Translations Archive

Dragon Ball Z DVD Box – Dragon Box Z Volume 1

“Z” Staff and Cast Q&A

We questioned the major staff and voice artists involved in “Z”!

Here’s a gathering of the staff and voice artists who’ve supported the “Dragon Ball Z” TV anime, each one full of individuality. As they reminisce about the production of “Z”, we’ve had them answer 7 survey questions. Here’s another side of “Dragon Ball Z”, spun by people still active at the forefront of their field!!

Production Staff Section

  1. What did you most enjoy about being on the production staff of “Dragon Ball Z”?
  2. What was the hardest thing about producing the show?
  3. Did being involved in the show’s production change you in any way?
  4. Who is your favorite character, and why?
  5. What episode or scene left the biggest impression on you?
  6. If you were to produce “Dragon Ball Z” now, what would you want to do?
  7. If you could get one wish granted by the Dragon Balls, what would it be?
Akihiko Yamaguchi
Production Supervisor

  1. It was already a famous series, so regular folks would be impressed that I was involved with it, which felt nice.
  2. Whenever the broadcast date was approaching. Every day would just be work, work, work…
  3. Have I changed?
  4. Bulma I guess… though there’s no real reason why.
  5. I left “Z” midway through, so… I don’t really remember.
  6. It was youth that allowed me to get the job done, so there’s nothing more I’d want to do.
  7. Let me relive the prime of my life!!
Matsuji Kishimoto
Production Supervisor

  1. It was a young and individualistic group, but everyone set out their own duties very well.
  2. It’s all in the past now.
  3. It ended up being the last anime I worked on.
  4. Kame-Sen’nin. Since I’m almost an old man myself.
  5. The scenes where Shenlong appeared.
  6. I’m not young anymore, so I couldn’t do it.
  7. Give my thanks to the staff!
Daisuke Nishio
Series Director

  1. Being able to be involved with this series. And that through this series I was fortunate enough to meet all sorts of people, on the staff and elsewhere.
  2. Everything. If nothing else, the “Akira Toriyama” brand was already high, so everyone had to constantly work hard to meet expectations.
  3. I’ve gotten rusty at doing storyboards…
  4. I like them all, but I guess in the end it’d have to be Goku. I feel an affinity with him, with the faith he has that he’ll always manage something.
  5. That’s tricky to answer, because the more I think about it the more examples I can come up with…
  6. I’m always reconsidering things, so I get the feeling I’d want to do everything over from scratch… but I also get the feeling that since I worked so hard on it, I’m done with it all now.
  7. I’d wish to be self-reliant enough to get by without having to use the Dragon Balls.
Takao Koyama
Series Composition

  1. Watching the kids at the Toys-R-Us “DBZ” toy corner in New York.
  2. Whenever we’d fully catch up to the story developments in the original [i.e. the manga], and we’d have to stretch out the story without contradicting the original.
  3. I suppose my biggest piece of luck was that I was at the job long enough that people started to know me as the scriptwriter for Dragon Ball Z.
  4. Piccolo. I don’t think there were any other characters that were depicted in such a consistently positive light.
  5. Episode 1. It was Gohan’s debut, but I was impressed with myself at how I was able to expand on Gohan’s character…
  6. I’d like to do a sitcom centering around the Super Saiyans.
  7. Officially I want all creatures to live in peace and harmony… But the truth is I’d want to be fluent in all languages…
Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru
Animation Supervisor

  1. When Toriyama-sensei adopted the TV special episode (about Goku’s father) into the manga.
  2. Whenever the characters wouldn’t look right no matter how many times I drew them. Even when I finally thought I’d managed it, when I’d look them over again later I’d always be disappointed.
  3. I learned a lot about drawing, and had the sort of job one rarely can experience.
  4. It used to be Goku, but these days I feel more of an affinity with Kame-Sen’nin. I’d be happy to become that sort of old-timer.
  5. Vegeta (Garlick-ho) versus Goku (Kamehameha). The best part was how time flies by when you’re watching it.
  6. I’d like to bring the pictures in the original manga to life, exactly as they are. I think now I’d be able to pull it off much better than I was able to at the time. Though I guess I don’t want to actually do a remake.
  7. To have each day for me be 30 hours.
Minoru Maeda
Character Designer

  1. The way the staff would fuss over the series and work as hard as they could on the animation.
  2. It was very tough animating images while making sure that they still looked like those of the original artist, Toriyama-san.
  3. Not particularly, but it allowed me to meet a good staff, and it was good stimulus.
  4. I guess it’d have to be… Goku! Probably because no matter what he’s up against, he maintains an indomitable spirit.
  5. All of them.
  6. I’d like to make something depicting the peaceful days that followed. For instance, Goku becoming an old geezer like Kame-Sen’nin…
  7. I’d wish for a machine that could easily create animation.
Kazuya Hisada
Animation Supervisor

  1. When I saw neighborhood kids playing Dragon Ball.
  2. The daily escalation. Keeping up with the series’ tension.
  3. When I got this job, “Dragon Ball” had already begun. From there I was involved with it for 10 years… I’ve changed too much.
  4. I’m a fan of Mayumi Tanaka… so, Yajirobe.
  5. There was this time where, due to an animation error, Trunks’ hair ended up looking like a wig… Sorry about that.
  6. A Kamehameha the likes of which have never been seen before… Could I draw that?!
  7. World peace!!
Tadayoshi Yamamuro
Animation Supervisor

  1. I guess the fact that I was able to become an animation supervisor… Though it was really tough once I got that job…
  2. Probably the effects for the ever-changing techniques. Since I’d constantly have to think up new things.
  3. Thanks to the series, I was able to buy a house. A small one, but still.
  4. Goku, of course. He was always a good sportsman with everyone, no matter how strong they were, or if they were his enemy.
  5. All of the Freeza story arc. And in particular, when Goku first became a Super Saiyan.
  6. I feel like I’ve already done pretty much everything I’d want to do, but I could try leisurely animating things at the pace of once a year.
  7. Pay… Pay off my loan.
Shunsuke Kikuchi

  1. How interesting the characters in the original story were, and that I was able to meet the staff, who were all overflowing with enthusiasm.
  2. The musical change around regular Goku and Super Saiyan Goku.
  3. Just as with the change from “Dragon Ball” to “Dragon Ball Z”, I think my music changed too.
  4. Goku. He’s a spontaneous and natural child, and you really feel it as he gains greater and greater power.
  5. The scene where Goku was knocked down again and again, but got back up and fought for the sake of his family.
  6. I’d want to mainly use a synthesizer to bring out the change in timbre and power.
  7. I wish for a peaceful world without lies or violence.
Takashi Tokushige
Art Design

  1. How it made my relative’s kids so happy.
  2. The original has these cute pictures as backgrounds, so I was a little perplexed at how to not hurt that atmosphere but still set up realistic scenes.
  3. None.
  4. Kame-Sen’nin. His Hawaiian shirts are great.
  5. Goku’s tenacious, up-and-down battle scenes.
  6. I’d just want to faithfully do my job!
  7. Please make me an art director again.
Cast Section

  1. What did you most enjoy about being a cast [member] in “Dragon Ball Z”?
  2. What was the hardest thing about the recording sessions?
  3. Did being involved in the show’s production change you in any way?
  4. Which of your lines left the biggest impression on you, and why?
  5. What episode or scene left the biggest impression on you?
  6. Which character would you have liked to try playing, and why?
  7. If you could get one wish granted by the Dragon Balls, what would it be?
Hiromi Tsuru

  1. Being able to continue working with the splendid cast of “Dragon Ball”.
  2. Nothing in particular. Bulma made me feel pretty laid back.
  3. I got to study lots of things, most notably Nozawa-san’s acting skills. I wonder if that changed me in any way?
  4. There’s too many, so I can’t decide.
  5. I always thought Bulma would marry Yamcha, so I was shocked when she married Vegeta!
  6. U~m… I’m fine with just Bulma.
  7. “Peace”.
Masako Nozawa
Son Goku, etc.

  1. Being in the recording studio each time.
  2. I’m sure there were hard parts, but the joy I felt when it was done was so much bigger that I can’t think of anything.
  3. Not really.
  4. Gohan’s “I wonder if I’ll became a great scholar.” It’s a shining example of how Gohan never becomes bitter.
  5. The scene where Gohan boarded the spaceship wearing short pants and that backpack, and also the training scenes with Piccolo.
  6. None besides those I’ve already played.
  7. I’m chairman of a theatrical company1, so I’d wish to have my own theater.
Hiroshi Masuoka

  1. That I was able to participate in such an interesting series.
  2. Going along with the series’ high tension.
  3. The awareness that I was acting in a famous series. Lots of people would tell me that I’d finally made it.
  4. “Oh! If only I were younger!!!”
  5. There’s way too many for me to pick!
  6. None.
  7. For Dragon Ball movies to be shown at New Years and the Bon Festival.
Tōru Furuya

  1. Being able to know what happens next in the story before regular fans did.
  2. Not laughing at Kaiō-sama’s puns during the performance.
  3. I think it widened my fan base.
  4. “Sokidan!” Because it’s Yamcha’s strongest special attack, and one nobody else has.
  5. The scene where Yamcha had a part-time job playing baseball.
  6. Goku. Because he really is strong.
  7. “Safety and security for my family.”
Hirotaka Suzuoki

  1. Being able to meet everyone each week.
  2. Nothing really.
  3. Not particularly.
  4. “Chiaotzu!!” Because I like Chiaotzu.
  5. I can’t remember.
  6. None.
  7. World peace.
Mayumi Tanaka
Kuririn, etc.

  1. I thought Kuririn wouldn’t be appearing anymore since he had died, but he showed up with a halo.
  2. When Kuririn and Yajirobe appeared in the same shot I thought “What?! Now what do I do?!!”
  3. I got recognized by lots of people as Kuririn from “Dragon Ball”, so I think that led to me getting a lot more work around that time.
  4. “Goku!” Because when I was happy, or sad, or frustrated, or on the brink of death, I’d always shout Goku’s name.
  5. The scene where Kuririn was killed by Freeza and Goku got angry and became a Super Saiyan.
  6. Nobody besides Kuririn. Because I am Kuririn.
  7. Take away the pain in my knees. It’s urgent!
Ryō Horikawa

  1. I got to know myself through this role.
  2. Preparing for the role.
  3. It made me think positively.
  4. “Kakarrot! I won’t hand the Earth over to you!!” Because it’s cool.
  5. All the scenes I was in.
  6. None.
  7. To always be healthy.
Toshio Furukawa

  1. That I was able to closely study the acting techniques of my honored colleagues, Nozawa-san, Utsumi-san, and Yanami-san.
  2. The high tension during Piccolo’s fight scenes. I felt like I was going to pass out during the really intense fights, when I had to keep putting my all into it.
  3. I had played lots of light characters, so playing a deep-voiced character like Piccolo widened my acting range.
  4. Stuff like “Nuoh! Watatatah! Dowah! Gueh! Tatatah! Watah! Die!”
  5. The training scenes with Piccolo and Gohan, where a loving master-pupil relationship developed between them. It really increased the number of Piccolo fans, so it left a big impression on me.
  6. The narrator. Watching Yanami-san’s supreme skill at that made me want to give it a shot myself.
  7. I don’t want much… Just one of the sets of Dragon Balls that can grant multiple wishes.
Jōji Yanami

  1. I was so young then.
  2. It never felt too rough.
  3. I don’t know if this counts, but before the series started I was really busy and having a rough time, and this job allowed me to relax.
  4. All of them. I had lots of roles besides doing the narration, so it was a lot of fun.
  5. There’s too many for me to pick.
  6. I haven’t thought about it. I guess I’d like to do the narration again.
  7. I’d like to do another special program.
Ryūsei Nakao

  1. Being able to perform together with Nozawa-san, my beloved elder colleague.
  2. Having to play a different character each time Freeza transformed.
  3. I was able to study the fun and difficulties of playing a villain.
  4. “That hurt!!” Even though he’s such a strong character… That line really shows how far he’s sunk.
  5. The Freeza story arc.
  6. Kuririn! Because he gets killed three times.
  7. If I had one wish, first I’d wish for three more wishes. Then I’d think of what to do with the rest.
The following translator notes are included for the benefit of the reader as supplemental information.

1 Masako Nozawa is chair of “Troupe Moonlight”, a theatrical company founded in 1991 that performs twice a year.
English Translation: Herms