SacAnime 2014: Men of Anime panel

SacAnime had a lot of panels this past weekend, and the Men of Anime panel was definitely one of my favorites. It had some big names in voice acting for anime/games/cartoons. Voice acting has become a more prominent gig in the anime/game world, with lots of fans now recognizing them and being able to instantly know what these actors have worked on. Some that come to mind for me are Johnny Yong Bosch (Trigun, Bleach), Nolan North (Uncharted series), and Troy Baker (The Last of Us). Now these guys deserve the fan admiration, but there are so many more that should also have their names and works known to all, not just the super fans of certain characters.

“Men of Anime” was comprised of 6 extremely talented actors. This panel, like any other, is full of fans asking their favorite voice actors questions. It was entertaining to say the least, and I urge you to check out some of their work. Here is a little bit of information about each one and some of the roles you may or may not know them from.

walking dead game

The first one that I think would have the broadest audience of voice/name recognition would be Dave Fennoy, or as some people have called him, the HULU guy. For about the last 6 years, Dave has also been that voice that lets you know that your show is brought to you with limited commercial interruption by (sponsor). He has also done roles in games, from Bayonetta to World of Warcraft, but his most notable roles would have to be Lee Everett in Telltales Games’ The Walking Deadan adventure narrative game. After giving such an amazing performance that has had an impact on gamers, be prepared to hear Dave Fennoy’s voice in more upcoming works.

attack on titan

Next on the panel was Josh Grelle. He is the voice actor for Armin from Attack on Titan, which is one of the biggest current anime. He has also done video game work such as Sima Shi in Dynasty Warriors 7, the energetic custom character from Dragon ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi, oh and he was Dave in Borderlands 2. Remember Dave? I’m sure you will if you go back to B2 to check out his performance. Josh has been a voice actor for over 10 years now and shows no signs of slowing down.

naruto

Third on the panel we had Yuri Lowenthal, best known for his work as Sasuke Uchiha on the powerhouse anime, Naruto. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, since he has also been Superman (Legion of Superheroes), and even Ben Tennyson (Ben 10 Alien Force,Ultimate Alien, and Omniverse). Games that he has done voice work include lead character roles in Dragon Age, Prince of Persia, Fallout and he has been some type of role in just about every CoD title since Big Red One. Yuri is also a writer and producer and is working on the 4th season of Shelf Life, a show about four action figures on a boy’s shelf, and his company’s second film, Con Artists, is currently in post production.

naruto 02

The next panelist, Liam O’Brien, has been in just about every big name iconic licensed property shows over the last 13 years. Combined with his work in video games, his work would total to well over 200 projects. Liam has lent his voices to Transformers, GI JOE, Regular Show, Phineas and Ferb, and multiple Incredible Hulk animated series/movies including Planet Hulk. In the anime world he is probably best known for his performance as Gaara of the village hidden in Sand in Naruto. He has also done a wealth of performances in video games such as War in the recent hit Darksiders, Caius Ballad, the main antagonist from Final Fantasy XIII-2, and even Illidan Stormrage in World of Warcraft. He has also spent time directing and writing and has contributed to Resident Evil 5 & 6, oh and the the colossal success known as The Last Of Us.

Rounding out the Panel we had Sam Riegel, who in 2003 portrayed my favorite Ninja Turtle, Donatello. He is also that adorable bear, Teddie, in Persona 4 (animation), Shiro Emiya in Fate/Stay Night. Game wise he has played more of my favorites than any of the other panelists; some of these roles include the Amazing Spider-Man, Starscream, and everyone’s favorite attorney Phoenix Wright. Sam is a writer as well and has written scripts for big time productions such as Naruto, Bleach and even games like ModNation Racers. He has even voice directed major game releases like Fallout: New Vegas, and is currently voice directing for Disney’s Sofia the First which ranked as the # 1 preschool debut in cable history. If you want to check out Sam he is currently doing voice work for Riven in Winx Club on Nickelodeon, and if you feel you are too manly to watch Winx Club then maybe check out his podcast “All Work No Play” with prior panelist Liam O’Brien.

anime

Last but certainly not least there is J Michael Tatum. He has been in anime for about as long as I have been personally watching it. One of his earliest roles was Zarbon in the Dragon Ball series which is one of the most well known anime of all time. One of his breakout roles into the spotlight scene was as Rikichi in Samurai 7 back in 2005. He’s also had major roles in Ouran High School Host Club as Kyoya Otori, and the role I know him best was Sebastian Michaelis in Black Butler. But he didn’t stop with those other projects; he has worked on D-Gray Man, Initial D, Full Metal alchemist, and every vault hunters favorite gentleman, Sir Hammerlock, in Borderlands 2.

This panel was extremely entertaining and it was a real treat to get to talk with some of the voices behind the biggest anime and games in our culture. There was a lot of advice and insight given into the world of voice acting, directing and even writing. So if you’re at a convention and you see this panel, or one of similar nature, this one is definitely worth your time.

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Jada Griffin
Jada Griffin 334 posts

Legends tell of a princess captured and raised by Ninjas to be their future leader. Jada was trained from an early age to max the luck stat, always strike first and to never surrender.