10 Japanese Anime Voice Actors You Would Never Guess Play Your Favorite Characters
Voice acting in Japan is a fine art. Since anime is such a deep and powerful industry, you can imagine the need and competition of extremely talented voice actors. However, most people never really think about the people behind the voices of their favorite anime characters. If you love Dragon Ball, you don’t wonder who is the person at the recording studio screaming Kamehameha.
But then one day you finally see the real people behind the voices. And you are shocked. No . . . This can’t be who you’ve been watching all these years. This just can’t be.
Oh but it can . . .
Here are 10 voice actors who absolutely will change the way you viewed your favorite characters.
(*Note: the videos are cued up to the scene where they appear*)
1. Uzumaki Naruto (Naruto)
Can you picture her taking over the ninja world?
2. Son Goku (Dragon Ball Z)
Strongest person in the universe? Or your sweet old grandmother?
3. Luffy (One Piece)
Can you feel the intensity of the (wo)man who will become pirate king?
4. Himura Kenshin (Ruroni Kenshin)
The peaceful warrior. I can see it.
5-7. Kurama, Hiei, Kuwabara (Yuyu Hakusho)
I laugh when I think about a session of these guys getting together to voice an episode of Yuyu Hakusho. Why isn’t the main character (Yuusuke) included? Because he looks exactly like the character he voices!
(Where to find them each talking)
8-9. Gon, Kilua (Hunter x Hunter)
Strong, powerful, and motivated hunters. Exactly.
I will never look at Pikachu the same way again. This video is too cute.
Not what you thought?
Do any of these really surprise you? Which character and voice actor has the biggest image gap between them? Any good ones you know of that I missed out on?
Update: Want more? Check out part 2!
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
Pikachu was the only one I knew about. Many of these really don’t interest me, but knowing Himura Kenshin is dubbed by a girl made me like this -> o_0
Don’t worry, Kenshin still kicks ass.
I knew about Goku, and Ash but Pikachu Really?
I’ve never really followed any of these anime (except for Pokemon), but I did know female voice actors do the voices of male characters. For instance, Ash (Satoshi) from Pokemon. That video of Pikachu’s voice actor is so cute! I loved it!
She’s great! I’ve never really watched Pokemon before, but it made me very curious how she sounds on the show.
Haha the Goku one is pretty mindblowing! I always thought Goku’s voice was fascinating because he’s pretty much the ultimate badass and the strongest being in the universe and all, but he has this really shrill, high-pitched and child-like voice. Maybe it’s supposed to signify the innocence of his character, as he is pretty much portrayed as a child mentally.
Yea I heard something similar. You can’t get any more innocent than her. Apparently she’s a really nice and friendly person as well.
Ok… This has definitely blown my mind… Apparently you’re saying that the lead characters of just about every 少年 anime I’ve ever watched are voiced by women…
Which begs the question, really, what’s a good example of a famous 少年 hero voiced by a man?
And it’s also interesting imagining some of these voice actresses pulling some awesome pranks with their famous voices of badass all conquering heroes :p
Pretty much yes. It’s also kind of interesting that the English dubs of all these major anime use male voice actors.
The one exception I was able to find, which is why I couldn’t include it in this list, was Bleach. Most of the characters look similar to the voice actors. Then again, this may be even more surprising. Check out this video of all the voice actors from Bleach getting together to re-enact some of the famous scenes at a live event.
And yeah, if I had the voice of Goku, I would make good use of it, all the time.
That’s interesting. I find there are also a lot of animated movies in which the characters look like their voice actors. For instance おおかみこどもの雨と雪 (http://www.ookamikodomo.jp/cast/index.html).
I think Ichigo in Bleach is voiced by a man. So Is Yagami Light from Death Note – he’s voiced by the singer Mayano Mamoru (I can’t remember it very well so don’t count on my spelling). That’s all I know.
Pretty sure the voice of Luffy is also the voice of Dragonball’s Krillin.
This isn’t Japanese anime related, but it blew my mind when I found out the voice of Shredder in the old Turtles was done by Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince.
Yeah, she also does Krillin. Apparently she is fairly popular in the voice acting world.
That is a pretty crazy connection. I wonder if he was originally a voice actor before hitting TV sitcoms.
Possibly… I know he voiced one of the baddies from Fist of the North Star – from memory, a big guy who wears some kind of purple armour or something.
Ogata Megumi (Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho) is one of my favorite voice actors. She was also the first person to voice Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh! (I was super disappointed when Yugi was voiced by a man in Duel Monsters) and voiced Himura Kenshin in the Rurouni Kenshin drama CDs.
Wow when I read this list of voice actors i was really surprised on who they were voicing for the anime characters. These japanese voice artists are so talented to voice males characters while being a female lol
In truth, I know most of these roles here (minus Dragonball, HunterXHunter & Yu Yu Hakusho) are voiced by female seiyuus. It would be nicer if you could compare these roles to their roles in other animes though.
Take Junko-san for example. Who would’ve guessed the lady who voiced Naruto did Lambo from Katekyo Hitman Reborn?
Seiyuus are awesome, no doubt about that. :)
The way they can play such completely different types of characters really shows their talent.
I want to be work/job in anime voice actre..
I know that Naruto was spoken by a girl… Because i watched inazuma eleven. (She also gave her voice to Endou mamoru/Mark Evens.
amazing im so shocked…… I Idolized them….All hail to them
First time hearing about the voice actress for Naruto in Japanese ^^
Even in English, Naruto is voiced by a girl, as well :D
Pikachu sounds like the Japanese version of the English Rini, in Sailor Moon (1992). Rini, in English, is voiced by Sugar. I forgot her real name, but I only know her as Sugar, formerly from YTV (Canadian children’s channel).
I guess they tried to keep the feel of the voice the same in the English version?
Guys , could you inform me where i can download Tonytony chooper sound , it be like “konoyaro” . Lol .
You can probably get it somewhere on YouTube. Look for the episodes where he is first introduced as he said it a lot more in the beginning.
I watched all of them. I’m not surprised with female voice actors hired for these jobs. They maintain modulated and silvery voice like Naruto when (s)he’s not yelling and Himura Kenshin. I like Pikachu’s actress here the best though.
My monkey D luffy,is woman behind that voice,I’m astonished,like for real.but that’s awesome.that likes food…
This is why I only watch dubbed anime. What the fuck… not knocking the Japanese voice actors do your thing! Just saying though….. when I watch foreign movies I NEVER watch them dubbed, I only watch anime dubbed because in the shows usually the characters dont all seem Japanese, and when the audio is Japanese it makes them all seem Japanese. Also the English voice actors are fucking awesome….
You realize that this is for Japanese right?