ANIME TODAY #91: Voice Acting Special

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Episode run down:

Over the past three and a half years, we've been lucky enough to have a bunch of terrific guests on the show to chat about the exciting world of anime and manga. This episode, we wanted to highlight voice acting with some clips from the interviews we've been fortunate enough to score with 12 multi-talented voice-over professionals. If you have any interest in voice acting, then be sure to keep listening because the clips we'll be highlighting range from how they got started in the industry, how past experiences contributed to their voice acting techniques and how fans sometimes get the wrong impression about what it takes to be successful in this career.

The music for this episode is from DEAVID SOUL's CD SPARKLING MUSIC from We’d like to thank for letting us feature music from this CD; a full list with the times each song was played will be posted at the bottom of this episode’s show notes at

Chad's back to get things started with What’s Hot in the World of Anime and Manga, followed by Shawne's Bargain Bin Blowout! Next, we'll dive into the first group of voice actors with clips from our interviews with Sean Schemmel, Liam O'Brien, Sam Regal, Crispin Freeman and Greg Ayres.

Nick and Rich will then return with an update on our contests, and announce the winners of our last two weekly “Year of the Otaku” contests, the Viz Pictures movie tickets and the FUNimation Darker Than Black contest. We’ll also tell you how you can win a Blue Dragon Gamer Pack that includes the DS Blue Dragon game, and a t-shirt. Marie’s spotlight is aimed at the Love Attack graphic novels for this episode. And then we’ll return with our second group of voice actors, Rich McNanna, Vic Mignogna, Luci Christian and Anna Morrow. Next, I’ll be back with a few conventions that are coming up in June and July, followed by our final set of voice actors: Monica Rial, Kyle Hebert and Chris Patton. To wrap up this episode, we have excerpts from recent customer reviews.

What's Hot?

Aside from her odd name, 15-year-old Neko is summarily “normal.” And because of her bad grades, it seems that every high school intends to reject her – that is until a mysterious school called Morimori lets her know of her acceptance.

It doesn’t take long for Neko to realize that something isn’t quite right about Morimori. As it turns out, all of the students are actually magical animals who can transform into humans at will. She must do everything she can to keep the others from discovering that she’s not a magic cat, but the sole human in an institution filled with animals.

Will Neko be able to keep her humanity a secret? Find out when Animal Academy: Hakobune Hakusho Graphic Novel 1 is unleashed on May 12th.

Tyranny rules the universe in the form of the Tribe of Silver. They have forced the Iron Tribe – mankind – to the brink of extinction, and now humanity must wander the cosmos in search of someone to turn the tide of fate.

A feral boy named Age may hold the destiny of their species in his hands and the untold power of the Tribe of Hero within. Could this really be humanity’s champion?

Join in the fight when Heroic Age DVD Complete Series Part 1 hits shelves this May 12th.

The year is 2307 A.D., and the Earth is in a state of unceasing upheaval due to a fierce power struggle between the three groups who control mankind’s remaining energy source. Amid the perpetual conflict, a private armed organization dubbed Celestial Being steps forward and declares it will end the war through martial force.

With its high-performance machines dubbed “Gundam,” Celestial Being faces front and center as it begins to intervene.

Suit up with Mobile Suit Gundam 00 DVD Season 1 Part 1 on June 16th in both standard and special editions.

Justy Ueki Tylor had his life all planned out: join the military, get a cushy desk job, and then retire with a big fat pension check. The perfect plan... until he wandered into a hostage situation and somehow managed to save an admiral! Now Tylor - a man who wouldn't know what discipline was if it bit him on the backside - has been made Captain of the space cruiser Soyokaze.

The crew of this run-down ship is the craziest rag-tag team of misfits you're ever likely to see, and they're not too fond of their complacent new leader. But they'd better learn to work together, because they're about to go head to head with the mighty Raalgon Empire. For better or for worse, the Earth's fate has been placed in the hands of a man who's either a total idiot – or an absolute genius!

Follow the crew’s zany antics when The Remastered Irresponsible Captain Tylor TV Series DVD Collection shuttles in on May 26th.

A group of eternally young fighter pilots experience the sudden loss of innocence as they battle the enemy in astonishing dogfights above the clouds. With his only childhood memory consisting of intense flight training, the fearless teenage pilot Yuichi’s dogfights coexist with his struggle to find his missing past. When his beautiful, young female commander Suito is reluctant to discuss the fate of the pilot he is replacing – or the strangely perfect condition of that pilot’s former aircraft – Yuichi’s curiosity becomes heightened.

From Mamoru Oshii, the acclaimed director of the Ghost in the Shell movies, Sky Crawlers soars in on May 26th in both standard and Blu-ray editions.

Check out the PREORDERS and the Got Anime? Purchasing Club!


Shawne's Specials and the Bargain Bin Blowout Sale!

Shawne's Specials and the Bargain Bin Blowout Sale!

DVD Bargains Book Bargains Merchandise Bargains Adult Bargains

See all of Shawne's Weekly Specials!
Check out the Bargain Bin!

Anime Today Highlights: Voice Actors

Episode 28 interview Episode 30 interview Episode 31 interview Episode 34 interview Episode 35 interview Episode 36 interview Episode 48 interview Episode 60 interview Episode 62 interview Episode 73 interview Episode 79 interview

Anime Expo Ad

Right Stuf Contests and Updates

Darker Than Black Congratulations to the winners of our FUNimation Darker Than Black contest: Polly J of Cedar Creek, Texas; Danny C of Miami, Florida; and Kayla K of Richmond, Virginia. Each of you will soon be receiving copy of the Darker Than Black Starter Set, which includes both DVD 1 and a collectors’ art box.

Also, congratulations to the winners of our quick contest with Viz Pictures for movie tickets to see Death Note: L‚ change the WorLd: Richard S of Melbourne, Florida; Mike Z of Cooper City, Florida; Andrea J of Stockton, California; Darrell R of Bridgewater, New Jersey; and Aaron B of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio!

Next up, we’re excited to offer listeners a chance to win one of FIVE (5) one-day passes to Anime Expo 2009, which takes place July 2-5 at the Los Angeles Convention Center! (This contest is for one day’s admission to the convention itself. You will still be responsible for your own travel and hotel arrangements.) To enter, visit our Contest page in the “What’s Hot” bar at before June 4th. We’ll announce the winner during the June 5th episode of Anime Today!

Enter the "Anime Expo 2009" Contest!
Enter the "Anime Expo 2009" Contest!

Congratulations to our Otaku Week #3 winners: Jeff S of Grand Prairie, Texas, won a Naruto gamer pack featuring the Naruto: “The Path to the Hokage” collectible card game and Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles 2 video game for the PlayStation 2. And Daniel V of Bethesda, Maryland won the Kannazuki No Miko DVD Box Set!

And congratulations to our Week #4 winner: Angelica O of Prosser WA, who will receive the first DVD of Midori Days!

If you didn’t win this time around, there are more chances on the way! We’re continuing the “Year of the Otaku” with a veritable prize blitz -- basically a new contest every week!

For this week’s contest one lucky fan will win a Blue Dragon gamer pack, featuring the Blue Dragon for the Nintendo DS, plus a Blue Dragon T-shirt!

To enter for this week’s contest, visit for more information and get your entry to us by the end of the day on April 30, 2009. The next contest kicks off on May 1st! We’ll announce the winners both via Twitter and on the next episode of Anime Today!

Enter the "Weekly Prize Blitz" Contest!
Enter the "Weekly Prize Blitz" Contest!

Marie's Spotlight: Love Attack Graphic Novels

Every now and then, I come across a series that answers a question I didn’t even know I had. For example, what would happen if you gave the smartest kid in Japan the power to kill just about anyone, or what if nuns fought demons in the roaring twenties? Or, as is the case in Love Attack, what if you took your usual high school romance and substituted in the two most violent freshmen in school for the hero and heroine? The answer? Would you believe vast quantities of charm and humor?

High school freshman Yusa Chiemi has gotten into one fight too many, and her homeroom teacher has laid down an ultimatum: face expulsion or figure out a way to tame Hirata "Deranged Devil" Akifumi, who skips class and gets into even more fights than Chiemi. Chiemi’s not thrilled, since Hirata’s reputation scares even her. But she’s not exactly excited about flunking out of tenth grade either, so she goes right to work knocking some sense into him the hard way. The next day, Hirata storms into her classroom with a surprising proposition: he wants her to be his girlfriend! Shocked, Chiemi immediately refuses, but it’s not long before she discovers Hirata’s bad reputation has been greatly exaggerated and they’re soon going out. But how long can the school’s most violent couple last in the face of sadistic gangs, nosy friends, and, worst of all, Chiemi’s over-protective father who just happens to be a retired professional wrestler?!

When it comes to romance, making the hero and heroine likable is of paramount importance. Fortunately, Chiemi and Hirata are absolutely great characters, both independently and together. Chiemi’s a mix of coolness and insecurity that anyone can identify with and she’s not afraid to stand up for herself. Hirata’s not only visually distinct, with dark skin rare in manga and the incurable face of a stereotypical delinquent, but he’s also incredibly shy and doing his best to help out his family. When they’re together, I love watching them do their very best to solve their problems in a polite, “normal” Japanese fashion, blushing and skirting around what they really mean, only to soon give up and punch someone’s face in or destroy nearby property. I did mention this was a comedy, right?

Making the characters so likeable, humorous, and easy to understand is largely accomplished through manga-ka Shizuru Seino’s talent for illustrating faces, which you might recognize from her previous works, Heaven!! and Girl Got Game. A master of expression who only gets better with each volume she writes, Shizuru Seino punctuates her dialog with menacing glares, bug eyes, drunken dishevelment, and flushed embarrassment with a master storyteller’s hand. She’s also got a deft touch with humor, and Love Attack makes me laugh with greater regularity than most straight-up comedies I can name. Just about every page contains a gag of some kind, and they hit far more often than they fail. True, some of her set ups require some small suspension of disbelief, especially when it comes to Chiemi’s father’s exploits, but they’re so well executed it’s difficult to object.

Love Attack is part of a continuing trend by American companies to release shojo manga that focus on less “standard” heroes and heroines as well as series that start with a first kiss rather than ending with one. I’m very happy about both, and especially appreciative of the latter. Admitting your feelings and getting together is only the very first part of a relationship, if an obviously important one, so I love that we’re getting so many series now that explore what it means to really like someone through pitfalls and tender moments alike. It’s easy to empathize with Chiemi and Hirata’s dilemmas about what constitutes a date versus just hanging out, how far you go after how long, winning over the parents, sexual peer pressure, and so forth.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted romantic comedy in the same vein as High School Debut and Mixed Vegetables. Love Attack would be my top recommendation. And besides, shojo meets pro-wrestling? How can you resist?

Ikki-Tousen DVD Box Set (Hyb)

What our customers are saying

This episode features music from:



    0:00:00 --- 05. J.P. SENSATION

    0:02:41 --- 03. RED THUNDER DRIVING

    0:06:27 --- 07. ITS MAGIC

    0:07:41 --- 09. HOUSE CITY ROCKERS

    0:23:21 --- 08. UP-SET ATTACK

    0:25:50 --- 12. SPACE CAMPER

    0:30:51 --- 01. MILLER BALL BREAKERS

    0:45:26 --- 10. ESCAPE FROM CALIFORNIA

    0:47:10 --- 14. ON THE BOWL (A.FARGUS MIX)

    1:03:12 --- 02. YAPPIE FEET

    1:06:12 --- 11. DUNNY BOY WILLIAMSON SHOW

    1:06:50 --- 10. ESCAPE FROM CALIFORNIA