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Yuri Lowenthal's Differences From Naruto's Sasuke Proved To Be A Big Challenge

If one is lucky and talented enough to have a long and prolific voice-acting career, it is natural for there to be roles that are closer to the actor's personality than others. Some roles are more challenging than others because they require the voice-acting professional to tap into sides of themselves that they don't often need to.

Yuri Lowenthal is a voice actor, as well as writer and producer, but one of his most emblematic roles has to be Sasuke Uchiha from Masashi Kishimoto's "Naruto" series. Sasuke is probably one of the roles he is most famous and adored for, even though it also is the one he likely received the most fan threats for

It is clear by fans' comments on forums like Reddit, that despite some occasional hate, Lowenthal's Sasuke has earned an undeniable place of esteem for "Naruto" enthusiasts. A post by u/pumasaurusrex spoke of how, after sending a fan letter to Lowenthal, the fan in question received a signed poster back. One of the comments on the thread below amusingly emulates Sasuke's nihilistic way of speaking: "Nobody will ever understand the pain I feel. The misery of being voiced by Yuri Lowenthal. One of the most skilled voice actors who ever lived. I am doomed to forever sound like an attractive man with a wide range of emotions [...]"

What some fans may not know is how voicing Sasuke proved to be a challenge to Lowenthal, who was still relatively inexperienced at the time.

Dabbing into the dark side

In a video interview with Crunchyroll, Lowenthal was asked about the hardest challenges he encountered throughout his career. In his response, the voice actor explained how there are characters who are more similar to him in terms of personality than others.

"The darker characters take a little more work," the actor stated "Sasuke was one of the first. Up until Sasuke, I played mostly happy-go-lucky, just characters."

Indeed, Naruto Uzumaki's rival since childhood is a highly complex character who undergoes a dark character arc which could be described as a descent into villainy. At one point, Sasuke definitely falls under the category of antagonist.

In another written interview with Crunchyroll, the actor further elaborated by saying, "But I guess, it shows you we all have some darkness within us that we can access. So, I was able to find it. It was probably very good for me, you know. It was probably a relief I got to, rather than just playing the same notes on an instrument, that I got to mix it up a little bit."

Although he believed it to be a tough challenge, Lowenthal also called this role "the most fun" precisely for the obstacles it posed and how they forced him to work on facets of himself as a professional he hadn't had the chance to before. Sasuke has long become an iconic character for those who followed the epic, decades-long "Naruto" journey, and likewise, he is also an important hallmark in his voice actor's career.