Much of the time, me and my friends like to have the odd conversation here and there about a certain kind of talent. To me, as much as I adore the glamourous stars of stage and screen, there is something specifically about voice actors that really strike a cord with me. And as such, I feel it is time to discuss something I’ve always wanted to bring up here in this column: Actors I’d like to see work in Anime! From some that have worked in the genre before, to others that have never stepped foot, here is a list of fantastic actors you may (or may not) know, that need to get their Anime on – like right now!
*Keep in mind, this is only for English Language Versions. If you’re a hater of dubs, this might not be the post for you.
Actor: Felicia Day
Perfect Anime Role: Tsukimi from Princess Jellyfish
Felicia Day is perhaps one of the coolest and most underrated actresses around right now. She’s a woman who doesn’t just act, but takes the ball into her court in such a way that it makes any girl (especially this writer over here) believe she can do anything she sets her mind to. That’s why, in addition to Ms. Day’s awesome video game voice acting, it would be fantastic to see her cast as the lead in an anime series.
One role that (although has been dubbed already) would have been perfect for Felicia is that of Tsukimi from Princess Jellyfish. The series itself reminds me a lot of Day’s own show The Guild, in how it reflects and speaks about the lives of nerds and outcasts in a silly manner that celebrates the characters rather than mocking them. In fact, Tsukimi herself has a lot of similar qualities to Day’s character Codex, making it a perfect fit for her to play, especially when it comes to her comedic aspects.
Actress: Genesis Rodriguez
Perfect Anime Role: Luchia in Mermaid Melody
Recently, I’ve discovered how much I am in love with Genesis Rodriguez, which can definitely be thanks to her incredible work on Big Hero 6. Genesis brought this fantastic bubbly and vintage 80’s girl hero vibe to her performance as Honey Lemon, making her a stand out among the group.
Maybe it was specifically the character she was playing, or just the overall magical quality to her voice, but all I could think of after watching the movie was “if Genesis Rodriguez doesn’t get cast in some sort of Mahou Shoujo related series, the world is missing out on something pretty special.” And what is one of my favorite, super underrated Magical Girl series of all time? Mermaid Melody, for which I think Ms. Rodriguez would be perfect to play the role of leading lady, Luchia. She’s spunky, hopeful for adventure, and full of love, qualities that all appear in Rodriguez’s vocal performances.
Either way, this woman is obviously meant to be in a pastel covered, girl kicking butt animated series of some sort, and if the casting world doesn’t get this, they clearly have a screw loose.
Actress: Mae Whitman
Perfect Anime Role: Dilandau from The Vision of Escaflowne
You know who is someone that never gets enough credit? Mae Whitman. She’s crazy talented, has been in the business forever, but has yet to find “her big break” among her fellow 20-something stars like Jennifer Lawrence or (Insert Tween Male Actor Here). But instead, Mae has made an impression in the world of both Indie/Cult flicks such as Scott Pilgrim, and she just happens to be the voice of Tinkerbell (#nobigdeal).
With all that talent and sass to boot, you know what Mae needs to play? Something risky. You know what would be an amazingly great challenge to see her pull off? Dilandau, one of the main villains of Escaflowne. This character happens to be not only an extremely creepy one, but also a gender fluid character. So as not to spoil the series for anyone, let’s just say Dilandau has a lot of baggage, and none of it is pretty. It would be great to see Mae play a typical male anime role, but give it a new spin. And no lie, I’d pay good money to see this (or something like it) come true.
Actor: Doug Jones
Perfect Anime Role: Clef from Magic Knight Rayearth
If anyone knows me, they know I love the heck out of Mr. Doug Jones. He’s a really under-appreciated actor, mostly because he’s known for his roles in which he’s completely in make-up from head to toe. But whether he’s done up as a monster or otherwise, Doug is a big charmer, and I think a lot of that comes from his voice. If you’ve ever gotten to hear Jones as Abe Sapien in the animated incarnation of Hellboy, you know he does an excellent job portraying the character vocally.
With that in mind, I think Doug could do wonders if cast in a fantasy anime, particularly when voicing a more elegant type of hero. The one that immediately came to mind (if they ever were to re-dub the series) is Magic Knight Rayearth‘s Clef. He’s the sort that is a bit of an odd ball, but very wise and whimsical, which immediately makes me think of Doug in not only his best roles, but just as him as a person overall. Either way, Doug needs to do more voice acting, and Anime just seems the right fit for him.
Actor: Jason Marsden
Perfect Anime Role: Nagisa from Free!
Some of you may know that this guy is no stranger to the genre, but that doesn’t stop me from my dreams of hearing Jason get more roles in other Anime properties. You might recognize him as the voice of Haku from Spirited Away, and for you Final Fantasy people, he was Noel in FFXIII-2. But sadly, Marsden hasn’t gotten a role in a full on Anime series yet, and I want that changed immediately!
If the role hadn’t been cast already by Funimation (which I think they made an equally great choice with Greg Ayres), Jason would have made an awesome Nagisa from the FREE! franchise. His voice has a super youthful quality that would be work fantastic for when Nagi is well, Nagi. But his voice can definitely go to darker places, which would aid in the times when Nagisa loses faith in himself as the series goes into its second season. With lots of versatility, Jason could definitely rock at doing an entire series, if given the chance.
These are just a few ideas and dreams of mine. Who are some actors you’d like to see go behind the booth and voice a character in one of your favorite shows? Comment below with your thoughts and ideas!