(Translator’s Note: This is a translation of the final episode blog post on Toei’s official Gaim blog, which is kind of the auxiliary, adult-aimed site that dealt with production talk and behind-the-scenes information. This post offers a final farewell from the cast and staff that worked on the show, and I’ve preserved the format and imagery of it intact, merely translating the text. Please enjoy!)
Thank you for everything this past year!
It’s been nearly two years now since we decided to bite into that forbidden fruit that is a multiple rider show, and begun the planning and design of the show. We placed Mr. Urobuchi in the writers’ chair, built an army of veteran Heisei Rider staff, and aimed to create a show like we’d never made before. And it’s made me so happy to see every character in the show being popular with the fans, thanks to the hard work and camaraderie between this wonderful cast. To everyone who’s loved the story and the characters, and supported the show – thank you all so much.
The story has come to an end, but I’d like to hope it’s not all over… just yet? But of course right now, focus is on December’s new Movie Wars. What stage awaits our heroes, I wonder?
On the 12th October, we’ll be holding the Final Stage – a huge all cast event, which we’ll be broadcasting live at cinemas around the country. If you, like us, can’t bear to see Gaim go, then I hope you’ll join us for a few hours together that day.
– Toei Producer, Naomi Takebe
Production Notes“Thank you for all your work on Gaim!”
Director Ishida’s group was the first to finish filming – and it was a bunch of people’s final scenes at once! First up was Rika Izumi, playing Kouta’s sister, Akira Kazuraba.
Her last scenes were filmed here at Pâtisserie chez Charmant II. This stunning red bouquet suits her nicely, don’t you think?
During the show she acted as the gentle, guiding figure for Kouta, who was constantly struggling with becoming an adult. Whenever he started to lose his way, she’d be there to show him what to do. As an aside, the pilot episode of Gaim was the first time she’d met Director Ryuuta Tasaki or Matsumura, the cameraman, since her work on Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon! And I’m sure I spotted a familiar glint in her eye when she saw the old Toei filming lot again! To Miss Izumi we say thank you for everything you did on the show!
Next up is Ryou Matsuda, playing tactician/pâtissier Jounouchi Hideyasu!
In this final episode, there was one particularly touching transformation. And that was Jounouchi Hideyasu transforming into Kamen Rider Kurokage, a mantle inherited from his late friend Hase.
When he read the script for the last episode, Matsuda told me he was really excited about this! After all, he and Kurokage were a partnership – it was him that gave Jounouchi the name Kamen Rider Ornac/Gridon! He may not have told Shiramata, but I’ll bet you anything he actually really liked the name!
As the, umm… self-styled tactician (ha!), he helped shed a lot of light on the world Gaim takes place in. The way he managed to confidently play the nobody, whilst still having moments of being really cool, is something no other actor could replicate!
Next up is Metal Yoshida, who played Pierre Alfonso Oren.
As his filming wrapped up, Yoshida constantly told us all that “It’s been so much fun!”
Metal Yoshida was the perfect choice to play the flamboyant Oren! The first time he came out of costuming clad in nothing but a bath robe and glamorous makeup, the staff and cast lost themselves with laughter – he won his way into everyone’s hearts so quickly! On set, he was a reliable father figure to the mostly quite young cast. Thanks to Metal Yoshida for his time on the show – and to his wife Hiromi Iwasaki, who played Roshuo’s wife!
Next we say goodbye to the reliable big brother figure from the fruit parlor – Tomohisa Yuge, playing Kiyojirou Bandou.
His quote from episode 16 – that he’d “been through a lot” – was remarkably true! When you’re think of the cast of a multiple rider show, Yuge is always there! And who knows, we’ll probably end up seeing him again somewhere down the line!
Next up, the Beat Riders!
Of the Beat Riders, these four wrapped up first – Kanon Tsuyama playing Chucky, Miina Yokota playing Rika, Ren Ozawa playing Rat, and Saku Momose playing Peko. In an amazing coincidence, their last scene was filmed at the location we filmed their first. Doesn’t fate move in weird ways?
Next up, Gaku Matsuda, playing Zack.
Neither he or the staff expected him to play such a large role in the plot!
Yet here he is, transforming into Kamen Rider Knuckle. Once Kaito left Team Baron, he took on the important role of leading the team. We will never forget Knuckle’s fists of love!
It was thanks to the Beat Riders that we got to understand the place of Team Gaim, Team Baron, and all the dance teams within this world. Thank you for all your work!
Next, we have Honoka Andou, playing the girl possessed by Kougane in the finale.
Here she is transforming into Kamen Rider Jam! The pink and black design looks really neat, doesn’t it?
Miss Andou actually won her part through an audition, and had very little acting experience. But she listened to all the guidance the director gave her, and tried her hardest each day of filming.
Let’s hope we meet again soon!
Next up, we say goodbye to the man who held many of the keys to the story’s mysteries – DJ Sagara, played by Tomomitsu Yamaguchi.
I still remember casting Yamaguchi for the role like it was yesterday. We were struggling to cast the role, and went to him with the part because, hey, the worst he could do was say no. But he surprised us all by taking the part unconditionally! I was genuinely jumping for joy!
I’m so glad we put the role of Sagara in Yamaguchi’s hands!
And last but not least, we move on to the main cast.
Mahiro Takasugi, playing Mitsuzane Kureshima, filmed his last scene out on a location shot!
Even Director Ishida is tearing up! He’s so upset! See the thing is, poor Mahiro was the only member of cast here on set that day *sobs* So, we roped in Ishida, Producer Takebe and the cameraman, Kurata, for a commemorative photograph!
Let him go, Ishida, you’re choking him!
Micchy’s story went in a rather dark direction during the show, but Mahiro here enjoyed playing the role throughout. It’s been fun watching him grow as an actor this past year!
Next up, we have Yuki Kubota, playing Takatora Kureshima, who filmed his last scene in the fruit parlor!
A lot of the other cast – including Ryou Matsuda, Gaku Matsuda, Metal Yoshida, and Yuge Tomohisa – were here too! And of course, to send off his “big brother”, Mahiro Takasugi made a surprise entrance! What a caring brother he is! But then Kubota drops the bombshell…
“You know, I can’t say I’ve really many memories of this place.”
So, Takatora – a character with lots of drama behind him. Betrayed by his colleagues, then his brother, culminating in the battle between Zangetsu and Final Zangetsu – one of the most exciting battles in the whole show! And after all the time they spent filming together, Takasugi and Kubota have grown so close you’d almost think they were brothers!
And now, we move onto the final day of filming for Kamen Rider Gaim.
We filmed on location, with the heavens opening above us.
Our first goodbye that day is to Yuumi Shida, playing the role of Mai Takatsukasa.
She was absolutely sobbing her heart out, inconsolable. As the heroine of the show, she was always there to cheer us up when filming. I honestly can’t count how many times her smile has gotten us through the day. Her earnesty has truly been the light behind Gaim.
Next, we say goodbye to Yutaka Kobayashi, playing Kaito Kumon.
Though he managed to hold back his tears better than Yuumi, there were still definitely a few in his eyes as filming wrapped up. He was definitely being strong for the others, I think. *sobs*
He worried about his performance a lot, and sometimes confided his insecurities in us – but Yutaka was the only one who could have played Kaito. After all he’s done for us this past year, I think it’s only fair we send him off with a resounding round of applause.
At long last, we must say goodbye to this man.
Playing the role of Kamen Rider Gaim…
Of Kouta Kazuraba…
He was sobbing even more uncontrollably than Yuumi – wailing, almost. And seeing him in tears, I couldn’t stop myself from crying too…
I’ve had the privilege of watching him on set. Many times, I’ve had to give him guidance and warnings without saying a word to the rest of the cast – and he took that on board with a sense of responsibility for his role that goes beyond what you would expect from anyone. I think at this moment, he finally felt the pressure lifting.
Gaku Sano has grown so much as a person over the course of the show, and I can’t wait to see what he’ll go on to do next.
And finally, everyone say cheese for one last commemorative photo!
But wait… who do we see over there?
Oh my! It’s a bunch the other Gaim cast members who’d already finished filming!
There’s Takasugi, Kubota, Ryou Matsuda, and even Atsushi Shiramata, who played Hase! It just goes to show how the deep the bond was between the Gaim cast. And of course Takaiwa and the other suit actors join the photo too! We’re incredibly grateful not only to Takaiwa, but all the stuntmen from Japan Action Enterprises too!
Thank you all for your hard work!
And now, we’d like to share some messages from the cast:
From Yuki Kubota – playing Takatora Kureshima / Kamen Rider (Final) Zangetsu
Thank you all for your support this past year. Together, we were able to make Kamen Rider Gaim. And I hope we’ve all managed to get a little more soda into all of your hearts. “This is our soda now!”
It’s sad to think I won’t get to see the Melon again. I’m melost.
I know we’ll get to see Takatora Kureshima again, though. I’ll see you soon for the winter movie.
So, everyone else who’s melost. Until we meet again… run, like Melos!
Thank you, for everything.
-By Heaven’s Decree.
From Mahiro Takasugi – playing Mitsuzane Kureshima / Kamen Rider Ryugen
Hello, everyone! Mahiro Takasugi here. Thank you for everything this past year.
I’m so glad I got this chance to play the character of Mitsuzane Kureshima. I’ve learned so much from the everyone here on Gaim, and I think I’ve grown just as much as Mitsuzane has. I’ll keep working hard, and I hope you’ll all continue to support me.
From Yuumi Shida, playing Mai Takatsukasa
At first, I was really out of my depth, and holding everyone back… (･_･;
But all the wonderful people I was working with helped me learn to relax, and enjoy acting in front of the camera!!
So many people have watched Gaim, and I have so many awesome new fans now, and I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity!
I’m so glad Gaim came into my life! I love you all! (*´罒`*)
From Yutaka Kobayashi – playing Kaito Kumon / Kamen Rider Baron
Hi everyone, it’s Yutaka Kobayashi!
God, how time flies. It feels like yesterday that Gaim started, and now it’s over? I can hardly believe it!
Portraying Kaito was weird for me – and probably for anyone familiar with me – because he’s such a total opposite of me as a person. But getting to put myself in Kaito’s shoes has really helped me grow as a person. Without the character of Kaito Kumon, that would never have happened, and I am so, so grateful for being given this opportunity!
Kamen Rider Gaim might be over now, but I’ll keep growing with Kaito Kumon – with Kamen Rider Baron – in my heart. So this isn’t goodbye.
We’ll meet again!
From Gaku Sano – playing Kouta Kazuraba / Kamen Rider Gaim
Hey everyone! Thank you for eevrything over the past year! I’ll keep working hard to make sure we get to meet again, somewhere down the line! So I hope you’ll keep on supporting me!
This will always be my stage!
And of course, we’d like to give thanks not only to the directors, but the entire staff who worked on Kamen Rider Gaim.
It’s because of this wonderfully talented crew that we managed to survive a year of arduous filming. Thank you all!
And lastly, to everyone out there who’s watched and given their hearts to Kamen Rider Gaim this last year: Thank you so, so much for watching our story unfold. Until we meet again!
Kamen Rider Gaim is eternal!
– Ryuusuke Imoto, Toei Co-Producer