English dubs have been an integral part of the way we watch anime since Astro Boy in the ’60s, and today we’re talking to one of the people who helps bring those dubs to life! An ADR (automated dialog replacement) director is responsible for overseeing the entire process for English dubs and works closely with actors, scriptwriters, and audio engineers to make sure the end product is the best it can possibly be! We had the opportunity to chat with ADR Director Jād Saxton (director of Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun, Laid-Back Camp, Interviews With Monster Girls, and more) about her career, how she got started in the industry and some of her favorite anime in and outside of the booth!
What is your name and how long have you been an ADR director?
Jād Saxton, five years.
How did you get your start in anime and what has brought you here now?
I started as a theater actor/singer and got the opportunity to audition for a director named Leah Clark for a role in Sasami’s Magical Girl Club and I got a small part in that show! I just kept auditioning and working my way to where I am now, slowly getting more roles and bigger roles. One day, about 10 years into my voice-acting journey, I had a few seconds of courage and asked my friend/colleague Colleen Clinkenbeard if she thought it might be possible for me to have a pathway to directing, and with her advice and guidance, here I am now!
What roles have you played?
Some of my more popular roles are Carla in Fairy Tail, Kendo in My Hero Academia, Tamaki in Fire Force, Kanna in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, Koneko in High School DxD, and Chika in Kaguya-sama: Love is War!
What are your all-time favorite anime titles?
I love Fruits Basket (I voice Saki Hanajima), it’s such a beautiful, funny, sad, lovely story. I also really love Nichijou (I voice Hakase), it’s so random and hilarious! My fave sci-fi anime has to be Steins;Gate (I voice Faris). And my fave, that I wish had another season, has to be Death Parade (I voice Nona).
Out of everything you’ve accomplished with Crunchyroll, and Funimation before that, what are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the impact we’ve had on people’s lives. I love meeting fans and hearing how they much laughed at something I voiced or directed, or how much a story/performance that I was a part of moved them to tears. It means so much to me that we impact people’s lives in a meaningful way.
What do you love most about the anime fandom?
I love how hardcore anime fans are! These stories and characters mean so much to them that they create art of their own. Whether it be cosplay, fan-art, or crafts, I LOVE how creative and passionate anime fans are!
Can you share a fun/meaningful moment memory from your career?
I will never forget the experience of premiering Wolf Children (I voice Yuki) at Otakon in a HUGE room filled with 3,000 anime fans. There’s nothing like sitting in the front row, experiencing a film that meant so much to me personally, and hearing the live reactions of SO many fans. I cried, it was so, so special!
How can fans support your art or follow you online?