AnimeWorld Insider sat down with Little Kuriboh, best known for his voice acting in the Yu Gi Oh abridged series. We asked all the questions you’ve been dying to know, from what got him started to how convention life differs from normal life. You’re going to notice Little Kuriboh isn’t as boring as he thinks and is definitely not as shy as his stage name suggests.
AnimeWorld Insider: If you were to ever do Pokemon abridged, will you change your name to little Pikachu?
Little Kuriboh: Hah! Funny. I actually made a tweet about that the other day because Snoop Dog, the rapper, just changed his name to Snoop Lion, and as a joke, I said, “Well, now I’m a little Pikachu!”
AnimeWorld Insider: What got you started with doing Yu Gi Oh Abridged?
Little Kuriboh: Because that’s what I was into at the time. It’s really strange to admit because, obviously, when people say they grew up on these shows, I didn’t. I kind of already grew up and then shows came on the air and I got into it very late. I got into it ended actually—I think I was twenty-four. So I was a twenty-four-year-old watching Yu Gi Oh. My original experience with it was I was watching Pokemon, fondly enough, in the morning and it was on before Pokemon. And I was always tuning in for the last five minutes of the show and I was getting confused by what was happening because it was a confusing show. I got into it by watching it right before Pokemon and I loved it. I loved the characters and I thought what better way to express that than by making fun of it. So that was how it happened.
AnimeWorld Insider: Did you think that Yu Gi Oh Abridged would get so popular?
Little Kuriboh: I still hear people saying I just started watching your stuff and I’m like this is stuff I started like six years ago. It must be something everybody kinda gets when they get famous or whatever. But I genuinely am very humbled by it and it always blows my mind because like when I started coming to conventions, I thought people aren’t going to be that interested in seeing me or watching my show and it’s always a huge turn out and people are always very passionate about it. And it’s crazy because I feel very honored about it because I’m known to be a fan and it’s always a strange situation to be in because I’m amongst fans in conventions and to be a name among the other voice actors and guests and everything, I feel really out of place, but I’m very happy to be here.
AnimeWorld Insider: Going off of that, from a fan’s perspective, what’s kind of like the best experience for say for like being invited to be a guest?
Little Kuriboh: Oh, lots of those. As a general fan of anime I think getting to meet the director of some of my favorite crazy anime—“Nabashin”…Shinichi Watanabe—and the crazy thing is I met him in Australia the first time when we sat down to dinner and we ate and it was a huge honor. But then, I actually saw him at Anime Midwest about a month ago and he actually remembered me, which is the craziest thing if you think that of all the people he’d remember, he remembered me. And he just kind of wagged his fingers like don’t make fun of my show, which was very hilarious because that was very him.
AnimeWorld Insider: What’s the farthest you’ve gone for a convention because we know you live in England?
Little Kuriboh: Actually, I live out here now. I live in LA.
AnimeWorld Insider: Oh, then how is it different moving to LA and adjusting over here?
Little Kuriboh: It’s very different. Where I live, you can go anywhere just by walking, but you don’t really have anywhere to go. Over here, you have the world as your oyster, but you have no way of getting there unless you have transportation, so it’s very different. But I’ve been here—like you say—so many times for conventions so the culture shock is kind of gone by this point. It’s a great place and I love…I moved here to get married so I love the people. I love the person I’m with and I love the people that I encounter. I can’t ask for more. The furthest I’ve been for a convention would have to be…Australia is pretty far…but I just did Finland four weeks ago , which I was actually traveling longer than I was there. I was there for twenty-four hours. I was traveling for about twenty-eight both ways. It was fun and it was good to catch up with some old friends there, but it was very hectic and stressful, but it’s always worth it.
AnimeWorld Insider: Were there any other anime series that were kind of your gateway into anime?
Little Kuriboh: Oh, my gateway into anime was back in like the early 90s when people were passing around VHS tapes and they didn’t even call it anime at my school. They just called it adult cartoons or cartoons we shouldn’t be watching. The ones I got into…there was a show called Dominion Tank Police by Masamune Shirow who made Ghost in the Shell. Then I watched Tenchi Muyo, which was probably one of my favorites and it still is to this day. It was those shows that really opened my eyes and made me want to watch more. It was weird because when people think of Pokemon or Yu Gi Oh, they don’t really think of it in strict anime terms, but they do…Yu Gi Oh, especially is a very…it feels like a Japanese show to me, whereas Pokemon feels very kind of…a very different world…like it doesn’t really belong anywhere, but anyone can adopt it and that’s kind of why that’s why it’s so universally loved.
AnimeWorld Insider: You talked about how you were really humbled in regards to being part of the fans but also being one of the people that fans love. Like, obviously that goes to conventions, so normal life is going to be different from convention life. How does it feel to be able to adapt from convention life to normal life?
Little Kuriboh: It is weird. It certainly was very strange at first, especially back in England because I had a retail job and it was very, very boring and it was repetitive, although sometimes my fans would show up at my job and stuff…I got chased down the road from my work one time wearing my uniform by fan girls…I don’t know how many people can say that.
AnimeWorld Insider: That’s amazing! What did you tell your boss?
Little Kuriboh: Oh, it was after I finished work so it was all good.
AnimeWorld Insider: So at least they didn’t stalk you in the store.
Little Kuriboh: Yeah, I have had people come into the store being like where is the new episode is and it’s always strange, but, ah, my parents don’t really know what I do. I try to keep it on the down low. I’ve only really met two people that I know strictly in real life who have actually seen what I do and they’re always confused by it. So, I tend to just keep to myself. I’m a pretty shy, very quiet person, so really if anything is more of a shock is coming to these things and talking to hundreds of people and everything and then going back and being comfortable and safe. Not that I’m afraid of these things, it’s just that I’m in my comfort zone when I’m back home…
AnimeWorld Insider: You talked about trying to keep it on the down low, was there any specific reason for that?
Little Kuriboh: I don’t think so…I just don’t really like bragging or boasting about it. I didn’t tell my parents just because I…whenever I tell my parents about something I’m doing during my spare time, they’d always try to think of ways to make money out of it. And I don’t really want this to be one of those things. I sell T-shirts at conventions, but I don’t want it to be like a proper job-job. I’d much rather have this as a hobby and a fun thing I do every so often. I think I just don’t talk about it in general because I don’t really talk about myself in real life. I’m very, very boring.
AnimeWorld Insider: Nah, we’re definitely talking about some fun things here.
Little Kuriboh: Haha. Yeah, I guess.
AnimeWorld Insider: Did you expect that so many other Abridged spinoffs would occur after you did Yu Gi Oh abridged?
Little Kuriboh: I didn’t know and I didn’t really…I think probably part of my should have realized because there were people who were talking about doing…there was a Naruto abridged right after I did my thing. And people were always asking me to be in their videos and stuff. I didn’t really know how big the community was at that point. And it grew and it grew and then it sort of snow balled to the point where something like TeamFourStar, who do Dragon Ball Z abridged, they came into fruition around 2008, 2009—I think. Seeing them take off the way they have has made everything I’ve done worth it. I always say, “Even if my show were to be erased from the face of the Earth, as long as Dragon Ball Z abridged exists as a result of what I’ve done, then I’m happy”. I’m very happy because what they do is…it might as well be on TV. That’s how good it is, you know.
AnimeWorld Insider: Thank you for the interview!
We’d like to thank Little Kuriboh for his time at AWC!
Be sure to check out Little Kuriboh’s website! http://www.yugiohabridged.com/
You can also follow him on twitter: @yugiohtas