Seiyuu Digest #38 – Shunichi Toki

Shunichi Toki is still an overlooked and rather new talent in the seiyuu business however, he’s starting to be one of the most sought after seiyuu when it comes to music centric projects. We take a look at his career through this special Seiyuu Digest.

Shunichi Toki
KANJI 土岐隼一
BORN May 07, 1989
OCCUPATION seiyuu, singer, radio host
HEIGHT 172 cm

 

Shunichi Toki was born on May 07, 1989 in Tokyo, Japan. His family consists of his parents and his sister. He’s signed under WITH LINE.

Seiyuu

Shunichi Toki circa 2013

Toki graduated from Amusement Media General Institute in April 2012. He soon joined WITH LINE, a subsidiary of EARLY WING (seiyuu talent agency), as a seiyuu talent. After joining the agency, he worked on polishing his skills, only making his official debut as a seiyuu in 2013, when he was 24 years old.

His first roles in anime came only in 2014 with One Week Friends (2014), Wolf Girl & Black Prince (2014), Uta no Prince Sama Maji Love Revolutions (2015) and Beautiful Bones -Sakurako’s Investigation- (2015). For all these roles he was either voicing passersby or random background characters.

It wasn’t until 2015 with Ace of Diamond that Toki would get a role with at least some exposure. His role as Yasushi Kudou in the series might not have been anything big enough to put Toki on the map, but it was a step up from the random characters he had been voicing up until then.

Shunichi Toki circa 2015

2016 was a quiet year in comparison with his first two years in the business. However, this was the year that introduced one of the very first important characters in his career. Mentioning that this is an important character in his career isn’t necessarily because it was a leading role or the weight his character had on the series. It was due to the fact that he was voicing a character in one of the most watched and buzzworthy anime in 2016. If there’s an anime series/franchise that has marked 2016 and turned into a global phenomenon is Yuri!!! on Ice.

Leo de La Iglesia

Toki grabbed a role in the series as the sociable and creative American figure skater and choreographer, Leo de La Iglesia, that was introduced mid season. Due to the way the second part of the season was rushed, his character had little screentime (besides his routines and some random interactions with the cast). His acting as Leo was praised by fans of the series as being incredibly soothing and overall nice to listen to. This role shed some light over him and fans started to anticipate future works from him. Still in 2016, Toki voiced a minor character in the short comedy anime The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi.

Shunichi Toki in 2016

2017 arrived and with it his first main cast role in music driven anime TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION as Kouki Eto, Growth‘s leader.

Toki‘s acting as well as singing skills were going to be put to test with this role.

Growth debuted in 2015 part of Tsukino Production‘s roster. Up until 2017, fans had only gotten to listen to the group’s songs among several drama tracks to get an insight on the characters’ personalities and relationships.

Eto quickly earned his place on the top fan favorite characters from this franchise. Despite his cold, charismatic and aloof looks, Eto has a caring and gentle personality – much alike most of Growth‘s members – as well as an endearing clumsy side that is not alike any of the other TSUKIPRO unit’s leaders. Eto is, indeed, the leader and mother of the group. Throughout the anime series, fans got yet another look at Eto‘s relationships with his unit mates, the other unit leaders under TSUKIPRO and even a rival unit, ZIX.

Despite the fact that, for this anime all units and members are considered main characters – especially taking into account that each episode delves into a specific unit -, he got considerable exposure during all episodes in which Growth were featured, more than most of the unit’s members. Eto is quite possibly the most popular and well known character he’s voiced up until now.

Other music driven anime premiered in 2017 and Toki was once again featured. Idolmaster SideM is the talk in town during 2017’s Fall season for its solid writing and plot driven story.

Toki voices Altessimo‘s mysterious and prodigal Kei Tsuzuki. Although this season of Idolmaster SideM doesn’t focus on Altessimo, the character has appeared on it as a special cameo.

Besides these roles, Toki voiced random characters in Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler and Fastest Finger First. He also voiced Cecil Clayton in Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor.

Music

Shunichi Toki is known to be part of various music projects – between 2.5D idols to real life seiyuu units. If there’s one thing he’s managed to show his fans in the past years is that he’s a great fit for a leader and a safe, versatile option for any group he’s a part of. Although he still hasn’t made a solo debut yet, he’s got plenty of work in group endeavors.

Growth

Growth (from left to right): Yoshitaka Yamaya, Shunichi Toki, Daiki Yamashita and Junta Terashima

Out of all the groups he’s a part of, Growth are the most popular. Growth debuted in 2015 part of Tsukino Production, fictional idol talent agency. The quartet consists of leader Shunichi Toki (as Kouki Eto), Junta Terashima (as Mamoru Fujimura), Yoshitaka Yamaya (as Kensuke Yaegashi) and Daiki Yamashita (as Ryota Sakuraba).

Growth – From left to right: Kouki, Kensuke, Ryota and Mamoru

Known for their cinematic sound that lends a lot of elements from Irish folk music, Growth showcase not only one of the most unique sounds in the 2.5D idol market but also some of the most rich and entertaining performances fans can enjoy from TSUKIPRO‘s units.

Packed with powerful vocals, this unit is also known for their 100% synced choruses and flawless harmonizations that will bring chills down your spine. “Mahou no Kizuna“, song released in October, 2017 and featured as one of the 4 opening themes for TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION, is regarded by their fans as Growth‘s best song.

Toki had the opportunity during the X Lied series in 2017, to perform a solo song. His high notes and falsetto in “リーラの調べ” were ethereal, delicate and beautiful, he showed everyone his worth in a solo context.

&6allein

Alongside fellow seiyuu Yoshitaka Yamaya, Tatsuya Tokutake, Takeru Kikuchi, and Takahide Ishii, Toki is part of &6allein, seiyuu unit signed with Marine Entertainment (D.A.T, ELEKITER ROUND 0, TAKA, etc) that prouds itself in having a complete lineup comprised of seiyuu from the same talent agency –  WITH LINE. The group debuted during the summer of 2017 (June) with the single UNLOCK☆START!!!.

As the older member, Toki is the unit’s leader. Since the start he’s been one of the most powerful vocals within the group, standing out from the rest of the unit in that department. The group suffered some lineup changes in October, 2017 with the departure of Yusuke Miyamoto.

&6allein made their comeback in November with the second single -LIVED-/A:LIVE-, a single a completely different sonority and dark vibe. The group has been steadily showing that they have talent, the only issue lies with Marine Entertainment‘s lack of PR skills to promote this group.

7Colors

7Colors

During the summer of 2017 (July), 7Colors were announced as one of the two new units to debut part of a new smartphone game, “Anidol Colors“. 7Colors, unit consisting of Yuto Suzuki, Taku Yashiro, Junta Terashima, Yoshitaka Yamaya, Yusuke Shirai, Shunichi Toki and Junya Enoki, debuted in September with the single “Ride on☆ 7Dream“.

7Colors at Anidol Colors event on November 2017 (C) Voltage Inc.

For this unit, Toki was performing with a different tone (cuter and younger), far from what his fans were used to, and at the same time a tone that was far from being comfortable for himself. “Ride on☆ 7Dream” ended up being a trainwreck of a release filled with tacky melodies, overcrowded instrumentalization and subpar performances that overshadowed the talented vocals within the group, including Toki‘s.

Altessimo

Altessimo are one of the 15 units part of the popular game and anime franchise, Idolmaster SideM. The duo, consisting of Shunichi Toki and Yusuke Nagano, is known for their orchestral and classy sound. Altessimo brought their refined sound to THE IDOLM@STER SideM‘s 2nd stage held in the first quarter of 2017. Although that wasn’t the group’s first live performance, it was the first time the group attended a THE IDOLM@STER SideM live tour. Toki‘s dramatic and lyrical singing skills come in hand for this unit, enhancing Altessimo‘s overall rich and classical sound.

Games

Before getting his first role on anime, Shunichi Toki was making his debut as a seiyuu through videogames.

His first role was in 2013 on Senshou no Waltz. After that, he’s voiced characters in the most varied games, ranging from otome to adventure and action. Roles in Fairy Fencer F (2013), Granblue Fantasy (2015), Chaos Dragon Chaos War (2015), Saibai Shounen (2015), Oyayubi Labyrinth (2015) and 100 Sleeping Princes & the Kingdom of Dreams (2015), Mary Skelter (2016), Chain Chronicle (2016), CRASH FIGHT (2016), Brilliant star rebellion (2016) and World Chain (2016).

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More recently, Toki is active voicing characters in several popular idol/actor/rhythm games such as A3! (2017), Tsukipara (2017), Anidol Colors (2017), Idolmaster SideM (2016) and Idolmaster SideM LIVE ON ST@GE! (2017).

Other games he’s voiced characters in include: Icchibanketsu (2017), Gensou Shoujo (2017), Rage of Bahamut (2017), Trickster – I want to be a summoner ~ (2017), Exile Election (2017), パラノーマルキス -Paranormal Kiss- (2017) and Blackish House ←sideZ (2017).

Radio

Toki started hosting radio shows in 2015 with “Strawberry Session“, show that was on air for two years (2015 – 2017). After that he started hosting “LIVE B’s-LOG” radio (2015 -2016) and more recently he got his own radio show titled “Toki Shunichi no Radio Kissa Toki no Wa“. This radio show kicked off on August, 2016 on Nico Nico Douga.

Facts

His patience goes away once Yoshitaka Yamaya ticks him off

Shunichi Toki is well known for his calm, attentive self, however there’s someone that knows exactly how to tick him off and shed that quiet persona from him: his fellow seiyuu/group mate Yoshitaka Yamaya. During one special Anidol event (official video above, watch until the 34 minute mark) in September 2017, Toki was invited as a guest. Yamaya was particularly active and upbeat during that broadcast, making all kinds of background noises while both Terashima and Toki were speaking. After a continuous streak of background animal noises and some comments about his character that put him close to a mental breakdown, Toki turned around to Yamaya with a smile on his face and said  “Could you please shut up?“. Be it on this event or others in which both are together, take for example A3!‘s Summer Troupe nico nico events -, both are always bickering, mostly because Yamaya likes to tease him, often leading to hilarious reactions/situations.

A reminder that they are not only seiyuu agency mates (WITH LINE) but they are also label and group mates – for &allein, 7Colors and Growth.

Dotes on Altessimo’s Yusuke Nagano

Altessimo (Left: Yusuke Nagano / Right: Shunichi Toki)

Toki is extremely protective and always praising Yusuke Nagano. The pair grew close as soon as they met for Idolmaster SideM‘s recording, and according to Nagano it was on Toki‘s birthday no less. Toki mentined that both immediately clicked as from their first ever conversation, they both liked the same music and things. On and off stage, the pair shows their chemistry and camaraderie. On some occasions, when other seiyuu part of Idolmaster SideM invite Toki to hang out, he makes sure to invite Nagano to tag along. Fans find his interactions and mentions on Twitter about Nagano to be endearing.

A man of many skills

Shunichi Toki @ A.L.P – Alive Party 2017 Summer

Adding to his seiyuu and singing skills, Toki is an avid sportsman. Tennis, billiards, kendo and skiing are just some of the sports he pratices. Also, as a kid he used to play for a baseball team. Toki added on an interview that he’s good with English pronunciation (it is confirmed on his talent profile on WITH LINE’s website), a thing his father had a hand in. From a very young age, Toki was exposed to the English language. He mentioned that his father would always listen to artists like Eagles, Simon & Garfunkel and Peter, Paul & Mary. Whenever he went with his father to their favorite bar, he was exposed to the language as that bar was often visited by foreigners. Toki then said that he perfected his pronunciation using SIRI. He adds that he can’t speak English properly, he only pronounces English well.

Methodical actor

Toki mentioned on an interview for Ameba back in 2016 that he tends to be very methodical about his acting. On that interview he was asked about his role in Diamond no Ace and how he’d prepared for it. He mentioned that, in order for his acting to feel natural, he went to a batting centre. He wanted to understand how breathing and speaking would have to sound when he’d have to record his lines. He added that “I think it’s easy to imagine how to use your breath when you swing or slide your bat.“, hence he practiced baseball until his hands hurt, just in order to nail his performance. If there’s a performance that has something incredibly specific about it or some quirk, Toki will try it in order to perfect his performance.

Kouichi Yamadera is the reason why he’s a seiyuu

Toki mentioned that Kouichi Yamadera‘s performances in the anime Anpanman (when Toki was 4 years old) and the dubbing of The Mask left a big impression in him, sparking an interest in voice acting.

Has some experience in theater but his passion is voice acting

When he was attending college, he helped the college’s theater department in addition to the Kendo department. Although he was in charge of sound and lighting, he still had the opportunity to do some work for the theater department as an actor. Toki mentioned that even though he tried a bit of theater, his passion has always been voice acting. He added that when he was in high school he set a goal for himself: to be a seiyuu. That is his passion and he’s thankful he’s made that dream possible.

With this we conclude Shunichi Toki‘s Seiyuu Digest. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We return in January with a new Seiyuu Digest.

 

 

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