Character's Report Vol. 1 Translations



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Goldpanner

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With KH2.5 HD ReMIX on the way, I thought it'd be interesting and nostalgic to translate some comments Nomura made in the book Character's Report Vol. 1, published all the way back in 2006!

Kingdom Hearts Character's Report Vol. 1


King Mickey
We had decided long ago that as Mickey is the most special among all the Disney characters, and as we gave him the role of King in KHI, we would make him by far the strongest character in the game. On the directing side of things, we placed focus on having a mysterious and majestic atmosphere surrounding Mickey rather than just the general cheerful and bright figure. My favourite scene has to be the one where he throws off his coat. One of the charms of the KH Mickey is his coolness, and I think that's the scene that highlights it the best.
--Nomura


Donald Duck
If Mickey is the king, then following medieval fantasy tradition, his two retainers must be a knight and a magician. Then, I simply thought it would be very cute to hear Donald's voice casting spells, so I made him the magician. Disney had the opinion that as Donald was the one with the temper he would better suit the knight role, but the image of Donald casting spells was already complete in my head, and nothing could change it. Please take note of the zipper on his hat. It actually goes in a spiral shape, so if you were to undo it his hat would become one long piece of cloth.
--Nomura


Goofy
With Donald as the magician, then that meant Goofy had to be the knight, but I just couldn't picture him wielding a sword or axe… So, I came up with the premise that he was the 'weapon-hating captain of the knights' and had him carry a shield. Disney told us they wanted him to be wearing traveller's clothes, and as a way to have him fit in with Sora's style I thought of goggles, and from there I developed the rest of his outfit. Story-wise, one scene that left an impression on me was in KHI, when he put himself out there and told Riku that he wouldn't betray Sora. I think that's the first time you really feel like Sora, Donald and Goofy are together as one.
--Nomura


Pete
I actually wanted to put him in KHI, but we already had plenty of villains and adding any more would have created too many loose ends, so I gave up. That did mean that in KHII as Maleficent's henchman he fitted extremely well into various worlds and played a full and active role for me. Personally, I thought the part in Timeless River when he met and fought with his past self in particular was very funny. I was worried that Disney wouldn't let me portray him that way… so I was very happy that they considered our intentions and gave us the OK.
--Nomura


Sora
In KHI, I tried to keep an emphasis on roundness in my designs to have them fit with the Disney universe style, but in KH2 I took it upon myself to try incorporating some sharper elements. Also as Mickey himself made quite a few appearances, I had to re-think the balance of the colour schemes. Sora, personality-wise, is an nice, honest kid. He simply doesn't sweat the details. He just goes, 'whatever,' and makes things work (laughs). When he gave everyone a smile before thrusting the Keyblade into his chest in KHI, and when he cried upon seeing Riku again in KHII are scenes that left a deep impression on me. I think one of his charms is how straight he is in showing his emotions.
--Nomura


Riku
In contrast to Sora, he's a character with a shadowy, real sort of coolness to him. He worries about a lot of things, and out of all the characters he may be the closest to a Final Fantasy protagonist. And outwardly, too, I deliberately made Sora the kind of hero I pictured when I was little, while Riku fits with what's popular with young people today. Riku has an endless number of impressive scenes, doesn't he. In particular the scene in KHI where he tells Sora to take care of Kairi from behind the door to darkness left a strong impression, but I also love and empathise with his line from the opening of the game where he says 'just sitting here won't change a thing'.
--Nomura


Kairi
Kairi, who was a tomboy in KHI, became a little bit more mature in KHII. She changed a lot outwardly since at that age girls grow a lot faster than boys, but her lively personality didn't fundamentally change. Enough that 'with Riku and Sora gone, right now Kairi is the strongest person on Destiny Islands' is an actual premise. I like the scene in KHI, when she watches the sunset with Sora, and tells him not to change. I thought it showed very well her anxiety and loneliness over how as we get older we find a distance growing between us and our close friends.
--Nomura


Roxas
A lot of thought was put into this character. Based on the premise that he was 'an expression of the reverse, hidden inside Sora', I gave him pretty much the exact same face as Sora, just with slightly narrower eyes. And then, I made white the basis for his clothes, in contrast to KHII Sora. The black and white checkered pattern, 'neither darkness nor light', was to be a hint. My absolute favourite scene of his has to be the one at the end of the opening of KHII, when he says 'looks like my summer vacation is over'. I put a lot of feeling into creating that, as I intended it to feel, for a moment, like the end.
--Nomura


Namine
I gave Namine the same face as Kairi. Also, in order to emphasise the 'fragile little girl' side of her, I made her outward appearance very pale, as though she might fade away any minute. She had a complicated birth that differed to proper Nobodies and could even be placed as a subspecies, which contributes to her extremely ephemeral atmosphere… but, there is that moment where she and Kairi get into a fighting stance together. I was pleased by that. I thought, you're going to fight??
--Nomura


Wonderland
Alice isn't the daughter of any royalty, so-to-speak, but as being a princess in a Disney work means being a heroine with a heart as noble as a princess, I chose her to be one of the women with a heart completely lacking darkness. In the game it ended up that she had an image of being trapped, from beginning to end in Wonderland and in Hollow Bastion (laughs).
--Nomura


Halloween Town
A scene I particularly liked from this game was when Jack made an entrance in KHI, and when the revived Boogie tells Maleficent he's not going to do things her way. I was also happy that I could genuinely reproduce the part in the movie where Jack wears a Santa costume.
--Nomura


Timeless River
I knew I wanted to use Mickey from the early days of Disney. But as I wanted to protect the mysterious atmosphere around the King, after a lot of vexation, I decided to treat him more like a mascot than go into too much detail depicting the past. I love it when Mickey bounces around shaking your hand in the town from Gulliver Mickey, and when smoke comes out of Pete's hat.
--Nomura


Atlantica
I wanted to introduce musical mini-games in KHII, so I was very glad to have Ariel sing Part of Your World for me. She was great, anyway! It was a stage upon which you could enjoy the music of Disney to your heart's content, wasn't it? I feel as though we succeeded at making it look as though the characters were singing in realtime.
--Nomura


Monstro
Pinocchio was just wandering around aimlessly for the entire game, so perhaps you felt like telling him to sit still (laughs). He's the kind of character you somehow just can't hate, isn't he. I wanted his nose-growing shenanigans to be even more exaggerated, but it was too hard in the end… At the very end of KHI he became a human, so he won't be able to appear in the series any more, which is a bit of a pity.
--Nomura


Pride Land
Actually, The Lion King is my favourite Disney movie of all time. It made me so happy to be able to include it as a world in KHII and recreate lots of scenes from the movie. When we were making the scene where Scar tells Simba the truth, I was flooded with the feeling that it was just like the original.
--Nomura


100 Acre Wood
In both KHI and KHII, the part where the cover of the picture book is completed at the end makes me cry. Pooh himself doesn't realise that he won't be able to see Sora and the others again--which is far too upsetting. I feel like I really am a child, or something. It's very difficult to write dialogue for those peculiar characters. Each time I work very hard to give them their particular, odd voices.
--Nomura
 

KHRULER

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Pride Land
Actually, The Lion King is my favourite Disney movie of all time. It made me so happy to be able to include it as a world in KHII and recreate lots of scenes from the movie. When we were making the scene where Scar tells Simba the truth, I was flooded with the feeling that it was just like the original.
--Nomura
Aww Nomura,you're too much :3 Thank you for the translations!
 

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I am filled with so much emotion right now ;~;

It's amazing to get a glimpse into Nomura's thought process towards these characters and worlds. Thank you so much for the translations, goldpanner!
 

Zephyr

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Thank you so much for the translations Goldpanner! Ahh I really thought it was cute too how Donald yells out magic spells in some of the cutscenes. And I also like his comment on 100 Acre Wood. I never really thought how dark it would be.
 

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Monstro
Pinocchio was just wandering around aimlessly for the entire game, so perhaps you felt like telling him to sit still (laughs). He's the kind of character you somehow just can't hate, isn't he. I wanted his nose-growing shenanigans to be even more exaggerated, but it was too hard in the end… At the very end of KHI he became a human, so he won't be able to appear in the series any more, which is a bit of a pity.
--Nomura
Ha, you found a way anyway Nomura :p

I like reading about why he chose Donald for the mage! And I also get emotional when I finish the Hundred Acre Wood too, to be honest so it's nice to know he does too :p It always seems a little more bitter sweet to me than some of the others.
 

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100 Acre Wood
In both KHI and KHII, the part where the cover of the picture book is completed at the end makes me cry. Pooh himself doesn't realise that he won't be able to see Sora and the others again--which is far too upsetting.
Ditto. I'm not ashamed to admit it. j~j
 

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I can't believe Disney almost convinced Nomura to make Donald into a Knight lol but I'm glad Nomura stuck with the Mage idea. I figured Disney was skeptical of making Donald into a more relaxed/wise character because of the magic abilities.
 

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I really want to play KH2 with an open mind and take Nomura's words in consideration. Reading all of this reminded me that KH2 had a lot of love put into it and it would be a shame to not try and see the game for what it was meant to be; a fun, heart-warming story with fun gameplay and fun characters.

Thank you for translating this, Goldpanner! I haven't felt this nostalgic over KH2 for some years now, and I enjoy seeing Nomura's insight on how he planned the characters and events.

Please take note of the zipper on his hat. It actually goes in a spiral shape, so if you were to undo it his hat would become one long piece of cloth.
This is hilarious! What a sight that would be xD

Also...I really love his thoughts on Kairi. Many of us, myself included, always see Kairi as this underutilized character who has been left behind too many times and pushed aside in favor of other characters (which is still a fact and honest criticism by fans), but there is something nice in thinking that she was the strongest because she WAS the one who had to wait for her friends. It's not easy being left in the dark, wondering every day if your friends are safe and if they will ever return home. Only a strong-willed person could continue to wait every day for a year without giving up hope.

(GP, you really did bring the nostalgia home xD)
 

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That 100 Acre Wood comment did it for me ;_;

Also, hah, I guess Nomura did find a way to bring Pinocchio back in KH3D :D
 

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My pleasure, guys! I found a transcript of these floating around and thought it'd be fun, that's all :)

Ditto. I'm not ashamed to admit it. j~j
Me toooo oh god. I'm actually surprised at how many people this affected!! I thought I was just a sap. Of all the games that have made me cry, it is pretty hilarious to add 'Winnie the Pooh mini game level ending'.

Part of why it affects me so much is that for me, it's also sort of meta commentary on super familiar, well-loved characters like this in general. They were there for you when you were little, just as they were for little ones decades and decades ago, and they will be there for the new little ones in the future. That final image of them waiting forever inside their stories for when we need them, as they have for nearly a century... HERE DONT MAKE ME THE ONLY ONE TEARING UP

Thank you for translating this, Goldpanner! I haven't felt this nostalgic over KH2 for some years now, and I enjoy seeing Nomura's insight on how he planned the characters and events.
Mission succeeded ;D

Also, hah, I guess Nomura did find a way to bring Pinocchio back in KH3D :D
I know, it's funny to read these things from like eight years ago and know how it turned out! If I find any more blasts from the past I'll do them too!
 

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Thanks for the translation, glad that Disney didn't force Donald's role at the end.
 

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When I was drawing Donald for the KHI mural, I paid close attention to his model and noticed the hat had one zipper all the way around it! xD

Finally, some straight-from-the-horse's-mouth about why Alice is a worthy PoH candidate. Even though her "heroics" weren't limelit in the games, it's nice to see the decision defended.

A lot of his comments are sweet. I remember getting feels closing the Pooh's book and seeing Goofy stick up for Sora in Hollow Bastion in the original KH. Good stuff. ;~;

thx, Goldpanner!
 

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All of these are precious! You can tell the man cares. ;A; I loved every comment and lol'd at donalds hat and Goofy bits.
 

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Please take note of the zipper on his hat. It actually goes in a spiral shape, so if you were to undo it his hat would become one long piece of cloth.
--Nomura
I had to google a picture of it. I can't believe I'm seeing this so late xD

I can't believe Disney almost convinced Nomura to make Donald into a Knight lol but I'm glad Nomura stuck with the Mage idea. I figured Disney was skeptical of making Donald into a more relaxed/wise character because of the magic abilities.
I don't think I can even imagine Donald being a knight instead of a wizard. It might just be the Kingdom Hearts influence, though.

I really want to play KH2 with an open mind and take Nomura's words in consideration. Reading all of this reminded me that KH2 had a lot of love put into it and it would be a shame to not try and see the game for what it was meant to be; a fun, heart-warming story with fun gameplay and fun characters.
This is probably why I managed to enjoy KH2 so much back then. It was my first Kingdom Hearts game so I didn't have expectations for it. I loved it so much that I played through it several times even though I didn't know what happened in KH1 (I just pieced it together using Roxas' dreams).
 

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Thanks for the translations, Goldpanner!
I really loved what Nomura had to say, especially about Kairi.

At the very end of KHI he became a human, so he won't be able to appear in the series any more, which is a bit of a pity.
--Nomura
Well, you found a way.
I do find this comment a little odd. Why can't Pinocchio show up anymore because he's human now? While, yeah, his movie ended with him becoming a real boy, I don't see that as a reason to not have him show up anymore.

Though, this was from 8 years ago, so he might think differently now. (And, hey. You can all picture a huge power of friendship scene for KHIII that consists of showing everybody Sora has met saying Sora's name and giving him super powers.)
 

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Re: Character's Report Vol. 1 and 2 Translations

Found Vol. 2, so here we go! More to come soon...

Kingdom Hearts Character's Report Vol. 2


Leon

I think the 'swordsman who guides Sora' role that he originally appeared with carried over nicely into KHII. I like the scenes in both KHI and KHII where he gives Sora advice and sees him off on his journey. I'd like for him to keep on becoming more of a stoic swordsman from here on out.
--Nomura

Aerith
She is the most motherly of all the FF characters. Even in high-tension scenes, once she appears things calm down. That's how healers are, isn't it? If I get the chance to have her appear again in the future, I want to try even harder to show not just her healer side, but also how she's not as innocent as she acts.
--Nomura

Yuffie
It was easy to make her work as a character playing a part alongside the leader-type Leon and the motherly Aerith. Also, while I re-designed Leon and Aerith to fit in better with the world of KH, I kept Yuffie the same as her original FFVII counterpart.
--Nomura

Cid
You don't really expect a genius mechanical engineer to have such a dirty mouth, which I find funny. Then again, I didn't think he'd be get the chance work with such high tech devices (laughs). Many FF characters appear in Hollow Bastion, but I personally think it's only such a safe place thanks to Cid being there.
--Nomura

Cloud
Just as the characters of the Disney words retain their personalities from the original works, he is the one with the most FF-feel left to him. It wasn't fully explained, but in this title we see through him a side to the state of light and darkness that Sora cannot intervene in. His troubles with light and darkness served the role of giving Sora an objective point of view.
--Nomura

Sephiroth
He was written as a symbol of Cloud's darkness, and it's possible that just maybe he was not a corporeal human entity at all. Perhaps the sequence of scenes involving them made players feel like they were being left behind, but I'd like you to think of that as a representation of a light and darkness that Sora, and thus you as players, cannot intervene in.
--Nomura

Tifa
As a symbol of light, like Sephiroth, it's possible that she too was incorporeal. That last scene where she goes off to search for Cloud, you could say, is a metaphor for how Cloud's light still hasn't lost him, even though he's disappeared off with his darkness, and it is trying to shine on him again… I'm pretty sure I didn't manage to get all that across very well.
--Nomura

Yuna Rikku Paine
This is an example of me trying to represent FF characters differently to Leon and the others. This time they ended up making a test-run level group appearance, but if I had had enough resources, I wanted them to appear in even more of a villain role. If I have to elaborate, I think it would be funny and interesting to put them on Maleficent's side.
--Nomura

Maleficent
She is my personal favourite of all the villains. She did end up helping Sora and the others at the very end, but of course that by no way means she has become one of the good guys. Rather, it did nothing but show her in the process of becoming even more important. Chapter two for her begins here, perhaps.
--Nomura

Xemnas
He started out more as a handsome, romantic-lead type character, but his voice actor has a little 'out of control' side sometimes, and the voice shaped the character into who he is now. But, now I wouldn't be happy with Xemnas any other way. I liked the way he said 'it seems we must begin anew'. I use that line myself sometimes.
--Nomura

Xigbar
His role definitely did change thanks to the voice actor. [In Japanese] he has a way of ending his sentences with 'is what I'm saying', which was originally a once-off line, but the voice actor gave such a catchy delivery that after that we had him do it more and more. Actually, this character is still an incredibly important key to the plot. You get a little hint about that in the game.
--Nomura

Xaldin
He has the image of a medieval Chinese military commander. He is excellent at strategizing, and a powerful soldier. I'm sure the players all know that he is a contender for the first or second strongest in the Organisation. I'm satisfied that I was able to depict that strength in his personality, too. I personally really like this character.
--Nomura

Vexen
As a brains-only character, he has this undeniable loser feel to him. But, he does have a mad, scary side. He's fierce and out for himself enough that among the development staff we said Xemnas is to KHII what Vexen is to Re:COM. I like all the scenes where he loses it.
--Nomura

Lexaeus
He's a character with strength to rival Xaldin. While Xaldin has power plus technique, I'd say to Lexaeus is more of a samurai, or that he has bushido-style strength. If you listen to his very last line in Re:COM, I think you'll be able to see his spirit. I wanted to do more with this character.
--Nomura

Zexion
As he shares something like a master-servant or teacher-student relationship with Xemnas, like Saix, he is a character with strong connections. While he was the superior in that regard, perhaps that was ultimately his downfall. It is likely that if Marluxia and Axel had not betrayed him in Castle Oblivion, he would have played a central role within the Organisation.
--Nomura

Saix
While he is Number 7, a balanced and comprehensive look shows that proficiency-wise he is the Organisation's Number 2. We had already decided back when making COM that he would have a berserker trait, so we created him as a character that had a combined stillness and motion. I personally want to get a little deeper into this character. I like the scene where he and Axel face off.
--Nomura

Axel
I never thought he would grow as much as he has. We originally planned to have him exit upon being defeated by Roxas during the opening of KHII, but all the staff, myself included, were strongly inclined to have him keep playing an active role after that. It's possible he will have things to do in the future, too. I tried to put that into his 'see you' line in KH2 FM+.
--Nomura

Demyx
From the beginning he was created as a light-hearted character, but his voice actor really made him stand on his own as a character despite the short appearances he had. He is by no means strong, so I think it's funny how you don't see it coming when his abilities make him a formidable opponent. His line before exiting was something I thought of on the spot and had them add in.
--Nomura

Luxord
In all honesty he is my absolute favourite Organisation member. I like how he treats everything as a gamble, like Setzer from FFVI of old. I actually wanted to make him stand out more. At least I got him to say some things during the meeting scene added to KH2 FM+... but Luxord should have been able to do so much more...
--Nomura

Marluxia
During the plotting stage we intended him to be a woman, but we thought about the balance with Larxene and made him a man.
When you consider how he was entrusted with Castle Oblivion despite being Number 11 of the Organisation, you can tell just what a cunning character he is. I wasn't able to show this to you, but I'm sure you can imagine how he played the perfect 'can-do man' in front of Xemnas. He's quite the actor.
--Nomura

Larxene
She ended up being the only female character in the Organisation, but in effect it made her more of an individual, which I think is good. I had a firm image of her voice, so hers was the very first voice actor we decided on. Adding that voice made her all the more brutal, didn't it? As for that hairstyle. I'm the one who drew it and it's still a mystery to me. ...Why did I give her that hair?
--Nomura


TO BE CONTINUED............
 

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Re: Character's Report Vol. 1 and 2 Translations

His comments on the FF characters. ;A; I thoroughly enjoyed them most, especially his take on Leon, Cloud, Sephiroth and Tifa.

Xemnas
He started out more as a handsome, romantic-lead type character, but his voice actor has a little 'out of control' side sometimes, and the voice shaped the character into who he is now. But, now I wouldn't be happy with Xemnas any other way. I liked the way he said 'it seems we must begin anew'. I use that line myself sometimes.
--Nomura
This made me laugh~
 

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Re: Character's Report Vol. 1 and 2 Translations

Goofy
With Donald as the magician, then that meant Goofy had to be the knight, but I just couldn't picture him wielding a sword or axe… So, I came up with the premise that he was the 'weapon-hating captain of the knights' and had him carry a shield. Disney told us they wanted him to be wearing traveller's clothes, and as a way to have him fit in with Sora's style I thought of goggles, and from there I developed the rest of his outfit. Story-wise, one scene that left an impression on me was in KHI, when he put himself out there and told Riku that he wouldn't betray Sora. I think that's the first time you really feel like Sora, Donald and Goofy are together as one.
--Nomura
I adore how he actively decided to make Goofy a sort of pacifist, lol. He's so spot on with that scene of Goofy standing together with Sora, it's definitely one of my favorite scenes in KH1.

In KHI, I tried to keep an emphasis on roundness in my designs to have them fit with the Disney universe style, but in KH2 I took it upon myself to try incorporating some sharper elements. Also as Mickey himself made quite a few appearances, I had to re-think the balance of the colour schemes. Sora, personality-wise, is an nice, honest kid. He simply doesn't sweat the details. He just goes, 'whatever,' and makes things work (laughs). When he gave everyone a smile before thrusting the Keyblade into his chest in KHI, and when he cried upon seeing Riku again in KHII are scenes that left a deep impression on me. I think one of his charms is how straight he is in showing his emotions.
--Nomura
THIS MEANS SO MUCH TO ME. So many people go on and on about how weird it was for Sora to cry over Riku but Nomura phrased it perfectly here. Sora wears his heart on his sleeve and that's what is so charming about him.

Kairi, who was a tomboy in KHI, became a little bit more mature in KHII. She changed a lot outwardly since at that age girls grow a lot faster than boys, but her lively personality didn't fundamentally change. Enough that 'with Riku and Sora gone, right now Kairi is the strongest person on Destiny Islands' is an actual premise. I like the scene in KHI, when she watches the sunset with Sora, and tells him not to change. I thought it showed very well her anxiety and loneliness over how as we get older we find a distance growing between us and our close friends.
--Nomura
This perspective on Kairi is fascinating. She is a flawed character and being a Princess of Heart doesn't stop her from the same thoughts and fears anyone else would have. People hate on her for that line, but reading this makes me love it more.

A lot of thought was put into this character. Based on the premise that he was 'an expression of the reverse, hidden inside Sora', I gave him pretty much the exact same face as Sora, just with slightly narrower eyes. And then, I made white the basis for his clothes, in contrast to KHII Sora. The black and white checkered pattern, 'neither darkness nor light', was to be a hint. My absolute favourite scene of his has to be the one at the end of the opening of KHII, when he says 'looks like my summer vacation is over'. I put a lot of feeling into creating that, as I intended it to feel, for a moment, like the end.
--Nomura
Well it did, Nomura! I cried when that scene happened. The entire opening I was wondering where Sora was and why I was playing as Roxas, but as soon as Roxas returned to Sora I was heartbroken. I can't believe how attached I got to him in such a short span of time.


GP, THESE ARE SO GREAT! Thank you for taking the time to do this. ;~;
 

rokudamia2

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Re: Character's Report Vol. 1 and 2 Translations

So wait does nomura's favorite villain fluctuate? I could have sworn last year he said Ansem was his favorite villain, but in 2007 malificent was his favorite villain?
 
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