Mayumi Tanaka, the voice actress who plays Luffy in One Piece, recently said that she hopes Luffy will be her last role. But she spilled the beans on some other details as well, including the fact that she doesn’t read the One Piece manga!
This might really surprise some fans, but it isn’t meant to be a slight to creator Eiichiro Oda or indicate any laziness on her part. She remarked, “I don’t read the manga [One Piece]. It might actually be better if I did, but my style is to do my performances while still holding onto that fresh feeling of surprise and going ‘Whoa, so this is what happens!’ that comes from reading about it in the script for the first time and seeing the artwork [for the anime] for the first time too.”
SoraNews24 translated some of the online responses in Japan to learning this news:
“Yeah, I think if you read the manga, your feelings about what’s going to happen later on will start mixing into how you’re speaking the lines now.”
“I’ve heard the same thing about Masako Nozawa [Goku in Dragon Ball] and Rika Matsumoto [Satoshi (known as Ash in America) in Pokémon]. They don’t read the manga or play the games for their series.”
“What an awesome philosophy. It’s like she’s having the adventure together with Luffy!”
Tanaka revealed a few other things about herself during this talk. She brings food along to the recording studio, she owns a ton of anime merchandise, she likes to mix black tea with throat lozenges, her husband does the housework while she does the cooking, her dressing room always has medicine in it, and at 67-year-old, she says she still has the spirit of a young boy in her heart, which allows her to play these characters.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.