Seiyuu Spotlight – Takahiro Sakurai

I wonder if anyone reads this. But anyway! Today, I will be discussing Takahiro Sakurai.

You’ve gotta know Sakurai. I mean, come on! You all know Cloud, don’t you? Haseo? Suzaku? The emo boys that he tends to voice act?

You must have heard his voice from somewhere before! He even did the dub for Edward in Twilight. LOL. Hey, I found this out recently, it’s not like I like that terrible excuse for literature.

I need to keep ranting to fill this space.

Personally, I believe Sakurai has a bishounen voice. He’s suited for those really serious-type roles, whether it be a serious type of character, or just one of those guys with a DAAARK past, he really has a great voice. I do not like it at all when he voice acts those “idiot” type of characters. It just doesn’t suit his voice.

The Emo Boys:
(From Left to Right: Cloud from Final Fantasy VII, Kanda from D.Gray-Man, Shito from Zombie-Loan)

You could also call this section, “The Badasses”.. but they’re more emo to me than anything else.

YES, THEY ARE EMO. CLOUD IS EMO. KANDA IS EMO (Read the manga), SHITO IS EMO. But who cares? Because this is Sakurai’s speciality, this is his talent. That sly, quiet, sexy and serious voice that just spells out, “I couldn’t care less about YOU,” is what Sakurai does best.

This archetype that he voice acts pretty much has some unfortunate past that has haunted his character and turned him into this (sometimes)self-loathing person whom of which seeks vengeance for or against something or someone. He’s a sad guy who needs cheering up half the time. But you know what really lights up his heart? THAT’S RIGHT, FRIENDSHIP!

Anyway, his voice is always calm, cool and collected when voice acting these characters unless they are in a fit of rage (everyone loses their temper). I wish he’d do more roles like these… but  instead, voice acting the emo tsundere guys in shoujo anime.

The Homoesque:
(From Left to Right: Misaki from Junjou Romantica, Yuuri from Kyou kara Maou!, Kazuki from Gakuen Heaven.)

Homoesque? What’s that? This is where he voice acts a character from a yaoi or shounen-ai anime. Why? Don’t ask me, it seems he loves to pick these roles or casters love to shove these roles on him (lol, he must be related to Kana Ueda) (well, he does have a sexy voice) so the majority of shoujo he voice acts in are yaoi. Various different types of boys, but they tend to share the same type of personality and he tends to project the same kind of voice when acting as them.

Misaki is such a nonsensical retard and it bothers the shit out of me because Sakurai is his voice actor. Yes, he voice acts one of those “idiot” characters who can’t decide what they want — those childish characters that don’t suit his voice at all. It drives me crazy because I cannot stand it! That’s just Misaki, though. I don’t mind Yuuri and Kazuki is more of a “kind” type.

Yeah, anyway. I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard him in another yaoi/BL adaptation. I guess people just thinks he has the voice for it. He does, just not for the retarded guys.

The Justice:
(From Left to Right: Suzaku from Code Geass and Asbel from Tales of Graces.)

They do look similar, don’t they? If these boys don’t scream, “JUUUUSTICEEEE,” or “I WANT TO PROTECT!” I don’t know what does! Everyone who has seen Code Geass knows Suzaku and probably despises him. Why? Because he was the enemy of Lelouch (the hero, whom everyone loved), he was a hopeless justice freak, his past was lame, he was in love with some dumb bitch, and he always seemed to have a stick up his ass. But you know what? I don’t care, I loved Suzaku.

YES, THAT’S RIGHT. I LOVED SUZAKU. He was my favorite character in Geass and I wanted to see him kick Lelouch’s ass. Those words are probably blasphemy to some people, but I really don’t care. I really did love Suzaku, but I thought they made his character really rotten in R2. I began to hate him for a short period of time; however, that did not last long and I began to like him again. He’s one of those lame hero archetypes.

What probably made me love his character a lot was the fact that he was voice acted by Sakurai. Who knew Sakurai could pull off a justice boy? His voice may not be very flexible, but it’s still refreshing to hear him play a non-emo type of guy (though Suzaku was arguably emo for a while).

As for Asbel, well, I don’t really know his character, but I know that he’s obsessed with the word, “protect” so that’s enough to stick him in this category.

The Heroes:
(From Left to Right: Kiyomaru from Zash Bell, Joe from Cyborg 009, Jirou from Black Blood Brothers)

Now I really don’t have much to say about this, but yes, it is possible for even Sakurai to voice the heroes. I know Cloud is the hero, but he’s more an emo than a hero so I won’t talk about him (as you can see, I don’t really like Cloud).

Like his shoujo and “everything else” roles, these roles variate, as well. All of the heroes that he voice acts (or at least the ones depicted here) all share different personalities. Either way, they’re still the hero and get the final blow or dirty work done in the end.

Some may be suitable for him, some may not be. Personally, I don’t like the upbeat characters that he voice acts, so most of them are generally acceptable for his type of voice (except Kiyomaru).

The Bishounen:
(From Left to Right: Suefumi from the Harukanaru Movie, Soshi from Zettai Kareshi, Sasame from Pretear.)

Now most of Sakurai’s bishounen roles are from yaoi/BL anime. As you can see, the actually regular shoujo-oriented entertainment he does voice act in happen to be in the minority. Why do I say that? Well, because Suefumi is from a movie which is like a one-shot and Soushi is from a Drama CD adaptation of a shoujo manga (it’s always fun to hear Kenichi Suzumura and Takahiro Sakurai fighting over something/someone).. so there is few. But it’s not that bad.

The voice he projects for the bishounen are fabulous, as always. He’s plays either a kind-hearted soul or a cold type of guy. Man, if only they would adapt Zettai Kareshi into an anime. THEN I CAN LISTEN TO SAKURAI AS SOSHI AND SUZUMURA AS NIGHT. That would be awesome. But if they do, I really hope they don’t get Sanae Kobayashi to voice act Riiko again (leave her for the moaning or boy roles.) I highly doubt that Zettai Kareshi would ever get an anime adaptation, though. It was already rewarded with a JDrama (which I am not watching because they totally destroyed the setting).

The Everything Else:
(From Left to Right: Haseo from .hack//G.U., Kira from Bleach, Sasori from Naruto Shippuuden.)

And as always, the everything else.

Sakurai’s everything else is great, if you know what I mean. I would stick Haseo under “emo,” but he gets over it. Haseo is more of a hardass, agressive tsundere boy that likes to scream. Kira is… a useless side character in Bleach that apparently a lot of people adore. And Sasori is a villain.

Speaking of villains! Sakurai has a very villainicious voice. If that makes any sense. With his smooth, collected voice, he can also play that of a witty, strong, and badass villain (like Sasori. I liked Sasori. Which reminds me, I never got past episode 26 of Shippuuden.) He also played some evil dude in GetBackers that left it ultimately in a cliffhanger.

Anyway, his everything else is pretty awesome.

If you would like to see more roles voice acted by Takahiro Sakurai, click these:
ANN: Takahiro Sakurai on AnimeNewsNetwork
MAL:
Takahiro Sakurai on MyAnimeList

His Singing:
I have never really thought of Sakurai as a singer. His voice is sexy, I’ll admit that, but it’s not really prone to singing. I have gone through some tracks that he has sung before and they were pretty terrible. I did find one that I really did enjoy, but that was about it. I hate it when he’s enthusiastic when he’s singing, because he just sounds awful.

Ren’s Thoughts:
I love Takahiro Sakurai’s voice acting. I love it lots. He has to be one of my favorite seiyuu (and I’ve heard a lot) of all-time. Sure, his voice isn’t very flexible. But it’s still great.

Sakurai is bound to be one of many people’s favorites in the long run. I mean, who doesn’t love his voice? I know I do.

Next up! Who knows? Probably Rie Kugimiya. AND THAT WILL BE SHORT.

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3 Responses to “Seiyuu Spotlight – Takahiro Sakurai”

  1. neuroticsnake Says:

    Hehe lately, I’m totally crushing on Takahiro Sakurai’s voice! I finally figured out who’s who in their (with Kenichi Suzumura) song ‘Katamuita Tsuki’ and ‘Shizumanai Taiyou’! (Yeah, I discovered them late ^___^)

  2. “He isn’t very flexible”?! Wait He is!
    He also do the vice from a digimon! xD
    Misaki’s voice is not like Sasori’s or Kururugi’s… so you hace to think about it e.e

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