Yagira Yuya Talks ‘Gannibal’ Second Season



Top Japanese star Yagira Yuga (“Nobody Knows,” “Asakusa Kid”) was front and center of streamer Disney+’s plans when it gave a green light to a second season of drama-horror series “Gannibal.”

The creepy show, in which Yagira portrays a damaged police detective on the heels of a gangster-like family in a troubled village, has been a ratings winner in terms of minutes watched for the streamer. And, on Sunday, it earned Yagira win an Asian excellence prize at the Busan International Film Festival’s Asia Contents Awards & Global OTT Awards.

He spoke to Variety about the newly-started production of the second season.

Where does Season Two kick off?

In Season One, we saw the surfacing of many secrets including those of the village and the villagers. In season two we see most of these secrets resolved. I hope you can catch the nuance there.

How did you get back into character? Was its something you strongly wanted to do?

Obviously, I wanted to continue the story. Director Katayama Shinzo’s crew is a very established one, you’d almost call them a team after working together for more than two years. And the opportunity to work with them again to create something incredible was too much to pass up. The narrative is full of action, quite violent at times, but the crew have a set that is very pure, positive and comfortable. So, I wanted to keep up the momentum.

How does your character (Detective Arawa Daigo) evolve in Season 2?

The jump in time from the end of Season 1 to the beginning of Season 2 is not long, only a matter of days, in fact. So, the exterior of the character does not change, but there is a tremendous amount going on in terms of story. In the second half of Season 2 Daigo and the villagers are confronted with a new kind of discovery and revelation. I hope to be able to portray the change in his inner landscape at that point, but that’s not the only thing I’m focused on. There’s more action.

Did you enjoy the additional degree of physicality that Season 2 brings?

Yes, I personally love the physical themes and I feel that director Katayama enjoys them as well. So, no stress. But there are many scenes involving guns and gunfire. I don’t usually get to experience that much. And with that amount of firepower even there was no chance of getting sleepy even in the night scenes.

How involved were you as developer or producer of the show?

I don’t get a production credit! But the director and the producers would often engage me with regarding the direction of the story or the characters. I felt very much part of that discussion.

Would you want more creative control of your future projects?

I’m not interested in producing or directing. But one area of development that I’m very curious to develop is the role of acting, theatre and performance as a form of mental support and therapy. I have no specific plans, but I’m intrigued by it and will dig into it in future.

Did you feel any structural or technical differences in making this show for a global audience, rather than one primarily targeted at a Japanese broadcaster?

The production and shooting are not significantly different. But there has been a difference in the marketing and promotion. The fact that I’ve been invited to Busan with the show, am nominated for an award from the first season, and have the opportunity to speak to global media is a different experience.

What are you working on next?

We are only a few weeks into the production of “Gannibal” Season 2, so that is my current focus. But, one day, I’d love to be part of a Marvel movie.


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