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Interview with
Rica Matsumoto (Part 1)

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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | CoroCoro Online Interview with Rica Matsumoto

On the night of September 15th, 2019,
CoroCoro Online posted a series of interviews shortly after the airing of the 139th episode of Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon, "The Birth of the Master of Alola!!" One interview is with Satoshi herself, voice actress Rica Matsumoto. The spoiler-filled interview goes over her feelings about finding out that Satoshi was going to actually win the Alola League, her most cherished memory of the last 22 years, and where she sees Satoshi going from here on out.

Below is an English translation of the original Japanese interview.

CoroCoro Online Interviews
| Rica Matsumoto (Alola League | Dr. Ookido) | Shoko Nakagawa | Okazaki Physical Education | Nicole Fujita |

It's a celebration of the “Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon” TV series! We're commemorating Satoshi becoming the winner of the Alola Pokemon League! And we've got a special interview with Satoshi's voice actress Rica Matsumoto!!

In today's episode Satoshi achieved his long-awaited dream of conquering a Pokemon League and received the glory of becoming the Alola Pokemon League's very first Champion!

Since the TV show started back in 1997 it's been a full 22 years for the voice actress who's been playing Satoshi! That's right, Rica Matsumoto's been chasing that dream alongside Satoshi all this time. But for us here at CoroCoro Online, Rica Matsumoto and Satoshi are basically one and the same and so interviewing her is like interviewing Satoshi himself right after his win!

So let's ask him how he's feeling now that he's become the Champion.

Rica Matsumoto

-- Congratulations on your win! Could you be honest and tell us how you're feeling right now?

Rica Matsumoto (below, just “Matsumoto”):  Thank you very much. But I don't think I could have done this if it was just me by myself. My friends were there, my other classmates were there cheering me on, lots of people were helping me along, and all the pokemon were giving it the battles everything they've got and so that's why I think I ended up winning. So thank you everyone for helping me win! is what I'm feeling a lot of right now.

Everyone really gave it their all when recording the battle scenes. They were all intensely going like “Ohhhhhhh!” and pumping the room full of energy. I definitely think some of that energy rubbed off on me, for sure.

Satoshi vs. Guzma

-- So everyone was together when you were recording the battles?

Matsumoto:  Yeah, we were all together. And so because of that we all wanted the extra intensity we felt to shine through in our performances and so we all ended up shouting at the top of our lungs. I really do think the events unfolding on the screen spoke to us and lit a fire within all of us.  Because we knew that this was it, this was the real deal. And more than a few times we'd be so loud we'd be asked to “please step back from the mic” (laughs). And then, of course, the days after our recording days we'd all lose our voices.

-- So everyone was an MVP then.

Matsumoto: That's right. They're all MVPs!

Satoshi's Team

-- So when did you find out Satoshi was actually going to win this one?

Matsumoto:  When we first started working on the Alola Pokemon League the director came up to me and said “This time we definitely want to let Satoshi win” and I was like “What? HE'S WINNING!?” And that's how I found out. And for a while I was in disbelief, going “Are you joking with me right now?” and “You mean we can actually do that?” (laughs)

-- For you, personally, what Pokemon League battles were the best? You can also include those from past series.

Matsumoto:  Hmm...There are too many to choose from but if we're talking about this (Alola) League then it'd have to be today's battle with Glazio. Oh, but there's also the battle against Hau where Mokuroh did its very best...ugh, I can't choose only one. As for the past series, I'd have to go with the Shinji battle in the Sinnoh League! Goukazaru vs. Elekibull!!

Satoshi vs. Shinji

-- So, in the 22 years you've been playing Satoshi, please tell us the most long-lasting memory you have, whether it's from your time in the recording booth or out.

Matsumoto:  There was this program that would grant wishes for sick kids in the pediatric wards in hospitals and I was supposed to meet this little boy who really loved pokemon. But as we got closer to the day his health took a turn for the worse and we were told that we couldn't come visit him anymore that he had been transferred to the ICU. But I wanted to do something for him anyway so I recorded a voice message for him.

I recorded about a one minute long message and even managed to get Pikachu to chime in. And then we sent the recording to the boy. He had apparently lost consciousness by this stage but his mother was kind enough to play it on a loop for him anyway and then we heard that after a while he woke back up!

At that time I both felt so thankful to be able to have a job where I get to do things like this and, at the same time, felt that I have this incredible responsibility. And so in a lot of ways I changed the approach I took with Satoshi and remember starting to be more aware of the work I was putting out there.

-- Wow, what a wonderful story! When did all this happen?

Matsumoto:  It was maybe around 10 years after the TV series first started...? I thought about how wonderful my job is and how things like voice acting and animation directly affect the young kids watching and so this experience showed me that I'm not just “doing a job” and that I have to keep in mind the fans watching back home.

I really think that I'm where I am today because of all those fans who were once kids themselves. I know this doesn't really repay them for all they've done for me but to those kids out there I say that if you find something you're good at then the desire you'll have to want to keep doing it will be huge.

I think that's just so important, you know? If there are people who find something they can do then I think it's OK for them to go ahead and do that something. If you're surrounded by people saying you can't do this or that then you won't be able to do it, but if someone says “come on over!” then you'll want to say “Sure, I'm on my way!” back at them.

-- Are you sure you want to say all that? Once this article's posted online you might get flooded with a bunch of offers...

Matsumoto:  Hahahahahahahaha. That might be interesting. If you receive anything like that then pass them along!!

-- So to finish things up, please send a message to the CoroCoro readers out there.

  From here on out I think things like Satoshi's sincerity and the parts of him that won't change are gonna stay that way forever. But even so, he'll meet many people and experience many things, and he'll mature just a little bit and maybe be able to go on to the next level. So please keep showing him your support.

Pokemon is what it is because of everyone's support so if you don't cheer him on that he can't win!! (laughs)

-- Thank you for your time today!

  Thank you so much!

Satoshi always travels around from place to place but in Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon it feels like he's been mostly in the same place (the Alola islands) the whole time so it's a little sad. Ugh, I don't wanna leave Alola!!

External Links

■Rica Matsumoto's Official Fan Club Website:

Rica Matsumoto's Twitter Account:

CoroCoro Online Interviews
| Rica Matsumoto
(Alola League | Dr. Ookido) | Shoko Nakagawa | Okazaki Physical Education | Nicole Fujita |

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