This month we return with the amazingly talented Kenji Nojima, a seiyuu with a lot to offer however he’s a little underrated.
KANJI: 野島 健児
BORN: June 13, 1976
OCCUPATION: seiyuu, singer, radio host
HEIGHT: 163 cm
A note, this article was written in 2016 and is currently undergoing a deep update.
Some information below may be dated or not updated.
Nojima is one of those all rounder seiyuu, his talent does not stop at being able to dub well, when he’s working he does so at 100% and that really shows in the final product, of course if one acknowledges his talent as a seiyuu it certainly cannot be forgotten the fact that he also is an amazing singer. There is hardly any need to question oneself about his amazing vibrato.
He is meticulous with every job he has and that just comes out to prove how professional he is, however one cannot disregard the fact that he has gained a lot of experience from his fast repertoire with different types of characters which is a good thing given the thought that in this manner one can really look forward to see what type of character Nojima will be next.
Nojima’s first steps into the industry were steady and that really made him not only get familiarized but also gain experience while working with other fellow seiyuu.
Naturally, his first jobs were merely minor roles but nonetheless it surely made it a launching ramp for Nojima himself. One of his first roles was in 家なき子レミ as several supporting characters.
Of course and as always his beginning was rough, however that was not a problem and therefore Nojima persevered and after two years of being hung on minor roles he had finally got his first main role as Spark in Lodoss-tou Senki: Eiyuu Kishi Den.
However, and strangely enough Nojima still continued getting mainly supporting roles in One Piece, Orphan Sorcerer and in ジバクくん. Despite the adversities Nojima continued to gain experience and recognition, if not for being the main character, given the thought that he was most of the times the supporting character, for the fact that each time the appeared in any anime he was always top-notch.
From this decade onwards, Nojima really started to get more main character roles, and one must say that there are quite a few of them that are extremely notorious.
His first main role in the decade was as Hakime Murata in Gakuen Senki Muryuo, then he was Wataru Minakami in Sister Princess, yet another different role in distinct anime which for a seiyuu is a good thing meaning that he or she can get the utmost of the experience and gain more knowledge for future reference and therefore deliver a better and more accurate performance to the fans.
In the same year, Nojima was the main character Kenta in Pokemon Crystal: Raikou Ikazuchi no Densetsu and following that he Spiral: Suiri no Kizuna as Canon Hilbert as different character, this time he was dubbing a character with double-personality which was a new challenge for Nojima himself and he made sure that he overcame it therefore that is what he did.
Another Nojima’s great role is as Joe Katsuragi in Innocent Venus, an anime in which he co-starred with Takahiro Sakurai.
Although his character did not talk all the times but when he did, I guess it is pretty safe to say that he really did a good job, not only his voice is not the normally cute and young version that one listens to the majority of the time but he also managed to add a little more life to the character.
From this point onward, Nojima started to appear in anime with more diverse genre, which career-wise is something positive and surely the fans also liked it since it meant that Nojima got more air-time.
Following his fast repertoire Nojima got himself a role as Kuuga Sakurai in the famous shoujo and romance anime Kaichou wa Maid-sama.
Although he didn’t appear since the beginning of the anime, the character Kuuga who had a horrible personality believing that all the girls would like him since he was UxMishi’s vocalist- just a side-note, UxMishi is the name of the fictional band of Nojima’s character- actually grows as a character and in the end he turns out to be more caring towards others.
In the following years Nojima was in various popular anime such as GOSIK- Gothic as Ned, in Shaguhan no Shana as Keisaku Satou.
He also was in Blood-C as Fumito Nanahara, a character with a lot to say be it for the fact that it seems inoffensive but the reality is different or for the fact that he’s a character that sometimes speaks in a slightly cold manner but for the most part he is warmhearted.
Reaching the year of 2012, Nojima really managed to gather the attention to himself.
After a series of supporting characters and some main characters, which by the way increased, it was now the perfect time to get a role that combined new elements, something that he had never done before, and the result of this effort was his character in the Psycho-Pass series the diligent detective Nobuchika Ginoza.
Ginoza’s only purpose was to work and to do so abiding to the rules, however throughout the anime one can unquestionably point out the differences in his way of thinking and acting towards the other characters. If there is an anime one must really watch to then that is Psycho-Pass.
Afterwards Nojima got immersed in other anime such as High School DxD as Yuuto Kiba, in Tanken Driland as Wallens, in Rinne no Lagrange as Kirius Rakus Lestrine Ha. Nojima’s most recent roles as in Sailor Moon Crystal Season III as Mamoru Chiba a.k.a Tuxedo Mask and in Fudanshi Koukou Sekaitsu as Toshiaku Nakamura.
Regarding any game appearances, one cannot forget that his repertoire is fast, nonetheless one can name a few such as BLOOD THE LAST VAMPIRE, Yakuza 2, ときめきメモリアル Girl’s Side 2nd Season and lastly School Wars.
One must say, even with all the other work Nojima has to do he still manages to squeeze in some time to host radio shows.
He has hosted a show titled RADIO DUEL LOVE with his older brother and also seiyuu Hirofumi Nojima, as was as his own radio show 野島健児の華劇ラヂヲ. Aside from these two shows, he was the host of the two radio shows for the popular anime Psycho-Pass.
When talking about Nojima’s journey in the music department there are quite a few things one has to know before one gets into any detail. First of all, Nojima has debuted under the record label EM2 in 2014 releasing the single Any Day Shuffle in which he had the privilege to work with Jin Nakamura, the same producer of Mamoru Miyano.
However, this major debut of his did not bring out the entire vocal potential Nojima has, it seemed more like the single was created solely with the purpose of selling Kenji Nojima’s name and not to bring new music to the fans.
His debut was a important step for him to get started in the music industry but he quickly stopped showing any signs of a possible comeback under EM2, and this leads us to the new part of his music career.
Debuting under a record label resulted in a flop, so he decided to create his own music from helping composing to creating a more personal sound with a different genre more on the pop-rock but still a tad jazzy, Nojima really managed to free himself from the bounding contract he had with a record label and thus the NZ Project was created enabling him to organize all of his music career.
The music he produces is available or on his website or at the concert venue when he holds a concert or a workshop making things a little more intimate with the fans.
All of these activities are paid by Nojima himself with no help from a record label whatsoever. Another different aspect regarding his music is in his album いつかどこかの僕について he is telling a story, so essentially the album is half-drama, half-music.
Nojima, unlike many other seiyuu that choose to debut as a singer, has had no units so far which one can say it it really uncommon.
He is one of the few seiyuu with a peculiar manner of singing so if one had to name a few other seiyuu who seemed similar to Nojima one could mention Yoshimasa Hosoya and Kisho Taniyama but even so those two have less control over their vibrato, but the sonority is similar.
Nojima is of those few people that was blessed with a natural vibrato and that is why whenever he is singing the end of the word is in “trembled” and even though he has a melodic voice sometimes it sounds a little weak in particular songs.
He was the first seiyuu to ever sing a song with a dummy-head mic and he did that for the major Japanese company Rejet for the 7th Heaven collection where Nojima as Akira, the character of the first volume in the collection, sang the song Love Delight.
In this track with a 3D ambiance, Nojima really snatched the hearts of lots of fans, not only the melody is extremely frail but the way he sings the song is like a cry to someone dear that is about to leave/die.
For those of you who think you aren’t easily emotional when listening to sad songs this track will really change your mind, so do be prepared for that when listening to the song.
Another collection in which Nojima has sang for is the Actors. He sang probably the best song in that collection, like 威風堂々 and 虎視眈々 just to name a few.
Now going to the songs he has sang for his characters in games we have Devil from VitaminZ, a great song with a jazzy feel to it, and then we have from the game Dynasty Warrior 7 the songs Crimson Wings and Blaze of Mind.
These two tracks one must really listen to since they are rock and Nojima himself rarely sings completely rock oriented songs, nonetheless he still makes the most out of his vibrato in this tracks and nails them.
Nojima also participated in the Platinum Voice project in which voice actors sang old popular Japanese songs and Nojima sang the song titled キセキ. In this collection fellow seiyuu Junichi Suwabe and Ryoutaro Okiayu also participated with other songs.
And with this we end this Seiyuu Digest. Hope you learnt more about this amazing seiyuu that Kenji Nojima is and also hope that you enjoyed reading it.