By Deanna Nguyen
FunimationCon 2020 kept the ball rolling for Day 2 with the Attack on Titan Voice Actor Q&A Panel, which had the series’ English voice actors reliving key moments and memories from the first three seasons.
Of course, all of this reminiscing led to a few surprises near the end of the panel, with a special announcement and a replay of that amazing preview for Attack on Titan Final Season.
Hosted by Josellie Rios, the panel included Bryce Papenbrook (Eren), Trina Nishimura (Mikasa), Josh Grelle (Armin), Mike McFarland (ADR Director), J. Michael Tatum (Erwin) and Bryn Apprill (Christa/Historia). After introducing the English voice cast, Josellie began the discussion with Season 1!
Season 1 Key Moments
As an icebreaker, Josellie asked the panel if they expected Attack on Titan to become as popular as it is when they first started working on the show.
“I was a fan of the show before I got the audition from Mike,” said Bryce. “So I knew it was something really, really special. I never would’ve guessed it would become what it is now. It’s just an amazing thing to be a part of.”
Trina shared in the sentiment, joking that she would’ve been happy to be just “Girl A who gets hit by a boulder within the first ten seconds of the first episode.” She explained that she was able to meet some of her closest friends from working on Attack on Titan and had no idea the show would have such an impact in her life.
Panelists were then asked if they expected Eren and Annie to be Titans. The general consensus was they had no idea and any guesses that they initially had were thrown out the window. The discussion transitioned to their reactions to Eren getting chomped. Chomped.
“I thought, ‘I guess that’s it for Eren!’” Josh said. “It was a big surprise. No pun intended.”
To cap off the Season 1 discussion, Josellie showed an image of the Titan inside the wall and Bryce admitted that he didn’t know there was a post-credit image.
“You always have to watch after the credits!” he said.
Season 2 Key Moments
From a very dramatic reveal to one that was straightforward, Josellie showed a clip of Reiner and Bertholdt casually revealing their true identities to Eren in Season 2. Josellie asked Bryce how he reacted.
“I reacted exactly how Eren reacted in the show,” said Bryce. “I did not see that coming.” Laughing, he added, “I just love how nonchalant it was.”
“My face was the same as Bertholdt’s in that scene,” said Mike, who imitated Bertholdt’s shocked expression. “It’s a crazy, cool way to hand out that information that [the characters] have been digging for for so long.”
When Josellie showed an image of Conny discovering that his mom was a Titan, Josh explained that it was a heartbreaking moment.
“That’s where we start to see a lot more of [the characters struggling] with what it is they’re fighting for,” he said. “We start to see a little bit of that mission shift in their heads after that point…it hurts every time.”
For the last key moment of Season 2, Josellie shared the Eren and Mikasa scarf scene, followed by Eren’s command of the Titans, who started eating the Smiling Titan. The entire panel laughed as they recalled the unified confusion on their characters’ faces.
“ I love the look on Commander Erwin’s face because that moment comes at the heels of his big sacrifice with his arm,” J. Michael said. “He’s gotta be thinking, ‘If I had just waited fifteen minutes…’”
For Bryn, she said, “It’s like we finally get that moment of, ‘Yes, vengeance.’”
Season 3 Key Moments
Josellie showed several clips from Season 3, starting with a clip of Historia killing her father. She asked Bryn if Historia’s backstory impacted the way she voiced her.
“It definitely did,” she said. “I think I just progressively started to voice her differently with every little discovery we’ve made about her…it’s a drastic shift from Christa to Historia.”
Shortly after, the panelists were shown a clip of Levi’s decision to either save Armin or Erwin and directed a difficult question to the panel: Who would they have saved?
Bryce tried dodging the question while Josh and J. Michael, the voice actors of the two characters in question, said they would’ve sacrificed themselves. Josellie then shifted the focus to J. Michael’s personal reaction to Erwin’s death.
He’d read ahead and knew that Erwin’s death was imminent. He was waiting for “the day” he would have to record that moment, and when it finally happened, it put him in the perfect mindset because of how Erwin as a character knew that his time would come to an end, at least eventually.
“It’s hard for characters in the show to have endings that stand out because everyone dies all the time…” he said. “Even so, [Erwin] still got an ending that somehow felt right but was also devastating at the same time.”
The penultimate topic for Season 3 was a clip of Eren and Co. going to the basement where, after Eren fails to open the door with his key, Levi proceeds to kick it open.
“I love how Levi opens doors,” Bryce said. “That kick is very useful…that’s how Levi does dentistry as well.”
The panel agreed that when they discovered what was in the basement, it was unlike anything they’d expected—in true Attack on Titan fashion. Josh said he expected the door to open and the credits to just start rolling.
And then, a final clip of the Season 3 finale, with Eren, Armin and Mikasa making it to the ocean.
“Even our beach episode is depressing,” Josh said. The panel laughed and pointed out how lighthearted the moment felt but then Eren had to be a buzzkill. “It was a very cathartic moment.” Josh added, in all seriousness.
Surprise Announcement & Final Season Preview
Josellie thanked the panel and wrapped things up with a surprise announcement!
A special message from producer Kensuke Tateishi revealed the Attack on Titan ~Chronicle~ movie, which recaps Season 1-3 and will premiere this year. Funimation has partnered with Kodansha to bring the film to the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland!
But wait, there was more! We got to see that Attack on Titan Final Season preview once again, packed with drama, action, new Titans, new faces and so many questions. Stay tuned!
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