In the grand old US of A, there isn't much fame or fortune in voice
acting for cartoons. There were a few famous people who made their living
at it, doing hundreds of characters, usually several per show, but today,
the best we can hope for is the random appearance of our favorite TV star's
voice as a minor role. (OK, we have a few outstanding examples like
Transformers: The Movie and some Disney flicks that employed real
actors/actresses -- but they don't voice for a living). Anime is such a
large industry that the voicing of characters has an industry of its own.
Seiyuu (voice actors/actresses) in Japan are as common and well-known as
movie stars (or at least TV stars) are in the US.
I've compiled some interesting tidbits about some of the stars in
Nadia, Nadesico, Rurouni Kenshin, and Fushigi
Yuugi. Keep in mind that most of the roles any given voice actor has
done weren't listed here because you, the reader of the newsletter, wouldn't
know who I was talking about (and neither would I).
Nadia: Yoshino Takamori voiced Sayaka (Yawara!) and Reika
(City Hunter); she has blood type A.
Jean: Noriko Hidaka was an idol star (like many seiyuu), and then a
TV reporter and a radio personality, before becoming a seiyuu. Her first
role was Musica in Southern Cross, and she also played Noriko
(Gunbuster), Akane (Ranma ½), Minami (Touch), and
Satsuki (My Neighbor Totoro). She formed an audio entertainment
group called Banana Fritters, with Kouichi Yamadera (Kaji from Neon
Genesis Evangelion, Ryouga from Ranma ½) and Toshihiko Seki (Duo
from Gundam Wing, Mousse from Ranma ½, Shinobu from Here is
Greenwood, and Matsuda from Yawara!). Hidaka is known as a very
upbeat and cheerful (genki) person. A manga artist once described her as
having a personality of "200 watts of pointless encouragement". She was
known as a "pretty-girl heroine" seiyuu until she took the part of Peter Pan
(Japanese TV) and Jean. She was one of the most popular seiyuu in Japan for
Marie: Yuko Mizutani also played Mihoshi (Tenchi Muyo!), and
she dubbed for Andrea in 90210 (American TV playing in Japan with
your favorite anime seiyuu doing the voices!). Her roles tend to be
characters with a screw loose.
King, Hanson: Toshiharu Sakurai played Goldar (Power Rangers)
and dubbed for Michaelangelo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Grandis: Kumiko Takizawa dubbed for Jill (Baywatch).
Sanson: Kenyu Horiuchi dubbed for Charlie Sheen in Hot Shots
and Steve in 90210, but what I found most interesting is that he
dubbed for Chip (Kouichi Yamadera played Dale), from the classic duo of Chip
'n Dale! They made such an amusing team that the populace will never forget
Nemo: Akio Otsuka was the dub actor for our beloved Will Riker
(Star Trek: TNG). (He does a lot of bag guys and "cool older guys".
Electra: Kikuko Inoue played Belldandy (Ah! My Goddess),
Kasumi (Ranma ½), and Anju (Marmalade Boy).
Gargoyle: Motomu Kiyokawa. Hideaki Anno begged him to do a role in
Neon Genesis Evangelion because he was so good as Gargoyle; Kiyokawa
accepted on the condition that he have as few lines as possible because he
didn't like voice acting very much. His character? Fuyutsuki.
Akito: Yuuji Ueda does what I was looking for when I began this
article -- he voices characters in more than one of the series I was going
through. He plays Sanosuke (Rurouni Kenshin) and both Amiboshi and
Suboshi (Fushigi Yuugi), who will appear next semester.
Gai: Tomokazu Seki you might also have heard before, for he did Van's
voice (The Vision of Escaflowne), Touji (Neon Genesis
Evangelion), and Chichiri (Fushigi Yuugi).
Yahiko: Miina Tominaga is quite famous, but you're not likely to
know about any of her characters, save Noa from Patlabor and Kozue
from Maison Ikkoku. It's rare for her to play male roles.
Miaka: Kae Araki was best well-known for Chibi-Usa (Sailor
Moon) before she took this part, and for taking over Sailor Moon herself
when the regular seiyuu got appendicitis.
Yui: Yumi Touma also meows for Tama (a cute kitten we'll meet later
-- he's in the opening), says suggestive things as Urd (Ah! My
Goddess), casts spells as Deedlit (Record of Lodoss War), and
gives plenty of people a good beating as Rin (Please Save My Earth --
you really ought to read the manga for this; it surpasses the 6 OAVs in so
many, many ways).
Tamahome: Hikaru Midorikawa voiced Heero (Gundam Wing),
Zelgadis (Slayers), and Michael (Marmalade Boy). Okay, here
I'm leaving out some that I know and you don't... maybe if you come to Manga
Club, someone can tell you more interesting tidbits!
Hotohori: Takehito Koyasu was moved by Galaxy Express 999, and
he decided to become a seiyuu after seeing it. He's known for his
"beautiful guy" characters, and female anime fans in Japan have been known
to swoon over his best-delivered lines.
Nuriko: Chika Sakamoto also did Mei (My Neighbor Totoro) and
the dub for Jennifer in Family Ties.
Chichiri: Tomokazu Seki (see above).
Narrator: Hisako Kyouda will later also speak for Taiitsu-kun in
Fushigi Yuugi. She plays "everybody's grandmother" in anime,
including Godai's (Maison Ikkoku).
Well, that's it for now. If you aren't satisfied for seiyuu info
from this article, search around on the web; you can learn a lot about anime
from a great variety of people out there! (start with