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Max Mittelman, Robbie Daymond, And Ray Chase Are Loud, Annoying, And Very Annoying

Anime and video game fans have almost certainly heard the voices of Ray Chase, Robbie Daymond, and Max Mittelman. Their credits range from "Boruto" and "One Punch Man" to "Persona 5" and "Fire Emblem." The three of them have often starred in the same series, and since 2016, they've been doing improv comedy at anime conventions together as L.A.V.A. (Loud, Annoying, and Very Annoying). When the coronavirus pandemic shut down in-person conventions, L.A.V.A. shifted gears to Twitch streaming, something they continue to do while also returning to conventions as they reopen.

Looper got the chance to speak to all three members of L.A.V.A. at Anime Boston 2022. They held their press panel as a trio, and their often hilarious banter together serves as proof of their comedic chemistry. Topics they discussed include the future of the anime dubbing business, shutting down questionable "Star Wars" rumors, and making a tough choice between the two of the most popular shonen anime.

Thoughts on the Funimation-Crunchyroll merger

How do you see the Funimation-Crunchyroll merger impacting the industry?

Ray Chase: I don't know that we know enough about it.

Max Mittelman: We had this question last week. We do work for Crunchyroll, we do some work for Funimation, but we just get sent auditions. That's all we really know.

Chase: What ideally it would be ... I don't know. I don't know enough about it. We're really careful about speaking on things that we're not sure about. I'm sure it'll change things in a way, but at a certain point, you pick projects based on upon whether or not you'd like to do them. I don't really have an opinion on that one. Sorry — what a crappy answer. I hope it shifts the industry for the better.

Mittelman: They should change the company's name to Crunchymation. That's my official stance on it.

Robbie Daymond: I thought it could have been Funiroll.

Chase: Funiroll? Crunchymation?

Mittelman: Sounds really good. That's our official stance. You can quote it.

Daymond: Actually, I just sent it off to the lawyers. It's my new corporation.

These are not the Inquisitors you're looking for

A question for Robbie: There have been rumors, or at least one weirdly insistent Wikipedia editor, claiming that you are reprising your role of the Eighth Brother from "Star Wars: Rebels" in the new "Obi-Wan Kenobi" series. Can you confirm or deny these rumors?

Daymond: I can fully deny them.

Mittelman: I will be voicing the Eighth ... That weirdly insistent Wikipedia editor, that was me.

Daymond: If they're done shooting "Obi-Wan Kenobi," then I have not been in it. That is your answer.

Mittelman: Wait, they're saying that you're in a live-action show?

Daymond: Yeah, but the character — I would guess — would be a CG character or some form of effects, if the character is even in it. I don't think anyone really knows that. The reason they're making that parallel is because there are Inquisitors in the show ... but I don't know. Maybe they pulled my voice from the show, who knows? Could be — you never know.

Ray Chase in Licorice Pizza and Malignant

Looking over Ray Chase's résumé, it's anime, anime, video games, anime ... "Licorice Pizza"?

Chase: Yes.

I have to ask — is Paul Thomas Anderson a weeaboo?

Chase: Absolutely not. No. I had a weird ... I was Mr. Anime JRPG Guy, and then that year was "Licorice Pizza" and "Malignant." I got to work with James Wan, too, in a crazy horror movie. It was really, really fun to branch out in that way.

Is James Wan a weeaboo?

Chase: Probably. It didn't come up when we worked on it. We talked mostly about what it would be like to be on the back of somebody's head.

Daymond: Ray's a real actor. Do you know that? He's a real live actor. A lot of us are.

Chase: We watched "Licorice Pizza" on the plane; it was fun. [I] took a screenshot, like, "Wow, there's my face on a thing." It's great. I do sign "Licorice Pizza." People bring the soundtrack to me all the time, which is really fun. But nobody's ever brought me the Paul Thomas Anderson manga to sign. Not yet.

Demon Slayer vs. Jujutsu Kaisen

"Demon Slayer" and "Jujutsu Kaisen" are neck-and-neck in terms of being the most popular anime and manga series at the moment. Trey and Robbie are in both of them, and Max is in "Demon Slayer." I don't know if you are allowed to play favorites, but if you had to choose one series, which would you pick as your personal favorite between the two of them?

Chase: I want them both.

Daymond: Ooh, I don't want to alienate anyone who likes them.

Mittelman: Yeah, I wouldn't want to answer this question. I couldn't possibly choose.

Chase: They are both great shows. They are so different, though. It's hard, because one is like a "Dragon Ball," which you can't help but love, and then one is the darker, hardcore, like a "Death Note" thing. But I don't know. They are both so different.

Mittleman: I'm going to make you guys "The Good Son" this ... It's on a cliff.

Daymond: "Sophie's Choice" it?

Mittelman: "Sophie's Choice," exactly.

Chase: I never would have phrased it "Sophie's Choice," but it's probably the best.

Mittelman: Well, who are you letting go?

Chase: "Demon Slayer" is [it]. Because I'm done with "Demon Slayer" Season 2.

Mittelman: That's a great answer.

Daymond: I can't let "Demon Slayer" go!

Mittelman: The answer is we let "Demon Slayer" fall off a cliff and die. That's the answer. Quote us on that.

The banned Mr. Osomatsu episode

I have a question for the two "Mr. Osomatsu" actors [Mittelman and Chase]. Was there ever any consideration, even as a thing between yourselves, of dubbing the banned first episode — a.k.a. the best episode?

Mittelman: That's all we wanted to do!

Chase: We begged them.

Mittelman: Viz wanted to do it too.

Chase: Yes.

Mittelman: It's a Japanese thing. They can't — It's not a Japanese thing. It's an American thing. They couldn't get the clearance to put that many references in an American show. Japan could do it. We could not.

Chase: It's the same way in ["JoJo's Bizarre Adventure"]. They have to change all the stand names from all the musicians, the real-life musicians. We couldn't do that.

Daymond: I don't know this. What is it?

Mittelman: It's the best episode of anime ever.

Chase: If you watch one episode of "Mr. Osomatsu," it's –

Mittelman: The first episode.

Daymond: What happens?

Mittelman: They lampoon every anime that's ever been made all at once. It's hilarious. The animation style changes along the way. It's so great.

Daymond: It's like one of those old-school "Looney Tunes" where they would walk into a bar, and it would be every Hollywood person ever. Then they go through and they lampoon –

Mittelman: But also the animation would change. There would be references to "Pokemon," and they'd all look like "Pokemon" or whatever.

Daymond: It's a licensing thing?

Mittelman: It's a licensing thing, yeah.

Robbie Daymond, Ray Chase, and Max Mittelman's "Loud, Annoying, and Very Annoying" Twitch channel streams on Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET.

This interview was edited for clarity.