Jun. 19 is “Recitation Day”.

It has been established by the nonprofit organization Nihon Rodoku Bunka Kyoukai (Japan Recitation Culture Association) as a wordplay of Ro(6)doku(19) in 2002. It's purposed tospread the art of recitation, and the association hold voluntary recitation events and recitation contests in mid-June.

Voice actors, who bring life to characters, also take part in recitation performances and audiobooks. We believe there are many fans who like their performance different from that of an anime.

Here at Anime!Anime! we have conducted the annual survey asking “Who's 'Recitation' Do You Want to Hear?” There were 810 votes received during the voting period from Jun. 7 thought Jun. 14. Most of the respondents were female with a gender ratio of 15% male to 85% female, and the age group was on the younger side with 35% under 19, and 25% in their 20s.

This is a report of the results for male voice actors.

■The ranking has changed from last year!
1st Place
1st place went to Ishida Akira-san with roughly 8% of the votes, moving up fro 3rd place.

“He speaks smoothly, has rich emotions in his voice, and can take on the role of both genders and a wide age range. He's performed many readings brilliantly and I hope to hear more,” and “With Ishida-san's recitation skills, the story is never monotonous and the scenes of the story become a clear image in my mind, making me feel as if I'm watching a play,” are comments that show how highly his skills are praised.
There were also comments from fans who have been to his recitation performance, “In the recitation of 'Little Red Riding Hood', he played the roles of both genders and a wide range of age from an old lady to a little girl. He has such a wide variety of voices.”

2nd Place
Coming in 2nd was Yusa Kouji-san with roughly 7% of the votes, moving up the ladder.

Fans fascinated by his performance commented, “Yusa-san has a convincing, unique, beautiful voice, but also his great performance is fascinating. His voice draws you into the story and makes you feel as if the character is there,” and “His performance is so amazing. I can imagine the scenes with detail just from his voice. How he uses his breath shakes my heart!” Some fans feel soothed by his voice.

3rd Place
3rd place went to Kamiya Hiroshi-san with roughly 5% of the votes. He couldn't keep his top position but he still is in the top 3.

He received comments, such as, “It's not just that the voice is easy to hear word for word, but it's also how he reads the lines making it sound even more profound. Hearing his live recitation performance gave me goosebumps, and it made me realize that voice actors are no doubt actors.”
Since he often reads the monologues in anime, some fans used specific characters as an example such as, “I like how he talks as Araragi-kun in the <Monogatari> series”, or “I'd love to hear his recitation in the gentle voice from 'Natsume's Book of Friends'.”

For the male voice actors, the top 5 were all taken by veteran voice actors with over 20 years of experience. Some of them have performed in recitations or have released a CD of them reading aloud, making their fans even more found of them.

■Top 20
1. Ishida Akira
2. Yusa Kouji
3. Kamiya Hiroshi
4. Sakurai Takahiro
5. Tsuda Kenjirou
6. Saitou Souma
7. Shimono Hiro
8. Kaji Yuuki
9. Seki Toshihiko
10. Furukawa Makoto
11. Matsuoka Yoshitsugu
12. Eguchi Takuya
13. Fukuyama Jun
14. Miyano Mamoru
15. Nakamura Yuuichi
16. Suwabe Junichi
17. Ono Daisuke
18. Sugita Tomokazu
19. Hanae Natsuki
20. Umehara Yuuichirou

(Voting Period: Jun. 7 to Jun. 14, 2020)