March 30 is Hayashibara Megumi-san’s birthday.
She debuted in the 1980s and since then, has played the main characters of various titles. In 2021, she is taking part in highly anticipated titles including “Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0: Thrice Upon a Time”, “Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet”, and “Shaman King”.
She is also active in other fields like a singer, radio personality, and essayist. Her new book, “Hayashibara Megumi no Zenbu Chara kara Osowatta Ima wo Ikinuku Chikara” (Hayashibara Megumi’s I Learned Everything from the Characters. The Strenght to Get Through Today), has been released last February. She wrote down how she faces the characters and the messages she received from them.
To celebrate her birthday, we at Anime!Anime! conducted the same readers’ survey as last year asking, “Who’s Your Favorite Character Voiced by Hayashibara Megumi-san?”. There were 275 votes during the survey period from March 15 to 22.
The voters were mainly female with a gender ratio of 70% female to 30% male, and the age range was widely spread with 30% under 19, 20% in their 20s, and 30% in their 30s.
■”Slayers” Lina keeps her top position for three consecutive years! Also, characters from 2021 titles made the list
1st place went to Lina Inverse from “Slayers” with roughly 26% of the votes.
“She’s strong, selfish, unreasonable, etc. But somehow, she’s full of cute charm, and that’s thanks to Megu-san’s voice,” “I’ve always been encouraged by Lina never giving up despite the adversity,” and “She’s called a shaman voice actor, but for Lina, I think she’s being herself. If it gets a remake, Lina would definitely be played by Megu-san,” are some of the comments pointing out how cheerful Lina gave them power.
There were also many comments referring to the song, “Hayashibara-san was also the singer for the ‘Slayers’ theme song. Lina, the song’s lyrics, and Hayashibara-san’s voice helped me become positive. It’s forever my bible.” The “Slayers Original Work Special Talk Show” that was held on March 27 was also a great success. The popular heroine kept her top position for three consecutive years.
Coming in 2nd was Haibara Ai from “Detective Conan” with roughly 24% of the votes, keeping her position from last year.
“She had a cold voice when she had just left the Organization, and recently she acts her age with a more cheerful voice. It’s amazing how she changes her voice as she keeps playing the character for so long,” “I love her regular cool personality, and the cute side of her which she shows once in a while gives me the butterflies,” and “I love both the usual mature way she speaks and the childishness that occasionally comes out,” are comments that show how fascinating the performance of a long-running role can be.
Ayanami Rei from “Neon Genesis Evangelion” took 3rd place with roughly 12%, moving up a position from last year’s 4th place.
She received comments like, “Ayanami is so fragile, she would be blown away by the wind, and Hayashibara-san’s voice perfectly portrays it!”, “I was glad to see the emotionless Ayanami Rei smile,” and “I was surprised by her unprecedented voice and performance.” There were also many fans who were touched by her performance in “Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0: Thrice Upon a Time”, which is currently in theaters.
■Here are some comments for other characters!
For Christina Mackenzie from “Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket”, “She’s a rare female Gundam pilot in the Universal Century saga who isn’t the protagonist of the show, which makes her a special character. I think she’s an amazing female who has both kindness and strength within.”
For Rokudou Rinne from “Rin-ne”, “She also played the re-incarnated Ichigo-chan, who was cute, and she was also cool as the legendary death god.”
For the boy from “Dragonball Z”, “I remember the pureness of the boy who had his eyes fixed by Majin Buu and how he accepts everything happening to him touching my heart. When I saw that he was played by Hayashibara-san, it made complete sense.”
There were also votes for Kyouyama Anna from the new anime “Shaman King”, which starts in April, “I love the strong-willed girls played by Hayashibara-san. I’m so happy to be able to meet her again in spring!”
In the 2021 survey, Lina still is very popular, but there were also several characters from new titles making the list.
[Who’s Your Favorite Character Voiced by Hayashibara Megumi-san? 2021 Edition]
1. Lina Inverse “Slayers”
2. Haibara Ai “Detective Conan”
3. Ayanami Rei “Neon Genesis Evangelion”
4. Kyouyama Anna “Shaman King”
5. Saotome Ranma “Ranma ½”
6. Musashi (Jessie) “Pokémon”
7. Shinobibe Himiko “Mashin Hero Wataru”
8. Natsume Atsuko (Nuku Nuku) “All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku”
8. Pai “3×3 Eyes”
8. Rokudou Rinne “Rin-ne”
(Voting Period: March 15-22, 2021)
※This survey was held to investigate the readers’ “interests and attention towards current anime titles and characters”. The results should not be used to determine the supremacy of characters and titles. We hope this article will help you find new anime/characters and deepen your understanding of them.