On the weekend of May 31-June 2, 2019, I attended one of my local anime conventions in Anime Conji to check out the local con scene in my hometown of San Diego and see if we can snag some interviews. Unfortunately, I was only able to get one interview, as the other guests I asked were swarmed with other commitments, but I had a blast getting this interview together and representing the Toonami Faithful.
As the con started, I met up with Laura Stahl to talk about her what could be considered her big breakout roles on Toonami this year, Ray from The Promised Neverland, and Hayato from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. She was accompanied by one of her friends and colleagues, Maureen Price, so we did a 2-for-1er as I also talked with her regarding her role of voicing the big bad Quinella in Sword Art Online.
Daniel: Hi, my name is Daniel Limjoco (@AnimeSavior) from ToonamiFaithful.com and @ToonamiNews, and today I’m here with Laura Stahl, the voice of Ray from The Promised Neverland and Hayato from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, among other roles. I’m also hanging with Marureen Price, the voice of Quinella the Administrator from Sword Art Online, Amane from Hunter x Hunter, among other roles.
So, before we get started, how’s San Diego been?
Laura: Oh, it’s good. It’s nice, the weather is very gorgeous. It’s been quiet thus far; we only just started the con, so we’ll see what happens.
Maureen: Awesome weather, we got a good pool here, enjoying the situation.
While you’re both relatively new voice actors in the anime scene, at least in the eyes of anime fans, it can often be a long time for an actor to “break in” to the scene, much less to become a household name. When and what made you decide to pursue the craft and how did you get here today?
Laura: Well, it was sort of by accident. I had a friend who started perusing voice over before I did and we’ve known each other for about 12 years. You probably heard of him; his name is Kyle McCarley. I’ve known him since college. And, so we were both pursuing acting at the same time, we did a couple of stage plays together and things like that, and he sort of fell over to voice over and suggested that I try it too. He was like “Oh, I think you’ll enjoy it. I think you should give it a shot.” And I said “sure”. And soon enough, I got bit by the bug and never looked back.
Marueen: So, for me, I’ve been acting since I was a kid, primarily in stage acting. So that’s what my training is. And yeah, voice acting was never really on my radar until about 5 years ago. And kind of in a similar situation to Laura, because I also had a friend who is also a voice actor, and I had stopped acting for a couple years to pursue some other things, but I really missed it and I wasn’t sure how I wanted to get back into it, if I wanted to try pursuing on-camera in Los Angeles, which is really a tough thing to do, and I just didn’t know if I wanted to go into that direction again. So, my friend was going “Why aren’t you doing this? I think you’d be really good at this.” I was like: “Oh, okay. Let me look into this and see what it’s all about.” And I started taking classes and I thought it’d be interesting to learn about dubbing, so I took some ADR classes so I could get my feet wet with that. And kind of like Laura, once I started doing it, I just never really looked back. So that’s kind of my story.
How does it feel to be seeing (or more accurately, hearing) your work on Toonami?
Laura: Oh, gosh. It doesn’t really…I don’t know how to describe it, like it doesn’t compute? Like I remember watching Toonami when I was younger and enjoying anime, and then getting into the work and having your work air on that channel, it just doesn’t seem real. Like it doesn’t seem like something that I’m doing. Like “That not something that I could do. That’s not something anybody could do.” But here it is. It’s unbelievable.
Marueen: Yeah, it’s very surreal. The first time I had a character on Toonami, like Laura was saying, it doesn’t even feel real. It’s like an out of body experience when you were watching and feel like: “Oh my God. That’s my voice, it’s on national TV…on Cartoon Network on Toonami, like, oh my gosh.” And I haven’t gotten used to it either, because I have a couple different characters on Toonami now, I’m still never used to it. I still get excited when the Toonami block is starting because it’s like “Ahh, it’s happening again.” Yeah, I’m definitely not used to it.
Laura: Like the funny part is that [as a voice actor] you are kind of working in a vacuum because when you are doing the work, you got the engineer, you got the director and you got you here in a little box and nobody can see you. And then when you’re watching Toonami you’re usually just chilling at home, maybe with your friends or something, but it’s not like you don’t see the audience…it’s difficult to think that this is airing in anybody else’s household.
Maureen: And especially for actors like us, because we come from stage plays. When you’re working on stage, the feedback [from seeing and hearing the audience reactions] is absolutely immediate. And so, it’s such a gear shift to go from being stage actors to being voice over actors where are you do not [get immediate feedback on your performance]. Yeah you might get feedback if it’s something funny that engineer and the director might be laughing, or you do a take and the director is like “Aww, yes that was perfect. It’s fabulous.” That’s the only feedback you get until sometimes in some cases a year later when something comes out on Netflix or starts airing on Toonami or whatever, and even then, the feedback is so separate because you’re getting it on social media or you meet people at conventions, which is great.
Laura: I love it I love hearing from fans and when they when they have feedback or that they particularly enjoyed an episode or something, that always a super big thrill for me.
Maureen: And we are just as excited about all of this stuff as the fans are, if not even more so because we got to do it.
Laura: …or we’re rooting for our friends. Like “I’m so excited for what you did!” I’ll calm down, I’m sorry.
Daniel: No worries, we’re grateful you girls are here. My next few questions are individual ones, so I’ll just zig-zag between Laura and Maureen.
Back as early as when TPN’s anime was in production, I remember fans around the net saying that this show would be perfect for Toonami to air. As the voice of Ray, did you agree, and when the show was announced, what was your excitement level?
Laura: So, I had discovered The Promised Neverland before I had seen any sort of audition or had known that it was actually going to be produced or dubbed locally. And I had become mildly obsessed with it right away.
Daniel: How many months would you say?
Laura: Actually, not too long. I only knew about it for about two or three months beforehand, and that’s Erica Mendez’s fault. She always introduces me to all the cool shit, hehe. But, yeah. I kind of discovered it and tried to stay away from it for a bit, I watched the couple of episodes and then stopped because I don’t want to fall in love with it because if it’s something I can’t have or play [a role] with, I’m gonna be heartbroken.
Maureen: It was the exact same thing I did with Cells at Work. Because when I watched it, I was like: “Ooh, I hope it’s dubbed in LA; I hope I get an audition, I hope I get to be in it.” Because you don’t want to fall in love with it too much…
Laura: Because then your heart breaks when you don’t get a chance to play in it. But when I found out that there was a possibility of it coming to LA, and then I received auditions…oh my gosh, I was so upset that I was like: “Oh, there’s a chance…and then I might not get it.” Honestly when those auditions came out, I was like: “If I get to voice a bush or a tree, I would be so pleased just to be a part of it.” And then when we were in production and found out that it was going to be on Toonami…I was speechless. If you could see my face right now [everyone reading], you would know that I just made a real derpy face, because that just didn’t seem real. You guys say that The Promised Neverland might be on Toonami but it probably won’t be because things like that just don’t happen to me. I’m a weird little nerd girl. But, no, I was bamboozled.
Question for Maureen: Have you been familiar with the SAO franchise prior to being cast as Quinella?
Maureen: Yeah, definitely. So, I watched the very first season of Sword Art within probably like 2 or 3 days. I started watching it and I couldn’t stop because I was interested in the story and what was happening, and I found it really really compelling. So, yeah, I definitely knew about Sword Art Online and I really really liked the franchise. So, when it came around again that there was the possibility to be a part of it, that was hugely exciting and even more so to be the first female arch-villain in the franchise, it just blew my mind and I still can’t believe that it was happening. So yes, I was definitely familiar and was a fan many years before season 3 ever came to be.
We’ve seen many villains in the Sword Art Online franchise: Kayaba, Sugou, Death Gun, Johnny Black, and so on. But as you previously said, we never seen any real female arch-villains until now. How does it feel to be playing a villain?
Maureen: I haven’t really played any true villains, I mean “true” arch-villains before this. I’ve been getting cast to play few characters who weren’t villains, but they were kind of amoral, or not necessarily good, but they weren’t “villain” villains. So, this is really, I mean, Administrator is the first true villain that I’ve played, and I was really nervous about that, because this is the first time I’ve played a character like that. We’re still recording [the season as of this interview], and I haven’t got to record the really big bad faceoffs and stuff yet, so we haven’t even done that yet, but I’m so excited because I have been absolutely loving every single second of the process of just getting to be bad. Just so bad.
And our director for the show, Alex von David, he constantly has to pull me back in sessions because I want to take it all the way. Like I want to make her so cruel and bad, and he’s like: “We can’t go that far yet, we can’t go far yet, we gotta pull her back. She’s too bad, she’s too mean, she’s too cruel, we’ll get there, but let’s not give it all now.” So, I’m having a ball playing a villain and she’s a really interesting villain because, at least where we are in the story, it’s still very under the surface with her. And so, as an actor, finding the balance of keeping all that horrible cruelty just under the surface while still being a very fiery old, almost soft character, that’s where the challenge is with Administrator. And it’s been really really fun for me as an actor to do that.
In recent episodes, Ray has been playing a double agent as he tries to learn more about this demon ruled world and how to get everyone out. What are your personal opinions, Laura regarding how Ray does things and how you translate it to the audience?
Laura: Gosh, I love Ray so much. To me, he is sort of tragic in a way and the way he’s doing things, everything that he is doing he feels is necessary. It’s very calculated and Ray is so much smarter than I am ever going to be, hehehe. But he made certain choices when certain truth came out for him and all of it was for what he feels is the greatest good. So I understand the choices that he makes, even some of the brutal ones and I think it’s really tragic because a lot of those choices I think came about because he felt like he needed to do everything on his own and he’s sort of kind of carrying a burden that’s already too heavy for him but he doesn’t really have the choice to be to fail at that, you know what I mean? So, it’s difficult, it’s a little heartbreaking. Walking into [the recording booth to voice] Ray, I walked in with a little bit of heartbreak already going and you know I just I can’t help but love him and love to see the transformation that he’s kind of going through.
Daniel: Yeah, I can definitely feel the contrast between Ray and the others. Emma’s like “I want to save everyone!” And Ray is like “I don’t know if we can save everyone.”
Laura: Yeah, he’s very grounded in a very harsh reality from the get-go.
Back to Maureen, we’ve learned about your character through Cardinal’s flashbacks, and to keep it short, she is quite a bitch to say the least. But as we come down the stretch to the mid-season point in these next few weeks, we’ll be seeing Quinella in center stage as she brings the wrath on Kirito, Eugeo, and Alice. What do you think fans should be looking forward to from her?
Maureen: I think the fans should look forward to really seeing what Administrator is truly capable of, both in terms of just the abilities that she has, but also what she chooses to do with them in the ways in which she fights back. Because one of the things about playing villains or amoral characters is that we, as the actors, we have to completely understand why the villain is doing what they’re doing, and the villains always feel that they’re justified in what they do. So, we have to get into that psychology and really sympathize with them. I think it’s going to be interesting for fans to start to get more of a sense of why she’s doing the things that she’s doing and what she’s trying to protect in a sense. I think it’s going to be just in terms being fun to watch, there’s some crazy crazy stuff coming out. There some pretty crazy face faceoffs in fights and I think that’s going to be really fun for everybody to watch because it gets pretty wild. So, I am really looking forward to everybody seeing the way that the four of them are interacting with each other and just going at it with each other. I think that’s going to be really fun for me to record, too.
Daniel: What episode are you guys recording right now? I remember Brandon in his recent Unlocked session that he’s currently recording around Episode 20-21?
Maureen: I think we’re around there. I’m not sure which episode is coming out tomorrow night [as of this recording], I think it might be 18.
Daniel: *Looks into the schedule list* Yeah, it’s 18.
Maureen: So, everyone can look forward to next week for 19 because Eugeo makes it up to the top of the cathedral on that one.
Maureen: So…things will happen, things start getting a little crazy.
Daniel: I’m sure everyone who has seen the sub can agree with that.
The Promised Neverland has grown to become a big series since the manga began publication in 2015, culminating to a hit anime series that is now airing on Toonami. For those that might not get it, what personally do you think makes The Promised Neverland such an eventful and appealing series?
Laura: Oh, gosh. The suspense is just killer. If you just look at the surface value The Promised Neverland, you’re like “Aw, okay, it’s a cute little thing about children in an orphanage, it looks very picturesque from the get-go, it’s beautiful there is lush Greenery, they’ve got a loving family going…” and then when you find out that first twist. That first twist is really enough to make a really solid story, but there are so many more that you catch along the way that just keeps you at the edge of your seat. Watching these characters have to speak in such subtexts, like nobody can really say what they mean, almost ever, to anybody to each other, to the antagonist, nobody wants to reveal their hand in this game.
And I think that the creators of this anime, the writers of this anime, and the manga itself did such an amazing job not divulging all of the cards in anybody’s hands until the exact right moment, and then you’re just…you’re stunned, you’re enthralled, you’re thrown in a completely different direction, and often times if you go back and re-watch it, you go back and read re-read the manga after finding certain things out, you see the hints and breadcrumbs that were left along the way that you may or may not have noticed previously, and I think that’s my favorite part of the show, what I think is the re-watchability of the show and the re-readability of the manga because it’s all there.
Daniel: I can definitely feel the tension from the show every week, like “how in the world are these kids going to get out?”
Laura: Oh my gosh. There are certain moments where I was recording, that they would give us the preview, and I see something happen, and even the director sometimes we’d all be like “OHHHHH!” Or we hear a certain sound effect or something and we all be stunned, like: “We all know what’s happening. Why are we at the edge of our seats?” So that made recording the show really fun.
Maureen: I don’t work on the show, but with any show where crazy stuff is happening, you’re seeing the script of a couple characters lines ahead, and you get a glimpse of that and you’re like “WHHHAT?”
Laura: Yeah, there were moments where I was recording it and we would stop for a minute and Steve Staley, he’s our director for The Promised Neverland, he be like “Wait, I have to show you this sequence because you need to see it.” He’d be like geeking out about it, and I be like: “Ok, I want to see it, too.” But even if I’m not necessarily in it or something, he’s like “No, no. You need to know what happens. This is like magic.” I’ve read the manga, so I know exactly what’s going on, but to see it animated, and just the scope of what’s going on it’s just mind-blowing.
We’re coming down the stretch with Hunter x Hunter with the final episodes before the indefinite hiatus, and in these last stretch of episodes Killua has not been too pleased that your character Amane and the other butlers have to be an escort group as he takes Alluka to heal Gon. What have been your impressions and favorite traits of Amane?
Maureen: I love her. I feel like that I have a lot of similarities to her in the sense that when it comes to my work, I’m really professional and no-nonsense and just want to get things done. And so, she and I are kind of similar in that way. I really wish that she had more to do because she’s not a huge character but she definitely left an impression on me when I watched the show originally and I found her so interesting because she’s so reserved and she’s so all business and I really wanted to learn more about her and her backstory. I so wished that could have been explored because I think it would be fascinating. Because I’m sure whatever is going on in her life before that, like…girl has probably seen a lot working in that [the Zoldyck] household, who knows? I love the relationship between Amane and Tsubone, I think that would be so interesting to have explored further, like what that relationship is like, because that fascinates me as well. Tsubone is such a cool character and to be voicing her granddaughter is so cool and, yeah, I really like Amane a lot and she just gets it done. The girl just gets it done.
Of course, your other major character in Toonami right now is Hayato from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Have you been familiar with the JoJo’s franchise prior to getting cast?
Laura: Nominally. I’ve been familiar with it because of friends who’ve worked on it and I’ve seen some of the previous arcs. And then I got really got steeped in it when we got started on Diamond Is Unbreakable, which is just out of this world. JoJo’s is correctly named. JoJo’s is incredibly bizarre, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts around it. I can’t handle it, but I’m so excited to be a part of it because it’s bombastic and the fans are just out of this world. there are so enthusiastic and die hard and I love them.
As we’ve learned from these last few episodes of Diamond Is Unbreakable, Hayato has turned out to be quite the dark horse in the Joestars battle against Yoshikage Kira. I remember when you were livetweeting previous episodes of JoJo’s that you said you even personally felt the struggle Hayato was feeling when you were recording. Tell us about that, and how did you translate that into your performance.
Laura: Hayato was pretty impactful for me, dealing with his character. Because the household that he’s growing up in already isn’t very happy before all this terrible stuff befalls their home, and then there’s a sudden Invader. To me, he’s a victim of abuse and when I when I saw that and discovered that, I was like “oh wow this is this is a child who’s really dealing with a very hardcore life” and especially like say, the bathtub scene…
Daniel: *Awkward laugh*
Laura: Yeah, there’s that laughter. I was like “Oof.” Man, that was a tense day because it was very real for me. It was very it’s super threatening and very vulnerable and to me, he really does portray the struggle of being abused and dealing with an abuser and being afraid to come forward because as the last couple of episodes have shown, he goes through this internal struggle where he needs to call for help, absolutely can’t do can’t do it, and then when the truth comes out, it has immediate, definite, serious, and complete consequences. And he doesn’t place the blame on the abuser, he places the blame on himself. He feels like everything is his fault and it’s heartbreaking. So, I really wanted to approach that character with a lot of care and as much truth as I could and as much strength as he deserves, because he really does work hard to overcome that fear and those obstacles.
Daniel: And I think you and the production crew did a great job.
Laura: Thank you.
Daniel: And speaking of awkward moments like the Hayato bath scene…
As part of Quinella seizing control of the Underworld, she created the Taboo index, which was basically her way of keeping her authority of the game world and keeping everyone in their place. However, the Taboo Index is flawed and full of loopholes, as Humbert and Rios demonstrated when they tried to rape Ronye and Tiese, and Kirito and Eugeo’s intervention actually made them violate the index. What are your personal thoughts on the matter, and if you were in Quinella’s shoes, what would she think?
Maureen: Hmm…that’s a hard one because I didn’t actually watch that episode because I was like: “I don’t know if I want to do that one right now.” So, in terms of whether or not she would have tried to intervene because people are breaking the Taboo Index…I actually don’t know that she would. I don’t think it mattered enough to her in that specific circumstance because as long as it’s something that isn’t directly threatening her; I feel like she let things go because she has so much control over everything else. So…yeah but [in regards to] that particular one, she doesn’t try and stop anything. I feel like it’s on her list of priorities that was just not very high…which makes her even worse.
Laura: She doesn’t care. It’s so fun.
To Laura, what are your impressions and favorite traits of Ray and Hayato respectively?
Laura: I was lucky enough with Hayato, to have been auto-cast, which doesn’t happen often. Sometimes every once in a while, the casting director had someone in mind or something and they’ll pick them and be like: “guess what, here you go, here we are, off to the races.” When that actually happened, I had no idea of the scope of Hayato. I thought, “Oh, ok. This is an auto-cast, this must be like a one-off, maybe a couple of episodes character” or something. And then I found out where he was really going and was like: “…oh.” And I was deeply honored by that. I was like: “Oh, wow, that’s a lot of trust, ok.” And, gosh, I’ll always be grateful for that because he’s very, like all of my characters are very special to me because I think you wonder when you’re acting you find a way to find yourself within a character. No matter whether they’re protagonist or antagonist or whatever, you want to find as much truth as you can, and I love Hayato, and, so I was so grateful for that role.
And then when Ray came around and when I got to know him, I really admired his strength as well. He’s killer and he’s so smart and he’s so snarky. He has this very dark, kind of “talking out of your mouth” sense of humor, that was unexpected in such a heavy show and heavy story and I love that the way that he can. He can have humor, even in the midst of such tension and high-stakes. And he really does ultimately place the people that he loves high above himself, even to even to his own detriment at times and I think that’s really amazing. So, I love them both and nobody please take them away from me.
And to Maureen, what are your impressions and favorite traits of Quinella and Amane respectively?
Maureen: I was so fascinated with Quinella from the beginning. When a story starts, the character is whatever age that they are for the story, so it can often be rare to have a full backstory for a character where not only are you aware of when it is, but you actually get to do that, you actually get to record for that. When I went into the very first session for her, I played her at 5 different ages of her life and that was really cool, that was a really fun challenge. So, it’s great to be able to see her entire evolution, but how she became what she became. That’s incredibly helpful to me as an actor and also, I think it gives everybody watching a different level of relationship with the character because you have that backstory, you have that understanding. So, that’s one of the things that I like most about playing her is that she is so ethereal.
And the way that Alex and I talked about her, one of the first sessions I came in, I was like “you know what this is?” like my quick entry point to get into that mindset for her when I go in, cause I’m not like Quinella. I’m a lot like some of my other characters, but I’m not like Quinella. Sometimes, you need a quick entry point to get into that head-space really quick when a character is vastly different from you, and so my entry point for her is Galadriel if Galadriel had taken the ring. You get that glimpse of her in the first Lord of the Rings movie, where she and Frodo had that great scene together, and he’s like “I’ll give you this, please take this from me”, and she immediately becomes this dark, horrifying, version of Galadriel.
Laura: I’ve been thinking that this whole time.
Maureen: …and that’s my entry point for Quinella, that is what’s happening here. She took the ring, she realized she had this power and she went Whole Hog with it and took it to his absolute most extreme limit. So that’s kind of how I think about her, and like I was saying earlier, it’s like finding that balance between keeping her very ethereal and floaty. And the way that I place my voice is very very soft with her, especially still right now, and keeping that unbelievable cruelty that she has just under the surface…for now.
Maureen: It won’t always be like that…
Maureen: but now, it’s under the surface just a little bit
Laura: We don’t know that…yeah we do.
Maureen: I mean, she’s the villain, of course she’s going to. There’s only one way this is going to go.
Laura: We don’t know…
Maureen: She’s going to get even worse.
Laura: Ok, fine.
Maureen: But yeah, that’s how I think about her. Very much if Gladriel had taken the ring, that’s, to me, how I know what she is.
Laura: Sorry I nerded out. I’m all of my friends’ biggest fans.
Kite’s murder by Neferpitou was a real rough moment for Gon and played a huge part throughout the Chimera Ant arc. When Kite was reincarnated as a girl (with you voicing her), it caused quite a bit of a stir among fans. What was your reaction, especially since you got to voice her?
Laura: I was just as blown away. Because when I went in for that session and when I found out, it was actually another auto-cast when I got that email and I was all like “Wait, this person already has a voice (Christopher Corey Smith), what do you mean? And it’s a really good voice…” So, I went in and I found out what was going on, because I wasn’t as entrenched in the Hunter x Hunter universe as some of these other shows and I saw her and I was like: “Oh, she’s adorable. Fantastic. Okay, great.” And it was bittersweet thing because I know about how brutal Kite’s story is and how tragic that is and I was like “Okay, well we don’t have to lose this character entirely” but there’s definitely a change that’s taken place and we’ll see where that goes with Kite later on. I don’t know that anything else has happen with Kite, yet we’ll see, we’ll find out. I can’t go any further than that, but I will say that I hope that when Hunter x Hunter’s all said and done, we have a solid feeling about whether or not Kite’s story really does continue and what direction it’s headed.
SAO fans of course know this isn’t true, but for newer and casual anime fans and the show’s critics, I might as well ask this: Kirito has had quite the reputation of having a habit of adding girls to his harem to the dismay of his wife Asuna. Does Quinella have any sort of thing with him, or no?
Daniel: There you go, folks.
Maureen: No, she’s totally [not into him]. I think because while she looks like she’s maybe the same age as the rest of the gang, she is not. She’s hundreds of years old in her mind. So, she sees them as just children, essentially. She sees them (at first) as just fun little playthings to mess around with, and she’s definitely not looking into joining the famous harem. If anything, she wants to get rid of him. So, nothing like that going on.
Laura: Or Kirito, he could join her harem.
Maureen: Yeah, exactly. Think about it more like a cat against a mouse trapped in a corner. That’s how she sees him.
As fans will learn in these next few episodes, Quinella has quite the tendency of running around butt naked during the present storyline (with her hair keeping things from getting too risqué). What do you think about her fashion choice, is it for fanservice purposes, or is she just being like: “Bitch, IDGAF, I can wear whatever I want?”
Maureen: I can’t speak to the creator’s choices for that. I mean, yeah it could be just fanservice, I don’t know, I don’t know what their intentions are with it. But the way that I have to think about it for myself is that the reason why she ends up naked in the first place is because her clothes get damaged and she, out of anger, just *woosh* gets rid of it. And like I said, she’s hundreds of years old she’s not really even human anymore, really. So, I don’t even think that red light nudity even registers to her as being anything like the way that we think about it, because she has absolutely no shame, she doesn’t even act like she’s naked, you know what I mean? Like it’s neither here nor there to her she doesn’t care and I almost see it is more of like a power-play. It’s very much a power play because she’s always in control of the situation and it’s always a choice of hers. And because she’s not human anymore, I don’t even think it registers. She just doesn’t care.
Laura: I think that’s so cool because she is in this state of what a lot of people would consider their most vulnerable. And that’s when she’s most powerful.
Maureen: It doesn’t faze her. It doesn’t even register.
What shows (that any of you are in) would you recommend for Toonami to air in the future?
Laura: Oh man…all of them? I’m not a part of the show, but I feel like the fans already stan it so much that it would make sense to see Rise of the Shield Hero end up there someday. I know I’m super Jazz that Lupin’s going to be there. When I heard that, I was like: “YES!” That show, Lupin is fun. I don’t know, I have to see what else is coming up.
Maureen: Yeah, I would need to lake a look at what’s coming. [But] I would love for Cells at Work to be on Toonami.
Laura: I don’t know, I feel like it’s too pure. It’s so pure and so sweet.
Maureen: It’s very pure but I would still like for that to get a wider audience because it’s such a cool, unique, fun show that I’m a huge fan of personally, and I was a fan even before I knew I was going to be in it. So that would be so cool I’d love some more people like to be able to watch that.
Laura: I mean I love my little cinnamon buns, but Toonami’s known for their darker fare…
Maureen: I know, but I still want it there.
Daniel: Toonami has been looking to expand their anime horizon’s as of late, so anything is possible.
Maureen: Anything is possible.
Daniel: Before I let you two go, since you got to head your autograph signing pretty soon, let me ask some fan questions:
What was it like voicing Ray and your thoughts about his character so far?
— Blak3 Nikos ♎ (@OfficialFayBla) May 28, 2019
Laura: I said it before, I’ll say it again. I love Ray forever. *giggles* Ray is fantastic and I am really enjoying it. I think my favorite part of voicing Ray has been dealing with the fact that just about every single thing he says means three or four different things at once. There are several different meanings to everything that he says, there are several different ways that it can be meant, and having all of those things going on at the same time and still being present and in the moment, and not thinking too hard about it while saying it can be, as cool as he can, has been a fantastic challenge…and I love it, and I love it. I’m not eloquent here because Ray’s awesome, damn it.
Question for Maureen: What would you do with Quinellas administrator power?
Question for Laura: Would you ever choose to be a spy/secret operative?
— ⒾⓋⒶⓃ (@xIvanRamirezx) May 28, 2019
Maureen: A couple things. Obviously, I would use her powers for good, and one would be that she has the abilities to heal people. So obviously like that since that’s an easy one, like if I could cure somebody’s cancer, I certainly would do that if I could. so that would be great that would be great to just easily heal people left, right, and center. That be great. And second, you know her ability to go into people’s minds and make shifts in the memory or something, how you may or may not have remembered something? It could be interesting although there a lot of ethical questions there. If people you know came to me and asked if I could go into their memories and erase trauma or erase painful memories, which basically is the premise of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. So, obviously there are a lot of ethical implications with the consequences of that might be, but if somebody came to me and wanted me to erase Trauma from their memories you know maybe I would, I don’t know?
Laura: If I would choose to do that, I couldn’t tell you, could I? Because it’d be a secret! I mean, I don’t know if I’m smart enough to do that. It’s just that I love what I’m doing now. I really am so grateful for the opportunities that have been placed in front of me. I don’t know if I can see myself in any other occupation, as cool as it would be to be a super spy.
Maureen: You’re not a good enough liar.
Laura: I’m not good at lying. When I was little and I lied and I got away with it, 10 minutes later, I’d run up to my parents crying, and be like: “I LIED, I’M SORRY. HERE’S THE PUNISHMENT I THINK I SHOULD HAVE.” and they’d be like “okay.” I was that kid, so I’m probably not spy material. I love playing characters with ulterior motives, I’m just really bad at lying. I get tummy aches.
Anything else you would like to say to the fans before we head on our way?
Laura: All I can really say is thank you so much for watching and enjoying with us and riding this crazy roller coaster. please continue to connect on Twitter and Instagram or wherever I am just as widely fascinated with you as, gosh, I hope you’re at least a little bit interested in me. And it’s just been such an amazing ride and I’m incredibly grateful for the support that’s already been offered. It’s flabbergasting and there’s no words to say.
Maureen: Same. Yeah, thank you thank you guys so much for being interested in and for watching the shows and supporting them for all these years.
And also, for both Laura and myself, being somewhat relative newcomers, thank you so much for an incredibly warm welcome and your enthusiasm and support and excitement about the shows and characters, I think I speak for all of us that we’re so grateful because we wouldn’t be doing this without you.
Laura: We literally could not do these things without the support of the fans. So, we love you.
Maureen: We love you so much. Thank you.
Daniel: Alright, so I just want to say on behalf of everyone at Toonami News and the Toonami Faithful, thanks for meeting with me, and we’ll see you again next time.
Laura and Maureen: Thank You.
Thanks to Anime Conji for their accommodations to make this interview possible.