Welcome to my new regular blog segment, The Oshi Interviews. Here I will be finding out more about different actors by asking those who know them best, their fans!
Today’s interview is with Jae who I interviewed about one half of the duo Twin Paradox, Futaba Yuu 二葉勇 (@2BA_yuu)! You can find Jae on Twitter @nightimefjaeril or read her blog dedicated to Saiyuki Ibun (which Yuu will be acting in soon) here.
Here’s what she had to say about him.
“He may be one half of a unit, but his hotness makes for two! He has sexy lips, a jawline so sharp it can cut through diamonds and whenever he’s not busy performing on stage, making music or shooting videos with his younger brother… he’s probably doing something to his hair. He’s Futaba Yuu, the airhead twin!”
First of all, how and when did you become his fan?
I became a fan of Yuu relatively recently. It happened around the end of February, when the Saiyuki Ibun cast was finally announced. This is my absolute all-time favorite manga, meaning I was looking forward to this cast more than ever, and I was super excited to find out who was going to play my favorite character, Jyoan. I’ll be honest, because I had a different “type” in mind for him, as soon as I came across Yuu I thought “Yeah he sure is hot, but can he portray my boy properly?”, but in the end I managed to warm up to him pretty much right away. Finding his Bancho Boys’ youtube channel stuff did the trick. Especially the TWiN PARADOX’s videos: as soon as I realised what a great singing voice he has I was sold! So I keep researching and researching in order to familiarise with him further, and before I knew it, I fell deeper and deeper into a Futaba-shaped rabbit hole…and now here we are.
Let’s talk about TWiN PARADOX for a moment! Who are they and where can we find out more information about them?
TWiN PARADOX is a musical unit Yuu has together with that younger brother we briefly touched upon before… who is actually his identical twin! [*gasp*] would you have imagined? :’D Kidding aside, most people should be familiar with him… his name is Kaname and he’s also a stage actor. He’s actually the more well-known one due to his appearance in Tenimyu. And as you can imagine he’s just as handsome, talented and likeable as Yuu. So by following TwinPara (short for TWiN PARADOX), one can pretty enjoy two wonderful human beings at the “price” of one).
Their music style touches different genres: it can range from pop (but don’t call TwinPara a “pop duo” in front of Yuu, he really dislikes that label! I guess he’s still a rocker at heart…), to rock to more dance tunes. What they all have in common is that they’re very catchy and have very beautiful vocal lines. Both twins have fantastic singing voices, similar but different enough to complement each other perfectly! I recommend you check out all the MVs they put on the Bancho Boys (their company)’s Youtube channel. My favorite song of theirs is “Still…“, I’m a sucker for pop-rock ballads~ Yuu wrote the lyrics for that one, too, so it’s a very personal song for him. Also, recently they released a new single, “Departure”. If you live in Japan don’t let it escape you!
I really hope everyone can check them out! Thanks for introducing them to everyone! Onto the next question: Please give us 5 reasons he is amazing.
1. His singing voice
Yuu is a man of many talents: acting, dancing, sports, writing lyrics… just to name a few. But if I had to name his strongest point when it comes to performing it’s his singing! I’m in love with his vocals: he has a very recognisable tone, a super smooth chest-to-head-mix voice and a great range that allows him to reach really high falsetto notes as well as deeper, richer vocals (yes the interviewee here is a bit of a vocal nerd…). Even though he sounds great on his own, his voice truly sounds the best when paired up with Kaname’s: the way they complement each other is almost magical. In my humble opinion, both twins are some of the most talented singers in the current stage generation.
2. His goofy personality
Judging on looks alone, Yuu may come off as some sort suave, sexy dude who can sweep you off your feet. While there’s no denying his attractiveness, make no mistake: he’s also a complete dork. Watch him act like a giddy schoolboy at fan events, always be willing to partake in silly on-stage shenanigans, or perhaps even catch him drinking too much and lose his self-control, as some fans might have witnessed at some point… :’) Not to mention the most recent TwinPara’s youtube videos! Those make a really good job at showcasing his silly side. He’s just a natural boke and a bit of a airhead, in the most endearing way possible. Such energy translates really well with both fans and colleagues, in fact while he may easily end up being the butt of someone’s joke from time to time, he’s also pretty much universally well-liked. His friendliness and easygoing personality makes up for his clumsiness, so we can all excuse him for being a mess sometimes.
3. His relationship with fans
Yuu is very present on social media, meaning that there’s some content with him almost everyday through his platforms. While the increasing number of fans doesn’t allow him to reply to pretty much everybody like he used to in the earlier days, he takes his time to like comments and find ways to interact with his fans still, for example through his streams. I suggest everyone to try and catch them whenever you have the chance, because they can range from hilarious (especially when Kaname appears, their bickering is legendary!) to really intimate, which feel almost like face-timing a friend. Yuu is very talkative and never runs out of interesting stories to tell, so his streams are never dull. He never misses a chance to show gratitude towards his fans, so if you take your time to comment, attend his performances and show your support, he will most likely remember you and call you by name even! You can tell he’s a humble person who genuinly cherishes the support he receives.
4. “Great on his own, even better with his bro ;)”
As you may have noticed reading this, it’s pretty much impossible to talk about Yuu without mentioning his twin brother Kaname. And to be fair, neither can Yuu, since he’s always talking about his brother in streams and posts! And vice-versa. That is not to say that they exist as one single entity: despite looking so much alike and being into many of the same things, these boys have different personalities/styles/attitudes, and each can (and should) be appreciated as their own person. But it’s undeniable that they share such a strong, unique bond and a deep connection that it’s just impossible to ignore it. It’s such a treat to see them interact together because you can tell they genuinely enjoy being around one another and act like real brothers would: making fun of each other, competing and bickering a lot but also occasionally showing true care and affection. It is truly heartwarming to see siblings supporting each other so much. And some may not know that there’s a also third, elder brother who is also a talented singer, and all three seem really really close and supportive of each other’s projects.
If you meet one Futaba, it’s almost guaranteed you’re also going to get interested in the other brother too (or brothers if you’re like me and can’t get enough of this family, haha~). Of course usually you end up having a favorite twin, and in my case the bias it’s towards Yuu :’) but I adore Kaname and I’m yet to meet someone who will say: “Yeah, I love this twin but I don’t care for the other one.”
In short: they’re certainly great on their own, but they’re even better together 😉
5. His lifestory is very inspirational
Yuu’s story of how he got into performing is an interesting one. In fact, he didn’t always want to be an actor: his dream was to become a professional baseball player. He has been playing baseball since childhood, and both him and Kaname were promising enough to get scouted by a high-profile baseball team, leading them to live in a dorm and practice baseball everyday throughout high school. However, because of painful circumstances in his life, he realised that he couldn’t play baseball anymore. At the time he was attending college in Tokyo, but decided to call it quits it and move to back to his hometown of Osaka in order to pursue a new dream: start a band with his brother. Music has always been a passion of his that he hadn’t had the chance to really explore yet because of his lifelong focus on baseball.
He and Kaname formed a rock band in 2013, which ended abruptly one year later, pushing them back to square one. But Yuu didn’t let disappointment stop him: because he realised that performing on stage was his true calling, he continued to work hard in order to attempt a serious career in the entertainment business. He ended up landing his very first stage role in a Bancho Boys’ production in 2015, and the rest is history.
I find his story to be very inspiring, because despite the failures, hardships and disappointments in his life, he ended up finding his path eventually. Yuu himself said that in the past he would have never thought of himself performing: and yet, this is what he does for a living today. Life has many twists and turns, huh? For this reason, I really hope his fame will keep growing and growing; he’s a very talented performer and has he worked very hard for where he is today, overcoming all the difficult times he went through: that in my eyes deserves all the possible recognition~
Thanks for telling us so much about him! You’ve already told us a lot, but what is the most interesting fact that you know about him?
Uuuuh well…he smooched his brother on stage once? Is this interesting enough? :’)
Unfortunately there is no video proof of this, but those who attended that performance can testify that it really did happen~ But I highly doubt they will ever do it again since they’ve probably underestimated the fan’s reaction, who will never let it go and still bring it up, much to their embarrassment. To add to the hilarity, they both complained about one other’s kissing skills, too.
Oh how I wish I could have seen this (actually, I did!). We’ve almost reached the end but I have one last question for you. We can watch one of their performances. Which one should it be and why?
Uhm, can I cheat a bit with this one and say the upcoming Saiyuki Ibun musical? Which around the time this interview is taking place will be premiering in about a week… :’) I know, I know, but listen guys: this is going to be so exciting! First of all, did you see how stunning Yuu looks in the visuals? The purple bob really suits him in my opinion~ also, I can guarantee his character is going to be a very sassy and entertaining one (<-Ibun fangirl bias). But most importantly, this is going to be his first official musical role! I’m so looking forward to him properly showing his vocals skills in a stage…I’m expecting great things from him, and I’m sure he will deliver~
If I had to pick one of the current ones: even though Yuu has appeared in several Bancho Boys’ stage productions I… admit I haven’t had the chance to see many yet. Their stuff isn’t exactly… easy to come by if you don’t live in Japan. I’m working on it though. If I had to say which one I’m mostly looking forward to based on what some kind people have been saying, I think “Mannequin Life” should be a good one since Yuu has a pretty major role in that. But “Amaku wa nai ze! 2” has him cross-dressing and flirting with his co-stars… Aaah Josie-san please help me with this one, you’re the Bancho Boys’ resident expert! :’)
My recommendation is to watch everything. Whatever you choose first, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!! And with that, we have reached the end. Thanks to Jae for introducing us to Futaba Yuu, and I hope everyone can go and check him out.
If you guys want to join in the fun by allowing me to interview you about your oshi, then please feel free to contact me on Twitter @tonbo or by email at email@example.com.