- "After 46 years of professional experience I am willing to learn everything they are willing to teach me, and with the same eagerness and enthusiasm I had in 1963."—Pepe Carabias about his career.
José "Pepe" Carabias is a Spanish comedian, actor and voice actor, or most especifically the godfather of the Spain-dubbed anime. Possibly the single most known Spaniard voice actor along with Constantino Romero, he has been around the business from its starting in The '80s, eventually settling down with distributor company Arait Multimedia as part of its voice cast. Despite his perennial dubbing Type Cast as teenagers or young bumbling characters due to his funny voice, Carabias is one of the most versatile guys in Spanish audiovisual media, having also a long career as TV, film and stage actor, both in comedy and drama.
His breakout and most famous role was in Captain Tsubasa, voicing Genzo Wakabayashi (known as Benjamin "Benji" Price in Europe, including Spain), where he showed he was capable of a surprisingly commanding voice, totally befitting the character. Since the series as a whole became a popular cultural milestone in Spain, being the series that, alongside Dragon Ball, popularized manga and anime in the country, his character was a source of inspiration of an entire generation of kids that later on would become professional soccer players. Including Real Madrid goalkeeper Íker Casillas, who Carabias developed a real life Odd Friendship with many years later. Ironically enough, Carabias has stated he doesn't like soccer at all.
Carabias is famous also by his career as collaborator of the comedy duo Cruz y Raya (Juan Muñoz and José Mota), playing the character of a gypsy patriarch named El Papa. He has kept playing parodic gypsy characters in Muñoz's films.
As a curiosity, Carabias is the only Spaniard who worked with Jim Henson, voicing a lookalike muppet called Pepe Soplillo in the child show El Kiosco.
Notable roles by Pepe Carabias:
- Benjamin "Benji" Price/Genzo Wakabayashi in Captain Tsubasa. His breakout and most famous role.
- Usopp in One Piece.
- Sorata in Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-.
- Genta Kojima and detective Chiba in Detective Conan.
- Masaru Yada and Leon Sokuryoku in Ojamajo Doremi.
- Digimon franchise:
- Inazuma Eleven franchise:
- Jack Wallside/Heigoro Kabeyama in Inazuma Eleven.
- Subaru Honda/Goichi Kuramada in Inazuma Eleven Go.
- Transformers Unicron Trilogy:
- Santa Kurosu in UFO Baby.
- Moomin in The Moomins.
- Hosuke in Idaten Jump.
- Roberto Takagi in Hamtaro.
- Harley Hoover/Hiromi Kashiwagi in Super Pig.
- Thierry Rothschild and Abel Geiger in Ashita no Nadja
- Pierre in Kaiketsu Zorori.
- Masquerade in Bakugan.
- Arsène Lupin III in Legend of the Gold of Babylon.
- Jay Sherman in The Simpsons.
- Daffy Duck and Psycho Weasel in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- Metro in Il était une fois...
- Arnold in Totally Spies!
- Scoop in Bob the Builder.
- Timmy in Winx Club.
Tropes that apply to Pepe Carabias:
- Affectionate Parody: He played a parody of the The Incredible Hulk in José Mota's comedy show in 2011. Unlike the original character, who was a scientist who turned green and huge, Pepe's version was a country tractor driver who turned into a disfigured, green-skinned humanoid even shorter than his human form. However, he carried around a giant hammer and apparently had Reality Warper abilities, so he was definitely not a laughable guy. (Yeah, as a parody it was a bit bizarre.)
- Agony of the Feet: Carabias has a famous anecdote during the production of the film La Busca, in which he was requered to act barefoot on the countryside. At the end of the filming, the skin of his soles was so hardened that he could walk around without pain, but it later fell off and left him with very sensitive feet, to the point that nowadays he can't walk barefoot on the beach without feeling pain.
- Awesome, Dear Boy: Known for his will to play everything, especially if it involves comedic and/or cool roles.
- Cool Old Guy
- Corpsing: Described it as one of his biggest problems for him when started in comedic theatre.
- Dawson Casting: It's unusual for a voice actor at his sixties to play teens and young characters, but he still does it, and doesn't look he will stop anytime soon.
- I Am Not Spock: People in the street call him the names of characters played by him, like Benji Price or Luis Fernando (a Frankenstein-like being he played in El Monstruo de Sanchezstein).
- Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: His character El Papa is apparently loved by the gypsy population of Spain.
- Nice Guy: Both in real life and many of his characters.
- Pigeonholed Voice Actor: Specialized in teenagers, bumbling or good-natured characters, when not all combined.
- What Could Have Been: In 2009, he was scheduled to act in an upcoming pirate film named Los Piratas de los Madriles, but sadly the entire project fell off. It would have been his craziest role in recent memory.