7 Underrated Singers among Male Seiyuu

Skilled singers with unique voice tones, most of them cast in various high profile 2D music projects yet barely anyone gives them the credit they deserve.

Estimated reading time: 21 minutos

In this feature, you will find 7 seiyuu that, no matter which 2D music project they join, they always give their all (and more), impressing with rock-solid performances, holding everyone together, or even stealing the spotlight away from the “stars”.

Why are these awesome seiyuu on this list?

They are incredibly underrated. When you mention male seiyuu that should join a new 2D music project due to their good singing skills, few are the people that mention their names despite their obvious quality as singers.

For those of you wanting to learn a bit more about voice tones, this list is conveniently split into 3 parts: bass range (deep, low voices), baritone range (warm mid-toned voices), and tenor range (higher-pitched, delicate voices). I hope this helps you out getting familiar with different voice tones.

Bass range

It is rather known that bass singers are not that appreciated in 2D music groups.

Many people don’t find a bass singer all that appealing.

I find it strange as bass singers are literally the most attractive of all due to their low, resounding notes, warmth, and at times, effortless mature allure.

Shingaki Tarusuke

Shingaki Tarusuke is such a singer, and as weird as it may be, he’s extremely underrated.

For those that may not be aware, Tarusuke Shingaki is best known as the leader of VAZZY, group part of the VAZZROCK franchise. He’s also active as part of an indie rock band – Tarunama – outside of his work in the seiyuu industry.

VAZZY

Tarusuke Shingaki is a sweet bass singer with a lot of singing experience under his belt.

He’s got a unique melodic tone that I absolutely love. There’s a comfortable warmth to his performances, overflowing with emotion and effortless allure courtesy of his suggestive vibrato.

I really appreciate Shingaki’s singing tone, reliability not to mention his versatility. There’s a reason he was chosen as VAZZY’s leader and the face of VAZZROCK: his singing skills are not a joke.

I recommend you to check:

Daiki Hamano

Another bass singer I love and is also extremely underrated is Daiki Hamano.

As of late, Hamano is a name that is starting to stand out.

His rising popularity is mainly due to his work as part of F’YAM’ in the aoppella?! franchise as well as Anthos* in the Hana-Doll* franchise.

  • Aoppella
  • Anthos
  • THE IDOLM@STER SideM NEW STAGE EPISODE:02 THE kogadou
  • ZIX

However, Hamano is active in other groups such as THE kogadou in the IDOLM@STER SideM franchise, ZIX in the Tsukipro franchise, and M4!!!!, seiyuu unit signed to Marine Entertainment.

Daiki Hamano is a pure bass singer. He’s not a singer with a massive vocal range but can, if need be, tap into baritone range to had a unique touch to his performances or better harmonize with other seiyuu in the various 2D groups he’s a part of.

And he’s extremely good at it, 100% comfortable with his singing tone, with an insane amount of control and an effortlessly cool twist to it. He’s got a natural vibrato that shines as well.

Hamano is well versed as a singer, with a voice tone that is difficult to master, and always makes sure his performances have both a cool and alluring vibe that will make you stop everything you’re doing and listen to him.

He’s charismatic and versatile – able to sing, rap, and perform bass parts for an acappella group – and always a reliable addition to whatever group that wants his talents.

I recommend you to check:

Takuya Sato

To wrap up this section about bass singers I bring you Takuya Sato.

Takuya Sato was once a solo artist with a really solid career that put all his CDs within Oricon’s top 40. However, things didn’t work out – it seems – and his solo career has been on hiatus since 2018.

However, Takuya Sato has always shown his talents as a singer in a multitude of 2D music projects, some of those really high-profile.

Once again, because he’s a bass singer with a bit of a baritone range to him, he never gets to be the “face” of a 2D music project.

But you know for sure that whatever 2D music project he joins will deeply benefit from having him around.

He’s best known for his work as part of one of the most popular 2D groups currently active.

I’m talking about TRIGGER, the record-setting group (1st 2D group to be #1 on Oricon’s Albums chart) that despite not being the main group in the IDOLiSH7 franchise, ended up being extremely loved by people that don’t even like the franchise.

  • TRIGGER VARIANT

It’s quite impressive and that has taken TRIGGER to beat records as well as impress everyone with their synergy.

Takuya Sato is an important part of the group, being the only bass singer and the first one to record what ends up being the core of every song by the group. He’s shown countless times his deep, suggestive vibrato and smooth ad-libs with the group.

ROCK DOWN

As part of ROCK DOWN in the VAZZROCK franchise, Sato puts emphasis on the mature allure that is synonymous with him.

As a result, he’s been able to make a lot of jaws drop with how effortlessly dangerous he can sound.

Aoppella
aoppella

More recently, he joined F’YAM’ in the aoppella?! franchise. He is the resident low baritone and he’s actually had the spotlight to himself a couple of times, showing everyone that he’s not only a really reliable singer with a lot of control and consistency that many envy, but he’s also able to drive songs forward.

Given his track record of successful 2D music project participation and how good of a singer he is, it still baffles me that not many people know about him, have never heard him, or didn’t even know he had a solo career.

Takuya Sato is one of the hidden treasures among seiyuu.

I recommend you to check:

Baritone range

Baritone is the most common vocal range for men. As such, the wide majority of talents among male seiyuu have this vocal range but as common as those are, they don’t often take the lead in 2D music projects.

Reliable, the middle ground that every group needs, baritones can be the Swiss army knife that will do a little bit of everything in the groups they’re a part of.

That’s because many have mixed vocal ranges that can either tap into bass or tenor range (whether natural or on a faux capacity).

Masahiro Yamanaka

Masahiro Yamanaka is such singer. He’s a certified baritone with a wide vocal range.

Certified baritones are rare. That certification is usually related to the fact that the seiyuu in question does more narration work than anime.

Directors usually look for specific voice tones or ranges within voice tones when choosing the narrators for TV shows. And as such, seiyuu can have their vocal range certified for purposes of getting narration work with more ease.

Masahiro Yamanaka is a baritone, a genuinely good one. He’s got plenty of experience as a singer from his work with indie rock bands outside of the seiyuu industry. He’s also a good, reliable choice for whatever that wants to welcome him aboard.

If need be, he is dangerously suggestive in his performances. He can also rock the stage as an aggressive, raw rock frontman. Ballads are not an issue for him. R&B music is where his punchy vibrato thrives. And he taps both into bass and tenor range although in a faux capacity if the performance requires it.

VAZZY

Yamanaka is best known for his work as part of VAZZY in the VAZZROCK franchise.

Charisma House

That’s the only 2D music project he’s currently active in. He’s recently been announced as a member of the cast of EVIL LINE RECORDS’ next ambitious 2D music project, Charisma House.

He’s also part of Airaji, seiyuu unit with Yusuke Shirai.

In all music projects he’s a part of, you can feel Yamanaka’s excitement for music. He’s that kind of singer that can’t hide his emotions when performing in the studio, in a live setting he tends to not show much emotion.

Yamanaka is that type of singer that I believe 2D music projects should bet more in. He’s got a varied skillset, he’s got a unique vibrato, a wide vocal range that rides on top of a consistent baritone range… he’s incredibly talented yet he doesn’t get the attention he deserves.

I recommend you to check:

Tenor range

Ayumu Murase

There are very few male seiyuu that you can call vocal chameleons. Seiyuu that excel performing various music genres, have wide vocal ranges, and make sure to “be” the characters they sing as whenever they work with 2D groups. They have impressive skills as singers, with a vast array of techniques at their disposal.

They are genuinely rare talents among male seiyuu. Seiyuu that make you have a double-take at the credits in the song to check who really is performing.

Ayumu Murase fits the description in more ways than one.

He’s best known for using his tenor high range but what is surprising is that he’s actually got a full baritone range on top of it.

Murase has a unique vocal range.

It is among the widest for male seiyuu. He’s got the full baritone and tenor ranges and can tap into the bass range with relative ease. That’s unheard of.

That alone makes Murase one of the most unique singers among male seiyuu and I am not talking about his singing tone but his vocal range.

  • Fine
  • THE IDOLM@STER SideM NEW STAGE EPISODE:01 Mofumofuen

Murase can sing in a high key as does with fine in Ensemble Stars!! and Mofumofuen in the IDOLMASTER SideM franchise.

He can go low as he does as part of BAE in the Paradox Live franchise.

He can sing in baritone range as he did for CrystalCross in the Band Yarouze! fanchise.

He can sing in English and Japanese and transition between both languages seamlessly. He’s even singing in Korean as part of BAE.

It is crazy how talented he is.

He is a vocal chameleon. And those are really hard to come by. Ayumu Murase is in a stellar company alongside Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Takuya Eguchi, Tomoaki Maeno, and Soma Saito.

I’ve got to say that I’m quite fond of his natural baritone range. Although natural, he doesn’t use it that much when performing with 2D groups which is quite an interesting take. You’ll more commonly find him singing as a little kid than in a comfortable, charismatic register.

Interestingly enough, I feel like fans of seiyuu and 2D groups don’t give him enough credit. He’s a unique singer with a massive vocal range, a vocal chameleon that suits whichever group he’s cast in. 

When you see his name in the cast for a 2D group, you know that you’re in for something really special.

I recommend you to check:

  • Show (CV: Ayumu Murase) “Top of the world”
  • BAE “F△Bulous

Yusuke Kobayashi

If there is a tenor I love to listen to is Yusuke Kobayashi.

He’s not a power belter or a flashy singer so don’t expect lots of trips to his highest range but when he goes there, he can make chills run down your spine.

His falsetto is incredibly delicate but with a good technique, his vibrato is sweet and with a lot of power in the mix. His comfortable singing tone is quite high and filled with drama. In a way, he’s the kind of singer I believe would excel in ballads.

However, there’s much more to Kobayashi than what meets the ear. He’s versatile, being able to perform in his natural tenor range while tapping into baritone range.

He can sound gentle in one second and aggressive in a blink of an eye. He’s able to add a lot of emotion to his performances and really tap into a pitch-black side as a singer. More often than not, he goes that route for cozmez’s performances in the Paradox Live franchise.

  • cozmez
  • Rush anidol
  • Alchemist
  • VAZZY

At the same time, while still extremely underrated, Kobayashi has been part of various 2D groups with varying degrees of success. Some of those include Alchemist in the I-CHU franchise, RGB-Trinity in the Kiratune franchise, Rush! In the Anidol Colors franchise and VAZZY in the VAZZROCK franchise.

His reliability as a singer and the unique mix of tenor with a bit of baritone range make him an awesome addition when 2D projects want to bring in someone that has a smooth, delicate delivery but with an interesting twist that makes him go off in rock and hip-hop music.

Although he’s underrated, Yusuke Kobayashi is reliable, versatile and one of the most exciting talents in the tenor range among male seiyuu.

I recommend you to check:

  • Kira Ouka (CV: Yusuke Kobayashi) “Kimi no Hana
  • Kira Ouka (CV: Yusuke Kobayashi) & Futaba Kiduku (CV: Yusuke Shirai) “Rainy Rain Days”
  • cozmez “Ain’t No Love

Nobunaga Shimazaki

One of the most reliable singers among seiyuu yet extremely underrated: Nobunaga Shimazaki.

He’s a hybrid of a tenor and baritone.

While Shimazaki is far from sounding like a pure tenor, whenever he is in front of the mic ready to sing, he shines with his warm twist to the tenor range.

He can go insanely high in his vocal range, belting those crystal-clear high notes that will give you goosebumps. His long notes and legato are absolutely beautiful, his natural singing tone has a crispiness to it that, with the right amount of emotion can make you cry with ease.

Shimazaki excels at adding emotion to his performances. In a way, that’s a skill he brings from voice acting in anime and narration. That’s what usually makes him stand out in both fields and when it comes to music, it isn’t an exception.

He’s consistent both on record and in a live setting. He’s energetic, emotional, clear, and straightforward in his performances.

Nobunaga Shimazaki @ Dear Vocalist CR69Fes.2018

Nobunaga Shimazaki is best known for his work as Joshua in the Dear Vocalist franchise. That’s where he has grown as a singer, where he’s shown his range and emotion without any prettying up done to his singing.

His performances are raw, overflowing with emotion and even if you don’t follow the franchise and its drama CD components, you’ll find yourself being struck by all those raw emotions in Shimazaki’s performances as Joshua.

Over the years he’s been part of seiyuu units and 2D groups but he’s not the most active when it comes to working in the music side of the seiyuu industry.

  • Animarus debut single "Stride"
  • Swiiiiiits!
  • STYLE FIVE
  • LIP X LIP

He was part of Animarus, Epicurean, Swiiiiiits, Noir Révolution and STYLE FIVE. He is part of the Dear Vocalist franchise as Joshua and LIP×LIP (a HoneyWorks group).

LOS†EDEN

He’s recently joined the VISUAL PRISON franchise – a mixed-media visual-kei rock project – as part of LOS†EDEN.

Nobunaga Shimazaki brings a big shot of emotion into the performances of every group he joins. He’s charismatic, reliable, with a warmth and emotional edge that will make you invested in his performances.

By the end of the day, 2D music project creators know Shimazaki is a good choice for their projects, that’s why he keeps getting cast in those. However, it is strange how seiyuu fans or fans of 2D music don’t give Nobunaga Shimazaki enough credit for his singing skills.

I recommend you to check:

  • Joshua (CV: Nobunaga Shimazaki) “Anata e to
  • Joshua (CV: Nobunaga Shimazaki) “Dear…

We all know that there’s no shortage of good singers among seiyuu. Unfortunately, the spotlight can’t be on top of everyone within 2D groups and even as solo artists, not every seiyuu manages to find popularity.

But that doesn’t take away their talents.

This list feature includes 7 male seiyuu that are cast in some of the highest-profile 2D music projects currently active in Japan yet, it seems that barely anyone gives them credit where it is due because they’ve found themselves in the same groups as other, more popular seiyuu.

There’s no shortage of talent out there and depending on what you love in a singer – whether it is vibrato or falsetto, or even singers that are specialists in belting or in bringing out dark, raw performances -, there’s out there a myriad of seiyuu ready to dazzle you.

I hope these 7 male seiyuu are good starting points in your journey to get to know more about male seiyuu or just seiyuu music in general.

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Vanessa Silvahttps://www.handthatfeedshq.com
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Also, the only person managing everything The Hand That Feeds HQ related. In 2011, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks for the list! As for my picks… I’ll make two lists, actually. First one will be a list of seiyuus, who sing (or sang) quite a lot, but rarely get mentined. Second list will consist of voice actors, who sing VERY rarely, but whom I really would love to hear more. I’ll limit myself to five seiyuus per list… otherwise I can go on and on XD

    First list:
    1. Juurouta Kosugi (he is my favorite vocie actor and a great singer. And very underrated. Naturally, I would include him here).
    Examples of the songs:
    Kiwami ~Karetsu Goijunen~ (Oda Nobunaga’s character song from Samurai Warriors series)
    https://youtu.be/oD5mc1YyBp0

    Sayonara no Hanataba (Lantis’ character song from Magic Knight Rayearth)
    https://youtu.be/iGuzm5PCpio

    2. Nobutoshi Canna
    Examples of the songs:
    Last Forever (Cao Pi’s character song from Dynasty Warriors series)
    https://youtu.be/VKw_evYWhlI

    innerchild~tally of myself~ (song from his duet album with singer Yoshiki Fukuyama)
    https://youtu.be/h7UmXA_22Zk

    3. Ryotaro Okiayu
    Heaven’s Will (Sima Shi’s character song from Dynasty Warriors series)
    https://youtu.be/73Ajx0W2fxE

    Shuuen no Hakanaki Negai to wa (Akuram’s character song from Harukanaru Toki no Naka de series)
    https://youtu.be/EHUCq6tv9FQ

    4. Kappei Yamaguchi
    Hoshizora Illusion (Kaito Kuroba’s character song from Magic Kaito 1412)
    https://youtu.be/Nmwjtmt2yuA

    Fly, Merry, Fly (Usopp’s character song from One Piece). Also written by Yamaguchi.
    https://youtu.be/dzR9GMAmVM8

    5. Ryota Takeuchi. Owner of great baritone and a great beard.
    half (Mukuhara Kazui’s song from MILGRAM project)
    https://youtu.be/7ZylZvMdo14

    Honmou ~Kirameki no Kage to Narite~ (Katakura Kojuro’s character song from Samurai Warriors series)
    https://youtu.be/PkzL2gI9e-Q

    Now, for the second list
    1. Masaya Takatsuka. Man is too busy voicing a good half of One Piece characters, but he could’ve have a nice singing career. What amazes me is his complete ability to disappear in character.
    Isasakamo Yuruginaku (Kuroda Kanbei’s character song Samurai Warriors series)
    https://youtu.be/NaReZEoH-OY

    Ai to Gi no Arashi! (Naoe Kanetsugu’s character song from Samurai Warriors series)
    https://youtu.be/pfPXgS_eLFM

    2. Jouji Nakata
    Bi – Kawanakajima Senka (Uesugi Kenshin’s character song from Samurai Warriors series.) To my knowledge, it is the only solo song that Nakata-san ever sang. And it leaves you wanting more.
    https://youtu.be/J0P_z8XJuME

    3. Akio Ohtsuka
    Showa Blues (Naked Snake’s character song from Metal Gear Solid series).
    https://youtu.be/6F4R3OqymHQ
    And the amount of applause this song got during live performance at Seiyuu Kouhaku Uta Gassen tells you all that needs to be said.

    NOW MY HANDS GET!!!! (Marshall D. Teach’s character song from One Piece)
    From blues to pirate rock
    https://youtu.be/mzEKfFAbvNQ

    4. Ryuzaburo Ohtomo. A bass voice. While I don’t really think he is suited for musical career per se, I can easily see him in stage musicals. Like in the role of Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, for example.
    Alabasta Game (Crocodile’s character song from One Piece)
    https://youtu.be/e11q7pcQ1Pk

    5. Yasuhiro Takato. If I’m not mistaken, he only ever sang in Hetalia franchise, where he voices Russia. And that’s a pity, because he can sing very good.

    White Flame (honestly, a voice actor that can sing a 17 minutes-long song deserves A LOT of respect. 17 minutes! It’s three episodes of Hetalia, for God’s sake!)
    https://youtu.be/_yjIJeU6xO4

    Winter
    https://youtu.be/QjEo7aGWu5I

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