Satoshi Hino, respected by not only fellow seiyuu but also by his fans due to his motherly personality, massive talent for voice acting and wits.
KANJI: 日野 聡
FULL NAME: Satoshi Robert Hino
BORN: August 4, 1978
OCCUPATION: seiyuu, radio personality, narrator, singer
Satoshi Robert Hino (commonly known as Satoshi Hino) was born on August 4, 1978 in San Francisco, California, and is one of the most influential and versatile seiyuu in Japan.
He’s currently affiliated with Axl-One, talent agency owned by seiyuu Toshiyuki Morikawa.
He’s often casted, due to his low voice, as antagonists, disturbed characters, or happy-go-lucky guys (this, of course, with his slightly high pitched voice).
Satoshi made his debut as a seiyuu back in 2000, under talent agency Baobab. Satoshi once stated that his first interest was stage acting not voice acting, but his casting to dub ER was what made him shift his focus to voice acting.
He was faced with a rough start to his career. He didn’t get any roles and hardly got noticed by other seiyuu fans. That really showed that the seiyuu entertainment business is more than incredibly competitive. Although this slow paced debut was set in motion, Satoshi didn’t even knew that, in a few years, he’d become one of the most interesting and complete seiyuu in the business.
2001 started off slow but it got Satoshi’s first opportunity to shine with a role in the critically acclaimed videogame “Shadow Hearts” as Halley Brancket. That was a pivotal role for a rookie seiyuu, putting Satoshi’s name in the minds of a lot of people due to his rage induced performance, with some funny moments in the mix.
2002 gave him his first role in a major hit anime. In “Naruto” Satoshi played a side character but little did he know that it would be that same anime, years after, to give him one of the secondary characters that most people love (to hate). But things were a little bit slow even with that role. For those seiyuu that debuted in 2000/2001 and 2001/2002, the competition was more than fierce. Names like Jun Fukuyama and Daisuke Ono debuted around that time and things regarding the battle between rookies for roles had just began to get harder.
2003 was the year that really set a trend for Satoshi – to be featured in ecchi anime. His credits in this genre of anime really blow away almost everyone’s records. If it was ecchi, it had to have Satoshi playing a character on it. Ikki Tousen was the first of many ecchi/harem anime where he’s had credits.
That trend kind of set Satoshi’s career to higher ground. It was giving the necessary exposure and his performances were getting better by the day.
It wasn’t until 2005 that he would get his first main role. Shakugan no Shana is considered to be one of the best anime of the 2005/2006 season and the one to catapult Satoshi’s status in the seiyuu business. His work behind the main character’s personality, his deliverance to the role earned him praise from his peers and seiyuu fans alike.
2006 was a busy year. With another main role alongside female seiyuu Rie Kugimiya, in Zero no tsukaima, Satoshi more than established himself as a rising talent in the seiyuu business. Zero no tsukaima was so successful that it spawned three seasons.
2008/2008 can be said as the period when Satoshi was brought to the “mainstream” anime. First he was casted in “Nabari no Ou” and then was casted in the dark fantasy anime “Kuroshitsuji” as Ash Landers, an original character. At that time, the decision kind of stroke a nerve in the fans of the manga created by Yana Toboso. Still, his performance of the calm, quiet and subsequently insane butler, made an impression in most fans. Satoshi once again proved that his talents shouldn’t be underestimated.
In the following years, Satoshi earned massive recognition from most seiyuu fans with his main roles in Bakuman as Akito Takagi, Amnesia as Toma, Hakkenden: Tōhō Hakken Ibun as Sousuke Inukawa.
But his secondary roles seem to even have more power and recognition that his main roles: his performance as Kamui in Gintama is still one of the fans’ favorites, his roles in Otome Yōkai Zakuro as Riken Yoshinokazura, Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru as Senshiro Furuori, his hilarious performances in Working’!! as Kirio Yamada, in Naruto as Sai and as Tomoda in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, the powerful performance in the Code Geass: Akito the Exiled movies as Ryou Sayama, the broken, apparently calm performance as Noiz in 2014’s anime Dramatical Murder also made his character one of the fans’ favorites.
On the other side his performances in Log Horizon, Yowamushi Pedal and Haikyū!! feature Satoshi portraying a type of characters not that far from his personality – those gentle, caring but equally though characters. And in La Corda d’Oro Blue Sky, Satoshi once again portrayed that cool and cold type of character with Myouga Reiji.
If we objectively analyze his characters we know that we find a common denominator in them: either Satoshi gets casted to play those deep voiced, cool types or he’s up for some hilarious performances with his happy-go-lucky characters – exhibit A – Kirio Yamada in Working’!!
With a vocal range as powerful as he has, Satoshi has been able to give life to completely different characters and that isn’t exclusive to dubbing anime. He’s also been incredibly active in dubbing live action shows. He voices Oliver Queen in the Japanese dub of Arrow, other series include Lost, 24, CSI, just to name a few.
He’s also done quite some narration work for TV and radio commercials and worked in a wide array of drama CD’s.
Satoshi has been part of a number of Otome games. Amnesia series, Bloody Call, Starry☆Sky 〜After Spring〜 Portable, STORM LOVER 2nd, La Corda D’oro series, Bad Medicine and so on. He’s often casted to play either yandere type (Toma in Amnesia) or cool, cold characters (Myouga Reiji in La Corda D’oro games).
To add the great amount of otome games Satoshi also has a wide array of other genre of games under his belt. Naruto, LORD of VERMILION III, Yu-gi-oh ZEXAL and Haikkyu, just to name a few.
Since his debut in 2000, Satoshi has been a host and guest in a wide variety of radio shows: Miracle Train, Hino Satoshi vs Tachibana Shinnosuke Heisei Nippon – Kunitori gassen radio, Marine Super Wave Live R, Kuroshitsuji radio and even guested on Naruto’s radio show. At the moment Satoshi is hosting alongside Shinnosuke Tachibana their night time, slightly rated R, radio show “Hino Satoshi and Tachibana Shinnosuke Meimon Outlaw Gakuen”.
Although a fairly good singer, Satoshi never had a chance to pursue a solo career in the music business. Even so, when talking about his solo singing we have to mention the character songs he’s sang so far. For example, tracks like “Age of Aquarius” from Prince of Tennis and 絶望の挽歌 from La Corda D’oro, really seem to shine on their own way in the middle of all of the seiyuu character songs.
The power he gives to the tracks, the usage of his low tones, his ability to try to catch (successfully) the higher notes when needed, the control and precision in his tone, all of these and more are the reasons that make a lot of people love his singing.
If you want to get an idea of all the characteristics we referred before, check the video to get a gist of how hard is to sing 絶望の挽歌 (Elegy of Despair) from La Corda D’oro, and how well Satoshi delivers the song to the public.
Satoshi is also part of the j-pop/rock duo ELEKITER ROUND 0, alongside fellow seiyuu Shinnosuke Tachibana.
As part of the unit Satoshi has released seven mini-albums, been part of two live tours and performed for 5 times in Marine Super Wave Live.
He’s responsible for the lyrics for some of the duo’s songs such as: 紲, Love Season, 二つの雫-namida-, 月夜の仮面舞踏会～Masquerade～ and the most recent Conflict.
But there’s a project that has left a lot of people hungry for more.
As part of otome game “Tokimeki Restaurant“, Satoshi voices Kento, automatically making Satoshi part of the virtual unit “X.I.P“, alongside Kousuke Toriumi and Takuya Eguchi. The unit is signed under Sony Entertainment and so far they have realeased the singles “E-Motion and CHEAT DANCER“, major hits among the fans. The mini-albums/maxi singles Naughty!!! and Alternative! followed. In X.I.P, Satoshi‘s vocals stay low and strong, the driving force in a group completely devoted into seducing everyone.
Satoshi Hino is an official member of the seiyuu group “Project Daba” created by star seiyuu Daisuke Ono. In the several events and games the group has done, Satoshi has proved to be one of the most logical and strategic members, as well as one of the members with more physical power.
Exhibit A – DABA game “Cops Vs Robbers”
While all the members were constantly on the run in the “Cops vs Robbers” game back in 2009, Satoshi quietly hid behind the bushes and no-one managed to find him until the very end of the game. His plan consisted of staying alive for as long as possible and be there to save the ones who got caught, if needed.
Exhibit B – DABA Horse Life Game
In what was a life size board game with people playing directly instead of pieces, DABA Horse Life game was the place where Satoshi showed his physical prowess.
Although having lost an arm wrestle match with Jun Fukuyama (the most athletic member of the group), Satoshi showed his strength in the Sumo matches against Junji Majima and Daisuke Ono – winning against them with judo moves.
When it came to the kendo matches, Satoshi exhibited his passion for the sport and also his first dan in kendo, having won in the 3 vs 3 game while scaring the opponents with his swift, aggressive and calculative moves.
Friendship with Shinnosuke Tachibana
Hino and Tachibana’s friendship is well known among seiyuu fans. Not only they are from the same talent agency, even going back to their Baobab days, but they even created a unit “ELEKITER ROUND 0”, and also have hosted several radio shows together. It’s also rumored that Satoshi was the one to tell Tachibana to not give up on voice acting (when he was on a critical phase in his career).
It’s also well known that Satoshi’s demeanor, besides the fact that he can intimidate with his rough voice or his sort of imposing body, he is incredibly caring and gentle. This was vouched by the cast of sports anime “Haikyū!!” back in 2014. Some of the cast remember him calling them before their recordings to ask if everything was alright or if anyone wanted a ride with him. Satoshi says that as he’s getting older, more and more people in the recording studios are now his juniors, instead of his seniors, so he feels like he has to be that good, helpful senior for them.
Wished to be more knowledgeable when it comes to English
As one of the several US born seiyuu, one would expect that Satoshi himself would be fluent in the language. On the contrary. He came back from the US when he was little (around 5 years old) and in the kindergarten he was constantly being asked to say something in English. That constant demand made young Satoshi hate the English language and refuse altogether to try to learn it properly. Time passed, and Satoshi has said several times that he regrets that attitude as English would prove to be useful nowadays. Although not fluent in the language, his English pronunciation is not bad at all. On Eiken, the official English proficiency exam in Japan, Satoshi has attained grade 3 (A1).
As announced by Satoshi back in January 2015, he married fellow seiyuu Saki Nakajima. The couple had been dating for quite a few years and decided to tie the knot in late 2014.
And that it, dear readers! We got to know a little bit more about Satoshi Hino, this flawless, gentle and incredibly talented seiyuu. Be on the lookout for next months’ Seiyuu Digest!