Kenji Utsumi (the voice of Fullmetal Alchemist’s Armstrong) has passed away
He was one of my absolute favorite seiyuu (I did a writeup for him a few months ago, wow, that last paragraph is depressing now). This is a HUGE loss. No one can match his wonderfully distinct voice. Armstrong aside, which was my favorite role of his (so good that they couldn’t think of replacing him for Brotherhood), If they ever do Hajime no Ippo sequels, it won’t be the same at all without Utsumi playing Kamogawa.
He was a superbly talented man. Thank you for your fantastic performances, Kenji Utsumi.
Takkou Ishimori (the voice of One Piece’s Sengoku) has passed away
I’m really sad about this because Sengoku had one of my favorite voices in all of One Piece. It’s going to be really, really difficult to replace Ishimori, I’m sure (I don’t even know who they’d pick, I’m curious). Ishimori had such a wonderfully unique voice. At the very least, I’m glad that he got to voice Sengoku throughout Marineford.
Yuko Goto’s roles being replaced
It’s officially time for me to be worried about Yuko Goto’s wellbeing. Back in May 2012, she went on hiatus for treatment of what was revealed to be an autoimmune disease. At the time, she said her hospital stay would be 2.5 months at the minimum.
Now her roles in a few shows are being replaced, and I can’t help but remember the same thing happening before Tomoko Kawakami passed away. It is concerning becasue I do like Yuko Goto a lot. Hopefully, my concerns are unwarranted, and she recovers from her illness.
So truth be told, I’m losing motivation to keep running this blog mainly cause I’m running out of seiyuu to cover. I’m putting the blog on semi-hiatus for a while until I get in the mood again for regular updates with maybe occasional updates here and there.
Sakaguchi is a stellar supporting actor. What I mean by that is I rarely ever recognize his voice because he’s always playing some radically different supporting character. He’s not instantly recognizable for me like other seiyuu, which I really admire because that means his range is fantastic.
My first exposure to him was his terrifying portrayal of Shounen Bat in Paranoia Agent. But since then I’ve seen him in various shows playing totally different characters. He plays the meekest character in the world, Jacuzzi Splot, from Baccano. He’s played extremely nerdy and neurotic characters (Kaoru Yamazaki from Welcome to the NHK), gooby characters (Naomichi Yamada from Hajime no Ippo) and various others.
I love seiyuu with instantly reconigzable voices too (as anyone who’s followed me has seen) but seiyuu like Sakaguchi who can just blend into any show regardless of whether it’s a comedy or drama or WHATEVER really impress me.
Yuu Asakawa with Mamiko Noto at the studio.
Her singing aside (which is great), she has a lot of range that I didn’t expect to hear from her when I first heard her as Hinata in Naruto oh so long ago. Hinata is the definition of a meek character, but since then, Mizuki has played more authoritative and mature roles that sound radically different from Hinata.
One of my favorite roles of hers is as Lan Fan in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (she also played Wrath in the first anime). It’s a good blend of bad-ass always about business warrior girl with a stuttering mumbly mess whenever she messes up.
And then you have Misaki Kirihara from Darker than Black who is totally authoritative, a really strong female character who sounds very adult especially in comparison to a character like Hinata. It’s always nice to see a female seiyuu who can play adults just as well as kids; it’s usually pretty surreal hearing them play a mature adult after you’re so used to them playing younger characters.
She’s comparable to Maaya Sakamoto in a way, where they’re both really good singers who can play a variety of roles, although I think Sakamoto has Mizuki beat in androgynous/boy roles (she’s just way too good at them). But Mizuki is still really good, and I’m always excited to see her play a different type of role cause she usually knocks it out of the park.
She’s got a great voice on the lower end that allows her to play more mature sounding girls, tomboys, and also just straight up boy characters. My first exposure to her was as Miyabi Aizawa in GTO, who’s extremely manipulative and antagonistic.
One of her more notable roles now is Tashigi from One Piece, who’s a great character because Noda gets to play the no nonsense side of her who’s always raring to go, but also play the side of her that is totally loyal and listens to Smoker.
She can bring a lot of energy to her roles when she’s not playing the more coolheaded mature type. I admire any female seiyuu who can play both types of roles really well. I also TOTALLY didn’t realize she was young Franky in One Piece. Man, fuckin boy voices, man. Some of these female seiyuu just completely take me off guard.
Seiyuu Who Should Get More Parts: Yuu Asakawa
I’ve only really seen her in major roles in two shows, but I loved her in both. She’s actually pretty fluent in English and interacts with American fans a lot on Twitter. If I don’t watch out, this is going to turn into a post about me having a crush on her, like the fact that she’s a total video game nerd who is in love with Leon Kennedy (but then again, who isn’t?)
ANYWAYS, let’s focus on what I’ve seen from her. She tends to play cool, level headed characters. Sakaki from Azumanga Daioh is a bit of a subversion because she SEEMS cool and distant, but is actually just painfully shy. But then you have a really mature sounding voice to the point of almost parody in School Rumble with Itoko.
I would love to see her in more stuff because I’m interested to check out her range. I think she qualifies for this section because she will tweet about getting passed over by shows. Which is sad cause i really like her, but it’s also an interesting personal look into the industry and how competitive it can be.
Newish Seiyuu I’m Excited to See More From: Yoshimasa Hosoya
I was hesitant to make this a “Seiyuu Who Should Get More Parts” post because Hosoya is relatively new and he is basically GUARANTEED to get more parts after landing starring roles in shows like Chihayafuru and Kids on the Slope. So instead, I’ve made a new section for highlighting any newish seiyuu that I haven’t seen that much from, but am already excited to see more from. Years ago, Mamoru Miyano would’ve been in this section.
Just from the two roles I’ve seen him play, he’s apparently the KING OF DIALECTS. He uses a Fukui dialect for Arata (which is super endearing as a result) and a slurring Kyushu dialect for Sentarou. Not to mention the two characters are wildly different, but both incredibly charismatic. Arata’s a very quiet, hardworking man while Sentarou is a bit more brash and in your face. What both characters share is a deep passion for what they love to do, which Hosoya conveys really well.
Really promising talent, I can’t wait to see him in another show. I rarely get that excited about newer seiyuu, but Hosoya’s an exception.