Why do Anime Dubs Use the «Same 12 Voice Actors?»



CORRECTIONS AT 7:58, 10:08 & 17:07 — At 7:58 we mentioned that a studio might «fly a voice actor in» however Clifford Chapin pointed out on Twitter that this doesn’t happen, and if an actor is going to fly interstate to record they will pay for their own ticket. Original response: https://twitter.com/CliffordChapin/status/940095605392654336

Natalie Hoover further clarified that paid travel may sometimes occur in union dubs however in general it depends on the project. Original response: https://twitter.com/nataliehoovervo/status/941390019264176128

At 10:08, when mentioning that actors can move to the Dallas Fortworth area in the hopes of working with FUNimation the reality is that there may not *actually* be enough work for them to actually make a living, even by covering expenses with other jobs on the side. Thank you to Caitlin Glass (@caitlinsvoice) for correcting us on this one: https://twitter.com/caitlinsvoice/status/940088135047720961

Also, at 17:07, we had reason to believe that Chris had recorded this cameo at his personal studio but, according to Terry Dotty, he had apparently recorded this scene specifically in California

Special thanks to voice actors Marissa Lenti (@LentiSoup) and Michelle Rojas (@litteramyun) for fact-checking this video, as well as Chris Niosi (@Kirbopher) for his Kirblog series that highlights much of the insight used to create this video: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIthb_HwSFaFNmY8b3OCLTqhQ4MfM4eFY

A common complaint people often lobbed at dubs is that they’re lazy in how they select their voice actors despite the fact that there are a multitude of ways people can get cast for projects and a lot of circumstance that informs those decisions most of the time. Before, dubbing companies were far more limited with regards to who they could hire as well as how they could record their shows. And even though the biggest obstacles that stood in their way back then (such as time, location and budget) still influence a lot of decisions made today, there are still opportunities for innovation.

Granted there is far more to this issue than what we had time to cover in this video (which ended up being almost the length of an anime episode anyway). Budget, time and technology are issues, and while some fans may cry for these problems to be nipped in the bud, I think discussing that is well beyond the scope of what we could do here. It’s true that many dubbing studios such as NGP and even some in England seem to have almost entirely turned away from anime (most likely due to their unprofitability), however these comparative monetary issues behind English dubs could potentially involve factors such as client involvement, financial distribution and other information which the public are not privy to. So while many will inevitably say “just give dubs more money”, “give them longer to be produced” or “get the Japanese client to have more hands-on involvement”…we also shouldn’t ignore the possibilities that staff have already been taking advantage of that some fans might not know about. So from the beginning, let’s spend some time breaking down the different modes of casting and how the dubbing industry as a whole has changed.

Special Thanks to Chris Niosi and his Vlogs with people working in the industry:

Behind The Scenes Footage:
My New Favourite Hero Show Academia (feat. Cliff Chapin) — Kirblog 4/1/17 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5kbgofHXig)
One Piece — On the Boat with Sonny Strait (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmWy4X20wug)
Inside Dragon Ball Z: Interview with Christopher R. Sabat (FUNimation Season 2 BD Release)
Inside Dragon Ball Z: Interview with Sonny Strait (FUNimation Season 5 BD Release)
Only Yesterday: Meet the Voice Cast (Madman Entertainment BD Release)
The Voices of Dragon Ball Z: Unveiled (Dragon Ball Z Battle of Gods Madman Entertainment BD Release)
Fairly Odd Parents: Behind the Scenes Season 10
History of Trunks Breakdown
Dezel’s Final Moments in Tales of Zestiria the X English Dub
Neumann U87 AI Microphone Review

Music Featured:
I Will Become a Hero — Yuuki Hayashi
Moon Base — Kensuke Ushio
Tear Drops to Earth — Edison
Dotabata Chorogon Zu — Masumi Itou
Cavalry Battle — Yuuki Hayashi
A Day of Peco — Kensuke Ushio
High Spirits — Tatsuya Kato
Presage — Taisei Iwasaki
Surf — Yoko Kanno
Tranquil Times — Kenji Yamamoto
Kame House — Kenji Yamamoto
A Circular Reeducation — Tycho
Under the Blue Sky — Norihito Sumitomo
Ichigoichi — Shirou Sagisu
Your Silent Portrait — Kensuke Ushio
You Can Become a Hero — Yuuki Hayashi
Dandy in Love — Shutoku Mukai
Future Boyfriend — Trevor Horn

Narrated & co-written by Eric Dorcean
Edited & co-written by Abhi Kapoor
Fact-checking by Marissa Lenti and Michelle Rojas

Follow us all on Twitter:
Eric: @MrAJCosplay
Abhi: @RBKapoor1
Marissa Lenti: @LentiSoup
Michelle Rojas @littleramyun
Chris Niosi @Kirbopher

Categories: Аниме

23 Replies to “Why do Anime Dubs Use the «Same 12 Voice Actors?»”

  1. Ok so for those who haven't read the description there's a few of corrections necessary to what was said in this video:
    Voice actor/director Clifford Chapin pointed out that, contrary to what we implied at 7:58, voice actors will usually pay for their own flight when going interstate for a recording, rather than the studio covering it. Original response: https://twitter.com/CliffordChapin/status/940095605392654336

    Natalie Hoover further clarified that paid travel may sometimes occur in union dubs however in general it depends on the project. Original response: https://twitter.com/nataliehoovervo/status/941390019264176128

    Secondly, Caitlin Glass also corrected us on something we said at 10:08. We mentioned that since FUNi has a lot of anime work that aspiring VAs can feasibly move to the Dallas Fortworth area in hopes of mostly working with them. However this does NOT mean that the anime work there will necessarily be enough to make a full living. We did mention that additional jobs would be necessary to cover expenses but yeah in retrospect that doesn't do the reality of it justice. Original response: https://twitter.com/caitlinsvoice/status/940088135047720961

    Also, at 17:07, we had reason to believe that Chris had recorded this cameo at his personal studio but, according to Terri Doty, he had apparently recorded this scene specifically in California
    https://twitter.com/TeeDotally/status/940365070495834112

    And of course as Erica Mendez pointed out, what this video covers mostly concerns the Texas scene, however there are some aspects that may apply across the board: https://twitter.com/tsunderica/status/939963488738222080

  2. Imagine that with every movie (even not animated), cartoon, tv show or videogame, that is what living in a spanish speaking country is, good thing i know english and also subtitles exist

  3. i was unaware of any of this
    lol @ nerds thinking they should be voice actors simply because they spend their lives imitating anime and quoting pointless videos they've seen to anyone who will listen
    Cool video 🙂 i got like 4 minutes in and deem the quality of production to be high! but i wanna watch the knick now

  4. The main issue is really that English dub voice actors are just nowhere near the caliber of Japanese VA's. Japanese VA's are so good that they can play characters from different shows that are completely different and sound completely different. Takehito Koyasu can do everything from tactical genius team leader Takahashi Ryousuke (Initial D) to cute Kou the Bat (Rosario + Vampire). Kugimiya Rie can do her tsundere lolis (Nagi, Louise, Taiga, Shana) to walking armor Alphonse (Full Metal Alchemist). If the character is different, they can change their voice to sound completely different.

    English dub actors on the other hand, are one trick ponies. The same VA's are cast only for the same type of character and they have no range. On top of that, the performance is never convincing. You can tell the actor is overdramatizing their lines with a higher pitch than their normal speaking voice.

    English dub quality is fine when REAL actors are used. If we look at a Pixar movie with big name voiceovers, it sounds fantastic. That is the caliber of Japanese VA's. They ARE the character. Yet when you take Japanese anime or American cartoons and dub them with "English voice actors" the quality invariably turns into trash. When was the last time you heard one of these actors give a convincing crying scene? Or how about a deep overpowering baritone for a villain? Maybe a blood-boiling battle cry? Never. Japanese VA's do it all the time, but in English, never.

    The fact that the VA for Japanese Goku is a woman and she pulls off a way better "AHHHHHHHH" than English Goku does "ahhhh" is pretty telling. You can feel the rage in the Japanese version. English Goku just sounds constipated.

  5. I just cringe too much with dubs, so I don't notice the same voice actors. I haven't seen any english dubs where they are properly enunciating the character, almost always too high pitched and trying too hard.

  6. A great video! Old or new voices are fine. For me, it's the type of voice for the character they're portraying. A selfish opinion, but that's one of the big deal breakers when it comes to me being immersed in an anime or game.
    In example, while reading the manga Flame of Recca, I always imagined Recca's voice to be similar to Justin Cook's voice for Yusuke based on the type of personality he had. When watching the dub, I was disappointed with the type of voice they depicted Recca to have.
    Another would be Josh Grelle's voice for Armin from AoT. I cannot take Armin's dubbed voice seriously, however I greatly enjoy the voicing and acting from Josh as Tyrian from RWBY.

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