Seiyuu Digest #27 – Kenichi Suzumura


suzumura-digest

One of the most loved seiyuu in Japan, Kenichi Suzumura, is our target for this Seiyuu Digest. With a longstanding voice acting career in which there was never a short amount of roles played per season, as well as a successful solo career with more than 5 albums and 15 singles under his belt, plus sold out tours and extensive game and dubbing credits, Suzumura is part of the seiyuu royalty, one of the very few that has managed to excel in almost every single area related to voice acting.

suzumura

KANJI 鈴村 健一
BORN September 12, 1974
OCCUPATION seiyuu, singer, songwriter, radio personality, mc
HEIGHT 172cm

Seiyuu

Born in Osaka, Niigata, Suzumura is currently one of the most renowned seiyuu in the business.

After graduating from Shoji High School (Osaka Perfecture) in March 1993, he attended Yoyogi Animation College and the Japanese Narration Acting Institute to hone his voice acting skills. We reach 1994 and Suzumura made his debut as Maury in mecha/space opera anime “Macross 7“.

That was the stepping stone that made Suzumura reach and branch out to other fields in the entertainment business such as gaming, drama CD’s, radio shows, even debuting as a solo artist.

1995 – 2000 – Working his way up

Atsuro Kiryuu in Kaikan Phrase

During this period, Suzumura was barely ever casted.

1995 was a blank year for him in the anime business without a single role and only starting from 1996 could he rejoice about getting roles.

Between getting minor roles in various anime such as NazcaYoshimoto Muchikko Monogatari, Crayon Shinchan, Break Age, Bakusou Kyodai Let’s & Go!! Max and Mizuiro Jidai, Suzumura managed to grab his first secondary role with real focus and importance to the story in the shoujo classic “Kaikan Phrase” as Atsuro Kiryuu.

His performance as Kiryuu, character that faces a lot of struggles on a personal level due to his parents lack of aproval of his career in a rock band, impressed a lot of people with his emotional portrayal.

2001 – 2006 – Getting recognition

With roles in some of the most important anime franchises over the years like Pokemon, Beyblade, and Digimon, Suzumura managed to actually branch out beyond that and land roles in Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, Trinity Blood, Peach GirlIchigo 100%Gakuen HeavenOuran High School Host ClubShonen OnmyoujiD.Gray-manbetween many others. Tackling all kinds of genres from shounen to parody, drama, comedy, shoujo, adventure, mecha and even shounen-ai, Suzumura was showing everyone that talent was something that he definitelly didn’t lack at that time.

Genzou Wakabayashi in Captain Tsubasa

Genzou Wakabayashi in Captain Tsubasa

This phase was a turning point for him as he started to get more recognition for his charismatic and varied roles. As Genzou Wakabayashi, prodigy goalkeeper in the iconic, sports anime Captain Tsubasa series (Road to 2002), he showed just how charismatic his voice could be and eventually translate well into the animation following Kouichi Hashimoto and Shinnichiro Miki‘s earlier portrayals of the character.

Zach Fair in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2006)

Zach Fair in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2006)

His role as Zach Fair in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2006) introduced us a friendlier, sort of laidback and strong character that is held dear by the fans of the franchise.

okita-sougo

Okita Sougo in Gintama

Suzumura shot to fame with his roles in Gintama as Okita Sougo, D.Gray-man as Lavi and Ouran High School Host Club as Hikaru Hitachiin. These three roles are often pointed out by his fans as some of the most iconic he’s ever had the opportunity to embrace. Okita Sougo has some screws loose, a bit different from that Otome, romantic version of the historical Okita Shougo from the Hakuouki series.

Credit on gif

Lavi in D.Gray-man stands out for being a goofier character than most of the cast, having hilarious banter with the resident cool guy Kanda (Takahiro Sakurai), but also presenting an unexpected depth and seriousness in some crucial parts of the story. Lavi is such an iconic character that fans were disappointed to know that Suzumura wasn’t going to return for the new season of the series back in 2016.

hikaicon

Hikaru Hitachiin in Ouran Host Club

Hikaru Hitachiin on the other side is one half of the Hitachiin twins and the eldest. He displays a rather childish personality when handling and leading with others which leads to several instances in the series in which he’s running away from his problems or acting over possessive towards others.

Embracing these three unique characters (and more), Suzumura was able to solidify his stance in the seiyuu business, turning into the go-to guy whenever some anime producer had in hands a character with characteristics similar with those and 9 out 10 times, he was chosen for the role.

2007 – 2011 – Being a top seiyuu

After all the success he got from playing roles in some of the most famous anime franchises in Japan, Suzumura was ready for more, not only to show that all the trust he’d got from the various anime producers and studios in Japan was deserved, but also to gift his fans with more exciting and engaging performances.

2008 was the first time Suzumura was awarded at the Seiyuu Awards. Against all odds, he managed to snatch not one, but two awards in this edition: “Synergy Award” (alongside Toshihiko Seki, Masaki Terasoma, and Koji Yusa) and “Best Radio Personality“.

Kaichou wa maid sama!, Saint Beast, Naruto Shippuden, Soul Eater, Uta no prince-sama are just some of the most relevant series he was part of during this period of time.

Tora Igarashi in Kaichou wa maid sama!

Tora Igarashi in Kaichou wa maid sama!

In Kaichou wa maid sama!, he got to play the role of Tora Igarashi, a sort of womanizer wealthy and complicated character that gains interest in the main character. He’s what you’d call the main antagonist/rival (if there even there’s one in a shoujo, romance anime) in the series. With this character Suzumura was able to use his original Kansai accent because the character had Kyoto roots.

masato-hijirikawa

Masato Hijirikawa in Uta no prince-sama

But it was Uta no prince-sama that catapulted his fame. The romance anime series based on the otome/rhythm game franchise of the same name was all the talk in town when an anime adaptation was announced. 2011 arrived and with it, the anime series premiered. Almost every girl in Japan watched the series and it skyrocketed the sales and fame of each member in the series.

Starish

Starish

The fact that the series also counts with a luxurious cast of already established and/or experienced singers in the music business (Mamoru Miyano, Kishow Taniyama, Junichi Suwabe, Kousuke Toriumi) added up to the fame this anime series got and ultimately reflected on the cast’s popularity among females in Japan.

Suzumura was the voice of Masato Hijirikawa, a well-off heir of a noble family in Kyoto. He’s a quiet, professional and sometimes judging character that although not being that much loved in the first season, has managed to grow on the viewers over the years.

The anime series gave way for the unit to come to life. Starish held their first ever concert back in 2012.

2012 – Goodbye ARTS VISION, hello INTENTION

suzumura-sakurai-2015

Credits: Intention

Upon the end of the contract with Arts Vision, Suzumura decided to not renew with the artist management agency and instead created his own company – INTENTION (the exact same name as Suzumura‘s debut single as a solo artist). This company started off small but soon several voice actors (juniors still learning the craft) have joined the ranks as well as Suzumura‘s best friend Takahiro Sakurai.

Takahiro Sakurai @ Otomate Party 2014 Credits: Embracing the seiyuu journey @tumblr

Takahiro Sakurai @ Otomate Party 2014 Credits: Embracing the seiyuu journey @tumblr

Takahiro Sakurai joined the company back in 2014 and made sure to boast about it on that years’ Otomate party, knowing that Suzumura was there to MC the event, that simple introduction put Suzumura a little bit awkward and proud at the same time – easily noticeable when the camera focuses on himself. With two of the most sought after voice actors in Japan gathered together, INTENTION is slowly growing into a great company.

2012 – 2016 – Being a respected household name

suzumura

This period of time was his most prolific. In these span of 4 years, Suzumura‘s roles amounted and exceeded the impressive 60 credits –  in anime, OVA, etc.

Reprising roles for several successful anime franchises he’s been a part of, Suzumura has been everywhere since 2012. Uta no Prince-sama, Kuroko no Basuke, Magi are some of the most critically acclaimed anime franchises he’s been part of, spanning several seasons between 2012 and 2016. Once again he showcases his multitalents, being part of a wide array of series from almost any kind and genre.

Murasakibara in Kuroko no Basuke

Murasakibara in Kuroko no Basuke

From textbook shoujo, harem romance in Uta no Prince-sama (Japan’s sensation shoujo game franchise), to straight out sports in Kuroko no Basuke, mecha in Aquarion Evol, Gundam Build Fighters and Space Battleship Yamato 2199, to adventure in Magi, comedy/parody with Osomatsu-san and the hilarious Daily Lives of High School Boys; Suzumura managed to broaden his horizons, providing yet new opportunities to showcase his versatility in whichever role he got.

Also in this span of time, Suzumura was awarded thrice at the Seiyuu Awards. First, in 2012 Seiyuu Awards was the recipient, alongside his group mates in Starish, of the “Best Musical Performance” award.

Suzumura at the 10th Seiyuu awards in 2016

Suzumura at the 10th Seiyuu awards in 2016

Then, in 2016 he made history, grabbing two awards in the same edition for the second time. “Best Supporting Actor” and “Best Radio Personality” were the categories in which he was awarded.

As you can see, Suzumura has grown from the unknown seiyuu that played minor roles to a top 5 best seiyuu in the business in his 20 years of career. It wasn’t an instantaneous shot to fame but a rather natural rise to where he’s now: among seiyuu royalty.

Narration

Unlike most seiyuu in the business, Suzumura branched out to narration and has an impressive narration repertoire with him – over 40 credits.

Games

suzukenSuzumura has an extensive game credits list.

Be it with regular adventure, action games major hits such as CRISIS CORE -FINAL FANTASY VII-Final Fantasy X-2 or Persona 4Kamen Rider, Kingdom Hearts or with the various credits in otome games such as Starry Sky, Wand of Fortune, Brothers Conflict, and the mega hit Uta no prince-sama franchise, he keeps being one of the household names for a lot of game companies in Japan due to his diligent dubbing/acting.

For example, Otomate, well known Otome game company, regards Suzumura as one of their household names, even getting the chance to mc various instances of the annual “Otomate Party“, event focused on showcasing the games produced by the company (with variety corners and live performances in the mix). Yearly there’s always an Otomate game with him credited as part of the cast.

Music

5 albums, 15 singles, several sold out tours, a couple of live DVD’s released, several unit projects under his belt and a voice with a versatility capable of making everyone jealous is what makes Suzumura‘s music career so prolific and nothing short of entertaining.

Solo career

suzumura kenichi

Kenichi Suzumura made his solo debut back in 2008 with the single “INTENTION” (his company’s name). Right from the start Suzumura showed everyone that despite his non stop goofy demeanor, singing was something he also loved to do and was focused on it.

With a guitar in hand, Suzumura didn’t hesitate to show his skills as well as his robust pop-rock sound and powerful vocals.

INTENTION” was an instantaneous hit as it was featured in mecha anime “Mobile Gundam SEED DESTINY” and is Suzumura‘s best single – at least in terms of performing well on the ORICON charts.

The single reached #14 and stayed on the chart for 5 weeks. It still holds the record of best chart performing single in his repertoire.

Atarashii Neiro” (13th place for 4 weeks) and “Mitochondria” (20th place for 3 weeks) were the two singles that followed in 2009, both of them received good reviews but were still far from the top spots on Oricon. The album “Becoming” was released by the end of the year and charted on 14th place for over 4 weeks. This is, according with Oricon, his most successful album release so far.

Early in 2010 Suzumura performed his first live show. The concert tour had four stops including Tokyo, Nagoya, Yokohama and Osaka.

A couple of months later, he was back with special single release “And Becoming“, single that started the trend of that year for him – to drop places in the Oricon charts.

The single held his 23rd place for only two weeks in what was his best chart performing single in that year. The releases “In my Space” and “Tsuki to Sutobu” fared gradually worse on the charts with “Tsuki to Sutobu” earning the title of worst ever chart performing release by Suzumura – it reached #36.

Chronicle to the future” is his second album, released back in 2011. According to Oricon, this album reached #21 and remained on the chart for four weeks straight. Suzumura kept displaying his acoustic pop-rock sound, polishing his skills, in the end surprising fans with songs like “chronicle” and “in my space“, two of the best tracks in this release.

The single “Asunaro” was released in 2011, being featured as the ending theme of the anime Heaven’s Memo Pad.

The song climbed a few places in comparison with his last release, reaching #22 and managing to stay on the chart for over three weeks.

2012 is quite possibly one of the best years in Suzumura‘s solo career. The single “Messenger” open the doors to more fans to jump into the wagon.

Although the title track is not short of extraordinary, it’s its b-side track “アインシュタインのように” that really managed to make some jaws drop with it’s raw rock with exciting beat and engaging lyrics. This release reached #24, holding that spot for two weeks.

A couple of months later he released “GO“, his first mini-album. It’s an uninspired mini-album with plenty of flaws to pick on but nevertheless it charted at #20 for over three weeks.

In what was an eventful year, Suzumura still had more fuel on his tank to go. That’s when his major hit song “Shiroi Karasu” was released back in October (2012).

The track, featured in action, shounen anime “Code Breaker” was a major hit and is undoubtly one of his best tracks to date as everything was perfect about it. Putting acoustic rock aside, electric guitars replaced his usual laidback tracks and brought some excitement to his repertoire, at the same time making more people notice him. The single charted at #16, managing to hold that spot for over five weeks. “Shiroi Karasu” is a fan favorite track.

2013 was a quiet year for him. Fans were eager to hear something new from him but had to wait a year between releases. The single “All Right” was released a year after “Shiroi Karasu” and showcased a completely polished sound.

We’ve reviewed the single, ultimately rating it as a 4.5 out of 5 in what was a release that surprised us for how much was noticeable that he’d been working on polishing his sound.

This single is probably one of the most energetic Suzumura has released so far. Everything works well, the instrumental piece and his vocal work sound like one and the single doesn’t have any songs that sound out of place. Another pop/rock single more pending for the rock genre single with heavy riffs, fast guitars, basslines that fit like a glove and sometimes outshine some of the instruments and to top all of it the vocals sound better than ever. A release as good or even better than one of our favorites “シロイカラス” (Shiroi karasu) which was incredibly strong as a single with his title track clearly standing out. This single goes almost in the same direction as シロイカラス regarding the instrumental work but when we talk about the vocals it’s amazing to notice that, in only one year, Suzumura’s vocals keep improving, sounding even better than ever. A definite recommendation from us. [Complete review – HERE]

All Right” reached #20 on Oricon, holding it for three weeks straight.

The trend followed. Suzumura was releasing much less music per year, having long periods of time between releases – something that in the early stages of his solo career wasn’t as common.

VESSEL” was released in 2014. It seemed like there was no limit to how much he could improve his skills. His trademark rock sound with a pinch of pop in the lyrics was intact, only the way it was approached changed. Fans took a liking at the album due to the various exciting and engaging songs on it such as the already known tracks “Messenger“, “Shiroi Karasu“, “Asunaro” but also with one of his tracks, “Babel“.

The final verdict was yet another 4.5 out 5, this time around justified by some experiments that were made in the release that ultimately failed to work.

It gets rated a 4.5 out of 5 and that is the most accurate. The album is close to being an incredibly good one but fails in some places. Still, it’s good to see Suzumura trying new things with his sound. It’s those experimentations that enrich the sound of his music and, most of all, keep the fans excited for new releases. VESSEL is like a mirror to Suzumura’s career: always going forward and while there’s a path available, he’ll explore as much as possible, staying safe in his music genre. Better metaphor is impossible. [Complete review – HERE]

 The album charted the highest ever for him – jumping to #10 on Oricon, holding that spot for over three weeks. The track “SHIPS” was used as the promotional track and in 2016 it was chosen to be featured in the newest SIMS 4 expansion pack – City Living. Suzumura entered to the history books as the first seiyuu to have a song featured in a foreign game.

Tsuki to Taiyo no uta” followed in 2015. The new single was a surprise for many as he had opted to present a ballad as the lead song this time around. But the single is not all about a ballad with mellower instrumental and emotional vocals, it also showcased a different charm to his sound, presenting fans with a rocking b-side track.

It was a balanced released that failed to chart as well as it deserved (#33 on Oricon for two weeks). Once again, because this release was so balanced this single also got a 4.5 out 5.

In this peculiar single with find two tracks completely dispar from each other. The milder, slow tempo “Tsuki no Uta“, impresses with its simplicity while “Taiyo no Uta” fails to deliver something meaningful when it’s considerably “crowded” in its instrumental in comparison with the first track – proving that sometimes simplicity is key to make music. Vocally Suzumura sounds great be it in the slow tempo emotional ballads, as well as in the rocking songs. Overall this is a balanced pop-rock release. [Complete review – HERE]

2016 presented us with two singles: “Hide-and-Seek” and “Brand New“. Both of them received good reviews in Japan as well from us. Suzumura went beyond anything we’d expected with “Brand New“.

Despite this single having charted at #23 on Oricon for only two weeks, we consider it to be one of the most complete and polished releases he ever had the opportunity to release. There are no words to explain just how mesmerizingly beautiful “Brand New” was as a release.

It’s good to have you back Suzumura! His never ending quality and ability to deliver exciting pop-rock tracks is still there even after such a long hiatus. Back better than ever, this hiatus seems like it was just the right thing to hone his skills as well as analysing his sound and see where he was headed. Back to his trademark alternative rock with a pinch of pop in the lyrics, Suzumura shows us an improved self in “brand new“. The second track “Frankensteiner” took us on a trip to the 70’s, into the disco fever and this is by far, one of the best disco tracks a seiyuu has released (Yuki Ono and Daisuke Ono, among other seiyuu have given a try at the genre but failed miserably), managing to sound true to the genre and not going overboard with it. In the end “Frankensteiner” is a top track in which energy never fades away, the right way to spell “addictive”. With his trademark total control over his tone Suzumura managed to dazzle us throughout the two tracks in this single, an appetizer for what’s to come next.

A strong contender for single of the year.  [Complete review – HERE]

This past August “Hide-and-Seek” was released. The single displayed yet another side to his music. Embracing country rock, Suzumura was able to deliver a rather unique single mixing funky basslines, rhodes piano parts. The b-side track displayed mesmerizing piano parts and breathtaking vocals in what was an emotional performance.

Hide-and-Seek” was featured as the ending theme for slice of life anime “Handa kun” in which Suzumura also gave voice to one of the characters. The single ultimately reached #27 on Oricon, holding the spot for over three weeks.

This was a comfortable release for him, solidifying his stance in the seiyuu turned singer/idol universe.

Suzumura keeps his talent both as a lyricist and singer going. “HIDE-AND-SEEK” is such a laidback, sweet and captivating release, really a treat to his fans. The title track shows Suzumura‘s playful side embracing a bit of country rock and its quirks, on the other side “Poker Face” is the resident ballad in this release, and what a ballad this is! There’s no way the chorus won’t make a dent on his listeners’ hearts with its powerful emotions being delivered so skillfully.

As a whole “HIDE-AND-SEEK” is yet another complete release from Suzumura, solidifying his stance in the music business with ease. [Complete review – HERE]

Another single is scheduled to be released earlier in 2017.

UNITS/BANDS

STA☆MEN (2002 -)

starmen

Suzumura‘s longest running unit is by far STA☆MEN (Nazo no Shin Unit Starmen), unit consisting of fellow seiyuu  Junichi Suwabe, Daisuke Kishio, Hiroki Takahashi, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Makoto Yasumura, and Kousuke Toriumi.

As a unit the group has three singles released: 君のために (2003), 太陽がくれた季節 / 聖スタア☆メン学園高校校歌 (2009) and バスターズ レディーゴー!/キズナ〜ゴーバスターズ! (2012).

They have also songs featured in 8 installments of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters. Besides their singing activities, the unit has been part of an astounding amount of events in the last 14 years. They are often regarded as the very first seiyuu project group (a lot like DABA or Project 40 most recently). Variety and music has propelled this unit to be one of the long lasting ones in the business. From this project were born FEROMEN, unit consisting of Junichi Suwabe and Kousuke Toriumi. This unit is still active.

R-16 (2003/2004)

R-16 (Kenichi Suzumura and Takahiro Sakurai)

Actually Suzumura debuted first as part of two piece band “R-16” with Takahiro Sakurai (yes, there was a time when he actually sang instead of refusing/avoiding to do so). The two piece band was formed back in 2003.

The unit released two singles 沈まない太陽 in 2003 and “Separate Way” in 2004. The duo sang some of the songs featured on their radio show “Cherry Bell” airing every friday since 2003 in Japan. Dressed in a pop-rock fashion, this duo had everything they needed to be a great unit / band but something along the way failed completely with them later disbanding. Kenichi Suzumura started his solo career along with other seiyuu units projects and Sakurai Takahiro still hasn’t returned to the music business after all these years, still R-16 were a fun project well worth to check.

With the band’s disbandment, Suzumura headed off for new adventures. Being part at the same time of Lantis and Kiramune (both Bandai subsidiary companies), Suzumura managed to juggle his solo career with his new seiyuu unit career.

CONNECT (2009 -)

connect

CONNECT – Mitsuo Iwata and Kenichi Suzumura

CONNECT, seiyuu unit consisting of Suzumura and Mitsuo Iwata was founded in 2009 and stayed under Kiramune, a polar opposite of Suzumura‘s solo career that stayed under Lantis. The unit has released so far 1 album, 1 single and 4 mini-albums. They have also released on live DVD from their second tour in 2015 titled “CONNECT 2nd Live“. It’s an unexpected duo but nevertheless they fail to entertain us with their music.

No big problems with the vocals at all since Suzumura’s mid-toned vocals go pretty well with Mitsuo’s slightly lower-toned ones. The instrumental pieces sometimes are a bit lacking but they seem to overcome that when on a live setting giving more energy to the songs and making the crowd go wild with them.

The unit is currently on hiatus.

Starish (2011 -)

Starish

It’s almost impossible being part of the seiyuu fandom without knowing this unit. Starish are an all-star seiyuu unit founded in 2011 and is quite possibly one of the most successful units in Japan and a bit over asia in these past 5 years.  Topping charts with their unit, group, solo and crossunit releases, Starish have established themselves as one of the most powerful units in the business. Starish include the main cast of the Uta no Prince-sama series: Kenichi Suzumura, Kishow Taniyama, Hiro Shimono, Takuma Terashima, Kousuke Toriumi, Miyano Mamoru and Junichi Suwabe. The unit counts with experienced singers and all of them have solo and/or band/unit projects under their belts. With the franchise’s popularity, this group rose to fame and whenever a new season is in place, fans don’t shy away from making their releases reach some interesting places in the Oricon charts.

The group grew insanely in popularity. What was a first stage in a small hall gave way for 2016’s performance at the sold out Saitama Super Arena, proving the group’s massive popularity.

The unit has changed a bit since their debut in terms of their musicality, embracing a more danceable, electronic sound than it did back when they started. Besides this the unit’s core is still the same and compositions in their repertoire often impress the listeners because of the beautiful piano parts and vocal performances.

Starish is, by far, Suzumura‘s most successful unit endeavor.

Radio

cherry bell

Takahiro Sakurai, Miyu Matsuki and Kenichi Suzumura – Cherry Bell live event circa 2007

Suzumura has extensive radio credits and it’s not a coincidence that he keeps hosting radio shows and winning awards because of it. As stated above, he’s won two “Best Radio Personality”  awards (one in 2008 and the other in 2016). One could say that Suzumura‘s hosting style is a bit all over the place but insanely fun and entertaing which made radio shows like the iconic Cherry Bell (aired from 2003 to 2015) alongside Takahiro Sakurai and Miyu Matsuki, and Toei Kounin Suzumura Kenichi – Kamiya Hiroshi’s Kamen Radiranger (2012 until now) alongside Hiroshi Kamiya being hit radio shows in Japan.

Other radio shows include Tokyo Yamamote Boys (2011 – 2012), Zombie-Loan (2007), Voice Crew (2000), Hero Academy (2008), Kenichi Suzumura’s Say!You Young (2010), Radio Code:Breaker (2012 – 2013), Osomatsu san (2015 – 2016), Unisong (2015 – ), between many others.

Famitsu Gamers DX

Kenichi Suzumura and Tomoaki Maeno with the guest Takahiro Sakurai

Kenichi Suzumura and Tomoaki Maeno with guest Takahiro Sakurai

Hosted alongside assistant Tomoaki Maeno, Famitsu Gamers DX is a nico nico exclusive viewable radio show made for gamers. News, gameplay footage, retro game gameplay and even live demostrations (usually with a guest) are just some of the main things about this show. The show tends to be rather hilarious thanks to either one of the hosts’ lack of skills to play certain game or the guest’s banter with the hosts. Famitsu Gamers DX started in 2013 and still broadcasts frequently. Some of the guests include: Takahiro Sakurai, Shinnosuke Tachibana, Konishi Katsuyuki and Yuiichi Nakamura.

Banpresto

Kenichi Suzumura, KISHOW and Ryota Osaka @ Banpresto

Kenichi Suzumura, KISHOW and Ryota Osaka @ Banpresto

Much alike Famitsu Gamers DX, Banpresto is viewable radio show, this one more focused on the anime culture rather than in games. Since 2013, Suzumura is co-hosting this show with fellow seiyuu Ryota Osaka. Banpresto tends to go towards a crazier route with several polls, challenges, games and other events that usually tend to go beyond hilarious. Hosted once a month, Banpresto is one of those shows that has managed to grow a lot in popularity due to its great hosting as well as interesting guests.

Variety Shows: Club AT-X

M.A.O, Nobuhiko Okamoto and Kenichi Suzumura @ Club AT-X すずまお荘

M.A.O, Nobuhiko Okamoto and Kenichi Suzumura @ Club AT-X すずまお荘

Suzumura is not only a talented seiyuu, singer and mc, he’s also been host for a lot of variety shows.  Over the years not only he’s been a guest in variety shows (Sakurai Takahiro Kako warai and Anisong plus), but he’s also hosted his fair share of those. Club AT-X is the widly known among his fans, be it it’s first instance Club AT-X Moeru! Goukon SP Zenpen Kouhen (back in 2004) or his most recent Club AT-X すずまお荘 (Suzumaosou), hosted alongisde M.A.O and running since 2015 on AT-X and S-TX.

AD-LIVE

AD-LIVE 15 main cast - Takahiro Sakurai, Kenjiro Tsuda, Kenichi Suzumura, Kensho Ono, Rie Kugumiya

AD-LIVE 15 main cast – Takahiro Sakurai, Kenjiro Tsuda, Kenichi Suzumura, Kensho Ono, Rie Kugumiya

Suzumura is the founder of AD-LIVE, annual standup event that kicked off in 2012 in what was initially a small event. The following editions grew in scale, spanning more days and more locations as well as adding a more diverse cast. The main idea behind this project is to display a completely different side to stand up comedy, making it more unpredictable and incredibly random at times (thanks to that bag full of wierd cues that they carry throughout the play). Past editions included the participation of: Daisuke Ono, Mamoru Miyano, Kaji Yuki, Mitsuo Iwata, Jun Fukuyama, between many others.

Trademark Kansai accent

Suzumura is owner of one of the most entertaining Kansai accents in the seiyuu business. Although he often speaks standard Japanese (a requirement to work in the seiyuu business), whenever he’s scared/surprised or overly excited, his accent pops out of nowhere. He also tends to voice characters with strong Kansai accents with some frequency – alongside Jun Fukuyama, Jun Fukushima, Yusa Koji, Kazuya Nakai and Kenjiro Tsuda.

Bugs are not his favorite thing

Most of his fans know the horrors that a simple bugs brings to Suzumura‘s life. Be it an ant or a butterfly, or even something slightly threatening, he will always run and scream like there’s no tomorrow.

Married to a fellow seiyuu

Bottom: Kenichi Suzumura and Maaya Sakamoto

Bottom: Kenichi Suzumura and Maaya Sakamoto

Is no secret that Suzumura is a married man, much less that he’s married with one of the most talented female seiyuu in Japan: Maaya Sakamoto. Over the years both of them got to work together quite often and the romance sort of flurished from there. The pair got married in 2011. Both of them are considered by the seiyuu fandom by the ultimate one true pairing.

And it’s all from us in the last Seiyuu Digest of 2016! We complete this years’ Seiyuu Digest with Suzumura, one of the most requested seiyuu on our social media. We wish everyone a merry Christmas and an even better New Year! See you all in 2017!

 

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