on Jan 5, 2006
Steven Jay Blum is a busy guy. Odds are that if you play video games or watch anime, you’ve heard him, even if you’ve never heard of him. He’s most famous for doing the voice work for Spike Spiegel in the Anime series Cowboy Bebop. (English dub, of course.)
For example, in just the first half-hour of the game he shows up as five different characters. You find him first in the kitchen, as the voice of fellow squad member K. Miller. (This is his “major” role in the game, the one for which he’s actually credited) Just a few minutes later you arrive at Mars Underground, and he’s the voice of the guy running the security checkpoint who issues you your sidearm. A few minutes later, you pass a couple of guys doing maintainence work at some conduit. The guy at the far end of the conduit (the guy you can’t see) is again voiced by Blum. From there, you move on the the old comm building and things go sideways. On the way back to Mars Underground (between the airlocks) you get a message from the leader of “fireteam two” who is again voiced by Blum. And finally, once you get back to Mars City there is the guy who lowers the ladder and says, “I can’t believe I found you. I thought I was the only one left alive!” There is Blum again, the fifth time you’ve encountered his voice since you hit the “New Game” button about half an hour ago. Keep playing and you’ll run into him again once you reach Alpha Labs – He’s voicing the guy who’s nearly dead by the exit airlock. I think at this point they give Blum a break, since you don’t run into him again until you rejoin K. Miller just outside the Enpro Plant.
I decided to look up Blum and see what else he’s done. Check out his huge list of appearances. I count about 180 since 1990. That’s an average of 12 parts a year, or a new part and a new character once every month. Actually, since in both anime and games making an “appearance” means playing a half-dozen or so parts, (like the Doom example above) then it means that Blum probably plays over a hundred characters every couple of years. That’s a lot of characters.
It looks like he started out with small TV appearances in the 80’s, moved on to Anime in the 90’s, and has been doing a steady mix of video games and Anime over the last 10 years. According to this site, he’s also famous for 7-11 commercials. I wouldn’t know about that: I don’t have anything to do with TV or radio unless football is on. Still, this is one busy guy.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.