As you probably recall, the design for Aero, the new heroine in Mega Man Legends 3, was selected by way of popular vote. Aero’s design was pitted against that of several other heroines by various Capcom artists, and fans were asked to vote for their favourite design.
During the selection process for Legends 3’s heroine, votes from all over the world were taken into account. However, in Japan, fans also had a say in who would provide Aero’s voice.
While contractual differences between Japanese and American voice actors prevented Capcom from letting overseas fans vote for the English voice actress, Japanese fans voted for Akemi Kanda. In a recent blog post, Capcom outlined the process they used to conduct web auditions for Aero.
The first hurdle, says Yamanaka from the game’s sound production team, was to find a happy middle ground between a high-pitched and low-pitched voice. Yamanaka says that voices in American dubs of anime often sound too deep to the Japanese, while the original Japanese voiceovers often sound too high-pitched to people overseas.
Since Aero’s 14-years-old, Capcom wanted a voice that sounded somewhere in between that of a child and an adult’s, and they wanted the dialogue to fit her character. Due to this, they consulted Capcom’s localization teams to help them narrow down a list of voice actresses, since Aero’s lines needed to fit, regardless of region. Following this, the actresses were invited to Capcom to audition for the role.
While the game’s director usually guides the voice actors along the way, no such guidance was provided for the audition process, since fans were ultimately going to decide who would get to play Aero’s role. Instead, each actress was given Aero’s character profile and a rough script, and was allowed to do retakes until she was happy with her own performance.
The script for Aero’s lines wasn’t finalized at this point, Yamanaka reveals. This was because Capcom wanted to tailor Aero’s dialogue to whichever voice actress ended up being chosen for the role, so that her character would fit with what fans expect of her.
Yamanaka ends the post by saying that there will be an upcoming voice event for overseas fans to vote on as well, but doesn’t provide any more details on that front.