Much like my recently added OP/ED sequence highlights, I’ve been interested in doing a highlight series on Seiyuu and voice rolls. I’ve only started getting into seiyuu in the past few months outside of a few favorites, and so I set out eventually to think of every voice roll that’s left an impact on me, identify the actor, and see what else they’ve done. So to kick off my highlights, here’s a list of all my favorite seiyuu and my favorite roles by them. If you know of any great performances, by these seiyuu or any other, that you think should be brought to my attention, please give me a heads-up in the comments. Note that roles I’m unaware of will exist even in shows I’ve seen, since I only started really listening to voices about a year ago.
This list is in order of preference from actor to actor, and then again among their roles. This won’t be informative, just my opinion on the actors.
1. Norio Wakamoto – He’s the anime version of Christopher Walken – a great actor who became so legendary for his type of performance that roles are written just to have him in there. He has the greatest voice ever – booming, evil, and drawing out his syllables beyond belief. His speech patters bewilder and he goes anywhere from creepy but suave to creepy and angry or just creepily damn good.
Best Roles: 1. Gustave St. Germain – Baccano! 2. Coach Ota – Gunbuster 3. Vicious – Cowboy Bebop 4. Ten no Koe – Hayate the Combat Butler 5. Gargoyle – Yoshinaga-san’chi no Gargoyle 6. Oda Nobunaga – Sengoku Basara 7. Charles di Brittania – Code Geass
2. Tomokazu Seki – That voice of his is burning red! It’s burning passion tells you to grasp victory! BAAAAAKUNETSU! GODO FINGAAAAAAAA!!!!!!
Best Roles: 1. Domon Kasshu – Mobile Fighter G Gundam 2. Anime Tenchou – Meito Anisawa 3. Sousuke Sagara – Full Metal Panic! 4. Soichiro Tanaka – Genshiken 5. Rentarou Futaba – Futakoi Alternative 6. Nana – Nobu
3. Rie Kugimiya – She gets typecast as a tsundere a lot lately, but she has a great range and can bring out some real emotion in characters just as well as deliver punchlines and be super moe.
Best Roles: 1. Taiga Aisaka – Toradora 2. Nagi Sanzenin – Hayate no Gotoku 3. Kagura – Gintama 4. Alphonse Elric – Fullmetal Alchemist (she has a lot of good supporting roles too)
4. Asami Sanada – Her voice as Vita is just absolutely amazing. She has quite a bit of range and also a great singing voice if the Kure-nai musical is to be trusted. Just an excellent, excellent actress who needs more roles!
Best Roles: 1. Vita – Mahou Shoujo Nanoha A’s 2. Tamaki Mutou – Kure-nai 3. Matoi Tsunetsuki – Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
5. Tomokazu Sugita – He’s just insanely awesome. When he plays a common sense or dry character, he does it perfectly, but he can also be totally flamboyant and overly dramatic. The best part is when his dry characters reference his dramatic talents. The guy really brings his roles to life.
Best Roles: 1. Kyon – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 2. Graham Spector – Baccano! OVA 3. Takumi Mayama – Honey and Clover 4. Alien A – Pani Poni Dash!
6. Aya Hirano – As much as I don’t want to have her near the top of a list and look like some seiyuu n00b, I fucking love her performances. She has some undeniably amazing performances (and some admittedly shitty ones) and she has enough of them that I love to make it high on the list. Helps that she’s in so many of my favorite shows.
Best Roles: 1. Mei Etoh – Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight 2. Konata Izumi – Lucky Star 3. Haruhi Suzumiya – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 4. Reira Serizawa – Nana
7. Ryou Hirohashi – She plays so damn many of my favorite characters! It’s almost unfair! Her voice always takes some getting used to at first, but it warms up to me and becomes totally enjoyable. Plus adorable.
Best Roles: 1. Alice Carroll – ARIA 2. Rakka – Haibane Renmei 3. Tamaki Kawazoe – Bamboo Blade 4. Kyou Fujibayashi – CLANNAD 5. Chane Laforet – Baccano!
8. Yui Horie – Horie is fucking creepy as hell, being almost 40 and trying to look 16 with horrible surgery, but she’s still an excellent seiyuu nonetheless. Her genki girl roles always work perfectly, and she knows how to really slather on the moe, especially with the so-cute-it-hurts Hanyuu.
Best Roles: 1. Amamiya Manami – Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight 2. Minori Kushieda – Toradora! 3. Hanyuu – Hiigurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai
9. Kazuya Nakai – He has one of those instantly recognizable voices and it’s completely badass. He’s got that perfect mix of deepness and punk rasp that just exuses pure badassery. A voice you don’t fuck around with.
Best Roles: 1. Roronoa Zoro – One Piece 2. Date Masamune – Sengoku Basara 3. Mugen – Samurai Champloo 4. Karasu – Noein
10. Ai Nonaka – Uber-cute voice with usually shy and toned down roles, but she’s also shown she can be louder when needed. Her roles are always super-moe, lol. No complaining there!
Best Roles: 1. Mika Inamori – Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight 2. Fuura Kafuka – Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 3. Ichijo-san – Pani Poni Dash! 4. Miko Saegusa – Kamichu! 5. Ibuki Fuuko – CLANNAD
11. Nobuyuki Hiyama – One of those dudes who’s been in fucking EVERYTHING. He’s full of manliness and also he has that noticeable tone no one else can do. Plus he’s fucking LINK.
Best Roles: 1. Link (yes, THE Link) 2. Harunobu Madarame – Genshiken 3. Viral – Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann 4. Gai Shishio – GaoGaiGar 5. Shin – Cowboy Bebop
12. Jouji Nakata – He’s an old dude with a very, very deep voice. He’s one of those whose been a background character in like every show imaginable, but when he steps into the spotlight, you fucking notice.
Best Roles: 1. The Count of Monte Cristo – Gankutsuou 2. Alucard – Hellsing
13. Souichiro Hoshi – Always plays a young, hotheaded character with a penchant for insanely GAR moments. Seriously, even though he isn’t one of the big manly types, all 3 of the roles I know from him are insanely GAR characters.
Best Roles: 1. Kazuma – s-CRY-ed 2. Keiichi Maebara – Higurashi no Naku Koro ni 3. Sanada Yukimurra – Sengoku Basara
14. Hiroshi Kamiya – ZETSUBOU SHITA!!!!!! also, THE IDOL OF ADOLESCENCE
Best Roles: 1. Nozomu Itoshiki – Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 2. Yuuta Takemoto – Honey and Clover
15. Paku Romi – She ends up lower on my list because she hasn’t played as many characters that I love, but Paku Romi is an absolutely fucking incredible seiyuu. Her range is fucking insane – she can play pretty much any roll, from a shy, deep-voiced girl to a hyperactive light-pitched young man. And all with spectacular emotion to boot.
Best Roles: 1. Edward Elric – Fullmetal Alchemist 2. Teresa – Claymore 3. Loran Cehack – Turn A Gundam 4. Nana – Nana 5. Uesegi Kenshin – Sengoku Basara
16. Keiji Fujiwara – Like Paku Romi, he could be higher if he had more roles that were favorites for me, but this guy is an unmistakably excellent seiyuu who really gives the extra depth and emotion to his characters.
Best Roles: 1. Holland – Eureka Seven 2. Ladd Russo – Baccano! 3. Maes Hughes – FullMetal Alchemist 4. Shuuji Hanamoto – Honey and Clover 5. Raigyo Tsunomata – Xam’d Lost Memories
17. Jun Fukuyama – It’s fucking batman!
Best Roles: 1. Lelouch di Briittania – Code Geass 2. Kraft Lawrence – Spice and Wolf
18. Kaori Mizuhashi – Her voice is a little strange which is one of it’s real strong points. She plays a variety of types, but her roles as Ogiue and Miyako really sell her. Both are roles like no other and only in a good way. Also, none of her roles sound anything alike O_o
Best Roles: 1. Miyako – Hidamari Sketch 2. Chika Ogiue – Genshiken 3. Ai – Aria 4. Zephiris – Scrapped Princess 5. Yuuno Scrya – Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha
19. Kaori Shimizu – The mere fact that she plays Lain AND Boogiepop is enough to warrant a spot, I mean that’s as fucking good as it gets. Two of my favorite characters EVER, even though neither is a role that reuires a show of emotion, which might be why she’s this far down.
Best Roles: 1. Lain Iwakura – Serial Experiments Lain 2. Boogiepop – Boogiepop Phantom 3. Signum – Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A’s 4. Hiyori Tamura – Lucky Star
20. Michi Niino – It’s a shame that she’s only ever had one goddamn fucking role, because she did such an amazing job in it. Since she’s not really young, I can’t see her career going anywhere, sadly.
Best Roles: 1. Aeru – Simoun
…..AND WHAT THE FUCK? There was a whole 5 more on this post but when it published it got cut off and disappeared, FUCK FUCK FUCK SHIT.