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Suzie Yeung And Sarah Wiedenheft On Dubbing The Infamous Women Of Chainsaw Man - Exclusive Interview

There's a lot to love about "Chainsaw Man," the hit new anime based on the manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto, and one of its best qualities is its strong characters. Basically everyone on the show would be a nightmare to deal with in real life, yet characters like the ruthlessly manipulative Public Safety Devil Hunter Makima and the feral Blood Fiend Power are incredibly entertaining to watch, whether you find yourself loving them or loving to hate them.

Following the release of the 6th episode of "Chainsaw Man" in mid-November, Looper got the chance to speak with the show's English-dub voice actors. Suzie Yeung, who voices Makima, and Sarah Wiedenheft, who voices Power, had a lot to say about what makes this anime great and how they connect to their eccentric characters, and they engaged in a particularly spirited discussion about which of their worst fears would make the most terrifying Devil for Chainsaw Man to fight.

How Chainsaw Man balances humor and drama

"Chainsaw Man" is a series that goes way over the top in a way that has a sense of humor to it, but the characters' emotions are all played very seriously. How do you approach that tonal balance when voice acting in the show?

Suzie Yeung: Makima does not double as much in the comedy as the other characters might, like the Three Stooges over there. But there are moments where she's subtly like, "Oh, what do you mean?" when they're having their shenanigans. [For example], there's a scene where Denji is like, "My dream is melons." And she's like, "The fruit? Oh, what do you mean?" She's adding to the scene for the comedy, but she's not necessarily a comedic character per se.

Sarah Wiedenheft: She's a participant, but not really needing to be.

Yeung: Yeah, that's a good way to put it.

Wiedenheft: Power doesn't have too many scenes where there's seriousness, but the recent one with their cat was a little bit more heartfelt. [I've] lost a cat before too, so that was something I could easily relate to. It was not too difficult to put myself into that spot.

Suzie, how does it feel stepping into a character who inspires such intense reactions from readers of the manga?

Yeung: It's very thrilling. I'm very thrilled to be a part of this series. I'm very honored that I've been chosen to voice this beloved character. There's a lot of mixed feelings about her.

Wiedenheft: As there should be.

Yeung: There's definitely something to her that draws people's attention and attracts people to her. [It's] such an honor to be put in this role.

Sarah Wiedenheft getting typecast in an odd niche

Sarah, between Pony in "My Hero Academia," Tohru in "Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid," and now Power in "Chainsaw Man," you seem to play a lot of girls with horns. Can you elaborate on why horned girls are so great?

Wiedenheft: I plead the fifth. They're a little bit different — at least Pony. She does have her moments, though, where she does get a little bit aggressive, but I feel like she's a little bit different from the other ones in that she's less chaotic and more sweet and unsure. Tohru is probably closer to Power than the rest. It's interesting that I've been getting a horned maiden lineup. I want to say it's [a] coincidence, but after the second one, it's a pattern.

And especially three in, it's ...

Wiedenheft: Then it's a problem.

Each episode has a different ending theme, and they've all been awesome, but if you had to pick, which has been your favorite ending so far?

Yeung: Was it the most recent one [Episode 6]? Or was it Episode 5? It was extremely well animated, and I really like the song. I can't describe it, but the animation in it ... It's very vague. I can't describe it; it's just so awesome. They're all really cool, but I think one of the most recent ones is my favorite.

Wiedenheft: My bias is [for] the Power one that happened on Episode 4. I was like, "That's fantastic." And now there's a dance I need to learn.

Deciding on the scariest Devil

If your greatest fear took the form of a Devil, what would it be?

Wiedenheft: Oh, no.

Yeung: I have so many fears.

Wiedenheft: Would it be the Abandonment Devil? Or perhaps ...

Yeung: Me too. What would it do to you? Would it drop you somewhere?

Wiedenheft: I think it would come up [and be] like, "No one loves you." [I'd be] like, "No, [it] can't be. That's impossible, but probably accurate."

Yeung: It grows ever stronger.

Wiedenheft: Let's see. What would actually scare me? Maybe the Taxes Devil. Taxes Devil would scare me.

Yeung: It would drown you in taxes, and you'll forever owe money.

Wiedenheft: Oh, god.

Yeung: [You]'ll be like Denji, broke all the time and in debt, owing money. Oh, man.

Wiedenheft: [What] am I actually afraid of? Certain kind[s] of spiders freak me out, especially the ones that get really big and very hairy. I don't know why specifically the hairy ones.

Yeung: Tarantula Devil.

Wiedenheft: You know they kick up hairs from their legs, and it's itchy as a defense mechanism? Isn't that gross?

Yeung: What do you mean? You get itchy from it?

Wiedenheft: Yeah. It's one of their defense things — they'll rub off [the] hairs on their legs, and [the hairs] will get attached to your skin. And it's very irrita[ting], and that's their way of keeping things away from them. It makes my skin crawl thinking about it.

Yeung: They don't need that to keep me away from [them]. Just any bugs, honestly. Centipede Devil. Ew, gross.

Wiedenheft: Oh, god.

Yeung: A lot of the Devils that have shown up are pretty grotesque already. I'd probably be like Kobeni the whole time, like, "Ah."

Wiedenheft: Wait — I have it. The Cockroach Devil. I forgot. That's the one thing that I cannot deal with.

Yeung: Oh, no.

Wiedenheft: That is the one thing that [makes me] exit the room screaming. I've done that before while I was in the bathroom — came out with my pants wrapped around my ankles squealing and running away. "Someone help."

Yeung: I'm pretty sure it'd be an extremely strong Devil.

Wiedenheft: Oh my god, it would be.

Yeung: It would be very strong.

It would be impossible to kill.

Yeung: It is literally impossible to kill.

Wiedenheft: Yes.

Yeung: They'd have to have a Nuclear Bomb Devil.

Wiedenheft: And it would still exist.

Yeung: Yes, that's true. That's true. It's unbeatable. The Cockroach Devil is the strongest Devil.

Wiedenheft: I do think Chainsaw could do it this time. It's just [that] sprays and whatnot don't work. As long as you can cut through the entire body, [you can kill it] maybe, unless it's prego.

Yeung: Ew.

Wiedenheft: Final answer: Cockroach Devil.

Yeung: Agree.

Lesser-known favorite anime roles

"Chainsaw Man" was basically destined to be this season's most popular anime before it even premiered. But are there any lesser-known anime that you've been in that you think deserve more attention?

Wiedenheft: Yes. Everything that I've been in. I'm kidding. 

I always like to hype up "Land of the Lustrous" and "Tada Never Falls in Love" because they're two really beautiful animations. "Land of the Lustrous" is 3D, and it's about gem people who are being attacked by moon people. The moon people are harvesting the gem people and bringing them back to the moon. And that's terrifying. And they don't know why.

The other one, "Tada Never Falls in Love," is a completely original anime, not based on anything or any manga. Nokia came up to [the production company]. The camera company was like, "Hey, can you make an anime on photography?" It's beautiful because it's a photography-funded anime. It's really cute and wholesome, about a foreign exchange student who comes to Japan for a while but eventually has to go back up. The Japanese student [in] "Tada Never Falls in Love" is very stoic and emotionless. You find out he lost his parents, so he has a very difficult time connecting with others.

Yeung: For me, it's actually an anime that both Sarah and I have been in, and that is "Kemono Friends."

Wiedenheft: Oh, yeah.

Yeung: "Kemono Friends" was my very first anime that I voiced in. I play Kaban, the lead; Lucky Beast, the mascot; and Mirai, somebody else. No spoilers.

Wiedenheft: That's so cool.

Yeung: I love it because it's so wholesome, full of heart. It teaches you all about animals. It has so many lessons, and it's super family friendly. It's very charming. The entire dub — everyone puts so much heart and care into it.

Remember Grape-kun, the penguin who fell in love with one of the characters?

Yeung: It was really funny. Grape-kun, yes.

Wiedenheft: Yes. Aww.

Yeung: I highly recommend it for people who want a cute, feel-good show.

The ultimate decision: cats versus dogs

Speaking of animals, Power loves cats; Makima prefers dogs. Does your taste in pets match your characters?

Yeung: I like both, but actually these days, I'm more of a cat person because I have progressively lower energy. I'm extremely introverted, and I love dogs. They're so cute, but I often don't have the energy to keep up with them, and I cannot wake up at 6:00 a.m. — I'm sorry — to walk them.

Wiedenheft: Yeah.

Yeung: It's too hard.

Wiedenheft: It's hard with both of them, but I also love both. I lean a little bit more towards cats. I always have. I love them, how weird they can be.

Yeung: [pointing out the dog on Wiedenheft's Zoom video] A puppy in the corner.

Wiedenheft: I just realized there's life. There's my pupper over there, we see.

Yeung: Oh, here she come[s].

Wiedenheft: Hi, Sadie. She's my boyfriend['s] and [my] dog. His grandpa was going to give her away, so we're like, "No, we keep."

Yeung: No.

Wiedenheft: We've been talking about getting a cat too because I haven't had one and I've been in a house—

Yeung: Name it Meowy.

Wiedenheft: Yes. I've been in a house where consistently my roommates have had one, so that need has been fulfilled. I haven't needed to get one. [Now] I'm like, "Oh no, I'm in a house where there isn't one."

Yeung: Same.

Wiedenheft: And I'm sad. I miss the chaoticness of a cat because they're easy to take care of, but also, they get into a lot of trouble.

Yeung: I love how sassy they are.

Wiedenheft: I love it.

Yeung: They don't care. They're very much like Power. They're like, "What are you going to do about it?"

Wiedenheft: My old roommate, Hope, has three cats. Two of them are brothers, and one is the mom. And she said, whenever they're getting up to mischief, she'll run and be like, "Hey." Then the two boys will run away, and the mom stands her ground. She's like, "What? What are you going to do?" Continues to mess with it. Then she has to go up and grab her and physically get her to go away. She aggressively licks herself. It's incredible what kinds of personality you can get with a cat.

New episodes of "Chainsaw Man" premiere Tuesdays on Crunchyroll.

This interview has been edited for clarity.