Know Your GoH! – Monica Rial

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by Sam W., staff writer, Inside AX – Anime Expo

Every year, Anime Expo invites the most talented artists, performers, designers, and more to join us as our Guests of Honor (GoHs). From superstar voice actors to J-Pop idols, top mangaka to world-renowned designers, AX brings the goods. Know Your GoH! spotlights these amazing talents, giving you the scoop on what makes them honor worthy. Here, we won’t only tell, but show you what makes our Guests the best in their fields. Today we spotlight voice actress Monica Rial.

One of the exciting things about Anime Cons — besides buying a bunch of cool stuff, making new friends, and showing off your cosplay — is meeting the extremely talented people that make anime happen for American fans. One of those talented people is Monica Rial.

You’ll recognize her voice straight off. She’s recently played Bulma in Dragon Ball Z: Kai, Shizuka in High School of the Dead, and one of my personal favorite shows, Soul Eater, playing everyone’s favorite anthropomorphized shuriken, Tsubaki. Besides showing a lot of depth and range as an actress she is also an ADR director and writes English scripts for Funimation and ADV Films. Monica has done a lot for anime, and it’s our honor to have her at Anime Expo 2012.

Personally, I really enjoyed her scripting of Ouran High School Host Club a few years ago. One of the reasons that show holds up is the strong English dub and an attention to detail for the Japanese language and in-jokes. Monica brings her years of experience to the table when scripting, making the translation really sing for non-Japanese speakers. Decoding the meaning of a line or trying to make something relatable is far more harrowing than it might first appear. Especially when giant kanji pop up on the screen leaving a casual fan going, “what the heck just happened?!” Don’t worry, Monica will guide you.

Anime fans will often be extremely opinionated about the debut of the English voice cast, but I would start watching who scripts and directs that ADR session more. One of the reasons Andrea Romano is such a well-known ADR director (Animaniacs, Justice League, Teen Titans) is that she has a track record of producing quality performances from her talented cast. But when dubbing anime from Japan, it’s harder to do a lot of editorializing since the animation has been done ahead of time. A good anime dub is a  combination of adherence to the translation while also having an entertaining script. Ouran had a wonderful set of vocal performances. And who directed them? Why Monica Rial of course!

Make sure to look for Monica Rial at Anime Expo 2012. Maybe she’ll announce the next project she’s working on right here!

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