This past weekend Wonder Woman was released in North America and in many cities worldwide. This film has been a tremendous success. Over the past few days I’ve seen the follow bit of trivia more than once on Social Media:
For the Japanese dub of the film, Wonder Woman is voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi, best known as the voice of Sailor Moon. Like Wonder Woman, Sailor Moon is a princess heroine of divine heritage and based on Greco-Roman mythology.
The source of this information is the IMDB trivia page for the Wonder Woman film. I’m pretty sure this isn’t true! Kotono Mitsuishi did the voice over narration for the Japanese Wonder Woman trailer, which many news sources including this site reported on back in March. It seems likely that this information was mistakenly used as evidence that Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Usagi in Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal, would actually voice Wonder Woman in the Japanese language dubbed version of the film. The narration in the trailer is not the actual voice of Wonder Woman who’s English voice can be heard in the trailer. I can find no indication by doing searches of various sites in English and Japanese that Kotono Mitsuishi will be the voice of Wonder Woman.
It seems quite unlikely that Kotono Mitsuishi would voice this role as she was not the one to do the Japanese dubbed voice for Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman. We can see from the Japanese Wikipedia page for Batman V Superman that this was actually done by voice actress Yūko Kaida who may be known to readers for some of her anime roles. It seems likely that she will be the one to voice the character for the Wonder Woman film. Actors will often dub the voices of the same actors in multiple films especially when there are part of a series where the actors appears in more than one film.
While it is certainly possible that independent of her doing the narration for the trailer Kotono Mitsuishi will also be included with the Japanese dubbed version of the film which isn’t set to be released until the 25th of August we don’t actually have any good evidence beyond this bit of IMDB trivia which indicates that this might be the case. Keep reading for more exploration of the specific research which led me to this conclusion.
Simply put when you do an Internet search either in plain English “Wonder Woman Kotono Mitsuishi” or the equivalent in Japanese “ワンダーウーマン 三石 琴乃” you will find mostly information about her having done to trailer narration and those various articles mostly date back to late March when that trailer was released and made headlines. No cast information about the Japanese dub of the film is available on the movie’s IMDB page, the English Wikipedia page or the Japanese Wikipedia page. Why not simply ask someone in Japan what Wonder Woman sounds like in that version of the film? The film won’t even be out in theatres until August 25th. At this time it will likely be available to view with subtitles or dubbed in Japanese, as is the case with most Hollywood movies.
What can we find that appears to related to the actual dub of the film and not to the narration? The first thing I found was a post on the Anime Vice message boards from March 24th. It states that Kotono Mitsuishi will voice Wonder Woman in the upcoming Japanese dub of the film. The source linked? The trailer which she narrated in which she absolutely does not voice Wonder Woman. This one is easily debunked.
I was able to find two other sites which made a similar claim. The Barbie Xanax blog has a post in Italian about “3 Curiosities about Wonder Woman”. The blog post appears be to be from May but doesn’t include an actual date on the post. What kind of anarchist doesn’t put a date on a blog post? The 2nd trivia point is about “Wonder Woman as Sailor Moon” which Google Translates to:
2-Wonder Woman as Sailor Moon
Diana is a warrior princess just like Xena or Sailor Moon. In the Japanese version Kotono Mitsuishi will dub the protagonist, the same who dubbed the paladin dressing up the sailor. Wonder Woman as well as Sailor Moon are both warrior princesses with a divine past behind them and a history derived from Greek-Roman mythology.
This is very similar in content to the piece of trivia mentioned on IMDB. This information is more recent than March, which is when most people were talking about the narration of the trailer. Perhaps this person go their trivia from IMDB or simply misinterpreted the news information themselves.
Finally we have an Indonesian web site Gadis which reports the same information. This translates roughly to.
Dubbed by ‘Sailor Moon’
For release in Japan, Wonder Woman will be dubbed in Japanese. The funny thing is, Wonder Woman’s voice is filled by Kotono Mitsuishi, who is famous for being the voice of Sailor Moon. Hihihi …
This dates to May 30th and could itself be inspired by the IMDB trivia or similarly be a misunderstanding of the trailer narration.
It is indeed possible that this Italian blog poster and Indonesian news site have some information that I’m unable to uncover elsewhere, but I would say this is unlikely. Neither site includes a source for their information.
All of this considered, we must weigh the plausibility of this claim. Could Kotono Mitsuishi be providing the Japanese language voice for a Hollywood movie? Indeed this claim in itself isn’t that unbelievable. She has dubbed over the voices of characters from North American English TV shows and movies throughout her career. Her English and Japanese Wikipedia pages have lengthy lists of her dubbing work which includes the Japanese dubbed voices of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Garner, Heather Graham, Kate Beckinsale, Natalie Portman and Amy Jo Johnson.
As I mentioned earlier Yūko Kaida voiced Wonder Woman in the Japanese version of Batman V Superman and, lacking any evidence to the contrary, it would be fair to assume that she will be dubbing over Gal Gadot’s voice for the Wonder Woman film as well.
The claim is not completely implausible but given the lack of evidence and another actress voicing the role in a previous film the existence of the trailer narration seems like a plausible reason for which this unsupported myth came to be believed and was ultimately added to the IMDB trivia page which does not go through much of a vetting process.
This bit of trivia is still interesting when the truth is considered. Kotono Mitsuishi did narrate the trailer and we can draw many parallels between these iconic female heroes of the East and the West. It simply doesn’t appear to be the case that these similarities go as far as them sharing the same voice.
If you’ve enjoy sleuthing which mostly involves looking things up on Wikipedia then you should check out The Reality Check podcast in which every week my cohosts and myself look into various claims, mostly those in the in the realm of science. I got a break from preparing a segment this week but with a burning desire to debunk something I put this post together.
Update: I ended up using this post as the basis for a segment recorded for an upcoming episode of The Reality Check podcast. Look forward to that.