The Oshi Interviews

The Oshi Interviews: Emoto Koki

Welcome to my regular blog segment, The Oshi Interviews. Today’s interview is a little different because rather than being the one to ask the questions, I’m answering them. I wanted to be interviewed about one of my favourite actors to post on his birthday, and that day is finally here. Elisabeth Kaseda (who you can find at her website here) took the role of the interviewer, thank you so much for doing this for me!

She interviewed me about my oshi Emoto Koki (江本光輝), who turned 23 today (June 3rd 2020)

Emoto Koki is an actor who debuted in late 2018 as Chitose Senri in the Prince of Tennis Musical‘s 3rd season. He is 187 tall with legs that go on forever, a natural tan and thick eyebrows which he says are his charm point (although personally I would say his charm point is his amazing goofy smile and hyena-like laugh). He is a mature and simple guy who likes nothing more than to sit in cafes and read but is also an established cook and great at playing the piano. Who wouldn’t love a multi-talented guy like that?”

Who wouldn’t, indeed! I’m excited to learn more about him. Let’s get started. How did you become his fan? 

I got to know Koki after I saw the 3rd Season Seigaku vs Shitenhoji musical for the first time at the beginning of 2019. I didn’t really have a huge expectation of the cast and characters for Shitenhoji because I had only skimmed through the 2nd season musical, so I went into it fresh and wondering who I might like the best. It had been a long time since I had really liked a character or actor in the shows, so I wasn’t expecting a lot. However, I knew within about the first three minutes of him stepping onto the stage that I liked him best. I just couldn’t stop watching him during their team song at the beginning, his long limbs and his voice when he spoke in-character just really mesmerised me, and during his match in the first half, I don’t think I took my eyes off him even once. 

During the intermission, I went to the goods booth and bought his bromide set without even thinking, because I wanted to see what he looked like up close. I distinctly remember going to eat lunch between the two shows that day, and I propped up the bromides on the table while I was eating alongside the can badge I miraculously got on my first pull. It sounds crazy, but I really do say that I became his fan at around 12.35 on January 12th 2019, because that was when I first saw him. After that weekend of shows, I found his Twitter, followed him and began to find out more about him as a person, and what was what really confirmed it for me.

So I guess you could say it was “oshi at first sight”, huh? But if you first saw him in the beginning of 2019, that means you’ve only been his fan for about a year. How many times have you been able to see him?  

Definitely oshi at first sight! I’ve never fallen for anyone so fast before.

Oh man, this is a bad question. Too many times. I saw the Seigaku vs Shitenhoji show 12 times for a start (although I had most of those tickets before I even knew who he was) and their Team Party 5 times. When he returned for the next Tenimyu show, I went to watch it a ridiculous 26 times. I had no regrets though and enjoyed every moment watching him because I knew I only had a limited time to see him as Chitose before it would be over. That was the reason I wanted to go so many times, but I don’t even want to think about the money I spent. Since he finished with Tenimyu, I’ve seen him another 20 times across the other three shows he’s done. That’s an average of about once a week all together!! I haven’t had much of a chance to meet him up close or speak to him, but the few short chances I have had to do that have been amazing.

It’s awesome that you’ve been able to see him so much! It’s obvious that you think he’s amazing; can you give five reasons for it? 

1. He’s multi-talented. I said this before but not only can Koki act, he also has other talents. He took piano lessons for two years when he was in elementary school but quit because he didn’t want to go anymore. Even so, he kept practicing at home and kept it up as a hobby. He has a piano at home (although he doesn’t like the sound quality) and has also uploaded two videos of him playing on Youtube. He always seems to practice so hard to play well for us, and I really appreciate it. As for cooking, his specialty is sweets. He’s not beyond mistakes (he once forgot to put the cream in his cream puffs and didn’t realize until he took a bite) but his creations always look like they are restaurant quality.

2. He’s very mature. Of course, he has his silly moments like anyone else, but he also often seems to get quickly tired when other people are doing dumb things. I’m jealous of how put together he seems as an adult. Aside from always cooking for himself, and his hobby of playing the piano, Koki likes nothing more than sitting in fancy cafes and reading, and his idea of an interesting Instagram story is to tell us how he cleaned his whole house to rid if of pollen. Some would call him “boring” (and I often do) but I really admire him for his maturity.

3. He’s very social. Even though Koki claims to be shy and bad at getting to know people, he’s always hanging out with his coworkers. During Tenimyu he got particularly close to Atsuki (Shiraishi) and Rikito (Koharu) and they would often go out for tapioca or Starbucks during rehearsals. He invited Rikito over to his house on his birthday to do an Instalive with him (because he was too scared to do it on his own). He always goes to his co-actors new shows to support them and hang out with them outside of work. He also got close to his co-actor from Seiyan, Chihiro, who he shared a hotel room with during the Osaka shows. They became friends so fast and even did a live stream together. For someone who claims to be shy he sure gets to know a lot of people.

4. He has an amazing smile. I try to stay away from physical features when talking about actors I like, but good smiles are something I’m always drawn too in people I like. Although I didn’t see his smile much during the actual Tenimyu shows, I was quickly able to see it through his backstage photos and seeing him smile really makes me happy. He has this habit of trying to look cool when he’s putting on a smile, and it’s still great but I especially like it when I see him smile without thinking about it and more naturally when I can see all his teeth. It’s s nice.

5. He seems like a genuinely good boy. Whenever his co-actors talk about him on Twitter the first thing they always say is how nice he is. During the Tenimyu rehearsals, he bought the entire cast onigiri he had made at home, leading some to call him “mother-like”. He also once bought a co-actor a shinkansen ticket from Osaka to Tokyo because he lost his, and we all know how expensive the shinkansen is. 

Wow! You were sure able to fit a lot of his amazing qualities in those five points! With all that, is there anything he can’t do? 

The thing that comes to mind is social media. He said sometime last year that he was going to “do his best” with SNS but he’s still mostly away from his Twitter and Instagram. During shows when he can thank people for coming and post pictures with his fellow cast members he’ll be good at updating every day, but when he’s not working he all but disappears. I’m sure that he doesn’t really do anything he thinks is worth posting, and when he does it’s often mundane (my favourite was when he made an entire Instagram story about how he went shopping to buy a plate to display french toast but couldn’t find one) but I wish he would realise that we as fans are interested in all aspects of his life, no matter how boring they are!

So true! Even the little everyday things are fun to see. But on the opposite side of mundane, what is the most interesting thing you know about him? 

At the Shitenhoji Team Party, while being asked to send a message/ask a question to himself 10 years into the future, he asked: “did your heart become strong yet?” He revealed that he surprises very easily and has a habit of overreacting to noises or to people randomly touching him. Of course, the other members couldn’t let this go and had to test this out and so one of them grabbed his shoulder suddenly when he turned his back, leading him to jump out of his skin and look like he was about to collapse from a heart attack. It’s pretty interesting that someone who seems so together most of the time can turn into a wreck just from being surprised. 

It sounds like Koki is a very multifaceted person! Would you say his roles are similarly diverse, or does he tend to be more typecast?  

He’s actually been really lucky in the variety of his roles so far. After he finished with Tenimyu I was wondering what kind of roles he would be given, and in his first show after it, he played a sensible but cautious guy who was scared of his own shadow and looked like he was going to have a heart attack every five minutes. This is so different from the chill, laid back Chitose and I was happy to see he could play a completely different kind of character. Although his roles after that have tended to edge towards the more serious side of personalities, they’ve all been very different. He’s been laid back, or rough and violent, or just plain powerful. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do next!

It’s nice to hear that he has so much variety! But if we could only watch one of his performances, which one would you tell us to watch? 

This is a hard question because the one performance I’d really like everyone to watch was Travel Mode, the show he did just after Tenimyu where he played the cautious character. He was one of the main three characters and so had a lot of stage time and chance to impress. Unfortunately, because the lead actor was a Johnnys member, the show was not given a DVD release. So, in exchange, I’m going to suggest Tenimyu’s Seigaku vs Shitenhoji show. He actually has a really large part in this musical and gets to not only play one match but two, which is pretty rare. He is really able to show off his skills and as Chitose is one of my favourite characters, I’d love everyone to see Koki performing as him. Although I’m biased, I really think he does an amazing job. I especially recommend his first match in the musical against his old friend Tachibana. Although it’s not a long match, it’s my favourite in Tenimyu in general. 

On a slightly different route, Koki also opened a Youtube channel where he has posted two videos of him playing piano, so if you want to check out his talents you can see that channel here.

It’s too bad that we don’t get to see Travel Mode. Perhaps someday they’ll perform it again? Until then, we’ll be sure to check out his Seigaku vs Shitenhoji appearance! 

Thanks so much for sharing the YouTube channel and for telling us all about Koki! It was really fun to learn more about him, and I can’t wait to see what he does next. 

I hope everyone can see it one day! I enjoyed talking so much about him and I hope more people can get to know him through this interview.

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