Translations Archive

Flying Postman Press April 2015 issue (20 March 2015)

“F” not only stands for “Freeza”, it stands for “fans” too

Ryūsei Nakao, who has served as the voice of Freeza from the TV anime series all the way up to the present, testifies! What is Freeza’s shocking strength in this new movie—?

What were your initial thoughts when you heard that Freeza was being brought back for this movie?
I just thought, “Alright! This is great!” I feel like the “F” not only stands for “Freeza”, it stands for “fans” too. It’s because of all the people who have supported him for so long that Freeza’s come back. People tell me all the time how “that thing Freeza said was a classic line”, but back when I was performing it I never thought “oh, this is a classic line” or anything like that. It’s the people who love the character that have made those lines into classics. I think I’m truly fortunate to have been able to encounter a character like this.
What do you think is Freeza’s appeal?
Probably his biggest appeal is his evolutionary process, the way he gets stronger each time he transforms. I’m quite fond of his first form, and this time around it makes its first appearance in a long while. Freeza’s final form is great, too. He feels a bit like a kuge1. His expressions and the way he talks as if he’s better than everyone else are just like the kuge. (laughs)
How about his mentality?
Akira Toriyama-sensei is very skilled when it comes to crafting characters with certain kinds of handicaps. It’s interesting to see how they try and deal with their handicaps. Freeza’s definitely a man who’s grown strong as he’s tried to compensate for his handicaps, in particular his complex towards his father. I think it’s probably one of the things that contributes to his appeal.
What was important when performing the role of Freeza this time around?
The most important thing was not to ruin his image. Making sure with each line that people won’t think “has he changed?” So that when they hear his hateful and repulsive voice, they’ll go “That’s it! That’s the voice!” The recording sessions were a blast. I managed to record a “new Freeza” while having fun with the actress who plays Goku, Mako-san (Masako Nozawa). Every time we meet up when I’m recording something new as Freeza, Mako-san always says “I truly despise you!” (laughs) This time around it was great to get to hear those emotion-soaked words again. I’m playing the bad guy, so the more I’m hated, the happier I am. I think this time everyone will totally hate my guts. (laughs)
It seems Freeza is getting a further evolution in this film.
That’s right, he goes even higher than his final form. It’s a transformation that’s pretty simple visually. Basically, he turns gold. (laughs) And his battle power goes through the roof, so I think you’ll get to see some fantastic battles. Above all, they’re really fast. In fact, they’re so fast that sometimes when we were dubbing in our voices we couldn’t keep up, so when Goku and Freeza were attacking or defending, we’d get the order switched around. “That’s backwards! I’m the one attacking now, and Mako-san’s the one getting beat up!”, that sort of thing. (laughs) Anyway, there’s some extremely fast and sharp battles.
By the way, how high do you suppose Freeza’s battle power has gotten now?
He’s a nice guy, so maybe 100 quintillion?2
Such unimaginable strength!
Something like that anyway; he’s really something special. (laughs) (In this new movie) as far as Freeza’s concerned, you could say he “loses the battle, but wins the match”. Stay in your seats when the ending credits start to roll, and keep watching until the very end.
Ryūsei Nakao
Born in Tokyo. He is active not only in numerous animated productions and dubs, but on the stage as well. Major works to which he has lent his voice include Soreike! Anpanman (as Baikinman), One Piece (as Caesar Clown), Bleach (as Mayuri Kurotsuchi), and Hook Book Row (as Mokuji).

The following translator notes are included for the benefit of the reader as supplemental information.

1 The kuge (公家) were a Japanese aristocratic class that dominated the Japanese imperial court in Kyoto.
2 Nakao is making a pun on Freeza being a “nice guy” (ナイスガイ; naisu gai) and his battle power being a “hundred quintillion” (垓; gai).
English Translation: Herms