Alrighty, let’s just skip past the introductory paragraph and go straight into this Autumn 2014’s Flavour post. This season, we were unable to decide on a female flavour, because none of the female seiyuus really stood out. However, there’s no reason to panic, because we did decide on a male seiyuu. So without further ado, we present koekara’s flavour of the season – Sakurai Takahiro. This was a pretty obvious choice, because Sakurai is in just about every other show this season. Incidentally, all of us writers are covering at least one show with his name on the cast list. But frequency of appearance isn’t the reason we chose Sakurai. It’s because in just this one season alone, he’s shown such diversity in voice acting a wide range of characters so much so that no other seiyuu really stood a chance.
Given this veteran seiyuu’s stardom status, introductions seem pretty unnecessary. But just for the benefit of anyone reading this… Fans of his earlier works would know him as Suzaku in Code Geass, or the lead in Kyou Kara Maou. Or if you, like me, only started watching anime proper just a couple years ago, then you’d probably know him as the (truly one of the most brilliant) white-haired antagonist Makishima in Psycho-Pass. And if you didn’t watch what’s probably one of the best series in recent years, then maybe you’d remember him as the other butler, Claude Faustus, in Kuroshitsuji II. Or maybe, if shoujo is your go-to genre, then you’d know him as Kurosawa in Sukitte ii na yo. Or perhaps if you are a pure BL fan and all those other genres do not appeal to you, then you might know him as Misaki in Junjou Romantica. And after all that, if none of those names ring a bell, no matter… because if you consider yourself somewhat of an anime fan and think you have seen quite a number of series, then chances are you have heard him before – he’s pretty much EVERYWHERE.
Wow where do I even begin? How far back would be recent? Let’s see let’s see… Entering his 17th year in the voice acting industry, Sakurai has done some very memorable roles. However, none are more memorable for me than his comedic roles. Don’t get me wrong, he does the tortured character with a complex past / genius villain types to the point of perfection. But his silly/cheeky roles are the ones that make me really appreciate this seiyuu. One of the first baka Sakurai roles I heard was his take on ninjutsu aspiring Janua Ein in Winter 2013’s Senyuu. He really managed to capture the very essence of Janua’s silliness, and I don’t think I have ever giggled that hard while watching a 4-minute short. Another character that I hold very dearly is his role as the性格悪い first-string genius catcher Miyuki in the currently airing Diamond no Ace (which is like, one of the best sports shows of late, so if you haven’t seen it you just so have to). He also plays Sting, a relatively recent addition to the long list of dragon slayers in Fairy Tail.
While his comedic roles are a favourite of mine, I just can’t write a Sakurai post without mentioning that he plays just about some of the most stunning characters ever. Just last season, he played the very beautiful, very gorgeous, very cool, very swoon worthy Uta in Tokyo Ghoul. Honestly, Uta is about the prettiest anime character I have ever laid eyes on. So there. This season, he plays the white-haired, purple-eyed, and again very beautiful ninja Shirasu in Donten ni Warau. I guess a pretty face is only deserving of a pretty voice, no? Even his wikipedia page describes him as voicing mainly handsome (and mostly charming) men!
With 5 main roles and as many as 6 supporting roles this season, Sakurai shows why he is the superstar that he really is. He does sadistic as the kuro ouji in this season’s shoujo Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji, meek as the new enforcer Shou in Psycho-Pass 2, silly baka as Inugami in Gugure!, gentle yet firm and so very mysterious as Shirasu in Donten ni Warau, spoilt sore loser as Tae-jun in Akatsuki no Yona, and so very many more. Bringing to life each and every character that he plays, and doing so in the most convincing manner possible, his diversity speaks volumes of his staggering ability as a veteran seiyuu. It is no wonder that he is so sought after; the Psycho-Pass people loved him so much that they just had to bring him back in the second season even though his previous character got axed. We’re thinking plot twist, but maybe Sakurai really is just that good?
After all that, surely you’d like to at least hear him in something this season! Well look no further, because the shows that he is in are as follows:
- Akatsuki no Yona – Gang Tae-jun
- Diamond no Ace – Miyuki Kazuya
- Donten ni Warau – Kinjou Shirasu
- Fairy Tail – Eucliffe Sting
- Grisais no Kajitsu – Kazami Yuuji
- Gugure! Kokkuri-san – Inugami
- Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle – Acura Shin
- Log Horizon 2nd Season – Krusty
- Nanatsu no Taizai – Griamor
- Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji – Sata Kyouya
- Psycho-Pass 2 – Hinakawa Shou
And if whatever’s written above can’t convince you to keep an ear out for him in any of those shows, then at least give the Gugure! Kukkuri-san OP a listen. Mark my words, his ‘dance dance dance’ will get to you. Really, rambling never sounded sexier~