I was beyond elated by the reception to Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead when its anime hit streaming services. It’s funny, mature enough to be relatable, and a delightful Carpe Diem twist on an otherwise stagnating horror subgenre. But when VIZ approached me about a Q&A with the English voice actor for the main character, Zeno Robinson, I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance. But as you may already know, he’s been in a lot of recent and upcoming games, anime, and more, and he’s just as excited as we are by this.
A Prolific Voiceover Artist Appearing in Several Iconic Franchises
In our Q&A, I had to quickly geek out over Zeno’s voiceover credits. He’s been in anime like Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead as Akira, Pokemon as Goh, Attack on Titan as Onyankopon, and Link Click as Lu Guang. But beyond anime and donghua, Zeno Robinson’s name can be found across other franchises we adore here.
JR: With these credits under your belt and even more work on the way like Persona 3 Reload as Junpei Iori, people are getting increasingly excited to see your name appearing in the cast, as am I.
Zeno: I’m very honored to be in the position I’m in, to be in so many cool things. My mind is blown just as much as yours is I’m sure!
JR: To be involved not only with anime and video game credits but also other animations like Young Justice as Cyborg and Lando Calrissian in Lego Star Wars: All-Stars must be cool too, right?
Zeno: I’m a big Childish Gambino/Donald Glover fan and I get compared to him a lot, so being able to emulate him in that way is cool.
A Voice Actor Whose Upbeat Energy Lands Massive Roles
JR: One project you’ve been on is Zom 100, where you’re undeniably the star. Your upbeat portrayal of Akira Tendo lets you shine as the lead. What about the role has had you enticed since taking it on?
Zeno: Akira has so many layers as a character. The emotional roller-coaster he goes on, I went “Oh my God, I’m about to eat.” There’s so much to chew on as an actor and performer in just Episode 1. Just the way he looks at the world and handles the zombie apocalypse, and how his values shift, are things I align with and go through with him. I’m often surprised by how I’m inspired by Akira. He and I are the same! I ended up falling in love with him as a character, and I’m honored to go on this journey with him.
JR: It’s always great when you get a Seinen protagonist like Akira because there’s always that extra layer of character development. It’s also exciting knowing where things are going, like the most recent manga chapters (57 in particular) which is a big hit with the fans!
Zeno: Where we’re at now, in the anime vs. the manga, so much has changed, so much has happened!
Zeno’s Voice Is in Many High-Profile New and Upcoming Releases Like Persona 3 Reload
JR: With your particular strengths as an actor, you bring an upbeat energy that helps you take on a lead or main role. When I saw that you were cast as Junpei in Persona 3 Reload, it just made sense, right?
Zeno: A lot of people say that! The director I worked with on Persona, I was working with them on another project and they just said “I think you would be good for Junpei!” You never know whether one job will bring you another. The energy I brought to a different character is what inspired them to have me audition for Junpei and what landed me the role. I’m super excited, man.
Zeno: I played Persona 3, and it’s my favorite of the series. I remember playing 5, thinking it was so good, but, if 3 looked like that, this conversation would be going differently. I’m glad they made this overhaul, I love this cast, and I’m super-excited.
JR: With your continuing portrayal of Akira in Zom 100 on Netflix, Crunchyroll, and Hulu in the US, do you have any other new projects you’re able to talk about?
Zeno: Usually when people would ask I’d say Persona 3. I was also just recently in Starfield as Tommy Bitlow the reporter, and the Texas Chain Saw Massacre as Sonny Williams. The people who made that also made Friday the 13th which I was also in as Brandon Wilson. The joke among the fans is that, if there’s an asymmetrical horror game, I’m the black guy in it.
Zeno: Aside from that, Transformers Earthspark, Big City Greens (with a movie coming out!), and Link Click, a personal favorite that I’m part of. That one has a ton of mystery and intrigue, and I think it’s a treat if you haven’t watched it.
At the End of the Day, He’s as Much a Fan of These Series as We Are
JR: It’s great to talk to somebody about the localization of anime. One of the big questions we asked as a site was about the English dub of Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3, and when it comes out. Getting to talk to somebody in the cast for it, that’s pretty awesome.
Zeno: Thank you! Even if you’d asked me before, I would not have been able to tell you. We recorded it so long ago, and I was wondering “WHEN is this coming out? Are they waiting or something?”
Zeno is in the Attack on Titan English cast as Onyankopon, and we’ll see more of him once the English dub for the final special arrives after its English sub debut!
Finally, as a fellow fan of the franchises he’s involved in, I had to ask Zeno one small trivia question about himself, one that was passed along by a fellow Pokemon fanatic.
JR: Pokemon fans will recognize your voiceover work as Goh in the Pokemon series. Knowing this, I have to ask, do you have a favorite Pokemon?
Zeno: I do! Quilava. It’s a design thing, I love dogs, and the fire-dog thing is just really cool.
Zeno’s energy and passion were greatly appreciated during the short time we had to chat. His personality shines and it’s so great to see him continuing to score big roles in a lot of beloved and emerging franchises. I barely got a chance to get into all the other games, but he’s left his footprint in various other properties like Street Fighter 6 as Dee Jay, Demon Slayer as Genya, My Hero Academia as Hawks, and many more.
If you check his IMDb profile, you’ll likely find an overwhelming amount of series you love that have featured his voiceover work. The fact that Zeno has been in multiple games that I’ve gotten the pleasure to review, and has anticipated projects on the horizon, makes it clear that he’s a talent whose career you should be following.
- This article was updated on October 2nd, 2023