by Marlan M., staff editor, Inside AX – Anime Expo
Inside AX: Let’s start out with the hard ball questions.
Monica Rial: Uh-oh!
Jamie Marchi: Uh-oh. All right. All right.
Ian Sinclair: (grunts and clears throat repeatedly) Hard balls.
JM: Getting my hard ball answers ready.
IS: Here come the balls.
IAX:Panty and Stocking is full of Western influences and Japanese influences. Do you think we’re in a period where Japanese and Western styles are beginning to meld more? Should they meld more? Should they stay separate?
MR: I think it’s great that it’s melding. I was telling these guys [Jamie and Ian] earlier I started in the industry back when we were, you know, doing VHS tapes and you got two episodes for fifty bucks and you had to pick dubbed or subbed, and I think it’s great that they’ve kind of melded and we’ve been able to do our thing with the dub and the Japanese does their thing with their dub and then you get two shows for the price of one! And that influence, that design lends itself so well to what we do. So instead of getting, like, a really great Japanese product and then a so-so dub, you get two really great dubs and you can kind of intermix and go back and forth. And I think that’s really cool and I hope that they continue to go in that direction.
IS: I want the Japanese to keep doing whatever they’re doing that’s wonderful…as long as the second season of Panty & Stocking is involved in that.
MR: The second season of anything.
JM: More seasons of anything we’re in. I would say, too, creative people are creative. It doesn’t matter where they’re from. And we are all inspired by things that we love, so if someone in Japan is inspired by South Park, they should absolutely be influenced by that and use that and utilize what inspires them so they’re not put under these constraints, this box of “this is all they can only do.” In the same way, American artists are influenced by anime. I think the more creative people influence each other, the better art gets. So nobody should try to…keep us down!
IAX: I don’t know who you’re tellin’, but you’re telling it like it is.
IS: Preach it!
JM: Hey, you! I’m telling YOU!
IS: Hey! You right there. I’m pointing at you. See me point at you. Yeah.
(Editor’s Note: No one was pointing at anyone.)
IAX: On the show, do you guys have any difficulty with the racialization of certain characters?
JM: I have no idea what you’re talking about. We’re all like Stephen Colbert and we don’t see color.
MC: Well the funny thing to me is that, well, I assume we’re talking about Christ Sabat [who voices Garterbelt]. But the funny thing to me is that I don’t think a lot of people realize is, in Dallas, he is one of the black voice actors of Dallas. Like, he’s hired to do voice over by many people. So like, he’s as legit as it gets. That’s the closest you could get.
I think we’re kinda open-ended and we let everybody just try out and audition for everything and whoever’s the best gets the job and if you happen to be white, great, if you’re black, great, it you’re Asian, great. It doesn’t matter where you come from! Everybody’s equal opportunity.
IS: I always view [my character] Chuck as a strong Latin woman, and I think it really read.
MC: He’s very curvy. I can hear the curves, definitely.
IS: (In a whisper) Chuck.
JM: That’s what I thought, too.
IS: When you were writing it?
MC: Interesting. “Strong Latin woman.”
IS: See, I read that.
MC: I think that what’s great about voice acting is that it doesn’t matter, like, what color you are, what race you are, I mean, as long as you’ve got a mouth. I’ve played little girls, and I’m in my th- (in a little girl’s voice) …late-twenties, we’ll say.
But I mean, you get to do things that you wouldn’t normally get to do and I think that’s very true.
JM: Absolutely. And I think sometimes to expect the dynamics of somebody…. If we all had to look exactly like the characters we voice, none of us would have a job because, you know, half the breasts on my characters aren’t physically possible. I’m not going to get a boob job just to voice act. I’m not. I mean, I would get it for other reasons, but not to voice act.
IAX: Going into another area completely…
JM: (whispering) That’s what he said.
JM: Don’t put me in a box!
IAX: What was an anime you’ve worked on where you wish you could re-write the ending where it differed from the manga?
MR: I didn’t followed the manga for it…I don’t even know if there is a manga for it…but as far as endings? A lot of times on anime, you don’t get like a very tight ending because they want it to continue and they want it go on. But Speed Grapher, like, had an ending! It had an actual ending and they put a bow on it and they sent it away and said, “that’s all you get.” So that’s kinda cool.
JM: Although, you know, I’m all for more episodes of everything I’m in. So, they should never end.
MR: Keep it going.
JM: Some people say they go on too long. That’s baloney!
MR: Yeah! Just keep it going!
IS: Every anime should be like The Simpsons.
IAX: Twenty five years and…
IS: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Keep the same cast.
JR: The ones that we’re in.
IAX: Alright, so what are you guys looking forward to next? Anything you’d like to plug?
IS: I wish we could talk about it.
IAX: Why not? I mean, there’s no reason you can’t….
IS: Just remember me being all cryptic about it now…
MR: We could say we’ve all got good stuff coming out.
JM: Yeah, definitely.
MR: Unfortunately, we cannot tell you what that (singing) is!
IAX: Any hints?
JR: Well, it’s going to be anime.
IS: Actually, I’m going to be playing (makes long Emergency Alert “eeeeeeeeeeeee” sound).
IAX: No way!
IS: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a transition, but, you know, I’m doing what I can.
IAX: It’ll be coming out when?
IS: Oh, roughly around eeeeeeeeeeee. I think. Maybe, maybe in the (makes sadder, dying “eeep”).(laughs) I was less convinced about that one.
JM: “In the eeeep.” That’s what I’m going to start saying. “Maybe in the eeep.”
JM: Yeah, honestly, there’s nothing that I can talk about, and we’re always gun shy about stuff like that, too. So, until I know for sure that FUNimation has announced this show that I’m writing…see, me and Monica have written a ton since Panty & Stocking but (singing) we can’t really talk about it.
MR: I’m doing jazz hands. You guys can’t see it, but I’m jazz handing. It’s awesome!
IAX: Those are the best jazz hands I’ve seen in three years.
MR: Thank you!
IS: In three years, since Jazz Hands Mcgee.
MR: Oh! We can talk about the stuff that’s on Toonami. I didn’t even think about that! We have stuff going on on television!
JM: That’s right! There’s Deadman Wonderland.
IS: Casshern Sins.
MR: Deadman Wonderland, Casshern, [FMA] Brotherhood…still on?
IS: Yeah, it is! …Is it?
MR: Dragon Ball Kai is still out there…
IS: Doing it’s thing.
MR: Doing it’s thang.
JM: Yeah. Yeah. And as far as Panty & Stocking goes, if you would like that to be on television, tweet it. Message it.
IS: TWEET IT.
MR: Harass people.
IAX: Do you have a hashtag you’d like to use for that?
IS: (like a rockstar) OW! Not #PantyandStockingOW. No extra OW.
JM: You can capitalize the “panty” and then “stocking” if you want, but it’s not necessary. You are free to- I mean, capitalize all the “a”s. Why not?
MR: Does that still register? Oh, we’ll talk about this later.
IAX: Alright, well, thank you very much for coming and this has been a lot of fun!
MR: Thanks for chatting with us!