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How Abby Trott Navigates The Pressures Of Voicing Nezuko On Demon Slayer

To say that "Demon Slayer" manga and its anime adaptation have enjoyed massive success doesn't quite capture the scope of its meteoric rise. Already having won legions of fans in the pages of Shonen Jump, "Demon Slayer" took the wider world by storm when the first season of the anime premiered, and later set historic records at the U.S. and Japanese box offices with the "Mugen Train" film. Everything has felt a little quiet on the "Demon Slayer" front lately, but fans are eagerly awaiting its return with Season 3. We can bet the hype train will again thunderously roll out as the anime adapts the pivotal "Swordsmith Arc."

Part of what's made "Demon Slayer" so appealing is that beneath its gorgeous action scenes and relieving comedy moments is an emotional story capable of captivating the most hardened souls. Tanjiro and Nezuko's sibling bond is the heart of the show. And in the English dub, the vocal talents of Zach Aguilar and Abby Trott (who voice Tanjiro and Nezuko, respectively) are what make that heart beat. 

Trott has perhaps the most challenging job in voicing a character who mainly communicates through a series of grunts. And yet, the voice actor can skillfully communicate Nezuko's intentions and thoughts with so little. So, exactly how does Trott navigate the voice performance for Nezuko?

Trott focuses on Nezuko's love for her family

Effectively communicating through a series of grunts and other sounds is difficult enough. The added factor of providing an English dub to a series already beloved by many fans takes that challenge to a new level. As Trott noted in an interview with The Gamer, she felt immense pressure to take on the English dub part of Nezuko. Fortunately, Trott's strategy of focusing on the character's love for her family provided enough insight on how to best approach Nezuko. 

"Some scenes, she is mature and kind, but other scenes, she can be ferocious and wild," Trott told The Gamer. "Her love for her family shines through in both forms, though in different ways. I tried to incorporate these traits as best I could — the voice that came out is the voice that felt right."

Trott has also highlighted that thinking of what Nezuko would say at the moment has helped her deliver on the character's intentions (via Vooks). Trott does a tremendous job at voicing Nezuko despite the limited lines. However, Trott truly shines in the rare instances the character gets to talk, such as Tanjiro's dream in Season 2, Episode 10. As fans on YouTube positively reacted to Trott's performance in the scene. We can only imagine that when "Demon Slayer" returns, Trott will continue to do her character justice.

Trott's favorite Nezuko moment in the Hinokami game

When an anime reaches the popularity "Demon Slayer" achieved, it's not unusual for it to expand into the world of video games. Shows like "Naruto" and Dragon Ball" have countless tie-in game titles. In October 2021, Sega and CyberConnet2 provided "Demon Slayer" with its first hotly-anticipated game. The 3D brawler, "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles," manages to recreate much of the charm found in the anime series as it covers the story from Season 1 and the "Mugen Train" film. The game also has voice acting from the same team of actors from the anime English dub, which effectively helps recreate some of the show's memorable scenes.

However, for Trott, there is one surprising Nezuko moment in the game that takes the cake — or rather, the French bakery. In an interview with Vooks, Trott said, "Recording the 'Kimetsu Academy' Nezuko was super fun — instead of her classic bamboo, Nezuko has a baguette in her mouth, and the team got a kick out of all the munching noises Nezuko made. We couldn't stop laughing at some of the attacking noises!" 

"Kimetsu Academy" is a lighthearted alternate universe take on "Demon Slayer" that places the characters and their world in a school setting (via Kimetsu no Yaiba Wiki). They were first introduced in the pages of the "Demon Slayer" manga before appearing in shorts found at the end of the anime episodes. And now, gamers can add more insult to opponents by winning rounds with these versions of the "Demon Slayer" cast. Nothing humbles a demon faster than losing a fight to someone in the middle of a snack.