A continuation of the previous Seiyuu Surprises – Same Actor, Different Roles article, here more of the sometimes surprising, often delightful coincidences in which many beloved 2D characters turn out to be voiced by the same seiyuu are explored.
The earlier entry covered many of the match-ups that would likely be large surprises to most fans, but there are still quite a number of possible shockers shown below, as well as a slightly larger emphasis on more recently aired shows.
As with the earlier article, the reputed existence of male seiyuu is an issue once again ignored here, but there are at least some male characters referenced below.
Aside from a small admonition against not forgetting to read the first entry, the comparison can begin.
We’ll start with several seiyuu with roles well-known enough that the “surprises” will likely not be anything of the sort to most anyone that happens to be reading this, but they will serve as a good warm up…
Romi Paku / 朴璐美
A seiyuu with a long list of credits to her name, Paku is best known for her portrayal of the Full Metal Alchemist Edward Elric, along with many other adolescent male roles, even including Bleach’s Hitsuyaga (the spiky white-haired Soul Reaper).
Her female roles are less well known, but the character of Temari is one that many must know of, even if one is not terribly familiar with Naruto. Yet another voice given us by Paku that sounds nothing like the previous roles mentioned is that of Gundam 00’s Innovator Regene Regetta, a character that could practically be counted as being both a male and female role…
Rie Kugimiya / 釘宮理恵
Tsundere queen Kugiyama’s many roles as famous tsundere characters such as Taiga, Louise, Shana is most definitely no surprise, so here is instead are some of her non-tsundere characters…
The younger brother of the aforementioned Edward is possibly her most widely known role, her casting as taco-loving loli Yuuki significantly less so, and the character of Shannon must be the oddest role of all three for Kugiyama.
The shy, gentle maid Shannon being voiced by the same seiyuu as hyperactive Yuuki and Alphonse is truly something that only true Kugiyama fans are ever likely to notice by ear alone. Truly, Kugiyama is a seiyuu with an impressive vocal range.
Aya Hirano / 平野綾
Hirano’s breakthrough role of tsundere goddess Haruhi came early enough in her career that few of her other performances are likely to be a surprise to many due to her fame, but her turn as the Goth Loli Second Kira is still fairly interesting given the sharp contrast of Death Note’s dark tones compared to most of her work.
However, the last role listed above should be a surprise to quite a few – Hirano played the lovely loli vampire Shinobu in this summer’s Bakemonogatari. As the little girl is essentially mute thus far in the series, her voice was well disguised, but we did at least get to fantasize of hearing the sounds dear Haruhi-sama would make as she sucked a male character’s bodily fluids!
(Apologies to Konata Izuumi for her exclusion!)
Now, onto some less obvious seiyuu and character pairings…
Satsuki Yukino / 雪野五月
Partly because Inuyasha (somewhat like Naruto) lies near the outskirts of the usual late-night anime focused otaku sphere, Yukino’s casting as both Takahashi heroine Kagome and the fiery tsundere Kaname is something sure to surprise many, although upon reflection the similarity of the characters and their voices might make it not seem such a stretch…
Add to that the fairly tsundere-ish role as Misae Sagara, the dorm-manager of Youhei’s building in both seasons of Clannad, plus the unshown roles of Mutsumi in Love Hina, as well as both Mion and Shion in Higurashi to make for a seiyuu who possesses a talen for slipping into many well known series while keeping her name less than prominent.
Mamiko Noto / 能登麻美子
Noto, a seiyuu reknowned for her soft, kind vocal qualities, was absolutely perfectly suited forthe soft-spoken closet-otaku Haruka’s moe voice, but her voice was also that of the dimunitive shota Kouta, the constant recipient of huge-breasted Chizuru and voracious wolf-girl Nozomu’s attentions.
Aside from playing Kanokon’s beleagured male protagonist, another surprise should be the role of Himegami, a cold, ice-queen kuudere type of voice that bares next to no resemblance whatsoever compared to the other characters listed here.
As the closing moments of the final episode of Nogizaka’s second season reminded us, Noto also had a prominent role in Maria-sama ga Miteiru – hers was the long-haired beauty Shimako Toudou, a refined, genteel voice role that still manages to set itself apart from many of her other characters.
Ayako Kawasumi / 川澄綾子
Speaking of Kanokon once again, how many people would think of Nodame’s spaced-out, tomboyish voice to be the same as Kanokon’s sultry Chizuru?
Then, try to reconcile those two voices with that of of the King of Knights herself, Saber!
On top of those roles, Kawasumi has been a prolific seiyuu for over a decade, and otaku with a good memory will recognize many other of her past leading roles: Aoi of Ai Yori Aoshi, Otoha of Sky Girls (the one with the short, brown hair), Lafiel of Crest of the Stars, and another role that seems appropriate for the voice of Chizuru, the voluptuous Kanako Ohno of Genshiken.
Kana Hanazawa / 花澤香菜
Suou Pavlichenko (Darker than Black)
Kobato Hanato (Kobato)
Nadeko Sengoku (Bakemonogatari)
A particularly young seiyuu with a limited number of perfomances behind her, Hanazawa has already collected quite a resume, with the past year’s roles including Darker than Black’s newest Coordinator, the moesome titular character in CLAMP’s Kobato, and the sinfully enticing serpent-loli in Bakemonogatari.
The roles shown here are not terribly alike, although one might be to recognize a similar twang between Suou and Kobato’s voices on a close inspection. Her singing voice is definitely more variable – Nadeko’s OP song and Kobato’s lullaby sound nothing alike.
The selection of Hanazawa’s characters here was a tough one, as she has also done Kannagi’s Zange-chan, To Love-Ru’s Mikan, and Kyoran Kazoku’s loli-daughter Yuuka…
Misato Fukuen / 福圓美里
The lead Strike Witch, short-haired Yoshika, shares the same seiyuu with the cold-as-ice kuudere Yin of Darker than Black!
That pairing alone is more than shock enough, but to keep to the three characters per seiyuu format, another role of hers is the cute amphibian-themed witch Eruka, a voice that sounds nothing like the previous two mentioned.
Yin had next to no lines in the second season of Darker than Black as she spent it mostly in a stupor of sorts, and Eruka was mostly a sidekick’s role, but anyone that watched the original 2007 DTB season and Strike Witches should be very much impressed with Fukuen’s range…
Kana Ueda/ 植田佳奈
This batch of Ueda’s roles is more notable for the coincidence of these three well-known characters sharing the same seiyuu rather than a large difference in voice, as the trio’s voices actually don’t differ tremendously if one pays close enough attention when listening (and perhaps is specifically trying to compare them).
The resemblance of Haya-chan and Saki-chan’s voices are more likely to be noticed since the two characters’ personalities and usual demure speech patterns are closer to each other’s than Rin’s cutely tomboyish voice.
Besides Saki, another role Ueda has performed in the last year is Nanami, one of Haruka Nogizaka’s two main family maids – she’s the hyper, sometimes ecchi-minded long haired one with the golden hair ornaments!
Ai Nonaka / 野中藍
Here is quite a fun group of match-ups: Nonaka performed the characters of Zetsubou Sensei’s female lead, the irrepresively positive Kafuka, the starfish loving loli Fuuko of Clannad, and finally the love-hungry, hyper role of Maya in Toradora.
Maya’s character wouldn’t be as well known as the other two (she was a half of the pair of friends that frequently hung around Ami and Ryuuji), but it does certainly stand apart from the other two roles shown here, and thinking of Fuuko-chan’s voice performing any other character besides Fuuko is something in itself.
Sayaka Oohara / 大原さやか
Oohara has a particularly eclectic lineup presented here, having given voices to Umineko’s primary Witch, Code Geass’ student council president / weather report girl, and even Akari’s beautiful blonde mentor in the Aria series.
Milly does not especially resemble any of the other two roles, but, truly, the (usually) cruel and wicked Golden Witch having the same seiyuu as the angelic undine Alicia should be a tremendous surprise even putting aside that the voices sound nothing alike!
Kaori Fukuhara / 福原香織
Despite being a newer seiyuu with a limited resume, Fukuhara does present a fairly curious cast of characters:
That Saki’s loli mahjong champion Koromo was played by the same seiyuu as Tsukasa is not too startling despite being a fun surprise, but discovering utterly innocent Tsukasa and the more lascivious-minded Plug to have the same voice is truly a shocker – what are those words coming out of your mouth, Tsukasa!?
Those last few should be more than enough for now, making this follow-up only a tad shorter than the original.
There are of course even more examples of such seiyuu versatility, which may become the stuff of a further continuation.