Welcome once again to Otaku Digest. Another week down and we are getting ever closer to the beginning of the summer anime season. In case you don’t know, this weekend is also Arcade Con so in place of a review and in honour of special guest Troy Baker, we are dedicating this week’s Otaku Digest to the man himself. Baker has leant his voice to a wide array of mediums from gaming to anime, so we have decided to do our top 5 Troy Baker anime contributions. A massive thank you to the man himself for coming to Arcade Con and from fans everywhere for giving us some amazing characters to marvel at and enjoy.
This is probably one of the hardest countdown lists I have ever had to put together, as Troy Baker has given us anime fans some of the most amazing voices for characters. Needless to say, it was very difficult to pick 5 of his top contributions, but I did it.
5. Pain – Naruto
There is a wide variety of voices in the Naruto anime franchise but, as a character, Pain is one of the most recognisable antagonists in any series and Troy Baker takes him on and gives us a perfect English dubbed portrayal of Pain. Pain is a (spoiler alert!) mysterious character in the popular anime, so tread carefully. He is a ninja from Amegakure and the figurehead leader of the Akatsuki ninja group. He is partnered to Konan and has Obito acting as his benefactor. The Pain we see in the series uses the Deva Path and, not to spoil anything, is connected and controlled by Nagato as part of The Six Paths of Pain.
Pain is a complex character to take on, what with having so much history and depth behind him so Baker’s portrayal of Pain gave him just the right amount of edge and mystery to keep fans watching to see how his narrative played out and is truly worthy of the 5th place on this list.
4. Abel Nightroad – Trinity Blood
There’s nothing like kicking off a series as the main protagonist! In Trinity Blood, Baker takes on the task of delivering a top notch performance as our main protagonist, Abel Nightroad. Abel is a double sided individual. In his first appearance, he comes off as being a clumsy, goofy, absent minded, financially inept individual, while also portraying himself as an empathetic Catholic priest who is always going hungry. In reality, it is a front he puts on to hide the sober, solemn nature that is Abel, but he manages to keep his compassion where other traits of his personality have disappeared.
Another epic character that has a major history, he takes on this damaged character and that takes guts. Baker manages to give both aspects of Abel’s personality equal amounts of effort, giving fans exactly what they want and is well worthy of the 4th place spot.
3. Jaromir Lipsky – Monster
A very underrated anime that should have gotten much more attention than it did, comes the character of Jaromir Lipsky, a hard-on-his-luck puppeteer in Prague. Another character, Nina, encounters him as she is passing through the city in pursuit of another, and he becomes inspired by her and creates a new puppet that resembles her.
Another very complex character for Baker to take on, he certainly manages to deliver a very convincing performance. The entire Monster anime is dark and mysterious, so for Baker to take the Lipsky character and deliver the same ambience of darkness and mystery while also illustrating his hard times with life and family is a true achievement and a feather in the cap of Mr Troy Baker.
2. Schneizel el Britanna – Code Geass
If you have not seen the anime Code Geass, fear not as there are no spoilers here. Schneizel el Britannia is the primary antagonist of the series; he is the Second Prince of the Holy Britannian Empire while also being the Prime Minister of Britannia. He holds the position of being a strategist that is on par with Lelouch, while also being the only person who Lelouch has been unable to beat in chess when they were children. He could be the ultimate sociopath as he is a hugely charismatic man who is very caring towards his underlings, while also being classed as a cold and ruthless man who would sacrifice many lives without a second thought.
Are we seeing a pattern from Troy Baker? The man certainly does not shy away from the complex double personality roles. Schneizel is a very complex man who needs all an actors’ attention to detail and Baker does it perfectly, bringing the ultimate portrayal of Schneizel to the forefront and is most definitely worthy of the second place spot.
1. Greed – Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood
Is it really a shock I have this as the number one slot? I have been noted as saying that the Ling Greed or second greed is the best character from the FMA Brotherhood series. Greed is the ‘Ultimate Shield’ and a rogue homunculus who embodies all the aspects of the greed ‘sin’; he craves money, all wordly possessions and, of course, women which is why he ends up leaving the homunculi as that takes away from his desires. It is not until Ling Yao agrees to become the new greed that we are introduced to the second Greed; this is where Greed really comes out. He is an ass; a womanising, arrogant soul. However, with Ling in the mix, he manages to see a new side to things.
Given that he is one of my favourite characters in the series, I am extra critical as to how he was going to be portrayed in the English dub and I have to say, thank you Troy Baker, he was perfect. Baker managed to take the typical Greed character and make him even more suave and arrogant yet, when he reaches the moment of clarity and pureness, Baker’s vocal work is above and beyond and so Greed takes the top spot.
Well there you go, my top 5 of Troy Baker‘s vocal performances in anime. Thank you again, Troy, for joining us at Arcade Con 2015 and we all hoped you enjoyed your time here!