Animedia August 2019
Masachika Ichimura &
Sachiko Kobayashi Interview

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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | Animedia August 2019 Issue

Animedia August 2019 Issue

The August 2019 issue of Animedia (on-sale July 10th, 2019) included three-page feature on Pocket Monsters; one page was dedicated to Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution while the remaining two pages were focused on the beginning of the Alola Pokémon League in Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon.

Below is a translation of the interview they ran with Masachika Ichimura, the voice of Mewtwo; Sachiko Kobayashi, the voice of Voyager and the performer of Kaze to Issho ni.

Animedia August 2019 Interviews
| Masachika Ichimura & Sachiko Kobayashi | Daiki Tomiyasu |

Masachika Ichimura
Born January 28th. From the Saitama Prefecture. Belongs to the HoriPro talent agency.
Sachiko Kobayashi
Sachiko Kobayashi
Born December 5th. From the Niigata Prefecture. Belongs to the Sachiko Promotion talent agency.

Animedia: The first film in Pokémon movie series, Mewtwo Strikes Back!, is being revived after 21 years.

Sachiko Kobayashi:  When I heard this was happening I was honestly really happy.

Masachika Ichimura:  A lot of the younger people I work with had seen Mewtwo Strikes Back! before but had never realized that I was the one who played Mewtwo. There was also this one time about two years ago when I really surprised them - "That (Mewtwo voice) is you, Mr. Ichimura!?" - and so I was really happy to get the chance to try my hand at Mewtwo again for this film while also feeling like the whole thing was just meant to be. And also because this time around I actually get to look at my kids and tell them "Your papa's the voice of Mewtwo."
Kobayashi:  Your kids must be really excited, aren't they?

Ichimura:  They are. When I go to open class day at their school or whatever their classmates go up to me and say "come on mister, talk like Mewtwo!"

Satoshi and Pikachu

Animedia:  Did you take a look at the original film before recording for this new one?

Kobayashi:  I did, yes. I watched it, and that made the beauty of this new film even more striking. You haven't seen the finished version of the new film yet, have you, Mr. Ichimura?

Ichimura:  Well, I haven't watched the older one either. I just don't like listening to my own voice from back when I was younger. I also have this thing about rewatching my older performances because I'm afraid that'll make me regress back to the way I was, and I really wanted to make this a Mewtwo for the modern age and so I made the conscious decision not to go back and rewatch any of it.

Kobayashi:  But it'd be unthinkable to have someone other than you play Mewtwo.

Ichimura:  I was really nervous when I stepped into that recording booth 21 years ago. But everyone said I did a good job back then so this time around I want to see if I can take it even further. I want to deliver a Mewtwo that's perfect for the modern age.

Kobayashi:  There will probably be some children who will find out about this old film called Mewtwo Strikes Back!, all thanks to this year's movie, and so I think some nice memories will definitely come out of this. You'll be revisiting Mewtwo Strikes Back! in this year's film, but what was it like to come back and do voice acting work again?

Ichimura:  It doesn't really matter if we're talking about musicals or animation; it's all the same to me. No matter what the role is, I think of the characters I play as something that I'm going to give birth to, as something that's born from within me, and the same is as true for Mewtwo as it is for any other character. So for me, for this year's film, I feel like I'm standing on a stage, calling on the experiences and imagination I've acquired over the last 21 years.


Animedia:  Could you tell us your thoughts on playing Mewtwo again for this film.

Ichimura:  Twenty-one years ago, the animation was already finished when I went in to record and I remember playing Mewtwo while feeling like I, too, was a character stuck inside a glass container. But this time around, however, we didn't have the finished animation to work from and so I had to rely solely on the directions I received from the staff. That was a bit new for me.

Animedia:  Ms. Kobayashi, you play Voyager, a woman who was raised on the wharf.

Kobayashi:  This time around we had to make Mewtwo "evolve" and grow but for my character I didn't have to think so deeply about things like that (laughs). But my voice sounded really young in that first movie, and so I would try to replicate that in the recording booth for this new film. But whenever I did that I'd get told "you can just use the voice you have now" (laughs). By the way, in the previous movie there was a line, "ask the seagulls of the pier," but this time around it was changed to "the Kyamome of the pier." Apparently a Pokémon named "Kyamome" was discovered at some point in the last 21 years and so that really caught me off guard.


Animedia:  Ms. Kobayashi, for this new film you collaborated with Ms. Shoko Nakagawa to sing the movie's theme song, Kaze to Issho ni. What do you think is the appeal of that song?

Kobayashi:  The new version was arranged by Mr. Seiji Kameda and he was really able to breathe new life into Kaze to Issho ni. I'm really happy that "Shokotan" (Shoko Nakagawa) has been able to sing this song with me since it's one that means so much to people that they go to our concerts and wave their glow sticks in the air whenever we sing the song. I feel like I'm a mother on-stage, performing together with my child.

Animedia:  To finish things off, could you please send us off with a message to Animedia's readers?

Ichimura:  I get to play the role of the legendary Mewtwo again, and I think some of the people who go see the film watched the original 21 years ago when they were kids themselves. I've grown and changed over the years, just like Mewtwo, and so make sure you go to the theaters to see this "modern day Mewtwo."

Kobayashi:  I have this great memory of a bunch of children singing Kaze to Issho ni all together when it first came out (back when the first movie was released). It's a song that holds a lot of really happy memories for me and so I'm really looking forward to hearing all the little kids who go see this new movie come together to sing this song.

Animedia August 2019 Interviews
| Masachika Ichimura & Sachiko Kobayashi | Daiki Tomiyasu |

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