Interview with Johnny Yong Bosch
of Bleach and Power Rangers

Johnny Yong Bosch was one of the featured guests at this week’s Fan Expo Canada in Toronto. At two panels last Sunday he took questions from large crowds of fans about his career. Many current fans will know him as the voice of Ichigo in the English dubbed version of the anime Bleach, as well as Vash the Stampede in Trigun, and many other titles. But many of the older fans in the crowd first saw him as Adam Park in the early seasons of the Power Rangers television series.

In between entertaining his fans with stories about how he first got into voice acting, his Power Rangers auditions, and a particular tale that involved a homeless person and a 2 lb. bag of quarters, I asked Bosch about a recent interview with David Yost, the original Blue Ranger. Yost, who revealed that he is gay, said that he left the show after he “was called ‘faggot’ one too many times [by the show’s] creators, producers, writers, directors.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me that there were things like that going on,” said Bosch, noting that he can’t recall any specific incidents. “At some point there were rumours that he [Yost] was gay, but I don’t remember any actual harassment. And I don’t really remember who was starting the rumours or who was really saying anything.”

“We all got harassed at certain points,” he continued. “A couple of us were Christians, and as soon as any of us were talking about anything like that, off to the side or whatever, we’d go back to our dressing room and above the door, it would say ‘no bible beating’ or stuff like that.”

Bosch said he didn’t have any problems working with Yost on the show, but some conflict between the two arose during the production of the first Power Rangers feature film. “In the first script, I had quite a bit and I was excited about it, and he complained that because he had been there longer, he should have more [lines, scenes]  and I shouldn’t have more than him. And so in the next script, I had quite a bit less. At least all the fun stuff, you know.” Bosch managed to ad-lib the most memorable line from the film: when the Rangers were given their new powers, each represented by an animal like the wolf or bear, he (as Adam) deadpanned, “I’m a frog.”

“I guess I can understand where he was coming from. At the time I was frustrated. And when the producers told me that’s what he did, I was pretty bummed. But that was then.” He doesn’t claim to have any hard feelings toward Yost or anyone else from the Power Rangers crew.

As for the trained martial artist and voice actor’s Dork Shelf? “It’s all old classic Kung-Fu films. One of my favourites is Shaolin vs. Lama. Or Jade Claw, a.k.a. Crystal Fist.”