Johnny Yong Bosch is a Power Ranger turned voice actor and is one of the most famous voice actors in the anime English dub industry. At AnimeNext 2018, we had the incredible opportunity to interview this popular man. We decided to ask Bosch questions that you couldn’t easily google the answers for, and because of this, we were able to understand more about the dubbing industry.
Johnny Yong Bosch
Interview with Johnny Yong Bosch
So you are in the English dub for Devilman Crybaby and Children of the Whales. Both of them being Netflix originals. What’s it like to work on a Netflix English dub?
Oh, it’s great. The first one I did was Knights of Sidonia, which, as far as I know, was the first Netflix original anime. Then I did Ajin, and then Whales, and then Devilman Crybaby. So yeah, it’s awesome. I record at the same place, you know, the same studio. It’s a great studio and I work with great people there.
Ok, so nothing different from the usual?
Not really. As a voice actor, you work for a lot of different studios. If you’re in L.A there’s many different studios that you work for and a lot of them are the middle company. So Netflix will hire a company or whoever to do that stuff. In most cases, I have to audition, but with Children of the Whales and Devilman Crybaby, they just gave me the role. I would say about 80% of the roles I do, I had to audition for. Netflix has a whole different system too though, it is a very smart system. Most anime fans will be familiar with my name, so they’ll go “Oh, if we can bring Johnny in on this, then we’ll have however many viewers, so they have a point system.
You’ve been working on the English dub for Legend of the Galactic Heroes, but we believe you’re also currently working on the dub for the upcoming film, Free! -Take Your Marks-. Are there any noticeable differences between working on an English dub at Bangzoom versus Funimation?
Oh, that’s a good question. There are definitely differences in how they approach the work. It really depends on the title as well. There are differences that I would notice, but most people would not. Because, I do the same things, I go in and the script is there and usually you have a director...well, actually on both sides. Here’s the similarities: it’s that it’s been translated or written by someone. Sometimes it’s with the director you’re working with but most times it’s not, and that director is also a writer or an actor. And so on the fly, they adjust dialogue because every actor is different when they approach the dialogue. So sometimes, the writer has written too many words or not enough. So the director, or even the actor, has to add some pauses or dialogue to it. Um, noticeable differences, for me it’s really...ugh, it’s hard to say because my perspective is very different. I live in L.A, so if I have to work on something with Funimation, typically, I have to fly to Texas. Occasionally, they’ll hire a studio in L.A., like two weeks ago, I was working on something for Funimation. I do feel like Bangzoom has more time, while Funimation, the streams have to come out immediately. So usually, there’s not a lot of time, we have to work pretty fast. And since I don’t live in Texas, my days are a lot longer there so about eight hours. While at Bangzoom, I’m there for a couple hours.
Have you ever found it difficult to leave a character behind once you've finished voicing them? Are there any roles that have stuck with you?
Yes. Bleach, for example, we did 366 episodes. The ending was a bizarre ending for me. It was odd because it didn’t feel like a complete ending for me. And I knew the manga had continued, so I was a little bummed, and I asked people for the manga. You get so attached to it, I mean, it’s been many years of me being this character, and that wasn’t a satisfying ending for me. I know that’s not how the story ends. It’s certain things like that, well, even Free! with Makoto. I wanna know what’s going on with him. Even though Code Geass ended the way it did, there’s been rumors that there’s an R3. That’s kinda the opposite, though, because I really liked how it ended, but I’m really curious to see what’s going to happen.
Ok, so you weren’t just attached to the character, but the overall story?
Absolutely, yeah, even with Trigun. That’s the first project I worked on. And at the end, I really wanted to know what else happens. Because, you become that character. Most actors, I think, do. You put so much of yourself into that character, you have to relate to that character, even if you’re nothing like that character. And so, you are that person. Unless you’re like a character that’s like super fast and you don’t have any time to get attached. Like a day or two.
Eureka 7 Hi-Evolution was released in select theaters at the end of 2017. What was it like to voice a familiar character after so many years, but with a different ADR director?
I’ve worked with Jonathan before, and it’s a series that I really liked. And so, it was kinda cool to go back in and experience it again in a slightly different light. It was fun.
Oh, so you still felt the same emotions that you had all those years ago?
It was different, because there was more time to get into character. With the original, I replaced someone else. And so for the first 13 or 18 episodes we did, like, in a week or so. It was super fast because we had to catch up. And then after that, I was working on however many episodes there were, like 50-something. Yeah, so I was really into that character and that story. And so, seeing it kind of re-envisioned a little bit, there were some things where I was like “Oh, I really liked this”, but it was still fun to come back and be a part of it.
Lastly, regarding Artemis from Sailor Moon, how in the world did you get into the mindset of playing a cat?
Hahaha, super fun! You know, we did Crystal and then the older series. The older series was much more fun for me to play. For whatever reason, he feels a little like Vash ‘cause he’s somewhat goofy, ya know? It’s not too unfamiliar for me. And to occasionally get the meow over there is kinda great too. But I’m actually not great on meowing so I purposely try to sound like a man who’s not good at meowing. I’m hinting at the idea that this cat can actually talk but he’s meowing to cover it up. That’s why it would sound like “Hm, that’s a strange meow”. It’s a lot of fun to play, it really is.
Johnny Yong Bosch sure is a busy man, but we’re so happy that he took the time to let’s us interview him. Are you a fan of Johnny Yong Bosch? What is your favorite role of his? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll be sure to reply as soon as we can. Lastly, we’d like to thank the staff of AnimeNext for setting up this interview, and we hope to return next year. Till next time!
Author: Sloan The Female Otaku
Sup everyone! I’m your female otaku. And that’s the intro I use for my Youtube videos. After being an otaku for 5 years, and a lover of film editing for 8, I decided to explore my horizons by writing articles on anime and otaku culture. I also love cosplaying and making people laugh. Please subscribe to my channel at Sloan The Female Otaku if you want to see more. Sayonara!