Fans rally to combat anime change

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Group forms to 'Save Our Voice Actors'
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  • Friday, March 31, 2006
  • Opinion by Pie

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This opinion piece has been written by Pie. It expresses the views of the writer, not necessarily those of Bulbagarden networks.
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Since Dec. 23, snippets of information have been released regarding 4Kids Entertainment and the fate of the Pokémon anime series in the United States. First, on this date, it was announced 4Kids would no longer have the licensing rights to Pokémon. Then, it was announced 4Kids would no longer be producing the English dub of the Pokémon anime.

It has been learned that Pokémon USA, the new licensor of the series, has dubbed a 10th-anniversary special, The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon, with cheaper, "sound-alike" voice actors. The special will air April 29 on Kids' WB! Nothing is known about the quality of these new voice actors, but from information given to fans by voice actors Veronica Taylor (Ash, May) and Eric Stuart (Brock, James), it is known that they may become the voice actors for the ninth season of the Pokémon anime.

There is time to reverse this decision.

Many fans are upset. Reasons include the potential loss of voice acting quality, attachment to the current voices after eight years of hearing them and sympathy for the voice actors themselves. While some fans are doing nothing about this due to doubts or indifference, many fans are taking action to let Pokémon USA know how they feel.

The Save Our Voice Actors campaign (also called Save The Voice Actors and Save The Dub) is a fandom-wide effort to convince Pokémon USA that replacing the current voice actors would be a grave mistake. To accomplish this mission, people involved with SOVA are spreading the word to as many other fans as possible and taking action by signing an online petition, folding paper cranes and mailing them to Pokémon USA and above all else writing letters to Pokémon USA. An emphasis is placed on letter writing because anyone can write one and letters are much harder to ignore than online petitions or e-mails. The members of the campaign know that changing the mind of Pokémon USA will not be easy, but are all willing to do their best despite their doubts.

This issue has a deeper issue hidden within it. How Pokémon USA responds to the SOVA campaign will serve as an indicator for many fans of how much the company cares about the fans' respect and loyalty. If the SOVA campaign is heard and the original voice actors are retained, it is likely fans will think even higher of Pokémon USA than they ever did before. However, if the SOVA campaign is ignored and the original voice actors are replaced, it could easily hurt fan opinion of Pokémon USA.

If you support the current voice actors and want to join in the SOVA campaign, please visit its Web site at [1] for more information on the situation and what you can do to help.