In memory of 2010 part 8: so I have a Voice Fetish…

Well, Happy New Year!! And to start the year off, a look back on the vocal performances of yesteryear.

It’s probably not so obvious here, but my vice in anime is actually…the seiyuu. Specifically, the male seiyuu – I can quite reliably pick out my five or so favourite seiyuu just by voice alone. That I’m buying so many DVDs and sharing bits and pieces from commentaries and radio shows can be attributed to in ever-increasing interest in what goes on behind the microphone. But I’ll keep it to their voicework here.

Overall, I’d say that 2010 wasn’t a great year for stand-out performances, at least in the shows I’ve caught, although the range of roles that certain seiyuu got more than made me happy. On the other hand, that it finally threw up shows that tuned me in to some of the ladies was arguably the most important development for 2010.

It all started in the winter season, which was what I’d call a male seiyuu-fan’s dream season. I mean, with just Durarara!!, Ono Daisuke has never been so virile, and Kamiya Hiroshi tackles a dangerously ambivalent character, Fukuyama Jun is himself, and Nakamura Yuuichi‘s Dotachin is unbelievably sexy (repeat the dose of the first three again for WORKING!! and Uraboku). But I also have to mention Namikawa Daisuke, whom I have liked ever since he started voicing Fai in Tsubasa. His work as Kazehaya in Kimi ni Todoke impressed me all throughout the previous season too, but his brief stint as a younger Hohenheim in episode 40 of Fullmetal Alchemist, along with Masa in House of Five Leaves later in the year, highlighted just how versatile he is. Not quite as versatile as Seki Tomokazu perhaps, but if he were to pull off a really hot-blooded character sometime over the next few years, I’ll have to reconsider that thought.

Best friends? or bitter enemies?

Moving on in the year, I pretty much fell in love with Nakamura Yuuichi‘s voice. j1m0ne said it perfectly: “Could you not feel the pheromones oozing out of the screen everytime” his characters opened their mouths? The best part is…the man himself is a riot too, blunt and almost rude – he pretty much defines the word ‘virile’. I recommend the Macross F radio show, the various seiyuu events he’s appeared in over the years, and just about every Drama CD talk track he’s ever done.

I don't care if you disagree...but mmmm....

As for the gals, strictly speaking, it was Saitou Chiwa that opened my ears and mind to female seiyuu once again. But it wasn’t until the Autumn season gave us Kuragehime and Ore no Imouto that I really appreciated what they could do, thanks to a certain Hanazawa Kana. Her cutesy image really belies just how versatile she is.

A rare, business-like shot of the current "queen of moe"

For me, however, 2010 belongs to Sakurai Takahiro. The epitome of reliability in Bakemonogatari and Cross Game, shouldering a heavy heart in The House of Five Leaves (Saraiya Goyou), growing a spine in Otome Youkai Zakuro, WTF in Soremachi. Add his other consistent performances in series from Kuroshitsuji II (embarrassing though that dialogue was) to Uraboku and Hyakka Rouran, and this was definitely his best year since 2006.

But where are you next season!?!

It’s a real pity that none of these last three will probably be rewarded for their exemplary work when the 5th seiyuu awards are announced in March. But well, most seiyuu fans don’t really care about the awards anymore.

About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

3 Responses to In memory of 2010 part 8: so I have a Voice Fetish…

  1. Pingback: Seiyu’s Life: if you really want to learn Japanese, get into seiyuu! | HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL

  2. Pingback: Monogatari Series: Kamimashita! | HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL

  3. Pingback: A Love Letter to 2016, part 2: Fantasy x Madness in Durarara!! | HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL

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