On Feb. 4, at Shinjuku Balt 9, Tokyo, there was a screening in commemoration of the completion of “Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna”.
This film was shot to celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Digimon Adventure”. It depicts the story of Yagami Taichi and the other “Chosen Children” and their Digimons.
They held a stage greeting at the screening with; Hanae Natsuki (as Yagami Taichi), Sakamoto Chinatsu (as Agumon), Matsuoka Mayu (as Menoa Bellucci), and director Taguchi Tomohisa. Their love for “Digimon” raised the expectations of this film.
They've all grown up to be nice adults
The seats were filled with fans looking forward to the release of the movie. “They've all grown up to be nice adults.” said Sakamoto, looking back at the time she spent with the “Digimon” series.
Hanae's comment, “I can now buy the 'Digimon' goods that I couldn't buy when I was watching the series as a child.” shows the growth of the “Digimon Generation”.
Matsuoka also looked back at when she was informed of the movie to be released, and said, “It makes me happy to be able to see a new story of Taichi and Agumon.”
This is the creation of those who watched the series as a child and the staff involved with the series.
Director Taguchi said, “I wanted to make this a film that would push Taichi and his friends a step forward”, and explained how he took much time to write the plot.
When asked her impression of the movie, Hanae answered, “It really showed the directors love towards 'Digimon'.”
She seemed like she wanted to talk about specific scenes for the fans but couldn't because the movie hasn't been released yet.
Sakamoto praised the director's love of “Digimon” by saying, “It reminds me of the saying 'What one likes、one will do well'.” She said with a smile that the movie will grab the heart of the fans from the beginning.
She also pointed out that many scenes made her cry than expected. The film seemed to really impress Sakamoto.
“I almost fell to my knees at the very beginning.”, Matsuoka said excitedly. She was about to collapse on stage.
She looked back at the struggles as a fan during the recording and said, “I tried to stay as calm as possible when talking to Agumon”.
The film makes you feel grown-up
The growth of the “Chosen Children” is one of the themes of this film, so they talked about “When do you feel that you have grown up?”.
Sakamoto's answer was “The beer after work.” He pretended to drink a beer and as he finished, said “I'm so happy to be a grown-up!”. with a smile.
Hanae talked about her memories of having some wine with Sakamoto after the recording of “Digimon Adventure tri.”, and Sakamoto also looked back and said, “When I have a drink with the ones that watched 'Digimon', I really feel like we've grown up.”
Matsuoka said she never knew when she had grown up.
Instead, she talked about her growth through this film. “There were some scenes that gave me the sense that I have become an adult. I believe there will be a scene in the movie that will give each of you the sense of being an adult.”
Sakamoto agreed with Matsuoka saying “The film makes you feel grown-up by the time you get home.”, raising the expectation of the fans who will be watching the film.
Another question was, “What is something you want to 'evolve' into during this year?” in relation to the title “LAST EVOLUTION”.
Hanae said, “I tend to build an emotional wall between others, so I would like to 'evolve' into a person that can get along with even the people I meet for the first time.”, and Sakamoto said, “I will try hard to stop myself from 'devolving' into that person who lowers the keys of the song.”
Matsuoka's answer was, “Yamadera Kouichi-san took good care of me in 'Oha Suta' when I was a child. I want him to watch this film and return the favor.”, showing her passion towards evolving through “Digimon”.
Director Taguchi said, “I believe not having a goal makes better works.”, and the cast answered with a joke, “We can't believe this is the answer coming from the person who created the work with a theme of 'evolution'”.
He answered with a smile and said, “I want to cherish the diversity of the production process and 'evolve' as a result of that.”
Who is your favorite character?
They talked about love towards their “Favorite human character and Digimon” with flip boards with their answers on them.
The crowd gave a big applause to Hanae's confident answer, “There is no man that doesn't like WarGreymon.”
He chose Yagami Taichi, which he voices himself, as his favorite character saying, “I always looked up to him since I was a child”, and praised his charisma.
Sakamoto's favorite character was her partner, Yagami Taichi. She said “I can't help it. I just love him so much!”, putting a smile on Hanae's face.
Matsuoka always favored Angewomon since she was a child. However, “Since watching the movie, Agumon is my favorite.”
Sakamoto said “This movie does this to people” in response to Matsuoka's change of heart.
A film that has the energy to move forward
At the end of the stage greeting, Matsuoka explained what is so appealing about this movie by saying, “I loved the energy of Taichi and the other kids moving forward. Once again, them never giving up has encouraged me.”
“I learned that you can get over difficult times with your memories of happiness. Beware that the movie will make you cry,” said Sakamoto, finishing with a playful tone.
Hanae said “There are both things you gain and lose as you grow older, but becoming an adult doesn't break the bond with Agumon. I hope you will enjoy the firm bond in this movie”, and gave his seal of approval to the detailed images by adding, “Even the slightest depictions will strike a chord. Do not miss one scene!”
“Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna” will be released on Feb. 21. Be sure to witness the 20-year bond between the characters and their Digimon.
(C)Hongou Akiyoshi・Toei Animation