Today at Anime Rants we’re focusing on Takahiro Sakurai, one of my favorite male seiyuu (Japanese voice-actors). After presenting a number of roles he has played in anime, I will also discuss my first time hearing this seiyuu, and which of his roles was my favorite. Sakurai has appeared in so many anime series that I can’t even put close to half of them here. I’ve picked 20 of his roles to showcase, mostly ones that I am familiar with. I had to leave a lot of good ones out, so if you want, tell me your favorite Takahiro Sakurai role in the comments! Let’s Rant!
Ayame Sohma (Fruits Basket 2019)
Claude Faustus (Black Butler Season 2)
Fakir (Princess Tutu)
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (Bungou Stray Dogs)
Giyuu Tomioka (Kimetsu no Yaiba)
Jin Mitaka (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou)
Meme Oshino (Monogatari series)
Misaki Takahashi (Junjou Romantica)
Noboru Taki (Hibike! Euphonium)
Osomatsu Matsuno (Osomtsu-san)
Reigen Arataka (Mob Psycho 100)
Rohan Kishibe (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4)
Shougo Makishima (Psycho-Pass)
Suzaku Kururugi (Code Geass)
Uta (Tokyo Ghoul)
Yasaburo Shimogamo (Eccentric Family)
Yuu Kanda (D.Gray-Man)
Yuu Tosaki (Ajin)
Yuuri Shibuya (Kyo Kara Maou!)
Takahiro Sakurai has a strong voice of average pitch, not especially deep nor especially light. He can put a lot of power into his acting. This also serves him in singing, another part of his seiyuu career. Sakurai’s character types tend to be the good-hearted protagonist (such as Osomatsu), the cool type with a dark side (Jin Mitaka), or occasionally, a villain (Shougo Makishima). His talent can be seen in all of these, and more. There are also the excitable and over-the-top characters in more recent anime, including Ayame and Reigen. Once you get to know his voice, you can recognize it anywhere, but even so, Sakurai excels at playing several types of characters.
One of the things I admire about this seiyuu is his willingness to play parts in many kinds of anime. In particular, you’ll find him a lot of mildly shounen ai series, such as Kyo Kara Maou or Gakuen Heaven. He famously plays Misaki, the homosexual partner of Usami, in Junjou Romantica. I just wanted to include that bit of trivia since it’s a trend I’ve noticed.
First Time Hearing
In 2012, I watched Code Geass and fell in love with the character of Suzaku Kururugi. This is where I got to know Takahiro Sakurai’s voice. Suzaku is a complex character with many flaws, but that’s part of what makes him interesting. Also, I empathized with the character a great deal, since we go through some of the same emotional struggles. I think this role is easily in the top three of Sakurai’s most talented character performances. He pulls off the character perfectly.
My three favorite roles of Takahiro Sakurai are Suzaku Kururugi, Misaki Takahashi, and Shougo Makishima. For today’s purposes, let’s take that third character. Makishima is the main antagonist in Psycho-Pass, and his performance is astounding. This character isn’t one that’s easy to pull off, with his eloquence, cleverness, curiosity, and desire for chaos. But Takahiro Sakurai plays the part of Makishima so well that it captures all the needed sides and subtleties. I believe he is one of the top talents which appear in Psycho-Pass, and that’s saying something.
Thanks a bunch for stopping by and reading! Until next time, Sayonara!
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3 thoughts on “Seiyuu Series: Takahiro Sakurai”
I also love Takahiro Sakurai! I agree with you that you can easily recognize his voice. I love almost all of his roles, but Jin Mitaka and Misaki Takahashi are just two of those that stood out for me. Sorry I haven’t watched Code Geass and Psycho-Pass (don’t judge me please, haha) but I know he probably have nailed the character. I am also obsessed with seiyuus so I’m happy I came across your page. I’m new in the community by the way though I have watched lots of anime. Great post!
Hope you can also do one for Daisuke Ono, Junichi Suwabe and Tomokazu Sugita. Looking forward for more from this series. 🙂
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Hey there! Thanks for your feedback! Great to hear from another Sakurai fan and seiyuu enthusiast. I’ll definitely do Junichi Suwabe, and probably get around to the others, too!