Voice actors helped shape the entertainment industry. All gaming, animation, and live-action works wouldn’t be the same without these actors’ incredible efforts. Each video game character, from Square Enix’s Sora to Street Fighter’s Ryu, is given a unique voice to help them stand out.
We’ve heard and compared tons of video game characters from multiple titles to give you our list of the best gaming voice actors. This article will discuss male actors from Japan.
As usual, we would love to hear your thoughts about our picks in the comments below.
Miyu Irino is a Japanese voice actor and singer who played many characters during his lifetime. While many people know him for his roles in anime like A Silent Voice and Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, others know him for his work in the Kingdom Hearts series. He’s known for playing that series’s trademark protagonist, Sora.
Outside of acting, Irino likes to share his musical talent with the world. In 2009, he released two albums called Soleil and Faith which garnered more attraction to this work. As of now, Miyu likes lending his voice to anime series when available and spending his time with his spouse. While Hailey Joel Osment is the west’s go-to Sora voice, eastern fans love the performance Irino gives off.
Hiroshi Kamiya is a talented voice actor, singer, and narrator. While many know him for his roles as Attack On Titan’s Levi Ackerman and One Piece’s Trafalgar Law, he’s played many notable characters from gaming series like Dragon Quest Heroes, Xenosaga, and Final Fantasy X. He’s known for playing introverted-themed characters.
This is because Hiroshi’s skilled at pulling off graceful performances with his voice. Besides voice acting, Hiroshi’s released many hit singles and albums and won multiple awards for himself. Some worth mentioning include the “Best Actor” award at the 3rd Seiyu Awards and the “Best Supporting Actor” at the 2nd Seiyu Awards.
He also hosts a radio show with a prolific voice actor named Daisuke Ono. With the current season of Attack On Titan vastly approaching, fans may want to steer clear of his performance as Levi.
Takehito Koyasu is a prolific voice actor known for his pleasant and sadistic voice. He specializes in anime but isn’t a stranger to video game voice acting. Some noteworthy roles under his belt include The King of Fighters’ Shingo Yabuki and Xenosaga’s Tony. Otherwise, he loves reprising his roles for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s Dio Brando in any games he crops up in.
In 1998, Koyasu founded a voice acting agency called T’s Factory where he assists new talent. He’s become such an inspiration to many voice actors. He even influenced his son Koki to follow in his footsteps. Koyasu has earned some awards over the years for his talent. In 2021, Koyasu won the “Best Actor in Supporting Role” award at the 15th Seiyu Awards. When he’s not voice acting, he spends his time writing novels and playing video games.
Tetsuya Kakihara is a wonderful Japanese voice actor and singer with his own agency. He’s known for playing iconic gaming characters like Danganronpa’s k1-B0, BlazBlue’s Jin Kasaragi, and Corpse Party’s Sakutaro Morishige. Kakihara specializes in voicing characters with fiery personalities and having an effect on everyone he meets.
Kakihara’s voice acting journey kickstarted thanks to devoting hours to Japanese entertainment. In 2001, he attended a vocational school to learn how to become a proper voice actor and worked part-time jobs to sustain himself. Due to his stellar performances in several anime and games before 2007, he got nominated for the “Best Male Newcomer/Rookie” award at the first Seiyu Awards.
Although Kakihara didn’t achieve victory, this motivated him to improve himself and get better at his craft. With great determination and drive, it’s no wonder he loves playing characters with similar ideals.
Junichi Kanemaru is another talented Japanese voice actor and singer. While he’s lent his voice to various anime-oriented projects in the past, he’s best known for voicing Sega’s mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog. He’s been voicing Sonic since 1998 and never gets tired of helping Sega out when they need it most.
Kanemaru wouldn’t get his first major role until 1991 as the Future GPX Cyber Formula’s character, Hayato Kazami. At the time, he was working as an English Tutor and ended up causing a ruckus with one of his students who discovered his role as Kazami. His phenomenal take on Kazami led to SEGA recruiting Kanemaru to become Sonic’s official voice actor.
Although he wouldn’t reprise the role in the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog film, Kanemaru assured his fans that he was okay with the decision. He’s a great voice actor with a huge heart of gold and is worth acknowledging for his incredible contributions
Joji Nakata is loved for his roles as Albert Wesker in Resident Evil, Sol Badguy in Guilty Gear, and Kazuya Mishima from Tekken. He voiced Kazuya in Tekken 1 and 2 and in the first Tekken Tag installment. He’s a known voice actor, actor, and narrator affiliated with the Office Osawa agency.
His experience with live-action dramas and voice dubbing caught Michiko Nomura’s attention. This individual suggested Nakata become a voice actor. It wasn’t until he compared the payment from both careers that he switched to becoming a full-time voice actor. Since then, he’s enjoyed lending his voice to various anime and video game projects.
He noted that his role as Hellsing’s Alucard was his favorite because he enjoys voicing merciless individuals. Considering he’s still voicing characters from titles like Octopath Traveler II and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, it doesn’t look like he’ll be ending his career anytime soon.
Akira Ishida is a great Japanese actor with several awards under his belt. He was chosen as the most popular voice actor in the Animage Anime Grand Prix in 2004. Ishia won the “Best Supporting Character” award at the 1st Sieyu Awards in 2007. He’s known for voicing anime characters like Gaara in Naruto and Katsura Kotarou in Gintama.
However, Akira has lent his voice to various video game projects. He’s voiced Kamisato Ayato in Genshin Impact, Byakuya Togami in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, and plans to voice Temenos Mistral in 2023’s Octopath Traveler 2. He’s known for having a compelling voice that’ll get anyone to stand at his side.
Another voice actor, actor, and narrator with an astonishing resume is Rikiya Koyama. He’s done work for many anime, video games, and Hollywood actors. His best-known roles are Yamato in Naruto Shippuden, Taiga Saejima in Yakuza 0, and Frank West in the crossover Capcom titles Marvel Vs Capcom and Project X Zone.
He adores voicing characters who are tall or have inhuman qualities like Fukuro in Fairy Tail and the Deep Sea King from One Punch Man. As for Hollywood actors, he’s the official dub-over artist for Kiefer Sutherland and George Clooney. However, he has dubbed many roles for Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, and Guy Pearce.
Koyama discovered his passion for voice acting in high school. He’d always call his folks and they’d mistaken him for his father due to Koyama having a commanding voice. This led Koyama to pursue theater in college and to make his acting debut at the Haizuya Theatre Company when he graduated. Whether he’s playing comical villains or kind-hearted individuals, Koyama likes to put on his best performance.
Capcom has produced many hit games over the years, but none can compare to the large following Street Fighter has. This game influenced many people to attend arcades to clobber their friends in epic fights. While Ryu’s the poster child for the franchise, Ken is just as significant as he is. Yuji Kishi is best known for giving the American fighter his incredible voice.
While Ken’s his most iconic role, Kishi’s acting journey wouldn’t start until he debuted in 1996’s Super Sentai series called Gekisou Sentai Carranger. He played the role of Kyosuke Jinai (Red Racer). He received so much praise for his performance in the series that it escalated in him obtaining more roles in anime and video games. With Street Fighter 6 on the horizon, it’s best to check out the game’s Japanese language setting to hear Kishi give it his all.
Kenjiro Tsuda is a profound Japanese voice actor, actor, narrator, and film director. He’s known for voicing many anime characters like Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh and Kishibe from Chainsaw Man. However, he has lent his voice to various gaming projects like Genshin Impact, Shin Megami Tensei V, Samurai Warriors V, and many others.
He’s best known for his desirable accent and alluring voice. He’s dabbled in radio and has narrated several television programs and commercials during his career. He’s claimed many awards for himself, too. At the 15th Seiyu Awards, he earned the “Best Lead Actor” award for his role as Akihito Narihisago in ID: Invaded. When he’s not acting or narrating for commercials, he likes to spend time with his wife and two children.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best male Japanese gaming voice actors!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!