SPECIAL INTERVIEW! with Hiroshi Kamiya
A special interview that came with the “Digimon Frontier” DVD Box released on August 24, 2007.
Kamiya-san reminisces about the year of Frontier while performing as the cool Kouji.
[ About Kouji’s friends and his performance as Kouji ]
Could you tell us what led you to perform the role of Kouji and Wolfmon?
Voice of Kouji Minamoto, Wolfmon, Garmmon, Beowulfmon, and MagnaGarurumon.
When I first received the offer to audition. The role of the fifth grader was an unknown world to me and I thought it would be difficult, but after the audition was over, I thought strongly about how much I wanted this role. It’s part of the time slot that a lot of children watch their shows, and it’s also a story about a boy’s travels — naturally, I’d watched these types of shows when I was in elementary school, so I had a strong admiration for them. That’s why, when I found out that I got the role, I was so happy that I couldn’t help yelling out.
Kouji has a very cool personality, but how was it like acting as him?
The year before “Frontier,” I was involved in “Chou GALS! Kotobuki Ran,” where I also played a cool role, but there were several times there when I fumbled my way around and thought “Was that okay?”… even though I shouldn’t be doing that really. That’s why I decided to throw an all-body pitch right from the first episode this time. I was pretty nervous about it at first. Playing the cool role is actually pretty embarrassing. Even if the role is cool, me, the person playing him, isn’t (laughs). But it was thanks to this series that I was able to open the drawer inside me to getting a grasp on the cool role. So I’m grateful.
He was a polar opposite to Takuya performed by Takeuchi-san.
[Takeuchi-san] was perfectly Takuya from the very first episode. She acted as Takuya real candidly, and it felt good watching her perform. Takuya and Kouji are good-hearted rivals at first who end up becoming friends who defeat the enemy, but when I saw Takuya in episode 1, I honestly wondered to myself if they really would end up in an equal relationship. Still, it was a very good choice to have Junko Takeuchi as Takuya. I could also say the same for the rest of the members, as it was a studio filled with talented people that made me think as such. That’s why I worked hard, because I wanted everyone else to think the same about me. Although, those feelings did have me spinning around aimlessly (laughs).
Suzumura-san who performed as the older twin brother Kouichi is actually also the same age as you are.
Suzu and I aren’t really about the junior/senior relationship, and rather than close friends, we were more like really good buddies. Oh, and that holds true even now (laughs). That’s why, with him as Kouichi, it felt very natural. Suzu also had a role in “Chou GALS! Kotobuki Ran” that sort of teamed up with mine, so when he was decided for the role of Kouichi, we talked about how this must be some kind of fate.
Main roles in series such as “Hachimitsu to CLOVER” (as Yuuta Takemoto), “RING ni Kakero” (as Takeshi Kawai), “Shinkyoku Soukai POLYPHONICA” (as Phoron), etc. His latest role is in “Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei” (as Nozomu Itoshiki). From Chiba prefecture.
[ His most memorable episode in Frontier ]
Was there a particular episode or character that left an impression on you?
What left the greatest impression on me was episode 7. Kouji didn’t have many scenes at the beginning where he talked, but it was in this episode that Kouji and Takuya’s relationship came into strong focus. I was able to get a bit of a hold on his personality. There’s also the episode when Susanoomon evolves for the first time that’s memorable to me. That was when Junko Takeuchi said to me, “Kamiya-kun, you do Susanoomon’s voice” — since she does most of the [pattern] voices, she said she was all burned out at that point (laughs). I understood how she felt, but since she’s the main character, we managed to convince her otherwise (laughs). As for character, it was the Royal Knights that appeared near the end. Kenta Miyake [as Dynasmon] is younger than me, but when he roars, it’s really scary. I fought with him while thinking to myself that there are people with scary voices like his. I didn’t believe I could win (laughs). There’s also a rare special attack that Wolfmon uses only once. For those of you who’ve bought the DVD Box, try and look for it. (laughs)
In closing, what does “Frontier” mean to you, Kamiya-san?
After being a voice actor for more than 10 years, the year I was involved in “Frontier” was the best fun I’d ever had. I’d often go out to eat dinner with the whole cast, and as a series it was something that I felt was really worth doing. I did feel frustrated about how there were many things I couldn’t do, but I got an incredible amount of feedback. That’s why this series is my starting point. It’s very important to me, and I will never forget it for the rest of my life. If I ever have children, it’s a show that I would definitely want to show to them. I’d be happy if those who bought the DVD box treasured it always and watched it over and over too. The theme that’s portrayed in it is a normal one, so it should be one that you can enjoy at any age.
N1) So happy that I couldn’t help yelling out — Despite it having happened five years ago, Kamiya-san still remembered this incident in detail. “I got a call from my manager while I was at an otolaryngologist nearby the office [that I’m affiliated with]. After I left the hospital and checked my cell, I found a ton of missed calls and voice messages. Then when I heard that I’d been chosen for Kouji, I remember screaming “YESSSS!” out loud. This happened nearby Gaiemmae station during the day, so it got a lot of salarymen staring at me. (laughs)”
N2) Episode 7 — When Takuya, Kouji, and Tomoki wind up wandering through Toy Town (“The Floating City! ToyAgumon’s Toy Country”). While Takuya treats the younger Tomoki nicely, Kouji insists that they shouldn’t give him special treatment just because of his age. However, when Tomoki is kidnapped, he doesn’t hesitate to go rescue him. It’s an episode that depicts both Kouji’s coolness and his awkward kindness, as well as when Takuya and Kouji, who’d been constantly arguing with each other until then, begin to communicate with each other for the first time to beat the enemy.
N3) The episode when Susanoomon evolves for the first time — Takuya and Kouji first evolve into Susanoomon in episode 48 (“Turn Light and Darkness into One! Kouichi’s Last Wish”). Takeuchi-san also mentioned during her interview, “Takuya worked hard for all the previous patterns and nothing else was coming out anymore, so I kept begging countless times for Kouji to voice Susanoomon (laughs). I also persistently kept telling Kamiya-kun too that since he’s a man he should do it (laughs).” However, with the director’s single voice of authority, Takeuchi-san was decided for Susanoomon’s voice.
N4) Rare special attack — Wolfmon’s attack, Strahl. When Kamiya-san received the script for it and read about its sudden appearance, even he was surprised. “It was written in it that Wolfmon shoots a beam from his eyes. I never saw anything like that before, so I went to post-recording thinking that it must be some mistake. And then he really did shoot a beam from his eyes, so that surprised me. (laughs) Later on, I learned that it was an attack that had been established officially beforehand, but in the actual series, it probably doesn’t come out unless he’s fighting something like a tengu.”