Home > 2010/04 - 75th SJC - Edison, New Jersey > The BIGGEST Secret of the Weekend!!!

The BIGGEST Secret of the Weekend!!!

April 24th, 2010

Heading into a big event like this one, there are always lots of secrets. Secret decks, secret tech, and secret strategies abound, as everyone tries to protect the ideas and concepts that might make them a Champion. But here this evening at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, one man has a secret that trumps all the rest: he isn’t exactly who he seems. Greg Abbey has a secret identity that few at this tournament are privy to. Walk the tournament floor today, talk to the right people, and you may hear whispers of a rumor so unbelievable that some would question its truth. But make no mistake – the rumors are true.

…Greg Abbey is secretly Yusei Fudo.

He’s also Tristan Taylor from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! series. And a Ninja Turtle. In fact, voice actor Greg Abbey provides the vocal talent behind characters from countless cartoons, and today he and his son Dakota are attending their first-ever Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME tournament!

“I stumbled into this completely randomly,” explained Greg, laughing. “My son’s been asking me to play lately, so I found this tournament online.  I had no idea it was this giant tournament!” Greg and Dakota unwittingly walked into the biggest Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG tournament of all time, and have been blown away by the massive spectacle that is SHONEN JUMP Championship Edison. While 9 year-old Dakota competed in Round 3 of the Dragon Duel event, Greg kindly took some time to talk about his life as the voice of the 5D’s icon. The first question really wrote itself – is being a voice actor for hit cartoons as cool as it sounds?

“It’s a great job to have!” smiled Abbey. “It’s fun, the work itself is awesome to do, and I’ve met a lot of cool, creative people. Dan Green, who plays Yugi in the original – I became best friends with him. It’s fantastic, I feel really lucky.” Sounds awesome.

So how does a voice actor decide what voice to use for a given character? I asked Greg how he came up with the voice of Yusei Fudo, and the answer was sort of a surprise. “It’s funny, Yusei’s voice is actually just sort of my own voice, but heightened. Even Trisan’s voice is really close to my own.” As Greg explained, his tone and diction shifted mid-sentence into the familiar voice of Yusei Fudo. “I play one card face down, and end my turn!” Suddenly it was like Yusei was the one speaking, while mild-mannered Greg Abbey faded to the background. “It’s my voice, but slightly more dramatic and more pushed.”

“Raphael [the Ninja Turtle] is a little more charactery.” He went into Turtle-mode for a few moments, demonstrating some in-character quotes, and then continued. “Once I started working with 4Kids I did voices for Pokemon, Chaotic, F-Zero… I played Duke on GI Joe! I have some friends that can do a million different voices, but I think I’ve always gotten by on my acting. I usually end up with these straight leading guy characters, like Yusei.”

I asked Greg what Dakota thought of being Yusei Fudo’s son, drawing another laugh and a reply: “He thinks it’s cool, but he’s sort of nonplussed at this point. He’s unimpressed! I brought him down to the studio a lot, to 4Kids.”

At that point Dakota emerged triumphant from his Dragon Duel match, winning Round 3, and headed over to join the chat. Clearly riding high from his victory, he took a seat and I asked him about his impression of today’s event. “It’s very big! It’s really fun!” Dakota was wide-eyed, seemingly having almost too much fun. “I got some new cards: I just got Goblin Elite Attack Force and it won me my last match.” Dakota isn’t new to Dueling, but he is new to high-level Dueling competition. He’s just starting to build his skills.

“My deck isn’t really Warriors,” commented Dakota, “but it uses Warriors to try and Synchro Summon. I love Red Dragon Archfiend – it’s powerful, and the cool thing about it is that all my opponent’s Defense Position monsters are destroyed after it attacks.” Dakota’s favorite combo of the day was Hyper Synchron and a Level 4 Warrior, Synchro Summoning his favorite Synchro Monster.

Dakota’s Dad asked him if he’d want to go to another tournament in the future, to which Dakota shouted “YES!” He paused, considered how best to emphasize his enthusiasm, and then added “Exclamation point! I might come back tomorrow, too.” After an experience like this it was clear that Dakota was hooked.

And really, who could blame him? There are thousands of Duelists here today that are having the time of their Dueling lives, and none of them can claim that their Dad is Yusei Fudo. The biggest Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament of all time, AND your Dad is a famous Turbo Duelist?

Life doesn’t get much cooler than that.

Dakota, and Not-His-Favorite-Synchro-Monster