Lets also not forget that Chris Sabat is not just lead voice director, but also the producer, and line producer, AND still voices a ridiculous amount of the cast. I'm sure that that's in NO way a coincidence whatsoever and his having so many voice roles - including a multitude of lead, prominent roles - is all 100% predicated ENTIRELY on his raw, searing, chameleon-like voice acting talent and versatility.XanatosVanBadass wrote: ↑Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:48 amMost likely due to his (bizarre) rabid fanbase. And even then most dub fans like these VAs because they voice the characters they like rather then any actual talent. I mean, Sean Schemmel is WORSHIPPED by the US Dragon Ball fanbase just because he’s the guy who got lucky enough to voice Goku in 1999.
I mean look, I get that on some level things like acting ability are somewhat subjective and up to personal taste... but at a certain threshold, there's just no getting around the fact that there is SOME line in the sand where subjective taste stops and flat out impossible-to-ignore objective reality sets in and asserts itself.
The reality is, by most professional industry standards, the "legacy" voice cast for FUNi's various Dragon Ball dubs are, at a bare minimum, INCREDIBLY forced, awkward, and unnatural sounding behind the mic. And its NOT due to their previous inexperience at this stage, because they've now been doing this for over 20 fucking years: and plenty of them STILL have only shown, at best, MARGINAL, incremental polish to their still otherwise hammy, over-wrought, hopelessly inorganic "sounds like a 6 year old banging his action figures together on the playground" core approach to voicing these characters.
And yes, I most certainly include Mignogna in that assessment: he is in NO way a great deal better or more notable in his acting ability (or lack thereof) than the likes of Schemmel and co. Calling his Broli performance "a tough act to follow" is wildly, laughably, hilariously stupid and ridiculous on its face, and forces one to wonder "Just what exactly does BAD acting even sound like to you then?" when people hype him up as some sort of phenom of a VA.
Setting Mignogna's gross, awful, disgusting personal behavior TOTALLY 100% aside entirely: even on just the sheer merits of his voice acting ability alone, he doesn't even rise to the level of a mediocrity and performs Broli with the same "sub-D level kiddie 'pew pew!' schlock" grade of "Power Rangers-tier" acting as most of the rest of the FUNi cast. He's every bit as much of a cringing "sinking lower and lower in your chair as you watch" embarrassment to listen to as Sabat, Strait, Nadolny, Schemmel, etc.
The reality is that a lot of the reason for why he and the other legacy FUNi VAs have clung onto these roles for so long has absolutely NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with their talent and merits as actors. Instead all it largely boils down to sheer, raw nepotism (again, just look no further in the case of Sabat - one of the least talented and least charismatic behind the mic of the whole sorry lot - than his myriad of production credits behind the scenes for proof of this) as well as moreover a bizarrely rabid, devoted, loyal fanbase whose sole, primary metric for judging these voices is pure nostalgic sentimental attachment, and pretty much almost NOTHING else besides.
There is absolutely almost ZERO critical standards that go into the VAST overwhelming majority of the Dragon Ball dub fanbase's judgement and assessment of what they hear in this dub: it is almost 90% across the board "This is what I first heard and got used to when I was a small child, it is therefore untouchably unassailable and irreplaceable by default."
And its THAT rabid, cult-like devotion combined with behind the scenes nepotism that is the sum total explanation for why these complete and utter no-talents have clung onto these roles for so long. Merit and acting ability are absolute dead-last on the list... if they're even on the list at all.
I think that what a LOT of people in the dub fanbase totally fail to grasp (and incidentally this is a VERY similar widely-held fallacy in most political discourse) is the idea that "Tenure" is in NO WAY WHATSOEVER the same thing as "Iconic" or "Indispensable". Just because something has been a certain way for so long DOES NOT AT ALL MEAN that it has been that way for a good or valid reason that has earned it its long-lasting status. Sometimes even the most putrid of shit will harden, adhere, and stick around for years and years and years and years on without being cleaned or sanitized.
And no, before some smartass chimes in with this, this logic DOES NOT apply to someone like Nozawa, who actually DOES have the (very much demonstrable and self-evident) talent and ability to back up and earn her her long-lasting "icon" status: not just as Goku, but in a whole HOST of other roles, one of which is arguably even MORE of a "vital cultural icon" than Goku (when an actor has not one, but MULTIPLE roles that are considered "culturally important and influential", that's about the point where their success can certainly be seen as not at all a fluke).
Think of it this way: think about how often you've seen SO MANY fans who were originally exposed to Schemmel (or one of the other English Goku VAs) and were so used to him that they could in NO WAY see anyone else as Goku... until somewhere down the line, even if they first initially were put off by her, they eventually came to really appreciate and even prefer Nozawa. Think about how many fans have, in the grand scheme of things, been often won over by Nozawa away from Schemmel.
Now think about the REVERSE for a minute: how often have you come across or heard from Nozawa fans who were much later on eventually "won over" later by Schemmel? I'm sure its happened at least a FEW times here or there on RARE occasions (just by sheer law of averages)... but overall, broadly speaking (and I say this as someone who's been neck deep in this fanbase for WAY too long now: more than 25 years) that simply ISN'T a thing that happens very often. Almost EVER.
On a long enough timeline, the flow of fandom appreciation and love for Goku voices only ever usually seems to generally skew in ONE direction overall. And honestly, that ISN'T really a coincidence at all. And THAT'S why, unlike Mignogna, whenever Nozawa does inevitably leave us, THAT will leave an ACTUAL, genuine large-scale talent vacuum that's going to be legitimately difficult as all hell for someone to fill. THAT will be a REAL instance of "a tough act to follow".
The bottom line is: something being set in place a certain way for even a very long stretch of time doesn't ALWAYS necessarily mean that its been that way due to sound reasoning or merit. There's a VERY long societal history of people who "fail upward".
And with regards to Dragon Ball voice casts, there is overall a VERY clear distinction that starkly separates almost the entire Japanese cast - the overwhelming majority of whom are critically lauded, time-tested industry legends from a culture that overall prizes and values voice acting as a general art form much, much, MUCH higher than does Western culture - from that of FUNimation's: the overwhelming majority of whom were originally bums hired off the streets on the cheap, who in many key instances (like Schemmel and Strait) have since then often done VERY minimal notable work outside of Dragon Ball and other dubs of very similar Shonen anime titles (that the Western fan community typically regards with WAY too much undue reverence and attention overall), who in many cases retain their jobs due to company nepotism, and who overall are working within a voice acting field in a culture that generally regards voice acting as FAR more disposable, dumpy, and unimportant than does Japanese culture.
All of which is to say: Mignogna is not, and has NEVER been some "great, iconic vocal talent". He's a crappy, basement-level non-talent who was lucky enough to "fail upward" in a company that has a VERY long history of rewarding nepotism (and indeed was literally FOUNDED ON nepotism) and within a highly insular fanbase of awkward dorks who place a ridiculously undue level of reverence and adoration on random junk that just so happened to be placed in their general periphery as small, uncritically engaged children.
It makes the fact that all that totally undue, unearned, and unwarranted clout and power he was given as a result enabled him to abuse it with so many women (many of whom were underage no less) just all that much more horrible, senseless, and infuriating. And it further makes all the throngs of basement-dwelling Youtube numbnuts lining up to publicly embarrass themselves by bending over backwards into ridiculous contortions of pretzel logic to defend this utter nobody (who again, isn't even at all a gifted talent at what he does in the first place) from totally indefensibly scummy acts just that much more punchable across the board.