Released to modest reviews on September 16, 2022, the Netflix original movie Driving home is a delightful coming-of-age story about two childhood best friends who are dragged into a harrowing adventure when their apartment complex is suddenly plunged into the depths of the ocean, leaving them and a few sixth-grade classmates to face the horrific Noppo, a young ghost with his own evil agenda.
Dotted with an outstanding cast of international actors, many will recognize the voices of the English dubbed ensemble of Driving home from a large number of popular movies and TV shows released in the recent past.
10/10 Bryce Papenbrook – Attack on Titan
Bryce Papenbrook stars as the lead actor Kosuke Kumagai in the critically acclaimed animated coming-of-age film, the reluctant hero who becomes the de facto hero who leads his young friends on a perilous quest after their Kamonomiya apartment building is submerged in the ocean. One of the busiest American voice actors out there, Papenbrook has nearly 300 credits, including some of the most popular anime ever.
Except for Blue Exorcist and demon slayermost will remember hearing Bryce’s voice as Eren Jaeger, the main character in Attack on Titan, which he played in 77 episodes between 2013 and 2022. While Kosuke starts out as a fearful follower who evolves into a fearless leader, towards the end the character becomes just as headstrong, passionate, and caring as Eren. The way Kosuke takes care of his best friend Natsume is reminiscent of the way Eren treats Armin, putting Papenbrook first.
9/10 Cassandra Morris – Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Cassandra Morris stars as Natsume, Kosuke’s melancholy best friend struggling with her parents’ divorce and the death of Kosuke’s grandfather. Though some may remember Morris’s face from the movie Double parkedmost will remember her voice from the critically acclaimed animated series like My Hero Academia (as Kota), Sword art online (as Leafa), and more.
But with over 260 credits to date, Morris’s most substantial role includes her 38-episode arc of voicing Wasabi Izuno’s character in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations from 2017-2020. Wasabi is blunt, hyperactive and not afraid to speak their mind, while Natsume is more reserved and withdrawn. However, Natsume’s genuine affection for Kosuke reflects the way Wasabi treated her best friend Namida, even when the two bickered as if they were siblings.
8/10 Elliot Fletcher – Shameless
Elliot Fletcher is a great trans actor who plays Noppo in Driving home, the ghostly pale entity that haunts the apartment complex and serves as Kosuke and Natsume’s main antagonist. Unlike Pepenbrook and Morris, Fletcher has several live-action credits that fans will recognize him for, including: The Fosters, tell me your secrets, and most recently, J: The last man.
However, Fletcher’s memorable role as Trevor on shameless is hard to ignore. The way he brought compassion, humor and morality to the character, Ian’s friend and counselor for LGBTQ+ youth at risk, really stood out as one of the most supportive characters on the show. As the young ghost terrorizing the Kamonomiya, Noppo couldn’t be more different from Trevor, hinting at Fletcher’s immense range of action.
7/10 John DiMaggio – Futurama
John DiMaggio stars as Yasuji, Kosuke’s recently deceased grandfather and former Kamonomiya resident, who resurfaces in surreal memories and flashbacks to serve as an emotional connection to the past. Some may remember DiMaggio’s face from playing Dr. Underhill on Chicago Hope, but most will remember his iconic turn as Bender futuramaone of the longest-running animated TV shows ever.
In futurama, Bender is a drunken, voluptuous, chain-smoking gambler and an anti-heroic caricature who couldn’t be more different from the honorable and respectable Yasuji. The former is an absurd comedy foil, the latter is a compassionate patriarch who takes care of his family even after death.
6/10 Cherami Leigh – Sailor Moon
In Driving homeCherami Leigh portrays Kosuke’s overworked mother Satoko who expresses concern about his whereabouts when he and Natsume disappear into the Kamonomiya. Leigh’s on-screen credits include stints on Bones, Friday night lights, and longmire, but it’s her 400-odd voice credits in English-dubbed anime series that stand out the most.
Leigh launched her successful voice-over career by playing Minako Aino/Sailor Venus for five years and over 160 episodes of the hit series Sailor Moon, the critically acclaimed fantasy Shoujo anime. As the original Sailor Guardian and fearless leader of the Inner Sailor Guardians, Leigh’s most prominent role is very different from her work as Satoko, who is much more callous, weak and reserved than the badass Minako.
5/10 Alex Cazares – The Mighty
Alex Cazares plays the role of Taishi in Driving home, one of Kosuke’s incorrigible and hyperactive friends who lead him and Natsume to the Kamonomiya. An exclusive voice actor, which Cazares worked on Victor & Valentino and The Casagrandesbut most will remember her role as Verry Berry The Mighty.
The Mighty follows the misadventures of a leaf, pebble, strawberry and twig as they try to make the most of their private backyard. Like Taishi, Verry Berry is smart, bubbly, daring and far too immature for her own good, a quality that gets both characters into trouble more than once.
4/10 Ben Diskin – Kindergarten Cop
In Driving home, plays Ben Diskin Yuzuru, another brash sixth-grader who recklessly encounters the Kamonomiya. A talented voice actor with over 360 credits, Diskin’s role as Sai Yamanaka in Naruto Shippuden is his most substantial to date and where most fans will recognize his voice. As for his face, Diskin played Sylvester in Kindergarten Cop.
Kindergarten Cop Arnold Schwarzenegger plays John Kimble, a detective who poses as a kindergarten teacher to take down a criminal. Diskin steals the show as Sylvester, the hilariously unruly kindergarten student who causes Kimble more trouble than he can ever imagine. At 40, Diskin returns to play a young schoolchild in Driving home is a nostalgic reminder of where he came from.
3/10 Abby Trott – Sherlock Holmes and the Great Escape
Abby Trott plays the role of Reina in drive home, one of the jovial and youthful sixth-graders trying to end the fights between Kosuke and Natsume before they are all swept under the water. While Reina doesn’t get many character traits, she blames Natsume for endangering the crew once they reach the depths of the ocean.
Trott has a wealth of animated voice credits, including her role as Yoh Asakura on Shaman King. In terms of movie credits, Trott Little Rabbit starred in Sherlock and the Great Escape, an adorable assistant who advises Sherlock on his business. Little Rabbit may not be as attitudinal as sixth grade Reina, but both characters do their best to help the protagonists solve the main mystery.
2/10 Kana Hanazawa – Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie
Since Cherami Lee also stars as Juri, the last of the lost sixth-graders to be thrown into the sea and embark on a life-changing journey, it makes sense to highlight the actor playing the part in the Japanese version. Kana Hanazawa plays Juri, Reina’s close friend who tries to settle the feud between Kosuke and Natsume before the building is swallowed up.
With no shortage of popular credits, Hanazawa recently voiced the role of Rika Orimoto in the Reddit-approved Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Moviein which she plays Yuta’s childhood friend who is resurrected as a vengeful ghost named The Queen of Curses. While Rika has more in common with Noppo in Driving home than with Juri, both characters are unwavering when protecting their best friends.
1/10 Ayo Endo – Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown
Japanese actress Ayo Endo portrays a very small character known as “Ferris Wheel girl” in Driving home, a person who runs the big attraction that Kosuke and Natsume visited as young children and looks back with nostalgia. With over 160 credits to her name, most will remember Endo’s role as Sword Maiden in Goblin Slayer and its spin-off movie Goblin Crown.
While Ferris Wheel Girl doesn’t have much to say in drive home, Sword Maiden has a much more substantial arc as the submissive female bishop and the childlike charge of the Demon Slayer who longs for him as she battles her fear of goblins. Whether fans recognize her face or voice, Endo will be recording Alear in the near future Fire Emblem: Engage video game.
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