10 Japanese Anime Voice Actors who will change the way you view your favorite characters


Voice acting in Japan has a far greater prominence than voice acting in most other countries. Japan’s large animation industry produces 60% of the animated series in the world. Mainly because anime is such a deep and powerful industry and has an audience worldwide.

When you watch your favorite anime series, you never really think about the people behind the voices of your favorite characters. Sometimes you wonder, who is the voice actor behind your favorite character shouting his signature move; whether it’ll be a Goku’s Kamehameha or Luffy’s Gomu Gomu no Jet Pistol.

Here are 10 voice actors who will change the way you viewed your favorite characters and maybe even love them more?

10. Pikachu (Pokemon)Pikachu Pokemon Ootani Ikue voice actor

I’m sure everyone knows who Pikachu is, even your mother. Or does she still call him the ‘yellow rat’? Pikachu is voiced by Ootani, Ikue aged 48 who is also the voice behind Chopper from One Piece.

Below is a video of her in action, beware of ‘HNNNGGG’ worthy heart attacks from the cuteness.

9, 8. Gon Freecss, Killua Zoldyck (Hunter x Hunter)Gon Freecss Hunter x Hunter 2011 Han Megumi voice actor Killua Zoldyck Hunter x Hunter 2011 Ise Mariya voice actor
Who would have thought that these young, strong, motivated and powerful voice actors are behind the most loved hunters?

Gon Freecss is voiced by 24 years old voice actor Han, Megumi. She voices characters you may know like, Kayo Senju (Black Bullet), Morii (Blade & Soul), Obito Uchiha (Naruto Shippuuden) and Hikari “Hii-kun” Sakishima (Nagi no Asukara).

While Killua Zoldyck is voiced by 25 years old Ise, Mariya. Who also voices a few known characters: Sawa Nakamura (Aku no Hana), Sen “Ice Witch” Yarizui (Ben-To), Mika Harima (Durarara!!), Hiromi Urino (Copihan), Levy McGarden (Fairy Tail), Naomi (Girls und Panzer), Stocking Anarchy (Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt), Pao-Lin “Dragon Kid” Huang (Tiger & Bunny).

Just hearing Gon charging up his signature move and screaming “Saisho wa gu-, jan ken pon” (First comes rock: rock paper or [rock, paper or scissors]) brings chills.

Hunter x Hunter Gon Freecss Saisho wa gu-, jan ken pon rock, paper or scissors

and then we have Killua’s assassin mode which will literally make you need to go to the toilet.

Hunter x Hunter killua assassin mode

Who would have thought the two young and very talented voice actors would be behind the two most youngest and loved hunters in Hunter x Hunter?

Below is a video of them in action.

7, 6. Yusuke Urameshi, Hiei “Hiei of the Evil Eye, Hiei Jaganshi” (Yu Yu Hakusho)Yu Yu Hakusho Yusuke Urameshi Sasaki, Nozomu voice actor Yu Yu Hakusho Hiei Hiei of the Evil Eye, Hiei Jaganshi Hiyama Nobuyuki voice actor

I’m quite amazed by these two, they look exactly like the characters they voice. Sasaki, Nozomu aged 47 (He was about 25 years old when doing this role), the voice behind Yusuke Urameshi the main character from Yu Yu Hakusho. He is also well known for voice acting roles such as Tetsuo “Number 41” Shima (Akira), Mihael “Mello” Keehl (Death Note), Hayate Gekkou (Naruto Shippuuden), Jin Akutsu (Prince of Tennis) and many other known characters.

Yu Yu Hakusho Reigan Spirit Gun Urameshi Yusuke

Hiyama, Nobuyuki aged 46 (He was about 24 years old when doing this role), the voice behind Hiei, another main character from the series. He has also voiced other main/well known characters such as Atlas (Astro boy 2003), Ikkaku Madarame (Bleach), Uzu Sanageyama (Kill la Kill), Shiro Amada (Mobile Suit Gundam) and many other known characters.

Yu Yu Hakusho Hiei dark demon energy

5. Kenshin “Hitokiri Battousai, Himura Battousai, Shinta, Ken-san” (Rurouni Kenshin)Rurouni Kenshin Kenshin Hitokiri Battousai, Himura Battousai, Shinta, Ken-san Himura Suzukaze, Mayo

Suzukaze, Mayo currently aged 53 was the voice actor behind Kenshin Himura the peaceful warrior. Just like Kenshin, she looks very sweet and caring. She hasn’t done much voice acting for anime series (The only other roles she has played are Joe Carol Brane (Black Jack the movie), Starred as a guest in Jungle Taitei: Susume Leo! and Marie-Charlotte (Le Chevalier D’Eon)) but she has done a brilliant job and will forever be known as a the voice actor of the peaceful warrior, Kenshin Himura.

Kenshin Himura

Just watching her in action brings chills to my spine. How can someone so cute be deadly at the same time?

4. Gintoki “Yorozuya, Mr. Odd Jobs, Shiroyasha, Gin-chan” Sakata (Gintama)Gintoki Yorozuya, Mr. Odd Jobs, Shiroyasha, Gin-chan Sakata Sugita, Tomokazu Gintama voice actor

How can someone so handsome voice Gintoki, the samurai who lives in an era where samurai are no longer needed and works as a Yorozuya (Odd Jobs, jack-of-all-trades) for a living?

Here are some snippets from his best works which appeared in the DN Awards 2010/11 Best Seiyuu 2010 Nominee.

Sugita, Tomokazu currently aged 33 and voices the main character from Gintama, Gintoki Sakata. He also voices Leukocyte King and Cello from Gintama. If you don’t know what I’m on about and you’re a fan of comedy, I highly recommend you to check out the series.

Gintoki Sakata Gintama Dragon Ball Z Fight anime
Gintoki even makes a great Goku.

He has also voiced well known characters such as Kyon (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), Hidenori Gotou (Samurai Flamenco), Hoshi (Arakawa Under the Bridge), Hajime “Hayena-senpai” Kanzaki (Beelzebub), Ragna the Bloodedge (BlazBlue: Alter Memory), Kensei Muguruma (Bleach), Hidenori Tabata (Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou), Reisi “Blue King” Munakata (K-Project) and even Kazuyoshi “Switch, An-chan, Mr. Wild Pitch, Megane, Suiko” Usui from SKET Dance.

3. Luffy “Straw Hat, Captain-san, Straw-chan, Monkey-chan, Straw-boy” Monkey D. (One Piece)Luffy Straw Hat, Captain-san, Straw-chan, Monkey-chan, Straw-boy Monkey D. One Piece Tanaka, Mayumi voice actor

Aged 55, this wo(man) is very keen on becoming the pirate king! Her name is Tanaka, Mayumi and she voices the one and only Monkey D. Luffy. One Piece has been airing since 1999 and is one of the ‘big 3’ in airing anime series and on-going manga, has the fact that a sweet middle aged woman is voicing Luffy changed your thoughts? I hope not.

Who would have thought such a lovely person would voice a dumb yet incredibly strong pirate?

One Piece Monkey D Luffy picking nose

She has played a few other roles such as Yajirobe, Kuririn, Kuririn, Baba (Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, Dragon Ball Kai), Koenma (Yu Yu Hakusho) and Wataru Ikusabe (Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru).

2. Goku “Kakarot” Son (Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, Dragon Ball Kai)Goku Kakarot Son Nozawa, Masako Dragon Ball Z GT Kai

This sweet lady looks like the typical grandmother who would make you a fresh batch of her homemade cookies when you visit her, but you’re wrong. She’s the voice actor of Goku, the member of the race of extraterrestrials known as the Saiyans.

Nozawa, Masako, Currently aged 77 year old and still voice acting, they do say saiyans never give up. Look at Goku, did he ever give up?

Son Goku Turning Super Saiyan vs Frieza

She is currently voicing Goku (Dragon Ball Kai 2014), Serika Wakamatsu (Detective Conan), Obaba Tamura (Ping Pong The Animation), Kureha “Doctorine” Doctor (One Piece), Shichu-obasan (Sore Ike! Anpanman). She has voiced quite a few popular characters such as Tetsuro Hoshino (Ginga Tetsudou 999) and Asura (Asura).

1. Naruto “Nine-Tails Jinchuuriki” Uzumaki (Naruto Shippuuden)Naruto Nine-Tails Jinchuuriki Uzumaki Takeuchi, Junko Naruto Shippuuden

Can you picture Takeuchi, Junko aged 42, taking over the ninja world? Well Naruto Uzumaki from Konohagakure, a ninja village hidden in the leaves thinks he can (Becoming Hokage that is!).

Naruto Shippuuden Naruto Uzumaki running

Just watch this video below, Seeing the voice actor behind Naruto Uzumaki is quite shocking. Then again it explains why his voice just sticks and you’re able to instantly associate the other roles she does with Naruto.

She has worked on quite a few roles such as Takuya Kanbara (Digimon Frontier, Digimon Xros Wars), Gomamon (Digimon Adventure, Digimon Frontier, Digimon Xros Wars), Sabo (One Piece), Gon Freecss (Original Hunter x Hunter), Rika Minami (Highschool of the Dead), Red (Pokemon: The Origin), Mamoru “Captain, Mark Evans” Endou (Inazuma Eleven), Rin “Cure Rouge” Natsuki (Yes! Precure 5)

Has this post changed your thoughts on certain characters? or made you feel different? Let us know in the comments below!