So! We’re about half of the way through the 2014 Summer Season and us writers of Koekara have decided our flavours of summer! It was preeetty clear cut this time – although there were a few seiyuus that we had to cut off the list for next time – and we’ve finally got our couple. Like last time we’ve condensed it to one male and one female seiyuu and they are *drumroll* – Hanae Natsuki and Amamiya Sora !!! These two are pretty special this season
HE is the main male lead of Aldnoah.Zero i.e. the very composed, deadpan but silently – like, lowest frequency ever – determined hero, Kaizuka Inaho. BUT, even more impressively, he is also the male lead of the brilliant Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki Ken. Two extraordinarily different characters – although both high school students, what else – with personalities and vocal nuances that are miles apart and all of us were very impressed indeed! He was also the main character of Winter’s Nagi no Asukara and the pinked-haired Haruichi from Daimond no Ace.
– Kiseki: And if (i) the destruction of Tokyo (whether it be by beings from another planet, or beings that devour humans); (ii) beautifully blue-eyed aquatic people, or (iii) what’s probably the best sports series this year, do not tickle your fancy, then you might remember him as otaku extraordinaire in Autumn 2013’s Outbreak Company.
SHE is the main female lead of Aldnoah.Zero; the sugary blonde princess Asseylum from Mars who travels to Earth on what should have been a diplomatic mission before Tokyo got destroyed. Bad things happen, what can you do? And if you’re noticing a theme here, well, she’s also the main female of Tokyo Ghoul and is a coldhearted, kickass Touka who has some awesome moves. She’s also one of the main protagonists of Akame ga Kill, i.e. the female namesake of the show, Akame~
– Akatsuki: It’s a treat to watch both our flavours of the month together in Tokyo Ghoul, who both in separate interviews noted that their favourite voice-acting scenes were actually when their respective characters had to throw up LOL. They’re both very young and haven’t got very many shows between them yet one can’t tell. The pressure of voicing lead roles is upon their shoulders, the stress of being newbies amongst more experienced veterans probably smothers and despite it all, these 2 really deliver excellent voice acting – I hope they win the seiyuu newcomer awards because I don’t think anyone else so far deserves it more than them!
Starting with Hanae Natsuki, I’m only now beginning to really appreciate his portrayal of brash Hikari from Nagi no Asukara, which ended up being quite a highlight for Winter 2014. He was hot-blooded, loud, had that typical rough kid voice that didn’t really strike me as anything spectacular until now. His voice in Daimond no Ace, as a quiet supporting character also didn’t strike me as anything amazing – even though I adore his character with his mop of cotton candy pink hair – but that’s what’s special about him I think; I didn’t even think to associate him with his Nagi character. Summer 2014 really exposes the extent of his diversity versatility by playing such different characters in two very good shows. He’s quiet, steady and fairly mellow in Aldnoah.Zero, the perfect voice to his character, whereas he exhibits a completely different tone in Tokyo Ghoul, with his tense, reedy voice that complements his fish out of water character. With such a wide range of characters it can be difficult to pinpoint him in a show without having to look his name up; others, like Kamiya Hiroshi or Sakurai Takahiro are fairly easy to identify and fun to listen out for but Hanae Natsuki has his own uniqueness in the range of characters he can play while sounding quite different each time.
– Kiseki: I first noticed Hanae in Outbreak Company. As Shinichi, he was equal parts gentle, equal parts desperate and really brought to life the spirit of what I imagine a moe expert would sound like. Hanae managed to hold his own against the likes of veterans Miki Shinichirou and Fujiwara Keiji, despite being a relative new comer. Yes, he definitely left an impression with his role as Shinichi. And ever always, will I remember the phrase 絶対領域 – zettai ryouiki~
– Akatsuki: I first noticed Hanae too in Outbreak Company but like Komorebi said, I didn’t think much of him because during that same season, Oosaka Ryouta was stealing the limelight as a fellow newbie and they both sounded similar to me. Until Nagi, when both seiyuus were in the same anime but as complete opposites to the roles they were up till then known for – Hanae being quiet and composed, Oosaka being loud and brash. But it really wasn’t until Daimond no Ace that I could distinctively distinguish the 2. And wow has Hanae really shorn through this Summer 2014 in Tokyo Ghoul. While most seiyuus are expressive, Hanae’s really emotive, reminding me of Irino Miyu. So he’s really promising to look out for!)
This season is really a breakthrough for Amamiya Sora with three main leads in three shows under her belt. Like Hanae Natsuki, she’s also got the diversity down pat pretty early on in her career, which is really quite incredible. Starting with Aldnoah.Zero, she’s, as I said, a sugar blonde princess with ideals of peace and unity and all that jazz. Her character is pretty typical in my opinion, as the girl who wants to unify two warring planets. That’s a lot to take on, sweetheart. And her voice, which is very light and airy really matches the character she’s portraying. But then we’ve got Tokyo Ghouls, where she’s this hardcore, cold and impatient girl with a pretty lovely deep voice. She’s got all the attitude down pat and I actually find her voice in this show just really nice to listen to. It’s a very rock chick voice that I can totally appreciate.
– Akatsuki: With a gentle voice debuting in Isshukan Friends, it was hard to miss Amamiya Sora (especially with a name that includes ‘sky’ and ‘rain’) because her Fujimiya was so soft and genteel you just want to reach out and give her a tiny hug to go with her tiny self-esteem. In Spring 2014, she was also in Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei as a supporting character and both roles used the same quality of voice acting. So it was really a surprise to find out she got cast in 3 main roles this season! And because she’s broken out of that one-dimension gentleness and departed greatly to voice edgy Touka in Tokyo Ghoul as well as Akame in Akame ga Kill, I was greatly impressed. I do think she can sound more tsun as Touka though. I don’t think she’ll go the way of gentleness goddess Mamiko Noto but perhaps more like Hanazawa Kana in procuring a diverse range of roles. She’s done 2 extremes now so it’s the other types of roles in between that I’m excited to watch out for in future.