I’ve been promising this post for a while now. I did a voice actor version some time ago and it was one of my favourite lists to put together. I think you guys enjoyed it too.

As we all know, an actor’s performance can really drag down an anime. There’s something heartbreaking about a painfully wooden performance in the middle of a wonderful story that rips you right out of the fantasy. On the bright side, I’ve seen more than a few characters go from boring to endearing on the strength of an actor’s charisma. Voice actors don’t have as much to work with as conventional actors. They can’t rely on body movements or smouldering looks to get their message across. So it’s doubly impressive when they manage to convey subtle emotion and complex feelings though inflection and tone alone.

And for me, these ladies do just that.

Today let us celebrate the artistry that goes into bringing some of our favourite characters to life. In no real order we have!

5. Aoi Yuuki

I don’t care how petty it sounds, I’m just going to put this right here. This young woman is shorter than me!!! A musician and traditional actress, Aoi unique voice has made her quite successful in the field. Here are a few selected roles out of the tons she has had:

  • Hana – Ben-To
  • Tsuyu – My Hero Academia
  • Mina – Vampire Bund
  • The Energetic Ringo – Daily Lives of HighSchool Boys
  • Sosuke – Free!! (surprised? – I was)
  • Victorique – Gosick
  • Mihoshi – Gundam
  • Russia – Hetalia
  • Kino – Kino’s journey
  • Futaba – Persona 5
  • Iris – Pokemon
  • Mélie – Radiant
  • Shinra – Durarara!!
  • Sunako – Shiki
  • Borr – SSSS.Gridman
  • Tanya – Saga of Tanya the Evil
  • Oh yeah – she’s also Madoka in some magical girl show…
  • She’s set to play Touka and Boogiepop in the upcoming remake and I am psyched for this!

Not to mention roles in March Comes In Like a Lion, ACCA 13, Asobi Asobase, Welcome to the Ballroom, Gangsta, Gintama, Goblin Slayer, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, Hyakka, Hyouka, Your Name, last exile, One Punch Man, Seraph of the End, Sword Art Online II, Tanaka-kun, Tokyo Ghoul, Snafu, Yuru Yuri, and I seriously skipped over most of them. This lady works!

The surprisingly raspy quality of her vocals, and the counterintuitive depth of her tone makes her suitable for a wide range of diverse characters. A small actress with a big voice! Irresistible.

4. Chiwa Saito

Miss Saito has been acting for some time which means she’s had the chance to amass a pretty impressive portfolio. One of my favourite random facts out there, is that she is part of a voice acting groups called “MORE PEACH SUMMER SNOW”. That’s the best name ever. I’m going to rname Buddy that. (His actional name if Sir Buddy Livingston Master Chief Brown). Sadly, she is taller than me.

  • Yona – Yona of the Dawn
  • Aika – Aria
  • Hitagi – Monogatari series
  • Sigyn – Break Blade
  • Yuki – Vampire Bund
  • Chloe – Fate/Kaelid series
  • Natsumi – Keroro
  • the fantastic Riko – Kuroko’s Basketball
  • Louise- Gudam 00
  • Anita – R.O.D. TV
  • Kotori – rewrite
  • Meru – Zetsoubu Sensei
  • Nadeshiko – Yuru Yuri
  • She’s also Homura in some magical girl show…I swear I didn’t know this before researching for this post. I never realized how much I liked the Madoka casting before!

Of course there’s like a billion more titles but I’m going to name these ones because, reasons: Amanchu, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Boccano, Berserk, Dog & Scissors, D-Frag, Daily Lives of HighSchool Boys, Gintama, Girls Bravo, Kino’s journey, Last Exile, Log Horizon, Lyrica Nanoha, Murder Princess (I just like this title) One Piece, Sward Art Online, I’m just going to stop now.

You can actually hear her sing in some roles and she truly has a beautiful singing voice. It has a rich timber and she obviously has a great ear for melody. If ever she chose to switch career paths to the musical instead, I’m sure she’d have a great future. We would miss her as an actress though so let’s not encourage that!

3. Megumi Hayashibara

A more classical voice actress and one of the best known in Japan, Megumi almost became a nurse instead. There’s a certain personality that goes along with choosing a career in nursing. Caring but also resilient. You can see that peek through a bit in Megumi’s character and acting choice. Then again, there are so many to pick from I could probably make an argument for any character type.

  • Pai and IV – 3×3 eyes
  • Ai – Detective Conan
  • Haruko – FLCL Progressive
  • Haruka – Love Hina
  • Todomatsu – Osomatsu-kun
  • Paprika and Chiba – Paprika
  • Musashi – Pokemon
  • Ranma – Ranma 1/2
  • Lime – Saber Marionette J
  • Anna – Shaman King
  • Lina – Slayers
  • Ai – Video Girl Ai
  • Genkai – Yuu Yuu Hakusho
  • Hello Kitty…this woman is Hello Kitty
  • The incomparable Faye Valentine – Cowboy Bebop
  • Probably best known as Rei Ayanami – Evangelion

She can also be heard in Blue Exorcist, Bakuretsu Hunters, Sailor Moon, Blue Seed, Chihayafuru 2, Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor, Macross Plus, Lupin III, Maison Ikkoku, One Piece, Project A-ko, Shadow Skill, the Doreamons, Tenchi Muyou, and obviously a million more shows.

This lady’s body of work speaks for itself. I have to say I was already pretty amazed that spunky, opinionated Faye, with her womanly register and quiet monotone Rei were played by the same person, add in Hell Kitty to the mix and my mind is a little broken…and then you have comedy queen Ranma. This is the type of career you look up to!

2. Romi Park

Did you know that Romi studied Korean in university. I just find that intriguing, obviously she’s always liked languages. Ok I’m beating about the bush so let me just say it, miss Park’s performance was one of the best parts of FMA: Brotherhood for me. I literally caught myself in the middle of scenes just going, OMG the acting is phenomenal. I’ve heard great things about the English language cast but you really are missing ouy if you didn’t catch this performance.

  • Tōshirō Hitsugaya –  Bleach
  • Teresa – Claymore
  • Akane – Danganronpa
  • Tanaka – Daily Lives of High School Boys
  • Igarashi – Deadman Wonderland
  • Kenichi – Cyber Coil
  • Ken – Digimon
  • Sena – Eyeshield 21
  • Natsume – Gakuen Alice
  • Walter – Hellsing Ultimate
  • Switzerland – Hetalia
  • Angelina – Black Butler
  • Taiga – Major
  • Falis – Murder Princess (love this title)
  • Temari – Naruto
  • My precious, precious Naoto – Persona 4
  • Jiro – Pokemon
  • Syrup – Precure
  • Alma – Radiant
  • Zoe Hange – Attack on Titan
  • Everyone’s favourite rocker Nana Osaki – Nana
  • And of course Edward Elric – Fullmetal Alchemist

And if that wasn’t enough, you can hear her in Air Master, Beelzebub, Blue Dragon , Clannad After story, Detective Conan, Devil May Cry, Garo, Granblue Fantasy, Hunter x Hunter, Kill la Kill, Lupin III, Gundam 00, One Piece (everyone is in this), RahXephon, Sengoku Basara, RDG, Samurai 7, Terra Formars (cause it’s terrible), Aquarion, White Album

Romi Parks has the most devastatingly emotional voice I know. She often plays calm, cool and collected genius type characters (a lot of boys as you can see) but when an emotional contrast is needed, she really knows how to deliver, making her characters feel so real and raw.  One of the greatest performers in my opinion, she tends to make me want to see a show just to hear what she can do with the character.

Honorable Mentions

Ami Koshimizu

C,mon, she Ryuko from Kill la Kill. Always loved that sexy alto voice! Apparently she was also both Hiro and Naomi in the recent Darling and the Franxx. I loved her as Ibuki in Danganronpa. She was Kallen in Code Geass, Holo in Spice and Wolf and Yuiko in Persona. Obviously I’m skipping over st of her work including some very big roles. I suggest you look her up! The only reason she isn’t on the list proper is that I simply haven’t seen that many of her shows even though a lot are very popular.

1. Megumi Ogata

OK fine so this is a subjective choice. Well they all are really, it’s my top 5 list. Fact is, I’ve been a fan of Megumi Ogata for a long long time and I’m just always going to be. She’s the first voice talent I ever learned about and I absolutely love her work. Sure, she might have voiced a few of my anime crushes but surely that did not influence my choice in any way…. She’s much taller than me.

  • Ayato – Angel Beats
  • Haruka (Sailor Uranus) – Sailor Moon*
  • Jun – Captain Tsubasa
  • Yukito and Yue – Cardcaptor Sakura*
  • Makoto – Danganronpa
  • Nagito – Danganronpa***
  • Shinji – Evangelion*
  • Izumi Rio – Searching for the Full Moon*
  • the terrifying Fairies – Humanity has Declined
  • Cranberry – Raising Project*
  • Ichigou Fujimoto – Magical girl Ore
  • Ken – Persona 3
  • Yukimura – Samurai Deeper Kyo*
  • Akagi – Slam Dunk
  • Valkyrie – UFO Princess Valkyrie
  • Yuugi – Yu Gi Oh!*
  • Karuma – Yuu Yuu Hakusho*

And just o drive the point home, here are a few more at random. If you want to full list, you’ll have to look it up. I just can’t type that much! Bleach, Detective Conan, et Backers, Great Teacher Onizuka, Kino’s Journey, Magic Knight Rayearth, Tamayura, Tokyo Mew Mew,

Megumi Ogata is a revered veteran in the field. Comparing Nagito to Makoto (purposefully similar characters with a lot of very similar lines) will reveal her mastery on inflection and subtle vocalisation to embody a character way beyond their dialogue. Anyone still under the illusion that voice acting is simply reading your lines, please see master Ogata’s work!

Good list isn’t it!?! I discover new voice talent all the time mind you. I’ll be watching a show and suddenly realize that the actor is doing fantastic work. And I’m always so happy when I discover a new favourite. So please, share yours with me!

that was a lot of pics to find….


33 thoughts

  1. For me, Saori Hayami has been out in front for years and years. She’s always done a spectacular job, and just has a gorgeous singing voice in addition.

    To fill out a (more than) top 5 list, I’d also add Marina Inoue, because I love the haughty voice she does. I also think that Shizuka Itou always does a tremendous job. And Kikuko Inoue and Miki Itou do wonderful mature voices.

    For newer VAs, I like Reina Ueda and Rie Takahashi.

    1. I have mentionned Inoue before. Marina that is. But I’m not familiar with the rest. I will look them up

  2. My favorite voice actress for years has been Kana Ueda. Her most famous role by far is Rin Tohsaka in the Fate franchise, but she’s turned up in a lot of my other favorite franchises too, including Lyrical Nanoha (as Hayate), Saki (as the title character), and Girls und Panzer (as Momo), plus other oldies but goodies like Angelic Layer, Dream Eater Merry, and Gurren Lagann. Although she has roles in so many successful franchises at this point (also including the BlazBlue, Neptunia, and Gunslinger Stratos video games) that it’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen her actually playing a new character. Also, as a little trivia tidbit for you, her and Shizuka Ito are longtime drinking buddies (and that means something because drinking is Ito’s favorite hobby, or at least it was when she was younger).

    My next two favorites are two young up-and-comers.

    One you mentioned, Aoi Yuuki; the two roles where she really captured my heart were Takakamo Shizuno in Saki Side A, and Tsuyu. Also, I play the Fate/Grand Order mobile game, and I’ve made it my goal to collect every character she voices in that game; I’m lucky enough to have two of the rarest ones already. If you ever wanted to hear her voicing a sultry, half-drunk demon, here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J62F5LO1Fjw

    The other is Tomoyo Kurosawa, who’s been on my radar ever since the first time I heard her in Yuki Yuna is a Hero in 2014, but her star-making roles since then were Kumiko in Euphonium and Phos in Land of the Lustrous, which are both phenomenal performances.

  3. I’m a bit surprised because there’s no KanaHana, and nobody mentioned her in the comments. I thought everybody and their grandma loved her. But not necessarily me. She’s a very good actress (just like all of your choices), but I’m going with Mamiko Noto, Miyuki Sawashiro, Yuu Kobayashi, Saori Hayami and my all time favorite – Maaya Sakamoto. P.S. Megumi hayashibara gets an honorable mention.

  4. According to my AniList, Megumi Hayashibara is my favourite female seiyuu, while Fumihiko Tachiki is my favourite male seiyuu. Then again, both are in Detective Conan and pretty much anyone who’s anyone in the seiyuu world has had a part in Detective Conan…either that, or Pokemon…

    Most times, I can’t pick out a certain seiyuu from another (*squints at Kaoru from Tada-kun Never Fall in Love, who I thought was voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa but was voiced by Mamoru Miyano instead*), but I can memorise some roles for each seiyuu and identify the seiyuu’s voice through characters that way.

  5. This will probably sound like sacrilege to you but I have never been able to distinguish one seiyuu from another. 🙁 I think that is why I can immerse myself in anime so much because the voices and characters are one thus feel more real to me.

          1. Oh I appreciate all of those things which is why I prefer the original soundtrack over the horrible US dubs, but I still can’t recognise any seiyuu by them.

            Some voices don’t always work for me, either being too shrill, high pitched (helium voices drive me mad) or shouty or too flat and lacking a dynamic edge.

            Maybe it’s an Autistic thing since I have trouble with accents anyway but they all sound the same to me, just as many American, Irish, and African voices do for me too. :-/

  6. You know, you could have written absolutely nothing after that title and still have had my undivided attention! (Oh, the imaginationings!) But then to tell me that Aoi Yuuki voiced both Tanya and Victorique, well. . .

  7. Heh, Ogata and Hayashibara were both in Eva. Loved Hayashibare especially in Slayers; such a fun performance.

    Yuuki Aoi might be my favourite. I’ve hung onto shows just for her, and while the show is so-so I really love her in Symphogear. Good to hear her in Boogiepop this season – she’ll probably need her versability in this one.

    And Park Romi is easily one of my favourites, too. I’ll have to share one of her lesser-known roles, as the black witch Gubido in Kuro Majo-san ga Tooru. She practically made the show:


    And Chiwa Saito’s excellent, too. I knew she was in Madoka, but it took me a while to accommodate that she’s also Senjogahara in Mnogatari. Love her role as Taokaka in the BlazBlue games (and anime).


    I’d probably have a hard time compiling a list. Some that might make it:

    Mamiko Noto: Benten in the Eccentric Family, and Sawako Kuronoma in Kimi ni Todoke among many others.

    Miyuki Sawashiro: Oddly enough I can’t think of any breakout roles, but she’s in everything (or was for a while). Right now she’s voiceing Kitaro in Gegege no Kitaro. She’s Kurapika in Hunter X Hunter, Bishamon in Noragami, and Kanbaru in the Monogatari Franchise, for example.

    Kotori Koiwai: A young voice actress who doesn’t get nearly enough roles. Her best known role is problably Renge in Non Non Biyori, but she’s also Iwai Mushanokoji in Crime Edge, Shiraishi in Tanaka-kun, and Shallistera in the Atelier Shallie games. She’s good. Give her more roles.

    Maaya Uchida: I didn’t much like Chuunibyou, but I adored her performance as Rikka. She’s also Hiyori in Noragami among many other roles. (And just because: she’s Mari in Yuru Yuri)

    Or instead of making my own, I could just sign yours. It’s excellent.

    1. Ohh those are some interesting actresses too. I’ve definetly noticed Miyuki Sawashiro. Just like the other list, I will have to update this one eventually

    2. Mamiko Noto is one of my favorites as well. She delivered my favorite line of dialogue in all the anime I’ve watched: in Witch Craft Works, as Evermilion, when she first appears, when she says she’s not taking Honoka’s ears. I’ve pulled that scene up just to hear that line multiple times.

  8. I often have trouble remembering the names of voice actors I like (particularly Japanese ones), but ones I always perk up on hearing are Yui Horie, Rie Tanaka and Asami Imai. Not coincidentally, they all play prominent roles in one of my favourite game series (Neptunia) but they’re some of the few voices I find immediately recognisable whenever they show up in other places too. And they all make me melt every time I hear them, particularly Horie and Imai.

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