INTERVIEW: Behind The Voices Of Dragon Ball Super

The Dragon Ball saga began over 30 years ago and is still going as strong as any Super Saiyan Fusion form. If you are not familiar with the show, it is an anime that has overwhelmingly infiltrated the American entertainment industry. The series follows the adventures and lineage of Goku, a powerful and fun-loving saiyan. Throughout the past thirty years we have seen many variations of the saga and watched the characters grow before our eyes.

The characters and worlds have been engrained into the minds of several generations. Today, the company behind the show continues to roll out video games, shows, and movies. The current version of the saga is known as “Dragon Ball Super” and will see the release of the movie “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” in American theatres on January 2019.

This cross-cultural sensation owes its success to a variety of factors. The unique art and storytelling can’t be overlooked, with the voices behind the figures bring them to life. With the show being created overseas, it may shock fans to hear that many of the voice actors actually live in DFW.

This past week I spoke with a few of the legendary voices from the DB saga to get a better insight into their work and characters. Jason Douglas (voice of Beerus), Cynthia Cranz (voice of Chi Chi), and Jamie Marchi (voice of Marcarita) from Dragon Ball Super came together to answer a few of our questions.

 

ACTING BACKGROUND

How did you go from being a native Texan to voicing anime?

Cynthia Cranz: Well, since Funimation moved to Texas, I was fortunate enough to be able to audition and even more fortunate to be cast!

What is it like working in the film industry in DFW?

Jason Douglas: I was born in a small town in Arkansas and split time growing up there and in Houston. It’s been a blessing and a privilege to raise a family here in north Texas while having a career that takes me around the country and occasionally overseas. But I do wish there were more opportunities to work here in Dallas, or even other Texas cities. We had a competitive filming incentive program a few years ago, but the legislature killed it. Now Georgia is becoming the hottest shooting location in the country for film and television and Texas is drying up. It’s sad to see that happen.

How does playing Tobin on The Walking Dead compare to doing voiceovers?

Jason Douglas: It’s night and day, really. On-camera work requires you too believably portray your character physically, to move within the created circumstances of the show, and interact with other performers.

How did you get your start voicing anime? Did you originally plan on going into this area of acting?

Jamie Marchi: I have a BFA with an emphasis in acting. I performed a lot of theater and had also done a few commercial VOs before a random introduction a hundred years ago with an employee of Funimation led to my first audition with them. That led to my first voice-acting gig as Motoko Minagawa in Fruits Basket, and I’ve been voicing quirky and less-than-stable characters ever since. I never imagined this was where my career would land, but I’m delighted and grateful I’m here. 

When/how did your interest in anime develop?

Jamie Marchi: There wasn’t a lot of anime available when I started in the business. But, as I got sucked further and further into this genre, I loved it more and more. How could I not? 

I took a quick look at a list of titles that you have voiced and quickly became overwhelmed. Is there a particular character or series that you found most enjoyable?

Jamie Marchi: After so long in the business, it’s difficult to pick a favorite for me. Some characters are favorites because I loved performing them. Others are favorites because of personal connections I’ve made with other actors/directors/engineers while voicing them. Some are favorites because that character helped me through a particular time in my life. It depends on the day, to be honest. I have been very lucky to have so many really incredible characters.

 

CHARACTER QUESTIONS

In one word, how would you describe Chi Chi?

Cynthia Cranz: Intense!

As a son and married man, I would have to say that Chi Chi might be the most relatable character in the DB series; would you agree?

Cynthia Cranz: I really couldn't say, but many fans have told me that her strong mothering style was why their moms let them watch that show. On the other hand, some of my fans ask why Chi Chi is so harsh. Another appeal is that, since she is so crazy over the top, she provides some comedy.

Beerus is essentially the DBZ version of Thanos. Who wins in that fight?

Jason Douglas: I generally prefer to leave those speculations up to the fans, but I do think Beerus’s powers are linked to a more elemental aspect of the universe, whereas Thanos is ultimately subject to the physics of his universe. Beerus’s powers seem to come from outside his physical reality, while Thanos derives his power via manipulation of material elements. Beerus wins.

Why does Whis submit to Beerus even though he is stronger?

Jason Douglas: Well I don’t think Whis is submitting to anyone except Zeno, but he is Beerus’s mentor and attendant, so he serves him in that capacity. In this way he is able to manage and contain Beerus’s incredible power.

What is your take on Marcarita?

Jamie Marchi: I love Marcarita’s need to maintain civility no matter what. She also likes to stir the pot a bit, and I can personally relate and appreciate that aspect. Also, who doesn’t love pigtails? 

 

DBS : BROLY

Do you know why Chi Chi was excluded from "Dragon Ball Super: Broly”? She has played such a large role in the series; it seems strange that she would be omitted.

Cynthia Cranz: I think that since Chi Chi is usually at home holding down the fort, while the others are off fighting, there is no need include her unless there are some scenes that take place at home. 

What can we expect from the upcoming “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” movie?

Jason Douglas: A ton of action and an intriguing origin story, along with some great new character additions to the Dragon Ball universe. I can’t wait for fans to see it.

 

DB SUCCESS

Why do you think DBZ has seen such a large success over the decades that it has aired?

Jamie Marchi: I think DB has been loved for so long because it’s a great story with great characters, great action and great voices. It’s also lovely to be able to enjoy a show over multiple generations. 

Cynthia Cranz: It's an awesome show!!

Jason Douglas: I think people just love the characters, and there is a certain brightness and joy in the show that seems like it’s often missing, both in other media and in the world. It’s a hopeful show, and ultimately we love stories that give us hope.

 

Monica Rial (Bulma), Jason, Cynthia, and Jamie are all scheduled to be at Dallas Comic Show this weekend in Richardson. DB fans will not want to miss out on this opportunity to see the voices behind these timeless characters. Attendees will be able to ask their own questions, take photographs, and meet with these (and other) amazing artists at the convention. To find schedules, info, or tickets for Dallas Comic Show take a look at their website. Don’t miss out on DFW’s last comic convention of the year. Also, be on the lookout for Dragon Ball Super: Broly when it his theatres across the country in January 2019!