September 7 is Takahashi Hiroki-san’s birthday.
After he debuted in the 1990s, he has been playing a variety of roles, including the main characters of “Hetalia: World★Stars” and “Dakaichi: Spain Arc” in 2021.
He is also active in dubbing for western movies and overseas dramas as well as anime. He is voicing Prince Robert in the Amazon’s original movie “Cinderella”.
To celebrate his birthday, we conducted a readers’ survey, “Who is your favorite character played by Takahashi Hiroki-san?”. There were 725 votes during the survey period from August 23 to 30.
For the gender ratio, the females were the majority with about 90% while the males were about 10%. For the age distribution, we received the majority of responses from readers of young ages: about 45% were teens, and about 25% were in their 20s.
■Top 2 went to the works that released the latest title in 2021!
1st place went to Saijo Takato “Dakaichi: I’m Being Harassed By the Sexiest Man of the Year”. The support rating was about 26%.
Saijo Takato is a veteran actor that had ever been nominated for the “Sexiest Man of the Year” for 5 years in a row. The readers said that his expressions that he only shows to his partner Azumaya Junta are attractive, and left comments such as, “Saijo is a talented actor that has been active at the forefront until now in his late 20s since he was a child actor. Takahashi-san’s performance is so wonderful that I can feel that natural. Even though Saijo is clumsy and doesn’t have the ability to live on his own, he looks even adorable thanks to Takahashi-san’s performance”, and “I like the gap between Saijo’s cool side as an actor and cute side that he sometimes shows. Hiroki-san’s sexy voice perfectly matches Saijo Takato!”.
“Dakaichi: Spain Arc” will be premiered on October 9, 2021. Many fans seem to have high expectations for the story set in Spain, which is Azumaya Junta’s home country.
2nd place went to Japan from “Hetalia: Axis Powers”. The support rating was about 16 %.
“Hetalia” is a popular series that made various countries into characters. The received comments include “Japan has a cute visual, but Takahashi-san’s low voice makes him super cool. That is amazing”, and “Takahashi-san’s calm voice matches the modest character”. Some reader mentioned Takahashi-san’s unexpected skill, saying “Takahashi-san used to learn traditional Japanese dance, which is also perfect for the role as Japan”.
3rd place went to Itsuki Shu from “Ensemble Stars!”. The support rating was about 15%.
Itsuki Shu is a leader of the unit Valkyrie. The readers admired how Takahashi-san perfectly pulled off a difficult artistic character, saying “Takahashi-san’s voice perfectly matches the perfectionist artist character. I like him sometimes ventriloquizing using Mademoiselle”, “The character doesn’t stay the same throughout the stories, but Takahashi-san perfectly pays Itsuki Shu moment to moment. Only Takahashi-san can bring out this character’s charms”.
■Let’s introduce other comments!!
Kikumaru Eiji “The Prince of Tennis”
“The character speaks in a genuine and cheerful voice, which I cannot imagine from Takahashi-san’s natural voice. However, he plays such character with rich expressions, and even sings his character songs. I admire Takahashi-san.”
Tsukumo Ryo “Idolish7”
“Tsukumo speaks in an appalling voice when he is scheming something, and sometimes acts in a comical way. These scenes are so charming that I don’t want to miss even one word.”
Jonouchi Katsuya “Yu-Gi-Oh!”
“He is a nice guy with kindness to his friends, and the best friend of Yugi. I like him desperately fighting for his friends or younger sister, and having a great battle against the Duelists with super power with his own skills.”
Ascian Emet-Selch “FINAL FANTASY XIV”
“He appeared like a clown at first, but he gradually changes, and even becomes to speak like a chicken in a serious situation. To see such a role that requires a high acting ability, I fell in love with Takahashi-san.”
As these comments show, the characters from games are also popular.
In this survey, characters from games and dubbed versions of overseas dramas, as well as anime, ranked in. From a protagonist, best friend, to an enemy, a variety of characters have made the list.
■Ranking Top 20
[Who’s your favorite character played by Takahashi Hiroki-san?]
1. Saijo Takato “Dakaichi: I’m Being Harassed By the Sexiest Man of the Year”
2. Japan “Hetalia: Axis Powers”
3. Itsuki Shu “Ensemble Stars!”
4. Kikumaru Eiji “The Prince of Tennis”
5. Ascian Emet-Selch “FINAL FANTASY XIV”
6. Hisoka “Hunter × Hunter” (1st series)
7. Mithra “The Wizard’s Promise”
8. Jonouchi Katsuya “Yu-Gi-Oh!”
9. Superbia Squalo “Reborn!”
10. Parco Folgore “Zatch Bell!”
11. Tsukumo Ryo “Idolish7”
12. Aoi Souta “Real Drive”
13. Ryu “Street Fighter IV”
14. Urmnaf Bort Hyuga “Shadow Hearts: Covenant”
15. Impmon (Beelzemon) “Digimon Tamers”
15. Ura-Acca “Wonder Egg Priority”
15. Queen “One Piece”
15. Koujaku “Dramatical Murder”』
15. Neal Caffrey “White Collar”
15. Rikugo “Shonen Onmyoji”
(Survey Period: August 23 – 30, 2021)
*This survey is intended to research the readers’ “interest in anime and characters today”. It is not intended to discuss the relative merits of each character nor work. I would be glad if this article can help you develop an understanding and interest in the anime and characters.