Celebrating the Sexiest Female Voice in Anime Today
January 22, 2017 2 Comments
When a certain seiyuu special aired two weeks ago as part of the ongoing celebration of 100 years of Japanese animation,1 I suspect that the initial reaction in the West would have been “Who…??” Whilst older fans—and anyone watching this season’s best show, Rakugo Shinjuu—would undoubtedly recognise the names of Yamadera Kouichi (Sukeroku), Seki Tomokazu (Yotarō) and Hayashibara Megumi (Miyokichi; also Rei in Evangelion), I suspect that many of the younger crowd would have drawn a blank even on these talents.
Once you know how this ranking was created, however, the results shouldn’t be a surprise. This wasn’t a public poll; instead, 200 popular Japanese voice actors were asked to vote for their top three seiyuu, with first places garnering 10 points, and second and third being allotted 5 and 1 respectively. And no one was surprised that Yamadera and Nozawa Masako (perhaps best known for Dragonball‘s Son Goku) took the top two spots, except perhaps for how large the gap ended up being.
The Top 5
1st: Yamadera Kouichi: 470 points
2nd: Nozawa Masako: 248
3rd: Fujiwara Keiji: 128
4th: Sawashiro Miyuki: 122
5th: Seki Tomokazu: 72
But knowing this process may cause another name to jump out at you. Clocking in at number 4 is Sawashiro Miyuki, at the tender age of 31–she’ll be 32 in June this year. To put that in perspective, the next youngest names on the list include Seki, Mitsuishi Kotono (Misato in Evangelion etc) and Suwabe Jun’ichi (Victor in Yuri!!! on ICE etc), who will all ring in their 45th birthdays in 2017.
Amongst such luminaries, how and why did someone as young as Sawashiro come fourth? The program offered Yamadera’s own assessment. Having worked with Miyukichi (as she is known by fans) on Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, he marvelled at just how sexy she was in the title role: “It’s amazing that she can exude such sensuality in her twenties! Like, I thank my lucky stars that I was born a man.”
Indeed, that breathy voice is why I love Miyukichi myself. Though I’ve only mentioned it once or twice, I’m all about the sexy and sultry voices. This is why I really don’t like listening to radio shows hosted by young female seiyuu, with their high cutesy voices.2 It’s times like this that I regret having generally lost interest in Western media…like, there’s Scarlett Johanson, or to go back a little further, Michelle Pfeiffer…
In any case, Miyukichi’s been around forever, having debuted as a teenager in Di Gi Charat back in 1999. And as they pointed out in that seiyuu special, she’s praised for having a multitude of voices, including cool young men like Kurapika (2011’s Hunter x Hunter), bishōjo like Nanami Haru (UtaPri) and an alien (Crayon Shin-chan). You can hear some of that range in this compilation of her roles from 2014:
But above all, it is that sensual quality in Miyukichi’s voice that I love. My favourite role of hers remains Durarara!!’s Celty, though I’ve had a fond spot in my heart for Shinku (Rozen Maiden) ever since I realised that was her. And now that I know more about director Yamamoto Sayo, Fujiko Mine is definitely next on my Miyukichi list.
Do you agree with my vote for Sawashiro Miyuki as the sexiest (female) voice in anime today? Or is there someone else you prefer? Let me know in the comments!
- Though recent discoveries suggest that we may actually have missed that anniversary by a few years! ↩
- Sorry to everyone who loves seiyuu like Amamiya Sora or Horie Yui…I just…can’t… ↩