If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

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If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by WittyUsername » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:50 pm

I’ve said before that generally speaking, I’m not a fan of the practice of getting a woman to voice a male character. That’s not to say that I don’t have a ton of respect for Masako Nozawa as the voice of Goku. While I did find her voice jarring at first, I do think she very much is the definitive Goku, and I can’t imagine anyone other than her voicing the character in Japanese. With that said, I’ve always been of the opinion that as far as English language dubs are concerned, a female voice actress for Goku probably wouldn’t work very well. Still, I’m sure there are people who would disagree with me, so if Goku had to be voiced by a woman in English, who would it ought to be?

Right off the bat, I’m sure a popular choice would be Colleen Clinkenbeard, given that not only does she voice Kid Goku, but she also voices Luffy, who is a very similar character to Goku. Personally, that seems like a bit too blatant a case of typecasting to me, and I feel like the voice would sound a bit more weird coming out of an adult like Goku than it does for a skinny teenager like Luffy, but that’s just me.

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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by KBABZ » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:03 pm

Hellen Mirren.



...yeah I honestly have no idea on this one!

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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by Dbzfan94 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:06 pm

Colleen would be a terrible Adult Goku in my opinion.

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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by Gyt Kaliba » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:18 pm

Bringing up Colleen does raise an interesting point though. I agree that she'd probably be incredibly ill-fitting as adult Goku (I love her as an actress, but I'm already not a huge fan of her kid Goku as it is really), but finding an English speaking voice actress who can play kid Goku and then can easily enough alter the voice just enough to sound like an older version of that same voice is probably the best way to go, rather than just coming up with a woman to play specifically adult Goku. A big part of why Nozawa's adult Goku works is all the years she spent playing kid Goku first, to really come to know the character and nail all of his intricacies.

As far as who could be good for that...that's a tougher one. We really don't have very many actresses who play adult male characters, so there's really not a ton of precedence to work with here. Just off the top of my head though, Mona Marshall could maybe work? She's played a ton of kid characters before, and has done at least one older variant of one of her kid characters, and she has a pretty distinctive sound to her voice a lot like Nozawa does.

Something to consider as well is that the direction is going to play a big part in how well it turns out too. Take Derek Stephen Prince's Freeza in the Bang Zoom dub of Super, for example. When I first heard that he was cast in the role, I was both excited and a little apprehensive (as much as I could be either for a dub I was only going to see in clips that is). I felt (and still feel) like Prince's voice and acting could actually really work for the role, with the proper direction. But with improper direction, it could also turn out not the greatest, which IMO, is exactly what it turned out to be sadly. So even if we cast the perfect woman in the role, if the direction was poor, it could still turn out less than stellar.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by Vijay » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:34 pm

In English? None of em will ever catch dat funny & cool persona of Goku

There's plenty of em in jap though...and maybe with right amount of fine-tuning, the seiyuu's (Megumi Han, Romi Park) wud be able to voice completly in English

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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by 8000 Saiyan » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:48 pm

There are some male characters that could work with women voicing them in English, but in Goku's case, it wouldn't work.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:24 am

Whoever had already voiced Goku as a child throughout the DB series up to the point when Goku grows up.

I truly believe that's the way it would work; if there was to be a female casting for adult Goku in English, she would probably have had to have already played Goku for the 132 episodes preceding Goku's sudden adulthood in the Piccolo arc.
People would be used to that voice of Goku, and as with Masako Nozawa, it would simply feel like a natural progression of the character, and voice, that we've known for 132 episodes.
And naturally, when such a dubbing effort reaches episode 154, the first episode we categorise as "Z", the casting would remain the same.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:35 am

Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:24 am
Whoever had already voiced Goku as a child throughout the DB series up to the point when Goku grows up.

I truly believe that's the way it would work; if there was to be a female casting for adult Goku in English, she would probably have had to have already played Goku for the 132 episodes preceding Goku's sudden adulthood in the Piccolo arc.
People would be used to that voice of Goku, and as with Masako Nozawa, it would simply feel like a natural progression of the character, and voice, that we've known for 132 episodes.
And naturally, when such a dubbing effort reaches episode 154, the first episode we categorise as "Z", the casting would remain the same.
Could you honestly see Stephanie Nadolny voicing Adult Goku? Like pretend when they were dubbing Dragon Ball back in the early 2000s Schemmel and Funi had a falling out and Sabat or whoever said “Fuck it let’s just do what the Japanese did and keep kid Goku’s voice actress for when he grows up and have her redub Schmmel for Z as well”


I don’t think it’s as simple as “Nozawa started as Kid Goku so viewers became adjusted to her voicing him as an adult” Nozawa is just that talented. My first time hearing her Goku was adult Goku and didn’t need to watch her voice Kid Goku for 132 episodes to appreciate how good of a performance it was.

It felt natural with Nozawa because she was talented enough to adjust her pitch to make Goku sound older but still keeping his kid charm.


I honestly can’t see Nadolny or Clinkenbeard voicing Adult Goku they’re just too forced.

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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:40 am

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:35 am
Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:24 am
Whoever had already voiced Goku as a child throughout the DB series up to the point when Goku grows up.

I truly believe that's the way it would work; if there was to be a female casting for adult Goku in English, she would probably have had to have already played Goku for the 132 episodes preceding Goku's sudden adulthood in the Piccolo arc.
People would be used to that voice of Goku, and as with Masako Nozawa, it would simply feel like a natural progression of the character, and voice, that we've known for 132 episodes.
And naturally, when such a dubbing effort reaches episode 154, the first episode we categorise as "Z", the casting would remain the same.
Could you honestly see Stephanie Nadolny voicing Adult Goku? Like pretend when they were dubbing Dragon Ball back in the early 2000s Schemmel and Funi had a falling out and Sabat or whoever said “Fuck it let’s just do what the Japanese did and keep kid Goku’s voice actress for when he grows up and have her redub Schmmel for Z as well”


I don’t think it’s as simple as “Nozawa started as Kid Goku so viewers became adjusted to her voicing him as an adult” Nozawa is just that talented. My first time hearing her Goku was adult Goku and didn’t need to watch her voice Kid Goku for 132 episodes to appreciate how good of a performance it was.

I honestly can’t see Nadolny or Clinkenbeard voicing Adult Goku they’re just too forced.
That and for the most part you really can't match that type of casting with VA's here, although there have been some occasional exceptions here and there like early on in Ranma 1/2's dub when Sarah Strange was both halves of Ranma and she did a rather good male voice impression although that's offset by the fact that the latter's a teenage boy not an adult.

Yeah, both of them i don't think could do the same as Masako Nozawa in terms of pitching the voice down to sound convincingly adult enough for Goku. It would be about the same as saying if they would work for teen/adult Gohan as both Stephanie and Colleen had voiced the child versions of him previously.

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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:01 am

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:35 am
Could you honestly see Stephanie Nadolny voicing Adult Goku?
No. But then again, she was a pretty bad casting as the younger Gohan and Goku too, so... Not like she'd be any worse as adult Goku than she was as her other castings in the show.

But no, I don't think she'd be a good casting. I assumed the kind of fantasyland I was shooting for where they got a great casting from the start was implied when I implied they would dub from the beginning of DB, all the way through chronologically.

Let's say for the sake of argument that in my head, I was picturing a scenario where Dragon Ball was cast from either Vancouver or LA, from the start of the show, with a good budget, and they had the idea that their Goku casting might go on to grow up into an adult, because one of the producers of Toei gave some rather helpful notes on where the show goes, where the characters go, etc. So they had a solid casting of Goku from the beginning, and the actress was good enough that she convincingly pulled off an older Goku.

No idea who could do it, but I'm sure there's someone who can. Lot of talented actors in LA and Vancouver; quite a lot in Texas too, though in the fantasy scenario I've dreamed up here, I imagine this would be before Texas really grew into what it is today.
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:35 am
I don’t think it’s as simple as “Nozawa started as Kid Goku so viewers became adjusted to her voicing him as an adult” Nozawa is just that talented. My first time hearing her Goku was adult Goku and didn’t need to watch her voice Kid Goku for 132 episodes to appreciate how good of a performance it was.
Sure.

However, I think for English-speakers, they would never cast a woman as an adult Goku unless she'd already been voicing the younger Goku for several years, and everyone had grown so attached that the same thing that went through the Japanese producers' heads went through the English guys' heads; "What if, instead of recasting our iconic Goku, we just... Kept this brilliant casting?"

As for who it would actually be, I don't really know. We'd have to see. Maybe Saffron Henderson? I'm only really familiar with her work in Dragon Ball, but she seems like a great actress, so if she has the range to pull off an older Goku, then why not.
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:35 am
I honestly can’t see Nadolny or Clinkenbeard voicing Adult Goku they’re just too forced.
I've always been an advocate of Clinkenbeard as Goku/Gohan, as she is an improvement on Nadolny. Yes, her voice is somewhat annoying at times -- so was Nadolny's; the difference is Clinkenbeard actually acts. Nadolny just sounded like she was sitting there, kinda bored, reading the lines off a prompter.
What I'm getting at is, while I would agree with the "Forced" description for Nadolny, I don't think I'd apply that to Clinkenbeard... Her voice can sound a little annoying at times, but she's voicing an 8-year-old. 8-year-olds often have annoying voices. And I'd argue her performance was solid.

As for Clinkenbeard as an adult Goku?... Maybe not. Honestly I hesitate to judge; voice actors have a knack for surprising you, and I've heard a lot of praise for Clinkenbeard's performance as Luffy in One Piece, so... I'd rather not cast judgement.
But just for the sake of argument? I would guess Clinkenbeard would not be the best possible casting for an all-ages Goku.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:22 am

Barbara Goodson.

-She has some experience under her belt voicing Goku.
-She can do several different boy voices, which would allow some differentiation between Goku, Gohan, and Goten.
-She could sound relatively similar to Masako Nozawa.
-She's great at screaming...Tony Oliver once told me at a dubbing class I went to that apparently, for her Power Rangers sessions, they had to use a completely different mic for her that was better-suited to handle Rita's screaming.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:23 am

TheBlackPaladin wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:22 am
Barbara Goodson.

-She has some experience under her belt voicing Goku.
-She can do several different boy voices, which would allow some differentiation between Goku, Gohan, and Goten.
-She could sound relatively similar to Masako Nozawa.
-She's great at screaming...Tony Oliver once told me at a dubbing class I went to that apparently, for her Power Rangers sessions, they had to use a completely different mic for her that was better-suited to handle Rita's screaming.
That's a great point.

And now you've made me sadder that Harmony Gold's dub didn't continue on further.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:28 am

Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:23 am
TheBlackPaladin wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:22 am
Barbara Goodson.

-She has some experience under her belt voicing Goku.
-She can do several different boy voices, which would allow some differentiation between Goku, Gohan, and Goten.
-She could sound relatively similar to Masako Nozawa.
-She's great at screaming...Tony Oliver once told me at a dubbing class I went to that apparently, for her Power Rangers sessions, they had to use a completely different mic for her that was better-suited to handle Rita's screaming.
That's a great point.

And now you've made me sadder that Harmony Gold's dub didn't continue on further.
Eh, it was probably for the best that it didn't. Considering how early it was dubbed, when there wasn't really a market for uncut anime, it would have made a bilingual, uncut release borderline-impossible. Plus, with all it changed, a re-dub would have been inevitable.

That said, for whatever shortcomings that dub had, I continue to think that Barbara Goodson was phenomenal casting as Zero Goku.
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: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:57 pm

Goodson was a very good impression of Nozawa’s Kid Goku albeit it has that 80’s kids cartoon vibe. What little I’ve seen of the dub wouldn’t feel out of place airing alongside The Smurfs or Pup Named Scooby Doo or what have you.

Harmony Gold’s dub might have been been better than Funimation in that it would have better voice actors
but that’s about it. We would have been better off with Pioneer or AnimEigo licensing the series. I think they both often utilized a Californian based talent pool that overlapped with what Harmony Gold used.

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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by Gyt Kaliba » Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:24 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:35 am
I don’t think it’s as simple as “Nozawa started as Kid Goku so viewers became adjusted to her voicing him as an adult” Nozawa is just that talented. My first time hearing her Goku was adult Goku and didn’t need to watch her voice Kid Goku for 132 episodes to appreciate how good of a performance it was.
Agreed on Nozawa just being that damn good. I didn't mean to imply that the only reason Nozawa is good as adult Goku is that she played him for so many years before, but I do think that that's a big reason as to why. Years of playing the character gave her a deeper understanding of the character than it would have if she'd only been cast as him at the start of Z or something. It's part of why the FUNi cast by and large has gotten so much better over the years too. They've finally actually played the entirety of their characters' arcs via various games, Kai, and what not, so they have a way deeper understanding of the characters than they ever did back in the olden days.
Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:01 am
However, I think for English-speakers, they would never cast a woman as an adult Goku unless she'd already been voicing the younger Goku for several years, and everyone had grown so attached that the same thing that went through the Japanese producers' heads went through the English guys' heads; "What if, instead of recasting our iconic Goku, we just... Kept this brilliant casting?"
Exactly. Ironically, we have one major example of that in anime dubbing nowadays too, with Naruto Uzumaki from the Naruto franchise. The staff in it's production, as well as a fair amount of it's dub-following fans, felt like Maile Flannigan nailed the character enough throughout all of Naruto, that they just kept her for the older version of the character in Naruto Shippuden, which has now lead to her keeping the role even as he became a full-on adult and father in Boruto. And a big part of why that happened I feel is because we'd had her playing him for so long, from day 1 of Naruto. With Dragon Ball unfortunately though, we ended up getting DBZ 'first' (there were attempts to bring the first series here before that of course, with the aforementioned Barbara Goodson take on Goku, but the first full successful run was with Z), so kid Goku's voice became an afterthought casting rather than us starting with that version as we should have.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by PhoenixEX » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:54 pm

The lady that voices Naruto should voice Goku with the exact same voice she uses for Naruto.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:29 pm

The one who voices all the female characters in Big Green's dub should voice him. :mrgreen:
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:50 pm

Dude...she died.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:53 pm

PhoenixEX wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:54 pm
The lady that voices Naruto should voice Goku with the exact same voice she uses for Naruto.
At that point you might as well get Nadolny to voice Adult Goku

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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by Robo4900 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:11 am

Cure Dragon 255 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:50 pm
Dude...she died.
I'd argue that's largely irrelevant to the joke, though it is indeed rather sad. Still, ultimately the silliness of Big Green has brought us much joy, so she'd probably be quite happy to know her work continues to put smiles on peoples' faces, so... I stand by my joke.
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