5 voice actors who succeeded in their roles (& 5 who failed)
Every anime depends on a quality voice cast. Failure to capture the essence of a beloved manga character is one of the worst flaws a production house can have in its history. Unlike other manga adaptations, A piece presents a particular set of challenges for any vocal actor.
The world of Eiichiro Oda’s hit series is so inherently goofy and filled with characters who behave alike. As a result, it is extremely difficult for voice actors to switch between a serious, battle-ready tone and a comedic tone. Some voice actors handle the task better than others, while others fail completely.
ten Nailed: Law’s English voice captures the essence of the character
Before Trafalgar Law became a massive part of the storyline, Funimation’s casting industry mainstay Matthew Mercer to voice the surgeon of death. A piece’s Funimation dub is the subject of close fan scrutiny, but many fans felt Law’s cast was perfect.
Mercer’s ability to radiate the calm, calculating nature of Trafalgar D. Water Law was hailed as a success from its first appearance. With Law becoming increasingly prominent in the dub, fans will be able to enjoy Mercer’s turn as a medic for years to come.
9 Fell Short: Whitebeard’s Dub Voice Makes Character Too Weak
Announcing a character as “the strongest man in the world” will give fans high expectations. In A pieceThe Japanese dub of Whitebeard, despite his age, still carries a formidable and imposing aura with his single voice. In the Funimation dub, R. Bruce Elliott goes in a different direction.
Choosing to focus on White Beard’s age rather than his power, Elliott makes Edward Newgate sound older and weaker than his body would indicate. With this pick, Funimation sells for less than Whitebeard’s raw power.
8 Nailed: Robin’s English dub voice has the incredible range required for the role
Nico Robin is a demanding role. During his tenure with the Straw Hats, Robin experiences several specific emotional arcs. However, given the character’s icy nature, the performance has to be subtle.
The Japanese Robin actor does a terrific job in the role, but Funimation’s Stephanie Young captures Robin’s energy perfectly. One of his most impressive performances comes from the famous “I want to live” moment where Robin swears his loyalty to the Straw Hats. Young’s voice cracks as the line sets the scene.
seven Fallen short: Luffy’s English voice actor is insanely inconsistent
Colleen Clinkenbeard, the voice of Monkey D. Luffy in Funimation’s English dub, is fantastic in her work. Luffy is a complicated character to express, as the character has the most reach in the series. Most of the time, Colleen is a superb Luffy.
However, there are times when she slips over the goal line. During the reveal of Luffy’s Fourth Gear, Clinkenbeard took the internet into a frenzy with his over-the-top performance. Although she earns more than she loses, Clinkenbeard’s inconsistency keeps many dub fans away.
6 Nailed: Luffy’s Japanese voice actor still hits the mark
Luffy’s Japanese voice actor has been the benchmark for quality for over 20 years. There is not an expression that she is not able to achieve. Whether she expresses childish joy or Luffy’s animal fury, Mayumi Tanaka never misses a beat. Tanaka captures Luffy’s elasticity with a performance that can span from motivation to motivation.
Range of expression aside, Tanaka’s singing voice as Luffy lends the perfect amount of humor to the future Pirate King. Mayumi Tanaka is an absolute legend in anime dubbing.
5 Fallen short: Blackbeard’s new English actor leaves some fans in the dark
In the early days of A pieceDub of Funimation, Cole Brown took care of the vocal duties of the dubbing of Blackbeard. Sadly, Cole passed away and was replaced by Chris Rager. Although Rager does his best, the actor is in the unenviable position of emulating a classical voice.
Funimation’s original Blackbeard brought a sinister southern threat to the character that Rager can’t seem to replicate. At best, Rager’s performance is compelling as it reminds fans of Brown’s turn as Blackbeard.
4 Nailed It: the English actor of Sanji prepares a perfect version of the character
It is difficult for the lighting to strike twice. Normally, when a voice actor gets an iconic character, it’s nearly impossible to earn a similar level of acclaim for another role. This honor is reserved for adults.
Eric Vale of Funimation, the voice behind Sanji, also brought future Trunks to life in the famous Dragon ball dubbing. Vale infuses the perfect amount of humor and gruff to convey Sanji’s complex range of emotions. Without a doubt, Vale is the secret ingredient in Funimation A piece dubbing.
3 Fallen short: the English actor of Usopp is too close to Krillin
Another difficult character to master is Usopp, like Luffy. The specter of emotions he’s supposed to convey, besides serving as comedic relief, gives the character a chance to appear boring. To remedy this, Funimation brought in Sonny Strait, the actor who provided the dub voice for Krillin.
Logic checks because the two characters perform a similar function. However, Sonny Strait’s performance comes way too close to Krillin’s. Instead of making Usopp a unique character, Strait unwittingly turns him into a cliché.
2 Nailed It: The Japanese actor behind Crocodile is really cold blooded
Crocodile is arguably the first big bad that Straw Hats have to deal with. A piece. With Sir Crocodile serving as A piece’First example of what happens when Luffy confronts a Sea Emperor, the character’s voice has been chosen with care.
Enlisting Ryuzaburo Otomo to lend his devious voice, Crocodile comes to life with all the nefarious intentions his manga counterpart displays. Although he has poise throughout, Otomo’s voice has a dapper component that elevates the performance and reflects the sophisticated nature of Crocodile.
1 Fallen short: the English actor of Shirahoshi can be unbearable at times
It’s a difficult role to play. Even on the page, Oda wanted Shirahoshi to be an annoying crybaby. When the character took the plunge and plunged into the waters of animation, finding a suitable voice became a challenge. While the Japanese version of Shirahoshi’s voice isn’t much better, Bryn Apprill of Funimation has taken the character to new and more boring depths.
Fishman Island is weighed down by Apprill’s shrill performance as the Mermaid Princess. Hopefully, Apple will call him back in future arcs.
NEXT: One Piece: 8 Things That Make No Sense About Kaido
Naruto: 10 Things That Make No Sense About The Hyuga Clan
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