“Digimon Adventure: LAST EVOLUTION Kizuna” has released nationwide on Friday, Feb. 21. Not only Agumon and his friends from “Digimon Adventure” appear, but also Veemon, Wormmon, Hawkmon, and Armadillomon from “Digimon Adventure 02” make an appearance in the movie, fascinating the fans.
The casts playing the Digimon from “02” are the same as the TV broadcast which are: Noda Junko (playing Veemon), Takahashi Naozumi (playing Wormmon), Toochika Kouichi (Hawkmon), and Urawa Megumi (playing Armadillomon).
How did the Digimons faced the grown up children? We had also asked about the process until the voice recording session with new partners and a back story of “02” at the time of broadcast.
[Interview: Hashibiroko, Ezaki Dai/ Written by Hashibiroko/ Photographs by=Ohara Souta]
■”We finally gotten a chance to make an appearance as “02”!”
—-How did you feel when you were decided as the casts for this movie?
Noda: I thought, “We finally gotten a chance to make an appearance as ’02’!” Although “02” is deeply related with the first generation “Digimon Adventure”, but we did not have a chance to participate in the later series.
After we made appearance in “DIGIMON ADVENTURE FES. 2015 Eve” with Takahashi-kun, we were sad because we could not participate in “Digimon Adventure tri.”, although it was ongoing. lol
Takahashi: I thought, “oh, Wormmon cannot make an appearance…”. So, when I heard that I can play Wormmon, I was extremely happy.
I love Wormmon so much that I even feel him as a part of myself, and I still have a Wormmon’s stuffed toy in my room.
Toochika: I honesty thought, “I am glad that the Digimon cast members did not change”, because a long time passed since the broadcast of “02”. It is not rare that the casts get changed in the remake series, so I am glad to be here again.
But, I believe that the directors had decided the cast members by imaging the Digimons’ voice at the time of broadcast, so I worked hard to remember my voice at the time.
It will be bad to receive words from other cast members saying, “Isn’t your voice little different from before?”
—Did you watch “02” again to remember the memory at the time?
Toochika: I did not.
Noda: As I expected(lol). I did watch it again.
Toochika: For me, the recording for “02” is an adventure to me, so I tried several acting challenges during the recording. So, I remember several things related to those challenges.
— I believe Urawa-san not only played Armadillomon from “02”, but also his partner, Iori. Do you have love for the anime more than others?
Urawa: “02” is an important, precious anime for me.
The appearance of “02” in this movie is like touching a treasure box after taking it out. I don’t mean that I don’t favor my treasure being touched, but I was nervous, thinking, “Is it going to be alright?”.
Noda: It is because Iori’s role was switched to Yamaya-kun. lol
Urawa: You are correct. (laugh) Therefore, I received the notification saying “Iori’s role will be played by others, and there is an audition for it” beforehand.
When I heard about it, I felt like the parents where their child is taken away. (laugh) It was a complex feeling that “My precious Iori-kun will be taken away!”
■Grown-up Partner was there
—Did you have any change in your thoughts when you heard the acting of Yamaya Yoshitaka, playing Iori?
Urawa: We received an opportunity to read the scripts together in advance to the recording.
At that time, I still thought, “Someone else is playing my Iori-kun…”, but I realized that Yamaya-kun has researched and thought about Iori until the time of recording, and I felt his seriousness during the recording.
He did not mimic my acting, but he tried to understand Iori by himself. Therefore, I honestly felt, “grown-up Iori is here”.
—Daisuke, Miyako, and Ken also got their casts changed. What did you feel when you met the new partners?
Noda: I met the new casts for the first time when we read the script together.
After that, we went out for drinking with “02” members after Urawa-san suggested it. By the end of that dinner, I believe the uncomfortable atmosphere and anxiety disappeared by interacting. Of course, we interact while drinking alcohol, because we are adults. (laugh)
Toochika: I did not feel any uncomfortable atmosphere from the beginning, and I was not sure how much the new cast members are comfortable being in the part of “02”.
I knew that the new casts were mostly nervous, so I thought I should tell them “dive in to the world of ’02’!”. (laugh) The purpose of the dinner was to say that.
Takahashi: I had so much fun because the new casts actively participated during the dinner. It made me think that, “this recording will go right”.
—When you saw the illustrations and acting of the grown-up partners, did those matched with your images?
Noda: I was relieved to see them staying the same, although they grew-up, and their voices changed.
I don’t mean to say this as his parent, but Dasuke is an idiot, therefore, I was relieved that “he doesn’t change at all although he has gotten older”. I was happy to see him fail because he works so hard. (laugh)
Takahahsi: Ken used be a child who is both good at sports and academics, and he advanced in those fields even more by growing up.
When I saw (Lounsbery) Arthur-kun, who plays Ken-chan, I felt like seeing my cousins. I thought, “You grew-up. But you are still handsome. I love you!”. (laugh)
Toochika: The new casts are the voice actors who are popular right now, including Asai-san playing Miyako, so their acting sounds new. I learn a lot from them while recording together, and I thought, “Ah, this is new Miyako-san. She grew up this much”.
We still act in the eyes of Digimons, but the partners grow up and becoming adults. The generational gap between the actors had good effects on us.
Urawa: I learned “what it means to be chosen by the audition”, when I heard voice of my partner and other Digimons’ partners.
Not all voice of new casts match with the roles from the beginning, but by experiencing and thinking about the characters, they start to look like the characters themselves. The casting was so great that I want to praise the audition staff.
→Next page: We worked to not to get “02” to be hidden.
■We worked to not to get “02” to be hidden.
—I wonder if I could ask questions from “02” at the time of broadcast. Do you have any memorable episodes during the recording sessions?
Toochika: The Digimons from “02” and “Adventure” are all unique. But I think that Hawkmon is less unique when compare to the other Digimons…
We thought “02” should not get disappear from people’s minds. (laugh) I also had adventure in acting in order to make the anime memorable, so I remember about things from that time.
I once asked Natsuki Rio-san, who plays Miyako, “Was my acting okay?”.
Urawa: I thought you did whatever you wanted at the recordings. (laugh)
Toochika: Because you guys were so unique!
Noda: No, no. (laugh)
Toochika: I thought I can’t act in an ordinary way, because the regular cast members and even the guests were so unique. (laugh)
We can’t sound the same, but also cannot be less memorable, because there are many kinds of Digimons. I think that the anime made me grow up as a voice actor, because I struggled in every recording session.
—Takahashi-san, do you have any memorable event, when playing Wormmon?
Takahashi: When Wormmon got involved in the bad event, I felt like myself were also torn apart.
I played the character, already knowing what is going to happen, so it was frustrating when a kid in the neighborhood who is watching “02” asked me, “Is Digimon that brother Nao play a bad Digimon”. I know that he is a good Digimon, but I could not spoil it. Only thing I could say was, “Yeah, it is sad, isn’t it?”.
—Veemon that Noda-san plays is like a symbol of “02”. Did you thinking specifically about the role, when receiving a baton from Agumon from “Adventure”?
Noda: I worked hard not to lose a momentum, which was built through the world of “Adventure”. Veemon is a literally hard-headed, so I thought “Why don’t I keep running, until I hit an obstacle!”.
I tried to reach the same level as the senior actors with my feeling, not just following them at the recordings.
—Armadillomon that Urawa-san plays is unique in a way that he speaks a dialect from Nagoya. Were you specialized in the Nagoya dialect before the recordings?
Urawa: I was not born in Nagoya, but I had experiences in speaking Nagoya-dialect in a stage play, so I sometimes made an advice to Armadillomon’s lines. “Dagya!” is a point to listen, similarly in this movie. (laugh)
■I am glad to play Digimon
—Approximately 20 years has passed since “02”. Do you have any moment that you feel that “I’m glad I played the roles of Digimon”?
Takahashi: The topics related “Digimon” makes people who do I not talk so much much closer and that makes me happy. I often received words in other recording sessions, saying, “I used to watch ’02′”. Although generation is different, some people screams and gets excited by hearing the lines of evolution. (laugh)
At the same time, I realized that so much time passed that the children at that time had already became adults.
Noda: I was glad that I had opportunity in this anime which can be a topic that both children and adults can talk about. My nephew is “02” generation, so when I told him that “I will be playing a character in ‘Digimon’ movie”, he smiled at me.
Also, the recordings of “Digimon” allows me to shout the names of the special moves, which I don’t usually do at home because it is loud. (laugh)
—The special moves will also makes you shout, isn’t it?
Noda: Of course I do! I shout it few times in this movie as well.
Toochika: I also love to shout the names of the special moves. I also liked how played Digimons with different voice because they evolves often.
I sometimes take notes in the scripts of other works, saying, “read here like Polomon”, or “talk here like Shurimon”. (laugh)
Because I spoke in multiple ways in “Digimon”, it widened my ability. A year of being a part of “02” was an adventure, but it is now a precious treasure to me.
Urawa: A year of facing “02” was like staying inside of a dream, and I always thought that “I am glad to be a part of Digimon”.
I played multiple roles with an evolution or other characters, and I sung a song as the character during that year. I almost cried as the end of this series had approached.
■By looking at the adventure of the grown-up partners
—Lastly, may I have comments to the fans who are going to watch the movie?
Toochika: I want to say first that “’02’ members have return”.
The difference between this movie and the old anime is the message of the movie itself, so please look at both things that stays the same, and being different between the works.
Please also look at how the characters grew up.
Takahashi: I believe there are times when you struggle after becoming adults, but I think you will start feeling that “treasure the time spend with your partner”, after watching the movie for 90 minutes without thinking too much.
I have a cat in my house, and I began wanting to pat my cat after watching this movie.
The movie was created in fine details, and there were scenes when you start to feel that both scenes from the real life and in the anime beautiful. The amount of information is large, so please watch it over and over.
Noda: There are nostalgic scenes to the fans who had already watch the previous “Digimon” series. The movies can be enjoyed by watching the changes in ordinary scenes, or by feeling that “becoming adults isn’t not always a bad thing”.
You sometimes feel “things back then was much better”, but accepting changes is also an important thing in your life. Please watch over them as an adult.
Of course, the new fans to “Digimon” can enjoy the movie, too. Therefore, please go back to the TV series, after enjoying the movie.
Please enjoy both busy and relaxing atmosphere in “02”. If you did, it will makes me happy as the cast.
Urawa: May I read the message that I wrote in advance?
Noda: Wow, it’s a letter!
Urawa: “Dear My Loving Fans:
I wonder how did you spend these 20 years. I believe things happenis not always exciting after becoming an adult. The characters from “Digimon Adventure’ are becoming adults as well. They progress step by step, by struggling, sometimes even breaking into tears. Please watch over their adventure, together with with their partner Digimons.”
The message read by the beautiful voice of Urawa-san shook the heart of everyone at the interview. Approximately 20 years has passed since the broadcast of “02”, but the words and face expressions of the cast members made us realize that they still keep a deep love toward the anime.
“Digimon Adventure: LAST EVOLUTION Kizuna” has been released. Please also enjoy the re-encounter of the “02” Digimons and their partners.