Because of that reason, DO NOT PUBLISH ELSEWHERE (link back here instead)
Note: I had trouble wording one line, but I figured I would just post this as is for now until I get more help.
Latest Update: 12/23/10 Fixed wording
Original Japanese Scans
NOMURA INTERVIEW (PART 2 out of 4)
Part 2: Sound and Naming (pg. 528-531)
[Continued from Part 1]
SOUND: Inside Story on “Hikari”’s Creation
---I would like to ask about the main theme song “Hikari”. Was it your intention to choose Utada Hikaru?
---I bet you still can't fathom how you persuaded Hikaru Utada to agree to making a song for a videogame,
Nomura: That’s true. But I didn’t think it was impossible, of course. If you don’t try, you won’t know. The others around me said, “It’s better to stop, she’ll definitely turn that down,” and just convincing the other staff took the most time. I insisted from the beginning that the singer must be Hikaru Utada.
---How were the actual negotiations once you started?
Nomura: The decision was unexpectedly smooth. Her people agreed to the first negotiation and it was not bad. They replied saying something like, “She likes games, so it might be alright.” They also added that she likes Disney. I was told that since she is coming back from Japan, I can talk with her directly. When I was allowed one more negotiation with her after she returned, she asked if I could show what the game was. I quickly sent her a presentation video. Then in a day or two, she said, “I’ll go for it” and that she will strongly consider it. I said, “Seriously?!”
I was extremely surprised that came out of my own mouth. (laugh)
---What kind of song did you ask for from Hikaru Utada?
Nomura: The song would play with the ending sequence where the hero and heroine part from each other since the images for that scene were decided very early on. However, I wanted to show that this is not a sorrowful parting but an optimistic one. The lyrics fit so perfectly that when I first heard it, I trembled and couldn’t speak. I did ask her to not put in words that do not exist in the game’s worlds, such as “cellphone”, but she added in “television”. (laugh) But I am glad that even from that, one can take away a deep meaning.
--- The Hikari single did splendidly and became #1 in the hit charts and matched up with the sale of the game. It was nice that both of them benefited from each other.
Nomura: That’s right. Well, I think I was bothersome in some ways. (strained laugh)
NAMING: Theme of Building One’s Own Land
--When did you decide on the title “Kingdom Hearts”?
Nomura: I decided from the beginning that the title would have “Kingdom”. That has several different meanings; first I wanted something that sounded like Disney... like “Magic Kingdom” or “Animal Kingdom” since Disney has that “kingdom” image. Also, I wanted the meaning to be deep to an extent. Something not to be taken lightly. Then, since this was a newly created team.... this is not a sequel but a project that was built up from a vacant land, so there is an image of us creating our own country. I wanted to use it because of all those meanings behind “Kingdom”, but we couldn’t use it.
---The registered trademark... you mean?
Nomura: Yes. Since it was already a registered trademark, I was troubled and kept thinking of different names to use. But when everybody thought about it together, we only came up with silly ideas. “Kingdom Champion”, shortened to “Kinchan”. (laugh) In the end, I wanted the story to have heart as the theme, so I thought about using “heart” in the title. But the sound of “Kingdom Heart” did not flow well, so I thought “Kingdom Hearts” would be good.
---Moving on, I would like to talk about the main characters’ names; Sora, Riku, and Kairi. Your characters always have very memorable names. In the Final Fantasy series, Cloud (FFVII), Squall (VIII), and Tidus (X) were all named after weather and such.
Nomura: Ah, Nojima (FFX Scenario Writer: Kazushige Nojima) named Tidus. I guess Nojima just wanted to go with the pattern. Because it just matched up out of coincidence, I didn’t notice that at all. Since I named Sora, Riku, and Kairi after the three elements that make up the world, I didn’t name Sora with weather in mind.
---Kairi was the only one that was not named “Kai” (means “ocean” in Japanese) and instead had “ri” attached at the end. Why?
Nomura: I thought Kai was not feminine enough, so I wondered what would be good. I tried attaching Japanese syllables starting from “a”, and I thought Kairi fit the best.
“Will Sora, Riku, and Kairi appear in a Disney movie? I guess I can’t say that’s impossible.”
---I am just curious, but are Sora, Riku, and Kairi treated as Disney characters?
---Does that mean that those three can appear in a Disney movie or some other sort of development like that?
Nomura: That’s right. I guess I can’t say that’s impossible. I can’t say anything specific though. (laugh)
END OF PART 2
Part 3: Kingdom Heart’s Scenario Mysteries section.
Part 4: Secret and Message sections.
If you read these translations, I would appreciate a comment saying you did. :3