Since his debut, this seiyuu has dubbed a vast number of different roles, among them we can count on a wide range of performances, from comic characters to sad and tragic roles, Makoto Furukawa has done it all in his considerably short career in the seiyuu industry which has nevertheless diverged the attention to the rising star he has become in the past few years.
|BORN||September 29, 1989|
|OCCUPATION||seiyuu, radio host, singer|
Furukawa was born in September 29, 1989 in Kumamoto Prefecture, located in the island of Kyushu. Having been born and raised in a island far away from Tokyo, the young Furukawa first became interested in the seiyuu industry when he was in middle school and played a Gundam game. In that game there was a character Hikaru Midorikawa had voiced and the teenage boy became fascinated to the point of aspiring to be like his new subject of admiration Midorikawa.
At that time a friend of Furukawa got him a brochure of a vocational school in which Hikaru Midorikawa had been appointed to be a special lecturer fueling his desire to be a seiyuu even more and giving him the courage to take the plunge and enrole in the Fukuoka‘s Music Vocational School from which he graduated. After he graduated, one could understand why he has such talent and passion be it for his job as a seiyuu or for singing, something Furukawa has proved more than enough to excell at both tasks.
In 2011, Furukawa signed a contract with Spacecraft Entertainment and he made his debut with his character Satoshi Yoshino in the web anime Busou Chuugakusei: Basket Army.
Paving his career
After his debut in 2011, Furukawa had been left with minor roles in Kokoro Connect, Psycho-Pass, DOG DAYS’ and Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb, leaving the remaining year was more or less uneventful.
2013 was the year the world would get to see for itself just how Furukawa handled a character full of emotion and a tragic past in the famous anime Golden Time as the college law student Banri Tada. Not only did this role enable him to prove his worth as a seiyuu but it also made it possible to shed light into his talent and versatility as newcomer in the industry.
Tada is not your typical main character in a romance anime whose life appears to be perfect, in fact it is the complete opposite. Not only does this teenager not know anything about his past life previous to his awaking after being caught up in an accident and lost his memories, but he also had to take a year off to recover from the damage in his brain. One thing, however, is clear to this new Tada, he wanted to go to college to study Law. Despite the fact that at first Tada appears to be apathetic towards his surroundings, through numerous situations he was put through either by Kouko Kaga or Mitsuo Yanagisawa, he somehow manages to remain in a stable state. His gentle personality who makes him compassionate towards others is what draws Kaga to him. It is not until Tada begins to show transmutation symptoms in his mental state that we can really notice how well Furakawa portrayed this caring and soothing character in the moments when Tada suddenly recalls his past as he is struggling to cope with the sudden surplus of information regarding an important event. From that moment on, Tada becomes extremely agitated and frantic as he begins to have fitful seizures as each and every time he regains a part of memory of the once wiped out past. There had been a point in the story he longed to retrieve it all, but at that moment Tada wanted to erase it. Furukawa was on point with his performance in moments of confrontation between characters and parting ways with others. Regardless, Banri Tada was surely one of the character which enabled him to get the attention directed to him, even if it momentarily.
In the same year, Furukawa landed on another main character role in the children supernatural/action anime Gaist Crusher as one of the main characters Shiren Quartzheart, the lone wolf and quiet fourteen year old character which despite the environment where he lives he does not mind sacrificing something to protect his loved ones.
In 2014, other than his main role in the action/romance anime Seireitsukai no Blade Dance as Kamito Kazehaya, a slave spirit, Furukawa was pretty much m.i.a. Instead, the seiyuu had minor roles in anime such as Aldnoah.Zero as Shigou Kakei, but also in M3 The Dark Metal, If Her Flag Breaks, Kamigami no Asobi and Tokyo Ravens.
Rise in popularity
2015 would be the year Furukawa had the most number of roles, be them minor or main characters, it was all about Furukawa. In that year we could count on the seiyuu’s appearance in multiple and contrasting anime, proving once again that Furukawa is not only able to dub gentle characters from a romance anime as he had been doing here and there. With a career adding up to only four years, the seiyuu got a role in a mainstream shounen anime Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma as both Yoshiaki Nikaidou and Takumi Ishiwatari, the first one being a student who attempted to enrole in the Tootsuki Culinary Academy.
Aside from the fact that Furukawa was beginning to show signs that he indeed has an opportunity to thrive in the industry, the seiyuu still got some minor roles here and there, namely as Kirus in Arslan Senki but also in Charlotte and Your Lie in April. Other than those characters, Furukawa had once more the opportunity to be cast in the shounen/adventure anime The Seven Deadly Sins as Gustaf, a holy knight, Mitsukuri – a member of the Blue Squares – in Durarara!!x2 Shou and in the second season of the famous volleyball anime Haikyuu!! as Yuutarou Kindaichi a middle blocker from Aoba Josai, a character that although feeling resentful towards some events that occurred in the past is above all a stubborn and competitive teenager.
Then the summer ended and in October of 2016 Furukawa was cast for the first time ever as the main lead in the extremely popular parody/sci-fi anime One Punch Man as Saitama, your ordinary man with just a little too much strength. Saitama is a laid back super hero which despite being on the constant search for an opponent who does make him enjoy defeating, he also takes his job not seriously enough, in fact one could say that he does not believe it to be necessary for him to give his all seeing as he finishes everyone with just one punch.
In fact, it is precisely for that reason that Saitama has become so lazy when fighting others, which does not mean that sometimes he will not lose control and end up causing fatal damage in other cities resulting in a landscape restructuring, if we might say so ourselves. Saitama first comes to the viewers as a man who has failed to get a job and instead of giving up on his life he chooses to endeavor on another path other than working, a path that should have been more rewarding for himself. Between lots of awkward situations and misunderstandings, as well as several comic episodes, we get to see for ourselves just how much this main character has changed while he underwent the process to become stronger. It is also easy to understand when Saitama is or is not being serious seeing as he usually is drawn in a rounder face with simple features when he is lazy, and takes on a sharper look, a more main character of a shounen manga/anime appropriate appearance, when he is serious. Not even Genos can understand how Saitama is rumored to be so powerful when he appears to be so goofy, at least most of the times.
We must say, while Saitama has different facial expressions Furukawa managed to not make Saitama sound too strong when he is being silly seeing as we only get to experience that strong part when the main character is being dead serious, and Furukawa managed to express and separate those two characteristics in the best way possible.
A little side note here is that Furukawa at the premier event for One Punch Man took on the challenge of breaking tiles with one punch, a rather interesting event if we must say, alongside with Kaji Yuki and Aoi Yuki and Kaito Ishikawa.
After all the popularity surrounding Furukawa due to his role as Saitama, the seiyuu had to keep up with the momentum and he took advantage of the fact that people had started to get curious towards him. With that in mind, Furukawa began to have more exposure in magazines and other platforms. So in 2016, Furukawa made his comeback in the drama/romance shoujo anime Orange as Hiroto Suwa, one of the main characters. Suwa is one of the members of the group of teenage friends around which the story focuses on. He is outgoing and friendly, some may even that the fact that he appears to be the “older brother type” making him give up something he wanted for the sake of his friends happiness, make him a character that sacrifices himself too much for others. Both in the anime and movie, Suwa has a fulcral role in keeping the relationships balanced as well as helping his friends come to terms with themselves regarding the past that cannot be changed.
If we had to say, like Banri Tada, Suwa is a character that brings forth Furukawa‘s potential as a seiyuu seeing as with both characters he had to portray strong emotions in sentimental moments and being as spontaneous as possible while attempting to sound as natural as possible which he did, hence why his performances are so stunning in both anime.
Taboo Tattoo was the next stop for Furukawa. The seiyuu portrayed Justice Akatsuka, a 3rd year high school students that also has a tattoo enabling to have a special ability. In this case Akatsuka‘s appears to be extremely difficult to have control over which can make him appear to be a little reckless to use it. The fact that he somehow acquired the taboo tattoo makes him flabbergasted as he does not appear to want to believe that he has superpowers. Even more so when people whom he believe trusted him begin to be put in harms way. As the story progresses we get to see numerous different sides of Akatsuka and we get to see him grow both as a character but as a person. In this anime Furukawa managed to portray a character who has the means to save people but feels conflicted to use the power seeing as he refuses to believe the reality presented in front of him.
For the rest of the year, Furukawa focused on his role in the still running kids action/comedy anime Digimon Universe as Yuujin Oozora, a supporting role. Oozora is a teenage boy which is a friend of Haru, the main character. Although he makes appearances here and there, one can say that his friendship for Haru is lovely seeing as though even when not present he is worried about him, thus making him want to keep an eye on his friend to make sure everything is fine at all times.
Other than that, Furukawa was cast in the historical/fantasy anime Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru as Ookurikara whose previous owner had been Masamune Date. This sword is a loner and does not appear to like mingling with others, in fact some peace and quiet is all it needs and wants.
As if the year had not already been great for Furukawa, he had the opportunity to be one of the members of the luxury cast of Trickster as Hisa Ootomo, a fifteen year old teenage boy who is in charge of doing experiments at his school’s scientific experiment club. Next, Furukawa was cast in the mafia anime 91 Days as Arturo Tronco, a friend of Vanno Vanetti and his driver despite him being a teenager. This young character is like many others in the anime, a victim of a terrible fate. Later on in the year, Furukawa reprises in the anime Seven Deadly Sins with his character Gustaf and other than these roles he had several minor roles in Prince of Stride: Alternative and PriPara. However we cannot leave unnoticed his appearance is Ajin’s ova as Hiroki or his reprised role in the movie Orange – future – as Hiroto Suwa.
Unlike 2016, 2017 has been slightly less prolific, however there are still some new anime that Furukawa has been casted in, so all in all it has not been an unproductive year so far. This year we could count with Furukawa on Chiruran 1/2 as Heisuke Toudou. This anime is the spin-off of the original series by Hashimoto Eiji (mangaka) and Umemura Shinya (story writter) of Chiruran Shinsengumi Requiem, a relaxed version of the Shinsengumi. Other minor roles were Zappa Shimoi in One Piece, Fujiwara in Sakura Quest and Riku Kasai in The Moon is Beautiful. While he had several minor roles, Furukawa was cast as Zağanos Zehir in Shoukoku no Altair, a perfectionist that sometimes ends up hurting other people’s feelings while showing aloofness.
On a whole different level, Furukawa‘s talent has been recognized to the point of him getting roles is major anime series such as Fate/Apocrypha as Aka no Rider a.k.a Achilles.
He is the Rider class servant of Shirou Kotomine. Achilles is frequently seen smiling in a carefree manner. Although he is a servant, he will not obey his master if he deems the order to be against his principals, aside from that he also does not think highly of anyone related to the kings, so we could say that he has a will of his own.
Other roles Furukawa got were in the movie Fairy Tail Movie 2: Dragon Cry as King Animus, a once gentle man who is now vicious and harsh, punishing everyone who defies his authority, and Takeru Yamato in Monster Strike 2 Episode 0.
Scheduled to be aired on October is the long awaited anime adaptation of the iOS Android game adaptation of TsukiPro which is TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION. The anime will have several groups featured in, namely SolidS, Quell, Growth and among them there’s also SOARA. Furukawa has been the voice of Soushi Kagurazaka since 2016. Kagurazaka is one of the members of SOARA, a seiyuu unit. His character is once again the “older brother type” or the “caring type” seeing as he takes care of the rest of the group’s members.
Aside from his work in the anime department Furukawa knew better than anyone else that if he wanted to make a name for himself he needed to branch out in all different platforms so as to get fans to know him, and with that in mind Furukawa made his first endeavors in the game industry in 2009.
In his first game in Kogane no Kizuna as Sadias. Despite his first attempt, Furukawa was pretty much on a low profile in this department until 2012 when he made his comeback as Reginald Abelain in Sousouki Reginald, this being the seiyuu’s first main role in a game, the first of many. The following year Furukawa reprised his role as Shiren Quartzheart in the Gaist Crusher‘s game, as well as his role in Alpha Dia Genesis as Dion. In the same year Furukawa was once again cast as Banri Tada for the Golden Time Vivid Memories game and also reprised his role in Seireitsukai no Blade Dance as Kamito Kazehaya. In 2015, Furukawa appeared in the shoujo game Cinderella to 100 Oku-doru no Ouji-sama as Clive Felix, a model and IT company executive. Following this spree of shoujo games, the seiyuu appeared in another otome game, this time around his roles was Hajime Saito in Ikemen Bakumatsu ◆ Unmei no Koi.
In 2016, Furukawa made appearances as Asselin BB II in THE iDOLM@STER: SideM, a character that likes to believe himself to have been in Hell and being a servant of Satan when in all reality he is nothing more that a chef. Other roles where Suzumo Susuhara in Iwaihime, a honest and mature protagonist who is also the childhood friend of Tsubakiko Harumiya, the main character in the story. In Yumeiro Cast he played Kuroki Ryosuke, a member of GENESIS.
The following year, Furukawa ventured to the game industry once again, making appearances in games such as Arado Senki as Kenshi Oni, a main character in this adventure game, but the seiyuu was also featured in the Android and iOS app Kizuna Striker as Kuro Minagawa. Other roles in the game industry are Mio Tsurugi in Starrebo ☆ 彡 88 Constellation’s idol revolution, Mist Emerald in Prince of Cocktail and lastly Furukawa reprised his roles Souji Kagurazaka in Tsukino Paradise, the idol game.
All in all, Furukawa has pretty much appeared in different genres and not only focusing in otome games, for instance, and in fact while that is true, for the past few years the trend has been Furukawa appearing in games with units.
As any other seiyuu, Furukawa also branched out to the drama CDs department, and as we were able to ascertain, the seiyuu has done numerous characters with different personalities. His first role in the department was with Banri Tada from Golden Time. Be it for his soothing and gentle voice, or the more robust characters, Furukawa has managed to get the attention of people from different ages which is a plus for the seiyuu.
Other roles we can count are: 「ALIVE」 その1 – その4 Side.S as Soushi Kagurazaka, One Punch Man as Saitama, THE IDOLM@STER SideM ST@RTING LINE -09・10 as Asselin BB II, Come to the Starry Sky Hall ♪2nd☆night as Kuon, just to name a few.
Furukawa has shown over the years his natural talent when singing by delivering quality performances with his natural vibrato and making total use of his medium tone vocals as he melts the hearts of everyone with his charming and fluffy personality. Therefore, and with that being said, it is not uncommon for him to be cast in a variety of seiyuu units. It is no secret that Furukawa has amazed us with his skills over the years, so when he gets cast in a new unit the usual reaction towards the piece of news is to agree that he could not be a better choice.
This is one unit that has been announced last August that it would eventually release its first music and currently it still has not been confirmed when it will actually take place.
At the moment, the only thing we do know for sure is that the unit will be called 4U and the members will be Yuuya Nakada, Atsushi Tamaru, Taku Yashiro and Makoto Furukawa.
This unit consists of Makoto Furukawa, Daiki Kobayashi, Takuya Kodama, Sho Karino and Kouhei Amasaki. This unit has been created due to the in-game group in Idolmaster Side M with the same members. At the moment, Café Parade has released several singles, but one of them which is titled THE IDOLM@STER SideM ST@RTING LINE-10 Café Parade is one of most recent ones having been released back in April of last year.
With this unit Furukawa has shown just how well he sings, taking full advantage of his vibrato. Showing off his medium tone vocal performance while singing in a slightly soul/jazzy manner really brings out the best out of Furukuwa. Take the example of the track Café Parade in which he is in charge of add-libs and melting the listener as he mercilessly delivers each and every note. Even when he is harmonizing with the other members his vocal performance still outshines them. In À La Carte Freedom, Furukawa sings in almost an acapella and musical like manner. This is indeed a perfect chance to ascertain how well the seiyuu knows how to project his voice and deliver a flawless performance.
In a live context, Furukawa has further amazed us. Recently the unit held a concert titled THE IDOLM@STER SideM 2nd STAGE 〜ORIGIN@L STARS〜 in which the seiyuu demonstrated his vocal prowess.
When we bring together a luxury cast such as is the case with SOARA you are bound to have a good final result, even more so when all members are such skilled singers such as Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Yuki Ono, Makoto Furukawa, Taishi Murata and Chiharu Sawashiro.
Although Furukawa has been a member of the unit since the beginning, the seiyuu only began singing in their release titled Alive Sono 4 Side S. A track that really made the fans marveled with Furukawa‘s vibrato and complete control over his vocal performance is 旅立ちのエール in which aside from Toyonaga’s vocals Furukawa is shining bright while nailing all the notes. And this would not be the last time the seiyuu amazed us with his mid-tones and dominating his high and low notes as he did in アイノハナ alongside Taishi rendering us flabbergasted.
From the pop-rock genre, SOARA choose to pursue another genre so as to find their genre which suited them best and opted to go more on the pop/alternative road, as LAPIS BLUE showed us a track with a simplistic instrumental piece with laid back guitars with a melodic piano creating a summer song. With this track we got to ascertain Furukawa’s talent to harmonize and blend his vocal performance with the rest of the members creating a perfect vocal performance equally blended with the instrumental.
Although there are numerous other times when Furukawa has blinded everyone with his diamond worth performances which are polished to its utmost.
EXIT TUNES PRESENTS ACTORS
Regardless, Furukawa has also sang for another collection titled EXIT TUNES PRESENTS ACTORS, in this case the seiyuu sang for the sixth album.
His song is それがあなたの幸せとしても, a ballad lead by Furukawa‘s vocal performance, a melodic piano, strings and a sorrowful guitar. Needless to say, the seiyuu nailed it and proved once again why he is so talented singing. If you already enjoyed Furukawa‘s vibrato and falseto you’re in it for a good run with this track.
As if we could not get enough of Furukawa, the seiyuu has also sung tracks under the group called GENESIS from the iOS Android app Yumeiro Cast. Alongside the Furukawa is Souma Saito, Kenichi Suzumura, Daiki Yamashita and Daisuke Hirakawa. One of the tracks released Phantom Rain is by far one of the best tracks we have listened to by Furukawa. The track is dark with a addicting instrumental piece delivered by synths and the synth bass topped off with Furukawa, Saito and Suzumura‘s vocal performance that are the one’s with the majority of the highlight.
On a different genre we have Hikari Hikaru Hikari which goes to the rock path, and has a fast tempo instrumental piece, delivered by the drums and guitar. What is indeed interesting in this track is the fact the we can listen to shakuhachi once in a while, therefore the traditional elements are blended with the rock ones creating this peculiar track which ends up being easy to listen to.
Most recently, ALIVE X Lied Vol 3. came out and with it Buzzer Beater was released. This track is Furukawa’s first steps in the music industry as a solo artist, even though he is singing a song as a member of SOARA. While returning to his roots, Furukawa‘s Buzzer Beater is a pop-rock track with jazzy hints.
The instrumental piece in this track was already top-notch but when combined with Furukawa‘s falseto and vibrato this track just became even better reaching a whole other level of greatness. Regardless of the seiyuu’s talent that by now we already know of, Furukawa has shown especially with this track that he has the talent and the experience to possibly back him up if he even releases a solo album/single.
As many other seiyuu, Furukawa has quite a few radio shows he has either hosted or been invited to. For those who are fans of the seiyuu, you’ll know that a whenever and wherever he goes to Furukawa just brightens up the mood and makes one laugh so much that chances are that you’ll end up cramping.
From 2013 to 2014 the seiyuu hosted GOLDEN TIME‘s radio show, however he didn’t stop there as he has also hosted a radio show with Yusuke Kobayashi – the seiyuu who voiced Arslan – called Yuke to Mabo. From here onward, Furukawa has made multiple shows such as One Pan Man Justice Enforcement! Maji Radio! (2015-2016), Makoto Furukawa no Orange Futari (2016-), Everything hero! Let’s get ready (2016-) and Fate/Apocrypha Radio トゥリファス！(2017-).
On another note, Furukawa has been a guest in Trickster‘s radio show hosted by Ryota Osaka and Daiki Yamashita. Furukawa was the special guest for episode 8. Needless to say, that aside from his usually bubbly personality and the host’s interaction made the show a complete mess, since no one could handle his energy and funny remarks. All in all, it was a episode that rendered everyone tired of laughing. Another show he appeared as a guest was Nobuyuki Hiyama‘s Animage.
Being a seiyuu that has been gaining popularity it is not surprise that Furukawa has been invited to appear in several tv shows. One of them was Shizucafe～石上の宵所～ and Furukawa was invited to episode 3. In the show, the seiyuu showed his bubbly personality with some hints of goofiness and fluffiness mixed in. Between changing his persona all the time, from an old man to his usual joking personality, Furukawa makes the viewers not only entertained but soothed with his gentle tone that he is so known for. His intro monologue was funny as Furukawa tried to stick to his character but at the same time the host’s (Shizuka Itou) remarks made him slightly falter. Throughout the beginning of the program, the seiyuu also recalls his previous roles such as in Golden Time, but eventually we get to understand that we are in fact re-visiting his journey in the industry so far.
In 2015, Furukawa was invited to Animemashite alongside Atsushi Tamaru. The newcomer version of both seiyuu made the actual episode even more interesting as Furukawa spoke about his roles he had played so far and other topics such as motivation to be a seiyuu or even people that he admires. All in all, Furukawa was above everything else, extremely professional and showed his highly motivated personality. Another show in which Furukawa appeared was a sort of treasure hunt.
Much to our surprise, Furukawa has been a guest in yet another show titled Comic Bar Renta! hosted by fellow seiyuu Shuuta Morishima. In this show the setting is much like a bar where the host is the barman and the guest is the customer. With this is mind, Furukawa was the guest of the episode 35 of this show.
Mind you, Furukawa is usually really happy-go-lucky, however is this particular show Furukawa appeared to be ever so slightly less goofy, at least in the beginning. It does not take us long until we end up reaching the conclusion that the seiyuu is always making other laugh, and this show is no exception.
GRANRODEO, L’Arc en ciel fan
Furukawa has certainly surprised us with this one, who would have thought that the seiyuu likes to listen to rock band such as GRANDRODEO and L’Ar en ciel? Thinking about it, Furukawa is yet another seiyuu who likes Kishow‘s band, much like Ono Yuki.
Midorikawa Hikaru was his inspiration to become a seiyuu
It is not uncommon for seiyuu to have people who they look up to. What we were not expecting was that veteran seiyuu Hikaru Midorikawa falling into than category for Furukawa. As the seiyuu has mentioned several times now, it was because of one of Midorikawa‘s characters in a game of the Gundam series that young Furukawa became interested in the seiyuu industry. Later on, a friend gave him a brochure saying that Hikaru Midorikawa was scheduled to be the special lecturer in a vocational school and that was when he decided that he wanted to be like the seiyuu he respects so much.
Motion actor as part-time job in 2012
Yes, you’ve read it correctly. In 2012, while Furukawa was busy with his seiyuu schedules, the seiyuu got a part-time job as a motion captor actor for the Playstation 3 game White Knight Story.
This one is no surprise, specially in the seiyuu industry. It has been disclosed by the talent company in which the seiyuu is a part of that Furukawa‘s schedule is packed, although not as bad as fellow seiyuu Hino Satoshi who only sleeps two hours a day, nonetheless still a very stressful day. Furukawa spends his day going from one studio to another changing his activities from dubbing, to hosting niconico live broadcasting shows, the seiyuu has few time to spare.
And that was it for this month’s SEIYUU DIGEST edition. See you next month!