So Black Bullet happens to be one of the most watched and popular anime in the spring 2014 anime season. Sentai Filmworks has also picked up this for home video rights in North America as well. Thus being said, I have high hopes (but at the same time, very doubtful and cautious) that this series will get a high quality English dub with Toonami airing in the near future..
Now, for those who aren't familiar with Sentai Filmworks , here are a few things you need to know:
- Sentai Filmworks does dub their anime. However, they only dub a few select titles while they leave some titles released sub-only. Some of their dubbing decisions are usually based on objective data such as sub-only DVD/BD sales (they do rerelease some of their older sub-only titles with dubs), or on the basis of streaming views from streaming sites as Crunchyroll, Hulu, and The Anime Network (Sentai Filmwork's personal streaming service).
- Thus being said, Sentai Filmworks have also made subjective dubbing decisions, and had made very unpredictable dubbing decisions such as giving popular and most watched titles sub-only releases. Thus, this is one of the main reasons I'm doubtful and cautious if Black Bullet will get an English dub or not.
- Sentai Filmworks do not hire out-of-town voice talents in their dubs, this is because they run in a more limited budget than their competitors Viz Media and Funimation (although this rule MIGHT change in the future, as they had hired some voice talents who worked with Funimation at Dallas in some of their recent dubs).
- They are also known for their "liberal" script writing and keeping honorifics in their dubs.
- Oh, and Sentai Filmwork's DVD/BD prices are very reasonable. By average, you can buy 13 episode sets for about $40-50 in DVD or $50-60 in BD. That's a stark contrast to the folks in Japan where they have buy them in 1-2 episode sets for about the same price. Sentai Filmwork's BD/DVDs will cost about $5-10 more if it's dubbed.
- They are headquarted in Houston. For more information about what voice actors Sentai Filmworks normally use, visit this TV Tropes page (under Dub Voice Actors/Texas/Houston section).
Thus being said, some may want to ask, "Dark Paladin X, who do you think will voice x character in the dub?"
Well, for starters, I'm going to pick two voice actors from Los Angeles for this one. I think Rentaro Sataomi should be voiced by Bryce Papenbrook and Enju Aihara should be voiced by Christine Marie Cabanos .
For Enju AIhara, she's voiced by Rina Hidaka in Japan. Now, if I were to compare Rina Hidaka to an American voice actress, that'll be Christine Marie Cabanos. Both RIna Hidaka and Christine Marie Cabanos are known to have relatively high-pitched voices and are known to be typecast into lolis when it comes to anime. Heck, Christine Marie Cabanos even voiced one of Rina Hidaka's lolis in the past (Silica from Sword Art Online). Another alternative if Sentai Filmworks cannot get Christine Marie Cabanos is Brittney Karbowski (as she voiced two of Rina Hidaka's roles as well), but it would be a huge miscast because Brittney Karbowski's name is associated with teenage tsunderes instead of lolis. Besides, I have doubts about Karbowski's ability to voice lolis like Enju.
Here's some voice clip samples of Christine Marie Cabanos voicing Nepgear from the jRPG Hyperdimesnion Neptunia as a good example of what Enju would most likley sound like in the dub:
Now for Rentaro, Bryce Papenbrook would be a more appropriate choice here. First of all, Yuki Kaji (the seiyuu for Rentaro) also voiced Eren Yeager in Attack on Titan. I've noticed some people has been comparing Black Bullet to Attack on Titan (which is only accurate by premise only). Bryce Papenbrook voiced Eren Yeager in the Attack on Titan dub, so it would easily make sense to also cast him as Rentaro in the dub. Besides, Rentaro is a kind of character that Bryce Papenbrook would most likely voice, as Bryce Papenbrook is known to be typecast as lead heroes, some of whom happens to be "nice guys" at heart (like Rentaro).
Here's a few voice clip samples of Bryce Papenbrook's voice work:
In my next post, I'll share my reasoning on who should voice Tina Sprout and Kisara Tendo. For a brief preview, I think Emily Neves should voice Tina Sprout and Jessica Calvello should voice Kisara Tendo. I'll try to find voice clip samples to further strengthen my point of view. If you guys want to help me out finding some voice clip samples in Youtube, feel free to do so.