Concluding our series of interviews from Kraken Con is Tiffany Grant, a long-time voice actor who has provided voices in over 1,500 series. While perhaps best known for voicing Asuka in Neon Genesis Evangelion and its movies, you might also recognize her as Kaorin from Azumanga Daioh, Martel from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Misaki from Excel Saga, or any of her many, many other roles.
You can check out the interview below.
On Neon Genesis Evangelion: “I think with the TV series, it offered the opportunity for people to ask a lot of questions. It was very existentialist, it didn’t really lay everything out for you, so it really lends itself to repeated viewings and then you you catch things, and after you watch it a couple times, and you think, ‘Wow, Ritsuko was really a bitch,” you don’t necessarily think that sort of thing up the first time – all of the subtext and double-meanings and everything. And I think with the TV series as a basis for drawing people in, it led to all these heated debates about every possible aspect of the show, what it means. And all of the religious symbolism that’s in there – the Eastern religions and the Western symbolism, depending on where you live, some things may be more obvious to certain people. So I think all the questions that it brings up, about our purpose in life, and why are we here, and what should we do and how do we deal with adversity – I think there’s a lot of that to it. It’s harder for me to say with the movies because we don’t really know where that arc is going – I mean, the fourth movie is coming out in the not-too-distant future, maybe it’ll be another movie, maybe it’ll be some other iteration, who knows?”
On the changing fandom and convention scene: “I’ve been attending conventions for about eighteen years now… I love going to conventions, and for me it’s a wonderful way to meet people, to interact with fans – today I’m doing my very first convention on an aircraft carrier, that’s pretty awesome – I’ve done cons in almost every state, I’ve done cons in other countries as well, and the enthusiasm and the interest from the fans about anime, that has been a consistent thing over the years. But the face of fandom has changed in that it’s a much broader demographic now, there’s so many more females in conventions than there were when I first started attending, and the people who were attending cons twenty years ago, they’re still going to cons. So you see a lot of people that are in their 40’s and 50’s at cons at the same time as you see teenagers. So the audience has broadened as the fandom has grown, and those people that were coming twenty years ago, now their kids are and apparently their grandkids too. So I’ve just really enjoyed watching fans grow and the thing that’s really changed at conventions is cosplay, because it used to be that cosplay was just kind of a fun thing that fans did to celebrate who their favorite characters were, and it was just kind of a fun activity that they did in their spare time. That has morphed into a whole separate thing on its own, which I think is fascinating, to where a lot of people that’s pretty much become their whole world. … So that’s, to me, the single biggest change in conventions I’ve seen.”
On fans and conventions from all over the world: “Fandom is the same, just with a different accent. Fans love cosplaying, they get enthusiastic about their shows, so to me, it’s like fans are really the same all over the place.”
On a related note, this article comes out just a few days after Tiffany’s birthday, so we at G33k-HQ would like to wish her a slightly belated happy birthday, and thanks once again for taking the time to speak with us!