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All about Ryoma Den - Making Of features, trailer, snapshots & more

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January 2010 is coming soon and anticipation and expectation for Ryoma Den is sky high. I could feel the pressure for Masha and I am sure he is feeling it too. Will it sour in terms of ratings? Or will it tank? Since it is a year long series, I think it will open with massive ratings because of the interest in Masha (some will watch to see how good he will be, some will watch to see hoping he will be awful, depending on who you are) but I am sure many fuelled by the excellent trailer. So I believe it will open big but whether it will continue with steady good ratings at the end of the day will depend on the acting, the story and the presentation, and Masha's popularity will be the least of it. So here to a good show, hopefully. Lucky fans in Japan!! I hope there will be English subtitled torrents available and if there is I will post the links here.

Anyway the official site posted the 10 minute Making Of feature which is really very interesting. I see Masha dragged in the mud, fell into pond, screaming in the rain, etc etc etc. He really was working very hard in those scenes and I appreciate that he threw away his gorgeousness and gets down dirty just for Ryoma! There will be plenty of women too and I am not sure how far NHK will take to the intimacy level but I expect some kissing and hugging or at the very least hugging. We shall see. The site is a bit confusing for those who doesn't know Japanese and doesn't have the patience to click around. So to save you time, below are the links (some already posted but I am posting again) where you may need Flash to view the page so do install Flash!! So far can't find the official videos at Youtube!

Anyway click Read More for the links.

UPDATE - 14.12.2009
Yeah! Youtube wins again! Someone posted the 10 minute Making Of feature recorded from the TV version, so it is slightly (very slightly) different from the NHK official site version. Watch and rip it before it is taken down!To know how to download from youtube for offline viewing. check out my guide in the left panel under Links Of Interest. Do it fast because I suspect NHK will be taking it down very very soon.





UPDATE- 17.12.2009
A 30 seconds preview of the I suppose Making Of feature, longer version to be broadcast soon. Frankly I am not sure what this is.










> The trailer (see this post for screencaps as well)

URL : http://www9.nhk.or.jp/ryomaden/movie.html?TB_iframe=true&width=480&height=330

> The 10 minute Making Of Special

URL : http://www9.nhk.or.jp/ryomaden/movie2.html?TB_iframe=true&width=480&height=330

> The snapshots posted at the site (do click around when you see an arrow or something as there may be larger version or more pictures)
- Vol 1
- Vol 2
- Vol 3
- Vol 4

> Izumisano from Masha Heart and MashaPlus Info Forums has translated an interview with Masha which I feel is related to The Making Of, as he did explained some stunts and what he did in there so for those who can't understand Japanese and not sure what Masha was doing in The Making Of feature, like myself, the interview does shed some light, until someone posts a translation of what he said in the feature itself. I am reposting it here but you can read more interviews of Masha at Masha Heart, the links of both Masha Heart and MashaPlus Info Forums are at the bottom of this page. A great big thanks to Izumisano, without whom foreign fans of Masha will be much "poorer" indeed!



Interview in Monthly Television No. 182 (2009/11/28 ~ 2009/12/31)

There is a gentleness about Sakamoto Ryoma ….. he’s very charismatic, I’d like to learn from him too.

■ When NHK approached Fukuyama-san for the role of Ryoma, his initial feelings were not of joy, but of “query”
F: When I received the invitation from NHK, to be honest, my first thought was: “Why me?” I didn’t think my image had any overlap with Ryoma’s?! It didn’t seem to fit.

■ Upon studying Ryoma’s deeds and actions, Fukuyama-san became strongly attracted to this person.
F: At the beginning, the image I had of Ryoma in my heart was one of toughness, a man who was like a powerful bulldozer pushing events forward. But it appears he wasn’t like that at all, on the contrary he was unaggressive, once he accepted an idea wholly, he would take in all he could like a sponge and relay the good parts out……..I find that trait very compelling and I hope I can model after his personality in that respect.

■ Playing the part of Ryoma who is so popular with the women, how did Fukuyama-san see the reason for Ryoma’s attractiveness to the opposite sex, from your point of view as a man?
F: Ryoma probably gave women the impression that “He can’t do without me!” That was the way I interpreted it as I played my role. Because his mother passed away when he was very young, I think he’d be craving for maternal love. Like what he got from his sister Otome (乙女) and he had three of them by the way! My guess is he would naturally gravitate towards women like a mommy’s boy and is probably quite capricious like a child in that area. And I am the exact opposite, we only had 2 boys in our family. I always thought that “Men must be decisive and take the lead” but it seems this type of men are not liked by the ladies at all! (laugh)

■ Immediately after his 20th anniversary concert tour, Fukuyama-san dived straight into the filming of “Ryoma den”, it was a very hectic month.
F: What gave me the strongest impression were those scenes where I had to “put in everything I had”. In the first episode, there was a scene where I had to fall into a pond. When I looked in and saw that the pond water was green in colour, I thought “You have got to be joking….”
So I went over to check – “The water in the pond…..is drinkable, right?.....it’s green tea, right?”
“Nope, it’s dirty water.” (laugh)

And in another scene in episode 2 where I had to lug sand bags around, we had a couple of cows on site. They were just relieving themselves non-stop there. And I was being sprayed with the muddy water which was naturally mixed with their wee and dung, my mouth was full of the sand and mud and……..I really worked as hard as a young newcomer. (laugh)

■ Besides putting in his very best, Fukuyama-san had a very meticulous way of defining his character.
F: How does Sakamoto Ryoma move and carry himself? When I had queries, I’d ask up on each and every one of them. We’d have prep meetings tirelessly before we went on site.

■ He was greatly praised by his kendo master, because he put aside time to train for kendo during the concert tour.
F: As students of the Takechi dojo, I had a sword fight scene with Takeru Sato-kun’s (佐藤健) Okada Izo.* During rehearsals, we were both very nice and polite, but the moment the camera started rolling, Sato-kun suddenly charged at me and kept bashing down. (laugh) Of course, I gave him back double. (laugh) Perhaps, it’s because we’re true Japanese? The moment we have swords in our hands, our spirits will soar!

■ Even though he’d be diligently training (on kendo) during breaks, Fukuyama-san does get to chat a bit with his co-stars occasionally.
F: During the outdoor shoot in Iwate, everyone in the Takechi dojo was listening to Miyasako Hiroyuki-san’s (宮迫博之) anecdotes**. We surrounded him going “Really ~~ that actually happened ~~ Hahahaha!”…… He gave us a very good time. (laugh) And Otanuki Kaoru-san (奥貫薫)*** went to the same audition as me, before our debut. This was the first time we met again after the 20 years. And how did we spend our 20 years…..I really interrogated her about it! (laugh) But I can’t disclose any of our conversations here, I’m sorry. (laugh)

■ Up to now, the role of Ryoma had been played by many actors before. How does Fukuyama-san plan to present a Fukuyama-specific Ryoma ?
F: I believe people love Ryoma-san because he is a multi-faceted person. Somehow, anyone could find a part of themselves in him. “I’m sure I could do something there?” He had this dream in him when he set out for Edo (江戸) and that allowed that teenager in me who left Nagasaki for Tokyo to relate to him. For me, all I want is to be able to portray a person whom people will like at first sight. I look forward to Team Ryomaden being able to work together to present such a Sakamoto Ryoma to you.

- Translated and posted by izumisano on 14.12.2009 at MashaPlus Info Forums and usually it will be posted for public viewing at Masha Heart a few days later.




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Sometimes I receive some media files or stuff about Masha that can't be publicly shared, but I can however share privately, such as concert clips, etc. I would love to share whatever I got with you, as a way of disseminating information of Masha to the masses. You probably have all that stuff if you're an experienced fan, but if you are new to Masha or does not know other experienced fans, you probably won't have most of what I can send to you. I don't send emails often, since frankly I don't get such stuff often but when I do, I will send the link if I am allowed to do so. So do join my contact list but be reminded, you're not allowed to repost/redistribute/reupload whatever I send you whether in whole or in part. Anyone interested, redirect them to my blog and ask them to join my contact list. But this is only open to those who will answer the questions in the form below accurately. If you're successful, you will receive quite a few emails since I group all links together into categorised documents. If you're not, I will email and inform why (probably answered some wrongly, such as title not in Romaji or wrong answer). Once you found the answer, please RESUBMIT THE FORM. If you did not receive my emails (whether the many materials or rejection email) within 3 days of joining, please do resend your request. Thanks for joining!



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