The folks at Miketendo64 are continuing their Behind the Voice series in which they chat to a number of prominent voice actors who’ve done significant work on Nintendo games. They had a chance to interview Kaiji Tang, the man behind the voice of Detective Pikachu himself. You can read a few excerpts below:
Miketendo64: Now onto something a little different, Detective Pikachu. You’re not just a voice of a character in the game, you are the voice of Pikachu and I’ve got to admit, you did a pretty awesome job. I mean, you’re clearly not Danny Devito, who fans wanted to voice the great detective, but you did a fantastic nonetheless. Was the voice we hear in the game the one you used to audition with, or was it a direction you were pushed into and then made into your own?
Kaiji Tang: So funny story. Before I got the audition for Detective Pikachu, I was like everyone else, hoping desperately against hope that somehow Nintendo would be able to hire Danny Devito as the titular character. I mean come on, it’s so perfect. So of course when I got the chance to audition, I sent them a “Devito” take along with the rest. Whether or not that was a factor in me getting hired is a mystery, haha. However I spoke to the client while recording and he informed me that even though the Devito meme was hilarious, Nintendo had always wanted that kind of gruff pseudo-New Yorker noir voice for Pikachu. So even if the Devito meme had never happened, Pikachu was always going to end up sounding like he could give you lessons in doing your taxes and alimony payments.
Miketendo64: And for the sake of it, with regards to the casting, was Detective Pikachu the role you went in for, you just the one you ended up with and whole approached who regarding the gig?
Kaiji Tang: I do believe for Detective Pikachu, the character himself was the sole character I auditioned for.