Seiyuu Digest is back once again and this time we present you with Yuichiro Umehara, the fast rising star in the seiyuu industry. Umehara is one of those seiyuu that had a sudden explosive rise in popularity, mainly due to the fact that he has a characteristic vocal tone. Still, the fact the one can refer to Umehara as a well-rounded seiyuu falls into his skills both as a seiyuu and as a singer.
Over the past few years Umehara has been expanding his horizon in the seiyuu industry. He has began to not only appear in anime, but he also has increasingly been making appearances in games, drama cds and music, which in the majority of cases is a good thing, since one gets to ascertain just how talented this man actually is. So without any further ado, let’s get this SEIYUU DIGEST started.
|BORN||March 8, 1991|
|OCCUPATION||seiyuu (voice actor), singer, radio host|
Born in Shizuoka perfecture, the famous seiyuu Umehara, began his career in 2013. By taking a look at the numbers one can certainly claim that Umehara had one of the quickest rise in popularity, in the seiyuu industry. However, what really is fascinating is that the 25 years old seiyuu did not just get lucky with one of his roles and then disappeared from the fans’ sight, in fact he managed to make the most out of this opportunity and in return he did everything he could to remain in the spotlight. Quick fact: Umehara is extremely hard-working. While going to college he was simultaneously working as a cram school tutor.
Although his career amounts to solely 4 years, unlike what would believe Umehara has been working hard to make himself known by the fans. Even if one mentions that he debuted in 2013, reality is that in that same year he did not have a single role in anime, which now does not seem so unusual, but at the time one can strongly believe just how frustrating it must have been for the newcomer. However, one year later Umehara was lucky enough to land on a main role in the famous anime Orenchi no Furo Jijou as the laid-back and lazy merman Wakasa. This role enabled him to get his first contact with some famous seiyuu such as Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Nobunaga Shimazaki and Kenjiro Tsuda. Not only did this role made it possible for Umehara to get some actual experience in anime but it was from this point onward that the hype around him started to grow, thus his quick rise.Actually, it would be correct to say that at the starting point of his career he became a seiyuu with quite alot of hype behind him. Now, when one hears something about a hyped seiyuu, it would be acceptable to believe that the person in question has the fame, but chances are that the talent is lacking, even so Umehara was able to prove those people wrong. Not only does he have the technique, but he equally has been improving his performance, as well as making sure to do the unexpected while being careful so as not to sound as the same in each and every character he portrays.
In the same year he also had other roles in famous anime such as Okami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji, Chaika – The Coffin Princess and Yowamushi Pedal, all of them being minor roles, with little to none importance to the plot.
In 2015, Umehara was part of the cast in the popular anime Akagami no Shirayukihime (Snow White with the Red Hair) as Mitsuhide Lowen, a character with a protective yet out-going and caring personality, and also shares a strong bond with the main character Zen. Umehara was part of the cast in both seasons. Still in the same year, he was in Owari no Seraph as René Simm, yet another secondary role with some importance for the plot. In this anime he was able to work with famous and very talented fellow seiyuu Miyu Irino. Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! was another anime in which Umehara was cast as En Yufuin, in Aquarion Logos he was Hayato Kuujou, in Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans as Eugene Sevenstark and in Makura Danshi he was Ryuushi Theodore Emori.
In 2016, Umehara would have the first major year for him. If the fact that he started to have main character roles was not enough then one can without a doubt say that him having won the Award for Best Rookie Seiyuu might just have been another launching ramp in his career. The roles that made it possible for Umehara to be awarded were Wakasa in Orenchi no Furo Jijou and Kuroo Hazama in Young Black Jack. Following his momentum, Umehara was cast as Kazuki Kaionji in the popular sports original anime Battery, in Magic★Kyun! Renaissance as Teika Ichijōji, and in D.Gray-man HALLOW he was Legory Peck, a minor character. Lastly, Umehara is also a part of the cast in the currently airing anime Trickster, in which not only does he have the opportunity to work with other fellow seiyuu but he also had the chance to work with the famous superstar GACKT, who is also cast in this anime.
Currently, Umehara is also in Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul as Charioce XVII, in Chiruran : Nibun no Ichi as Nagakura Shinpachi and is expected to appear, later on this year, in the following anime, Star-Myu: High School Star Musical 2 as Ren Kitahara, Tsukipro The Animation as Dai Murase, as well Dynamic Chord as Shinobu Kurosawa, the same character he played on the actual game Dynamic Chord feat. apple-polisher.
When it comes to music, the trend is for people to want to know their seiyuu’s favorite music genre, so that’s what we’ll clarify for you out there. Umehara has quite the background when it comes to the music department. We must come forth and say it outright, his first contact was in his first and second year of high school in which he had was in a band called Bump of chicken, that quickly disbanded seeing that Umehara desired to stick to sing and play the guitar for this band’s tracks only while on the other side the rest of the members wanted to go beyond that point. After this quick explanation regarding his past with bands we can also pick up where we left and name his favorite music genres which are classical and rock music.
For some it might be a strange combo but trust us on this one, sometimes great music can be born from this particular mix. But back on Umehara, we also need to refer that the fact that his already fancied the rock genre his debut in the music industry was something natural for him. Playing the guitar and being the vocalist in that first band of his enabled him to be more prepared for the challenges he has had to face so far. In 2015, Umehara would be announced to be a member in the powerful unit SolidS, with fellow seiyuu Takyua Eguchi, Soma Saito and Natsuki Hanae. This group has had its ups and downs however the quality of their tracks is always top-notch, making them something we cannot disregard. Another point of focus within his debut in this unit is how much he has improved since their first release SolidS vol.1 up until now with WHITE. We must say, Umehara went from being ok to be on a whole other level having a lot of control over his voice and at the same time to be able to sing with so much emotion when needed.
In his first tracks as a member of the unit Umehara’s only appeal looked like it was only the fact that his vocal range enables him to since with a deep voice and more times than we would like to admit, he was overshadowed by the rest of the members. Now we’re not saying he didn’t sing well, however he didn’t stand out at all, take the example of TIGHT/NIGHT, Umehara barely gets any time to try to shine as himself. Aside from that slight problem, we must say that he, as the rest of the members, has managed to accommodate his way of singing according to the different genres in the unit’s tracks. Some of his best tracks to really demonstrate how he has improved are 人生ハードモード, Currently he is on a roll, Umehara’s vocal control has been on point and his appeal changed from the deep vocals to be the an amazing performance. Besides this unit, Umehara has also released other tracks for the anime THE IDOLM@STER. Other releases are EXIT TUNES PRESENTS ACTORS, Beyond The Dream and another release he sang with Soma Saito was in 全力少年達のおうた. In this release Umehara really went all out and delivered us a powerful performance full of potential and overflowing with talent.
Regarding any radio shows, we must say that Umehara has been in quite a few such as 終わりのラジオ from the famous anime in which he was cast Owari no Seraph. ガッチャマンクラウズRadio〜インサイト〜, 月刊 新・男前通信6月号〜月刊・梅原裕一郎 and 宏太朗と裕一郎 ひょろっと男子 are the radio shows in which he was the host or that he currently is. We must say that his voice really is indicated to working for the radio. His tone is soothing and relaxing so it is completely understandable is you enjoy it that much.
That was it for this edition of SEIYUU DIGEST. We hope you’ve enjoyed and please be sure to come back next month for another feature.