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Backpack | Features | TV station
Issue 20 of the magazine TV station, which covers TV listings for
September 30th ~ October 13th 2023, features promotional interviews
with two of the people involved with the then-upcoming show Cram
Adventures Into a Pocket.
Below is a translation of the interview the magazine ran with Koichi
Uruma, producer of the show, and Nanase Nishino, its star.
The interview with Producer Koichi Uruma can be found on Page 97.
Translation Note: The
original interview is presented as two massive paragraphs that
encompass multiple ideas. In the interest of readability I've broken up
these giant walls of text into smaller paragraphs in my translation.
We talk directly to the creators
behind your favorite TV shows
Today we listen to
behind-the-scenes stories on the very first live action TV show based
on "Pocket Monsters"
Adventures Into a Pocket"
Producer Koichi Uruma
Ms. Nanase Nishino is the player character in this show overflowing
with love for Pokémon
I was a producer for this show centered around plastic model kits
called Mass Produced Liko - The
Story of the Assembly of Another Plastic Girl that aired during
the July 2022 season, and it was thanks to "Liko~" I was able to
rediscover just how much people will tune in to shows that line up with
their hobbies. I was starting to wonder what I should do next when the
people over at The Pokémon Company reached out to me. They had
seen what TV-Tokyo was doing with their late night scripted dramas and
asked if that was maybe something I could do with Pokémon as well. This seemed
like it was going to be a great opportunity so I enthusiastically said
"yes!" And thus the project was born. I asked Shota Hatanaka, who
worked on the planning, screenplays, and production for that "Liko~"
show, to reprise those duties for this Pokémon project as well, and
after he said yes we talked about how we didn't just want to do a live
action retelling of Pokémon
but to do an original story based on human characters instead.
Both Mr. Hatanaka and I are 39 years old which means that when Pocket Monsters Red & Green
went on sale we were at just the right age to be playing the games
after school and have phrases like "What did you catch?" or "Let's
trade!" in our vocabulary. Once we settled on making this a show about
humans and their problems we then decided to base the whole thing
around those Red and Green games. We also came up with
characters based on certain Pokémon; in Episode 1, for example,
we have an Iwark-type character. That particular episode's centered
around the Pokémon
phrase "It's super effective!" and so when we sat down to actually
write the episode we were thinking about when someone might actually
use that phrase in their everyday life.
During the writers' meetings we'd first lay out which Pokémon
we'd want to feature and then find ways to weave them into the story we
were trying to tell. When we were figuring out the overall plan for the
show we really focused on making sure the progression of the games'
story and the story we were trying to tell, as well as all the various
elements, all fit together naturally. Well, maybe trying to juggle all
three of those simultaneously made some parts not fit together all that
well and so we spent a lot of time working those out (laughs). But it
wasn't just the scripts we poured our hearts and souls into. The art,
props, and even the lighting were chosen with the utmost care and love
for Pokémon. We wonder
how much of that the viewers will actually pick up on.
Our show's protagonist, Madoka, is an original character made just for
this show. Madoka isn't really all that exceptional at anything she
does, but her friends are very important to her and she's always
looking toward the future. And, of course, the adventures Madoka has
with those friends are given a special Pokémon twist unique to this
series. When it came to actually casting Madoka, we were thinking it'd
be nice to have someone who knows a little about Pokémon. And then we saw Ms.
Nanase Nishino in the 2023 movie Shin
Kamen Rider. We were completely enamored by her performance and
so we looked her up and came to find out that Ms. Nishino actually
really does love Pokémon!
So we asked her to please join our show. Once we actually met and
started talking to her she revealed that she's "played most of the
games in the series," and I think she may even be a bigger fan than a
lot of us on the staff...? So we were both a little happy but also a
little intimidated at the same time (laughs).
When we met face-to-face we talked about how this is a show based on Pokémon and so she would be
playing "the show's player character, not its star" and she seemed to
understand exactly what we meant. Once we started filming she was able
to give us a really natural performance; it felt like Ms. Nishino
really understood who this Madoka character was. The rest of the cast
-- Madoka's coworkers -- all bring something unique to the table as
well. As filming continued we could feel the rest of the cast coming
together into a real team and that made us so happy. We poured love for
throughout the entire show and so we hope you'll have fun watching and
re-watching it, looking for all the Easter eggs we've hidden throughout.
The interview with Nanase Nishino can be found on Pages 100 - 101.
A new TV series based on the
"Pokémon" video games starts this October. The show's star and
Pokémon fan herself, Ms. Nanase Nishino, tells us what to look
"If I ever became a
Pokémon I think my Ability might be "Oblivious" (laughs)"
What if Na-chan was in the
My "HP" stat would be average. I have days where I don't have that much
energy, you see (laughs). I think my "Special Attack" stat would be
higher than my "Attack" stat. If I was put into battle I wouldn't
actually touch my opponent and would instead want to put them to sleep
or freeze them or something like that. My "Ability" would be either
"Oblivious," since nobody can fool me, or maybe "Own Tempo" since
people always say that's how I go about my day.
Never in a million years could I have imagined that "Pokémon,"
the video games I've been playing ever since I was a little kid, would
go on to become a live action TV series! Of course I was interested in
finding out what kind of show it'd be and so it was really fun hearing
about how it was going to be set up like we're playing Pokémon on the Game Boy,
even though we were technically talking about work. I think the balance
they struck with the whole show is really great.
The player character I play, Madoka, is someone who not only thinks
about her friends but also takes action for them as well. Her friends
and her job are very important to her, of course, but even when she's
outside those groups if she sees a problem she'll work with that person
to figure out how to solve it. She's a really good kid who'll accept
criticisms from others and then, rather than try to tackle her problems
all on her own, is able to rally those around her to help resolve them.
I don't share a lot of similarities with the way she talks or acts but
the way she's written made her practically leap off the page. It didn't
feel like I was creating the role from scratch, it felt like I was
taking the way I normally talk and express myself and then applying
that to the Madoka character.
The Pokémon video
games are sold in pairs, with certain Pokémon only appearing in
one version or the other, and then also some Pokémon have
special ways of evolving...I think all that makes those games really
interesting. I'm the type of player who enjoys filling up her Bestiary,
one Pokémon at a time. Personally, I like the cool
Pokémon more than I like the cute ones, with my favorite being
Flygon. I have friends who are also Pokémon fans who like to
compare each other to Pokémon, and even they've said that "I
guess Na-chan (Nishino) would be Flygon." I hadn't really told them how
much I like Flygon at that point and so to hear them choose my favorite
out of the hundreds and hundreds of Pokémon that are out
there...that must mean something, right? I was so happy (laughs)
The BGM in "Pokémon" is also really great! You can listen to
music from previous video games on the official YouTube channels. When
I listen to the original music from "Diamond & Pearl" -- games I
played when I was in junior high school -- I get a little teary eyed
thinking back to lounging in the living room with my DS while my mom
was busy making dinner. It seems like this show will use music with
elements from the games' soundtracks in it so I think listening to this
show will probably make you feel nostalgic as well.
Every episode has a scene of characters playing the video games, and
footage from the original games, and even scenes where we're actually
taken inside the world of the games themselves. In other words,
watching this show fills you with the same satisfaction as actually
playing the Pokémon
video games. We hope you enjoy both the story of Madoka, who works at a
small advertising agency in Tokyo and who uses Pokémon to help her grow, as
well as the beautiful visuals used throughout the show.
Hair & Make-up:
Mai Tokunaga (Beautrium)
Yudai Ichinosawa (Ten10)"
LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS(LO「) (03-6804-2770)
Amitie CREDIR (amitie-credir.com)