ANN’s coverage of New York Comic Con 2023 sponsored by Ize Press!
With Digimon Adventure 02 movie just on the horizon, New York Comic Con 2023 and Toei Animation hosted a panel with long-time Digimon franchise producer Hiromi Seki. Seki answered questions and shared some insight on what it was like working on the franchise, what fans can expect from the movie, and what she hopes to see from Digimon moving forward. There was a clear sense that Toei Animation is really proud of the upcoming Digimon Adventure 02 The Beginning film and wants to generate as much hype as they can. The studio is currently in the process of uploading dubbed episodes of Digimon Adventure 02 to its YouTube channel, and there were plenty of promotion-related tie-ins like the Digimon Card Game and exclusive merchandise at the panel.
Attendees were treated to the first two minutes of the film, featuring an establishing scene with minimal dialogue and backed by the soundtrack. The scene set an interesting tone for things to come when the film opens in Japan on October 27, followed by its U.S. premiere on November 8. The scene depicts a giant Digi-Egg in the sky that pulsates a golden aura. The aura begins to spread throughout the entire world as our main cast watches this event unfold. As the aura spreads, messages pop up on tech devices, claiming that everyone deserves a Digimon. The scene ends with a mysterious character watching while he grips what appears to be a cracked Digivice.
According to Seki, the movie is an origin story that focuses around potentially one of the first people that ever interacted with a Digimon. Seki stated that her favorite episodes revolve around the franchise’s siblings, like Matt and TK, Tai and Kaori, or even Ken and his brother. However, what if there was someone who met Digimon even before our main cast did? What kind of person would that be? Those questions are central to the heart of the movie and prompted the creation of Rui Ōwada, a mysterious youth who descended from Tokyo Tower and says, “I was the first in the world to become a DigiDestined.”
Seki said that she and director Tomohisa Taguchi came up with a lot of fun possibilities with Rui that she hopes viewers will all enjoy. Attempts by the panel hosts to prod Seki for more information about the mysterious character were met with resistance at first. She stressed that she could not spoil anything, but then cheekily added that if there was somebody who became friends with Digimon for the first time, then there’s a chance that they might’ve been a lonely child that didn’t have a lot of human friends. Maybe they had trouble with their family? What would happen if a Digimon showed up in front of a child like that? At least Tai and others had their friends and siblings, right?
Seki hopes that the film will be appealing not only to Digimon fans but to potential fans as well. She wants this franchise to continue to go on as it approaches its nearly twenty-five-year anniversary.
“I would love it if a person in this very room, maybe ten years from now, would be the one to make the next Digimon film,” Seki said.
She explains that Digimon represents the idea of numerous different possibilities reflected in the various evolutions that the monsters go through, as well as the different relationships Digimon can have with people. The sentiment was shared in a special video message shown to the audience from director Tomohisa Taguchi. He explained that this was a film about potentially going against a predetermined future, and according to him, this was only a film that could be told with the Digimon Adventure 02 cast.
Finally, the panel ended with a look at the dubbed trailer for the film. It was very nice to hear some of the original cast make a return. Overall, the film looks exciting, with plenty of surprises for new fans and old fans alike.