Joshua Seth, the voice actor for Tai Kamiya from the Digimon franchise, took part in a media teleconference in advance of Digimon Adventure tri – Chapter 1: Reunion English version theatrical release.
I also got to ask two questions, and Joshua Seth had a lot of interesting things to say about coming back to voice Tai after retiring and how the character has grown over the years. Here are some highlights from the teleconference!
On being asked how he approached voicing an older version of Tai, Joshua said, “The key to the way that I voiced his character now was to consider that he’s wise beyond his years.” He talked about the experiences that Tai has gone through since the start of the series. While he did discuss with the production team to make Tai sound older, they decided that “we should stay true to the original vocal characterization.” The main difference that fans will notice is Joshua making Tai’s expression more thoughtful to go along with the script as well, because Tai is “grappling with larger issues from a more mature perspective.” Fans will get to see a new, more mature kind of Tai in the film. “Not wanting to put the public at risk in the real world is the core of this character, that and wanting to take action and attacking the problem. [Tai] put himself at risk to save others, at the same time is not foolhardy or destructive as a character.”
Of all characters he has voiced, Tai also felt closer to who he is as a person and how he expresses and speaks naturally in daily life.
On being asked about the appeal of voice acting, Joshua said that it is “such a pure, creative and emotional” thing. “You take all your skills as a performer and channel them through this one mode of expression; your voice […] In camera acting you can use your body, your body language, your whole being. I always found voice acting to be such a creative expression because you can’t do that […] restrictions, limitations make creative people better […] voice acting restricts you so much that you really have to bring everything there to make it not sound flat or derivative of other people’s performances.”
Joshua also felt great to be back and working with his previous team, both the voice actors and the people behind the scenes, and reconnecting with them. “You look different but you sound the same, that’s the funny thing about voice actors, we age like anybody else but because we’re so vocally expressive it really feels like the same person. It sounds like the same person even if I haven’t interacted with them in years. It is a really special feeling.” He also shared a story about hanging out with Lara Jill Miller (the voice of Kari Kamiya, Tai’s sister) even though she didn’t come back for this particular project.
When asked if he would be back for more English version releases of Digimon Adventure tri, he said that while it wasn’t entirely up to him he “had a blast recording” and is always open to coming back and portraying Tai.
He was also happy about the evolution of the Digimon franchise. He said that it has been given new life due to the internet as a whole new generation of kids are streaming it online, Netflix, and watching on DVDs.
On being asked if he ever thought he would be back to voicing Tai, considering how long the franchise has gone on, he said that “I think probably they almost didn’t come back to the original cast, and I’ve got the fans to thank for that because I didn’t even know this was happening if it weren’t for people letting me know on Facebook and Twitter.” He thanked the fans for getting him reconnected with the project.
However, Joshua did have an opinion about the use of social media. For him it’s a “double-edged sword”. The positives are that it “levels playing field” and “gives fans access to actors in a way that previously they never had” and actors are also able to receive feedback regarding their work. The negative is when studios start making decisions based on social media. Allowing the initial negative reaction to kill a project, not giving it room to breathe and “to grow wings and take flight.” People are also sucked into the digital world and think that is the real world. He also added that he had talked about that in his book, Finding Focus in a Busy World, about how people are giving too much attention to social media to the detriment of their professional pursuits, projects, and personal relationships.
When asked if he would be back to voice a non-Digimon character, Joshua said that if he had been asked a year ago he would have had a tough time saying yes, because he has been having fun with his other projects. However, after leaving the recording studio for Digimon Adventure tri, he felt it was a shame not to do it. He said that, due to his previous commitments, if he got the right offer at the right time he “would be down for that.”
Joshua also shared that he was surprised that the movie was going to be released theatrically as he was unaware of it while in the recording studio. He hopes that “fans will get dressed up and make an event of it” and for the rest of the movies in the Digimon Adventure tri project to be released in the U.S. as well.
I had fun listening to his answers and I’m definitely looking forward to the English version release of Digimon Adventure tri – Chapter 1: Reunion on September 15, 2016. Viewers will also be shown an extended sneak peek of the English subbed Digimon Adventure tri – Confession. Fans will be treated to bonus special content as well. Tickets can be purchased online through Fathom Events.
You can follow Joshua Seth on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out his website. If you want to listen to more of Joshua Seth’s voice then you can hear him read his book, Finding Focus in a Busy World.
Have you bought your tickets for Digimon Adventure tri – Chapter 1: Reunion yet? Let us know!
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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