Seiyuu Digest #43 – Takuya Sato

Owner of one of the sweetest bass voices in the business, at 34 and with 10 years of career under his belt, the Sendai native has only recently been experiencing the well deserved spotlight. We take a look at one of the most passionate seiyuu in the business, that despite his newfound popularity, is still one of the most overlooked seiyuu among anime fans.

KANJI 佐藤 拓也
BORN May 19, 1984
OCCUPATION seiyuu, singer, radio host
HEIGHT 166 cm

Seiyuu

“ — I like to perform, and I really love this job. It’s really not about the money. We (seiyuu) want everyone to be happy and share the fun. That’s all. 

Takuya Sato

Sato has shown ever since he made his debut that he always strives to do his best because he has a passion for his work as a seiyuu. That quote with which we kick off this “Seiyuu” section if from one of his interviews circa 2014 – 2016 and pretty much sums up his undying love for this art and his work.

Takuya Sato was born on May 19th, 1984, in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.

His love for sentai (superheroes) series and anime quickly drew his attention to seiyuu and their work, putting him on the same path. He mentioned that since he was in elementary school he wanted to be a seiyuu. When researching about voice acting schools he came into contact with TOKYO SEIYU ACADEMY (some of the famous graduates include Toshiyuki Morikawa, Hikaru Midorikawa, Tomokazu Seki and Kenyu Horiuchi), ending up enrolling in trial classes while he was still in high-school.

Upon graduating from high-school, Sato decided to skip college and continued his studies at TOKYO SEIYU ACADEMY. Soon, he was invited by Ken Production to join their ranks. He trained for several years before debuting as a seiyuu in 2007. During that span of time, Sato was taking some classes with Tsubasa Yonaga and Atsushi Abe, classmates that then turned into fellow talent agency mates and close friends.

2007 –  2010

Initial struggles

After graduating from TSA, Sato was ready for his debut however it was nothing like he’d pictured. Roles in anime productions were limited to random background characters or just supporting roles with little to no relevance to the plot of each production he was casted in (aside from some exceptions).

He was being casted to voice young men, “attractive men” and rough characters. However, during this three year period, Sato only had two secondary roles in the middle of several generic, background characters.

Fumito Makino in Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger (2009)

His role as Fumito Makino in Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger (2009) is the one that got him more spotlight. Makino is a featherweight boxer that enjoys cheap tricks and playing dirty. The character might have not been the main focus of the series but this was easily one of the first roles in Sato‘s repertoire that had him with more than a couple of voiced lines.

Dagmyer Mest

The other supporting role is Dagmyer Mest in the mecha anime Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari (2009), a character that plays a pivotal role early-on in the series.

Some anime in which he worked in include: Kaze no Stigma (2007), CLANNAD (2007), Shugo Chara! (2007), Blue Drop (2007),  ToHeart2 (2007), Yes! Pretty Cure 5 (2007), Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens (2008), Golgo 13 (2008), Toradora! (2008), Monochrome Factor (2008), TYTANIA (2008), Tetsuwan Birdy – DECODE (2008), Nabari no Ou (2008), Nijuu Mensou no Musume (2008), Yozakura Quartet (2008), Gintama (2009), Kämpfer (2009), Hatsukoi Limited (2009), Sazae-san (2009), Shangri-La (2009), Asu no Yoichi! (2009), Arad Senki: Slap Up Party (2009), Uchi no Sanshimai (2009), Kurokami The Animation (2009), Keroro Gunsou (2009), Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (2009), 聖闘士星矢 THE LOST CANVAS 冥王神話 (2009), Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou (2010), Ookiku Furikabutte: Natsu no Taikai-hen (2010), Heartcatch Precure! (2010), Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (2010) and Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (2010).

2011

First leading role

After several years stuck with minor roles that went unnoticed to most anime fans, Sato was finally going to have his first opportunity voicing a leading role character. That opportunity appeared with Cardfight Vanguard, anime series based on a card game – incredibly popular in Japan. According to Sato, this is the most iconic role in his career, a turning point and a well needed confidence boost for himself.

His role as Toshiki Kai is, undoubtedly the one with most airtime and from which most of Sato‘s initial popularity came from. So far, Cardfight Vanguard has spanned a total of 8 seasons (from 2011 to 2018), with Sato present in all of them (although midway through he stopped being the main character to give way to a new Vanguard generation). The first season that aired in 2011 ran for over 1 year and three months straight.

The rest of 2011 was rather uneventful with Sato having roles in X-MEN, UN-GO, TIGER & BUNNY, Chihayafuru (appearances in 2011 and 2013 with different characters) and Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko.

2012 – 2015

Getting his name on the map

Takuya Sato in 2013

Although Sato was getting more roles, the wide majority continued being those of random or minor characters. Thankfully, his performance in Cardfight Vanguard impressed some anime producers, leading to him scoring some relevant secondary roles in the following years.

2013 introduced us to a couple of interesting main and secondary roles. Just in 2013 alone, Sato had 4 roles with relatively spotlight, some of those playing pivotal roles in the storyline. In Gundam Build Fighters, mecha anime series that spanned a total of two seasons that ran in 2013 and later in 2015, Sato voiced Tatsuya Yuuki.

Tatsuya Yuuki in Gundam Build Fighters

The character started off as a supporting role for Sato but later on in the franchise – around 2017 – turned into the protagonist for two special ONAs.

Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli

In that same year, Sato voiced Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli in the popular action anime JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken. Unlike most roles during this period, Zeppeli was a main character for this specific anime series. At the time that this anime was airing, Sato‘s performance was praised. He managed to capture perfectly the essence of Zeppeli, his hotblooded, flirty and dedicated self.

Then Sato voice Keiji Maeda, one of the main characters in the historical anime Gifuu Doudou!!: Kanetsugu to Keiji. Despite it’s rather appealing synopsis (for those fans of historical anime), it actually ended up not taking itself seriously, turning basically into a story of men telling their backstories on how ruthless and dangerous their actions in the past had been, and what had taken them to where they were. This anime received mixed reviews was far from being the focus during the summer and fall seasons in 2013, which made Sato‘s performance go under the radar.

Yasushi Kamasaki

Sato was casted in Haikyuu! as Yasushi Kamasaki, Date Tech High’s former captain, a loud and strict member that is known primarily for yelling a scolding his teammates and being extremely competitive. Sato‘s performance captured perfectly Kamasaki’s performance, making him exude passion and competitiveness from the very first moments in which the character was presented to fans. Kamasaki was featured in the first two seasons of Haikyuu! (2014 – 2015).

Luin Lee

Gundam G no Reconguista might have been one of the weakest anime entries in the Gundam franchise but its performances – disregarding the plot-less story – were rather solid, especially Sato‘s. He voiced Luin Lee, a compassionate, responsible and mature cadet that ends up helping the main character throughout the series after a streak of pirate attacks.

Akira Takizawa

Up until now Sato had been voicing kind, passionate characters or just imposing, muscular characters. His role as Akira Kitazawa in PSYCHO-PASS 2 managed to shift a bit the fact that he was being typecasted. Kitazawa has a clearly deteriorating psycho-pass and due to that he decided to take revenge on the society, putting his bomb making skills to use. The character somehow was blinded by his hatred that he didn’t notice himself being played around by a pivotal character in the series, leading to a series of events that were crucial to the overall plot of the series. This was the first time that Sato‘s fans got a glimpse of his talents beyond what he’d been showcasing so far. Kitazawa was deranged and twisted, determined to make everyone pay at any cost for his status and Sato‘s performance brought those traits to life with ease.

Still in the same year, he returned to reprise his main role as Toshiki Kai in the movie Cardfight Vanguard Neon Messiah.

In this period of time Sato had minor roles in the following anime series: La storia della Arcana Famiglia (2012), Area no Kishi (2012), Guilty Crown (2012), Nazo no Kanojo X (2012), Pokemon Best Wishes! (2012), Medaka Box Abnormal (2012), Karneval (2013), Mini Van (2013), Dokidoki! Precure (2013), Hamatora (2014), Oreca Battle (2014), Bokura wa Minna Kawai-sou (2014), Minna Atsumare! Falcom Gakuen (2014 – 2015), Aikatsu (2015), Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (2015), Garo: Guren no Tsuki (2015), Seiken Tsukai no World Break (2015) and Fuusen Inu Tinny (2015).

2016 –

Slowly working his way up

Since 2016, Sato has had a lot of doors open for him. He branched out to a variety of anime productions, having some important roles under his belt, main or supporting. He established himself as one of the best baritone, low-toned voices in the seiyuu business, being more than often praised for his performances and skills, be it by his fans or fellow seiyuu.

If there’s a performance in 2016 that was as surprising for his fans as it was for the fans of that franchise, is clearly Kanda in D.Gray-man HALLOW.

D.Gray-man Hallow (Kanda and Allen)

In the middle of what ended up being a controversial recasting of everyone involved with the D.Gray-man anime series, Sato ended up being the one seiyuu to not receive any kind of backlash. Contrary to most seiyuu replacing the original cast, he was actually praised for his solid performance as Yuu Kanda (previously voiced by Takahiro Sakurai). Sato knew that for Kanda‘s role he had to attempt to fill some incredibly big shoes, at the same time most fans of the original anime voiced their concerns over Sakurai being replaced on that role because they felt no one could capture Kanda’s essence and deliver it in the way it had been done. However, Sato‘s performance in D.Gray-man HALLOW was more than up for the challenge, ending up being the only bright spot within the series’ new cast.

Toya Masamune

Fans of the popular otome game Norn9 were ecstatic when an anime adaptation was greenlit. Sato returned to reprise his role as Toya Masamune for the anime series. Masamune is the older brother figure for basically everyone on board of the ship, the figure everyone relies on. However his demeanor early on in the series/anime makes it slightly difficult to tell him apart from a villain – something that Sato mentioned on an interview at the time the series was airing -, with his contradictory behavior regarding certain events putting a big question mark on his intentions early on in the series/game. Norn9 has a lukewarm reception in Japan and overseas due to the fact that the story not only is incredibly intricate, but also each character brings something to the main plot, even affecting other characters in the process. An otome game with that much content and a slightly confusing plot was a recipe for disaster, especially with only 13 episodes to cram the story in. The series ended up being directed towards fans of the game instead of attracting new fans. This role was just the beginning of him voicing “older brother” type of characters.

Shokudaikiri Mitsutada

If there’s a character he’s voicing since 2016 that is loved by his fans is Shokudaikiri Mitsutada.

An anime adaptation for the hit browser game Touken Ranbu was greenlit in 2016, news that quickly excited the franchise’s large and passionate fanbase. 

Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru premiered during the Fall season and spanned two seasons (2016 and 2017). This adaptation was more focused on introducing the characters (the cast has over 30 seiyuu) to the viewers and showing their antics, relationships and history. The anime didn’t take itself too seriously like its successor “Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu” did, however it had its moments in which there was a focus on the battles and historic events that shaped these swords and Japan.

Talkative, active and reliable, Mitsutada seems to be one of the favorites among the franchise’s fans. On the other hand, Sato voiced in both seasons the quiet and reserved Kousetsu Samonji, quiet and reserved character, the polar opposite of Mitsutada.

Jet Link

Still in 2016, Sato voiced Jet Link for CYBORG009 CALL OF JUSTICE‘s three CGI movies. The classic sci-fi franchise changed things around for these three movies, especially when it came to the characters’ looks. Jet Link had the most drastic change from his original version dating back to 1964. Aside from those changes, fans were still furious about the lack of plot, or at least a plot that made any sense, which led to poor reviews.

Sato had once again to fill in big shoes as Jet Link had been previously voiced by Showtaro Morikubo, Daisuke Ono and Tomoaki Maeno, all respected and well known seiyuu in the business. His performance ended up matching the previous ones in quality and delivery, soothing down everyone’s concerns over his casting for this character.

2017 arrived and with it more supporting characters. Main roles were still scarce but his supporting roles were getting more screentime than ever before.

Gakuto Sasajima

His only main role in that year was Gakuto Sasajima in the quiz anime Nana Maru San Batsu. Sasajima is one of the characters introduced early on in the series. Fans knew that whenever this character appeared, there would be plenty of quirkiness and eccentricity in the mix.

Super Lovers

Perhaps one of the most notable supporting roles in that year is Shiba Natsuo from SUPER LOVERS 2. The suave host sure shook up the anime when he was introduced. Natsuo enters the story at a complicated stage only to complicate things up a little bit more. He has a past with most of the characters on the series and is determined to patch up his relationships with those characters, although in a reckless way. Despite his looks, smooth talking around women and an obnoxious attitude with other characters, Natsuo is, deep down, an extremely lazy, messy and kind person. Once again Sato was voicing an imposing character (in build) with a kind heart, suave looks and demeanor. Some might argue that this role is yet another demonstration of him being typecasted into these kinds of characters but most agree that Sato fit this role perfectly, making Natsuo’s personality come to life in ways that weren’t expected.

Sato reprised his roles as Shokudaikiri Mitsutada and Kousetsu Samonji on Zoku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru, the second season of the Hanamaru series.

2018 kicked off with several interesting roles under his belt.

Ryunnosuke Tsunashi

The popular smartphone game IDOLiSH7 was greenlit for anime adaptation, with its airing kicking off in January. Sato reprised his role as Ryunnosuke Tsunashi, TRIGGER‘s dancing machine and “sexy beast”. This is easily one of the roles his fans know him best for. Tsunashi’s caring personality, a contrast to his build and looks, made the character easily loved by the fans of the franchise both in-game as well as with the anime adaptation. Due to the fact that this adaptation follows closely the events of the first season of the game’s story, TRIGGER, and most specifically Tsunashi, had little airtime.

But that wasn’t all there is around Tsunashi. At the same time, it was greenlit an original Youtube series focused on TRIGGER’s foundation. “IDOLiSH7 Vibrato” is based on the spin-off manga “TRIGGER Before the Radiant Glory“.

For this spin-off series, Sato brought his best. With the events depicted in the series dating back to TRIGGER‘s foundation, he had to bring Tsunashi’s Okinawan accent into the mix. His Okinawan accent was thoroughly praised by Japanese viewers.

Tsubasa Hayakawa

In April, the supernatural anime “Butlers: Chitose Momotose Monogatari” premiered. Sato voices Tsubasa Hayakawa, a once perfect butler that now works at a coffee shop. Despite its well known cast and the overall good voice acting, the anime itself received a lot of bad reviews overseas, all due to its predictable storyline and subpar animation. Unfortunately, Tsubasa Hayakawa is far from being 2018’s highlight role for him.

On the other hand, one of the most exciting anime and remakes of the year is undoubtedly Captain Tsubasa. The classic football anime was remade, adding new and more fluid animation, polished sound and image and a whole new cast.

Kojiro Hyuga

Sato was casted as the reckless and cold-hearted ace striker Kojiro Hyuga, one of the antagonists/rivals in the series. In an interview prior to the anime premiere in April, Sato talked a bit about this character, what he liked about the series and his football skills.

Planned so far for this year are roles in the BL anime Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu. and the historical BAKUMATSU (based on a smartphone game), however both are still without a set date of premiere.

From 2016 up until now, Sato voiced characters in the following anime series: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 (2016), Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (2016), Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu (2016), Terra Formars Revenge (2016), Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation (2016), Bloodivores (2016), ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka (2017), Shoukoku no Altair (2017), Youkai Watch (2017), Kirakira☆Precure A La Mode (2017), Atom: The Beginning (2017), Sengoku Night Blood (2017), Overlord II (2018) and Yarichin☆Bitch-bu (2018).

Takuya Sato, Tsubasa Yonaga and Atsushi Abe @ Cardfight Vanguard’s new season announcement 2018

Sato is going to reprise his role as Toshiki Kai in the new season of Cardfight Vanguard, announced in the first quarter of 2018. The previous seasons are currently re-airing on AbemaTV.

Radio

Takuya Sato and Tsubasa Yonaga – Stand up! Our Vanguard (2011)

Sato has been active as a radio host since 2011. From 2011 to 2014, he hosted 5 different radio shows related to Cardfight Vanguard: Stand Up The Vanguard (2011 – 2014), Vanguard Capital (2011 – 2014), Vavan and Vanguard major episode! (2011 – 2012), Stand up! Our Vanguard (2011 – 2014) and Standing Van Sande (2012 – 2014). In 2015 he co-hosted Nornraji alongside Hiro Shimono.

Takuya Sato “Yaremasu” 2015

In the same year, Sato started to host his flagship show, Yaremasu. It was the first time he was the main personality as well as the first time he had a show of his own. The radio show has been airing since 2015 and was the catalyst for his solo debut in the same year.

“Wataru Hatano and Sato Takuya’s SCAT BABYS SHOW”

Wataru Hatano and Sato Takuya’s SCAT BABYS SHOW” kicked off in 2016. The rated R radio show is known for trailing risque/explicit themes without sugarcoating anything. Since its launch, the radio show has two awards under its belt. At the 3rd Aniraji Awards (2017), the show won “BEST SEXY RADIO” for a newcomer radio show. In the following year, at the 4th Aniraji Awards (2018), Sato and Hatano campaigned hard on their social media accounts in order for their show to win yet another award. The listeners answered their prayers and “SCAT BABYS SHOW” won “BEST SEXY RADIO” in the regular category (for already established radio shows).

Other radio shows Sato has hosted include: Magical Days the RADIO Parade (2016), Shirokuro Joker radio denpa kawaraban (2015 – 2016) and Sato Takuya no Manga Park (2018 – ).

Dubbing/Narration

Takuya Sato in 2017

This is the field in which he’s been consistently active. Since early on his career, Sato has always worked in dubbing foreign movies and TV series. Way before being known as a seiyuu, he was already well known as one of the best voices working for Discovery Channel. Dubbing and narration seemed to be good outlets to showcase his tone and he was making the best of it dubbing US and Korean series/movies, documentaries, commercials and more. He has over 100 credits in narration and dubbing alone.

Sato is the official voice of Yoon Shi-yoon, Jung Il-woo and Lee Seung-gi, popular South Korean actors, as well as the official voice of Kelly Blatz. He voiced Lee Seung-gi in the dramas “Brilliant Legacy”, “The King 2 Hearts” and “My Girlfriend is a Gumiho”. He voiced Yoon Shi-yoon in the dramas “King of Baking, Kim Takgu”, “Flower Boys Next Door” and “Me Too, Flower!”. He voiced Jung Il-woo in the dramas “Flower Boy Ramen Shop”, “The Night Watchman’s Journal” and “49 Days”.

He voiced Kelly Blatz in the series: “Skyrunners”, “Aaron Stone” and “Sonny With a Chance”.

His dubbing credits include the following movies and series (in no specific order): Kick Ass, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Twilight series, Armageddon 2011, Kiss of Death, Doomsday, Magic Mike, Superbad, Valkyrie, WITHOUT A TRACE, NCIS, CSI: New York, Supernatural, PERSON of INTEREST, Dexter, FRINGE, HAWAII FIVE-0, MAD MEN, among many others. For an extensive look at his dubbing credits we suggest you visit his wikipedia page – HERE.

Sato is well respected among other seiyuu due to his vast experience in dubbing.

He’s done some narration in the past but that is far from being his focus. Credits include voice guide narration for Kyoto Nation Museum’s exhibition “RINPA: The Aesthetics of the Capital”, “All You Need Is Kill” commercial and “Dragon’s Dogma” promotional game commentary movie.

Drama CDs

Takuya Sato in 2015

Sato is one of the most sought after seiyuu when it comes to drama CDs. From otome to BL and even rated work, he’s got an extensive repertoire that makes other seiyuu’s repertoires pale in comparison.

He’s perfected his technique with the dummyhead mic, being considered by many seiyuu in the business as a master when it comes to using it. He’s a constant presence in BL, being often named as one of the most popular seiyuu working in that genre.

His extensive repertoire includes work on drama CDs such as: Norn9, MARKER LIGHT-BLUE, WILD ADAPTER, Requiem of the Rose King, minami-ke, Namaikizakari, Kanji-kun to no issho, Senpai Kouhai series, Juuza Engi Engetsu Sangokuden, MAKARE, FLESH&BLOOD 8, Chocolate strawberry vanilla, Blue Sky Complex, Gelateria Super Nova, between many others.

Games

This is yet another field of work in which Sato has been active pretty much since his debut. His first work in games was for Class of Heroes in 2008. After that he progressed from 2 or 3 games per year to an average of 6 games per year ranging from RPG’s to otome and rhythm games.

Sato’s most important role in overseas games: Shay Patrick Cormac from Assassin’s Creed Rogue

Some of his most notable work in games includes: Toya Masamune in Norn9 (2013 – 2016), Weiss in Record of Agarest War 2 (2010), Claude in Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection (2012), Haveluca in Arcadian’s Senki (2013), Machias Regnitz in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel I and II (2013 – 2014), Shay Patrick Cormac in Assassin’s Creed Rogue (2014), Toshiki Kai in Cardfight!! Vanguard (2014 – 2016), Amber in RE: VICE [D] (2014), Julius Chariowald in Kadenz Fermata Accord: Fortesimo (2014), Caesar Antonio Zeppeli in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven (2015), Benwick in Tales of Berseria (2016), Masashi Todo in Getsuei no Kusari -Sakuran Paranoia- (2016), Mamon in Maou sama wo Produce (2018), between many others.

In 2015, Sato joined the cast of IDOLiSH7, smartphone game that combines rhythm game and visual novel elements. He was casted as TRIGGER‘s Ryunnosuke Tsunashi, member known for his dancing skills and sexy aura. He actually acts like an older brother to everyone in the series, showing that he’s far more than what his idol persona shows.

The IDOLiSH7 franchise grew to be one of the most popular in Japan, with over 2 million app downloads under its belt, with successful manga, novel and anime adaptations, additionally almost all their music releases have reached top 10 on Oricon Weekly and even managed to beat and set records in the business.

He reprised his role as Ryunnosuke Tsunashi in 2018’s IDOLiSH7 Twelve Fantasia!.

Winter troupe (Takato is the 2nd from the left)

Two years later, in 2017, Sato joined the now insanely popular franchise, A3!. Changing the focus from idols to stage actors, this game easily attracted a lot of fans and within its first year, even scoring a certified Gold Record for their first ever music release. A3! is played by over 1 million users and is currently considered to be one of the hottest game/music franchises in Japan. Sato was casted as Tasuku Takato, passionate member of the Winter Troupe.

In 2018, Sato was announced as one of the cast members for the upcoming game “On Air“. This seiyuu nurturing game will feature units – not confirmed if there are going to be any music releases -, his character Kisaki Chihiro is part of Prid’s. The game is scheduled for release in 2018.

Music

Set Sail promotional photo (2015)

Takuya Sato made his solo debut in 2015 under Frontier Works with the single “Set Sail“. Embracing a pop-rock sound was something that seem to be befitting his vocals and personality, and fans were rather satisfied with it. Even though the single didn’t end up sounding like most people wished it would, the collection of pop-rock songs on it served as a good starting point for his solo career.

In 2016, Sato was back with new music. Starry sign” changed a bit the tone for his career and took him to funkier and more entertaining melodies. The single kicked off rather weakly and, if not for its build up in emotion between songs, as well as the stunning performance in the power ballad “桜の季節に“, this release would have been one to pretend it had never happened.

Changing gears once again, bringing the whole rock band entourage to the spotlight, Sato released “HEART” by the end of 2016. The mini-album brought to the table some of the most exciting and rocking songs in his repertoire with “I wish” and “Excited Ruler“. It also surprised everyone with his first take on an R&B ballad with “Dear“.

The mini-album started to show a more comfortable Sato, now finding his common ground in pop-rock but never forgetting to bring something different to the mix either to tone things down or showcase his polished vocals.

2017 was Sato‘s busiest year when it came to releasing music. He graced his fans with three releases: “36,8º C, “DAY & NIGHT” and “Monologue“.

The year kicked off with “36,8ºC“, a single that once again strayed away from Sato‘s debut rock sound, including bright pop and jazz on it. Once again, the mini-album kicked off with some hiccups, with a song that clearly didn’t fit with Sato‘s vocals, but it picked up its pace as we progressed through it. The mini-album had its moments of brilliance, especially on “氷解”, song that brought, for the first time in his solo career, a power ballad to the table. His performance was off the charts on that specific song, impressing everyone that got to listen to it. This specific performance still remains as one of the best in his career.

2017’s summer introduced everyone to Sato‘s best release to date, “DAY & NIGHT“. This mini-album upped the quality of the instrumentals, displayed a surprising consistency from start to finish, something that his releases up until then had lacked, and showed everyone why he’s considered by some as one of the powerhouses in the business. This mini-album ranged from laidback summery tunes with “distance“, to 90’s throwbacks with “恋花火“, anisongs with “Burning Wheel” and hyped up, pop-punk tunes with “My salvation” and “WORLD END“. Its diversity and consistency were sure-fire winners.

By the end of 2017, Sato was back with a new single. “Monologue” showcased a maturity that, up until then, was lacking in his releases. Carefully crafted instrumentals, unique soundscapes and the most consistent vocal performances to date were all in the same release. More than with previous releases, fans could notice that Sato was performing the kind of music he likes, delivering effortlessly good performances and embracing rock music, even if with some experiments in the mix.

The most surprising experiment was indeed, 千夜一恋 ~senya-ichiren, song that introduced a mix of middle eastern with Latin instruments, that had never been experimented with in his solo career. This song was first premiered at KENPROROCK 2017‘s event (watch preview of the performance in the video above).

TRIGGER

TRIGGER

Since 2015, Sato is, alongside Wataru Hatano and Soma Saito, part of TRIGGER, unit from the IDOLiSH7 franchise. This is undoubtly Sato‘s most popular endeavor in the music business.

Considered by many as one of the most complete 2.5D groups currently in the business, this unit’s teamwork and want to improve is something that impresses on record. The concepts of “flawed” and “soulless” are not present in their music/performances. For those that listen to their songs, it’s easily understandable that the unit has fun performing their songs. There’s a sense of unity as well as competition when it comes from their performances – TRIGGER‘s story aside. There’s a chemistry between all three seiyuu that makes them a unit to anticipate with each comeback, as they keep further improving their performances and quality.

When it comes to a live setting, fans will have to wait to see their first ever live performance this summer.

TRIGGER are known for their suggestive lyrics and addictive, powerful electro/synth-pop sound, something that, right from the start, fit well with Sato‘s low toned vocals. Doing a little bit of everything – vibrato, falsetto, harmonizations -, he’s an essential piece to make this duo sound as impressive as they do. According to Sato himself during 2017’s Secret Night live broadcast, he’s always the first one to record the vocals for TRIGGER‘s songs leaving the task of recording after and beating his performances to the “81 (produce) team“.

TRIGGER (Wataru Hatano, Soma Saito and Takuya Sato) @ Secret Night event in 2017

Sato has mentioned more than a couple of times that he loves TRIGGER and its members (with whom he quickly became friends or was already a friend of), saying that the unit has the best lineup he could think of and he is incredibly proud of them.

The unit debuted with the single “Secret Night” in 2015 and released a music video for the suggestive “Leopard Eyes“. The single remained for 32 weeks straight on Oricon Weekly’s top 100.

After a series of successful single releases (physical and digital ones), TRIGGER went a bit under the radar, only to return with new music 11 months later, in August, 2018. They released the top charting and record setting 1st full-length album “REGALITY“.

Regular edition

REGALITY“ is currently the holder of the “Highest Ranking album on Oricon by a seiyuu/2.5D unit” title. This feat was all over the news in Japan (Oricon, Billboard, Animate Times and more) as well as overseas, celebrating the rare feat that had never been achieved in the seiyuu business, a #1 on Oricon Weekly. When Sato got a hold of the news, he quickly thanked everyone on Twitter for making such an impressive feat possible for them.

TRIGGER‘s “DAYBREAK INTERLUDE” was the chosen track to promote this album, with a music video being released at the same time as the album.

The album has an impressive record on Oricon, staying on the Weekly Charts for 23 weeks straight without leaving top 100.

The trio was on the cover of Cool Voice in 2018, issue in which they shared their thoughts on the series, the success of “REGALITY“, expectations for the first live event (to take place at Met Life Dome in July) as well as their thoughts on the on-going anime series. This was the first time the trio promoted (physically) as TRIGGER under their own names (not the characters’), officially transforming this unit from a 2D idol to a 2.5D idol group.

Still in the same year, TRIGGER released their second single “Heavenly Visitor / DIAMOND FUSION“, another single that entered top 10 on Oricon Weekly.

TRIGGER are one of the few 2.5D units to have all their singles/albums rank within top 10 on Oricon Weekly.

EXIT TUNES PRESENTS ACTORS

Sato is one of the various seiyuu to have joined the EXIT TUNES PRESENTS ACTORS franchise. The ACTORS series is has drama CDs and albums in which seiyuu tackle known vocaloid songs.

In 2017, Sato took part in the ACTORS special event – that included talk and variety corners as well as live performances -, when prompted to sing he went beyond what was expected and delivered a flawless performances for “上弦の月” and “永遠花火“.

A3! Winter Troupe

Winter troupe

Sato is part of the popular franchise A3!. He was announced as part of the game’s lineup in 2015 (when the game launched), joining the Winter Troupe led by Atsushi Tamaru that initially (Satoshi Hino was added later) included Tetsuya Kakihara, Junta Terashima and Toyonaga Toshiyuki.

So far he has performed “to bloom…” alongside the Winter Troupe members and the solo song “Beyond the wall“, featured on A3! First WINTER EP, released back in 2017.

Kenpro

In 2017, Sato participated in the recording of KENPROROCK 2017‘s theme song “VOICE FOR YELL“. A music video was later released on Ken Production’s youtube channel.

KENPROROCK is a music festival counting only with Ken Production’s talents, some of its talents include: Kisho Taniyama (GRANRODEO), Mitsuki Saiga, Atsushi Abe, Tsubasa Yonaga, Yuu Hayashi (SCREEN mode), Takuya Sato, Tasuku Hatanaka, Katsuyuki Konishi (Seki to Konishi) and more. It is held annually.

Nacht

It was announced early in 2018 that Sato would be joining the lineup of the idol raising game “Maou sama wo Produce“. Additionally, Sato was to be part of the main idol group Nacht.

Nacht consist on Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Daisuke Namikawa, Daisuke Hirakawa, Tasuku Hatanaka, Takuya Sato, Daisuke Hirose and Junichi Suwabe. They are going to debut in May with the single “Shoot the Stars“.

Rock Down

In 2017, Sato joined Tsukipro‘s new project, VAZZROCK. Alongside Yukitoshi Kikuchi (leader), Yoshiaki Hasegawa, Taito Ban, Takuya Masumoto and Keisuke Koumoto, Sato is part of Rock Down. So far there are no song snippets on Rock Down‘s music or even Sato’s take on the bi-color series. Rock Down are expected to perform live for the first time this October at VAZZROCK LIVE 2018.

Prid’s

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In 2018 Sato was announced as a member of Prid’s, unit from the upcoming smartphone game “On Air“. Prid’s consist on Ryohei KimuraTakuya SatoToshiyuki ToyonagaMark Ishii and Takeaki Masuyama and are labeled as the “top of the top unit“.

Variety

Tsurege

One of Sato‘s first ever variety show appearances was on Tsurege back in 2010. Alongside his senpai, fellow Ken Production talent and close friend Tsubasa Yonaga, both hanged out, drank and ate, all while sharing stories and playing retro games.

Tokimeki Recipe (With Tsubasa Yonaga)

Quite possibly the first time Sato was part of a variety show was with Tokimeki Recipe back in 2011.  27 year-old Sato wasn’t alone though, Tsubasa Yonaga was there to make his nervousness – quite noticeable in that recording -, turn into something enjoyable for himself. The duo had to participate in a series of games and challenges to gain ingredients with which they then had to cook a certain dish. Both showcased their chemistry – result of years of training together as well as overlapping anime appearances (Cardfight Vanguard at that time).

Vanguard TV TRY

Vanguard TV TRY – Takuya Sato and Shuuta Morishima

In 2014, Sato was one of the hosts of the TV show “Vanguard TV TRY“, show that stemmed from the Cardfight Vanguard anime series. The show aired from February, 2014 to March, 2014.

8bit BROTHERS

In 2014, Sato co-hosted with Wataru Hatano the exclusive Nico Nico show 8bit BROTHERS. On this show the duo revisited retro games in what ended up a thoroughly entertaining show that ended up running for one year.

Yusa Koji & Sato Takuya’s Tabikatsu 

Yusa Koji and Takuya Sato 2016

Going on trips to find new delicacies, learn new cooking techniques, visit new places pretty much sums up Yusa Koji & Sato Takuya’s Tabikatsu‘s episodes, ones that are always laidback and stress-free. The pair has released so far 2 DVDs from their visits to Nagano (2016) and Hokkaido (2017).

Takuya Sato’s Yujo Sentai Yobunja (2017 -)

If Sato mentioning that he likes sentai heroes wasn’t enough for his fans to understand his passion, he got his own varitety show in which he could be a hero, “Takuya Sato’s Yujo Sentai Yobunja

So far Yobuja has two DVDs released. The first volume counted with Wataru Hatano as a guest, and the second one counted with Atsushi Abe as the guest.

Real treasure hunt in Yokohama

In 2017, Takuya Sato participated on Marine Entertainment’s well known “Treasure Hunt” variety show. Alongside his best friend Kenji Akabane, Sato led their mocked black tracksuit team to success in Yokohama. The duo, despite being carefree most of the times, stopping their treasure hunt and problem solving to drink beer, managed to catch everyone off guard and coming from behind to win the event.

Sato‘s performance was rather surprising – especially when he doesn’t label himself as the smart type -, exuding quick thinking and logical problem solving that most of the other participants lacked in some stages of the game.

Maou Sama Produce (2018)

Alongside his kouhai and fellow Ken Production talent Tasuku Hatanaka, Sato hosts “Maou Produce“, youtube show broadcasted live once a month. The show was created to promote the android and iOS game “Maou wo Produce“, game that features several demons trying to make their breakthrough as idols.

The show, although still in its early stages, has a variety of corners but what stands out is the fun banter between senpai Sato and kouhai Hatanaka.

Nana maru san batsu variety (2017)

To promote the premiere of the quiz anime Nana Maru San Batsu in which Sato voiced one of the main characters, all cast of the anime got together to play against each other in a special three part quiz.

Although not as eccentric and loud as his character in the series, Sato demonstrated his general knowledge, helping his team qualify for the finals and ultimately win the contest.

Ibakira TV (2018)

In a partnership between the youtube channel Ibakira TV and the game franchise Touken Ranbu, Sato got to visit the Tokugawa museum and dive a bit into its history.

Through this show fans got to know a little bit of the story behind the legendary sword Shokudaikiri Mitsutada, its origin, owner and importance in Japanese history.

AbemaTV Anime channel “Seiyuu to Asobi” (2018)

Alongside Tomokazu Seki, Sato is hosting AbemaTV’s Anime channel show “Say you to yo asobi” every Friday since April. The show includes all kinds of talk seiyuu life as well as other special goodies for their fans however, their broadcast goes the extra mile and adds NSFW contents in the mix, a source for a lot of laugh from both Abema‘s staff as well as the fans. Seki, although the eldest, is uncontrollable during their broadcasts, mentioning brand names without the well know auto-censoring (mentioning only the initials), touching upon NSFW themes and insisting on those while Sato was, initially trying to avoid those.

Eventually their broadcast turned into one of the messiest and most hilarious out of the 5 days. Also the most dangerous and risqué of all. Sato has turned into the model or, should we say, the victim in all instances of the “let’s tie up” corner.

Episode 1

Everyone, this is what a seiyuu does: be tied up by their senpai.

Random Facts

Known among seiyuu for his gentle, deep voice

For several occasions seiyuu have mentioned how great of a voice Sato has. On Hoseki Gaoka‘s broadcast in 2018, upon hearing the name “Takuya Sato” in the game’s cast, Ryohei Kimura immediately said “Good casting. Sato has a great voice.

On Fuburaji in 2018, while Yoshiki Nakajima and Yusuke Shirai were discussing the latest rankings for most popular seiyuu in BL, both came to the conclusion upon finding Sato occupying #7, that his smooth, deep voice is a fan magnet, that even managed to attract them.

Passionate Bodybuilder and health junkie

Takuya Sato and Daisuke Ono at Norn9’s event in 2014

Most of his fans already know this but Sato is passionate about bodybuilding, something he has been doing since 2012. He constantly updates his fans on his gym work. On one Norn9 event in 2014 in which he was the MC, the “body” topic came to all the guests’ attention. Sato, questioned by the cast about the theme confidently said “How do you think I have such a nice body? I play baseball and exercise.“, only to, a couple of minutes after, regret what he’d said and suddenly humble his speech in the middle of his embarrassment.

On TRIGGER‘s “Secret Night” special broadcast back in 2017, Sato mentioned that he likes to exercise but not only that of gym goers. He likes to play baseball, bouldering, kitesurf, cycling, anything that pushes his body and himself further. He mentioned that he likes to be active and move his body.

In 2018, when guesting on Tomoaki Maeno and KENN‘s Girls Style show – broadcasted on Nico Nico and Youtube -, Sato mentioned that he has been constantly gaining weight and exercising in the past few years but now, after bulking up, he’s determined on working towards having a V shaped torso by the end of the year.

On AbemaTV’s Anime Channel he mentioned that he doesn’t smoke (as a matter of fact, he hates the smell of cigarettes to the point that he forbade Tomokazu Seki of smoke on air next to him) and, despite loving to drink beer, among other alcoholic beverages, he has recently been cutting back on drinking anything alcoholic – although with some exceptions. According to himself, as soon as he’s drunk he falls asleep or gets extremely sleepy so, in order to avoid that, he’s now opting to drink more often non-alcoholic beer because he mentions “I like the taste of beer regardless of having or not alcohol in it“.

Close friends with Tsubasa Yonaga

Takuya Sato and Tsubasa Yonaga @ Vanguard G Next Q4 Justification! Special Talk Stage in 2017

This comes as a no surprise for Sato’s fans. It is wildly known that Takuya Sato and Tsubasa Yonaga are close friends. Aside from the fact that both have worked on the same anime (Cardfight Vanguard, IDOLiSH7), are from the same talent agency (Ken Production) and have hosted a variety of shows together, both attended the same seiyuu school and quickly bonded during their trainee years. Sato mentions that Yonaga is his precious senpai, someone that is there for him – always with an advice or word of support.

Other close friends of his include Yuki Ono, Kenji Akabane, Wataru Hatano, Atsushi Abe and Koichi Yamadera.

Dummyhead mic master

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Since his debut, Sato has worked tirelessly on otome and rated drama CDs that use the complicated dummyhead mic in its recordings. Named by many seiyuu as one of the most complicated mics to work with – due to its 3D perception of space -, some avoid venturing to drama CDs while others attempt but never manage to deliver performances as the ones Sato delivers. When people got to see how he works with a dummyhead mic, most, if not all, were surprised with his technique.

#7 Most popular BL seiyuu in 2018

For those following closely Sato‘s career, you’ll notice that he’s everywhere when it comes to BL work. According to Yoshiki Nakajima and Yusuke Shirai (that have already worked with him in BL), Sato currently ranks a #7 most popular seiyuu in BL, behind Okitsu Kazuyuki (#1), Makoto Furukawa (#2), Tomoaki Maeno (#3), Shingaki Tarusuke (#4), Soma Saito (#5) and Yusuke Shirai (#6). Both mentioned on Nakajima’s radio show “Fuburaji” that they envied Sato‘s rank but, at the same time, it was to be expected since he’s a “talented actor with a great voice“.

If you weren’t a seiyuu what would you be?

To this question on AbemaTV’s Anime Channel alongside Tomokazu Seki, Sato answered that, in all honesty, he’d probably be an erotic novel author.

Has a quirk that up until recently, he didn’t knew about

Whenever Sato faces something unexpected and suddenly has to think about a way to solve a problem, he always does the same thing: stuck his tongue out. Sato mentioned that when he used to work as a part-timer at McDonalds, one of his superiors mentioned that he always did that. He mentioned that on AbemaTV Anime Channel‘s first episode, and surprisingly, during an unpredictable call by veteran seiyuu Koichi Yamadera, Sato did that exact same thing, with the show’s staff even highlighting it with close ups.

Afraid of heights

During the Real Treasure Hunt in Yokohama in 2017, Sato refused to go on one of the attractions saying he couldn’t handle heights. His pair for the variety show Kenji Akabane went in his stead in order to complete the mission.

Forever indebted to Koichi Yamadera

Takuya Sato and Kouichi Yamadera @ AbemaTV’s Seiyuu Asobi 2018

Sato mentioned that after his debut, he ended up in a slump. After 2, 3 years as a seiyuu, work aside dubbing wouldn’t come his way. He wanted to work as a seiyuu for anime but there was seldom an opportunity for himself. That was, according to him, a time in which it was incredibly tough to put his name out there. Fellow Sendai native (from Miyagi as well) and respected seiyuu legend, Koichi Yamadera got to know about Sato‘s situation and started to invite him for radio shows and small parts in some anime he was in. He mentioned that it was Yamadera that gave a push to his career, a push he wasn’t expecting and to which he’s incredibly grateful, especially when it came from someone so important and well known as Yamadera himself.

With this we wrap up this month’s Seiyuu Digest. Don’t forget to check the Seiyuu Digest main page for updates on previous digests.

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