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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | Animate Times Interview with the Rocket-Dan

On the evening of November 2nd, 2019
the entertainment website Animate Times conducted a long interview with the voice actors who portray the Rocket trio; Megumi Hayashibara (Musashi), Shin-ichiro Miki (Kojirou), and Inuko Inuyama (Nyarth).

Below is an English translation of the original Japanese interview.

“Please give the Rocket-Dan more to do!” An interview with the voice actors Megumi Hayashibara, Shin-ichiro Miki, and Inuko Inuyama of the Rocket trio, who have been confirmed to be in the new “Pocket Monsters” series as well.

During the October 20th, 2019 broadcast of the popular “Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon”
TV series, it was announced that Musashi (voiced by Megumi Hayashibara), Kojirou (voiced by Shin-ichiro Miki), Nyarth (voiced by Inuko Inuyama), and Sonansu (voiced by Yuuji Ueda) will all be continuing on into the new series that starts November 17th.

And so we decided to hold an interview with the Rocket trio! The gang looks back on “Sun & Moon” and also talks about what it hopes will happen in the new series so be sure to read until the very end!

Even if the vibe of the series changes the Rocket-Dan's role will always be the same.

-- So let's start off by asking you to look back on "Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon" and giving us your impressions.

Musashi (Ms. Megumi Hayashibara, below just “Hayashibara”):  Well I guess we made a lot of donuts, didn't we?

Nyarth (Ms. Inuko Inuyama, below just “Inuyama”):
  There really were a lot of those Masarada Donuts, right? I remember them being so soft and so delicious the first time we tried them.

Kojirou (Mr. Shin-ichiro Miki, below just “Miki”):
  So we're just going to talk about donuts then? (laughs)

  Other than that, we just have to talk about Kiteruguma.

  What was all that, anyway?


Inuyama:  But it really did love us, you know? Since it would take care of us and all.

Well it's not like Rocket-Dan could possibly “get” it for themselves after all. So maybe that's why.

Miki:  But the Rocket-Dan's operations were basically the same as always, you know? To get that Pikachu.

Hayashibara:  So this has nothing to do with the Rocket-Dan, but Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon was a really fun and laid back series. Up until then the show had always just kind of focused on Satoshi and his adventures so it was a lot of fun to see him just be a kid and work together with other kids this time around.

Inuyama:  The general vibe of the series was different from the ones before it.

Miki:  It's because he was going to school this time around. I noticed how there was this clear and easy to understand distinction between the adults who looked over the islands (and the children on them) and those kids who only just caught glimpses of the adults' world. The three of us, meanwhile, were the same as always (laughs)

Hayashibara:  I was reminded yet again how even if the show itself changes the Rocket-Dan will be the same as always (laughs). The show could be set in, I dunno, outer space or somewhere like that. Or some secret underground organization could pop up. And through all that I think the roles of the Rocket trio wouldn't ever change.

Inuyama:  I hope it's like that from here on out as well.

-- -- Since the new series is set in all the regions which pokemon do you hope show up again?

Hayashibara:  Fushigidane. Because it's a pokemon that means a lot to me.

Inuyama:  It hasn't appeared in the TV series in a while but I like Nokocchi and would like to see it again.

Hayashibara:  And what about the one Inu-chan has a connection to...Dangoro, right?

Inuyama:  Yeah! Dangoro! But it evolved in the show.

Miki:  If this was that radio show we did then it'd be the “first” pokemon that Ms. Inuyama “raised.”

He's talking about “Pokémon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire.” In this show the voice actors would be guests on the show but would be referred to as “Pokemon Raising Specialists.”

Inuyama:  That's right. I wanna see Dangoro and Nokocchi.

-- Why Nokocchi?

Inuyama:  When I come across it in the video games I remember it being super weak and that's always stuck with me.

-- And that's why you want to see it again? (laughs)

Hayashibara:  That is so like you, Inu-chan (laughs)

Miki:  For me I guess it'd be Nyorozo.

Hayashibara:  But not Nyorobon?

Miki:  Nope. And not Nyoromo either. But if  I think about it “Tonyo-ro” would be good too.

Hayashibara:  You mean Nyorotono, right? “Tonyo-ro” is the sound it makes, not its actual name (laughs)

Miki:  I guess Nyorozo and Nyorotono. Because I have a history with both of them. Nyorotono has an especially refined air about it. How can I put this...he moves around like an old European man (laughs)

Hayashibara:  Like an old European man? (laughs)

-- So you've all answered with pokemon you have personal connections to, but who do you want to see from the point of view of the Rocket trio?

Inuyama:  Matadogas and the rest.

Hayashibara:  They're just all so cute, right?

Miki:  Don't forget that Nyarth is a pokemon as well.

Inuyama:  That's right. But I sometimes forget that I'm a pokemon too (laughs)

Miki:  Chirean and the others were also memorable.

Hayashibara:  The same can be said for Dokucale, who was really tough to part with. You know, it really does feel like the Rocket-Dan and their pokemon are all just kind of rooming together. You might expect them to sleep inside their Monster Balls like other pokemon but instead we see them sleeping outside along with everyone else. In that way I guess it's like we're kind of like roommates in a share house.

Miki:  It really feels like they spend all their time together with us. If you think of it that way it's hard for any of us to pick just one. Having said that...maybe Nyarth?

Hayashibara:  And of course you can't forget Sonansu. Neither one of them stays in their Balls though (laughs)

-- That's certainly true (laughs). We've never seen Nyarth inside a Monster Ball before, have we?

Hayashibara:  That's because it was never gotten by either Musashi or Kojirou.

Inuyama:  That's right (laughs). Nyarth isn't one of their pokemon but an actual member of the Rocket-Dan organization itself.

Hayashibara:  Right, right. There have been times when we've called out “Let's go! Nyarth!” but we've never did so while throwing a Monster Ball.

Delving into the past of the Rocket-Dan!? Looking forward to original side stories in the new series!

-- What do you want to see of the Rocket-Dan in this new series?

Hayashibara:  It seems like this new series isn't necessarily going to follow the story of the new games so I hope we get to see a lot of original stories unique to the TV version. When we first started we'd have episodes like the one with Musashi and Lucky were going to that nursing school together, or the one where we find out how Nyarth learned to speak human language, or the one where Musashi and Kojirou were in a bicycle gang. But even after all that there's still a lot of mysteries left over so I'd like to see some of those dealt with.

Inuyama:  I want to see more of the backstories of each individual member.

Hayashibara:  Yeah, like stories from before we met in the Rocket-Dan. I'm also interested in why we're the only ones who wear those white uniforms.

Miki:  Oh, you mean because other members of the team have black uniforms?

Hayashibara:  Other than that, I'd like to see an episode that takes place after the Rocket-Dan have blasted off.

Inuyama:  I've been saying for years that we have that be one of the shorts that air alongside the movies (laughs). But we're not being used in those much anymore so let's just do it in the TV series instead!

Miki:  The episode would open right after we're sent blasting off, right? You've been asking for that for more than 20 years though (laughs)

-- Satoshi finally won a Pokemon League after trying for more than 20 years, so do you think the Rocket-Dan will also, finally...

Inuyama:  I definitely want to see that. And it'd include flashbacks to previous attempts as well.

-- By the way, after playing the Rocket-Dan for more than 20 years at this point do you think they've changed at all during that time?

Hayashibara:  They did change that one time but then they reverted back to their old selves. They were super serious for a little while there.

Miki:  But we went back to form real quick (laughs). Have we changed any, other than that...? We haven't even changed where we sit inside the recording booth after all these years.

Inuyama:  Well sometimes I'll be facing a different direction (laughs) But our seats have always remained in the same place.

Miki:  So nothing's really changed. Time keeps moving forward so maybe we've grown up a little bit.

-- How do you think you've grown?

Hayashibara:  Well, it's not the characters themselves (laughs)

Inuyama:  But I think their success at the donut shop shows that there's nothing they can't do.

Hayashibara:  Wow, so you're a “glass half full” type then (laughs)

Inuyama:  Seeing the characters do well at selling donuts means they can do other things really well, so I think that if we started selling something else we'd succeed at that as well (laughs)

Miki:  Well we did make that Yaregutan robot that could make delicious Pile Juice.

Inuyama: That's right. The technical know-how needed to pull that off was amazing.

Miki:  But it seems like we don't really notice just how amazing all that stuff we've been doing really is (laughs)

Hayashibara, Inuyama:  I think you're right (laughs)

Miki:  But that's just like them as well.

Hayashibara:  I say this often but it's basically as if the balance among the characters of Musashi, Kojirou, and Nyarth was ripped directly from the balance among Mr. Miki, Ms. Inuyama, and myself here in real life.

We'll just casually say or do something that Musashi, or Kojirou, or Nyarth would say or do, and every time that happens we can't help but crack up. Miki-kun will come into the studio fretting about this or that, or I'll get super frustrated, you know (laughs). I think the way we take shots at each other but then also comfort each other really is just like the Rocket-Dan.

Miki:  Having said that, we don't usually see each other outside the studio so that could be one reason.

Inuyama:  Which part of this is me, and which part of this is the character I play...the line between the two is so blurry that I quickly forget which is which.

-- Probably because you three have been doing this for more than two decades. So to wrap things up, please give a message to the viewers out there who look forward to the Rocket-Dan appearing.

Miki:  We've already talked about wanting to see side stories that have nothing to do with the games' scenario so now we want to hear what you fans want to see from the Rocket-Dan. Please give us your feedback (laughs)

Hayashibara:  Every now and then the staff will be like “we can't rely on the Rocket-Dan too much.” But, like...why not? Keep on relying on us!! (laughs)

There are times when we'll work odd jobs, or get our hair caught on fire, or get shocked all over, or even make Nyarth up to be a Kimawari, all just to get that Pikachu!

Inuyama:  That clear tape we used really hurt.

Hayashibara:  We'll do anything so please, just let the Rocket-Dan appear!!

Miki:  It seems like we're more looking forward to getting appearances in the show ourselves than we are with telling fans to look forward to us appearing in it (laughs)

Inuyama:  Anyway, please support the Rocket-Dan. We're still in the early stages of recording (for the new series) but so far we haven't appeared all that much... That's why we hope you'll let the staff know that you want them to “put the Rocket-Dan in more episodes!” We're counting on you.

Interview / Write-Up:  Hakushuu Takeuchi (竹内白州)

Series Information

Pocket Monsters 2019

The new series will start on Sunday, November 17th with a supersized broadcast beginning at 17:30 (JST).

It'll then air every Sunday after that from 18:00 (JST) on TV-Tokyo stations! Some areas may air the series on different dates / times so please check your local listings.

The final episode of “Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon,” “Thank You, Alola! We're Going Our Separate Ways!!," will air on Sunday, November 3rd at 6:00pm on TV-Tokyo stations.

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