What is the first thing when you hear his name? A leader? A hero? A mecha pilot? A brother? A Pokémon? If you guess them all, then you got it right.
This Seiyuu in particular is closely associated with a well-known genre since the beginning of the medium of anime: Mecha. Sometimes he can show up in an anime aimed for kids. Plus he also made his presence in a Super Sentai or Tokusatsu series, albeit he only provided his voice. The climate of voice acting back then showed a more simple mindset contrasting the drastic changes it went through the years.
Katsuyuki Konishi (小西 克幸) comes from Wakayama City in the prefecture of the same name. He is affiliated with Ken Production. Unlike the first two Seiyuu I’ve covered, there is no reason why or how he became a voice actor. Even on Japanese sites their interviews and translated ones provided by specialized blogs and websites do not say about it.
I understand why, being on the limelight all the time can be taxing especially on the perspective of the Seiyuu. Most voice actors want to keep their work and personal life separate so they can have a balance between them. Through his work you can see an idea of who he is.
Appearances in Japanese Media
Katsuyuki’s first debut started on the 1997 original mecha series The King of Braves GaoGaiGar as VolFogg. Note: I have never heard of this title at all until I saw a trailer promoting its Blu-ray. From it’s presentation I can tell Mecha was so accessible back in the day and from the get go a child can enjoy their time with this. Around the same year he also participated in the first Pokémon anime by voicing actual Pokémon. Started from Ash’s 30 Tauros he became a staple in the series as time goes on. He does voice one-off characters too but his Pokémon roles was so popular he sometimes tweets good morning to any Pokémon. Gotta voice ’em all, right?
A year later, he got a supporting role in the first Cardcaptor Sakura anime as Spinel Sun (true form) and Yoshiyuki Terada, the one character who got a different depiction for a good reason. Search it up if you want to but read at your own risk.
By 2001, Katsuyuki landed his first main role as Amidamaru from Shaman King. The upcoming remake this Spring 2021 will also star him as well and it must be a huge trip down memory lane for him. Three years fast forward by 2004 he voiced not one but two supporting characters from Bleach, namely Keigo Asano and Shuhei Hisagi. By this point he already got his niche. For the first eight years in his career most of his characters are from series for children whether it would be Shounen or Shoujo.
He then reached new heights for voicing one of the most iconic characters in 2007. Yes, it’s Kamina from Gurren Lagann. A once-in-a-lifetime chance, backed up by his earlier career this was the time he was at his peak I should say. Never had the chance of seeing this, to those who got a first-hand experience I applaud you.
Oh and remember Fairy Tail? He voiced Laxus Dreyar. It’s normal in the industry to run into other famous and rising Seiyuu even if they come from various agencies. When they walk in the studio it becomes another story.
When the 2010s came, his career took a more daring turn. In 2011, Katsuyuki starred in a BL/Shounen Ai anime called Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi – World’s Greatest First Love as Masamune Takano. And that wasn’t the first time. He’s even in the 2005 anime Loveless as Agatsuma Soubi. If you don’t believe me try a Google search. My guess is he wanted to expand his range and identity since he cannot rely on younger demographics all the time. By 2015, he’s also the voice of Takehito “Gakuto” Morokuzu in Prison School. His role here exudes one of the best of his ability as his many sacrifices wasn’t in vain. More roles include:
One little known fact is he actually voiced in hentai and yaoi. Yes, one of them is Kachou no Koi and the other is HHH Triple Ecchi. Fair warning, it’s not the good kind of smut. What he did is still considered as work no matter how badly risqué it is. A Seiyuu’s got to put the name out there.
Despite the humble beginnings, there comes a time where one does need to take a leap to make ends meet. We’re all trying to control what we can do. No matter how famous a person is you will never know what is happening behind the scenes.
Does this give you a new perspective on Seiyuu? If one is given a chance to do such role would you take the risk? Sometimes I wonder why it’s never a straight line to begin with…
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