Masako Nozawa is the person who did Gokou's voice for the original DragonBall in Japan. Believe it or not, Masako Nozawa is actually a female. She did Gokou's voice for 12 years, ever since DragonBall first came out in 1985 and ended in 1997. The following interview is translated from the original Japanese script, where she talked about her life and her involvement with DragonBall and Gokou. Some Japanese even refer her as the real Gokou. This interview was arranged on 27th October, 1997, where DragonBall just ended a few days ago in Japan. Anyway, here it is, the interview with Masako Nozawa.
What did it feel like acting as 'Gokou' for the past 12 years?
Masako Nozawa: To me, I don't think the last 12 years have ended yet. DragonBall and Gokou are still a part of my life and will forever be a part of my life. We will live together, and move on together. This is an extrodinary powerful feeling and it will forever stay in my heart. Thinking about it now, 12 years sure went away quickly.
The night before your last DragonBall GT recording session, what kind of feeling did you have inside? Was it an 'empty' sort of feeling?
Masako Nozawa: I didn't want to face the fact that DragonBall has ended. Since I have been doing the voice recording every week for the last 12 years, it does take a bit of time to adjust to the changes. The night before the last recording session, I did have an empty, bitter feeling. Also extremely depressed. However I asked myself, if I go to the recording studio all depressed, wouldn't Gokou be feeling depressed as well? Hence, I tried to stay happy, but the lonely and empty feel were still there.
In the final DragonBall GT scene, which part was the most memorable?
Masako Nozawa: When the final battle has ended, Gokou climbed up the back of Shenlong and said "I love the warmth and the comfort on the back of Shenlong..."
Even though the whole DragonBall is officially over, but new animes come out every year. Have you ever considered joining with another anime studio and start a new career?
Masako Nozawa: Yeah true. TOEI Animation's producer has already told me "Don't even think about once a year, I am thinking of releasing a new anime every season!" However, the fact is that I am not yet sure what I will do after DragonBall, I guess we will just have to wait and see (smiles).
You have played Gokou since he was a kid, and you play him all the way until he gets to Super Saiyan 4. I am sure you have seen Gokou in many different ways, but which sort of Gokou did you like the best?
Masako Nozawa: Um...this is certainly a hard question to answer (smiles). I still find Gokou with a tail the most attractive and the cutest. Even though Gokou has grown from a kid to an , but his personality, and his inner-self has never changed. Thus, there isn't really a specific part I like about Gokou, I like Gokou as a whole.
Apart from Gokou, is there another DragonBall character you like as well?
Masako Nozawa: Ermm...this is also a hard question (smiles). I like Piccolo. I used to him in the beginning because he was all mean and cruel, but then as he became a good guy, I started to like him more and more as well.
Which part of Gokou in DragonBall did you find most memorable?
Masako Nozawa: I think for me the part I find the most memorable is when Gokou infiltrated the Red Army defence, he took a break and released himself in the toliet, a soldier fired through the toliet door and shot Gokou from behind. When I saw the scene, I said to myself "Poor Gokou, is he alright?" Behind the bullet-hole filled door, heard Gokou yelled out "Arrr! It hurts! It hurts!" I thought this part wasn't just the most memorable, but it also showed Gokou's cute and personality.
Do people know that you are the person behind Gokou (as in the person who does the voice)?
Masako Nozawa: Yeah, of course. Actually, I remember once when I was on the monorail on my way back home, there was a young married couple with their son sitting opposite me. They greeted me and told me that their son is a huge fan of Gokou and they asked me if I could say Gokou's famous line "Kamehameha" for their son. I thought about it and said to myself, if I did do a "Kamehameha", I might scared all the people on the monorail, and it might give the others a bad impression of Gokou. I had to refuse at the end, and the child was a little disappointed.
Apart from kids and teenagers, do you know any other people who also watch DragonBall?
Masako Nozawa: I have received a letter from an elderly lady and in her letter she wrote she loves watching DragonBall with her grandchildren. She wrote that she never misses an episode. So I guess DragonBall isn't just for kids and teenagers afterall!
Have you ever had any regrets of doing the voice of Gokou?
Masako Nozawa: Absolutely not!
What was the atmosphere like in the recording studio?
Masako Nozawa: It was just great. The people I work with for so long, instead of calling them by their real names, I just refer them with the corresponding DragonBall character's name. It was just great working with such a wonderful team of people.
Any last words for the DragonBall fans before we end the interview?
Masako Nozawa: I like to say thank you to all the DragonBall fans around the world. Please do not think as if DragonBall has finished and Gokou will not be back again. I believe Gokou will be back. I know that one day, doesn't matter how long I have to wait, but I know Gokou will be back with us again.