5 Rising Seiyuu to Lookout for

Hello everyone! It’s Rand. In case if you don’t know I’ve been covering a number of Seiyuu to show another side of the medium we all know and love. Some info might be trivial but it gives a good insight to why this person decided to jump into the voice acting scene.

Hiya. It’s Aria of the Animanga Spellbook. I’m not much of a seiyuu aficionado, but after a certain series of magical boys got me researching some of the top talent, I’d like to think I know a bit more than most about male seiyuu. This means I’m rather out of my depth with female seiyuu, though.

In this post we’ll be talking about 5 Seiyuu who are either just getting into the world of anime or still trying to get their name out there. Sounds fun right? Here are some parameters: 

  • Must have a main role 8 years in or earlier from their debut
  • Has an existing discography
  • Has worked with new and or veteran voice actors
  • Should not come from another industry (e.g. live-action)   

Please take note not all points except for the last one above are actually required. These are one of many factors why a certain Seiyuu got their breakout role or had their surge in popularity recently. Sometimes it could even be left up to fate for them. Are these a good starting point? 

Sounds pretty good, though I’m struggling to think of many that would fit that 1st point…

Honestly, yes. The first point is me having a blindfold to determine a broad topic. But hey, it’s one way to pin things down. Now, let’s get things started!

Riho Sugiyama

Back in Spring 2020, Wave Listen to Me debuted. No one really knows what the show is about until you hear the character Minare. After it was done, all of the acclaim came from the Seiyuu herself for carrying the show. Interestingly, she tweeted about her voice not being “anime-like” or typically cute like most of her peers.

Hmm, that is interesting. There are roles made for seiyuu and seiyuu made for roles.

What do you mean by that?

“Roles made for seiyuu” explains itself, but some seiyuu just fit their roles really well. I would think that something like this, with a 6 year gap between the start of the manga and the airing of the anime’s 1st ep., would be of the “seiyuu makes the role” type.

That’s a concept that sounds familiar yet I cannot seem to grasp it fully. I’m an anime-only, and I rarely check out the source if I truly love the anime. But I could see why it can work that way. 

To be fair, I’m also an anime-only on Wave, Listen to Me, but because I’d been seeing ads of the manga in the back of other manga, this series feels like it’s been around longer than it actually has for me.

Yes, that is a fair argument there. Next up we got:

Chikahiro Kobayashi

The man behind the Immortal Saichi Sugimoto of Golden Kamuy, Legoshi of Beastars, and Rikuo of Sing Yesterday for Me. His roster is short as of this writing but he’s quickly getting roles. One notable trait is both of his main roles of two series have a love interest whose name is Haru. 

When I was looking at Kobayashi’s roles on AniList at one point (due to something Scott tweeted about My Roommate is a Cat), I noticed he’s voiced several wolves (if you count the Red Siberian from Maou-jou), but no cats. That’s kinda hilarious, if you ask me…

Maybe he actually has a wild side inside him all this time. If he does voice a cat, it should be the kind of cat as a sidekick for magical girls. It would be better to see him more than just a single animal as time goes on. He could work more on being the awkward man. His role as Rikuo takes advantage of it.

Yukihiro Nozuyama

This guy only has one notable role (Dice from Hypnosis Mic and its anime), but dang if I didn’t say I wanted to see him in more roles. If he can handle SCRAMBLE GAMBLE even though English isn’t his main language (although apparently it took him 4 hours to record), you know he’s destined for great things.  

Having no idea of Hypnosis Mic, after hearing that track I wholeheartedly agree. He should star in more anime when the opportunity comes. It would be a bit of a challenge, since he’s currently known in one series. The road of male Seiyuu can vary a lot.

Kaede Hondo

Remember Elaina? She’s voiced by her. While Kaede has been known as Sakura Minamoto from Zombieland Saga she gave her range by talking to herself in the last episode of Wandering Witch. I have no idea how it went in the studio but she’s enjoying herself there. Most of the time in her 5-year career she has more supporting roles than main roles.  

I don’t really know the context around that Wandering Witch part, since I only really remember that series for the controversy it generated, but she’s also Hitomi from Hinamatsuri.  

At least the controversy didn’t lead to the Seiyuu or the staff being harassed. It would be the last thing some people would do. She did her part and delivered it well. As for Hinamatsuri, her down-to-earth aura compared to other characters in the anime is a great contrast to balance the comedic tone.

Rikuya Yasuda

This guy’s fairly young in comparison to the others – I remember for one of the Boueibu Happy Kiss livestreams, he was celebrating his coming of age ceremony beforehand (signifying he was 20 that past year) and so he showed up in a suit. So at least there’s a reason why you’ve probably never heard of this guy before.

Yes. First things first this series isn’t well-known at all for guys like me. If you go to places like reddit people won’t know this even if it is a starting point for Seiyuu. While he did have a role in a less popular series like Ikebukuro West Gate Park last season, not a single person including me even noticed the guy. My first impression is he’s better known to women or in more niche circles.

Out of the 6 main roles he has right now on Anime News Network, I’d say 3 of them are kids’ anime (Yu-Gi-Oh, Beyblade and Tomica), two are female-oriented (Boueibu HK and Outburst Dreamer Boys) and the last one is As Miss Beelzebub Likes, which…runs right down the middle of the gender-division lines by its source material running in a shonen magazine but being characterised by pastel colours. (Pastels are often used to market series to women.) So I’d have to agree with you on that.

I do want to see more male Seiyuu being in the spotlight, yet they seem to struggle more. This season’s Wonder Egg Priority features Kanata Aikawa, a rookie female Seiyuu in her first role. It’s not everyday someone gets this once-in-a-lifetime chance. 

As we run down into the Seiyuu of today, here’s the question:

So why are the guys less popular than the gals?

  • You can reasonably expect an adult woman to do a young male voice, but not the other way around. 
  • The audience of anime has more men than women. 

Idol anime is one way for Seiyuu to make a name for themselves. Kaede Hondo’s role in Zombieland Saga and Kanata Aikawa’s ongoing role in Idoly Pride alongside Wonder Egg Priority are examples. There are male idol groups and music groups aimed for women; the female counterpart is higher in demand. Though it isn’t the case for older voice actors back then. And not all rising male Seiyuu get more versatile roles as time goes on. 

  • Most guys aren’t required to have a range in voice, unlike girls

I noticed this particular agency (<-just linked a random voice actor which I know is from that agency) lists the voice type (in this example, it’s a “high baritone”), so do you think that would encourage not having a range?

I stand corrected. In other agencies they do not provide the actual samples of the voice since it could breach their privacy. Though I don’t know what they meant by “high baritone”. His voice ranges from old man to a young jock. 

You know the voice types, like tenor, bass, alto, soprano etc.? That.

Never learned that in my music classes. I’ve read and studied notes and their math equivalents but those kinds of topics weren’t discussed unfortunately.

I thought the voice types were general knowledge, based on my time doing music lessons.

Music as a subject wasn’t a priority in my high school. It’s there but only surface-level information is discussed.  

Also, from the agency pages I’ve seen, voice actors sometimes give samples of how they talk so that casting people can pick roles appropriately. I didn’t even think about it being a privacy breach.

In the case of discussing seiyuu in general a person would think of the character they associate with more than the intricate details. Based on the link, he would have appeared in a Shounen anime based on the perspective of the audience. Now that I think about it, the voice in itself is a medium of its own. Anime is basically a combination of all types of medium in one presentation.

That’s an interesting way to put it, considering the medium’s fundamental nature as multimedia.

  • Genderless character roles are normally given to female seiyuu, because it’s generally easier to ask a woman to lower her voice than it is to ask a man to consistently voice act in a higher tone. (A notable exception to this “higher tone” thing is Yusuke Shirai as Ramuda from Hypnosis Mic, who does use his deep voice on occasion.)

Initially there were more possible reasons we could think of and by the end of the day, a Seiyuu needs to deliver their lines. Of course the agencies that work with them directly should also give them the best opportunities possible. However, we may never know the circumstances behind a person’s sudden fame or gradual fade into obscurity. Trends change, and the pool of talent may not even reach as long as 30 years or so. Who knows.

Are there any rising Seiyuu you could think of aside from what was listed here? There might be another rising name who’ll dominate in the age of fast information.

More about Seiyuu:

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