This opinion might be a little controversial, because I’ve seen some people who really hate the dub, but I like Marc Diraison a lot more than either of Guts’ seiyuu. He had some awkward moments in the original series’ dub, but as the show went on, he put so much passion and emotion into his performance that I find it hard to imagine anyone else playing the character. The moments in the series that cemented this for me are in the second half of episode 25. The part where he fell into the lake of blood and shouted in desperation at the top of his lungs, pleading for his comrades to answer him was heartbreaking, and the part where he cut off his arm and screamed in rage at Griffith was so blood-curdling and powerful it still gives me chills when I watch it.
I watched the Japanese version of those two scenes recently, and in my opinion it was honestly flat and passionless in comparison. His seiyuu didn’t do a horrible job, but for a character in such an extreme situation who’s meant to be so filled with rage and pain, he didn’t sound nearly as animated and livid as he should have.
The new seiyuu for Guts sounds even less impressive. In the scenes where Guts shouts he lacks the power and intensity I would expect, and his screaming sounds like an irritating loud and raspy groaning rather than genuine screaming. In the part where Guts is running away from the cave after The Eclipse and he’s wailing in anguish the seiyuu once again let out a flat groaning sound. Marc’s wail is a lot more powerful and emotive. He sounds like a man who just escaped from Hell after having everyone he loved torn away from him.
Trust me, I am not a close-minded dub fanboy who refuses to give the original versions a proper, non-biased chance. In fact, as much as I like Kevin T. Collins in the new movies, I think that Griffith’s new seiyuu is utterly amazing and I’m very torn on which I like better. Marc Diraison on the other hand… he IS Guts and perfectly matches how I expect him to sound when I read the manga. He has a distinct voice that fits Guts’ tall and muscled physique better than the two seiyuu, he delivers on the emotion and portrays Guts’ every vulnerability without missing a beat, and the moments where he has to express extreme emotion sound a lot more powerful and convincing than either seiyuu.
I apologize in advance if I come off as arrogant, melodramatic, close-minded and long-winded, I certainly don’t intend to, but I feel pretty strongly about this and wanted to speak my piece.