Becoming an anime voice actress was a last-minute decision for Erika Harlacher; at the time there was a stigma around anime, yet she decided to attend an anime expo after her friend decided to  flake at the last second.

Anime wasn’t as big as it is today, but attending that convention ignited a passion in Harlatcher;  a passion which led her to persue a career in voice acting.

Anime voice actress Erika Harlatcher and the CPP Neo Anime Club posing for a group photo. (Brent Spivey | The Poly Post)

Most well-known for her roles in Seven Deadly Sins as Elizabeth, Torodora as Ami. Hunter x Hunter as Kurapika, Violet Evergarden as Violet Evergarden, and Persona 5 as Ann Takamaki, her experience as a voice actress is unparalleled to other CPP alumni.

“When you hear ‘acting’ people think cutthroat,” CPP alumni and voice actress, Erika Harlacher said. “But in voice acting, everyone is trying to help each other, so I can be anybody I want to be.”

Harlacher attended CPP when the music and theatre departments were separated, so she studied theatre.

“I really like theatre, but it lacked in musicals,” Harlacher said. “I acted in Macbeth and Complete History of America, but we really had to fight to do musicals because of the separate departments.”

Acting classes helped her know direction and how to connect with a character.

“I was shocked she attended CPP and was a member of the neo anime club,” senior mechanical engineering student Matthew Sugandhi said.

The event not only incorporated a questions panel with the club and audience, it tied in speed round questions submitted before the event, two truths and a lie, four pictures one anime, and lost in translation where Japanese anime synopsis were translated incorrectly via Google Translate.

The games reflected other successful roles in Kill La Kill, Aldnoah, re: Zero, Kakegurui, Asterick War, Squid Girl, Your Lie in April, Yuki Yuna is a Hero and many more.

“Persona!” Harlacher said. “I literally said Persona so many times.”

Harlacher spends her work days in Burbank and other Southern California locations in the recording studio, usually working on movies for 4 to 8 hours at a time.

“With Violet Evergarden they would cut-away from the characters in dialogue scenes, so I wouldn’t have to catch the lip-movements as often,” said Harlacher. “But when it did, it would catch me off guard, like, ‘Oh, I would have to start matching what she’s doing.’”

When she’s not in the studio she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend who shares similar passions, watching cartoons and anime as well as playing games like Kingdom Hearts.

She recalls early days in high school reading Fruits Basket and getting half of the grade interested.

“Someone would randomly come up to me in the hallway and would whisper, ‘Hey, you got the next Fruits Basket?’” Harlacher said. “And I would be like, I got you! It was amazing taking people from ‘that’s just a comic’ to a widespread interest.”

Her generosity and interests reflect the passions of the Neo Anime Club.

The event took place May 10.

Pizza was provided and Harlacher signed posters and Weiss Schwartz gaming cards after the event.

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