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Which of Sonic's English VAs (in video games) is your favorite?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Josh, Sep 10, 2022.

Which voice actor do you prefer?

Poll closed Sep 24, 2022.
  1. Ryan Drummond

    44.7%
  2. Jason Griffith

    19.1%
  3. Roger Craig Smith

    31.9%
  4. None of the above - I haven't liked any of Sonic's English portrayals!

    4.3%
  1. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Thing is though, as I’ve alluded to in this thread, I grew up primarily on Jaleel and Jason and, ironically, I’d say they’re my least favourite voices. I find it odd that you bring up the pitch thing, because I’ve always perceived Jason’s voice as being deeper than Roger’s. Granted, I’m pretty tone deaf and not great at distinguishing stuff like pitch so maybe my ear’s way off the mark there.

    I also find it fascinating that someone who doesn’t understand Japanese can confidently asset Junichi as being a good voice for Sonic. Like this isn’t even a dissection of our preferences on Sonic’s voices at this point, not any kind of challenge of this particular opinion, but I feel like I can’t quantify Junichi’s voice in any meaningful way. It’s certainly unlike any voice I recall hearing in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure or Dragon Ball Super (the only Japanese dubs I recall having watched tbh), but without being able to process the lines, I can’t comprehend this idea of being able to judge the delivery of said lines, it just seems so impossible to me…
     
  2. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    I really think the whole "you can't judge the quality of a dub if you don't speak the language" thing is purely on a person to person basis.

    When I started played Sonic games I didn't speak a lick of Japanese, but I adored Junichi Kanemaru's take on Sonic all the same.
    It solidified itself as the definitive Sonic voice and made the English dub a complete non factor for me, despite the fact that I was already pretty decent at English.
    After 5 years of studying Japanese in college I can comfortably say I understand the language pretty well, but it didn't really change my appreciation of Sonic's Japanese voice, like at all.
    Sure, I understand what he's saying now...but it doesn't make me love his delivery more or anything. And it's the exact same for all these Japanese games and animes I used to watch with crappy fansubs.
    I literally can't think of a single case where I appreciated the JP dub more now that I understood what the characters were actually saying, compared to when I was reading subtitles. All in all, I think emotions are pretty universal and I never quite understood the argument that you aren't able to judge the quality of a dub if you don't speak the langage.

    Having gone from not speaking Japanese to speaking/understanding the langage (not quite fluent, but I'll get there), I can confidently say it barely changes the perception I have on voice work.
    (For me anyway! I'm sure it changes depending on the person concerned, so it's definitely not a black and white situation.)
     
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  3. Starduster

    Starduster

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    To be clear, when I talk about not being able to judge Junichi, I don’t mean it as a knock against him or a suggestion that anyone else who doesn’t understand Japanese doesn’t have a valid reason for preferring him, but simply an expression of my fascination that people are able to do that in the first place. Just in case I hadn’t made that sufficiently clear before now - I do entirely agree with SuperSnoopy’s assessment that it’s inevitably something that isn’t a universal experience, as is the case with our individual perceptions of the English voices in the first place.
     
  4. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    When you've watched anime long enough in the native language and subtitled, your brain starts to merge the delivery of the Japanese with the English text onscreen. And so, in your head, you're kind of hearing the Japanese actor speak an English line. It's kinda hard to explain. The point is, I don't need to understand the language to recognize emotion and energy in his performance that's lacking in other English versions.
     
  5. Recency bias was definitely a thing when this poll was ran lmao
     
  6. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Idk, if recency were anything to do with it, I would've expected Roger to be dead last, given the tendencies of the Sonic community and particularly Sonic Retro. Then again, a sample of size of 63 votes is laughably small.
     
  7. RCS was the still two years into his tenure when this poll was ran is what I meant. So having a new voice was still fresh in everyone's head is what I meant. A decade later everyone is used to having him, so more people tend to speak up about Griffith and Drummond, escape when the latter came back in Sonic & Tails R.



    I voted Griffith, solely because of his performance in Black Knight. That is, by far, the best performance a Sonic actor has had. He captures all of Sonic's ranges of emotions.

    Id say Roger is the best actor, and Ryan is the most natural sounding, and while I'd agree that Griffith is overall the "worst", he went out on one hell of a high note.

    Griffith said he took better acting lessons near the end of his run and it fucking showed. I'd say Griffith had the best overall improvement out of the three, so he gets my vote for that.
     
  8. Overlord

    Overlord

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    For what it's worth, I very much grew up with Jaleel (who's still the voice of Sonic to me, if I'm honest) but I maintain RCS is far better fitting to the role than the other two, so the "grown up with" theory isn't universal by any stretch.
     
  9. I do find it interesting how outside of the demographic that started with Roger, he's actually fairly popular here. Part of me wants to say its cuz Ryan Drummond and Jason Griffith are part of the "bad games", but given that people tend to still at least like Sonic Adventure compared to it's sequel here, I figured Drummond would be a shoe-in. Granted, Drummond is ahead of the poll right now, but RCS has a surprising amount of supporters.

    Everywhere else I go, he's super divisive among the vocal Sonic Adventure(2) crowd lol.
     
  10. Josh

    Josh

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    I agree, and I was only 10 when Sonic Adventure was released. Although, I think if anything that might've made Drummond's deeper take on the character more off-putting, given that it was so different from the only voice I'd ever known. Thinking back on this, I can understand why some of the Griffith kids were weirded out by RCS sounding "too old," as I once felt the same way about SA1.
     
  11. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    I was 11 when I first got to play SA1 through the SADX PC port. I'd been following Sonic online since 2001 and grew up with a Mega Drive and SKC. I'd only ever seen the odd random off episode of any of the cartoons in years prior, so none of those were reference points for me.

    Sonic was silent in the Classic games, and then BAM he was voiced by Drummond in SA1. Simple. I didn't think anything of it. You could say that I grew up with Drummond for a few years and then got Griffith during my angsty teen years. By the time I'd mellowed out and was approaching adulthood, Smith took over.

    Smith just sits right. I didn't grow up with him at all. But I did go through years of simply loathing almost all of the 4Kids casr, with the exceptions of Mike Pollock's Eggman and (bit of a hot take here) Kathleen Delany's Rouge. When everyone got replaced in 2010, I was on board with the idea long before we heard any voices. Some of the voices were instant winners (Sonic and Tails), some were bad to start but later improved (Shadow and especially Amy) and others had barely changed (Knuckles and Blaze). The cast has changed a bit since then though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2022