Prolific anime voice actor Vic Mignogna has a very impressive resume of popular franchises such as Fullmetal Alchemist, Dragonball Z, Soul Eater and Bleach. He’s been a regular attending guest at MCM Comic Con events across the United Kingdom and has once again returned to meet fans at this October’s London MCM Comic Con event at the London Excel. During the event’s first day, the voice actor sat down with a gathering of press outlets, including Bunkazilla, to talk about MCM Comic Con, his roles in anime and his passion for Star Trek.
Press Question from Bunkazilla UK: You’ve always been a presence at MCM Comic Con events over the last few years, all over the United Kingdom, what makes the event so special that you keep coming back?
Vic: It’s always the fans, it’s always the fans. I remembered the first. I’ve been doing MCM expos, you guys, for probably 10 years. Back when they, I mean way back, I’ve done all of them several times and I never cease to be amazed and humbled and really honoured by the turnout. Every time I go anywhere, I think this is going to be the time that nobody shows up, you know, and we are going to sit there and twiddle my thumbs all day. I’m always so pleasantly surprised by the fans and they’re so kind and they’re so enthusiastic. And it’s such a thrill to be here. Every time I have to come here – I love it.
Press Question: So obviously, you play Broly in the Dragonball Z franchise…
Vic: Ohhhh – I hear a Broly question coming! Some DBZ action here…
Press Question: ….as he’s such a fan favourite – are there any nerves or worries retaking the role for Dragon Ball Super: Broly?
Vic: Oh nothing but excitement, my friend. I have played Broly for 15 years. Can you believe that!? I was playing that crazy guy for 3 movies and 13 video games. I always wondered if he would ever become canon. If they would ever bring him into the prime universe and kick some butt. When I heard that there was a movie coming out I was so excited. So yeah, I’m really, really thrilled about the new movie.
Press Question: What is your favourite Dragonball transformation? I like Super Sayian 4 but I also like Super Sayian Gods….
Vic: You know what they all have in common? Broly is better than all of them. I always love it when somebody comes up to the table for an autograph, a Dragonball Z fan, and they’ll have a shirt with like all the Dragonball Z characters separately and I’ll be like “You know what all these guys have in common? They’re all wussies. Broly’s the man!”
Press Question from Bunkazilla UK: Another role you’re well known for is Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. It continues to have this huge fanbase after so many years and its iterations. What is the show’s endearing quality?
Vic: It’s the endearing quality of anything that has any kind of lasting power and I would say its story and characters. You know, I’ve done a lot of anime, and there have been very, very, few things that have really hit me the way that Fullmetal Alchemist did and I know I’m not alone. It’s such a great story. Such endearing characters and everything about the production was well executed. You know, you could have a good story and if the animation is crappy then it suffers. Or if the music is bad, it suffers. Or if the voice acting is bad, it suffers. There are many places along the way where a good anime will fall apart because one of the elements of production was not done that well. But Fullmetal Alchemist, I think, was one of those series that just everything about it was really strong and I am really, really, honoured to have been a part of it. You could you could probably spend your whole life as a voice actor and never get the chance to play a character like Ed. He was such, such a thrill to play. I loved that little pipsqueak a lot.
Press Question: I heard when you took on the mantle of Edward for Fullmetal Alchemist, there was a lot of pressure from an established fandom. Then you took up the mantle of playing Captain Kirk…
Vic: I love you! I love you for bringing up Star Trek right now! Thank you!
Press Question: …how do you deal with the positives and negatives of a very passionate fanbase?
Vic: You know, there are positive and negative elements in everything – just about. Unfortunately, there are people in the world who are, for whatever reason, they’re lonely, they’re sad or they’re they feel kind of unimportant. They’ve somehow decided that the way to establish themselves is to talk negatively about things, or to trash things, or to attack people. It’s really sad. Especially in something like a fandom where, something like Star Wars or Star Trek, have so many people that love it and it has inspired them in so many good ways. But you can take just about any good thing and turn it into something unfortunate or negative. I don’t pay much attention. I try not to pay much attention to the negativity. When I started Star Trek Continues, which is a live action web series that I started five years ago, it was for one reason alone. That was because when I was a kid, I fell in love with that show and I dreamed of getting to be a part of Star Trek. Somehow, some way. So five years ago I decided “You know what? I’m going to rebuild all the sets and I’m going to play Captain Kirk just one time and make a Star Trek episode! The way I remembered the original series episodes!” And we did it and the fans really enjoyed it. So now, five years later, we’ve got over ten million viewers, we’ve won dozens of awards and it’s been very, very, well received. We’ve made eleven full-length episodes and I don’t pay much attention to the negative stuff because the good news is there’s a lot of positive. There’s always a lot more positive than there is negative. You know, you just have to choose which one you’re going to focus on. Are you gonna focus on the five people that are talking negatively or are you going to focus on the thousand people that are talking positively?
Press Question: Do you have any memories of any positive interactions with fans at conventions?
Vic: You do not have enough time for me to tell you all of the positive interactions I’ve had. I have never, in 20 years of voice acting and probably 15 years of convention appearances, had a negative fan experience in person. Now a lot of people are very empowered to be negative online when they’re anonymous and they’re shielded by their computer. They can be mean, hateful, make up lies, stories and cause all kinds of trouble because they have that anonymity and they feel powerful. But they come to conventions and they’ll come up and ask you for an autograph, it’s really interesting. I’ve never had a negative fan experience at a convention. On the contrary, I had so many positive experiences. I’ve met people who’ve lost family members, I’ve met people who’ve lost limbs in accidents or due to an illness and Fullmetal Alchemist got them through what would have been an otherwise unbearable experience. And I would’ve never imagined when I started this, 15 or 20 years ago, that I would ever have the privilege to be a part of something that would mean so much to people at difficult times in their lives. You know when you start it, you’re like “Um… I’m doing a voice for an animated show! How cool!” But then you don’t realize that there are people out there and they’ve discovered these anime series at important moments in their lives. Very much the same way I discovered Star Trek. So to get the privilege to be a part of an anime series and a series of video games that have really encouraged and inspired people in different ways has been the great privilege of my career.
Press Question: What was your first experience with anime??
Vic: The very first one was Vega in Street Fighter 2. It was at this little studio in Houston, Texas, and I didn’t think anything else would come of it. I thought it was kind of a one-time thing, you know. I was writing music professionally writing and producing music at the time. A few weeks later, after I did this little thing for ADV films in Houston, they called me back and they said “Hey, we have another anime show! Do you want to come and play a character in it?” I was like “Okay!” and I figured “Okay, two times” and that would be it. But then there’s another show and another show and then, the next thing you know, I’d meet people from Funimation in Dallas. Then I start meeting people from studios in L.A and in New York. I never imagined that it would that it would grow to as big a thing as it has. I was just lucky enough to be on the ground level before anime really exploded as it did. So that was my first experience and it’s just been really amazing to be a part of it.
Bunkazilla UK would like to thank Vic Mignogna for his time during the event and thank the press team at MCM Comic Con for arranging the press conference.
Dragonball Z Super: Broly hits cinemas January 2019 while you can grab a copy of the original Broly trilogy of Dragonball Z movies now from Manga Entertainment.
Both series of Fullmetal Alchemist, the original and Brotherhood, are also available on DVD and Blu-Ray now.