The corporate president with an eye for the offbeat is ready to make his entrance!
Well… kind of.
Earlier today, Pied Piper revealed the fifth member of the Skip Beat! English dub cast. The publisher announced that Richard Epcar will play the role of Lory Takarada in the adaptation.
Epcar has been active in the industry since 1980. Through his career, he’s voiced over 500 characters in anime, cartoons, and video games. His most notable roles include Batou in Ghost in the Shell Daisuke Jigen in the Lupin III franchise, and Racer X in Speed Racer X.
Last week, Pied Piper unveiled the first four dub cast members:
- Yukihito Yashiro: Vic Mignogna
- Kanae Kotonami: Erica Lindbeck
- Sho Fuwa: Grant George
- Ren Tsuruga: Robbie Daymond
Pied Piper will unveil the actress for Marie Takarada when the Kickstarter reaches the $150,000 mark.
As of press time, the project stands at $140,740 across 1,041 backers with an average contribution of $135.20 per backer.
Pied Piper first launched an IndieGoGo campaign to fund the dub on March 1, which had a goal of $210,000. The drive reached a total of $23,773 before Pied Piper ended the run and refunded all contributions to backers.
The new Kickstarter does not guarantee a Blu-Ray release of the show, instead opting to make a Blu-Ray release a stretch goal at $185,000. In a comment to Anime News Network, Yamamoto noted that Pied Piper was able to bring the Blu-Ray stretch goal costs down by cutting expenses and making additional investments into the project.
The confirmed reward tiers on the campaign include:
- $1: Thank you message from the team, “Backer Badge” download
- $10: Weekly Behind-the-scenes updates, Name on “Backer Wall”, Wallpaper download, plus all rewards at $1 Tier
- $15: Access to monthly dub updates, plus all rewards at $10 Tier
- $25: Kickstarter Exclusive Embroidered patch, Can badges, & Stationery, plus all rewards at $15 Tier
- $35: Kickstarter Exclusive T-Shirt, plus all rewards at $15 Tier
- $60: Skip Beat! Seasons 1 & 2 on DVD, Vinyl Sticker, Digital behind-the-scenes booklet, plus all rewards at $15 Tier
- $100: DVD slipcover, Skip Beat! “True Love Certificate”, name in Special Thanks insert, exclusive TBA Reward, plus all rewards at $60 Tier
- $150: Chipboard Case, Art Booklet, 11″ x 17″ Poster, plus all rewards at $100 Tier
- $500: Skype access to dub sessions, Skip Beat! baseball jacket, plus all rewards at $150 Tier (Limited 5)
- $900: Private voice acting class with a cast member, plus all rewards at $150 Tier (Limited 1)
- $2,000: 1-Day visit to LA dub session, one-on-one voice acting class with a cast member, signed jacket, “Inner Circle” credit in the Special Thanks insert, plus all rewards at $150 Tier (Limited 1)
- $5,000: Speaking part in Skip Beat! dub, flight to LA to attend dub session, , plus all rewards at $2,000 Tier (Limited 1)
Skip Beat! is based on Yoshiki Nakamura’s manga of the same name. The 25-episode series originally hit Japanese TV in the Fall 2008 broadcast season. Kiyoko Sayama (Princess Tutu, Vampire Knight) helmed the project at Hal Film Maker, with Tetsuya Kumagai (Log Horizon Season 2, Slayers Premium) providing character designs. Mayori Sekijima (Saber Marionette J, CLAMP School Detectives) was in charge of series composition, while Akifumi Tada (Tokyo Underground, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Ohki) scored the soundtrack.
Pied Piper announced that they acquired the series on February 16. In an interview with Otaku Review, Yamamoto commented on the company’s crowdfunding effort:
How to identify and evaluate unlicensed titles? I’d been having conversations with Time of EVE backers and talked with several of them about my predicament. Five of them joined me as Project Curators to scout out new titles, and so they sent me a stream of ideas. My next step was to contact the rightsholders. I got many, many rejections, which gave me the chance to refine my pitch. So I was in a much better position when I met with TV Tokyo. I saw “Skip Beat!” in their catalog, and my jaw dropped.
To be honest, it wasn’t my ideal title simply because 25 episodes increases the costs on all fronts – licensing, dub, authoring, and manufacturing. It is a huge risk. I was looking for a smaller-scale title. But, Kyoko is all about guts. I love the title, and decided to go for it.
The TV Tokyo licensing team was open to letting me use crowdfunding, and I am profoundly grateful that the production committee allowed me to license the title.
We are bonded by our love of “Skip Beat!,” and I hope that comes through in the campaign.
Full Disclosure: Skip Beat! was featured as one of our “KickColle Profile” projects. Reporter Mike Ferreira is a backer on this project, who contributed after the publication of the profile piece. We are actively advertising this campaign on Anime Herald.