A translation of a blog post by Adventure and Adventure 02‘s director Hiroyuki Kakudou, discussing the Mimi and Lilimon MegaHouse PVC figure and the development behind character Mimi Tachikawa, posted April 27, 2018.
Director Kakudou often writes blog posts introducing various Digimon toys and figures, along with some trivia about Digimon production. Upon introducing the relevant Mimi and Lilimon figure, he then wrote about Mimi in a Twitter thread in response to a commenter, after which he decided to move the content back into the blog post due to its significance.
The two of them are very cute, but because the pose has them facing each other, it’s hard to get a picture of them at an angle that has both of their faces visible.
Incidentally, for this series of figures, I think this is the only one to list not only the given name of the human character but also the surname, and it even has the Japanese name ordering for it, “Tachikawa Mimi”. I generally feel that Japanese names should be left like this instead of doing odd changes to it to match English name order.1
I retroactively added a series of tweets on what I remembered about Mimi here.
At first glance Mimi seems to have the sort of spoiled personality that you often see in a lot of anime, but she wasn’t meant to be an anime trope as much as she was meant to be a common and ordinary girl, other than the fact that she’s been a bit spoiled by her parents, who are freelancers and not salaried workers.
When an ordinary child is placed in a bizarre situation in the Digital World, wouldn’t she end up getting confused and taking it badly? We wanted her to particularly be the one to resonate with the children watching the series on TV, and that’s why she was the last one to give her farewell in the final episode.
In 02 I wanted to reflect her strength and core of heart that such an ordinary child would gain after overcoming extraordinary hardships, but, looking back on it, even after her adventure in the Digital World, I feel like her strength would have to be even brighter after witnessing 9/11.
Of course, even if she hadn’t gone through such a huge incident, she must have been able to find other children in the area who had Digimon partners and immediately be able to befriend them. Mimi has to be that sort of girl.
The drama CD2 doesn’t mention 9/11 by name, but it was immediately understood as such by everyone at the time, and Ai Maeda-san also performed with those thoughts in mind.
The story in the drama CD has some background trivia behind it as well. It’s based off an American comic, a rescue operation story set in New York where the Marvel superheroes had to do rescue work in New York as it was being destroyed. Before the Marvel blockbuster movies of today were made, comics were much more popular and closer to children.
What do you do when you have fantastical powers in a real disaster? I think the feeling that you have to do what has to be done, with the abilities you have, would have to be stronger than ever. That kind of incident was especially like a question pointed at people like us, who normally have to deal with portraying fantastical things in anime.
And the feelings I wanted to express very badly but couldn’t make anything out of, I at least got to express in the drama CD with Mimi.
After that, I’ve been thinking over the last seven years, what did Mimi think and do during the earthquake in 20113, after experiencing both the Digital World and 9/11? I still can’t give a clear answer for that, but she would most certainly do something rather than hesitate, for sure.
- My deepest apologies to Director Kakudou for going ahead and using Western given-surname order for this blog, including on this very post, due to the consistency my style guide requires.
- The drama CD being referred to is Digimon Adventure Original Story: Two-and-a-Half Year Break (translation by onkei here), released in April 2003.
- “The earthquake in 2011” refers to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.