Favorite Voice Actors
I’m one of those dorks who like identifying voice actors whose voices manage to capture my attention, and I find it amusing when I find out who else they lent their voices to. And no, I’m not going to talk about seiyuu; I’m talking about voice actors who lend their voices to games/anime/cartoons that are in the English language.
Of course I have my favorite seiyuu too, but since I’ve been playing English-dubbed games and watching English-dubbed anime and cartoons lately, I decided to go with the English voice actors first. I’m not an expert on the American voice acting community, given that I’m only keen on finding out more about a voice actor if his voice really manages to catch my attention. Here are the few that actually did just that.
My dad and I are both fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender (though he watches it more than I do), and I just love Prince Zuko’s voice because, honestly. I thought it was kind of sexy. Imagine my surprise when I heard the very same voice coming out of my TV’s speakers while Jake Long from American Dragon was on the screen. That kind of put me off a bit, since I really hate American Dragon (I just left the TV on while I was tidying up my room a bit, and there it was). And then I took a peek at his Wikipedia article and found out that he also starred as Rufio in the Steven Spielberg’s Hook. That really floored me, since I’ve always loved that movie and liked Rufio.
Oh, and Basco’s Filipino-American too. Cool.
If you’ve played the .hack//G.U. series, Persona 3 and 4, Dragoneer’s Aria, Dynasty Warriors 5/6, Warriors Orochi, Odin Sphere, and Wild Arms 4 and 5, you’ll be familiar with this guy’s voice. The same is true if you’ve seen the English-dubbed versions of Naruto, Code Geass, Rave Master, Kyo Kara Maoh, and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Note: This is the only anime in this list that I actually liked). And that’s just a few of the stuff he lent his voice to. Lowenthal has a large number of voice roles in his portfolio, that’s for sure, and I can see why he does. His voice is very distinct and clear, and he has that shouting voice that reminds me of seiyuu Hiyama Nobuyuki. I find that to be impressive, because I don’t think I’ve ever come across any other male non-Japanese voice actor who can even come close to Hiyama’s vocalizations.
If your voice can make a wraith-like former vampire with barely any flesh left on his body and no lower jaw look attractive, and you did it when you were around 60+ years old, then you’re one of the best in my book. Michael Bell’s voice is one of the main reasons why I even played the games in the Legacy of Kain series, though the well-written script itself really helped bring that gorgeous voice and accent out.
Apart from providing the voice for other characters in more recent cartoons like W.I.T.C.H., Bell also provided the voices for some old-school cartoon characters, like the Duke from G.I. Joe, Bruce Banner from The Incredible Hulk, Lance and Sven from Voltron, plus several characters from Transformers and The Smurfs.
You’re probably asking “Asa-who?” right now, but if you’ve played Neverwinter Nights 2, then you’re probably familiar with him. He provides the voice for Bishop in NWN2, and I’ve spent many-a gaming minute just listening to his voice. He really brought Bishop’s cynicism and sexy-yet-psychotic demeanor to life with a lot of little details, like how he would suck in a hissing breath whenever he’s about to say something nasty and/or when he’s losing his patience, or that particularly notable tone his voice takes when he’s being sarcastic.
If you know more about Asa Seigel, do let me know. I found some information that states that he did some work as an actor/voice coach for the Shut Up & Talk audio production studio (his name is no longer listed on the site, but you can take a look at some voice actresses’ profiles that cite him as their voice coach here and here), but that’s about all I’ve got.
Man. Sometimes this guy’s voice is enough to make me weak at the knees…but that depends on which voice he’s doing. If you listen to his voice demos on his homepage, you’ll find that he can do every kind of voice you can possibly throw at a voice actor. I admit that I haven’t come across any voice demos for the other voice actors I listed, but Freeman’s demo makes me think that he’s one heck of a versatile voice actor. He’s portrayed quiet characters like Hagi from Blood+ and Amon from Witch Hunter Robin, as well as strong, bad-ass characters like Guan Yu from Dynasty Warriors 5 and Siegfried Schtauffen from Soul Calibur III.
On that note, I admit to being really surprised when I saw Freeman’s picture for the first time. I mean, I know it’s wrong to judge people by their appearances (or, in this case, their voice) alone, but I was expecting a…erm…tougher-looking guy. I’m sorry, I really couldn’t help it; the first time I ever heard his voice was when I was playing SoulCalibur II and Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires.
El Santos is a marketing & advertising professional by day and gamer/bookworm/tarot reader by night. She’s prone to sudden fits of fangirling over her varied interests: video games, fiction, art, folkore, anime, and tarot. She currently lives with her husband and 2 rescue cats.