Digimon Adventure 02 15th Anniversary Blu-ray Box — Special Interview 2016

A translation of the voice cast and staff interviews from the booklet included with the Digimon Adventure 02 15th Anniversary Blu-ray Box (released March 2, 2016), which featured comments from the following:

  • Voice actors for the main six Chosen Children and their Digimon partners
  • Producer Hiromi Seki
  • Director Hiroyuki Kakudou
  • Lead writers Atsushi Maekawa and Genki Yoshimura


Reiko Kiuchi (voice of Daisuke Motomiya)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories about the character you played, or your current feelings.
Is his ramen shop doing well?
Thanks to him, I was able to spend that period of time as if it were a treasure to me.
Thank you.

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please take a look at this!” to.
Please look out for and look forward to Wormmon’s courage.


Junko Noda (voice of V-mon)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories about the character you played, or your current feelings.
V-mon loves chocolate, and he loves playing pranks, and he loves Daisuke, and he puts everything he has into everything in his own, clumsy way. To me, who wanted to play a young boy role like this and was able to fly into this world, being able to meet V-mon and play him was truly a time of happiness for me.
And now it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, and, through things like events and letters, I’m grateful to have been able to directly feel how much everyone loves the character.

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
The keywords “courage, love, knowledge”, and the friendship and the sibling-like love between the team members.
Please look out for how the characters go up against some difficult events and all sorts of troubles, and take on challenges by chipping in with their own forms of wisdom and resolve, and grow!


Rio Natsuki (voice of Miyako Inoue)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories about the character you played, or your current feelings.
She goes “Digital Gate, open! Chosen Children, let’s roll!” without taking the time to look around her, and charges forward with her feelings. At first I always played her with Maximum Excitement, and I kept thinking “someone, please, stop her,” but the more straight-laced Hawkmon did his best to pull her in and hold her by the reins (laughs). Thanks to him, Miyako became a lot more of a put-together person…thank goodness Hawkmon is her partner!
I had to be in a lot of projects like drama CDs and songs, and so in any case I ended up spending a lot of time with the rest of the cast.
Gradually, everyone started resembling their characters more and more in terms of personality and position (laughs). How strange.
It was a wonderful time recording!

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
No matter what, the “Digimon evolutions”! During recording, anytime an evolution happened, everything would get busy for all of us.
Also, the way everyone changes clothes midway through. Were the humans evolving their clothes, too? I was happy that they could (laughs).


Kouichi Tohchika (voice of Hawkmon)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories about the character you played, or your current feelings.
It was a role that I had a lot of fun preparing for.
I got to mostly play around as Shurimon. The most difficult one…was Pururumon (laughs).

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
The way Hirata-san’s1 narration explains things so quickly.


Megumi Urawa (voice of Iori Hida and Armadimon)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories about the character you played, or your current feelings.
As the serious and overly stubborn Iori is put through all sorts of trials, I loved how the laid-back Armadimon would support him so that they could get stronger together. Spending time as the three support pillars of Iori Hida, Armadimon, and myself was a truly happy time for me!

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
The way they properly depicted the feelings of those who were not “Chosen Children”. This is a series where you can feel someone is watching over you, even in a place without light. It makes you believe, you’re not alone! You’ll be able to meet again someday!


Kae Araki (voice of Hikari Yagami)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories about the character you played, or your current feelings.
The first thing I put all of my heart into carefully portraying was worrying and thinking about how to play Hikari and her mysterious sense.
This is a very precious role to me, that I have deep attachment to. And it’s one that I’m told there are fans of even now.
I like how she has a bit of a dark (?) side to her.

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
I hope you can properly feel her bonds with her friends, her heart that doesn’t give up, and her courage in pushing forward.


Yuka Tokumitsu (voice of Tailmon)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories about the character you played, or your current feelings.
I remember being thrown off a bit when the perpetually cool-headed Tailmon became more of a playful character in 02.
15 years have passed, but I’m happy that there are still so many fans.

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
There are a lot, but…the time where they met Wizarmon’s ghost…She was crying alongside Hikari. I have very deep memories about that.


Taisuke Yamamoto (voice of Takeru Takaishi)

Congratulations on the release of the Digimon Adventure 02 15th Anniversary Blu-ray Box.2
The fact that it’s already been 15 years since broadcast makes you really feel the passage of time.
The Takeru-kun whom I played was a straightforward boy with a strong sense of justice, who couldn’t forgive twisted and evil things.
It was a wonderful thing about him, but at times that simple stubbornness would become a weak point of his.
But as he went on an adventure with his friends with different thoughts and personalities, you could feel that he was able to make it into a true virtue.
“Being with friends will allow you to overcome things that you couldn’t face alone.”
It may seem like something obvious, but now that it’s been 15 years, you can deeply and truly feel how important that is, more so than ever.
Also, no matter what, seeing the cute Digimon evolve really is cool! The insert songs “Break up!”, “brave heart”, and “Beat Hit!” play, and your heart jumps and you feel the courage swirling within you.
Please enjoy this adventure with the children and their Digimon once again through this Blu-ray Box.
Once again, I am truly thankful from the bottom of my heart that I was able to participate in such a wonderful series.


Miwa Matsumoto (voice of Patamon)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories about the character you played, or your current feelings.
I was very happy to be able to pick right up from the last series and continue playing Patamon in 02.
He changed in appearance after evolving, and he felt kind of like an older brother (laughs).

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
Things to look out for…beyond anything else, “Jogress evolution”, right~?


Romi Park (voice of Ken Ichijouji)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories about the character you played, or your current feelings.
He was the Digimon Kaiser, and he was Ken Ichijouji…He has those two completely opposing sides to him, and those thoughts and worries put him in conflict.
He’s a boy who’s delicate and yet bold, and very, very fascinating in that sense.
Being able to go on an adventure with him in the world of Digimon has become a warm-blooded memory within me.

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
It’s a series that I love and that is truly important to me, and so there are many parts that I want people to see.
Among those, I would definitely like you to see his heart-to-heart with Wormmon.
Those words “thank you for being born” were salvation for even me. I feel like my way of seeing the world changed a little, even with only that one sentence.


Naozumi Takahashi (voice of Wormmon)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories about the character you played, or your current feelings.
I still have Wormmon in my room! (Plush ones)
He’s someone I’ve always loved, my precious other self…and this has never changed.
Wormmon was always treated by Ken-chan like he was an insect (even though he actually is an insect). But seeing him continue to believe in him, and fight alongside him, brought up an incredible amount of courage!

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
There are so many that it’s hard for me to choose.
If I had to pick a scene that I played in particular, it would be the battle with Chimeramon, and when Wormmon gathered up the last of his strength and entrusted it to Magnamon.
And also, when Ken-chan went to go look for his DigiEgg, and when he was waiting for him from within the DigiEgg, saying, “hurry and find me!”
It’s a scene I love so much that even remembering it now makes tears come to my eyes.
And, after that, there’s the evolution scenes, of course. When Wormmon evolved into Stingmon…when I first did the post-recording for that, I was overcome with emotion! And then when they Jogress evolved, and the Desperado Blaster was in sync with the song, it was too cool…Every time it happened, it gave you the chills!!


Hiromi Seki (producer)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories, or your current feelings.
At the time, there was an article in a newspaper that I’d read about a nine-year-old American boy skipping grades into university, and I thought, “what’s going to happen in this child’s life after this…”, and so during the preliminary meeting about the series’s composition, I talked about this with the staff.
An overly intelligent child, prone to falling into loneliness, cut off from his friends and family, and with a Digimon slowly coming and staying close to him…I remember that kind of image forming.
We were supposed to have been aiming to have them going to the Digital World with the mood of a picnic, but the fact it didn’t end up so easy for them may have been my fault…or so I remember thinking as I reflected on it.

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
Since we had to coordinate the movies and the TV series and the games, we ended up imposing more of a burden on all of the scriptwriters and Kakudou than we should have needed to.
I’m thankful to all of the staff members who worked on it at the time.
I think that all of the fans who watched it so passionately back then have now become adults, so I believe that if you go back and rewatch all of the parts where all sorts of ideas and devices were packed in, the staff’s hard work will be rewarded.


Hiroyuki Kakudou (director)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories, or your current feelings.
When we first started planning for the start of broadcast, the prior series, Digimon Adventure, was going through some heavy story developments for its climax, so we decided to have the next one come off as brighter, or that’s how it should have been, but it ultimately had a lot of heavy aspects to it in the end. It was inevitable. One of the concepts behind the prior series was for us to pack in as many interesting things that we’d seen, heard about, or read about as we could into it, so for 02, we thought, what else could we put in beyond even that?, and so we looked over what we needed to have, and put in all the things we could so that they wouldn’t be left out, and the story became a multi-layered one, overlapping and accelerating. It was to the point that, after we’d gone through 02‘s story, the scriptwriters told me that they’d worn everything they had out to the ground. In any case, we put everything we had into it back then. I’m grateful for there now being an opportunity to rewatch it in this way.

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
Many of the people buying this box are those who were watching it as children at the time, right? Of course, we made this series so that children could enjoy it, but there are also a lot of points that you will see differently now that you’ve become an adult. For instance, we had the prior series stick out in terms of its points about “what it means to be oneself”, and for 02 we made it so that you would pay attention to “the relationship between yourself and other people”. There’s a countless number of references and tributes to other things, to the point where even we can’t remember all of them. At the time, the overseas staff also started paying closer attention to that, and every episode title of the English dub of 02 was quite playful. If you pay attention to those, you can enjoy looking into what those things are references to. Of course, there are also many other different aspects to the contents of the series itself. We wanted it to be taken as a wider-ranging and further-reaching story than before. Please enjoy it.


Atsushi Maekawa (lead writer)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories, or your current feelings.
This was my first time as a lead writer3, so I remember putting the story together while doing a lot of trial and error, not knowing how much I was allowed to do and not allowed to do.
Since it was a sequel to the previous series, which had been such a huge hit, and one that would be introducing new characters along with pre-established ones, I remember putting my efforts into giving Daisuke and the other 02 cast members personalities that could be as charming as Taichi and Yamato and such.

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
How does the relationship between Daisuke and the other Chosen Children, and the first half’s Digimon Kaiser or Ken Ichijouji, and the second half’s fallen figure Yukio Oikawa, change?
Also, the second half has some worldwide Digimon wars involving the Chosen Children around the world coming to action. We made the story into a huge-scale one covering the real world, which I think is very befitting of Digimon.


Genki Yoshimura (lead writer)

–As it’s been 15 years since the broadcast, please tell us about any memories, or your current feelings.
It’s very deeply moving to think about how 15 years have passed since this series. I’m very happy that everyone will be able to watch the series again in this way.
Thinking back, when I was selected as one of the lead writers for Digimon Adventure 02, I remember that I had other feelings beyond just happiness.
I was going to be working on this one due to my work on the prior series, and so I was naturally happy, and grateful towards those who had watched it, but this was a series where the battle action scenes had a tendency to escalate, and this was a sequel to that, so first of all, how were we going to just reset all of the potential energy we’d gathered up until the climax? And at the same time I was thinking about depicting how the children’s hearts would grow, and how that had been a climax in its own way, and so I was feeling the pressure of thinking about what we should do from here.
If we were to suddenly depict them as high-schoolers like how tri. did4, what would be the best way to do it? (laughs)
In any case, for 02, my job was to develop the villains, but my impression is that this was probably a follow-up from how I had worked on Wizarmon, Pinnochimon, and Apocalymon in the prior series.
The first to be created in this way were Ken and Osamu Ichijouji, but in actuality, my initial plan for them was for them to be twins.
I remember that having them be twins fit the exact image I wanted for them, but I had misgivings about slipping up and making it too detached from reality, so I eventually landed on having them be an older and younger brother, which the average person would be able to empathize with.
Actually, they had different names at the beginning, and Ken’s name was supposed to be “量”, which was to be read as “Ryou”. Osamu was something like…I feel it was supposed to be written “質”. I’ve forgotten how it was supposed to be read.5
When I was writing Ken Ichijouji, the main idea for him I used as a basis was the conflict between “the self that has to be a well-behaved child when adults are watching” and “being able to be oneself”, and the pain that came from it as a result.
So for instance, in the same way as the Pinnocchio fairytale, or the short story A.I. that was adapted into a movie6, or many other works, there are probably universal worries that all children feel as they grow, but also, there were ongoing unimaginable, atrocious incidents happening with children at the time, and perhaps it was those social conditions that gave me a hint on what to do. I think I had some thoughts that I wanted to convey to the children who were living through that time.
I was given the opportunity to put those kinds of feelings, as much as I liked, into episode 23, and I am truly grateful to all of the staff, including the director.
Once I’d finished that, I remember going into such an intellectual fever that I ended up stuck in bed for a while.
Now, in the second half of the series, Archnemon, Mummymon, and Yukio Oikawa made their appearances.
The truth is, prior to coming up with those three, we had a completely different idea.
We planned to have the reformed Ken Ichijouji be faced with a young boy-like Digimon that looked almost exactly like Ken Ichijouji.
But it was difficult to have him fight while in the form of a boy. On top of that, this Digimon’s special attack would involve cutting off a part of its body and having it explode. As a result, its body would become smaller and smaller, and in the end the children would be fighting this Digimon that had been reduced to only an idea, but it was utterly unsuitable content for a Sunday morning 9 AM show, and a single sentence of “give it up for now” from Yomiko Advertising’s Kyoutarou Kimura-san put an end to that idea.
With that said, the replacement idea that came out of that was a man and a woman with the appearance of adults. I think we had an image of them being like Adam and Eve. A grotesque-looking Adam and Eve that were born from the apple of knowledge that was Yukio Oikawa.
I was truly impressed when I saw the character designs from Kenji Watanabe-san7. How cool! They weren’t really much of an Adam and Eve anymore, but in any case, they were cool. Mummymon’s initial design had to go through some changes so that it would be acceptable for broadcasting, but he was so cool-looking that I thought I might cry.
It was moments like these when I felt the happiness of being able to make my own work, like I’d thrown a ball only for it to return in upgraded form.
In addition, 02‘s second half really did have a lot of intense subjects in it, and it’s like you think you’ve already seen enough of the horizon, but once the horizon’s gone to a certain point, “the earth really is round!”, and you keep trying to head towards the horizon, but it just keeps on continuing, in a certain sense like days of living hell.
Also, this is about Daisuke’s character, but I believe I paid particular attention to making him “a child who could be himself”.
He has no special talents, and although he’s clumsy and scatterbrained, I wanted him to be someone whose strength was in his straightforwardness, and wrote him that way.
I hope you can enjoy his interactions with Ken.

–Please tell us about anything in this Blu-ray Box that you would say “please look out for this!” to.
Well, in terms of “please look out for this!”, when I look back at those times, I remember writing it through happiness, and pain, and bitterness, and feeling like I was wounded all over to the point I thought I might actually die.
The lead writer for Sailor Moon SuperS, Youji Enokido-san, would often say, jokingly, “Sailor Moon was my youth!”, but for me, this series really is one that I feel I could suitably say “Digimon Adventure 02 was my youth!”
Even through all the roughness and the wounds, I did absolutely everything I could to the best of my ability, and this series, one that I was running through while spitting blood, is one that I feel became like what my way of life was at the time. I’m not a perfect human, not now nor back then, but I want to deliver it to everyone with pride, even with all of my wounds all over it.
To those of you who are rewatching it, how do you all feel? I’m looking forward to it, too. I want to write much, much more about the other characters, too, but I think that’ll lead to problems with the word count, so I’m sorry for having to leave it here for now.
I hope everyone can be well.


Translator's notes
  1. “Hirata-san” = Hiroaki Hirata, voice actor for Adventure and Adventure 02‘s narrator and Digimon Analyzer reader (revealed in Adventure 02‘s final episode to be an adult Takeru). []
  2. Yamamoto’s note was not formatted with the usual question-answer format in the same way the rest were, so I’ve left it as-is here. []
  3. In literal terms, the role referred to here is series kousei (シリーズ構成, lit. “series composition”). []
  4. At the time of this interview’s release, Adventure tri. had just started (the BD box was released right before Part 2 initially screened). []
  5. A name written “質” could feasibly be read as “Tadashi”, although it is by no means the only way to read it. []
  6. Most likely referring to the 2001 film A.I. Artificial Intelligence, based on the short story “Supertoys Last All Summer Long” by Brian Aldiss. []
  7. Kenji Watanabe = Digimon franchise founder and character designer. []

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