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Apr 26, 2017
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Dub localization, from anime to K-dramas, has often been ridiculed, especially in the Philippines, where literal translations end up sounding weird and jarring.

But in other countries, voice-over work can be more demanding. Just ask Sean Schemmel, the honorable voice actor tasked to render the English narration of the all-powerful character Goku of Dragon Ball.

Having done Western VO work for numerous Japanese animated series such as Shaman King (Amidamaru) and One Piece (as Helmeppo), the veteran dubber has spent most of his career bringing good-natured heroes to life. There had been several curious tales about Schemmel's years of experience recording the lines of adult Goku, but a few stood out the most from the hundreds of episodes.

With recent news of Dragon Ball Super's "Universal Survival" saga reaching a simulcast agreement with Crunchyroll and Funimation, a popular myth was once again brought to light, the one where Schemmel allegedly collapsed while doing a scene where Goku turns into a Super Saiyan.

In an unearthed video, he shares this story in front of his fans during a previous convention: "Here's the deal. I never, ever passed out in Dragon Ball Z, but I did pass out in Dragon Ball GT. It was during the Super Saiyan 4 transformation, and I was really tired and hadn't been sleeping well. I just calculated the amount of air you'd need for a Kamehameha or another power-up, but I made my voice lower."

This resulted in his vocal cords widening, which enabled him to exhale more. The particular take didn't materialize, as Schemmel didn't muster up enough air, making him pass out for a couple of seconds. If not for the recording booth's padding, he would've suffered from a bad fall.

It's a small reminder of how epic the character of Goku was, and how the effort put in by his voice actor was even more remarkable...

 

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