This article is translated from KAORI Nusantara’s Indonesian site.
As previously reported, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has been available in Indonesia with an Indonesian dub. Muse Communication licenses the rights for the anime in Indonesia, and the Indonesian dubbed version is currently available via two streaming services; iQIYI and Bstation. While showing anime with Indonesian dub is quite common practice for Indonesian TV stations, streaming services have only recently started to dub their shows to Indonesiam.
To understand more about the dubbing process of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, on 16 November 2021, KAORI Nusantara has visited the Jakarta-based dubbing studio for the anime, Advanced Technology Multimedia Studio (ATM Studio), which at that time was still in the middle of the dubbing process for Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’s second season.
While observing the dubbing process, we were guided by ATM Studio’s producer, Risa Sondari Aprilianta. We also met the voice actress of Zenitsu, Leni M Tarra. In the studio, we also met the dubbing operators for this project; Sharon Haring and Hermawan. Both of them also have voice roles in the Indonesian dub of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Sharon performs Nezuko, while Hermawan voices Obanai. Not only did we get to see the dubbing process, but we also talked about the production process of Indonesian anime dub with the ATM Studio production team
Generally, ATM Studio will adapt the casting process depending on the client. Some clients don’t want to be involved in the casting process and leave it to the studio. However, there are also clients who are heavily involved in the casting process. Muse Communication happened to be the latter type.
According to the producer Risa, it was Muse Communication that first contacted ATM Studio and asked for the dubbing service. Muse was also heavily involved in the casting process. For Muse’s project, an open casting was held for any freelance voice actors from all generations. The final decision, however, is still decided by Muse. ATM Studio will prepare three voice samples for each character, and Muse will choose one of them. ATM Studio will also create one pilot episode as a sample.
Most of the time, including for Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the voice actors are chosen based on their similarities with the original Japanese voice. However, it is difficult to find a voice that is exactly similar to the original. Sometimes there is a voice that is similar enough but can’t be used because of business issues; while at other times, the voice is not that similar but is still used because it suits the original character.
At the end of this project, Muse is the one who makes the final choice. For example, in the Japanese dub, Tanjiro and Zenitsu are voiced by male actors. But in the Indonesian dub, they are assigned to female actresses. This choice was made after they have been approved by Muse Communication, which involved an intensive casting process.
Dub Production: Challenges and Deadlines
According to ATM Studio, the deadline for this project turned out to be strict. For the dubbing of the second season, which follows the Japanese broadcast schedule, they needed at least three days to finish it. A new episode would be available each week, and they need to dub it as quickly as possible.
The problem was that sometimes the episode that would be dubbed was not available on time. Sometimes they were available after the Japanese broadcast, and the dubbing crew only had two days to deliver the product, which not only involved the dubbing process, but also other processes like sound mixing. For the dubbing of the first season, which originally aired in 2019, ATM Studio needed to finish 12 episodes in just a week, while all 26 episodes needed to be done in two weeks. Fortunately, Muse already provided the translated script, so ATM Studio didn’t need to translate the dialogue from scratch.
Of course, Muse is only one of ATM Studio’s clients, and the studio also has other orders at work from various online streaming platforms and cable TV. Generally, the deadlines from those services are not as strict as terrestrial TV. And with ATM Studio also using standard working hours, from 9 AM to 5 PM, they keep the need for overtime work to as minimum as possible.
Joining the Dubbing Team of ATM Studio
We have talked about the casting process and the production of the Indonesian dub of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. However, there’s a common question that is usually asked by Indonesian fans about dubbing: what should they do to become a professional voice actor? A lot of Indonesian fans are interested to become a voice actor or actress and joining the anime dubbing team, but not many people know how to become one
According to Risa, ATM Studio is open to everyone who wants to become a voice actor. Normally, ATM Studio shares casting call information on their social media. Everyone is free to join the casting, including those fans who never have experience but want to join the dubbing team.
Other than that, ATM Studio also occasionally opens training sessions that lasts around two months for aspiring voice actors and prepares them for work in future ATM Studio projects, whether it’s anime, Hollywood films, Korean dramas, or any other projects.
In the next part of this article series, we talked with two Indonesian voice actors who also work as dubbing operators at ATM Studio, Sharon Haring and Hermawan. The two shared their experiences as voice actors and the production aspect of the Indonesian dubbing process.
The Indonesian Anime Times | Interview and photo by Dodi Kusumanto | Translation by Dany Muhammad | The original Indonesian article can be read here.