as though you are professing your love for them, that gave me a lot to think about. I was drawn to the script because of this. But I also imagined this would be a challenging project right away."
The Hundred Percent Trueness
Since his debut in 2017, Taisei Kido has continued to show his passion for acting. For him, acting is not just ‘a thing’, he can also learn various things from different aspects through the concerted efforts of the team. "My interest in acting started because I was inspired by a famous actor who was known to play a wide range of roles. As a kid, I thought, how great it would be to get to be all these different characters in different professions. I feel fulfilled in that regard. I enjoy playing roles that are different ages and in different predicaments. I have also enjoyed learning from all the different people I work with, castmates, directors, producers, hair, and make-up people, etc. ”
Taisei did not just say this casually because of the interview, he cited an experience he experienced during the filming of First Love 初恋. "I love the movie Top Gun. So getting to say my line “Well, I’ll be the Maverick of Japan.” Then getting to film on a plane was such a great experience for me.
The director, Yuri Kanchiku, was big on authenticity when it came to 5 senses, how we expressed taste, smell, sound, touch, etc. She was very particular about serving us really good food to be used in the eating scenes. So, the crew brought in the best foods for them. It was nice. My reactions to the food in the series are 100% real. "
An Opportunity for Rebirth and Change
Taisei Kido's passion for acting has basically become a part of his life. He said that his life is already filled with acting, and there is absolutely nothing that excites him more than this. If he really wants to cite a few hobbies in life as examples, he said: I am really into playing golf, going to hot springs and I am also a habitual user of saunas. "
The 26-year-old actor not only revealed his love for drama in his words, but also revealed his mature philosophy. "When I think of RENAISSANCE, rebirth and change come to mind. It does feel like a big topic, something bigger than me. I am not sure if I have an awareness of it other than to say I know changes happen. But I wonder if it is something people are aware of while they are in it. He continued: "I had a period in my life when I was looking to find management representation for acting. I struggled for few years as I worked to be signed to a management. So, when I was finally signed to my current management, I felt such a renewed sense of motivation and the chance to stand at a new starting line."
What is your feeling about the song "First Love" by Hikaru Utada?
Taisei Kido "This is the biggest love song for two generations in Japan. Everyone knows it, everyone sings it at Karaoke. I always thought the lyrics described a sad love story. The phrase ‘Tabacco flavour’ has a special meaning because of this song. I mean, it goes back to our senses playing a part in our life experiences. Tastes, smells, and sounds can be associated with our feelings and represent such heavy meanings to us. I think this song is one of those songs that triggers strong feelings in many people. It is really interesting that they turned the song into a series."
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