Saturday, January 18, 2014

Something New

Hey, Everybody.

For this entry, we're gonna try something new.

I've decided that with some of my blog entries, starting with this one, I will do a character spot. With these character spots, I'll pick out a character portrayed through voice, analyze the character and the actor's performance, and include a clip of the character.

This week, let's look at Colonel Jade Curtiss.

Jade comes from the video game Tales of the Abyss, made by Namco Bandai for the PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo 3DS.

Jade is one of the main characters of the game, and becomes a party member not long into the story, serving as the party's "mage" character. He's almost a master of magic, being well-versed in spells of all elements except those of light and dark. He is a colonel in the country of Malkuth's military, and commands a gigantic land vehicle called the Tartarus.

Personality-wise, Jade is a complex character. Very rarely will you see him without a smug grin on his face. His speech is nonchalant, almost to the point of sounding like he doesn't care about the things that happen around him. The characters often ask him if he's being sarcastic when he talks, however, despite his quips, he asserts that he's always serious. Without spoiling the plot of the game for you, let me just say that Jade is one character that is not to be messed with. When it comes to combat, he means business, and whether it takes his spear or a well-executed arte (see Tales terminology), if he thinks you should go down, he will bring you down.

Observe this scene from Tales of the Abyss:

In the battle sequence below, we see Jade in an alternate costume, using one of his signature attacks, and a popular one in the Tales series:

Jade is voiced by Kirk Thornton, a well-known figure in the anime industry.

Thornton's performance gives Jade a nonchalant speech pattern, a demeanor that makes it seem as though everything rolls off him like water off a duck's back (or my hair), and a humorous attitude that makes him a totally likeable character, despite whatever else you hear about him in the course of the game.

Jade differs greatly from many of Thornton's other roles, such as the concerned and lovable Gabumon from Digimon, the determined and passionate Kaname Ohgi from Code Geass, the soft-spoken, somber Jin from Samurai Champloo and his recent take on the "Ultimate Life Form," Shadow the Hedgehog from the Sonic the Hedgehog game series. The role also proves Thornton's versatility as an actor, which should need no proof, given his apparent distinction of having the most voice over credits in an anime out of any male voice over artists.
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