Seiyuu Spotlight: Kakihara Tetsuya

With arguably one of the most distinctive voices in the anime business, Kakihara Tetsuya is one seiyuu who is easily identifiable in any role. I decided to check out a little bit more about the man who voices one of my favourite Fairy Tail characters, but who’s popped up in several other well-known anime as well.

Kakihara Tetsuya

Kakihara’s first major role was voicing the main character Simon in the Gurren Lagann series. However, he is more recently well-known for voicing Fairy Tail’s Natsu Dragneel. Whilst Simon shows considerably more emotional development than Natsu does (or has so far), the two characters care about their friends to the degree that they would both place themselves in danger for their sake. Furthermore, they’re both prodigies when it comes to fighting and combat, albeit with very different styles in each anime. Whilst I’ve never seen Gurren Lagann, so I can’t comment on Kakihara’s voicing of Simon, I do know that his voice is perfect for Natsu’s mischievous, carefree, reckless character.

Simon and Natsu

L: Simon (Gurren Lagann) R: Natsu Dragneel (Fairy Tail)

Born on Christmas Eve, 1982, in Dusseldorf, West Germany, Kakihara Tetsuya actually moved to Japan at the age of 18. His dream was to become a seiyuu, and he’s done so exceptionally. You may also recognise him from some of his other notable roles, including Shin (Amnesia) (both the anime and game), Shino Inuzuka (Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East), and Dragon Ryuho (Saint Seiya Omega).

(L-R) RIn (Amnesia)

(L-R) Shin (Amnesia), Shino Inuzuka (Hakkenden), Dragon Ryuho (Saint Seiya Omega)

I also easily recognise Kakihara voicing loud-mouthed characters such as the Earth Demon King Amaimon in Blue Exorcist.  Other characters in a similar vein include Dog Days’ Gaul Galette des Rois, Yowamushi Pedal’s Toudou Jinpachi, and Log Horizon’s Rundelhaus Code. He also shows the ability to voice more sophisticated characters, such as Adolf K. Weismann in K, Kain Fuery in FMAB,  Sasuke Sarutobi in Brave 10, and Kou Sennoza in [C] . This is not a surprise given Kakihara’s real-life intelligence and sophistication. Kakihara attended the very prestigious Gakushuin University in Tokyo. This university was originally designed for, and attended by, members of Japanese upper nobility, particularly royalty. Most of the Imperial family have attending the university, including the current Emperor Akihito. Other alumni include Miyazaki Hayao and even a Chinese princess! Kakihara is also known for being fluent in several languages; apart from German and Japanese, he can speak English, Spanish, and Latin!

(Top, L-R)

(Top, L-R) Amaimon (Blue Exorcist), Gaul Galette des Rois (Dog Days), Toudou Jinpachi (Yowamushi Pedal), and Rundelhaus Code (Log Horizon). (Bottom, L-R) Adolf K. Weismann (K), Kain Fuery (FMAB), Sasuke Sarutobi (Brave 10) and Kou Sennoza ([C]).

Switching up his style again, Kakihara also voices several cold-blooded, psychologically twisted characters such as Jin Kisaragi in BlazBlue (games and anime) , Sakutaro Morishige in Corpse Party (games and anime), Kouha Ren in Magi, and Mercutio Marchege in Romeo x Juliet. That’s a lot of diversity!

(L-R)

(L-R) Jin Kisaragi (BlazBlue), Sakutaro Morishige (Corpse Party), Kouha Ren (Magi), and Mercutio Marchege (Romeo x Juliet).

If you haven’t recognised Kakihara Tetsuya from any of these anime, you may know him from his extensive video game, visual novel, or BL CDs career, as well as a whole host of minor character roles in other anime. Kakihara is also a solo singer, having released a couple of mini-albums. His songs features quite heavily in anime soundtracks; notably, his first single “String of Pain”, which was the ending song for Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East.

For a German-born Japanese boy who dreamed of becoming a seiyuu, I think it’s safe to say Kakihara Tetsuya has achieved above and beyond what he ever expected. A talented voice actor starring in a broad array of media and lending his voice to characters that differ in so many ways, Kakihara is one of my favourite seiyuu, and a voice I always look out for every anime I watch. I can only hope his career continues to prosper. Thank you for your hard work!

-S

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21 thoughts on “Seiyuu Spotlight: Kakihara Tetsuya

  1. My favorite voice actors/voice actresses are Hiroshi Kamiya, Takuya Eguchi, Maaya Uchida, Takahiro Sakurai, Saori Hayami, Yuki Kaji, Mikako Komatsu, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Risa Taneda, Ibuki Kido, Daisuke Namikawa, Ai Kayano, Yoshitsuga Matsuoka, and Yuichi Nakamura. Despite that, I have greatly enjoyed work by Tetsuya Kakihara! I love his voice in K for Adolf K. Weismann. Part of my love for that anime character was the voice. I liked Shino from the Hakkenden anime series and wow he also sang the ending theme song, String of Pain? Wow! I remember listening to that ending theme song many times when I had began the series. I’ll have to follow his work it seems.

  2. Well this is awesome! I have always loved Natsu but I have never thought his voice actor would be so awesome! Now I have some new information to go brag about.

  3. Pingback: Seiyuu Spotlight: MIKI Shinichiro | A Fandom of its Own
  4. Pingback: Seiyuu Spotlight: SHIRATORI Tetsu | A Fandom of its Own

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