Anime Tutorial 2: Become a l33t Seiyuu Fan in 8 Steps!

Following the runaway success of the first anime tutorial, where many a n00b was transformed into a straight-talking, intelligent mecha fan, we now bring you tutorial 2. Instead of a genre this time, we shall teach you, Mr n00b, about Japanese voice actors, why they are important and how to recognise them.

"But I don’t understand this Japonese!" I hear you cry. "Because I am a fat American!"

No worries, because you don’t actually need to understand any Japanese in this tutorial, though the ability to recognise Kanji will help a great deal.

"But I think dubs are better! I don’t want to have to read, reading is tiring because I’m American, too fat to open my eyes!"

Oh then you can continue reading this post but substitute American voice actor names in instead.

Why are seiyuu (Japanese voice actors) important? They are way overrated actually. Self-proclaimed purists will always say, "They bring to life a character! They provide the star value!" but this is bullshit really. The cold hard truth is that seiyuu are the last remaining links anime have to real life. To test this hypothesis, try watching an anime with the dialogue turned off and just read the subtitles. You will find that your enjoyment, especially if you do not know Japanese, doesn’t dwindle as much as you would expect.

The vast majority of anime fans deep in their subconscious minds, only think seiyuu are important because of the big names. It is just like watching Hollywood movies for say, stars like Angelina Jolie or Jessica Alba. Nobody cares about the smaller seiyuu or even the bulk of the male ones, everyone loves the female stars because they are the last remaining links to real live action celebrity people that these anime fans just have to have, despite their constant delusion of 2D > 3D.

But as a n00b, your first objective is to blend in with the otaku crowd, so you will need to learn how to recognise the voice of a seiyuu. Actually, you don’t have to recognise them all, just about 8 will do because "fans" only talk about the most beautiful/most casted ones anyway.

Enough of this introduction, your fatty American eyes must be getting tired of this new-fangled reading business by now so let’s hurry before the HP runs out.’

As a n00b, the very first show you should see for seiyuu training is the Galaxy Angels season 1-4. This is an excellent starter show for seiyuu recognition as it has 6 extremely different voices by 5 people. The show is mainly dialogue-based as well, so it’s a good way for you to pick up the different tones, speech patterns, speed and other attributes of a seiyuu.

The easiest voice to recognise is actually Ranpha’s, who is voiced by Tamura Yukari. She has this huge nasal twang, and is a bit whiny. This was the very first seiyuu I could recognise as well. This seiyuu has poor range and is quite distinct, so you can always tell at first hearing when she is in a show.

Mint’s voice, by Sawashiro Miyuki (then a 15 year old prodigy who outshone everyone), is classy with a touch of evil. Sawashiro in recent years has taken on a wide-ranging selection of roles, from old vampire women, blonde dolls, to high school males with large blades in their arms. This is one for the later chapters.

Kanai Mika voices Vanilla AND Nomad, two voices so different a n00b, or even a fan, would never be able to tell. Vanilla is the typical monotone stoic loli voice that otakus cherish more than their moms. Anyone can do this sort of voice very very easily. Nomad, on the other hand, is a robotic machine gun-speed wise-cracking whiner, that shows just how much variation a good seiyuu’s voice has.

The other two angels, Miefeulle (Shintani Ryouko) and Forte, are useful to remember but not significant in fandom. Shintani does sing quite a bit of OPs and EDs though and she is always appearing together with Sawashiro. So by now, you should be able to recognise 1 seiyuu, Tamura Yukari, and have witnessed the range of two others.

At this point, you can start to join in the otaku conversations. How? You just state, "My favourite seiyuu is Tamura Yukari. I love her distinctive voice." and everyone will nod to acknowledge you. Because chances are, everyone’s a n00b anyway at this. Try not to let loose the fact you know only one person.

Next show we’ll see is School Rumble. Conveniently, this show lets you view 4 of the top female talents at once, along with a smattering of other lesserknown but just as beautiful voices.

Tsukamoto Tenma the ditzy female lead is by Koshimizu Ami, who is quite unique as well. For now, we shall try to remember those with unique voices, rather than confuse ourselves with the actual talented seiyuu who can do multiple role types.

Tsukamoto Yakumo, the perfect oriental girl, is by Noto Mamiko. She has a huge fanbase because of her ONE and only voice, the airy, highpitched yet rounded, totally one of a kind one which you can’t miss. This should be the 2nd seiyuu you will ever remember, so you can add her to your favourites list, which is actually more like a I know this seyuu list.

Sawachika Eri is voiced by the rapidly-aging poster girl of cuteness, Horie Yui. She has a distinctively cute but not artificially fake loli type voice. You’ll have to hear it to believe it. You know the typically saccharine sweet, high pitched voices one associates stereotypically with anime? Horie is not like that at all.

If you like sultry,mature babes, you will like Asakawa Yuu. She has a  monopoly on this sort of role in Japan. As Itoko sensei in School Rumble, she rules.

Alright, now we have a good list of favourite seiyuu for you. But oh no, they are all female and not bad looking! To prevent you from looking like a sex-crazed n00b, we must balance the list with males.

Thankfully, because no one else knows too much about male seiyuus, you can get away with just knowing a couple of names. Now watch Code Geass and you will hear the voices of one of the abovementioned females. If you can recognise her, then you will have passed the female component of this module. Meanwhile, check out the male lead, Lelouch. He is voiced by the new king of male seiyuu popularity, Fukuyama Jun. Again, his is a unique voice that you will surely notice. He has more or less only one voice type as well, so this will be the first male seiyuu you will remember.

In the same show, check out this ultra low manly sound resonating from your speakers. It is the voice of NakataJouji, the lowest in the history of Mankind. Unmistakable.

Finally, watch the last show here, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. The main lead is Tomokazu Sugita, who has an easy-to-recognise deadpan style he carries over to most of his other roles. Oh that’s all for guys! The same show has arguably the biggest sensation in the seiyuu world (artificially enhanced), Hirano Aya. You must know this name by heart, and by voice. She has this panty voice, I mean PANTING, where she sounds like she’s short of air all the time and speaking too close to the mic. Or maybe the mic is in her mouth blow jobstyle.

That’s all, you have now achieved a level of seiyuu knowledge that rivals 90 percent of all anime fans!! Wow, that’s not even 8 steps. Hurrah!

Here is the final exam…
What is your favourite seiyuu?

Ans: My favourite seiyuu is [insert one of the above mentioned], for her role in [insert one of the above anime]. I love her [insert style] and her [insert nonexistent trait inferred from characters she plays]. She’s really cute too! As for the males, I prefer the manly [insert name of male seiyuu]. I can’t believe how shallow most of these so-called fans are! All they do is talk about [inserted overrated seiyuu here] who doesn’t deserve to win anything in the [insert awards ceremony or competition here]!

Conclusion: You don’t have to know much. You just need to know the names, and name drop often. But it would make good sense to read some seiyuu blogs like Hashihime or j1m0ne’s Blog. They teach you stuff.Oh, find out the seiyuu of your favourite character in some anime series, via ANN. And then look out for all her roles, and then claim you’re her biggest fan.

The Graduate Studies level is when you pick one really obscure seiyuu and champion her as the best ever and go around educating people on why she is good. Good example to start with include Hanazawa KYORRRCHAN Kana. It sucks to be mainstream and if you pick Hirano Aya or someone popular as your favourite then prepare for a lot of stick. Otherwise, you could pick a known seiyuu with strong ability but underrated due to lack of marketing and looks, like Kuwashima Houko. Or a classic old schooler like Hayashibara Megumi.

Further readings
Pumpkin Scissors (Regal, majestic Itou Shizuka
REC (learn about the seiyuus)
Minamike (Inoue Marina, Satou Rina)
Ichigo Mashimaro (Chiba Saeko, Noto, Orikasa Fumiko, Nobatame Hitomi, Kawasumi Ayako)
Full Metal Panic (Tomokazu Seki, Satsuki Yukino, Yukana)
And others.

17 Responses to “Anime Tutorial 2: Become a l33t Seiyuu Fan in 8 Steps!”

  • LOLL! I like hearing the voices and it’s weird watching anime without sound, but it doesn’t really change anything I guess. Usually I just say stuff like “I like Lelouch’s voice!” or w/e. I really don’t bother with learning the names. But maybe I should start … And I’m Ms n00b thank you very much XD

  • Should I be disturbed that Galaxy Angels and School Rumble WERE probably the first 2 series where I started picking up seiyuu ‘know-how’ once upon a time (and I haven’t progressed very far since) ?

  • “Following the runaway success of the first anime tutorial, where many a n00b was transformed into a straight-talking, intelligent mecha fan”

    Your trying to make more people like me? I’m sure this comment itself freaks a lot of people out as I think I might be considered the anime devil or something … @_@!

    Anyway, my test is way harder then this and so far only 2 people have really passed out of a good 20 or so. That’s a 90% chance of failure folks, so I’d take TJ_Han’s exam over mine.

    I actually helped ease Hashihime into male seiyuu roles a little while ago by giving him some recommendations of people to look into. Previously he only seemed interested in Sugita Tomokazu, which kind of spooked me as he’s basically a one shot deal as you say with his deadpan sarcasm style of voice acting that he can’t turn off when appropriate. Hashihime seemed to take an interest in Takehito Koyasu, but alas, he still seems dead set on Aya Hirano. I don’t know what Hashihime sees in her honestly as there’s nothing especially exciting to me about whatever concert she’s involved in. When you’ve got Tohru Furuya outright backing the cause through public speaking events and trying to generate awareness of the industy, that’s something I would like to be reading about, not what Aya Hirano had for breakfast.

    Anyway, if people are curious about Seiyuu they can go ahead and ask me, as among other things it’s a field in which I have quite a bit of knowledge. Male, Female, 80′s, 90′s voice actors, popular ones, semi-popular ones, roles they did, who they were in shows with, I can run through it all. Ever hear of Weiss? Just ask away…

  • I am eagerly awaiting the tutorial for animation quality.

  • No love for Norio Wakamoto?


  • I seriously wonder if any otaku would follow the above instructions.

  • I already followed it..

    I agree with the School Rumble one.
    The anime has a wide variety of voices and it’s the anime that made me realize the awesomeness of Horie Yui..
    I love her voice..

  • NakaTA Jouji, my friend. So uh… I guess I’ve already earned my doctorate in seiyuu studies. Oh, and why did Hashihime get a link but not me >_>

  • Funny, that plugin is supposed to autohotlink the names I type in square brackets. I should change your blog name to just jimone to make things easier.

    Lawliet: Are you a noob? If not, then this is not for you.

  • Ha, looks like jimone was paying attention in class! I let that error in on purpose to test whether people are aware.

  • I guess I am one. And proud to be one.

  • no mamoru miyano and shinichiro miki? I personally think they are great seiyuus and their voices are also quite distinct.

  • Huh. Where’s Kawashima Ayako? Or Rie Tanaka?

    And the best thing? I cannot decipher voices. But i know the names, OWNING!

  • sesshomaru_haku

    Megumi Ogata – the degree to which she can vary her voice is amazing; compare Shinji from EVA and Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho. And her voice is pretty unique.

  • The only seiyuu voice that I can recognize is Paku Romi’s.

  • Hehe. The first Voice Actor I was able to recognize was Romi Paku (Hitsugaya Toushirou from Bleach).

    Me and my friend was watching Samurai 7 and when I first heard Katsushiro Okamoto talk I said “That’s Romi Paku! Captain Hitsugaya’s voice!” so I Googled it and found out I was right :)

    I am not really an otaku, but I think it is a bit interesting to read about anime after I’m watching it :)

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