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Megumi Hayashibara's The Characters Taught Me Everything: Living Life One Episode at a Time

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I feel like a lot of the stories she tells in this book (unintentionally) describe voice directors being really lousy at actually doing their jobs. Just shouting "Wrong! Do it again!" over and over, and then making your talent sweat to figure out what they need to do without giving them even a hint of what it is they want? I'm sorry, but that just strikes me as the director being incompetent more than anything else.

The fact that voice actors like Ms. Hayashibara are able to provide the performances that they do despite such a clear lack of support is frankly quite amazing.
 
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Apolgies, long post incoming...

@GalacticRonpa or @Dogasu - in the original, does Megumi actually say the following pertaining to the English dub?
'Evidently her name is Jessie in English, but in Japanese it's Musashi...'
'...whose name is Jessebelle in English and Rumika in Japanese...'
'We really are extending our reach to the stars above!' (p.143)
Or are these added into the English translation? Asking because mostly the translation notes are put as footnotes everywhere else.

Also, the names James Shinichiro, Meowth Inuyama and Wobbuffet Ueda - are these originally Kojirou Shinichiro .etc? Or some other format?

Any mention of Shudo?
She first talks about Shudo (and Yuyama actually) in relation to Minky Momo, and mentions that their work together on this is what led to her role as Musashi. The Minky Momo she voiced was the sequel to the Minky Momo who was infamously squashed by a lorry, and Shudo starts off by tells her not to bother watching the first iteration of the anime before she starts so she is free from the hangups of the previous character. What's really interesting is the insight she gives into Shudo's creative process - the cast and staff all used to go for dinner/drinks after recording sessions and he would encourage his junior scriptwriters to get to know Megumi, and use her as a springboard to develop the character and show.

What's cool is that Megumi says she formed personal friendships with some of these junior writers (who were of a similar age) at that time, and that she still gets a buzz when she sees their names on Pokemon scripts. Looking through the credits for that iteration of Minky Momo, I noticed Junki Takegami (who wrote the majority of Musashi's most standout episodes) and Akemi Omode whom she is surely referring to here. She also mentions that they talked a lot about her nursing school days and credits Shudo with including the detail of Musashi training as a nurse, and it's cool to note that that particular episode was written by Takegami.

Actually the Momo chapter is more about Shudo than it is about Minky Momo or her anime... Megumi contemplates towards the end that she wishes she could discuss with Shudo even now what happens when dreams don't come true (since Momo is about helping people realise their dreams), and that she wonders how Shudo would have written the next Momo in the current 'futuristic' world we live in. Obviously they had a very close and formative personal and professional relationship and it both warms my heart and makes me feel deeply sad, given his untimely death.

In the Pokemon section she underlines how much the TRio's contradictory natures (villains whose stated aim is to 'protect the world') is something that comes from Shudo's soul. It's also for his sake that she puts in this request to tone Musashi's violence and aggression down, some time after he had passed away, as she felt the character was losing the sense of a 'good natured villain' that Shudo had envisioned.

Please could you tell me what Megumi said about the character of Kojirou?
She delves a little more into the actual content of the story in the Pokemon chapter than in others, by highlighting each character's background. I'll write Kojiro's out for you verbatim:
'James is the son of a well-to-do family, and as a child was betrothed to a ridiculous girl who looks exactly like Jessie, whose name is Jessebelle in English and Rumika in Japanese (also voiced by me). James ran away from home to escape the unwanted marriage, and later joined Team Rocket, where he met Jessie.'

(The last bit of course is curious since it would seem Megumi goes with the Hoso retcon, but I digress...)

Megumi talks about scenes which have moved her to tears and she mentions the moment when Kojiro releases Chirean before getting swallowed by that leucocyte in M8 (as well as Dokucale, Nyasu helping other Pokemon out and Sonansu reminiscing on fond memories of Musashi as he floated down the river that one time).

As for images, there are a LOT of screenshots in this chapter compared with others, including several key frames from the current motto (including that K dipping M moment :sneaky:). Interestingly, there is not a single image that doesn't feature at least Kojiro if not all 4 of them, minus the original art by Sayuri Ichiishi and Shuhei Yasuda. I think maybe that says a lot about how important the team spirit and collaboration are felt to be to Musashi's character.

Unsurprisingly, in that vein she talks a lot about their team work, emphasising how deeply they all care for one another and will put each others' interests above their own. That even their conflict is driven by intrinsic trust, meaning they don't have to hide their real feelings to avoid causing offence. When she is talking about how Musashi wouldn't get the team to do something by just forcing them (as at one point it appeared to be in the anime), she highlights that Kojiro and Nyasu believe she always have a plan and that they 'love and care about her deep down' even if they outwardly grumble sometimes.

She also refers to the the other seiyuu by their character's names e.g. 'James Shinichiro' and in describing how each is like their counterparts, she says Miki is 'very thoughtful and supportive, if occasionally a worrywart'. The way she talks about the unity of their voice actors in the studio is so lovely btw - apparently guest actors comment that it must be nice to be in Team Rocket, and the actors proudly feel that yes, it is!
 
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...That is a gross oversimplification. Fair enough when talking about a CotD who has literally just one or two personality traits, but you’re talking about a main character of 24 years who has been in nearly a thousand episodes and is one of (if not) the most complex character on the show. Yeah she’s bossy and sometimes rude, but ‘in a nutshell’ she’s also so much more than that. Megumi, understanding this, asked for the producers NOT to reduce her character down to just these qualities.
Island Princess' wording implies that Megumi didn't want those traits at all. In a typical episode where Jessie isn't the focus, she is mostly bossy and rude, which in turn makes her funny. If there's more time for TRio, then their friendship is highlighted.

It's also for his sake that she puts in this request to tone Musashi's violence and aggression down, some time after he had passed away, as she felt the character was losing the sense of a 'good natured villain' that Shudo had envisioned.
Has she been happy with the character in recent years? She certainly wasn't violent in BW right after Shudo's death, but there were other reasons to be unhappy with her back then.
 
Sayaka Naegi - Daughter of Makoto and Kyouko
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Apolgies, long post incoming...

@GalacticRonpa or @Dogasu - in the original, does Megumi actually say the following pertaining to the English dub?
'Evidently her name is Jessie in English, but in Japanese it's Musashi...'
'...whose name is Jessebelle in English and Rumika in Japanese...'
'We really are extending our reach to the stars above!' (p.143)
Or are these added into the English translation? Asking because mostly the translation notes are put as footnotes everywhere else.

Also, the names James Shinichiro, Meowth Inuyama and Wobbuffet Ueda - are these originally Kojirou Shinichiro .etc? Or some other format?
Those're the phrases you just posted in the Japanese version:

「英語圏では、ジェシーと名前が変わるようですが、ロケット団のムサシ。」: She's Musashi from Rocket-dan, but her name was changed to Jessie in the English-speaking world.
「・・・名前はルミカ(私の声です)。」: ...her name is Rumika (voiced by me).

The motto is in the original Japanese indeed also 「なんだかんだと聞かれたらー」, although in the Japanese edition this's in page 145.

Yes, she calls the characters Miki Kojirou, Nyasu Inuyama and Sonansu Ueda in the footnotes. In the English version it's translated as James Shinichiro though? Why call him by his name and the other two by their family names lol

So yeah, other than Hayashibara's mention that Musashi's name in the English world is Jessie, no other mentions of the Western version whatsoever.

By the way maybe Dogasu should also take a shot at those translations, he's way more experienced than I am.
 
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Island Princess' wording implies that Megumi didn't want those traits at all. In a typical episode where Jessie isn't the focus, she is mostly bossy and rude, which in turn makes her funny. If there's more time for TRio, then their friendship is highlighted.
I can’t spend too much time on a response at the moment but I think what she was referring to was the Ohashi style of writing the TRio where Musashi would be overly mean and bossy to the point she’d be domineering and frankly (for lack of a better word) b*tchy while Kojiro would be portrayed as this extremely passive much suffering innocent victim of her cruelty. Nyasu could go either way and Ohashi loved to fit in many little bits and pieces about how being a trio made them all miserable (even in episodes where they’re the focus...). For example, the (extremely OOC) Victreebel release where Jessie and Meowth forced a trade of James’ Victreebel (which, now that I think of it, it did come after Takeshi Shudo left) while James is just on the ground crying. They were that way for a lot of late-late Johto and AG.

So yeah, really no wonder Megumi requested that and I thank her profusely for it :bulbaLove:
 
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「英語圏では、ジェシーと名前が変わるようですが、ロケット団のムサシ。」: She's Musashi from Rocket-dan, but her name was changed to Jessie in the English-speaking world.
Ahhh thank you for this! I wonder why she acknowledged the English name? I guess she knew the book would be getting a simultaneous English release and maybe she guessed many of her Western readers would be particularly interested in Musashi, or at least familiar with her? Who knows.

Yes, she calls the characters Miki Kojirou, Nyasu Inuyama and Sonansu Ueda in the footnotes. In the English version it's translated as James Shinichiro though? Why call him by his name and the other two by their family names lol
Ah so it was an error :LOL: I was wondering the same, but at least it isn't Megumi herself going crackpot lol.

Island Princess' wording implies that Megumi didn't want those traits at all.
I'm not quite sure how you got that meaning from her post, but anyway, no - she is quite clear that these are prominent traits in the character, just that they shouldn't be the only ones.

Has she been happy with the character in recent years? She certainly wasn't violent in BW right after Shudo's death, but there were other reasons to be unhappy with her back then.
Well she sounds happy enough in her book and I get the vibe from their most recent interviews that all 3 (4?) of them are generally happy with their characters' portrayal, even if they do wish for more screentime. You are right to bring up the timeline though, which seems a little odd to me. The period she describes sounds a lot like late Johto-mid DP when Musashi and Kojiro in particular were rather flanderised. There was a very obvious shift in tone in how they were written some 50+ episodes into DP, which BW aside, seemed to continue through till now.

Definitely it doesn't sound like she's talking about BW (which they all quite openly criticised at the time). So either this conversation took place during XY (which seems unlikely since Musashi was never that extreme caricature during its run) or she has accidentally predated Shudo's death by a couple of years and it actually took place during DP, which seems more likely to me. All of this is of course just conjecture... how I wish we could sit her down with us for a cup of tea and to ask clarifications!!
 

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Definitely it doesn't sound like she's talking about BW (which they all quite openly criticised at the time). So either this conversation took place during XY (which seems unlikely since Musashi was never that extreme caricature during its run) or she has accidentally predated Shudo's death by a couple of years and it actually took place during DP, which seems more likely to me. All of this is of course just conjecture... how I wish we could sit her down with us for a cup of tea and to ask clarifications!!
1614111983936.png

Maybe Musashi got more fair play during her contests in XY thanks to Megumi when some writers (Ohashi..t) had planned a much more unpleasant role...
 
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Maybe Musashi got more fair play during her contests in XY thanks to Megumi when some writers (Ohashi..t) had planned a much more unpleasant role...
I did think of this but it was really just a one off gag, wasn't it? Otherwise she was actually rather flat and dull in the first half of XY. But maybe you are right and I can certainly imagine Oohashi .et al setting up an AG style role for her in the Tripokalon arc...
 
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Was there any mention of TRio's Sudden Change in Best Wishes?
Very diplomatically skipped over. Given that it's a book celebrating the roles and she gives A LOT of praise to everyone involved in the creation of the various shows, I think this was a good move. After all, she, Miki and Inuyama have been quite vocal in condemning that change, why dredge it up yet again?
 
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Very diplomatically skipped over. Given that it's a book celebrating the roles and she gives A LOT of praise to everyone involved in the creation of the various shows, I think this was a good move. After all, she, Miki and Inuyama have been quite vocal in condemning that change, why dredge it up yet again?
Very true, I was just curious.
 
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Not mentioning BW ended nearly 10 years ago as well, so it's been far too long this change in their personalities happened.

I'd like to know the reason of the sudden personality shift as well, but I'd guess it'd come out of one of the producers or heads of the show instead of a voice actor.

Ahhh thank you for this! I wonder why she acknowledged the English name? I guess she knew the book would be getting a simultaneous English release and maybe she guessed many of her Western readers would be particularly interested in Musashi, or at least familiar with her? Who knows.
I read this phrase and my translation again and I might've left a crucial part off. Hayashibara said " but it seems her name was changed to Jessie in the English-speaking world." I don't know how major that is, to tell the truth, since it sorta implies she's not sure about this information? Or is just a way of saying?

Gotta be honest, I'm not really used to translating things.
 
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Did Hayashibara-san write about the songs she provided for the animes she appeared in?

I really loved Chinpui's ending, 'Cinderella Nanka ni Naritakunai/I Don't Want to Turn Into Cinderella'.
 
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Did Hayashibara-san write about the songs she provided for the animes she appeared in?

I really loved Chinpui's ending, 'Cinderella Nanka ni Naritakunai/I Don't Want to Turn Into Cinderella'.
She did, but not that one although there is a chapter on her experience working on Chinpui. (I’ve never heard that song, now I’m going to have to listen!!) The ones I remember her talking about are Matsuri Uta (the ‘la la la la’ song from Blue Seed), I’ll Be There from Saber Marionette J and Koibumi from Asagiri no Miko.
 
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She did, but not that one although there is a chapter on her experience working on Chinpui. (I’ve never heard that song, now I’m going to have to listen!!) The ones I remember her talking about are Matsuri Uta (the ‘la la la la’ song from Blue Seed), I’ll Be There from Saber Marionette J and Koibumi from Asagiri no Miko.
Here it is.
Ending Version:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bniJRQMVrRs

Full Version:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlZdbJRmDgY

Lyrics (with Translation):
 
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Here it is.
Ending Version:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bniJRQMVrRs

Full Version:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlZdbJRmDgY

Lyrics (with Translation):
That purple creature looks like it could be the inspiration for Aipom/Ambipom.

Good song too.
 
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Finally kindle payed up for something. :giggle:

That part about Detective Conan trolled my shipping heart. :cry:
You can see how much she cares about Slayers (and how much staff cares about her), and her explanation about Rei's emotionless personality was pretty great.
 
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@marshiyanmisuta do you watch Conan? I just couldn't bear to climb such a tall mountain of episodes when I started my Megumi consumption however many years ago so it's her one major media I've never bothered with... Purely for my interest, can you explain what Ai Haibara's role is? I assumed she was the main female protag but from what little I've read I'm not sure that is true? Also who do you ship her with that Megumi broke your heart? Conan? (That bit about her seat being taken was quite upsetting...)
 
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@marshiyanmisuta do you watch Conan? I just couldn't bear to climb such a tall mountain of episodes when I started my Megumi consumption however many years ago so it's her one major media I've never bothered with... Purely for my interest, can you explain what Ai Haibara's role is? I assumed she was the main female protag but from what little I've read I'm not sure that is true? Also who do you ship her with that Megumi broke your heart? Conan? (That bit about her seat being taken was quite upsetting...)
Ai Haibara is one of the recurring characters. Both Ai and Conan are actually teenagers, but due to a side effect of a poison they've given, they're physically looks like elementary school students, and pretending to be children, so they can hide from certain "men in black," the organization that poisoned them in the first place and might come after them if they learn that they survived the poison. Ran is the primary female character of the show and Conan's childhood friend, and even though neither of admitted it to each other yet, they had a thing for each other. Due to the unique experience they share, Ai and Conan know and understand each other best (Compared to Ran who know nothing about the situation), and there is hints that they might have a thing for each other as well. And yes, I ship Conan with Ai.
 
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