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- Sep 8, 2006
It's time for some Road to Digimon Producer.
Written by Assistant Producer Shimomura, Road to Digimon Producer follows his journey in being a producer for Digimon.
Volume 2- Plot (This is from before DigiFes)
Producer Kinoshita brought materials from his meeting with with Director Taguchi, screenwriter Akatsuki Yamatoya, and supervisor Hiromi Seki about the plot.
He mentions an early step in making a new film, which has been quiet up to this point, is plotting the story.
The plot is the main outline of the story of the work. It's the process of deciding what it is about, the scenes, the settings, etc. before starting to more properly create the overall scenario.
It's the process of deciding. The finalized plot is the foundation for the various tasks that follow, such as writing the screenplay and the characterization.
They began by digging into the plot of previous Digimon anime and more.
One thing they dug out and looked at was the plot for the original Digimon Adventure movie.
It's a story of when the father of elementary school child Kou (main character for TV series, name spelled 晄), Akira, was a child himself...
The story of when humans and Digital Monster met for the very first time!
Several years ago in Tokyo...
Akira, a son of the local town's electronic appliance store, loves to make crystal radios and take apart clocks to see how they work.
The era takes place when Japan had reached a period of high economic growth.
New skyscrapers are being built around the area, and a metropolitan highway is beginning to form around Kasumigaseki [onkei: unsure if I'm reading 'Kasumigaseki' right].
New things are springing up, and Akira is very excited about them.
However, at the same time, strange things are occuring at factories that make TVs and automobiles. The workers there say that they see ghosts. What in the world...?
One day, as Akira is taking a radio apart... a strange egg (Digiegg) appears from out of a slit of light in the air!
The egg cracks and what comes out of it... is a newborn Digital Monster (Botamon)!
Black fur entirely covers its slime-like body.
"W-What is this? A ghost?!"
Akira is shocked upon seeing a creature that he's never seen before.
He pokes the thing with some trepidation, but the monster rubs itself on Akira and acts strangely fond of him.
But then the monster's fur falls off, and a horn appears, growing into a more ball-like shape (Koromon)!
Akira's eyes widen.
"It changed shape?!"
Koromon begs for the snacks that Akira eats, and appears apologetic when he cleans up the poops that Koromon leaves behind.
When he kicks Koromon out, it cries pathetically, and somehow he just can't ignore it.
Akira ends up secretly taking care of this strange yet somewhat cute creature.
"Where did you come from? What on earth are you?"
The monster answers brokenly, having just learned how to speak.
"Koromon? My name is Akira."
Koromon puts its forehead against Akira's forehead.
"Friend, friend. Koromon, Akira, friend."
Then the neighbor's cat comes in through the window and chases Koromon around.
Koromon tries to take a stand on its own and spits out bubbles at the cat threateningly.
But in the end, it loses and Koromon runs to Akira crying.
Suddenly sensing something, Koromon hurriedly jumps down the stairs.
"Koromon, you gotta stay inside!"
Akira chases after Koromon into the electronic appliance store that's on the ground floor when he hears a voice call out "Excuse me!"
"Are you finished fixing the TV?"
A girl named Hikari stands there, holding a strange creatures with leaves on its head, Tanemon.
Koromon and Tanemon chirp at each other, as if they are friends.
"What is that thing?! It looks like Koromon but it's not?!"
"This is Tanemon."
"It has leaves on its head... That's so weird."
Hikari snaps back with pursed lips, "Well, the one you have has a horn and *that's* weird!"
"What the heck?!"
Koromon interjects as Akira and Hikari glare at each other.
Koromon jumps up and rubs its forehead against Akira's and Hikari's foreheads.
And then, it rubs foreheads with Tanemon too, and motions for Akira and Hikari to do the same.
Unable to object, Akira and Hikari put their foreheads together.
But they end up knocking heads instead.
This is a document from those days long ago that producer Seki kept. At the time she was checking things sent to her by fax.
This is from the very early days. The title was 'Digital Monster', the background setting, the names are different from the final film everyone saw. Some elements remain in the final version, like a character names, or putting foreheads together and calling friend.
[This is one of the early plots to the Adventure film, which has often been mentioned by those working on it, that at one point while being worked on it was being plotted and framed as a prequel to the show, decades earlier, starring what would have been Taichi's dad. I believe while we've seen some test art, we never saw any of the plot.]
And now for the plot of Digimon Adventure 02!
Before the plot was written, the producer explained what he wanted to do, and based on that, the four of them had a meeting, and this is the first draft that came up as the 'rough draft'.
They apologize that some bits are blacked out, as some of those are actually spoilers. It's also been noted that even among the bits that can be read, much has changed since then. More important information than you'd expect is here.
However, it is said that what was written in the first draft continues to be the theme of the film.
And then next up...
Volume 3- Character Design
The characters in the film were unveiled at DigiFes. This time they will report on character design, which is the 'face' of animation production.
In this film, the characters will be Daisuke and the other characters from 02 in 2012. They are basically based on the designs from Last Evolution Kizuna, so they asked Kinoshita how design work proceeded for Kizuna.
Here is the character height chart for 02 from when it was originally broadcast.
This material was used as reference, and with Director Tauchi and Supervisor Seki, discussed the personalities and their status (what they are doing) as of 2010, the year the story took place in.
They then went to Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, who was in charge of character design [both for the original series & Kizuna.] When they asked him to create the new characters, they told him the details, and he designed them in the images they describes.
Character: Deciding to become a ramen master, he is a first-year student attending culinary school in order to obtain his license. He continues playing soccer as a hobby, with him and Ken being on the same team.
In this movie, he goes with Ken and Iori to a field trip in NYC to inspect the ramen there when he receives a request from Yamato to investigate Menoa's past.
Clothing: A casual, active style. Always wearing shorts, similar to surfer's fashion. Goggles hang from around his neck. Magazine reference- Fine
Character: He studied hard in high school and is now a first-year student in a top university. He continues playing soccer as a hobby. His sense of justice is stronger than most, and he's aggressively active about their usual Digimon activities. While hanging out with Daisuke in NYC, he takes on the request as the brains of the operation.
Clothing: Neat and tidy. T-shirt and jacket. MEN'S NO-NO
Character: A 2nd year studying programming at an engineering college. She's currently on a short-term study abroad in Spain. She maintains the Digimon community website and receives a message from Menoa during her study abroad, connecting Menoa to Koushiro. Her cheerful personality remains the same, but she aims to seem like more of a mature woman.
Clothing: Her iconic glasses and hat but more grown-up. She maybe perhaps is dressing up for Ken to notice her, as she wears more conservative-styled pants that make her seem a bit taller and more mature. Magazine reference- GINGER
Character: The only 2nd year high school student in the group. He is studying to become a lawyer, but Daisuke's pushiness to "enjoy your last day to go wild before summer vacation starts!!" leads him to travel with Daisuke and Ken to NYC. He's gotten taller and more grown-up.
Clothing: Casual, befitting of a high school student. What about his hair...? Magazine reference- smart
These texts are part of the character profile content that was decided on together with Director Taguchi and the team. When they asked Mr. Nakatsuru to design the characters, a key point was to make them taller and taller, and to raise the heads from the large limbs of their elementary school days of 2002, when Nakatsuru himself had created those designs.
They conveyed the image that Daisuke would 'grow up straight and remain unchanged from the impression he had an elementary school student'. From that, the result was a large rough draft came up roughly as Taguchi and Kinoshita had imagined, and furthermore, Mr. Nakatsuru came up with the idea of him wearing a jinbei. [A type of Japanese clothing, considered informal, often used as house-wear or for very short trips shopping, etc.)
The first big rough draft from Nakatsuru.
Nakatsuru's ideas were incorporated into the final character design.
From here, they moved to creating the actual character designs used for the animation. Seiji Tachikawa was the one who created these final detailed designs, including the costumes, to create the character of Daisuke.
Line drawing of Daisuke by Mr. Tachikawa.
A finalized image of Daisuke's character design for animation, by Tachikawa.
The character designs for all 02 characters were completed in this fashion.
And here's Daisuke for the movie The Beginning!
This is Daisuke as he appears in February 2012. His appearance is based on Last Evolution Kizuna, but the winter clothes were added into his design, while also referencing 02 itself.
This is how the completed character designs are used to work in the various animations!
Some really interesting stuff this time, from an early version of the Adventure movie, to how the designs were done for Kizuna and The Beginning, along with looking at early art.
Thanks to onkei for help with some of the more detailed plot translation elements.