What Do Harry Potter, Toy Story And Final Fantasy Have In Common?

Voice actors are more than just minor celebrities: they are so essential to a character that they become inseparable.

Like with Japanese gaming, Western gaming has characters that cannot be separated from their voice actor. Take David Hayter, for example, the English-language voice of Metal Gear Solid's Snake. Or Nolan North, the voice of Uncharted's Nathan Drake. Or Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario.

But as more and more Hollywood actors make in-roads into video game voice acting, it becomes less about the voice and more about star power.

Voice actors achieve minor celebrity status in Japan. Some voice actors cross over in to Japanese pop or even make their way to live-action television. For those who stay in voice acting, there are dedicated magazines that feature interviews and photo layouts with vocal talent.

The voice itself is of the utmost importance. It's no wonder that when Square Enix was unable to secure Kouhei Takeda, who voiced Vaan in Final Fantasy XII, the company considered cancelling the character's appearance in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. But fan interest in Vaan remained high, so Square Enix decided to put the character in the game, but with a new voice actor.

Kensho Ono, who voices Harry Potter in the Japanese dubs and most recently Andy in Toy Story 3, will take Takeda's place. Ono is a talented voice actor, but he's not Takeda. Diehard fans will notice the difference, but everyone else will just be happy to have Vaan.

Every character has an essence. The reason why some voice actors become closely identified with certain characters is that they find said essence. That doesn't mean only one voice actor can voice a character. The most famous video game characters will outlive us all. It's up to subsequent actors to latch on to whatever makes those characters tick and bring them to life.

Dissidia 012 [Official Site]


Comments

    I'd happy to have the Japanese voices too. Anything but Vaan and Cloud in English...my ears weep tears of horror every time I have to hear Vaan speak.

    "What Do Harry Potter, Toy Story And Final Fantasy Have In Common?"

    Lots of homo-erotic fan fiction - as detailed in the choice of the article's picture

    Someone has photoshopped a girls face onto that picture, right... right??

    That's what I was thinking. That can't be a hero to be taken seriously in a game. HAHAHAHA, please tell me that's a fake.

    I must be tired, because for that whole article, I kept reading "What do Harry Potter, TONY HAWK and Final Fantasy have in common?".

    So when some one replied with "Lots of homo-erotic fan fiction..." I nearly cried. What kind of sick sod is writing erotic fan fiction about Tony Hawk?!

    Vaan is without a doubt, one of the most hated Final Fantasy characters in the west (up there with MGS2 Raiden), yet Japan loves him. The disgust that exploded on forums after he was revealed was insane. You should see how disappointed the western FF community was that Vaan was almost cancelled but managed to worm his way in. Personally I didn't mind him but his official artwork (featured above) needs to be burned.

      Apart from him being handsome and interesting, you're right... Wait...

      Thankfully, he's by no means the main character. You just make him walk a lot to watch the real stars.

      Vaan with his stupid looking abs, he was my lowest leveled character in the game...and I wouldn't change a thing.

    Who the heck is "Vaan?" All I remember is Balthier, Fran and Ashe.

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