In many anime, characters that are supposed to be foreign (particularly English or American), it's clear that the seiyuu are Japanese because of the heavy accents. For example, Chris from Itazura na Kiss is supposed to be English, but her English has a thick accent and comes about as naturally as Naoki's (who is a native Japanese character).

But sometimes the English appears to be natural, such as in the opening scene for Eden of the East, where both the security guards outside the White House and the policy officer who questions Akira, seem to have no accent at all. Unfortunately, I was not able to find out if these were voiced by actual English speakers or just very skilled Japanese seiyuu because they were very small roles.

Do anime production teams hire native English (or other languages) speakers?

1 Answer 1


Anime production teams tend to hire native speakers of other languages to voice non-Japanese characters.

To use your example of Eden of the East. there are a number of English-language voice actors who are used for when it is set in America. For example, David Whitaker played the black man in the apartment in episode 1. Policeman A was played by Gregory Pekar, who has actually appeared in other Japanese movies/shows such as Hana Yori Dango, as well as American movies such as Lost in Translation.

These seem to generally appear in small roles and/or roles where they only speak English, such as the policeman.

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    But don't forget that TK from Angel Beats (not a main character but also not just a background character who said one line in one episode) was played by Michael Rivas.
    – atlantiza
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 14:30
  • Ah. I haven't seen Angel Beats.
    – kuwaly
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 19:00

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