ROBINSON, Texas: Stephanie Nadolny might not be a household face, but her voice is instantly recognizable for generations of anime fans.
Nadolny voiced iconic characters such as Kid Goku and Teen Gohan in the “Dragon Ball” and “Dragon Ball Z” cartoon series for over 20 years. With comic cons largely canceled due to COVID-19, this gives her a rare opportunity to interact with fans.
“I’ll be able to spend more time with the fans that come, if they want to talk for a while, instead of shuffling them through, you know and get the autograph and go,” Nadolny said. “It’s like the best thing about what I do, is getting in the trenches like this.”
One of those fans is Joshua Turner, who teamed up with his mother, Shannon, to open the anime-centric Animotion Plus store in 2016.
Turner says he was bullied as a kid for watching anime, but argues events like these show just how popular the genre is, even out in central Texas.
“We’re trying to get the community together because people are talking to us on Facebook and other social media that they miss it,” Turner said. “They miss going out, they miss seeing their idols and their icons and this is just a small little tidbit of it.”
The shop had to temporarily shut down earlier this year due to COVID-19 mandates, but the Turners hope events like these will bring that lost business back and remind them of why they decided to open the shop in the first place.
“Every time I see a child smiling and saying ‘daddy, daddy can I have this?” and he buckles down and gets it for her, it brings the biggest smile on my face,” Turner said.
Animotion Plus plans to hold similar events, and will announce them on their Facebook page.