Animazement 2013: Day 3 Report
Published by 27 May 2013, 9:58 PM EDT

Sundays are traditionally the slowest of the three days at most anime conventions, but Animazement, and in particular its Dragon Ball guests, were clearly not content to let things close out with a whimper. Some of the biggest events were still yet to come!

The entire group of Dragon Ball guests had done an autograph session following the big “West & East Dream Match” panel the previous day, but another session was scheduled for Sunday morning. Convention staff reported that only about 90 people were able to get autographs in said prior session, and so the line on Sunday — well beyond 200 people — was unfortunately capped at the first hundred to arrive. This led to many disappointed fans being turned away, but with more panels to come immediately following the autograph session, it was a necessary evil.


#99 & #100 in line on Sunday morning report their good fortune

The autograph session went approximately 10 minutes over schedule even with the cap, which led to a slightly shorter (45 minutes versus a full hour) “We Are Goku!” panel — packed to capacity — with both Masako Nozawa and Sean Schemmel. The topic of keeping versus replacing the voice actor in both languages was addressed several times. Nozawa noted how it had usually been the case that when a young male character (traditionally voiced by a woman) grew up, he was replaced with an older, male voice actor. In her case, Nozawa kept the role throughout the character’s entire life and was (in her own report) the first instance of this happening. On the English side, Schemmel noted how these decisions were (like in Japan) up to the producers of the show, and that he personally felt his own voice probably would not match a much younger Goku, anyway. When asked how the two actors would prepare for their Goku voice acting sessions, Nozawa retold the story of metaphorically “walking into” the role between the stool in her recording booth and up to the microphone. Schemmel found this answer fascinating, but could only follow it up by saying he always voiced Goku barefoot, which brought about a few laughs. Both actors also noted that they would provide input on lines of dialog in the script, and would voice concerns if something was written that they personally felt Goku would not say — in Schemmel’s case, particularly in Dragon Ball Kai, he was very concerned with finally and truly representing what was there in the original Japanese script, and would consult with translators and re-writers if something felt “off”. Expanding upon this in another question, Nozawa stated that she never even thought if there would be anything that she would change about Goku; she and Goku are one in the same, so it never came up. The fact that Goku was such an inspiring character was one that would be brought up time and time again in several panels, and this one was no different. Nozawa and Schemmel both explained that Goku was so cheerful and always working to better himself, but would also stand up to evil to protect his family and friends. Even during all of that, he never sought to be the center of attention.


Unfortunately, with such a huge group of guests, there was bound to be at least one major overlap even on the Japanese side of things. This occurred Sunday afternoon with “Ryūsei Nakao Off-line!” up against “We are VIDEL!” with both Kara Edwards and Yūko Minaguchi. We attended the former.

Nakao’s panel was perhaps the biggest surprise of the convention. Nozawa was her expected gracious and polite self, but would only heavily expand upon answers perhaps about half the time. Furukawa was a little more chatty and could get going on some fun tangents, but would occasionally need a little prodding from the audience and moderators. In all of those cases, the panels were general Q&A sessions from beginning to end. Nakao, however, had different plans. The incredibly personable, verbose and dapper actor came prepared with an entire DVD filled with examples of his various characters’ laughs and fighting noises. He moderated the entire panel himself (maybe about 40% in English on his own, and the rest in Japanese through translator Takayuki Karahashi), and in addition to the DVD, brought along plenty of giveaways. Nakao conducted a series of competitions between audience members to reproduce the best Freeza (Dragon Ball Z) and Caesar Clown (One Piece) laughs as well as fighting noises from a clip of Freeza versus Goku. After watching the fighting clip, it was muted for the batches of impromptu-seiyū to act along with. All competitors walked away with at least one trinket such as cards or erasers, but the winners of each round (chosen by applause from the rest of the audience) received little Dragon Ball toys.


Nakao left about 15 minutes at the end of his panel for general Q&As. Nakao explained that Toriyama likely wanted to create the strongest villain yet to fight against Goku, which is why he was given so many transformations. Our own question for Nakao was with regard to his voice for Coola, and what he did to separate it from being just Freeza’s voice. He explained that his Coola voice was a little more mature than Freeza’s was, since Coola was the elder to his “cute little brother Freeza”. There were a few voice requests from the crowd, including a very special (surprise) request from our community member theoriginalbilis:

Nakao concluded the panel by handing out trinkets and shaking the hand of every single audience member, a incredible way to bring the convention to a close.

Animazement 2013 was an experience like no other. Look for more clips and stories to come in the near future, particularly next week on our podcast!

Share This Post


Write a Reply or Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.