Seiyuu Surprises – Same Actor, Different Roles

Macross Star: Miyuki vs Sheryl

Macross Star: Miyuki vs Sheryl

Seiyuu, or voice actors, are one of the more recognized workers in the creation of anime, giving our beloved 2D characters the most obvious link to humanity – their voices.

The names of many famous seiyuu are well known among the ranks of otaku, even more so in this decade than past years, but the number of well known professionals involved in the industry is surprisingly small (though unknowns are legion), and even relatively new seiyuu are likely to have worked on a significant number of roles on many varied anime shows.

That the two characters shown above were played by the same seiyuu will be no surprise to many, but there are many other roles from wildly differing characters and series that might prove to be a surprise when one realizes they were played by the same seiyuu…

Aya Endou / 遠藤 綾

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Sheryl Nome (Macross Frontier)
Miyuki Takara  (Lucky Star)
Itsuki Kannagi (Sora o Kakeru Shoujo)

Aya Endou’s having played both Macross F’s Sheryl Nome (speaking voice, not her singing one) and Lucky Star’s Miyuki Takara  is a very poorly hidden nugget of trivia – a Lucky Star album cover and a line by Konata in the OVA even made jest of Miyuki’s sidelining as the Galactic Nymph.

An even more recent role is that of Itsuki from Sora o Kakeru Shoujo. If still unfamiliar with that character, various nude filters have been prepared to help acquaint you with her.

Minori Chihara / 茅原実里

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Yuki Nagato (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Chiaki Minami (Minami-ke)
Kagura Tsuchimiya (Ga-rei Zero)

Minori Chihara, also a singer, is undoubtedly best known for her role as the taciturn bookworm-android Nagato, but has also had other starring roles such as the youngest Minami sister, Chiaki, as well as the lead character Kagura in Ga-rei Zero (the short-haired protagonist, not to be confused with her longer-haired elder sister figure of Yomi).

Although the emotionless monotone she employed for Nagato and Lucky Star’s equally soft-spoken Minami Iwasaki is what would most likely come to mind if asked to describe her voice, her regular and singing voices are actually quite chipper and upbeat, qualities that will prove most useful in certain upcoming episodes of the new Haruhi season

Yui Horie / 堀江 由衣

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Minori Kushieda (Toradora!)
Siesta (Zero no Tsukaima)
Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket)

Yui Horie has had a longer career as a seiyuu than most others here, with a long list of roles stretching back into the 1990’s. A decade ago, when the number of international otaku was much fewer in number (with even less of them online), her name was one of the scant few seiyuu foreign otakus would be likely to recognize.

Some of her other roles include Eri Sawachika (School Rumble), and the older casting of Naru Narusegawa (Love Hina). Incidentally, Love Hina was the first anime to be widely distributed through the now prolific format of the digital fansub, which accounted for her well known status.

Yuuko Gotou / 後藤 邑子

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Mikuru Asahina (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Anya Alstreim (Code Geass R2)
Abiru Kobushi (Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei)

Yuuko Gotou’s sweet, moe voice made her a shoe-in for the role of Mikuru, and it’s not much of a stretch to envision her as the slightly spacey (yet quite moe) Abiru, but her casting as the cold, quiet Anya was a bit of a surprise.

Gotou is also starring as Riannon in Tears to Tiara this season, a role that seems more in line with her usual casting than some of her other past characters, which include Susanna Hopkins of Genshiken – the blonde, short, wild-eyed gaijin fujoshi, and Kaede Fuyou of Shuffle! – the blonde yandere from the famous knife scene…

Eri Kitamura / 喜多村 英梨

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Rin Kokonoe (Kodomo no Jikan)
Ami Kawashima (Toradora!)
Rimi Sakihata (Chaos;Head)

Eri Kitamura, also a singer, does not have exhaustive a list of past roles as some others here, but most should be familiar with at least one of her roles: one of the busty members of Toradora!’s female trio, Chaos;Head’s pink-haired female lead or the cute, promiscuous 4th grade schoolgirl Rin.

Certainly, those three seem to be wildly different characters at first glance…

Rie Tanaka / 田中 理恵

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Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke (Strike Witches)
Lacus Clyne (Gundam SEED)
Chii (Chobits)

Rie Tanaka is one of the most prolific of the newer seiyuu-idol breed to have emerged this decade; some of her more well known older roles includes the kind and soft spoken Chii and Lacus, but she also performed the substantially more vociferous character of the Strike Witches’ ranking officer, Minna.

Incidentally, she is the only seiyuu listed here that I’ve spoken with in person – she has a lovely moe  speaking voice in real life too!

Kaori Nazuka / 名塚 佳織

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Nunnally Lamperouge (Code Geass)
Lynette Bishop (Strike Witches)
Tsubaki (Soul Eater)

Kaori Nazuka played another of the Strike Witches – the shy, large busted Lynette, as well as the somewhat similar character of Tsubaki, but did you know those two share the same voice as Lelouch’s younger sister Nunnally?

Another role that utilizes her skill for youthful yet regal characters that you might be familiar with would be the young princess Lydia from Tytania.

Megumi Hayashibara / 林原 めぐみ

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Rei Ayanami (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Bulbasaur (Pokemon)
Unit 01 (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

Megumi Hayashibara’s name is one of the best known seiyuu names of all, and likely one of the first names many of us ever learned. Her roles as the iconic Rei Ayanami, Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop, and female Ranma-chan are among the unending list of hundreds of characters she has played.

Her role as Bulbasaur was a well known gag years ago, but even as big a Megumi and Eva fan as myself had no clue she also did the Unit 01’s wild grunting noises when it went berserk in an episode of Eva…

Sumi Shimamoto / 島本 須美

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Nausicaa (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind)
Clarisse d’Cagliostro (The Castle of Cagliostro)
Kanata Izumi (Lucky Star)

Sumi Shimamoto, a seiyuu with a work history preceding that of even Hayashibara, played the lead female roles in two of Miyazaki’s most legendary films from the 1980’s – the peace loving Nausicaa, the noble princess Clarisse, but the fact that those two classic characters share the same voice with Konata Izumi’s kind (and perpetually youthful) mother Kanata is something that even otaku of incredible power levels are likely to be unaware of.

Kikuko Inoue / 井上 喜久子

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Sanae Furukawa (Clannad)
Miki Hiiragi (Lucky Star)
Lust (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)

Kikuko Inoue is also among one of the best known seiyuu names, having a work history including such roles as Belldandy (Oh my Goddess!) stretching back into the 1980’s – most perplexing, considering that she is only seventeen years old.

Best known for kind, maternal characters such as Kasumi Tendou (Ranma ½), her role as Nagisa’s mother is most appropriate (as was her turn as the schoolgirl housewife Ookusa from Zetsubou-sensei), but her casting as the sultry Lust in the new Hagaren series strays a bit from her norm, as did her voicing the scary-looking Miria in Claymore.

Akiko Yajima / 矢島 晶子

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Shin-chan (Crayon Shin-chan)
Rin Itoshiki (Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei)
Garbage Doll (Clannad)

Akiko Yajima (real name: Akiko Ogasawara) is another long-time seiyuu, starting her career in earnest in the 1990’s with an emphasis on supporting and tertiary characters.

However, one role of hers is definitely a starring part  – the mischievous little boy Shinnosuke Nohara (perhaps better known as Shin-chan) who is well known for thrusting his shota buttocks out at the audience. If you ever wondered why Rin Itoshiki frequently appears on screen with her backside graciously aimed in our direction, there you have it – a seiyuu in-joke!

In another Clannad role, Yajima also played the part of the Garbage Doll reincarnation of Tomoya, certainly a role as far from the sultry Rin as they are from the shameless Shin-chan.

Some readers may also recognize two older roles she has played: Dorothy from The Big O, and Relena from Gundam Wing…

Yukana / ゆかな

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C.C. (Code Geass)
Teletha Tessa Testarossa (Full Metal Panic!)
Tear Grants (Tales of the Abyss)

Yukana (her full name is Yukana Nogami) is best known for her role as the mysterious pizza-loving C.C. from Code Geass, but she has also played the parts of  Tear Grants and teenage ship captain Tessa Testarossa from Full Metal Panic!

Tessa might be a surprise role to some, but the real surprise is more likely that Yukana also did the voice of Cyber Maid Aris, the pseudo-holographic desktop 3D maid that users can “interact” with using a web camera and a stick!

More Surprising Seiyuu Roles on Nico…

The original impetus for this idea came from watching a huge video compilation on Nico several months ago. That video appears to have since been removed (or is very good at becoming invisible to Nico’s search function), but a more recent version of it is still available and is shown below.

Be warned: the video is nearly a hour long, will likely be confusing to non Japanese readers and contains many characters from anime that are mostly unknown to foreign audiences.

With that said, feel free to enjoy some more surprising, or at least amusing, seiyuu match-ups:

同じ声優と知って驚いたキャラ まとめ編 / I was surprised when I realized they were the same seiyuu! – Summary Version



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    196 Comments
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    Comment by Anonymous
    10:11 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    more! MOAR!!!

    Avatar of Tallgeese_VI
    Comment by Tallgeese VI
    10:08 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Bulbasaur & EVA 01 (berserk mode) ? That caught me laughing hard.

    Mamiko Noto - Miyazaki Nodoka, Enma Ai, Masane Amaha
    Sawashiro Miyuki - Perrine Clostermann, Aoba Tsugumi, Carl Clover
    Chiwa Saito - Anya cocolowa, Francesca Lucchini, Taokaka
    Koshimizu Ami - Tsukamoto Tenma, Charlotte Yeager
    Saeko Chiba - Natsuki Kuga, Birdy, Sakamoto Mio
    Nakahara Mai - Furukawa Nagisa, Tokiha Mai
    Itou Shizuka - Wilhelmina Carmel, Hasekura Rei , Katsura Hinagiku !!!
    Nabatame Hitomi - Katsura Yukiji, Suou Mikoto, Margery Daw
    Kuribayashi Minami - Suzumiya Haruka, Erstin Ho, Ribbon Chan

    Kinda sad for me as Mamiko Noto wasn't mentioned here but nevermind that. At least there are some fans here who acknowledged her.

    Avatar of Spitfire
    Comment by Meido_Guy
    08:38 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh wow there really was some surprises that i didn't figured yet like:
    - Belldandy = the boy from Captain... quite surprised me...
    - Kokone Rin and Ami-chan (TD) made me fall off my chair, feeling even more happy now \o/
    - zOMG and i sure didn't expect things like Yuki Nagato = Natsume Maya (damn that sure was a cataclysmic shock), Mikuru (SHnY) = Kaede (Shuffle!), Konata = the fugly Garnet from Dragonaut (WTF?!?) and finally Lelouch = The weird old woman from Bamboo Blade HAHAHA

    Great article, it's always fun to see stuff like this even if sometimes it's quite quick and easy to figure out who's who :p

    Avatar of Katameido
    Comment by MaidNiac
    20:42 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Lelouch=The weird old woman from Bamboo Blade.."

    Lol whut!!? So that means Ando's creepy Natto power is far stronger than Geass...

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:42 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm surprised nobody's mentioned seki tomokazu and sugita tomokazu, one of my personal favorites among the male seiyuus

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:10 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    also makino yui, hanazawa kana and tomatsu haruka

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:38 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This was actually a pretty informative and interesting article! =D It would be nice to see more articles like this on Sankaku (though the normal selection is also quite funny/excellent XD)

    Comment by Aldwin30
    11:07 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I feel the pain of being a young non-japanese otaku T_T

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:54 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    forgot teh all important tsundere Rie
    shana,louise,taiga, kyou, etc etc

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    14:26 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sorry for the double posting, if you mean Fujibayashi Kyou, that tsundere is not voiced by Kugimiya Rie. The seiyu is Hirohashi Ryou.

    Comment by flaskis
    16:08 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    There you have one nice voice actress though. Not that it has anything to do with my infinite love for Kyou, but Ryou Hirohashi fits in this list: Kyou Fujibayashi from Clannad, Alice Carrol from Aria, Sora from Kaleido Star.

    Comment by Kane
    19:07 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    And don't forget Tamaki in Bamboo Blade or Koyuki in Keroro Gunsou :)

    Avatar of Katameido
    Comment by MaidNiac
    20:37 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree, Hirohashi Ryou deserves a place in there. First, i watched Kyouran Kazoku Nikki and she's that predator+alien hybrid android Hyouka. Then i watched Bamboo Blade; Tamaki with the same voice-style is sooooo Moe (except for her Echizen Ryouma-like talent which i found really a turn-off). Then, i found out her role in Clannad, and i was like... "WTF!!? That's also her!?"

    Avatar of Triple Break
    Comment by Triple Break
    Comment by kyayokh
    11:28 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    megumi as bulasaur and unit 01???!!
    wtf!

    Comment by Kahless
    11:29 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If you didn't realize that Shimata Sumi did Konata Izumi in Lucky Star, then you're low. They even used it as a in-joke during the preview part of the episode.

    Avatar of Exia
    Comment by Exia
    05:34 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    aww no tsundere kugamiya.

    Avatar of CC
    Comment by CC
    04:19 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Saving the best for last uh, C.C., Tessa and Tear Grants.. that's like the top 3 most attractive anime chars to me right there.
    And the cyber maido is okay, too high pitches for my tastes, but still cute ;)

    Comment by flaskis
    04:09 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lovely article Quen! I have to add two things though. Firstly, you didn't mention Rie Tanaka's role as Suigintou in Rozen Maiden. That role was the reason i started noticing her talented voice. Secondly, Kaori Nazuka deserves to have her role as Hiromi in True Tears mentioned.
    Lastly(!) you should remove the text telling who the garbage doll in Clannad is. Major spoiler there :p

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:14 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Uhmm.. The bit on Kikuko Inoue doesn't seem to add up.

    If, she's 17, then she would've been born in 1992, so how can her career stretch back to the '80s?

    Even being generous and utilizing 1989 as your start off point, then it would still be three years before she was even born.

    Avatar of loplop
    Comment by Oppai Seijin
    04:31 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually she will be 45 on 25.9.2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kikuko_Inoue

    How could not mention her role as Kazami Mizuho from Onegai Teacher or Kasumi Tendo from Ranma ½

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:40 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Kikuko-san is ALWAYS 17 years old. ALWAYS.

    (Her own 4th wall breaking running gag, duh. Every single character she voices always mentions that at some point or another...)

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:28 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Might want to mention that for those not privy to said gag. Helps avoid some unnecessary confusion.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:45 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    News...
    Try Fukuyama Jun and Miyano Mamoru. Two of the best and most versatile male VAs ever!

    Comment by SHUNsama
    05:08 25/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Isn't Miyano the one who did Light from Deathnote? If he is then I completely disagree.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    07:25 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    you forgot that Akiko Yajima was also the main character in obscure 2007 schoolgirl lesbian alien battleship anime Blue Drop.

    Comment by Kane
    06:33 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    No love for Nakahara Mai ? T_T

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:14 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I feel your pain. :(

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:30 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    forgot to mention that Kikuko Inoue voices three Metal Gear Solid characters:Rosemary(in MGS2 and 4),The Boss(in MGS3,and it's my favorite role of her)and Sunny(in MGS4).
    You guys also forgot that Eri Kitamura also voiced Saya from Blood+

    Comment by petit-cheese
    05:53 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I recently found out Marina Inoue's role as Yoko from Gurren Lagann and her role as Kana in Minami-ke and I was like holy what?

    Anyways, interesting list. I always like finding out different roles for Seiyuus and the reactions to Megumi Hayashibara's Bulbasaur never gets old.

    Comment by HaruhiFan
    05:58 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Missing Hirano Aya...

    Kiddy Grade - Lumiere
    Death Note - Misa
    Haruhi
    Konata
    Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka - the sister
    White Album - Yuki
    QB - the pantsu angel
    and more

    Oh and she can sing(not Mizuki Nana good but at least Horie Yui good).

    Comment by JRZ
    10:10 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    also Ayumi Nonomura from Hyakko
    that's one character least expected to be voice by her.

    Comment by petit-cheese
    10:33 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Her voice acting/style is too obvious. Talented or not, she doesn't belong in this list.

    Comment by flaskis
    06:18 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Talented seiyuus != Aya Hirano.

    Comment by SHUNsama
    05:10 25/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    her real voice scares me.....

    Comment by Random Fag
    06:09 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hey! Horie Yui, Yukana, Hayashibara, Tanaka Rie, Inoue Kikuko are good, but...
    I believe sankaku forgot to mention other great seiyu from recent decades:
    Kawasumi Ayako, Noto Mamiko, Mitsuishi Kotono, Yukino Satsuki, Ohtani Ikue, Momoi Haruko, Tamura Yukari, Saito Chiwa and Wakamoto Norio, lol, as well as etc etc etc etc...

    Avatar of loplop
    Comment by Oppai Seijin
    11:38 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have to strongly agree with Kawasumi Ayako. I don't think she has voiced a character in a anime that I saw that I didn't like. My favorites are Holon in Real Drive & Ohno Kanako from Genshiken

    Comment by flaskis
    16:06 24/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Still, name one role that Ayako has done that didn't sound like her voice. She has one of the most most unflexible voices in the voice acting industry.

    No, I don't think she fits in this list. Same with Noto Mamiko, though her voice is pure <3

    Avatar of vitrium
    Comment by vitrium
    16:51 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lelouch from Code Geass == Watanuki from xxxHolic

    Comment by daxy
    23:55 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol-ed @ bulbasaur

    hmm maybe you could have added the picture of the seiyuus in to make it more interesting :D

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:07 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hayashibara Megumi also did Keitarou's aunt on Love Hina.

    Speaking of which, shame for not mentioning Horie's excellent work on Cutie Honey RE.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:47 25/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    *scroll scroll scroll*
    Mikuru... Anya?!
    *more scroll*
    Rei... BULBASAUR?!?

    Kinda makes me wonder what Pikachu's actor's done...
    *checks*
    Honey (Ouran) on a drama CD...
    And DOT WARNER?!?!?!?

    NOTHING MAKES SENSE ANYMORE!!!!

    Avatar of Shino
    Comment by Shino
    08:04 25/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think it's funnier when you realize the roles male seiyuu do.

    A good majority of them do roles in BL drama CDs.

    Comment by hALOTOO
    08:38 25/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Welcome back Quen,I thought someone might have kidnapped you
    I was so worried(lie)but it's good to have you back(truth)
    Wow some of them took me by surprise like bulbasaur and Shincha, I hope you do similar article with male voice actor this time.

    Oh and another thing I'M SOOO JEALOUS AND ENVIOUS OF YOU ACTUALL GOT TO SPEAK WITH SOME OF THESE SEIYUU UURRAAYAAMAASHHHIIII
    Now let me eat my bulbasaur burger HMmm

    Comment by gordon
    21:08 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Rie Tanaka is also Hiroko Matsukata from Hataraki Man. Doubt any of u watch it.

    Avatar of tyciol
    Comment by tyciol
    02:56 15/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This here is blowing my mind and stuff.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:26 15/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You also forgot to mention that Yuuko Gotou is also the spunky energetic Hikari Hanazono from the anime Special A.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:30 03/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh mah facking god , I love Hikari and her sexy voice there <3

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:02 14/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Megumi Hayashibara voice MISATO not REI, wtf !!
    fix that ! just listen to misato and faye valentine, same voice tone.







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