Digimon is back, and making its return to the big screen. “Digimon Adventure Tri” has been out in Japan for a while, but the English dub is premiering soon, and will be hitting theaters nationwide on September 15th. Many of the classic actors will be returning to their roles, including Joshua Seth, who voices Tai Kamiya.
Joshua recently took the time to speak with several outlets, including G33k-HQ, about his return to voice acting and the experience of recording “Digimon Adventure Tri.”
Hearing Joshua speak, he really does sound a lot like the character, as he notes that all he needs to do is up the pitch a little. But since the Tri version of Tai is a little bit older and a little bit wiser, the voice may be the same but some of the emotion and expression behind it will have changed accordingly. “Over time we get life experiences and they color our perceptions of the world and our interactions with other people that make us more complex and overall more interesting.”
The appeal of voice acting, Joshua explains, is the pure emotion behind it. “It’s such a pure creative, emotional expression, because you take all your communicative skills as a performer and then channel them through this one mode of expression.” There’s no body language or physical performance, just pure emotion through the voice.
The return of the Digimon season 1 heroes was a surprise and a thrill to the fans of the original series, but it was just as big a surprise to the actors. Joshua notes that the return of many of the original actors is, in large part, thanks to the fans. “I think probably almost didn’t come back to the original cast, and I think we have the fans to thank for that,” he explains. “Because I wouldn’t have even known this was happening if it weren’t for people letting me know on Facebook and Twitter.”
Many actors from the old cast are returning, as well as many of the unsung heroes from behind the scenes. Old friendships are as strong as ever, Joshua notes, mentioning that he’s even met up with some of the actors who aren’t returning to the show.
Many, in fact, never expected Digimon to take new life in the way it has. “Back when Digimon first came out there was no online streaming… we all kind of thought it was ‘one and done,’” Joshua said. “But because of the internet, it was given new life, new audiences… These old shows don’t need to die anymore, they can find new life as they find new audiences and formats.”
One thing also worth looking at is the classic anime fan argument of “dubs vs subs,” particularly in regards to changes that dubs make. The Digimon dub had plenty of its own changes, particularly in regards to the music, as was common back when it was being dubbed. Although the dubbing practices have changed a little since then, and the music tends to remain more or less unchanged, the “Digimon Adventure Tri” dub will have new music of its own, continuing in the vein of the original dub while still being new.
“In my mind, since I hadn’t seen the original Japanese, when I heard the new music I was all ‘Hey wait a second, where’s the ‘Di-di-digimon? Where’s the theme song?’” he explains. “But the more time I spent with the project the more I really liked the new music because everything about it has evolved; the characters have evolved, situations have evolved, we as an audience have evolved, the world has changed, and by changing the music, it’s kind of showing the show is different, the characters are older, so I ended up really liking it and feeling it was the right choice.”
In the end, Joshua had nothing but gratitude for the fans who helped bring him back and everyone who made his return as Tai possible. “I’m thrilled to be back as Tai in Digimon Tri, and I’m grateful to the fans for bringing it to my attention and bringing it to the attention of everyone else involved in the project so we can bring the band back together. And I look forward to more to come, and I’m excited to see the results of it like everybody else.”