People Used To Tease Pikachu’s Voice Actress

People Used To Tease Pikachu’s Voice Actress
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Ikue Otani has voiced Pikachu since 1997. Since Ash’s Pikachu can only say variations of “pika” or “pikachu”, she was often teased for having what some saw as an easy gig.

In in Yomiuri Shimbun (via Twitter user Karubiimunomono), Otani talked about her experiences. “In the beginning, I was often ridiculed with people saying, “It’s great that you only have to say ‘pika pika’.”

“However,” Otani continued, “I’ve never only said ‘pika’.”

The voice actress explained that in the script, the dialogue only says things like “pika” or “pikachu”. Meaning? “If you don’t have a clear understanding of what you want to say in the scene and come up with a plan for your performance, you won’t convey anything,” she added. “Because, if there’s the same nuance, then it would just be OK to use [previously] recorded material.”

Instead, Otani, who also voices One Piece‘s Chopper, records new dialogue for Pikachu for each new episode, new movie and new game. Considering that there are fewer tools (read: actual words) for her to work with, no doubt it’s challenging to keep the character fresh and expressive.

According to the voice actress, “I give every single word my all.”

Top image: PRCM


  • the header made me think that she used to get teased in school for having a high voice and now after twenty years she has decided to rub her millions in their faces with a public statement.

    • Newscaster: In a rare public statement today, veteran voice actor Ms Ikue Otani spoke about her history as an industry pariah.
      Cut to press conference
      Otani: Ahem. Fuck all y’all. I’m rich as shit.

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