This month’s Seiyuu Digest subject is none other than the prolific and all-rounder seiyuu, KENN.
KANJI: 大橋 賢一郎
REAL NAME: Kenichiro Ohashi
BORN: March 24, 1982
OCCUPATION: seiyuu, singer, radio host, stage actor
KENN, as many other seiyuu we’ve already mentioned in this series, is one of those people that don’t limit themselves to solely one area in the entertainment business. If you have any doubts about KENN‘s repertoire we’ll give you all the pieces of information you need.
Be it games, anime or even stage plays, he’s in all departments, giving his all so that they acknowledged “Ikemen” seiyuu, as fellow seiyuu Keinichi Suzumura likes to refer to KENN, a voice actor that has the looks as well as the skills to back it up. At the same time we cannot forget that KENN is also talented and skillful singer.
KENN debuted at a later than usual age, for a seiyuu, he was 22 when he had his first role in anime, as Jaden Yuki in Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters GX, his first main role was an opportunity delivered on a plate for him to gain lots of experience since the very beginning of his career, and so he did. T
hree years later he was, in the famous anime series Katekyo Hitman Reborn! as Dino (primarily it was Kenta Kamakari’s role but the character ended up dying in the serires), a character that had some relevance in the story line.
In the following years he did some other roles as the main characters, in 2010 he was Ronald Knox in Black Butler II, in 2013 he was Akito Kanbara in Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary), one of the most emotional anime of the season and also Futo Asahina in Brothers Conflict.
In 2014 , KENN was Aya Kominato in the hyped shoujo and romance anime Ao Haru Ride and lastly he was Gieve in Arslan Senki. We can pretty much say that he has experience in almost every genre of anime, making him a versatile seiyuu.
Regarding his work in the game department, we can realize that KENN has much more roles than in anime, some of his best known characters are in Scared Rider Xechs Rev. as Mugetsu Hijiri, Marginal #4 as L Nomura, as Seichiro Sumeragi and Adamas and in the Brothers Conflict‘s game as Futo Asahina, like he was in the anime adaptation.
As a stage actor KENN has quite a number of roles he has done, for example is the stage play of Welcome to the Miracle ☆ Train ~ Oedo Line ~ as Fumi Roppongi.
He was also in Vitamin Z’s play, VitaminZ’s love in the summer festival Z !!!!!! as Tenjuro Narumiya, his character in the games of the series as well. To give you guys some other pieces of information, KENN was also in the stand up comedy stage of Smiley ☆ Spicky with fellow Miyano Mamoru, in Air Gear as Mikurakazuma, in Bido Roman Daikatsugeki Hakkenden as Shino Inusuka.
In the middle of his busy schedule he still has time to squeeze some time to host radio shows such as the one he has with fellow seiyuu Daisuke Namikawa, (Namikawa Daisuke & KENN no radio senpaiyazo! ), that has been airing since 2013.
Another radio show he hosted was with Shoutaro Morikubo, 快感[TO]Night〜KENN and 森久保祥太郎〜 ( Kaikan [TO] Night 〜 KENN ando Morikubo Shoutaro 〜).
KENN first started in the musical industry when he was in a band called NaB’s in which he was the synths boy.
The band debuted in 2004 with the single believe ranked #85 on the Oricon charts, but the NaB’s quickly ended so it was the perfect time to KENN debut as a solo artist and that’s what he did.
Making his appearance with a more refined and and grown-up image we had KENN showing us a completely new side of him. In 2008 he had his first single, 塔頂者たち(Too itadaki-sha-tachi), out.
Only a year after that he already had another single, LIVIN’ ON THE EDGE. Later on he released his first album, KENN Vocal Album. Having worked with MIKOTO, a famous composer and most recently solo artist, his “sound” was rock, a genre that suits him like a glove.
Although KENN’s last work out, Dance in the Light, was not produced by MIKOTO, hence why KENN’s “sound” showed clear changes, it was a good thing to listen to him once again as a solo artist, given the thought that he is a singer with so much potential that it is a shame he doesn’t release more often.
Six Gravity (2012 -)
Six Gravity are part of Tsukino Production‘s Tsukiuta series. The unit consists of Kousuke Toriumi, Toshiki Masuda, Yuki Kaji, Tomoaki Maeno, Yoshimasa Hosoya and KENN. Like most of Tsukino Production‘s units, Six Gravity have released a lot of music as group as well as in cross units.
Between their 6 drama CDs and the unit’s 3 singles and 1 Best Of album, as Satsuki Aoi he even got the opportunity to release 3 solo singles and two collaboration/cross unit singles. The group was on hiatus from 2017 to late 2018, however Tsukipro announced the franchise’s return in November 2018.
The franchise will return with a solo CD series and its anime adaptation was renewed for a second season (date to be determined).
Marginal #4 (2013 -)
Toshiki Masuda, Yuto Suzuki (leader), Takahashi Naozumi and KENN teamed up as Marginal #4 in 2013. The unit made a thunderous debut with 100万回の愛革命, single that lived up to all the hype surrounding it at that time. The unit had an addictive pop-rock sound that easily impressed.
Marginal #4 rose in popularity with singles such as LOVE★SAVIOR (2013), Masquerade (2013), CHU CHU LUV♥SCANDAL (2014) and Red Hot Saga (2014), setting itself as one of the most exciting 2.5D units in Japan.
The unit ended up performing live for the first time on Rejet Fes 2013, performance that wasn’t released on DVD and still remains a unique experience for those that got to attend Marginal #4’s stage debut.
However that status didn’t last longer and later in 2014 the group started to struggle with their identity and sound. Marginal #4 faced a major slum between 2014 and 2016 with all new singles released during that period being complete disasters – Bingo!!!! (2014) and UFO (2015) -, plagued with overcrowded compositions, lacking vocal performances and a weird overall feel that something was missing from the unit’s original exciting yet alluring sound.
In 2016, with the releases of YO-HO! and IV aile, Marginal #4 started to show signs of trying to overcome those struggles. However the group still lacked consistency, something they were only able to regain with Choooose me (2017).
Since their debut, Marginal #4 have released 2 best ofs, 11 singles, 1 solo series, shuffle units releases and performed live more than a handful of times, the most recent being the headlined show 「Marginal#4: Kiss kara Tsukuru Big Bang」Presents Pythagoras Production LIVE “Big Bang Fes”.
KENN has been a reliable member for the group, adding his own allure and flair into the group’s performances since day 1. When it comes to a live setting he falters at times, with consistency on the vocal end wavering a bit if things get to complex on stage, other than that he is overflowing with energy and you can always count on him to have a smile on his face at all time.
The group’s last release was GiVeMe (2018), since then the unit has embarked on shuffle unit and solo releases.
IDOLiSH7 and MEZZO’ (2015 -)
The 7 member group consisting of Toshiki Masuda, Tsubasa Yonaga, KENN, Atsushi Abe, Takuya Eguchi, Kensho Ono and Yusuke Shirai debuted in 2015, part of the rhythm game of the same name. The game was an instant hit due to its well done blend between a rhythm game and its story components.
This wasn’t like other idol games out there, focusing on delivering a rich story alongside high quality music, ending up attracting a lot of people to this game with that formula.
KENN voices Tamaki Yotsuba, main dance and youngest member in IDOLiSH7 and member of MEZZO’.
Since their debut, IDOLiSH7 have released several singles as a unit, cross units, special sub-units and solo tracks, all of them well received by their fans.
Back in 2016, IDOLiSH7‘s first ever full-length album “I7” set a record among seiyuu/2.5D units.
It was the first ever album to score a #2 on Oricon Weekly in the album category. The album had an impressive number of sales, sweeping the charts when most people doubted they would be able to pull off anything like that at that time.
That feat showed the franchise’s popularity when it was only promoting itself through the game and music (no live events nor anime adaptation plans at that time). Their record was later broken by none other than TRIGGER, rival unit also from this franchise.
IDOLiSH7 performed live for the first time at IDOLiSH7 ROAD TO INFINITY, live event held at 07/07/2018 and 08/07/2018 at MetLife Arena. Masuda’s energy and professionalism on stage impressed a lot that attended the franchise’s first live.
This is it for this month’s SEIYUU DIGEST, hope you enjoyed it and please do look forward for next month’s.