With a big presence in the seiyuu industry, and a renowned for his dedication to his craft, this month’s Seiyuu Digest is all about the talented male seiyuu, Tomoaki Maeno.
KANJI: 前野 智昭
BORN: May 26, 1982
OCCUPATION: seiyuu, radio personality, singer
A note, this article was written in 2016 and currently underwent a soft update. A more intensive update will be made still in 2021.
Some information below may be dated or not updated.
Maeno is one of the seiyuu in the industry that had a rough start with very few roles but steadily started to make his way to where he is today.
He is the typical seiyuu who invests in almost every department in the entertainment industry, he narrates, he dubs movies and series, also we cannot forget the games, such as VitaminZ in which he also had the company of other famous seiyuu such as Kenji Nojima and KENN that most people know that they are friends, this friendship that sometimes leads to some jokes about their relationship, but still a funny fact about him.
Debuting at the early age of 19, Tomoaki had a slow start in the industry, it was only a year after that that he had his first job in the anime Midnight Horror School as a secondary character, but still it was his first opportunity to show the public his worth.
Unfortunately for him, it was only three years later that he got a job, once again as miscellaneous characters, the same happened a year later in Kiiniro no Corda- primo passo. It was only six years after his debut that he got more roles in the industry, breaking the vicious cycle of getting, once in a while, some minor roles.
In the following years he made appearances in lot of anime, gaining experience, making a name for him and establishing Tomoaki Maneno in the seiyuu industry as a worthy voice actor.
He was in Naruto, Toshokan Sensou as Atsushi Dojo, one of his first roles as the main character, Miracle Train: Oedo-sen e Youkoso and also in the famous shoujo anime Kaichou wa Maid-sama, leaving us with the impression that he really tried to get lots of experience in different genres of anime so that he could deliver the best performances to the public.
In 2010 he won the Best Rookie Award.
In 2011 he was the main character in Maken-Ki! as Takeru Ooyama and in 2012 he was in Amagami SS as Junichi Tachibana, from this point onward, every year Tomoaki has, at least, two or three roles as the main character, the remains ones he is usually the secondary character with some importance to the story line. In 2014, he won, alongside with Junichi Suwabe, the award of Best Supporting role.
Other known roles are in the Hakkeden series as Genpachi Inukai, in Log Horizon as Naotsugu, in Akatsuki no Yona as Hak, in Death Billiards as Decim, as Charles Philpps in Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus and also in Kuroshitsuji: Book of Murder, or lastly as Camus in the Uta no Prince-sama series.
Even thought Tomoaki is a seiyuu he has also done some narration and also dubbed some series like CSI and Grey’s Anatomy.
Regarding his work in games, he has done a lot of it, some of them are VitaminZ, in which he had the pleasure to work side by side with lots of known seiyuu like KENN or Brothers Conflict, in which he had the privilege to work with a luxury cast.
QUARTET★NIGHT (2011 -)
QUARTET★NIGHT are the most successful 2D idol unit in the industry. They have paved the way for other 2D units to top charts and actually compete toe-to-toe with other music acts, even those completely outside of the seiyuu industry.
QUARTET★NIGHT are an idol group from the Shining Entertainment group and they consist on Showtaro Morikubo (as Reiji Otori, the leader) Tatsuhisa Suzuki (as Ranmaru Kurosaki), Tomoaki Maeno (as Camus) and Shouta Aoi (as Mikaze Ai).
Maeno’s low notes and duality in his performances made him standout within the group and impress a lot of people that were not even fans of QUARTET★NIGHT.
The group’s first appearance in game was in 2011’s Uta no☆Prince-Sama ♪ Repeat and their first appearance on anime was on 2013’s Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love 2000%. Their debut track was the self-titled, Quartet Night, song featured on 2012’s Shining All Star CD.
QUARTET★NIGHT then participated in the Unit Drama CDs in 2011, this being the first glimpse everyone was getting at how the group sounded – even if they were not performing together but split into 4 groups.
Over the years, the group has participated in several shuffle and duet series, and have even performed solo in 2 occasions: All Star After Secret Idol Song & Quartet Idol Song (2014) and Maji LOVE Revolutions Idol Song (2015).
Now, when it comes to group songs, it is was Poison KISS (released in 2013), one of the most electrifying and catchy songs in the whole Utapri franchise, that made many fans of the franchise question their loyalties.
The song was featured in the anime series Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love 2000% and has been a fan favorite since then.
But up until 2016, the group was popular within its franchise and fandom. It wasn’t until then that the group would explode in popularity and turn into the most successful 2D idol group in the industry.
The release of God’s S.T.A.R. shook the industry. Up until then, 2D idol music barely sold beyond their fanbase and, at times, it barely charted on Oricon and Billboard’s charts.
God’s S.T.A.R. came out of nowhere and, in 1 week, was awarded a Gold Record Certification by RIAJ.
The single sold 108,000 physical copies and caught the long coveted #1 spot on Oricon Weekly, being the first group to achieve it. Since then, the group has been a chart topper, having several releases within top 10.
QUARTET★NIGHT made their stage performance at Uta no Prince-Sama Maji LOVE LIVE 4th STAGE (2015) and since then they have attended all of the franchise’s lives, delivering electrifying performances on top of an impressive chemistry between members.
The group’s popularity skyrocketed in 2016 and, in 2017, QUARTET★NIGHT turned into the first ever 2D unit to actually promote themselves in a solo live, taking the 2D into 3D.
QUARTET NIGHT LIVE EVOLUTION 2017 was the group’s first ever solo live show and it was a massive hit. It counted with group, solo and duet performances, all for an impressive show that made their fans beg for more.
A year later, QUARTET★NIGHT were back on the road for their 2nd live show, QUARTET NIGHT LIVE FUTURE 2018.
This wasn’t an ordinary live show. This was a full-fledged idol performance, counting with cinematic intro VTRs and a big production behind them. This was yet another successful live for the talented quartet.
QUARTET★NIGHT are the most successful 2D unit and the most popular in the Utapri franchise. Their music continues to evolve with the group and their live performances are always something to anticipate due to the quality that this group can deliver on the vocal end.
Despite what some of you might think, Tomoaki has his share of radio shows he has hosted over the years. Some of them were マエマジLIFE STYLE ( Maemaji Life Style), a radio show hosted by Tomoaki himself and Junji Majima, a fellow seiyuu.
After that he was also in 鈴村健一・前野智昭『彼氏いりませんか?』(Kenichi Suzumura, Tomoaki Maeno Kareshi irimasenka?) with also a fellow seiyuu, lastly he also hosted the VitaminZ RadioAction.
To conclude, Tomoaki is a seiyuu that had to go through a lot of hardships in the early stage of his career as a seiyuu but gladly enough he was able to get over it and start to gain more experience and recognition.
I hope you liked the first SEIYUU DIGEST of this year as much as I did and please be on the look for the next one.