Funimation invited several members of the press to interview the English voice actors of “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” before its red carpet premiere at the TCL Chinese Theater last December. I joined in with Nuke the Fridge’s Chris in finding more about the cast’s experience with the new movie and the franchise. The film will be hitting North American theaters starting January 16.

Photo Taken by Faith Orcino

Our first interview was with Monica Rial, the voice of Bulma.

Chris asked Rial about her thoughts on the growth of “Dragon Ball” over the years.

Rial: “To go from sitting on my abuelita’s couch, watching ‘Dragon Ball’ in Spanish to being Bulma and having a premiere at the Chinese Theater; like that’s great! Like, sometimes I have to pinch myself and go ‘Holy crap, this is real!’’
She spoke how “Dragon Ball” along with the rest of anime have been on an upward trajectory and reach into the mainstream. “Maybe we’ll get another live-action ‘Dragon Ball’ that doesn’t suck.”

I asked her then on her thoughts specifically on Bulma and playing her.

Rial: “I like her because she’s sassy and spunky but she wasn’t like a great role model because she was just looking for a boyfriend which maybe not be a great message to send to a girl. But then as we went through ‘Z’ and now ‘Super’, she’s really kinda come unto her own and she’s the only woman out of the group that is still kinda in the middle of things and not at home just taking care of the kids. So to me, I think she is a brilliant role model. She’s a scientist. She’s an inventor. She’s rich. She gives all of them crap because why wouldn’t you. But bringing her to life is one of my absolute favorite things. She’s so much fun in the booth.  She’s taxing and afterwards I have to take a nap. There’s a lot of yelling and here expressions change. Like on every line, her facial expressions change. It is totally worth it.”

Chris then asked what will Bulma do in “Broly” and Rial replied that the character will reveal some secrets on her youthful looks and show “her trademark sassiness” as a comedic relief within the drama.

We continued the conversation about Bulma’s evolution.

Rial: “Well, it’s been a really fun ride. I started in ‘Kai’, ‘Dragon Ball Z Kai’ about ten years ago. I took over for Tiffany Vollmer who was the original Bulma. So when I first started in ‘Kai’, I wanted to make sure that I kinda paid homage to Tiffany’s performance. So I kinda went through and watched some of the episodes and got a feel where it sat in her voice and how I thought it should sound. When I first started, we kinda tried to stick really close to what have been done before. I didn’t have much freedom really because I was trying to stay close to that.”
“It was the Buu saga of ‘Kai’ where I was finally like ‘You know what? I’ve been doing this long enough now that I think we’ve made that seamless transition. Now it is time I could make her my own.’ That’s when I started making bolder choices and things that were different from what Tiffany had done, but not that either is good or bad, just different. So when ‘Super’ came along, I think we were all excited ‘cause this is the first show that any of us have worked on that hasn’t been dubbed in some capacity. So it was our baby. Going through that and watching her progress, I love we could see more of her relationship with Vegeta and how the kids came along. I know for female fans, I was one going ‘What the hell happened?! Like Yamcha wasn’t that bad? And all of the sudden, she’s with this dude and there’s a kid and oh my God! How did this even happen?!’ I think it’s kinda cool we get to see the stolen kisses and the little moments between the two of them. But also she’s come into her own. Her best friend is Goku and her husband is Vegeta so she has to keep up with the boys.”
“She is also very maternal too. She always want to out in the front and middle of things. I think you’ll see some of that in ‘Broly’.”

I asked Rial about her other favorite characters and she said Vegeta, Yamcha, Krillin along with the new female Saiyans, Caulifla and Kale.

Chris asked what was Rial’s favorite part of the show she worked on. She answered with “Battle of the Gods” since it was Bulma’s birthday but also the Future Trunks Arc.
Rial: “We don’t get to see him that often, One. I think Eric is phenomenal. Eric Vale is phenomenal as Future Trunks. And we also got to see more of their relationship. I loved playing Future Bulma and having that message of hope that kinda carries through throughout. I’ve taken that with me like ever since we  did the Future Trunks arc. Whenever someone asks me ‘What is Bulma’s motivation? Why does she do the things she does?’ I’ve said it’s hope. She’s hopeful for the future. She’s hopeful for what her husband could become, what her best friend could become, what would the world could hold for her children. I think ‘hope’ is a big word for her.

Here is Chris’s video of our interview with Bardock and Krillin’s Sonny Strait. He talked about playing the saiyan again and also his first anime character.

Chris recorded also our interview with Vic Mignogna who played Broly. We talked about his return to the role and how he approached it years since the Dragon Ball Z films.

Ian Sinclair who played Whiz got very animated in his interview as we talked about getting the role, performing and theories on the show. I would like to restate that Whiz is a favorite of the Anime Ushi crew.

In our interview with Jason Douglas (Berus), we asked him about playing a powerful but also quirky character.

For our final interview, iconic duo Sean Schemmel (Goku) and Christopher Sabat (Vegeta) had fun talking about the famous Goku balloon at the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the current impact of the series in the mainstream. Pardon the shaky quality of the video and there are some mature language in this one.

Thank you so much Chris of Nuke the Fridge for recording and letting me tag along in the interviews! Also thanks to Funimation for letting us participate in the press event. Check out Funimation Films for where you can check out “Dragon Ball Super: Broly”, out in select theaters on January 16th.

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