All anime depends on a quality voice cast. Not capturing the essence of a beloved manga character is one of the worst blemishes that a production company can have on its record. Unlike other manga adaptations, One Piece presents a series of peculiar challenges for any voice actor.
The world of Eiichiro Oda’s hit series is inherently ridiculous and full of characters who behave similarly. As a result, it is very difficult for voice actors to switch between a serious, battle-ready tone and a comedic one. Some voice actors do better than others, while others fall completely short.
10. Has Nailed It: Law’s English voice captures the essence of the character
Before Trafalgar Law became a pivotal piece of the plot, Funimation chose Matthew Mercer, one of the mainstays of the industry, to voice the surgeon of death. Funimation’s dubbing of One Piecefaces great scrutiny from fans, but many of them consider Law’s cast to be perfect.
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Mercer’s ability to radiate the calm and calculating nature of Trafalgar D. Water Law was hailed as a success from its first appearance. Now that Law takes more prominence in dubbing, fans will be able to enjoy Mercer’s turn as a doctor for years to come.
9 It fell short: Whitebeard’s voice made the character seem too weak
Announcing a character as the “strongest man in the world” causes fans to have high expectations. In the Japanese dub of One PieceWhitebeard -despite his age- continues to have a fearsome and imposing aura just with his voice. In the dubbing of Funimation, R. Bruce Elliott takes a different direction.
By choosing to focus on Whitebeard’s age rather than his power, Elliott makes Edward Newgate appear older and weaker than his build indicates. With this choice, Funimation underestimates the raw power of Whitebeard.
8. They did it: Robin’s voice in the English dub has the incredible range required for the role.
Nico Robin is a demanding role. Throughout his stay in the Straw Hats, Robin goes through several specific emotional arcs. However, given the character’s icy nature, the performance has to be subtle.
Robin’s Japanese voice actor does a great job in his role, but Funimation’s Stephanie Young perfectly captures Robin’s energy. One of his most impressive performances comes in the famous “I Want to Live” moment, in which Robin pledges his allegiance to the Straw Hats. Young’s voice breaks during the line that makes the scene.
7 fell short: Luffy’s English voice actor is wildly inconsistent
Colleen Clinkenbeard, the voice of Monkey D. Luffy in Funimation’s English dub, is fantastic at her job. Luffy is a difficult character to dub, since he is the one with the most variety in the series. Most of the time, Colleen is a superb Luffy.
However, there are times when he slips at the finish line. During the reveal of Luffy’s fourth gear, Clinkenbeard caused the internet to go crazy with his exaggerated acting. Although he wins more than he loses, Clinkenbeard’s inconsistency alienates several fans from the dubbing.
6. Nailed it: Luffy’s Japanese voice actor always hits the spot
Luffy’s Japanese voice actor has been the benchmark for quality for over 20 years. There is no expression that I am not able to interpret. Whether expressing Luffy’s childish glee or his animal fury, Mayumi Tanaka never fails. Tanaka captures Luffy’s elasticity with a performance that can go from one motivation to another in the blink of an eye.
In addition to the range of expressions, Tanaka’s voice as Luffy brings the perfect amount of humor for the future Pirate King. Mayumi Tanaka is an absolute legend of voice acting in anime.
5 It fell short: Blackbeard’s new English voice actor leaves some fans in the dark
In the early days of the dubbing of One Piece At Funimation, Cole Brown handled the vocal duties for the dubbing of Blackbeard. Unfortunately, Cole passed away and was replaced by Chris Rager. Although Rager does his best, the actor finds himself in the unenviable position of mimicking a classic voice.
Funimation’s original Blackbeard brought a sinister southern threat to the character that Rager can’t seem to replicate. At best, Rager’s performance is compelling in how much it reminds fans of Brown’s turn as Blackbeard.
4. He’s Nailed It: Sanji’s English Voice Actor Cooks Up A Perfect Version Of The Character
It is difficult for the lighting to hit twice. Typically, when a voice actor lands an iconic character, it is almost impossible for them to get a similar level of acclaim for another role. That honor is reserved for the greats.
Funimation’s Eric Vale, the voice behind Sanji, also brought Future Trunks to life in the famous dubbing ofDragon Ball. Vale brings the perfect amount of humor and toughness to convey Sanji’s complex range of emotions. Vale is undoubtedly the secret ingredient in the successful cast of the dubbing of One Piece by Funimation.
3 fell short: Usopp’s English voice actor is too much like Krillin
Usopp, like Luffy, is another difficult character to fit in. The spectrum of emotions that must convey, in addition to serving as comic relief, makes the character can be annoying. To remedy this, Funimation turned to Sonny Strait, the actor who voiced Krillin in the dubbing.
The logic is fulfilled, since both characters fulfill a similar function. However, Sonny Strait’s performance is too close to Krillin’s. Rather than making Usopp a unique character, Strait unwittingly turns him into a cliché.
2. He’s Nailed It: The Japanese Voice Actor Behind Crocodile Is Really Cold Blooded
Crocodile is arguably the first major villain the Straw Hats face in One Piece. As Sir Crocodile is theThe first example of what happens when Luffy faces a sea emperor, the character’s voice was chosen with care.
With the help of Ryuzaburo Otomo to lend his voice, Crocodile comes to life with all the nefarious intent displayed by his manga counterpart. Though cold-blooded throughout, Otomo’s voice has an elegant component that elevates the performance and reflects Crocodile’s sophisticated nature.
1 fell short: Shirahoshi’s English voice actor can be excruciating at times
It is a difficult role to carry out. Even on the page, Oda was pretending that Shirahoshi was an annoying crybaby. When the character jumped into the waters of animation, finding a suitable voice became a challenge. While the Japanese version of Shirahoshi’s voice isn’t much better, Funimation’s Bryn Apprill took the character to new and more annoying depths.
Fish Island is weighed down by Apprill’s raucous performance as a mermaid princess. Hopefully Apprill will reduce its intensity in future installments.