October 11 is Nishiyama Kotaro-san’s birthday.

He debuted in the 2010s and won the Best Rookie Actors award in the 12th Seiyu Awards. In 2021, he has been appearing in various titles including “Re-Main”, “Idolish7: Third Beat!”, and “Ensemble Stars! ES Music Garden Delay Viewing”. He also debuted as an artist in 2020 and has released his mini-album “Laundry” on July 21, 2021, fascinating his fans with his singing voice.

To celebrate his birthday, we conducted an annual readers’ survey, “Who is your favorite character played by Nishiyama Kotaro-san?”. There were 239 votes during the survey period from September 27 to October 4.
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 55% were teens, and about 30% were in their 20s.

■Natsume Minami from “Idolish7” is topping the list with a higher support rating than last year!

1st Place
1st place went to Natsume Minami from “Idolish7”. The support rating was about 32%, topping the list for two years in a row.

The readers said that they were drawn into Nishiyama-san’s mysterious performances, and left comments such as, “He is an elegant and bewitching heel-ish character, and would be a difficult character to play. However, Nishiyama-san’s voice perfectly matches the character, and I especially cannot forget his laughter!”, and “Nishiyama-san recreates Minami’s own charms by expressing his tone and tempo of speaking well. He changes the entire mood with a few words, which is wonderful”.

Many readers seem to have got into the work by watching the live performances, and said “The 2nd LIVE ‘REUNION’ made me feel as if I had experienced the game’s story in real life…”, and “I was impressed by Nishiyama-san expressing the charms of Minami with his entire body”.

2nd Place
2nd place went to Shinkai Kanata from “Ensemble Stars!”. The support rating was about 15%, and he moved up from the 3rd place that he got last year.

Nishiyama-san’s cute performances can be enjoyed in this character, and the received comments include, “It is unique that most of his lines are written in Katakana. He likes marine species, and is intelligent, kind, but mysterious. Such personality matches Nishiyama-san’s voice”, and “He so healing as he speaks slowly”. His chill personality seems to contribute to his popularity.

3rd Place
3rd place went to Kashima Ryuichi from “School Babysitters”. The support rating was about 12%, and he slipped off from the 2nd place that he got last year.

Many readers mentioned the character’s personality and theme song, saying “This is a memorable work that Nishiyama-san played the main character for the first time. Nishiyama-san’s calm and gentle voice perfectly matches Ryuichi-kun, who is kind and thoughtful about his younger brother and stays strong to take steps for his loved ones. I watched it many times. The ending theme is performed by Hyorotto Danshi, a unit with Umehara Yuichiro-san, and its music video and dancing are wonderful”, and “Ryuichi is affectionate to his younger brother Kotaro, and he is like kindness itself. Nishiyama-san’s voice brings out his charms”.

■Let’s introduce other comments!!

Kinugawa Atsushi “Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!”
“This character introduced me to Nishiyama-san. He is kind, thoughtful about others, and suitable for the leader of the Defense Club. He also perfectly matches Nishiyama-san’s voice.”

Hisomu Yoshiharu “Kiznaiver”
“He is an ultimate masochist who gets a kick out of pain. His voice when he was aroused in episode 3 was especially impressive. Including the episodes in the novels, I really like this character.”

Himetsuru Ichimonji “Touken Ranbu -ONLINE-”
“Even though he usually speaks with a calm voice just like a thoughtful good sister, his voice becomes super cool in the battles. I really like such an impressive gap.”

Oka Eitaro “Re-Main”
“His cute figure when he helps the protagonist Shimizu Minato who lost his memories as a junior student and his unexpected gap match Nishiyama-san’s voice to the point that I cannot tell the difference between Eitaro and Kotaro lol.” Some readers voted for the character from the latest TV anime series released in the summer of 2021.

In the survey 2021, Natsume Minami from “Idolish7” is topping the list with twice as many votes as the following character. The characters from the latest titles, including Oka Eitaro from “Re-Main” in 5th place, are also standing out.

■Ranking Top 10

-Who is your favorite character played by Nishiyama Kotaro-san? 2021 Edition-

1. Natsume Minami “Idolish7”
2. Shinkai Kanata “Ensemble Stars!”
3. Kashima Ryuichi “School Babysitters”
4. Minagi Tsuzuru “A3!”
5. Oka Eitaro “Re-Main”
6. Kinugawa Atsushi “Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!”
7. Sato Hikaru “Major 2nd”
8. Uruha Saku “I-Chu”
9. Tsuzuki Kyosuke “Stand My Heroes”
10. Uesugi Kazunori “Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note”
10. Shinozaki Kurousagi “Immoral Triangle”
10. Teramitsu Yuzuki “B-PROJECT” Series
10. Narita Kazuhito “Haikyu!!”

(Survey Period: September 27 – October 4, 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 anime and characters.