Top 15 seiyuu with the best singing voice


takuma terashima, suzumura kenichi, taniyama kishow

Takuma Terashima, Kenichi Suzumura, Kishow Taniyama

We’ve all heard of many actors turned musicians in Europe or the US. And we hear how they fail to make the jump because simply they don’t sound good singing. In Japan is a totally different situation. In Japan the art of singing or voice acting is much respected since it’s one of the hardest to master. You need to: by voice only, express believable emotions and make the listeners feel those same emotions and that requires amazing talent and dedication – two words that are usually part of the day-by-day of a normal Japanese. So this is a top dedicated to those voice actors that have excelled in singing throughout these years.

To make this top lots of songs were listened, between character songs and solo/band albums I counted everything to build this top.

taniyama kisho1 – KISHOW TANIYAMA

Does it even come as a surprise? Everyone knows that this name means business. KISHOW is known as the frontman of hardrock band GRANRODEO. With a natural vibrato in his voice and an almost total control over his tone/voice, KISHOW impresses us, be it singing rock songs, easily more draining for his voice, or singing the most calm, ballad-like songs where his voice completely turns to sound almost angel-like. But despite being a seiyuu for a long time KISHOW still thinks his voice is more suitable for singing than for voice acting which is interesting since he sounds good both in voice acting and singing. Kishow is what I call: the perfect frontman, versatile voice, energetic, extremely attentive to his fans and totally in love with his music.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

– From GRANRODEO’s 2011 album “Supernova” the song: “背徳の鼓動” – in this ballad KISHOW shows us why his angel-like voice can draw so much emotion out of a song.

– From GRANRODEO’S 2012 album “Crack star flash” the song “Mesmerize” – powerful vocals never missing a note and quickly emerging us in the song

– Solo wise I picked a few gems that show his amazing vocal range: “Destination” (from “La Corda d’Oro 2 ~felice~”); “Eien no Nightscape” (character song from the anime “Amnesia”) – this one his angel voice owns the song from start to finish;

–  “シリウスへの誓い” (from the anime “Uta no prince-sama maji love 2000%”) – another emotional ballad totally suited to KISHOW’s voice.

mamoru miyano2 – Mamoru Miyano 

Well here is the seiyuu that is always on top form. Mamoru Miyano is known for being the seiyuu behind the voice of Yagami Light (Death Note), Ichinose Tokiya (Uta no prince sama) just to state a few big names. He is also a singer and a good one to boot. In his 5 years of singing career he has released more music than usual for a seiyuu and with 3 full length albums and an amount of singles big enough to make a lot of people envy him, Mamoru Miyano sings to impress. His sweet angel voice completely versatile never fails, everything he sings is like liquid gold being directly poured into our ears, plus I’ve heard him singing rap, rock, pop and he just sounds good in any of those genres. Top notch singer, versatile and extremely talented.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          Character song from anime “Uta no prince-sama maji love 1000%” – “Nanairo no Compass” – extremely beautiful ballad showing off Miyano’s angel voice being put to good use, plus the higher notes are chilling.

–          “Crystal Time” also from “Uta no prince-sama” anime is another example of those softer ballad-like songs in which he never fails a single note. His softer tone can draw so much emotion out of the song that it still amazes me each time I listen to this song.

–          “カノン” from Miyano’s most recent single with the same name is a change of pace from the usual pop songs he sings. This one is a rock song and a very good one to boot and once again his vocals fit like a glove on it.

– “BE” – another gem. Beautiful silky voice on this R&B tune.

yoshimasa hosoya3 – Yoshimasa Hosoya

Hiroshima’s multi-talented Yoshimasa Hosoya. In spite of the fact that only recently he starts to get noticed on the seiyuu business he has been showing that he is overflowing with talent in almost every area of the entertainment business.

Usually we have proof that someone is a good singer when they can sing in any genre with no problems but not only sing: sing well, well enough to make your jaws drop in awe. Also a good singer doesn’t need an instrumental to sound good, they may be able to sing an acapella and make you go to tears. Yoshimasa Hosoya is that kind of guy. I’ve heard him sing almost every genre of music from rock to pop, rap, electronic or even the more traditional songs and yet he even makes himself look pretty well in any of those genres. A real gem of a singer, a natural vibrato with a great deep voice, he reaches both high and lower notes with no problem whatsoever which is pretty commendable.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–  “No Muda Life~エクスタシー侍のテーマ~” – rap mixed with pop and yet he manages to catch all the high notes in the chorus like it’s no big deal. Incredible vocal work especially both rapping and hitting the high notes.

–  “I, Ng” – good pop song showing off his natural vibrato beautifully throughout the song and hitting once again the high notes like no other.

–  “Kaze no Requiem” – excellent acappella intro that will make have chills from how beautiful it sounds. Top notch vocal work showing that a good singer doesn’t need an instrumental to show off that they’re really something amazing.

morikubo showtaro4 – Showtaro Morikubo

A college graduate with honors in English and a rocker through and through, Showtaro Morikubo is one of those guys that, not only sings well but he also is skilled to the point of playing guitar and drums on some of his songs. On a live setting he’s almost always with his guitar in hand playing amazing riffs and making us want to scream, shout and jump like crazy. Great mid-toned voice, not really a deep voice neither a high pitched voice but certainly a very unique tone from this Tokyo native. Incredibly talented, amazing voice and a complete fit to the rock/hardrock genre but this guy can also rap pretty well which was a surprise for me.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          “DoPaMiNe” – Incredibly good rock song, strong vocals showing off his unique voice through the riffs.

–           “Mirror” – His voice draws so much feeling from the song. Shows off how soft his voice can be and how well he can use his vibrato. Top notch stuff right here.

–          “Single Match” – Rapping like it’s no problem at all mixing English with Japanese and sounding good on the way to the rockish chorus. Versatile voice right here.

–          “美術館[ミュージアム]へようこそ” – Vibrato all the way on this song

suwabe5 – Junichi Suwabe

This man is owner of one of the sexiest voices in Japan. His deep voice makes a lot of people go crazy but Junichi Suwabe isn’t all talk and games, not only he’s a very talented seiyuu but he actually sings surprisingly well and has an incredibly versatile voice. When singing rock or pop songs his full potential comes out, especially on the sexier songs (believe me, he sings a lot of those).

Soft, seductive voice with a lot of vibrato going on that is what you’ll have to expect when you listen to any song that has his name on.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          “ じれったい ” (roughly translated to “temptress”) –  This song just highlights the talent that Junichi Suwabe has. This song is probably the sexiest song I’ve heard to date and it has it all: vibrato, top-notch vocals not failing to hit the notes, softer voice leads us through an ecstasy of a song.

–          “俺様の美技に酔いな” – Rock song at its best. Rough, quick and piercing vocals, a total change of pace compared to the song above which by itself is already a good thing.

–          “Orange Rhapsody” – vibrato, soft voice with a deeper tone than the previous ones. Totally a “Suwabe song”, the genre itself fits him like a glove.

–          “Shoot down” – now here is a total surprise. A hip-hop song with a complete chorus in English and still sang so amazingly. Never thought he had the guts to sing a hip-hop song and still sound good but I was proved wrong.

suzumura kenichi6 – Kenichi Suzumura

Prolific seiyuu Suzumura Kenichi is a real box full of surprises. Incredibly talented in voice acting, sings pretty well and even plays the guitar on his solo project (he’s a good rhythmic guitar player). With a mid-ranged tone pending towards a softer tone he has a really unique voice that is easily spotted.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          “Intention” – soft-tone vocals with an amazing vibrato.

–          “センスオブワンダー” – rock song with strong vocals on the chorus, grabs all the notes without failing a thing.

–          “時空越えし約束” – A pop-rock song and still a good one, a deeper tone in his voice than on the previous songs with good use of his vibrato.

–          “Knocking on the mind” – a ballad showing off Suzumura’s great vocal range hitting all the high notes making this song one of his best.

tatsuhisa suzuki7 – Tatsuhisa Suzuki

Another rocker on this top and this time we find OLDCODEX frontman, Tatsuhisa Suzuki. Another deep voice to add to the never ending list of Japanese singers with low tone/deep voice. Tatsuhisa’s voice fits rock the best but he also performs well pop songs. On a live setting the same thing can’t be said. I’ve gone through some of OLDCODEX live performances and sometimes he doesn’t have a strong enough vocal to even be heard on stage or simply misses all the high notes on the songs. I’ve got mixed feelings about his singing and that is one of the reasons why he isn’t higher on the top.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          「絶対不滅の愛(ダイヤモンド 」 – extremely good rock song. Strong vocals totally fitting on song, deeper voice and vibrato throughout the whole song showing us a bit of Tatsu’s skills.

–          “美しい背骨”  (with his band OLDCODEX) – now here is where his vocals are high quality. Softer than usual tone adding emotion to the song

–          “One night stand” (with fellow seiyuu Hatano Wataru) – he can rap! And he hits the higher pitched notes like no other, incredible vocal performance and more vibrato for all of you.

satoshi hino8 – Satoshi Hino

And yet another deep voice pending to middle-deep voice by this talented seiyuu. Born in the US in 1978, Satoshi Robert Hino is today, one of the most interesting and talented seiyuu around. Incredibly versatile and with an amazing control over his voice he is a natural choice for this top 15.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          “二つの雫-namida-“ (with his band Elekiter Round 0) – Such a lovely voice hitting the high notes and sounding incredibly well with his vibrato. On this one he sings using his normal tone – the mid-ranged one.

–          “絶望の挽歌” – This song is a real surprise. Deeper tone, way too deep to the point of making it incredibly difficult to be sung live by the man himself (but he managed to still sing it incredibly well live on the “kiniro no corda” event held a few years back). Strong vocal work and a song that won’t easily be forgotten by you. A rock song in its very definition.

–          “疾風怒涛 -MEIN HERZ-“ – Deep tone yet softer than on the latter song and still sound great.

I could go on and on with his songs since none of his are “bad”.

KENN9 – KENN

Stage actor/seiyuu/singer KENN has his hands full but nevertheless never loses when it comes to singing. Soft mid-ranged tone sometimes hinting to a bit higher pitched tone. I guess I’ve never heard a badly performed song by him. Strong voice on the rock songs, soft tone on the pop ones and still he manages to sound good on both. On a live context he sounds just as good as the recorded version of the songs, so that is also a good sign meaning that there was no voice manipulation software added to the recording of the song and what we hear is the real deal.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          “Sanctuary” – pure bliss on this song: higher and softer tone of voice used on this song, especially on the chorus on the rest of the song we have his usual mid-tone voice leading the guitars and drums on this great song.

–          “Sky field” – smooth tone really befitting the ballad in question. Amazing use of his vibrato not sounding exaggerated.

tachibana shinnosuke10 – Shinnosuke Tachibana

Smooth voice, a tenor by nature he owns a medium high-pitched voice, medium enough to make it sound sexy. Great voice and a good singer overall but he could have ranked higher if there weren’t some songs actually shameful from how bad they were sang compared with his natural singing voice.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          “Summer snow” (with his band Elekiter Round 0) – Angel like vocals drawing emotion on this amazing song.

–          “孤独の太陽” (with his band Elekiter Round 0) – Incredible vocal work especially in his use of the vibrato. One of his best songs right here.

–          “微睡む月の夜のアリア” – Soft, angel-like vocals completely hypnotizing the listener.

 

Terashima Takuma

11 – Takuma Terashima

Terashima has a somehow versatile voice. He can range between his softer, high-pitched voice and his lower, stronger voice and sound good with any of those tones. Rock and pop are the genres that better fit his voice.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          “Nightmare” – Strong vocal work on this incredible rock song. Uses his normal mid-range tone to sing this one.

–          “Special day” – Softer tone but still a song that doesn’t fail on the vocal work.

–          “Horizon” – Singing on his softer, higher-pitched tone and hitting both high and low notes like no other.

daisuke ono12 – Daisuke Ono

Good deep voice but not too exaggerated. Daisuke Ono is an interesting and talented enough singer to be featured on this top. He has an incredible good voice but he’s not the best of singers at least compared to some names on this top 15. I’ve heard basically every song that there is available out there that he’s sang so far and I can say that I also have mixed feelings about his singing voice. There are some songs in which he sounds amazing but there are others that I regret having to listen to them since those were awful.

His 1st album very rock-oriented was incredibly good but some of the singles that he has released in the last few years have some dreadful songs attached. I guess it was easy to notice that the awful songs are the ones that he was asked to sing and not the ones he wrote but those songs are on his catalogue so I didn’t avoid them.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          “暁の轍” – vocal work at its best. Soft deep voice guiding us throughout the song

–          “雨音” – beautiful ballad showing Ono’s deep yet soft tone.

nojima kenji

13th – Kenji Nojima

Owner of a one-of-a-kind voice and an avid user of his vibrato here it is the amazingly talented Kenji Nojima. We can say that his trademark is the use of the vibrato. He has a higher-pitched tone that we could almost say that he’s a tenor but he can range between it and a lower tone making him go unnoticed. Soft, angel-like vocal simply perfect. Could be higher on the top 15 but he isn’t since some of his work on some songs fails to impress.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          “Crimson wings” – Vibrato all the way, full of power, yet strong vocals on this rock song. Uses his usual mid-tone ranging towards a higher pitched tone.

–          “Devil” – do I even need to say “vibrato”? Soft, higher pitched vocal work on this one.

–          “Love delight” – This song is probably the first one I’ve heard that has been recorded with a dummy head mic (basically the singer records in a room with a head-like mic that will make the listener feel like the singer is behind, in front or even whispering the song on their ears – amazing Japanese invention) and is pretty good. The song is incredibly sad, perfect for such a vibrato and angel voice. Never fails a higher note on this one. Top notch work on this one.

tetsuya kakihara14th – Tetsuya Kakihara

German-japanese voice actor Tetsuya Kakihara show us that not only he’s talented in voice acting but he sings well, still not well enough to be on top of this TOP 15 but a good singer overall. Higher-pitched voice in some songs, deeper voice on others and a mid-range tone as his usual tone when not singing. Has a voice better suited for rock but he sings well pop or electronic songs so no complaining here.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          “Ocean flying

–          “Eternal screaming

The review for both those songs can be found  HERE

miyu irino15th – Miyu Irino

Young seiyuu Miyu Irino isn’t a stranger at all to singing: already with 3 albums and a number of singles his soft, mid-range tone gives him a place on this top 15. A singer completely focused on the pop genre.

Some songs that quickly highlight his vocal qualities:

–          “ZERO” – Soft-tone on this one, hitting both highs and lows with no problem

–          “HIGH DRIVE” – Seductive voice and solid vocal work hitting the higher notes without fail.

–          “Faith” – Strong vocal on this more rock oriented song but still his trademark soft vocals are there.

Honorable mentions: Aoi Shouta, Daisuke Namikawa, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Suzuki Yuuto, Tomoaki Maeno and Kousuke Toriumi.

Next year there’s more of this so stay tuned for this one!

So the top 15 is the following:

1 - KISHOW TANIYAMA
2 - Mamoru Miyano
3 - Yoshimasa Hosoya
4 - Showtaro Morikubo
5 - Junichi Suwabe
6 - Kenichi Suzumura
7 - Tatsuhisa Suzuki
8 - Satoshi Hino
9 - KENN
10 - Shinnosuke Tachibana
11 - Takuma Terashima
12 - Daisuke Ono
13 - Kenji Nojima
14 - Tetsuya Kakihara
15 - Miyu Irino
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2 responses to “Top 15 seiyuu with the best singing voice

  1. Ha! Is this a joke because it sure is to my ears!!! Don’t like nor possibly love any of the singers voices… Why can’t I find a decent ballad singer with no rock in it. Sing high notes on key and have natural vibrato when they carry a note. I found it in old Japanese songs, but it like the latest generation of singers don’t have a singing voice. It like listening to people who can’t sing sing. I guess it a new style of singing but it’s horrible (in my opinion)…. Sigh I’m sorry for rambling and possibly insulting this list. This is obviously your opinion, but gosh peoples opinion differs greatly sometimes…

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    • First: this post is really old. Second: we’ll update this since there’s a whole lot of great singers right now in the seiyuu business. Third: there are a lot of great singers – Shunsuke Takeuchi, Irino Miyu, Hosoya Yoshimasa, KENN, Mamoru Miyano, Shouta Aoi, KISHOW. If you don’t see the talent in them and in some of the songs they perform, than it’s because they simply don’t fit with your tastes. As far as we know, in Japan, the names we mentioned are regarded as talented singers, most of them with vibrato, top tier high notes and fit with almost every music genre. Also, sometimes the artists/seiyuu don’t get to chose the songs they perform nor how they will perform those so it might happen that the songs you’ve listened from them weren’t good at all. Anyway, this post is subjective so you don’t have to love anyone in here. By the way, we didn’t take offense but maybe you should tone down a bit with the offensive tone in which you wrote this.

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