NYT: Anime's Teen Boys and the Women Who Voice ThemReported by NCZ on Friday, October 5th 2018
Viz Media has a big presence at New York Comic Con this weekend, and the biggest news outlet with "New York" in its name got the chance to catch up with the English VAs behind three of their top heroes - Maile Flanagan (Naruto), Colleen Clinkenbeard (Luffy), and Amanda C. Miller (Boruto). Here are some quick excerpts of the piece.
At a time when who should play what role is hotly debated, the three actresses said there were challenges — and fun too — in portraying adventurous teenage guys. (Although Naruto eventually grows up, he sounds much the same.) “It’s such a different beast, voicing a male when you’re a female,” Ms. Clinkenbeard said. “The rhythms are different: Boys put things in a different way and are more forceful or forward.”
Ms. Miller, who will also sign autographs at Anime Expo, said she was a tomboy growing up. “I was this tall, awkward athletic girl who played soccer and hockey,” she said. “I find it pretty easy to tap into that. It’s not as much a male-female thing as it is capturing Boruto’s curiosity and the way everything he sees excites him.”
“My theatrical training helps,” she continued, “because in theater, it’s very much about manipulating your voice and creating something that isn’t actually happening. For Boruto, I get swagger-y — like the Fonz, ‘Ayyyy, I got this!’”
Ms. Clinkenbeard expects her gravel-voiced pirate to continue his misadventures indefinitely. Over the years Luffy (which rhymes, appropriately, with “goofy”) has never grown or changed, and he’s no closer to being King of the Pirates in Episode 848 than he was in Episode 1. Yet audiences — and Ms. Clinkenbeard — never tire of him.
“A lot characters do get stale, but not Luffy. He’s always hilarious to me,” she said. “The rhythms of Luffy’s speech come from the fact that he doesn’t think. There’s not a lot of layers to anything he says, which is very different from almost every female character I’ve played.”
She recalled an episode in which his crew describes a plan of action and Luffy says, “Got it!” Ms. Clinkenbeard said, “I turned to the director at the end of the take and asked, ‘Do I got it?’ He said, ‘You don’t got it.’ I knew Luffy was going to go blasting in!”
After hundreds of TV episodes, 13 movies and numerous specials and video games, it still makes sense for a woman to play Luffy.
“As an actress, my voice is less likely to change significantly than a male voice,” Ms. Clinkenbeard said. “Luffy’s voice hurts my throat intensely — I can’t do him for more than three hours, and even that’s pretty wearing. But if they had gotten a male actor who was young enough to sound like Luffy, 10 or 12 years later he would sound much more manly.”
To read the full interview, hit the link below.