Tomoko Kawakami was extremely versatile. She was one of those female seiyuu like Sayaka Ohara where I honestly could not recognize her in most roles because she has such a fantastic range. Primarily, she played a lot of cutesy, higher voices, but then she’d play someone like Soi Fong from Bleach who was extremely tough, low, and really just kind of bad-ass.
I think one role that really showed her talent was as Amber in Darker than Black because that was a role where the character started out as an adult and got younger and younger as the show went on. And yet she managed to play the part believably through every single age.
I was really sad when I found she died of ovarian cancer last year. Back when I used to follow Bleach, I noticed that Houko Kuwashima had started to fill in for her as Soi Fong, but I didn’t realize why until Kawakami died.
She was extremely talented. A fine example of how a seiyuu can be so good at what they do that you don’t even recognize them in various roles. I willl always admire her work, and it’s a damn shame she didn’t get to play more roles.
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