Seiyuu Digest #18 – Miyu Irino

Seiyuu Digest Miyu Irino

Miyu Irino is a star and a veteran in the seiyuu industry at such a young age. Seiyuu, musical actor, radio personality, actor, musician, lyricist and one of the main faces of Kiramune. There’s no end to what he can do.

Estimated reading time: 17 minutes

Miyu Irino

Miyu Irino

KANJI: 入野 自由

BORN: February 19, 1988

OCCUPATION: seiyuu, actor, singer, musical actor

HEIGHT: 170cm

A note, this article received a soft update in February 2022.

Still, some of the information below may be outdated or not updated.

Seiyuu

Miyu Irino

Currently a member of talent agency Junction 99, it was with only 4 years old at Himawari Theatre Group that little Miyu was getting started as a seiyuu and actor.

In reality, a great number of voice actors have started their work as child actors or voice actors, Miyu’s case is just one of the several in the business – refer to Ryohei Kimura, Mamoru Miyano, and Kouki Uchiyama, among many others.

In 1996, Miyu, with only 8 years received his first job as a seiyuu with an important role on You’re Under Arrest. 

After that, a few more minor roles came his way but it wasn’t up until 2005 that he’d start to get more roles per year as well as his first leading roles.

With more than 100 characters in his repertoire and with credits on some of the most iconic anime ever made like Darker than Black, Naruto, Nurarihyon no Mago, Code Geass: Akito the ExiledOne Piece, Seraph of the end, D. Gray-man, Phantom and Haikkyu just to name a few, be it as a small part or as the lead, Miyu‘s versatility led him to a place in the seiyuu business where he can fit well no matter the genre.

Known for voicing persistent idealists heroes/anti-heroes, Miyu’s mid-ranged voice can morph into and have whatever emotion you want that he’ll nail it.

Someone vicious that won’t stop until he gets his revenge? Check.

The typical flower boy that makes girls go crazy? Check.

Those cool types that act more than talk but when they actually do their words pierce you? Yep. He knows how to do it.

Heartbreaking, power-driven emotions? Yep.

Dark, heavy roles are done with top-quality performances as well as those bright, hyper ones.

Adding to his versatility in anime genres, Miyu also showcases an incredible skill in adapting his voice to fit different types of characters.

If you check his most famous roles you doubly will find two characters that share the exact same voice tone.

As of late, Miyu is getting more and more attention for his voice acting having landed five leading roles in two years – in the shojo romance Kamigami no Asobi as the Greek god Apollon Agana Berea, in comedy hit anime Osomatsu-san as Todomatsu, in sports anime Haikyuu as Koshi Sugawara and in Seraph of the end as Yuichiro Hyakuya in 2015, these last two roles were later reprised in the respective 2nd seasons.

In 2013 Miyu decided to take a break to hone his skills as a musical actor hence his lack of roles in that year.

After that and from 2014 up until now, his presence is getting stronger by the day.

Games

Sora

Although he’s not in many games it’s his character in “Kingdom Hearts” that has really made a good impression and is stuck in his fans’ minds. His energetic performance as Sora, the game’s protagonist, made the game more entertaining and eye-catching.

Vitamin Z recording

More credits in games include his portrayal of Eight in Final Fantasy Type-0, in Phantom of Inferno, Miyu reprised his anime role as Zwei/Reiji Azuma, more roles can be found in the Dragon Ball, Naruto, and God Eater series.

Miyu is on a lot of otome games due to his soothing, prince-like voice. The “Vitamin” series by Rejet (2009) is the one otome game franchise that has spawned several games, almost all of them featuring Kei, the serious twin brother in the student council.

He’s part of the commercial flop Black Robinia (with lead voice actors Shinnosuke Tachibana and Tatsuhisa Suzuki), Wand of Fortune franchise, as well as part of the Kamigami no Asobi franchise as part of the leading cast/one of the romantic interests available.

He’s also part of ROOT∞REXX, an otome game with a cast consisting only of seiyuu working for music label Kiramune.

Radio

Miyu has hosted several radio shows throughout the years starting from his debut in 2003 with “Irino Miyu to Miyamoto Shunnichi’s BOY’S ANGEL“, but it’s his show on USEN radio that is the longest-running and most successful.

Airing since 2009 up until now, Irino Miyu ‘s Irino Miyu (入野自由の入野自由) is having a steady run in a medium that is filled with seiyuu radio shows. Some of the radio shows he’s hosted in the past include “Captain Earth 〜Midsummer’s Night〜” (2014), “Celestial Station 00” (2007-2009), and “Kamiradio“(2009).

Acting

Child actor Miyu back in the 90’s

Miyu has been acting ever since he was a kid. His role in ウルトラマンティガ・ウルトラマンダイナ & ウルトラマンガイア 超時空の大決戦 (photo above) is one of the first his fans recall.

With a couple of theatrical plays and musicals under his belt, Miyu has shown his charms on stage enough times to impress the viewers. With roles on KREVA‘s musicals such as最高はひとつじゃない2014」- alongside Mamoru Miyano and 宝塚BOYS』.

He’s also been part of the Japanese musical production of the critically acclaimed Titanic opposite singer/seiyuu Kato Kazuki and others.

Titanic musical 2015

Music

If it wasn’t enough that Miyu Irino is a fantastic voice actor with a massive emotional range, he’s also a singer with an equally impressive vocal range, able to make you cry with just a few notes into a song.

He’s a sweet tenor with a bit of low range to himself – although he doesn’t tap into faux baritone. You can expect him to deliver crystal-clear high notes, tackle head voice, and falsetto like these are the easiest things to pull off, has a natural, warm vibrato and complete control over his singing tone.

Although extremely underrated as a solo artist – at least sales-wise -, Miyu Irino is easily one of the best singers among male seiyuu, having unparalleled technique and control.

Thankfully, fans get to listen to him rather regularly as a solo artist, unfortunately, Irino has never been too much of a fan of 2D music projects thus you can’t find him in any of those.

Solo Artist

Miyu Irino

As one of the first names debuting under Kiramune, a Japanese music label branching from Bandai/Lantis, Miyu released his first mini-album “Soleil” in 2009.

The mini-album that featured a lot of bright pop tracks managed to grab the attention of those that were once complaining that Miyu couldn’t really pull off an endeavor to the music business.

Advance era

Faith“, “Jump” and the first full-length album “vivid” followed but it wasn’t until “Advance” that Miyu would impress once again.

Advance” puts the bright pop tracks aside and grabs with both hands and teeth dance-pop.

The result can be seen in tracks like “ZERO” and “High Drive” that showcased yet another one of his talents: dance.

Then in 2012, “Cocoro” was his comeback to pretty pop and ballads breaking a bit the momentum created by the previous release.

Away from the music scene for two years, not even taking part in 2013’s Kiramune fest, Miyu made his comeback in 2014 with “E=mc2“, a mini-album that showcased the lyricist that is in Miyu penning “Sore demo nao” and “Hibi“.

E=mc2 miyu irino
E=mc2

E=mc2” proved to be a strong mini-album, raising the bar for future releases and that was exactly what Miyu did in 2015’s “Boku no Mitsuketa Mono“, a mini-album that was stripped out of synths and brought back the whole band sound to his music.

Focused on guitars, pianos and minimal elements, Miyu’s music was more robust compared with his debut days.

Starting from this point, things would change dramatically for his sound, with Irino leaning more and more towards pop-rock and funk.

Miyu Irino DARE TO DREAM

2016 would end up being an incredibly weird year for Miyu’s fans.

He released the full-length album “DARE TO DREAM“, one of the best albums in the past decade, and simultaneously announced that he was going on a hiatus from his career as a singer (actually, his career as a whole in the entertainment industry) to try something new in his life: study abroad.

Leaving fans behind with a fantastic album to remember him by, it took him 2 years studying in the United Kingdom until he’d announce his return to the entertainment industry.

freedom miyu regular edition
Regular edition

He brought with him a new worldview that impacted his comeback single “FREEDOM“.

Miyu Irino had matured as a solo artist with his image and sound quickly showing that the artist behind the ambitious “DARE TO DREAM” had taken a couple of steps forward, being unrecognizable sound-wise in some points.

Rock and jazz were replaced with fancy, minimalistic instrumentalization with influences that include ska, disco, tropical house, ambient music, and R&B.

But even if the sound was different, “FREEDOM” was a tie-up to “DARE TO DREAM”, an extra chapter developing the story of that young man wanting to get to know the world and experience new things. To challenge himself and grow.

At the time I reviewed “FREEDOM”, I added:

One thing that is noticeable after a clean listen is that this is rock solid consistent. FREEDOMIF YOU WANNA, and NOT SPECIAL fit with each other like puzzle pieces.

Starting from the themes in the lyrics – growing, experiencing new things, having new encounters, discovering your worth, etc. – to the vibes in all three songs, you notice a continuity between them. The single, in general, leans towards a minimalistic sound, FREEDOM and NOT SPECIAL are great examples of that, incorporating tropical house but not making it sound obnoxious for the listener.

Both songs introduced a relaxing dimension in this single. On the other side, the single features a dark horse – IF YOU WANNA – however, even if this is the fanciest of all 3 songs, featuring a rich and funky instrumental, this song doesn’t stray too far from the single’s overall feel and concept.

Additionally, as much as this single tries to turn a new page in his career, it feels like a continuation to DARE TO DREAM. (…) While DARE TO DREAM might be about the fears, expectations of the unknown, FREEDOM seems to be the aftermath of it all, the lessons learned, the new experiences, nostalgia in some way. It ties up what seems to have been an important chapter in Miyu‘s personal growth and career.

Indeed, “FREEDOM” was about Miyu Irino’s life experiences however instead of gloating on how good those were, he focused on the feeling of freedom – of any kind – that comes hand-in-hand with fear. That resulted in a liberating, minimalistic single that stands tall in Irino’s repertoire even years after its release.

In 2019, Miyu Irino released the ambitious mini-album “Live Your Dream“.

This was yet another chapter in his life journey, not that he was settling in Japan yet still recalling the awesome adventures he lived in the UK and Spain.

In the review, here at The Hand That Feeds HQ, I mentioned that:

Live Your Dream is an astounding release that started to rival but eventually overcame the quality of 2016’s DARE TO DREAM. It is a close to perfect release that distanced itself from today’s music trends and simply delivers a close to the heart, emotional set of songs that will leave a mark.

This is a mini-album that has a nostalgic twist. You can tell that Miyu’s memories of his journey are quite fond and that, to some extent, he misses the rich cultures he came across while traveling.

As a result, bossa nova, funk, disco, ballads, Salsa, and Samba (these two in really small measures) heavily influenced the sound in this mini-album, creating rich, unique, and vivid soundscapes filled with fun and good times.

And in 2020, the final chapter in that journey arrived. Like life itself, Miyu Irino’s “Life is…” is filled with ups and downs, mood swings, introspective bits, and pure fun parts.

He made sure the album was consistently about “feeling good”, even if the stories being told were a bit sad at times.

Rock, funk, jazz, ballads, pop, and R&B – the latter making a long-awaited comeback to Irino’s music – were present, giving life to all the amazing and inspiring stories he had to tell to his fans.

But you could also notice something changing about his music and himself as a solo artist. He was maturing.

He was, in a way, bidding goodbye to a part of himself, ready to start a new chapter in his life and his music in “Life is…” was the perfect way for him to close that chapter with a smile on his face.

2020 arrived and Miyu Irino had big plans to hold a live show early in the year. However, the year was completely disrupted with a global pandemic – Covid-19 – putting everything to a halt.

Isolated in his home – like almost everyone in the world in the first half of 2020 -, Miyu Irino wrote the lyrics to “April“, song that he would end up releasing later on in 2021.

At the time of reviewing this song, I wrote “The song feels intimate with its acoustic sound as well as the choice for Irino’s vocals to be closer to the listener. It feels like he’s confiding in you, telling his stories while also giving you a pep talk. The gentleness in his vocals also adds up to this feeling, something that can make this song rather emotional if it ends up resonating with you.

It certainly feels like a friend confiding in you, supporting you while also being fragile around you. It is incredibly intimate and warm, hoping his fans would find comfort in it (which they did).

The song would later be included in the 2021 single “CHEERS“.

And indeed what Miyu Irino was hinting in “Life is…” came to fruition with “CHEERS“.

The single arrived closer to the time in which he announced his marriage, signaling a new chapter in his life, another exciting and scary adventure that he was more than happy to share with his fans.

“CHEERS” celebrates life.

It is upbeat, comfortable, laidback, and overflowing with good vibes.

The sound is more mature than ever before, embracing nu-disco/space-disco and R&B, creating an ethereal, passionate and intimate single that made a really good impression right off the bat.

On the vocal end, Miyu Irino made sure to bring his honeyed tenor vocals with an R&B twist to the forefront, giving life to those stories in a way that you couldn’t help but notice that this longtime friend of yours was, yet again, confiding in you, asking you to trust him, live your life, be happy and risk it all if you find something or someone you love.

This elegant sound and smooth approach to his music and himself as an artist leaves many wondering where his music will go next. Hopefully it further explores this mature, masculine vibe he now has about his music yet balancing it well with fragile moments in ballads.

KAmiYU (2010 -)

Miyu Irino is part of Kiramune‘s first seiyuu unit KAmiYU, alongside Hiroshi Kamiya.

The two released 2 mini-albums (link-up and Road to Wonderland) and a single (Reason). “Reason” was featured as the opening theme for shoujo anime “Karneval”, anime in which both of them were cast.

The song was a major hit among the viewers and is currently their most successful song.

Earlier they released “My Proud, My Play” which was featured as the opening theme for 2010’s anime Mokei Senshi Gunpla Builders Beginning G.

The unit was on hiatus from 2013 until 2018.

KAmiYU in 2018

After Miyu Irino returned from his hiatus in the entertainment industry, the duo announced its comeback with a 3rd mini-album.

The duo released the bubblegum pop-meets-rock mini-album “Happy-Go-Lucky“. In comparison to previous releases by the duo, this mini-album ended up being subpar

In that same year, the duo held the variety + live event KAmiYU in Wonderland 4, revisiting fan-favorite songs as well as the recently released tracks.


AndWith this, THTFHQ wraps up another Seiyuu Digest. In the meantime, don’t forget to check past Seiyuu Digests (some of those recently updated) – HERE.

Vanessa Silva
Vanessa Silvahttps://www.handthatfeedshq.com
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder, content creator, and music reviewer. Basically, the only person managing everything at The Hand That Feeds HQ. Stumbling upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" in 2011 was the start of this journey. If music is thought-provoking or deep, you may find her writing almost essays (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). She's the producer and host of the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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