Seiyuu Digest #22 – Showtaro Morikubo

Showtaro Morikubo Seiyuu Digest 22

Voice actor, narrator, actor, rocker. One of the most consistent solo artists among male seiyuu. Welcome to Showtaro Morikubo’s Seiyuu Digest.

Showtaro Morikubo

Showtaro Morikubo

KANJI: 森久保 祥太郎

BORN: February 25, 1974

OCCUPATION: seiyuu, musician, radio host, stage actor

HEIGHT: 165 cm

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.

Seiyuu

 Mid 90s

As many in the industry, Morikubo had a modest debut starring in little roles such as Willis Alamis in After War Gundam X, a minor role that would help him gain some experience as a seiyuu and to make people notice him as well as to possibly recognize him in future roles.

However, unlike many other seiyuu and after only two years since his debut, he had already landed on on a main role in the anime Majutsushi Orphen as Orphen in which he had the privilege to work with famous seiyuu Ryoutaro Okiayu, for instance.

From this point onward, Morikubo just started to more and more reveal himself  as a box full of potential, following his first role as a main character he was Shunichi Domoto in Chousoku Spinner, with this two roles one is already able to get a little bit more of the intricate and varied repertoire of characters he had dubbed so far and therefore one starts to get a fuller perspective on Morikubo‘s career in its earlier stage.

At Tenshi ni Naromon! he was Raphael, a character that had some importance, yet another type of character and another chance to raise his abilities, in the same year he was Goku in Monkey Magic.

 

Early 2000s

From the begining of this decade onward, Morikubo grown at a unexpectedly fast rate, he started to get more and more roles, in fact the roles themselves had began to be more and more diverse.

Morikubo left behind the idea that some might have had believing that he was stuck to the same type of character and/or anime, which is not unusual for seiyuu in their earlier stages in the industry, as a matter of a fact there are seiyuu that go through this their whole career.

The 2000’s have been Morikubo’s era especially if one takes into account the fact that he has not only has been constantly- every season- in demand, but he also has improved his skills and polished himself. 

Starting from appearing in kids anime such as Setsuna Kai in Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children to a shounen one such as Hamrio Musica in Groove Adventure Rave and as Jet Link in Cyborg 009, a character with a strong personality and different from the previous roles he had done so far.

Following this turn of events, Morikubo was casted as Shikamaru Nara in the Naruto‘s franchise, an anime that made him even more famous in the seiyuu industry; this would solely be the first of several iconic roles he would do. In the shoujo anime department he was Goh in  Prétear: The New Legend of Snow White, Kyouhei Takano in The Seven Metamorphoses of Yamato Nadeshiko. Morikubo was also casted as Kadaj in FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN.

2010s

Now we reach Morikubo’s golden age, not only has he been more and more in demand but he also has, as previously mentioned, gotten himself a lot of iconic roles.Those include: Souji Okita in the Hakuouki franchise, character that is not your typical cold/cool guy.

Morikubo was really able to grasp that and portray him as something fresh yet so real, perhaps because he had already portrayed Okita Souji in another anime back in 2003, although the character in Papuwa appears to be more children-friendly than the one in Hakuouki, he not only likes to tease people around him – he’s a sadist- but you also have to be able to distinguish what is not a joke because if it is the ladder then chances are that he is seriously and most likely will try to kill any character since he has psychopathic tendencies.

He joined the cast of Uta no Prince Sama 2000% as QUARTET NIGHT‘s leader, Reiji Kotobuki.

Yowamushi Pedal is another franchise in which Morikubo was really able to enjoy the attention and at the same time to make his name, once again, bigger by portraying Yuusuke Makishima, a character with a flashy visual with his green long hair.

Then we have Kogorou Katsura in Bakumatsu Rock, a music anime with a mix of samurai elements and Shinsengumi resulting in an interesting final product.

If on one side we have Diabolik Lovers, More Blood in which he was Shin Tsukinami, yet another different character this time a vampire with a lot of pride and arrogant on the other we have a noisy, flashy and hipper character in the famous franchise Uta no☆Prince-sama as Reiji Kotobuki.

Currently he voices Tomo Kaneku in Hatsukoi Monster, a shoujo anime with a peculiar storyline, and also Hikaru Ousari in B-PROJECT- the Animation. 

Morikubo is also he official voice of Lee Bum Soo and Eddie Peng but aside from this he has already dubbed many foreign television series such as Criminal Mission as Noah, Criminal Minds as Spencer Reed, as a matter of fact  Matthew Gray Gubler went to Japan himself to get to known Morikubo.

Regarding his work in the gaming department one must say that his repertoire in fast and therefore one should refer 神撃のバハムート (Rage of Bahamut)  as Ryūto and in the Hakuouki game app as Okita Souji, just to name a few. This year Morikubo won the Kei Tomiyama Award, meaning that he was the most active seiyuu promoting in the media.

Stage acting

As many devoted Morikubo fans may already know he not only is a seiyuu and everything but he also is a stage actor in fact he started his career as a stage actor.

When Morikubo was in college he was enrolled in the Tama Art University from which he graduated and then pursued his career as a stage actor.

His debut stage was 鬼女紅葉伝説 (Ogress autumn leaves legend).

As it turns out many people are surprised to acquire this piece of information about Morikubo, a not so unexpected reaction since it is not all days that one starts his career in the entertainment business as a stage actor and afterwards becomes a seiyuu, well at least not at the time nowadays this has become more and more common.

He starred in Burning Samurai ~FINAL BURST~MASKED RIDER LIVE & SHOW ~ decades Festival ~ and Kenichi Suzumura’s AD-LIVE in which he co-starred with famous seiyuu Takahiro Sakurai, just to name a few.

Radio

Usually a seiyuu this busy like Morikubo would not have the time to host any radio shows but contrary to what one would have thought, he actually does and not just one or two but many of them over the last few years.

Starting from 森久保祥太郎・浪川大輔 つまみは塩だけ (Morikubo Shoutaro, Namikawa Daisuke tsumami wa shio dake) to 石川英郎と森久保祥太郎のあんずジャム (Apricot jam of Hideo Ishikawa and Morikubo Shotaro).

Morikubo has hosted several radio shows as a regular guest and at the same time got to know famous seiyuu such as Tomokasu Seki, Hideo Ishikawa, Suzuki Yuuto and others.

Music

Morikubo is well known for being  a rocker be it for his style or the music he creates.

Having debuted in 2001 with The Answer and 髄(Zui) Morikubo was set on making his career a long one in the industry presenting the fans with a rock genre, extremely dynamic as well as different music as the final result, partially because of the fact that in The Answer he also raps adding to the fact that the instrumental of the track is slightly eerie, however this two first releases were both out of the Oricon chart. 

From 2008 onward Morikubo’s songs were finally on the charts and although they didn’t rank any higher than #24, courtesy of TRIBALISM 〜sunrise side〜, it helped him to build up his momentum as a musician and to create better and even more amazing songs always staying true to his genre of election, the rock.

So far he has released three albums such as 髄(Zui)叫〜kyo〜凛〜rin〜, two mini-albums TRIBALISM 〜sunrise side〜 and TRIBALISM 〜sunset side〜 and many singles such as Chain Reaction and Phantom Pain just to name a few.

QUARTET★NIGHT (2011 -)

QUARTET NIGHT

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).

Aoi’s high notes and crystal clear singing tone make him an invaluable member of the group, able to contrast with QUARTET★NIGHT firepower on the low and mid-tone range.

With his voice, the group’s song’s have a unique, delicate twist that fits perfectly with this group and what they represent.

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.

Shining All Star CD
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 at Uta no Prince-Sama Maji LOVE LIVE 6th STAGE
QUARTET NIGHT at Uta no Prince-Sama Maji LOVE LIVE 6th STAGE in 2017

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
QUARTET NIGHT LIVE EVOLUTION 2017

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.

KYOHSO (2014 -)

kyohso

Morikubo was casted in DYNAMIC CHORD as Yorito, KYOHSO’s vocal.

KYOHSO consist of Yorito (CV: Showtaro Morikubo), Tokiharu (CV: Shinnosuke Tachibana), Yuu (CV: Kaito Ishikawa) and Shinomune (CV: Taku Yashiro).

The band dons a mature, dangerous and more aggressive sound than all other bands in the franchise.

The band has released 4 singles – x-maniac (2014), Roots of Life / precog (2015), BACK 2 SQUARE 1 (2017), because the sky… (2017) and Kyoso (2021).

MooNs (2015 -)

Showtaro Morikubo joined the cast of B-PROJECT in 2015. He’s a member of MooNs, unit consisting of Yuto Uemura, Tetsuya KakiharaToshiki MasudaTetsuya Kakihara and Genki Okawa.

As part of MooNs, Morikubo was once again on the spotlight for an idol group. Although vocals are, in a way, evenly distributed among the members, Morikubo has plenty of spotlight for himself.

His vocals are what you’d expect from Morikubo: with a bit of nasaly touch, packing a lot of power however, not sounding much different from what you have in QUARTET NIGHT, for example.

So far the group has released 4 singles – Glory Upper (2015), Brand New Star (2016), SUMMER MERMAID (2017) and GO AROUND (2018) – and were featured on B-Project‘s album “S Kyuu Paradise“.

MooNs have performed live thrice: B-PROJECT Kodou Ambitious BRILLIANT PARTY (2016), B-PROJECT Summer Live 2018 – Eternal Pacific – and SPARKLE PARTY (2019).


With this we end our SEIYUU DIGEST, we hope you enjoyed this edition and hopefully you’ll stay tuned for next month’s.

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