Many of you predicted it. With the release of Episode 17 of DBZ Abridged, the cat is completely out of the bag:
I voiced Appule.
I don’t even remember when it was that KaiserNeko and I first started talking about it — it was that long ago. It was something I was looking forward to for the longest time, and I got such an amazing kick out of doing it.
Despite my incessant commentary on the voice acting of various languages, I have very little personal experience (hey, few film critics have ever made a film!). I recorded a couple quick lines for This is Otakudom back in 2001, and stepped up to play a somewhat major character (“Chow Down Fast”) for S.T.E.A.M. in 2005. Both were directed by Scott Melzer, and everything was in-person at his house. It was very similar to how professional voice acting seems to be done in the US, with a director and single actor doing their lines at a time (though we typically had at least one other person in the room). We would do multiple takes, occasionally play the scene in real time while acting it out, etc. I did another couple quick lines for Scott’s next parody, but I will not be involved with it in any other way.
It was a bit different for Abridged. As we have discussed via interviews with TeamFourStar over on the Daizenshuu EX podcast, most (if not all) of their acting sessions these days are done live over Skype (with the actor locally recording their lines). This is exactly how I went about recording with my lovely director, KaiserNeko. I received the script ahead of time and picked out one line to do several different test “voices” with. I recorded the same line over a few times in these different voices, sent them off for review, and came back together again to finalize the tone of the character with a complete script. It was difficult to get a read on the man in terms of my performances — I couldn’t really tell if he was simply accepting mediocre work just to get it done, or if I actually pulled what he wanted out of my rear-end. That’s why he’s the “pro”, though… he just goes with it and keeps on truckin’ until he gets what he wants!
Interesting tidbit, though: I had to re-record two lines because of a wrong name in the script. In the TeamFourStar dub of the Bardock TV special, the Appule-esque minion killed by Bardock is named “Eachpe” (a play on “Peach”). Written in the script for my episode was “Pierre” (another minion from the Bardock TV special, a play on “Pear”). It was not until the final mixing stage that the error was realized! During the retakes, we kept going on and on trying to get an appropriate performance out of me for Appule’s final line, “Here I come, Eachpe…” For whatever reason, I simply could not hit that range with the character’s voice. KaiserNeko ended up taking a different approach with advice on other lines and attitudes to take to reach the point of emotion where Appule might end up saying that line — we ended up with some pretty ridiculous stuff spouting out of my mouth, but I ended out muttering out the take that was used in the final episode, so it was very much worth it!
I thought I did a pretty decent job. In particular, I think my delivery on Appule’s response to Zarbon asking why Vegeta was not nude in the tank was pretty dead-on. Overall, though? It’s up to you to decide. Hopefully it was a fun little cameo that you enjoyed. If you didn’t like it, though, don’t tell me. My poor ego couldn’t deal with it. Just go post about it anonymously on some other message board, preferably with a link back to Daizenshuu EX so I will end up finding it and ultimately drown my sorrow in alcohol.
By the way, one of my favorite gags in the episode is this: