INTERVIEW: Bringing Jin Mori to Life with Robbie Daymond

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The God of High School Robbie Daymond
Jin Mori in The God of High School, voiced in the English Dub by Robbie Daymond.

Crunchyroll Original The God of High School is the anime adaptation of the WEBTOONS comic by Yonje Park of the same name. In the anime, we follow Jin Mori and his two friends Yoo Mira and Han Daewi as they compete to win the titular “God of High School” tournament in Seoul. Mori is a character with a Goku-like enthusiasm and drive to become stronger. In the tournament for the love of the fight, Mori is highly skilled and looking to only get better. The heart of the friend group, Mori also has sharp changes in his attitude. From jolly to serious, Mori is a character that consistently displays often contradicting range of emotions that drive the story of The God of High School forward. Voiced by Tatsumaru Tachibana in the Japanese version of the series, which is now in episode eight, today marks the debut of the English dub on Crunchyroll where Robbie Daymond takes up the task of bringing Mori to life.

While studio MAPPA’s animation is phenomenal, it’s the voice actors in any anime that truly bring the story to life. We got the chance to speak with Daymond about his role as Mori and what exactly goes into voice acting drama sequences versus action ones. Daymond’s credits prior to Mori in The God of High School include Peter Parker in Spider-Man (2017-2020), Alan Sylvasta in Netflix’s BNA, Haganezuka in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba, Killer T Cell in Cells at Work! and many many more.

BUT WHY THO: What attracted you to The God of High School and Jin Mori specifically?

ROBBIE DAYMOND: I feel like this is a show that I would actually watch. I’ve been in so many projects that I don’t always have time to sit and watch or play them. For this anime, I started previewing episodes in Japanese and realized quickly it was my type of show. I’m really stoked about the fight sequences that just keep getting more and more epic. The show itself is already getting so deep so quickly! The characters keep growing in this expansive world– I can’t wait to see where it goes. I also love the comedy aspects of it, they’ve become the most enjoyable part of recording for me.

BWT:  How much of your own personality do you put into Mori?

DAYMOND: That’s a tricky thing, isn’t it? How much of ourselves do we put into any role? Obviously, it’s my voice, so if you know my work you’re probably going to recognize me. Hopefully, though, I’ll take all of the imaginary circumstances of the GOH world and play those honestly in my moment-to-moment performance of Mori to the point where you’ll forget it’s me, even if you know it is. That’s every actor’s goal I suppose. I’ve played around with a few different things that I’m liking so far for his character, but there’s a little splash of me in there, of course. Especially if you know my sense of humor.

BWT: Mori is such an accomplished fighter and has some of the most intense moments in the series, what goes into voice action sequences versus standard dialogue?

DAYMOND: The action sequences are the most vocally demanding. They’re often filled with emotion in addition to the inherently vocally stressful nature of yelling, so that can be taxing. With this show, we’ve been recording it in chronological order so those moments may come at any time. BUT, I have always wanted to be the protagonist in an action-heavy anime series. I’m going to do whatever I can to make it sound as dope as possible.

BWT: How do you balance Mori’s happy and Goku-like demeanor with the moments where he gets serious? It seems like it would be a sharp shift to do.

DAYMOND: Those sharp shifts are actually my favorite part of the show! When Mori gets to be comedic and then he shifts immediately into a serious tone, it is so fun as a performer. I feel like that’s something that I do well. I like playing characters that have a really big dichotomy in their personality – it makes it so much more enjoyable to voice! He’s light, silly and happy-go-lucky and sometimes sentimental, but when it comes time to fight, it’s all business. But that’s one of the things I love about Goku too; he’s an idiot! A super bad-ass idiot! I’m kidding. Kind of. Please don’t come at me Goku stans, haha!

BWT: What has been your favorite scene or episode to voice so far?

DAYMOND: We’re not that far along just yet, but I will say, my favorite scene so far has been the opening motorcycle/bicycle chase. It’s just so ridiculous and loud. I love the slapstick comedy and how it endears you to the characters right away. There are some other similar scenes to that one later, but this one is the longest and craziest so far!

Robbie Daymond has a long history of bringing amazing characters to life on screen and now, fans get to experience his skill in The God of High School. Getting a chance to see what elements of the series Daymond loves, and how he sees Jin Mori is the perfect way to get ready to see him take on the role. The English dub of The God of High School Episode 1, “Set Up/Stand Up” is out now, with new dubbed episodes premiering every Monday on Crunchyroll.

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