Interview with Director Keitarou Motonaga (Digimon Adventure tri.) from Animedia September 2015

–The series that fans have been long anticipating is beginning. Please tell us about the larger themes of this series that you’re directiong.
The first, most important theme is the process of the “Chosen Children” becoming adults with the protagonist, Taichi. As high school is the most emotionally turbulent stage for them, the question will be what they’ll be thinking as they stand at this crossroads of their lives. Then, as various incidents occur, what will they come to learn, and what effects will this have on their future prospects? It’ll be like the stairway to their adulthood, so in its core it’ll be like a youth drama, and if I can I would like to depict this sort of image.

–Were you feeling any pressure in regards to continuing a hugely popular series?
When I first started on the work, it was a much more serious project than I first thought (laughs). But the generation that makes up this setting is very different from those of works I’ve made before, as is the staff, I decided in my heart that “I’m going to make a new Digimon Adventure with this team!”, and it took on a good meaning in that I felt a lot more serious about it. I think it would be an ideal situation for what makes up our team to naturally manifest into what makes up this series.

–So is there anything in particular that you paid close attention to that you would like to discuss?
In preparing this series in my own special way, first I wanted to make it a series with a pace like that of the original Adventure, in order to get a better grasp on the renewed characters, but…you wouldn’t expect a second-year in high school to be like he was as a sixth-grader in middle school, even in the same series. Because of that, in this new series, we’ve changed how they think a little, so that they can grow in a realistic manner. In other words, it should be like how real high school students think. For instance, Taichi and Yamato are close friends from school, but because the subjects they’re interested in are different, their classes are different, they’d start becoming distant and it’d be harder to talk to each other. But as soon as they meet and talk to each other again, the atmosphere from their past would come back…I wanted to emphasize that part of it. In addition, I wanted to portray the adults around them properly, and I paid close attention to their battles with their Digimon partners. I wanted to show the appeal from the strength they get from the fact they’re not robots, they live as partners, in the battle scenes presented on the big screen.

–This time, the “Chosen Children” have completely changed. The number of new cast members has significantly increased, so how did the post-recording go?
Many members of the cast were of the generation that watched Digimon in the past. So in the beginning, as soon as they heard the raw voices of the Digimon that they’d heard as children, they yelled “it’s real!” at their senior voice actors and were deeply moved. It became a truly precious start-off. As for their performances, they had very solid images of the original Adventure under them, and having grown to adulthood since then, it was like the natural change of voice on the way to high school…so the performances matched up with the realistic progression of growth, and it became a charm point for the new series.

–As the first part will begin theatrical airing in November, there will be six parts in all. Please tell us about your feelings on it.
“It’s going to be pretty hard” was the honest impression I got (laughs), but I think there was a good reason behind doing this, because we do want to create this properly. It’s organized to be in six parts, but personally I was making it with the feeling that “I want to present the amount of content of twelve”, so releasing them one by one will keep the contents very solid. We can concentrate the high density of the work into a good finish, and in any rate we’re doing all kinds of unreasonable stuff like trying to make the best product we can (laughs). I would appreciate it if you would all have those passionate feelings when you watch it. Right now, the Adventure our team is making is not just an “adventure in the Digital World”, but also an “adventure within our own growth”. It’s an adventure story about searching for “something” within their own lives. In part 1, there are things that are foreshadowed and continued in parts 2 and 3, and as it ends in six, things will be clarified about the various meanings of the word “tri.”, but until then please look forward to the first part, “Reunion”, opening in November!

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