A translation of an interview with Digimon Frontier voice actress Junko Takeuchi (voice of Takuya Kanbara) and a short Q&A with producer Hiromi Seki, from the October 2002 issue of Animedia.
Junko Takeuchi (voice of Takuya Kanbara)
From Love Live1. Major roles: Gon (Hunter × Hunter), Gomamon (Digimon Adventure), Metabee (Medabots).
Takuya is Takuya. If he could mature all that easily, I should be a perfect person by now!
Junko Takeuchi-san, who plays the main character, Takuya, spoke with us about Takuya today! She voiced thoughts like “hmm, I guess Takuya’s matured…”, and about how the story took a surprising turn!? (laughs)
–Hello, Takeuchi-san! Today we have Junko Takeuchi-san, who plays the perpetually energetic Takuya Kanbara.
–We’re going to go ahead and jump right into it. Takuya’s fallen into a pretty serious situation, hasn’t he? In episode 21, “The Five Warriors Annihilated!? The Fearsome Powers of Darkness”, he’s totally demolished by Duskmon and thrown into so much despair that he leaves his friends behind and heads to the real world by himself. Then, in episode 22, “To My Own Home! Takuya’s Solitary Return”, he takes a half-beastman form that’s neither human nor Digimon, and wanders around the real world…They really sent him in a complete mental spiral downwards.
Takeuchi: Man~. They really put Takuya through the wringer! When they picked me to play Takuya, I couldn’t have even imagined something like this would happen.
To be honest, when I first received the script for episode 21, I found myself thinking “I kinda don’t want to play Takuya like this…” He was being way too selfish, he wasn’t taking his surroundings into consideration, and this time Takuya was absolutely in the wrong here. Of course Kouji would be mad at him!
But you know, at the post-recording, when I saw the art for it, when I saw Takuya moving on the screen, I couldn’t think that way anymore. He was totally defeated, he betrayed them and ran…He was really at rock bottom. That’s a really harsh thing to go through when you’re at that age. So I decided to play his part with care. I wanted to really show that Takuya had more sides to him than just being bright and happy. I put the thought “when I fall into a slump, I feel like this” into my head, and played Takuya that way.
That said, in episode 22, when he went back to the real world, Takuya was really all by himself that episode. When we were working on episode 21, everyone was griping “wait, Takuya’s going to the real world by himself? Does that mean we don’t get to do anything next week?!” (laughs). We were all surprised there’d be that kind of episode, too.
–I think this incident has made Takuya mature a lot, but did you have to change your performance for him?
Takeuchi: Hmmm. I think this is probably the heaviest situation Takuya’s been put through so far. But I don’t really think Takuya should be going through some huge, sudden change. He probably wouldn’t change that much, would he? Human beings don’t change so easily at the drop of a hat like that. If we could, I should be a perfect person right now!…I’m joking, but (laughs). But at the very least, the feelings I have when I play Takuya haven’t changed. Takuya is Takuya.
–The fans will continue to believe in Takuya and follow him wherever he goes! Incidentally, which character is most popular among the voice actors? Kouji seems to be the most popular among our column readers, but…
Takeuchi: For us at the studio, Bokomon and Neemon are the most popular. Kazuko Sugiyama-san and Masami Kikuchi-san’s performances for them are so cute ♡
Also, the new character, Duskmon, is attracting a lot of attention. He’s so strong! So cool! When he showed up, I thought “whoa~, we’ve got another cool character here…ohoho.” So now thanks to him, Agnimon got demoted to the third coolest Digimon or something. Man, that’s a problem. He’s supposed to be the protagonist~. Wolfmon’s scarf is really attractive too, you know? Give Agnimon a cape~ (laughs).
In general, fans are way too into the shadowy guys! Look, the bright ones are the best ones! I’m especially saying this to the female fans out there, you hear me~? Even the bright guys have a bit of darkness in them, you know (laughs).
Takuya’s going through a really hard time right now, so to all the fans, please send him your postcards!2 And Bokomon and Neemon are really cute, so please support them more!
–Takuya’s been getting evern cooler, so we’re really looking forward to what he does next. Thank you very much, Takeuchi-san!
Hiromi Seki (producer)
We asked Producer Seki some questions!!
What will Producer Hiromi Seki from Toei Animation tell us today!?
Q: What did Takuya figure out about “fighting as a Digimon”?
A: That it’s not just about power or speed, but about seeing, hearing, and feeling…basically, how to make maximum use of his own five senses as a Digimon.
Q: What kind of Digimon is Sephirotmon?
A: His shape, abilities, and fighting style are completely different from any other kind of Digimon they’ve met before. I’ll give you just one little hint: Takuya and his friends are fighting inside Sephirotmon’s body right now.
Q: Will Kouji be put through his own trial? Are we going to learn about Kouji’s secrets this month?
A: Kouji is going to be put through something very big, very soon. But you’ll have to wait.
- This is referring to her talent agency affiliation. Takeuchi’s affiliated agency was known as “Love Live” in 2002, and is (as of this writing) currently known as Ogipro THE NEXT. [↩]
- The original article was accompanied by a campaign to send in postcards with Frontier-themed messages or art. Five winners would receive an autograph board signed by Takeuchi. [↩]