Digimon creator speaks about Sorato and Taiora: behind the scenes of Adventure/02

Paruseruru mafubu

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Thank you for posting this, very interesting indeed. I figured this was the case to some extent, the Saban dub added a lot more Taiora dialogue than what ever existed in the original for certain, both the first movie (Sora saying "Come on Tai", while watching the battle with Greymon and Parrotmon as he blew Hikari's whistle that was not in the original and Our War Game especially with his message about throwing up in her hat). So it's official, Sorato was always intended, Taiora never really existed. Reiterating what I said in the other topic, I always hated the love triangle implied by the dub, now we know the creator never intended it for the character as it should have been all along. The dub did a lot to add confusion in their development as characters, I grew up with it but I wish they wouldn't have taken so many liberties never intended by the creators. I remember Joshua Seth (Taichi's English voice actor) saying he thought there was a budding romance between Taichi and Sora in an interview in the official Fox Kids movie magazine. Fans seem to like Taiora overwhelmingly to Sorato and I always thought the dub played a big role in that honestly. Now we know this is true.
 

LunaticRhythm

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...Huh.
That's interesting. I wonder why hardcore Japanese fans didn't already bombard him with such questions a long time ago.
Unless, of course, it DID happen and it was just us English speaking audiences not getting wind of his responses?
Also, you can't help but feel that he doesn't really care about the questions from the translations. It just may be me though.

Personally, I'm not a shipper(but I freely admit that I do think Tai and Sora being together makes much more sense).
From what I can see, if it WAS intended that Sora and Matt was to end up together, it still would go out the same way as it did happen with the relationship developing completely off screen.
Which would mean that honestly, it's still a very eye-rolling scenario. Off-screen development is just bad.
 

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Could anyone list what hints there were of Sora and Yamato being a couple, particularly in the original Adventure? I've never noticed anything of the kind. They didn't really interact much.
 

Bartz

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Honestly, that's interesting and surprising since aside from Yamato breaking Sora out of her sadness in episode 51 (which isn't necessarily romantic either since Gabumon did the same) I don't remember any other hints even ignoring the more "Taiora" pushing dub. It feels left field really since for whatever reason the idea of the pairing didn't get through whether by hints or conversations between the two and without that development it's still hard to see that pairing.
 
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Paruseruru mafubu

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I really don't think Digimon had a lot to do with relationships to begin with, the fact that the children were just that in Adventure, very young children between the ages of 10-12. It wasn't relevant for the storyline or their development, it was about learning lessons of teamwork while surviving in a hostile environment while trying to find their way home. The first part of Adventure I always thought was sort of campy, why I loved it so much and it later became about them taking on enormous personal responsibility in saving two worlds. They were realistic in that there were visible divisions within the group itself, they weren't simply an unrealistic collection of characters with seemingly no problems going on repetitive adventures like with Pokémon and its one-formula storyline for fourteen seasons. I always hated the fan couplings, I never thought that was what the creators intended, this seems to confirm that. With 02 Zero-Two, the children being older, it was natural that perhaps a little emphasis on their personal lives and relationships would be apparent but not to a real in depth extent. That is the reason for the lack of any real instances between Yamato and Sora, there simply wasn't many examples to speak of, especially when they were ten for crying out loud.
 

KaenKazui

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Could anyone list what hints there were of Sora and Yamato being a couple, particularly in the original Adventure? I've never noticed anything of the kind. They didn't really interact much.
Dito.

I mean, nobody except Taichi and Mimi did interact much with the other characters and really the only two times Yamato and Sora did interact, was 1) when Taichi left them to look after Hikari and 2) when Sora was in that cave of darkness.

But something one should mention here: Even if Kakudou did not intend it... It does not mean, that the writers did not intend it either. I am quite sure, that Yoshida did intend Taiora. I mean, she did the script for movie 2.
 

jippy

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Thank you for posting this, very interesting indeed. I figured this was the case to some extent, the Saban dub added a lot more Taiora dialogue than what ever existed in the original for certain, both the first movie (Sora saying "Come on Tai", while watching the battle with Greymon and Parrotmon as he blew Hikari's whistle that was not in the original and Our War Game especially with his message about throwing up in her hat). So it's official, Sorato was always intended, Taiora never really existed.
Yeah, the Taiora dialogue was really exaggerated in the dub. ("Sora's still waiting for Tai to call" in the third movie, for example.) But, honestly, I think it's "Our War Game" (Japanese) that really threw off the whole Sorato thing, because it introduced Taiora/made a triangle. Hosoda's style is much more "loud" and the Taiora implications in "Our War Game" were really obvious. But Kakudou's series is about friendship, and he didn't dwell on romance overtly. The Sorato in 01 is very, very subtle - the two are shown in some moments to have an emotional understanding with each other, especially in Sora's Crest of Love and during the Dark Masters arc. That was the foreshadowing. But as the series is about friendship, you had a lot of blatant friendship between all the Chosen - with a large focus going to Taichi, and his best friend, Sora. So a lot of people liked pairing them up because their friendship seemed much more obvious (but the key word is friendship). And then, of course, "Our War Game" happened, and all the Taiora shippers could then claim all the Taiora friendship in 01 were intentional romantic hints (when Kakudou didn't intend them to be). But I understand why Taiora is much more obvious to most people, because Kakudou only hinted at Sorato a little in 01, then Hosoda implied Taiora way more obviously in "Our War Game".

That's interesting. I wonder why hardcore Japanese fans didn't already bombard him with such questions a long time ago.
Unless, of course, it DID happen and it was just us English speaking audiences not getting wind of his responses?
Also, you can't help but feel that he doesn't really care about the questions from the translations. It just may be me though.

From what I can see, if it WAS intended that Sora and Matt was to end up together, it still would go out the same way as it did happen with the relationship developing completely off screen.
Which would mean that honestly, it's still a very eye-rolling scenario. Off-screen development is just bad.
Twitter didn't exist back when Digimon Adventure/02 was relevant? The fandom for Adventure/02 isn't exactly that lively.

And just because Kakudou didn't care about the questions (it's a series from 1999 . . .) doesn't mean he lied. Because he didn't - even his answer regarding the epilogue "matched" what Nishizono said in the 2007 DVD. I asked the questions, and he got really, really tired about my questions about Taiora. He didn't want it introduced at all; that much was obvious. (I got the impression that he's not a fan of cliches aka the "love triangle" - he just wanted it straight Sorato.)

. . . And it was intended that Sora and Yamato end up together. Kakudou confirmed that. And only a shipper would deny that. =P

Digimon isn't an anime about romance. It's an anime about friendship. Yamato, Sora and Taichi were 10/11 in 01 . . . how do you expect kids at that age to fall in love with each other? That's why Kakudou didn't have blatant hints, just subtle foreshadowing.

If anyone is curious, you can read my initial post regarding Kakudou and Sorato/Taiora here (but they are my personal opinions):

I’m of the opinion that though Digimon Adventure (the series, not the movies) had no romantic hints whatsoever - it’s a series about friendship - it still managed to lay the foundations for a possible future relationship between Yamato Ishida and Sora Takenouchi (which occurs in 02 when they date and later get married).

It’s subtle, but Yamato and Sora are shown to have similar emotions and to understand each other (in other words, to have an emotional connection), especially during Sora’s Crest of Love and the Dark Masters arc. In my opinion, an emotional connection is the basis for a romantic relationship, so even though nothing romantic developed during 01 with any of the Chosen Children, I still came away from it thinking: “Yamato and Sora are so similar emotionally and they ‘get’ each other - they’d make a great couple if they’re ever allowed to grow up in another season.”

In direct contrast, Sora’s interactions with her best friend, Taichi Yagami, showed that he didn’t understand her on an emotional level (refer to Sora’s Crest of Love and Our War Game, as well as numerous 01 episodes), and that the two fought all the time (refer to Sora scolding Taichi numerous times in 01 for being immature, as well as their fight over a hairpin, and Koushiro’s comment in Our War Game). I personally love the relationship between Taichi and Sora for what it is - that of best friends since childhood. And I really think the series demonstrated that the two had compatible personalities for friendship, but not romance.

Honestly, that's interesting and surprising since aside from Yamato breaking Sora out of her sadness in episode 51 (which isn't necessarily romantic either since Gabumon did the same) I don't remember any other hints even ignoring the more "Taiora" pushing dub. It feels left field really since for whatever reason the idea of the pairing didn't get through whether by hints or conversations between the two and without that development it's still hard to see that pairing.
That wasn't the only hint - but of course it wasn't romantic, they're 10/11. It just showed you that the two were very, very similar and that Yamato could "reach" Sora. And Kakudou's foreshadowing did get through to some people. *Raises hand and looks at the entire Sorato fandom.*

I personally think Sorato makes much more sense than Taiora (because their personalities are much more similar and therefore they're more compatible, in my opinion), but I don't think those who think the opposite have invalid opinions, either.

I really don't think Digimon had a lot to do with relationships to begin with, the fact that the children were just that in Adventure, very young children between the ages of 10-12. It wasn't relevant for the storyline or their development, it was about learning lessons of teamwork while surviving in a hostile environment while trying to find their way home ... With 02 Zero-Two, the children being older, it was natural that perhaps a little emphasis on their personal lives and relationships would be apparent but not to a real in depth extent. That is the reason for the lack of any real instances between Yamato and Sora, there simply wasn't many examples to speak of, especially when they were ten for crying out loud.
I agree.

Could anyone list what hints there were of Sora and Yamato being a couple, particularly in the original Adventure? I've never noticed anything of the kind. They didn't really interact much.
But something one should mention here: Even if Kakudou did not intend it... It does not mean, that the writers did not intend it either. I am quite sure, that Yoshida did intend Taiora. I mean, she did the script for movie 2.
Did you read my post? Kakudou had nothing to do with movie 2 aka "Our War Game". I addressed "Our War Game" as something either Hosoda or Seki (most likely) introduced. Yes, Yoshida (who rarely wrote for the actual series) wrote "Our War Game", but she would be working under Hosoda and Seki. Either of whom, as I said, wanted Taiora introduced in "Our War Game" (because Kakudou certainly didn't).

And writers write for the director. It's the director (and producer) who has the final say in everything that is produced aka episodes and movies.
 

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Speaking of people being too insistent, you are yourself a shipper. Even in literary criticism people talk about the fallacy of authorial intent. It only gets murkier when it comes to something where there are many people working to complete a project. Is Children's War Game non-canon, simply because Kakudou didn't work on it? I've had similar discussions about how people put too much emphasis on Konaka's notes for Tamers. The anime series themselves are group efforts and should be taken on their own merits, not reduced to a single person's vision. Beyond their similarities in personality, there were no solid hints at Sora x Yamato in the original series, any more than there are for any pair of characters that didn't wind up married.
 

KaenKazui

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Did you read my post? Kakudou had nothing to do with movie 2 aka "Our War Game". I addressed "Our War Game" as something either Hosoda or Seki (most likely) introduced. Yes, Yoshida (who rarely wrote for the actual series) wrote "Our War Game", but she would be working under Hosoda and Seki. Either of whom, as I said, wanted Taiora introduced in "Our War Game" (because Kakudou certainly didn't).
It was certainly not Seki, as she was the one pushing the Zero Two writers to keep Sorato in the story, which was something not everybody felt confortable with, as some of the Zero Two writers liked Taiora more.
And writers write for the director. It's the director (and producer) who has the final say in everything that is produced aka episodes and movies.
That's simply not true. Kakudou had a lot of influence on the plot of Adventure, as he was one of the first people working on it. He was working on Digimon Adventure before Nishizono got onto the project. But so were Yoshida and Hosoda (they were the ones who came up with Taichi as a character!). But in general the storyteam consists of the episode writers and the series composer. Many times they will talk with the series director, but the director does not write the story, nor does he always get to influence the story (which he indeed did in Adventure). Nishizono, by the way, did not care about pairings at all. I asked him some time ago, because some german fans bugged me to asked him, and he was like: "I simply don't care. Those characters are primary school students for heaven's sake!"
 

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Twitter didn't exist back when Digimon Adventure/02 was relevant? The fandom for Adventure/02 isn't exactly that lively.

And just because Kakudou didn't care about the questions (it's a series from 1999 . . .) doesn't mean he lied. Because he didn't - even his answer regarding the epilogue "matched" what Nishizono said in the 2007 DVD. I asked the questions, and he got really, really tired about my questions about Taiora. He didn't want it introduced at all; that much was obvious. (I got the impression that he's not a fan of cliches aka the "love triangle" - he just wanted it straight Sorato.)

. . . And it was intended that Sora and Yamato end up together. Kakudou confirmed that. And only a shipper would deny that. =P

Digimon isn't an anime about romance. It's an anime about friendship. Yamato, Sora and Taichi were 10/11 in 01 . . . how do you expect kids at that age to fall in love with each other? That's why Kakudou didn't have blatant hints, just subtle foreshadowing.
I can literally feel the shipping seething through your post.
Again, I am not a shipper and I do not intend to have a contest with you.
I'm sure a hardcore Japanese fan would have gotten around to ask him about it on twitter, but apparently not.
Also, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he lied, just that it's probably an issue which he probably doesn't care too much for (which I am of the opinion, as well).

My point still stands though, literally nothing has changed.
The ending of Sora x Matt would still be of surprise to some(regardless of whichever they ship, mind you) simply because development of such a relationship was COMPLETELY off screen.
I do agree Digimon is much more about friendship than romance, but the ending would still come out of nowhere simply because the viewers do not see any such character development whatsoever.
Again, I'm not saying Tai should end up with Sora.
I'm simply saying that if that were to happen, it would be less shocking and unexpected, because the viewers are exposed to their interactions with one another.

Please don't turn this into yet another shipping war.
 

KaenKazui

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I'm sure a hardcore Japanese fan would have gotten around to ask him about it on twitter, but apparently not.
I think I can say something about that: To my experience japanese fans for one don't really care as much as western fans, whether their favorite pairing is canon or not. Like I said: To my experience. Might be, that there are hardcore japanese shippers out there (okay, I am sure there are), but it does not seem to be as common as over here. Also there is the simple fact: Going there and blandly ask a writer or a director about shippings would not be very respectful and japanese in general are respectful. I mean, you have to think about how this translates to the writer: "Hey there, I know you have written this series and put a lot of effort into it. But the only thing I really do care about is, whether character A and character B have the hots for each other, even though I know both characters are not even in middle school yet." That's why I never ask blandly about pairings in interviews. Rather ask about how one would see the relationships of Character A to all the other main characters. Once I had asked Nishizono about it, as two German fans always would go on and on about it. And in fact he did not care that much about it. He might have had preferances, but in general he thought of the characters as kids. So, yeah. But really, some japanese writers are not really used to that... Western style of going over a series. And they can really get pissed, because it is just not respectful, to make such a series all about shippings.
 

DigiTamer Rikun

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This dude got an interview with a co-creator of Digimon.... ......and he asks about the fucking fan-pairings? What a waste.

I mean, don't get me wrong, that's very interesting and enlightening and all.... ....But think about how many much more interesting or fulfilling questions you could ask one of the guys who directed the show!! Dx Does anyone see that as a hugely missed opportunity or just me? Bah.
 

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There are some logical flaws with evidence at this point in the game.

Peoples memories change. Do you know how many stories people tell about shows from 2, 5, 10, 20 years ago, where we know the stories are wrong? People disagree on things as basic as 'whose idea was it for Bob Newhart to wake up next to Suzanne Pleshette at the end of Newhart'.

Even if their memories are lined up and everything is true, there is an actual flaw that we know for a fact- They certainly never told the actors involved, which means their performances were never played that way.

If you have an idea for a character based ending that has to grow and evolve, you can't do it if the actors don't know they are leading to anything.
 

LunaticRhythm

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@Rikun It was just on twitter. Not an interview, calm down.

@KaenKazui You make very valid points, and the lack of the director's approval definitely wouldn't stop fans from drawing their pairings.
I was just under the impression that the Japanese shippers would have wanted some kind of answers themselves.
In fact, this topic immediately reminded me of a similar situation. Matsuno(video game designer who used to worked for Square) replied to an English tweet regarding Ramza's fate in FFT.
I was surprised that Japanese fans didn't get around to asking him about it when he first got into twitter.
 

KaenKazui

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Peoples memories change. Do you know how many stories people tell about shows from 2, 5, 10, 20 years ago, where we know the stories are wrong? People disagree on things as basic as 'whose idea was it for Bob Newhart to wake up next to Suzanne Pleshette at the end of Newhart'.
I always have to think on what a friend, who is a hardcore NGE fan, told me there. In the NGE fandom, there is some sort of debatte going on, to my knowledge, about the question, who shot Ryoji Kaji (or however that character is named). As by now there are three or four different official answeres to that question given by different people from GAINAX staff. So, yeah...

I was just under the impression that the Japanese shippers would have wanted some kind of answers themselves.
Well, to be quite honest. I never got the impression that it so much is a question for the japanese fandom.
But I in general get the impression, also from when I did some of the interviews, that japanese fans in general don't take initiative and ask the people about stuff. I mean, from what I see on twitter, it is actually even rare, that they do an @-tweet saying something along the lines of: "I am a huge fan of this movie/that series you did! Keep up the good work!" So... Yeah. I guess it really is a cultural think. My guess would be, that over here we are just more used to the writers and directors of series and movies doing Q&A panels at conventions and stuff. I never was at a japanese convention, but from what friends told me, they rarely do real panels. There might be writers/directors/designers there, but mostly they will just give a pre-written speach and than sign autographs and stuff like that.
 

jippy

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Speaking of people being too insistent, you are yourself a shipper. Even in literary criticism people talk about the fallacy of authorial intent. It only gets murkier when it comes to something where there are many people working to complete a project. Is Children's War Game non-canon, simply because Kakudou didn't work on it? I've had similar discussions about how people put too much emphasis on Konaka's notes for Tamers. The anime series themselves are group efforts and should be taken on their own merits, not reduced to a single person's vision. Beyond their similarities in personality, there were no solid hints at Sora x Yamato in the original series, any more than there are for any pair of characters that didn't wind up married.
I never said I wasn't a shipper, nor did I imply "Our War Game" wasn't canon. It obviously is. My entire tumblr post was about Kakudou's original intentions (which I found interesting, thus why I shared). I even put at the bottom of my post that "Our War Game" does exist - I wasn't rewriting canon. I just found the behind-the-scenes and Kakudou's intentions to be interesting. And, yes, I liked that my personal opinions on Sorato/Taiora were in line with what Kakudou's intentions were. But does that mean I think other people can't interpret things differently than I did? No. That wasn't what the post was about. I was just sharing Kakudou's intentions.

And that's your opinion that there were no solid hints between Yamato and Sora. Although when you say "solid", do you mean outright romantic hints? Because Adventure had none, between any of the Chosen. So I agree with you there.

But I do think there was foreshadowing - subtle hints of emotional understanding - between Yamato and Sora, as Kakudou intended. Obviously this is just my opinion - but it isn't any less valid than yours just because you have a different opinion.

That's simply not true. Kakudou had a lot of influence on the plot of Adventure, as he was one of the first people working on it. He was working on Digimon Adventure before Nishizono got onto the project. But so were Yoshida and Hosoda (they were the ones who came up with Taichi as a character!). But in general the storyteam consists of the episode writers and the series composer. Many times they will talk with the series director, but the director does not write the story, nor does he always get to influence the story (which he indeed did in Adventure). Nishizono, by the way, did not care about pairings at all. I asked him some time ago, because some german fans bugged me to asked him, and he was like: "I simply don't care. Those characters are primary school students for heaven's sake!"
As I've asked you on LJ, show me the source? You never do. You claimed Konaka and Seki got into a dispute over Konaka's 02 episode when Seki listed it as one of her most memorable 02 episodes. Source. I really doubt your credibility.

Kakudou was heavily involved with both series. Source and source.

And Nishizono created all the Chosen Children from rough drafts Toei Animation gave him. Source. He was also in charge of fleshing out Taichi's character (refer to the source).

Also: staff list for 01, and staff list for 02.

As I said in my initial tumblr post: ​Mamoru Hosoda's only involvement in the Digimon franchise was that he directed the first movie, "Digimon Adventure", the second movie, "Our War Game", and the Taichi-centric 01 episode 21. Nothing else.

As for Yoshida, she only wrote three episodes in 01, six episodes in 02, as well as all four Digimon Adventure/02 movies. Yes, Yoshida wrote "Diablomon Strikes Back" . . . where Sora and Yamato are officially an item.

Also, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he lied, just that it's probably an issue which he probably doesn't care too much for (which I am of the opinion, as well).
Sorry, I thought you were implying Kakudou lied. Which was the only thing I took issue with in your post - that you would just refute what he said as lies. Sure, he doesn't care much about it, but it's still the truth.

This dude got an interview with a co-creator of Digimon.... ......and he asks about the fucking fan-pairings? What a waste.

I mean, don't get me wrong, that's very interesting and enlightening and all.... ....But think about how many much more interesting or fulfilling questions you could ask one of the guys who directed the show!! Dx Does anyone see that as a hugely missed opportunity or just me? Bah.
I'm a girl, by the way. And if you know Japanese, by all means, go ask Kakudou your own questions.

Even if their memories are lined up and everything is true, there is an actual flaw that we know for a fact- They certainly never told the actors involved, which means their performances were never played that way.

If you have an idea for a character based ending that has to grow and evolve, you can't do it if the actors don't know they are leading to anything.
Digimon is animated, though. I understand your point, but I think it's a little different for a series director of an anime to "forget" what he originally planned from the beginning of a series. He would still be directing the actual animation and approving the scripts for the voice actors.
 

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jippy, I didn't wanna bother you with this, but wouldn't you be capable of posing some other questions to him?

How were they planning to end the Vamdemon arc and so on if 02 hadn't been planned?
What's the context of Apocalymon's existence in the overall story, when it wasn't even slightly hinted at in the whole series?
Other than what may be in the Novelization of 01, what did he had in mind about the story of the "Original" Chosen Children?

And for now there's nothing else coming to mind... There's also a few things from 02 but those questions for now are quite enough...
 
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Tyranno

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I don't care if he is the creator. The number of unique interactions Sora and Yamato had in season one can be counted on one hand. That's far from being foreshadowed.
 

Bartz

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That wasn't the only hint - but of course it wasn't romantic, they're 10/11. It just showed you that the two were very, very similar and that Yamato could "reach" Sora. And Kakudou's foreshadowing did get through to some people. *Raises hand and looks at the entire Sorato fandom.*

I personally think Sorato makes much more sense than Taiora (because their personalities are much more similar and therefore they're more compatible, in my opinion), but I don't think those who think the opposite have invalid opinions, either.
That's not what I mean, when I say "hints" I mean something more concrete and not situations where it could be taken one way or the other. Granted, as kids they probably wouldn't show that much interest but even so the two characters don't interact that much and when they do it's not really romantic. That's not a good way to establish that maybe these two characters will have a relationship.

It's not about shipping for me, it's that as something that's supposed to be planned from the beginning it's not well established.

As for Yoshida, she only wrote three episodes in 01, six episodes in 02, as well as all four Digimon Adventure/02 movies. Yes, Yoshida wrote "Diablomon Strikes Back" . . . where Sora and Yamato are officially an item.
Except at that point it was already established, why would the writer write something contradictory to what's already canon even if they feel otherwise?
 
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