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

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

Post by Cursed Lemon » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:16 am

I think the question that needs to be answered is whether or not Nozawa's portrayal of adult Goku is heard as "feminine" at all by Japanese listeners.

It's difficult to imagine English Goku as having a mildly effeminate voice.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by MasenkoHA » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:35 am

Cursed Lemon wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:16 am
I think the question that needs to be answered is whether or not Nozawa's portrayal of adult Goku is heard as "feminine" at all by Japanese listeners.
.
It’s not feminine to people with ears. Or at least no more feminine than what you would expect from a young boy

The whole granny Goku insults people like to throw on the Japanese version never had an iota of validity. She voices Goku like a young boy. Compare Nozawa’s Goku to any actual female character. Nozawa is clearly voicing Goku in a lower register so he sounds like a perpetual 10-year old

I think the problem is the fandom, largely, has a rigid idea of masculinity. Goku has bulging muscles and is super strong so he should have a deep macho voice.

It’s the same with the complaints levied at Clinkenbeard’s Gohan by old funi dub fans. “it’s too feminine” it’s no more feminine than what would be expected of a young boy who hasn’t gone through puberty.

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

Post by WittyUsername » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:28 am

The only time an English dub of Dragon Ball gave Goku a “deep macho voice” was with the AB Group dub. I never understood this argument that Sean Schemmel makes Goku sound “macho”. From what I can tell, this idea that Sean Schemmel makes Goku sound “macho” is often something detractors argue about whenever some dub fans try to claim that Nozawa makes Goku sound “feminine” and “gay”, which of course is a ridiculous notion itself.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that Nozawa doesn’t make Goku sound feminine (in fact, part of the reason her voice works is because of how androgynous it sounds) and Schemmel doesn’t make Goku sound especially masculine.

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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 12:00 pm

WittyUsername wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:28 am
The only time an English dub of Dragon Ball gave Goku a “deep macho voice” was with the AB Group dub.
Even that wasn't really "Macho". Just deep. He didn't sound macho so much as he sounded rather aloof.

Rather a shame that the French English cast was handled so badly, though; I think David Gasman could have given us a really great take on Goku, if he'd gone for something more reminiscent of his Rayman.

Though honestly, even his deeper, aloof take could have been fun with better dialogue and direction.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by Thanos » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:37 am

I can’t imagine there’s any other woman on Earth that could pull it off, let alone in English; Nozawa is truly a one-off and Toriyama had an amazing instinct in imagining her as his voice. He cast her as Goku as a kid; she could’ve easily done well there but sucked as the adult version but she nailed it. There was no way of knowing, almost 35 years ago, that she would’ve put on a flawless performance as Goku Black, but it just happened that way.

I always imagined a male with a boyish, higher register being able to pull it off. Like Joshua Seth who played Tai in Digimon—he convincingly pulls off kid and adult roles (whether it would’ve fit Goku is another matter). After a time, Schemmel managed to stumble his way into a fairly competent Goku (I guess 20 years of practice will do that for you), but he’s still way too “bass-y” to have a kid voice.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by MasenkoHA » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:27 am

Thanos wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:37 am


I always imagined a male with a boyish, higher register being able to pull it off. Like Joshua Seth who played Tai in Digimon—he convincingly pulls off kid and adult roles (whether it would’ve fit Goku is another matter). After a time, Schemmel managed to stumble his way into a fairly competent Goku (I guess 20 years of practice will do that for you), but he’s still way too “bass-y” to have a kid voice.
Ehh I dunno I just rewatched the Akira dub a couple weeks ago where Joshua Seth voiced Tetsuo. I see what you mean of him being a male who has a naturally higher register but I can’t see him being a good Son Goku for some reason.

I could see him as a good Kuririn for sure.

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

Post by 8000 Saiyan » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:40 pm

Thanos wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:37 am
I can’t imagine there’s any other woman on Earth that could pull it off, let alone in English; Nozawa is truly a one-off and Toriyama had an amazing instinct in imagining her as his voice. He cast her as Goku as a kid; she could’ve easily done well there but sucked as the adult version but she nailed it. There was no way of knowing, almost 35 years ago, that she would’ve put on a flawless performance as Goku Black, but it just happened that way.

I always imagined a male with a boyish, higher register being able to pull it off. Like Joshua Seth who played Tai in Digimon—he convincingly pulls off kid and adult roles (whether it would’ve fit Goku is another matter). After a time, Schemmel managed to stumble his way into a fairly competent Goku (I guess 20 years of practice will do that for you), but he’s still way too “bass-y” to have a kid voice.
She did Turles (who's basically Goku if he had never hit his head) back in the 90's, so I knew that she could do the same thing with Goku Black.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by omegacwa » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:11 pm

When I hear Nozawa I don't hear a woman's voice. People who use the slight that Goku in Japanese sounds like an "old woman" are just being prejudice.

It's kind of like Bart Simpson in English. He doesn't sound like a woman to me at all and when you actually see the actress performing the voice it's slightly disturbing.

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

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:01 pm

omegacwa wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:11 pm
When I hear Nozawa I don't hear a woman's voice. People who use the slight that Goku in Japanese sounds like an "old woman" are just being prejudice.
I must respectfully disagree. To qualify as prejudice, the reasoning those people are using would have to be something along the lines of, "A woman shouldn't voice Goku period," or, "An old woman shouldn't be allowed to voice Goku." Yes, that would be prejudiced against women, old people, and old women. However, to say, "It's OK if an old woman voices Goku, but the voice that Masako Nozawa uses for him sounds like an old woman to me that doesn't feel like it would come out of that obviously male body, and it sounds distracting as a result"...is not prejudice, that's a subjective opinion.

Personally, I don't hear for a ton of people asking for Goku to have a "badass, deep, macho" voice. Rather, I hear people people preferring that his voice sound recognizably male. A great example would be Peter Kelamis--his voice is most definitely a high-pitched voice, but it still sounds like a high-pitched male voice. Thus, it's easier for a lot of people to accept. For that matter, I'm surprised to hear as many people as I have refer to Sean Schemmel's voice for Goku as "deep"...looking at all the other international dubs, he's actually one of the higher-pitched voices that Goku has had. Not the highest-pitched, no, but among the higher ones.

As much as we may not like to admit it, acting isn't all that matters when it comes to effective casting choices--the actor's look and sound are factors. For example, Danny DeVito is a phenomenal actor, but I'd never cast him as Superman. I'm sure he could act the part just fine, but his appearance would be distracting to the point where people would have a difficult time accepting that he's the "Man of Steel."

All that to say...there's nothing wrong with a woman voicing Goku, but where it gets tricky is that her voice definitely sounds like a woman's voice, and that's too distracting for many people. Heck, it was distracting for me for quite a while. I still don't think her voice sounds like it would come out of an adult male's body. Rather, I came to accept her performance as grown-up Goku by embracing how strange her voice was, and acknowledging that a strange voice fits for a strange guy like Goku.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by ABED » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:32 pm

omegacwa wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:11 pm
When I hear Nozawa I don't hear a woman's voice. People who use the slight that Goku in Japanese sounds like an "old woman" are just being prejudice.

It's kind of like Bart Simpson in English. He doesn't sound like a woman to me at all and when you actually see the actress performing the voice it's slightly disturbing.
Because Bart is a 10 year old boy.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:15 pm

TheBlackPaladin wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:01 pm

I must respectfully disagree. To qualify as prejudice, the reasoning those people are using would have to be something along the lines of, "A woman shouldn't voice Goku period," or, "An old woman shouldn't be allowed to voice Goku." Yes, that would be prejudiced against women, old people, and old women. However, to say, "It's OK if an old woman voices Goku, but the voice that Masako Nozawa uses for him sounds like an old woman to me that doesn't feel like it would come out of that obviously male body, and it sounds distracting as a result"...is not prejudice, that's a subjective opinion.
But here’s the thing Masako Nozawa’s Goku doesn’t sound like an old woman. You can certainly tell it’s a woman doing the voice but in the same way you can usually tell when a woman is voicing a little boy. You suspend your disbelief. Since people are using Nancy Cartwright’s Bart as an example, it’s very obviously not a real young boy doing the voice and you can tell it’s a woman doing a boy voice but “it’s close enough”

Fans who refer to Nozawa’s Goku as “Granny Goku” are unquestionably being prejudice toward Miss Nozawa’s age and appearance rather than her talent or skill as an actress and judging the performance separate from the actresses physical appearance.

I’ve seen a smaller segment of fans who don’t like Nozawa’s Goku because it’s too high pitched or they don’t think Goku should still “sound like a little boy” which is at least an honest opinion and not “Goku sounds like an old woman because I’ve never heard an old woman speak in my life
the actor's look and sound are factors. For example, Danny DeVito is a phenomenal actor, but I'd never cast him as Superman.
Live action acting=/= voice acting. Physical appearance doesn’t factor into voice acting. Nobody is saying Nozawa should play Goku in live action.

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

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:52 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:15 pm
TheBlackPaladin wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:01 pm

I must respectfully disagree. To qualify as prejudice, the reasoning those people are using would have to be something along the lines of, "A woman shouldn't voice Goku period," or, "An old woman shouldn't be allowed to voice Goku." Yes, that would be prejudiced against women, old people, and old women. However, to say, "It's OK if an old woman voices Goku, but the voice that Masako Nozawa uses for him sounds like an old woman to me that doesn't feel like it would come out of that obviously male body, and it sounds distracting as a result"...is not prejudice, that's a subjective opinion.
But here’s the thing Masako Nozawa’s Goku doesn’t sound like an old woman. You can certainly tell it’s a woman doing the voice but in the same way you can usually tell when a woman is voicing a little boy. You suspend your disbelief. Since people are using Nancy Cartwright’s Bart as an example, it’s very obviously not a real young boy doing the voice and you can tell it’s a woman doing a boy voice but “it’s close enough."
Certainly, but how strong a suspension of disbelief is will vary from person to person. I personally don't think Masako Nozawa's voice for Goku sounds like an old woman, but to be honest, I can understand why others would get that impression.

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:15 pm
TheBlackPaladin wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:01 pm
the actor's look and sound are factors. For example, Danny DeVito is a phenomenal actor, but I'd never cast him as Superman.
Live action acting=/= voice acting. Physical appearance doesn’t factor into voice acting. Nobody is saying Nozawa should play Goku in live action.
Oh trust me, I couldn't agree more!* What I meant was that there are qualities beyond an actor's acting ability that determine whether or not they're a good fit for a role. Using a visual example wasn't a good idea on my part as it doesn't illustrate my point. Let's put it another way: casting Gilbert Gottfried to voice Superman in an animated production wouldn't be a good idea, because even if his acting was perfectly on-point, his voice would make the character very difficult to take seriously.

*That said, the Japanese voice acting industry is such that how "handsome" or "beautiful" a seiyuu is actually is taken into account, sadly. That's more of a modern development that wasn't in place back when Dragon Ball was first cast, but both Japanese animation studios and Japanese talent agencies nowadays see a seiyuu's physical attractiveness as part of their marketability...and, by extension, a reflection of the marketability of the projects they're involved in.

That shouldn't matter, because, like you very accurately noted, nobody sees a voice actor during their performance...but, that's the reality of the biz over in Japan now.

Worse yet, it's even starting to creep into the dub side of things--I know of a few anime dubs (at least in LA) where the Japanese producers requested headshots of the dub actors as part of their dub casting approval process.Thankfully this isn't super-common, but it has been known to happen.
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 SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:55 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:15 pm
TheBlackPaladin wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:01 pm

I must respectfully disagree. To qualify as prejudice, the reasoning those people are using would have to be something along the lines of, "A woman shouldn't voice Goku period," or, "An old woman shouldn't be allowed to voice Goku." Yes, that would be prejudiced against women, old people, and old women. However, to say, "It's OK if an old woman voices Goku, but the voice that Masako Nozawa uses for him sounds like an old woman to me that doesn't feel like it would come out of that obviously male body, and it sounds distracting as a result"...is not prejudice, that's a subjective opinion.
But here’s the thing Masako Nozawa’s Goku doesn’t sound like an old woman. You can certainly tell it’s a woman doing the voice but in the same way you can usually tell when a woman is voicing a little boy. You suspend your disbelief. Since people are using Nancy Cartwright’s Bart as an example, it’s very obviously not a real young boy doing the voice and you can tell it’s a woman doing a boy voice but “it’s close enough”

Fans who refer to Nozawa’s Goku as “Granny Goku” are unquestionably being prejudice toward Miss Nozawa’s age and appearance rather than her talent or skill as an actress and judging the performance separate from the actresses physical appearance.

I’ve seen a smaller segment of fans who don’t like Nozawa’s Goku because it’s too high pitched or they don’t think Goku should still “sound like a little boy” which is at least an honest opinion and not “Goku sounds like an old woman because I’ve never heard an old woman speak in my life
the actor's look and sound are factors. For example, Danny DeVito is a phenomenal actor, but I'd never cast him as Superman.
Live action acting=/= voice acting. Physical appearance doesn’t factor into voice acting. Nobody is saying Nozawa should play Goku in live action.
Exactly, i just don't get the level of shade and dislike that some people throw at her performance as Goku and to a lesser extent Gohan and Goten. Yes it's a woman doing their voices but so what? It doesn't sound "too feminine" or "old lady" and never has to me because she's been the one and only voice behind them all since the series began over 30 years ago. Then again i would bet some of those people complaining about her performance are fans of the dub who are so used to Sean Schemmel's take and have barely if ever watched the Japanese version. It's a unique performance among the many VA's behind Goku and never struck me along the lines in which those mentioned above criticize it for.

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

Post by Gyt Kaliba » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:23 am

TheBlackPaladin wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:52 pm
*That said, the Japanese voice acting industry is such that how "handsome" or "beautiful" a seiyuu is actually is taken into account, sadly. That's more of a modern development that wasn't in place back when Dragon Ball was first cast, but both Japanese animation studios and Japanese talent agencies nowadays see a seiyuu's physical attractiveness as part of their marketability...and, by extension, a reflection of the marketability of the projects they're involved in.

That shouldn't matter, because, like you very accurately noted, nobody sees a voice actor during their performance...but, that's the reality of the biz over in Japan now.

Worse yet, it's even starting to creep into the dub side of things--I know of a few anime dubs (at least in LA) where the Japanese producers requested headshots of the dub actors as part of their dub casting approval process.Thankfully this isn't super-common, but it has been known to happen.
I've long started to suspect that that's started to creep in on the fan side of things at least a little bit too. While the week-to-week popularity will vary greatly, especially based on the announcement or release of projects they're in, I've noticed for a while now whenever I check Behind the Voice Actors for something that the 'Most Popular' actors on the side bar tend to be the ones that people would also call physically attractive generally. Hell, looking at the All Time Top Ten right now - Tara Strong, Jamie Marchi, Todd Haberkorn, Matthew Mercer, Johnny Yong Bosch, Bryce Papenbrook, Vic Mignogna, Cherami Leigh, Laura Bailey, and Monica Rial - while they're all actors with a ton of beloved roles, there's also not a single one amongst them that I haven't seen at least one person before comment on their attractiveness too.

Again, I don't really have any proof phenomenon, but it's awfully curious to me.
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Re: If a woman were to voice Goku in English, who should it be?

Post by omegacwa » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:00 am

I guess I don’t mean prejudice exactly, but I mean people hear it and immediately dismiss it as “granny Goku” as another poster stated.

I understand the voice might be “shocking” to someone who is first hearing it and saw the dub first, but to me, it doesn’t sound feminine. Compare it to say, Bulma, Chi Chi, Videl and so on. It doesn’t sound “womanly”. Undoubtedly it’s high pitch but that’s about it.

As much as I don’t really care for Goku as a character after the Namek arc I still greatly respect Nozawa and her performance.

Also to follow up on the Bart Simpson thing, I was just sighting that as an example of a woman voicing a male character in a way that is convincing and when you see the physical actress making that voice it looks odd because it does sound masculine. I understand Bart is 10 years old, but they have done “future” episodes with adult Bart and she still does the voice and it works in the same way as Goku, IMO.

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

Post by Super Sonic » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:02 pm

That's one of the great things about voiceover is that you're not limited to physical appearance as one may be with a live action performance. For example, James Avery and Kevin Michael Richardson did great voices for the Shredder. They couldn't play him in a live action role as they were different body types and not Japanese, but their vocal performances were good and fit well in animation.

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