Hourou Musuko is the story of a boy who wishes he were a girl and a girl who wishes she were a boy and the cascade of drama and gender confusion surrounding themselves and their friends. It’s safe to say that I’ve never seen a gender-bender nearly as good, nor as effective and in many ways relatable. Knowing all that, this should’ve been obvious.
When I first saw the cast for Hourou Musuko, I thought “Nakai Kazuya? Fujiwara Keiji? What’re they doing here?” I then pondered something similar about Horie Yui and Toyosaki Aki, whom I know best as cutely-voiced and energetic characters that wouldn’t feel right in what I consider a very mellow story.
I should’ve realized how this fits the theme of going against type. Nakai Kazuya is best known for his deep, growling, badass voice given to the likes of Roronoa Zoro and Date Masamune. Here, he voices a cheerful and friendly homeroom teacher in a pitch that sounds like he might be holding his nose to achieve. Fujiwara Keiji—whose tendency to play very similar roles I’ve pointed out before—has gone against type a little more often than Nakai with his frequent inclusion in kids’ shows. He’s doing it here as well, playing a cool and relaxed guy who’s normal and not a ridiculous badass.
Horie and Toyosaki—neither of whom I would’ve recognized without the aid of MAL—are even more deliberately against type. Horie plays Suehiro Anna, a somewhat dark, silent, and deeply-voiced friend of Maho’s. Toyosaki is Shirai Momoko, who’s the type that never really seems to be in a good mood, trying to keep up with her overly bombastic friend.
I don’t know enough about any of the other seiyuu in the show to determine whether the trend continues to all of them, but with these examples, I think it’s rather clear that those seiyuu are fitting the theme of the show by playing unusual characters.