Translations Archive

The World of Akira Toriyama: Special Exhibit


Akira Toriyama & Masako Nozawa Special Talk

Toriyama: It’s been a long time, but it really doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, does it?

Nozawa: It really doesn’t.

Toriyama: It might be because I often have the pleasure of seeing you on TV.

■ Playing Goku for the first time in a long while

Nozawa: It’s really just the best. Because he’s always alive inside of me. And after all, even though the series ended — I guess it’s fair to say, right after [the TV anime] ended — to exaggerate a bit, from the very next day — I was recording all sorts of things, such as games. It doesn’t feel at all like it ever ended.

Interviewer: It’s been 17 years, hasn’t it?

Nozawa: In terms of big things, then yes. It’s been 17 years.

1Interviewer: How would you describe Nozawa-san‘s style of Son Goku?

1Toriyama: Really, it would be presumptuous of me to say something like that!

Toriyama: I’ve said this many times, but in drawing [Dragon Ball] for such a long time, only your voice would come to mind, Nozawa-san, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s something that’s perfectly normal, I guess you could say.1

Interviewer: During the serialization.

Toriyama: Yes. I’d remember, “Ah, surely Goku has this kind of voice.” And it really is true for your voice, Nozawa-san. Would you mind doing a bit in Goku’s voice?

Nozawa: Like, “Kamehameha”?

Toriyama, Interviewer: Ohhh~.

■ What is Son Goku to Toriyama-sensei?

Toriyama: At any rate, I wanted him to have the sense of being that rare guy who seeks only “to become stronger than before”, so much so that it feels like “there’s no one as pure as this person”. And while he does end up saving everyone as a result of that, he himself at least has a very pure sincerity about “wanting to become stronger”. What I wanted to depict the most was the sense that he might not be a good guy at all, although he does do good things as a result.

Nozawa: A strong person like this would absolutely show off that “I’m strong”, wouldn’t they? But [Goku] would absolutely not come out with that, would he? I’m always saying this to everyone, but the world would be an incredibly nice place if it were full of people like Goku.

Toriyama: I have a feeling that the world wouldn’t operate very well. (laughs)

Nozawa: (laughs)

■ In what ways are Son Goku and Toriyama-sensei similar?

Toriyama: I guess his aspect of “only going places he’s interested in” resembles me a bit. Oh, and also, how he “hates acting big and tough”. I feel like that’s similar to me.

1Nozawa: You’re God in this world though, Toriyama-sensei. Right?

1Toriyama: But I’m not all high-and-mighty or anything!

1Nozawa: No, no. I think that “Akira Toriyama equals Son Goku”, all the time, as far as I’m concerned.

Nozawa: I think I’m similar to Goku, as well. I feel that Goku equals me, all the time. Except, my hair doesn’t do this. (traces a jagged outline above her head)

Toriyama: It can’t do that. (laughs)

Nozawa: Hahahaha. (laughs)

Interviewer: Is he something like a part of you, now?

Nozawa: He really is; he’s my alter-ego. We live together. So, what I’d really like to do is just shoot a Kamehameha out in the world or something, like, “GAAA—”. I’m always thinking that in my heart of hearts. (laughs)

Toriyama: That’s a pattern I often think about, as well. (laughs)

Nozawa: I would certainly like to fire one off. Yes indeed.

■ About Son Goku’s growth

Nozawa: He really does, becoming an adult. And he isn’t really aware of it himself, like, “I want to do something like this,” or “I want to do that”. Before he realizes it, naturally, while he’s meeting up with everyone. He has battles as well, and while he’s experiencing all these different things, it just naturally becomes ingrained into him, into his body, into his big heart.

Toriyama: Ahh, that’s so much better than the creator’s answer. (laughs)

Nozawa: Hahahaha. (laughs)

Toriyama: It certainly is, though, maybe. He doesn’t seem like he’s grown, but in that sense, he certainly has.

Nozawa: I think he absolutely has.

■ About differentiating the roles of Goku, Gohan and Goten

Toriyama: When you do Goku, Gohan, and Goten, do you record each of them separately?

Nozawa: Normally, that would be true. Normally, you would record Goku together with everyone. Then next, record Gohan alone. And then one more time, record Goten. But in my case, I recorded them together.

Toriyama: All their voices, right there?! Changing them?!

Nozawa: Yes. I changed them [on the fly].

Toriyama: That’s incredible.

Nozawa: People often ask me, “How do you change them?” but I myself don’t change them deliberately. When the image starts talking, I get right into it, just like that.

Toriyama: Just by feel…! The voices are clearly a bit different, aren’t they. [Recorded] all at once… (amazed)

Nozawa: Yes.

Nozawa: Goku is the star, of course, and Gohan is also the star in a way, isn’t he? Before Z started, all the voice actors went out together on a houseboat. At that time, everybody on board was going, “Pretty soon, someone called Gohan will be showing up,” and doing a voice for Gohan along with the flow of that.

Toriyama: Ahh. Just going with the flow. (laughs)

Nozawa: [They were going,] “I’m Gohan. Nice to meet you~”.

Toriyama: (laughs)

Nozawa: So, the day of [recording] Z‘s first episode, Until that day, I didn’t know [I had been cast]. When I got the script, it had “Goku, Gohan” written in a row, and below it was written “Masako Nozawa”. And then, next to that was the next person. I thought, “Huh? What’s happened here?” So I called over (the producer at the time), “Morishita-san,” and he said, “What?” I asked him, “Who’s this [supposed to be]? There’s a mistake over here. I’m here (with Goku), right, but there’s no name with Gohan, next to it. Who goes here?” and he said, “That’s you, Nozawa-san“. “What? Me?” “Yes, you, Nozawa-san.” And I just went, “Ehhhh~~?!”

Toriyama: Wow… that’s amazing.

Nozawa: I just couldn’t be happier. This sort of thing [usually] isn’t possible in this business. And so, I had the privilege of doing Goten, as well.

■ Episodes from recording Battle of Gods

Nozawa: At one point, as far as the director was concerned, “He’s weakened now, so please do it in an incredibly weakened voice. Weaker, weaker.” And I did it once like that. But I just couldn’t accept it. After I finished, I said, “Sorry, but no matter how badly Goku’s beaten, he wouldn’t show that kind of attitude.”

Toriyama: It’s not like Goku.

Nozawa: I said, “Please let me record one more time,” and I recorded it with a bit of energy. But I [still] couldn’t accept it, so I said, “Would you allow me to record just one more time? This how Goku is in my mind,” and recorded it like that. And then [he said], “that really was the best one.” I was truly glad to have been able to get them to record it.

■ About Battle of Gods

Toriyama: It was just so enjoyable.

Nozawa: It was enjoyable, wasn’t it.

Toriyama: Of course, my saying it was enjoyable is singing my own praises. (laughs)

Nozawa: No, no, no! It really is “Sensei‘s world~!”

Interviewer: This time, it seems that you were truly deeply involved, from the story onwards. Was it tough having so many characters appear?

Toriyama: Since before Beerus, that many of them… you know. (laughs)

Nozawa: It is tough~!

Toriyama: Although, I came to the recording, and there were quite a few people where it was over with that had just a few words. (laughs wryly)

Nozawa: But even so, Sensei, they were really happy.

Toriyama: Oh, really?!

Nozawa: Just the fact that they would be “appearing”. That they would be “in the picture”. That’s an incredible joy in everyone’s mind.

■ About Beerus

Interviewer: When you created Beerus, I believe it was already a given that he was “strong”.

Toriyama: That’s right; the strongest in the universe, as a matter of fact, since there’s nothing higher.

Interviewer: Incidentally, creating characters must be difficult….

Toriyama: It is difficult. I’ve already gotten to the point where I’m pretty much at my limit to making them look strong.

Nozawa: Every time, it’s “strongest”, “strongest”.

Toriyama: Right; there’s no way you can take a step back, can you? You can’t have [people telling you], “You know, the enemy this time is weaker than the one before,” after all. So, thinking that if I make it somebody cool, kids would probably be happy, and it could be popular, I figured maybe something like a cat who’s a bit spiteful would be good.

Nozawa: I think it’s good!

Toriyama: I can’t just draw a guy that’s straight-up cool.

■ About Whis

Interviewer: I think that Whis is a very nice character, but….

Toriyama: It’s more interesting to make them contrast, after all. Rather than the same type [of character].

Nozawa: There appearances are backwards, aren’t they? In terms of who seems to have higher status….

■ Regarding villains

Toriyama: I’m not good with drawing truly bad guys. …I guess it’s probably just Freeza. Like, “He was truly a bad guy~”. The others all have an aspect that you can’t hate remaining somewhere in there.

Nozawa: Um, people occasionally ask me, “Is there a character you hate?” “…Hate?” “Well, I’m sure you must have your likes. But what about hates?” “…Freeza (under her breath)

Toriyama, Interviewer: (laughter)

Nozawa: I always say, “There’s nobody who’s as bad as that Freeza. Nobody, but nobody. (laughs) I mean, really…

Toriyama: He was a bad guy, wasn’t he?

Nozawa: He was bad.

■ The highlights of the film, for those watching

Nozawa: The number-one point is the “battle”. The result is just unbelievable.

Toriyama: I can’t very well say, “It’s not very interesting, but please see it,” can I~? (laughs)

Nozawa: It’s interesting, so please see it! Yes. (laughs)

The following translator notes are included for the benefit of the reader as supplemental information.

1 This brief appears to have only been used in the segment as aired on Mezamashi TV on 27 March 2013.
English Translation: SaiyaJedi