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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | CoroCoro Online Interview with Kankuro Nakamura

On July 31st, 2020, the day the guest voice actors for Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" were announced,
CoroCoro Online posted an interview with the man who plays Zarude itself, Mr. Kankuro Nakamura!

Below is an English translation of the original Japanese interview.

CoroCoro Online Interviews - Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"
| Kankuro Nakamura (Zarude) | Moka Kamishiraishi (Koko) |

In Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko,"  Mr. Kankuro Nakamura has been cast as the role of the Mythical Pokémon Zarude! We here at CoroCoro also have a special interview for you!

Kankuro Nakamura Main

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko," which will be out in theaters Winter 2020, will have Mr. Kankuro Nakamura as one of its guest voice actors! He'll play the Mythical Pokémon Zarude, the one who raised Koko, the boy who's the key to this story.

To celebrate, CoroCoro Online conducted a special interview with Mr. Kankuro Nakamura. We even asked him about reading CoroCoro Comics as a kid!

The Mythical Pokémon Zarude, who raised a human as its own, will be played by Mr. Kankuro Nakamura!

In this movie Mr. Kankuro Nakamura will play Zarude, a Mythical Pokémon who lives deep in the jungle.

This film depicts a never-before-seen father/son relationship between the character Mr. Kankuro Nakamura plays, Zarude, and a boy named Koko who was raised as a Pokémon. What role will Mr. Kankuro Nakamura's Zarude play in the film's story? We can't wait to find out!

Here's the statement released by Mr. Kankuro Nakamura:

"I went to see Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back" (1998) in the theater back when I was in high school and then, last year, I went to see Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution together with my children. We spend a lot of time at kabuki rehearsals together but still find it hard to fit quality playtime into our schedules and so being able to go see a film like Pokémon as a family was a precious father / sons moment for us.

When I was chosen to be a guest voice actor I was already really, really happy because I had always wanted to try my hand at doing animation voiceover work but then, if that wasn't enough, my first job as a voice actor was going to be on something as long-running and beloved as Pokémon!

Ever since my kids were born I've been looking after them and learning a lot, and in the story of this movie, similarly, Zarude learns about itself as it looks after and brings up Koko. I'm actually a really big softy and so when I read the script for this movie about the love of a parent for its child I had tears streaming down my face the whole time. Kabuki actors use tradition to connect each generation to one another, and then new bonds form out of those connections; Zarude, meanwhile, is a Pokémon who continues to safeguard the rules (of the forest). So there were a lot of parts about the character I could really relate to."

CoroCoro Online's Exclusive Interview with Mr. Kankuro Nakamura!

-- Did you ever read CoroCoro Comics?

Mr. Kankuro Nakamura (below, just "Nakamura"):  I used to watch the Obocchama-kun cartoon and would also buy CoroCoro Comics and read the manga in there. This isn't something I could get away with now (laughs) but I remember when I was a kid I used to take off all my clothes and imitate him! And when I got older, I was drunk one night and had made a rip in my suit so my friends cut out the back and said I looked like Binbocchama (laughs). I'll also never forget the image of Obocchama going to school on the back of a turtle.

I'm also from the generation where dodgeball was really starting to take off so Hono no Tokyuji Dodge Danpei was a big influence on me as well.

-- The theme of this year's movie is the love between a father and son. What did you take from this movie's depiction of the love between a father and son, as someone who works as a kabuki actor in a father / son capacity yourself?

Nakamura:  There are a lot of parts of this story that I can relate to. Zarude raised Koko as a Pokémon, you see, and to be a child means Koko takes in everything around him like a little sponge, and as a parent Zarude has these hopes for what he wants his son to become, and yet sometimes things don't always work out the way you want them to, and so I think all of that is similar to how it is in real life.

-- The issue of CoroCoro Comics that's coming out soon will have a story from when Koko was younger (seven years old). Is there anything you want the kids who read this manga to feel?

Nakamura:  It's a story about being yourself. As a parent, I think watching your child learn and grow makes you really happy.

My children will take it upon themselves to watch recordings of stage plays and learn the dialogue, and then when they can recite it perfectly at their next rehearsal then people are all like "Wow, they're not just sitting around waiting for someone to tell them what to do, they're actually making the effort to act for themselves." But I think it's also important to remember that in order to think and act for yourself you have to have both vitality and power. Children are people who can do things today that they couldn't do yesterday, and while that makes me happy, of course, it can also be a little bit bittersweet for us parents (laughs).

-- Please leave the CoroCoro Comics readers with a message.

Nakamura:  You all started publication back in 1977, right?

To think that an old man like me and the children who are reading CoroCoro Comics now could have both read the same thing at the same point in their lives isn't something you can say too often, is it? The feeling of having CoroCoro Comics in your hand, of how heavy it is and how much information's crammed inside, is like nothing else. I think it's a real treasure box of a book.

-- Thank you very much!

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" will be the first Pokémon movie to be released in the winter!

Please take precautions to protect yourself from infection and look forward to going to the theaters!

External Links

■Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"
Official site:

CoroCoro Online Interviews - Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"
| Kankuro Nakamura (Zarude) | Moka Kamishiraishi (Koko) |

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