‘Attack on Titan’ voice actor admits they “Don’t know the entire story”

Attack on Titan Thumb
by Keane eacobellis

The voices of Attack on Titan’s Jaeger brothers took to the main hall at Anime NYC today in a panel about the show’s final season. Bryce Papenbrook, the voice of Jaeger, joined Jason Liebrecht, the voice of Zeke, joined Matt Acevedo to discuss their characters and the show. Papenbrook also voices Kirito in Sword Art Online.

One of the topics that came up during their conversation was how neither of the actors have read the manga or script ahead of recording.

“I have not read ahead of where we are in the anime,” Papenbrook admitted while discussing the final season. “Neither have I,” Liebrecht added.

That means that they’re performing the characters without entirely understanding their motivations. It makes the final season compelling for each actor as they are learning more about their characters. On one memorable scenes in which Eren lashes out against his allies, Papenbrook says he doesn’t really know why Eren is doing what he does.

“I don’t know the entire story. I don’t know why Eren is doing this, I just know he’s trying to hurt them in that moment. And I think in hurting them I hurt everyone that watched the show.”

But as machinations reveal themselves ahead of the shows climactic conclusion, the actors themselves are trying to keep up. On learning about Grisha’s plans for Eren and Zeke, Papenbrook shared the he’s unsure where its all headed.

The interesting thing is I don’t fully understand. I don’t have a full comprehension of all of that. So I’m seeing parts and snippets of this, like that’s what makes it so exciting. I cannot wait to find out and learn all these new things and see how this plays out.”

It’s common practice that voice actors record a script while reading it for the first time, which means some reactions to big revelations are genuine for the actors who are themselves self-professed fans of the show and story. Liebrecht shared how it feels to record through “one mind blow after another:”

For those of us who don’t read ahead and like to experience it in real time, have that honest, truthful initial impulse. And hopefully that first take, that one that’s really genuine is the one that gets used. 

Given the admission, you won’t be surprised to know that Papenbrook and Liebrecht are looking forward to watching and recording part 2 of the final season, airing on Crunchyroll and Funimation in January. When asked what they’re expecting, both said they’d be better of not guessing.

“I can never guess cus I’m always guessing wrong, but I know we’re gonna get some action,” Papenbrook says. “What I know is that any expectation I have will be complete turned on its head,” Liebrecht adds. “If I were to guess, I’d be wrong, there’s no question. That’s been the case pretty much 100% of the time. This show specializes in defying your expectations.”

What do you think of how little the voice actors know going into recording for Attack on TItan? Let us know in the comments!