Starting his career at the age of 6, Raghuvaran spent most of his childhood in the dubbing studio with both his parents being senior stage artistes.
“My first dubbing session was for a Tamil film. Although I don’t remember the name of the film, it opened a lot of doors for me,” begins Raghuvaran who has dubbed for the Tamil versions of cartoons like Ben 10, Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon. However, it was his stint as the voice of Shinchan, that has brought him immense fame. The Tamil dubbed version of the popular Japanese cartoon series Shinchan has been quite a hit among the local audience with people across age groups enjoying the show.
“It’s quite interesting because it’s been five years since I dubbed for it. To see the videos going viral now is very exciting. I guess it’s the simplicity and the originality of the character that have brought this success. I was able to revisit my childhood with the character (Shinchan),” he adds. The series follows the adventures of the five-year-old Shinnosuke ‘Shin’ Nohara and his parents, baby sister, dog, neighbours, and friends.
Recalling an incident which made him realise the show’s reach, he says, “I met a police officer who said that his sons in their 20s are always hooked on to the cartoon. We then dubbed a whole new season in front of him as he requested. To see him enjoy the whole process was heart-warming.”
While the original version is known to have a considerable amount of adult content, Raghuvaran has tried to tone it down considering local sensibilities. “We ensured that all dialogues and what was shown was within limits and acceptable in the local context,” he adds about the show that has now been dubbed in 30 languages which aired in 45 countries.
The most interesting part however, is the way he modulates his voice to suit a five-year-old character, particularly the very famous dialogue Amaidhi Amaidhi. “When you live as the character itself and deliver the dialogues, then voice variations will never be an issue. Here, I turn into a five-year-old when I dub for Shinchan. All the cartoon series were dubbed at the same time. It was a huge challenge but I guess all the effort was worth it,” he muses.
Speaking about his most challenging dubbing experience, he says, “Strange Rituals (a popular show on the most bizarre rituals in the world), telecast in various infotainment channels, put my talent to test to a great extent. In one particular episode, a woman transforms into a man. The change from a feminine tone to a hoaxing male voice with a mixture of both during the transition period required a lot of rehearsal.”
For the nonce though, he says, “Being a dubbing artist, I get an opportunity to live each and every character within four walls of a dubbing studio. I think I can do the same in front of the camera as an actor. I will wait for the right opportunity to make my debut on the big screen.”