The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

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The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by Spiral_Mage_88 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:22 am

Hello,
I'm searching informations about the whys Japanese Adult Goku's Voice is so "sharp".*
In particular, my question is: Did Toriyama ever explain why he confirm Masako Nozawa for Adult Goku? Or should I say: Did Toriyama ever explain why Adult Goku's voice had to be so sharp?

In read theories regarding his "boy heart", and them seems quite interesting. But Is there an official explanation?


Note*
I'm not English, so I don't know if the word "sharp" is the better to define Goku's voice. But I think we all know very well how it sounds! XD
Last edited by Spiral_Mage_88 on Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by KBABZ » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:30 am

Spiral_Mage_88 wrote:Hello,
I'm searching informations about the whys Japanese Adult Goku's Voice is so "sharp".*
In particular, my question is: Did Toriyama ever explain why he choose Masako Nozawa also for Adult Goku? Or should I say: Did Toriyama ever explain why Adult Goku's voice had to be so sharp?

In read theories regarding his "boy heart", and them seems quite interesting. But Is there an official explanation?


Note*
I'm not English person, so I don't know if the word "sharp" is the better to define Goku's voice. But I think we all know very well how it sounds! XD
Toriyama approved the voice for Goku long before he appeared as an adult or teenager. When the anime debuted in 1986 (a good two years before Goku would grow up for the 23rd Tournament arc with Piccolo Jr.), Goku was a child, and Nozawa was cast in the role accordingly. At the time Toriyama probably had no intention of aging Goku up via a time skip, but when he did and the anime caught up, Nozawa was kept. I imagine Toei did this for both efficiency reasons and because it helps retain Goku's youthful approach to things. It is worth noting though that Kid Goku and Adult Goku are two different performances from Nozawa, and the two sound slightly different.

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by MasenkoHA » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:47 am

KBABZ wrote:. It is worth noting though that Kid Goku and Adult Goku are two different performances from Nozawa, and the two sound slightly different.
Surprisingly, I think her Adult Goku is even better than her Kid Goku. Though that could be because she had been doing the role for 3 years by the time she got to do Adult Goku.

I dunno I had a much harder time adjusting to Piccolo Jr sounding so “normal” than I did Goku being voiced by a woman.

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by KBABZ » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:23 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:I dunno I had a much harder time adjusting to Piccolo Jr sounding so “normal” than I did Goku being voiced by a woman.
I'm not well-versed with the Japanese voices so I don't have anything to contribute here!

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by jjgp1112 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:13 pm

People try to retroactively frame it as "They were trying to show how much he's a child at heart!" but let's call it what it really was: Masako Nozawa had already been Goku's VA for 120+ episodes and was what people were used to, so they stuck with her even when he grew up.
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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by MasenkoHA » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:21 pm

jjgp1112 wrote:People try to retroactively frame it as "They were trying to show how much he's a child at heart!" but let's call it what it really was: Masako Nozawa had already been Goku's VA for 120+ episodes and was what people were used to, so they stuck with her even when he grew up.
Most likely. I’ve noticed it seems to be a tendency in Japanese media to have the seiyuu keep the same voice even when they’re grown up/grown down. Maybe it’s a respect thing?

Takeshi Kusao voiced future Trunks and present Trunks I believe? And that’s basically the same principle in reverse.

At any rate Nozawa sounds perfect as Adult Goku so I have no issue with her being kept.

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:28 pm

jjgp1112 wrote:People try to retroactively frame it as "They were trying to show how much he's a child at heart!" but let's call it what it really was: Masako Nozawa had already been Goku's VA for 120+ episodes and was what people were used to, so they stuck with her even when he grew up.
Precisely.

If you dig through posts of mine in my earlier years at Kanzenshuu, you'll be able to find posts of me saying that I "can't stand" Maskao Nozawa as adult Goku. While I no longer hold that opinion at all, I do maintain that the reason Masako Nozawa continued to voice Goku as an adult was not an artistic ("to maintain his childlike essence") decision, but rather, more of a business decision based on how closely associated Nozawa had become with the character.

Like MasenkoHA mentioned, the idea that she was kept to keep Goku's child-like attitude doesn't explain any of the other voice actors who were cast according to the age the character initially appeared as, only for those voice actors to keep the role for when the character became a different age. That reasoning doesn't explain, for example, why she was also kept as the voice of adult Gohan, who is most decidedly not childlike. It also doesn't explain why Ryo Horikawa voiced Vegeta in the flashback scenes where Vegeta was still a child. Or why Mayumi Tanaka was kept as Kuririn (even in GT, when he had become an old man). For that matter, it also doesn't explain Takeshi Kusao, who voiced Trunks as a teenager and then "put on" a kid voice for when the character was a child in the Buu arc.

Applying Occam's razor here, the most logical explanation for why the characters kept their their first voice actor regardless of the character's initial age...is that Toei (and perhaps Toriyama as well) didn't want people to have to get used to "new" voices.
A "rather haggard" translation of a line from Future Gohan in DBZ, provided to FUNimation by Toei:
"To think of fighting that is this fun...so, it was pleasant fight, as many as, therefore is a feeling which is good the fight where."

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by Zephyr » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:30 pm

In addition to what others have said, for whatever it's worth, once Goku grows up, Nozawa does give Goku a slightly deeper voice.

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by The Tori-bot » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:53 pm

If people can't tell the difference between child Goku and adult Goku then they've not actually listened to Nozawa's performance(s).
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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by MasenkoHA » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:41 pm

The Tori-bot wrote:If people can't tell the difference between child Goku and adult Goku then they've not actually listened to Nozawa's performance(s).
Considering how many hardcore dub fans refer to Nozawa’s Adult Goku as Granny Goku despite the fact that Nozawa as Goku doesn’t sound the least bit like a grandmother or a woman for that matter I’m willing to wager they never listened to her performance and just saw in Japan that Goku is voiced by an older woman.

Seriously Granny Goku is up on my top list of things that annoy me about certain sections of the fandom.

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by Thanos » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:53 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
The Tori-bot wrote:If people can't tell the difference between child Goku and adult Goku then they've not actually listened to Nozawa's performance(s).
Considering how many hardcore dub fans refer to Nozawa’s Adult Goku as Granny Goku despite the fact that Nozawa as Goku doesn’t sound the least bit like a grandmother or a woman for that matter I’m willing to wager they never listened to her performance and just saw in Japan that Goku is voiced by an older woman.

Seriously Granny Goku is up on my top list of things that annoy me about certain sections of the fandom.
Can't disagree with any of this.

I'm fairly convinced the dub has poisoned fans into expecting Henry Cavill's voice to come out of his mouth or something. They've been primed for that sort of nonsense and if Dragon Ball had never been dubbed, anyone who watched it subbed probably wouldn't even really pay much notice or care that it just so happens to be a woman. When you've learned to expect a macho superhero persona, it will probably color your impression of the character in some way forever. Honestly, his first appearance at the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai isn't even remotely jarring. He just sounds like the character. Not to mention he's an alien in a cartoon about said aliens who turn into giant gorillas... yet they're hung up about the gender of his voice actor. Interesting.
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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:56 pm

The Tori-bot wrote:If people can't tell the difference between child Goku and adult Goku then they've not actually listened to Nozawa's performance(s).
I can only speak for myself, but in my case, it's not that I can't tell the difference so much as it is that I don't find the difference very convincing. When I first heard adult Goku in Japanese, I immediately felt that the voice actor had to be a woman (which I was very, very confused by), and my suspicions were later confirmed once I did my research.

Quite frankly, I still don't find her voice for adult Goku convincing in that I don't think it sounds like a man at all. There were two things that caused me to accept her voice:

1) Watching her performance from beginning to end (as in, from the first episode of Dragon Ball and onward). The first clip I ever heard of adult Goku in Japanese was the scene from where Goku had his first fight with Vegeta and was powering up via the Kaio-ken. I think everybody would agree that a scream is not the best way to be introduced to Nozawa as adult Goku. Seeing--or rather, hearing--Nozawa play the character as a child first and then changing her voice when Goku got older made it a lot easier to digest. Plus, it's a very fun evolution to listen to.

Ugh. Pardon my use of the word "Evolution."

2) Goku being a weird guy. Goku's a weird guy. Like, very weird. So, having a weird voice...is actually pretty appropriate, all things considered.

So, I love Nozawa now, both as adult Goku and child Goku. However, that love doesn't come from believing that her voice for the character as an adult sounds like a man. To me, even now, it simply doesn't sound like a man at all.
Thanos wrote:I'm fairly convinced the dub has poisoned fans into expecting Henry Cavill's voice to come out of his mouth or something. They've been primed for that sort of nonsense and if Dragon Ball had never been dubbed, anyone who watched it subbed probably wouldn't even really pay much notice or care that it just so happens to be a woman. When you've learned to expect a macho superhero persona, it will probably color your impression of the character in some way forever.
Once again, I can only speak for myself, but I never wanted Goku to sound super-macho-deep. In fact, the more child-like, the better, I just wanted him to sound like a male. The voice of Peter Kelamis as Goku is a phenomenal example. He definitely doesn't sound macho or super-deep, but he does sound like a man.

Water under the bridge at this point since I've come to like Nozawa as adult Goku, but I don't think how noticeably male or female a voice actor sounds is an irrelevant issue. For that matter, it's not an issue limited to dub fans...let's not forget all the criticism that the dub got for having Linda Young--whose voice was obviously a female--as Freeza.
A "rather haggard" translation of a line from Future Gohan in DBZ, provided to FUNimation by Toei:
"To think of fighting that is this fun...so, it was pleasant fight, as many as, therefore is a feeling which is good the fight where."

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by Gligarman » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:49 pm

Nozawa's kid Goku voice is one of the most adorable things I've ever heard. I also love her adult Goku voice because she makes him sound naive yet fierce.

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by MasenkoHA » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:18 am

TheBlackPaladin wrote: . The voice of Peter Kelamis as Goku is a phenomenal example. He definitely doesn't sound macho or super-deep, but he does sound like a man.

I do enjoy Kelamis’s voice is a bit of a higher register and is much more unique compared to other English Goku’s.

On the other hand he makes Goku sound like the 5th Ninja Turtle. I had a lot harder time adjusting to Kelamis Goku than Nozawa Goku
.let's not forget all the criticism that the dub got for having Linda Young--whose voice was obviously a female--as Freeza.
The difference is Nozawa’s Goku voice suits Goku. Linda Young’s Rita Repulsa chainsmoker voice does not fit Freeza’s character.

Considering how effiminate Freeza is a female voice could work I think. But not the way Young was directed.

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:43 am

MasenkoHA wrote:On the other hand he makes Goku sound like the 5th Ninja Turtle.
Mmm, I don't hear that personally, but you're not the first person I've heard say that. I've heard some people say that he had a bit of a "surfer dude" vibe going on, but I personally think that's just a case of his Canadian accent being a little on the thick side.
MasenkoHA wrote:Considering how effiminate Freeza is a female voice could work I think. But not the way Young was directed.
OK, fair enough. Actually, fun little side-fact, the only other dub that I'm aware of that cast a female as Freeza was the Greek dub. I can't say I know enough Greek to judge if the performance was good or not, though. For that matter, I can't say I know any Greek. :lol:
A "rather haggard" translation of a line from Future Gohan in DBZ, provided to FUNimation by Toei:
"To think of fighting that is this fun...so, it was pleasant fight, as many as, therefore is a feeling which is good the fight where."

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by Kunzait_83 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:29 am

TheBlackPaladin wrote:
MasenkoHA wrote:On the other hand he makes Goku sound like the 5th Ninja Turtle.
Mmm, I don't hear that personally, but you're not the first person I've heard say that. I've heard some people say that he had a bit of a "surfer dude" vibe going on, but I personally think that's just a case of his Canadian accent being a little on the thick side.
To a non-Canadian, Kelamis' Goku comes across VERY much as a "Whoah, cowabunga tubular man!!!" type of voice. Thing is, I've heard PLENTY of Canadian accents throughout my life, even some thick-ass ones: they usually just sound to me more like they're from deep rural Minnesota than anything else. Kelamis' Goku is literally the one and ONLY time I've EVER heard a Canadian accent sound so incredibly Surfer Bro-ish: so I'm inclined to think its really just him.

The one and only time Kelamis sounded even remotely passable as Goku was DBZ Movie 2 (where in a few key scenes he's actually probably easily the best ever English Goku we've ever had by a country mile): and that seems like it was probably a weird fluke more than anything else, relative to the rest of his time in the role. I have no idea what someone spiked his drink with that day, but damn was he great for about two seconds there!
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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by MasenkoHA » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:13 am

I hear more of a Canadian Accent from Ian Corlett’s Goku, honestly.

Kelamis Goku will never not sound to me like instead of being trained by the Turtle Hermit on an island he was trained by a mutant rat in a New York sewer.

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by ABED » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:00 am

I don't know what makes anyone think "Canadian" when they hear Kelamis' Goku. Canadian accents are closer to something you'd hear in Fargo.

Is there an interview with Nozawa or the powers that be about the decision to keep her in the role even as Goku became an adult.
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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by MasenkoHA » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:09 am

ABED wrote:I don't know what makes anyone think "Canadian" when they hear Kelamis' Goku. Canadian accents are closer to something you'd hear in Fargo.
I also don’t know how anyone else can hear anything but Surfer Bro/Ninja Turtle.

It’s not even Kelamis’s natural speaking voice. I wonder what the direction was? “Yo, make Goku sound hip and radical dude”?

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Re: The whys about Japanese Adult Goku's Voice

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:53 pm

ABED wrote:Is there an interview with Nozawa or the powers that be about the decision to keep her in the role even as Goku became an adult.
Not to my knowledge, but I could be wrong. I do recall reading one interview with Nozawa in which she said that she didn't think there were auditions for Gohan, because she learned she would be voicing him...the day she showed up for her first DBZ recording session. A cast list was posted in the studio, and one part of the list simply read, "Masako Nozawa - Gohan."

I know that's not really what you asked, but I bring it up only because it suggests that not every role was auditioned for. She said that she did indeed audition for Goku along with many other actresses, so auditions clearly went on to some degree, but it doesn't sound like that's how every role was cast. With some characters, it sounds like the powers-that-be just made automatic casting decisions based on previous casting decisions. It could very well be that keeping her as the voice of adult Goku was one such automatic decision.
A "rather haggard" translation of a line from Future Gohan in DBZ, provided to FUNimation by Toei:
"To think of fighting that is this fun...so, it was pleasant fight, as many as, therefore is a feeling which is good the fight where."

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