Interview: Johnny Bosch Talks Digimon Adventure Tri, Power Rangers' Resurgence, and Live-Action Anime
When it comes to anime, there are few franchises who pack a nostalgic punch like Digimon. The [...]
When it comes to anime, there are few franchises who pack a nostalgic punch like Digimon. The series debuted in the late-1990s, and its array of Digital Monsters endeared children around the world. When Toei Animation announced it was bringing the series' original heroes back for a film franchise, fans were understandably excited, and they only grew more hyped when the project's dub cast was announced.
After all, Johnny Bosch was brought on to play T.K., and the actor is a well-known one within the industry.
Recently, ComicBook had a chance to sit down with Bosch to talk about his work on Digimon Adventure Tri. as well as his other works. The actor, who has worked on everything from Power Rangers to Bleach, opened up about the technicality of playing T.K. now that the DigiDestined hero is older. And, most importantly, Bosch confessed which Digimon partner would be his go-to:
For those unfamiliar with Digimon, the series was originally conceived by Bandai, Toei Animation, and WiZ in 1997 as a way to capitalize on the virtual pet craze sparked by Tamagotchi. The franchise focus on its titular "Digital Monsters," monsters that live in a parallel, digital world that came from mankind's technology. The franchise had its first anime adaptation, Digimon Adventure, which focuses on a group of children known as the DigiDestined (or "Chosen Children" in Japan) that are transported to the world of Digimon and have to fight the various evil digital beasts that roam the land.
Digimon Adventure Tri. is Toei Animation's film series celebrating the franchise's 15th Anniversary. The film series serves as a sequel to both Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure 02, with the first film releasing in Japan in 2015 and the final film releasing in May 2018. Taking place three years after Digimon Adventure 02, the DigiDestined are reunited with their partner Digimon in order to figure out why a mysterious virus has infected both the human and digital worlds.
Are you loving the dub of Digimon Adventure Tri? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime! You can also find which theaters will be screening Digimon Adventure Tri. at Fathom Events' website!
On Approaching the Role of T.K.
Q: What was it like coming into Digimon after others had already given their take on T.K. in the anime?
Well, first off, it was kind of scary because it was a role that was played by Doug Erholtz. But not only him -- Wendee Lee I think also played him at some point.
I didn't grow up on the series, so I had to do some YouTube and Google and try to figure it all out and just kind of see a bit about the character. He didn't have so much of a personality in the original series, so this time around, I felt like there was a bit more freedom in playing him -- especially with the voice because he's older and also the story's a bit different for him at least.prevnext
On Creating the Voice of T.K.
Q: Can you walk me through the technical process of creating your voice for T.K. in these films?
Well, when I first looked T.K. up, I really wanted to see if there was anything that the character did -- maybe not necessarily a lisp -- but if there was like some kind of catchphrase or something that was going to be said that I would have to pay attention to, but I didn't notice anything like that.
In speaking with people, there wasn't very much there. So, I basically just went in knowing that I was going to be playing him older than he was before but not really old. I just basically followed direction from the director and producers. They kind of guided me to a place for me to create the voice and then just kind of went from there.prevnext
On Tapping into T.K. and His Emotions
Q: How did you tap into the emotions of T.K. since the character really gets to explore his feelings in these films. The third movie has a lot for T.K. to delve into.
Well, I knew that ... I had to play basically the idea that he really does love Patamon. There were certain things that were going on ... Not that I'm like a method actor, but there were certain things going on around the same time that I was playing that in my personal life that I kind of just borrowed some of those emotions. But it wasn't, like, full-on -- it was like I was able to kind of, like, treat Patamon as someone closer.
It was just ... It was written right. I think the way the story was and the dialogue and everything just kind of helped me just to be in that place at that moment for the character.prevnext
On Joining Such a Nostalgic Anime Franchise
Q: How did you feel walking into such a nostalgic franchise for its reboot when you hadn't been a part of its original iteration way back when? Were you feeling any sort of nerves or pressure?
At first, I got sent the audition and it was for all of the characters. I submitted for all of the characters, and I didn't grow up on the series, so I didn't know that these were characters that were previously on the series. I just assumed it was a whole new thing. And then, whenever I looked at T.K., I was told that these are the characters from the original series or whatever.
So I had to go back through this; I went back through, then I found out other people played the characters, and I was like, "Well, that's weird. Why am I doing this now?" I just assumed that they were having everybody coming was new ... New actors playing the parts.
But then I found out the rest of the original cast is coming back, and I'm kind of like the odd man out. That is when it really became scary because then I was like, "Well, I don't know what I'm going to do then because nobody's going to like what I'm going to do. There's going to be a lot of reservation."
I was definitely scared, and I stayed away from as many online things as possible just because I didn't want to see anything negative. I guess when it was announced, I started getting a ton of texts from friends that I know they grew up on the series and were kind of excited about it. And I was like, "Oh, that's kind of cool." And then, once things came out, it seemed like people were excited. Then I came to a convention. People seemed pretty excited. I felt like, "Okay, maybe it's not going to be so bad." And then, once it did come out, people were pretty happy with it at least what I've seen. It was definitely scary, though.prevnext
On the Return of Power Rangers' Popularity
Q: You are connected to a very different nostalgic franchise with Power Rangers. How have you felt seeing that series make a comeback in popular media with its recent Hollywood adaptation?
It's just been cool, and it's really interesting actually. Once when I was on the show, it was hugely popular, and when I left the show, it was very difficult to get a job because of Power Rangers. Luckily, I fell into voiceover work, which gave me a whole different career. Then, suddenly, I see Power Rangers start popping up as a hot topic. It starts becoming retro, and then the kids that grew up on it are back into it, and like, "Oh, it's cool."
It's just interesting to see that it became retro and a collectible thing, and they released old toys again, and then a whole new line of toys. I've been going to conventions for quite a while since I worked on Tri again, and I really got to see it come back. It's just pretty cool to see it become this thing, and it's just kind of ... I don't know, it's kind of exciting to be a part of something like that.prevnext
On the Future of Live-Action Anime
Q: You are also well-known for some big anime franchises like Bleach and Akira. Those are both being look at for live-action adaptations as Bleach will even have its debut in Japan this year. As someone who has gotten to know anime storytelling, do you think Hollywood will get live-action adaptations of the medium right like it did with comic books?
That's one of those things where it's like they can do it right if they have the right people. I mean, I think they can do it right; It's just often times they don't. It's just having the right people behind the projects. I think because so many of them have kind of gone not that great."
I thought Ghost in the Shell was pretty good, and I'm looking forward to Battle Angel. Even Akira, I think, technology now is at the point where they can do it and they could make it pretty stinkin' cool. You've got Stranger Things, which has a lot of those kind of things in it as well, so I think it's the right time for that sort of stuff.
I don't know. I'm not against them doing it. I just know that it just depends on the people behind the project. Once you get too many opinions or too many suits in there, and they're just thinking about numbers rather than the project itself, that's when it suffers.prevnext
On His Own Digimon Partner
Q: If you had to choose a Digimon partner that isn't Patamon, who would it be? Or are you just a die-hard Patamon supporter?
Yeah, the thing is I didn't really grow up with the series, so I don't know all of the different Digimon. I have no idea. Let's see. And I can't choose Patamon? Gosh, there was one that looked like a transformer. I can't remember what his name was, but I had to look him up one time.prevnext
On the Next Digimon Adventure Tri. Films
Q: What are you most looking forward to with the next Digimon Adventure Tri. films? Or are you just taking each film as they come?
Well, I have been taking each movie as they come. But after Confessions, that's when I really got into the character. So, I mean, I would definitely like to see more of that sort of thing throughout. Not specifically that arc but taking the character to a different place emotionally would be pretty cool and fun.prevnext
On His Upcoming Projects
Q: Thank you for taking the time to speak with ComicBook today. As a final question, can you tell fans anything else about your upcoming projects for 2018 and beyond?
Well, I can't really talk about any of them yet. I know that some of them are being announced this year, but I just don't know when. I can't really say much. The only thing I can talk about is that I have a new band. I don't know if that's anything that I should be promoting. I mean, that's the only thing I can talk about because that's personal, so I can do whatever I want. It's called "Where Giants Fall."prev