The Voice Actors of the Kingdom Hearts Series

Voicing in the Kingdom Hearts series

The voices behind the characters

East vs West- My Brief Stance

I’m not entirely sure why, considering a massive part of my gaming collection is pre-voicing , but in recent games – and particularly RPGs – voice acting has become one of the first things I look at. I have absolutely no issue in going onto YouTube and looking up a game’s end credits before it hits my English shores in order to approve or disapprove of the cast before I even play the game, even if I end up spoilt as to some of the characters that may or may not appear within it.

I should probably start right now by stating that I do not believe in the supremacy of Japanese dubs, despite my position as an avid RPG fan. This does make me a bit of a standalone voice in the crowd sometimes, but there are several occasions where I have no problem in saying that I prefer the English dubbing to the Japanese. In some respects Kingdom Hearts has become one of those series where this statement applies, and that sentiment was echoed a few years back by the series’ own creator Tetsuya Nomura, when he stated that people more often associate the English voices than the Japanese.

Casting Choices

Haley Joel Osment

The voice of Sora

The casting directors for Kingdom Hearts have followed a rather interesting pattern in choosing voices for the characters stretching back to the first game. Following in Disney’s footsteps of casting an adventurous mixture of “Disney voices” (as Disney seems to have a massive supply of contract voices), with a collection of mainstream “celebrity voices” (usually big names in movies), Kingdom Hearts’ casting director, Ned Lott, ventured out of the usual field by bringing in a veritable smorgasbord of voices from unusual areas for a video game. Lott brought together the established Disney voice talent for a majority of the characters (particularly the Disney characters) with many “regular” actors who had not really been involved in voice acting before, such as David Boreanaz (Squall) and Steve Burton (Cloud). Lott even managed (the shock of it) to secure Academy Award nominated actor Haley Joel Osment (this game started a trend of him voicing characters in several Disney movies). In the cast list for the first Kingdom Hearts game, you would actually find very little reliance on “professional” voice actors outside of the Disney talent pool, with the majority of original and Final Fantasy characters being voiced by screen actors, or even singers (ie. Mandy Moore as Aerith).

This odd mix of voices is something that unexpectedly worked a lot better than people would have thought possible. I’ve played games in the past that have tried using “regular” actors rather than established voice actors, and they generally don’t turn out as effective as they could have (a notable example for me was Buffy: Chaos Bleeds, although the usually mild and meek Amber Benson’s performance as the vampire version of Tara, really stole the show in Willow’s levels). However, Kingdom Hearts pulled it off to a degree that was as surprising as it was charming. The next voice director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Bob Buchholz (who has filled this role in every release of the series since the second game), has continued this trend across his work with Square Enix; not just the Kingdom Hearts games, but for other titles (The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and Dissidia -Final Fantasy-).

A Double-Edged Keyblade?

The problem is that this method of casting has been a bit of a double-edged sword. Firstly it can be really difficult to keep regular actors on-board for several different reasons. So far, we have unfortunately bore witness to repeated voice changes from one game to the next, which is something we haven’t seen with Square Enix’s other franchises (my main basis for comparison being Final Fantasy X & X-2, where all actors from the first game returned for the second, but the more recent Compilation of Final Fantasy VII can also be looked at for an example of this). Several of the “celebrity” voices used in the first Kingdom Hearts were replaced in the second, and in turn this saw an increase in professional voice actors taking over: Billy Zane was replaced by Richard Epcar as “Ansem, Seeker of Darkness”, David Boreanaz was replaced by Doug Erholtz as Leon/Squall, and Christy Carlson Romano was replaced by Mae Whitman as Yuffie (the odd exception was Mandy Moore‘s replacement by Hollywood actress Mena Suvari as Aerith in one of the most fan-controversial moments of the series’ history). As an aside, I should probably say at this moment that I actually kind of liked Suvari as Aerith and didn’t think she deserved anywhere near the amount of hate she got from the fans. She at least tried to fit the voice work to the appearance of the character. She also displayed a better attempt to act compared to Moore’s rather bland “I’m just reading off a script” approach (I did like Mandy Moore, but replaying the game recently really made me realize she wasn’t all that great).

I place a lot of the blame on Bob Buchholz, ever since seeing the extended making-of in the US Collector’s Edition of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. To anyone who owns that, if you haven’t watched it, do it now-it’s been extended with interviews with some of the English cast and crew and shows filming inside the studio of actors while they were delivering their lines. There are many times you see them performing the line so much better than what appeared for the final film, and it made me realize that the actors deserve a little less hate.

Changing of the guard-frequent voice replacements

Hayden Panettiere-the original Kairi

The constant replacement of character voices has continued throughout the series- Lance Bass‘s battle cries as Sephiroth in the first game led to him being succeeded by George Newbern; after being newly recruited in Kingdom Hearts II to play as Naminé, Brittany Snow have been replaced by Meaghan Jette Martin, who had recently (as of Re:Chain of Memories) played a role in Disney’s Camp Rock. Another alumni of Camp Rock, Alyson Stoner, surprisingly replaced Hayden Panettiere as the voice of Kairi in Re:Chain of Memories and 358/2 Days (where she also voiced Xion, a role she reprised for a cameo line in Birth by Sleep). Hayden returned only for one incredibly short line in Birth by Sleep. Again, bringing in actors known primarily for live action doesn’t always work, and in these two girls’ cases, Stoner did what I saw as a very good emulation of Kairi’s voice, whilst Jette Martin’s Naminé was incredibly flat (which is a shame, because I really liked her in ABC Family’s short lived TV-adaptation of 10 Things I Hate About You).

I just mentioned that Hayden, the original Kairi, didn’t return for two games. This is not an exclusive occurence, as DiZ/Ansem the Wise, despite having only had two actors, has not been voiced by the same one in any successive game. In Kingdom Hearts II and 358/2 Days, he was voiced by legend Christopher Lee, whilst in Re:Chain of Memories and Birth by Sleep, DiZ/Ansem was voiced by Corey Burton (who also imitates Christopher Lee’s voice as Count Dooku in the Star Wars universe).

Bob Buchholz takes this same hack-and-slash approach outside of the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Aerith had two different voices in the Kingdom Hearts universe, where her second voice also appeared in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, which, by the way, was recorded alongside Kingdom Hearts II. However, in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, she was replaced by TV actress Andrea Bowen (trivia: Andrea’s sister voiced Fuu in Kingdom Hearts II). Yuffie’s voicework followed the same pattern as DiZ/Ansem, with no two consecutive appearances voiced by the same woman. This is all very odd considering that Kingdom Hears II and Advent Children were apparently recorded together.

Let’s move on to the opposite end of the spectrum, where I present to you, Kathryn Beaumont. Not many people may recognize that name, so here’s a quick bit of history. In 1951, a 13-year-old English-born actress was chosen by Disney to voice Alice in ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Two years later, she voiced Wendy in Disney’s Peter Pan. This year, in what I thought was an incredible gesture, she voiced Kairi’s grandmother in Birth by Sleep. Now, why would she belong in the opposite end of the spectrum? Back in 2002, at age 64, Kathryn Beaumont reprised both her roles as Alice and Wendy in Kingdom Hearts I, a massive fifty years after originally voicing those characters. I find that a most amazing affair, and I love hearing her voice in the games as she really has that mid-twentieth century “classic acting” voice- so smooth and with that slight husk they used to have. It’s the style of voice I’m really happy that Jennifer Hale managed to emulate in her dual role as Princesses of Heart Cinderella and Aurora in Birth by Sleep.

Introduction of the Professional Voice Actors

Quinton Flynn

The name's Quinton Flynn, got it memorized?

As the series has gone on, Disney and Square Enix have become less afraid of using established voice actors to take on the roles in the growng cast of the games. The biggest influx was in Kingdom Hearts II, including one of my favourite voice artists Tara Strong reprising her Final Fantasy X/X-2 role of Rikku. Tara was introduced to the franchise alongside Yuna (still played by Hedy Burress, more known for her live action roles than her voice over ones) and Paine (Gwendoline Yeo, who has managed to have a nicely balanced acting career across different types of media).

However, the crown for the most famous voice actor role in the Kingdom Hearts series would undoubtedly go to the extremely talented Quinton Flynn, who’s portrayal of Axel (and Lea) from Kingdom Hearts II onwards is one of the most immediately memorable in the franchise. As more games have been released, more recognizable names from the voice acting realm have been introduced, such as Kirk Thornton and Robin Atkin Downes (Saïx and Luxord). Plus, several of the Twilight Town crew was voiced by a mixture of Disney talent and more freelance voice actors (most recently one of my other favourite female voice actors, Jennifer Hale, joined the cast of Birth by Sleep, where she admittedly reprised a Disney role, so she was credited as “Disney Voice Talent”, but still).

Though the Kingdom Hearts games are making good progress in taking on more voice actors, I still feel more effort could be made to bring in more. I’m sure a role could be made to be filled by Troy Baker (voice of Snow from FFXIII)- that would certainly make my world a happier place.

Do Actors Make Good Voice Actors?

Mark Hamill, voice of Eraqus

After that massive onslaught of text dealing with my one bad point of getting actors with little-to-no experience in voice acting, I finally get to my second bad point. They are simply not suited to voice acting. Voice acting in the west, at this point in time, is not treated as importantly as in other places, particularly in Japan, despite my belief that voice acting is actually much harder. Screen and stage actors get to act with their entire bodies, whereas a voice actor has to portray everything about the character solely with their voice. They almost at times have to overact in order to get the right emotion across, which is something that regular actors occasionally struggle with.

Please note: spoiler about Birth by Sleep in the next paragraph
Some actors have accomplished this extremely well, a fantastic example being Haley Joel Osment as Sora, who I feel has excelled in the role ever since the first game (and his darker turn as Vanitas in Birth by Sleep was amazing, if it wasn’t for the fact I already knew that was Haley Joel Osment, I never would have guessed it), as has David Gallagher as Riku. Other actors didn’t fare quite so well: David Boreanaz, as much as I love him as an actor (hell I won’t deny I had a massive crush on him back when he was Angel in Buffy), and as nicely suited as his voice was to Leon in Kingdom Hearts, just didn’t come across as a whole package- he struggled a bit in maintaining the right levels of emotion as the character.

This dropped standard from regular actors was most highlighted (in my opinion) in the series’ most recent outing, where Jesse McCartney’s Ventus (Roxas in Kingdom Hearts II and 358/2 Days) easily outshines the other two main characters. Terra and Aqua’s voices, Jason Dohring and Willa Holland, most known for playing bitty parts in Veronica Mars and The OC respectively, were occasionally swallowed up in the game. This isn’t so much a statement on their acting ability, more that they just weren’t suited to voice acting. You could spot moments where Dohring swung between being spot-on as Terra to having several uncomfortable voicing moments, whereas Holland was merely “okay” throughout the entire game. Yet, I will happily say that she sounds much better in-game than she did in trailers and previews, and she did get better (or maybe I just got more used to her) as Birth by Sleep progressed. They simply don’t shine when surrounded by the extraordinary Mark Hamill (once again flexing his amazing voice-over muscles, though for the first time in the Kingdom Hearts franchise as new character Master Eraqus) and the legend that is Leonard Nimoy (in what is billed as his last role, as Master Xehanort).

What Next?

Miley Cyrus as Rinoa?

Could it happen?

What does this mean for the future of voicing in the Kingdom Hearts series? The next planned game for English voicing, Re:coded, features only returning characters and so we will get to see how many actors reprise their roles, and how many are changed. As for the future of the series…new characters to be voiced by America Ferrera and Ethan Peck? Maybe a surprise turn-in for Patrick Stewart? Hey, lets introduce Final Fantasy VIII’s Rinoa to the series and get her voiced by Miley Cyrus just to round off the cast. But most of all, I hope they continue their trend to use established voice actors, as they really help to give the games a more professional finish.

Who are your Favourite Voice Actors?

So what do you think? Who have been your most and least favourite voice roles in Kingdom Hearts? What do you feel about the constant swapping and changing of voices? Who could you see Bob Buchholz casting in the next game? And most importantly, how good do you feel the voice acting is in the Kingdom Hearts franchise? And if you would like to broadcast something about KH, find out how you can become the next guest!

“Voicing in the Kingdom Hearts series” was written by Kupo Mog, our resident Community forum administrator. Each Monday, we publish a Guest Blog from a member of the KH & Gaming Community.

How good do you feel the voice acting has been in Kingdom Hearts?

  • Amazing (51%, 184 Votes)
  • Good (41%, 146 Votes)
  • Okay (8%, 27 Votes)
  • Not so good (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Terrible (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 360

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50 Responses to “The Voice Actors of the Kingdom Hearts Series”

  1. Sir Adamus Says:

    If Miley Cyrus is ever in a Kingdom Hearts game I will murder someone.

    Preferably her.

  2. Thomas Øvrelid Says:

    I hope that they keep Hayden Panettiere, she’s much better than the other girl.

  3. ryomai Says:

    Well, overall, the voice acting is good. Though, sometimes, I don’t think they pick the BEST choices for the characters. Like Terra and Aqua for one thing. Oy. Those two are my least favorites for several reasons. Granted, they have their moments, but just didn’t sell it. My favorites have to be Billy Zane as Ansem, Haley Joel Osment…in both of his roles really, David Gallagher’s Riku, James Patrick Stuart as Braig, Leonard Nimoy as Master Xehanort, Mark Hamill as Eraqus and Derek Stephen Prince as Vexen.

    I want to see more professional voice actors, honestly. Roger Craig Smith would have been an AMAZING Terra. But, nope. =/ But, he should pop up somewhere, since he’s done some Disney stuff too. Kate Higgins would be good somewhere. And, I’d say Josh Keaton, but he’s already in as Young Hercules. More Kari Wahlgren would be nice, too.

    As for the constant voice changes, well…you hired celebs…you have to expect stuff like that. Which stinks when it comes to Billy Zane and Leonard Nimoy. God, I hope Master Xehanort DOESN’T return…

    - Ryusuke

  4. Rhema Williams Says:

    Omg please don’t bring Miley Cyrus to ruin the awesomeness of Kingdom Hearts XP Lol! Wow, I knew Jesse McCartney did Roxas but WOW, lots more famous people. Haha, I knew I was right to like Riku, the voice actor is SUPER good-looking! XD Kingdom Hearts forever!!!

  5. Lauren Says:

    Very thorough analysis of the voice acting in Kingdom Hearts! I like this a lot. Although I do disagree with you on Miss Suvari.. I like her as an actress (i.e. American Beauty) however, her performance in Kingdom Hearts was really disconnected and seemed like this acting gig was more of a minor job.. than something she should seriously consider. This I think is part of the trouble with actors who don’t go into their theater roots with their voice acting.. you think, oh.. voice acting you just have to sound convincing.. that’s completely opposite.. those actors who don’t do their homework before doing a voice acting role should really be ashamed of themselves, because this is something that people will listen to and will judge. the gaming community is just as important to please as the movie community. So.. Mena Suvari and Hayden, pull yourselves up by your dang boot straps and work it! >:-( [/end rant from a university theater student X-D]

  6. Age Says:

    Quote: “If Miley Cyrus is ever in a Kingdom Hearts game I will murder someone.

    Preferably her.”

  7. Fate Defied Says:

    Truly excellent article right here. You definitely hit all the right areas as far as Kingdom Hearts voice acting goes; not only was it informative, but it was also humorous in spots. Lovely job Tony.

    As for my favorite voice actor in the Kingdom Hearts series, that’s really a hard pick. As much as the character occasionally irks me, Osment did a great job with Sora and Gallagher did well as Riku. Though, Zane was probably my favorite in Kingdom Hearts I. He just had the perfect voice for his part. As for Re:CoM, I would have to say that Derek Stephen Prince shined; it made me almost like Vexen. I also liked Corazza for Zexion, though it took me a while to get used to. For Kingdom Hearts II, I have to go with Kirk Thorton and Quinton Flynn; both did a phenomenal job.

    I think with BBS, a lot of the time the voice acting sounded better in game than in the trailers. I originally cringed when I heard Nimoy doing Master Xehanort, but he sounded amazing in context of the game itself. I agree with your points about that game as well; the three main characters’ voices didn’t really get to shine that much in comparison to Mark Hamill and Leonard Nimoy.

    Again, awesome job on this post; very thorough and a very fluid read.

  8. Xagzan Says:

    My only question is, what DID happen to Billy Zane?

    Yeah, Troy Baker definitely should’ve had a part by now. Back when ReCom came out I was hoping so strongly he’d do Marluxia, since I thought he could easily match Shuichi Ikeda’s deep and brilliant performance. But instead we got the largely monotone work of Keith Ferguson, which is odd since I thought he did a wonderful Basch in FF12.

    Oh, and no Miley Cyrus please

  9. Patrick Sagon Says:

    NO (current) DISNEY CHANNEL ACTORS/ACTRESSES IN KINGDOM HEARTS EVER! >:(

  10. Nerösktji Says:

    For me, the only series that excels in voice acting other than Kingdom Hearts it’s actually Metal Gear solid, and that is saying alot. Just like David Hayter IS snake’s voice, Haley is Soras. And he was amazing as Vanitas.
    And just like the mgs games, i wouldn’t want to play them in japanese.

  11. KH LOVER! Says:

    The Kingdom Hearts voice actors are awesome (considering they are reduced to some pretty small lines at times) I love them! Of course, i wish Hayden would come back as Kairi (and have more to say) Haley as Sora is just incredible! Riku is a good kind of SMACK in the face and we fangirls all want to give Quinto Flinn a kiss on the cheek, right? (smiles) These guys are ALL great! I love ya, David, Haley and Hayden!

    Oh, and thank goodness! I hate Miley Cyrus, too! If she EVER dares to voice ANY Kingdom hearts characters (especially Rinoa) I swear I will die! Are you listening Miley? I have to be frank – you may be a talented singer (though i don’t PERSONALLY care for your sound) but you do not belong in the KH world. Kingdom Hearts takes depth and actual VOICING talent (with emotion, thank-you very much) You can pull of comedy, and comedy only!

  12. KH LOVER again Says:

    Oh yeah, and Jesse as Roxas and Ven…man…I love you, dude.

  13. casey Says:

    lets not get anymore “disney channel actors” unless its someone like ashley tisdale whom work with voice acting before. I really didn’t like alyson stoner for Xion. She did good on Xion’s last lines to Roxas, but other than that, no. as for Meaghan Jette Martin, she wasn’t the worst but still, after brittney snow, it was kinda of a let down.

    Anywho, I really loved Billy Zane as Ansem, the seeker of darkness. He had one of the best villain-like voice i’ve ever heard. I do like who replaced him, but it took bout a year to get over it. you could imagine my anger in KH2 when they over-recorded billy’s voice with Richard Epcar.

    btw: alyson didn’t do the cameo in BbS. that was hayden.

  14. guest101 Says:

    Great stuff! As for my favorite VAs, they are:

    Billy Zane: Xehanort
    Christopher Lee: Ansem
    Jesse McCartney: Roxas/Ven
    Quinton Flynn: Axel/Lea (my favorite character)
    Leonard Nimoy: Master Xehanort
    Mark Hamill: Master Eraqus
    Haley Joel Osment: Vanitas (HJO as Sora is good, but I like his voice as Vanitas better)
    Child Actors that voiced young sora, riku, & kairi (I thought they were rather cute, hehe)

    Now the issues. I one thing I actually do complain about in KH games is voice actor changes. It may have been five years now, but I am still irked by the fact that the awesome Billy Zane has been replaced by the awful voice actor Richard Epcar. While I also don’t like Corey Burton taking over Christopher Lee as Ansem, I’m not as irked by it as Zane’s replacement because I’m used to Burton as Count Dooku in Star Wars. Still, I would’ve really loved to hear Christopher Lee in the BBS secret ending, so what I would do is listen to Christopher Lee’s voice as many times as I can, and then mute Burton’s voice in the secret ending. I didn’t really mind Meaghan Jette Martin replacing Brittany Snow, because her voice gives Namine a younger voice, considering Martin Martin voiced Namine in games taking place before KH2. As for Kairi, I will say I considered Alyson Stoner a decent Xion, but I am glad that it seems like Hayden is coming back after hearing her in the BBS secret ending. As far as Leon, Aerith, and Yuffie go, I preferred their KH1 voices. I was glad Steve Burton retained his role as Cloud. Although, I was very happy Lance Bass was replaced by George Newbern as Sephiroth (my favorite FF character). However, if Jesse McCartney or Quinton Flynn ever get replaced, I’ll become heartbroken. And since BBS was Leonard Nimoy’s final acting role, I really hope Master Xehanort doesn’t return (at least not in a speaking role).

    Now for the controversial voice actors of Terra and Aqua. Honestly, I was worried when I heard them in the trailers, but after playing BBS twice, I honestly don’t see what’s wrong with them. Maybe I got used to their voices, who knows, but I really wouldn’t mind if they returned. In fact, now I couldn’t imagine anyone else voicing them.

  15. ryomai Says:

    My assumption is, Zane only did this for fun. For kids, y’know? I’d say he was blacklisted for that one movie, but that doesn’t make sense since they don’t do that anymore.

  16. Beau Says:

    Great article, this is a great subject. Personally..

    I LOVED Billy Zane as Ansem. He set such and incredible tone for the character, and I don’t feel Richard Epcar lives up to it. I wish they could get him back.

    Jesse McCartney has really given standout performances in all the games he’s voiced in. He’s totally surprised me every time!

    Regarding the recent lackluster performances of Terra and Aqua’s English voice actors, I wish that they could play the Japanese performances for them before recording so that they can get a feel for what the character was originally intended to sound like. Aqua’s English VA could have really benefited from hearing her Japanese counterpart’s great mix of strength and tenderness in her performance.

    Anyway, soapbox removed.

  17. incognitogrl Says:

    oh god, don’t even joke about Miley Cyrus voicing Rinoa. I’ve been waiting through 6 games for her to finally pop up and i don’t need anyone putting any funny ideas like that into the casting director’s head! =P

  18. rokuterra Says:

    We don`t need anymore disney channel actors in KH, they suck enough already. Especially miley cyrus. I hated alison stoners voice as xion, hopefully by KH3 when it`s finally made all of the original voice actors will be back. But I hate voice actors that just read a script and doesn`t care what they read, they just do it for the money. But if some characters are ever replaced I would just stop caring about the voice acting. But if they replace the following voices for these characters, I would personally kill nomura: sora/vanitas, riku, kairi, roxas/ventus, axel/lea, siax, (If I`m spelling it right), xigbar/braig, master xehanort, vexen/even. I can`t think of anymore, I would of said diz/ansem the wise cause he has been changed. And just a suggestion maybe if there`s ever such a role, johnny young bosch.

  19. Andrew Stander Says:

    How is HJO going to voice Sora (which is based off a his 14 year old version) in KH: Re: Coded?

  20. Sakuchan Says:

    Well…he IS an actor. Hope that somehow pans out.

    Or perhaps, they’ll cut and paste from his previous work as a young’un.

  21. Sakuchan Says:

    Yes, Jesse McCartney doesn’t get enough love. He still sounds like Roxas-no voice change for him!

  22. Tenebrion Says:

    Or the same way they did in Re:CoM, which was not at all. :P

  23. Tony Says:

    Haha, there was a particular reason I chose Cyrus as Rinoa, the obvious one is she fits some of the criteria to be a KH voice (soul has belonged to Disney for example), but also because mentally it just works.

    Possibly because I can’t stand Rinoa. Possibly.

  24. Tony Banks Says:

    Yeah, I have to agree McCartney has done a great job as Roxas and Ven, when he was first announced I was really skeptical, but he’s done a great job in the long run.

  25. Tony Says:

    Well they both cameod, as I mentioned in the article. Hayden returned for the Kairi one, whilst Alyson did the Xion one. I’m assuming they’re probably going to keep the two voices seperate now in future for some reason, probably because it’d be a bit of a slap in the face to Alyson if they took her character off her.

  26. Tony Says:

    Thankee Aly, glad to see you took the time for a pretty epic-length comment there haha. <3

  27. Shay Says:

    this is easily the most I’ve ever learned online in one sitting.
    amazinnnnng post, tony. I didn’t know there was 49580948 different namines.

    my fav is kirk thornton, though. (nothathasnothingtodowithtalesoftheabyss…), quinton flynn, and jesse mccartney (that hot hot manbeast).
    this probably has everything to do with the fact that saix, axel, and roxas are my favorite characters.

  28. Bunchostrike48 Says:

    My vote for best voice actor would be James Arnold Taylor. I think out of all the voice cast, he did probably the most voiceacting for multiple characters namely Timon, Jack Sparrow etc

  29. abliviate Says:

    I agree with Sir Adamus. If Miley Cyrus even comes close to any of Kingdom Hearts franchise, she will rue the day she accepted the job of being a VA. Because yes, she will die.

  30. abliviate Says:

    No…Miley Cyrus being a voice actor- wait, Miley Cyrus being ALIVE doesn’t work.

  31. ryomai Says:

    Honestly, he’s a better VA than a singer. He’s been taking more VA work lately like Dick Grayson/Robin in Young Justice.

  32. Melissa Says:

    Rinoa voiced by a southern girl like Miley Cyrus!? Thats not right in my book. Rinoa needs someone with a sweet voice but still sounds confident.

  33. shannaro1992 Says:

    Tara Strong always has been my favorite voice actor. It’s really because her ability to change her voice dramatically never fails to astohish me. Not only that, she KNOWS how to deliver a line with the correct pace and the right amount of emotion. Even when she played a minor role in KHII, I was still happy. I hope she contributes again in future titles.

    As for Disney, Jodi Benson, who has ALWAYS been the voice of princess Ariel, is my personal favorite. She did very well along with all the other veteran Disney voices in KH, and I even managed to fall in love with “Part of Your World” all over again when she sang it for KHII. Sigh*** I wish Ariel appears again as an ally just so I could hear her voice but I know that won’t happen…

  34. KiM Says:

    Agreed~

    In my opinion, Jesse improved a great deal between Roxas from KHII through 358/2 Days, followed by Ventus in BbS (he’s had enough practice with the two characters). Actually, I’m not afraid to say that I prefer his work on Ven over Roxas (primarily because Ven is as cute as a button and has that child-like emotion that he pulled off so well). Personally, I love Willa as Aqua and Jason grew on me, too…

    I’m sure by the time they must reprise their roles, they’ll sound fantastic.

  35. Brazilian keyblade master Says:

    The sora’s voice in kh re:coded it’s…sorry for the name i wiil say but,it’s a shit,but came down,only at the attacks

  36. ali Says:

    if they put miley cyrus in any kingdom hearts game i will lose respect for the whole franchise (and im a 13 yr old girl lol) her voice would make my ears bleed. :<

  37. Snoman909 Says:

    THANKYOU! I totally agree! sora kairi and riku should all stay the same. forever…

  38. Haeralis Says:

    I would welcome less professional voice actors and more actual actors ala KH1. I mostly miss Billy Zane, whose role as Ansem was perhaps the best voice acting of the decade. I miss David Boreanaz, who perfectly fits Squall, and I miss Mandy Moore who was way better than the newer person. Now that I know that the KH1 voice director left, I can safely blame the stupid KH2 voice director for the horrible casting decisions.

    Also, I wouldn’t say that Jason Dohring and Willa Holland are good examples of professional actors. I know that I have never heard of them before Birth by Sleep.

  39. 77sonofa Says:

    My favourite roles are Marluxia, Master Xehanort, Vanitas, Axel. My least favourite is Vexen 

  40. Penguin_power873 Says:

    Alright, let’s go through this. For the most part, I agree with you totally. However, there are some elements in which my thought process strays. Personally, I’m not that big of a fan of Doug Erholtz’s Squall, either in Kingdom Hearts or Dissidia. There are times when it seems like there’s something caught in the back of his throat that he’s half gagging on and it bugs me. It’s almost as if he’s not used to his voice going down that low and he’s trying to force it. Now I’m not saying that David Boreanaz was stupendous by any stretch of the imagination; he had his flaws, too.. but it feels like he set the foundation and Erholtz is struggling to try and give the same voice to the character. Now this I appreciate much more than Mena Suvari. Don’t get me wrong, she was great in American Pie, wonderful in American Beauty, and I loved her in Loser. That being said, she went in the direct opposite of what Mandy Moore laid for Aerith. I agree that at times Moore’s performance was flat and it did feel like you were just talking to her instead of the character, but it was much more of an impressive performance than the breathy, overly childish sound that Suvari let off.

    Now, I agree with other criticisms you had to a certain extent. Terra and Aqua were played by obvious noobs to the voice acting world, but I don’t think they were necessarily bad performances. There were times when Aqua would speak and I would want to pull my hair out, but that all changed around the halfway point and she grew to be my favorite character from BBS. Now, is that because of the voice actor or the fact that I’m a sucker for bad-ass babes? Who knows. I could also be biased in my opinion of Jason Dohring as Terra, solely because I’m in love with Logan from Veronica Mars, so let’s just not even get into that right now.

    Some things that impressed and/or surprised me? Definitely Jesse McCartney as Roxas. When I first found that out, I was crushed. The lead singer of a second rate boy band and an actor in a second rate teenage melodrama playing a character in my favorite game series? Bullshit. However, he took the emotional depth of Roxas to an entirely new level that impressed me severely. Another character I was impressed with was Tifa. I know Rachael Leigh Cook as Josie from Josie and the Pussycats, yet I thought she showed prowess as the tough talking, hard hitting monk.

    Oh, and I’d love to see Cree Summer play a character. They’d have to play around with some racial diversity, but honestly, it’d be worth it for me. She played about 324123 characters in Final Fantasy X. They should give her a chance for KH.

  41. Tony Says:

    Its nice to see someone replying with such depth thank you, and I totally appreciate your opposing views. Life would be boring if everyone thought the same way as you.

    Yes, I would totally love to see Cree Summer in a Kingdom Hearts game, very talented woman. Although I still giggle at her performance as Lenne in Final Fantasy X-2, she sounds a bit like a man! Haha.

  42. Me Says:

    THEY ALL HAVE SMEXY VOICES :D

  43. MeShotelle Says:

    All Of Them Have VERRYYY Smexay Voices :D

  44. sas Says:

    Tony, you hit it right on the nail head. Actors are not at the level of a professional voice actor. I have been saying that since 2006, when I discovered the world of anime conventions. ALL YOU ANIME FANS!!!! what you have to do, is write to the famous directors, and tell them to start using professional anime voice actors in there animated movies, instead of an overpaid actor, that is considered the apprentice next to a prof. anime voice actor. I wrote a letter to Peter Jackson…oh, yes I did….and told him if he ever makes an animated movie, to please consider hiring the anime voice actors, who has a fan base already built up, that would prob ably split the theater in half with fans heading in droves to get in to see there favorite voice actor in an animated movie. More so than the actors in Hollywood. He wrote back…oh yeah…and said he was booked up for the next 5 to 6 years, but, appreciated me bringing that to his attention. He was going into production of Kong. I need to send him another letter to remind him. Send those letters in to the directors, producers, any high official and start demanding them to start hiring these voice actors. it makes me so mad when I see a Japanese animated movie, and wht do they do, well, they hire the actors out there in Hollywood, instead of the ones that made this world of anime famous in the first place. Finished with my rant.

  45. adrian Says:

    jerry trainor tara strong and grey delisle for kingdom hearts 3 I love it better will be awesome

  46. adrian Says:

    do like jerry trainor and tara strong as sora and kairi or any characters =) in kingdom hearts 3

  47. Maxy Aedo Says:

    Miley is already an experienced voice actor, and not only I wanted her to do voice roles in future Kingdom Hearts games, but in general anime (not that Miyazaki ****), alongside Steve Blum (Orochimaru, Spike, BlackWarGreymon, Wolverine). Believe me, I always wanted Miley to work with Steve Blum.

  48. Caleb Rogers Says:

    Unlike everyone else I’m not opposed to Miley Cyrus voice acting, but I do think she looks like a gopher in that picture.

  49. hire voice over Says:

    Your post is really good providing good information.. I liked it and enjoyed reading it. Keep sharing such important posts.

  50. Sora Kuroda Says:

    I know it’s been 4 years but I couldn’t agree more.

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