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Food for thought: Interviews of M20 staffs

CrystaI

The Pokemon Observer
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The 20th aniversary movie Pokemon: I Choose You was a very big matter not only for the Pokemon franchise, but it is also for the Japanese anime industry and Japanese pop-culture. That's why, there were quite many interviews hold by different people from different mass medias, asking the staffs about their views of M20 and their feeling for the past 20 years.

Here are some specific ones I found. Please note they are all in Japanese. I had summarized the most important keypoints of each interviews.

I think they are quite an interesting read, because it tells some insight of how the official anime staffs see the Pokemon Anime, how do they think about the past 20 years history of Pokemon Anime, and what do they expect and wish for the future of this show. There are also some important trivias about the content of M20 and the TV series.

Though I have to clarify, my meaning of "interesting" doesn't mean they are good and I'm agreed with. My meaning of "interesting" is because they are controversial, I feel like there is something not right about the answers of interviewees (though I can't explicitly describe it). This is just my personal feeling, one may agree or disagree or propose a different opinion about these interviews. This is the thread for that discussion.



Interview with Hongou Kanata (VA of Souji) and Satou Shiori (VA of Makoto)
劇場版ポケットモンスター キミにきめた! インタビュー: 本郷奏多&佐藤栞里“ポケモン声優”挑戦への覚悟「歴史を汚すわけにはいかない」 - 映画.com
* Hongyou Kanata and Satou Shiori are Pokemon fans from GenI era, watched the anime since then and still play the game series currently. The interviewer said despite they are happy and felt like a dream of participate in this work, they had a resolution of "Cannot profane this historical work".
* Hongyou is a VA of many TV animes, he said he do this work "with the feeling of being invited(1)", hence he think he need to make more efforts than the regulars, or else it will be impolite to the ones who make a living out of this work.
* Hongyou is strict to himself due to experiencing the tension on the spot several times. "I can't defile the history of this show. I can't let the audience possess different thought". For example, he can't let the audience think "When this guy talk it felt like return back to reality". It will be discourteous to the ones watching this show, the ones producing this show, and all the past history of this show, hence he must playact in a manner of deeply into the work.
* Satou also had a similar thought. "It is a show that is loved by many and had accumulated many growth, its history shouldn't be tarnished no matter what, it shouldn't be interrupted at any cost". "Because I love Pokemon, I had watched the growth process of this work, hence I want to hold a feeling closest to all the audience".
* Satou said she was told to "challenge to proceed forward". Makoto is an advancing girl. Therefore she was advised to "try to have the feeling and appearance(2) leaning forward".
* During the scene of attacked by enemy, the script only wrote "Souji being attacked by enemy", so Hongyou playact the reaction of being attacked, but soon told by the director and sound director "The feeling is losing too much. Notwithstanding being attacked, Souji's feeling is facing forward". He agreed trainer should think "It is definitely defeatable. Let's catch it".
* Hongyou: "This is an exciting show easily understandable, that's why both children and adult can enjoy it together".
* Satou: "Pokemon is a show where protagonist move forward together with his companions, one's dream is achieved thanks to the companions or parents, it shall teaches the importance of someone around".

(1) お邪魔させていただいている if translate it literally, it means "allowed to bother". The Japanese phrase お邪魔します is equivalent to "Excuse me for disturbing/bother/interrupting you", the former phrase is the responsive form of the latter when the recipient approved it. So by simplifying this phrase situationally, it means "invited".
(2) The Japanese word 格好 is not only mean the physical outlook of a person, but it also includes things like gesture, mannerism, posture, semblance, etc. So it generally means everything about a person one can perceive with one's physical eyesight.

Interview with Matsumoto Rica and Yamatera Kouichi
「劇場版ポケモン」声優・松本梨香さん&山寺宏一さんインタビュー | アニメイトタイムズ
* During the beginning of this anime, it was told that it would last for about just a year. But now, Matsumoto said it felt like a dream where time had passed and many movies had made, she had the highest gratitude for the fact that it sustained continuously for 20 years. She also mentioned it felt like attending a Coming-of-Age ceremony.
* 20 years had passed, yet Matsumoto and Yamatera didn't felt too much for continuously doing this job for such a long time. Though Yamatera think Matsumoto is praiseworthy for voice-acting Satoshi for such a long time without significant decline in her skill. The two are also proud that the two didn't change much for all these 20 years.
* Within the many children who watched Pokemon that will eventually graduate from anime, they wished one day when they turn on the TV, one will think "Hey, Satoshi is still doing his best", "Then I shall also do my best", providing the audience a kick in the back.
(Within the interview, Matsumoto also mentioned that is her relationship between Yamatera, looking at how Yamatera doing his best she also felt she also need to do her best, a very good companion like a friend yet sometimes like a family, always provide her a kick in the back. BTW, she knew him even before starting as a VA of Satoshi)
* Yamatera described Matsumoto Rica was an affectionate person since the day he met her, just like Satoshi. Straightforward and have some delicate part, always shout louder than any other, charge up everyone around. He also mentioned they were like rivalrous friends, but yet they acknowledge each other. When he saw Matsumoto doing her best he also feel the same thinking "I must also do my best".
* They hope Pokemon shall become a place for someone to come back when disheartened, and also hoping to be such place continuously.
* Yamatera replied the charm of Pokemon is its unique world-building. It is not comparable to something else saying "Pokemon is like XXXX", Pokemon is Pokemon. He also mentioned the relationship between pokemon and human. This time Satoshi and Pikachu's relationship is like a married couple. The Pokemon World is unlimited, the ability to depict many different stories is also possibly one of its charm.
* On the other hand, Matsumoto think the charm of Pokemon is its subject of "It won't let you be alone" and "It will always be there for you". She think the relationship between Satoshi and Pikachu are like parent and children. The audience watching this anime will feel their love and shall not become alone. She wishes one's love towards Pokemon shall become the love towards themselves. Yamatera also agreed it will be something fantasic if one will start thinking they are not alone by watching Pokemon.
* They once again mentioned the director said this movie is like "an introductory manual to Pokemon". The one who watched from the past can feel nostalgic, and the children who watch this for the first time can be touched by it. Also the touching episodes that had already existed in the past had included, yet it look new, having an unusual feeling. Anyone can enjoy and be moved by it, a very nice work suitable for 20th anniversary, yet a work that can be branded as a new start.
* Matsumoto hoped the ones who watch the movie will think "Ah it was like that in the past. So how it would be if is was me" in the same way just like her. She also interestingly said one should watch this movie with a towel around you, because one shouldn't hesitate to cry while enjoying this movie.

Interview with Yuyama Kunihiko (Director)
ピカチュウがモンスターボールに入らない理由とは? 「劇場版ポケットモンスター キミにきめた!」インタビュー【 第13回 昔の子ども、今の子ども。】|ウーマンエキサイト
* Pokemon is an anime started from the game. The setting of receiving a pokemon and go travel around challenge gyms stayed the same just like the game, they also used the game map as reference for anime production. At the beginning the game was in monochrom 8-bit graphic, there wasn't much visualization.
* Pokemon didn't become anime immediately after sales of games. They marketed it little by little, popularity widen through word-of-mouth between children, after about 1 year there then came the proposal of anime adaption.
* At the very beginning they had a discussion about choosing the starter between Fushigidane, Zenigame and Hitokage. But choosing either one will be unfair to the audience that chose the different option in the game, so all are unfavourable. Rather saying Pikachu was the best choice, it was well-established as a "living creature", it is also cute and strong, and because it was polled as being No.1 popular in the reader questionnaire of Coro Coro Comic back at then, so it decided as so unanimously.
* For the reason of why Pikachu doesn't want to enter monster ball, well... there wasn't any specific reason, they simply want to show it wants to be outside. Other than that, they want to portray the theme of "Always together".
* Yuyama said the biggest charm of Pokemon is definitely the variety of species, where children can choose to like either the cute ones or the cool ones or the ugly ones. Also he think the charm may also came from audience accepting them as "living creatures" living in that world rather than simply just some (fictional) characters. Pokemon is just that enjoyable by that sense of possibly exist in everyday life.
* Because of that, he values very much that "sense of everyday worldiness of a world inhabited by pokemons". Despite the extraordinaries and supernaturalness, it has that feeling of everyday life. Yuyama also mentioned, starting from 2002 whenever they going to produce a movie, they always go overseas for reference. They want to understand that sense of everyday life of another world different from usual.
* They went to New Zealand for data research of M20. The battle scenes inside the street took reference from New Zealand's street arrangement.
* Within the 20 years history, Yuyama said the largest turning point is the technology change from analog film to completely digital. 2002's [email protected] movie is just at that transition period where it was a digital work yet also having analog film. There were many changes in colors and textures, they went through many troubles in adapting the new technology. Yuyama added a sidenote at the end that there wasn't any turning point for the content of the show.
* Yuyama mentioned the biggest difference between the TV series and movies is the difference in levels of reality. For example when someone fall from high place, within TV series you will end up having a human-shaped hole on the floor, but in movies it hurts physically. And that trend of TRio disappear to the sky while saying "We are blasting off once again!!!", they won't do it during the scenes involving plot development. Or else crisis doesn't feel like crisis, anything could happen. TV series have things from slapsticks to serious issues, yet leaving the enjoyable portion untouched, but in movies he wants Satoshi to overcome the dangers as a normal human of flesh and blood.
* They don't utilize Pokedex during movies. Because legendary pokemon definitely appears, it felt something is wrong if such pokemons are recorded in the dex.
* That's why, during the 1st episode of TV series, Ho-Oh indicated as "Not yet recorded" in the dex. It was a pokemon having its design finished before the sale of next generation game. The game Pokemon Gold/Silver was supposed to be out at the end of the year, but production was delayed, there wasn't any game coming out for almost 3 years. That's is also why TV series was at first progress forward in a very fast pace, but slowed down during the middle. Though Yuyama didn't think there is any problem of change of pacing because this is an adventure journey story.
* Yuyama think the Pokemon World is a manifestation of "A day of summer recess", where one go out somewhere to play and just come back after gaining some experience. Hence when he concentrates and trouble about the story, he will just think "If this is a day during the summer recess, how is it?". It isn't something too faraway from everyday life, he depicts things that are graspable by a 10-year-old boy Satoshi.
Hence, he said it is OK for Satoshi to remain lack of understanding for things he doesn't understand. For example during Mewtwo Strikes Back, Satoshi didn't understand more than half of the words of Mewtwo, only the feeling is somehow connected. They didn't gain consent through words, Yuyama wanted to portray "Somehow they are connected".
* Yuyama mentioned one of the largest theme of Pokemon is the "Acceptance of differences". The encountering of magical creatures shouldn't be branded as either bad or good, he hoped the message "I and it is completely different, yet we accept each other despite this fact" is transferred.
* There were many proposal for the 20th movie due to anniversary. They once thought of a movie of the lastest SM saga inserting elements of 20th anniversary, but then it requires explanation when the old characters appears. Explanation is cumbersome for the old audience, but without explanation the new audience will not understand, it will make everyone unable to enjoy it straightforwardly.
Because Satoshi and Pikachu are knew by everyone, hence the option of returning back to starting point, a movie consists of encountering companions, catching and breeding pokemons, and the farewells, is selected as best suited for the 20th anniversary.
* Within the TV series, even Yuyama declared Satoshi is somehow like a "hero", despite he will quarrel with someone, he didn't show his weakness within these 20 years. Hence Yuyama wanted to revert Satoshi back to a normal 10-year-old boy who loves pokemons by using this chance of 20th anniversary. Because he is a normal boy, he may sometimes be mean to the other, going through such experience and gaining companions, encourage by them and grow. He wanted to show the developed Satoshi at the end by letting him going through many obstacles.
* In order to let the audience think "I want to travel to and experience this place", he put a lot of effort in the background landscape.
* For the question of why Pocchama was selected, Yuyama simply replied he was told to "put it forth", and Makoto being a girl would be just fine to possess it. The choice of Lucario was also the same where he somehow just think it is also good to "put it forth". For Gaogaen, he didn't gave any explicit answer.
* Regarding on Entei, he think it is the pokemon with a sense of "Some kind of awesome animal" in terms of physical look, it is not something extremely marvelous if existed in the nearby, if encountered one may just exclaim "It looks awesome".
* The main theme of this movie is the deepening of bond between Satoshi and Pikachu. For the old fans it is "nostalgic but new" movie, but for the new fans it will be an introduction. He hoped this movie can be watched by people from many different demographics.
* Finally, Yuyama hoped the former children who had watched Pokemon from the beginning became parent will bring along their children to watch this movie, he expected this movie shall have a lot of family coming. He wishes a conversation between parent and children shall arise and talk about what they felt.

Interview published in Newtype
https://i.imgur.com/KsusJZR.jpg
* The movies in the past focused on the battle between legendary pokemons introduced in the game series. But M20 doesn't ride this old trend, but instead going a different route using this chance of 20th anniversary, by depicting the first meeting of Satoshi and Pikachu, look back again the bond between the two from ground zero.
* By condensing all the charms of Pokemon depicted through Satoshi and Pikachu through these 20 years and making a new story, this movie is intended to be a work that will make audience rethink "Why did we became so passionate towards Pokemon?".
https://i.imgur.com/Qdpumx7.jpg
* The VA script for the role of Satoshi was the thickest amongst all movies. Matsumoto Rica described it felt like a reflection of the long 20 years history of Pokemon Anime. She said she was very excited as soon as she received the script, remembering many scenes like a slideshow inside her head.
* For Matsumoto Rica, she equate herself with Satoshi, she think Satoshi had a lot of common characters with her, such as take action immediately upon thinking, have animal love, and sensitive to the environment. Therefore she "role-play without role-playing", she act out Satoshi naturally like how she would in Real-Life. She described Satoshi is a normal energetic 10-year-old boy that is nothing strange even if exist in Real-Life. She also reasoned why everyone loves Satoshi by listing out all his positiveness.
* She praised Pikachu's VA Ohtani Ikue for able to act out the "realness" of Pikachu, despite the cuteness there was some wildness. She mentioned she mirrored Pikachu as her pet dog in her home.She also then explained in detail why she loves the relationship between Satoshi and Pikachu by listing out all the positiveness.
* To Matsumoto Rica, Satoshi is not just a fictional character, but another identity of herself. She is thankful to become the one that connect people from different generations (the old fans that knew Pokemon since beginning and new fans that doesn't know Pokemon). As she interacts more and more with fans from all over the world, she felt great responsibility for being the VA of Satoshi, wish to connect everyone by making every happy through the keyword "Pokemon".
* At last, the interviewer stated this work and also for Matsumoto Rica, M20 shall become a new restart for both of them. The same old ending line: "The journey of Satoshi and Pikachu aiming to become Pokemon Master will keep on contining!"

Interview published in Animedia
Note: There are some information that is equal to the interview published in Newtype, hence I dropped the part that is same as there.
https://i.imgur.com/d7M9ARW.jpg
* The same old introductory description summarizing what is the story of M20. The past 19 movies depicted the adventure of Satoshi and Pikachu centered around legendary pokemons, but this memorable 20th movie focused rather on the beginning meeting of Satoshi and Pikachu.
* They mentioned there appears different characters from the TV series. The scene of Pikachu closely cuddle up against Satoshi cannot be see without crying. Watch this movie for the start of the adventure of Satoshi and Pikachu growing to becoming strong and brave.
* In the small texts next to Satoshi of the poster illustration, it said despite there are difficulties and hardship, the goal of wanting to meet Ho-Oh once again shall let Satoshi and Pikachu stand up once again.
https://i.imgur.com/RvCmPN6.jpg
* To Matsumoto Rica, Satoshi had became an "irreplaceable existence", also another identity of herself. She jokingly said when she dies she wishes the name to be carved on gravestone shall be "Satoshi".
* She think the reason why Satoshi is loved by many is his positive characteristics of able to change failure to advantage. From the children's reactions she observed, she think Satoshi is the kind of existence who could work and try hard together and encouraging each other.
* Matsumoto's favourite episode is the one in DP about the farewell with Takeshi, and Bye Bye Butterfree in OS.
* She wished Pokemon can keep on portray a playful exciting world. Also she hoped despite new pokemons keep on appearing, old pokemons could also appear even just once in a while for a short cameo, in order to show those pokemons still exists, unlike some Real-Life animals where they become extincted unknowingly.

* Ohtani Ikue mentioned each year the Pokemon movies tend to follow the structure of massive story centered around legendary pokemons, there had very little emotional conversation. But this movie centered around the meeting between Satoshi and Pikachu, there shall be a lot of emotional scenes. The audience who didn't know the encountering between the two may think there is an unbreakable friendship between the two. But M20 shall betray such expection of "unbreakable", because it depict the hardship of how Satoshi win the trust of Pikachu.
* As the VA of Pikachu, Ohtani described by voice-acting Pikachu, he learned that word may seems convenient, but in fact have something inconvenient about it. He is impressed that despite pokemon don't speak, children will still happily dig into it.
* Ohtani stated through these 20 years the impression toward Pikachu didn't change, but the treatment had change. Pikachu had became so famous where people who don't know Pokemon will still recognize it, so this maybe the reason why the role of Pikachu become more "protective" rather than challenging. At the beginning of OS era they let Pikachu do many things by incorporating seasonal events in Japan. He personally wishes they can set up more events and provide him more challenges.
* Ohtani's favourite episode is Mewtwo Strikes Back. There is a scene Satoshi petrified and died. But instead of act like Pikachu understands the concept of "death" and cry out loudly, he rather let Pikachu questioningly whispered "Pi~ka?" like asking "Why are you not moving?". Pokemon possess sensation different from human being, if they communicate the same way like human they will look like human, hence he said it is important to make difference.
* The amount of characters and pokemons increased significantly, yet there wasn't a lot of episodes that talks about the ecology of new pokemons. Ohtani wishes there can be more episodes that dig deep into pokemons themselves, such as portraying the likes of those pokemons, their strength and their way of life, where that can help expanding imagination of children. He hoped to convey through Pikachu, where animals and even babies who cannot talk had some message to tell. When everyone can become considerate towards the ones who cannot talk, the world may become kinder, and he is glad to be the catalyst of that.
https://i.imgur.com/uacfXAp.jpg
* Yamatera Kouichi (VA of Marshadow, and previously worked in OhaSta), also agreed returning back to origin is the best for the 20th movies and 20th anniversary. He think the scene of Satoshi meeting Pikachu should make new fans moved and sympathized.
* The interviewer commented Marshadow is a very cute pokemon, Yametera agreed. At first he thought Marshadow may have a high-pitched voice, but during the middle there is scene where its atmosphere change, and because it is a legendary pokemon, there is no distinct impression of it, hence he went to the recording studio without any plan. In the past he imagined the impression of the character before recording, but this time they decided that on the spot by consulting with other staffs.
* Marshadow's voice is variable, where it sounds like it was digitally edited, but Yamatera declared in fact it wasn't edited. At first there was proposal of editing, but mechancially edited voice doesn't sound like pokemon, hence he was given a difficult order to "make a voice that sound like edited but it is not edited".
* Yamatera had been a regular VA of Pokemon movie characters continuously for 20 years. Each year he is called to voice-act some secondary characters in the movie. Although he was seen as regular staff of movies by other casts, he said he was often treated like a guest VA.
* Yamatera is awed at the fact that this anime could continue for 20 years, he is happy to be part of this world-famous anime for such a long time. He praised this is a work that supports the Japanese culture.
* Yamatera stated he is looking forward to this anime where it will show him a world he never saw before, and he expected new challenges continues.

* Yuyama Kunihiko the Director of Pokemon movies and Executive Director of TV series, explained M20 originally had proposal of making it into a SM movie, or an all-star movie. But, because each single movie had different style, it feels something is not right, hence they thought of how about the plan of returning back to the origin. The meeting between Satoshi and Pikachu was the beginning of Pokemon, after 20 years there may be people who don't know that start, hence it was decided "Let's portray once again the meeting of Satoshi and Pikachu from the beginning".
* Within the anime series, Satoshi was portrayed like a hero. But in this movie, Yuyama wanted to make him into a normal 10-year-old boy who will become frustrated to the point of slander at other when losing battle. Also not just simply being weak, but he also wanted to show Satoshi and Pikachu grow to a point beyond a limit that had never achieved previously.
* The interviewer mentioned growth was generally depicted as being strong in battle, but Satoshi never grew to become "absolutely invincible". Yuyama agreed this saying, and he was always being careful of not making Satoshi too strong in all the past movies. He agreed Satoshi may never ever obtained any legendary pokemons, within the game you can have NFE pokemon win against FE pokemon, even the BST-wise weak pokemon can outmatch the stronger pokemon thanks to the friendship and bond between the trainer, and he wanted the anime to imitate this.
* Yuyama wanted to do the royal road story plot of meeting friends and traveling together also in the movie. He admitted it may seems stereotypical, but he chose to have an energetic girl and a cool-headed boy. Cross is created because he also want to have a rival. There may need an adult supporting the journey hence Bonjii was introduced. The mystical pokemon in SM game Marshadow, it was intended to be an existence just to guide Satoshi, watching him from afar, and correct him when derail. Yuyama said he did all of these based on the accumulated images collected from many children. In this movie, there will touch the question of why Pikachu dislike to go inside the pokeball.
* This is a common thing amongs all movie, there are many drawings removed. In the movies it didn't use streamline background(1) that is often used in the anime series. He wants the audience to experience the same happening as Satoshi, so even during the battle scenes the backgrounds are precisely illustrated.
* Looking back at the past 20 years, the most memorable change in Yuyama's perspective is the change of animation technology and gaining knowledge in animation production. He awed at the fact that this show had continued already for 20 years.
* Because of difference of life style of Real-Life compare to that of 20 years ago, Yuyama stated this also influence this work quite a bit, such as the fashion. Despite M20 Satoshi wearing the same cloths as the OS Satoshi, the collar design is different and he didn't tuck in his shirt, his clothing fashion is concurrent to nowaday style. Though for things like cellphone, Yuyama said he didn't care much. He wanted children to run freely in the wild field, he think the world where having children constantly holding cellphone doesn't feel joyful, hence in the anime he doesn't let children holding cellphone.
* At last, he declared this year's movie started from the meeting of Satoshi with Pikachu, but it is a different story from the anime series, it is a nostalgic yet a new movie, hence it shall be enjoyable for both the old fans and new fans.

* Hayasibara Megumi the VA of TRio Musashi, said at first she thought her character was a cool villain, but as time goes she felt they had flanderized her in the slapstick comedy direction.
* Megumi explained the loop of being graduated from anime, start to play the game, then become nostalgic about the anime and come back, then again lay hand on the new game, the new charm and novelty is probably the reason why people love Pokemon so much. She was a bit disappointed that TRio doesn't appear in the game. (Trivia: She kind of doubt is Musashi really loved by the public)
* Although it is fine to have battles, Megumi wishes the anime may uses more portrayal of emotional connections, not just being easily understandable for children, but letting children think and ponder.
* (Nothing special for the words of Miki Shin'ichirou the VA of TRio Kojirou and Inuyama Inuko the VA of TRio Nyath, unfortunately)

(1) 流線背景: This is a technical term used in animation industry. It is the kind of background where lines or other effects move in fast speed uniformly in one unique direction, usually used to depict the speediness of actions or for comical effect.
https://i.imgur.com/5bRH9m2.jpg
* Asada Yuuji (Assistant Director of DP series), answered why Pokemon is loved by many, is probably in its charm of nicely mixed love, justice, friendship, and bond between human and Pokemon. His favourite episode is the last episode of DP Memories are Pearls! Friendship is Diamond!, that is an episode where he put everything into it. After then, he said he felt like soullessly empty.
* Sudou Norihiko (Assistant Director of AG, DP, and BW series), think the reason why Pokemon loved by many, is probably the simpleness of directly portraying the friendship and adventure centered mainly around the bond of Satoshi and Pikachu. Also there are changes according to each series, it just tells how deep the inner of this work is, it is a proof of there are still room for world-building.
* Sudou Norihiko's favourite episode(s) are all the ones featuring Hunter J. It was the first time such a serious villain appeared, he put a lot of effort in drawing. He is unsure how Pokemon will change or unchange in the future. He only hoped and be glad that the children or grandchildren of current audience will continuously enjoy this show forever together.
* Tomiyasu Daiki (Assistant Director of XY&Z and SM series), he was a game fan since Pokemon Red/Green, hence he informed beforehand he may not provide any objective analysis. Regarding on the interview question of why Pokemon is loved by many, he think the design of pokemons are nice, and the anime expanded that charm in many directions. Provide personalities and dig deep into pokemons themselves is an enjoyment available only in anime, the anime cannot be discussed by excluding the cuteness of Pikachu.
* Tomiyasu Daiki's favourite episode is the SM episode "Nyabby, Time to Begin the Journey!". There is the concept through out the series of "portraying pokemon like animal", thereupon the depiction of lifespan cannot be avoided. "Do not use any presentation of death", "Do not let Nyabby shed tears, instead let rain falls" is his favourite part. Doesn't matter small children didn't understand the meaning behind, he only wished one will develop the sensitivity to perceive it eventually.
* He stated Satoshi's appearance is a bit different from the past, but that's why he portray him as a youngster upon all the past adventures. He wished the nowadays children can also feel the same experience of how he fall in love with Pokemon, hence he made the SM series. He also wishes the elder fans could watch the children fans attentively.
* Yajima Tetsuo (Assistant Director of XY and XY&Z series), he think the charm of this show is audience can feel like traveling together with Satoshi and Pikachu. Go to a new town together, meet new pokemon, wonder about what is that pokemon, smile and cry with the pokemon, deepening the bond, participate in battle, discover the new side of pokemons.
* Yajima's favourite episode is the XY&Z episode where Satoshi disheartened and frustrated after losing against Shouta the junior trainer how admire him. That is the episode where when he felt everything was mess up not going well he then suddenly return to his earnest feeling of loving pokemon, and that is also when Gekkouga unmask its water shield and reveal its perfect forme. In XY there were many story structure like that, it feels like the seed implanted since broadcast and raised with consideration had now flourished into a flower.
* Little trivia: In the story summaries of each series, OS mentioned at the end Satoshi went to Johto, AG at the beginning picked up the fact that Satoshi had finish traveling Johto and at the end mentioned he went to Kanto for Battle Frontier, DP at the beginning also picked up the fact that he completed Battle Frontier, but at the end only mentioned Satoshi went back to Kanto after losing Sinnoh League. BW at the beginning didn't mentioned any former achievement of Satoshi, at the end mentioned he went to Kalos. XY started the summary by mentioning the meetings with XY companions, at the end mentioned after finalizing the incident with TF Satoshi just went back to Masara Town. For SM the summary started off by mentioning Satoshi comes to Alola thanks to lottery prize of Barrierd, and then emphasizing the energetic great adventure of him by listed out the casual daily activities to be done in here.

Interview published in an unconfirmed magazine
Note: There are many information equivalent interview published in Animedia, hence I dropped the duplicate parts.
https://i.imgur.com/7LXMXei.jpg
* To Ohtani Ikue, Pikachu is a pokemon he fall in love one-sidedly. It cannot speak, thus Ohtani always questioned what does it trying to tell and what does it feel, and it was a good lesson as an actor in trying to portray this role on top of such understanding.
* From Ohtani's view, Satoshi is a representation of game players. In the game everyone were like Satoshi, discovering pokemons, experience the frustration of failing to catch, and being loved by many pokemon (laugh). The Pikachu who is loved by the representative of game players, shall be an existence providing selfless love to every audience through Satoshi.
* Ohtani was always being careful of acknowledging the fact that Pikachu doesn't understand human language when voice-acting. In the past, he observed the crying babies on the train and took reference from it. Despite it doesn't speak, it possess messages. When Pikachu voiced it wanted to tell something, but it may not has the same sensation as human being.
* The magazine itself described pokemon generally dwell in the pokeball, but Pikachu obstinately hate it. The magazine questioned why does it hate pokeball so much, and could there be hint of shortening their distance?
* When the interviewer ask to provide a messge to the audience, Ohtani Ikue said this movie portray in detail how the trust between Satoshi and Pikachu is constructed. This may be a good reference for the ones who want to be friend with someone else. He also say this may be a good catalyst to make one think Pokemon is interesting.
* (For the side of Matsumoto Rica, because all the questions and answer are more or less equal to that in Animedia, hence I dropped the summaries for Satoshi/Matsumoto Rica)
 

VTP-Dawkins93

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Thanks for posting these. They were very interesting, though I don't see what's controversial about them. This part, for example, makes a lot of sense of to me:

There were many proposal for the 20th movie due to anniversary. They once thought of a movie of the lastest SM saga inserting elements of 20th anniversary, but then it requires explanation when the old characters appears. Explanation is cumbersome for the old audience, but without explanation the new audience will not understand, it will make everyone unable to enjoy it straightforwardly.
Because Satoshi and Pikachu are knew by everyone, hence the option of returning back to starting point, a movie consists of encountering companions, catching and breeding pokemons, and the farewells, is selected as best suited for the 20th anniversary.

Which ties in a lot with:

* The main theme of this movie is the deepening of bond between Satoshi and Pikachu. For the old fans it is "nostalgic but new" movie, but for the new fans it will be an introduction. He hoped this movie can be watched by people from many different demographics.

and:

They once again mentioned the director said this movie is like "an introductory manual to Pokemon". The one who watched from the past can feel nostalgic, and the children who watch this for the first time can be touched by it. Also the touching episodes that had already existed in the past had included, yet it look new, having an unusual feeling. Anyone can enjoy and be moved by it, a very nice work suitable for 20th anniversary, yet a work that can be branded as a new start.

Depending on how much you want to read into things, you could say that Ash and Pikachu are the only two characters that matter when it comes to the anime, and that every decision made is going to cater to them to some degree.

I read these and also think that the whole fan belief of "they don't think about older fans" isn't true. They clearly do think about them, but have a number of considerations to make every time something like this comes up. A key point is that they can never make assumptions about what people know. For example, they can't assume that a new fan might have watched older episodes, or that an older fan has watched the more recent episodes. They had to find a common denominator between everything and concluded that having a story about Ash and Pikachu was best. Perhaps that's why they went with completely new characters as well: those new characters were new to everybody, so everyone has the same experience when watching them.
 
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