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Voice Talent

Pictures of the voice talent from NEXT
From left to right; first row: Akira Ishida (Xelloss), Hikaru Midorikawa (Zelgadiss), Mr. Ookura (Milgasia), Mr. Nakada (Gaav). Second row: Kazue Ikura (Fibrizo), Yasunori Matsumoto (Gourry). Third row: Masami Suzuki (Amelia), Megumi Hayashibara (Lina), Mifuyu Hiiragi (Martina). Is Xelloss' voice actor really blinking...? "That's a secret..."

Part of the appeal of the Slayers anime is the wonderful voice talent. The characters in Slayers often work together in other anime series, and seem to play off each other pretty well. In American voice recording studios, each character's voice is usually recorded as a separate track, one voice actor at a time. In Japan, though, all the voice talent is gathered in the recording studio at once, leading to some interesting improvisation at recording time which lends a bit more believability to the voices.

The lead role of Lina is played by none other than Megumi Hayashibara, who also plays the roles of Ranma Saotome (Ranma 1/2), Rei Ayanami (Neon Genesis Evangelion), Saber Lime (Saber Marionettes J), Nuku-Nuku (All-Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku-Nuku), Pai Ayanokouji (3x3 Eyes), and tons of others. She also picks up the role of Canal Volfied in the sister series to Slayers, Lost Universe. Did you ever make the connection between Gourry and Dick Saucer from Dragon Half? It's even closer once you find out they have the same voice actor, Yasunori Matsumoto. Not only that, Hikaru Midorikawa, who plays Zelgadiss, also got the role of Tamahome in Fushigi Yuugi and Rail in Lost Universe. Rezo's voice actor also stars as Bud Mint (KO Century Beast Warriors), Lt. Gamrin Kizaki (Macross 7), and Abaratsubo (Mahou Tsukai Tai!). Suffice to say, when they picked voice talent for Slayers, they searched around quite a bit!

Lisa Ortiz
Lisa Ortiz, coming out from hiding at Animazement '99 (I wish I had pics of the others, too, but my camera was busted at the past few cons! ;_;)

Now, a lot of Slayers fans have watched the various TV series without having heard their original voice actors. Thanks to the work of Software Sculptors and their wonderful voice talent, most of the original energy which has made the Slayers characters so believable in the original Japanese has been effectively translated into English as well. Lisa Ortiz does an excellent job of portraying the young sorceress Lina, for example, and while personal opinions on the various voice casts may vary, both slanted for and against the English cast, the fact remains that a great deal of Slayers fandom probably wouldn't be in place without these people who put so much effort into getting the characters' personalities nailed down perfectly. Many of the actors and actresses which got their start in Slayers have also gone on into other ventures: look at the voice talent for the Pokemon features and you'll sure to spot Martina's, Gourry's, and yes, even Lina's real-life personas (Rachel Lillis, Eric Stuart, and Lisa Ortiz, respectively), and probably many more! Keep a lookout for the cast, and be sure to support both subs and dubs so the US companies can continue making more!


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Last modified: 2000.01.25 (Tue)
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