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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | Oricon News Interview with Mariya Ise

On the morning of March 13th, 2022 the entertainment website Oricon News posted an interview with Ms. Mariya Ise, the voice actor who played Eureka in the Pocket Monsters XY and Pocket Monsters XY&Z TV series, to commemorate her character's return in the Pocket Monsters (2019) TV series.

Below is an English translation of the original Japanese interview.

Enjoying Pokémon with my son; How Mariya Ise's child being a fan of both Eureka and Eevee makes her twice as happy

The two episodes of the popular animated series Pocket Monsters (TV-Tokyo stations, Friday nights at 6:55pm) that will air as part of a one-hour special on April 1st -- Episodes 103 and 104 -- will feature Citron and Eureka from the Pocket Monsters XY and Pocket Monsters XY&Z TV series for the first time in about six years. We here at Oricon News sat down with the voice of Eureka herself, Ms. Mariya Ise, and talked about her memories of what it was like when she first played the role and how she's currently enjoying the world of Pokémon as a new mother.

Ms. Ise, you played Eureka in the Pocket Monsters XY animated series (2013 - 2016). Could you tell us some of what's stuck with you about your experience after all this time?

Ise:  "For me, as someone who grew up on Pokémon, the whole experience was filled with nervous excitement! When I was a first grader in elementary school, the Game Boy games Pocket Monsters Red & Green (1996) came out and the animated TV series started up shortly after that (1997). And then there I was, watching the TV show from day one and becoming absolutely obsessed with it. So when I found out I was going to get to be a voice actor in this show I had been a fan of all those years I remember thinking "I can't believe I get to be in this!" But I also vividly remember feeling the weight of being a torch bearer for such a long-running and beloved series.

Now Eureka's not the only voice I've done for Pokémon; I've lent my voice to various Pokémon over the years as well. In Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Episode 143, I played a female Pikachu, and in "Pikachu and Its Eevee Friends," the short that was shown alongside Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! The Movie "The Extreme Speed Genosect and the Awakening of Mewtwo," I played an Eevee, and so on. Looking back I feel so lucky at being able to be a part of the Pokémon animated series.

A scene that stands out to me...? It'd have to be from Episode 41 of Pocket Monsters XY&Z. Puni-chan (Zygarde) had lost its sense of self, but Eureka was able to get it to snap out of it by singing "Puni ~ Puni ~" to it as if it was a soothing lullaby…that whole scene has just really stayed with me. That song had already been used as one of the show's ending themes, but to have it then be used in the show itself during such an important scene, sung with tears running down Eureka's face as she put her heart and soul into it, is something I still remember clearly, even to this day."

As part of the generation that grew up on Pokémon, did your favorite Pokémon change after you became a part of the show vs. before? It seems like you have a special fondness for Eureka's partner Dedenne, for example.

Ise:  "When I was in elementary school I liked the cute ones. So Pikachu, Eevee, Purin, and so on. But when I became an adult I started to also get really into the battling aspect of Pokémon and so the cool ones like Lizardon and Mewtwo started to draw my attention as well. And then, I actually became a part of the show myself and so now I've kind of gone and started to like all of them...? (shies away). Seeing the actors who play the Pokémon actually do the voices, right there in front of me, made me realize that hey, these Pokémon are creatures who have actual emotions and who are able to have full blown conversations with each other using just their little cries, and all that made me fall for and respect them even more. And so narrowing my favorite down to a single Pokémon has become incredibly difficult.

When it comes to Dedenne, I of course have love for it since it's Eureka's partner and all, but I also can't help but look at it from Eureka's point of view. Eureka looks at Dedenne as if she's its big sister, being all like "I'll protect you!" and all that. And so because of that I feel like Dedenne isn't just some cute little Pokémon to her; Dedenne is, for all intents and purposes, her little sister. Dedenne is -- and I mean this in the best way possible -- a Pokémon you can't always rely on, someone who's lacking just a little something or other. And so that instinct you inevitably get of "I have to protect it!" or "Hang in there!" is, in a weird way, a part of its charm (laughs). I worry about it, and I think that's probably because that feeling Eureka has toward Dedenne of being its big sister has rubbed off on me some."

You're part of the generation that's been with Pokémon for over 20 years at this point and so we wanted to ask you, how has Pokémon affected your everyday life?

Ise:  "In the over two decades that have passed, kids liking Pokémon is something that really hasn't changed, and that's something that's both comforting and surprising to me.

My son [1] will sometimes go up to me and go "Mama, you do the voice of Eureka, right?" or "You did Eevee's voice, right?" And when he was really little, I'd sing Puni-chan no Uta to him as a lullaby. And so we've been enjoying Pokémon together as a mother and son every single day for all this time. When I ask him what his favorite Pokémon is he'll go "I like Eevee!" and hearing that as both its voice actor and his mother fills me with double the joy. In the next episode we'll get to see Satoshi, Pikachu, and Citron together again and so I'm really looking forward to watching that together with my son. I hope you'll all look forward to Eureka's backs-and-forths with her big brother Citron and the way she interacts with her Dedenne."

Summary of the 2-in-1 Hour-Long Special, "The Face-Off Against the Four Heavenly Kings One-Hour Special"

In "Satoshi and Citron! The Great Crash Course in Friendship!!", Satoshi heads toward Miare City in the Kalos Region for his next battle in the Pokémon World Championships. Before the match, however, Satoshi and Gou drop in on Satoshi's former traveling companions, the Gym Leader Citron and his little sister Eureka. During a Pokémon battle Satoshi and Citron have as special training, something strange starts to happen to Satoshi's Negigaknight...!? And it also seems like Uonoragon's really interested in Negigaknight as well.

In "Hyper Class! Face Off Against Dracaena of the Four Heavenly Kings!!", Satoshi's opponent in his World Pokémon Championships match is Rank 12 in the Hyper Class and one of the members of the Kalos Four Heavenly Kings, Dracaena. Satoshi's opponent seems to be really nice at first glance but when the battle starts it's a whole other story! Satoshi decides to use his powered-up Negigaknight and Uonoragon against the Dragon-Type user! Will Satoshi be able to defeat such a powerful opponent!?

  1. ^ Ms. Ise uses the generic oyako (親 子), "parent and child," when talking about her child. However, we know from this blog entry she posted in September 2015 that her first (and, from what I can tell, only) child is a boy. Mariya Ise's son was probably born sometime in the summer of 2015 which means he'd have been around six and a half years old when this interview was conducted.

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