FunimationCon 2020 One Piece Panel Recap: Dub Discussion & More

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Nicholas Friedman
Nicholas Friedman is a career pop culture journalist and Sr. Managing Editor at Funimation. You'll likely find him talking about Mob Psycho 100.

So, you missed the FunimationCon 2020 One Piece Voice Actor Panel? Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. And no, we still don’t know what the One Piece actually is.

The panel set sail in a major way, as a collection of voice actors and ADR directors from the English dub of One Piece joined host Josellie Rios (One Piece at a Time) to talk all things dub, the actors’ favorite memories from recording and much, much more! Let’s dive in.


The return of the dub

Yes, it’s true! The One Piece dub has returned, with the first batch of Punk Hazard episodes now live on digital storefronts, streaming on Funimation and available for home video purchase. But what was it like for these actors returning to the world of One Piece?

Stephanie Young (Nico Robin) had us all tearing up, as she talked about how integral these characters are to the actors’ lives, and that the love from fans makes it that much easier to play these roles. They missed them.

Colleen Clinkenbeard (Luffy) talked about how much she missed playing Luffy, despite the fact that managing his character voice can be a bit tough. But once she records in succession, she said, it gets a bit easier.

And, of course, Brina Palencia (Chopper) shared her love for Chopper, and how happy she felt returning to the role in Punk Hazard. And for each of these three voice actors, their characters were a bit different this time around, thanks to a two-year time skip.

“Chopper did a lot of training,” Brina said. “He has more skills. He’s confident and he really steps up in ways he hadn’t before.”

For Stephanie, it was about stepping back into the shoes of Robin and being excited for her depth as a character.

“Ever since Enies Lobby and she realized she was worthy of love,” she said. “Layers are peeled back and she’s becoming a full person.”

For the newest addition to the episodic series’ cast, recording came naturally, though with a bit of unique One Piece charm.

One Piece Straw Hat Crew

“Those of us who have been around Funimation for a while have stopped in for little One Piece parts,” said Jerry Jewell (Caesar Clown). “But Caesar Clown is by far the biggest part I’ve played…it’s been amazing so far.”

And for Chris Ryan (Kin’emon), who actually made his One Piece character debut in One Piece – Episode of Sabo, he had to walk things back a bit and cover his character’s introduction.

“I didn’t know the history of One Piece until I got into it,” he said. “And every time they call me back I’m super excited. It’s fun to be a part of such a storied franchise.”


Three directors?!

In the latter half of the panel, host Josellie welcomed the team of ADR Directors working on One Piece, including Kyle Phillips, Mike McFarland and Anthony Bowling. And, of course, Colleen stuck around for this part to add some Luffy charm.

Yes, you read that correctly. Because of the scale of episodes in the series, three directors are working to record these dub episodes. And they detailed their process a bit, what it’s like to work with the cast, and what it’s like trying to bring it all together.

“I love this show very much,” said Mike, who has been working as director on the series since Funimation started dubbing it. “It’s a comfortable place to be, even when events in the show get rough. It’s a joy to record.”

Kyle detailed the teamwork between the group, and how he’s been happy to be a part of the One Piece world. He started as an ADR Engineer on the series around Episode 30.

“Luckily, One Piece has these big arcs,” he said. “So no matter what you’re working on, you have a whole arc in your head….and as far as character consistency, everyone is on the same page.”


Favorite characters

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper panel without both groups of panelists talking about their favorite characters, right? Though, it was encouraged that they choose a character other than the one they play.

Brina picked Brook, because he’s a skeleton and he’s creepy and she loves creepy things. That’s nearly a direct quote.

Colleen quickly chimed in with a “Luffy is just the best! One of the best characters in anime!” We’ll allow it.

Stephanie went with Chopper, Jerry loves seeing what Usopp and Franky get up to, and Chris also joined the Luffy appreciation camp.

The directors were quick to their favorites as well. Kyle said he loves Buggy. Anthony said he likes Franky because of his experience working with voice actor Patrick Seitz, as well Luffy and Usopp.

Oh, and Mike’s favorite? Bon Clay.


And that’s a wrap on the One Piece panel at FunimationCon 2020! Make sure to stay tuned to Funimation for the latest on new dubbed One Piece episodes and, as always, the weekly series simulcast!


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