It’s Turn A Gundam‘s 21st anniversary! Last year was its big 20th, so I figured I’d do something smaller for this year’s anniversary. I’m temporarily reviving my staff highlight posts, this time featuring the one and only Takehito Koyasu, the voice of Gym Ghingham.
My sources include various written and video interviews, audio commentaries, and individual research.
Below is a highlight of info pertaining to his time on Turn A Gundam.
- Takehito Koyasu was no stranger to Gundam. He had voiced many minor and side characters in SD Gundam, Gundam F91, Gundam 0083, Victory Gundam, and G Gundam, leading up to his first major role as Zechs Merquise in Gundam Wing. Gym Ghingham was his second major role in a Gundam series and cemented his status as a regular to the franchise.
- An accomplished talent to some of his peers, he was jokingly referred to as the “number one” voice actor in the studio.
- He was the only actor for a major character who did not audition for the show. Instead, he was approached by staff members and recruited to play the role.
- He was initially unsure if he was capable of voicing the character. He hadn’t expected Gym to be so burly, loud-mouthed, and pivotal to the plot. Tomino, however, took advantage of Koyasu’s talent: he wrote out exactly how he wanted him to voice certain lines, and Koyasu followed-suit–to much success. This includes famous lines such as “Onore!” and “Gekkou Chou de aru”.
- According to Koyasu, the “KONO TAHN X SUGOI YO, SASUGA TAHN A NO ONII-SAN” line was added into the script because it was a cool line that they badly wanted him to voice, despite his apprehension.
- Tomino never really had much to say about Koyasu’s performance voicing Gym, effectively giving him silent nods of approval.
- As a veteran, Koyasu felt he was brought on to lead the voice cast in the show’s final arcs. His presence increased the energy in the studio, causing actors like Tetsu Inada to have more confidence and be more bold. Many actors felt they had to overcome him; in other words, he really was the final boss!
- Had a rivalry with Romi Park (the voice of Loran Cehack), which often led to shouting matches between the two. Koyasu saw Gym was an overwhelming character, and he felt he had to bring that type of presence into the studio in order to be effective. He made it his duty to square off with Park and play the role of the villain.
- After the final episode, he jokingly told Park that they’d probably never cross paths again. He did not expect her career to jump-start the way it did. Joke’s on him! His respect and admiration for Park has increased over time. Whenever they work together these days he always brings his A-game in honor.
- Koyasu feels blessed to have worked with a lot of young talent who’d go on to be industry standard-bearers in today’s age.
- Due to his time on Turn A Gundam, Koyasu often gets offers to voice loud and burly characters like Gym, but he feels they’re a very demanding role.
- He finds it interesting that Gym is the Gundam character fans identify him with most.
- Views his time on Turn A Gundam as a very meaningful and valuable experience in his career. He had a unique role as both an observer (1st half) and staff member (2nd half), allowing him to view it from multiple perspectives.
- Has a very high opinion of Turn A Gundam‘s ending.