Before you probably yawn and ask why you need yet another “anime character that some celebrity I didn’t know played” – this article is not about that, but mostly about every of us, and the definition of luck.
Since his teenage years, a certain young lad liked doing voice acting attempts. At first it was just for fun, but then he realised he most certainly enjoys this, and he went to the acting school. Time flied, and he started a gaming Youtube channel for living – but never dropped the voice acting goal. Working fulltime on your Youtube channel is same time and energy consuming as any other job – yet, the lad kept spending certain amount of time to improve his voice acting skills and tried himself in small projects.
First those were voice acting roles in mods for videogames or voice of certain characters in other Youtube videos, then – various indie games or small cartoons. That was already not bad, but not enough to get to the professional stage either.
Couple years ago, he moved to Los Angeles in attempt to pursue his goal on a new level. He started working as an actual voice actor, and at some point, the stroke of luck hit which brings us to the current events.
Does this guy ring a bell?
If you're into anime and/or JoJo's Bizarre Adventure specifically, and are up to date with the manga or current anime adaptation, no further presentation is needed. That's Enrico Pucci, an enigmatic and charismatic priest and the main antagonist in JoJo Stone Ocean.
Voice of Pucci in English dub of the season belongs to a voice actor whom you most likely know as a gaming news youtuber - and if you don't, you probably saw his videos at least a few times if you're looking for the latest gaming news on Youtube. Yet, definitely not one of the main voice in JoJo Stone Ocean.
This youtuber is YongYea, who has a few mentions of his voice acting endeavours on the channel, but I personally was not aware of this despite watching him for years – until I stumbled on the named videos when directly looking through his channel content.
I don’t watch dubbed anime, so I was not aware of this – but even if I would be watching this one in dub, I’d not recognize him anyway. I wouldn’t simply because how stunningly well Yong nailed Pucci’s character, emotions and spirit. It’s nearly impossible to recognize that “average dude” voice which tells you about yet another Activision Blizzard disaster in the deep, fanatical and evilly charming voice of Pucci you hear.
This wasn’t enough for me to switch for dub for this season, but was surely enough to clearly understand that the level of passion behind this character voice is not smaller than the amount of hard work put into honing voice acting skills for years. There’s a bad voice acting, there’s a good voice acting, and there is a voice acting when you see the actor not just plays the character – they become one.
Yong did a few noticeable voiceovers for some videogames and cartoons during his career, but a jump from roles in projects like Fallout 4 mod “Sim Settlements“, The Island of Giant Insects anime or even fairly successful indie colony sim, Per Aspera, to a role of a main protagonist in JoJo Stone Ocean – currently, world’s one of the most anticipated anime seasons, is absolutely phenomenal.
That’s a moment when most of you, dear readers, and, probably, myself included, would say – “how lucky he is!”. But…
While fortune definitely smiled to Yong (which he doesn’t deny himself in the video describing this), this role didn’t just landed on his head out of nowhere.
Of course, there’s always a tiny chance one can win 50 million dollars in a lottery, be the first one to invent a social network with an ugly interface which will be later used by billions, or find an oilfield when taking a dump in the desert – a pure, uncut luck exists. Yet, here it didn’t just came out of nowhere – vice versa, the once a boy with a dream was moving to it – doing a little steps which he could not take a faith or find enough energy to do.
He became quite a big youtuber already a few years ago. Could simply choose to not pursue the dream and work on something which gives monthly income already – but he worked hard in addition to his main job. Possibly could say to himself – “well, I’m financially stable enough, there’s no need to overwork myself and risk”. But he didn’t. He could decide to not take uncomfortable, and financially risky decision to move to the huge city – and just keep doing what he loved to on amateur/indie level. But he took his chances and moved – and when the opportunity appeared on the horizon, he was ready to run to it.
Luck in pure form exists. But most of the cases of luck we see everyday and everywhere, are built from so much more than the luck itself. Luck doesn’t come to everyone – but you can come to it instead. Luck happens when the passion, tenacity and preparation meet the opportunity. Without those, your chances to get lucky are as tiny as ants compared to a mountain – and even if you get lucky, you will be most likely unsure of what to do with it, which will end with possibility it opened, simply slipping through the fingers.
Did YongYea catch the fortune smile? Surely. But he would be never able to do so without the huge amount of work, passion, and probably, most importanly – a long series of hard, and sometimes boring – but right decisions, which paved the road to this one of a kind role.
I can only pay my respects to Yong’s passion and tenacity – and be wholeheartedly happy for his career growth. And when the rest of the part 6 comes out, I’ll be eagerly waiting to see him saying (spoilers alert) “Made in Heaven!!“.
Below you can watch Yong’s own story about coming to this role – but before watching JoJo Stone Ocean, please make sure to watch parts 1 to 5. It’s more than worth it.