There a very few names on the anime convention circuit that are as well know as Vic Mignogna. Songwriter, singer, director, actor, and voice actor for many anime series including Edward Elric in Full Metal Alchemist, Ikkaku Madarame in Bleach and more recently Greece in Hetalia and Yoshimori Sumimura in Kekkaishi Vic is incredibly talented and helped set the foundation for today’s new generation of voice actors.
Cecil Blade and Spider were fortunate enough to have an opportunity to sit down with Vic on Saturday July 31st at Otakon 2010. After Vic joined the ninja ranks as “Dark Ninja” and he and Cecil had a nice chat about T-shirts we got to pick his brain a little bit about past, current, and future? projects. Also, be sure to check out the full audio of the interview for the full answers and Vic doing an awesome Steve Blum impression.
Looking at some of the short side projects that you’ve done like your WoW ad or Real Fans of Genius that you did with Steve Blum, do you have any plans for future side projects or is there anything you’d like to parody?
I did do a live action FMA fan film called “Fullmetal Fantasy”. Several of the other voice actors and I dressed up as our characters and I wrote, directed, and shot it. It’s really fun and I only show it at conventions.I am also having a fun little parody battle with Todd Haberkorn. We were working on a shoot up in New York a couple months ago and I’m like “Todd, I’m going to make you a tribute video.” So I sat on the bed in my hotel room on my Mac pro and using nothing but text and music made this Todd Haberkorn Tribute video and posted it to YouTube. Todd then said “I’m going to make you a tribute video” and made one for me. We each made another one after those. So now the ball is in my court and I’m now working on the definitive Todd Haberkorn tribute video and I’m sure he’s already formulating his retaliatory strike.
Since we mentioned the WoW ad we have to ask, Who would win in a fight your Warlock or the Night Elf Mohawk?
I love Mr.T! I love the Night Elf Mohawk thing! He’ll win because I don’t even play, I know nothing about the game. One of the officers of my fan club called me one day and said “Hey you’re a big Star Trek fan right?” I was like “Yes” She said “William Shatner did this commercial you have to see it.” So she sent me a link to it and as soon as I saw it I’m like “Oh, that’s Hilarious.” I started clicking around and saw Mr.T doing one and Jean-Claude Van Damme doing one and thought “These are nothing but a white room with game footage cut in. I could make one of these.” So I just decided to make one. The girl that brought it to my attention, her brother plays, her brother is the warlock. So she grabbed all the in game footage from her brother playing and that’s where the footage came from.
In one of the latest titles from Funimation, Hetalia you do the voice of Greece. What do you think of Funimation’s approach to the title? And how people are saying the voices are very stereotypical and racist?
First of all I know Funimation took this title very seriously. They know very well the fan base this show has and they also know the repercussions of screwing it up. How would you choose to delineate between the countries? How would you do it if everyone just kind of talked normal? You couldn’t do it. As big a risk as it may be to do accents, there is nothing derogatory about an accent. I can tell you for a fact that the people that directed and produced it worked very hard to make sure they got people they felt could do a good representation of an accent from that country. There was no sleight or offense or parody or stereotype taken into account at all.
Otakon was going to be a big determination on how the series was going to be taken and it has been from what we’ve heard so far taken very well. The dub has been taken very well.
Back to the lighter side of things, Have you seen any of DBZ Abridged? They had done a Halloween special and at the very end of the episode they had Vegeta and Nappa were deciding on what their costumes were going to be. Nappa forces Vegeta to be his dad by drawing a goatee on him with a sharpie and well, Nappa was you as Broly. It cuts to a clip of him going “I’m Vic Mignogna. Ow, my vocal chords!”
What? Oh, that’s hilarious. Well anyone who thinks that I’m kidding, try to scream bloody murder for a minute, just a solid minute. Just let it go and by the time you are done you’re like “uuhhhh” and you feel kinda light headed. I love Broly, the problem is Broly doesn’t love me.
Given in the mid 90’s when you worked with ADV and now that you are with Fumination and other studios. How do you feel it’s changed from the time you got into the industry, to how they approach titles now?
Because the anime industry has grown in popularity there is a lot more attention paid to the business side of it. It’s a lot more now run by companies to make a profit than back then when it was made by fans who loved the genre. ADV was started by guys that were fans who thought it would be fun to dub some shows that they liked. As the industry has grown and corporations and people who are looking to make a profit in business see this little thing that wasn’t even on the radar fifteen years ago suddenly has this huge following. They see conventions with thirty-thousand people and they see it on Adult Swim and Toonami and Nickelodeon and they are like “We need to get into this.” Not because they are fans but because it’s business. So that’s how I would say it has changed.
Finally, How was the transition going from ADV to Funimation?
First of all I was the very first ADV actor to ever work at Funimation. ADV was in Houston, Funimation was in Dallas and they both did their things. I did a convention where I met some people from Funimation and they said “Hey you should come up and do something for us.” and I said “Sure” and I went and did Broly. No ADV actor had ever went up to Dallas to work for Funimation, I was the first one. Then very shortly after me all them just started migrating up. Alot of the ADV actors worked at Funimation and most of them do now.