J. Michael Tatum News

is an anime/manga person
From Anime Vice
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Fanime is a convention brought together by fans. It first started in 1994 by several anime clubs in Northern California with Aaron Pilgrim, Jay Onda, and Dennis Jann at the helm. It was first held at California State University, Hayward. It was moved to the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in 2004.

Here are the Guests of Honor. For a full list, see Fanime's linkand for the times, see this link where it has the list of panels.

Chantal Strand
  • Q & A - Sunday 11:00 (1 hour)
  • Voice Acting in North America - Saturday 17:00 (1 hour)

Ms. Strand got her start at a young age, doing stunts on Look Who’s Talking Now and then quickly moved into principle and leading roles (The Outer Limits, The Commish, and Air Bud). Despite her start in stunts, she is more known for her voice over roles in popular cartoons (Cassie in Dragon Tales, Bijou/Mia/Natalie in Hamtaro, and Gemini Stone/Pi/Bernard in Sabrina: the Animated Series), the Gundam Seed franchise (Lacus Clyne), and a few other notable works (Mandy/Duchess Morbucks in Powerpuff Girls Z).

Gilles Poitras
  • Anime (and Manga) for Parents - Friday 17:00 (1 hour)
  • Tokyo on the Cheap - Sunday 14:00 (1 hour)
  • Yokai: The Kappa - Saturday 18:00 (1 hour)
Gilles is best known to previous FanimeCon attendees as a returning Guest of Honor, his works that have been published in NewType USA, Otaku USA, or by his three released books: The Anime Companion, Anime Essentials, and The Anime Companion 2. He continues to be the Access Services Librarian at Golden Gate University and continues to stay up-to-date on all things manga, anime, and Japan.
Hiroyuki Kanbe
  • Making Anime: Start to Finish - Sunday 11:00 (1 hour)
  • Q & A - Saturday 16:00 (1 hour)

Debuting in 1988 as an animator, Hiroyuki Kanbe has worked on over 50 different titles and has a storied career in production on countless anime titles with his directorial debut on 2009’s VIPER’S CREED. Kanbe has also designed monsters for DEVIL SURVIVOR2 the ANIMATION, done storyboarding for Space Battleship Yamato 2199, Inari, KonKon, Koi Iroha, and noitaminA’s Silver Spoon.
HOME MADE KAZOKU
  • Q & A - Saturday 10:00 (1 hour)
HOME MADE KAZOKU (formed in 1996) has been around for nearly two decades, and exploded on to the scene while on the country-wide Japan Club Tour in 2004. That year they signed on with the recording company, Ki/oon Records/Sony Music Entertainment Japan, Inc. and also released their first single, “SUMMER TIME MAGIC”. Anime fans will recognize HOME MADE KAZOKU from their music in various anime titles such as Eureka 7 (“Shonen Heart”), Naruto (“Shooting Star”), the theme song of Naruto Shippuden: the Movie (“NO RAIN NO RAINBOW”), and many more.
J. Michael Tatum
  • Anime Adaptive Writing Process - Sunday 12:00
  • J. Michael Tatum: WTF 101 - Friday 23:00
  • Q & A with J. Michael Tatum - Saturday 10:00
Mr. Tatum was discovered by Funimation warhorse and visionary ADR director Christopher Bevins who cast him as Rikichi in 2005’s Samurai 7. Having been involved in voice acting for nearly a decade, Mr. Tatum’s career has placed him in some prominent roles that fans might recognize (Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler, France from Hetalia: Axis Powers, Dr. Gel in the currently airing Space Dandy, and as Sir Hammerlock in the video game Borderlands 2).
Kira Buckland
  • Intro to Internet Voice Acting - Sunday 13:00
  • Q & A with Kira Buckland - Saturday 15:00
Ms. Buckland began voice acting at the age of sixteen, voicing flash animations and games before winning Anime Expo’s Voice Actor Idol competition in 2007. Since moving from her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to Southern California, she has made her mark in the voice acting world and her name can be found in the credits of many anime titles (Blue Exorcist, Accel World, LaGrange, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, and 5 Centimeters Per Second). Along with anime titles, she is credited for many video game voices (Skullgirls – as the final boss, Bloody Marie, Castle Crashers, Hyperdimension Neptunia V, Inazuma Eleven, Mugen Souls, Time and Eternity) and it was recently announced that she will play Hiyoko Saionji in Dangan Ronpa 2: Goodbye Despair.
Noir
  • Q & A with Noir - Sunday 14:00
Noir has been featured in films as an actress and has narrated a variety of commercials. She also formed the musical unit, maRIONnetTe (with Yoshihito Onda, former producer/bassist of JUDY AND MARY) and Nobara Takemoto (novelist) for the anime series The Mystic Archives of Dantalian’s ending theme song (“yes, prisoner”). She is currently busy as the Marketing Director of GAINAX and writing the scenario for the comic, Sadon desu, serialized in Weekly Young Magazine. The illustrations for Sadon desu are drawn by Kyo Hatsuki.
Raj Ramayya
  • Living and Working in Japan - Saturday 14:00
  • Q & A with Raj Ramayya - Friday 18:00
  • Songwriting Workshop - Sunday 15:00
The Indo-Canadian singer, composer, and lyricist has a storied history in the anime industry, having worked with some musical luminaries in the field, including Yoko Kanno (as a member of The Seatbelts). Mr. Ramayya has worked on a few different properties, including Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, and Wolf’s Rain. He also has a number of tracks for Konami’s Bemani series of games, including songs in Beatmania IIDX, Guitar Freaks, and Drummania. His band, The Beautiful Losers, has been used on various MTV shows in the US, and for commercials in Japan for the NTT Docomo and Animal Planet.
Takami Akai
  • Q & A - Saturday 14:00 (1 hour)
Born in 1961 at Yonago, Tottori, Mr. Akai would garner attention for his character design in the opening animation of the 20th Annual Japan National SF Convention (while a student at Osaka University of Arts). In addition, he directed live-action special-effects works such as “Yamata no Orochi no Gyakushū” as part of the amateur video production group DAICON FILM. The main staff of DAICON FILM went on to form GAINAX in the early 1980s.
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Funimation has put out some pretty impressive dubs over the last few years. I was particularly impressed with Baccano! and Big Windup. Unfortunately, there are the horrid dubs. Black Butler is not one of them. It isn't good though, it just isn't horrible. Brina Palencia was actually wretched as Ciel. Not only did she sound like she was trying to hard to make a 'boyish' voice, she couldn't do the British accent for her life. The voice was forced to be so deep, it was wretched. Palencia lacked emotion, and perhaps, acting talent. I'm not familiar with her other works as a voice actor so I may be acting a bit harsh on this one. But still, it was pretty bad. She only sounded convincing when she was yelling, even still it sounded pretty nasty. Other than Palencia's epic fail at voice acting, the rest wasn't bad. It was, for the most part, singularly Ciel's voice that made me wince with agony. Everyone else nailed the British accent, and other voices.
 
 Despite Palncia's fail, I did laugh at this part.
 Despite Palncia's fail, I did laugh at this part.
Now, I can't say I was pleased with J. Michael Tatum's rendition of Sebastian either, but it wasn't because he lacked talent. In fact, I thought that if he was acting any character other than Sebastian I would have loved him. He nailed the accent, and the butler voice, yet that's not what his roll called for. Sebastian is a demon butler, and what are demon butlers? Damn sexy. In the original Kuroshitsuji, Daisuke Ono had a very sexy, young, dark and manly voice. Which perfectly set up Sebastian's character. Tatum's voice possessed too much of a 'Alfred' feel too it. I actually felt like he would have made an excellent 60-year-old-lacking-in-sex-appeal butler. But that wasn't the character he was doing. Sebastian (and Ciel, although it's creepy to think that way) is a total tool. A tool for yaoi crazed fangirls to pair off with every character because y'know what? Sebastian is damn sexy and can get with anybody he wants. I didn't get that from Tatum. The voice was very important, and it wasn't done right. Yes, it was good, and nailed the 'butler' feel, but not the 'demon butler'. Although I must say, he did have a very good chuckle.
 
On to The Undertaker. I'm going to keep this simple. He sounded like a pirate. The Undertaker's voice in the Japanese version sent chills down my spine, in a good way, but I couldn't take him seriously in the English dub. John Swasey had a lot of talent, emotion, and nailed the British accent, but like Sebastain, it just wasn't right. Too much like a pirate, and not enough like The Undertaker.
 
Despite all the bad I've mentioned, I must say I was more than impressed with Daniel Fredrick's performance as Grell. He was perfect as the useless butler, but that's not what
 Yeah... um this is a dude...
 Yeah... um this is a dude...
surprised me the most. When Grell transformed into... y'know.... the real Grell, there was just the slightest change in his voice. Fredrick hasn't done much anime voice acting (only making an appearance in the first Dragon Ball Movie out side of his roll as Grell) but he is actually quite talented. He was able to voice a very off character just by adding a certain tone to the voice. I mean, you have to really get the voice right if you're playing a crazed reaper with a chainsaw and a hankering to dress as the opposite sex, you've got to have a good voice. Although I prefer the Japanese voice of Grell, Fredrick was fantastic.
 
As for the other character that made a brief appearance, or are too mediocre to complain or praise, they played their part. They weren't outstanding, nor were they disgusting. Just perfect for the roll they played. Though I did particularly like Bardroy's voice, done by Ian Sinclair. Sinclair's voice and accent was superb, with just the right tone to play the gruff cook. I actually have a special place in my heart for Sinclair, as I do most voice actors in Baccano! (as it is my favourite dub). Sinclair did a fantastic job, as he did with most of his other rolls, namely Dallas from Baccano!, Romano from Hetalia, and Toraji Ishida from Bamboo Blade. I digress, it was nice to see talent in the minor rolls. Although, maybe they could share their talent with Palencia.
 
Overall though, I can say that bad dubs leave a bad name for anime. Sure Black Butler's dub wasn't horrible, but it sure as hell wasn't good. When the main character's voice sucks, and most of the voices didn't quite fit, you know that the dub will leave a bad name. Most of the voices (save Ciel's) would have done in a live action, American (or British) performance. Now, these are just my opinions, but you can beg to differ. The series is fantastic, yet crazy and all (save one) voice didn't tap into that craziness. Some just flat out sucked *coughCielcough*. I'm just saying this bad dub is pretty... well.... bad.
 
And my rant is complete. If you want to argue, feel free, like wise if you want to agree. Also, if you just want to say something remotely related to this, or sh*tty dubs, feel free. :)
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