Inside a jam packed convention hall is an army of Heroes fans wearing ‘I am Sylar’ t-shirts. Next to them are Star Wars troopers, Daleks and Naruto cosplay kids. In the middle of this mostly sci-fi mayhem is Vic Mignogna, the voice behind Full Metal Alchemist’s Edward Elric, and most recently, the charming Tamaki Suoh from Ouran High School Host Club. AUKN grabbed Vic for ten minutes at the London Film and Comic Con for an impromptu interview at his autograph table.
FMA dealt with a lot of shocking themes, about human nature, destruction and the will to survive. What do you think has been the biggest thing you have learnt from the series?
(Vic Mignogna) Somebody asked me one time, if you could sum up Full Metal Alchemist in one word, what would it be? I really thought about that, because there are so many themes and the word that I think I decided on was sacrifice. That everything in life requires sacrifice, that theme is carried out in so many ways throughout that series. And I think I walked away from it having a real sense of the sacrifice involved between all the different characters and everything we do in life. If it’s of any value, it’s going to require some sacrifice on our part.
In the movie version, Edward travels to an alternate reality. If you found a gateway to another world, what kind of place would you like it to be?
I suppose I would like it to be more like the world that God had intended for this one to be. You know, a world void of greed and I don’t mean the Homunculus Greed, greed in general, anger, hatred, I think that would be a pretty wonderful world. But unfortunately, I think that world only exists in fiction and fantasy.
Globally, FMA has been a huge success, now Brotherhood is taking it to a new and younger generation. In ten years time, what kind of legacy do you think FMA will leave behind?
You know, it will be very interesting to see what happens with the new series. I don’t know a lot about the story arc of the new series, I know that it follows the manga more closely. I’ve heard that it’s darker and heavier. All of us who worked on the original are just kind of hoping, we hope that the new series holds up to the love for the old series. I hope it doesn’t detract in any way.
What was it like leaving the role of Edward behind and finally hanging up that red alchemist coat?
Well, as long as the fans are watching it and he is cosplayed at conventions, you never really leave a character behind. I’ve been talking about Ed since we finished the series so I am very excited to start the new series because you know, we’ve been talking about it, so now we get the chance to actually dive back into that world again.
Has it been confirmed that there will be an English dub?
Well it’s definitely going to be dubbed and I am certainly hoping and optimistic that I will be playing the character again. As long as I do conventions and fans want to talk about it, I’ve never really hung up the red coat.
How did you find the transition from being an alchemist to suddenly playing the Host Club king?
(Laughs) I fell in love with Tamaki before that show was even licensed. Caitlin Glass called me one day and said, you absolutely need to watch some of this series, it’s the funniest series, it’s so great. It’s called Ouran High School Host Club and you are Tamaki. She’s like, I know you Vic, we are best friends, you are Tamaki. So I was very curious to see who does Caitlin think I am. And I watched it and I was like, hmmm… I don’t know whether to be flattered or offended! But the more I watched it, I just fell in love with that character. It was very easy to get into that show because everything was so co- ordinated and it’s such an amazing cast, everyone in that show was so perfectly cast.
I’m going to be a bit cheeky here, Tamaki is a bit of a ladies’ man, how similar do you think you are to him in real life?
(Laughs) I only wish that I was as smooth as Tamaki.
I think your fans might disagree with you.
I think they just love Tamaki, they see me as Tamaki, but in real life, I don’t think anybody is as smooth as he is! (Laughs)
After the comments your best friend said, do you feel that you are a lot like Tamaki or are you more like another member of the host club?
Well, you know, I suppose I am like him in some ways. I’m like him in that I have a real passion for life, I’m very enthusiastic and I am very animated – pardon the pun. And I love relationships, I love friendships. I didn’t have a very big family and Tamaki certainly doesn’t have a very great family relationship, so I identified in many ways with him. He was an awesome role to play.
There are a lot of your fans on the forum, do you have any final message that you would like to say?
As boring as it may be, my message is always the same and that is a heartfelt thank you. I am so grateful to God for the gift to be able to do something that I love and that I have so many people that enjoy and support what I do. So all I can do is say thank you from the bottom of my heart, for making it possible for me to do what I do and for being so loving and encouraging. And I only hope that I can give back as much of that love and encouragement to the fans as they give me.
Anime UK News would like to say a special thanks to Vic Mignogna for making this interview possible. Vic has also kindly autographed a picture of Ed to give away to one lucky fan. For your chance to win, simply answer the following question: What’s the name of Ed’s brother in FMA? Yes, we know it’s an easy question! Send your answer to: firstname.lastname@example.org by August 01.