Since 2009, news about Toei commissioning William Winckler Productions to produce dubbed versions of many of their best known series, including Fist of the North Star, has been sparse. Last month Kyle Rea posted the only footage to make it’s way online from Fist of the North Star: The Shin Saga. Kyle worked on the dub and posted these excerpts as a demo reel, and agreed to take time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions about his experience working with William Winckler Productions.
Milo: Hi Kyle, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Kyle: I grew up on a sheep farm in Oregon and had no TV growing up. I had to sneak in comic books, television, and video games, which were all eventually thrown into the slough. So my imagination ran wild. I would role-play with my brothers and constantly made up weird voices to fit the characters I was portraying. I never really had a lot of friends, so I always tried to blend in with any crowd, attempting to be accepted by anybody or group of people. Hence, the evolution of the name, Chameleonactor.
M: How did you first get involved in the William Winckler Fist of the North Star dubbing project?
K: I submitted to a casting call and auditioned various times before being offered some roles on Winckler’s beginning anime projects. It escalated from there and I ended up voicing Shin, Souther, & Toki in the FotNS dubs among many other well known characters from the elder TOEI animation line. William Winckler basically “fathered” me into the voice-over world and I am fully appreciative of that!
M: Did you have any familiarity with FotNS before beginning work on the project? What’s your opinion of it now?
K: I knew nothing of any of the anime’s I dubbed other than they were famous, especially in Japan, and that I better do a damn good job, or there will be a lot of upset fans. Being a fan of modern anime, myself, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into.
Out of all the anime’s I dubbed for William Winckler, Fist of the North Star was my favorite because I like wild anime that pushes limits. This seemed a lot like some of my favorite anime’s (Berserk, Vampire Hunter D) and I was immediately drawn to it, especially when I realized I was to be voicing some badass bosses! Found that out even more when I visited Japan and saw pachinko machines and posters everywhere of FotNS.
M: What was it like working on the dub?
K: AWESOME!! Finally an excuse to put all my “hard work” into play! The fan-base acceptance was always at the back of my mind, but you have to put that aside and focus only on the work if you truly want to please the fans. Since I am a fan, if I please myself then I’ll presumably please the fans.
M: Many Fist of the North Star fans are eager to see the completed dubbing project. Do you have any idea of when or if this will be possible?
K: It already aired on public Cable in Japan and was a success. As far as I know, there are no copies for sale. If you would like to see a finished final version, I would suggest trying to contact TOEI to see if/where you might be able to see or get a copy.
(The versions I have are not final versions and I am under contract and I cannot send or upload the full copy, only my own snippets for my reel.)
M: Is there anything else you’d like to mention about the project?
K: Shin Saga is the first edit I’ve put online. I dubbed 21 of TOEI anime’s with William Winckler, which are in the process of being edited. I will post them in my YouTube account as I finish each one.
William Winckler Productions & JF Oya have a number of projects in the works coming soon, so constantly keep your eyes and ears peeled!
Kyle Rea is a voice-over artist, actor, writer, director, producer, and award winning and published photographer in the Los Angeles area.