Anime can take you into a whole new world. It relieves your stress, it helps you pass time, it’s a nice weekend get-away when things are too hectic and, unexpectedly for some, has deep life lessons to teach. And if you’ve been watching anime, you’d know that sometimes or maybe a bit too often, it’s really easy to get attached to the characters. I especially feel this way when an anime has been running for years, I feel like I grew up together with them or when a character has major character development, I would look like a proud mother who has watched her daughter or son mature.
Other than the storyline, it is the characters that give meaning to the series. And behind them is a group of genius animators, writers, production teams, and let’s not forget, voice actors.
First, I just want to give a big round of applause to all the voice actors and actresses of the anime world! They are not just simply lending their voice but, they are giving life and I hope they are aware of the impact it has over us anime lovers.
Voice acting is no joke and it’s not just as simple as having a good voice. For someone to be a good voice actor, there needs to be compassion and polished talent. Just remember the voice of your favorite character crying in pain, shouting in anguish, or happily laughing and think about how hard it is to deliver quality voice overs. This is why I strongly believe that the appropriate voice, passion, talent, and connection to the characters are what gives them life.
Let’s meet the famous voice actors and actresses behind your favorite anime characters.
Hiroshi Kamiya is a well-known and successful voice actor since 1992. He is an obvious fan favorite and has various awards under his belt, such as Best Lead Actor and Best Personality which has been awarded to him during the Third Seiyu Awards and Best Supporting Actor at the Second Seiyuu Awards. For four consecutive years, he was awarded the Most Popular Seiyuu at the Afachan Asia 2015.
His popularity is no joke, as his voice is known for its overwhelming authority which can be seen and heard on the characters that he voice overs. One prime example is giving life to humanity’s strongest soldier, Shingeki no Kyojin’s, also known as Attack on Titan, Levi Ackerman, and if you’ve ever watched that anime, you’ve probably swooned over his commanding voice. Well, that’s Hiroshi Kamiya for you.
Other roles that he is best known for are Akashi Seijuuro from Kuroko no Basket (another authoritative character), Izaya Orihara from Durarara!!!, Trafalgar Law from One Piece, Yuzuru Otonashi from Angel Beats and Yato from Noragami.
Junko Takeuchi is another famous voice actress that has voiced over popular anime characters. Apparently, it is well-known in the seiyuu (voice actor) industry for female voices to tread into voicing young male characters. Junko Takeuchi is the life behind the world-famous Naruto Uzumaki from the anime series Naruto. She’s also the voice behind Digimon Frontier’s Takuya Kanbara, Medabots’ Metabee, and even did the voice of quirky, outgoing Gon Freecs of the 1999 Hunter x Hunter.
Daisuke Ono is probably on par, popularity, and career-wise with Hiroshi Kamiya. The difference between the two is that instead of a domineering voice like Hiroshi Kamiya, Daisuke Ono is pretty known for his sexy and alluring voice overs. Proving that, he is the voice of the anime world’s favorite “one hell of a butler”, Kuroshitsuji, also known as Black Butler, Sebastian Michaelis.
Characters he is known to be voicing for also includes Midorima Shintaro from Kuroko no Basuke (tandem with Hiroshi Kamiya), Shizuo Heiwajima from Durarara!!! (another tandem, yes!), Erwin Smith from Shingeki no Kyojin (I am really loving this pair working on the same projects!), Sinbad from Magi and Itsuki Koizumi from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
Yui Horie has a loooooooooong Wikipedia page. This is because other than being a successful seiyuu, she is also a widely-celebrated singer that rose to fame in the 2000’s. She has released and charted 10 albums and 25 singles under her name and won the award for the Best Supporting Voice Actress in the 4th Seiyuu Awards.
Her notable roles in the voice acting industry include Fruit Basket’s lead Tohru Honda, Love Hina’s Naru Narusegawa, Kanon’s Ayu Tsukimiya, Vampire Knight’s Yuki Cross, Miss Monochrome’s Miss Monochrome, Toradora!’s Minori Kushieda and Fairy Tail’s Carla.
Mamoru Miyano is another prominent male voice actor in the seiyuu industry with equally famous anime characters under his name. Like Yui Horie, Mamoru Miyano also has tread the singing industry and has succeeded big time. He released 6 albums, 20 singles, and tons of tons of promotional singles including those from Ouran High School Host Club, Soul Eater, La Corda d’Oro, Uta no Prince Sama, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Skip Beat, Durara!!, Hunter x Hunter and Free (and that’s not even all of them!)
The notable characters that he has lent his voice to are Death Note’s Yagami Light, Free’s Rin Matsuoka, Ouran High School Host Club’s Tamaki Suoh, Uta no Prince-Sama’s Tokiya Ichinose, Vampire Knight’s Zero Kiryu (which was voiced alongside with Yui Horie’s Yuki Cross), Soul Eater’s Death the Kid and Tokyo Ghoul’s Shuu Tsukiyama.
Romi Park is also another in this list who has a loooooong Wikipedia page. This is, of course, not a bad thing but mainly because she has a lot of vocal performances, theatre role, dubbing roles for live-action and animations, under her belt. She is also one of the well-known female voice actors that have lent her voice to young male characters such as Shaman King’s Tao Ren, Bleach’s Toshiro Hitsugaya, Full Metal Alchemist’s Edward Elric, and Gakuen Alice’s, also known as Alice Academy, Natsume Hyuuga. If you have been watching these animes, you may have noticed that Romi Park’s boy characters have similar characteristics. They are calm, tough, and are hail as a prodigy in their own films.
She may have done a few male characters but she has proven versatility when she voiced over female characters as well. She is the voice behind Naruto’s Temari, Nana’s Nana Osaki and Claymore’s Teresa of the Faint Smile. Much like her boy-voiced characters, these female characters are also similar to one another and fits into the tough/punk types.
Did you see your favorite anime character? What do you think of their voice actors? You're probably surprised about some of them! Let's cheers to these treasures that has given life and personality to our favorite characters!