[interview] memories of our digimon adventure 02 pt. 7

SPECIAL INTERVIEW! with Atsushi Maekawa
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

Atsushi Maekawa :: Series Composition, Script Writer
“BOMBERMAN JETTERS”, “Dr. Rin ni Kiite mite!” (both in series composition), etc.
A scenario writer whose work focuses on anime and tokusatsu. Some of the tokusatsu works he was involved in were “Mahou Sentai MAJIRANGER” and “Sennen Oukoku Sanjuushi VANNY KNIGHTS”. He also worked on the TV special “Lupin III – Tenshi no Sakuryaku ~Yume no Kakera wa Koroshi no Kaori~”.

[ Creating the story alongside co-series composer Yoshimura-san[1], Maekawa-san, one of the parents of this series, so to speak, told us about his experiences. ]

What did you keep in mind while forming the continuation of “Digimon Adventure”?

First what we did was create their enemy, the “Digimon Kaiser.” From the very beginning, we made it clear that he was the enemy boy who used Digimon and had to be defeated. The theme for the first series of Digimon was “Deux Ans de Vacances”[2], where everyone suddenly goes to the Digital World one day and can’t return home. But this time they would be able to move back and forth between both worlds. It was meant to create an atmosphere where it was easy to envision the children being back home in time for supper. About that much is what was changed.

The appearance of the children’s families is a unique trait that continues from the previous series.

Indeed. The details about them were something I couldn’t help but bring up to the front as the show began, even though normally those established backgrounds[3] would have been nothing but that — just a few lines of description written on a page. It wasn’t something I decided on at the beginning, to make all of them be in some specific way. Rather, while I was working on the project, the decision came naturally that I had no choice but to go about it in this way. That sort of creativity that comes flowing to you freely as you’re writing a story… it just goes to show how absorbed I was. Forming the character backgrounds first and then working the story to make it fit into them is boring.

How did you perceive the relationships between the children and their Digimon?

▲ As Maekawa-san reflected on what had happened back in the day, he said that a majority of his memories may be the troubled ones.

As the series was a continuation, you can’t avoid it being jumbled up with events that happened in the past series, but this time the Digimon themselves send out an SOS and it is the Chosen Children who accept them. What was interesting about “02” was the relationship between Miyako and Hawkmon, as this was the first time a young girl was partnered with a male Digimon[4]. I wanted this male Digimon to be something like a knight and his princess. That’s why I’m pretty fond of the stories that involve Miyako and Hawkmon.

Besides that, was there an episode you found memorable?

I rather loved the development around episode 39[5]. The latter part when they travel around the world. What I remember most is looking up the different time zones to see what the clock read around the world. I was kept busy compiling realistic details like that. During meetings, I would even bring a simplified chart of the world time zones which we would use while going through with the meeting. I also remember that I had a lot of difficulty with episode 45[6]. On average, the length of one episode would be about 70 pages[7], but I had more written for that one. As we were running out of time, the episode director Kakudou-san[8] told me to write as much as I wanted and he would put it all into order. So I handed him a screenplay of about 90 pages or so, and he arranged the episode to make it fit within the determined time slot. It was that time that Kakudou-san showed me how huge-hearted he was. (laughs)

Please give a message to those who have bought the DVD Box.

I am truly grateful. I don’t think this is your average show. Actually, I think it’s a pretty biased story and there are things in it that you will both love and hate. But that divided feeling, if I were to speak in terms of a parent’s biased love, I think is the same as having your hands full with a naughty child who isn’t exactly an honors student— it will cause you some suffering but the more difficult that child is, the more cuter it appears. The parent was also inexperienced, but he did what he could to best care for that unruly child. (laughs)

N1) Yoshimura-san — Genki Yoshimura-san, a co-series compiler and screenplay writer. Maekawa-san mainly focused on Daisuke and the others, while Yoshimura-san was in charge of creating concepts for such characters as Ken and Oikawa. An interview with Yoshimura-san can be found here, so be sure to check it out.
N2) Deux Ans de Vacances — An adventure novel published in 1880 by Jules Verne. It is a story about 15 boys who are swept onto an uninhabited island by accident and learn to survive in a life filled with hardships. The title means “Two Year’s Vacation.”
N3) Their established backgrounds — Creating details about family members in order to create the main characters’ background is a policy of the producer Seki-san. An interview with Seki-san can be found here, so be sure to check it out.
N4) Partnered with a male Digimon — Digimon are not strictly meant to have gender, but in “Digimon Adventure,” there are the combinations of Sora’s Piyomon, Mimi’s Palmon and Hikari’s Tailmon, where a female was paired up with a female Digimon.
N5) Around episode 39 — Meaning the three episodes that continue from episode 39 (“Everyone, Head Out! Imperialdramon”). The children travel through New York City, Hong Kong, Australia, Paris, Mexico, and Russia.
N6) Episode 45 — Meaning episode 45 (“The Dark Gate”). Demon appears before Daisuke and the others, but being unable to defeat him, they open the gate of darkness to send him to the Dark Sea.
N7) About 70 pages — An animation screenplay is the product of a manuscript filled with more than 200 words which roughly estimate into this large amount when converted. Because the broadcast time is pre-determined, each scene’s length and the finer details of an episode are determined as a storyboard is created based on the script. It is said that being able to contain an episode within its time frame is the episode director’s chance to show his skill.
N8) Kakudou-san, the episode director — The series director from “Digimon Adventure.” Besides episode 45 in “02,” he was episode director of about nine episodes. An interview with Kakudou-san can be found here, so be sure to check it out.

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