By Chelsea Cruz
Go beyond, plus ultra! The FunimationCon 2020 My Hero Academia Voice Actor Q&A was a lovely and emotional reunion for a number of the series’ voice actors, including many who appeared for the first time in Season 4.
Host Jacki Jing kicked things off with a special message from Justin Briner, the English voice of Deku, who thanked fans for making My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising one of the highest-grossing anime films ever in the U.S.!
The first round of panelists!
Then we met the first group of panelists, including Justin Cook (Kirishima), Luci Christian (Ochaco), Emily Neves (Eri) and Christopher Wehkamp (Aizawa). The cast first addressed the topic of recording the series in the current climate, with the tail end of Season 4 being recorded entirely from home. Of course, there was a special shoutout to the Funimation engineers and ADR directors for making it all possible.
Then, the topic changed to character development, and Justin talked about what he brought to the table as Kirishima, pouring his heart and soul into every moment. And then Luci addressed how she handled Ochaco’s response to the death of Sir Nighteye, a major tipping point in Season 4.
“Any sort of failure feels like a character flaw,” she said. “[Ochaco] thinks she can do it all but she can’t.”
Then Emily talked about a moment that made us all emotional: when we finally saw Eri smile. She talked about how it was uplifting to see someone who didn’t have a normal childhood have a cloud lifted from her. She hopes for a bright future for Eri as a potential Pro Hero, maybe even teaming up with Deku!
And, of course, Christopher talked about the dad of Class 1-A, “Dad-zawa.”
On Christopher’s thoughts about the dad of class 1-A, Dad-zawa, he stated that he’s tough on the people he loves the most.
The cast then turned to fan questions, including who would be the best babysitter (most answered Aizawa), and which Pro Heroes they’d want to work with! To round out the questionnaire, the cast talked about what they love most about their characters, with a highlight from Justin.
“I love Kirishima’s heart,” he said. “Kirishima cares, with the way he approaches his friends and the way he approaches his problems”.
During a brief intermission it was announced that the My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising soundtrack will be available on vinyl in October and that digital copies will go live on July 17. Oh, and there’s a new dub update for MY HERO ONE’S JUSTICE 2!
The second round of panelists!
We then said hello to another round of cast members, including Zeno Robinson (Hawks), Anairis Quinones (Mirko), Patrick Seitz (Endeavor) and David Matranga (Todoroki).
For Hawks and Mirko, Jacki asked Zeno and Anairis what it was like when they got their roles. Both characters debuted recently, with Hawks in Heroes Rising and Mirko in the final episodes of Season 4.
“Blessed,” Zeno said. “People like Hawks because he’s an incredibly complex character.”
“I cried. She’s so cool,” Anairis said. “…tough, beautiful, cool bunny Quirk and she’s got melanin and we get to see the top female Hero and see what she’ll bring to the table.”
David then addressed the relationship between Todoroki and his father, Endeavor.
“It’s complicated,” he said. “It’s a complicated relationship and I think people can relate to it. I want to see them connect more, when growth happens there’s change. I can’t wait to see how it goes.”
Then Patrick added his thoughts on the two.
“Seeing growth, seeing him try and fail, it’s gratifying,” he said. “It’s still him and you get to see him in the moment.”
And another round of fan questions! The cast was asked what Quirk they’d like to have, and Anairis was quick to claim “future vision” so she can look into and anticipate the future.
“What about meeting and spending a day with one character?”
Zeno chose Mirko, which was obvious if you follow him on Twitter. He said a beach day and chili cheese fries would be perfect. David talked about his iconic “My name is not five weenies.” line as Todoroki, and Patrick again touched on growth for Endeavor, and the true nature of “Plus Ultra!”
And that was a wrap on the FunimationCon 2020 My Hero Academia Voice Actor Q&A. It was funny, emotional, touching and impactful, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for My Hero Academia Season 5!
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