October 13 is Ishikawa Kaito-san’s birthday.
He debuted in the early 2010s and won the Best Rookie Actors award in the 8th Seiyu Awards and the Best Actors in Supporting Roles award in the 14th. In 2021, he is playing roles in “Backflip!!”, “Dragon Goes House-Hunting”, “The Case Study of Vanitas”, etc.
To celebrate his birthday, we conducted an annual readers’ survey, “Who is your favorite character played by Ishikawa Kaito-san?”. There were 1,303 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 60% were teens, and about 25% were in their 20s.
■Multiple characters have been ranked in from the titles broadcast in 2021!
1st place went to Kageyama Tobio from “Haikyu!!”. The support rating was about 50%, and he is topping the list again following last year.
The readers said that Ishikawa-san performed the character’s growth both as a volleyball player and as an individual. The received comments include, “Kageyama used to be so self-centered that he was nicknamed the King of the Court. However, he has grown up after he realized, through encounters with Hinata and other members, that he cannot win by himself. I can tell such growth from his voice” and “His clumsy but passionate character is brought out at the maximum by Ishikawa-san’s acting”.
For his tone of voice in the games, some reader commented, “His serious tone of voice when he gives Hinata instructions and his breathing are impressive. I unintentionally make my ears focus on them”. For the performances for him to explode in anger, some reader said that such scenes are too powerful to forget, commenting “In the scenes where he gets mad at Hinata, he puts so much pressure on him that I feel as if I were being yelled at!”.
2nd place went to Rokudo Rinne from”Rin-ne”. The support rating was about 6%, and he got the 2nd place again as last year.
The readers said that the images of the character and Ishikawa-san nicely match. The received comments include, “Rinne apparently looks cool and unfriendly, and he has a poverty mindset and is inexperienced in terms of relationships. It is interesting that he shows various sides while being low-energy”, “I was thinking Rinne is a character that rarely shows his true feelings when I was reading the original comic, so I could not imagine who is playing the role of him, and how the person will perform. However, Kaito-kun and Rinne were the perfect match”.
Since this title had been broadcast on NHK E for 3 series, some readers seem to have been introduced to Ishikawa-san by this title, saying “I was watching this series when I was in elementary school, and I was drawn into the strong voice. Through an encounter with this title, I became a fan of anime, voice actors, and Kaito-kun. I am really thankful”.
3rd place went to Azusagawa Sakuta “Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai”. The support rating was about 5%, and he moved up from the 4th place that he won as last year.
Azusagawa Sakuta is the protagonist that saves the heroines who are suffering from a mysterious symptom called Adolescence Syndrome. Ishikawa-san played a pure and honest character here, which gained popularity. The received comments include, “Including Sakuta’s usual calm vibes, his heart devoted to Mai-san that he loves, and instability due to Adolescence Syndrome, Ishikawa-san’s acting puts everything together, so I can see Sakuta’s true personality in any scene”, “Although Sakuta looks being himself and low in energy, he is actually very thoughtful and truly loves Mai-san. Ishikawa-san naturally plays such a high school boy, and it feels as if he actually existed”, and “Sakuta is not a super talented human, but he tries to cheer everyone up in his own way, which is cool. Ishikawa-san’s acting conveys Sakuta’s nice personality even better”.
■Let’s introduce other comments!!
Demon Cleric “Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle”
“I fell in love with his gentle voice that matches his nice personality to bring Princess Syalis back alive every time she dies!”
“He looks young but is actually an old man. Ishikawa-san pulled off such a setting with superb performances. That was impressive.”
Noé “The Case Study of Vanitas”
“He is cute when he is looking at his favorite food, and he turns cool when he fights. In addition to that, a little adult-like expression in the blood-sucking scene was very memorable.”
“His emotionally unstable, pure personality is well conveyed from Ishikawa-san’s sexy voice.”
Izumi Kohei “World Trigger”
“Ishikawa-san’s voice perfectly matches his personality that has both high school boy-like tension and talent. I fell for it.”
“I really like Ishikawa-san’s acting, especially when the character brags or shows his leeway. There are many characters in ‘World Trigger’, but I recommend him.”
The title, which is receiving a film adaptation, has received some votes.
Misao Ryoya “Backflip!!”
“Ishikawa-san perfectly pulled off a male gymnastic athlete, who is naive, lonely, and a little dark yet passionate and gentle.”
“Due to his cool personality, he sometimes looks scary. However, he is always aiming at winning and thinking about his team. I like that.”
In the survey 2021, while “Haikyu!!” has won almost half the votes, many titles that were broadcast from 2020 to 2021 are also standing out. let’s look forward to what titles are making the list next year.
■Ranking Top 20
－Who is your favorite character played by Ishikawa Kaito-san? 2021 Edition－
1. Kageyama Tobio “Haikyu!!”
2. Rokudo Rinne “Rin-ne”
3. Azusagawa Sakuta “Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai”
4. Ida Tenya “My Hero Academia”
5. Noé “The Case Study of Vanitas”
6. Aoba Tsumugi “Ensemble Stars!”
7. Misao Ryoya “Backflip!!”
8. Genos “One-Punch Man”
9. Demon Cleric “Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle”
10. Izumi Kohei “World Trigger”
11. Chiaki “Toraware no Palm Refrain”
12. Machio Naruzo “How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?”
13. Iwatani Naofumi “The Rising of the Shield Hero”
14. Kasen Kanesada “Touken Ranbu -ONLINE-”
15. Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd “Fire Emblem: Three Houses”
16. Nine / Kokonoe Arata “Terror in Resonance”
17. Urie Kuki “Tokyo Ghoul”
18. Saito Hajime “Fate/Grand Order”
19. Mimura Subaru “2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team”
20. Dante Falzone “Piofiore no Bansho”
(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.