The Digimon fan event organizer DIGIMADO held an event named “Hypnos Meeting 2019” on March 17, 2019 at the Shinjuku Loft/Plus One, which included Digimon Tamers lead writer Chiaki Konaka and Digimon Xros Wars manga artist and writer Yuuki Nakashima. Questions were taken through the website, and posted there afterwards. The below is a translation of Konaka’s portion of the Q&A.
A translation of the staff comments included in the “Digimon THE MOVIES 1999-2006” Blu-ray collection released on January 9, 2015, featuring comments from the following:
Shigeyasu Yamauchi (director for Digimon Adventure 02: Digimon Hurricane Touchdown!!/Transcendent Evolution! The Golden Digimentals)
Takahiro Imamura (director for Digimon Adventure 02: Diablomon Strikes Back and Digimon Frontier: Revival of the Ancient Digimon, Ornithmon!!
Tetsuo Imazawa (director for Digimon Tamers: The Adventurers’ Battle)
Tetsuya Nagamine (director for Digimon Savers THE MOVIE: Ultimate Power! Activate Burst Mode!!)
Hiromi Seki (producer for the Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Tamers, Digimon Frontier series, and movies Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure: Our War Game!, and Digimon Adventure 02: Digimon Hurricane Touchdown!!/Transcendent Evolution! The Golden Digimentals)
The official DigiFes 2019 event (held at the Maihama Amphitheater on July 28, 2019) had a “20th Anniversary Memorial Pamphlet” sold on-site. The first section, “Animation Play Back!!”, contained comments from staff for all of the Digimon animated series released to date:
Digimon Adventure: Hiromi Seki (producer) and Hiroyuki Kakudou (series director)
An interview from the Digimon Official Super Encyclopedia (デジモン公式超図鑑) published on April 4, 2003 (one month after Digimon Frontier had finished airing). The interview is with perennial series staff members Hiromi Seki, Hiroyuki Kakudou, and Yukio Kaizawa, covering production behind Digimon Adventure, Adventure 02, Tamers, and Frontier.
An interview from the Digimon Series Memorial Book: Digimon Animation Chronicle (デジモンシリーズ メモリアルブック デジモンアニメーションクロニクル) published on February 10, 2010 (between the airings of Digimon Savers and Digimon Xros Wars).
The book is a comprehensive compilation of Digimon anime series concept art and character/concept details, and is recommended as an extremely valuable resource especially for artists and cosplayers. As there is an incredibly large amount of text in this book, translating the entire thing would be a very difficult and borderline impractical task (although the very wonderful onkei has translated a very large chunk of it on her own blog). However, near the end of the book is a long and comprehensive interview with perennial series staff members Hiromi Seki, Hiroyuki Kakudou, and Yukio Kaizawa, which I felt would be of interest, so I have taken the liberty of translating it below.
This quote (or dubbed versions of it thereof) gets passed around a lot in Digimon circles as proof that “Digimon are genderless”. Unfortunately, as much as it’d be nice to just leave it at that, in actuality Digimon as a franchise isn’t so simple about the topic as a translator would like it to be. Since this obviously impacts how a translator like myself should approach Digimon, Digimon gender, and gendered pronouns from here on out, I thought I should devote a post to this in case I have to refer back to it in the future as a rationale for why I make certain decisions in the future.
For the record, before I continue: this is a post purely dedicated to the likely authorial intent of Digimon and how I plan to go about translating that. It does not apply to fans’ headcanons, and in fact does not even apply to my own headcanons (in fact, there are many aspects of the below stuff that even I’m not exactly a huge fan of myself). If you decide to read this and go “well screw that, I’m going to ignore this and do things my own way,” honestly, I outright endorse it. It is purely an explanation and analysis of what is presented within the series itself as-is, and what you, the reader, decide to do with it is entirely up to you.