Chainsaw Man is in the midst of its first season, and it hasn’t taken long for the anime to become a massive hit. Adapted from Tatsuki Fujimoto’s manga series, Chainsaw Man takes viewers on a wild ride with a compelling cast of characters. That includes Makima and Power, both of whom raise the bar for women in anime. We spoke to Chainsaw Man stars Suzie Yeung and Sarah Wiedenheft, who voice the pair in the English dub, about what makes the series (and its cast) “so special.”
Suzie Yeung and Sarah Wiedenheft reflect on joining ‘Chainsaw Man’s dub cast
Neither Suzie Yeung nor Sarah Wiedenheft knew much about Chainsaw Man before auditioning for the dub cast. However, both voice actors had seen the characters online, so they expected the show to blow up, just as the source material had.
“I didn’t know what it was at first, but I recognized the characters, “Wiedenheft recalled. “I’d seen them all over the internet.”
Upon receiving auditions for the series, Wiedenheft admits she felt pulled toward Power, the character she would later come to voice.
“I felt really drawn to Power because I’m like, ‘I love her design,'” Wiedenheft said. “So, I read the first volumes of the manga to try to understand each of the characters.”
Yeung, who voices Makima in the series, had a similar experience discovering Chainsaw Man. She came across the characters in online spaces as well, clueing her into the manga’s popularity.
“Well, I’m very similar to Sarah in that I didn’t really know what it was beforehand,” Yeung explained, “but I had seen them everywhere, especially Power and Makima floating around the internet. As soon as I got the audition, I knew there was huge hype surrounding it. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew it was big.”
Of course, an already-established audience brings about expectations. As such, Yeung and Wiedenheft made sure to dive into the manga.
“Like Sarah, I had done quite a bit of research prior to the show dropping — not necessarily during the audition process, but I definitely made sure I caught up and binged the whole thing before I really sank my teeth into it,” Yeung said.
“Yeah, we ate that,” Wiedenheft added. “We ate that manga so fast.”
Both voice actors put more effort into their audition for Power
When it came time to audition for Chainsaw Man’s dub cast, both Suzie Yeung and Sarah Wiedenheft submitted recordings for Makima and Power. Comically, both felt compelled to put more energy into Power’s voice. After all, she’s got the louder, more eccentric demeanor of the two characters.
“Oddly, I put more… I don’t want to say effort, but I definitely put more into Power’s audition because I was like, ‘This seems like it will take more out of me,'” Yeung admitted.
For her own character, Yeung took a more relaxed approach, which clearly worked out in the end.
“So, for Makima, I actually did it in maybe one or two takes and didn’t really overthink it and just sent it in based on how I felt she would sound,” she recalled. “But yeah, I definitely put more time into Power, oddly.”
“I did, too,” Wiedenheft added, “mostly because she seemed complex. And I was like, ‘I don’t really know.’ So, I did a few takes at first. I’m like, ‘No, I don’t think that’s right. I don’t know, I don’t know.’ I had to go read the manga a little bit, too, and reference it.”
What’s ‘so special’ about ‘Chainsaw Man,’ according to the dub cast
Now that Suzie Yeung and Sarah Wiedenheft are part of Chainsaw Man‘s dub cast, the pair can pinpoint what sets the anime apart. One thing they noted is that the characters feel more realistic and human than any they’ve seen or voiced in anime before. Wiedenheft cited Power’s bathroom hygiene (or lack thereof) as proof of that.
“I’d say that the very first thing I can think of is that I’ve never had a character openly admit to s****ing in a toilet and not flushing it and not bathing,” Wiedenheft said. “[There are] just a lot of very human aspects. I’ve not seen that, really, in anime before.”
Wiedenheft went on to highlight how smaller moments play a big part in Chainsaw Man‘s characterizations, allowing fans to see “deeper parts of people in their everyday lives.”
“Like seeing Aki’s morning routine,” she noted. “That was so intimate and cute. I don’t see that a lot in anime. Sometimes, you’ll see somebody pour something and go to the next room, but you don’t see their entire daily [routine].”
Yeung agreed with Wiedenheft’s sentiment, admitting she’s impressed by how the anime uses the little things to bring its characters to life:
“Yeah, I love the direction they’re going with, sort of taking their time [and] making sure that you understand the characters more by putting in these little subtleties and aspects of their lives, just to give you a little window of what they’re like. And I think that’s what makes it so special is that I have not been in an anime that has put so much care into it. Literally, I think every aspect of it has so much detail.”
The ‘Chainsaw Man’ cast feels like ‘found family’
In addition to Chainsaw Man‘s depth setting it apart, Suzie Yeung and Sarah Wiedenheft cited the dub cast’s passion as a highlight of working on the anime. The group met during New York Comic-Con this year, and Wiedenheft recalled they felt like an “immediately found family.”
Yeung also loves that “everybody puts in their A-game,” even if they’re sometimes on a tight schedule.
“I just like being a part of this,” Yeung admitted. “It’s so awesome because everybody’s excited about it, cast and crew included. Everybody’s just very happy to be on this project. And it’s such a great feeling. And that makes the recording experience — that makes being part of this — even better because of all the people around it. Not to be sappy or anything, but that’s really what makes it for me is the energy of it.”
Wiedenheft expressed similar feelings about her colleagues, noting that their dynamic strengthens the message of Chainsaw Man for her:
“In the manga, they really drive home how togetherness and being with others is actually really important – probably more important than a lot of your dreams. And I really feel that with this because I think, as Suzie’s saying, my very favorite thing about this is playing off of everybody and going back and talking with everyone about it, and how excited and grateful we are to be working amongst one another on this show.”
Wiedenheft concluded by emphasizing how much “heart” the series has, something fans can already agree on. And it sounds like we may see more of that moving forward. Fortunately, the anime — and its characters — are in good hands.
Chainsaw Man is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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