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Masako Nozawa

Masako NozawaJapanese

Birth Place: Nippori, Arakawa, Tokyo, Japan
Date Of Birth: Oct 26, 1936
Voice Over Language: Japanese

STARRING ROLES

Credited Roles On BTVA So Far: 289
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ConfusedPhantom
said at 2:16 AM on Tue Apr 9 2013
 2 Shout Outs! [?]
Her voice is very ill-fitting any of the Adult renditions of the Son family. I'll never fault her for that. That's the casting decision Toei Animation and Akira Toriyama made and stuck with for years. I will forever question it till the end of time.

But, for what it's worth, she put her best foot forward. Acting-wise, no other Goku tops her. I'm not talking about the screams. There's just more there. And it's impressive that she's able to play Goku, Gohan and Goten while giving them their own quirks and all in one session. It'd be an insult to not mention all her other characters. She's been around since the original Astro Boy! And she was great with every one of them. She truly has a tremendously great acting ability, and the fact that she's been dedicated for so long that as a voice actress...she deserves the highest respect.

She won't get it.

At least not in America.

But, she deserves respect.
ConfusedPhantom
said at 2:18 AM on Tue Apr 9 2013
@ConfusedPhantom *(or at least the ones I've seen that aren't Dragon Ball)
penguintruth
said at 5:43 PM on Wed Apr 9 2014
@ConfusedPhantom "Her voice is very ill-fitting any of the Adult renditions of the Son family. I'll never fault her for that. That's the casting decision Toei Animation and Akira Toriyama made and stuck with for years."

If Toriyama chose her, it's the way Goku is supposed to sound. He created the character. It doesn't matter if you personally dislike it, that's the voice of Goku. Period.

I don't see how you can possibly dislike it, though. Nobody delivers with the same warmth or quirky charm as Nozawa. Certainly none of the English voice actors who've played him.
Mr_Ecchi_Man
said at 7:37 PM on Wed Apr 9 2014
@penguintruth

Personally I think she's unfitting. She's without a doubt a great actress but the voice is not perfect.

As a fan of Masako Nozawa you'll of course disagree with my opinion and that's only natural but you shouldn't have to constant defend the voice if it really was acceptable to majority of English listeners.

e.g. You don't have try hard to convince people very hard that James Earl Jones is perfect as the voice of Darth Vader. He just is.

To the majority of English speaking Dragon Ball fans Nozawa's voice is not perfect... Nobody ever wants to admit they're in the minority but despite how many people or websites you know that adore the Japanese version they are dwarfed by fans of the English dub. You can blame nostalgia or lack of access to the Japanese version (legally) for a long time, but decades later little has changed and those childhood viewers have grown up. The English dub for the Dragon Ball franchise still is and will always be more liked by the majority.

Yes Toriyama choose her and approved of her adult Goku voice but let's not forget that Toriyama never had long term plans for Dragon Ball when writing it originally; he kept constantly expanding the story and slowly aging the characters. When Masako Nozawa was cast as Kid Goku it was a perfectly natural decision and she did a wonderful job. After becoming etched into the eyes and ears of Japanese fandom it would almost be insulting to replace her just because the character aged later on. Kind of like how Nancy Cartwright still voices Bart Simpson in those alternate futuristic episodes.

The way the seiyuu business is today and how casting decisions are made is much different than decades ago. If the franchise had been adapted for the very first time in this day and age I'm certain things would be very different and Older Goku would have a male seiyuu.

Members of the Son family and even Bardock would have all have individual seiyuu too. Casting Nozawa for all of them was unnecessary IMO and a questionable decision by whoever the casting director was.
Mr_Ecchi_Man
said at 7:41 PM on Wed Apr 9 2014
@penguintruth

P.S. Creator's opinion doesn't always = LAW

Bob Kane before he passed away thought Val Kilmer was a better Batman than Michael Keaton.

Of course plenty of fans disagree.
penguintruth
said at 7:46 PM on Thu Apr 10 2014
@Mr_Ecchi_Man It's cute that you think Bob Kane created Batman.

The thing is, with Batman, it's a character who has had many different interpretations, and none of them are more "right" than the other.

Toriyama is the only creator of Son Goku and the only proper authorial authority on him. If he says Nozawa is Goku's voice, that should hold enormous weight.
hiroki (Guest)
said at 4:10 PM on Fri Dec 31 2010
 1 Shout Out! [?]
I think she's pretty awful as for Older Goku too, but I've tolerated her voice for many years.

That's why I strongly prefer Dragon Ball over Dragon Ball Z. At least she's likable and fitting for Kid Goku. She's also good as Dr. Kureha in One Piece.

I prefer the Japanese version (overall) and saw it before I saw any (edited) dub episodes back in the day. Just an FYI to anyone to thinks I'm some pro-dub supporter (but the dub is pretty good, I just like the original version better most of the time).
NCZ (Admin)
said at 7:35 PM on Mon Dec 27 2010
 1 Shout Out! [?]
Her Kid Goku is adorable. Her adult/SSJ4 Goku, on the other hand, makes my ears bleed.
penguintruth
said at 2:36 AM on Wed Feb 9 2011
@NCZ That's how adult Goku is supposed to sound.
NCZ (Admin)
said at 9:07 AM on Wed Feb 9 2011
@penguintruth I still don't like it, though. Yes, she truly does have impressive acting ability, but I think the voice is totally off. Well, I mean, at times, it KIND of works. I find at some points, the voice is tolerable, though still a little jarring to those not used to it. But I don't like her screams or yells, like when she does a Kamehameha. There are a few other quirks of her voice that also put me off, and it bothered me that they cast her as the adult Gohan and Goten. Okay, maybe that made some sense, since they're related to Goku. For Turles, I suppose using a slightly more sinister-sounding Goku voice kind of made sense, since he's meant to represent an alternate Goku (aside from that, I still don't think it suits him). I do not think the voice works for Bardock at all.

BTW, I know that since Toriyama personally selected her, that's how Kid Goku's supposed to sound, and that's fine, because I've said I liked her as Kid Goku. I've never heard him say anything about adult Goku's voice, though. But, that's a whole new discussion, so I'll save it for a forum.
penguintruth
said at 3:57 AM on Thu Feb 10 2011
@NCZ It's those quirks that make me love her as Goku, show that he's a guy who trips over his words, his syllables, that his speech is awkward from not receiving proper education. It gives him this off-beat charm.

I agree about Bardock, actually. There was no good reason to cast her as Bardock. I don't hate her Bardock, but it wasn't necessary. Especially since Bardock was a gleeful murderer like the rest of the Saiyans.

But Nozawa just adds this warm sincerity that can't be beat. If the voice sounds "totally off", it's because Goku himself is supposed to be "totally off". He's marching to the beat of his own drum.
BlankSlate
said at 1:39 PM on Thu Mar 6 2014
@NCZ Not for me. I think she's pretty endearing as adult Goku.

Then again, I'm a first time watcher.
NCZ (Admin)
said at 8:21 PM on Wed Apr 9 2014
@NCZ Ugh, in retrospect, this comment is so harshly-worded it's unbearable. My opinion is essentially the same now, but not nearly that extreme. I can understand why they kept her as Goku and I respect that but I prefer Sean Schemmel.
purplewarrior (Guest)
said at 2:53 AM on Mon Nov 1 2010
 1 Shout Out! [?]
Nozawa was great as young Goku. I enjoy her performance very much. Though I don't really care for her older Goku. It just sounds so awkward. But it's not her fault at all. It's just strange casting decisions in Japan, and for the same reason Takeshi Kusao was older and younger Trunks. I guess it works to some extent (Nozawa's acting makes me forgive the voice somewhat), though I prefer the way every single other country casts Goku. A Woman as younger Goku, a Male as older Goku.
penguintruth (Guest)
said at 3:30 AM on Fri Oct 29 2010
 1 Shout Out! [?]
She was only miscast as adult Goku if you started with Dragon Ball Z. If you started with Dragon Ball, you'd recognize Nozawa's adult Goku as an adult version of her child Goku.

By the way, Goku starts Dragon Ball as a 12 year old who sounds like a 5 year old. So he ALWAYS sounds younger than he is.

Has nothing to do with being a weeaboo.
iamthelaw (Guest)
said at 10:33 PM on Wed Oct 27 2010
 1 Shout Out! [?]
Not a big fan of her adult Goku, Gohan and Goten. But I do enjoy her voices for the younger versions.

Pretty sure Akira Toriyama never intended her to voice the older version of Goku but since she was well liked TPTB of the anime didn't want to piss fans off.

I don't think he's ever publicly stated his opinion on her adult Goku (he did for her Kid Goku and IIRC said he enjoyed it very much). Pretty sure that after 20 years he wouldn't want to disrespect her now.

Plus every dub has adult Goku voiced by a man and usually have to get approval by TPTB. hmmm.....


Also interesting that Kappei Yamaguchi dubbed Goku for Dragon Ball: Evolution. Sure it was a terrible movie but GT was a bad TV show. Pretty sure quality isn't always a huge decision for whether a voice actor reprises a role or not when it's guaranteed $$$ and you've portrayed a character for so long (and in this case Japanese people like your voice).

I think she was totally miscast for older Goku and I'm sure the weeaboos will disagree since they NEVER want to admit they're wrong.
penguintruth (Guest)
said at 6:01 PM on Wed Oct 27 2010
Masako Nozawa is THE Son Goku. She brings a sense of charm, charisma, and lovability to the role from childhood well into adulthood, that nobody has come close to matching in other languages. Whenever I hear Goku speak with her voice, it makes me smile.
Jak Taberner (Guest)
said at 4:42 PM on Sat Apr 24 2010
One of the best seiyu for Son Goku ever!


A favorite Voice Actor
for 20 members.
Latest Reason:

"She's the best Son Goku!"

- MugiMikey
FAVORITE ROLE
Who's your favorite Masako Nozawa role? *
Tetsuro Hoshino
53.3% (8 votes)
Goku Son / Kakarot
20.0% (3 votes)
Goku Son
6.7% (1 votes)
Gallantmon
6.7% (1 votes)
Guilmon
6.7% (1 votes)
Dr. Kureha
6.7% (1 votes)
15 Total Votes