Ouran High School Host Club is an incredibly popular reverse-harem anime, the job of which is basically to poke fun at every stereotype in shoujo anime possible. Of course, as it accomplishes this you also fall in love with these ridiculous characters. The Main character is Haruhi Fujioka. Haruhi is an honors student on scholarship at Ouran Academy, a school for the “rich and beautiful.” She gets confused for a boy and ends up being in the school’s Host club. Voice actress Caitlin Glass is the voice of the wonderful Haruhi Fujioka and she also directed the English adaptation of Ouran High School host Club for FUNimation studios.
While at Kraken Con, I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a bit of Caitlin Glass, starting with meeting her Saturday and getting her autograph. Check out Instagram @kryptonradio to see the pic! Throughout the convention she hosted and co-hosted many different panels, all of which were very popular. If not because of Ouran High School Host Club or Full Metal Alchemist, for all the other voice acting work she has done in the anime and video game industry. The panels we went to which were hosted by Caitlin glass were So You think You Can Voice Act? and Ouran Host Club Slumber Party.
So You Think You Can Voice Act? was a panel where Glass answered questions about how she got started in voice acting, how it differs from stage or film, and how to ace a FUNimation audition. Participants at the end of the panel were given actual FUNimation audition sample scripts and tried out their voice acting skills in front of the whole panel. FUNimation studios’ base is in Fort Worth, Texas. Other anime studio can be found in Los Angeles; Houston, Texas; and New York City. Mind you this is just for anime voice acting. Voice over work for commercials, etc. can be done from pretty much anywhere and voice acting for American cartoon companies will mostly be found in L.A.
Other questions fielded by Glass included how voice acting differed from stage or film acting. According to Glass, being able to be an amazing actor on screen does not mean one will be able to perform greatly behind only a mic. Not surprisingly, it’s all in the voice. If you cannot show emotion and inflection and character with only your voice, well, this might not be the business for you. That is why some actors can be amazing on screen but when they try to voice act in a cartoon it can come across as flat. It doesn’t mean they aren’t a fabulous actor: just not a voice actor.
The second panel, Ouran Host Club Slumber Party, was more of a celebration. Ouran High School Host Club has been out since 2006, and the fandom is still going strong seven years later. At the panel Glass greeted the fans with a shower of mini chocolate bars from the two huge bags she brought in. We all sang along to the theme song as it played over the speakers. Everyone in that room including Caitlin Glass was a fan of Ouran. Glass gave the fans some insight on directing voice acting as well as answering some silly and fun questions. For example: her favorite host? Kyouya Ootori. In fact, most answers to the silly questions were Kyouya Ootori. Next, Glass showed the Ouran Bloopers (see below). Watching her quote along with lines and seeing her reactions to lines she still hates was pretty funny. After that was trivia time. Courtesy of FUNimation, Glass had a bag of trinkets from shows she has voiced or worked on for those of us who knew some very obscure Ouran trivia. One of the fun facts I learned was that the ending theme, Shissou, to Ouran is actually sung by one of the sound engineers at FUNimation. Other fun facts: the piano piece character Tamaki plays is composed by Mozart, and there’s a hidden Edward Elric from Full Metal Alchemist in one of the episodes.
Caitlin Glass obviously thoroughly enjoyed spending time with her fans. And we thoroughly enjoyed seeing her. She wandered the halls between panels just like one of the fans, and that’s because she was. She donned a Doctor Who tenth Doctor dress for the convention and even showed us pictures of her old cosplay of Wonder Woman on her phone. She was very knowledgeable and eager to share her love for the voice acting industry, as well as all the other shows she worked on. Later on in the weekend, Glass and Mark Mercer fielded questions from fans about wildly popular and extremely gory anime Attack on Titan, still airing here and in Japan. It was a great opportunity for all of us and I’m hoping great fun for her as well.