It’s taken me a long time to find my feet with Japanese voice actors. I pride myself on being able to recognise voices in animation fairly quickly. It’s a weird skill I possess. However, it took me a long time and a lot of subtitled anime to begin recognising Japanese voices. Maybe it’s because at the end of the day it’s still a foreign language to me and therefore it’s harder for my brain to pick up on. In the past year my weird skill had improved a lot when watching subbed anime and I have a hand-full of favourites that I recognise and admire greatly now. Here are a few of my favourites.
5. Suzumura Kenichi
– Okita Sougo from Gintama
– Iyami from Osomatsu-san
– Hijirikawa Masato from Uta no Prince-sama
– Mikoshiba Momotarou from Free Eternal Summer
– Murasakibara Atsushi from Kuroko no Basket
Brace yourself as this list is full of Gintama voice actors. What can I say other than Gintama has a great cast and Suzumura is one of them. His work on Gintama is what first caught my attention as I love Sougo as a character. I found out later down the line Suzumura worked on Osomatsu-san as Iyami and I cracked up laughing at that fact when comparing Iyami to his other roles like Sougo or Masato. Finding this fact out was great, and hilarious, as it made me appreciate his talent even more. The fact that he can go from playing cool characters such as Sougo and Masato to changing his voice drastically to play such a crazy character as Iyami is incredible *insert sheeeeeh here*. He can also pull off an adorable voice as characters like Momo and it just shows how well rounded he is.
4. Nakai Kazuya
– Hijikata Toshirou from Gintama
– Mugen from Samurai Champloo
– Suguro Ryuuji or Bon from Blue Exorcist
– Date Masamune from Sengoku Basara
– Roronoa Zoro from One Piece
One thing I have come to realise over the years of watching anime is that I love deep, rough around the edge voices. Nakai has just that kind of voice and I just adore listening to him in his roles. I’ll admit I haven’t seen a massive amount of his work but his role as Hijikata has always stood out to me. He has a voice that is instantly recognisable and he always sounds like such a badass when he speaks.
3. Ono Daisuke
– Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler
– Heiwajima Shizuo from Durarara
– Matsuno Jyushimatsu from Osomatsu-san
– Handa Sei from Barakamon
– Banba Zenji from Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
Ono’s voice first caught my attention when I watched him as Handa in Barakamon. The way he used his voice as Handa often made me laugh as his character tends to freak out a lot and something about that really stood out to me. Overall I feel I’ve seen more of Ono portraying sillier characters like Handa and Jyushimatsu and his voices always has the ability to make me smile and laugh in said roles. The fact that he can switch from characters like Jyushimatsu to characters like Sebastian is fascinating to me and makes him stand out as a talented seiyuu.
2. Nakamura Yuuichi
– Kuroo Tetsurou from Haikyuu!!
– Matsuno Karamatsu from Osomatsu-san
– Kousaka Kyousuke from Oreimo
– Greed from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
– Nozaki Umetarou from Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun
More actors with deep voices. Hurray! I adore Nakamura’s voice acting, probably due to his deep voice. I think his role as Karamatsu is what first caught my attention as he puts on such a hilariously but intentionally forced voice in order for his character to try to sound cool. The best way to describe his voice is smooth. Characters like Kuroo and Nozaki use the deeper side of his voice making them sound more mature. He can also sound quite sweet and a little more youthful in roles such as Kyousuke.
1. Sugita Tomokazu
– Sakata Gintoki from Gintama
– Usui Kazuyoshi or Switch from Sket Dance
– Kanzaki Hajime from Beelzebub
– Motosuwa Hideki from Chobits
– Tabata Hidenori from Daily Lives of High School Boys
Sugita wins the number one spot for favourite male seiyuu. He also caught my attention in his role of Gintoki in Gintama. I think when I was first watching Gintama was also around the time I started to pick up voices better so seiyuus like him always stuck with me more than others. Whenever his voice pops up in an anime I always smile to myself because I just love how he portrays different characters. He can sound sarcastic, badass and delinquent-esk but can also sound like the sweetest, purest human being in the world *cough* Hideki *cough*. His voice is so distinct and quite diverse. His portrayal of Gintoki is truly amazing as I love his sarcastic tone he uses and I cannot imagine anyone else voicing Gin. He is perfect for it. I also love how he screams because it makes me laugh how high pitched he can go.
Who are your favourite seiyuus? Any from this list? I’d love to know down in the comments!
Until next time thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a great day!
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All images are sourced from Google Images