As of recently I believe I have found my favorite seiyus, (voice actors) in anime. I’ll go ahead and let you know this is my personal taste, and is in no way supposed to be who I think is the best seiyu. In fact it is rather the seiyu who’s voice I enjoy listening to, and I find myself recognizing their voices in different series. In the beginning I didn’t really pay attention to voice actors all that much, but as my time watching anime increased and the number of series I had watched increased as well I began recognizing certain seiyus in their different roles. So with much help from anime news network, I have been able to make for sure the seiyu was someone who I was familiar with.
The first seiyu I will be talking about is the first voice actor I really recognized and the first voice I really picked up to and enjoyed hearing. Her name is Mamiko Noto. She has held major roles in popular anime such as Shakugan No Shana and Shakugan No Shana Second as Hecate and Fumino Konoe, School Rumble through School Rumble Third Term as Yakumo Tsukamoto, Sola as Matsuri Shihou, Maria-sama Ga Miteru through Maria-sama Ga Miteru season 4 as Shimako Toudou, and Elfen Lied as Yuka. Yes, before you blaze me for leaving her out of your favorite anime I am aware that she has been in many other popular anime with major roles, but there are so many that listing all of them here would be time consuming and rather pointless.
I will admit that I didn’t pick her up on her voice immediately, in fact I watched all of Elfen Lied, some of Sola (only watched the first two or three episodes and haven’t finished it yet) and all the first three seasons of Maria-sama Ga Miteru without paying attention to who was voicing what. However, what really caused her voice to really stick out to me was Clannad. I really enjoy Clannad, if you have read my review of Clannad during my Kyoto Animation blog series you would know that, and Kitomi Ichinose’s arc, the character who Mamiko Noto voices, was my favorite out of all the arcs in Clannad. I thought her voice matched Kitomi’s character perfectly, her voice was soft and quiet, however it felt warm-hearted and innocent, which perfectly described Kitomi’s character. Even during all of the distress in Kitomi’s arc her voice still stood out, from her telling of her disturbing past, to the sad emotions her character portrayed it really stuck out to me as a great voice. I still think that this is my favorite character that Mamiko has voiced that I have seen so far.
After Clannad I just so happened to start watching the School Rumble series. Yeah I know I’m late to the party, but in my defense my invitation didn’t come as soon as many others, meaning I didn’t really get into anime until somewhat recently. I really enjoyed the School Rumble anime, I thought it was funny, and the all of the comedy elements really stuck out to me. Then I heard Yakumou Tsukamoto’s voice, and I knew immediately that it was the same person. I didn’t really do any research because I figured it was just luck of the draw that she was the seiyu of another semi-main character. So I enjoyed School Rumble and the Second Term, which afterward I moved onto other series.
After a couple of series I watched Shakugan No Shana and Shakugan No Shana Second. Yes, once again I know I’m a little late, but see previous answer for my reason. All I had to hear was Hecate say her first line when I picked up on her voice. After watching Shakugan No Shana I took a break from new series (new to me) and rewatched an episode of Maria-sama Ga Miteru since it is one of my favorite series and I heard Shimako speak and I picked up on it immediately. This made me wonder though since I had already seen this show earlier and had not recognized her voice, what other shows has she voiced in and I didn’t know it? After this I had to go to anime news network and check to see what anime Mamiko had voiced characters in. To my surprise it was many popular series with major roles.
Like I said before I had to go back to Elfen Lied, Sola, To Love-Ru, Kanokon, and Full Metal Panic! to hear her character’s voices. Sure enough once I heard them I recognized most of them. In Kanokon and Full Metal Panic! she voices a guy so it was harder to pick up on, but you can still kind of hear a similarity. I must say though she is my favorite seiyu, I enjoy the calmness and quietness of the characters she voices, and I must say I just flat out like the voice she does.
There are still a lot of anime she is in that I have in my collection, but have not watched yet those titles include the following:
Ah! My Goddess/Ah My Goddess Flights of Fancy as Sayoko Mishima
Hell Girl as Ai Enma
Mai-HIme as Yukino Kikukawa
Mai-Otome as Yukino Chrysant
Simoun as Rimone
Trinity Blood as Esther Blanchett
The Familiar of Zero: Princess of Rondo as Tiffania Westwood
So I still have quite a few series where she voices that I own I just haven’t got around to yet, but her resume of voice acting includes many popular anime not listed here. So I have named Mamiko Noto as my favorite seiyu for the distinctness of her voice (in my opinion, the softness and calmness of her voice, and her voice seems to fit the characters she voices. This wraps up my post of my favorite seiyu and starting soon I will be starting my Fall 2008 anime blogs, I am looking so much to the Fall 2008 anime series and I’m sure you are too.