Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru Interview from V-Jump Translated


Big Cheese
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Sep 8, 2006
Interview time!

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The new October issue of V-Jump included a number of Digimon updates as expected, but also included a short interview with Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru.

Nakatsuru did the character designs for Digimon Adventure, 02, Tamers, and Frontier, and has returned to the franchise numerous times, including new artwork for various Blu-ray boxes, the character designs for ReArise, and of course, character designs for the the upcoming movie Digimon Adventure Last Evolution Kizuna.

Since the images of the magazine went up a few days ago, putting up the interview separately seemed a good idea so everyone would get a good chance to see it.

Thanks to onkei for translating and various bits in the text were cleaned up by me.

Some bits weren't cleanly visible due to the photo or watermark, so in that case onkei and me simply did our best to come up with what was best visible after discussing it. These sections are surrounded by <>. Based on if/when we get better images we may clean this up in the future.

The photo above of Nakatsuru is also from the magazine images we had, cleaned up as best as we could.

Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru interview
-Animator. Character designer and key frame animator for "Dragon Ball Z." He is the character designer for this new work.-

1. Please tell us your thoughts on Digimon Adventure reaching its 20th anniversary.
I'm really happy to be given the chance to be involved again with characters that I'd drawn in the past. Back then, I was appointed to the position because they were looking for a touch similar to "Dragon Ball". While I had no intention of associating them with Toriyama-sensei, I think that they showed the influence of Toriyama's works. The number of human characters grew, as siblings and parents were added into the picture, and an increase of that number was tough (lol). Producer Hiromi Seki and series director Hiroyuki Kakudou were familiar with the movie, so they told me the <main attributes of the characters> which I used as reference. <For instance, back then it was a time when the the mother would be imagined to be the demure figure wearing a cook's apron, but through discussions with Seki-san, we produced it by cutting loose from those stereotypes.>

2. The hats of some characters sure left an impression.
I think the characters with hats were difficult for the episode animators to deal with (lol). After all, I'd decided on Takeru's hat, for instance, by its silhouette, and didn't think about how it was shaped or how the circle fit around his head.

3. Was Mimi's hat designed that way with the intention of using it in that way for the last episode?
Not at all. The episode director just used my design skillfully. (lol)

4. Please tell us your emotional attitude to the series.
I've begun to rewatch "Digimon Adventure" in preparation for this new work. Realistic hand-to-hand combat wasn't sought in the Digimon's actions, and they end very easily. I think such simple composition was a component that was easily accepted by the fans. Besides the points of my own inadequacy, I felt it to be well made series.

5. Please tell us how you felt when you learned that you would be working on the new movie.
I was surprised that a movie was to be made, as well as happy to be requested as the character designer. Since it's been many years since I drew Taichi and co, I bounced off ideas with the producer and director to adjust their designs. The children of "Digimon Adventure" have proportions that are easy for me to draw. I was at a loss at times on how to draw them with adult proportions, while still keeping them "Digimon-like" and easy to draw.

6. The "02" group will also be appearing. Was there anything about their designs that you were careful of?
I asked for each character's current living situation and elements, then designed them in ways that did not look forced in those circumstances. I've used silhouettes, through large hats or eccentric hairstyles for instance, to make their appearances unique, but I held back on that this time. I was careful to leave traces of their old selves while still making them appear more adult. The "02" group has all grown properly. For instance, I made Miyako appear more glamorous and adult, and added surprising elements that her character description didn't particularly touch but where I thought "It would be interesting if she was raised in this way." I had a lot of fun working on it. Since I like adding bits of fun in the props they hold, it would make me happy if the director accepted them as material. (lol) Stuff like that is the secret enjoyment of the character designer.

A nice short interview with someone who has been involved with Digimon for many years.


I'm going digital
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Mar 10, 2017
Takeru's hat sure has always confounded me as well, lol.


I'd rather roll
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Nov 18, 2011
Takeru's hat sure has always confounded me as well, lol.
Literally what was his hat even supposed to be? Does it flip down over the ears like a winter hat? Why does it have a jewel? lol.

Deep Saver

Completely digital
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Apr 18, 2017
I never thought about how much this particular artist liked hats until this moment, hahaha. It certainly is unique.

Sparrow Hawk

Seized the time
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Feb 23, 2007
Reading interviews lately gotten interesting.

Blu ray boxes are amazing but I noticed something's off about Togemon evolving to Lilimon in process, I'm not sure why I got concerned about that quality but it's hard to say by pointing out?

And since this mentioned about Adventure seasons, Tamers and Frontier Blu ray came out so can anybody predict when Savers Blu ray's next release? Next year?