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Naruto: Ninja Destiny :: Voice Actor Interview (pg. 3)

Mar 31, 2008

Click Here for the first part of the Naruto Voice Actor Interview.

Click Here for the second part of the Naruto Voice Actor Interview.

Announcer: So, I know Maile mentioned something about her voice box getting sore from doing a lot of tough sound effects, especially the painful punch in the gut sound. Does your voice adjust to making those noises after years or do you guy have a technique so your voice doesn't get sore?

Maile: I use vocal techniques that I learned before in theater. But, there are only so many times you can scream at the top of your lungs. So, that's why the three hour limit. And Mary Elizabeth, like we said, is very good at saving a lot of the punches and the big roars. When I do the nine-tailed fox it's very taxing because it's very growly and low and husky and long and loud. So, there's almost no way anybody can prevent their voice from being fatigued from doing that too much.

Brian: Yeah.

Maile: You could have the best person in the world doing voiceover and they still wouldn't be able to sustain that for very long.

Brian: Well, we should say too that it's kind of universally known to the degree that even our contracts are limited to a certain number of hours because it's pretty well documented that your voice can only hold out for so long. Particularly for the video games because there is a lot of the hi-ya! Rah-rah!


Brian: Even the best of us short out after a while because you can only do it so long.

Yuri: You develop techniques to keep it going as long as you can and to get through the session. But, after a while there's nothing you can do.

Brian: I'll even throw in to the degree that I try to schedule, especially with this video game stuff, late in the day in case I have anything else-

Maile: Me too.

Brian: I try to do other jobs before that because I know I'm going to be thrashed after my video game extravaganza.

Announcer: And we have questions from Eric Martin from static multimedia. This one is actually for Laura of Tomy. What are the chances of of hidden voice outtakes as unlockable content in this game or future Naruto titles?

Laura: I'm actually going to let Glen answer this, Glen is our product specialist over here.

Glen: I know our producer, Nobi, he loves the outtakes and stuff. He has a really good time with those and tries to get them in wherever he can but, we haven't had a chance to in the past and neither with Naruto: Ninja Destiny.

*DING: Kate Higgins, the voice of Sakura, arrives*

Maile: Hey! Kate!

Yuri: Hi Kate.

Brian: Hi Kate.

Kate: Hi! Is it too loud where I am?

Yuri: Are you at the circus again?

Kate: No, I'm at a job and in order to call y'all before I drove home, which would take 30 minutes, I'm calling from the lobby where I am.

Yuri: So you're at the circus?


Kate: I'm at the circus, yes.

Announcer: Glen, did you want to finish answering that question?

Glen: Yeah, basically our producer likes them very much. We didn't get them into Ninja Destiny but he's definitely looking forward to trying to put them into the games in the future if the opportunity presents itself.

Laura: It's also a function of the DS games because they're very limited in memory size as to what we can do. With DS games it's a bit harder but with some of the other disc-based games for the Wii we can consider it.

Yuri: From what I've seen the the DS game doesn't look limited at all, it looks great!

Announcer: Nice sound byte!

Laura: Yeah, it does! It looks really awesome, we really happy with how it turned out.

Announcer: And, of course, the follow-up question is were most of the recorded lines merely two-second sound bytes or was there a bit of dialogue that went on during these recordings?

Glen: I know for Ninja Destiny the sounds all had to be shorter than five seconds because of the cartridge size. They're mostly hit and punch type stuff or announcing the jutsu. There's nothing as far as story mode lines being voiced in the game.

Announcer: So, we're going to take a break and introduce Kate Higgins.

Kate: Um... do you want to know about Sakura or just me?

Announcer: The fact that you play Sakura and if there's something of your past you want to share with us?

Kate: Oh my goodness.

Yuri: *laughs* Careful Kate.

Kate: My name's Kate Higgins and I do play Sakura. Um... I've done a lot of games and episodes. There's a lot about myself but I'll just say... I love voice acting! How about that?

Announcer: How about I start off with a question?

Kate: Ok.

Announcer: For when you're doing voices for Naruto: Ninja Destiny or other video games, do you have an actual script that you stick to when you record your lines or is there any ad-libbing that's required when you do a session.

Kate: Just for the video games or for the actual?

Announcer: We can talk about the anime if you'd like.

Kate: Well, for the video games there is a very specific script. Maybe the only time we do ad-lib are if they need some extra screams or punches or kicks or something like that. Other than that you're following a script.

Announcer: Ok, good to know. So, we're going to go into questions for killer betties and this is for everyone who's on the call. During the voice over sessions did you ever have anything interesting or embarrassing happen?

Maile: Well, Yuri does all his stuff naked.


Yuri: But that's not embarrassing for me, that's embarrassing for you.

Maile: It's embarrassing for the rest of us.


Announcer: Any interesting anecdotes or stories you guys have?

Maile: I usually choke myself once or twice with the headphones during a session. *laughs*

Announcer: With the headphones?

Maile: Yeah, it kinda wraps around my leg and then I forget and I wander around the booth a lot. I usually end up choking myself and knocking things over which causes great amusement for Mary Elizabeth and our engineers.

Yuri: Occasionally, especially on video games and with a lot of the fighting stuff, to get what you feel is the proper sound you have to imitate what you're doing and occasionally I've gotten carried away and kicked over mic stands or punched things. And, of course, you have to do it over again because it sounds like you punched something over or broke something.

Kate: Yeah, knocking over the stand or perhaps the water bottle or something like that. Although, I'm very professional so I don't make many mistakes. *laughs*

Announcer: How did you all come to find the voices for your characters? Did you come with what you thought would be the voice and then tweak it from there? Or did they come more through coaching from those who are actually involved with the anime series.

Yuri: I think you always come into it with whatever your best idea is and then the director will craft it from there. "Oh we need it a little more like this. The client said they were looking for something more like this." Yeah, you always bring to the table what you can based on what you know. Sometimes they maybe have some character sketches and you can go off of that, that helps. Or sometimes they have the Japanese voice in place that they want you to have the same texture and the same feel.

Brian: I'll just say that for Rock Lee specifically, because as Yuri said every character is different and you come at it a different way. With Rock Lee it was really interesting because the producer and the director were kind of instrumental in guiding me to Rock Lee. To the degree that Rock Lee was very proper, especially in the very beginning. He didn't shorten anything, there was no wouldn't, couldn'ts it was would not, could not. He was almost trying to be this knight in shining armor but bumbling and stumbling at the same time. There were these really very small, and very specific, nuances that Rock Lee had that we had to find together. Which was fun, it was fun to do that and very different because I'm very casual and laid back - I've embraced Southern California immensely *laughs* So I had to bring a little more of the proper finessed speech to Rock Lee, or at least attempt to. So that's been kind of fun, and very frustrating at times when I'm trying to match lip-synch and they wrote it as couldn't and we have to add in a little could not, should not, would not. But yeah, it's been fun that way.

Kate: For me, I think even at the audition for Sakura it was kind of just my normal voice, maybe just a little younger. The only thing that's really had to change is that as she's gotten a bit older in the episodes and in the games and she's more in control of situations I've had to put that kind of authority in my voice more. But, other than that, she's not really that far from how I talk.

Yuri: And we love you.


Maile: Well, I auditioned first on tape at my agency and then they called me back to, essentially what was a work session. There were a lot of people there, there were some of the Japanese producers, of course Viz people, our producer Jamie and director. So they kind of worked with me on adjusting the tone of the voice a little bit, pitching it up or down. It's close to my voice. So I got a one and a half hour work session, maybe, something around there - maybe an hour. I never saw a rendering of the character until I got in the room.

No, I take that back, I didn't see the drawing of the character when I first auditioned. Then, when I got the call back, which was also like the work session, I went on the web and then I discovered how huge Naruto was. But, I purposely did not listen to the Japanese voice for it because I didn't want to be imitating that voice, I wanted to create my own voice for the character.

Yuri: I hate to break in right now but I've got a producer on the other side of the glass pointing at his watch for me to get back to work. So I don't know if there are any last specific questions that you maybe have for me otherwise I'll leave you in the competent hands, except for Maile, *giggling* of the people you've got on the line.

Brian: *chuckle* I'm gonna have to break too very soon but yeah, if you want to ask anything specific to both he and I that's great.

Announcer: This is Yuri and Brian, correct?

Yuri: Yeah.

Click Here for the final page of our Naruto Voice Actor Interview.

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