Aug. 7 is Hirata Hiroaki-san's birthday.
He debuted as a stage actor in the 1980s. He expanded his career into voice acting and won Best Actor in Leading Role in the 6th Seiyu Awards.
In 2020, he takes part in titles such as the final chapter of “Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld” and “Pretty Cure Miracle Leap: A Wonderful Day with Everyone”.
We at Anime!Anime! have had an interview with him about “B: The Beginning!”, which was streamed worldwide in 2018.
To celebrate his birthday, we conducted a readers survey asking “Who's Your Favorite Character Voiced by Hirata Hiroaki-san?”. There were 116 votes received during the voting period from Jul. 22 to Jul. 29.
There were more female votes with the gender ratio at 35% male to 65% female, and a wide range of age groups responded with 20% under 19, 35% in their 20s, and 20% in their 30s.
■Dubbings of western films also made the list!
1st place was taken by Sanji from “One Piece” with roughly 25% of the votes, moving up a position from last year's 2nd place.
“He's a strong, cool, perfect cook, yet being a sucker for beauties makes him relatable,” and “Sanji-kun has his own code of never laying a hand on a woman even if it costs him his life. I love him because, at the end of the day, he's nice to men too,” show how he's popular for having a solid policy of his own.
He also received comments praising how he brings out the various sides of the character through his performance, such as, “I admire the expressiveness of Sanji performed by Hirata-san! The gap between him being cool and falling apart is amazing, yet he still has more faces like the recent O-Soba Mask. He never stops entertaining me!”
Coming in 2nd was Kaburagi T. Kotetsu from “Tiger & Bunny” with roughly 20% of the vote. He, unfortunately, dropped a position from last year.
“I was introduced to Hirata-san by this title. His ad-lib like natural delivery of lines were admiring, and he nailed it when he had to be sharp! He was awesome!” and “Kotetsu-san is comical and expressive. He has cuteness and passionate spirit while giving off a glimpse of the sexiness of a mature man. I think this perfect balance of the character was born thanks to Hirata-san's performance,” are comments he received for nailing the role of a middle-aged hero.
Let's look forward to his further success in the 2nd season “Tiger & Bunny 2”, scheduled for 2022.
3rd place went to Nanba Mutta from “Space Brothers” with roughly 10% of the vote, moving up from last year's 4th place.
Namba Mutta, who aims to become an astronaut, received comments such as, “He's already great in the original work, but Hirata-san's voice adds to the shine of Mutta. I'm looking forward to a new anime series,” and “Mutta reaches for his dream while having complicated feelings towards his younger brother Hibito, who has become an astronaut before him. I can't think of anyone else than Hirata-san to take on the role of such a character.”
Protagonists, relatively old for an anime, ranked in 2nd and 3rd place.
■Here are some comments for other characters!
For Sha Gojo from “Saiyuuki”, “The compassionate and very humanly dialogue of Sagojou, Sanzou, Goku, and Hakkai gives you the sense of the friendship between the four and the history of the work.”
For Benny from “Black Lagoon”, “The mix of nihilism, compassion, and sorrow in his lines were amazing. This is his masterpiece.”
For Klein from “Sword Art Online”, “I respect him for leading the guild through the death game without letting any of the members dying. I think it's his character that let him be Kirito's friend, who sometimes laughs with him and other times warns him.”
Just like last year, there were many votes for characters from western films and TV shows, such as Arthur Fleck (played by Joaquin Phoenix) from “Joker”, “His voice matched the different type of evil charisma from 'Dark Night',” and “Everything about it was awesome, and I was amazed by the dubbing.”
[Who's Your Favorite Character Voiced by Hirata Hiroaki-san? 2020 Edition]
1. Sanji “One Piece”
2. Kaburagi T. Kotetsu/Wild Tiger “Tiger & Bunny”
3. Nanba Mutta “Space Brothers”
4. Klein/Tsuboi Ryoutarou “Sword Art Online”
4. Sha Gojo “Saiyuuki”
4. Jack Sparrow “Pirates of the Caribbean” Series
8. Arthur Fleck (played by Joaquin Phoenix) “Joker”
9. Ghastly Garçon “Kaidan Restaurant”
9. Kenren Taishou “Saiyuuki” Series
9. Danny Messer (played by Carmine Giovinazzo) “CSI: New York”
9. Chuuzenji Nakahiko (Kyougokudou) “Mouryou no Hako”
(Voting Period: Jul. 22 to Jul. 29, 2020)