Yup yup. All my boxed have been ticked. Serious anime? Seirei no Moribito will suffice! Something dumb and over-the-top that makes me laugh? Gurren Lagann, thank you very much. And now something that’s extremely cute and very silly indeed? Step forward, Moetan, with yet another adorable Tamura Yukari performance!
Seriously, that woman is a great seiyuu. In fact, I’m inspired to compile a list:
Tom’s Favourite Seiyuu – in no particular order
Tamura Yukari – Akazukin (Otogi Jushi Akazukin), Misha (PitaTen) and Sakura (Da Capo) lend supreme moé credentials, but then she also voices taciturn Mai (Kanon), brazen Midori (Mai-HiME) and polite Tenten (Naruto).
Tanaka Rie – from fluting ‘Chii’ in Chobits to giggling ominously as Suigintou in Rozen Maiden, from going off the rails as Tomoe in Mai-Otome to being the down-to-earth straight girl Yomi in Azumanga Daioh, she always makes a mark on any show she’s in.
Kugimiya Rie – her characters all tend to be sweet and young, even when they’re a huge suit of armour (Al in Hagane no Renkinjutsushi), especially her boys (like Kouta from Midori no Hibi), but occasionally she’ll be a tomboy (Karin from Bleach) or a petulant/tsundere girly-girl (Koboshi from PitaTen, Bell from MÄR, Shana from Shakugan no Shana), and occasionally out of nowhere comes this fascinating spacey voice, which she gives to Hotaru in Gakuen Alice and the stately Touko from Maria-Sama ga Miteru. Quite odd to think that she can do such elegant voices then switch to the outrageously hyperactive Rizel from Rizelmine or Sabato from Dokoro-chan. Sabato is exceptional because she’s the only Kugimiya Rie character I’ve encountered that I didn’t find adorable.
Paku Romi – the other Elric brother. You can’t mistake that voice she uses for boys, which sounds like she’s smoked a few too many, and which doesn’t vary much, be it Ed from Hagane no Renkinjutsushi, Natsume from Gakuen Alice or Hitsugaya from Bleach. But hearing her female voices – Temari in Naruto, Karim in Jyu-oh-sei, the rocking Nana from Nana, it really sounds like two different people. She may not have the versatility of others in this list, but she definitely knows how to make a line sound cool.
Takeuchi Junko – the familiar voice of Naruto. A distinctive voice, certainly, but given that she’s had so many huge roles, it’s remarkable how she puts in little differences for each. Gon in HunterXHunter, for example, sounds so much younger and more sweetly naïve than Naruto, and Dieter in Monster may sound like Naruto, but there’s an expressiveness there that’s quite different from Naruto’s bravado. Her mere presence makes an anime seem more significant – like Kakurenbo. Still can’t imagine her as Zidane from FFIX, though.
Hayashibara Megumi – the first seiyuu I ever knew by name. Rei Ayanami from Eva made her something of an idol, but she was the female Ranma, she was Lina Inverse, she was Pyoko from Di Gi Charat. A real pillar.
Noto Mamiko – principally for Nina in Monster and Shimako in Maria-sama, though she also has prominent roles in Negima and My-HiME. Her voice sounds like warm honey.
Ishida Akira - let’s have the men now. This guy gets all the cool roles, and makes them all sound different. Nagi in Mai-HiME and Gaara in Naruto, Kaworu in Eva and Naoji in Meine Leibe, and then he turns it all on his head to become the embodiment of goofiness and social maladjustment as Kucchi in Genshiken.
Yamaguchi Kappei – the other half of Ranma. How does someone who does probably the best comic performance in anime history as Usopp in One Piece also make you take him totally seriously as L in Death Note or Hugh in Kiba, while at the same time taking leading roles in Inuyasha and Meitantei Conan? Incredible. Oh, and he’s in the Japanese version of South Park, too. Wonder what that sounds like…
And finally…Wakamoto Norio. Onsokumaru. Chiyo-chichi. ‘Nuff said.