Last year, Funimation announced that they licensed the second season of Free!. I was so excited for the cast announcements and I couldn’t wait to hear what the characters sound like, I was predicting all the voices (I’ll mention who I predicted as who). Finally they announced the choices and some excited me, others got me nervous.
Makoto- Vic Mignogna
Nagisa- Greg Ayres
Rei- J. Michael Tatum
Rin- IDK, I wanted an Australian to do the voice because Rin lived in Australia for 5 years so he should have a bit of an Aussie accent. If Heath Ledger was still alive and did anime voices I would love to hear him voice Rin… just watch this parody of 10 things I hate about you and you’ll see what I mean…
Gou/Kou- Kari Wahlgren
Miho Amakata- Monica Rial
Everyone else I didn’t predict
Caitlin Glass as Miho Amakata
When I heard Caitlin Glass will be voicing Amakata I didn’t know how to feel. Caitlin Glass is an amazing voice actress and can go deep to sweet easily. My only doubt was how she’ll perform considering the direction the directors could tell her to go. Results were that this is an excellent performance from her… that’s all I have to say. However this doesn’t affect the show considering how much she lacks as a character.
Chris Sabat as Couch Sasabe
At first I was confident that this performance will work but now I don’t know if I like this voice… It may be a bit too deep for Sasabe. I don’t know, it kind of suits him but their is something about it that didn’t feel right.
Robert McCollum as Seijuurou Mikoshiba
Jerry Jewell as Momotaro Mikoshiba
At first I was a little bit nervous at the thought of Jerry Jewell’s rather rough voice playing the more cheerful and enthusiastic Momo (I like his voice when playing Kyo from Fruits Basket). But when I heard Momo’s voice, I started to notice how it works but in a really weird way. The voice doesn’t exactly suit Momo’s character but it works somehow, I can’t explain how it just does.
Josh Grelle as Aiichiro Nitori
Part of me was confident with this voice but another part of me was nervous. What I want to hear from Grelle’s performance as Nitori is the same as what he gave us when playing Akihisa Yoshii from Baka and Test or Armin from Attack on Titans, but this can easily go wrong, an example was when he played Yukki from Mirai Nikki, it was a good performance later on in the series but when I first heard Yukki’s English voice I was so disappointed because it was just too deep. But when I heard Nitori’s English voice, I am so relieved and satisfied. It’s not perfect since it didn’t exactly have the childish and innocent charm but it was an amazing performance because it was something different from the Japanese but in a good way.
Ian Sinclair as Sosuke Yamazaki
When I found out Ian Sinclair would be voicing Sosuke, I thought that this will work and I’m going to be impressed. I was impressed and it actually met my expectations. It was not a performance that’ll blow you away, nor was it a performance that’ll disappoint you. I do like this performance and I have no problems with it.
Jamie Marchi as Gou (Kou) Matsuoka
When I found out the voice of Panty would provide the voice of Gou, I was pretty disappointed but maybe Jamie Marchi could impress me so I wasn’t as nervous as I was with the next one. But when I heard this performance, I got to say I am very disappointed. It really didn’t match Gou at all, it was a bit too deep when Gou needed a sweeter voice.
Vic Mignogna as Rin Matsuoka
When I found out Rin was being played by Vic Mignogna, I was so nervous. I had so much doubt for this voice because Vic has such a light voice. I know Vic and Mamoru Miyano (Rin’s seiyuu) both share the performance of Tamaki (OHSHC) and Zero (Vampire Knight) and they all worked (yes, unlike everyone else I think Vic did well when voicing Zero) but Vic’s voice just doesn’t work with Rin’s. I have never been so stunned by a performance before, Vic Mignogna as Rin Matsuoka ACTUALLY WORKED! I could barely even recognize Vic when I heard Rin speak for the first time. I am so impressed when this whole time I was doubting that Vic could do a good job as Rin. The only problem I have has nothing to do with Vic but it’s how they all say Rin, it’s not “Rin” as in Rihanna BTW it’s “Rin” as in ring… I hope I explained it right.
J. Michael Tatum as Rei Ryugazaki
I PREDICTED THIS RIGHT!!! When I found out J. Michael Tatum would be the voice of Rei, I thought that this would be the best performance of the anime and possibly his best performance ever. Rei’s character is described as a mix of Kyoya and Tamaki (OHSHC) and J. Michael Tatum also does the voice of Kyoya so this works. After hearing this performance I am a little bit disappointed. It’s really good don’t get me wrong, J. Michael Tatum did a really good job as Rei it’s just because I set my expectations so high that he didn’t meet it and it’s definitely not his best performance. But I can say I’m satisfied with this performance so it’s passable.
Greg Ayres as Nagisa Hazuki
I PREDICTED THIS RIGHT! I think out of every Funimation voice actor, Greg Ayres is the best at doing shota-lolis. Yes Luci Christian is good but she wouldn’t be right for the performance of Nagisa. When I heard Nagisa though I was very disappointed. More surprised than disappointed actually. It’s not because I had my expectations high, it’s because this just isn’t a good performance. I can’t point my finger at what’s wrong with it, I thought Greg Ayres would do a good job because he has a raspberry tone in his voice but it always works with his performances. In the past I always went by this quote, “You can always recognize Greg Ayres voice but no matter who he performs as it always works” but now I was proven wrong, this is the first time Greg Ayres has ever disappointed me in his performance, but I guess all voice actors have their downs.
Johnny Yong Bosch as Makoto Tachibana
At first I was nervous about this performance but than my friend explained to me on how this could work because his voice can go from sweet to deep easily, Vash the Stampede (Trigun) is a great example. But when I heard this performance, I’m a bit disappointed. It’s one of those moments when the voice actor has the great potential of doing an amazing job but than it goes a bit wrong. For the most part it did suit Makoto’s mature personality, but it didn’t work with Makoto’s gentle personality. I do like it but not as much as I hoped I would.
Todd Haberkorn as Haruka Nanase
This is the performance that worried me the most. I can’t imagine Todd having such a cool and kind of dead voice like Nobunaga Shimazaki (Haru’s seiyuu). I was so surprised when I heard this performance however. Todd did an amazing job as Haru, like Vic, I could hardly recognize him. Todd added a bit more life in Haru’s voice which I thought would be a bad thing but it really worked. I’m actually so impressed and this has actually become one of Todd’s stand out roles.
The dub is no way near as good as the Japanese, I can guarantee that. But it is an overall impressive dub, no surprise considering Funimation does mostly good dubs. I do have a problem with Greg Ayres as Nagisa and Jamie Marchi as Gou but everyone else did a good job especially Todd Haberkorn as Haru and Vic Mignogna as Rin, lets not forget Caitlin Glass as Amakata. I will mention this here that I didn’t mention in my review that the script wasn’t written too good but oh well. Free! Eternal Summer’s dub gets a B+.