Nov. 17 is Okiayu Ryotaro’s birthday!

Okiayu Ryotaro joined the talent agency Aoni Productions after graduating from Aoni Juku. He has been active in the voiceover industry ever since around 1990. In 2019 he starred in a wide variety of roles, including “Saint Seiya: Saintia Sho”, “ACTORS -Songs Connection-“, and “Babylon”. Besides his notable presence in anime, he has held various roles in video games, Japanese live-action films, and plays.

To celebrate Okiayu Ryotaro’s birthday, Anime! Anime! conducted the same survey as last year asking readers who is their favorite character played by him. Frometween Nov. 1 to Nov. 8, we received responses from 137 people. The ratio of men to women was 35% to 65%, the majority of responses coming from women. A wide range of age groups responded to this survey. Under 19 years old comprised about 30% of the responses, while readers in their 20s made up roughly 30%, and readers in their 30s made up roughly 20%.

■The top vote goes to Okiya Subaru from “Detective Conan”, whose true identity is…
Winning roughly 17% of the vote and ranking in 1st place is Okiya Subaru from Detective Conan, a boost from 3rd place in last year’s results.
Okiya Subaru is an engineering student at Toto University’s graduate program. He hid his true identity while living at the Kudo residence. Fans who voted for him mentioned Okiayu’s enigmatic performance, “loved how Okiayu portrayed his mysterious nature, making it hard to tell whether he was a foe or ally”; “despite acting as a kindhearted graduate student, he sometimes revealed his true self which made my heart race”. Others noted his surprising side as reason for his popularity. “I like seeing him cook or take care of the Junior Detective League, because
it’s so unexpected compared to his usual self”.

The runner-up is Tezuka Kunimitsu from “The Prince of Tennis”. About 10% ofthe readers voted for him, putting him in second place once again.
Tezuka is the captain of the Seishun Academy middle school tennis club. He has a stoic personality which is backed by fan comments. “He’s the backbone of the Seigaku tennis club. I love how polite and hard-working he is”; “he always remains calm and unfazed, and is tough on himself and his teammates”. Tezuka rarely smiles, so “when Tezuka smiled, it left an impression on me”. The moment he relaxed his face is an unforgettable scene in the Prince of Tennis fandom.

Third place is Franz Heinel from Future GPX Cyber Formula, gaining roughly 9% of the vote.
Franz Heinel is a driver in the racing game Cyber Formula and drives a vehicle that he designed himself. Fans stated “he’s highly intelligent yet aloof. Fussy but adorable. Okiayu-san played a huge part in making Heinel such a likable character!”

Fans also enjoyed the banter between him and his rival Jackie Gudelhian. “He showed some cute acting in the CD drama. His wide range of performance was memorable”; “the cassette drama made me laugh until I was in stitches”. This is an important role to fans as well since Heinel became Okiayu’s first recurring role.

■Other comments
Mitsui Hisashi, “Slam Dunk”: “Okiayu’s performance and voice perfectly captured Mitsui’s struggle when he strayed from the path and his passion for basketball!”
Treize Khushrenada, “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing”: “I liked him because even though he appeared and acted elegant and aristocratic, he also possessed a passionate side upholding his chivalric ideals to the end.”

Kuchiki Byakuya, “BLEACH”: “Byakuya is a cool and powerful brother who saves his adoptive sister Rukia with ease. I love how even though they’re not related by blood, they both have no artistic talent haha.”
Zenpoji Isaku, “Nintama Rantaro”: “despite living in a war-torn world, he’s a kind person who helps the sick and injured whether or not they’re friend or foe”; “I love Isaku-senpai’s kind voice, he’s like everyone’s big brother in Nintama!” Kind and caring characters also gained a lot of votes. Results show a wide variety of characters, from ‘90s classics to series currently airing.

■“Who is Your All-time Favorite Character Played by Okiayu Ryotaro?” 2019 edition
Top 20

1. Okiya Subaru ( “Detective Conan” )
2. Tezuka Kunimitsu ( “The Prince of Tennis” )
3. Franz Heinel ( “Future GPX Cyber Formula” )
4. Asahina Kaoru ( “Junjo Romantica” )
5. Nueno Meisuke “Nube” ( “Jigoku Sensei Nube” )
6. Zenpoji Isaku ( “Nintama Rantaro” )
7. Kuchiki Byakuya ( “BLEACH” )
7. Treize Khushrenada ( “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing” )
7. Furukawa Akio ( “CLANNAD” )
7. Matsuura Yuu ( “Marmalade Boy” )
7. Mitsui Hisashi ( “Slam Dunk” )
7. Lancelot ( “Fate/Grand Order” )
13. Kadonooji Satsuma ( “ACTORS -Songs Connection-” )
13. Kurei ( “Flame of Rekka” )
13. Saotome Ritsu ( “Star-Myu” )
13. Zero ( “Mega Man X” series)
13. Dymlos ( “Tales of Destiny” )
13. Toriko ( “Toriko” )
13. Fire Diver/Guard Diver ( “The Brave Express Might Gaine” )
13. Mach Windy ( “Shippu! Iron Leaguer” )

(Responses collected between Nov. 1, 2019 ~ Nov. 8, 2019)