Shinnosuke Tachibana is an example of success in the seiyuu business.
Having travelled from Gifu to Tokyo to follow his dream he gave up on the family business. But what Tachibana didn’t know was that we was going to face hell in Tokyo: a debut in the seiyuu business in 2003 followed by a deep slump, a will to give up on his job and going back home and facing even the most bizarre situations – STALKERS.
It wasn’t until late 2011 that Tachibana would see the light of success right ahead of him. As of 2015 he’s a successful light novel writer, mangaka, an on demand seiyuu when it comes to otome games and drama CD’s, a complete radio host and a skillful singer, all these things making him worthy of being called, a well-polished diamond waiting for his time to properly shine.
Versatile, methodic, insanely intelligent, incredibly focused on his job, blunt and with a voice able to melt almost anyone, this time we take a look at one of the true stories of success in the seiyuu business, the story of the rising phoenix, Shinnosuke Tachibana.
|BORN||April 26, 1978|
|OCCUPATION||seiyuu, narrator, radio personality, singer, mangaka, light novelist, former dancer|
Born on 26/04/1978 in Gifu, Japan, Shinnosuke Tachibana is one of the most underrated seiyuu in the business. With a talent, dedication and intelligence unmatched, he’s the case of the talented seiyuu that doesn’t get the necessary and deserved exposure to the masses.
Shinnosuke Tachibana was affiliated with Baobab production (until 2011) and is currently affiliated to Axl-One, talent agency managed by fellow seiyuu and President Toshiyuki Morikawa.
Making his debut in 2003, under BAOBAB production (Jun Fukuyama, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Ken Narita, Kazuhiko Inoue – names that today are no longer connected with the agency), Tachibana faced fierce competition from most rookies at the time, that were more experienced, more appealing to the masses and better backed up by their talent agencies, what made them able to secure a place for themselves in the seiyuu business. Names like Tatsuhisa Suzuki (debuted in 2002), Tetsuya Kakihara (debuted in 2003) and Mamoru Miyano (debuted in 2003) for example, were strong competition and had powerful talent agencies backing them up.
Tachibana made his debut as a seiyuu with his role as Kyuu in E’s Otherwise. In those first two years since his debut, He managed to grab some roles for himself, but all as completely secondary characters. Nothing with real exposure.
The period between 2003 and 2006 (still caught a bit of 2007) was indeed dark for himself, barely managing to support himself with the little he was earning at that time from those jobs. At that time he was working part-time as a game debugger for Square to pay for his daily life bills.
Tachibana said in an interview that, at that time, he thought about going back to Gifu, study properly and take the family business. The seiyuu life wasn’t going to get him anywhere.
At that time, he even started to hate how his voice sounded, that led to him avoiding watching the shows he was in. That slump, on his already frickle seiyuu career, made Tachibana completely disappear from everyone’s radar for about 3 years. That was until Satoshi Hino pulled Tachibana back once again into the seiyuu business, giving him support and leading the way for him. And thus the start of one of the most famous friendships in the seiyuu business.
Back on his feet
His times working under BAOBAB weren’t the best ever for Tachibana. In that time he was under the agency he only managed to have 3 main roles: first in the miserable flop “Myself, Yourself”, then in ecchi anime “Sekirei” and in “Inazuma Eleven”.
Up until 2011 and Tachibana’s transfer to Axl-One, he managed to get roles as the eccentric, spoiled and overly energetic Soma Asman Kadar in the first season of the supernatural hit series Kuroshitsuji and one of the fans’ favorites, his role as the mangaka Chiaki Yoshino in the BL anime Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. Those two anime series started to put Tachibana in the spotlight. It was a nice breather to see / listen to him showing a brighter performance than anything he’d done before and pulling it off nicely. Other major performance was his portrayal of Luze Crosszeria in Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru that turned out to show a complete different side of him.
A man with power, incredibly serious and assertive, Luze‘s demeanour also was a great opportunity to show Tachibana‘s take on more serious characters and, at the same time, to show everyone how deep his voice could (and can) go, a tone that made him almost unrecognizable in the series.
The dice were cast and what was going to follow was one of the best years in Tachibana‘s career.
Building up his fame
We reach 2012 and we see Tachibana getting a bigger name for himself. Shoujo anime “Kamisama Hajimemashita” gave Tachibana his first leading role in a romance series.
This was a pivotal role that established his well rounded abilities as a seiyuu for serious as well as comedic performances. Tomoe‘s demeanour comes off at the beginning as rude, uninterested, self centered, sarcastic as well as self destructive but soon things turn around we can see a caring and loving demeanour – with so many conflicting emotions at its core, Tachibana nailed all of this characteristics and emotions in his portrayal of Tomoe.
His performance was, and still is, one of the plus points in the anime series – few seiyuu could be as well rounded when it comes to get the right emotions in pivotal scenes, especially when there’s a lot of “baggage” in that character. With that being said, fans of the manga that, when the anime cast for Tomoe was announced, were disappointed with the cast director’s choice, were now head over heels with Tachibana‘s portrayal of Tomoe.
But 2012 wasn’t all about Kamisama Hajimemashita. Roles in the third season of mainstream anime Bakuman as the eccentric mangaka Toru Nanamine and his role in Ginga e Kickoff!! as one of the triplets (alongside KENN and Yoshimasa Hosoya), lead the way to complete what was a strong year for him. Not a lot of leading roles but still the few he got received a lot of exposure.
2013 was a milder year for Tachibana but it still was possible for him to show us a wide array of interesting performances: the bigest surprise of them all was seeing Tachibana being casted as Beelzebub in Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist – a character that provided funny as well as serious moments – but that almost everyone was speculating that it would be someone else voicing it.
But the grand majority of his characters that year were more on the serious side. Examples regarding his serious performances are in Maoyuu Maou Yuusha and Gundam Build Fighters.
2014 was an almost perfect year for Tachibana. It was the year that brought Kuroshitsuji back and that meant bringing back the pampered and hyper Soma Asman Kadar. Although the third season of Kuroshitsuji didn’t give him much air time, in the few times that Soma appeared it was enough to make fans laugh at his exaggerated and over doting actions towards the protagonist. But 2014 was also the year in which Tachibana was casted in a major sports anime. Major hit volleyball anime Haikyuu!! provided him with a chance to shine and earn a place among the stellar cast. Being casted to play as Morisuke Yaku made it possible for Tachibana to show how his gentle and friendly voice tone work incredibly well in any anime.
But it was as Shuuya Kano in Mekakucity Actors, that Tachibana would get his main role of the year.
This time it was his comedic, easygoing but at the same time dramatic performance that gave him the best role in that rollercoaster series. While the anime might have been one of the worst of 2014 due to its over-the-place narrative without a goal, Tachibana‘s performance was one of the best among a cast that featured a lot of stars of the seiyuu business – Mamoru Miyano, Soichiro Hoshi, Takehito Koyasu and Keiji Fujiwara, just to name a few.
Other notable performances include Benjamin Sharif in drama/romance anime Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta and his first steps into horror anime in 2014’s major hit Tokyo Ghoul.
2015 brought back Kamisama Hajimemashita in a second season that begged for Tachibana to deliver his best dramatic and conflicting performances ever. And he did it with flying colors. It was also the year of Tokyo Ghoul‘s second season and yet another main character role in Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo. He also reprised his roles in Haikyuu!! and DD Hokuto no Ken.
With this small overview of Tachibana‘s seiyuu we conclude that, although the majority of seiyuu are often typecasted, he is one of the few that is so versatile that he can face any challenging character, hence we can see him in all kinds of anime, portraying all types of characters, although not that often as he deserves.
Games and drama CD’s
Although his popularity is on the rise since 2012, Tachibana is well known in the otome game “realm” ever since 2007.
With an impressive amount of leading roles in some of the most iconic otome games, Tachibana keeps on mesmerizing everyone with his performances in games like: Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side: 3rd Story, Real Rode, Arcobaleno!, GARNET CRADLE, Last Escort -Club Katze-, SNOW BOUND LAND, Hana Awase, Double Score 〜Cosmos×Camellia〜, ALICE=ALICE, Un:BIRTHDAY SONG, KLAP!! 〜Kind Love And Punish〜, DYNAMIC CHORD feat.KYOHSO, between many others.
While not typecasted in anime, we can’t say the same thing about his roles in
games and drama CD’s. Sadistic or even yandere characters are some of his specialties. The ocasional “ouji type” is also on many of his credits but without a doubt his yandere and do-S characters are the ones that leave more impact.
Tachibana joined Rejet‘s stellar cast in 2013 and ever since has been part of several projects within the label – ALICE=ALICE and Wasurenagusa drama CD’s series.
When it comes to otome games and drama cd’s Tachibana is an emperor, making appearances here and there in an incredible amount of CD’s throughout each year.
Tachibana has hosted several radio shows since his debut.
The shows “Hino Satoshi vs Tachibana Shinnosuke Heisei Nippon – Kunitori gassen radio” and “Meimon Outlaw Gakuen” are his most known radio shows so far (both hosted beside Hino Satoshi) but are also his more risqué shows quite often touching upon R-rated themes.
Other radio shows include “Sekaiichi Hatsukoi” special web radio (hosting beside Takashi Kondo and Nobuhiko Okamoto), “Tachibana Shinnosuke & Miura Hiroaki no Anilove”, Daba Internet Radio, Kamisama Hajimemashita radio (alongside Nobuhiko Okamoto in the first season of the radio show and on the second season with Daisuke Kishio), between many others.
Tachibana’s witty and funny remarks and great hosting skills make him one of the most interesting radio personalities.
Tachibana is no stranger to the music business. Although the majority of people regard him as the core of ELEKITER ROUND 0, the only unit he’s been part of, that is, in reality, false.
He endeavored in the music business as part of the duo “LUX-AGE”. The duo was formed in 2006 and consisted of Shinnosuke Tachibana and Makoto Naruse. The duo released the single “Tomorrow Maker”, mini-album “Radical Drive” and “Radiance” in 2009, the year they decided to disband. Tachibana was already showing off his skills as a lyricist in this duo, penning the majority of the lyrics.
Why did this unit fail completely to achieve anything? It’s as simple as that: their producer decided that, instead of having both singers singing their parts separately in the verses and deliver a strong chorus as a duo, both singers were to sing the exact same parts throughout the entire songs. Needless to say, that was bound to have repercussions in their sound. Overcrowded vocals with effortless instrumentals, that’s the way things were.
Despite the abrupt but inevitable end of LUX-AGE, Tachibana was hard at work crafting more lyrics for what was going to be one of the most interesting seiyuu duos at the time.
We reach 2010 and a big announcement was made by Marine Entertainment, the label behind Black Velvet (hardrock band fronted by Toshiyuki Morikawa): we have a unit soon to debut, they’re called “ELEKITER ROUND 0”.
And we can say that this is still one of the biggest announcements Marine Entertainment has made so far.
ELEKITER ROUND 0 is a seiyuu unit consisting of Shinnosuke Tachibana and Satoshi Hino. At that time the duo was working together on their radio show “Hino Satoshi vs Tachibana Shinnosuke Heisei Nippon – Kunitori gassen radio”. The duo proved to be on the same wavelength and had a solid chemistry, something that proved to be a good point in the whole “duo/unit” business.
Dressed in a romantic pop-rock fashion, ELEKITER ROUND 0 have tried a multitude of music genres over the years: rock, pop, hardrock, jazz, between many others. Both members are in charge of the lyrics but the main lyricist is by far Tachibana, having penned, so far, the lyrics to 9 tracks.
Tachibana penned a set of iconic songs like the Oricon big seller “Maria”, the melodic sad story 少女と箱の唄 and the exotic “Loveless Diva” between many others.
He’s the mastermind behind the concept of the double release “Kaonashi Shinshi” / “Kyosou Rondo”, and although both releases failed to make a big impact like “Maria” did in 2012, it was interesting as a concept and a tolerable change of pace and sound for the duo. The duo made their comeback in 2015 with “Re:Quiem”, a mini-album that put ER0 on the right track again.
Tachibana never once did solo debut but, taking into account his several character songs and ELEKITER ROUND 0 songs, we can ascertain several things.
He’s a tenor – which makes it easier for him to reach higher pitches than most men -. His tenor vocals steal the spotlight and make it a bit harder for other singers to keep up with him and not being overshadowed. He din’t start off as the best of singers and still isn’t, but his improvement over the years is more than noticeable and now Tachibana has not only a better control over his singing voice, not losing notes and sound off pitch as much as he did in the past, but he also can make the best use of his voice sometimes adding a little bit of vibrato to it.
With still a lot of room for improvement, Tachibana is slowly showing everyone that, with training, you can achieve great things.
The mangaka and light novelist debut
It’s clearly known that Tachibana is a solid writer – the ELEKITER ROUND 0 lyrics give that away in a second but no one was expecting this.
In 2013, Tachibana announced that he was going to make his debut as a mangaka. His manga had been green lit and was going to be published on Young Ace magazine.
Titled『箱庭の令嬢探偵（フロイライン）』 (Hakoniwa No Reijō Tantei – Fraulein), this manga has manuscripts penned by Tachibana and drawings by Okazaki Oka. His first manga volume was released in December of that year.
But, if that wasn’t enough, a light novel version was also green lit a few months later.
As of 2015 we can say with certainty that Tachibana is a full-fledged talented mangaka/light novelist.
Everyone knows that Tachibana is a member of this seiyuu group created by Daisuke Ono. As part of the 1978 generation, Tachibana has joined the group with fellow seiyuu Satoshi Hino, Daisuke Ono, Jun Fukuyama, Hisayoshi Suganuma, Takayuki Kondo and Junji Majima.
A lot of branch projects within this group have been announced earlier this year, this to add to the highly entertaining ones DABA has released so far: Cops and Robbers, Realistic Escape and Horse Life Game.
The SABA unit, that mainly focuses on Tachibana, Satoshi and main guest Fukuyama (plus other guests) playing survival games (FYI – paintball), and also the ROBA (Tachibana & Fukuyama) unit that will be in charge of a cooking show, are some of the side projects within the DABA unit.
SABA‘s survival game series is one of Marine Entertainment‘s best selling variety show series.
The brains of the team
With the motto “brains over muscle”, Tachibana has proved time and time again that he’s the most intelligent member of the group and doesn’t need to have a better physique (like Jun Fukuyama or Satoshi Hino) to achieve goals.
Exhibit A: During the Cops and Robbers game Tachibana‘s plan consisted in managing everyone’s locations and avoid being noticed by the “Cops” while doing it. Things didn’t go as expected as many DABA members started getting caught at the early stages of the game, so Tachibana‘s strategy changed towards a more aggressive approach to the game – always on the run waiting for the perfect chance to free those who were caught.
He managed to free several of the DABA members until he got caught. Hiding right under the nose of the “Cops” waiting for his chance to free someone was one of the boldest strategies out of the DABA members in that game.
Exhibit B: The school escape
Perhaps this is the best way to show just how smart and logic Tachibana is. “Realistic escape” was DABA‘s game for 2013 and, to change things a bit, it didn’t require for players to be good physically. It was a mental game full of puzzles and charades that required a highly logical and mathematical train of thought.
Tachibana was the core for the group, solving the majority of the mysteries and consequently finding a way out of the school.
Exhibit C: DABA Horse Life game
DABA Horse Life Game was mix of a physical, luck and mental games. While most of the tasks would ask for something physical – at least at the early stages – some of the challenges provided Tachibana with a quiet win versus the remaining 6 DABA members.
In the “table game” Tachibana was often the target of several punishements (that most members avoided) but, when everyone thought that Fukuyama would win the game, Tachibana triumphantly won it stating that what you needed to win the game was the brain.
When it came to the time to fight against the other members, Tachibana displayed an incredible focus and precision in his attacks with a pinch of luck, eventually winning over everyone else – even Satoshi and Fukuyama‘s well known kendo skills. On the sumo fights he manage to hold for a bit Junji‘s attacks but eventually lost his balance and was utterly defeated.
Another display of smartness lies in the “shaved ice” challenge. While everyone was eating the shaved ice as fast as the could and getting a brain freeze, Tachibana started to stir quickly the ice until the only thing left as it liquid. Drank it all and “sayonara” brain freeze.
Exhibit D: The Jinrou Battle
With his observational skills it only took Tachibana 25 minutes to understand who were the two Jinrou in the game. Little details didn’t escape from his field of view and that was what earned him quick eliminations in both instances of the game.
Exhibit E: The vast knownledge
On Sakurai Takahiro‘s “Kako warai” TV show, Tachibana displayed his vast knowledge in the quizzes, earning several things for free to spare Sakurai to having to pay for the foods presented. By the end of the show both Sakurai and the other guest came to the conclusion that they were before “Tachibana Kami” (God Tachibana), that saved them a lot of money with the quiz items.
Friendship with Satoshi Hino
Ever since their BAOBAB days, Shinnosuke Tachibana and Satoshi Hino are close friends. Not only it was Satoshi that gave Tachibana a push back into the seiyuu business when he most needed, but he’s also his counterpart in several radio shows and even founded ELEKITER ROUND 0 together. Since Tachibana‘s debut that both share the same talent agencies (first BAOBAB and now on Axl-One). What more can be said about this duo?
Tachibana is well know for his teasing demeanour. Satoshi Hino is often the main target of teasing.
In SABA‘s survival game, Tachibana teases back and forth the beginner Satoshi – if he wanted to start off playing that kind of games the best weapon would be a pink grenade -, on the indoor training grounds he forced Satoshi to immediatly crawl as soon as he heard gunfire, despite the fact that Satoshi was resting and the recording didn’t require him to do that while drinking water.
On the outdoor training grounds Tachibana took the chance as soon as Satoshi turned around, to shoot him several times.
But his teasing isn’t directed only towards Satoshi – although it’s the most common and known target. Several voice actors and staff have been targets to Tachibana‘s deadly teasing.
The skilled designer
Tachibana is also known for being incredibly skilled when it comes to graphic design. He’s really good at drawing and working with digital art.
Exhibit A: Project Daba’s logo was designed by Tachibana himself.
Exhibit B: Kunitori radio’s mascot.
Exhibit C: his personal website/blog.
The change in his kanji reading
A few people might not know this but his family name – Tachibana – is not written as we’re so used to see. Actually we’re used to seeing the kanji as “立花” but the original kanji (with the same reading) is “橘”.
Since the kanji proved to be quite hard to read, even for native japanese, Tachibana changed it when he debuted as a seiyuu.
The Stalker Incident
A few years after making his comeback as a seiyuu – after his slump – Tachibana was faced with one of the scariest / odd situations ever. He had the “luck” to come across some pretty maniac fan girls. They were not your typical vicious, blood thirsty fan girls that think they own the seiyuu like some pet, or the type that wrecks havoc when their favorite seiyuu dates someone. These ones were the lowest of lowest: the stalker type.
Tachibana was faced with this outer worldly approach that seem to annoy the hell out of him. For a whole week he was being stalked by the same group of fan girls (that never approached him, only watched from afar) from his house to his work and vice versa (following him in the train, subway and so on), and so his patience eventually came to an end and decided to take measures.
He reported the situation to the police officers and was offered police escort to stop the problem. Tachibana later wrote in his blog that the situation had gotten out of hand and that, although he loves and appreciates the love his fans have for him, he also loves privacy and that was something that lacked in his life for a whole one week.
With this rather complete overview (at least until this September) of Shinnosuke Tachibana, we took a look at the seiyuu, singer, mangaka, radio personality between many more things. A former dancer and pantomime that hit rock bottom as a seiyuu but rose from the ashes to become one of the most authentic and well versed seiyuu in the business.
With this we conclude this month’s Seiyuu Digest. Be on the lookout for the next issue.