Three Times Mark Hamill Brought His Voice to the World of Anime

by Kara Dennison
September 25, 2021

Say the name “Mark Hamill,” and most people’s immediate thought will probably (for good reason) be Luke Skywalker. But while he made a name for himself as the Star Wars hero, his career is so much more. His resume as a voice actor includes turns as legendary villains like the Joker and Skeletor, new characters like Avatar the Last Airbender‘s Firelord Ozai, and stacks of others. Odds are, if you’re watching an animated project of any kind, you’ll catch his voice somewhere — including anime!

While he’s more prolific in home-grown animation, you’ll still catch him here and there in anime dubs or internationally-produced anime. In fact, you may have already! Are you familiar with his work in these roles?

Yamma in IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix

IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix — in its full TV series form — has an extensive cast list. The series, about a competition between teams of gun-wielding mechs, highlights six teams of fighting hopefuls outside the rookie heroes of Team Satomi. One of those, Team Sledge Mamma, operates under Yamma (left) — a formidable opponent, and the oldest pilot currently operating in the Grand Prix.

Beau Billingslea (known for playing Jet in the dub of Cowboy Bebop), played an earlier version of Yamma in the show’s original microseries form. But Hamill takes on the role for the full-length anime: an irritable older man with a bone to pick with protagonist Takeshi.

Bin in Afro Samurai: Resurrection

Mark Hamill has a broad range, but let’s be real — he shines as antagonists. When Samuel L. Jackson-starrer Afro Samurai returned for a TV movie, the prolific voice actor joined in as Bin (center): one of the henchmen of film antagonist Lady Sio.

Sporting a Hyottoko mask and wielding a boom box that shoots metal spikes, Bin has plenty of reasons to resent Afro — as far as he knows. And one of those is under that funny mask. Along with fellow henchmen Michael and Tomoe, Bin fights to protect Sio’s honor, and for his own revenge.

Colonel Muska in Castle in the Sky

This is yet another excellent baddie on Mark Hamill’s CV. Muska is the main antagonist of Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky: a government agent hell-bent on making the mysterious Laputa his own. But unlike those seeking its treasures, he wants one thing: power. And he’ll do some pretty horrible things to get it.

Muska has ended up achieving at least some degree of immortality, though: he’s part of the heavily-memed “Balse!” moment toward the end of the movie. Thanks to the annual reward of the film, he’s become blindingly famous in his own right.

Here’s wishing Mark Hamill a very happy birthday, and many more to come!