Otomedia, February 2016 (Digimon Adventure tri. interview)

An interview from the February 2016 issue of Otomedia, held with Keitarou Motonaga (director), series composer Yuuko Kakihara (series composition), and Yuniko Ayana (scriptwriting).

–What was your very first impression of this Digimon Adventure work?
I thought, “knowing that we’re making this title as a continuation of the old one, wouldn’t this be a remake?”, but I was surprised to hear that it wouldn’t be the case since it would be about the original children having grown up.
Motonaga: As tri. is connected to 02, the entire theme of this work is depicting what the first generation of Chosen Children would be thinking about as they become adults. Because the question of what kind of adults they’ll become has already been answered, we’re working on the problem of getting to that answer, in a sort of reverse problem-solving.
Kakihara: Indeed, we’re in a position where we’re filling in the gaps towards an answer that already exists.
Motonaga: Part 1, which was screened from November, is a part of this mystery. Part 1 can be considered as setting the balance for the story up until Part 6.

–In depicting the characters who have now grown up, please tell us if there are any particular parts connected to the original Digimon Adventure that are important to you.
We paid a great deal of attention to not make the kids feel off.
Kakihara: For each individual kid, as we compared and bounced off ideas for what they’d be like from elementary school and to now, I got the feeling that we were all discussing this together. We didn’t want to betray the fans’ strong feelings, so we were looking for a way to make them smile by connecting the children’s lives in elementary to middle to high school. We wondered “what kind of story would be appropriate to tell in order to fill in the blanks up to here, and how should we depict the characters?” Because there’s the aspect of always trying to keep them happy, sometimes it feels like we’re doing math or something (laughs).

–In discussing the scenario, what kind of things do you talk about within the directing and screenwriting team?
We talk about things like what we used to do in high school and what kind of things we were thinking. In order to make it “like” the characters, we’d be on fire with things like “Taichi wouldn’t do something like this, would he?” or “Yamato would do this, because he’s surprisingly passionate.” Also, when they play around, how would they mess with each other in a well-meaning way?
Ayana: There’s a scene where they go to enjoy themselves at the bathhouse theme park, so we actually went to go location hunting and carefully observed how kids at their age would play around (laughs). Taichi and Yamato had quite a bit of discussion between the two of them. Would they get in a fight with their words?
Kakihara: While dragging along their awkward feelings from Part 1, even though everyone’s going off to have fun, we thought about how much distance Taichi and Yamato would have between them during that time.
Motonaga: It’s because they haven’t had as much time together since they’re in separate classes.
Ayana: We also decided that Yamato would be the only one in a different class from that discussion. Because there are many fans with a deep love for the characters, we have no intention of being irresponsible about this and disappointing them (haha).

–Please tell us if there’s something that will make adult fans of Digimon and Otomedia readers think “I’m looking forward to that!” when they read it.
Kakihara: I think they’ll be very enthusiastic about enjoying the sort of everyday-life sense in Part 2. And the actions Jou and Mimi will take part in, and the expectations placed on them.
Motonaga: I’d like people to see how these characters, who are now in high school and middle school, have become more like their age. It’s a balance between giving them feelings specific to those of adolescents and retaining their childish aspects. I think that’s what gives it passion as a youth drama. Please pay attention to Taichi, who, in Part 1, was considering the fact that he wouldn’t be able to continue acting as a child forever.

–When depicting the “Chosen Children”, please tell us if there was anything you paid particular attention to.
Basically, “why don’t we have Taichi be the heroine”.
Everyone: (laughs)
Motonaga: That’s to say, it’s not that Taichi is weak, but in regards to our discussion of Taichi, the story happens to be taking this angle with him. Of course, for each of the other children, there’s an important point they’ll have to overcome. It might look silly from the outside perspective, but for each person themselves it’ll be something of utmost importance. Even in regards to the little things, when it really comes down to writing it properly, during his childhood he’d already passed the baton to Daisuke, so he’s sort of in a haze looking for his next objective. Yamato’s absorbed in his band right now, but somehow he’s going to become an astronaut in the future (laughs). As Koushirou begins to try changing his clothes in Part 1, he wants to become someone who can do something by himself. And for the other children, I want to depict what their purpose is in going towards the future.
Kakihara: In childhood, these children had overcome quite a lot of things, so how are they going to overcome more things that come their way, and what will their next stage of growth be?
Ayana: And we’d like to keep the importance of the familial bonds between Takeru and Yamato, and Taichi and Hikari.
Kakihara: In addition to the standard combination of things familiar to Digimon Adventure fans, we’re also challenging ourselves to include unfamiliar combinations as well.

–The Digimon battle scenes were well-received, but if there are any stories from behind the scenes about those, please tell us.
The TV series didn’t get to show body-on-body combat much, so the animation staff worked hard on that. As Alphamon was getting away from Omegamon, caused by a moment of affection springing from Taichi and Yamato’s deviation in feelings, what effect will it have this time under these circumstances? Please pay attention to the Digimon’s evolution scenes as well.

–Please leave a message for the fans looking forward to the second part, “Decision”.
Although it’s a story of youth, there will also be various mysteries, and I think what comes out of it will be very surprising. The story will continue to proceed. Part 2 will also have some sexy scenes of the Digimon, so look forward to that too.

–If you could please tell everyone how each of the “Chosen Children” would spend their Valentine’s Day…
It would be surprisingly interesting if Taichi, the one least likely to care, would be the most restless about it.
Kakihara: But in the end, he probably wouldn’t get any from anyone other than his mother, Hikari, and Sora (laughs).
Motonaga: Yamato would probably be happy eating chocolate that he made for himself.
Ayana: Takeru would be the one who gets to eat the most chocolate. Here’s a wonderful illustration!
Kakihara: They’re in the midst of their youth. Isn’t that enough fun for a Valentine’s Day? (laughs)

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