They’re childhood friends, buddies, workmates and confidantes.
Wow, having the two of you come together for a rare duo shot is so radiant that we can’t stop our hearts from fluttering.♥
Yamashita: It’s been a long time since we last met.
Toma: When did we last see each other? About three months ago?
Yamashita: You must be super busy now.
Toma: Well, that’s true. I’ve been going to different locales for the filming of the movie. It’s like I’m a father who’s posted overseas for work purposes.
Yamashita: You’re totally not in Tokyo at all.
Toma: I’ve been to Kyoto, Guam, Hokkaido…
Yamashita: Where are you headed to next? (laughs) But it’s a good thing for a guy to be busy. And to be unable to meet friends because of [work], that’s pretty cool.
Toma: And Yamashita also plunged into preparations for his solo concert after filming for his drama had ended. We’re both busy. Although it would have ended by the time this article is published, I’m really looking forward to Yamashita’s solo concert.
How do you view each other when you’re working?
Yamashita: Toma is dead serious. It’s kinda like he gives off a different vibe. I respect him because of that.
Yamashita: Really, it’s true. Toma has egged me on, recently, I’ve changed as well.
It seems that Ikuta-san, Yamshita-san and other fellow actors gather together for passionate discussions on several nights.
Toma: I’ve received a positive stimulus because of that. But for Yamashita, it seems as though he’ll act on what we talked about the very next day. Yamashita has been like that since a long time ago. He’s serious, works really hard and hates losing. Now that he’s become more popular, there are more things which he needs to protect. Although I think it’s really tough, in the midst of that, Yamashita said, “I’m gonna go for it!”
Yamashita: After seeing Toma work in places I haven’t been or talk about things which I don’t know about, I think his experience level has really increased. When I see Toma like that, I think to myself, wow, he’s really grown up! I’m gonna have to work hard, too!
Toma: Iya~ That just makes me so happy. To have a friend who’s watching over me makes me glad. I’ve been working on projects by myself, so every working location has been a once in a lifetime opportunity. So to have a confidante who’s been a childhood friend and workmate is something huge to me.
Yamashita: It’s a treasured relationship. It’s not usual to be in the same school and then work in the same field.
Toma: Still, it’s not a relationship where we say, let’s work hard together! It can be better described as, “I’m gonna give my best, so you do it too.”
Yamashita-san – 24 years old. Ikuta-san – 25 years old. Is this the age where you passionately discuss your future and work?
Yamashita: If you’re talking about my age, it’s probably the time where people graduate from university and come out to work in society. We’ve worked for about 10 years now, so we’ve come to understand quite a number of things and put some fighting spirit in our work. However, we’ve been working since our teens, yes?
Toma: It feels like just about 10 years have passed, yes?
Yamashita: That’s right. On that note we’ve witnessed many things, so it’s time to put in some fighting spirit, right?
Toma: The thing that has changed since last time would be the sense of responsibility. Although I’m one out of many, I’ve been entrusted with various tasks and have become more aware of my own position.
You’ve been blessed by great comrades around you, right?
Toma: Everyone has been awesome. It seems like the people that I worked with from the time I did the programme “8-Ji Da J” and “Gakibara Teikoku” as a Junior are still around.
In short, the juniors which did the programs from long ago are able to display their talents in the various groups such as Tackey and Tsubasa, Arashi, NEWS and Kanjani 8.
Toma: It kind of makes one happy.
Yamashita: Although we were busy during our Junior days, we thought that to work hard was a given.
Could you share with us some of your weaknesses?
Yamashita: Even if I had them I’m not gonna tell ya!
Toma: Ahahaha. (laughs)
Yamashita: I want to hide my weaknesses as much as I can. (laughs) I wanna show off as a guy. With that in mind, I’m gonna keep quiet about Toma’s weaknesses as well.
With guys nowadays giving up their macho image and becoming Soushokukei Danshi, this looks promising.
Soushokukei Danshi: Literally, Herbivorous men. This alludes to young men who are not competitive as in tradition male stereotypes, including in the avid pursuit of money and sex, and who may also be kind, co-operative and family-oriented.
Yamashita: Really? It’ll be alright. We’re here.
Toma: Yamashita just says whatever is on his mind, so it feels good. From time to time, I try to imagine that I’m Yamashita Tomohisa. (laughs)
Toma: I’m jealous of that. I can’t do it. I tend to think through things first before I say anything. Even when it comes to relationships, I’m the type that can’t bring myself to express much.
Ikuta-kun, are you a newbie?
Toma: No, I am not. (laughs) I just tend to overthink matters.
Yamashita: Well, you tend to think about many things with regards to the person you like right?
Toma: To begin with, as fellow guys we’re not… really interested in each other’s romantic interests.
Yamashita: He’s practically running through the words which he can use right now. He’s trying to find a euphemism for “not having an interest”, but he ended up using the phrase verbatim.
Toma: You got that right! (laughs)
Yamashita: Nonetheless, in Toma’s perspective, if this relationship is going to end up as a handicap, he’ll probably say something about it.
Toma: Well~ If I said something that’ll probably be it. But even if you said that to a woman who’s fallen madly in love, [the relationship] can’t be ended that easily right?
Yamashita: Well it depends on the person. It might make them upset, but for Toma, she might be open to discussion. If Toma said so, then I’ll take some time to think over what he said.
Toma: That’s true. It’s the same for me. It’s only because Yamashita seldom says such things that I’ll stop to listen if he says it.