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[WtW] Translation of Yamaguchi Ryota's Notes on Digimon Savers!
Original Text: Yamaguchi Ryota
Translation Check and Proofreading: Grímúlfr
Special Thanks: Suzu and Grímúlfr
[TL Notes in Brackets]
After approximately three years passing from the previous production, the fifth Digimon series was produced. When talk of it was first gotten out, a rough draft was already done.
1. Increase hero's age to more than a middle school student.
2. Hero belongs to an organization that takes care of Digimon crime.
3. The hero's father, who is involved with what would become the center of the problem, is currently missing.
4. Hero's Partner Digimon must be Agumon.
One, the goal is to take in a wide age group.
The plan was to also appeal to late teens, without ending as a hobby anime.
Two, to give an active trait to the hero that differentiates him from the previous series.
Three, to emphasize the significance that the hero IS the hero.
Predominance and distinction are given to the hero, by him using the Digivice his father created.
A great number of works make use of this technique: from Gigantor, to Eva.
Four, it seems to be a request from the sponsor, Bandai; the goal is to grab older Digimon fans through the reappearance of a Digimon from the old series.
In the stage of the original proposal, the hero's main value was to look for his father till the very end, however some questions arose from this. If we say he's a middle school student, that's the time when his ego will be reaching its largest. Isn't it also the time where one would be hostile (the so-called second rebellious stage?) to his father (who is of the same sex)? To respect his father unconditionally, and for the hero to chase after him, really how much sympathy can be given from children the same age...?
So we accordingly spiced up the hero with the extreme setup and anachronism of being a Fighting Banchou, and because of his "anyone that enters MY turf, even Digimon, will not be forgiven!" attitude, we decided that he becomes greatly enraged at Digimon (*1).
As a result, the hero and his partner Digimon would communicate through their fists, and because this development that sprouted a friendship was born, at the same time, I felt that the dilemma that was held in this production could then be overcome (*2).
Daimon Masaru - ?? ?
At the planning stage, the main characters were set to three people; "the hero, the rival, and the girl," as well as, "the hero should be the driving force of the story," were requested by Fuji-TV Producer Mr. Kaneda. The image of the hero was, simple, hotblooded, overflowing with a manly spirit, and yet friendly; it was done on a certain necessary meaning.
At the proposal stage, his name was Daimon Kouhei. However, it is my belief that the name of a hero, in a Shounen Manga, should represent him. Wherever he goes, he causes problems, a great problem [??? is daimondai (great problem), ?? ? can be read as daimon dai] the hero, with the meaning of the saying included, became Daimon Masaru. (*3)
Now, having made it to the point of the scenario, "Masaru must talk tough." Masaru is a foolish quarrelsome delinquent, however he hates things that are bent. Making Masaru explode with Banchou-like talk, when confronting selfish adults (or a desperate situation), satisfies the viewer, and it becomes easier to give him empathy. If it winds up continuing, then it is a plan that will most likely become the color of the work. Thus, "please put one of Masaru's man speeches here," was instructed to the various writers who took charge of each story at the series beginning.
In very early stages, he was terrible with machines, and the weakness of acrophobia [fear of heights] was established, however the latter ended up being forgotten before anyone noticed (lol).
Touma H. Norstein - ???·?·???????
Hero's rival. He has a keen mind and is athletic. Moreover, he's a rich man (the point). Although at the planning stage he was Japanese, however, if it's a cool role without blond hair and blue eyes, then I have a strange prejudice (lol) so he became an aristocrat from Austria. At first it was ??????? [NORUSHUTEIN], however it too closely resembles Animator Yuri Norstein [???????], so it was changed to ??????? [NORUSHUTAIN].
When writing "Crush Gear Nitro," the rival character Akusawa Yuu (also voiced by Nojima Hirofumi), was decided to appear, however because of drama, it almost had a spinning end, this time with the meaning of revenge, I intend to challenge this. He lost his mother at a tender age, and is in dispute with his father, while it's cliched, he's set in a dark human drama, it's my reckoning that it will give a character thickness. In order to help expand the episode, the script was taken charge by both Yokote and Yamatoya, and thus I believe he grew into a compassionate character.
Fujieda Yoshino - ?? ??
She is a senior to Masaru and the others, as well as an elder sister. At first, she's like Kiku-hime from Medarot; "she only fights when she can win," and "she is bound up in long twine," [Idiom: to surrender to the stronger one] would be assumed as her character, however being put between two people who are far from ordinary, Masaru and Touma, she often ends up playing the role of the Tsukkomi. To an extent, she is a character that could be at glance the closest to the viewer. (*4)
In a change of setting, the part was interested by Aragaki Yui, and she took charge of the voice, which was quite big. I saw her in the post-recording meeting for episode 1, and it was completely different from seeing her in a drama or commercial, because she was a life-size naive girl (Episode 17 ((Singing Voice Which Calls Upon a Miracle. Evolution, Lilamon)) wouldn't be the same episode, if I didn't watch her behind-the-scenes).
Her favorite saying is, "this is the worst..." from Yaguchi Mari of the original Morning Musume [Female J-pop Group], I heard her repeat it several times on TV, and it was a line that I aimed to use one day. Because I thought it was funny that talking about yourself as if you were talking about someone else, is just like what young people of today often do. I think it suits the hard-boiled attitude of Yoshino.
Satsuma Rentaro & Yushima Hiroshi - ?? ?????? ??? (*5)
During the proposal stage, "a perverted section chief who was useless as a lantern at noon day," and "a hard-faced chief," were their assigned roles, although it's not, "Tsuri Baka Nisshi [Diary of a Fishing Fool]," in fact, I thought that it would be much more interesting to involve Masaru and the others with a chief class adult, so I tried a different approach. In addition, it was already decided from this stage that their partners would be Kudamon and Kamemon, however handling this would take hard work. If adults can fight, then there would be no need for children to take care of Digimon crime. So Kudamon and Kamemon were established as, "guardians who were sent by the God, Yggdrasil," which bound them from interfering in a Digimon case.
By the way, the visual image for Yushima was Masahiko Tsugawa, and Watari Tetsuya (Western Police) for Satsuma.
Shirokawa Megumi & Kurosaki Miki - ?? ???? ??
DATS Operators. Because it was decided to make Pawn Chessmon their partners, they are white and black. I wondered if it would be compared with PreCure, however after looking at it, it's not a problem since they're ink and snow [referring to Cure Black and Cure White of PreCure]. While Kurosaki is of an elder sister character, and Shirokawa of an airhead, it was rumoured that, "Shirokawa is a former female gang-leader," during rehearsals.
At the proposal stage it was, "visual image of Satou Tamao and Koike Eiko." (*6)
Daimon Sayuri - ?? ??? (*7)
A natural mother with a carefree personality. Due to her eccentricity, she and the mother Chidori of Medarot inevitably overlap, though she is still optimistic, even with the probability of Suguru living. Although Kouda's cotton candy-like voice is explosive as ever, it has a slight bitterness, could it be possibly from a seeping shadow hidden in the sweetness?
Daimon Chika - ?? ??
By the way, far from the proposal stage, Chika was not the younger sister of Masaru until the first draft of the first episode was finished; she was supposed to be a elementary school student living next-door to Masaru (Evident in that she is the only one without a name that's line symmetrical). Chika suspects that there are some serious secrets in the Daimon family, and several times she pokes her head in. Although it was assumed to be a common suspense comedy with Masaru being always afraid of her help, since it didn't seem to be able to use, it was thrown away. As a result, one side of Masaru's love for his family was emphasized, in addition, an episode of Chika and Piyomon was also produced. I think it was good judgement in itself.
Daimon Suguru - ?? ?
In the planning stages, after going missing, he was supposed to stand in the way of the hero as an incarnation of evil. A development which often occurs in shounen manga, especially hobby anime.
"A boy shows the growth of a hero, by overcoming his father," is a common reason that is universally understood, however does he only become an enemy, because he is called a father?
Because I wanted to avoid the development, where the masked villain suddenly states, "I am your father!" like in "Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back," a full-scale appearance was pulled back as much as possible to the end of the series, with that much, it was decided to delve into how Suguru was such a terrible person. A father is an existence that can't be easily overcome.
Agumon - ????
From the time of planning, it was decided that Agumon would reappear. However, how do you differentiate him from the Agumon in Digimon Adventure?
One is size. The difference between the previous work was emphasized by eliminating any comparison to the character. In addition, I think the the uneasy sense of Digimon assimilating into daily life can be emphasized through large ones (The worst-case-scenario, being larger than Taichi).
Another is "voice." Although, I respect the image of the original Sakamoto Chika, Mr. Matsuno Taiki will play the voice which has both the aspect of "man," and the developing friendship from communicating with Masaru and his fist.
Furthermore, for the design, it was emphasized that he was different from the previous Agumon, by putting leather belts on both arms. (*8)
Gaomon - ????
The faithful dog who cares about Touma more than anyone else. His calm personality also comes from Touma. It is disappointing that an episode with character development has yet to be made, however suppose if it had an atmosphere like the first season, possibly a story could have come out from it (it hasn't!); he runs away from his home being ashamed of his cowardliness and then leads the stray dogs and attacks people with a rival dog Digimon.
He's voiced by Mr. Nakai Kazuya, who is famous as Roronoa Zoro. Although he is a person who usually does serious drama, he seemed to be bursting with a cute character at the time.
Lalamon - ????
Yoshino's Partner. With the features like a Haniwa, you're visually not able to know what it's thinking, however she is in fact more reliable than Yoshino, and is like a big-sister to her and is more steadfast, this was intentionally established in hopes of making an intresting gap. Pushing on further, wickedly, she brandishes sausage nun-chucks, and becomes an unstopable force (lol). Although there was much admiration for Mrs. Yukana's special craft, whose characters are skillfully played with Lilamon's maiden voice, and Rosemon's glossy female voice, only during Sunflowmon was laughter inevitably brought to the recording booth.
Ikuto - ???
A wild boy brought up in the Digital World. Established as a, "Tarzan," the main theme, "the clash between the cultures of Digimon and Humans," which the character embodies, was made to appear, stating that it was probably the only choice. When written in Kanji, it's ?? [Meaning: Cultural Person?], but when sounded out, it has a nuance where one can't tell if he is Japanese or a person from another world. Because he is a wild boy, he speaks only a few words. (*9)
In order to avoid making his theme of revenge against humans conspicuous, I dared to lower his age from Masaru and the others. Of course, it also holds a familiarity with elementary school boys, the original viewers.
Falcomon - ??????
Partner Digimon of Ikuto. CV is Mrs.Koujiro Chie who is famous for Obocchama-kun. She herself said, "although I was fine at the time of Falcomon, how do I apply my voice when evolved...? I was in a fumbling situation, to the point where I found out the position of Nakashima Mika's eyebrows. (lol)" which is true. The serious development of the second-half of the series, softened and helped with the vocal quality of Falcomon quite greatly.
Kurata - ??
The mad scientist who has the three sacred treasures which are, glasses, a white robe, and long hair. A man of misfortune who failed to succeed in life, since the great wall of Daimon Suguru stood in the way. He has Digimon allergies, and when a Digimon is near, he cannot stop sneezing.
If it wasn't for Kurata, wouldn't Digimon and Humans coexist in harmony? It's a big mistake, although I think there are many ways to think about it. Many times in the drama, "Humans are not bad. The bad one is only Kurata," is stated, because of Kurata, we are now facing the reality that we are only metaphors of the darkness.
What is darkness? I want everyone to think of the answer, by all means.
*1 The counter plot I submitted to beat the first presented proposal, was about Banchou(s) all over Japan, who have Partner Digimon, and the hero accomplishing nationwide conquest through fights with Digimon (of course, this was rejected immediately). If circumstances permitted, Yoshino, the Kansai, nun-chuck wielding, female gang leader, and Touma, the American lonewolf who crushed New York's Mafia all by himself, would have possibly appeared.
*2 The constant dilemma of being a "hero uses monsters to fight" kind of work, with Pokemon being a prime example. "When it comes to fighting, the hero is sent outside the mosquito net. [Idiom: outside the mosquito net = to be left out]" No matter how many hot words of "bonds of the heart," or "we are one in heart and body," and the like are spoken, if the hero can only cheer on his Partner when in a pinch, then I think a full portrait of "bonds" and "friendship" can't be drawn.
So the shackles of, "unless he hits the Digimon, his DigiSoul doesn't come out," were set to size. In timid scenes, "during the second half of the series, the enemies become much bigger, and inconvenience can occur in many ways, so let's stop it," and other similar subjects were brought up, however they ended up dying out, nevertheless Savers carried it through. Although, the person writing this truly didn't even expect Digimon leaving the fang of an Ultimate form to break either (lol), this is also the real thrill of a TV Series with the long span of a year, and it's quite an interesting place.
*3 Although I knew all the names of the previous heros in the Digimon Series began with either "Ta" or "Da," it was already different in the proposal stage. Because it was enthusiastically agreed to break away from the series, I decided to build on the momentum. So it's written as ?, while read as Masaru, which originated from Nagai Masaru, ??? (Time Ranger). By the way, it's symmetrical when written vertical. Although, I'm not too familiar with divination through one's name, he appears to be riding a good omen.
*4 It was officially established that "catchphrase is a palanquin set with jewels [Idiom: women who marry off into fortune]," or something like that, it's only a memory of that time.
*5 Although I think some materials surfaced with, Professor Yushima, partly this was a fake we devised. "That old man, is surely the authority of Digimon research," threw many off guard; these tricks were so that the story wouldn't be predicted ahead.
*6 ...Whose preference? (lol)
*7 Director Itou hired Kouda Mariko. Although Mrs. Akiko of Kanon was also quite young, it was considerably sinful to have Ms. Kouda to play the role of the mother, when she played the role of her daughter Nayuki.
*8 In the initial design, it wasn't only the arms, he had worn a collar as well.
*9 It's funny that Falcomon and the others speak Japanese more fluently.
Other TL Notes:
1. I translated ??? as (lol). ? means laugh, or smile, and in my opinion the best English equivalent [with the way it's used] would be lol.
2. What Mr. Yamaguchi meant by "they're ink and snow", he's referring to the surnames of Cure Black and Cure White, Misumi and Yukishiro. Misumi means Beautiful Ink, while Yukishiro means Snow Castle (according to the kanji). Although either way, Miki and Megumi did end up being compared to Precure =p.