Anime Expo 2012
Madoka Magica Panel
by Carlo Santos,
Left to right: Christine Marie Cabanos, Sarah Williams, Carrie Keranen, Lauren Landa, Cristina Vee, Cassandra Lee.
The Madoka Magica panel began with a bit of fun as the hosts handed out cardboard masks of Kyubey (the series' animal mascot) at the door, then took a photo of the entire crowd wearing the masks. After that, panel MC Kyle Hebert introduced the main guests: English voice cast members Christine Marie Cabanos (Madoka), Sarah Williams (Sayaka), Carrie Keranen (Mami), Lauren Landa (Kyoko), Cristina Vee (Homura), and Cassandra Lee (Kyubey). After some opening remarks from the panelists, Hebert ran down a list of the fans' favorite episodes by popular vote:
3rd) Episode 3, "I'm not afraid of anything anymore"
2nd) Episode 12, "My very best friend"
1st) Episode 10, "I won't rely on anyone anymore"
The guests then spoke about their respective roles. All of the actresses said that they could relate to the characters in some way—except for Kyubey, thank goodness—reflecting the complexity of the characters in the show.
Next was a "Please say that line" segment where the panelists each delivered memorable lines from the show. Then to put a twist on things, they did a "character swap" where the actresses would recite someone else's lines instead. Even Hebert got in on the fun and did one of Kyubey's lines in a comical, out-of-character voice.
Of course, it wouldn't be Madoka Magica without everyone taking a stab at the show's most famous line: "I want you to make a contract with me and become a magical girl!" The voices got more ridiculous as they went down the table (Vee even said hers in Spanish), and in the end the audience was asked to vote for their favorite performance by cheering. Lee eventually came out on top, laying claim to her role as Kyubey—although it did require a tiebreaker before deciding on who was the best "magical girl recruiter."
The panel audience was then treated to a video reel of never-before-seen dub bloopers. As expected, this got plenty of laughs—and unfortunately marked the end of the panel. But it was clear that the audience had a lot of fun celebrating all things Madoka Magica.
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