Simmons unleashes his dark side

A Red Deer man is lending his voice to the world of anime.

A Red Deer man is lending his voice to the world of anime.

Ryan Simmons, music director and swing announcer at 106.7 The Drive, is starting to make a name for himself in the world of voice-overs for Japanese cartoons.

He appears weekly in a show called Buddyfight, where Simmons plays bad guy Ikazuchi.

By far it is his favourite character because it allows Simmons to tap into his darker side, he said.

“He’s just unbridled evil,” laughed Simmons. “I get to shout and laugh maniacally.”

During every episode, Ikazuchi is up to no good including electrocuting teenagers, in the popular Japanese show.

“It is just fun and weird,” he said. “You get to be mean and evil. It’s just a cool outlet.”

Buddyfight appears on Teletoon on Wednesday mornings.

He also has a regular guest spot as Takeru on Vanguard G, where he plays the brother of Hayato, who is voiced by Red Deer’s Keaton Whitbread.

While the 27-year-old has always enjoyed making weird voices to amuse his friends, Simmons has only been in the industry for about six months.

Simmons also does voice work for commercials, safety videos and mobile apps.

It all came about after learning that one of his instructors at SAIT voiced a character in the popular 1990s anime Dragon Ball. Simmons graduated from the radio and broadcasting program in 2010.

Simmons said this piqued his interest and he began seeking out work in cartoons. “It’s a lot of fun,” said Simmons. “You get to be a cartoon character. It’s crazy.”

Most of his work appears online on sites such as YouTube, Hulu or Netflix.

But Simmons is likely not to give up his day job for a full-time gig in the voice business.

He said there is not much work in Alberta and he would likely have to move to Toronto or Vancouver.

These days he is happy giving voice to cartoons on the side.

For those interested in giving voice to cartoons, Simmons suggests they do their research, take a course or a hire a coach.

Check out Simmons’s work on YouTube or on Twitter @RyanSimmonsVO.