The release of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero in American theatres in just a few weeks has fans really excited and eager to see some of their most famous characters on the big screen once more. The only people who could possibly match or even top the enthusiasm of those fans are those who provide the English voices of such well-known characters and even brand-new characters.
The English voice of adult Gohan is Kyle Hebert, as well as the voice actors Zeno Robinson and Aleks Le, who will be voicing two of our forthcoming villains for the series, Gamma #1 and Gamma #2, joined a short panel at Crunchyroll Expo 2022 that was moderated by Lauren Moore. Before the panel saw around the first 20 minutes of the movie, the three of them were able to respond to a few questions about their involvement with the franchise and provide some insight into the recording process for this film.
There were a few lovely insights that some longtime fans might be eager to know about, even while the actors and I are unable to give away any major plot points for people who haven’t had a chance to see the movie just yet (shout out to Kyle Hebert’s shirt that said “Don’t ask me, I signed an NDA”).
It was intriguing to learn, for instance, that Aleks and Zeno actually taped their scenes as identical Androids in the same booth. While having actors record and play off of each other in the same booth is a fairly frequent method for western cartoons and a lot of Japanese media, it is highly uncommon for anime dubbing.
Kyle Hebert @kylehebert, the English voice of Gohan, on being at an in-person panel.
— Dragon Ball Super (@dragonballsuper) August 7, 2022
Aleks said that he had accompanied Zeno to the recording studio even though his recording session wasn’t until a few hours later since he lacked transportation. Chris Sabat, the ADR director, asked Aleks if he wanted to enter the recording booth and record alongside Zeno while Zeno was still in it. Aleks described recording Hiroshi Kamiya’s performance as an honor because he is a major fan of Japanese voice performers.
Although Aleks and Zeno share a vocal range, they did push each other to sound more distinctive because Kamiya and Mamoru Miyano have very different-sounding voices. In fact, given their close proximity, the two appeared to be thoughtful and supportive of one another’s a practice even before it was revealed they would be playing the roles. Despite having quite different personalities, Gamma #1 and Gamma #2 appear to be close, so learning how these two pals interact in real life was fascinating. I wonder if this will have a noticeable impact on the on-screen chemistry in English.
Speaking of chemistry, it was touching to hear Aleks and Zeno discuss how much Kyle’s work in Dragon Ball influenced them growing up. Kyle even made the joke that he recounted their childhood as he was one of the show’s first narrators. When Aleks first came to America as a child, the Dragon Ball dub was one of the first things he saw, and Zeno started collecting a lot of Dragon Ball stuff at a young age.
It hasn’t completely sunk into him that they were both a part of it all these years later, but it’s obvious that they both brought that passion to the recording studio. For everyone else, they also practiced their own hero action postures! They are both excellent.
Since Kyle has never concealed his fondness for the series or the character of Gohan, the fact that the movie appears to be centered on him certainly made him happy. He is aware of the character’s current situation and is prepared to contribute. He makes fun of Piccolo’s role as the franchise’s primary nanny while acknowledging the close kinship that exists between Gohan and Piccolo.
Kyle even appeared to quip that nobody really knows what series creator Akira Toriyama thinks about, but that’s part of what makes it intriguing. This is a brand-new story in a cherished series, and while some people might bemoan the fact that it is still in production, others are grateful that they get to continue to be a part of it.