Most Iconic Japanese Video Game Voiceover
Japanese video game voiceover performances are some of the most iconic of all time. When you think of Japan, what comes to mind? Yes, anime and manga, but what else? Surely video games too! They are an important element to the Japanese culture as Japan is considered to be the third most significant market in the video gaming industry with 16% of the global market size. This means there’s a huge market for Japanese video game voiceover. In fact, thousands of games emerge within the numerous Japanese companies that exist each year. You’re sure to have heard of the “Big Five”: Nintendo, Square Enix, Sega, Bandai Namco, and Konami. For example the game Animal Crossing on Switch. It came out in March 2022 and sold over 38 million copies. That’s enormous!
One factor that certainly plays a role in making certain games popular would be the different and unique voices of each character in the game, which makes us develop a sort of attachment towards them. The voice over actors behind these voices perfectly reflect their personalities through their voices, but also through the little onomatopoeias and noises that are particular to the character.
We’ve put together a list of popular Japanese voice over actors who voiced some of our favourite video game characters. So now you can finally put a name to their voices!
Examples of some Japanese Video Game Voiceovers
Pokémon is definitely at the top of the ranking as it has been growing in popularity since its first appearance. Movies, books, toys and video games. You can literally find your Pokémon favourites in many different shapes. Maybe Meowth is your favourite Pokémon? That could be because Inuko Inuyama has dubbed his character on many occasions. Not just in Pokémon movies and video games, but even musicals too!
How about God Beerus in Dragon Ball? Well, Beerus’s devious and tyrannical personality was perfectly reflected by Kōichi Yamadera who voiced this character in the video games. He also dubbed other popular game characters such as Akihiko Kayaba in Sword Art Online, Ryōga Hibiki in Ranma 1/2, Quilge Opie in Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War (2022), and many more.
The Most Famous Japanese Voice Over Actors
Do you know what ‘Seiyuu” means? It’s a Japanese term that refers to voice actors – especially voice actors who dub characters in the native language version of an anime, a video game, a radio broadcast or an advertisement in Japan. Anime and manga are major components of Japanese culture and the Japanese are well-known for their amazing ability in voicing anime characters. There are many Japanese voice over artists that can bring your project to life with their impeccable vocal skills.
According to the website Otaku in Tokyo, Kana Hanazawa is considered to be today’s most popular anime voice actress in Japan. She’s dubbed hundreds of anime characters throughout the years – her most famous roles being Sera from Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions, Rika Orimoto from Jujutsu Kaisen 0, and Yukari Yukino from Your Name.
Hiroshi Kamiya is also a very popular Japanese voice actor who has also voiced hundreds of anime characters. He is a singer and narrator affiliated with Aoni Production. His renowned voice over work includes his dubbing of Levi from Attack on Titan, Nicholas Wong from Psycho-Pass: The Movie, Ranpo Edogawa from Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple, Trafalgar D. Water Law from One Piece: Stampede, and more recently Gamma #1 from Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.
Another great figure in the Japanese voice over industry would be Masako Nozawa – a Japanese actress, voice actress and narrator. She is currently 86 years old and has dubbed numerous anime characters. She is especially well-known for being the voice of Son Goku, Son Gohan, and Son Goten in the popular anime franchise Dragon Ball. In addition, she is also the voice behind the characters Pidge and Haggar in Hyakujūō Golion. She was also the voice of Doraemon in the 1973 anime of the same name.
Most popular Japanese dubbing of English actors
Harry Potter is one of the most popular franchises in many countries around the world, including Japan. While Daniel Radcliffe took on the lead role on-screen, Kensho Ono was the Japanese voice over actor behind Harry Potter. He has dubbed Daniel Radcliffe in 11 different movies. He’s a Japanese voice actor, actor and singer and lent his voice to many other well-known actors. These include Joe Keery in Keys (Free Guy) and Jun Yu in the live-action version of Disney’s Mulan (Cricket).
DC characters are also at the top of the list in terms of DC comics’ popularity around the world. Batman can definitely be considered a key player in the saga. Tomoyuki Dan did an amazing job at dubbing Bruce Wayne in all three Batman movies. He’s a Japanese voice actor who dubbed Christian Bale in Batman and Terminator Salvation. He also dubbed Ben Stiller in the Night at the Museum movies.
Yūya Uchida is a popular Japanese actor and voice actor, who’s also a member of the Haiyuza Theatre Company. He dubbed many famous actors such as Ryan Gosling, Cillian Murphy, Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Notably, he dubbed British actor James McAvoy in some of his most famous roles including Professor X in the X-Men series, Doctor Victor Frankenstein in Victor Frankenstein and Kevin Wendell Crumb in Split.
FUN FACT! Did you know that there are no articles like ‘an’, ‘a’, ‘the’ in Japanese? And, did you know you have to know more than 2000 Kanji to be able to read any newspaper in Japan?
Enjoyed this blog? Check out a similar blog on Languages Used in Video Games and Movies. Or check out our previous blog on Video Translation and its Benefits.
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