J. Michael Tatum
urtured on anime classics from the tender age of Star Blazers, et al, this reclusive fanboy-turned-voice actor/writer/ADR director/flake extraordinaire spent more years than he cares to remember in what might charitably be called free-fall before landing, mostly by accident, smack dab on the industry of his dreams. To this day, some believe the small crater made by the impact remains the source of his power.
Discovered by Funimation warhorse Christopher Bevins, who cast him as Rikichi in 2005’s Samurai 7, Tatum’s inexplicable luck has held long enough to see his flag hoisted on a slew of dream roles, most notably Kyoya Otori in Ouran High School Host Club, suave, demonic Sebastian Michaelis in Black Butler, France in the Hetalia franchise, Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss, and the equal parts maniacal/vulnerable Okarin Rintarou from Steins;Gate. More recently, Tatum can be heard in the epic My Hero Academia as Teyna Iida.
Other characters the man still can’t believe he’s had the crazy good fortune to play include: Doumeki in XXXHolic, Jiro Mochizuki in Black Blood Brothers, Isaac Dian in Baccano!, both God Eneru and Dalton in One Piece, Komui Lee in D-Gray Man, Dororo in Sgt. Frog, the titular loveable savage of Heroic Age, Ryosuke Takahashi in Initial D, Lawrence Kraft in Spice and Wolf, Zarbon in Dragon Ball Z Kai, and Scar in Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. His vocal “stylings,” much to the chagrin of drama teachers everywhere, he’s sure, have also been featured in Romeo X Juliet, Speed Grapher, Trinity Blood, Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Black Cat, Nabari no Ou, Ghost Hunt, School Rumble, The Tower of Druaga, Aquarion, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles, Shuffle, Shigurui, Glass Fleet, Mushishi, Soul Eater, along with feature- length films such as Vexille, Summer Wars, Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker, and Empire of Corpses, among many others. His videogame credits include Sir Hammerlock from the Borderlands franchise, Julius Kresnik from Tales of Xillia 2, Mr. Foster from Killing Floor 2, various playable characters from SMITE, and Kelvin from Battleborn.
And as if being involved with so many awesome shows wasn’t enough, in late 2007 the fluky so-and-so tempted fate by officially branching out into ADR directing and adaptive scriptwriting for Funimation as well. His ADR directing credits to date include Aquarion, Jyu-oh-Sei, Romeo X Juliet, Big Windup, Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne and Shikabane Hime (Corpse Princess), while his writing credits include substantial work on Ouran High School Host Club, Heroic Age, Initial D, Blassreiter, Ga Rei: Zero, Hero Tales, Legend of the Legendary Heroes, Fractale, Deadman Wonderland, Steins;Gate, Assassination Classroom and Dragon Ball Z Kai. In early 2010 he teamed up with Terri Doty and Stephen Hoff to launch That Anime Show, a web-based chat show centered on colorful, often diabolically unhinged interviews with friends and colleagues within the dubbing industry, all episodes of which can be downloaded for free at http://thatanimeshow.com/
Ever the workaholic, Tatum is currently burning the midnight oil on a number of exciting projects due for release later this year. And before you ask, the “J” stands for… Well, it stands for whatever you’d like it to.