Hypnos Meeting 2019 Q&A with Yuuki Nakashima

(Chiaki Konaka Q&A | Yuuki Nakashima Q&A)

The Digimon fan event organizer DIGIMADO held an event named “Hypnos Meeting 2019” on March 17, 2019 at the Shinjuku Loft/Plus One, which included Digimon Tamers lead writer Chiaki Konaka and Digimon Xros Wars manga artist and writer Yuuki Nakashima. Questions were taken through the website, and posted there afterwards. The below is a translation of Nakashima’s portion of the Q&A.


Table Of Contents


Your encounter with Digimon

Q. It’s obviously evident that you were studying past Digimon works when you were drawing for Xros Wars, so which of the past works did you feel were most interesting?

A. I feel like that impression has gotten exaggerated quite a bit, since the only series that I watched completely from beginning to end was the original Adventure. Beyond that, I did research into each series’s setting and story through the Encyclopedia and Internet, and what kind of atmosphere each character had through things like the movies, so it’s hard for me to accurately say “oh, this one’s the best.”

Q. The DigiLetters had a bit of a joke saying “when the series started, I didn’t expect the story to turn out this way,” so what kind of story development were you planning at the start?

A. I don’t remember what I was thinking at the time the manga was in serialization (laughs), but since we didn’t decide on things like having Millenniummon as the final enemy or having the original character Kotone appear until after serialization had started, I think the original plan was probably to have it be closer to the anime’s story.

Q. When you were studying the Digimon series from scratch, what did you enjoy the most, and, conversely, what was the most difficult for you to understand?

A. Beyond everything else, I had fun drawing all sorts of Digimon, so it was fun to look them up in the Encyclopedia and imagine how this one or that one would play a part. The difficult part was that they added on new kinds of lore with each series, so it was difficult to figure out which parts were added at what time.

Q. I’m the one who requested Lilithmon in the Digimon Xros Wars manga volume gift campaign.1
Since then, I’ve been taking good care of it. Before anything else, I’d like to express my gratitude.
Back when the manga was being serialized, you said that you were making it after having learned about Digimon from scratch, so although it’s been quite a while since then, looking back on it, could you tell us what Digimon is to you, and how you felt about it?

A. Digimon evolution is built on the idea that it’s a direct manifestation of a child’s heart as it overcomes obstacles, which meant it allowed for a very straightforward way to make a young boys’ manga. Even for the young boys’ manga I drew afterwards, I think it became quite a good reference point to work from.

Q. The Xros Wars manga has its own unique story that’s distinct from that of the anime, but when you were working out the story for the manga, did you and anyone like the editor in charge consult with the staff from the anime, such as those from Toei Animation? If you did, please tell us about what kinds of things you discussed.

I made the story while having discussions every month with the people in charge, such as NabeKen-san2.
I was the one to come up with the core story, but things like the idea to put Ulforce in the human world came up during these discussions.

Q. Hello, Nakashima-sensei.
I became a fan of your work thanks to Digimon Xros Wars. I’ve amassed a huge collection of your books dating all the way back to Kirihoshi3. Thank you for creating such an interesting series. I would like to continue supporting you in the future.
In particular, I love Xros Wars and Element Hunters. I think there’s a lot of charm in the fact that they start off in a similar fashion to the anime, start building up foreshadowing points that connect the beginning to the end, take their own unique direction, and then, ultimately, resolve it all with things that excite long-time fans.

This is a question about the story, but I remember reading somewhere that you weren’t making this story by yourself, but rather by discussing with the anime staff, so I would like to know how much of the story was your idea and how much of it came from the anime staff.
There are so many wonderful elements that make it hard to believe that you didn’t know anything about Digimon at all prior to the serialization, such as the theme of a long-lost evolution, Millenniummon as a major enemy, Taiki growing as a person in order for Shoutmon to evolve, and the Starmon Jogress evolution, and I assume that at least some of those ideas must have come from the anime side, so what was it actually like? Please do tell us.

And, finally, please do take care of your physical health and continue to do your best with serialization. I’m cheering you on.

A. I’m deeply moved to hear that you’ve read so much of my manga! I’m going to do my best to keep making fun manga, so please look forward to it.
In regards to the story, the basic setup would be that I would make up the storyboard, and have NabeKen-san and Bandai correct anything that wouldn’t fit with the Digimon setting. With Ulforce, they gave me more specific ideas to pursue, but for everything else, I made most of it myself.

Q. It seems that you didn’t know anything about Digimon until it was determined that you would be making the Xros Wars manga, but I really enjoyed seeing so many little Digimon references from all sorts of perspectives, such as the surprising development of Millenniummon being created through DigiXros, or the tributes to V-Tamer, and the anticipation of “what’s going to happen next…” I feel that you must have put a ton of effort into research, but I also heard rumors saying something like “he had an assistant who was familiar with Digimon, so he sometimes received help from them.” I would like to ask how you managed to learn so much about Digimon, and how you figured out all of the little things you referenced.

A. I didn’t have any assistant who was familiar with Digimon back when we were doing serialization (laughs). Where’d that rumor come from?
The most helpful thing I had on hand was the Digimon Series Memorial Book: Digimon Animation Chronicle.4
It was a huge help to be able to get a grasp of the overall Digimon series through that book.
Beyond that, during serialization, I drew the manga while constantly referring to various fans’ blog and social media posts of various fans, and of course Bandai’s Digimon Encyclopedia.

Q. In volume 1, you wrote “I was surprised at how deeply the fans love Digimon,” but, even now, there are some fans who love Digimon a little too much to the point of saying “Xros Wars isn’t enough like Digimon” or “this kind of thing shouldn’t be Digimon”. I already know how I feel about this myself, but what do you think?

A. Personally, I hope you can see Xros Wars‘s world and lore as a single part of the Digimon franchise, but even if you can’t accept the world and lore, I think you might at least be able to think of the Digimon that appear in the series as fair game on their own. If they go back one of these days and revise their evolutionary stages, I think it’ll be easier to get used to their presence, but perhaps it would get confusing if they did it now after all of this time, so it seems to be a pretty difficult situation.5

Q. Hello, Nakashima-sensei!
What was the background behind the decision to have you do the manga for Xros Wars?
Also, how did you feel when that decision was made?
I want to become a professional manga artist, and I have a dream of “I want to serialize an original Digimon manga that isn’t adapted from an anime!”, so I really want to hear what you have to say about it.
To be honest about it, since I think most cases are of people getting work through people like the editors and publishers, if I were to make the proposal “I like Digimon, so I want to serialize a manga for it!”, do you think there would be an editor who would pick it up…?
I would be in a different position from you, since you learned about the appeal of Digimon through serializing Xros Wars, but I also want to be someone who can make Digimon more exciting, so I would be grateful for your answer! Thank you very much.

A. When we reached the end of the serialization of my prior series, Element Hunters, in V-Jump, since Digimon’s new anime was just about to start for the next anime airing season, I was contacted to do a comic version of it.
Element Hunters was fairly hard sci-fi, so I was a little confused about how the Digimon series seemed to be fluctuating between fantasy and sci-fi, but I took a look at the proposal and the concept art for the characters, and after about 30 minutes, I was going “Tactimon is so coooooooooooooooooooool…” (laughs)

To be honest, I think you’ll have a very hard time being a professional manga artist if your motive is “I want to draw for Digimon”.
But if you can show off your abilities at places like independent manga events6, publishers will be keeping an eye on those kinds of places, or perhaps, maybe, if you’re working on another manga, you may be able to get your foot in the door with people in the industry, so if a job for Digimon comes up, you can go “let me do it…!” Either way, you will need to be very patient, and in the end I think there’s a huge luck factor involved in it as well.
But V-Jump is always looking for new talent. How about starting by bringing together some storyboards and manuscripts, taking them to editors and such, and getting some feedback?

Xros Wars‘s story

Q. Wizarmon was rather concerned about how Bagramon came up with the Xros Loader, but the answer never came up in the story. Did you have any particular background story for that?

A. Not really, besides Bagramon just being really amazing (laughs).
That said, he was focused on presences such as Taiki and Kiriha as “having the nature of being like a hub that will connect the fate of various people and Digimon” and foretelling that they would be important elements in the future of the Digital World, so perhaps he created the Xros Loader as something that would entrust that kind of destiny to those children.

Q. Around when did you come up with the idea for what ended up being in the Bonus Track?

A. I first came up with it when I decided that we needed some kind of time-travel setup in order to explain what Taiki’s dream from the beginning of the story was. I ultimately came up with the idea to involve Wizarmon and Tailmon when I was making the flashback to Taiki’s dream at the beginning of Volume 3.

Q. If you could make use of the Death Generals and the Hunters characters from the anime, who were on the back cover, whom would you want to use?

A. The Hunters’ new rivals all had really good character personalities, so I’d like to try having them do something!
Personally, I think it would be interesting to do something with Ren Tobari, who had a tendency to hide in Ryouma’s shadow.

Q. What do you think would happen if you made a Digimon Hunters arc?

A. I feel like the beginning would start off close to the anime, but I’d also want to take the opportunity to have characters like Akari and Zenjirou get more and more involved from the start.

Q. I enjoyed reading the manga very much. There’s been something that’s been on my mind, so I would like to ask about it.
In the first chapter of the manga, which takes place on June 21, Taiki-san was 13 years old, Akari-chan 12 years old, and Zenjirou, who was also in the same school year as Taiki-san, 12 years old.
Were you the one who came up with these ages? Also, did you have any ideas about their birthdays?
In addition, I would like to know what kind of story you would have liked to make if you were able to adapt what came after (Hunters).

A. I wasn’t actually that consciously aware of the characters’ ages, and it was fundamentally something pulled from the anime.
Maybe Zenjirou has a later birthday? As for Hunters, I answered about it in the earlier question.

Regarding the Digimon in the story

Q. Who designed MachLeomon, since he wasn’t from the anime?

A. I did, by taking MadLeomon from the anime and modifying his design a little, because I wanted to give him an ability that would be easy for the readers to see and understand.

Q. I’m sure many others must have asked this already, but is MachLeomon actually distinct from MadLeomon and not a typo?7
If he’s distinct, then please tell us more about the details of his profile.

A. As I mentioned earlier, he’s a distinct version that I made because I needed to give him a characteristic that would be easy to see and understand in the context of the manga’s story progression.
He has the same cruel personality as MadLeomon, but his attack gimmicks rely more on speed.

Q. This is a question for Nakashima-sensei.
MachLeomon appeared as an enemy in chapters 1 and 2 and died rather spectacularly, but at the time he appeared in the story, the pre-release information for the anime had a Digimon with the same design named “MadLeomon”.
At the time, the fanbase opinion was “so MachLeomon’s a typo?”, but then MachLeomon continued to be referred to in the story afterwards, and since he’d had his own proper special attack, we now understand that he’s actually distinct.
However, I am interested in what led to the creation of the character of MachLeomon.
Please tell us, to the extent that you are able, whether the plot outline for the anime originally had a character named MachLeomon back then, or whether you were the one to intentionally make the change.

A. It’s basically as I mentioned earlier, but it was because I wanted to have him fight in a way that would be easy to see and understand in the context of the manga’s story progression.
I needed someone who could provide the necessity for Shoutmon and Ballistamon to DigiXros, so that they could use Shoutmon’s good eyesight and speed with Ballistamon’s power to finally defeat him.

Q. Why did you pick Zeed Millenniumon as the major threat in the manga? And how does it compare to the original?8

A. Millenniummon’s original lore involved him being made by bringing different parts of various Digimon together, and since that worked well with the concept of DigiXros, I made use of it.
Also, ZeedMillenniummon’s “Time Destroyer” was useful for the part of the story in the ending, where Wizarmon was thrown between space and time and ended up beginning Taiki’s story by giving him the Xros Loader.

Q. Since ZeedMillenniummon was the final enemy for the manga, was this a tribute to the WonderSwan games?

A. I used Millenniummon and ZeedMillenniummon in the manga for the reason I mentioned above, mainly that it worked well with the concept of DigiXros. I’m not particularly aware of the WonderSwan games.

Q. I would like to know if the ZeedMillenniumon that appears in the manga of Digimon Xros Wars is the same individual as the one that fights Ryo Akiyama in the WonderSwan game series, or it is at least inspired in this one, or on the contrary is a totally different ZeedMillenniumon. Thank you a lot for your answer.8

A. Naturally, the Millenniummon that appears in the manga was made with DigiXros and is a distinct individual with no relation to the one that fought Ryou Akiyama, but well-informed Digimon like DarkKnightmon9 and Jijimon seem to know about the former Millenniummon and ZeedMillenniummon in the sense of knowing about an old legend.

Regarding Xros Heart

Q. (Continued from previous question) What is the relationship between Omegamon and Shoutmon? During the story, Omegamon and OmegaShoutmon use the OmeGain Force ability, but it seems to be different from Omegamon X’s precognitive abilities, so what kind of ability is it?

A. I didn’t put a huge amount of thought into it, but Omegamon was defeated by Bagramon and Tactimon in the past, and somewhere out there in the world, some of his power and thoughts were left behind in a form somewhat different from that of a DigiEgg, and I figured that it might have had an influence on how Shoutmon was born.
The OmeGain Force was originally Omegamon X’s special ability, so I just broadly interpreted it to have Omegamon use it as well, because I wanted a convincing reason for Omegamon to have lost via his precognitive abilities being hacked.

Q. Hello, Nakashima-sensei!
My name is Freedom, and I was deeply moved when I was reading V-Jump and saw the scene where Ballistamon evolved into AtlaBallistamon.

Neither the main story nor the online chapter10 explained how Shoutmon inherited Omegamon’s characteristics after his death, so would you be able to explain the story behind that?

Also, a few years after AltaBallistamon and Shoutmon EX6 appeared in the Xros Wars manga in V-Jump, the mobile game Digimon Collectors put out official images of AtlaBallistamon and Shoutmon EX6.
On the back cover of the Xros Wars manga’s 4th volume, Shoutmon EX6 was depicted in gold. Given what was portrayed in the Xros Wars manga, I imagine that AtlaBallistamon and the others were also supposed to be shiny and gold.
However, the official images of AtlaBallistamon and Shoutmon EX6 do not have them in gold, but rather give them a completely different color scheme.
AtlaBallistamon’s head parts are not gold in the official image, but blue.
Did you ever have a discussion with the Bandai and WiZ staff about deciding on the color scheme for the official images?

A. The background connection between Omegamon and Shoutmon is basically what I mentioned earlier.
As for the design of the Digimon evolutions that were original to the manga, such as AtlaBallistamon, the designer just made some touch-ups to what I made for the manga, and I thought it was super cool and was very impressed (laughs).

In regards to the color scheme, if you make the entire body too shiny, he’d stick out more than X7, who’s supposed to be the strongest in the story. So I think the intent was probably to put in other colors besides just gold and make it resemble the pre-combined form more, and, especially in the case of Ballistamon, so that he could retain a bit of his pre-evolved identity. I didn’t have any particular conversations with them about it.

Q. Were AtlaBallistamon and RaptorSaparrowmon references to AtlaKabuterimon and Raptordramon?

A. Yes, for AtlaBallistamon. RaptorSparrowmon was originally supposed to be just “Raptormon” from the simple progression of “sparrow” → “raptor”, but I went with RaptorSparrowmon because it wouldn’t be as easy to see the evolutionary progression. There was no particular intended relation to Raptordramon.

Q. When I was reading the Xros Wars manga, one of the things that left the strongest impression on me was seeing Ballistamon evolved. So my question is, if you had anything you paid particular attention to when creating the designs or concepts behind the fascinating Digimon evolved forms of AtlaBallistamon, JägerDorulumon, RaptorSparrowmon, and ShootingStarmon, please tell us about it.

A. The most vital part I focused on was making sure that there was a sense of three-dimensional consistency when they DigiXrossed to EX6.
EX6 ended up being a combo of so many different parts and it didn’t come off as a very streamlined design, so I had some regrets about it in the end.
Beyond that, I also designed them so that the body parts they made facial expressions with would be the same as their pre-evolved forms.
With anime, since they’d have the same voice actors, they would be able to maintain their identity even if their personality completely changed, but it was difficult to do that within the limited range of a manga.

Q. Hello, Nakashima-sensei.
One of my favorite scenes in the Xros Wars manga was the scene where Dorulumon, Ballistamon, and Sparrowmon evolve.
I was very happy to see the manga give those Digimon their own original evolutionary forms, and I was also happy to see EX6, a combination of all of them and a so-called “form unique to this manga”, to the point you could say they are basically this manga’s trademark Digimon. There were other original Digimon, such as Weddinmon and Shortmon, that appeared in accordance with the story, but if you were told that you could design your own Digimon right now, with no restrictions?

A. If I were to able to completely make up my own Digimon, since I had a lot of fun thinking about the visuals during EX6’s fusion, I’d like to think of some kind of character that would involve multiple other charcaters fusing together. Like, for instance, making Pitchmon, Rollmon, and Yawmon11 combine into a fighter aircraft-type Digimon!

Regarding the other armies

Q. You said that there were stories you wanted to show but didn’t have the chance to, such as how the Three Generals came to serve under Bagramon in his army, and so, could you tell us as much as you could about that? It can just be a quick summary.

A. Bagramon went up to Lucemon in the hopes of getting Tactimon someone to work with, but Lucemon didn’t want to work under someone and wanted to see what would happen as a result of what Bagramon was trying to do, so he turned down the offer, but Lilithmon was watching what was going on and took an interest in Bagramon and offered her assistance, but, on the contrary, ended up falling in love with Bagramon instead…I was thinking about that kind of story.

Q. What will SkullKnightmon do, now that he’s become a Holy Knight?

A. He’ll be the standoffish12 type! He’ll say all sorts of rude things but end up helping out the protagonists anyway (laughs).

Q. I’d like to see DarkKnightmon Paladin Mode.

A. Is it not enough to see him as a music teacher?!13

Q. I have a question for Yuuki Nakashima-sensei.
Throughout the Xros Wars manga series, there ended up being eight panels with Ranamon in them, so which Ranamon do you think is the cutest? It’s not a huge deal, but I personally can’t choose, so I’d like to know what you think was your best shot of her. Thank you very much.

A. Ranamon’s cute, isn’t she? In terms of frame composition, I really liked the way she was looking all proud of herself while standing next to Kiriha in her first appearance, but I also like the part in the second half where she suddenly flips around and goes “There’s none for you.” to Zenjirou in such a blunt manner (laughs).

Q. I have a question for Nakashima-sensei, who is a leading expert in the human anthropomorphization of Digital Monsters. Were there any parts you paid specific attention to when you were making their human versions?
Also, please tell us what you think Ranamon would look like in human form.

A. I reused the design elements of their body parts so that you could easily understand who was whom, and made sure that their facial expressions wouldn’t look too different.
A human version of Ranamon is inspiring to think about! I think I’d like to give her a bit of a punkish style, like Gothic lolita, or just a more provocative outfit in general.

Q. There were quite a few new Digimon in the manga, but among those, my personal favorite is the aircraft carrier Whamon. Please tell us any stories you have about how this Digimon was designed and developed, or why you chose a Whamon instead of a more mechanical Digimon.

A. It’s a very large Digimon, so it seemed easy to treat it like a mothership. As for the design…I didn’t want to make it too complicated (laughs).

Q. Please make Hannahmon14 an official Digimon.

A. Goodness! Get on that, Bandai!

Q. The web link for Chapter 0, which was a bonus chapter for the 4th volume of the Xros Wars manga, is now dead, and the chapter can’t be read right now. Can this be brought back?

A. Goodness! Get on that, Shueisha!

Q. Please give us proper full designs for Rockmon, Papermon, and Scissorsmon.15

A. I didn’t really think about it that deeply, but

  • A wind or thunder god (Scissorsmon)
  • A winged demon with the lower body of a snake (Papermon)
  • A beast-man (Rockmon)

Basically, like that (laughs).

Q. Were you the one who came up with HustleNanimon?

A. I was lol

Q. After the Xros Wars manga ended serialization, Gankuumon and JESmon were revealed, completing the set of 13 Royal Knights. If Gankuumon and JESmon had existed at the time of the Xros Wars being serialized, is it possible that Gankuumon and JESmon would have appeared as part of the Royal Knights?

Q. If there were enough space on the paper, I would have loved to put Gankuumon and JESmon there!
Examon had just been revealed at the time of Xros Wars‘s serialization, but they were so big that I couldn’t deal with fitting them on the paper (laughs).

Q. You mentioned in the Xros Wars manga volumes that you wanted to have Beelzebumon and Mervamon in there, so I would like to ask what kind of role they would have played if you had done so.

A. Beelzebumon would have a connection to Lilithmon, and in regards to Mervamon, Nene doesn’t join the protagonists halfway in the way she does in the anime, so maybe Mervamon would bond with Kotone or Akari instead? They’d probably end up as very different characters from their anime versions.

Q. Hello, Nakashima-sensei.
I love how your version of Xros Wars is true to the “Xros” in the title by bringing together elements of all sorts of Digimon works.
I was surprised to hear that you didn’t actually know anything about Digimon at all when you first started working on this series.
Another appealing aspect is how it starts off with MetalGreymon in the beginning, and moves onto Shoutmon DX and X7 and such, with your amazing skills that give you goosebumps to look at! I love the sheer degree of writing content in there, and all of the attention to detail!

I imagine it must take a lot of time to learn about all of these things.
And I imagine it takes a lot of time to draw.
I’ve heard you’re still an avid player of the Dragon Quest MMO.

The introduction got a bit too long, so I have a question.
During serialization, what kind of daily lifestyle did you have? Over a day, or over a month?

A. I had fun from start to finish thinking about how the Digimon would act and converse in ways that would bring out their individual characteristics.
I had a hard time drawing large and complicated Digimon, like X4. During the inking stage for the ending, my assistant worked very hard and drew in some very cool lines.
When I was invited to watch the anime screenings, I’d joke around with the other manga staff like “they’re not gonna do an X7, are they?” “I hope not…” (laughs)
As for how I spent my time during serialization, I’m a total night person when it comes to doing work for my job, so right now my daily routine is eating a light meal in place of my lunch while playing Dragon Quest, but when I was working on Xros Wars, I didn’t have a particular routine. That said, I was a much younger person than I am now, so I didn’t sleep very much back then…
I would work on the storyboard from the middle of the month, and there were times when I’d start having a hard time drawing at around the 20th and take 2 weeks to finish.

Regarding the human characters

Q. Did you intend to give Taiki a bit of a playful side by having him eat pizza bread with his gloves on?

A. I went ahead and drew it that way in the sense of it being his “costume” for the manga, but, well, in actuality, it’s probably more hygenic to take them off.

Q. Is Tatsuya’s name intended to be a reference to Digimon protagonists having names that start with “ta-“?16

A. That’s correct! I gave him a name that started with “ta-” because I wanted to add the nuance of him being a boy who had the potential to become a protagonist.

Q. This isn’t a question, but I would like to thank you for showing us a different story for Taiki-san and his friends. It was a very good manga.

A. It was an honor to be a part of the series’s long history! It was a lot of fun to make the story!

Q. I was wondering if Kiriha Aonuma and Nene Amano will eventually be married in the continuity of Digimon Xros Wars or it’s just a love interest as depicted in the manga. Thank you a lot.8

A. I’ll leave it to you to imagine what happened with the manga version of Kiriha and Nene after the ending. They seem like the type to want different things from their marriage, so perhaps it wouldn’t work out, or perhaps Kiriha’s dedication to going all-out would extend to his love for his wife, and they’d be able to break into new territory together? I bet it’s a development that’d make you sweat.

Other

Q. The comic gift event involved you drawing the Digimon that the winners requested onto an autographed signboard, so which Digimon did people request the most? Also, did you end up drawing any less prominent Digimon for any of the winners?

A. I don’t remember what exactly happened at the time, but the requested Digimon varied depending on the applicant, and I don’t think there was any particular Digimon that had the lion’s share of popularity. As for less prominent Digimon…There was someone who asked for Hannahmon17

Q. Do you still eat two quail eggs with your food every time you finish a manuscript?18

A. Lately, I’ve been eating it with wasabi rice seasoning19.

Q. Did you have a difficult time getting permission to use anime lyrics in the story? Thank you for using them.

A. I had to ask for permission, but they naturally gave it to me quite easily.

Q. I got the impression that you used “Butter-Fly” in the final chapter instead of “Never Give Up!” because it’s an iconic song for the whole Digimon series, but is that the actual reason why?

A. The fact it was an iconic song for the Digimon series was part of it, but it’s also for the very simple reason that I’d always thought that the lyrics “after an endless dream” → “after a great adventure in the Digital World” would be suitable for the ending.

Q. What are your favorite songs from the whole Digimon series (including Appmon)? If you can, please list three of them.

A. It’s predictable, but “Butter-Fly”, “brave heart”, and “Never Give Up!”


Translator's notes
  1. “Gift campaign” = Referring to a campaign that accompanied the volume compilation versions of the Xros Wars manga, inviting people to send in requests for Digimon that they wanted Nakashima to draw. Winners would receive an autographed signboard with a picture of the Digimon they’d requested. []
  2. “NabeKen-san” = Referring to Kenji Watanabe, one of the founders of the Digimon franchise, and a recurring Digimon creature character designer. []
  3. Kirihoshi (切法師) = Nakashima’s first serialized manga. []
  4. Digimon Series Memorial Book: Digimon Animation Chronicle = A book from 2010 containing reference material for the Digimon anime TV series spanning from Adventure through Savers. On top of character lineart, it also contains descriptive text with story synopses, character profiles, and important reference info, making it indeed a very valuable resource for understanding the many Digimon anime series at a glance. []
  5. The Xros Wars Digimon were officially not given evolutionary levels or attributes at the time of its airing, making Digimon that had first appeared in Xros Wars difficult to integrate into existing evolutionary lines in further franchise entries. Eventually, on October 2, 2020 (more than a year after this interview was held), the Digimon Encyclopedia was updated to give all Digimon that first appeared in Xros Wars their own formal evolutionary levels and attributes. []
  6. Nakashima suggests “doujin activities”, referring to selling at events such as Comic Market or COMITIA, where artists sell their independently-produced creative works (doujinshi), which can be original or fanwork. []
  7. “MachLeomon” (マッハレオモン) and “MadLeomon” (マッドレオモン) differ by only one character when written in katakana. []
  8. This question was originally submitted in English, so I have left it as-is. [] [] []
  9. DarkKnightmon (ダークナイトモン)’s name has a typo as ダームナイトモン in the original transcript. []
  10. “The online chapter” = Refers to how the “Bonus Track” chapter for the Xros Wars manga was originally published online. []
  11. Nakashima is referring to the aircraft principal axes (pitch, roll, and yaw), i.e. the three dimensions an aircraft can turn in. The three of them are not actual Digimon, or at least were not at the time of this interview; “Pitchmon” (ピッチモン) should not be confused with the existing “Pichimon” (ピチモン). []
  12. “Standoffish” as in tsundere, an archetype referring to someone who pretends to be cold but actually has a softer side. []
  13. “Music teacher” = Referring to a joke from the first special chapter at the end of Volume 3. []
  14. “Hannahmon” = Refers to Hannah Weber, a character from Element Hunters, an animated series that Nakashima also made a manga adaptation for. As with the Xros Wars manga, Nakashima’s version of Element Hunters had a number of differences from the animated series, one being that Hannah was not the major character she was in the TV series but rather a background character. The Element Hunters manga volume bonus strips involved Hannah complaining to Nakashima about it, and when Nakashima moved to Xros Wars, Hannah continued to act as his “assistant” for the volume versions as “Hannahmon”. []
  15. “Rockmon, Papermon, and Scissorsmon” = More literally “Guumon”, “Chokimon”, and “Paamon”; not actual Digimon at the time of the interview’s holding, but referring to a joke from the manga’s chapter 14 when Kiriha makes up fictional Digimon in a gambit to fool Tactimon. []
  16. In Japanese, while it has not been strictly adhered to in all cases, it has been generally observed that the majority of Digimon lead protagonists have their names start with “ta-” (or “da-“, which is considered a variant of “ta-“). []
  17. The gift campaign in question involved a joke where Hannahmon insisted that people should request drawings of her, so the real-life punchline is that someone actually did it. []
  18. “Two quail eggs” = Referring to a bonus strip from Volume 1, in which Nakashima celebrates finishing his manuscript by treating himself to two quail eggs cracked into a nattou (fermented soybean) and rice bowl. []
  19. Wasabi” = Japanese horseradish, often eaten in small quantities with other dishes or used as a flavor. “Rice seasoning” (furikake) refers to a common kind of Japanese seasoning that usually contains chopped seaweed laver (nori), sesame seed, salt and sugar, and some kind of dried fish. It is generally added to rice dishes to add extra flavor. []

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