"Kyurem vs. The Sacred
Swordsman Keldeo"
Visual Guide Interviews

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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | "Kyurem vs. The Sacred Swordsman Keldeo" Visual Guide Interviews


On August 8th, 2012, Shogakukan released "Kyurem vs. The Sacred Swordsman Keldeo" Visual Guide.  This 67-page book offers summaries of both Kyurem vs. The Sacred Swordsman Keldeo and Meloetta's Dazzling Recital, tons of screenshots from both features, and a number of interviews with the staff and cast of the two films.  This last part is what this page will deal focus on.

The following interviews have all been translated by me from the original Japanese to English.  While I'm fairly confident in me having the ability to translate these accurately, I will of course listen to any corrections / suggestions you guys may want to send me.

Special Interview 1
Mr. Yamadera Kou'ichi (Cobalon)

Yamadera Kou'ichi

Who is Cobalon?
It acts as the leader of the three sacred swordsmen and helps balance them out.  It doesn't show its soft side and can come across as being overly strict, but that's just because he's like a father to the trio.

Which of Cobalon's lines left and impression on you?
It's when he says "Asking what you can learn from your defeat is crucial!"

Do you have a message for our readers?
This story, which chronicles Keldeo's growth, has a lot of messages that can apply to your own life.  If you enjoy them then I'll be happy.

Special Interview 2
Ms. Rola (Malin)


How did you feel when you found out you were going to do the movie's theme song and one of the voices?
I jumped up and down because I lo~ve pokemon and used to watch it with my little brothers and sisters all the time.  My favorite pokemon are Happinas and Myuu.

About voicing Malin
Malin is a very happy girl with a cheery personality.  The line where she shouts out "Daru-Darumakka~ Darumakka~" was very cute.

Do you have a message for our readers?
I'm gonna see this year's Pokemon movie before anybody else!

Special Interview 3
Ms. Nakagawa Shouko (Keldeo)

Nakagawa Shouko

This is your sixth Pokemon movie, isn't it?
I can't believe this is my sixth one!  I'm really surprised.  When I was doing my first movie back in 2007, I thought "I have no regrets in my life!*" even back then.  And even after that, I was able to continue getting cast and eventually got to play a character as major as Keldeo!  The "Pocket Monsters The Movie" series is a fantastic one that's able to stand the test of time, so I really strove to give it my all!

*The line she says in Japanese, Waga shougai ni ippen no kui nashi! (我 が生涯に一片の悔い無し!) is a quote from the famous Japanese cartoon Fist of the North Star.

Keldeo's growth is something that's a major theme of the movie, isn't it?
Keldeo's first lines in the story conveys this very Keldeo-like image of someone who's a real fighter.  I would walk around with the script in my hands everyday and would even put it under my pillow when I went to bed at night.  Whether I was sleeping or awake, Keldeo was right there with me, every single day.

What did you try to be careful about when you were in the recording booth?
My goal was for the audience to not realize that Keldeo was being played by Nakagawa Shouko.  I was careful whenever there was a line that I felt would remind the audience too much of "Shoko-tan*" if I played it the wrong way.  Keldeo has these serious, courageous, and one-track mind sides to it that I had to portray, and maybe sometimes I overthink all of these a bit.

But the director showed me Keldeo's "Resolution Form" and told me that the character should be like a little boy in the first part of the movie, which really caused me to sit up in attention.  He continued by saying that there should be a marked difference in the later part of the movie and that things like the way Keldeo shouts out the name of the attacks in the second half should have a different feeling to them than they did in the first half.

*"Shoko-tan" is one of Nakagawa Shouko's nicknames.

Which of Keldeo's lines left an impression on you?
It's "I've become the Sacred Swordsman!" from when Keldeo changed into its Resolution Form.  I got goosebumps when I screamed that into the mike!  I thought that the things you say can definitely affect what happens, so I try to avoid saying negative things.

Do you have a message for our readers?
I think we've made a film that lets people who are in trouble look up to Keldeo and get through it.  Everyone's dreams will definitely come true because everyone has the power to do so.  If everyone can believe that, then I will be happy.

Special Interview 4
Mr. Takahashi Katsumi (Kyurem)

Takahashi Katsumi

Tell us about Kyurem
Even though Kyurem's this giant pokemon, I won't hesitate to say that it has the same sorts of emotions that people have.  It plays an important role in Kyurem's growth, so it has a lot of lines in the script where it's watching over Keldeo or is guiding it.  In this way, Kyurem has a lot in common with a person with a high status, especially when it says things like "You can't defeat me with that sword!"  Because Keldeo sees Kyurem as a wall it has to overcome, I thought it was important to play up Kyurem's large size and its strength.  I personally wanted to have Kyurem let out a cry like "You got me!" whenever it was hit by one of Keldeo's attacks, but when I looked at if from Kyurem's point of view, I realized that that wouldn't have worked out.  Kyurem isn't a normal character - it's aware of its high status.

What are the different challenges you face when acting vs. voice acting?
You're using your own voice in a stage play or TV drama, so your approach has to be totally different.  It's difficult because even though I'm the one playing Kyurem, my actions and poses have already been decided for me.  Voice actors really are amazing.

Please tell us a little bit more about some of the difficulties you had playing Kyurem
It was tough when I would look at the script and see the word 'roar' over and over.  Even though the director would try to help me by saying things like "Start from the bottom and work your way up" or "Start off just a little bit higher..." it was still difficult.  Who knew there were so many different ways to roar!  (laughs)  The voice I'd let out was different every time Kyurem fired off an attack as well, as was the snarl when Kyurem first shows up.  Different situations called for different voices.

What's the difference between Black Kyurem and White Kyurem?
There are tiny differences in their voices whenever they fire off an attack.  The director would give directions like "It would be good if this part was more sharp..."

Do you have a message for our readers?
I hope you enjoy the big and powerful battles between Keldeo and Kyurem!

Special Interview 5
Ms. Natsuna (Pikachu Short Narration)


How was your first time narrating?
I was an elementary school kid with the backpack and everything when I started playing Pokemon and can definitely say that I'm from a generation that grew up with it.  I could even sing "Can You Name All the Pokemon?" well!  However, I couldn't believe when I got this job!  This was my first attempt at narrating, so I would talk as if I was talking to myself and my classmates from those elementary school days and a smile would appear on my face.  It really was an honor.

Tells us a story from the recording booth.
My older sister would speak very breathy and kindly as if she was reading a kamishibai* story.  I was directed to try speaking like that, but I found it very difficult because there were no children in front of me - just a mike (laughs).  I thought the way I emphasized the final parts of certain words and was very important.  The most difficult part was reading "Meloetta's Dazzling Recital" for the title screen.  I don't remember how many times I ended up reading that one (laughs).

*A kamishibai (紙しばい in this interview; 紙芝居 in other sources) is a form of storytelling that uses pictures to teach a moral.

What about your "Pokemon Generation"?
There were of course a lot of pokemon that I liked back then.  I liked to draw Fushigidane a lot when I was a kid.  At first I'd draw Digda (laughs) and other easy to draw pokemon, but I remember drawing Fushigidane so many times.  My favorite pokemon now is, therefore, Fushigidane.

Is there a scene that left an impression on you?
It's the scene when Meloetta's recital starts.  The Melody Berries are very beautiful, so please be on the look out for them.

Do you have a message for our readers?
Meloetta is very cute!  I think the Kyurem movie has this really exciting and fast-paced feel to it, so I hope you'll be able to relax with the Meloetta short and enjoy it as if you were looking at a picture book.

Special Interview
Director Yuyama Kunihiko

Yuyama Kunihiko

I think of making these films, both individually and as a whole, as if I'm a farmer.

How do you feel about this being the fifteenth year?
It all happened before I knew it, to be perfectly honest with you.  I never thought we'd keep making them over the years like this.  I think of making these films, both individually and as a whole, as if I'm a farmer.  It feels like I'm growing something on a farm.  You harvest the fields, you spread out the seeds, a typhoon comes in, the sun shines down on it afterwards...a lot of different things happen.  Similarly, the movie staff has to overcome all sorts of obstacles to create each film.

Which project has left the deepest impression?
All things considered, I'd say the first movie, "Myuutwo Strikes Back!"  Everything was done by hand back then, and it was a big sensation not only in Japan but in the U.S. as well...I have special memories of that time.  I remember wanting Myuutwo to be voiced by Mr. Ichimura Masachika from the beginning but didn't think we'd actually be able to get him.  I said that for a pokemon like Myuutwo, Mr. Ichimura is the closest to what I imagine it sounding like, and it ended up becoming a reality.

Myuutwo, who left a big impact in the first movie.  According to the director, he had "The Phantom of the Opera" in mind when making this film.

Please tell us your favorite scene, regardless of what movie it's from.
It's from the fifth movie, "The Water Capitol's Protector Gods Latias and Latios."  It was the first movie we went out of the country to do location hunting for took a lot of references of the rows of buildings in Venice, Italy to create a CGI version of our Alto Mare.  The story of the movie was simple, but it was also the first movie where we started to think of the pokemon, the setting, and the characters as a real trinity.

So anyway, at the beginning of this movie, there's a scene where Satoshi is chasing after a young girl Kanon, who's actually Latias in disguise.  We wanted to have a scene where it felt like you were getting more and more lost the deeper you went, and I remember feeling amazed at how we were able to use CGI to pull that off.

"Yukinari is a boy who's hardheaded and is the opposite of Satoshi."  This movie is about a friendship that  stands the test of time.

"Because this movie had a fantasy setting, we of course had to include a little bit of cosplay (laughs)."  Pay attention to Pikachu's costume.

Tell us about the use of CG
The colors of the hand-drawn stuff we did before and the CG we created on our computer screens wouldn't always match up when we converted them both to raw film at the end.  We ended up having to do a lot of trial and error as we made those earlier movies.

Satoshi gets lost in the streets of Alto Mare.  The hand-drawn Satoshi is blended in with the computer generated buildings in the background.

Tell us about the characters and the pokemon.
Satoshi is a very clear-cut character and we were used to everyone else from them being on the TV series, so we didn't have a lot to worry about.

The Rocket-Dan's roles "...eventually get reduced during production," but we still strive to give them important things to do.

We have the Rocket-Dan appear a lot more in the early drafts of the script but their roles eventually get reduced during production.  But none of us wants to take responsibility for that (laughs).  It takes time to showcase the guest characters and pokemon who are appearing in these movies for the first time, so we end up giving the Rocket-Dan's screentime to them.

What kinds of adventures do you think Satoshi and Pikachu will get into now?
If you're asking where we want him to go, I want to see him go to outer space, a completely frozen world, some extreme environments, a mysterious world...I want to see him go to all those places.

Do you have a message for all the fans out there?
We need you all to go out and see these movies so we can continue making them (laughs).  To all the fans who have supported us over these fifteen years, we hope we've lived up to your expectations and you haven't felt betrayed by any of our movies.  We have a lot of pressure to deliver each and every year, but we'll try our best to create an enjoyable pokemon world for all of you to enjoy.

Jackie, who Satoshi looks up to.  The director's said that "I can see Satoshi being a Pokemon Ranger in the future."

Kohdai was a top-level villain compared to the others.  The director "...wanted to have a movie where even the audience was fooled by the shapeshifting Zorro'ark."



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