One of the few seiyuu that has been in the entertainment business for over 10 years, Yuto Uemura is a talented seiyuu that only has improved with time. A seiyuu that has made an effort to portrays different characters without sounding like another, Uemura is rarely found doing characters with the same personality traits.
KANJI: 上村 祐翔
BORN: October 23, 1993
OCCUPATION: seiyuu, radio personality, singer, actor
HEIGHT: 173 cm
As one of the young seiyuu in the industry, Uemura is a name not to forget. Having debuted in 2002 as a seiyuu, he has already been in the business over 10 years. Do not be mistaken, however, if you think Uemura‘s focus is strictly on anime. He has been prolific in many branches of the entertainment business since the start of his career.
Uemura‘s start in the seiyuu industry was followed by the first couple of roles as minor or supporting characters in anime. Much like any other seiyuu he needed to gain experience and get the attention of the fans in order to better his chances in this branch of the entertainment business. Unlike other fellow seiyuu in the same situation such as his – having debuted recently – Uemura‘s first entry in his resume as a seiyuu came quick. In 2002, he was casted as Aro and Black Ghost in Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier. Despite the aforementioned roles having been supporting, it was the perfect opportunity for him to rack up his experience and improve his performance.
Even with all that said, it is true that Uemura‘s career kicked off on a rather good note, but in the following years were not as prolific as it one might’ve predicted. Following his initial built up momentum, though little, between his debut and 2013, Uemura reduced his appearances in anime quite considerably. Through that span of over 10 years since his debut, and aside from his first role, he solely counted with a handful number of roles, of the which all were once again supporting or minor.
Other anime include names such as Zipang (2004), MONSTER (2005), Michiko to Hachin (2008), Gatchaman Crowds (2013) and Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku (2013).
Picking up the pace
After his first years in the industry, Uemura seemed to be picking up the pace and his roles became more frequent. In 2014, the anime adaptation of the game Kamigami no Asobi aired and Uemura played one of the gods in the cast, namely the God of the Moon, Tsukito Totsuka.
Totsuka is considered to be a young and good looking boy which seldom show his emotions and often as not appears to not be interested in others, be it people or not. He is also supposed to have a strong sense of duty, therefore enabling him to think of school as a task he ought to perform with no issues nor difficulties. Kamigami no Asobi was praised by the fans for a good performance by the seiyuu and good visuals and the characters designs were rather appealing for the majority. While others, claimed that several characters’s personalities were clearly cliched and which took away the surprise element of unexpected personalities and the never seen before element that so many enjoy.
In the seiyuu industry it is easy to be stuck to one type of character, specially so if the fans enjoy watching the seiyuu play a certain archetype of character. This struggle, however, is meaningless when it comes to Uemura that has been doing his best to not be typecasted.
With the last main character he had played at the time, perhaps fans were expecting him to play it safe a choose a similar one, but instead Juugo in Nanbaka came around. The comedy anime aired back in 2016 and Uemura played the main character, that aside from constantly attempting to escape prison has a rather goofy and childish personality, a rather huge front that hides the perturbed mind of Juugo whose past still haunts him. Still, when we mention the fact that he tries to escape prison, his skills to unlock any lock make the task rather easy for him. Alongside the other cellmates of Cell 13, this anime is full of comic moments with the all the characters, be it for misunderstandings or simply by pure stupidity, Nanbaka that lives up to its name and plot.
If one thinks about it, 2016 was one of Uemura‘s most prolific years. After Nanbaka, he was casted as Kazuna Masunaga, the leader of MooNs and one of the main characters in the B-Project anime in both seasons. Masunaga is the ultimate embodiment of the prince type of character. He has the refined and good looking features, he is kind and a perfectionist at his core. As a member that often has to control the others, Masunaga has learnt to deal with others and to fix issues like no other.
After the prince like type of character, Uemura jumped to a completely different role in Bungou Stray Dogs as Atsushi Nakajima. As a sort of an outcast, Nakajima‘s name comes from the actually Japanese author and so does his ability to transform into a white tiger. In fact, if one pays some attention to the names of the other characters in the cast, one will understand that the vast majority are names of important authors of several different eras. Nakajima is a character that strays away from others played by Uemura, though it does not escape some cliches., such as the main character that at first is powerless but later on reveals sometime of strength that helps him gain some degree of confidence in himself. Regardless of that, Uemura has played the character in all the seasons and even in the movie that aired in 2018, Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple.
One of the most hyped anime in 2018 was Darling in the FranXX. As Hiro, Uemura played the main character in the anime. Once again, he played a character that escaped the archetype of others he had previously played so far. As far as the anime goes, many of those who watched it have mixed reviews, as some really enjoyed and others not so much. All in all, Uemura‘s performance as the main character Hiro was praised by some as they mentioned scenes in which the seiyuu manage to put the character’s feelings into words.
Still in the prolific year of 2018, Uemura played yet another main character in anime, this time around in Sirius as Yuliy. As the main character, Uemura is playing an unusually serene man, which has a sort of revenge agenda against vampires that have destroyed the village he used to live in. In order to do so, he carries around an instrument and pursues his vendetta like so. Sirius was praised by some as it strayed away from the cliches usually found in anime with vampires involved.
Furthermore, in late 2018 Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru aired. The sports anime has been another opportunity to showcase his diversity when it comes to roles and the personality of the characters. In the anime, Uemura plays one of the Jou twins, namely Jirou. As more of a goofy character that is easily deceived when his desires are involved, Jirou, as well as his brother, as one of the source of comic relief as well as drama, as at moments they are the main cause to some issues that arise in the old apartment “Chikuseisou” where they live.
In 2019, Uemura is scheduled to appear in Vinland Saga as the main character Thorfinn.
Other anime in Uemura’s repertoire include names such as Mushishi Zouku Shou (2014), Aikatsu Stars! (2016), ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka (2017), THE REFLECTION (2017), Mahotsukai no Yome (2017), Boku no Hero Academia (2018), Captain Tsubasa (2018-2019), Boruto (2018), Sword Gai: The Animation (2018) and Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudoubu (2018).
Hosting radio shows with job of being a seiyuu and nowadays it is more than common for one to find seiyuu doing such job. Although we say that, it does not mean that all will engage in the task of hosting a radio show, be it solo or accompanied. At the same time, we can also say that it has become more of a trend to do so, as opposed to before. Uemura has both hosted and been a guest. Despite the fact that his entries in this branch of his career as a seiyuu not being more than a few, he has shown that talent is something he is not lacking.
Kamigami no Asobi Radio (2014-2015)
In 2014, Kamigami no Asobi got a radio show, hosted by Uemura and fellow seiyuu Toshiyuki Toyonaga. The show aired during a year, then eventually ended. However in 2015, a special Kamigami no Asobi in AGF2015 aired.
MAN TWO MONTH RADIO – Uemura Yuto no iu ttori (2016)
MAN TWO MONTH RADIO – Uemura Yuto no iu ttori essentially is a medium for one to see the good sides of Uemura as well as his skills, for instance there is a corner in which he more or less acts like a teacher, then there is another in which he learns manners as a young adult.
Bungo Stray Radio (2016-2017)
Since its first time airing back in 2016 up until 2017, Bungou Stray Radio aired every other week, with Uemura hosting the show with a different guest every time. Some of the guests were Mamoru Miyano, Kishou Taniyama and Junichi Suwabe.
Kiramune Presents Our Music Park (2017-)
Kiramune Presents Our Music Park is hosted by Uemura as well as the other members of SparQlew, Kiramune’s unit whose members comprise names such as Shun Horie, Shoya Chiba, Yuuya Hozumi and Takuto Yoshitaka. The episodes air twice a month. In the show, we can see how the unit has been growing as artists.
Dubbing appears to be a branch of the seiyuu industry in which Uemura invests quite some of his time. Some of his entries include names such as Garfield, King Arthur (2004), Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Ring as Aidan Keller, AI, Jurassic Park as Zach Mitchell, Spider Man 2, Collateral Damage, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Polar Express as Billy and Lord of the Ring.
Concerning Uemura‘s entries in the narration category of his repertoire, one can easily refer to his narration of several CMs of Bungo Stray Dogs as well a another for Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuitteiru. Aside from these entries, Uemura has been shy in this branch.
Acting has been one of the first endeavors Uemura has made when it comes to the entertainment business. Having debuted back in 1999, at the early age of 6, he has been prolific in this branch of the business ever since. Uemura’s debut role was for the TV show called Neighbors Laugh Secretly and although it was not a role with much air time, it certainly served as a starting point for him to launch his career as a child actor. Since then he has been keeping up with his momentum and every year Uemura had a role, even if minor.
In 2004, Uemura appeared in two episodes of Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger as Hikaru Hiwatari, little boy that is saved by one of the main characters. Although his air-time was short it was enough to see his talent and charisma.
Fast-forward to 2008 and Uemura appeared in Demon King as junior high school student. Once again his role was not the main one but he made sure to leave behind his good performance.
Most recently, Uemura has been cast as one of the main characters in Super Tuner. Alongside the other members of SparQlew, Uemura is part of the supernatural, mystery live-action drama.
If there is one thing that he has shown by being prolific is that Uemura really enjoys acting and whenever he has the opportunity he embarks on another adventure.
Some of the other TV show he has been casted in include names such as Life support ward 24:00 (2001), GOOD LUCK!! (2003), Diamond Girl (2003) and Clouds of Sakanoue (2009).
If on one hand Uemura is extremely passionate about acting, on the other hand, it does not surprise us that he has also taken his first steps in stage acting quite some time ago. Some of his work include names such as Richard III, A Christmas Carol and Acupuncturist.
If Uemura is prolific is several branches of the entertainment industry is something that by now the majority has noticed, however truth is that statement is not fully correct. Drama CDs are not the main focus of Uemura‘s career, at least not for now. Currently his entries are resumed to two, one of them in the released drama CDs of Bungo Stray Dogs as he reprised his role as Atsushi Nakajima; the other entry is in Five Stars Prince.
Uemura might’ve been rather prolific in other branches of the entertainment business, but when it comes to him actually keeping up with the initial momentum in his endeavors, Uemura has not been the best at it. When it came to his participation in games, he has been on a slightly different note, primarily due to the fact that his first role in this branch of the industry dating back to 2013, so his repertoire is as expected more compact.
Kamigami no Asobi (2013) was Uemura‘s first work. While playing Tsukito Totsuka, one of the several gods present in the game. He also reprised his role in Kamigami no Asobi InFinite (2016).
It was not until 2015 that Uemura would get on the rhythm games train as he got cast as Hinata Sakuragi in Yumeiro Cast, the youngest member in the theater troupe. Although slightly different from what many might’ve been used to, probably for the first time in a game Uemura was portraying a character which made him go the more child-like type of voice when it came to give Sakuragi life. Much like Uemura, the character he played was a child-actor, so there was a common point between the seiyuu and the character. Despite its popularity, the game, innovative in several aspects distinguishing Yumeiro Cast from other games in this industry full of rhythm games was closed in early 2019.
As years have passed Uemura’s endeavors in the game industry has certainly been stable, yet few are the roles he plays as a main character. For a seiyuu trying to become popular or maintaining its current situation, the more roles on gets or the more memorable characters he plays the better. Uemura, has been falling into a certain type of tendency of solely playing the main character of games that have anime adaptations or vice-versa, at least for the most part. Proof of that is his two entries in his repertoire as the main character of two games that came out in 2017. One of them is Bungo Stray Dogs in which he reprised his role as Atsushi Nakajima and the other in the smartphone rhythm game B-Project Muteki Dangerous as Kazuna Masunaga, the leader of MooNs.
Granted there is no issue whatsoever with Uemura reprising his roles in anime or game adaptations of previous projects he’s been involved with, in fact if one considers the fact that this situation might just be the catalyst to his boom in popularity then all the more reason not to be concerned about it. Looking at it from another perspective, this situation can also be interpreted in another way, namely that Uemura is stuck to characters that he has already played and is not getting enough roles as a main character, but when one takes into account that he has a considerably new career in the seiyuu industry it becomes apparent the fact that we are just seeing Uemura‘s first steps towards something better.
Most recently Uemura has been a part of the cast of Op8 ♪ as Kaname Chigiri one of Apeiron’s members, yet another smartphone rhythm game that is scheduled to be out in 2019. Lastly, Uemura is also cast in Tokyo Chronos as Kyosuke Sakurai.
Other entries in Uemura’s repertoire count with names such as Final Fantasy Agito (2014), Grand Fantasy Blue (2015), 100 Sleeping Princes & The Kingdom of Dreams (2015), Kingdom Hearts Key (2016), World Cross Saga (2016), Dream Collection (2018), IDOL FANTASY (2018), On Air! (2018) and Kingdom Hearts III (2019).
He’s a member of MooNs, unit consisting of himself, Showtaro Morikubo, Toshiki Masuda, Tetsuya Kakihara and Genki Okawa.
MooNs have performed live twice: B-PROJECT Kodou Ambitious BRILLIANT PARTY (2016) and B-PROJECT Summer Live 2018 – Eternal Pacific –.
Yumeiro Cast (2016-2019)
A part of one of the units in the Yumeiro Cast rhythm game, Uemura alongside Ryota Osaka, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Yuuki Ono, Natsuki Hanae, Tasuku Hatanaka and Yuu Hayashi sang several songs featured in game. With musical like approach to the unit’s “sound”, Yumeiro Cast had unique instrumental pieces and vocal performances that went hand in hand with the themes of the plays the characters performed in-game. With a diverse cast, this unit had all the right tools to success on the horizon. Unfortunately the game has ended distribution in the beginning of 2019.
Some of the releases featuring Uemura include names such as “Call Heaven!”, “PERSONA + MYSTERY”, “SKY BEATER”, “HOT CHORD CRISIS”, “Last Lonely Christmas” and “Melancholic Legacy”.
SparQlew, consisting of Uemura, Shun Horie, Shoya Chiba, Yuuya Hozumi and Takuto Yoshitaka debuted in 2018 and so far Kiramune’s latest unit has been prolific. So far the unit has release an album, Bring it on!, which got #1 on iTunes’ chart and has a single scheduled to be released in 2019. The group has also a live scheduled for this summer, sung the opening theme for Super Tuner.
Real treasure hunt in Yokohama (2017)
In 2017, Uemura participated on Marine Entertainment’s well known “Treasure Hunt” variety show. Alongside fellow seiyuu Ryota Osaka, the duo were quite the comic pair, although the funny moments laid on the fact that instead of being worried about solving the mysteries, the two of them seemed to be on a date, eating ice-cream and enjoying the view. While all the other groups where frantic, running from one spot to another, they were doing their thing at their own pace.
All things considered, the Uemura and Osaka duo did pretty good, specially when thinking that they took their sweet time in solving all the tasks.
Bungo Stray Dogs Blu-ray & DVD bonus (2016)
In the DVD bonus, Uemura’s episodes with Miyano and Taniyama were by far the most comic of them all. Between Miyano’s eccentric behavior just like his character, the constant search for an opportunity to use Uemura’s words so as to say that Uemura is a “Ningen Shikkaku” (a novel by Osamu Dazai), there were no moments to recover one’s breath from laughing so much.
Now, if with only Miyano the situation went out of control really fast, Taniyama just added more problems to the table. On a continuous banter and follow-up with Miyano, the both joined forces to make Uemura unable to control them.
Uemura went to college to be teacher, so naturally after graduating he has a teacher’s license. In a radio show he even has a corner in which he can be practicing his skills as someone who has studied to be a teacher.
That was it for this month’s Seiyuu Digest.