Interview: Ankur Javeri- Legendary Indian Voice Actor Of Goku

Dragon Ball Z is without a shadow of a doubt one of the greatest anime series ever created. With an expansive storyline and jaw-dropping fight scenes, this classic anime has a special place in many people’s hearts.

It’s a series that has been around for over 35 years and has seen many changes and updates along the way. Whether you’re a new or old fan of the series, there’s no doubt that DRAGON BALL Z is one of the most popular anime ever worldwide and it’s no surprise that it has a huge following in India too.

With Ankur Javeri behind the voice of Goku, Dragon Ball with its Hindi dubbing became a cult classic series that we’ve all grown to know and love in India. He embodied the spirit of Goku perfectly – he was strong yet gentle, wise yet impulsive, and always heroic.

His voice brought the anime series Dragon Ball to life in India, and generations of fans grew up watching the adventures of Goku and his friends. 

Now, with the release of the latest Dragon Ball Super series in India, fans all over the country are excited to watch it again! Such good news!

And in the meantime of all this good news we’ve been hearing lately, Indian Anime Network had the opportunity to talk to the legendary Dragon Ball voice actor of Goku himself about his experience working on the show and what it was like to play such a massively popular & iconic character.

Ankur Ji shared some insights into his preparation for each performance and gave us a glimpse into his personal life. We were able to ask him about his thoughts on the recent revival of the series, and what he thought would be the best way to continue its success.

Q&A with Legendary Hindi Voice Actor Of Goku Ankur Javeri:

1 What kind of work is “Dragon Ball Z” for Mr. JAVERI.?

AJ: I was dubbing this series from 2006-2010. Dubbed 250 episodes and 13 movies for CNI telecast versions. At that time I never knew that this series will have such a great impact on today’s generation, as back then the mothers hated this series and called it Violent.

So we were asked to even tone down the fight scenes so we thought this series is a goner compared to other successful shows but when in 2020 I joined social media I noticed that people still remembered this series and loved me as the Indian voice of Goku. It’s more demanding than all other shows owing to the character traits of Goku that he powers up and roars a lot hahaha.

2. Which characteristic of Goku attracts you the most?

AJ: Goku never gives up and looks for a way out to win in any and every situation but in a positive way, never to demean the opposition, I think that is the one thing that everyone should relate to in real life. Goku never wants to finish his enemy for no reason, he lets the enemy have his second chance and encourages positivity. Something that I follow too.

3. Does Goku influence Mr. Javeri in real life? If yes, can you please tell us his contribution to your life?

AJ: I think yes, my many fans and friends tell me that your characteristics are like Goku as we all know Goku is so powerful and despite winning so many battles he yet never shows off nor gets the wrong attitude towards the way forward also he is always eager to learn & grow.

The same way people tell me that after spending more than 37 years in the Indian voice industry and dubbing so many great projects you are always humble and helpful towards everyone, some also tell me your smile is so innocent, just like GOKU’s, and that really really embarrasses me.

4. It’s been 17/18 years since you started the TV anime Dragon Ball Z. How was your first reaction when you came to know that you were going to play the lead role in the series?

AJ: When the dubbing studio for DBZ approached me to audition for Goku I was at that time also the vice president of the Association of Voice Artists (AVA) and was the voice of many many leading brands in advertising and many movies too, but I still gave my 100% while dubbing for Goku.

Despite the fact that in India it was not a mainstream superhit show like many others think. So what I had in my hands was sheer commitment & dedication. And I’m glad to know that the popularity of Anime & DBZ transcended to the next generation too. And the Dragonball Fans loved it.

Proud to say that Hey all of us sloughed for it guys. Do give all my fellow voice artists as much love as they all deserve every bit of this fandom.

5. What scene still stays with you even today? Like if you have any favorite scenes or highlights in the series!

AJ: A couple of them. When Gohan and Cell engage in their fighting finale & Gohan is about to lose the battle and is on the verge of giving up at that time Goku encourages him with a motivational speech. That was very touching. Also when Goku and Goten meet for the first time that was a very heartwarming scene too I feel.

6. Was there any specific pattern of preparation before you started recording the dubbing for the character?

AJ: Not in particular but there used to be a lot of roars in many episodes of Dragon Ball Z. Unlike our USA counterpart who dubbed just 1 episode a week, we used to dub 5 a week and that’s a lot of hard work.

So before entering the studio, I used to ask the supervisors that how much I need to shout today because of so much yelling and shouting my vocal folds were completely damaged for almost 15 days and all my better-paying jobs took a hit too.

I had the option even back then to say: pls get this done by someone else and move on but despite all odds, I dubbed all the episodes and movies for the channel and fans.

As that is the commitment I have always followed for all my jobs, big or small.

7. What leads you to voice acting? How did you get into voice acting?

AJ: It was in 1985 when I was working as a child artist in many famous tv serials like Mahabharat, Stone Boy, and many more Movies too. My first film Dhoomketu was with Mr. Manohar Mahajan Ji and he was a stalwart voice artist and ruling radio Ceylon in Srilanka.

He encouraged me to become a child voice actor too as back then voicing wasn’t really a profession for kids but more like a hobby and he introduced me to one of the main voice casting agencies Words & Voices. And I was a hit with the advertising field as a child voice. Maybe I had some decent talent I would say. LOL

8. Do you ever use your voice acting emulating someone else to mess with people?

AJ: Hahaha yes. For a brief span of time, my sister was friends with the great Sachin Tendulkar and when he had called on the landline I spoke to him in his tone and he was so kind that he started laughing. Now when I think of it I still feel embarrassed about what I did. He was soooo cute and laughed it off in his typical hahaha style. God of Cricket hi nahi, Godly persona I would say.

9. What encouraged you the most to become a voice artist in the first place?

AJ: The most amazing thing about voicing is that you get to be a new character each day. Every new project has its own hurdles and the creative satisfaction is immense that’s my biggest drive.

10. If you can play any other character apart from Goku what would be that?

AJ : At the cost of sounding too philosophical but this is how my nature is, I feel my industry has a lot of talented people and each one should get a chance to dub as the main character for different Anime’s.

So I don’t want to sound like I’m pre-booking any character. But if I suit something then I’ll be happy to do it. Or else, let all my industry and many talented Fan dubber friends also get a chance to dub in Animes. I’m happy with just Goku.

11. What advice would you give to someone who has an interest in voice acting?

AJ: During our times it was about focusing on Talent but the way I’m coming across some wanna-be’s on social media I would say focus on being humble first to be a good creative talent. Coz our field is flooded with talent and “arrogance” or the “I know it all” approach won’t get you anywhere.

Once you have crossed this level 1 which is the basic, then…Work on your skills and practice regularly these days you have YouTube and other voice acting courses that are so easily available even online so you should join them and polish your skills. And think hard if u want to do this for the rest of your life. Once you have decided give yourself 3yrs to experiment, learn & make a mark.

12. If Mr. Javeri was not into voice acting what carrier would he choose?

AJ : I think I would have been a film director or an actor because as you all know I had worked a lot as a child artist and had also assisted Mr. Mahesh Bhatt in his film Tamanna. And I love how directors think – the captain of the ship.

13. Did you ever regret playing any character in your carrier?

AJ : You didn’t expect me to say Goku for all the roars and screams I have to perform and India doesn’t have those budgets which a 1st world country has, did u? Hahaha. Nope. Each job is an experience. The more the experience more the learning and polishing of the craft.

I’ve dubbed in over 200 films & serials as a leading voice. Over 1,000 commercials as a Brand Voice and over 10,000 channel promos as the main channel voice of Disney, Star Sports, Hotstar, Zee5, &TV, and many other channels.

Be it, Leonardo di Caprio, in ‘Titanic‘, Goku in ‘Dragon Ball Z’, Andrew Garfield in ‘Spiderman No Way Home’, Anakin Skywalker in ‘Star Wars’, Paul Walker in ‘Fast & the Furious 1&2’, Al Pacino in ‘The Godfather’, The Animated Kwality Walls Paddle Pop Lion, The animated Kinderino of Kinderjoy or the voice of Virat Kohli for 12yrs for most of his commercials.

It’s all been a wonderful learning process. But I’m gonna still strive harder and do better.

14. What’s the best and worst part of being a voiceover artist?

AJ : Best: Every day a new challenge. Everyday new excitement

Worst: we are not as recognized and loved as voicing celebrities in the 1st world countries. In fact, we don’t even get credit mentions for many jobs that we do.

15. Dragon Ball has come back to India after a decade-long interval, how’s the emotional turmoil during the whole journey?

AJ: The only thing negative is the haters and the people who insist that Japanese and English are better than Hindi. See it’s very simple, established voice artists like us don’t really need to dub Anime as the budgets are low compared to other content but we are trying to do it only to help the community grow.

So the haters need to understand that by them being biased negatively it’s only hampering more content coming in India and if they start being open-minded and supportive, which is how they are abroad towards their own artists, only then will we see better content & superior dubbing facilities here too for Anime.

Having said that…this series has always been close to my heart and I spent two years trying to bring it in Hindi, so now as the series is here, I would like to thank the entire positive Anime fandom for their love and support and my industry friends like Abhishek Dutta of CNI, Seaon Dcosta the dubbing director of DBZ, Neshma Chemburkar, Rajashrie Sharma, Prasad Barve, Rajesh Kava, and all the voice actors of DBZ who have also been my strength and helped me through this journey.

A special mention to all the Anime YouTubers to keep this community alive and asking me to help them get this here. Kudos to all of them.

Ankur Javeri has an impressive voice-acting career that spans almost four decades. He has achieved success both in India and overseas, and his voice is truly unique. From giving voice to Hindi tv series to critically acclaimed Hollywood blockbusters, Ankur’s repertoire is wide-ranging.

Among his lengthy list of credits, he’s best known in the anime community for playing Goku in the Dragon Ball franchise, but anime aside he’s lent his voice in countless foreign and domestic films & tv series.

He voiced Peter Pevensie in the Hindi dubbed version of the film Chronicles of Narnia, Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four franchise, The Iceman in X-Men, Eddie Brock or the Venom in the movie Spiderman-3, Jack Dawson in Titanic, Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Arjun in Mahabharat(1988), and the list goes on. 

Furthermore, he’s also been a part of Hindi dubbing of Power Rangers Dino Thunder, Power Rangers SPD, Power Rangers Samurai, and Power Rangers Super Samurai series.  So it was such an honor for us to interview such a person.

We want to thank Ankur Javeri for sitting down with us for a few minutes to talk about his career and the many stories he’s been a part of. He was one of the kindest and most open-hearted people we’ve interviewed.

He clearly loves his career and the community that makes it all possible. His energy is infectious and the care he puts into every aspect of his work is heartwarming. We wish him nothing but the best of luck in the future and hope to see him in many more anime for years to come and look forward to sitting down and talking with him again.

What about you? What did you think of our interview? Did you learn any new and interesting tidbits about Ankur Javeri? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to join him on his insta handle “@ankurjaveri“, fan made YouTube channel : “Ankur Javeri Official” or on his official Facebook page to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, news and more about the ever-growing voice acting industry.

Thank you for reading.

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