Gabriel Regojo spoke to The Natural Aristocrat® about voicing Ko on the ‘Call of the Night’ English Dub opposite Natalie Rial’s vampire Nazuna.
Call of the Night is the anime crown jewel of the HIDIVE streaming service, and a major reason millions have newly subscribed to the AMC Networks owned property.
This interview contains spoilers for episodes 1-5 of the Call of the Night English dub.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT (NIR REGEV): You and Natalie Rial are the dub faces for HIDIVE’s flagship exclusive. A lot of anime fans subscribed just to see Call of the Night. Do you feel added pressure to deliver being under the microscope like that?
GABRIEL REGOJO: No, actually for me it’s the show’s process that’s most important. It’s an added benefit to have so many people be very interested in the show on its outset.
I just hope that the work that I bring to the show is something people can enjoy and that it’ll keep them coming back to use HIDIVE.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: You had that pained scream in Episode Five (“Well That’s a Problem”) when Nazuna voraciously sucks Ko’s Blood for an extended time. Are screams like that usually done all in one take? Is it rough on your voice?
GABRIEL REGOJO: Thankfully, the folks over at Sentai are very mindful of the actor’s instrument. So we listen to it first and watch it and then we take a run at it.
Then after that it’s just making the adjustments we need, but we’re never really putting additional pressure to our voices.
That one for Ko is also not normally my range for that kind of scream generally. So when it showed up I was like, “Hey Shannon (D. Reed – ADR Director), I want to try something.” And he was like, “Okay, let’s go for it!”
It was just a fun thing to try to like flex a little bit and see what tops & bottoms of my vocal range I can access.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What was your personal approach to make Ko Yamori sound so naive & youthful?
GABRIEL REGOJO: Normally, I have a much lower sort of resting register. And so something that Shannon (D. Reed) had brought up is like, “Hey, this character is a 14-year old kid, so we want to find that naïveté and youthfulness.”
So that’s been an interesting challenge to explore because I’m learning now what the limits of my upper register are. But approaching him, Ko’s a very good every-man sort of character for people to access. I feel with the advent of 24-hour, seven days a week technology, people are having harder and harder times falling asleep.
And so it was just taking that personal given circumstance and being able to shape it into fitting Ko. It allowed myself to pull from personal experience to help serve the story and really focus on building his character and his voice.
Also, because he’s a 14-year old boy, sometimes maybe his humor is not there and he might be nervous about things. But he’s still got a good sense of humor. Ko’s still got a lot of joy in his life.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Have you had the chance to meet any of the other English dub cast members like Natalie Rial (Nazuna Nanakusa) in real life? I know it’s getting more and more uncommon these days in the dub industry.
GABRIEL REGOJO: I did! I got to meet Natalie (Rial) in-person for the first time recently and that was great. It was very, very quick and brief passing, but it was great to finally get to meet her and get to hear her voice outside of the character.
She’s such a sweet person and I’ve loved getting to act opposite her in this show. She brings such a cool and I think, a deeper sound, than I had expected for the way the character looks on-screen.
Also, my brother (Daniel Regojo) is working on the show in a minor role (Kai), and I’ve met Brandon Hearnsberger (Tonio) as well.
I’ve gotten to work with Andrew Love (Matsuda) who I do a Dungeons and Dragons live play on Twitch called ToBeOrRPG.
I’ve gotten very close with them and several other voice actors from Sentai work on that project.
GABRIEL REGOJO: I would love to actually! I’m actually just trying to figure out how one does a convention. So if anyone reading this article wants to get in touch, please reach out!
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: I saw Natalie Rial recently attended The Weeb Stop promoting Call of the Night with fellow Sentai voice actress Christina Kelly (Golden Time, Real Girl). Is that something you’d be interested in?
GABRIEL REGOJO: That would be an amazing experience and I would love to get to meet the people that watch the show!
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: It seems HIDIVE’s parent company AMC Networks is transitioning into vampires as the next big trend. Was the Call of the Night English dub coordinated to release alongside Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire TV series?
GABRIEL REGOJO: I think it’s more coincidental, but I have been finding more and more that my type is ‘vampire guy’. So if that is the case, I’m really hoping to get more work! (laughs)
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What was your original audition for Call of the Night like?
GABRIEL REGOJO: I’ve worked with Shannon (D. Reed) and or sound engineer David (Lascoe) several times now, and it’s always a pleasure to get to work with them. The audition was very, very relaxed and it was just like, “Hey man, let’s just see what you got!”
They gave me some adjustments based on the first or second read and it was just flowing. It was a very, very fun and casual audition process.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: The scene in Episode 1 (“First Flight”) where Nazauna kicks Ko off a building before catching him flying turns complete trauma into rollercoaster-like beauty in seconds. What are your thoughts on the moment?
GABRIEL REGOJO: Yeah, it was great because I hadn’t seen it!
My first audition was the scene where Ko is in front of the beer vending machine and then a scene a little bit midway through the episode that I can’t recall right now.
But when we finally got to record Episode 1, there was a moment where I kind of forgot I was in the booth and was like, “Oh s***, that’s cool!” We had to go back and do it again. But it was amazing. The art direction and some of the shots that they have on that show, I mean they’re professionals for a reason, right?
So they have great understanding of color and shot composition and it really shows in that moment. As an actor it was like “Wow, this is so cool!”
And then Creepy Nuts is playing in the background and you’re just having a little bop while you’re watching. It was just like, Okay, this is gonna be a really cool freaking project!”
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Visually, Call of the Night is the prettiest anime of the year released stateside. Especially, when it comes to the backgrounds, the skies are stunning.
GABRIEL REGOJO: We were joking in the booth constantly that this is the most beautiful well-lit night sky in the world. It’s amazing like aurora borealis. Purples and greens and blues… You’re like, “Where does he live? Because I want to move out there!”
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: How do you feel about Ko and Nazuna’s relationship dynamics?
GABRIEL REGOJO: I think it’s really interesting. I enjoy the friendship aspect and they’re a fun dynamic duo as this show is coming out.
I’m not familiar entirely with the manga. But in the show it’s interesting to watch these two characters develop & become more confident in themselves and more full people.
As with any piece of media that’s good art where characters start in one place and end in another.
But it’s been a really fun thing watching this relationship grow from sort of like, “Oh, I’m learning a lot from you, we’re friends, we hang out and we have each other’s back.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Nazauna could barely restrain herself during a bite in Episode 5 we discussed earlier. Do you think Ko somewhat being in physical danger is part of the allure of the relationship?
GABRIEL REGOJO: I think so. Something that we had talked about as we were going through recording and talking was intention. Everything was that.
Ko has this insomnia and in the first episode is is got this insomnia and then in the first episode Nazuna mentions that most people who ‘have insomnia or can’t sleep because they haven’t felt like they have had a full day.’
And so I think, yeah, it’s in part the danger, but I also think it’s living fully. Even though it’s a unique situation and fantastical in its presentation… It’s a a very relatable idea to a lot of people.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: There is a lot to Nazuna’s idea that people stay up because they’re unsatisfied with how their day went. Have you ever felt yourself falling into Ko’s insomnia, even just worrying about roles?
GABRIEL REGOJO: Oh, my friend, yes! That is very, very much a yes because as an actor, generally speaking, you’re a freelancer and so it’s always onto the next thing.
You’re always keeping your head up and it keeps you up at night. It’s just a matter of being able to allow yourself that mental head space because when you let yourself have that space, you put out better work. You can be more receptive to the universe’s signals.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: You come from a stage theatre background and theatre is a lot about projection to the audience. How have you incorporated elements of your theatre training into your voice acting and Ko Yamori’s portrayal overall?
GABRIEL REGOJO: My theater background really serves me quite well. Not to be braggadocious, but a theater actors are capable of using their instruments in a lot of unique ways, it’s a different skill than film.
A theatre actor has to be able to project, like you said, but also be able to change inflection for tone and also read to the back of the house. So it is taking the grandiosity of theatrical performance and shrinking it down still with the same energy and intention… Just in a more conversational setting.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: How do you feel about Ko’s idea of trading pain for the delayed gratification of becoming a vampire essentially? He does seem more than happy to oblige the bites either way though, viewing them almost romantically.
GABRIEL REGOJO: I mean as the show is moving along that idea gets combated with another story arc… The creating the pain for that delayed gratification, I think it’s an interesting concept since we live in a world of instant gratification.
There’s a lot of truth and nuggets of wisdom to be valued in that.
But what we’re approaching now for the show characters is a challenge to that idea more on ethical grounds… Which I’m very excited for people to get to see it because the actress (Kelly Greenshield as Kiyosumi Shirakawa) that they have playing is a great partner to work against.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Why do you feel Ko tried to hide his childhood friend Akira Asai (Jade Kelly) from Nazauna?
GABRIEL REGOJO: I think it’s because Ko didn’t believe he had friends. Ko was feeling like his whole world was caving in around him… Maybe not caving in, but sort of encroaching over him and he needed to just disassociate.
I have done this before too, where I just need to disassociate sometimes to get perspective. I don’t think he did it maliciously, but he did it for self protection.
And as the show is going on, Ko’s relearning that, it’s okay to feel the way you feel. People do care and you shouldn’t push them out of your life completely when they just want to help.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Interesting take. So you don’t think Ko was hiding Nazauna from seeing Akira for romantic reasons?
GABRIEL REGOJO: I mean, in part, yes he was trying to separate them. He didn’t want them to find each other. But I think it was more so he didn’t want his personal life to intertwine with his school life.
He’s realizing as the show goes on that both can be true at the same time.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: How do you compare working on Call of the Night to another Sentai series in Food Wars! [Sean Aida, Mamoru Mitamura]?
GABRIEL REGOJO: Both are comedic in some respects, but Food Wars! has got more of a Shonen and slice of life kind of vibe. Call of the Night has got a little more of a wacky episodic feel.
They’re two very different experiences, but both have unique value for me. I’ve enjoyed working on and getting to play within both those structures.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What are your thoughts on Ko’s plan to become a vampire? Is that something you’ve ever dreamed of as a kid?
GABRIEL REGOJO: Oh yeah man! I’m with him a 100% on that. Who doesn’t want to stay up all night and get into debaucherous escapades with other vampires?
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Thanks Gabriel!
GABRIEL REGOJO: Thank you!
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– Looking to catch up on HIDIVE’s biggest series to date? Check our full Call of the Night Episode 1 Dub Recap!
HIDIVE streams new Call of the Night English Dubbed episodes every Thursday at 1:00 pm ET for subscribers.
Call of the Night English Dub Cast Members
Main Dub Cast:
Natalie Rial as Nazuna Nanakusa
Gabriel Regojo as Kou Yamori (Kō Yamori)
Katelyn Barr as Young Kou Yamori (Kō Yamori)
Jade Kelly as Akira Asai
Kelly Greenshield as Kiyosumi Shirakawa
Juliet Simmons as Young Akira Asai
Brandon Hearnsberger as Tonio
Daniel Regojo as Kai
Andrew Love as Matsuda
Additional Voice Dub Cast:
Shannon D. Reed
English Dub Crew:
English Dub ADR Director: Shannon D. Reed
English Dub ADR Scriptwriters: Shannon D. Reed, Kalin Black
English Dub Audio Mix: Brent Marshall
English Dub Audio Engineer: David Lascoe
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