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Disgaea 4 Complete+ - Emizel tells plan to Valvatorez - Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software Disgaea 4 Complete+ - Emizel tells plan to Valvatorez - Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

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Disgaea 4 Complete+ ‘False News’ storyline highly relevant today

Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

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Disgaea 4 Complete+ is a remastered definitive edition of a 2011 released game and yet, its ‘False News’ Chapter 4 storyline has never been more culturally relevant than today.

This article contains spoilers to Chapter 4 of Disgaea 4 Complete+.

Despite being released several years prior to the term ‘Fake News’ becoming ingrained in our society, revisiting Disgaea 4 Complete+’s lead storyline feels surreally modern. One of those rare cases where light hearted art and satire becomes ice cold reality. NIS were clearly miles ahead of their time, lightyears away in fact. As playing Chapter 4 “Death Emizel’s Death” matches the current state of affairs in journalism and media almost beat for beat.   

The character Death Emizel is the son of the President of the Netherworld in Disgaea 4 Complete+, and after being knocked out by aspiring ‘Final Boss’ Desco… A Netherworld newspaper prints out a story that he’d passed on. Emizel had fledged his whole existence and pride on being the aristocratic, royalty-like son of the Netherworld President. The youngster becomes even further mortified that a funeral service occurred with haste. He pledges to go to the Netherworld’s Information Bureau to fix what he believes will be a simple correction. 

However, when Emizel arrives at the Information Bureau, security guards will not believe he is the real Emizel, despite literally standing right in front of them. They cite the newspaper story as truth, and that if he was really alive it would have been reported.

Disgaea 4 Complete+ - Netherworld Information Bureau Security Guards - Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

Disgaea 4 Complete+ – Netherworld Information Bureau Security Guards – Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

Instead they believe he is bringing shame to the ‘deceased’ Emizel by playing an ‘imposter’ so-to-speak. Their blind faith and loyalty in the word of ink suppresses even their own eyes. Reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, the word of ‘the corrupternment’ and their newspaper is absolute and unquestioned. Contrarian opinions are to be discarded into the scrap heap, thrown into the dumpster on the side of an alley.

Disgaea 4 Complete+ - Valvatorez - Netherworld Information Bureau Security Guards - Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

Disgaea 4 Complete+ – Valvatorez – Netherworld Information Bureau Security Guards – Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

Disheartened, Emizel can not reconcile what is happening to his entire identity. He is beside himself at the thought that ‘the corrupternment’ has cast him out as persona non grata. Worse, the fallen son begins to comprehend the idea that facts alone cannot overcome popular belief and dogma. His real physical presence cannot supersede the already printed false news of his reported death.

Disgaea 4 Complete+ - Emizel beside himself - Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

Disgaea 4 Complete+ – Emizel beside himself – Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

Netherworld False News no accident

Fenrich, a second-in-command to the game’s protagonist Valvatorez, reveals to him that he’d sent a blackmailing video to Emizel’s father… One of Emizel being knocked out and scattering away. Thus, it’s likely it was actually Emizel’s own father, the President of the Netherworld, that ordered the ‘false news’ of his death be published. All in an effort to avoid public embarrassment and scrutiny from the Netherworld at large. Though highly plausible, Emizel cannot accept the scenario of his father’s ultimate abandonment. Other characters like Fuka Kazumatsuri attempt to prod Emizel ever so gently to see the truth but to no avail.

Disgaea 4 Complete+ - Fuka Kazamatsuri hints to Emizel the news spread intentionally - Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

Disgaea 4 Complete+ – Fuka Kazamatsuri hints to Emizel the news spread intentionally – Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

The prodigal son feels if he can just talk to the Information Bureau’s Chief, the story will be corrected. That a return to his elite throne of hereditary prestige was still in grasp… Emizel was wrong.

Disgaea 4 Complete+ - Netherworld Information Bureau Chief reveals truth to Emizel - Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

Disgaea 4 Complete+ – Netherworld Information Bureau Chief reveals truth to Emizel – Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

The Information Bureau Chief reveals the unsympathetic truth to Emizel, his father had indeed ordered them to run the story. As such that it was the President of the Netherworld’s direct order to print the ‘False News’ story, they cannot withdraw it from the public sphere. Whether Emizel is alive or not is irrelevant to the larger picture of the Netherworld’s corrupternment agenda and image. 

Disgaea 4 Complete+ - Netherworld Information Bureau Chief explains the reality of the Netherworld - Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

Disgaea 4 Complete+ – Netherworld Information Bureau Chief explains the reality of the Netherworld – Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

Disillusioned, Emizel decides to give in to Valvatorez’ earlier words about leaving behind the established regime… A regime that once worked tirelessly in his favor. Emizel is convinced to join Valvatorez’ rebellion against the corrupternment now that the system no longer includes him in it. The once noble reduced to civilian life. 

Disgaea 4 Complete+ - Valvatorez gradually convincing Emizel at Netherworld Information Bureau - Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

Disgaea 4 Complete+ – Valvatorez gradually convincing Emizel at Netherworld Information Bureau- Playstation 4 -Screenshot Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

For reference purposes, this article was based on the PlayStation 4 Edition of Disgaea 4 Complete+. Visit Disgaea.us, the official website for the title and watch game trailers.

Disclosure: A review copy of Disgaea 4 Complete+ for the PlayStation 4 was provided to The Natural Aristocrat / Live Game Deals courtesy of NIS America.

Be sure to check out Live Game Deals’ interview with Nippon Ichi Software President Sohei Niikawa on Disgaea!

LiveGameDeals.com is The Natural Aristocrat’s Gaming and Anime dedicated platform.

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Anime Interviews

Watch: SAO’s Todd Haberkorn calls Cherami Leigh live, records voicemail

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Anime NYC 2019 Interview - Pictured: Sword Art Online's Todd Haberkorn on left, Cherami Leigh on right - Photo Credit: Todd Haberkorn / Paul Smith Photography
Photo Credit: Todd Haberkorn / Paul Smith Photography

Sword Art Online’s Todd Haberkorn went into pseudo Sugou/Oberon mode when he recorded a humorous voicemail live to Asuna voice actor Cherami Leigh during an interview at Anime NYC 2019!

SAO English Dub voice actor Todd Haberkorn subtly channeled Sugou Nobuyuki / Oberon when he recorded a live voicemail to Asuna herself, Cherami Leigh, inviting her to dinner. Haberkorn joked, “Deal? If it’s a deal, say nothing… Perfect!” drawing laughs from everyone in the room at Anime NYC 2019. One remarked, “I’m going to use that!”

The moment arrived during The Natural Aristocrat’s full interview with Todd Haberkorn when asked if he recorded his Sword Art Online scenes in the studio with Cherami there. Haberkorn mentioned that Anime/Dub voice actors rarely have that partner to play off of for a variety of reasons. Then in the spur of the moment, Haberkorn decided to ring up Cherami in classic fashion!

Todd Haberkorn comments on SAO co-star Cherami Leigh:

“Unfortunately, I don’t get to see Cherami (Leigh) as much as people think we hang out. Even though we are kind of neighbors, like we don’t live that far from each other. Actually, you know what? Thank you for bringing that up. I’m actually going to send her a Marco Polo right now. [takes out cellphone, dials on speaker phone to leave voicemail]

Hey Cherami, we’re sitting here and I’m hanging out with some folks and doing a lot of interview action. We were just talking about you, how amazing you are, how fantastic you are behind the mic, and how that we don’t get to hang out very much even though we kind of live next to each other… So, let’s do this! December, we have to get together and have dinner. Deal? If it’s a deal, say nothing… Perfect! Okay. December. So, she’ll get that message and she’ll let me see know what she thinks.”

Todd Haberkorn on Social Media:

Follow Todd Haberkorn on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and his official website. A complete listing of his roles is available on BehindtheVoiceActors.com and IMDB.

Be sure to keep up to date with featured guests at next year’s Anime NYC at AnimeNYC.com, tickets for Anime NYC 2020 are on sale now!

Check out The Natural Aristocrat’s recent coverage of singer Eir Aoi’s Zepp Osaka Bayside gig, the voice of some of SAO’s most recognizable opening and closing themes.

More Anime coverage is available in The Natural Aristocrat’s Anime Category section and over on Live Game Deals’ Anime Category Section.

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Anime Interviews

Anime NYC 2019: Todd Haberkorn talks Sword Art Online (Interview)

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Todd Haberkorn - Anime NYC 2019 Interview - Pictured: Todd Haberkorn on left, Sword Art Online's Sugou Nobuyuki / Fairy King Oberon on right - Photo and Art Credit: Todd Haberkorn / Aniplex
Photo and Art Credit: Todd Haberkorn / Aniplex

Todd Haberkorn spoke to The Natural Aristocrat at Anime NYC 2019 about Sword Art Online’s villain Sugou Nobuyuki/Oberon, Asuna voice actor Cherami Leigh, ad-libbing, and the business of voice acting.

During an interview at Anime NYC 2019, SAO voice actor Todd Haberkorn went in-depth on the balance act in Anime between business and art. Haberkorn reflected on playing some of the cruelest villains in recent history between Sword Art Online’s chilling Sugou Nobuyuki/Fairy King Oberon suggesting taking sexual liberties with Asuna Yuuki to Re:Zero’s Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti. The SAO English Dub actor went the extra mile and made an on-the-spot, humorous phone call to co-star Cherami Leigh! Leaving a dinner request in Leigh’s voicemail in classic Sugou to Asuna fashion if you get the drift…

Haberkorn noticeably has a good sense of humor about the entertainment industry at large and its wild west style chaos. Hope and Fear come from the same place so he doesn’t live with exceptions for roles or success, a zen-like state of mind. You never know what’s going to happen in the business but life does imitate art. As Haberkorn gets to play up to his naturally comedic instincts in shows like Dragon Ball Super where he plays Galactic Patrol’s Jaco.

Watch the full interview with Todd Haberkorn above or read the transcript below:

The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: What was it like voicing such a massive villain in Sword Art Online where your character Sugou Nobuyuki/Fairy King Oberon was teasing sexual assault with Asuna?

Todd Haberkorn: Yeah, that character is probably not a CEO anywhere today! You know, with a role like that and every role, you have to find something that you can latch onto so that you can be that character’s champion. When it’s a character like that, for me, I strip away the actual actions of what he’s doing and ask, “What at the core does he want?” And so then I try to get behind that and rally behind that, and that helps give me the fuel to move forward.

I thought that was kind of the craziest, creepiest character I ever played but there’s a character in Re:Zero (Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti) who is nuts and he’s basically like Anime Joker in a weird sadistic way. He’s the worst! When I played him, I remember turning to Chris Cason who directed it and I’m like, “This is the one. This is the weirdest, creepiest role I’ve ever done. Ever!” I knew it right there. So Oberon could take a few villain lessons from him I guess. But yeah it was weird. (laughs)

Sword Art Online villain Sugou Nobuyuki – played by English Dub Voice Actor Todd Haberkorn – Photo Credit: Aniplex

Do you believe that it’s more freeing to play a villain as an actor?

I think definitely, villains do have more fun in the sense that they don’t subscribe to rules. The hero does! The hero is always gonna have a really not strict but pretty set structure of how they’re going to proceed through the story. Whereas a villain just makes up the rules as they go along. So it is in a way pretty freeing. I mean I like playing both. I think playing a hero is better because the villain usually dies! (laughs)

Sword Art Online’s ‘ALfheim Online’ (ALO) villain Fairy King Oberon – played by English Dub Voice Actor Todd Haberkorn – Photo Credit: Aniplex

Did you get to go into the recording booth and play off other actors like Cherami Leigh (Asuna Yuuki) in Sword Art Online?

To do Anime or any kind of dubbing, no, we record it separately. When I work on shows like Scooby-Doo (Aiden, David) or Ben 10 (Grey Matter), we’re recording together and it’s great. It’s always great to to work off other people for sure. But it’s kind of an isolated existence for dubbing, with good reason. I mean with each line, the engineer has to take it and make sure it fits in the exact pre-existing animation. And with Anime of course, there’s moments where it’s like, ‘Little, Big, Small, Crying, Sad, Nosebleed, Happy, Eating Food!’ You know all in a moment. So, it would be difficult to do with more than one person at once.

Unfortunately, I don’t get to see Cherami (Leigh) as much as people think we hang out. Even though we are kind of neighbors, like we don’t live that far from each other. Actually, you know what? Thank you for bringing that up. I’m actually going to send her a Marco Polo right now. [takes out cellphone, dials on speaker phone to leave voicemail]

Hey Cherami, we’re sitting here and I’m hanging out with some folks and doing a lot of interview action. We were just talking about you, how amazing you are, how fantastic you are behind the mic, and how that we don’t get to hang out very much even though we kind of live next to each other… So, let’s do this! December, we have to get together and have dinner. Deal? If it’s a deal, say nothing. Perfect! Okay. December. So, she’ll get that message and she’ll let me see know what she thinks.

Anime NYC 2019 Interview – Pictured: Sword Art Online’s Todd Haberkorn on left, Cherami Leigh on right – Photo Credit: Todd Haberkorn / Paul Smith Photography

Do you have rituals that you practice before each voice acting session? How many takes do you generally get to do?

I mean, for me it’s like one or two takes but I’m grateful for those situations. But sometimes I work with actors where it’s a few more than that, it just depends on the on the situation. There’s a lot of different extenuating circumstances that could lead to more takes. Maybe for the engineer, something happened with Pro Tools and stopped recording or maybe there’s a loud bang in the other room. Maybe I was off mic or someone was off mic or somebody hit the mic. There’s a variety of reasons but luckily it’s about one or two takes and then they get what they need. Which might mean the Director is not paying attention at all. But it makes me feel good! (laughs)

On ad-libbing:

I typically don’t. For Sgt. Frog (Keroro/Kululu) I improved a lot and lots of it stayed in. But typically I won’t improv because I have a weird reason why I don’t. It revolves around the fact that, essentially if you start improving and they keep something in there you’ve now become a writer on the show. But are you getting credit for that? Noooo. The writer gets credit for that! And if there’s a cool line you come up with that is yours and maybe it becomes your catchphrase… Who gets credit for that? The writer. I’m cool with it if they’re like Todd co-wrote ‘blah blah blah’ in this episode but it doesn’t ever go down that way.

So, I’m really kind of resistant to improv like that behind the mic because it happens a lot. I’ll get Directors that are like, “Go ahead and feel free to give us one take as written but if you want to give us another take improv,” all I do is I go, “Okay.” And I don’t do it! (laughs)

Have you ever spoken beforehand about getting some kind of writing credit?

Yeah, not specifically for improv but when I was directing Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, I rewrote those scripts extensively. And I asked for a writing credit on it because it wasn’t like one line here, two lines here. Entire scripts I rewrote throughout the twenty-six episodes.

There’s another show, not sure if people have heard of it, Crow’s Blood. It’s a show where they took a girl pop band and they made a series with them. Like you know, how sometimes they take a big band and say, “Let’s capitalize on your popularity and let’s make a show!” They did that with Crow’s Blood, it’s an interesting show, like on purpose, cool B-Movie Horror. But with those scripts I rewrote every one of them. So, I asked for credit for that.

On the Entertainment Industry:

Not knowing, especially in the Entertainment Industry when things can change like that [snaps finger]! When you have a movie like Terminator: Dark Fate bomb at the box office and then Tim Miller who directed it, has his Kitty Pryde movie gets canned. You know, you’re like, “Oh was that… Did that happen because of that?” I mean Chewbacca mom comes out on YouTube out of nowhere and then it was like, “Oh my God, millions of viewers let’s get her to a con!” And then she goes to a convention… Doesn’t work.

The Entertainment Industry is sooooo weird. It’s like who would have thought, let’s put all the Beverly Hills Housewives together, and let’s make a show about that. How do you come up with that? So, you can’t really gauge what’s going to happen.

Another example is D.Gray-man. Sh*t, I didn’t know that 10 years later we would come back to that show. I thought for surrrre we wouldn’t. That’s why I made the bet about piercing my ears cause I’m like I guarantee you we’re not doing D.Gray-man. Earlier in that day I’d seen a guy with pierced ears that looked cool, and so it stuck in my head. And so when someone asked about D.Gray-man and I was like that show comes back I’ll pierce my ears because I thought she’d been 10 years.

Anime NYC 2019 Interview – Pictured: Todd Haberkorn on left, D.Gray-man’s Allen Walker on right – Photo and Art Credit: Todd Haberkorn / Funimation

Two months later! I get a tweet from a fan, he’s like congratulations on D.Gray-man. And I’m like, “Wait a minute….” I went and got my ears pierced, and I made good on the bet. But so who knows? I have no idea what’s going to happen but I hope for the best.

As a book that I’m reading says, Fear and Hope come from the same place. Think about it. Fear and Hope are dealing with things that haven’t happened yet in the future. They both are just a source of stress. So I try to be like, “Okay, I don’t want stress, so I’m not going to hope for it. I would like it but I’m not going to hope for it. So that when I get it, it’s an awesome surprise. And if I don’t get it, I’m like “Oh, okay.”

On Jaco in Dragon Ball Super:

Jaco’s a lot of fun. I like being the, legitimate, on purpose comic relief as opposed to things just being funny in the show. Like, “Oh, that’s a funny moment”

You mentioned Terminator: Dark Fate before. Would you ever reject a character based on the fact that you think it won’t succeed and might hurt your career?

Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I try to be very selective about stuff like that, especially if it’s a character that that I felt went out on a high note. If it’s like a cash grab that isn’t solidified in quality. I wouldn’t do it.

Do you read Fan Comments often?

I’ll pop down there if I’m feeling particularly arrogant some days, if I need to bust myself down and get humble. I’ll go down there and read it! It’s like, “Why would you say that about my Mom?!” It’s so funny, they’re so funny in those comment sections! I do occasionally. [laughs]

Fun Trivia Fact: Both Sword Art Online’s Sugou Nobuyuki and Re:Zero’s Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti both debuted on the 15th episode of their respective Anime adaptions.

Todd Haberkorn on Social Media:

Follow Todd Haberkorn on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and his official website. A complete listing of Todd Haberkorn’s roles is available on BehindtheVoiceActors.com and IMDB.

Be sure to keep up to date with featured guests at next year’s Anime NYC at AnimeNYC.com, tickets for Anime NYC 2020 are on sale now!

Check out The Natural Aristocrat’s recent coverage of singer Eir Aoi’s Zepp Osaka Bayside gig, the voice of some of SAO’s most recognizable opening and closing themes.

More Anime coverage is available in The Natural Aristocrat’s Anime Category section and over on Live Game Deals’ Anime Category Section.

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Anime Interviews

Anime NYC 2019: Carrie Savage talks Disgaea 4, Voice Acting (Interview)

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Anime NYC 2019 Interview - Pictured: Carrie Savage on left, Disgaea 4 Complete+'s Artina / Vulcanus on right - Photo and Art Credit: Carrie Savage / NIS America
Photo and Art Credit: Carrie Savage / NIS America

Disgaea 4’s Carrie Savage spoke to The Natural Aristocrat at Anime NYC 2019 about the title’s remastering and finding beauty in voice acting.

You could pick out Carrie Savage’s unique, sugary sweet sounding voice from across the room. Disgaea 4’s voice of Vulcanus/Artina was already doing theater starting from grade school on. Flash forward to a couple of Film and TV execs in LA telling her she sounded ‘too young and innocent,’ during auditions, and Carrie, undeterred, decided to make the voice work for her. It’s no surprise industry powerhouses like Funimation and New Generation Pictures would take notice of her talent.

There’s something charming in Carrie Savage’s delivery which fans just getting into NIS’ Disgaea 4 Complete+ will no doubt enjoy. “Mr. Vampire!” A voice that’s easy on the ears you could say. As you would expect from Disgaea’s Celestia.

Watch the full interview with Carrie Savage above or read the transcript below:

The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: Disgaea 4 Complete+ was released recently, how do you reflect on it and Artina/Vulcanus eight years later?

Carrie Savage: That was one of my favorite games to do, I loved doing it!

What was it like exploring the whole relationship with Valvatorez? Were you recording with Troy Baker in the studio?

No, it was one at a time. I remember it was my first time working with Keith [Arem], PCV, and Valerie and I just love them. They’re awesome and I was so excited to work with them.

What does it mean to you that a whole new generation of fans are going to hear your voice again?

I didn’t even think of that, that is awesome! (smiles) That’s exciting! Because I feel so much of the stuff I’ve done is so much older now compared to the newer stuff. But the old stuff, some of it is amazing! Like the one you mentioned with the angel, Haibane Renmei. (smiles) I’m excited for a younger generation to come in and be watching my work.

Carrie Savage on right as Artina (Vulcanus) speaking to Lord Valvatorez (Troy Baker) in Disgaea 4 Complete)+ – Captured on Sony PlayStation 4 – Screenshot / Photo Credit: Nir Regev via NIS America

What kind of rituals do you have when you go into a booth? Do you have something you do every time, where if you don’t do it you feel off for the rest of the day?

Yes, this kind of applies to my theater auditions also. It’s different in New York though. When I was in LA, I used to have these these certain CDs that I would sing with in my car to warm up my voice. And then I developed like this list of about twelve characters. Some of them were from classes I took and some of them were actually characters that I did.

I would go from highest to lowest and I would do all these little snippets of all these characters in a row. So, that I could warm up the softest kind of voice, (does voices) down to the low part.

I did that, I sang, and I used different parts of my voice when I was singing in different placements. And then I would do all the characters because the way they speak was different, the placement was all different. Like, if I’m going to play an old lady, it’s going to a different place in my whole system. I used to do that in my car and I had a lot of time because it was LA and there was traffic.

In New York, the difference is I have to do that in my bathroom and I don’t have as much time! So, I don’t get to do all the singing with it. And I have 30 to 45 minutes of stretching that I also do, prior to going to any audition or voice work. Which is based on my dance classes.

What do you do to protect your voice?

In theater school, I learned about how to free up the voice and how to support it so that you’re not damaging things. How to keep the vocal apparatus free. For me warming up helps. Using different placements helps. Some of the ways that I learned to warmup in school, I still use some of those tricks to warm up my voice.

If you’re working on a character like initially Mokona [Modoki] in xxxHolic/Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE. (does voice) You have to find ways to make it easier on yourself. It’s placement.

You have a really unique speaking voice! Do you feel you were born to do this pretty much? Where you pushed into this career or steered into it somehow?

I’ll tell you what happened. I was a theater actress, I still am. But I started doing theater when I was in grade school. And when I got into High School and after High School. Actually, I was going to be a Doctor, I was not going to be an actor. But when I realized that I loved acting so much that I couldn’t give it up for pre-med, and I started acting again… So many of the directors I knew would tell me after I auditioned for things, “We can’t cast you because you sound too young and innocent!” So, it would be like characters who commit suicide or who are like really depressed.

Then a film I did later, I auditioned for the crazy street chick. And they’re like, “You would’ve been our first choice. But you just do not come across as… You’re just too innocent for this street chick!” I was younger too, you know? So, they wrote a part for me in that which totally fit and was really cool.

My character was the more super innocent, didn’t know anything type. For a couple of years while I lived in LA, I had two of my closest friends keep telling me I should do voiceover work. I didn’t know what that was, I was like “What’s that?”. Finally I was out auditioning for Film and TV, and my agent had arranged a specific audition. He said that these people were having a really hard time finding the person that they wanted for this role. I was around late 20s at that point.

I went in and I auditioned, the Producer and the Director were sitting there and they go, “She is exactly what we’ve been looking for! But we can’t cast her because she sounds like she’s 12…” Right in front of me. That was when I was like, “Fine. I’m going to start making this voice work for me!” That’s when I decided to do voiceover work. I’d been toying around with the idea like wanting to do a demo before but it was only because I met somebody who did voiceover work. But I still didn’t know a lot about it.

But that’s what really pushed me into it, I was like I’m not getting any more of this, ‘We can’t cast her because she sounds too young!’ (laughs)

What was that first voice acting audition like? Many voice actors have told me that they’ve been really nervous or they thought they messed up but they actually got the role.

Actually, my first audition was for a show called 3×3 Eyes. And that character was a little girl and her voice was high but then she had to talk like this (does deep voice). I could do that but I didn’t have the mastery of that at that point. I hadn’t worked on that lower part as much, so I didn’t get casted in that. But I don’t remember being that nervous, except for just trying to understand how this character was going from that high voice to that low voice.

It was two years later that Jonathan Klein and New Generation Pictures and his partner Reiko [Matsuo], they remembered me from that audition and they called me back. I auditioned for Strawberry Eggs very eyes and another show called Dangaizer 3 and got those.

I don’t remember being any more nervous than anything else. I just remember being excited and having fun, and wanting to pour my heart and soul into the voice into the character. That’s just like I do all the other auditions I kind of approached it exactly the same way.

A voice actor [Todd Haberkorn] mentioned to me in an interview earlier that he tries not to ad-lib lines because he doesn’t get any writing credits for that. That the credits go to the person who wrote the episode. He essentially said he ‘didn’t want to coin a popular phrase that he wouldn’t get writing credits/royalties for.’ How do you feel about that and ad-libbing in general?

I can understand that. For me, that’s not the case but also, I script adapt for a lot of Anime and Korean Animation. So, it doesn’t bother me to ad-lib something or change the line at all. In a lot of auditions, like a lot of commercial auditions or mainstream animation auditions, they want you to ad-lib. And actually I find I’m not as good at that as I would like to be.

It’s different when you’re script adapting because it’s kind of your focus. But when you’re auditioning or whatever the things don’t come to me as quickly. So, I actually wish I was better at ad-libbing. I don’t have a problem with it.

Do you like working away from the mic? Behind the screen so-to-speak doing scripts and directing.

I prefer acting over everything! I do the script adapting because as a voice actor especially in the Anime world, we don’t make enough… Most of the time to pay the bills, especially I found that to be the case in New York. What I do like about the other stuff is that exercises a different part of my brain.

I think it’s the part of my brain that I would have used had I studied medicine and been a Doctor. It maybe gets a little left out a bit when I’m acting because the acting all comes from my heart! (smiles) It’s from my gut. You know what I mean? Because you don’t want to overthink things when you’re acting.

I’d still prefer the acting over everything… And the dancing. I love dancing! And singing! (laughs)

You mentioned wanting to be a Doctor, I’ve read you’ve done a lot of charity work in other countries as well. I was wondering if you’d elaborate?

When I was eight years old, I felt like I was meant to be a Doctor/Missionary in Ethiopia. To bring medicine to kids who were starving and didn’t have access to medical care. That was my heart.

Who are some of your biggest acting influences do you feel?

When I was younger and in school for the Arts, a teacher mentioned Meryl Streep to me and I didn’t know who she was at the time. He’s like, ‘You need to go look her up! I watched the dingo one [Evil Angels] and I think I watched Kramer vs. Kramer. I was like, this woman does exactly what I’m trying to do the way that I approach acting! That’s the way she does it! And she’s completely successful at it, she completely changes, you wouldn’t recognize her from one film to the next. So she was a big influence because she successfully does the type of acting you’re supposed to do.

And also Anthony Hopkins, for the same sort of reason. Those two are my biggest influences. There are other actors that I love and there are other actors that have kind of gone in that direction. Movie stars I should say, when they first started being in stuff, they were not so different from role to role but they were very enjoyable to watch. I’ve seen some of those people actually start changing from role to role and that’s the kind of thing I love! When someone is so immersed in a part that you don’t recognize them.

But I value the other side of it too. I value the side of acting of just using everything. I mean I think as a person you have everything in you anyways. But I’m starting to realize that just using yourself, is great too! You know what I mean? So like, I’m very unique and quirky, and that can be an asset too!

In Haibane Renmei, I mean I have other shows that are my big favorites that I love too like Shin Chan. Like okay, she [Penny] swears and I don’t. I try not to swear in her life. So that was really fun because it was part of my job!

You don’t have like a swear jar or something do you?

No, no (smiles) and New York has ruined me, I got to admit. And theater school ruined me a little bit. I just don’t want you to think that I’m not remembering my other roles because I love them all.

Do you have a personal message to fans?

In light of Haibane Renmei, it’s very important that the characters in Haibane Renmei remember their dreams that they had when they were born. So, I’m always writing, “Always Remember Your Dreams.”

I feel very strongly, that what you most want to do in life is what God wants you to do. And so my message would be, if there’s something you want to do that’s very strong inside of you… Don’t give up. Put your heart and soul into it, and try to do it.

Thanks Carrie!

Thank you!

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Be sure to follow Carrie Savage on Facebook and Twitter. A full list of Carrie Savage’s acting roles is available on IMDB and Behind the Voice Actors.

Carrie Savage was nominated for ‘Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in an Anime Feature Film/Special’ in 2015 for her role as Hakufu Sonsaku in Ikki tousen: Shugaku Toshi Keppu-roku at the Behind the Voice Actor Awards (BTVA Awards).

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