Now Which One Was That Voice?
Common in anime and Western Animation, and related to Hey, It's That Guy! and Hey, It's That Voice!. This is the former standard in Western Animation where voice actors are lumped into a simple list under the heading "Voice Talent." This makes viewers who recognize an actor's name have to do a search to determine which character they were, which can be problematic especially if they used an alias for this production (or if someone has a very large vocal range). In anime dubbing, this is generally a sign that the voice acting was not unionized for the production and at least one if not the majority of the voice talent are using aliases. This is also prevalent in dubbed Anime and Video Games, but only for the dub cast. The credits list the Japanese voice actor in the standard Actor-Role method, while the English voice actors, by contrast, use the stock-standard "block of names". Many live-action dubbed films go farthernote and don't list the English dub actors at all. This trope is becoming less common as voice actors are slowly gaining more recognition in and outside the industry. It has all-but completely vanished from American cartoons, who now credit the actors proper. There are three types of this...
Uncredited ActorsOccurring typically with older anime English dubs and video games, in these instances the dub voice talent will not be mentioned in the credits at all. This is often a major sign that it's a non-union dub and thus a lower-budget production. Unfortunately, due to union issues (or lack there of), the chances of finding out any official info of the cast are close to none—especially if the majority of voice talent have little to no VA experience or it is an older production. In many cases, an official cast listing is made by the dubbing company/recording studio and sent to the game publishers, who publish it in the game credits at their own discretion.
List of Actors names onlyAll VAs involved in the production are listed, but the credits do not tell you which characters they voice. While it does lead to guesswork and deduction in order to figure out who voiced whom, at the very least it creates a good starting point to go off of. Both non-union and union productions perform this type of crediting, although non-union credits run the risk of including aliases and leaving certain names out. This was very commonplace in western animation during the '80s and '90s, but in recent years has fallen out of fashion in favour of more specific, film-like credits.
Main Characters onlyThis type seems like an aversion at first, since all major characters have their actors properly credited. On the other hand, any recurring, special guest, or otherwise minor characters are either relegated to "Additional Voices" or not even credited at all. Not to be confused with when the Man of a Thousand Voices forgets which voice he used for a particular character.
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- Fairly common in Transformers shows when they would only list a list of the voice actors of the series (averted in the original 1986 movie, the live action films, Animated and Prime). The RTM-1 dubs of some of the Transformers anime (released as Transformers Takara) took this further by not crediting the English voices at all.
- Every entry in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, games and cartoons both, only list the VAs and don't pair them with characters. It got worse in the 2010-onward games with the new voice cast; some VAs use aliases and Laura Bailey isn't credited period.
- 99% of works dubbed into Hungarian. A lector reads the names of the main voice cast over the credits. The characters' names are almost never mentioned; which leads viewers to guess who's voiced by who.
- Same happens with most of Polish dubs. To make matters complicate, the amount of dub credits the lector reads depends on the time (if too little, the voice reads only the information about the dub studio) and also on the presence of a non-instrumental song during credits. There are some dubs which put the dub credits on-screen (f.e. most of movie dubs made for cinemas).
- Almost every Latin-American dub ever. Latin-American Spanish dubs handled by Buena Vista International (Pixar films and Disney series and movies) do credit their dubbers, but only after the original credits.
- Any dub released by Bandai Entertainment (pre-2012, before they quit home distribution entirely)
- Many series released by Geneon (before they died, obviously). They would list the Japanese actors in detail updated each episode at the beginning of the credits. The English voice actors had to settle for an alphabetical block of names toward the end, regardless of union status.
- Any English dub that was made by Animax did not credit the voice talent they used at all.
- Any Streamline Pictures dub, despite them having union contracts.
- A few of Saban's early English dubs of anime never listed voice actors, while some in the '90s only credited the main actors for characters (ie: Eagle Riders, Honeybee Hutch) and left the rest of the voice cast unknown.
- All dubs by ZIV International (and a lot of obscure '80s anime dubs in general) lack their voice acting credits.
- The anime has always been this way, and remains so to this day. Strangely, the first season featured an alphabetical list mixing the English and Japanese casts together, despite the Japanese version never being legally available in the US. After that, only the English cast was credited, with the Japanese cast going unmentioned. The exception is Ikue Otani, who's voice for Pikachu is kept for the English dub. Satomi Korogi (Togepi) also occasionally received credit.
- No dub from 4Kids Entertainment ever featured proper voice credits, even their theatrical films like Pokemon The First Movie.
- This created a giant misconception where fans for many years believed Megan Hollingshead was the original voice for Officer Jenny. In reality, an actress named Lee Quick was the voice. It doesn't help that Jenny was the only voice role that Quick is believed to have had.
- Both dubs of AKIRA. Coincidentally, both were non-union. Newer remastered releases don't feature any English credits and only feature a list of Japanese voice actors without roles.
- Bleach lists the English voice cast, but not their roles.
- Naruto has only the main characters credited with their roles. Everyone else is listed alphabetically with no attached roles. Despite this, the dub is indeed union, and the longest-running unionized anime dub ever.
- Burn Up! Scramble (featuring Wendee Lee)
- Cowboy Bebop (Odd, considering that the dub has been lauded for being superior to the original Japanese, even by the creators.)
- GUN×SWORD has English credits, but doesn't list the voice cast.
- Ranma ½: partially. This was later corrected for the Blu-ray release, where the guide booklet does properly credit the main English cast (along with an "additional voices" list), but ironically doesn't credit the Japanese cast, who have never received official credit in the US.
- Outlaw Star
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Samurai Champloo
- Played Straight in the Tenchi Muyo! series; averted with the first movie and OVA 3 however, and later corrected for OVAs 1-2 for their re-release, at least for the main cast. This was confusing since the first 7 episodes were dubbed non-union with aliases before the show switched to union with the same actors and their real names. Tenchi Universe only credited a list of the main voice actors, with smaller roles going completely uncredited, despite the show having a union dub.
- Particularly bad in Star Blazers, where the American voice actors received no credit. They were all non-union at the time. Many of them were not heard in much of anything else and remained unidentified for decades until some of them, pleasantly suprised to find out that the show is still remembered, began contacting fanclubs online.
- Street Fighter II V.
- Fruits Basket. Which is frustrating when you're trying to figure out who Kimberly Grant voiced, but isn't really a big deal when you recognize the voice actors. (Lesse, Laura Bailey is Tohru, Eric Vale is Yuki, Jerry Jewell is Kyo, John Burgmeier is Shigure...)
- Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z (episodes 68-291). This was corrected for DBZ's remastered season sets, although a few voices still weren't listed, and a couple were miscredited. DB's season sets still contain this trope, as well as some of the DBZ movies.
- FUNimation's collaboration with Saban and Ocean for DBZ's original dub also featured this trope. The international dub of the second half of DBZ that brought back the Ocean cast saw the voice actors not credited at all. Actually, the only people that were credited were Akira Toriyama and the person that composed the dub music.
- Persona 4: The Animation's English dub is an example due to being non-union like the Shin Megami Tensei games (below). A lot of characters are uncredited; not too noticeable when it's "Reporter #2" for instance, but it's just plain bad when Rise, Dojima, and Naoto (three of the main characters) have no listed voice actor. Johnny Yong Bosch voices both Yu and Adachi, as he did in the game, but is only listed as Yu in the credits.
- The original Sailor Moon dub. The DiC episodes just featured an alphabetical list of the regular voices, while the later Cloverway episodes had a list of all the voices with some misspellings.
- The Viz dub is pretty brutal. The episodes themselves have no English credits, but the collector's edition sets come with a booklet that includes a list of just the regular voices. Everyone else is uncredited (which is a big deal, considering how many incidentals are in the show), and the fans are tasked with figuring them out by ear. Some actors confirm their roles on social media, but not everyone, and Amanda Celine Miller (Sailor Jupiter) even challenged the fans by asking them to figure out which monster-of-the-day she voiced!
- The dub cast isn't even listed in the credits of Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis.
- The G-Force: Guardians of Space dub was a clear "no list at all" case, although the voice actors were later revealed. Its predecessor Battle of the Planets only credited the main voice actors note and never the rest of the voice pool, which have only been revealed in secondary sources and interviews note
- Averted with ADV Films' uncut 2004 redub, which lists each voice actor specifically with their role each episode.
- Robotech - One of the earliest anime dubs. Also non-union, meaning most of the names aren't even real.
- More recent Robotech properties, such as "The Shadow Chronicles" are union and feature a proper list of credits.
- Ninja Scroll, which featured an alphabetical list of aliases for it's cast credit. Trying to figure out it's English voice actors can be a real pain in the ass for some characters.
- Perfect Blue - Only Bridget Hoffman (Mima) and Wendee Lee (Rumi) have been officially revealed, but only through cast interviews. Despite this, Bridget Hoffman's alias "Ruby Marlowe", was used instead of her real name. The rest of the cast was just a list of aliases.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena credited only the main cast, but the voice actors voicing the main cast were the only ones in the show at all, so while no actors were uncredited, some smaller roles were.
- The credits for the English dub of Tekkonkinkreet only lists the Japanese voice actors.
- A variant can exist on albums, where the liner notes list the musicians. While some avert this by specifically noting the individual musicians track-by-track, others just bunch all of the musicians together into one list. So for instance, an album may have three people listed on drums, but no indication as to who specifically played on any given track. (Of course, this is averted again if say, only one drummer played for the entire album.) Some albums go even further and just list the musicians who played without specifying the instruments, leaving it completely in the air as to which instruments were even used from track to track.
Many Japanese-developed video games list only the Japanese voice credits, period.
- Super Smash Bros. since Brawl, which is strange since the first two entries avoided this. Likely a union issue - the voice actors for the Metal Gear characters in Brawl and the Kid Icarus: Uprising characters in Smash 4 are union members, most of the other actors are either American non-union, Japanese or (regarding the Xenoblade characters) British.
- The Capcom fighting games Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Plasma Sword and both Capcom vs. SNK games: they didn't even include the Japanese voice cast, save for CvS2's announcer, Hiroaki Asai. Most of Capcom's other arcade games during the '90s used the block of names style of crediting instead.
- Many of the entries in the Shin Megami Tensei series don't include English voice credits.
- None of the BlazBlue games include English credits. This created quite a bit of confusion in trying to identify the voice actor for Yuki Terumi. note
- The Sims 2, although some detective Googling and Hey, It's That Voice! will let you figure them out.
- The DS remake of Final Fantasy IV played this straight (unlike the other entries in the series). Thankfully, voice director Jonathan Klein was nice enough to confirm all of the voice actors and their characters via a guessing game format. He also did the same for other games such as Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria and Star Ocean The Last Hope.
- Resident Evil: Revelations credits the Japanese voice cast, but doesn't credit the English one. Many of the major characters are easy to pick out, though. (Michelle Ruff as Jill Valentine, for example).
- With the exception of Symphonia and Phantasia (the latter being dubbed in Japan where unions aren't an issue), the majority of games in the Tales series are non-union and thus don't list the English voice actors.
- The Soul series:
- Soulcalibur II had a list for the Japanese voice cast during the credits, but zilch for the English voice cast. The only reason the English VAs in II are known is because the character profiles allow the player to toggle on and off the name of the VA while listening to each individual character's quotes.
- No credits whatsoever for Soulcalibur III and IV (though oddly, the Star Wars guest characters in IV did have their actors credited).
- A "block of names" for V (barring Roger Craig Smith, who was properly credited for Ezio).
- Fire Emblem Awakening features the third version of this trope; the (non-union) dub was mostly done by non-union actors (or ficore), who are credited as their character, but a few characters were voiced by union actors, who went uncredited.
- While Batman: Arkham Asylum avoided this, both Arkham City and Arkham Origins are both examples, which left a few misconceptions about the voice cast of these games.
- For Arkham City, these included the idea of Dee Bradley Baker replacing Steve Blum as Killer Croc, Crispin Freeman was Robin, and Kari Wahlgren was Vicki Vale, but these aren't the case: Blum confirmed he reprised the role of Killer Croc and in addition to voicing the respective roles of Two-Face and Catwoman, Troy Baker and Grey DeLisle were also respectively Robin and Vicki Vale.
- Arkham Origins's misconceptions included Steve Blum again reprising the role of Killer Croc, Grey DeLisle replacing Kari Wahlgren as Vicki Vale, either James Arnold Taylor or John Kassir as Firefly, and Kimberly Brooks voicing the younger Barbara Gordon, but again, this isn't the case. Despite returning yet again, this time, Blum was indeed replaced as the voice of Croc, with Khary Payton replacing him; as noted above, Wahlgren was never Vale in City to begin with, meaning DeLisle didn't replace anyone; and while Kassir's in the game, Crispin Freeman was Firefly. Moreover, Brooks and Taylor aren't even in the game, making the misconceptions about them odd.
- League of Legends' voice cast are not credited. A number of the characters' voice-actors have been found by the actors crediting themselves on their personal website, but many of them are just fans' suspicions.
- In an Inversion, Shadow Hearts only gives the English voice cast.
- Bravely Default contains a complete cast list, but does not match actors to characters.
- Kingdom Hearts has credits that attributes the voice actors to the Original Generation characters and crossover characters from other Square Enix games, but the Disney roles are just listed as "Disney Character Voices", which tends to cause trouble when The Other Darrin hits.
- Valve has a policy to only list the names of the people who were involved in the production of their games. It becomes less "Who voiced who?" and more "Who were even doing voice acting?"
- Every video game licensed by NIS America never lists the English credits. Only a few voice actors have confirmed their roles either through their websites or at conventions. Even so, there are some characters where their voice actors has not been confirmed ever since the Disgaea: Hour of Darkness game.
- Lego Dimensions has a block of names credits... that lumps the actual voice cast and the Fake Shemps - which the game has a good amount of - together, giving the unaware the impression that Harold Ramis, William Hartnell and Johnny Cash all rose from the grave together and joined up with a Christopher Eccleston who somehow got over his Creator Backlash of Doctor Who to do voiceovers alongside Troy Baker and Gary Oldman among others. (Cash is credited for the usage of archival audio of his guest spot in The Simpsons episode "El Viaje Misterioso De Nuestro Jomer", by the way.)
Western Animation, Same Language
Any cartoon made before the 90s. Shows like The Flintstones only properly credited the main actors, and Mel Blanc was the only voice actor credited in Looney Tunes cartoons, fueling the misconception that Blanc did all the original Looney Tunes voices. Before this, it wasn't standard practice at all for voice actors to be credited.
- Recess lists who played who for the main cast, and then everyone else's voice actor is listed as "Additional voices", not saying who voices who, which carried into most of the dubs of the series (and it often varies on if Miss Grotke's going to be part of the "main" or "supporting" cast, she's "supporting" in most foreign dubs).
- All animated Disney films up to The Sword in the Stone did this. See below for the sole exception to this.
- Not only that, nearly all Disney TV series from the '80s and throughout the '90s didn't list who played what characters. Pepper Ann was a notable exception.
- All of Nickelodeon's Doug and the first season of the Disney series don't list who played who.
- The Simpsons never lists who plays who. The only exceptions are second-season episode "Old Money" (which gives a list of all the voice actors' characters under their credit, as the producers got sick of people asking who did what voice and chose to list them all on the next episode in production) & The Movie.
- Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show credit their actors almost identically to The Simpsons. Which is a shame, since in Family Guy, the voice actor pool has expanded greatly since the 2005 revival. Seth MacFarlane still usually voices many incidentals though.
- In the early episodes, Lacey Chabert (who then-voiced Meg), was completely uncredited for unknown reasons, but was finally listed in a Season 10 episode when archive recordings of her voice are used.
- Robot Chicken. It can get confusing, since every episode has a different set of characters/actors, though most are celebrities. Seth Green is usually easy to pick out though. He handles many, many of the characters himself.
- South Park only lists the voice actor names, though the recurring actors (Trey Parker, Matt Stone, April Stewart, Mona Marshall) tend to be a little easier to match up to roles than the guests and occasional actors they use to spread work out. As it's a non-union production, there are also cases where some guest voices will be uncredited, or the other actors in the voice pool will use aliases.
- The Brothers Flub. The credits listed all the voice actors, but never clarified who voiced which character.
- Kappa Mikey listed the voice actors who played the main characters along side each other, but only listed the names of any guest voice actors and not their characters.
- The Golden Films series of videos depicting fairy tales, famous novels, and the like, none of the voice actors are credited although animation fans can identify people like Cam Clarke, Jim Cummings, Jeff Bennett, Corey Burton, Rob Paulsen, Kath Soucie, Candi Milo, and Tress MacNeille among other voice actors in the casts.
- The credits for the Augenblick episodes of Superjail often had mistakes (as noted by a crew member), and only ever listed the names of David Wain, Teddy Cohn, Richard Mather, and Chris McCulloch. This meant quite a few voice actors went uncredited for their work until the switch to Titmouse for the next two seasons.
- Thanks to Mixels being in short form, there are no credits to tell the voice actors. There are only a few confirmed voice actors in the series and they all come from outside sources. However, this was finally averted with the "Mixed Up Special", which gave credits at the end. However, Kraw and Scorpi were accidentally omitted from them, meaning their voice actors are still unknown.
- The Amazing World of Gumball credits the main five characters with specific voice actors and everyone else under "Other Voices". This list is only changed once per season, meaning single episode guest stars are credited in over 30 episodes they don't appear in, and doesn't take into account how some of the main voice actors also play secondary characters. Many voice actors were miscredited on sites like wikia for years until the voice director corrected them.
- The first two seasons of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic had the exact same cast list for every episode, listing nine featured voice performers and three featured singers, giving credit to eleven characters in all. This changed starting in Season 3, and most (but not all) Season 1 and 2 voices have been confirmed by Word of God.
- Bojack Horseman, though many of the actors (e.g. Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins) are celebrities with distinct enough voices that they're easy to pick out.
- Sam & Max: Freelance Police only credits the voice actors for Sam, Max and the Geek.
- Duckman, which is especially frustrating because the show had a lot of guest voices, and not all of them are super famous.
- Hanna-Barbera shows from the '70s through early '90s were notoriously bad about this; they put a whole series worth of voice actors in the credits for each episode, even if they had nothing to do with the specific episode in question. This makes identifying each voice actor a nightmare. Just one example, from A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.
Western Animation, Dubbed
- The Swedish◊, Norwegian◊ and Danish◊ credits of Fillmore! on Scandinavian Disney Channel really didn't list who played who. Also, Fillmore! was second to-the-last new TV show on Nordic Disney Channel that received the Swedish-Norwegian-Danish-Arabic combo credits (at the time the show debuted in Scandinavian Disney Channel (August 2005), this channel aired live-action shows in subbed version.).
- The English dub of Felidae only lists the original German voice actors, although people think Cary Elwes is Francis, Burt Reynolds or Michael Madson is Bluebeard, and John Hurt is Pascal.
- The Polish dub of the The Country Mouse and the City Mouse Adventures cartoon listed only the two main voice actors who voiced Emily and Alexander.
Live Action Television
- The Untouchables is a rare Live Action example... and it's an Inversion at that: During the Opening Credits, the actors playing the principle characters of the episode are shown. However, when the cast list is read in the closing credits, the only one of them that is specifically paired with his character is Robert Stack (Elliot Ness). The co-stars and special guest stars are listed but their characters are not named in the credits, even though they were the principles; being standard text credits, the pictures are not shown either. This is followed by the listing of the rest of the episode's actors paired with their characters, first the Recurring Characters then the one-shots.
Anime Dubs This is a common practice in most anime series nowadays; FUNimation tends to give the English voice cast precedence in the credits over the Japanese voice cast,note as do Sentai Filmworks and did ADV Films back in the day.
- Angelic Layer
- Black Lagoon lists the Japanese/English cast side-by-side with their characters.
- Chrono Crusade goes English, then Japanese credits.
- Ergo Proxy
- Kiddy Grade
- Mai-HiME runs the credits twice; once in Japanese, then once in English.
- Now and Then, Here and There lists them concurrently, in both the ends credits and the dramatis personae at the beginning of each episode.
- One Piece (FUNimation dub) thankfully. However, it does include a generic list of additional voices for unnamed extras.
- Please Teacher! runs Japanese credits, then the preview, then English credits.
- Ghost in the Shell was an early example, although since it was non-union, most of the actors were aliases. Stand Alone Complex is a famous example of a union dub with proper credits.
- Samurai 7 and Air Gear also lists the English credits before the Japanese ones.
- Tokko not only does full Japanese and English credits, but full Spanish credits.
- The first Tenchi Muyo! film lists the Japanese/English voice actors side-by-side. The only other part of the franchise to have proper English credits is OVA 3.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena: The movie featured the Japanese/English cast alongside each other for the original English release.
- Back in the day, most anime released by Central Park Media, AnimEigo, and Media Blasters had proper credits.
- Any official Studio Ghibli film dub, helped by the fact that they cast Celebrity Voice Actors. Many still have a generic list of additional voices.
- The Sonic Rush series are the only Sonic games to match up the voice actors to their characters.
- Catherine,an interesting exception among Atlus/PCB Productions dubs.
- As noted before, unlike its successors, Batman: Arkham Asylum generally avoided this by listing who the voice for the characters are.
- Alice in Wonderland is the first Disney animated film to have the characters' names list next to those of their voice actors. This actually would not happen again until 1967's The Jungle Book.
- The Fleischer Brothers movie Mr. Bug Goes to Town may be the earliest example where the voice actors are credited for which characters they voiced.
- The Simpsons Movie showed pictures of each character each actor voiced along with their names in the credits.