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Current Events / Gaming PopWrapped | Current Events

'Funimation' Delights Fans By Announcing Stellar Dub Cast Of Free! Eternal Summer

Amrita Aulakh | PopWrapped Author

Amrita Aulakh

11/18/2014 12:27 pm
PopWrapped | Current Events
'Funimation' Delights Fans By Announcing Stellar Dub Cast Of Free! Eternal Summer | funimation
Media Courtesy of Crunchyroll
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t eagerly awaiting Funimation’s cast announcements every day since they revealed that they planned on dubbing one of the best sequel animes of the summer. I resorted to trolling Anime News Network, Twitter and Crunchyroll every day until the fateful day finally arrived. Starting on Monday, Funimation announced via Twitter and Tumblr that they would be announcing a cast member each day until November 16th. Now that all of our beloved characters have a voice actor, let’s recap whose voicing who and my personal opinion on the casting choices. Here’s a tiny hint: I’m pretty darn pleased (for the most part). Alright folks, let’s get started! The very first reveal was that of our favorite “butterfly” Rei Ryugazaki, who is being voiced by the dynamic J. Michael Tatum. Tatum is hugely popular for his roles in smash hit animes such as Black Butler, Hetalia and Ouran High School Host Club. Tatum, in my opinion, is THE perfect fit for Rei. I can’t imagine anyone else voicing the intelligent-yet goofy former track runner who wants to avoid “unbeautiful” things. What an amazing way to kick off the dub cast. Major Kudos to you Funimation!
funimation Courtesy of: Funimation
Next up was our eccentric “penguin” Nagisa Hazuki, who will be voiced by Greg Ayres. Here’s where my initial hesitation set in. I’ve liked mostly everything Ayres has been in so far with the grand exception of Karneval (Deadman Wonderland and No.6 in particular were my favorites) but I just couldn’t picture him as the bubbly and outgoing Nagisa. But in Ayres’s defense, I did not expect him to be such an outstanding Shion (from No.6). I’m more than willing to give Ayres a shot and have no doubt that he’ll win me over once I actually hear him as Nagisa…(hopefully).
funimation Courtesy of: Funimation
This next announcement had me squealing and dancing around like the rabid fangirl I truly am. And that announcement was that Makoto Tachibana, the mother hen of the bunch and Iwatobi team captain, would be voiced by none other than Johnny Yong Bosch. I pictured Bosch voicing Haru (the lead) but this was even better. Bosch has been in a ton of other animes including Trigun, Durarara!!, and the recently finished Bleach. Words can’t describe how spot on this casting choice is. Plus I’m a bit biased because Bosch is my favorite voice actor. It’s like the icing on top of the extravagantly decorated cake. I greatly approve of this, if it wasn’t obvious already.
funimation Courtesy of: Funimation
Now it’s time for the leading man of the series. Although Free is an anime that has more than one main character, everything always leads back to one individual, our catalyst of the series. That individual is Haruka Nanase and he’ll be voiced by Todd Haberkorn. I wholeheartedly…agree with this decision. The casting for Haru was the one I was the most worried about mainly because he’s my favorite character. Haberkorn didn’t even cross my mind which was odd because he’s one of my favorite voice actors. Haberkorn has voiced a range of different characters such as Italy (Hetalia), Death the Kid (Soul Eater) and Allen Walker (D-Gray Man). I gladly accept Haberkorn as the “dolphin” of series and know he’ll do Haru justice.
funimation Courtesy of: Funimation
We’re finished with the Iwatobi team, now it’s the rival teams turn. First up is Samezuka team Captain Rin Matsouka who will be voiced by Vic Mignogna. This casting choice was predicted by pretty much everyone mainly because a fan made image had been leaked spoiling the announcement and Mignogna, himself, had expressed interest in the role at Anime Expo. I’m not sure how I feel about this decision. Mignogna was fantastic in Fullmetal Alchemist and Tokyo Majin however I just can’t envision him as Rin. It’s not to say I don’t enjoy or like Mignogna’s roles (or his voice), it’s just that I can’t picture his voice being the right fit for this particular character. This casting has sparked tons of controversy amongst fans due to the rumor going around (on forums) that Mignogna is homophobic. And as most fans know, Free! is an anime that generates tons of pairings due to the heavy boys love subtext that can be interpreted as something beyond a mere friendship between teammates. Mignogna has repeatedly shot down these rumors and claimed that just because he’s not a fan of yaoi (boys love) doesn’t mean he’s homophobic because everyone has a right to their likes and dislikes. That being said, if Mignogna was truly homophobic why would he choose to voice a character that is so heavily “shipped” with other male characters of the series? I can’t judge Mignogna for rumors of his personal life because 1) I don’t know him personally, I’m just a mere fan and 2) my perception of Mignogna is based on his work and not on the rumors surrounding his beliefs. And fans need to remember, just because Mignogna does NOT like yaoi doesn't mean he's homophobic. I hope Mignogna proves me wrong and makes a fantastic Rin because despite my apprehension, I do have faith that he’ll bring something new to the table. I wish you the best of luck Mr. Mignogna!
funimation Courtesy of: Funimation
Next up was the joint announcement of Rin’s loyal teammates Momotaro Mikoshiba and Nitori Aiichiro who are being voiced by Jerry Jewell (yay!) and Josh Grelle. I am absolutely over the moon about Jerry Jewell’s involvement because he’s one of my favorites. I was really hoping for Jewell to be involved in this project somehow and here he is voicing yet another redhead (he’s voiced two of my favorite redheads: Kyo Sohma from Fruits Basket and Claire Stanfield from Baccano!). Jewell is also known for his role of Russia on Hetalia and Lau from Black Butler. I am greatly looking forward to hearing Mr. Jewell’s voice! I feel like it’s been way to long (even though I just binge-watched Hetalia a week ago). I’m also pleased with Josh Grelle’s casting! He’s absolutely perfect for this role and I felt as though I should have been able to predict this decision. Grelle is most well known for his role as Armin Artlet on the hugely popular Attack on Titan. Funimation continues to surprise me with their ambitious casting choices and has me even more pumped up for its release. Now on to the final announcements of the week!
Funimation Funimation.com
Funimation Funimation.com
Rin’s childhood bestie Sosuke Yamazaki will be voiced by Ian Sinclair (Space Dandy, Shiki) and Rin’s younger sister Gou Matsouka will be voiced by Jamie Marchi (Hetalia, Soul Eater). Once again, I’m in total agreement to Funimation’s casting choices. Sinclair is a fantastic voice actor who could perfectly match voicing a tough guy with a heart of gold. And despite me having not seen a ton of Marchi’s work, I can see her being the correct fit for the role of Gou. Especially when I remember her cheery performance on Soul Eater!
Funimation Funimation.com
Funimation Funimation.com
Funimation also revealed the voices of a majority of the side characters (though it’s to be noted that not all characters have been cast yet) as well as the ADR director, engineers and scriptwriter. Miho Amakata (the homeroom teacher) - Caitlin Glass (Ouran). Seijuro Mikoshiba (Momotaro’s older brother and former Samezuka team captain) – Robert McCollum (Psycho Pass, Yu Yu Hakusho). Goro Sasabe (former Coach of the Iwatobi Swim Club) – Christopher R. Sabat (Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho). Takuya Uozumi (side member of the Samezuka team) – Clifford Chaplin (Attack on Titan, Psycho-Pass 2). Kazuteru Minami (yet another side member of the Samezuka team) – Micah Solusod ((Soul Eater, Guilty Crown). ADR Director – Jerry Jewell (once again..YAY!) Scriptwriter – J. Michael Tatum ADR Engineers – Alyssa Galindo & Kenneth Thompson This pretty much concludes the Free! Eternal Summer dub cast announcements. Overall, the dub cast is pretty solid and the best cast I've seen put together in a good long while. I’m 95% satisfied and 100% ready for the DVD release of this anime. But viewers be warned, Funimation (currently) only has the rights to the second season. The first season of Free is currently licensed by Crunchyroll. Funimation has stated that they have reached out to Crunchyroll in hopes of doing a collaboration for the 1st seasons release; Crunchyroll has not responded to them (as of yet). Fingers crossed Crunchyroll agrees because how much of the 2nd season would make sense to viewers without the 1st season? Season 1 contains a good chunk of the character growth and plot points needed for viewers to understand the 2nd season. What do you guys think of the casting choices made by Funimation? If you’re not satisfied, who do you wish was cast as whom? Let us know in the comments below.

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