Staff Highlight: Tetsu Inada, the Voice of Harry Ord

This is the last in my series of posts highlighting key figures behind the anime. For the final hurrah, I’m doing something a little special. I’ve teamed up with fellow Turn A Gundam fan @nanopocalypse to bring you this post! A passionate Harry Ord enthusiast, her knowledge and sources on this topic are very much appreciated.

My sources include various written and video interviews, audio commentaries, and individual research.

staff_inada
Tetsu Inada is a voice actor who voices the magnificent Harry Ord.

Below is a highlight of info pertaining to his time on Turn A Gundam.

  • Initially auditioned for Phil Ackman but was instead cast as Harry Ord, much to his surprise.
  • Admiral Wakkein in the 1998 special edition of the Mobile Suit Gundam movie trilogy was his first voice role in a Gundam title, however Turn A Gundam was his first major voice role in an anime in which he regularly had to record lines. Many of his peers were novices as well, and to him that shaped the atmosphere in the studio.
  • When it was decided Inada would play the role of Harry, he visited Tomino at the studio. Tomino gave him little information about the character and said that all he needed to know was in the script.
  • When he acted Harry’s first voiced line (“The Earth’s rain is warm, isn’t it?”), he did so in a snobbish manner. Tomino instructed him that Harry’s a humble person and that he’s truly happy to learn that the Earth’s rain is warm. Inada would heed this advice and try to read Harry’s lines as-is from then on.
  • According to Inada, Harry’s character changed rapidly in the early stages of planning. He was originally intended to be a villainous character and womanizer.
  • In some of Tomino’s scrapped ideas, Harry was married to a woman named Amanda for a short time before his expedition to Earth. Though a non-canon factoid, Inada has paid tribute to it as a sign of respect to Harry Ord. For instance, he named his own car (which happened to be gold, of course) after her.
  • According to Inada, there were several points in the story in which Harry was originally intended to die.
  • Believes Tomino kept a lot of character details to himself because he liked the way the actors and actresses were surmising their roles and didn’t want to disrupt that.
  • In his eyes, it was clear to Harry that Dianna and Kihel had swapped places by episode 18 (in which Kihel gives a pivotal speech). However, when he inquired Tomino about it he was informed that that was not the case. Inada still believed Harry at least had a clue something was going on.
  • Like many of his peers, he views Harry and Kihel’s kiss scene as romantic, however Tomino revealed to him that it was not meant to be romantic at all. Rather, Harry felt sorry for rejecting her love and wanted her to stay quiet in that particular moment. This baffled and continues to baffle Inada.
  • Thinks Harry’s mannerism of extending one of his legs out to pose was his way of appearing to look cool and mature.
  • He gave it his all in the episode 49 voice recordings (which is why Harry is so hammy in that episode), because he felt that his character would die otherwise in such a high-stakes finale.
  • Harry Ord’s famous (or infamous!?) “UNIVERSE” line has been immortalized in context of Turn A Gundam and Tetsu Inada. The line is regularly used by several Turn A Gundam characters in video games in which they appear. Inada even occasionally says the line when voicing other characters, such as Rätsel from the Super Robot Wars series.
  • Has cosplayed Harry Ord a number of times, most recently at the 2014 Blu-ray release event.
  • Considers his voice to have gotten broader and deeper since his time on Turn A Gundam.
  • Is/was a fan of Jackie Chan, and it was his childhood dream to meet Hiroya Ishimaru, Jackie Chan’s official Japanese dub-over voice actor. To Inada’s surprise, Ishimaru voiced two characters in Turn A Gundam: Aggripa Maintainer and Mallygan. [side note: Hiroya Ishimaru is well-known for his role as Kouji Kabuto from the Mazinger series]
    • Once went out to lunch with Ishimaru, and while he wanted badly to talk about Jackie Chan, he kept it to himself.
  • Is a big pro-wrestling fan. Would often watch pro-wrestling matches with fellow voice actor Setsuji Satou (the voice of Joseph Yacht) and as a result others in the studio got interested.
  • Veteran voice actor Kazuyuki Sogabe (the voice of Miran Rex) once told him that he did well voicing Harry, but that he’s just “one soldier from tomorrow”. Inada interpreted it as advice to continue improving, and he’s taken it to heart.
  • Inada attributes much of his career success to his time on Turn A Gundam. Years after the show had finished airing, he casually encountered Tomino who asked if he was still making a living out of voice acting. Inada responded by saying “yes, thanks to you”, and he meant it.

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