Re: Ask the Voice Actors!
Hmmm... my two cents on the impressive voice performances.
Let's see... here's one in Japanese and English. Michiko Neya in New Cutey Honey. Never once, does she give in to the urge to act something so over the top because it's "just a magical girl superheroine thing with invincible naked transformations and could use it." And of course, when Go Nagai said he wanted Jessica Calvello to play the part in the dub, I didn't get disappointed there.
And to give you an idea how impressed I was, the dub for NCH came out on VHS in 1998... and I didn't start working in the business in 2002. NCH was the title, and I often admit this, that brought me back to watching anime and started me on a long road to, "Wow, I wonder what might happen if I moved to Houston..."
Amanda Winn-Lee as Rei Ayanami, Neon Genesis Evangelion: the story has been told quite a few times now about how Amanda wanted to play Misato because of her over the top and kickass personality, with many yummy flaws to exploit. However, she showed us how great her range was by playing one of this art form's most understated, yet powerful, characters.
Alex McCord as Birdy Altira Cephon, Tetsuwan Birdy (Birdy the Mighty). Toughest of the tough chicks with just enough vulnerability to not be stuck in a total "superhero" mode. Alex made Birdy sound like she actually had a relationship with Tsutomu instead of just a sustained annoyance, which often happens in "shared body/mutual consciousness" anime titles when one half of the whole is a "stronger" personality. Birdy is a title that really should have had its concept visited for a lot longer than a 4 episodes.
Monica Rial as Izumi Himuro, Princess Nine. A lot of anime fans who accuse Monichan of being exclusively squeeky never got their hands on this gem. Izumi's bitchiness is delicious and delivered with subtlety in the right places... and when the right time comes to let her compassion and vulnerability come out, it comes out in the right measures. Long before she was the KITTY, she was the third baseman of the Kisaragi Girls Baseball team!
Kim Sevier and Sue Ulu, as the Lovely Angels, Dirty Pair Flash. Kim's whining Yuri and Sue's butch-as-a-gun-ho Kei offset, in my mind, the obvious novelty of reimagining two of anime's most beloved characters into cuter bodies and slicker backdrops. This was made all the more fascinating when you hear the kinds of character each of these ladies played prior to DPF. It was a true range stretch, and the acting didn't suffer at all. And, it served as a springboard for me to find out where else they'd turn up next.
Shannon Emerick, Kei Kishimoto, GANTZ... Shannon's almost tomboyish sound made for the perfect delivery of someone who was a hottie, but completely and utterly embarrassed by any attention she may have gotten because of it. In a cast of less than perfect people, you always pulled for the other Kei to grow, and she did... right in time to die, which really killed me, even as I was going through the series to prepare writing the end of it.
Rachael Lillis - Utena Tenjou, Revolutionary Girl Utena. To put it simply, Rachael manages to take us on Utena's metaphysical and philosophical adventures without coming off like a guest character in the gauzy world of Space: 1999. And believe me, she kept things in Utena VERY watchable by having a sense of where the "real" was to anchor everything else.
Yeah, I know... maybe there should be some discussion of Meisner or Stanislavsky here, but I can only praise people for what I felt when I watched. And I'm sure there's a bunch more that merit discussion, but this is all my addled brain can cook up at 3 in the morning following and prolonged case of the yuckies.
"Free spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds"
- Albert Einsten