Samurai back again guys! Yeah, it’s been a busy, busy day, but heck, It’s been a busy, busy month, so I think it’s just as well! We’re still checking out some of the best of the year that was 2012! In our last time out, we looked at the best Male Voice Actor in Japan for this past year. Now it’s time to head on back home and check out who I picked as the best Male Voice Actor in the good ol’ U.S of A! And trust me, this decision will quite literally knock your ever-loving socks off. Once again, this is personal preference, so let’s keep the peace, okay? More after the break!
Best Male Voice Actors (English): Steven Blum & Greg Ayres
Now, I can hear your complaints now. “But, Samurai! You can’t do that! You can’t have two people win the same award! Someone has to be the runner-up!” Let me break this down for you guys. I have gone through WEEKS of flipping back and forward between these two talented actors: Who had the most roles this year? Who was the most popular? Who was more accessible and loving of their fanbases? Who’s the best overall actor? My head was SPINNING! But at the end of the day, I came to one simple realization. BOTH of these gentlemen are at the top of their game in their own way and more importantly without either one of these gentlemen in the voice acting booth, Toonami probably wouldn’t be where it is today. Lemme break it down for ya:
Steven Blum is the soul of Toonami. He’s played the role of the mechanical Master of Ceremonies TOM for longer than I can remember and has been a constant throughout Toonami’s many changes. He is the voice of a generation that could not be replaced. Period. If there was no Steven Blum, there would be no TOM. No TOM, no Toonami. In addition to his voice acting work, I also have to commend him for his close dialogue with his fans. While other actors tend to keep their fans at arm’s length, Steven embraces, listens, and genuinely enjoys interacting with his fans. He’s one of the most active V/A’s I’ve ever seen on Twitter, giving his fans updates about con appearances, new projects, or just dropping by to say hello. In fact, the whole “Bring Toonami Back” push back in late April had his full and unyielding support and I feel was extremely influential in the resurrection of the time slot.
With regards to Greg Ayres, it was his unique squeaky-raspy voice that broke the tiring pattern of acting that we’ve heard back during Adult Swim’s Action Block. Before he came along, there was NO vocal variety between the shows; it was either Johnny Bosch or Vic Mignogna as the main leads and that was, to be brutally frankly, BORING. Mr. Squeaky-Raspy gave us something new–a new voice in the mix in a show that was like nothing we’ve ever heard before in the form of “Deadman Wonderland”. Sure, you could’ve gotten ANYONE to play Ganta, but would they have done it that well? I doubt it seriously. He’s also a fan of the genre, often joining in and interacting with other Toonami Faithful on Twitter offering rapid-fire commentary. That, coupled with the fact that he’s been in some of the highest scoring shows I’ve reviewed this year, gives me more than enough reason for him to share this award.