DigiFes 2021 pamphlet — Cast and staff comments

The official DigiFes 2021 event (held at the Yokosuka Arts Theater on August 1, 2021) had a pamphlet sold on-site, containing comments from various members of predominantly Digimon Tamers-related cast and staff:

  • Comments from the Digimon Tamers voice actors
    • Makoto Tsumura (Takato Matsuda)
    • Masako Nozawa (Guilmon)
    • Mayumi Yamaguchi (Jianliang Lee)
    • Aoi Tada (Terriermon)
    • Fumiko Orikasa (Ruki Makino)
    • Youko Asada (Juri Katou)
    • Susumu Chiba (Mitsuo Yamaki)
    • Hiroki Takahashi (Impmon)
    • Tomoko Kaneda (Culumon)
  • Comments from other event attendees
    • Ayumi Miyazaki (musician)
    • AiM (musician)
    • WILD CHILD BOUND as Masataka Fujishige (musician)
    • Takayoshi Tanimoto (musician)
    • Michihiko Ohta (musician)
    • Fukujuurou Katayama (event MC, voice of Daisuke Motomiya in Digimon Adventure LAST EVOLUTION Kizuna)
    • Junko Noda (event MC, voice of V-mon in Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Adventure LAST EVOLUTION Kizuna)
    • Arthur Lounsbery (event MC, voice of Ken Ichijouji in Digimon Adventure LAST EVOLUTION Kizuna)
    • Naozumi Takahashi (event MC, voice of Wormmon in Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Adventure LAST EVOLUTION Kizuna)
  • Interview with Digimon Tamers head writer Chiaki Konaka


Makoto Tsumura (voice of Takato Matsuda)

From Aoni Production. Major works include Wakame Isono in Sazae-san and Ratchet in the Ratchet & Clank video game series.

1. What kind of series is Digimon Tamers to you?
Digimon Tamers has a lot of very deep meaning to me. I recorded for it during the course of an entire year, and I remembering wondering if it’d really be okay for me to be partnered with the super-veteran Masako Nozawa-san.

2. Do you have any significant anecdotes or particular memories of the post-recording back then?
I wasn’t entirely new within my career, but I remember I being warned “the pages of your script are rustling too much, it’s too noisy.” I hadn’t been told that before…I think that alone made me really nervous.

3. What was your first impression of your character? Were you attached to anything in particular about them?
Takato is a character I love very much. He was so scared of Guilmon when he first met him, even though he was his creator. I thought “yeah, that sounds about right” and had a very easy time empathizing with him.

4. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
Thank you for supporting Digimon so much. We’re dealing with the coronavirus situation right now, but I hope we can all have fun.


Masako Nozawa (voice of Guilmon)

From Aoni Production. Major works include Son Goku in the Dragon Ball series and Medama-Oyaji in the sixth series of GeGeGe no Kitaro.

1. What kind of series is Digimon Tamers to you?
I’m amazed that it’s been twenty years already. Whenever I entered the studio, Guilmon and I became two hearts in one body. I even ended up empathizing with the plush they were using as a decoration. If anyone hit the plush, I’d get very angry and go “hey!” (laughs).

2. Do you have any significant anecdotes or particular memories of the post-recording back then?
When I first started playing Guilmon, they didn’t give me any particular notes like “please play him this way,” and they went ahead with the first performance I came up with. Guilmon is a surprisingly needy child, isn’t he? Sometimes, I’d have the inflections at the end of his sentences come off as sounding very needy in my performance. I also have a lot of good memories about going out to eat together at a restaurant after the recording. I got to be with all of my junior voice actors, and because they didn’t keep distance from me just because I was their senior voice actor, I became very fond of the Tamers cast members. This was also my first time working with Takato’s voice actress, Tsumura-san. Since we were going to be partners, it was very important for us to understand that partnership, believe in it, and hold proper conversation, so even during small breaks between recordings, we spoke very often with each other. Tsumura-san would strike up conversation with me very often, I’d strike up conversation with her very often, and we got along quite instantly.

3. What was your first impression of your character? Were you attached to anything in particular about them?
I really love Guilmon! It’s incredible how drastically he shifts from being so cute most of the time to acting so feral when he fights. I also have particularly deep memories of his daily life scenes with Takato, as if he considered himself to be another human. He’d return quietly to his home like a cave and sleep there, and I always thought, it’d be nice if he could sleep with Takato at his house (laughs). I had a very hard time when he evolved into Dukemon. But he really was very cool, wasn’t he? At the time, they sent me a figure of him, and I still treasure it deeply.

4. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
I’m so happy to see that everyone’s been supporting us for so many years. Please keep on supporting us from here on out! Digimon Tamers is eternal!


Mayumi Yamaguchi (voice of Jianliang Lee)

From Aksent. Major works include Gabumon in Digimon Adventure and Envy in Fullmetal Alchemist.

1. What kind of series is Digimon Tamers to you?
I’d thought my adventure with Digimon would end after two years, but Tamers was when I got to continue it for a third. And on top of that, as one of the children instead. There was a mysterious feeling coming from the fact I’d be playing a boy who’d been watching my own adventure.

2. Do you have any significant anecdotes or particular memories of the post-recording back then?
After post-recording, we’d go to a family restaurant1 and talk with each other. We’d always end up going on for around two hours (laughs).
We talked about pointless things, so pointless I can’t remember what it was about at all, but it was a top-quality sparkling kind of time we spent together.

3. What was your first impression of your character? Were you attached to anything in particular about them?
He’s kind, and intelligent, and fights well, and he puts Terriermon on his head, and you couldn’t find a more perfect boy out there!

4. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
We’ve kept all of you Tamers fans waiting! Now that 20 years have passed, all of us look a little different, but our feelings of love haven’t changed, and we’ve all gotten to reunite here. Thank you so much! Let’s have fun together ☆


Aoi Tada (voice of Terriermon)

From SSP. Currently active as a singer-songwriter.

1. What kind of series is Digimon Tamers to you?
It’s my very, very important treasure ☆

2. Do you have any significant anecdotes or particular memories of the post-recording back then?
At the time, I was still a university student, so I’d do my post-recording from the morning to the afternoon, eat lunch with everyone, and then head to class at my university. I didn’t have a lot of experience, and everyone was so warm to me and helped me out even though I had such a long way to go, and I’m so grateful that they treated me like another one of them! I spent that year happy to be part of such a lovely team ♥

3. What was your first impression of your character? Were you attached to anything in particular about them?
He said “moumantai” so much that it’s the only thing that pops up in my head now ☆ I played Terriermon, who’s so cute and yet says such scathing things, and I played Lopmon, who’s overly serious and uses archaic language, and I love them both so much that they make me want to be their Tamer!

4. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
More than anyone else here, I’m looking forward to getting to meet everyone again! The world of Digimon is such a wonderful one where watching it always makes you feel like you’ve traveled back in time ☆ Let’s spend this time having as much fun as we can together! Moumantai~ ♪


Fumiko Orikasa (voice of Ruki Makino)

From Atomic Monkey. Major roles include Kanade Minamino/Cure Rhythm in Suite PreCure ♪, Mikan in My Home, and Rukia Kuchiki in Bleach.

1. What kind of series is Digimon Tamers to you?
I was nervous during every post-recording, but it was always very thrilling and very fun, and I spent that time putting all my effort into living as Ruki. It was the kind of series where I felt like even I’d grown through it.

2. Do you have any significant anecdotes or particular memories of the post-recording back then?
I remember that whenever we went to a restaurant after the recording, we always had a lot of fun coming up with theories about what might happen later in the story.

3. What was your first impression of your character? Were you attached to anything in particular about them?
Even as early as the first episode, I saw her as such a cool and precocious elementary school girl with such a cool collared coat and sunglasses, so of course I fell in love with her. I love the line for the next-episode preview, “You, too, should aim to be a Tamer!”, because it was so cool, even all the way to the end! So every time I read it, I focused really hard on making sure that line would properly resound.

4. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
Thanks to everyone who’s been supporting Digimon and Tamers for all this time, we’ve all been able to gather here for the 20th anniversary of Tamers, and I’m truly grateful. I’m so happy! I’m really so happy! Let’s get hyped up for both the digital and the real ♪


Youko Asada (voice of Juri Katou)

From 81 Production. Major roles include Lorna Endou in éX-Driver and Risa Shibata in Heartcatch PreCure!.

1. What kind of series is Digimon Tamers to you?
I still hear people tell me “I had so much fun watching it back in the day! ♥”, and it really is an important work to me.

2. Do you have any significant anecdotes or particular memories of the post-recording back then?
Makoto Tsumura-san, who played Takato-kun, and the rest of the Tamers cast would go with me to eat at a family restaurant every time post-recording ended, and it was like we were heading back to a school club (laughs). It was a lot of fun. Sometimes, Masako Nozawa-san would be there, and when I look back on it, I think, what an amazing kind of lunch gathering that was!

3. What was your first impression of your character? Were you attached to anything in particular about them?
Looking back on it, I think, Juri really had quite a cruel destiny imposed on her, didn’t she? At the time, I was trying to play her in that cruel state so desperately that I don’t think I realized it that well…(laughs). Recently, I rewatched the first episode, and I saw she was using that hand puppet (laughs). She was such a mysterious girl, and yet I couldn’t have imagined that she’d end up with that kind of cruel destiny. In particular, I really do remember the scene where Leomon was defeated and disappeared very well. It really was painful. But I also remember that while the story was taking that course, I was told that I’d need to come to the studio and record a song with Leomon’s voice actor, Hiroaki Hirata-san, so I remember singing it while completely dumbfounded (laughs). And as for lines that left a deep impression on me…I have a lot of lines I like, but if I had to pick one, it’s got to be the line that Juri says to Takato-kun when he comes to rescue her, “Takato-kun, I missed you, so much…” Beyond that cruel destiny was Takato-kun coming to save her like a prince coming to save a princess (laughs).
What sweetness and bitterness, kyun~ ♥ (// ▽ //) and I got to have the honor of playing that! My thanks to the scriptwriter, Konaka-san!

4. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
Please remember those days, and “Card Slash!” together ♥ Let’s all have fun together!!


Susumu Chiba (voice of Mitsuo Yamaki)

From Osawa Inc. Major works include Isao Kondo in Gintama and Otoharu Takanashi in IDOLiSH7.

1. What kind of series is Digimon Tamers to you?
I feel it was a very profound series where not everything was as simple as good and evil.
I have strong memories of the synchronization between the children’s growth and the Digimon’s evolution.

2. Do you have any significant anecdotes or particular memories of the post-recording back then?
I thought the transformation? scenes for when the Digimon evolved were really cool, so I was thinking “whoaaaa” as I was watching them.

3. What was your first impression of your character? Were you attached to anything in particular about them?
Probably the lines he had that were like “the hell are you guys doing?! You’re disturbing the natural order of the world!” He was snapping at a bunch of kids (laughs). He wasn’t a character who usually showed his emotions on the surface, so the impact was huge. I had to work really hard for that one.

4. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
So even Tamers has reached its 20th anniversary. It’s felt like such a long time, and yet such a short one. I truly hope we can all share all kinds of things together from the Tamers world at DigiFes.


Hiroki Takahashi (voice of Impmon)

From MaxMix. Major works include Eiji Kikumaru in The Prince of Tennis and Shuu Itsuki in Ensemble Stars!

1. What kind of series is Digimon Tamers to you?
Something from the past that I could never forget even if I tried.

2. Do you have any significant anecdotes or particular memories of the post-recording back then?
I feel like at the time, Kaneda-san was definitely more of the quiet type, but…

3. What was your first impression of your character? Were you attached to anything in particular about them?
They suddenly told me that I’d be singing a character song with my character having evolved, but I’d only barely just started doing post-recordings for his evolved form (or he might not have even evolved yet?), and I feel like I had a lot of trouble with that…

4. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
I’m going to do my best to make sure I won’t shatter anyone’s precious memories, so by all means, please and thank you.


Tomoko Kaneda (voice of Culumon)

From Across Entertainment. Major works include Dengakuman in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo and Tamazo in Puzzle & Dragons X.

1. What kind of series is Digimon Tamers to you?
Like a mom? Or a dad?
I don’t know what kind of gender Digimon Tamers would have, but it’s like that! It’s like when an animal thinks of the first thing it sees as its mother or father! Or since “Digimon Tamers” is in English, you should ask whether it’s a “mommy” or “daddy” (laughs).2

2. Do you have any significant anecdotes or particular memories of the post-recording back then?
I really have a really strong impression of when Culumon first made their appearance. I had to do so many things for the first time that it made me wonder what their appearance even entailed in the first place (laughs). Even now, I still remember having to do a lot of “culu?” At the time, I couldn’t tell my right from my left or what was above or below, so since I was like a baby, I really was just like Culumon!

3. What was your first impression of your character? Were you attached to anything in particular about them?
I thought, well, whatever, they’re so cute~! It went all the way to the voice recordings for the toys, but Culumon was like a bay, and I remember clearly how they were always saying things like “let’s play~!” I have a three-year-old daughter right now, so I think, “just like Culumon!!” (laughs). Actually, whenever I do throat condition checks for myself, I still use “culu?” to see if it’s all right, and if it doesn’t, I use that as my bar to decide it’s not (awkwardly laughs). That’s how much of a mark this role has left on me!

4. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
Everyone’s undoubtedly looking forward to this so much! I’m really looking forward to meeting Culumon and everyone else and all of the fans! Whenever you go to karaoke, you sing “How Thrilling to be a First-Year!”3 So let’s have that level of thrills and excitement (laughs). I’m having so much thrill and excitement looking forward to meeting everyone!


Ayumi Miyazaki (musician)

Singer-songwriter. Has been in charge of a large number of insert songs for the Digimon series. Also active as a composer.

1. What kinds of feelings or memories do you have for the songs you performed at DigiFes?4
“brave heart”
It’s such an important song to me, to the extent that if it hadn’t existed, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Back when I was recording it, I couldn’t have even possibly dreamed that I’d still be singing it 20 years later. There’s no greater happiness than seeing this song be sung even now, even outside the country, and continuing to evolve. I want to keep continuing to sing this song from here on out.
“To What Lies Ahead”
It’s the song of the last evolution, so there are so many thoughts circulating within it. It’s mid-tempo, so a different kind of evolution song from those there had been before, but when I saw it in the movie, I realized “oh, that’s it!” and among the huge group I was going with, I was the one singing my heart out the loudest. I want Digimon, and I want myself, to keep pushing on “to what lies ahead” even further.
“The Biggest Dreamer” “Butter-Fly”
I don’t think anyone could possibly be a sufficient substitute for Kouji Wada, so it’s always a challenge to sing in a way that’ll meet the fans’ expectations. I’m going to sing my heart out so that this show can be another one where those feelings will reach the fans properly!!

2. Among all of the music in the Digimon series, do you have songs you particularly like, find to be encouraging, or have any memories associated with?
When we all got together to record “To the Children who Inherit Courage”, it really felt like we’d all become the closest we possibly could. The day we first presented it to the world during the 2003 live event at Zepp Tokyo is one that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. Right now, I’m grateful that I can still stand on top of the stage as this kind of Digimon singer.

3. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
We’re still in a very unstable period of time now, but let’s have the best kind of fun together during this Memorial Day!


AiM (musician)

A voice actress and singer from Aoni Production. Uses the name “AiM” for singing activities. Was in charge of the role of Mimi Tachikawa in Digimon Adventure, along with a large number of ending theme songs.

1. What kinds of feelings or memories do you have for the songs you performed at DigiFes?
Compared to all of the other songs I’ve done, “Days -Love and the Ordinary-” has the most mature lyrics and composition, and my heart was pounding as focused on the little things with that song all the way up to the breaths. I’ve done ten ending songs for the Digimon series so far, so there’s something lovely about the splendid timing of it having come out originally on October 10, 2001, and that the song is lasting even to this day.

2. Among all of the music in the Digimon series, do you have songs you particularly like, find to be encouraging, or have any memories associated with?
Naturally, the duets, but it was very exciting to do songs in a trio like “Starting Point” or “Miracle Maker”, and I really had a lot of fun with those.

3. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
I’m going to put my heart and feelings of love and thanks into it so that you guys can have energy and smiles, and I’ll put everything I have and all the strength I have into making it so that you can enjoy it no matter where you are!5
Let’s all celebrate the 20th anniversary of Tamers together!!!


WILD CHILD BOUND as Masataka Fujishige (musician)

Singer and actor. Beyond performing in works such as CSI: Crime Scene Talks: 6th Season, he also sang the song “EVO” under the name “WILD CHILD BOUND”.

1. What kinds of feelings or memories do you have for the songs you performed at DigiFes?
When I listen to the song, it feels like it traveled right through time from when I was involved with Digimon as WILD CHILD BOUND, and simultaneously gives strength to even the current me right now. That’s right, WILD CHILD BOUND = Masataka Fujishige.6

2. Among all of the music in the Digimon series, do you have songs you particularly like, find to be encouraging, or have any memories associated with?
Well, I wasn’t involved after that one time as WCB (laughs). Personally, I really do think Kouji Wada-san’s “Butter-Fly” is truly its most iconic song. I really love how that melody has become intertwined with the story and the characters. Also, when you hear it live, it gets you hyped up even further!

3. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
We’re currently in an era where it’s hard to see what may happen ahead of us. But we’re the ones who have to draw out our own future. To all of the staff members and artists pushing on towards the opening of the event, and to all of the fans who are looking forward to it, let’s create nes memories of the best summer ever!


Takayoshi Tanimoto (musician)

Singer-songwriter. Made his debut with the insert song “One Vision”, and is singlehandedly for the theme and insert songs for Digimon Adventure:.

1. What kinds of feelings or memories do you have for the songs you performed at DigiFes?
Personally, when I was recording for “One Vision”, I had a lot of that kind of anticipation that came from wanting to pay my respects to the music that had always supported me and given me courage and energy during my childhood and adolescence with many worries and troubles. Now, it’s been 20 years since then, and all of that has led up to “Unidentified Airship”. I’m going to keep singing while always remembering those feelings.

2. Among all of the music in the Digimon series, do you have songs you particularly like, find to be encouraging, or have any memories associated with?
At the time I made my debut, I was still lacking in experience and knowledge, so I treated all of the Digimon music I heard as my textbook.

3. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
I’m really looking forward to getting to see everyone! Also, I hope this can become a meaningful and fun day where we can all evolve together!


Michihiko Ohta (musician)

Singer and composer. Has participated in many songs such as “brave heart”, “Target ~Red Shock~”, and “The Biggest Dreamer”. In addition, he also provided his own vocals for “SLASH!!”

1. What kinds of feelings or memories do you have for the songs you performed at DigiFes?
“SLASH!!” was the first time I ever got to sing for an anime song. There’s also the first song Kouji Wada, who’s now since passed away, sang of mine, “Target ~Red Shock~”. I put so many feelings into those songs, so I’m going to pack those feelings into my heart as I sing.

2. Among all of the music in the Digimon series, do you have songs you particularly like, find to be encouraging, or have any memories associated with?
The song “True Strength”, which I sang as a composer self-cover alongside Kouji Wada. And, of course, probably the song I first started off my involvement in Digimon with, “brave heart”.

3. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
Let’s run through the summer of 2021 together alongside Digimon!


Fukujuurou Katayama (voice of Daisuke Motomiya)

From Flash Up. Also works as an accredited master of traditional Japanese music performance. Major roles include Yutaka Hoshino in Ping Pong the Animation.

1. What memories and impressions did you have of DigiFes 2019?7
More than anything else, the fact that they had us appear on stage through a lift in the center. I consulted with Ken and Miyako and Iori to decide on our own poses, and as we came in, the opening song for Digimon Adventure 02, “Target ~Red Shock~” started playing, and right then, everyone got super hyped up with a feeling of tenson in the air and cheers of joy. Such amazing memories I’ll never forget! I was also deeply touched by how we all sang “Butter-Fly” together onstage.

2. If you were your character, how do you think you’d enjoy DigiFes?
I think Daisuke would have Chibimon on his shoulder, and they’d both enjoy it to the very end with huge smiles on their faces! When the live show starts, the two of them would get carried away singing along, and every so often, maybe he’d take a quick glance at what Hikari-chan’s doing nearby? (laughs)

3. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
Thank you to all of you coming to see DigiFes, and those watching from home!
We want to use our love for Digimon and Daisuke’s forward-thinking energy to lighten up your heart and create a bright and fun time together! Please have a lot of fun today!


Junko Noda (voice of V-mon)

A freelance voice actress and singer. Major roles include Nagi Yoshino in Jujutsu Kaisen and Hariham Harry in HUGtto! PreCure.

1. What memories and impressions did you have of DigiFes 2019?
It was our first meeting on stage with all of us together since the 02 TV series broadcast ended. I remember having so many feelings of anticipation and yet nervousness. And, more than anything else, I still have deep memories of how the reveal of the older Chosen Children being met with such big and warm voices of joy from all of the Digimon fans there.

2. If you were your character, how do you think you’d enjoy DigiFes?
During the live event, I can picture V-mon headbanging with his V-mon Head and singing along enthusiastically in a loud voice, having fun in such a cheerful mood (laughs).

3. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
This year is the 21st anniversary of 02! We’ll be waiting at the event hall so we can show you a great time with everyone from Tamers!
Let’s have tons of fun together at DigiFes 2021!!


Arthur Lounsbery (voice of Ken Ichijouji)

From 81 Produce. Major roles include Kaito Tsukigami in STARMYU and Yamato Kai in Scar on the Praeter.

1. What memories and impressions did you have of DigiFes 2019?
I was standing on stage with all of my senior veteran voice actors who’d played the Digimon characters I’d been watching as a kid, and I still remember the happiness and anticipation I was feeling that day. I’m an adult now, and I should have been seeing this as my job, but my real inner thoughts still felt strangely like I was being taken back to my childhood that day.

2. If you were your character, how do you think you’d enjoy DigiFes?
His actual feelings would involve having fun with a feeling of “whoa…!”, but I think he’d try to keep his excitement in calmly and sit quietly in his seat without allowing himself to raise his voice. But then I feel like he wouldn’t be able to keep it in anymore, and then every time he gets a chance, he’d start whispering “what’s that?” to his friends accompanying him…(laughs).

3. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
I’m really happy to be able to spend time with people who love Digimon so much. Let’s have as much fun as we can together and make it a wonderful day! Please look forward to what we have this year!


Naozumi Takahashi (voice of Wormmon)

A singer-songwriter, voice actor, and live actor. Involved in a wide variety of activities such as a vivacious career in live tours, along with voice acting and theatre.

1. What memories and impressions did you have of DigiFes 2019?
The most immediate thing I was happiest about was that “we had everyone gathered together” with the older kids from 02 and their four Digimon. I was so surprised to hear that those kids were voiced by “the generation that was watching Digimon as it aired” that I couldn’t forget it…I realized how grateful I was to have been able to participate in a series that people have always loved so much.

2. If you were your character, how do you think you’d enjoy DigiFes?
He’d constantly be staring at Ken-chan lol. But he’s surprisingly also the type to do a lot of exercise after eating, so I think he’d be in high spirits as he enjoys the event.

3. Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to DigiFes 2021!
We’re dealing with a time when we can’t get out often, so this event should be the exact kind of thing that keeps us all going! I think this day coming makes you realy feel “summer is here again this year, too.” Kind of like “we started making chilled Chinese noodles”?8 lol. I’m looking forward to spending that kind of day together with everyone.


Chiaki Konaka (writer)

Screenwriter. Participated in the Digimon series starting from episode 13 of Digimon Adventure 02, “The Call of Dagomon.” Involved in writing many scripts for horror and science fiction works.

A series by a writer with little experience in children’s works

–How do you feel now that Digimon Tamers has reached its 20th anniversary?
When they released the Blu-ray Box for it in 2018, they held an interview with me, and they had me reminisce about my time during the series and write for a drama CD, and Digimon Tamers was the thing I was the most excited about at the time. But one of the voice actors had retired9 and we couldn’t get everyone together, and I felt that something had ended within me. But when it turned out that they wanted to make a live event featuring Tamers for those who had it as their favorite, and that we’d even have a script reading10 for it, I remembered that it really was a very good series. Tamers is something very special to me. In terms of anime production, I was mainly making things for late-night11 anime aimed at a particularly hardcore genre audience, and the only children’s anime series I’d written for were Toei Animation’s Mysterious Magic Fun Fun Pharmacy and Tamers. Of course, I also wrote for the Ultraman children’s show, too. So, when I rewatch it, I feel that Tamers is a series that I and the other writers were constantly going around in circles making. It was the time in my life when I put most of my mind and body into it, and I’m very glad I got to be responsible for its creation. At the time, I was juggling two or three things I was working on, but I don’t remember much of the others, and Tamers is the only thing I can remember. The three series that get me the most feverishly passionate are Ultraman Tiga from 1996, Gaia from 1998, and Tamers from 2001.

–How did you come to be involved with Digimon at the time?
Hiroyuki Kakudou-san12 called on me to help out with Digimon Adventure 02. While I was writing, I spoke with Hiromi Seki-san13, and when production for Tamers started, Seki-san contacted me. I still think the contents of what I wrote for 02 were a kind of audition for me. It’s often said that “The Call of Dagomon” has some rather out-of-line contents for the series, but I think Seki-san understood that I was just trying to convey the intensity of the character of Hikari was feeling more deeply. Although it did deal with the Cthulhu factor on the surface.

A series that depicted what lay ahead of overcoming “death”

–Speaking about it now, is there any part of Tamers you’re particularly proud of?
I had Tamers hold great meaning in terms of the concept of “the death of a Digimon”. That as long as it was a living thing, even if it was an artificial intelligence, there was still an importance of weight on its life. In the early stages of the series, they would defeat Digimon, load them, and use them as a benchmark for evolution, but when you put it that way, they’re really no different from murderers. It’s suitable to have a depiction of heroes “defeating enemies” in a work aimed at children, but this would be a huge problem in any other series. In other series, the catharsis of achieving poetic justice for sins would only be achieved in the final episode, but in Tamers, at the end of the third cour14, we depicted Dukemon’s evolution, and it was significant that we depicted “what happened after” the catharsis. During that episode, the true “monster” was not Beelzebumon but Takato. When I rewatched the series and saw how we expressed that earlier than in the final episode, even I was surprised.

–With where you are now, when you look back on the series, are there any aspects you regret?
Well, I don’t have any (laughs). But I don’t think you’d really be able to show it to the children right now. As we were conveying the message that Juri was able to change her own curse of “destiny” revolving around her, we deliberately made it into a very harsh story, and I wonder if we really could show that to them during the current harsh times. But it’s exactly because of that I feel I’d like them to watch it…

–You’ve said before that Tamers is a love story between Takato and Juri.
Well, I may have put it that way, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s completely that kind of love story. But Dukemon’s design is that of a knight, and when I first saw it the only thing I could think of was “saving a princess from a tall castle tower”. Of course, I asked the fans to freely interpret and imagine what kind of story or ships would happen after the final episode, but since I ended up writing a story set after the series for the 2018 drama CD, I’m very sorry about that. However, I had a lot of fun thinking about it. Ah, even after seventeen years, the world of Tamers truly did continue on.

–What kind of thoughts did you place in the script for this event’s script reading?
The script reading can only be seen by those who come to the event or for a limited time via streaming, so I felt that I shouldn’t make a formal sequel to the drama CD. This reading can’t be treated as official canon, so if I were to do a straightforward, normal script reading, it wouldn’t feel properly like Tamers. So I came up with a meta concept that would convey the Tamers line of thought. Of course, you’ll need the series catchphrases, but if I were to just make another standard new enemy for them to fight, there’d be no point to it. Also, in the drama CD, I depicted Yamaki as a nice person, but I really wanted to see more of the Yamaki from the earlier parts of the series again. Because in some sense, Yamaki is myself. Finally, Culumon’s voice actress Kaneda-san and Impmon’s voice actor Takahashi-san would be there, so I think the atmosphere of the series had expanded even wider than that of the drama CD. It ended up taking a pretty strange form, and to be honest, it might have gotten a bit messy. I ended up putting a lot of burden on the sound directors and the stage crew, so I give my apologies and thanks to those whose stage I was borrowing. With all that, I have confidence that it’s something everyone watching and listening will enjoy.
It does assume that you’ll already know the story in the drama CD beforehand, so Masako Nozawa-san will be narrating the summary for it, and since it’ll be a little sad to have nothing on stage during that time, they’ll be showing fanart of the 2018 drama CD that we requested people take the time to draw. I’m deeply grateful to everyone who’s been supporting us. There’s nothing I could be happier about than getting to help make this event a success alongside everyone else.


Translator's notes
  1. “Family restaurant” = A kind of casual and inexpensive restaurant that often serves Western food. []
  2. Tomoko refers to the title “Digimon Tamers” being written in katakana, which is usually the script employed when writing words that aren’t natively in Japanese; hence, she suggests the English “mommy” and “daddy” instead of the Japanese “okaa-san” or “otou-san“. []
  3. “How Thrilling to Be a First-Year!” = “Doki Doki Don! Ichinensei” (ドキドキドン!一年生), a song often used for Japanese kindergarten graduation ceremonies. []
  4. Miyazaki was ultimately unable to perform at DigiFes 2021 due to falling ill with a fever prior to the event. In his place, Michihiko Ohta performed “brave heart” and Takayoshi Tanimoto “The Biggest Dreamer”; “To What Lies Ahead” was not performed at the show. []
  5. The DigiFes 2021 event prominently had a limited-time stream version available for those who could not attend the live event due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. []
  6. The identity of “WILD CHILD BOUND” was not disclosed to the public until 2018, so at the time of this event it had only been fairly recent knowledge that Fujishige was behind the song. []
  7. DigiFes 2019 was the event during which Daisuke, Ken, Miyako, Iori, their partners, and their respective voice actors’ involvement in Digimon Adventure LAST EVOLUTION Kizuna was officially revealed. []
  8. “We started making chilled Chinese noodles” (hiyashi chuuka hajimemashita) = A phrase often posted outside Chinese restaurants in Japan to announce the start of chilled Chinese noodles (hiyashi chuuka) being served as part of the seasonal summer menu. []
  9. By the time of the recording for the “Days -Information and the Extraordinary-” drama CD included with the Tamers Blu-ray Box, Renamon’s voice actress, Yuka Imai, had retired from the industry. []
  10. “Script reading” = Referring to a part of a stage show featuring voice actors, in which the actors are handed scripts and read out the story on stage. One such one was held featuring the Tamers voice actors during the event. []
  11. An anime for a late-night timeslot generally means one that’s strictly only for a devoted adult fanbase. []
  12. “Hiroyuki Kakudou-san” = Director of Adventure and Adventure 02, and episode director for Tamers, among other significant roles. []
  13. “Hiromi Seki-san” = Producer for Adventure, Adventure 02, Tamers, and Frontier, among other significant roles. []
  14. A “cour” is used in descriptions of Japanese TV shows and anime to refer to a 12-14 episode block (i.e. Tamers is a 4-cour anime). []

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