[interview] memories of our digimon adventure 02 pt. 3

SPECIAL INTERVIEW! with Ro Mi Park
A special interview that came with the “Digimon Adventure 02” DVD Box released on December 22, 2006.

Purchase of the DVD Box (Region 2 only) available at: Amazon.JP, CDJapan

PROFILE
Ro Mi Park :: Ken Ichijouji, Osamu Ichijouji
“NANA” (as Nana Osaki), “Hagane no Renkinjutsushi” (as Edward), etc.
Has abundant experience as a stage actor, and has become one of the best and most popular voice actors of today ever since her debut as Kanan in “BRAIN POWERED.” Other anime works she has performed in besides the ones listed above include “Turn A Gundam” (as Loran), “AIR MASTER” (as Maki Aikawa), etc.

[ She speaks about her marvelous performance on both the Digimon Kaiser and Ken Ichijouji, two characters who are of the same body but of completely different minds. ]

What was your impression of the Kaiser and Ken?

The first thing I thought about the Kaiser was that he was a rather cool guy. (laughs) Saying “Insects!”[1] with a sneer and waving a whip around isn’t something you get to experience often in life, you know? I enjoyed acting his part. In any case, he was the big, bad bully, so when I learned about how Ken-chan was really like, I was honestly shocked. I’d already heard that his personality would turn 180 degrees in the middle of the series, but I had no idea how it would change[2] so I became quite worried. (laughs) I thought it was going to be very difficult. (laughs)

What did you think of Wormmon? The Kaiser would often beat him up.

He is so adorably sweet and lovely! I love him so much that I’d take him with me everywhere – to work and other places – if he really existed. I totally love everything about him, like his looks and his very existence! But I can kind of understand how the Kaiser feels. (laughs) Like, quit crying all the time. (laughs) I think Wormmon is like the dugong.[3] They say that the dugong have a lot of scars on their backs because they approach too close to a boat’s outboard motors, you know.

Is there an episode in particular that is memorable to you?


▲Tears came to Park-san’s eyes even as she was speaking. She told us many of her fondest memories.

The one featuring Ken-chan, Ken-chan as a child[4], his older brother[5], and the Kaiser – when I did all four roles simultaneously[6] and when Wormmon came back to life. I am very attached to that episode. I have memories of acting in that one with a concentration that I had never experienced before. Not only was it my first time acting four roles, but it also wasn’t easy putting my entire soul into saying the lines “Thank you for being born” and “Thank you for having me as your son.” But in exchange, I gained a lot of things. Now that I think about it, it was a very happy and blessed episode.

How did you feel as you approached the last episode?

I didn’t understand that it was over. It was like going to school every week only for it to end — I just didn’t get it. I had no understanding that I wouldn’t be able to see Ken-chan again. (laughs)

Now that you look back six years later, what sort of year was it like to you back then?

It felt like a research period[7], which is what we call it on the stage. We had big-name veterans[8], but since we were also working with people who were about the same age as each other, I was able to consult or verbally spar with them over many things.

Please give a message to the fans back then, as well as those who have bought the DVD Box.

I’m sincerely grateful. “Digimon” is a really straightforward and warm show, so I believe that it will teach adults who watch it to recall the things they have almost lost, while also portraying the troubles that children of whatever generation experience and understand. It’s a show that points out a direction when you are lost, and stirs all kinds of emotions within you. No matter how many times you watch it, I think you’ll never lose interest. Please keep it close at hand so that you can watch it at any time and cheer up by watching it.


FOOTNOTES
N1) “Insects!” — One of the Digimon Kaiser’s famous lines. Seeing all humans besides himself as worthless existences, this is what he calls them. In episode 7, he also typed it into a memo on his computer.
N2) I had no idea how it would change — While not strictly occurring only in this show, there are many times when (even in the main points that have been decided beforehand) the character data given to their voice actors in advance do not include finer details. There are even things they only find out about their character for the first time by reading the script, which, depending on how the situation turns, may undergo further changes.
N3) The dugong — An aquatic mammal of the Sirenia Dugongidae family that is on the verge of extinction. It is said that the tale of the mermaid was modeled after them, but because of overhunting and accidents of them being caught in the screws of boats, their population has markedly decreased.
N4) Ken-chan as a child — The time when Taichi and the others journeyed through the Digital World in “Digimon Adventure” three years before “02” took place. Because he was often compared to his older brother Osamu during this time, the stress makes him wish that his brother would disappear. His Digivice arrives to him at this time as if agreeing with his opinion.
N5) His older brother — Osamu Ichijouji. Ken’s older brother by three years, he is a genius boy who took it upon himself to shoulder the hopes of their parents. He confiscated the Digivice from Ken and put up what appeared to be a cold attitude towards him. After Osamu died in a car accident, Ken began to display genius abilities as if to chase after his late older brother.
N6) Did all four roles simultaneously — Meaning episode 23 (“When the Digivice is Seeped with Darkness”). Park-san not only performed Ken and the Digimon Kaiser, but the younger Ken of three years ago and his brother, Osamu, as well.
N7) Research period — Research means the agency where stage actors go to train before they debut as professionals. It can also indicate an amateur theatrical troupe. They learn about the theatre while also getting practical acting experience during training. A researcher is both a student and a member of the acting cast.
N8) Big-name veterans — Meaning the people who had performed as the children and Digimon in the series before “Digimon Adventure 02”. Some examples are Toshiko Fujita-san (as Taichi), Yuko Mizutani-san (as Sora), and Chika Sakamoto-san (as Agumon). It is said that in the episodes that they appeared in, not only did it increase the number of people in the recording studio, but their presence raised feelings of nervousness as well.

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