Top 10 Times Anime Voice Actors Got Replaced



Top 10 Times Anime Voice Actors Got Replaced

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman
The vocie acting industry can be unforgiving. Join Ashley as we count down our picks for the biggest voice actor switch ups in anime, as seen in series such as "Tokyo Revengers", "One Piece", "High School DxD", and more!
Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean

Top 10 Times Anime Voice Actors Got Replaced

Welcome to WatchMojo and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times Anime Voice Actors Got Replaced.

For this list, we’re looking over the most impactful occasions where both Japanese and English voice actors were swapped out of their anime roles. Was there a VO exchange we missed out on? Let us know in the comments!

#10: Norio Imamura

You’ve got to be careful what you post online, because it can always come back to bite you in a big way. Most notable for playing Emporio Ivankov in One Piece, it turns out that Imamura was also a huge tattoo enthusiast and took great pride in posting about the latest additions he had inked on his body to fans on his blog. Unfortunately, he might have gotten a bit too carried away when he apparently showed off everything below the waist. One indecent exposure charge later, and now Mitsuo Iwata is the one voicing Ivankov. Talk about the Emperor’s New Clothes…

#9: The Sailor Moon Cast (Almost)

The revival of this shojo superstar was immense. Sailor Moon Crystal not only offered a continuation of the canon but also a beautiful new aesthetic. There was one other big difference however – they replaced all of the Sailor Senshi, along with Tuxedo Mask. This was a big deal to Japanese audiences, though we admire how they got incredible actors like Rina Sato to take over for the likes of Sailor Mars. The one exception to this change, oddly enough, was Sailor Moon herself, Kotono Mitsuishi. The studio obviously knew fans would crucify them if they didn’t bring back the OG Moon Princess.

#8: Kazunari Tanaka

While he had worked in the industry for a fair number of years, fans are mostly likely to recognise the vocal talents of this actor from sport anime giant Haikyuu, in which he played everyone’s favorite coach Keishin Ukai. Tragically, Mr Tanaka passed away back in 2016 due to an intracerebral hemorrhage. While his life may have been cut short, no one can say he didn’t go out on a high note – since his final line also happened to be one of Haikyu’s most potent. Hisao Egawa has since taken over the role and done a fine job at carrying on the legacy of the character.

#7: The Berserk Cast

Well, that’s one way to wipe the slate clean. Both the Japanese and the English cast for the original adaptation of this dark fantasy masterpiece have been long heralded for their performances, and yet future series seemed to do all they could to swap them around! The Golden Age film trilogy completely did away with the Japanese cast, while the 2016 and 2017 sequel series hired new English voice actors! Kaiji Tang, Steven Cannon and Kallen Strassman are awesome, but one does not simply deny the chance for Marc Diraison, Kevin T. Collins, and Carrie Keranen to reprise the roles of Guts, Griffith and Casca!

#6: Veronica Taylor

She was the voice of our childhood. As Ash Ketchum, Ms Taylor enthralled our young, nerdy minds for many years, from the Indigo League and beyond. Alas, with the arrival of a new dubbing company and the apparent waning of Pokemon’s popularity, she was eventually replaced by Sarah Natochenny. No offense to the latter, since she’s carried the torch ever since and has been killing it. Still, it was a mighty shame to lose the original. We’re just glad that all parties involved still have thriving careers in the anime scene.

#5: The Evangelion Cast

Damn it, Netflix. It’s always one step forward with you and three steps back when it comes to anime. The news that Neon Genesis Evangelion would be made available for streaming on the platform had fans cheering…at least until word got around that the original cast had been replaced. Not to throw shade at Casey Mongillo and the rest, who put forward a solid dub. It’s just that Spike Spencer, Amanda Winn-Lee and Tiffany Grant are synonymous with their characters, so much so they went all out with petitions to try and get themselves re-cast! They were that committed! Alas, Netflix didn’t budge, but at the very least they were brought back for the final movie!

#4: Scott Freeman

Whether you knew him as Issei from High School DxD or England from Hetalia, Freeman was making a name for himself in the more outrageous anime series, and seemed to have a bright career ahead of him. That is until he tossed it out the window and ended up as a convicted sex offender. What happened? Let’s just say he was caught with explicit material centered around the exploitation of minors. As a result, he was arrested, and Funimation re-distributed all his roles. We’re confident in saying that Issei is in better hands with the likes of Josh Grelle.

#3: Li-Mei Chiang

Remember people – nothing good ever comes from joining a cult. For fans of Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds, you might remember a certain side character named Carly Nagisa. For over a hundred episodes she was portrayed by then newcomer Li-Mei Chiang…until she wasn’t. Turns out that she had joined the Roma Sophie Association, an organization that did what all cults do and siphoned money from its devotees while also dabbling in violence. What’s crazy is that not only was Chiang fired, but going forward all content to do with magic was written out of 5Ds post-Dark-Signers arc. The irony that the character of Carly joined an evil cult within the show is not lost on us.

#2: Vic Mignogna

Now this was a messy one. With allegations of sexual misconduct flying around, along with a brutally divisive court of public opinion, the celebr ated voice of Edward Elric ultimately ended up losing out in court, while Funimation chose to cut all ties and redistribute his ongoing roles. This included Sabo from One Piece and Broly from the Dragon Ball franchise, both of which have since been taken over by Johnny Yong Bosch. Given how this was all coming off the tail end of Broly’s triumphant return in Dragon Ball Super, this was a painful period for everyone involved.

#1: Tatsuhisa Suzuki

This is it, the big one. If you don’t know his name, you certainly know his work. The man is the voice behind the likes of Anos Voldigoad from Misfit of Demon King Academy, Draken from Tokyo Revengers, Makoto from Free, Ohma from Kengan Ashura, he’s even Ban from The Seven Deadly Sins! Plus, he’s married to the mega-popular singer LISA. Pretty great life, right? Well, not lately. Ever since news of his adultery made the rounds, Suzuki has taken a hiatus from the entertainment industry at what was the peak of his career, which means all his roles have now been handed out to other actors. Guess when some people step out they end up going over a cliff…