UPDATE: I just got the following email from Nanako's VA Karen Strassman:
Oh geez, I goofed. I've been recording ARENA. I know absolutely nothing about the "ANIMATION." Sorry, didn't read ur email closely enough. Haven't heard a peep from Sentai about any of this either. Wow, very weird. -karen.
According to Strassman, she's only been in the studio lately to record voicework for the upcoming game Persona 4: Arena, and hasn't yet heard from Sentai about dubbing P4A. So, from the sound of things: yes, Sentai actually did announce the anime's English voice cast this weekend without saying a single thing to most (if not all) of the game's original cast members.
Sentai Filmworks surprised a lot of people when they announced that the PS2 game's original cast would be reprising their roles for the Western release of Persona 4: The Animation at Anime Boston this weekend. The list of surprised people includes us - we reported last October that the studio definitely planned to dub the show in English for its eventual 2012 stateside release, but they were more than a little cagey about who'd do the voices.
Bafflingly, most of Persona 4's original voice cast were just as shocked by the announcement as we were.
"I don't know what Sentai's up to, I'm sorry to say. Yikes," he told us over email.
Lowenthal's not alone - apparently a good deal of the game's cast are finding out about Sentai's plans alongside the rest of us.
"I've heard back from half a dozen cast members, and none of us have been contacted," Lowenthal said.
"To be honest, I don't think Sentai has spoken with any of us," she said. "I'd be psyched to come back and play Margaret and Ayane again in the anime, but as of right now? I won't count my eggs before they've hatched."
When reached for comment, Sentai rep Mike Bailiff told us that the reports out of the Anime Boston panel are "accurate, except for one cast member (Kuma) who is unavailable." When asked why this announcement was news to many of the game's VAs, he had no information.
"What I said below is all I’ve heard," he wrote.
"[I've] been recording hours of lines for Aigis and Nanako all through the month of March, and [I'm headed] back in the studio to record more on Tuesday!" she said. "I'm so wonderfully happy to be finding these characters again. I think people are really going to love this one!"
For what it's worth, the rest of the cast seems optimistic.
"I love how different these roles are, and hope that what Sentai says is true and that we'll all be returning to our roles for the anime," Dunphy said.