Recently Crunchyroll announced the English dub of the anime Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury, and they released the two voice actresses who will give their voices to the two main characters, which is Sulleta and Miorine.
Miorine will be voiced by Natalie Van Sistine while Sulleta will be voiced by Jill Harris, and this is what other voice actors in the industry are complaining about. For them, Sulleta is a character who is part of a minority and therefore should have a voice actor according to her race.
Let’s see what some voice actors said about it?
“Too bad that Crunchyroll’s preference for local voice actors affects the authentic representation of a big role. Choosing a broad cast for the biggest anime show of the year and not queer MENA leadership in a big franchise says a lot”
“It pains me to write this on a day that should be filled with nothing but celebration and admiration for my colleagues, to feel like there is a corporate pamphlet with a risk assessment stating how much one can get away with before receiving an excessive amount of reaction”.
“Very disappointing that despite all the publicly available resources to find diverse talent, minority voice actors still cannot have the opportunity to represent themselves by an (extremely rare/groundbreaking!!) minority lead in anime. ESPECIALLY a queer MENA lead “
As you can see, these were some of the complaints, but there are things that are not so confirmed, there is still no confirmation that the anime is Yuri.
In the first episodes, Suletta becomes Miorine’s fiance, but watching the rest of the episodes of the first part, it doesn’t seem to me that there is a romance between the two, no, just a normal friendship, but there are people who watched only the beginning and assumed that it was a Yuri anime and that’s it.
It is necessary to come the second part to show something about this.
Another thing I saw talk about is the color of Suletta’s skin, according to the explanation I saw, because she lives on Mercury, which is closer to the sun than the earth, she turns out to have her skin tone as seen.
So for some people, the voice actors who complained above are just basing it on their personal opinions of the character of Suletta.
“At this point, the entire American dubbing and localization industry needs to die so it can be revived from scratch without all this shit, who knows then maybe dubbing will be good again”
“Just wait when they find out that in Japan, all these characters are voiced by Japanese people”
“Most anime have Japanese characters as their characters, does that mean everyone who isn’t Japanese should stop voicing Japanese characters?”
“I don’t even know the race of the dubber in 80% of the cases, just hire people who can dub, the only case I think is relevant is when the person has to speak a specific language”
“I think that soon they will even complain about the original voice actors because the characters are not Japanese”
“Are you telling me her voice actress isn’t a real Tanuki? What the fuck Sunrise?”
“First World Problems”
“They’d have to hire someone from Mercury”
These were western comments about the case, let’s see how the Japanese reacted to this news? Yes, because that news ended up there!
“I know it sounds stupid, but it’s true that American English has a totally different vocabulary, with different pronunciations and even grammar depending on race”
“Looks like they have a lot of problems over there”
“She’s from Mercury”
“I really hate it when they say brunette characters are ‘black’ without permission”
“I don’t care who voices a character”
“End of the world huh”
“She doesn’t look black, she looks Japanese with darker skin, but these racists only care about their preference and not Asians”
“Suletta isn’t even black, don’t put her in that category because she has dark skin”
“For them, Nagatoro is also black”
“Well, that just goes to show how bad the history of discrimination against black people is in the US, Japanese people just can’t understand.”
Well, that’s the controversy of the time.