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Sponichi “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” Shinbun (12 December 2018)

Passionate Cross-Talk

Four Legendary Super Voice Actors
Talked Passionately of their Love for Dragon Ball
and This Film’s Highlights

Masako Nozawa

Originally from Tokyo. Starting with appearances in the drama Akadō Suzunosuke and dubs of foreign-language films, she has worked as a voice-actress for animation since 1963. A legend with numerous well-known roles, such as Son Goku and sons Son Gohan and Son Goten in the Dragon Ball series, and Rascal in Rascal the Raccoon.

Ryō Horikawa

Originally from Osaka. Starting out as a child actor and a member of Shiki Theatre Company, he made his voice acting debut in 1984 as Kenta Hirono, protagonist of Dream Fighter Wing-Man. His most prominent roles are Andromeda Shun in Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac, and Heiji Hattori in Detective Conan, among others. Also works as an actor. Established his own voice acting academy and devotes himself to fostering new talent.

Bin Shimada

Originally from Niigata. Made his debut in 1978 in the role of Yugar in Daikengo, Guardian of Space. His most well-known roles include Hemu Hemu in Nintama Rantarō, Tomozō in Chibi Maruko-chan, and Konaki-Jijii and Nurikabe in GeGeGe no Kitarō. He provides a wide variety of voices, including boys, old men, handsome guys, and villains.

Ryūsei Nakao

Originally from Tokyo. Starting out as a child actor, he made his voice acting debut in 1965 as Jun, the protagonist of Space Patrol Hopper. His most popular roles include Baikinman in Go! Anpanman and Caesar Clown in One Piece. Apart from animation and dubbing, he also works as a stage actor.

Masako Nozawa on Son Goku: “He’s an ordinary person who unaffectedly loves peace. Live and let live. His lifestyle is like mine.”

The ones breathing life into this Super movie are a powerful group of voice actors. Dragon Ball Super Times recreates on these pages the passionate cross-talk between the four legendary voice actors Masako Nozawa (Son Goku), Ryō Horikawa (Vegeta), Ryūsei Nako (Freeza) and Bin Shimada (Broli). You should read this with each of their characters’ voices in your head!

■ Thoughts On Their Characters

Dragon Ball‘s charm also lies in the charm of its characters, overflowing with uniqueness. How does each you feel about your role?
Nozawa: Goku is incredibly strong, but he’s someone who’s always wishing for peace. He trains and gets stronger, and then if a bad guy comes, he defeats them. But he’s just a regular person. Normally, that kind of person would stand out as wonderful, and for instance, their hair would be more, like… the front part would be falling down in a cool way. (laughs)
Y- you don’t say.
Nozawa: But Goku is more like this! And this! (Gestures to demonstrate Goku’s hairstyle)
It certainly is… spiky all over. It doesn’t feel affected.
Nozawa: That air is like the common man, or rather, it’s beloved by everyone, isn’t it.
What about Vegeta?
Horikawa: As a warrior, holds a genius-level talent, and was a character possessed of a great awareness of his status as an elite. But then he ended up outstripped by Goku, who although a Saiyan like him, was a low-class warrior he had looked down upon, and he started working to change himself. He’s changed into a genius who earns it.
He was quite the bad guy at first, wasn’t he.
Horikawa: He really was what you’d call a heel.

Nozawa: Even now, he still has some bad things about him. (All burst into laughter) Goku is friends with him, though.

Recently, Vegeta has had a tsundere-type appeal.1
Horikawa: He’s basically a shy person, so he has a weakness for people saying things about his wife, Bulma. He immediately gets serious and can’t take it anymore. He has no tolerance for that. (laughs)
On the other hand, Freeza, unlike Vegeta, is an “easy-to-understand villain”, isn’t he.
Nakao: He is an easy-to-understand villain. He calls himself things like “Emperor of the Universe”, but he’s nothing outside of being evil. Recently, a mischievous side to him has also revealed itself, but initially, he was just this odious, loathsome bad guy.
We hear that you really hate Freeza, Nozawa-san.2
Nozawa: That guy is just too awful.

Nakao: He eradicates yet another planet this time around, after all.

Nozawa: Just too awful.

Nakao: I’ll take that as the highest of praise.

Nozawa: But in terms of the story he has to be that way, after all.

Nakao: Thank you very much. Without your “blessing”, Mako-san, I wouldn’t be able to become a regular.

Nozawa: Of course, I get along with Nakao-san, and everyone else. We’re always going out to eat together. But that Freeza. There’s no person who’s like that, is there? If there were, we’d be in bad shape.

There is a depiction of what seems like Goku letting Freeza off the hook, though.
Nozawa: Even if Goku forgives him, I don’t. There’s no one as nice as Goku. If there were ten of Goku, the world would be a far better place.
This time out, Broli is the key character who’s even in the sub-title. He stands in the way of Goku & co. as a mighty foe.
Shimada: He’s a role who originally appeared in a movie from 25 years ago.3 As a Saiyan, his blood really gets pumping when it comes to fighting, but he has this duality where internally, he has a pure aspect to him. He’s a role where I can’t put in too much emotion when playing him, so I struggled a bit with that. I played him last time as well, and tried to get into the role the same way, but I got dinged for that at first: “Go a little younger!”

Ryō Horikawa on Vegeta: “He’s gone from an elite to a genius who earns it. He can’t tolerate talk about Bulma. (laughs)

■ Next Year is the Comic’s 35th Anniversary

It’s been 32 years since the anime started broadcasting in 1986. Toriyama-sensei‘s original comic started in ’84, and next year will be its 35th anniversary. It’s become a long-beloved work.
Nozawa: I never thought it would continue this long. I was selected for the role of Goku by audition, and I hear that Toriyama-sensei picked me. They say he listened to several voices, and then chose me, saying “it can’t be anyone but this person”. Now, he says my voice plays when he’s writing it, and the story progresses. I feel blessed as a performer.4
When it comes to your roles, Nozawa-san, the image of young boys is strongest, but Goku kept on growing and became an adult. Is there anything you were careful about in your performance?
Nozawa: I didn’t take any particular care in my performance. All these weirdos showed up, (laughs) the fights increased, and the environment Goku was placed in changed, but Goku himself hasn’t changed. I can just really naturally get into character as Goku.

Nakao: You are Goku at this point, Mako-san.

Nozawa: Boyishness is a very important aspect of Goku, even as he is now. I don’t care about his age. His lifestyle is rather like my own. I don’t mind other people at all. Let them be them, and me be me. Goku’s the same way, isn’t he?

Horikawa: Speaking of back then, I actually thought Vegeta would be gone after about four weeks of broadcast time. (laughs)

Nozawa: You said that often, Horikawa-san, coming to that conclusion on your own.

Horikawa: At the time, the opponents who went up against Goku were gone after about four weeks. And if I was going to die in four weeks anyway, I figured I’d give up on a more thuggish performance, and completely abandon saying things like “Temē!” [“You scum!”] or “Kono yarō” [“You bastard!”] or “Fuzaken’na!” [“Don’t mess with me!”]. Although he did say those things in the original comic. I tried saying only “kisama” [“you” in a condescending tone], making him a slightly higher-class character.

You played him carefully, then.
Horikawa: I didn’t get the role through an audition, but more like “Horikawa-kun, you do this role,” “Oh, OK”. And now I’ve played him for decades. A role is something that, ultimately, other people choose for you. You can’t get the part just by saying you want to do it. I’m extremely lucky. It was pure chance.
When the fierce action-scenes keep going, do you get tired as a voice actor?
Nozawa: Your Broli probably had it rough, right, Shimada-san?

Shimada: I’m the type of person whose head starts to hurt when he yells. Even so, just like with shaved ice, it’s no problem if I put enough time in-between. But then this time with Broli, I’d yell, and my head would start to hurt, then they’d go, “OK, on to the next scene,” and an even higher-energy scene would be waiting for me. And when that one finished, there’d be an even higher-energy scene than that.

That was the basic outline of Broli vs. Goku and Vegeta, wasn’t it.
Shimada: The Saiyans are a warrior race, after all. They put all their strength into defeating the opponent in front of them. It’s fine if that’s the end of it, but then another opponent immediately comes to take their place… there’s no time to rest! (laughs)
Was Nozawa-san all right?
Shimada: I’d hastily finish recording, absolutely spent, and Nozawa-san would say “Bin~, are you all right?” and give me a massage. “Oh, I’m perfectly fine,” I’d demure, and I’d ask her back, “After doing all that yelling, your head must hurt,” and she’d say, “Nope, not at all.” She’s a legend!!

Nakao & Horikawa: Amazing.

Nozawa: I have nothing but that sort of role, don’t I? I’d like to do a quieter role, though. (laughs)

Nakao: Nozawa-san has that kind of power, so those around her can’t say they’re tired.

Horikawa: We absolutely can’t say it.

Bin Shimada on Broli: “Yell, yell, and yell some more at ‘full power’. No time to rest! (laughs)

■ Gags During the Battle

There’s even rumors that after rubbing a voice actor’s back for a while, Nozawa-san will invite them out for drinks.
Nozawa: There may have been things like that as well. (laughs)
Did Nozawa-san transform as a voice actor, like a Super Saiyan does?
Nakao: Yes, I’m sure she did. She’s the Legendary Super Seiyū [voice actor].

Nozawa: I’m completely fine. I don’t feel tiredness.

The battle scenes in this movie pack an incredible punch. It feels like out of the 100 minutes of visuals, more than half of it is battles.
Horikawa: It’s amazing. I’d get tired. (laughs)

Nozawa: We were fighting so much that I’d think, “Huh? Did I say any lines?” There is, of course, plenty of dialogue, though. It just felt like we were constantly saying things like “Uwaaahh!”, “Gwaahh!”, and “Waaahh!”. (laughs)

Nakao: This time, we were allotted separate days for recording the battle scenes, but Mako-san is always saying, “Ah, I’d like to speak more quietly”.

Nozawa: I don’t do many works like that. (laughs)

But the long battle scenes are really well done so they don’t lag in the middle, aren’t they.
Nakao: That part with Goku and Vegeta’s fusion… There are comedic parts as well, which at any rate are a point you should really keep your eye out for.
It’s just like Toriyama-san to put a gag in the middle of that tense scene.
Nozawa: It’s a relief. If it were to go on like that, I would get tired. He’s good at that, the way he carries it.

Ryūsei Nakao on Freeza: “‘Too awful’ is the highest praise. He’s an ‘easy-to-understand villain’ whom even his father fears.”

■ Father-Son Connections

There are also scenes where you can see each of their father-son or family relationships.
Nakao: There are parts that haven’t really been seen up to now, with things like the Goku clan’s family relationships, Broli’s father-son relationship, and Freeza’s father-son relationship, so there’s an enjoyment in “being able to see things along those lines”.

Nozawa: Freeza-san is a selfish child, so he probably doesn’t get along with his father, either.

It’s scary to imagine Freeza’s home life.
Nakao: It is scary. It’s probably a home where you can never relax. It’s probably scary when Freeza’s father gets angry at him, too.

Nozawa: They probably don’t socialize at all with people in their neighborhood, that family.

Nakao: The father might.

Nozawa: The father, I suppose.

Nakao: But the son’s generation probably wouldn’t.

Nozawa: That’s no good. You have to maintain your relationships with the community.

Nakao: What are we talking about, again? (laughs)

The relationship between Broli and his father is complicated.
Shimada: It’s shown how he’s forced to obey his father for the sake of his revenge, but the two of them lived alone on a planet with an extremely harsh environment, so it’s complicated. He has a side that’s always looking out for his father, so if someone were to say something bad about him, he’d want to defend him.
Broli displays a bottomless latent potential. And also, he doesn’t give the impression of being an enemy character you can hate.
Nozawa: That’s right. He isn’t truly evil, after all. It would be a waste to end things for the character with just this movie.
It makes you look forward to a further broadening of the Dragon Ball world. We’re praying that it will be a big hit.
All: Thank you very much.
The following translator notes are included for the benefit of the reader as supplemental information.

1 A character who appears cold (if not completely aloof or even faux-abusive) at first yet slowly warms over time.
2 Nozawa is extremely consistent in her description of Freeza as a truly awful character, and her subsequent playful relationship with Nakao over this fact.
3 Shimada has played the role of Broli since his original incarnation’s debut in 1993’s eighth theatrical Dragon Ball Z film. Two additional films with Broli followed in 1994, and the character has appeared in countless video games.
4 Nozawa is likewise extremely consistent in her recollection of both the original interview process and the fact that Akira Toriyama continues to write Son Goku with her voice in mind.
English Translation: SaiyaJedi
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