Our site founder Daryl Harding received the opportunity to take part in a teleconference with several other journalists to interview Joshua Seth, the returning voice of Tai Kamiya in Digimon Adventure Tri.
A media teleconference was held to promote the English dub premiere of Digimon Adventure tri – Chapter 1: Reunion and its U.S. theatrical release on September 15, 2016. Various journalists got the opportunity to ask voice actor Joshua Seth, who is reprising his role as Tai Kamiya, questions relating to the film as well as his personal work.
Check out Daryl’s review on the Japanese version of the film when it was released last year.
The film is notably Seth’s return to voice acting (the dub reuniting many of the original Digimon cast members besides him) after he moved away from the industry years ago. Focusing on his family and pursuits in being a keynote speaker, mentalist, and entertainer. Where he has found success, performing at over 2,000 events in over 30 countries. Even authoring his own book titled “Finding Focus In A Busy World”.
Approaching an Older Tai in Digimon Adventure Tri
Daryl’s question to Seth asked How did you approach Tai in Digimon Adventure Tri? Obviously he’s older so how did you approach voicing the character and how was it different than how you would have back then?
I think the key to the way that I voiced him now was to consider that he’s wise beyond his years because of his life experiences. And I discussed this with the production team, should I make him sound older… My normal voice is really not that far off from Tai. “I just pitch it up a little bit” (in Tai’s voice) when I do him, but it’s still me… So we discussed that, since he’s older should I just leave my voice as it naturally is and we decided no we should stay true to the original vocal characterization of Tai. So when it comes out you’ll notice the sound of Tai is fairly similar.
The main difference is I made the expression, his expressions more thoughtful. That wasn’t just me that was in the text as well. The way his character has evolved. He ponders the larger meaning of whether what they are doing is actually beneficial, actually changing things. He’s grappling with larger issues from a more mature perspective. So that’s really what changed.
How the Franchise Digi-volved
Further questions asked by fellow journalists included What are your thoughts on how the franchise has evolved?
I’m very happy it has evolved. Back when Digimon first came out there wasn’t online streaming, there wasn’t Netflix. We all kind of thought it was one and done. It would air on Saturday mornings, I remember recording the video game and the movie. And that was the trajectory as far as anyone knew. It would come out on DVD or maybe video…actually would have been video cassette back then. And then it’s over. But because of the internet it was given new life, new audiences, people watched it for the nostalgic reasons. Reconnect with their childhood.
I hear this all the time, people come to me after my live shows all the time and say “Dude you were the voice of my childhood.” So I know they are watching it for the nostalgia, but I think there is a whole new generation of kids who have turned on to Digimon because they’ve been able to stream it online, watch it on Netflix or the DVDs. And even more so now that there is more products being produced and the franchise I hope will continue to evolve.
See what’s happening with Pokemon Go. Why shouldn’t Digimon come back into the broader public consciousness in the same way? Carving out its own space. These old shows don’t need to die anymore, they can find new audiences and new formats. It’s great.
How Fans Brought the Original Cast Back
With how long the franchise has gone on, did you ever think they actually come back to the original cast to tell one more story?
I think probably they almost didn’t come back to the original cast and I’ve got the fans to thank for that. I wouldn’t have even known this was happening if it weren’t for people letting me know on Facebook and Twitter…I literally would not have known because I’m not in that world, I’m in the live performing and touring world right now and I definitely have the fans to thank for getting reconnected with this project and the producers were very on-board with seeing that happen. And it gives more integrity to it as well. Digimon isn’t just about the storyline or the animation it is also now those iconic voices that gave life to those characters. So a bunch of us come back I think can only make the project better.
Reuniting with The Original Cast in Digimon Adventure Tri
How did it feel getting back together with the original gang members and working again on Digimon after all these years? Can we expect you back for the rest of Digimon Adventure Tri English releases?
It felt great. There is even more names than you guys know about because there are so many important people behind the scenes like Jamie and Rita…and the whole team. It was wild…especially because I’m not in LA anymore. I don’t live in Hollywood anymore! So a lot of these people they still see each other, they still bump into each other during auditions, I don’t. I’m going to be in six different states in the next seven days doing live shows and none of them are in California. So, each time I see somebody it was like “holy crap you look different but you sound the same!” That’s the funny thing about voice actors, we age like everybody else. But because we are so vocally expressive, it really feels like the same person, it sounds like the same person, even if you haven’t connected with them in years. It was a real special feeling.
And I’ll give you a little extra insight here. Even though Lara Jill Miller, that played my little sister (Kari Kamiya), did not come back to this particular project. We were texting while I was out there, we ended grabbing lunch together, hanging out for the afternoon, having a good time. So it was nice to reconnect with those old friendships and see that they are as strong as ever.
And for the follow-up. I guess it remains to be seen, it’s not entirely up to me in terms of my continued involvement….I had a blast recording this and as always I remain open to continue to portray Tai and come back and do the whole thing again.
Returning to Voice Act in Non-Digimon Works
Would you be open to doing any non-Digimon voice projects in the future?
If you had asked me that a year ago I would have had a hard time saying yes. Because I’m having so much fun with my other projects and touring and everything. But, it was so surprising to me that going back into a recording studio felt like I had never left. And I remember walking out of the studio being all charged up and feeling great. Like this is a thing that I like to do and people seem to think I’m good at and it’s almost feels like a shame not to do it. That’s basically how I felt walking out of the Digimon sessions. It seems like someone gave me a really nice piece of cake so why should I just leave it on the shelf to get stale and uneaten? You got to eat the piece of cake.
That’s how I felt going out of the studio…I have this skill, people want me to use it, why the hell aren’t I doing it? So I’m a lot more open to it now. Now the logistics to getting back to LA to do the particular project, that is a little more complicated than you would think. These show tours are very complicated, flying in and out of cities everyday…it’s just a logistical thing. So if the right project came along with the right offer and I was able to work it into the touring schedule in the right way, like say if I was going back to LA to record more Digimon and there was another project I could do while I was out there, I’d be really down for that. And the only thing really stopping me at this point is the fact that you don’t have the ability to walk into a cylinder and press a button and evaporate and then reappear on the other side of the country a second later. If they invent that though, yeah I’ll be back in a big way.
Experiencing Digimon Adventure Tri in Theatres
This is the first Digimon movie to [come out in theaters in NA] since the first and only Digimon movie that made it here in theaters and I’m curious about your understanding of the factors that have culminated to this theatrical release?
Yeah I was very surprised myself to hear that. Even while recording I was unaware that it was going to be released theatrically. When I found out, I was like “Well that’s the best way to experience this right?” Because you’re not sitting alone in your room watching it on your computer, you are out there. I hope fans will get dressed up and have parties and make a big event out of it. Because I can guarantee you if they do that then there will be more of these. I think it’s a great way to relaunch this franchise, because it gives people a way to celebrate.
English Dub Previews of Digimon Adventure Tri
Additionally, distributor Eleven Arts has also released the first previews of Digimon Adventure tri – Chapter 1: Reunion’s dub. Featuring our first looks at the returning and new voices. First up, we have our first look Joshua Seth’s return as Tai:
Lastly, we have Mimi, Sora and Kari (voiced by Philece Sampler, Colleen O’Shaughnessey and Tara Jayne) eating with Palmon, Biyomon and Gatomon (voiced by Anna Garduno, Cherami Leigh and Kate Higgins).
So that does it for the interview and these previews for Digimon Adventure Tri. What did you think of the interview on a whole? Are you happy with some of Joshua’s replies? Are you interested to hear him voice act in more non-Digimon work? Are you satisfied with the previews of the Digimon Adventure Tri dub? Let us know below.