From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Save Our Voice Actors, commonly abbreviated SOVA, is a Pokémon community-driven campaign to bring back the original voice actors to the Pokémon anime instead of recasting them. It temporarily disbanded on February 18, 2009, but has been regrouping since 2011. Due to many characters being removed from the show, the group has shifted its focus on Veronica Taylor, in hopes that she may still regain her role as Ash Ketchum.
SOVA originally formed in 2006, after fans heard that The Pokémon Company International (aka TPCi) was going to replace the voice actors currently working with 4Kids Entertainment, starting with "The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon" special episode. This turned out to be an unfortunate side effect of doing business with a new dubbing company, with whom the actors couldn't transfer to due their commitment with 4Kids at the time. With the goal of campaigning for TPCi to return the 4Kids actors, we were well known throughout large Pokémon communities such as Bulbagarden and Serebii. In the end, TPCi continued to use new dub studio and voices anyway, despite the protests.
Today, we're working to rebuild SOVA and learn from our mistakes in order to continue expressing to the company that many fans still prefer the original actors. In today’s age of mass communication, TPCi needs a positive and supportive fanbase, and it’s vital that we continue to express our desires for Pokémon’s future. Moving forward with this kind of mentality is beneficial for the fandom and maintaining the quality of the franchise. To summarize, we stand by a few core values.
1: We're dedicated to supporting the 4Kids voice actors (primarily those whose respective characters are still on the show) and expressing our desire to see them on Pokémon again. No matter how much time has passed, as long as fans support them, these talented actors still have a chance to return.
2: We recognize the importance of maintaining contact with TPCi. They are a worldwide leader in the entertainment industry and fan feedback from all ages is extremely valuable and helps them to make wiser decisions for Pokémon. This in turn leads to better profits, and a more loyal fanbase.
3: We intend to show proper respect to fans with differing opinions, the current actors, TPCi, and the dub studio, regardless of where some of us stand with their decisions. Whatever happens along the road, we must remain headstrong and confident that we’re doing the right thing by reaching out to the company and each other.
Be sure to check out the How you can help, and FAQ tabs. You can also join the SOVA group page to chat with other members in Save Our Voice Actors. The main page here will be used primarily for announcements and information, or if you have questions/comments. Here at Save Our Voice Actors, there is one lesson learned from Pokémon that stands out here; strive to achieve your goals, and never give up!
Returning 4Kids voice actors
During the PUSA/TAJ dub, only five 4Kids actors played roles (not counting recycled stock footage from past episodes to voice certain Pokémon): Ken Gates (credited as Rodger Parsons), Kayzie Rogers (credited as Jamie Peacock, who initially left after Following a Maiden's Voyage!, returned in The Rise of Darkrai, credited under her real name again, and left again after Alola to a New Adventure!), Jimmy Zoppi (credited as Billy Beach), Matthew Mitler, and David Lapkin, who returned mid-season 10.
In 2008, PUSA switched dubbing studios from TAJ Productions to DuArt Film & Video.
Because DuArt's production budget wasn't as low as TAJ's, several former 4Kids voice actors began to return to the series. Initially, they were ones who had played only minor or recurring characters, such as Kayzie Rogers, Marc Thompson, Dan Green, and Amy Palant. However, in Lost Leader Strategy, Rachael Lillis voiced Maylene, and later Sunflora and Shinx, making her the first main cast member of the 4Kids dub to return to the series since the voice switch. Maddie Blaustein returned briefly before her death in 2008, voicing Chatot in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time & Darkness.
Only five voice actors have reprised their roles previously done in the 4Kids dub thus far. In The Thief That Keeps On Thieving!, Ted Lewis reprised the role of Giovanni, while Mike Pollock reprised the role of Raoul Contesta in Yes in Dee Dee, It's Dawn!. Much later, Bella Hudson, credited as Erica Schroeder, voiced an older Nurse Joy in The Island of Illusions!, and Sean Schemmel voiced Lucario in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U. Andrew Paull reprised the role of Steven Stone in Mega Evolution Special II.
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