Hello everyone and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Continuing with my interviews, I interviewed Richard Epcar during MetroCon this year! As one of the bigger names in anime, you may have heard him as Etemon, MetalEtemon, and Myotismon in Digimon Adventure 1 and of course MiloMyotismon and his host character in Adventure 2 but the voice you may remember him the most as Bato in Ghost in the Shell and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex! Plus he also directed a lot of anime and video games on top of it. Man, he has a huge belt and major long nose hairs! So, what did I ask him?
Mari Blue Cat: You have been a director and an anime voice actor, how did you become a fan of the entire genre?
Richard Epcar: I am a fan of certain shows. I enjoy certainly the stuff I’ve worked on, so I got exposed to it through that. I did as a kid seen Speed Racer and Gigantor and and a few of those shows, which I wound up working on those actually which was kind of funny! I don’t know if that I was a big fan of this stuff until I started working on it. So…like Ghost in the Shell is a very cool show, there are a lot of these shows…the thing I love about the anime is that it pushes the envelope. It’s not formulaic like American animation, it asks a lot of questions and a lot of interesting questions and goes places that our animation never did before, I found that pretty fascinating!
MBC: Yeah, Matthew Mercer and I have talked about how the different storytelling it has.
RE: Yeah, it’s pretty interesting stuff!
MBC: I know it’s kind of weird to ask but how did you meet Ellyn?
RE: It’s one of those bizarre stories. It’s a little a kin to one of the animes I work on and knowing these different universes that happen simultaneously and the reason that I bring that up is that is because basically what happened was basically I had a friend of mine…when I first came to town, I sold my drum set for $300 and came to LA with $300 in my pocket and didn’t know anybody and I’ve done pretty well considering but I was taking out the trash out one day in my apartment and my buddy was there and said “What are you doing today?” And he said, “I’m going to this theater to audition!” And I said “Do you mind if I tag along?” We knew each other from college. So I went and auditioned at this theater company and Ellyn was there, that is how I met her and saw her there! I was smitten with her immediately and she was dating some other guy at the time and I had to kind of wait for her to come to her senses. That is how we met, we got together and doing plays together and then started doing voice work together and then directing together and then had a company we run together and so we have been doing stuff for a very long time. Long time! ::laughs a bit::
MBC: I know you do the directing and voice work thing, which one do you prefer the most?
RE: I love them both! I got through periods where I direct a lot and don’t do much voice work and it drives me crazy and then I go through periods of doing a lot of the other one, doing a lot of voice work and not a lot of directing. I do enjoy doing them both a lot and I feel that they’re both similar as far as they’re coming from creatively, but I do enjoy them a lot! I really do like to be…you know I’m an actor, I consider myself as an actor and I also consider myself as a director, it’s kind of a weird thing but I do enjoy both very much!
MBC: You do a lot of characters according to Anime News Network, which one would you voice work again and which anime would you direct again?
RE: Well, the directing one I had blast working on was Lupin III. That was really a lot of fun and would love to do another version of itagain, an incarnation of it and playing Jigan again, he was a lot of fun. Love doing Jigan, love doing Bato, you know Joker’s a great character, I would love to do him and a bunch of other video games and hoping to do an anime series with him in it. He is just a great character, a lot of fun. Yeah, it’s all great! I’ve been very, very lucky. I’ve been doing this for thirty years and have worked constantly and always get to do a lot of fun characters, a lot of different things, you know it’s always fun. I’m always the fortunate ones!
MBC: What has been the funniest thing that happened in the booth?
RE: ::laughs a bit:: This is my go to story with this. I had this friend of mine who is this voice guy. He always loves to fart in the booth, he always thinks it’s hilarious!
MBC: Oh jeez! ::giggle::
RE: He was in the booth one time and farting up a storm; there was one guy in the booth and we were doing some WALA, which means there’s a bunch of us doing a lot of crowd sounds and a lot of stuff, everytime when tthis guy would fart this other guy would laugh like a hyena and I thought and said, “I’m in hell~! This must be hell!” That was kind of a funny thing, I don’t know how much funny things we…we have a lot of fun and we laugh a lot, especially when I’m directing we have a lot of fun. I like to have everybody to enjoy themselves! I could feel as a director that your actors are loose then they’re going to be more creative and have more fun and instead of some of these directors who are iron fisted and yell at their actors, I think that it has the opposite effect on an actor, it makes them clam up and not do their best work so I don’t think they’re doing their actors any favors. I try to keep everything pretty loose and fun and we’re always having a good time when I’m directing and always laugh a lot.
MBC: I know you do the entire outtakes panel…
RE:Yes, which we’re not able to do here it’s a G-Rated convention.
MBC: Family oriented.
RE: People enjoy those, they’re a lot of fun! MBC: I was going to ask if you still doing those because I went to the one at AFO 2012 actually!
RE: Did I show them there?
MBC: Uh yeah!
RE: Did you laugh?
MBC: Of course! Me and my fiance were in the crowd and enjoying that!
RE: It’s a lot of fun! We have a lot of fun and it’s a lot of fun for us to come up with this stuff y’know, it makes us laugh! I laugh, I seen them a hundred times and still laugh at them. I still enjoy them. It’s still a lot of fun, it’s too bad we can’t show them here, I completely understand why they don’t want them to show.
MBC: Are there any new projects you can talk about?
RE: Well, I’m the Joker in this new Infinite Crisis that’s coming out online. It’s an online game, it’s a lot of fun! And I’m the new Joseph joestar in the new Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure which I’m really excited about! I’m the narrator in the new Bayonata! We did the game before and now they’re doing…
MBC: A sequel!
RE: I am the narrator in that and people are excited about that!
MBC: Yeah because E3 announced the sequel to it finally and the Wii-U is picking them up.
RE: Right, I’m the narrator. In the original I was actually nominated for an award for that so it was kinda cool, I didn’t win it but it was really cool that they nominated me for that. And what else? There are a lot of other cool things coming up, I co-directed Arcum Origins which is a big game, biggest Batman game that Warner Brothers has ever ddone. I played three characters in that. So, it’s been great! We’ve been very busy and working a lot and doing a lot of different projects.
MBC: Who were you in Arcum Origins?
RE: I was a guy named Marcos, they’re all bad guys, I played a SWAT guy, he’s a bad guy! They’re all bad guys except for Batman in that.
MBC: Pretty much!
RE: I was also Judge Harkens in that.It’s hard to remember, so many characters. I’ve done about 400 characters and it’s hard to remember them all!
MBC: I remembered Troy Baker was the Joker int hat one.
RE: He was the Joker in that one and Roger Craig Smith was Batman in that one and it was very cool that they rebooted their story much like the new Star Trek in rebooting their story with a new cast, that is that’s what they kind of did with that! And then Batman and Joker were in their twenties in that and wanted younger voices for that.
MBC: I guess it makes sense.
RE: I guess so. And there’s other things going on with Mortal Kombat and other things I can’t talk about. There is a lot of cool stuff coming out!
We did talk about other things that dealt with E3 and how excited he was to talk about the stuff during his time there last year but couldn’t tell anybody! I even mentioned how Matthew Mercer was talking about the same thing during my interview with him and Richard did tell me that he will be one of the characters in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure which sounds pretty cool! I will keep a look out for it since I did see the first three episodes in Japanese during the Propeller Best of 2012! And if you guys go to any convention where Richard Epcar has his outtakes panel it is something to see! So, look out for all the stuff above!
Who’s next? Troy Baker!