Amanda Beth Winn-Lee (born November 14, 1972) is an American voice actress, writer and ADR director who works mainly on anime dubs. She was the voice of Mimiru in .hack//SIGN, Rally Vincent in Gunsmith Cats, Yohko Mano in Devil Hunter Yohko, Momiji Kushinada in Blue Seed, and was featured most notably as Rei Ayanami of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame. Aside from voice work she has quite often handled production, ADR direction, and the scripting of various projects for her dubbing company Gaijin Productions, LLC.
She can also be heard in the commentary for the Region 1 The End Of Evangelion DVD along with fellow voice actors Taliesin Jaffe and husband/Gaijin co-owner Jason C. Lee (credited as "Jaxon Lee" under the S.A.G. to avoid confusion with the other Jason Lee), whom she married in 1997.
Said commentary has gained a reputation for being somewhat controversial among fans, and to this day (nearly a decade later), she gets hate mail about it. Is it a crime against art, or a rollicking good time? Check out a a few excerpts here and decide for yourself.
Expanding on her anime work, Winn-Lee also provided the voice of Konoko, the protagonist of the Bungie Studios video game Oni.
Winn-Lee served as ADR director, dub script writer, and producer for the English versions of The End of Evangelion and Evangelion: Death and Rebirth. She also directed and performed leading roles in the English versions of Dead Leaves and the Read or Die OVA.
The couple's son Nicholas was born in November 2004, but they soon learned that he had a rare form of infantile leukemia. Amanda dropped out of anime work entirely to, as she put it, literally spend the next full year living in her son's intensive care unit at the hospital. Even afterwards she had to spend most of her time caring for her son - though by 2007 he'd been cancer-free for three years, the benchmark that there is no significant chance of recurrence. Problem is that the anime industry crashed in late 2007-into-2008, and the west coast distributors were particularly hard hit, so she doesn't really appear in that much anime anymore (though she does do work for video games produced by west coast studios).
It was suggested by Spike Spencer (her friend as well as fellow voice actor) at Nan Desu Kan 2007 that she was interested in reprising her role(s) in the upcoming Rebuild of Evangelion films. However, in May 2009, North American anime distributor Funimation announced that the role of Rei for the first film Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone would be voiced by Brina Palencia for reasons that still aren't clear (Palencia voiced the role again in 2.0). It has vaguely been mentioned but not confirmed that she simply didn't want to travel back out to Texas for the role because she's based in Los Angeles now (though there's always rampant speculation about half a dozen other alternate and contradicting explanation).
While she hasn't worked on much anime in several years (Persona 4: The Animation being the most recent example) so that she could take care of her son's leukemia and subsequent health problems resulting from treatment, you can still hear her in video games, especially Atlus titles, such as the PS2 version of Disgaea, Luminous Arc, Digital Devil Saga, Persona 4, Persona 5, and Trauma Team.
Winn-Lee is also (in)famous in some fan circles for antics at various cons in the late 90's, most of them involving alcohol. Despite being best known for voicing Rei, it's amusing to note that she has a lot more in common with Misato Katsuragi. She's famous for being very foul mouthed and also very funny (she's the person in the room most likely to crack an utterly hilarious dirty joke, but one that you dare not repeat in polite company - just listen to her audio commentaries).
She has also wrote The Noodle Chronicles: Everything I know About Cheating Death I Learned From My Kid, a biography based on her experience in looking after her son. All proceeds would fund further anti-leukemia research. She also self-produces a YouTube series giving tips on the best ways to enjoy marijuana, A Mom's Guide to Cannabis.
Her personal website can be found here.
- Alicia Priss in Tail Concerto
- Argilla in Digital Devil Saga
- Heather Mason in Silent Hill 3 (HD collection)
- Ichiko Ohya and Ms. Usami in Persona 5
- Konoko in Oni
- Magnolia Arch in Bravely Second
- Mimiru in .hack//SIGN
- Momiji Kushinada and Kaede Kunikida in Blue Seed
- Rally Vincent in Gunsmith Cats
- Rei Ayanami in Neon Genesis Evangelion (Darrin'd by Brina Palencia in Rebuild and Ryan Bartley in the 2019 Netflix redub)
- Rio Kinezono in Burn Up! W and Burn-Up Excess
- Also voiced Reimi in the original Burn Up! OVA, which also happens to be her first voice acting role
- Sodina Dawnfried in Thousand Arms
- Ulala Serizawa in Persona 2 Eternal Punishment
- Yohko Mano in Devil Hunter Yohko
- Yoshino "Haru" Harusawa in Devil Survivor Overclocked
- Yukiko Amagi in Persona 4, Persona 4: The Animation, Persona 4 Golden: The Animation, Persona 4: Arena, Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Persona 4: Dancing All Night, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
Amanda Winn-Lee's works provide examples of:
- Hot-Blooded: Many of her roles has her portraying fiery women, such as Rio Kinezono and Rally Vincent.
- Playing Against Type: Even though it would be her most famous role, Rei Ayanami is unlike the other women she voiced at the time, which tended towards Hot-Blooded women and Genki Girls.
- Production Posse: She has frequently worked together with her fellow actors such as Tiffany Grant, Spike Spencer, Jason C. Lee and Allison Keith, and has often directed dubs at ADV Films along with co-founder Matt Greenfield.
- Role Reprise: She, along with Johnny Yong Bosch and Yuri Lowenthal, is among the only voice actors to consistently return to her role as Yukiko Amagi from Persona 4 after the other main characters were Darrin'd. This is a lot more notable as she isn't as involved in voice acting as much anymore, compared to the other two.
- Romance on the Set: She met her future husband, Jason C. Lee, when she made her voice acting debut at ADV Films. They married in 1997.
- Star-Making Role: Her role as Rei Ayanami made her popularity skyrocket.
- Woman of a Thousand Voices: Her vocal range is impressively large.