I’ve never been a dub hater. And over the past couple of years, I’ve watched a whole lot. Some good, some okay, some that made me want to rinse my ears out with acid. But I felt like highlighting the finest English anime performances I’ve heard thus far. So in no particular order, here are the ladies. …
1. Wendee Lee – Faye Valentine (Cowboy Bebop) – It’s collectively agreed among the anime community that Cowboy Bebop has one of, if not the best English dub ever. Naturally, I also agree. In my opinion, Faye remains Wendee Lee’s best role to date. Her voice is so alluring and I prefer listening to her over the immortal Hayashibara Megumi. (I may/not have just committed blasphemy of some sort.) Wendee Lee is a wonderful dubber, but she still has yet to surpass her flawless performance in Cowboy Bebop.
2. Luci Christian – Duck (Princess Tutu) – In Japanese, Ahiru’s annoying and incessant rambling is what turned me off Princess Tutu originally. Luci Christian also managed to pull off that amount of irritating babbling to such an impressive degree. And of course she was just as endearing.
3. Laura Bailey – Lust (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) – Aside from Keiko (Yuyu Hakusho), I’m not too big a fan of Laura Bailey’s teenage girl voice. But hot damn, her Lust voice is so damn sexy. Her performance in EP19 of Brotherhood was simply divine. It actually scared me. (Partially because of how good it really was.)
4. Melissa Fahn – Ed (Cowboy Bebop) – Of all the characters in Bebop, Ed is the one that would’ve been the easiest to screw up. Which makes Melissa Fahn’s excellent performance even more remarkable. She plays Ed’s goofy character so well and doesn’t come off as cheesy or forced at all. Major props to both her and the casting directors.
5. Lisa Ortiz – Lina Inverse (Slayers) – I have not seen Slayers in Japanese yet. (If I ever get around to it, I’m hoping to watch Next subbed, though.) And although I didn’t think that the anime itself wasn’t anything particularly remarkable, I heartily enjoyed watching it. (Aside from the fact that I couldn’t get over just how many people from the Pokemon cast were in it.) Lisa Ortiz is absolutely hilarious and is probably the best female dubber when it comes to comedy.
6. Mary Elizabeth McGlynn – Kusanagi Motoko (Ghost in the Shell: SAC) – I have only seen SAC in English. And honestly, I am perfectly content with that. Mary Elizabeth McGlynn’s voice fits Motoko perfectly. She is the Major for me.
7. Rachael Lillis – Misty (Pokemon) – Everyone loves the Pokemon dub. It’s a fact. And anyone who knows me should know that Misty is one of my favorite anime characters throughout time and space. Rachael Lillis is absolutely perfect as Misty and I’m not sure how much I would’ve liked her had she not been the one to voice her. And of course it’s equally amazing that she also played Jessie. (Which makes her lackluster portrayal as my other favorite anime character Utena that much more disappointing.)
8. Kari Wahlgren – Haruhara Haruko (FLCL) – Haruko also falls into the Ed category of being such an easy character to fuck up. And considering that Haruko was her first ever anime role, it just makes it even better. You can tell how much fun Kari Wahlgren had with Haruko and her acting is just divine. Just like Haruko drives FLCL, Kari Wahlgren made this dub for me.
9. Daveigh Chase – Chihiro (Spirited Away) – What I love about the Ghibli dubs is that Disney often casts kids to play the kids. Something I wish would happen a little more often in animation. And out of all the Ghibli dubbers, Daveigh Chase has impressed me the most. She’s so natural as Chihiro and she far surpasses Chihiro’s seiyuu.
10. Colleen Clinkenbeard – Riza Hawkeye (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) – Up until EP19, I had never been particularly impressed or heard a memorable performance by Colleen. That, and she also blew me away in EP54. Since then, I’ve seen various clips feautring her and she has considerably grown on me since. She also has a really distinct and interesting voice that I really like.
I know I left out a lot of good ones, but these ten are the ones that impressed me the most and are the most memorable. What do you readers think?