Digimon Adventure tri. movie pamphlet interviews — Part 6: Future

Each Digimon Adventure tri. movie’s theatrical screening had a corresponding informational pamphlet sold on-site, which contained informational and art assets and a handful of cast and staff interviews.

(Part 1: Reunion | Part 2: Determination | Part 3: Confession | Part 4: Loss | Part 5: Coexistence | Part 6: Future)

This post covers the interviews for the pamphlet for Part 6, Future, featuring the following:

  • Short messages from the following voice actors:
    • Natsuki Hanae (Taichi Yagami) and Chika Sakamoto (Agumon)
    • Yoshimasa Hosoya (Yamato Ishida) and Mayumi Yamaguchi (Gabumon)
    • Suzuko Mimori (Sora Takenouchi) and Atori Shigematsu (Piyomon)
    • Mutsumi Tamura (Koushirou Izumi) and Takahiro Sakurai (Tentomon)
    • Hitomi Yoshida (Mimi Tachikawa) and Kinoko Yamada (Palmon)
    • Junya Ikeda (Jou Kido) and Junko Takeuchi (Gomamon)
    • Junya Enoki (Takeru Takaishi) and Miwa Matsumoto (Patamon)
    • M・A・O (Hikari Yagami) and Yuka Tokumitsu (Tailmon)
    • Miho Arakawa (Meiko Mochizuki) and Yukiko Morishita (Meicoomon)
  • Full interviews with:
    • Voice actors Natsuki Hanae (Taichi Yagami) and Chika Sakamoto (Agumon)
    • Voice actors Yoshimasa Hosoya (Yamato Ishida) and Mayumi Yamaguchi (Gabumon)
    • Digimon franchise designer Kenji Watanabe

Cast Messages

Natsuki Hanae (voice of Taichi Yagami)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
I feel like we’d made it all the way to Part 6 in the blink of an eye. I was nervous at first, but now we’re at Part 6, and I think I’ve been able to grow myself, as Taichi. That line from Part 3, “if we wait until ‘someday’, we’ll end up becoming adults before we know it!” still leaves an impression on me. I think they’re words that could be applied to myself, too.

–Has your impression of your own character changed?
At first, I thought, Taichi’s gotten more mature…and although it was a natural process for him to change like that in the process of growing up, it still felt rather sad. But once we got to Part 6, I felt like he’d managed to get back his passionate feelings that he’d used to have. and he was the best kind of cool.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
I was already struck through the heart getting to hear the song from the TV series again, in the form of its “tri. Version”, but I couldn’t have even imagined that I’d get to sing “Butter-Fly” myself, so I was shocked. It’s a song that’s ingrained in my own body, so of all the recordings I’ve ever done in the past, it went the smoothest and quickest (laughs).

Chika Sakamoto (voice of Agumon)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
I finished working on the original series so many years ago, and I couldn’t have imagined that we’d be meeting again, and they were even making six whole parts, and I was wondering about how it’d turn out. But I haven’t really gotten to do this kind of thing with recording at intervals over a long period of time very often, so I’d like to treasure this time deeply.

–Has your impression of your own character changed?
Agumon wasn’t the type who constantly talked about food, you know! (laughs) So he seems to have become a cushion for everyone else in the face of what’s happening in the story. I thought it was amazing how he managed to act as a character here while talking about nothing but food.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
Whenever they sing “Butter-Fly” at some of the recent events, you can physically feel everyone getting excited, so you could acutely feel its greatness as a song. So everyone being able to sing it with Wada-san, along with AiM-san and Miyazaki-san and the others, is truly wonderful. They didn’t want the Digimon to get in the way, and wanted to make it lively and deep (laughs). So they made it into a neat and tidy end product.

Yoshimasa Hosoya (voice of Yamato Ishida)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
I think this is the most fun I’ve ever had while doing recording work for a series. I’m glad we were safely able to record all the way to the end.

–Was there a moment with your character that left a particular impression on you?
The lines “we’ll save the world in our own way!” and “we’ll make up for Taichi” left an impression on me. Also, I got the impression that Yamato had started to think in ways like “saying whatever I need to say is one way to do things, and doing what I need to do through my actions is another” when it came to others. I think Part 6 was where I feel he started to realize that there was kindness even in things that were left unsaid.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
I realized that, to everyone who’s been supporting the Digimon Adventure series all this time, this has become a very special song. As I watched the ending credits, I felt that there was a lot of meaning in all of us singing such a notable song together.

Mayumi Yamaguchi (voice of Gabumon)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
It felt like “we’ve all fought through our way here and finally made it”. I was wondering if the younger team playing the new Chosen Children, and we, as the team of grandmas and grandpas, would work out together, but…(laughs). We didn’t get to meet much more than via the six times we recorded and the events, but despite how short of a time it was, our feeling of solidarity became as strong as if we’d worked together on a whole year-long series. I thought, maybe this really is the power of this series after all. A new kind of bond was born via tri..

–Was there a moment with your character that left a particular impression on you?
That thing about adding that “-kun” to “Yamato-kun”. He’ll add the “-kun” to Yamato’s name, but he won’t use honorifics with Taichi, so I got to feel the nature of Gabumon’s shy personality again.1

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
Nineteen years ago, I could have never imagined that this day would ever come. I think the audience will want to sing along, too. When Yamato went “Gabumon!” at me, I just instinctively went back “Yes?” (laughs). Instead of yelling back “Yamato!’, my reflex was to go back like, “did you call me? Are we doing something?” I had that feeling again when we were recording.

Suzuko Mimori (voice of Sora Takenouchi)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
I think this is the most fun I’ve ever had while doing recording work for a series. I’m glad we were safely able to record all the way to the end. I feel a sense of accomplishment, but it’s also mixed in with a sense of loneliness. It feels like we’d only just started. This is a series with a lot of fans, so I felt a lot of nervousness and pressure about playing the role of Sora in tri. But the more we came in to record, the more our bonds deepend, and I was finally able to play Sora freely, and I had a very fun time in the end.

–Was there a moment that left a particular impression on you?
The climax of Part 4. Piyomon, who had lost her memories thanks to the reboot, was treating Sora with so much harshness and coldness, but Sora went in and threw herself into facing Mugendramon without looking back, and her courage was really cool. Sora is like a mom who’s firm in supporting everyone, and it’s easy to see her as a perfect person, but through playing her, I somehow felt better learning that she had insecure feelings the way a teenager would, and had her own things to worry about.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
Whenever “Butter-Fly” played, I’d always end up singing along every time, so I was really, really emotionally moved to be able to sing it together with everyone for Part 6!! Right before we started recording, you could hear everyone singing it in such high spirits, so it was really fun.

Atori Shigematsu (voice of Piyomon)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
At first it was nostalgic, and I was playing Piyomon while having a lot of fun and with lots of anticipation, but a really shocking thing happened in Part 3, and then in Part 4 Piyomon ended up hating Sora…Because the Digimon are rooted in “loving their partners”, that change was like losing her reason for existing in the first place, or I should say, I was completely baffled as to how I should play her. That was my biggest hurdle during tri. But because we managed to overcome that hurdle in Part 4, Parts 5 and 6 had me more in the mood of cheering Taichi on, like “you can do it!” (laughs)

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
It starts with Wada-san’s a cappella, and the way we banter with the Chosen Children is superb, and it gets you in the heart in only a few minutes. Listening to the song made me remember my first meeting with Wada-san. Wada-san was a very shy person, and so we couldn’t even have a single word of conversation (laughs). But it’s still a very precious memory to me.

Mutsumi Tamura (voice of Koushirou Izumi)

–Was there a moment with your character that left a particular impression on you?
Definitely Part 3, when he refuses to give up on stopping the reboot and puts everything he has into it. His dialogue with Tentomon really got me, too. But being in the middle of recording means there’s no time to be getting too emotionally caught off guard, so I had to quickly move on and think about the next part. I also really like the part with his struggles after the reboot.

–Has your impression of your own character changed?
He was really into Mimi-chan at first, and I thought, “oho, is it puberty? People really do change~”, but somewhere in the middle he went back to being the usual, cool-headed Koushirou, so I sighed a bit in relief and started laughing a little. People can’t move forward if they keep worrying about things, after al!

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
All of the theme songs have been wonderful, but I particularly love Part 5’s “Secret Word of Love”. And then, on top of that, we were told that we were going to be singing an official version of “Butter-Fly”…I don’t know what would have been the best way to express the song, but I remember being excited and yet also shaken up. But I really was happy.

Takahiro Sakurai (voice of Tentomon)

–Was there a moment with your character that left a particular impression on you?
I really liked the part where Tentomon fussed over Koushirou in a very motherly way, and the banter between the two that gave off that impression left a deep impression on me.
There was also the scene in Part 1 when they were under the bridge, and Koushirou was completely dedicated to analyzing the situation, but nobody was listening to him, and only Tentomon was actually giving any indication of following along. It seemed comedic, but to me it actually came off as quite charming.

–Has your impression of your own character changed?
I was like, oh, he really is a “man”. He evolves into Kabuterimon, who has a horn, so I knew he was male2, but…(laughs). Tentomon, at the end of the end, turned out to be a cool guy who showed a very manly spirit. I was quite surprised.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
I got the sense that there was only one straight line connecting all of the points from nineteen years ago to now, or something like that. When they yell out their partners’ names, it’s like confirming each others’ existence. This song is loaded with a strong message in it. Digimon Adventure is a very special series to me, and I have a lot of memories associated with it. Going forward, I’ll still continue to hold it as precious to me.

Hitomi Yoshida (voice of Mimi Tachikawa)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
It feels sad, but that’s how it really does feel. I took the baton from Ai Maeda-san3, and played the sixteen-year-old Mimi in tri., and, miraculously, it felt like our Digimon seniors and we as the kids had been together for a long time already. And thanks to that, we’ve finished yet another adventure. Our days as the kids have ended. I have a lot of those kinds of feelings.

–Was there a moment with your character that left a particular impression on you?
Part 2 had Mimi and Jou-senpai as the main characters, so I really do have a lot of deep memories associated with it. Always facing forward! Putting everything into being positive! Even despite that, Mimi might end up stopping for a bit and having worries, but her solution of deciding, that’s how I am! I’ve got to keep myself the way I am and face forward and accept that! is very Mimi-like, too! Her line of “Give it all you’ve got~~~!!”, leading to Rosemon’s evolution, was impressive.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
It’s Wada-san, Miyazaki-san, AiM-san, and all of our Digimon seniors and the kids, aaaaaaaaaall of us in one “Butter-Fly”!! I don’t think I’ve ever been this incredibly happy in my life. This is such a big and happy surprise, and very Digimon-like. Ah, you’re gonna cry when you hear it at the theater.

Kinoko Yamada (voice of Palmon)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
It feels like these last two and a half years have passed in the blink of an eye, it really was fast. When I first heard about tri., I was thinking that it’d be a long time, but when it got going it felt like it finished so quickly, I was really shocked.

–Was there a moment with your character that left a particular impression on you?
I don’t know if I’d say it was a moment, but I ended up saying “much obliged” a lot4 (laughs). Truthfully, I don’t remember much about the actual recording. I just played it by instinct, and when I watched the finished product, it was like, “oh, I actually said that…” I thought, was it always this easy to play Palmon? When I auditioned for this role nineteen years ago, I didn’t even consider the idea that I might have failed it. I feel like I might have been born to play Palmon, like it was fate.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
When I heard Wada-san’s “Butter-Fly” in Part 1, I picked up yet another feeling of awareness that “it’s starting, isn’t it?”, and then when I heard that everyone was going to sing it together for this movie, I thought, “it’s ending…” I was wishing it didn’t have to end, so as I was walking to the studio, I kept thing, “oh no, I’m going to arrive at the studio soon…”

Junya Ikeda (voice of Jou Kido)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
When the original Adventure was being broadcast, I was in grade school, and my heart was drawn into the world of Digimon, and it thrilled me, and I spent my youth with it. Time has passed, and this time I’ve gotten to be part of this series’s creation and grow alongside it, and relive my youth, and all in all, I’m simply just happy. Every day we overlap our hearts with them as they overcome all sorts of conflicts and difficulties alongside their friends, and face each other with everything they have and with pride, and I’ll continue to love Digimon and to spin the threads of my own life from here on out.

–Was there a moment that left a particular impression on you?
All of the lines and scenes leave a vivid impression on me, but if I had to pick one, I have really deep memories of his fight with Gomamon in Part 2. With my own inexperience thrown into the mix, I was having a hard time visualizing the scene, but when I was standing in front of the microphone with Junko Takeuchi-san’s Gomamon, everything had all flowed out naturally before I knew it.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
Whenever I go to karaoke, it’s practically a guarantee that I’m going to request “Butter-Fly”, and even others like “brave heart” and “I wish”. I always had nothing but happiness at the fact that you could always feel the presence of such a magnificent song when it came to tri. And on top of that, we all got to sing “Butter-Fly” with Wada-san’s spirit, and I wish I could go back in time and brag about this to my grade-schooler self.

Junko Takeuchi (voice of Gomamon)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
The kids have grown up quite a bit, and their hearts have started to waver, and it hurt, even for me as I was playing this, but it also made me happy, and made me cry, and it’s a series with that kind of strength. It’s a series that leaves really huge things in your heart. There are a lot of things that pierce the human condition, or the human and Digimon condition, and the condition of the world, deeply into your heart.

–Was there a moment that left a particular impression on you?
The way Jou and Gomamon had everyday banter left a deep impression on me. Like when Jou was moping around, or when he was having a hard time with his exams. I felt like Jou was the one shown to have the most humanistic aspects and moments of weakness. Their relationship hasn’t exactly changed, but the way Gomamon takes care of Jou in a motherly way was really cute, so that left the biggest mark on my heart.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
When Jou called out to me with “Gomamon!”, I felt like this might be my last chance, so I thought I should yell out the best “Jou!” ever, but then I decided not to. I realized, I should just do it the way I always do. We recorded three versions of it, but when they picked one and went, “this one’s cute, let’s go with this,” it reaffirmed to me “people really did think of Gomamon as the cute one, huh.”

Junya Enoki (voice of Takeru Takaishi)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
The fact that we’ve finished recording hasn’t hit me yet. It’s been around two and half years since Part 1 screened, so I’ve been involved with this project for quite a long time. It feels long, but it also feels like it passed in only an instant, so it’s a little sad.

–Was there a moment with your character that left a particular impression on you?
Talking about Takeru means talking about Part 3, of course. His bond with Patamon and his hesitation over letting him fight is there, but through that chapter, he overcomes all of his suffering, and that left an impression on me. Takeru always has such a calm demeanor, so there was something new and fresh about seeing him crying and having his own worries.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
tri.‘s ending songs have always been wonderful every time, but among those, if there’s one that makes you say “when I say Digimon, I mean this!”, it’s “Butter-Fly”. I was really happy to be able to sing it with everyone. I want to see it at the theater as soon as I can, too!

Miwa Matsumoto (voice of Patamon)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
Part 6 ended with the feeling that humans and Digimon will always be together, and that their bonds will continue. So even though tri.‘s ending, I don’t have any feeling of loss. More like, “all right, we’re done with Part 6. Now onto Part 7!” (laughs).

–Was there a moment with your character that left a particular impression on you?
When Patamon was infected, I felt so, so apologetic, like, “is that gonna happen to Patamon again…?” It became yet another difficult story about how one approaches their partner. Also, Takeru’s gotten really good at dealing with girls. Or at least that’s what everyone says, but for me it’s more like, no, no, Patamon is the one he actually loves! You can see that, since Takeru loves him so much, he does everything he can to protect him.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
When we finished recording for Part 6, I was wondering if I wouldn’t get to play Patamon again, so I was happy to be able to do one more “Takeru!” Takeru called out “Patamon!” right before that, so it was easy to do. I was grinning so much I started twitching (laughs).

M・A・O (voice of Hikari Yagami)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
The time that passed was very dense and full. I was able to make it safely to the end as Hikari, and I truly do feel that I’m very happy. To everyone who supported and cheered for us, thank you very much.

–Was there a moment with your character that left a particular impression on you?
The scene in Part 6 when Hikari stood up against her brother and asserted her feelings. Up until then, even though she’d sometimes scold people out of worry, there weren’t a lot of times when she’d state her intentions clearly. Also, I have to say, the repeated interactions between Takeru and Hikari behind the scenes. There was a deeply emotive aspect to it, like, “you guys can do that kind of thing, too?” (laughs).
On top of that, I felt that Hikari-chan’s beliefs became clearer and clearer with each part. From the end of Part 5 through Part 6’s story, her feelings towards what she believed in began to overflow, and I felt that she’d really grown and gotten stronger.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
Every part had wonderful theme songs, and would move my heart all the way to the end of the credits. And then, I got to sing “Butter-Fly” with everyone for Part 6. I’m always so used to hearing the lyrics that I’m drenched in them, and they’ve come to overlap with the grown-up “Chosen Children”, and I got to feel how powerful and universal this song is yet again.

Yuka Tokumitsu (voice of Tailmon)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
Through meeting the older Chosen Children and going through tons of trials and difficult adventures with them, I feel that tri. once again taught us about living, choosing, and making choices.
In tri., we got to meet not only “the usual strong, cool-headed, and stylish Tailmon” but also the “lovely and sweet Tailmon”. For Parts 5 and 6 in particular, on top of her facade of “strength”, she was also depicted as succumbing to being lovey-dovey, so I’m grateful to have been able to play a new side of her. On top of that, I got to feel yet again how her bond with Hikari meant that they’d never truly be separated, and the strength of the persisting feelings in their hearts. After these past nineteen years, I feel like “Tailmon” and I have gotten even closer.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
It’s truly an honor, and I’m happy to have been able to participate. My heart was trembling, so even though I only got to say one word, I was very nervous. When I heard the finished product, I was truly moved. I’m grateful to be able to participate in “Butter-Fly”, and I’m very happy. Everyone being able to sing such an important song together is a once-in-a-lifetime treasure.

Miho Arakawa (voice of Meiko Mochizuki)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
It was sad and lonely when the final recording ended, but there was also a sense of relief in that our adventure had ended. I still can’t forget her Part 5 line of “please…kill Mei-chan.” When I first read that in the script, I thought, I don’t think I’ve ever had to have such painful words come out of my mouth all that often. The trials that the Chosen Children have to endure were bigger than I’d ever imagined.

–Has your impression of your own character changed?
She came off as a very quiet transfer student, and my first impression of her was that she was a passive kind of person. But she won’t turn her head away when it comes to Meicoomon, and although she looks more like the indoors type, she’s actually got more of a wild side. Gradually, you come to see how she has a strong core, and your impression of her changes.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
Being able to sing together with everyone else was like a dream. Everyone’s individual personalities come out, but there’s still a sense of unity, and I think it’s become a truly wonderful song! Also, I still listen to Part 5’s “Secret Word of Love” over and over again. After having seen Part 6, I listened to the song and thought it had a very different feeling to it. I hope everyone will also listen to it again, too.

Yukiko Morishita (voice of Meicoomon)

–Please tell us about how you feel after finishing recording for Part 6.
No matter what, Meicoomon always loved Meiko. That “ta much” has more meaning to Meiko and Meicoomon than a simple “thank you”, doesn’t it? Having seen all six parts now, when I see the Part 6 poster art that shows everyone reaching out to Meiko, something in it really gets my heart. Meiko and Meicoomon were by themselves at the beginning, but they’d managed to make friends. I really was able to feel that it was for the best that they’d met.

–Has your impression of your own character changed?
Meicoomon was like a spoiled baby to Meiko. That was the image I consistently had of her from Part 1 all the way to the end, so my impression didn’t really change all that much.
Through Parts 1 to 6, Meiko’s relationship with the others gradually grew deeper and deeper, and, for Meicoomon, that may have been a bit lonely for her.

–How did you feel about participating in the ending theme?
Being able to sing together with everyone else was like a dream. Everyone’s It really was an honor! I was so happy! During the scenes when each pair of partners was talking to each other, whenever they called out each other’s names, my heart just squeezed. Whenever they call out each others’ names, the feelings of how much they love and trust each other come out, and you get another taste of how great having a partner is. When everyone was recording their singing vocals and lines in advance, and Meicoomon called out Meiko’s name, I recorded it with the image of her jumping into her arms.


Natsuki Hanae and Chika Sakamoto

Special Talk

We’ve held a talk with Natsuki Hanae-san, who plays the leader of the Chosen Children, Taichi Yagami, and Chika Sakamoto-san, who plays Agumon, about their own thoughts looking back on all six parts, and on their roles and the series.

Natsuki Hanae

From Across Entertainment. Born on June 26, from Kanagawa Prefecture. Has been active in a wide variety of genres, from TV anime to show hosting, with roles such as Haise Sasaki in Tokyo Ghoul: re, Kousei Arima in Your Lie in April, and Jaco in Dragon Ball Super.

Chika Sakamoto

From Arts Vision. Born on August 17, from Tokyo. Has been active in a great variety of performance types, from young boys to young girls to adults, including Hajime-chan in Genius Bakabon, Mei Kusakabe in My Neighbor Totoro, and Minoru Enoki in Baby & Me.

–Please tell us your thoughts about finishing the recordings for Parts 1 through 6.
Hanae: It’s been around two and a half years since we’d started recording, but it felt like only a blink of an eye.
Sakamoto: It’s funny how it feels like the blink of an eye, yet the post-recording for Part 1 feels like such a long time ago.

–Did the atmosphere at the recording site change as you did more recordings?
Sakamoto: The more recordings we did, the deeper the love each cast member had towards their roles deepened, and the feeling we got of this being our series strengthened our resolve even further. But it’s been more than fifteen years since the original Digimon Adventure (hereinafter, Adventure) ended, and I think I’ve started to pay more attention to how the fans have responded. So I think what’s changed is that I’ve now started to have more firm belief in the love from the fans who have actually come to see the movies and support us.
Hanae: Yeah. Since I was playing Taichi for this series rather than a new role, I was playing him with my heart pounding, and thinking, “ah, I can’t do this, I can’t do that.” But at DigiFes and other events, the fans were telling me “you did great,” and that led to me gaining self-confidence. Director Motonaga told me, “please believe in yourself while playing it,” and somewhere in the middle my worries vanished. I think Taichi, in some sense, is the character that’s changed the most, and there are ways I’ve matched up with my role and that change, so now that we’ve finished Part 6, I feel like I’ve come together perfectly with him.

–The story developments from Part 5 to 6 were quite shocking.
Hanae: When I got the script for Part 5, I thought they’d stopped giving me lines all of a sudden (laughs). When we got to the actual post-recording, they didn’t give me a clear explanation on what actually happened in the story before then, so I was really shocked, like, what on earth happened?
Sakamoto: Taichi doesn’t make an appearance until the second half of Part 6.
Hanae: Yeah. In terms of Taichi’s highlight scenes, he has more of them in Part 5, so I have a personal attachment to Part 5.

–Through all six parts, was there a line or scene that left a particular impression on you?
Hanae: The line from Part 3, “if we wait for ‘someday’, we’ll end up becoming adults!”
Sakamoto: That line really gets everyone, both those who already are adults and those who are still on their way to becoming adults.
Hanae: In terms of a Taichi line, that one leaves an impression on me. In terms of scenes, there’s the conversation between Taichi and Agumon when he’s lying on the rooftop of the school. The two of them can have a conversation without restraint, since they’re partners who have spent so much time together, and you can see the depth of their relationship, so I remember having a lot of fun playing it.
Sakamoto: It was like a conversation between a long-time married couple (laughs). I like those kinds of innocent scenes, but in the end it’s really that reunion scene in Part 1 that left an impression on me, like, “yeah, this is how they would reunite.”

–Have your impressions of Taichi and Agumon changed from Parts 1 through 6?
Hanae: In Part 1, as Taichi feels the pressure of growing up, he starts worrying about unnecessary things and forgetting important things, and starts to gradually change his relationship to other people and Digimon. He really did grow quite a lot in Part 5 in particular, didn’t he?
Sakamoto: Agumon’s way of thinking hasn’t changed at all for all this time, and but I think the fact he doens’t change is what’s so important about him, so I aimed to record him as someone who doesn’t think about superfluous things. Also, it’s not exactly a change, but Taichi goes missing at the end of Part 5, and he doesn’t come back until the second half of Part 6. All of the other Digimon have their partners there, but Agumon’s the only one who has to stand there by himself, and you really get the sense that he can’t do anything without Taichi.

–What did you think about Omegamon’s new form, Merciful Mode?
Sakamoto: He was really cool. Ordinemon was really strong, so it makes you feel that maybe they don’t have a chance against her after all, so, naturally, they ended up breaking out Omegamon. On top of that, I was watching it thinking that it was cool how they intentionally didn’t give him any lines.
Hanae: Whenever I see Omegamon come out, I get all fired up, like, “he’s finally here!” And on top of that, his strength really is absolute, and he was very cool.
Sakamoto: That scene was the first time in a while that he’d gone from evolution to super-evolution in one shot, but since I figured it might be the last time, I did my best with it (laughs).

–Did you have any impressions about Meiko, the new Chosen Child, and her partner, Meicoomon, such as how they’d grown or changed?
Hanae: When you put yourself in her position, when her own partner is going on a rampage and hurting their friends…And then she ends up in the position where they have to kill her even though she’s her partner, and it really must be painful for her…
Sakamoto: Meiko-chan ended up having to make a painful choice, but you feel that she was able to do that because her friends were with her, and, thanks to her memories of having fun with Meicoomon, she was able to overcome that pain. During the scene in Part 6 when Meicoomon says “ta much” to her, or the scene where she was invoking memories of their time together, you end up crying really hard, but their time that they spent together makes you feel like Meiko-chan can push on and do her best no matter what happens to her from here on out.

–Please leave a message for the fans.
Hanae: I watched the original Adventure as a kid, so getting to be a Chosen Child, yet alone Taichi, made me nervous at first, and even now I still get an odd feeling about it, but at the same time I feel a lot of gratitude towards everyone who’s been supporting us until the end. Of course, I’d like even modern children to see tri., too, but I think the contents of this series are made to appeal to the adult generation of Digimon fans like us, and I hope you can hold the things you felt through this series close to your heart. Also, since Part 6 ended with a lot of lingering memories, I’d love to play Taichi again sometime.
Sakamoto: To all of you who have been watching Digimon for such a long time, and sharing that time and loving the series and characters, I’m truly grateful. The title of this movie is “Future”5, so there’s a lot of things we’ve gathered up until now loaded into this, and it makes you realize if these are the dreams that become strength…But please watch it while taking deep breaths and don’t think too much about the unnecessary things! Personally, I kept forgetting to breathe (laughs).

Yoshimasa Hosoya and Mayumi Yamaguchi

Special Talk

We’ve held a talk with Yoshimasa Hosoya-san, who plays Yamato Ishida, the Chosen Child supporting the others in the absence of their leader, Taichi, and Mayumi Yamaguchi-san, who has been playing Gabumon since the original Digimon Adventure (hereinafter, Adventure), about their feelings towards Digimon Adventure tri. (hereinafter, tri.).

Yoshimasa Hosoya

From Hiroshima Prefecture. Greatly active in a large range of expression in a diverse range of genres, with roles such as Shuusaku Houjou in In This Corner of the World, Junk Dog in Megalo Box, Genjirou Tanigaki in Golden Kamuy, and Reiner Braun in Attack on Titan.

Mayumi Yamaguchi

From aksent. Born on May 12, from Iwate Prefecture. Greatly active in a wide range of genres, from TV animation to advertisement commercials, with roles such as Envy in Fullmetal Alchemist, young Orochimaru in Naruto Shippuden, and Jianliang Lee in Digimon Tamers.

–Please tell us your thoughts about finishing the recordings for Parts 1 through 6.
Yamaguchi: Do you feel like it ended?
Hosoya: I feel less like it ended, and more like I’m just glad we made it all the way to Part 6 safely.
Yamaguchi: A lot happened (laughs).
Hosoya: Yeah, a lot happened.
Yamaguchi: I’m glad we finished it safely! But I can’t believe it’s only been two and a half years since Part 1 started.
Hosoya: It feels like a lot more time had passed, yeah.
Yamaguchi: Yeah, it feels like a ton of time has passed, and it still feels like there’s more to go. I wonder why, maybe it’s because we’ve got things like events after this?
Hosoya: We’re still doing interviews, like this one.
Yamaguchi: Beyond that, the fact they took a series that ended so long ago and brought it back still feels like a huge thing to me.
Hosoya: There might still be more. There’s a sound ringing out at the end of Part 6.
Yamaguchi: Yeah, there was a sound ringing out…So it makes me think that maybe this won’t be the end after all.

–Did the atmosphere at the recording site change as you did more recordings?
Yamaguchi: Well, we did gradually get closer over time. Since there’s an age gap between the Chosen Children cast and the Digimon cast, the Digimon team was constantly going “it’s been such a long time!” to each other.
Hosoya: It was really fascinating for us to watch…(laughs).

–Through all six parts, was there a line or scene that left a particular impression on you?
Yamaguchi: Yamato isn’t generally the clingy type, so during that scene when he was at the school cultural festival in Part 2, at the Creepy-Cute Character Contest, and went like “what was Gabumon’s rank!?”, I really liked being able to see how much he worries about Gabumon.
Hosoya: Part 3’s ending song had that line in the lyrics, “you’re the one irreplaceable to me”.
Yamaguchi: Ah, you mean the song you sang under the name of KNIFE OF DAY, “To Me”.
Hosoya: That song was played alongside the PV when it was revealed at DigiFes, wasn’t it? I thought it was a really good song, but I saw people were actually laughing at the venue, and I remember just thinking, “why?”
Yamaguchi: I understand how the fans felt! I watched the screening without knowing anything about the song, so the moment the song started playing, I just went “pfffft!”
Hosoya: It’s because it’s coming from Yamato, right? Is it that funny to see Yamato sing?
Yamaguchi: He’s very cool when he sings, and somehow it makes you burst into laughter anyway. Did you not think people were going to laugh?
Hosoya: I didn’t, I mean, the lyrics are full of Yamato’s feelings, after all.
Yamaguchi: The song is really good, but Yamato singing makes you laugh. It’s amazing how Yamato makes you laugh just by singing. What else left an impression on you, Hosoya-kun?
Hosoya: There are a lot of things, but in Part 1, the exchange of “Gabumon!” “Got it!” left an impression on me. The cast for the Chosen Children had changed, but Gabumon was there, the same as ever. I don’t think the fans would find the portrayal convincing if the communication between the partner pairs wasn’t, so the fact they were able to have that kind of exchange without hesitation felt right and reassuring.
Yamaguchi: When I first heard Hosoya-kun’s Yamato, I immediately thought, “this is the older Yamato, right here!”
Hosoya: Please make sure you write that part down.
Yamaguchi: (laughs)
Hosoya: But because I thought that part went well, even though I was constantly grasping for it all the way up until Part 6, that scene made me think that if I could pull it off, the fans would be able to accept me.
Yamaguchi: It was the same for (Yuuto) Kazama-san6, but even though Yamato has a really cool voice, he’s got a few screws loose, or not so much as…
Hosoya: Like how he makes you burst into laughter when he sings? (laughs)
Yamaguchi: Yeah, that! When I listened to you, I thought it was amazing how you could express that side of him.
Hosoya: No, no, I was actually just desperately fumbling around in playing him. But I did think that if I saw Kazama-san’s Yamato, I’d end up inevitably falling back into what he did, so I deliberately didn’t watch.
Yamaguchi: You don’t get a lot of characters like him, where you play him cool and yet he makes you laugh, so when I heard Hosoya-kun’s lines, I thought, “there he is!”
Hosoya: Thank you very much.

–How do you feel about Yamato’s relationship with Sora, and with Taichi?
Yamaguchi: Part 6 had that scene where Sora expresses her complaints to Yamato. How did playing that scene go?
Yamato: Part 5 was when Yamato lost Taichi, his closest companion, and in that scene he has to take Taichi’s place in pulling the others along, so I felt that this was a time when you need to be able to feel an appropriate amount of stress coming from him. Yamato probably has some kind of leader-like aspect to him within himself, so when Sora is the first to express her complaints to him, he can’t say anything. It’s not like they’re in the military or anything, but it’s more like, because he’s trying to do a professional job of it, he has to refrain from making personal statements, and you can feel him really coming off as mature.
Yamaguchi: Yamaguchi: I saw it as a way of showing an aspect of him that you couldn’t with his child self. If it had been the original Adventure, he might would have said something like, “hang in there, we’ll figure a way out anyway!” or “but more importantly, right now we have to do what we need to in order to save the world!”. Yamato doesn’t have a lot of lines during important scenes throughout tri., but I felt that was his way of being presented as more mature.
Hosoya: That’s how huge of an existence Taichi is to him. In the end, both Sora and Yamato were dependent on him. Taichi was the leader to Yamato’s musician and Sora’s aggressive helpfulness. But when the leader is gone, it’s not the time for them to be taking those roles. To me, it seemed like his growth lay in understanding that his words might hurt them and thinking about their uneasiness and taking that burden onto himself.
Yamaguchi: That’s why Gabumon is there. Yamato was about to forget that, so Gabumon said, “you can tell me anything.”
Hosoya: But because he’d been rebooted, Yamato knows that he’s not the same as he was earlier, so if Gabumon hadn’t said that, Yamato wouldn’t have been able to tell him anything. So I think that scene was a good thing for Yamato.

–What kind of series is tri. to you?
Yamaguchi: It’s a series that returns you to your beginnings. Before tri. started, I was wondering what kind of series it’d be, but when I stood in front of the microphone, it was like I’d returned to my days of being a beginner. Also, I’m really grateful that I could play Gabumon again after such a long time.
Hosoya: I was assuming this role from someone else, so at first, I was uneasy about taking that role and participating in a series that has so many passionate fans coming to see it. But now that we’ve made it all the way to Part 6, I’m thinking that maybe, even by just a little bit, I’ve been accepted after all. Also, when I sang Digimon Adventure’s masterpiece song, “Butter-Fly”, with everyone, I felt that this really was a very warm series.

Please leave a message for the fans.
Yamaguchi: Thank you for watching us over this very long time. I really think we were able to get to this point thanks to everyone’s support. I think this series managed to come out for the best thanks to everyone’s support, so I hope everyone will continue to watch over us warmly, and thank you for your support.
Hosoya: Thank you for the last two and a half years. I feel the same way as Yamaguchi-san. Thank you for supporting us from here on out, too!

Kenji Watanabe

A Digimon that’s “not just strong”

Character designer. Since the original 1998 LCD toy “Digital Monster”, he has been desigining Digimon for the franchise. Major works include Tamagotchi and Legendz: Tale of the Dragon Kings.

–Please tell us about your initial impression when you first heard about Digimon Adventure tri. starting.
It all started when I was at a certain event venue, and Hiromi Seki-san7 from Toei Animation told me, “they’re starting a new project, so go and help them out.” After that, I had a formal meeting with the producers, and they barraged me with their passionate feelings of “we want to do this kind of story.” It had been quite a long time since the last anime broadcast, and the ultimate end conclusion had already been featured in Digimon Adventure 02, so I felt that they were probably going to have a difficult time, and since everyone’s feelings about it were so strong, I told them, “I’ll help you out, so let’s do it.”

–Looking back at Parts 1 through 6, what do you think about the completed product?
The Child-level Digimon really are cute. The Chosen Chidlren are growing, but the Digimon continue to hold fast to their own more pure aspects, and I felt that aspect of them was “uniquely Digimon”. On the other hand, it was painful seeing the kids in high school worrying about the same things they were back then…But when you think about what kinds of problems you’d overcome back in grade school, I felt that if you were to ask if you’d never worried about it again after that, there’d be a surprising number of things you’d worry about again. I think there’s a good balance between the Digimon, who stay true to their roots, and the kids, who worry about the same things multiple times before overcoming them.

–Was there a scene or line that left an impression on you during Part 6 in particular?
This movie had a lot of parts that made you cry. In particular, the consistent expression of Yamato and Gabumon’s relationship was very straightforward. The two of them are fundamentally very shy, so seeing them go out of their way to say things to each other was like “what’s with this romance scene?” (laughs)
The Digimon Adventure series is, naturally, a story that depicts the feelings of young boys and girls, but it’s also one that depicts the convergence of humans and “non-human” beings. I think that’s why Taichi and his friends were “Chosen” Children meant to support both worlds. When Taichi says lines like “You stay that way. You can hate me if you want,” or Hikari’s “I will probably never forgive you, Taichi.” and “I’ll fight with you!”, I felt that this time, the kids had also “chosen” their own ways of living, and were asserting their independence.

–In terms of design, are there any particular points to look out for tri.‘s new Digimon, such as Meicoomon?
Meicoomon was based on Director Motonaga’s own Maine Coon, a very large cat. Since Tailmon is short-haired, we made Meicoomon a more lion-like long-haired cat.
The scarf-like part is from a request to have her have something that relates to her having a piece of Apocalymon in her, in accordance with the story, so I focused on Apocalymon when putting it in the design, but in the end you don’t see much of a relation (laughs).

Kenji Watanabe-san’s initial draft. This was the starting point from where the length of the fur and the color shade would be adjusted.
[The translator apologizes for her poor scan quality]

We also thought about various different patterns from the beginning, like her normal eyes having a cross in them, and the crosses rotating backwards and becoming an X when she turns evil, and other things like when she’s simply just angry, or when she loses herself.
Her other forms, like Meicrackmon and Raguelmon, was conceived from tri.‘s story development about them being “mutations”. Her body doesn’t go through any particularly huge changes, and although she becomes more humanoid, she’s fundamentally the same form, just bigger, and her silhouette doesn’t change much. We had the image of her face not changing, and the parts on her increasing instead. Meicrackmon’s name was proposed from the English word “crack” (as in splitting or breaking), and it also has the meaning of software “cracking”. There’s also the meanings of the English words “make” and “luck”8. Raguelmon’s name was thought up in order to match with her original Angel Digimon form of “Rasielmon”, so we depicted her with the image of a fallen angel.

–Ordinemon had a lot of impact.
Ordinemon looks like she has wings, but in actuality, those are legs that are gathered up in such a way that they look like wings. Each and every giant feather gathered together, and they look like wings. The idea is that the wings of tons of Digimon that can’t fly gathered together, and turned into a mass of malice. So when she attacks, they take the form of Digimon. I also feel like her movements with those wings should be more like walking. Even though there were some parts where she flew with them…(laughs). In the end she didn’t have any ties to Apocalymon after the design stages…(laughs). Incidentaly, “Ordine” has the meaning of “order”.

Kenji Watanabe-san’s trial drawing of Meicoomon.

–Please tell us the story behind the creation of Omegamon Merciful Mode.
The finale has Omegamon fighting and finishing her off in short order. If we had Omegamon simply appear, the audience wouldn’t feel any change, so while I was discussing it with the staff, we were thinking about things like a golden version of him. But the producers said, “we want a change that’ll have meaning in accordance with the story.” They wanted an Omegamon that had a sense of holiness and would be like an angel, so at first they asked me to draw them an Omegamon that had simply sprouted wings and turned white.
Once I’d done so, I happened to meet the animation director, Kouji Itou-san, at a non-Digimon-related event, and had the opportunity to speak with him directly. Our consultation at that time had us consider not only having wings sprout from his back but also unfurl and flutter like a scarf. With that image in mind, I fumbled around to find something between the original Omegamon and Itou-san’s idea, and did the design over again.
Omegamon’s simple silhouette is made so that he’s not merely just strong, but so that you can feel a strong will coming from him. The name “Merciful” has the meaning of “mercy”, but, personally, I also wanted to depict her with the image of an “agony-sparing suicide assistant”9 That’s why, in order to give him an image of serenity, he has blue lines over his whole body. His cheeks have “lines of tears” on them, and I wanted to depict him killing a friend while crying, rather than simply cutting down an opponent. Paired with the scarf-like wings, I think he really looks like a hero10, so it came out well.

Kenji Watanabe-san’s initial rough draft image

–Speaking as a Digimon designer, what do you think are particular points of note?
tri. has a lot more detail in its Digimon designs, so you can see some cool attack movements that you’ve never seen before. You feel like it’s the kind of thing you can only see in motion. Also, I feel like, among the staff, there are people who really like to show off some particular viewing angles…(laughs). Even with Ordinemon, I was like, “they’re actually showing her off from that angle…!” (laughs).

–Please leave a message for the Digimon fans.
I think that, through all six parts, some of the Chosen Children have started to see what first step they’ve chosen to take on the road leading to the ending of 02. I would like you to watch all of it again while feeling that.
There are many people who love Digimon even now, who have said they grew up with it. And there are many people among them in this world who have been working very hard, and I hope they’ve been able to provide strength to those who are watching, and if they have, I’m glad.
Digimon is like my life’s work (laughs).

Translator's notes
  1. In Part 4, Gabumon, having lost his memories thanks to the reboot, wonders if he should add a “-kun” to Yamato’s name out of politeness; most Digimon don’t use honorifics with their partners, and dropping honorifics is a sign of being very close, so in effect the idea is that Gabumon still doesn’t feel close enough to Yamato to be able to drop it. In contrast, he does not use the honorific with Taichi; in this context, it implies that he’s willing to be “rude” with Taichi, but holds Yamato in high enough esteem that he wants to respect his distance before trying to get closer to him. []
  2. Kabuterimon is based off a kabutomushi (Japanese rhinoceros beetle); only the males have horns. []
  3. Ai Maeda = Mimi’s original voice actress in Adventure and Adventure 02. []
  4. Over the course of Adventure tri., Palmon uses the phrase “kyoushuku desu” (恐縮です) quite often, to the point of it being like a catchphrase for her. (This was not the case in the original Adventure nor Adventure 02.) The phrase has a few applications depending on context, such as “much obliged” or “my apologies”. []
  5. Strictly speaking, the “formal” Japanese title is actually Bokura no Mirai (ぼくらの未来), “Our Future”. I’ve been going with “Future” mainly because this is the “official English translation” of the title, even when in reference to the original Japanese version. []
  6. Yuuto Kazama = The original voice actor for Yamato in Adventure and Adventure 02. []
  7. Hiromi Seki = The original producer of Digimon Adventure through Frontier, and planner for Xros Wars. []
  8. Rendered in Japanese, Meicrackmon’s name is “Meikurakkumon” (メイクラックモン); “make” is meiku (メイク) and “luck” rakku (ラック). []
  9. Watanabe refers to Merciful Mode as being named after a kaishakunin, effectively a designated helper who assists someone in committing honorable suicide (seppuku) by beheading them at the greatest point of agony. []
  10. Watanabe is referring to heroes like Kamen Rider, who have immersed themselves in Japanese pop culture as being superheroes who fight with long, flowing scarves. []

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