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The Immense Pressure The English Cast Of Haikyuu!! Faced When Dubbing The Series

Sport-based anime is something of a phenomenon in Japan, and shows like "Haikyuu!!" help to show why that's the case. Since some of the central demographics of anime and manga are teenagers and young adults, it's easy to see why they might be invigorated by the idea of impressing their friends with athletic feats or reaping the popularity and hero-worship that comes from making the big play in a high-stakes game.

"Haikyuu!!" captures all of these tantalizing elements of a power fantasy and makes things even more compelling by setting up its hero, Shoyo Hinata (Ayumu Murase/Bryson Baugus), as something of an underdog. Though Hinata desperately wants to be a great volleyball player, he's held back by his short stature and the fact that his school doesn't even have a volleyball team initially. Somewhat coincidentally, the cast behind the English dub of "Haikyuu!!" also faced an intense and intimidating struggle when they faced the prospect of performing on the popular series.

The pressure from fans to get it right can be intimidating

Bryson Baugus provides the English voice for Shoyo Hinata in "Haikyuu!!" and he was joined by audio director Kyle Colby Jones and Kageyama voice actor Scott Gibbs as the trio sat down with Geekiary to talk about the pressures of adapting the series for English audiences, particularly due to the popularity of the show.

"I was saying about how — just the fact that there's such a huge fanbase — and as soon as they announced the dub, they were like, 'oh, I hope that they get Hinata sounding good,'" Baugus recalled. "And I'm just like, 'oh god, I hope that I'm doing good for all those fans that are out there.' I'm proud of what I did. I just hope that they enjoy it," the actor said.

Naturally, it's easy to understand why having such a huge and passionate fanbase might make the job of voicing "Haikyuu!!" a bit daunting; luckily, the team behind the English dub seems to be more than up to the task. "When it came along — and you see people all dressed up — you know that it's coming, and it's coming big," said Jones.

"And then the people I work with, they're hardcore fans of it as well. They're like, 'Don't screw this up, Kyle. This is my favorite show in the universe.' So all right, yeah, I'll do my best," Jones concluded. Though the manga the anime is based on ended in 2020, fans can look forward to hearing the dub cast in action again on two upcoming "Haikyuu!!" movies that will wrap things up for good (via Flicker Buzz).