For a lot of anime fans, he’s a big name, having under his belt one of the most iconic characters in mainstream shounen anime. This month we dive into Hideo Ishikawa’s career.
KANJI: 石川 英郎
BORN: December 13, 1969
OCCUPATION: seiyuu, singer, narrator, radio host
HEIGHT: 181 cm
Note: This article is undergoing a deep update. There may be some information missing.
In the earlier ’90s and 2000s Ishikawa not only was in many anime such as Bleach, Naruto – just to name a few- but he also was in other entertainments departments such as drama CDs and games.
Despite the fact that these days Ishikawa is more on the low profile it still is fair to say that he is a perfect subject to be featured in this Seiyuu Digest, so without any further ado let’s get this edition started.
Making his first appearances in the early ’90s, Ishikawa’s first role was in ツヨシしっかりしなさい as the announcer, a minor role that as always was his first contact with the industry and certainly would have helped him get some experience, something that a rookie seiyuu definitely needs.
Earlier on he would be Kicchou Fukuda in the famous basketball anime Slam Dunk.
Afterwards Ishikawa would be Makoto Soda in Captain Tsubasa 3, in Dragon Ball Z he would be the Monk, a character with some importance and in Sailor Moon SS he would be a reporter.
Needless to say that in this few anime that Ishikawa is in some of them have a luxury cast take the case of Slam Dunk, for instance, an anime with several seiyuu that were at the starting line of their career and nowadays are some of the most successful in the industry take the example of Hikaru Midorikawa or Toshiyuki Morikawa.
At the end of the decade he would be cast for ONE PIECE as Fullbody, yet another role in an anime that is nowadays one of the most popular ones.
In this decade, Ishikawa would land on his first role as the main character, a rather late opportunity for the seiyuu, however, he grabbed the chance and did all he could to deliver the best performance possible, and with that being said, he was in Gravitation as Tatsuha Uesugi with Tantei Gakuen Q, Ishikawa would have his first main role as Kintarou Tooyama.
A little side note, Ishikawa may really be one of the seiyuu featured in SEIYUU DIGEST that had his first main role this late in his career but despite that fact he still managed to grab this opportunity and make the best of it.
In 2004 would be the year Ishikawa got his role as Juushhiro Ukitake in Bleach and Itachi Uchiha in Naruto, both of them were very popular when they started to air.
Adding to these characters he was in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children as Cait Sith.
After that he was on a slight popularity streak and got a role in Ring ni Kakeru as Kazuki Shinatora, Tranformers Galaxy Force as Jetfire, and one of his most famous roles, aside from Itachi and Ukitake, in the Kiniiro no Corda franchise as Hiroto Kanazawa and Housei Toki and in Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom as Isaac Waisumeru.
Ishikawa even had a character with importance in the famous thriller anime Death Note as Raye Penber, a not-so-typical character from Ishikawa himself which captured the attention of the less interested fans so far and gave him a boost of popularity.
Currently Ishikawa is more on the low-profile and hasn’t been in that many anime anymore which for his fans is a shame however he has still been making appearances here and there.
He is in Hagure Yuusha no Aesthetica as Kenya Onizuka, in the famous romance anime Ore Monogatari as a minor character and most recently he is in Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu as Pelagius and also was in the movie Doukyuusei as Manabu Hara.
Something we must not disregard after having a look at his repertoire is the fact that the majority, if not all, of the characters he has played so far, have always had an amazingly deep voice.
One might think that he doesn’t have any other charm to his voice other than the fact that he has a deep voice, however, if we look at the other side of the spectrum what we’ll find is one of the few seiyuu that has amazing control over his deep voice, with that being said he is somewhat special in that sense.
Although it is fair to say that Ishikawa has been on a low profile he still is a guest of NEO ROMANCE each and every year, usually he goes there because of his character in the Kiniiro no Corda, the famous music anime.
Regarding his job as a radio host one must say that he definitely is active in this department. He was the host of オー!NARUTOニッポン, BLEACH “B” STATION.
He and Showtaro Morikubo also had radio show titled 石川英郎・森久保祥太郎のあんぷらぐど!, other radio shows he hosted are 石川英郎のDear Girl〜Lesson〜, 石川英郎と後藤友香里のニコナナキングダム and with fellow seiyuu from Kiniiro no Corda Yuya Uchida in 内田夕夜・石川英郎の金色のコルダ Blue♪Sky Radio.
Regarding any music projects, Ishikawa was a part of he was in E.M.U with fellow seiyuu Hikaru Midorikawa, Kanna Nobutoshi, Ryotaro Okiayu, and Daisuke Sakaguchi.
This unit was very particular since all the members in it played an instrument, in this case, Ishikawa was the drummer and singer. This unit debuted in 1995 and disbanded in 2000.
Not only did was he apart of this unit but he also was in a unit with fellow seiyuu Shinichiro Miki and Rumi Kasahara, together they were RoST. Now, unlike E.M.U, this unit’s activities were irregular.
AN’s ALL STARS
AN’s ALL STARS was another unit he was a part of alongside fellow seiyuu Showtaro Morikubo, Hidarijin Tadasuke, Otobe Hilo, Hiroshi Miyagi. This unit was created because of the radio show Ishikawa hosted alongside the other members.
Finally Ishikawa was in yet another unit titled Tea Cups with Ryotaro Okiayu, Junko Noda, Kaya Matsutani, Yukana and Sara Nakayama. The unit disbanded.
Aside from all of his projects he also helped fellow seiyuu Yuto Suzuki, Koutaro Nishiyama, Leona Irie, and Nobunaga Shimazaki get recognition with the Animarus‘ project in which he enabled the possibility for this young seiyuu to showcase their talents and at the same time to get the public’s attention.
Adding to the fact that Ishikawa already has plenty of experience in units, we could not forget to bring up his singing skills as a solo artist, now when we mention solo we aren’t speaking of a career but like the fact that he has sung many characters songs throughout the years and we must say, he is one of the few pearls with complete control over his voice and deep tone.
In tracks such as Absinthe -夢幻- from Kiniiro no Corda we can really ascertain that not only does he manage to maintain a stable and comfortable tone but he also sings the song with emotion enough for one to really enjoy listening to him singing, this is one track that one really should check, it will change your image from Ishikawa or improve it.
Stay tuned for next month’s SEIYUU DIGEST.