Digimon Adventure 02 Best Partner -Kizuna- voice actor interview series

A translation of a series of interviews posted on the Digimon Partners website between June 22 and July 30, 2021, held with the voice actors involved in the Digimon Adventure 02 Best Partner -Kizuna- character song CDs: Fukujuurou Katayama (Daisuke Motomiya), Junko Noda (V-mon), Arthur Lounsbery (Ken Ichijouji), Naozumi Takahashi (Wormmon), Ayaka Asai (Miyako Inoue), Kouichi Tohchika (Hawkmon), Yoshitaka Yamaya (Iori Hida), Megumi Urawa (Armadimon), Junya Enoki (Takeru Takaishi), Miwa Matsumoto (Patamon), M・A・O (Hikari Yagami), and Yuka Tokumitsu (Tailmon).

Please note that, for the sake of brevity and avoiding redundancy, the following translation will omit surrounding press release flavor and promotional campaign text.



Fukujuurou Katayama (voice of Daisuke Motomiya)


★ What’s the best thing about your partner’s voice?
His voice resonates so clearly, not so much through your ears as much as it does your heart.
When he’s having fun, it gets you all excited, and when he calms down, it becomes straightforward and warm, like it’s clearing your doubts. That’s the best part about his voice.

★ What do you like about your partner as a character?
Chibimon is cute! Fladramon is cool and stylish!
XV-mon flies high in the air!

★ Please tell us about any memories or items you might have with Digimon-related sentiments.
When I was little, I used to play with the Digimon Carddass1 machines in the shopping district.
I’d gather all the ones that said they were of high rarity and had high special attack power for my collection.

★ How did you feel when you heard you’d be singing character songs?
To be honest, I was really happy.
It feels a bit childish to say this, but;;
I get to sing as Daisuke!?
Whoooooa! Yaaaaaaaaaay!
It was like that (haha).

★ How did you feel when you first read the character song lyrics?
I felt that the lyrics were very like Daisuke in that they’re bright and straightforward, and yet they had a strong core to them, and were overflowing with compassion.

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you heard the character songs’ melody.
I felt the melody and the power of the song, thinking, “whoa! This is the world of Digimon!”
I remember listening to it while carefully taking it in bit by bit, like taking something very important out of a box.

★ What was your impression of the actual recording?
This was my first time recording a character song.
I was very nervous when I entered the booth, but once the recording finally started, it was so, so fun!
It was a very happy time I got to spend with Daisuke, and it passed before I’d even realized.


Junko Noda (voice of V-mon)


★ What’s the best thing about your partner’s voice?
He’s got a powerful voice full of boundless brightness, one that makes you somehow feel at ease no matter how things are going. Such a hot-blooded man…no, but his best point is his soul full of affection and overflowing with ramen!

★ What do you like about your partner as a character?
He’s the type who gets too caught up in the surrounding atmosphere2, but he’s simple-minded and innocent, and his heart is full of honesty. No matter what kind of troubles come his way, he never falters and always has the strength to push forward.

★ Please tell us about any memories or items you might have with Digimon-related sentiments.
The “Digivice D-3”.
It’s an important object connected to Daisuke and the other Chosen Children. Back when the series was airing, I would carry the D-3 with me when I went out, so I was always with V-mon. Nowadays I don’t carry it around with me anymore (laughs), but it’s still working well ♪

★ How did you feel when you heard you’d be singing character songs?
“Are you serious!!” by: V-mon.
2020 was the 20th anniversary of 02, but it couldn’t be celebrated properly thanks to the situation going on around the world, so when I heard I could sing some new songs, I was jumping for joy and had a huge grin that I couldn’t get off my face.

★ How did you feel when you first read the character song lyrics?
The solo song expresses V-mon’s feelings in a very straightforward way, and when I read the lyrics that reminded me of his Armor Evolution catchphrases, I went “ohhhh!”
The duet made me think, “It’s a ramen song! And on top of that, they’re making ramen, and on top of that, they’re insisting that they’re number one in the world? That’s a lot to deal with at once!!”

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you heard the character songs’ melody.
The solo song honestly made me think “so cool!” The melody has a beat that gives you a proper sense of speed, and it brings to mind the image of a slightly more mature V-mon than usual.
I was surprised at how the duet song had, in a good way, such a huge contrast to the solo song, and thought, “this is too good~!!” (laughs).

★ What was your impression of the actual recording?
I focused on making the solo song “very cool” and the duet song “going ahead and bursting out”, and I was able to have fun the way I liked! In particular, I really liked the fact that the duet song gave me the breathing room of “it’s okay to play around”, and I think I was able to sing in a way that gave it high spirits and lots of excitement. I hope you can enjoy the difference between the solo and the duet songs.


Arthur Lounsbery (voice of Ken Ichijouji)


★ What’s the best thing about your partner’s voice?
His kindness.
I first met Nao-nii, who plays Wormmon, around five years ago, and back then, I was a newcomer to the industry while he was many, many years my senior, but I was deeply touched by how kind he was to me and how much he went out of his way to look out for me. I didn’t see him for a while after that, and the first time we actually got to directly work together was for Digimon, but he stil treated me just as kindly as ever.
Our seniors accepted us as the new successor cast for the adult Chosen Children, and as if we were all part of the same Digimon family, and it resurfaced so many strong emotions in me, like happiness and relief.
I love how you can also feel the deep kindness and strength Nao-nii has within Wormmon.

★ What do you like about your partner as a character?
I already said a lot in the above ↑ question, but in any case, he’s very cute and very cool!

★ Please tell us about any memories or items you might have with Digimon-related sentiments.
When I was a kid, I used to play by myself with the mini figures from the Gacha Gacha3, and I took a particular interest in the WereGarurumon Gacha Gacha, and it wasn’t the kind of figure where you could move the joints, but I kept playing with them and forcing the hands to move, and I clearly remember tearing both arms off (laughs). I kept playing with them roughly, without worrying too much about whether I’d tear off the arms or legs.
Whenever they released video games, I’d buy them and play them a lot.

★ How did you feel when you heard you’d be singing character songs?
It was simultaneous surprise and joy, “huh, are you serious!?”, followed by “by singing, I get to play Ken-chan again.”
I had a very strong desire to play him again, so once I calmed down from the shock, I was simply just getting happier and happier about it.

★ How did you feel when you first read the character song lyrics?
The duet simply makes you think, wow, they really get along, or rather, the two of them understand each other well~.
The solo song is much like what you’d expect from Ken-chan now.
The lyrics make you think, he’s been through so much, and that’s exactly what became his strength now, so I feel that I was able to sing the song with the same sense that I would when speaking lines.

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you heard the character songs’ melody.
It’s a very intuition-based way to put it, but I felt that Ken-chan’s solo song was very “Digimon-esque”.
The middle of the intro has the flow of something like an evolution scene, and even after that, it feels like the kind of song that would play in the background during a battle…Am I getting this across well enough? (laughs)
It’s a new song, so, naturally, I was listening to it for the first time, but the chorus and such had a cool melody that immediately felt right on the spot, so it felt nice to listen and sing to.

★ What was your impression of the actual recording?
I had a very fun and wonderful time with it.
I got to be a character that I loved from a series that I loved when I was a kid, and, after having played him in the movie, I’m very happy to be able to play him again like this.
I had a lot of fun speaking with the members of staff so that I could properly get a grasp of the strength and kindness Ken-chan has as an adult. Please look forward to it!


Naozumi Takahashi (voice of Wormmon)


★ What’s the best thing about your partner’s voice?
It’s got a cool feeling to it, but it also makes you feel calm.

★ What do you like about your partner as a character?
He’s very kind. He constantly keeps others in mind without even needing to think about it, and works to protect others when the time for it comes. Even now, he really is very smart, and I think of him as the kind of person who comes up with all of the ideas. But I also like how he takes things a little too seriously, and has a bit of a screw loose.

★ Please tell us about any memories or items you might have with Digimon-related sentiments.
There’s a lot of things…The candles haha. The scene where Wormmon put candles on his head was devastatingly cute haha.
They were selling print-to-order Digimon New Year’s cards at the convenience store. At the time I was poor and was working a part-time job, but I was so happy that I ordered 500 of them. I still have them now, I’m making good use of them!! (haha)

★ How did you feel when you heard you’d be singing character songs?
It’s been 20 years…I was really, truly! Super happy! Huh? It really has been 20 years~…That’s a shock to think about too haha.

★ Was there anything you particularly focused on when writing the lyrics for and composing the solo song?
Ken-chan was still the Kaiser back when we were doing the last CD recording4…(although they did depict the part where they were on better terms afterwards). So for this time around, I wanted to depict “what happened after that”. Supporting Ken-chan, who became the Kaiser and did many horrible things, and then came to fully regret what he did in his heart and pushed on with all of his effort…I embedded it with that resolve of “let’s overcome it together!” I made it so that the title of “can change it!” would sound like “to Ken-chan”.5 I wanted the song’s melody to sound stylish…haha. I have a surprising attachment to the idea of Wormmon singing and dancing around, so just imagining the rhythm and getting excited to it makes my heart thrilled!

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you read the character song’s lyrics.
They associated colors with them and tied them to gemstones, with Ken-chan as “tanzanite” and Wormmon as “phrenite”…and I loved the fact that they took the “-nite” out of it and made it into “every night”! Forever adolescence…My own personal policy is “lifelong youth”, so I thought, “is it destiny!?” and suddenly got super excited!

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you heard the character song’s melody.
It’s by corin-san6, so of course I love it. I just immediately thought “I love it!” “It’s so cool!!!” It’s so fashionable, it’s a perfect fit for the grown-up Ken-chan, and for Wormmon, who’s sticking closely to him. There aren’t really any parts where they sing the same melody at the same time, but I felt that the melody having them sing different lines at the same time was actually more like them~.

★ What was your impression of the actual recording?
For the duet, Ken-chan was the one who finished recording first. I was very happy about being able to sing while being wrapped up in Ken-chan’s voice…or so I said. I was worried about all kinds of things, like not ruining the good atmosphere that Ken-chan’s singing had created…but I had a lot of fun singing it! I think I was able to properly get across aspects like “the sense of closeness” and “atmosphere” through the song.
For the solo song, it was “Wormmon’s time”, when I needed to make something that “expressed his feelings loudly without being loud about it”, I kept asking the staff members, “do you think this is okay?” It was a truly valuable and wonderful time. I’m full of gratitude! The chorus parts also have so much in them, so I’m thankful to them for letting me squeeze it all within the scheduled recording time!! I think I was able to bring out a singing voice that’s “evolved” from that of the songs from 20 years ago. I really hope everyone can listen to it soon~~!!


Ayaka Asai (voice of Miyako Inoue)


★ What’s the best thing about your partner’s voice?
I think he really does have the best kind of gentlemanly voice. But then there’s also the added plus of how, when he gets all proud of himself or when he’s surprised, his voice suddenly takes a higher tone of voice, and the gap between that and what you’d normally expect is so cute!

★ What do you like about your partner as a character?
I like his coolness when he acts like a gentleman and is carrying himself calmly, but, personally, I love seeing Hawkmon getting dragged around by Miyako (laughs). He puts his faith in Miyako and sticks by her, and I think it’s because Hawkmon is there that Miyako can keep running so directly at what she likes. It’s a different relationship from those of parents or close friends. I think it’s a special kind of relationship that exists only between these two.

★ Please tell us about any memories or items you might have with Digimon-related sentiments.
After I took on the role of Miyako, I started looking everywhere I could to see if I could find a Hawkmon keychain. I wanted to have Hawkmon, my Digimon partner, with me.
That might have been my very first adventure ever since they decided to have me play Miyako. I was able to get a Hawkmon keychain, and now he’s attached firmly to my home keys. Gate to my house, open! If only! (laughs)

★ How did you feel when you heard you’d be singing character songs?
We were getting further and further from the day the movie had released, so I was happy to get to enjoy the world of Digimon again after such a long time. By chance, I happened to be meeting up with Arthur-san, who plays Ken Ichijouji, the day after I heard the news, so we enjoyed it together, like “I’m so glad we can work together again!” I got all excited thinking about what kind of song I might be singing, and even as an audience member, I was thinking, I want to hear everyone else’s songs as soon as I can, too!

★ How did you feel when you first read the character song lyrics?
As soon as I saw the title of the song “From Spain with Love!” (the solo song), I started giggling.
It wasn’t actually “with love” as much as it was “with love, among other things”7, and it had a sense of sloppiness to it that was very Miyako-ish. The lyrics are cheerful and fun, but they also express her feelings for her friends in a straightforward way. She lists off some words at the end of it, and if you look up what they mean, it becomes even more interesting, so please look forward to it!
“Bala-Bala-Balance” (the duet song) also conveys the special relationship the two of them have.
It truly is the bala-bala-best kind of balance! Each solo portion had lyrics with strong feelings set to a bright melody, and, thinking back to Kizuna, I started crying. I really want these two to stay like this forever.

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you heard the character songs’ melody.
The Miyako-ishness is on full throttle with Spain! Carmen!
At first, I couldn’t understand what was going in the final part, and I unconsciously started laughing! When I was practicing at home, I kept laughing even when I slipped up, and I had lots of fun with it, all the way from practice to the recording!

★ What was your impression of the actual recording?
It really was the best kind of fun! I felt so sad once the recording ended, I was thinking, I still want to sing more! While I was singing, I started feeling more and more playful, and thinking “maybe if I do more of this, it’ll be more Miyako-ish?” It was cheerful and bright and full of love, so I hope everyone will be able to take it all in!
For the duet song, Hawkmon’s voice actor, Tohchika-san, finished recording before I did, so I got to record while listening to him. I had to record alone, but it was very reassuring to be able to feel like we were singing together.
Please be sure to look forward to these character songs, from the older Chosen Children and their Digimon partners!


Kouichi Tohchika (voice of Hawkmon)


★ What’s the best thing about your partner’s voice?
When I first heard Ayaka Asai-san’s version of Miyako-san’s voice, she was so truly “Miyako-san” that I was shocked. She had deep respect for the characters from her childhood and had thoroughly studied them, and in using that to play the older version of Miyako-san, I truly did feel “we meet again after a long time, Miyako-san.” Beyond just her voice, I also think Asai-san herself is a wonderful person.

★ What do you like about your partner as a character?
Everything (laughs). I particularly like the fact that she’s exactly the same on both the outside and the inside. She might get into misunderstandings because of how overly straightforward she is, but Hawkmon does a proper job in supporting her during those times, so I hope she can always stay like this forever.

★ Please tell us about any memories or items you might have with Digimon-related sentiments.
They were selling chocolate snacks at the time of 02‘s broadcast, and I still have them stored at home, completely unopened (laughs). The expiration date is November 2001, so it’ll soon be 20 years. Naturally, they came with Hawkmon and Horusmon toys.

★ How did you feel when you heard you’d be singing character songs?
I just so happened to be in the process of rewatching the 02 anime series from the very beginning, so it was quite striking how this project happened with that kind of precise real-life timing.

★ How did you feel when you first read the character song lyrics?
The duet song is embedded with the kinds of words and phrases that Hawkmon would favor, and I felt that the lyrics clearly demonstrated his feelings towards Miyako and the relationship between the two of them.
The solo song was packed to the brim with Hawkmon’s “soul”, and as the person playing him, I was able to empathize with him very much.

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you heard the character songs’ melody.
The duet has a very fun rhythm that makes you want to start dancing, and it has a very strong Latin-style “mature” feel to it.
The solo song is simply just very stylish. I don’t know if it’s a good way to put it, but it gives off the feeling of the strength and loneliness that a “hawk” would have.

★ What was your impression of the actual recording?
The most important point that I focused on was thinking about how Hawkmon would sing this. I made mistakes with the lyrics many times, but once I was able to get into the right mood, it felt like I was singing with my eyes closed, not even looking at the sheet music (laughs). Perhaps Hawkmon and I are similar in this respect.


Yoshitaka Yamaya (voice of Iori Hida)


★ What’s the best thing about your partner’s voice?
He has a unique voice that you’ll never be able to forget even after hearing it only once. Even if you’re worried about something and are hanging your head, once you hear that voice, you’ll suddenly lift up your head, and it’ll blow away all your little worries. It’s that kind of “voice that grants you happiness”. Also, well, it’s just really cute.

★ What do you like about your partner as a character?
I love that he has such a lovable dummy side to him. Whenever Armadimon is there, the atmosphere lightens up, and he also has a charming aspect to him in that he’s the type who gets everyone’s spirits up8 and naturally gets everyone to break out into smiles. I envy Iori-kun for always getting to be with him.

★ Please tell us about any memories or items you might have with Digimon-related sentiments.
When I was little, I went to an amusement park with my family, but I was so addicted to playing with my Digivice at the time that I just sat on a bench and quietly raised my Digimon without going on any of the rides. I remember my mother having to fully confiscate it from me.

★ How did you feel when you heard you’d be singing character songs?
To be honest about it, it was a half-and-half mixture of happiness and anxiety. As someone who was born right in the generation this series was for, it was like a dream to be able to experience taking on this role and giving my voice to it, but I felt that going as far as singing would be yet another level of difficulty. I went back and relistened to Urawa-san’s character songs for Iori-kun and Armadimon9 several times.

★ How did you feel when you first read the character song lyrics?
In regards to Iori-kun’s solo song, I could feel the passage of time, and his choice of words and his straightforward intentions felt very much like Iori-kun, so the feeling of how that hadn’t changed was very nostalgic. In regards to the duet song, I felt that I really do love the way Armadimon is always in high spirits, and that I was really looking forward to Armadimon rapping in Nagoya dialect!

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you heard the character songs’ melody.
The duet song was the one that left quite the strong impression on me, but when I first heard “it’ll be rap,” the first thing I thought was “are you serious?” It was relatively easy to imagine Armadimon going along with the flow, but I couldn’t immediately come up with an image of “Iori-kun’s rapping”…When I actually heard the demo for it, my first impression was honestly just “they really are going all-out with this rap…”

★ What was your impression of the actual recording?
I still haven’t had very much experience speaking as Iori Hida, so being able to sing a song as him was the greatest of honors, and an enthralling experience. I sang one line, had it played back to me and listened closely to it again, heard honest opinions about how it sounded from the staff that was on site, took them into account, and sang it again…and so on and so forth, again and again. I still haven’t heard the final product yet, so I’m very afraid, but also very much looking forward to it. I also want to hear the other 02 group members’ songs as soon as possible.


Megumi Urawa (voice of Armadimon)


★ What’s the best thing about your partner’s voice?
It makes you able to feel his rationality, intelligence, and strong core, and I think he fits Iori perfectly. You get the feeling that he’s still growing even now, and as his partner, that slightly unbalanced aspect of him just tickles my heart!

★ What do you like about your partner as a character?
The fact that he’s so overly serious that it makes you laugh a little. He’s really doing his best to act mature in front of everyone else, and Armadimon’s the only one he’ll show his more needy side. It’s very good.

★ Please tell us about any memories or items you might have with Digimon-related sentiments.
For items, there’s the tons and tons of character merchandise. Like the mugs that I still use every day, or the Omegamon pencil boards10…or my worn-out Upamon plush. They’re almost like household heirlooms by this point (laughs).
For memories, there’s “Our Digital World”, which we all sang together.

★ How did you feel when you heard you’d be singing character songs?
I thought for a moment, are we singing the old songs again?, but then I heard they were completely new songs, and was a little shaken up.
But I was very happy to be able to sing with my grown-up partner.

★ How did you feel when you first read the character song lyrics?
The solo song is embedded with very cheery Armadimon-like words, and they make you feel all warm and fuzzy ♡
The duet song made me think of the movie’s Blu-ray special bonus drama CD11, and I thought, I’m done for!…(laughs).

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you heard the character songs’ melody.
I thought the lyrics were laid-back and warm…so it was a surprise for me, and I went “huh!?” Thank you for fulfilling Armadimon’s wish of “wanting to be cool”.

★ What was your impression of the actual recording?
I was very happy to be able to sing as Armadimon once again after 20 whole years! As a voice actress, I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy as this. 20 years ago, I was full of so many feelings of loss once we reached the final episode, and I want to tell my past self that we’d be able to meet again.


Junya Enoki (voice of Takeru Takaishi)


★ What’s the best thing about your partner’s voice?
Patamon already looks so cute, and his voice makes him even more cute!

★ What do you like about your partner as a character?
His cuteness!

★ Please tell us about any memories or items you might have with Digimon-related sentiments.
When I was a kid, I had the first generation model of Digivice, and I played with it a lot!

★ How did you feel when you heard you’d be singing character songs?
I thought the story of my time playing Takeru had come to an end with tri.~LAST EVOLUTION, so I was very happy to be able to be involved with Digimon again.

★ How did you feel when you first read the character song lyrics?
I felt that it was a very bright song that goes alongside his character and cheers the listeners on, in a very straightforward manner. The lyrics make you want to keep trying hard tomorrow.

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you heard the character songs’ melody.
It was a very catchy melody that was easy to listen to. Because of that, when I was recording, I tried to avoid ruining its atmosphere.

★ What was your impression of the actual recording?
I’m grateful that they let me try challenging it many times until we could get a good one out of it.


Miwa Matsumoto (voice of Patamon)


★ What’s the best thing about your partner’s voice?
It’s a gentle voice overflowing with compassion. Also, I think you can also sense the strength and firmness of his feelings through his voice.

★ What do you like about your partner as a character?
That he really is kind after all. But it’s the kind of warmth that’s not only gentle, but also understands the other person’s feelings and has the kind of warmth that encourages you. I also love how he dotes on Patamon so much.

★ Please tell us about any memories or items you might have with Digimon-related sentiments.
Back during Digimon Adventure, I got a stuffed plush that was twice the size of Patamon. Mayumi Yamaguchi-san, who played Gabumon, received it as a favor from an end-of-year party…but she gave it to me. It was the end of the year and the train was crowded, so it was a hard journey back, but I was able to go home with happiness while hugging a huge Patamon.

★ How did you feel when you heard you’d be singing character songs?
I’m not very good at singing, so I was worried about whether I could sing it well. But, I thought…Patamon’s the one singing…so even if he’s a little bad at it…I’d like it if he could make everyone happy, so I did my best.

★ How did you feel when you first read the character song lyrics?
I was really happy about how well the lyrics were written. Patamon’s solo song is about the happiness of being together just by doing everything as usual, even if it’s not anything special, and I thought, yeah, that’s exactly right. These days, it’s still difficult to meet up with friends and family12, so it’s difficult to make a “ring of hooray”, but I felt that if we could connect our feelings, we could enjoy it and find our happiness right there, right away.

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you heard the character songs’ melody.
My first impression was “it’s so cute?” It’s a song that’s fluffy and glittery and fits Patamon perfectly! I had a lot of fun singing it, too. Also, I had an easy time putting my feelings into it and bringing Patamon’s character out properly.

★ What was your impression of the actual recording?
Singing really isn’t my strong point, so I was nervous about it, but they were very thorough about taking the recording. I had a lot of fun singing the solo song. For the duet song, I recorded it while listening to Enoki-san’s singing. Enoki-san is very good at singing, so I was worried I might ruin the song…It’s a really good song, so I hope everyone will listen to it often.
To Isogai-san, Honoka-san, and Inutarou-san13, thank you for the wonderful songs.


M・A・O (voice of Hikari Yagami)


★ What’s the best thing about your partner’s voice?
I think the best part is how it has a sound with strength at its core, kindness and wisdom, and something that gives you a comfortable and reassuring feeling.

★ What do you like about your partner as a character?
Of course, she looks so cute, but I love how she’s kind and yet also sometimes strict, and always keeps Hikari-chan as a very precious person to her.

★ Please tell us about any memories or items you might have with Digimon-related sentiments.
I had a Crest toy, and it made a noise when you pressed the button, so I made it into a pendant, hung it around my neck, and kept playing with it by pressing the button and letting it ring out all the time (laughs). I also have good memories of my brother and me collecting cards that had things like scenes from the anime on them, trying to make a complete set of them.

★ How did you feel when you heard you’d be singing character songs?
After hearing that I’d be singing as Hikari-chan, I started imagining what kind of song it might feel like, and started really looking forward to it.
I was really happy to be able to sing a duet with Tailmon!

★ How did you feel when you first read the character song lyrics?
I felt they were very lovely lyrics that were overflowing with feelings for Tailmon, very kind, and very much like Hikari-chan. The duet also expressed their feelings for each other from all the time they’d spent walking together up until this point, and it was very nostalgic and heartrending.

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you heard the character songs’ melody.
There were a lot of glittering and pretty sounds, so it was very pleasant to listen to. It had a Celtic sort of atmosphere, and I felt that it was a lovely song that was very much like Hikari-chan. The duet song was very bright and blended together the good parts between the two, and I could also feel encouraging strength in it.

★ What was your impression of the actual recording?
I sang the songs as Hikari-chan, filling them in tightly with her feelings towards Tailmon. I hope you can feel the bonds in their partnership from the music!


Yuka Tokumitsu (voice of Tailmon)


★ What’s the best thing about your partner’s voice?
No matter how you’d put it, M・A・O-chan’s voice has a feeling of transparency to it. Of course, it sounds like that right off the bat, but her acting comes out naturally, and it sounds gentle and friendly to the ears with no unnecessary force in it. I think it’s a voice with a ton of calmness to it, and an ever-changing one that can adapt itself to a wide range of roles.

★ What do you like about your partner as a character?
That she adores her brother! That she’s extremely sensitive and yet straightforward, and very kind and delicate. I like how, ever since she was young, she’s had a certain kind of mysterious power that makes her come off as a bit dangerous, and has a bit of an air of maturity to her.

★ Please tell us about any memories or items you might have with Digimon-related sentiments.
The duet song mentions the sound of a whistle in the lyrics, and the whistle that Tailmon received from Hikari is a very important objects that connects the two. Also, I have many memories of Digimon, but especially “Our Digital World”, which we all sung together. Now, when I look back on it, I realize, we recorded that with a ton of people! We really did something incredible! It was a very irreplaceable time, and even just remembering it touches my heart and makes me cry. It’s the best kind of memory.

★ How did you feel when you heard you’d be singing character songs?
After hearing that I’d be singing as Hikari-chan, I started imagining what kind of song it might feel like, and To be honest about it, even just hearing about it made me feel super overwhelmed. I’m honestly really bad at singing…So every day, my anxiety just kept going up…But then, suddenly, the sound of a jan-jan-jalala~♪ started playing in my head. It was “Getting up”, the song I sang 21 years ago, and “Shining Star”, which I sang with Kae Araki-san14. La la~ La~ La la la-la la la-la la ♪ The songs I sang for Digimon, the songs I’ve always been listening to, started playing one after another, and all the recollections and memories of that time came back with them. Eveyone’s faces came to mind, and I finally thought, okay, I’ll do my best!

★ How did you feel when you first read the character song lyrics?
“A Tale of the Light” (the duet song)
I thought it was a song that fit Hikari and Tailmon perfectly. The lyrics have the line “for you, who wanted to become stronger”, and I thought, this part here is something that all of the children and Digimon have felt at some point, isn’t it? That if you yourself don’t get stronger, you can’t protect your partner. The part at the end with “let’s walk forward towards tomorrow” is also very good. It brings out the courage to take a step forward, like it’s pushing you forward from behind. And the future is where your story continues. There was passion starting to come out from it.
“Tender tale” (the solo song)
There are so many feelings in these lyrics, I thought…For Tailmon, Hikari is like her light of hope, isn’t she? Even when they’re in the real world, as their circumstances change by day by day, they look out on the same scenery, smile with each other as companions, and keep things close to their heart, and even if perhaps they couldn’t be with each other anymore, they have the strength to wish for and dream about happiness in their hearts, and feeling that come out from the lyrics made my heart feel passionate and warm.

★ Please tell us what your impression were when you heard the character songs’ melody.
“A Tale of the Light”
It starts off quiet, and it makes you excited with anticipation because you know something’s coming! It’s a very cute song that makes you want to clap your hands, and it lifts your spirits!
“Tender tale”
Is it a waltz? The sound subtly gets louder and softer, and the musical scale is complicated, so it was very difficult. It brings together elegance and forcefulness, so I thought, I’m gonna have a hard time singing this as Tailmon, huh…But it’s also very cool! I think it might have been the most difficult song I’ve ever sung before.

★ What was your impression of the actual recording?
The first one I recorded for was “A Tale of the Light”. M・A・O-chan finished her recording first, so I was grateful to have extra time to practice with her actual voice. As soon as I heard her perfect job in her very straightforward singing voice, I was hit by nervousness. On the scheduled day, we all listened to M・A・O-chan’s singing and got all excited over it. So when it was my turn, the “a” from the beginning of “A Tale” didn’t come out right, and I kept having trouble with the “a” because it came out so many times…I was desperately trying to sing somehow or another, doing my best to rely on M・A・O-chan’s voice. I feel like I might have overdone it and put too much power into it.
Then we got to the morning of the day when we were recording for the solo song. I figured, this might be my last recording in my life15, so I decided to get properly fired up about it, listened to Miyazaki-san’s “brave heart” at home and evolved, and headed to the studio. But…”Tender tale” really was difficult. I can’t figure out this waltz-like rhythm, and if I don’t stick with the sound, I’ll fall out of character, so I felt like I was being beaten up by this Waltzmon! Its special attack is its 6/8 time signature! (I just made this character up on my own.) It was really tough! This isn’t the fault of the composer, Shibata-san16, at all. I’m the one who’s tone-deaf. There was steam coming out of my head and I broke out into a cold sweat. It really was a tough recording.

This is the end for me, but I couldn’t have possibly imagined that, after 21 years, we’d be able to bring you Best Partner again. I’m sure there’s been all sorts of things going on for all of you who love Digimon. I hope you can listen to this music and look back nostalgically on those days, or, even if it’s just a little, feel encouraged by it.
Thank you very much.


Translator's notes
  1. Carddass” refers to Bandai’s card vending machines, which were responsible for distributing the Hyper Colosseum Digimon trading cards at the time. []
  2. Noda refers to Daisuke as an ochoushimono (お調子者), or a friendly and lighthearted person who’s sensitive to the surrounding atmosphere and gets overly excited when receiving praise. []
  3. “Gacha Gacha” = Refers to gachapon machines that dispense small toys in round capsules, usually out of a random assortment. They’re usually inexpensive and of fairly cheap quality. []
  4. “The last CD recording” = Refers to the original Adventure 02 “Best Partner” character song album releases from June to August 2000, which this album series is a spiritual successor to. Both the first and second song (“ONLY ONE” and “The Future You Dreamed of, the Future I Dreamed Of.”) in Ken and Wormmon’s album, Digimon Adventure 02 Best Partner 12: Ken Ichijouji & Wormmon, were set during Ken’s time as the Kaiser, and only the third song, “True Strength”, was set after it. []
  5. Takahashi refers to the song phrase “can change it!” sounding like “Ken-chan ni” (“to/for Ken-chan”) when said aloud. []
  6. “corin” = Referring to music producer, composer, and lyricist corin., who has worked extensively with Takahashi outside Digimon, and has also worked on songs with varying levels of relationship to the Digimon franchise. []
  7. Miyako’s solo song title “From Spain with Love!” is, in Japanese, “Spain yori Ai to ka Komete!” (スペインより愛とかこめて!), with the “to ka” implying “among other things” or “something like that”; thus, Asai is commenting on the lack of certainty that comes from that kind of phrasing instead of something more direct like “ai wo komete” (愛をこめて). []
  8. Yamaya refers to Armadimon as a “mood maker” (ムードメーカー), an idiom that refers to someone who brings good cheer to the atmosphere and keeps everyone’s spirits up. []
  9. Yamaya refers to the fact that Urawa was the voice actress for both Iori and Armadimon in the original Adventure 02, meaning that all three songs for both characters on Digimon Adventure 02 Best Partner 9: Iori Hida & Armadimon were sung entirely by her alone. []
  10. Urawa refers to a shitajiki, a board commonly used to provide a smooth surface for neat writing by placing it under the paper. Anime merchandise is often sold in this form, especially for children’s franchises. []
  11. The drama CD Urawa mentions is “Where Should We Go?” (translation here), which was included with the deluxe edition Blu-ray release of LAST EVOLUTION Kizuna, and features Armadimon going into a very long monologue in his trademark Nagoya dialect. []
  12. Real-life context: These interviews were published in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. []
  13. “Isogai-san, Honoka-san, and Inutarou-san” = Referring to Yoshie Isogai, lyricist for Patamon’s solo song “Ring of Smiles”, Honoka, the song’s composer and arranger, and Inutarou, the lyricist, composer, and arranger for Takeru and Patamon’s duet song “Le Lien ~Bonds~”. []
  14. Kae Araki = The original voice actress for Hikari in Adventure and Adventure 02. The songs referred to are the Tailmon solo and Hikari and Tailmon duet songs from Digimon Adventure 02 Best Partner 11: Hikari Yagami & Tailmon. []
  15. At the time of this interview was posted, it was already well known that Tokumitsu had functionally retired from voice acting, with the Tailmon in Adventure: being the only leading Digimon character to not be voiced by the corresponding original Adventure voice actor. []
  16. “Shibata-san” = Referring to composer Tomoki Shibata. []

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