Q – Is it your first time meeting?
Matsui – It’s indeed our first time working together! Though once, when our handshake event places were close enough, we met a brief instant, but I became all “Wuuuaaaaa～”. (laugh)
Ikoma – At the time Nogizaka had just started, I would have never imagine that we would have such an opportunity to meet, much less talk together. Back then I thought 「Whoua～ It’s Matsui Rena-san in flesh and bones!」. I was actually pretty nervous.
Matsui – I’m blushingggg…(laugh)
Q – What was your first impression of each other?
Ikoma – Something close from “I’m in presence of a celebrity!”. (laugh)
Matsui – For me it was the occasion to confirm that Ikoma-chan was cute as a button. (laugh) I immediately thought “I like her!!”. When I heard 「smart-san has a Madoka☆Magica corner planned」I was really ecstatic since it’s a serie I appreciate so much. But when I was informed I would be posing with Ikoma-chan I striked a winner pose. (laugh)
Ikoma – Ikoma-chan too is really glad she was called to this shooting～ Plus when she heard Matsui Rena-san would be there too she was not only happy but slightly nervous too～
Matsui – So you refer to yourself as「Ikoma-chan」? (laugh) It was actually one of my dreams to work with Ikoma-chan.
Ikoma – Ehhhhh?!!
Matsui – I wanted to talked to you. No matter what I absolutely wanted to talk with you. Hence, I was doubly happy to take part in this project!
Q – You both seem to be to the liking of the other (laugh). Glad to see you reciprocate each other’s affection! If I’m correctly informed, you both like anime and manga, right?
Ikoma – I’ve come to like manga and everything 2D related thanks to 「Gintama」, right now I’m expending the field of manga I read with shounen still my favorite genre.
Matsui – I watch a bit of everything but among those series many appear to be rather dark… I also love stories involving food! Lately I’ve read 「Utsu Gohan」. I’ve been through all the volume in ecstasy “Ah, that sooooo good!” (laugh).
Q – How did you came across 「Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica」?
Matsui – I’m a fan of Shaft and I love director Shinbu’s works. When I saw those two names plus the word anime, I immediately reacted and I knew I would definitely be watching it! I was excited about it even before the broadcasting started! Gosh, just by talking about it I started being carried away (laugh).
Ikoma – When Ikoma-chan was only starting with manga, she would only read battle manga. But then Nogizaka46 members came to discuss about 「Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica」. Ikoma-chan thought she would give it a try and it turn out to be completely different from all the 「magical girl」she knew. To begin with, it was slightly scary, which proved to be a positive novelty and led me to consider it an interesting serie to watch.
Matsui – There is too long of a list of reasons why I like「Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica」to enumerate them all, but on top of them is how it goes against the viewer expectations. Like how the opening of the anime is extremely cute. It makes you think the clumsy Madoka will be trying her best to learn magic, but when the anime itself starts you realize “That’s SO not it” (laugh). In a good way, it wrong-foots you.
Ikoma – There aren’t many examples where one of the central character disappears suddenly like it’s the case here. It did surprise me, I was chocked honestly, but I also found it to be incredibly refreshing.
Matsui – And then this feeling! When in the episode 10 we finally understand why Homura was following Madoka all along and how she looped the same period of time and that instead of the ending the anime main theme (ClariS 「Connect」) starts playing!! After this I had to tell myself “Of course you’re crying but bear with it and watch this opening!” (laugh). I don’t think there were lots of anime so far which had set themselves to go against the viewers expectations to this extend, I thought it was a really good thing.
Q – The movie version has been released in DVD/BD on July 24th. Please a word of recommendation for our readers!
Matsui – The art is very typical of anime…Which I think might keep some men from wanting to give it a try, but in my opinion the story and its content would fit the tastes of many. You’ll have a great time if you can grasp the true nature those themes.
Ikoma – ………… Such a perfect answer I have nothing to add. (laugh)
Matsui – I’m so so so so so sorry!!!! (laugh)
Ikoma – I’ve been reading shounen manga for a long time and this serie is packed with values you will usually find in the genre such as friendship, camaraderie, overcome difficulties… I won’t say it’s an happy story but definitely one you want to check out once in your life. Try it and I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it, even come to like it!
Q – Last, what did you think of your mutual cosplay today?
Ikoma – It was perfect!! Rena-san has a cool face, she was like Homura incarnate! Right out from the 2D world. I’ve feasted my eyes plenty ☆.
Matsui – You’re flattering me! I had the same feeling 「Madoka-chan is here!」! Ikoma-chan has a slim figure, she really reminds of the Madoka-chan from the anime. Looking at the picture, it was like her hair were blazing from the back lights!
Ikoma – Thank you very much!
Matsui – When those pictures will be published in smart, it will be as if we had enter Madoka☆Magica’s world for good! Thinking about it, I’ve already planned on keeping this issue preciously as part of my treasures. (laugh)
Ikoma – Between the one to preserve, the one for our own enjoyment and those to show to others… We should at least get 5 copies right?!
I still think Mita Mao would do great as Madoka.