'Ajin' star Takeru Satoh wants to take on the horror genre

Bryan Huang
Lead Producer, Editor
Takeru Satoh as Kei Nagai in “Ajin: Demi-Human”. (Photo: Encore Films)

You may recognise “Ajin: Demi-Human” lead actor Takeru Satoh from another manga-to-film movie, but the 28-year-old wants to make his mark beyond manga adaptations.

“I would like to try acting in a horror film,” said the Japanese actor, who plays Kei Nagai in the live-action movie based on Gamon Sakurai’s manga series “Ajin: Demi-Human”. “I want to play a character in a horror film that is so scary, it would be regarded as the most terrifying film of all time.”

“Ajin” tells the tale of Kei, a boy who learns that he is an immortal demi-human (an Ajin) and tries his best to avoid the conflict between the pro-Ajin movement and the government. It contains more horror elements than some of Satoh’s previous works like Rurouni Kenshin and Bakuman.

Relating to his character

“I was really excited to play the character,” the actor told Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore, adding that the theme of “resetting my life” resonated very strongly with him when he first read the manga.

Satoh said he could relate to his character being a “very rational person who can choose when he wants to suppress his feelings” as their personalities were very similar.

“I am also a person who doesn’t really let my emotions show. Because I like this character, it was easy for me to take on this role, and I felt good playing the character,” he revealed.

And if he had the immortal powers of an Ajin?

“I would like to do daredevil stunts that would otherwise be too dangerous,” Satoh said.

Takeru Satoh as Kei Nagai in “Ajin: Demi-Human”. (Photo: Encore Films)

The actor, who has also played Kenshin from “Rurouni Kenshin” and Moritaka Mashiro from “Bakuman”, said that it was important to approach every film differently, despite them being live-action film adaptations of manga.

“We strive to reproduce the worldview of the original work while maintaining the setting of the story,” Satoh said.

“For my character in ‘Rurouni Kenshin’, I tried to incorporate both the anime action scenes and the original worldview but for ‘Bakuman’, I went according to the script because the original work was already very realistic.”

“Rurouni Kenshin” is the story of a samurai set during the Meiji era, while “Bakuman” told the tale of two school boys who aim to become manga artists.

While the two stories couldn’t have been more different, both had an air of light-heartedness around them compared to “Ajin”.

Takeru Satoh as Kei Nagai in “Ajin: Demi-Human”. (Photo: Encore Films)

“For all the films that I do, I always keep in mind the fact that I want fans of the original work to think and feel that the live-action film is interesting and relatable,” Satoh said, adding that “Ajin” incorporated never before seen stunts and effects.

“I believe that it’s one of my best works, and I hope that everyone will enjoy watching it,” he said.

And if Satoh continues with such dedication to his craft, his goal of starring in the “most terrifying film of all time” may not be far away.

Read also:

Review: ‘Ajin: Demi-Human’ is an exciting battle of wits and action
‘Gintama’ actor Ryo Yoshizawa talks Sougo Okita and the reach of Japanese works

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