Translations Archive

Dragon Ball Daizenshuu 5: TV Animation Part 2

Shenlong Times — 5th Issue

Dragon Ball Anime Main Staff Roundtable — 2nd Round

Kenji Shimizu (Producer, Fuji TV) — A producer at Fuji TV, he has overseen numerous hit anime works such as Captain Tsubasa J, Dragon Ball, Z, and Chibi Maruko-chan.

Kōzō Morishita (Producer, Toei Animation) — A producer at Toei Animation, he has overseen a large number of animated Toriyama works, with Dr. Slump — Arale-chan, Dragon Ball, Z, and the theatrical anime series of each.

Shunsuke Kikuchi (Background Music) — He has composed the background music for numerous live-action and animated works. Beginning with Dr. Slump — Arale-chan and continuing with Dragon Ball and Z, he has been responsible for the background music in all Toriyama’s works on TV.

Takao Koyama (Series Organizer / Scenario) — Representative of [writing collective] “Brother Noppo”. He first participated in Toriyama’s works with scenarios for Dr. Slump — Arale-chan. From Z onwards, he has been in charge of series organization.

Shigeyasu Yamauchi (Director) — Since episode 45 of the Z TV series, and in theatrical works since Spring ’93’s “Burn Up!! A Red-Hot, Raging, Super-Fierce Fight”, he has had directorial duties. He’s actually a fan of Bulma.

Tadayoshi Yamamuro (Animation Supervisor) — He has been a member of the keyframe staff since Dragon Ball episode 7. From the Z TV series onward, and in theatrical works starting with Spring ’93’s “Burn Up!! A Red-Hot, Raging, Super-Fierce Fight”, he has been an animation supervisor.

Masako Nozawa (Voice of Goku, Gohan, & Goten) — Affiliated with 81 Produce. Starting with the voice of the main character, Son Goku, she also manages the role of Gohan, Goten, Tullece, and even Bardock, by herself—an amazing person.

This time, I’d like to start by asking you about when the Dragon Ball anime was just getting underway. The program that came before it was, of course, Dr. Slump—Arale-chan, created by Toriyama-sensei.
Shimizu: To be honest, we were incredibly worried. Dr. Slump—Arale-chan was just so much of a hit that some were of the opinion that we could still continue on with it. “With ratings this good…” The scariest part was the very beginning, where it was an adventure story with Goku, a surprisingly conventional young boy. There just wasn’t the sort of situation-comedy brought about by the sheer variety of characters, the way there was with Dr. Slump. There was also the sense that our viewer-demographic target with Dragon Ball was smaller—that even if boys were happy with it, would girls be?—so there was a great deal of uncertainty. So we were truly surprised when the first episode turned out those ratings—could it really be that strong? It’s how we honestly felt when I say we ourselves were taken aback. (laughs)
Was there pressure with the original work being such a huge hit?
Shimizu: There was, indeed.

Koyama: That’s because it’s a work where being a hit was considered a given. In that sense, it was tough; they’d tell us it was only natural that it should bring in the ratings. We might get fifteen percent, only to be told that it had dropped substantially.

Nozawa: Fifteen percent is hard to get to, now.

Shimizu: I think you especially had a hard time, Koyama-san. When Toriyama-sensei moves the plot along at such an unprecedented speed, it must also be difficult to write a scenario based on it. It’s inevitable that the animation mustn’t overtake the original work, after all.

Koyama: However, the direction and the animation were incredibly consistent, so I had the feeling it would be easy for me just to leave it up to them. Your direction is amazing, Yamauchi-san. Well, I suppose you could call it trust, but when I handed over the scenario, I felt it would be all right. That’s rare. In most cases, having them ruin it is typical. (bursts into laughter)

The title changed from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z along the way; what sort of reason was there for this change?
Morishita: That was just enthusiasm for new plot developments. (laughs)

Shimizu: No; actually, we fretted a great deal about that title. Originally, we called it “Gohan’s Great Adventure” for the longest time. (laughs)

Morishita: That’s right; because we thought it would go with Gohan as the main character.

Shimizu: And then Toriyama-sensei said things like, “No, the protagonist is really Goku.” Then we asked, “Is that so? Then what should we do about the title?” and he replied, “Wouldn’t it be cool with just a Z?” “Ah, that’s OK,” and with that, it was decided. (large outburst of laughter)

Morishita: Looking back now, that Z doesn’t seem very out-of-place, but it did at first. So we’d have to explain the Z, in a variety of aspects. That it was the final chapter, or that it was linked to “A”…. After about a year had passed, however, those questions went away. It really does grow on you. But originally, it was a surprise, because to us, it was “Gohan’s Great Adventure”.

Shimizu: It must have caused quite a stir when that happened. (laughs)

Koyama: Even so, the one thing we tried to avoid was the image that it was the end. It would would have a negative sense with “this is the end”. We really obsessed over that.

Morishita: After that, other works with a letter of the alphabet attached to them started coming out, didn’t they?

Shimizu: Yes. With an R, or an S, for instance.1 (laughs)

Dragon Ball has continued for ten years, yet rather than becoming stuck in a rut, its level keeps on rising. I’d like to ask you where you think the source of its power lies.
Morishita: Really, it’s because the people making it are fans themselves, don’t you think? The staff have been involved with the world of Toriyama-sensei the whole time, so it really does escalate, little by little. At Toei Animation, there are many people who have done nothing but Dragon Ball. Like with Yamamuro-san going from key frames to animation supervisor. There are even people like Nakatsuru-kun, who draws things that can’t be told apart from Sensei‘s; when Dragon Ball ends, I think there may be some difficulties. (laughs)

Kikuchi: Even I have been on board ever since Dr. Slump. I liked the lighthearted charm of the very beginning, so I brought out a sense of fun, but more recently, it’s focused on the action, so I’ve been making the music stronger and stronger, as well. Even so, it’s hard trying to compete with the other sounds… although it is fun. The theme is to make it showier with each episode.

Yamauchi-san and Yamamuro-san, do you consciously try to come out with things different from previous staff members?
Yamamuro: We do. (laughs) Starting right around the Freeza arc, we would all compete with each other, wanting to do something different, and it kept escalating… the fighting style, and such.

Morishita: The illustrations got more and more shadows, as well. (laughs)

Yamauchi: Normally, people who join the staff partway through think they ought to try and make the characters resemble other staff members’ work. But, perhaps because Goku’s emotions are easy to to comprehend, even the people who joined in the middle would act as though they’d been doing it the whole time, and as Yamamuro-san said, they would go about sublimating the idea of “intense in a different way from other episodes” in their own manner. That’s how you do Dragon Ball. It brings out more and more of Dragon Ball‘s flavor. It’s enough to make you say, “Newbies can pull off something like this?” He’s easy to grasp, that Goku.

Nozawa-san, you’ve voiced many characters, starting with that easy-to-grasp Goku. With what points do you distinguish your performances from one another?
Nozawa: I’ve never really thought, “I’ll do it this way, or that way”. When I record Dragon Ball, the visuals are finished. As soon as I see the visuals, the feeling just comes right out. That’s because I enter into the picture. Without an image, you can’t do more nuanced acting, can you? That’s why, for the anime I’m a regular in, I always tell them, “put in the visuals, put in the visuals”. Previously, there was a theatrical film, and the animation was taking so long that they didn’t make it in time, and it was just lineart. (all burst into great amounts of laughter) But anyway, young voice actors have said that, if even they appear in Dragon Ball, they’ll be accepted in the profession. It’s one of those shows they absolutely want to be on. The work just has that much appeal and popularity.

Kikuchi: Dragon Ball really has a splendid collection of voice talent.

Koyama: Megumi Hayashibara-san appeared in it, didn’t she?

Nozawa: She was incredibly happy.

Koyama: At the time, she had a starring role in another work2 and yet even with such a small role (of the boy whose eyes were healed by Boo), she was truly glad at being able to appear on the show for the first time.

Morishita: Having so many people who want to participate in it really is the greatest honor for a program.

Akira Toriyama’s “Me These Days”

18 September

Since I passed on doing a “Me These Days” last time, and on top of that, my kids had their summer vacation, I naturally have a little to report. First off, at the end of July, I went to Kanazawa as a guest at a Jump event. Then, I immediately went on a family trip to one of those southern isles I like so much (this time, it was Guam), and in the middle of August, like we do every year, my sister’s family and mine went to Tokyo Disneyland. This year, it was ridiculously hot, and it seemed kind of crowded, but no matter how many times we go, my sister always consults a professional’s model, so I’m grateful. Naturally, I’ve been doing a variety of designs and such, as well. Also, for traveling, I used my spare time to get out here and there by car. Naturally, I’m happy to have a bit more leeway now that I’m not doing a weekly serial. I still haven’t drawn one iota of manga.

Incidentally, our family dog, a Siberian Husky named Mato who was with us for about 10 years, died of sickness this past March. For about half a year, I took her regularly to the animal hospital, and starting about a month before she died, I diligently went there every day for her intravenous treatments. (To be honest, it was a bit rough, right before deadlines…) But in spite of the vet’s and my best efforts, she unfortunately passed away. I felt down for a while, but it really is lonesome without a dog around. As a show of mourning, I waited just half a year, then rushed off to the pet store. I had already decided on the breed, called a Corgi, so I went around to a number of different places, and chose the pup that seemed the most energetic. Actually, when I got Mato, I was also looking to buy a Corgi, but at the pet store, I was told that they also had this sort of dog—a Siberian Husky, which was rare at the time—and I fell in love at first sight. And so, now, I’ve finally added a Corgi to my family.

Welsh Corgi

(caption) ← Our dog is still a puppy, but when she grows up, she’ll look something like this. I like how, if you just look at the top half, it’s pretty cool, but the legs are short and stubby, like a gag!

Properly, it’s the Pembroke variety of Welsh Corgi, which is a mouthful of a name; it originated in the UK. It’s a smaller dog, with a weight of about 10 kilograms, but in spite of its appearance, it originally herded cattle on ranches, and guarded them. Our Corgi chases after the rabbits in the yard and gets scolded. Quite a few people have this dog, even in Japan, so a lot of people have probably seen one before.

Our Corgi is a female, and her name is Toma. I fretted for quite a while about what to name her, but when I said, as a joke, that we could reverse the syllables in “Mato” and make it “Toma”, my kids started calling her that…. It’s kind of artless, which is embarrassing…

• Actually, I’m thinking about maybe adding one more canine companion, so I’m reading up on what sort of dog would be best. Whether to go with another Corgi, or a Husky again, or maybe a new breed; a mutt might even be fine… every day, I entertain myself with this indecision.

(right sidebar)
She passed away, but Mato’s child[ren] live[s] at my sister’s house. It’s/They’re [a] male, so he’s/they’re huge.3

Even so, Huskies got hit with the backlash to a stupidly big boom, so now their popularity has fallen. Truly, this country’s love of fads is a problem. It’s disgraceful. That’s why I prefer animals to humans.

I Love Dragon Ball #5: Yūji Horii-san (Game Designer)

Impassioned messages from prominent individuals about their love for Dragon Ball! Making his appearance this time is the game designer behind Dragon Quest, Yūji Horii-san!!

I have had the pleasure of working with Toriyama-sensei since the character designs for the first Dragon Quest. It started with a serialized column I was doing for Jump at the time. I’ve read Dragon Ball from the beginning; the way Sensei‘s individuality and modern attitude mix exquisitely with the “royal road” of manga is incredibly good. What I admired most was the line Goku said when he first lost his tail: “Well, whatever”. (laughs) I really liked how he doesn’t get hung up on it, or rather, how he doesn’t act like it’s a serious problem. No matter how earnestly he lives his life, he does so cheerfully, without moping about. I love that aspect of the Dragon Ball world.

(caption) With production of Dragon Quest VI getting towards the end, Horii-san took the time out of his super-busy schedule to put in an appearance here. Could the screen behind him perhaps be…?

There’s Still More DB News ― Issue #5

07 November 1995
Dragon Ball Daizenshuu Editorial Dept

Dragon Ball Z: Shin Butōden Finally Appears on the Sega Saturn!
On Sale 10 November! ¥7004 (tax inclusive)
Bandai’s latest Dragon Ball game appears on the Sega Saturn. With playing fields with set topography and heights, such as rocky areas, 27 characters will engage in super-battles. In the original Mr. Satan Mode, you control Mr. Satan in making money through betting on matches, and pay off his 100-million Zeni loan.

(caption) In Mr. Satan Mode, you can perform a cheer-attack for the character you’ve bet on.

The Latest Carddass Information! Dragon Ball Z Super Battle Stage 15
44 kinds, including two each of Prism, Hidden Prism, Double-Prism—they’re all Goku cards.They’re coming out 18 November from Bandai, for 20 yen each. Part 2 is planned to come out in February ’96.

(caption) The Double Hidden Prism works together with Part 2.

A Present to 10,000 Lucky Winners!
An Original Poster with All Dragon Ball Characters Together2
On a postcard, ① paste the entry ticket on this book’s obi, and write your ② postal code and address, ③ name, and ④ telephone number, and send it in to the address below. Winners will be notified via shipment of the prize itself.
• Address:
 ATTN: “Dragon Ball Original Poster Present”
 Shueisha Comic Media Editorial Department
 2-5-10 Hitotsubashi
 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo-to 〒101-504
• Entries must be postmarked no later than 06 January ’96 (Sat.)

The next Daizenshuu brings together aaall of the theatrical films and TV specials in a single bargain of a book. You gotta buy it!

(Broli, Bojack, #13) It’s our turn!
(Goku) Leave the theatrical films t’me, too!!


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

1 Almost certainly a reference to the Sailor Moon television series adaptation — another Toei Animation production — which separated individual story arcs into newly-titled series such as “Sailor Moon R” and “Sailor Moon S”.

2 Probably referring to her role as Momiji Fujimiya in Blue Seed, though she was also the current voice of Hello Kitty at the time, as well as doing roles for things related to previous anime she’d been in, such as the female Ranma of Ranma 1/2; the next year, she would go on to play Rei Ayanami in Neon Genesis Evangelion and Lina Inverse in Slayers.

3 The volume 26 introduction states that there were two puppies who survived, so I’m not sure if he’s talking about one or two dogs here.

4 This was converted to 101-8050 when Japanese postal codes were lengthened to 7 digits in 1998. Shueisha has its own zip code!

English Translation: SaiyaJedi