Anime Vice News

Questions Swirl Around PERSONA 4: THE ANIMATION Dub [UPDATED]

Sentai claims they've got the original cast, but the original cast appears less certain.

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.

We spoke to Yuri Lowenthal, the voice actor who portrayed Yosuke Hanamura in the game, who said that this was the first he'd heard of it.

"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.

Michelle Ann Dunphy, voice of Ayane Matsunaga and Margaret in the game, seemed confused but enthusiastic.

"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.

This is where things get even more confusing: Karen Strassman, the actress who voiced Nanako Dojima in the PS2 game, said that she's already resumed Persona voicework - for Persona 4: Arena.

"[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.

Nick Robinson (Babylonian) is a Whiskey Media intern and a journalism student. Won't you follow him on Twitter at @Babylonian? He'd be ever so appreciative!

AlKusanagion April 9, 2012 at 12:59 p.m.

Personally, I'd never watch it dubbed, despite my love of the game, but if they can get the original game cast back it would be nice for fans of it.

metalsnakezeroon April 9, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.

Kind of a tricky move for Sentai to announce the dub from the English cast when most of them haven't been inform. However, see that they are willing to do it even if they haven't been inform yet means that it can happen, it'll just probably take a while till the series is release. I'll be willing to wait till they can get all of the voices in so that I can have a full P4 experience. Also the fact that Karen Strassman is doing Aigis in P4: arena means Atlus was able to get the cast back!

AURON570on April 9, 2012 at 1:31 p.m.

Investigation Team go! I'm excited. English Chie over Japanese Chie. Also I need to get around to watching the final episodes for P4A, shouldn't be too taxing on my mind.

mutha3on April 9, 2012 at 2:01 p.m.
Thanks for digging this up. 
 

"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.


That's..........really weird.  They're coming across as super incompetent here and oh god NO TEDDIE? SERIOUSLY? His voice seemed like the easiest one of the bunch to mess up. Shit. Hope they manage to get him back for Arena at least.
 
Tracey Rooney(Chie's voice) seems like the hardest to get back since she's not usually involved with games and anime. Man, I really hope they manage to get the band back together for Arena at least.
Hailinelon April 9, 2012 at 8:22 p.m.

Weird. Very weird, indeed. I wonder what Sentai is playing at.

FoxxFireArt moderator on April 9, 2012 at 9:39 p.m.

Good get, Nick. Well done story. I only wish I could of had my Persona 4 True Ending article posted on the front page.

This is really odd how Sentai is saying one thing, but the actors are saying another. Maybe they only talked to their agents. lol I would like to remind people that Romi Park was only confirmed as the voice of Naoto until the series was almost released. This in spite that she must have been doing voice work for a while on that before it came out.

Still, I had a lot of faith that Sentai was going to try and get everyone back.

@mutha3 said:

Tracey Rooney(Chie's voice) seems like the hardest to get back since she's not usually involved with games and anime.

Ohhh, I hope they can get Chie.

zaldaron April 9, 2012 at 10:21 p.m.

I wonder if it is somehow a negotiating tactic by sentai? Say they are all coming back so that if the actors ask for more money then sentai is willing to give...sentai can have more validity in fan's eyes of saying WE TRIED BUT THEY REFUSED? I don't know yes this is very very odd and there has to be something deeper going on here....an editorial exploring what is going on and if stuff like this has been done before would be very very interesting.

Babylonian staff on April 9, 2012 at 10:21 p.m.

@mutha3 said:

Tracey Rooney(Chie's voice) seems like the hardest to get back since she's not usually involved with games and anime. Man, I really hope they manage to get the band back together for Arena at least.

I've never been totally clear on who Chie's VA is - IMDb says it's Danielle Judovits, but Tracey Rooney's demo reel sounds almost exactly like Chie. Either way, yeah, getting her back is absolutely not optional!

@Hailinel said:

Weird. Very weird, indeed. I wonder what Sentai is playing at.

That's kind of what we're all wondering at this point! Maybe they're banking on the old adage "It's easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission"? Either way, it seems totally crazy to announce in a public forum that you're employing a voice cast who hasn't even been asked yet. I wish I had a video of their Anime Boston panel so I could really scrutinize how DLW worded it!

Little_Socrateson April 9, 2012 at 11:51 p.m.

Bring in the Hiimdaisy comic dub team if it doesn't work out.

mutha3on April 10, 2012 at 3:34 a.m.
@Babylonian said:

@mutha3 said:

Tracey Rooney(Chie's voice) seems like the hardest to get back since she's not usually involved with games and anime. Man, I really hope they manage to get the band back together for Arena at least.

I've never been totally clear on who Chie's VA is - IMDb says it's Danielle Judovits, but Tracey Rooney's demo reel sounds almost exactly like Chie. Either way, yeah, getting her back is absolutely not optional!


Its Tracey Rooney. The Danielle Judovits confusion comes from the IMDB listing....Which came from people assuming she voiced Chie because she can pull of a similiar voice. 
 
I remember we had a thread about this on GB a long time ago and I also remember a bunch of crazy people somehow confirmed it was Tracey Rooney.
Babylonian staff on April 10, 2012 at 4:31 a.m.

@Little_Socrates said:

Bring in the Hiimdaisy comic dub team if it doesn't work out.

Somehow I had never seen those videos until yesterday. They're incredible! Episode 3 in particular had me cracking the hell up:

Daniel_Newton moderator on April 12, 2012 at 6:14 p.m.

@Babylonian: I hadn't seen these either, they're hilarious! Man, I should really pick up a copy of Persona 4 and play it myself.

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