INTERVIEW: Tsundere and Han Daewi with Sean Chiplock

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god of high school - Han Daewi - Sean Chiplock

The Crunchyroll Original anime The God of High School is an adaptation of the WEBTOON by Yongje Park of the same name. The first season is centered on Jin Mori, and the two friends he makes Yoo Mira and Han Daewi during the titular “God of High School” tournament. While it’s clear that Mori is the focus of the story, the series also shines a light on the other characters. While episode 4 focused on Yoo Mira, episode 5 belongs to Daewi. It dove into his background, his emotions, and began to turn the cold tsundere to a friend looking to connect. We got the chance to ask Sean Chiplock, the voice bringing the character to life in the English Dub.

In this interview, we dive into how Sean Chiplock approaches the character of Daewi, the nuances of how to voice a tsundere character, and episode 5, “ronde/hound.” Chiplock’s work in voice acting is extensive, you’ve heard in everything from video games like The Last of Us II and Persona 5 Royal to hit anime like the Netflix Original Dorohedoro as Shin, RE: Zero – Starting Life in Another World as Natsuki, and so much more.

But Why Tho: What attracted you to The God of High School and Han Daewi specifically?

Sean Chiplock: Actors actually don’t usually have a say when it comes to what projects (or even characters) we’re given opportunities to audition for, so it often comes down to making the most of what we’re given and finding ways to embrace each role’s unique offerings while drawing upon our own life experience. I’m always eager to challenge myself in exploring attitudes that I don’t normally exhibit in my day-to-day, and Daewi definitely gives that chance to do more without necessarily having to say more at the same time.

BWT:  What goes into playing a Tsundere character? How do you evolve your voice acting as the character evolves his openness?

Chiplock: Tsundere is about subtlety. The very core of that type of character is that what they’re saying and doing isn’t the full story behind why they carry themselves a certain way. If a tsundere were merely aggressive and snide, they would be seen as bratty; if they were purely lovestruck and submissive, that might be more befitting of “moe”. It’s the balance of trying to give off a certain aura without scaring off the object of their affection (whether platonic or otherwise) that makes tsundere characters interesting, and properly representing a character that embodies this trope means understanding not just how they act a certain way, but why.

BWT:  Episode 5 is one of the most emotional ones of the entire series and that’s because of Daewi. Did you feel any pressure bringing that vulnerability to the character and his story?

Chiplock: Thankfully, I have both past professional experience and my own life experience playing into a sort of “calm acceptance” when it comes to emotionally intense developments such as the ones shown in Episode 5. I’ve had no shortage of characters – Subaru Natsuki, Cassim, and Guido Mista being examples – who deal with traumatizing events and emotions that shape their personalities and their personal goals. Of course I do always carry a little concern with making sure I accurately portray those emotions and subtleties (I wouldn’t call myself a professional if I didn’t!), but for a character like Daewi who doesn’t often show his cards as easily as Jin Mori does, these vulnerabilities are incredibly important to establishing him as a meaningful character.

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

Chiplock: I genuinely enjoy any scene where Daewi actually gets to follow up his words with his physical willpower. When you see a character bottle up their emotions and tension so often, those rare moments when they’re able to go all-out in order to protect what they care about are incredibly exciting. Given that I also have always been fond of more emotionally intense scenes in anime, being able to give life to them for English dubs is a personal favorite!

BWT: What do you think is the most important thing about Daewi as a character?

Chiplock: Daewi is an important reminder that you don’t always have to lay all your cards out in the open to be considered an interesting character; in fact, convincing audiences to follow along on your journey just to have some of your mysteries solved over time often leads to a higher overall level of attachment and respect in the end.

As Han Daewi continues to become a fan favorite with his tsundere sad boy characteristics, his place in the story is becoming even greater. After learning about Sean Chiplock’s excitement for his role as the character, I can’t wait to see what else Daewi is going to bring for fans who are watching the English Dub. As my favorite character of the series, hearing the process behind how he gets his voice only deepens my appreciation.

The God of High School is currently streaming on Crunchyroll with new English Dubs airing every Monday afternoon.

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