Daisuke Ono is seiyuu royalty. He’s one of the most talented and most sought-after seiyuu in the industry with an impressive repertoire that counts with more than 200 credits.
But OnoD is not only a successful voice actor, he’s also a talented singer with a 15-year career under his belt as a solo artist, major hit units, several important dubbing roles. Dubbing, radio, games, theater, music, OnoD is virtually everywhere, and in every single place, he’s shown what he’s capable of memorable performances.
We take some time to dive into Daisuke Ono, the original “handsome” seiyuu, an entertainer at heart.
KANJI: 小野 大輔
BORN: May 4, 1978
OCCUPATION: Seiyuu, Narrator, Radio personality, Singer, Lyricist
HEIGHT: 175 cm
Note: This article is undergoing a deep update. There may be some information missing.
In comparison with most seiyuu we’ve reviewed in the past, OnoD has a relatively short career (as of 2016 he’s only been in the business for 15 years).
For the number of roles he’s managed to grab so far, one would think that he’d been active for many more years but the reality is this: he only debuted in 2001 after attending two different voice acting schools: Aoni‘s (only briefly) and Mausu‘s (company that managed his career up until early 2016).
Daisuke Ono‘s route to stardom wasn’t earned easily. To reach where he is right now, many obstacles had to be overcome and his motto has always guided him through it all:
“Betray your expectations. Surpass your predictions“
Debuting in 2001 and staying relevant wasn’t as easy as it had been in the ’80s and still in the early ’90s. Being a seiyuu was now a dream that a majority of kids in Japan had and tried to pursue.
Voice acting schools were everywhere in Japan making this job one of the most wanted among youngsters. Therefore career as a voice actor started to get massive popularity to the point that the early 00’s (especially between 2001 to 2003 classes) count with what are now some of the biggest names in the industry: Hiro Shimono, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Satoshi Hino, among many others.
Ono came to Tokyo from Kochi prefecture (south of Japan) on the Island of Shihoku, Japan. In Kochi his parents run their family business, a furniture shop called “Ono Furniture Shop“. He also has an older brother, Yuushin, that is a veterinarian.
In elementary school back in Kochi, Daisuke Ono was a regular at his prefecture football club. Ono played as a right-wing and was teammates with Satoshi Yamaguchi, a defender that played in the J-League and also performed for the Japanese senior national team.
Daisuke Ono arrived in Tokyo with dreams of being a news anchor. He was taking his major in television broadcasting at Nihon University’s College of Art but despite his want to be an anchor, he wasn’t cut out for it.
While he attended college he was extremely criticized by his teachers regarding his approach to that area, thus he decided to change majors.
Now his focus was on the performing arts, and voice acting provided a good outlet for Ono to showcase his talent.
He started taking minor roles at a local broadcast channel, paving his way to what was waiting for him in the future.
More than a voice actor, Daisuke Ono chose to be a multi-talented entertainer and that will be shown throughout this digest.
2001 – 2005
Paving his way
Although many of his roles were secondary, these 4 years were essential to practice and slowly starting to showcase his abilities.
Small roles in Naruto, Wolf’s Rain, Weiß kreuz Glühen, between many others made way for his slightly more interesting secondary roles in Blood+, Trinity Blood and Eyeshield 21.
Ono‘s first main role was landed only in 2005 with “AIR“. Kyoto Animation was enlisting once again Ono, but this time not as a secondary character as he was in Full Metal Panic years before.
He was to take the role of Yukito Kunisaki, a young man on a journey to find the “girl in the sky”. The story was adapted from the light novel and toned down a bit from its original eroge nature.
The anime although skillfully animated by KyoAni, wasn’t that much of a hit among fans due to its confusing storyline.
2006 – 2007
2006 proved to be the year in which Daisuke Ono started to be recognized for his talent.
Being cast and doing an amazing performance in the popular series The Melancholy of Haruhi as Itsuki Koizumi, made him stood out among the cast.
Ono‘s name started to be one to be on the lookout for.
During this two-year span, Ono landed roles in several anime such as Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Lucky Star (as himself), Minami-ke, Rental Magica, Kaze no Stigma, among others.
2008 – 2009
Rise to super stardom
2008 saw Ono starting to get recognition from his peers and fans in Japan as he won his first-ever award at the Seiyuu Awards.
He was so emotional over getting this award that couldn’t contain his tears, making others instantly trying to comfort him.
That didn’t last long because as soon as he heard he was going to split the Best supporting actor award (for his roles as Hosaka in Minami-ke and Kagezaki in Rental Magica) with Hiroshi Kamiya, he got off the stage and started snapping pictures of Kamiya giving his award speech, the sight was described by Kamiya as being “extremely embarrassing“.
This award paved the way for what was to come in the following year.
Demon Butler Sebastian Michaelis is no one’s stranger.
The Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) manga series created by Toboso Yana enlisted Daisuke Ono for the main role and people expressed their skepticism about it – mainly due to the fact that OnoD was best known for goofy characters rather than stoic, cold ones and that it had been rumored all along that Toshiyuki Morikawa would be the one to take the role.
Brushing aside all skepticism, OnoD made his performance as Sebastian memorable. His performance not only swayed the critics as well as his peers but also landed him his first-ever award at the 4th Seiyuu Awards.
Achieving the “Best Voice Actor” award was a major accomplishment, taking into account that his immediate rivals (for the award) Jun Fukuyama and Mamoru Miyano had a very strong 2008 with powerful performances in iconic series.
Durarara, Working!! and Seiyuu Awards
2010 started the trend for Ono‘s busy years to come. This was the turning point for his career.
Starting the year big winning the “Best Voice Actor” award, it was still strange just how few main roles he got, especially starting from the second half of the year.
He was back to reprise his role as Sebastian Michaelis in Black Butler‘s second installment (a completely new chapter created by Toboso sensei exclusively for that season – not following the manga).
Despite his return as Sebastian, there was a new charm around him thanks to his role as Shizuo Heiwajima in Durarara or even his roles as Satou in Working!! and Hotsuma Renjou in The Betrayal Knows My Name (Uraboku) – both anime featured the golden duo Kamiya/Ono, sometimes as sort of antagonists or as the unlikely comedic cook duo in Working!!.
The types of characters he was now voicing were completely different from what he’d been doing in the past few years. Goofy characters were soon replaced by more stoic types, or violent, effusive characters.
2011 – 2015
Consistency is key to build a dynasty
Perhaps one of the weirdest periods in Ono‘s career, this 4-year span has a lot of amazing but also a bit of weird on it. With one Best Supporting actor award, as well as Best voice actor award under his belt, it was expected that he would now start to be literally everywhere. Well, that happened.
He managed to grab himself various roles in the widest genres of anime that range from mecha to adventure to shoujo and everything in between those. But we’ve mentioned that something weird happened as well, right? Take for instance 2013.
Out of his roles how many were leading roles (not part of the main cast but really as the main character)? Few, very few.
Of course it isn’t expected that an actor would take on all projects at once – which is physically impossible – but Ono literally was part of the main cast for a couple of instances he just wasn’t the leading man.
To add up to this, he was starting to be typecasted.
Do you know what all these characters have in common besides the fact that Ono voiced them between 2011 and 2015?
Stoic, cold types. It was typecasting at its finest, and although most fans wouldn’t mind that he was getting the same type of roles, others wanted to see Ono challenging himself with something new.
Still, between 2011 and 2015, Ono had busy schedules which amounted up to 33 main roles (different from lead roles) in some of the most iconic anime franchises ever made.
Ao no exorcist, Bleach, Noragami (for the two seasons it spawned), Brothers Conflict, Persona 4, Working’!! (part of the three seasons), K (the two seasons as well), Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Brave 10, Shirokuma café, Prince of Tennis II, Karneval, Valvrave the Liberator, Uta no Prince sama 2000%, Magi: The Kingdom of Magic (two seasons), Barakamon, Kuroko no Basuke (three seasons), Terra Formars, Shingeki no Kyojin, Kamigami no Asobi, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders (two seasons) and Black Butler.
His roles in Barakamon, Kuroko no Basuke, Magi: The kingdom of magic, and Shirokuma Café showcased Ono‘s charms in the best way.
Handa, Midorima, Sinbad, Llama were all characters that either started off being cool and collected and changed to goofier (Midorima in some instances, Handa basically all the time with his antics) or started off being incredibly hilarious in their own ways and somehow got cooler throughout the respective series (Sinbad is a great example of that as the first impression of the main characters of him was not the best).
Reprising his previous roles as Sebastian in Black Butler‘s new season Book of Circus, as well as Shizuo in Durarara was considered by his fans as a replay of what happened in 2010.
Fans were certain that not only these two specific roles – fan favorites – but also his new roles as Seishu Handa in Barakamon and Jotaro Kujo in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders would get Ono yet another “Best Voice Actor” award in the following Seiyuu Awards.
Repeating the feat: Best voice actor again
And that’s exactly what happened as we entered 2015. Daisuke Ono was once again at the Seiyuu Awards after a two-year reign from Kaji Yuki as the “Best Voice Actor“.
He was back to claim his spot as the best seiyuu in the business again. Even with several years giving voice to secondary characters (but part of the main cast), Ono was back to the spotlight, reprising his win in 2010.
Only one character was responsible for his win.
His stellar performance in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc as the cool Jotaro Kujo was the fans’ favorite in the previous year, earning him the major award of the night at the Seiyuu Awards.
We can’t imagine how delighted Ono was for this win, taking into account that his favorite anime franchise is JoJo‘s.
Also at the 2015 Seiyuu Awards and for the first time ever, Ono won the BEST PERSONALITY award, sharing it with Hiroshi Kamiya for their radio show Dear Girl Stories.
So the Ono that had been consecutively playing secondary roles after earning his first Best Voice Actor award was back again in the spotlight.
Offers didn’t stop coming his way, and with a lot of series making their comebacks for further seasons, Ono was undoubtedly a name to be on the lookout in all major anime for that year.
Among the already known names were JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc, Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji LOVE Revolutions (season 3), Working (third season), Noragami Aragoto, Kuroko no Basuke (last season), K: Return of the Kings and Durarara!!x2 Sho. These anime series were all major hits among their respective demographics.
But there were new additions to the mix: Shingeki no Kyojin, Seraph of the End, and Charlotte, for all these series
Ono played secondary characters with an incredible emotional depth – especially in Charlotte -, bringing new fans on board while impressing his long time fans once again.
But not everything is bound to be serious so we had Ono back into comedy – for those that remember, his last comedy incursion was as Llama in Shirokuma Café back in 2012 – Osomatsu san, classic anime series was being remade from scratch and he was set to be part of the stellar cast that counts with Takahiro Sakurai, Yuiichi Nakamura, Hiroshi Kamiya, Jun Fukuyama and Irino Miyu.
As Jyushimatsu, he was able to showcase his goofier side without a problem, making the carefree matsu brother, a reason to laugh along with its antics.
Daisuke Ono brought news to his fans upon the end of his contract with Mausu production.
Ono released a statement informing everyone that he had decided that he was going to endeavor and experience his career as a freelance seiyuu from now on. He followed the steps of Takahiro Sakurai (now with INTENTION), Daisuke Hirakawa (currently freelance), and Yoshimasa Hosoya (former peer at Mausu production and also freelance at the moment).
Nothing really changed as far as fans were initially concerned.
As a seiyuu taking the plunge to the freelance business is always a shot in the dark – can kill a career easily -, but for him things were different.
For a voice actor with several accolades on his shoulders, a brand value (which means that wherever his name is, people will flock to that thing) high above many seiyuu in the business, plus a solid, successful voice acting career, it was impossible for anything to go wrong with his decision.
Ono is still receiving several offers, the difference is that now he is managing his whole career up close and personal, a thing he didn’t have the liberty to do while at Mausu.
For this year he was in a little bit of everything but with only two main actor roles, the rest were secondary roles (with relatively importance/relevance).
Roles in Servamp, the hilarious Senko Boys, 91 days, Prince of Stride: Alternative, B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious, otome major hit anime Uta no Prince Sama Legend Star (reprising his role as Kira), Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable (reprising his role as Jotaro), Magi: Adventure of Sinbad (following the adventures of the young Sinbad – Ono voices young Sinbad as well as he voices the older version in the original Magi series), Norn9, TRICKSTER, among others.
Comedy, otome, action, adventure, sports, Ono was once again in all those genres showcasing why he’s one of the most versatile seiyuu in the business.
Games / Dubbing
Ono is not a frequent presence as you’d expect in the videogame department. In comparison with some of the younger voice actors that have debuted in the last 5 years, Ono‘s game dubbing credits are on the short side.
He’s voiced several characters over the years in some games such as Final Fantasy (Type-O, XIII, XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII), Samurai Warriors 4, Mobile Suit Gundam series (MS Sensen 0079 and Seed Destiny: Federation vs. Z.A.F.T. II), has extensive credits in SEGA‘s most renowned franchise Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter 4, Tales of Zestiria, between many others.
On the otome side of gaming, Ono has lent his voice to Norn9, Starry Sky, Full House, Vitamin series (X, Y and Z), Princess Nightmare, Neo Angelique, and Brothers Conflict.
Other games include: Chaos;Head, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Haruhi Suzumiya series, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series (All Star Battle and Eyes of Heaven), Kuroshitsuji: Phantom and Ghost and Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward.
In the dubbing department, Ono and Ben McKenzie have an interesting relationship. Ono has voiced Ben twice already – for Gotham and The O.C..
The two of them got to meet in 2015 when Gotham was set to air in Japan in its dubbed version.
Other dubbing roles include: Steve Jobs in the movie Jobs (with Ashton Kutcher), Taejo Togokahn in the movie Speed Racer (original voice by Korean pop-star RAIN), Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (Stephen Amell), James Phelps in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (Jonathan Jackson), Andrei Pritoola in K-19: The Widowmaker (J. J. Feild), Howard Epps in Bones (Heath Freeman), Eric Hansen in Malcolm in the Middle (Eric Nenninger), between many others.
Dear Girl Stories
Japan’s number one radio show is the iconic Dear Girl Stories (DGS) hosted alongside Hiroshi Kamiya. Created in 2007, DGS has been one of the most consistent and entertaining shows on Saturday nights.
With several games, topic and guests, DGS has established themselves as the number one radio show among Seiyuu radio shows, it’s the Saturday radio show with more audience tuning in for it and has a massive follower base.
In what is a rare feat, “Dear Girl Stories“ spawned two movies, and yearly they have a live recording of the show in a large scale event that mixes variety and a rock show (Dear Girl, Dear Boy). The radio show is so widespread that even in Taipei, China, and Taiwan it’s a hit.
Dragon & Tiger Yume Bouken (Takayuki Kondo)
Daisuke Ono and Takuyuki Kondo were already known as the polyvalent and comedic duo behind the hosting of popular radio show “Dragon & Tiger – Yume Bouken radio” (Dragon & Tiger adventure dreams), a show airing on Nippon Cultural Broadcasting weekly.
The main point behind the show lies in achieving “the dream” through various situations and games in which is one of the highlights in Japanese radio. The unit formed because of this radio show – starting to score both the opening and ending themes for the show and further developing a strong image and sound.
Daisuke Ono has an extensive music career, be it solo or as a unit.
He’s also experimented with a wide variety of music genres throughout these past 10 years of his career.
He’s the only seiyuu that has been part of more than 5 seiyuu units since his debut.
Usually seiyuu kind of experiment releasing something under a unit – to basically do fanservice for their fans as well as a way to use their popularity as a means to boost sales and overall payout.
OnoD never shied away from singing – just look for his credited character songs performances (it amounts to an insane 50+ credits).
HEAVENS, D.A.T, MOB, CABA, Kitakore, Hiroshi Kamiya + Daisuke Ono, these are all the units he’s been active in the past two years besides his work as a seiyuu and his solo singing career.
We’ll kick off with his solo career and then dive into each of those units.
Daisuke Ono didn’t know that debuting under Lantis back in 2007 would take him to where he is right now musically. Debuting with mini-album “Hinemosu“, Ono didn’t waste any time to start showcasing his songwriting skills on the spot.
The track だいすき (Daisuki) was penned by Ono alone. The tracks 宙〜そら〜 from Manatsu no Spica“/”Kazahana, 暁の轍 from Lunar Maria, モノクロの虹, 鳥の夢 from Down Stairs and Doors from Doors are the other self-penned tracks.
In 2007 only a handful of seiyuu ventured into the music business (Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Kishow Taniyama, Showtaro Morikubo, Mamoru Miyano, and Naozumi Takahashi) so albums/singles didn’t hit the roof on ORICON as they do nowadays – that it’s common for a seiyuu to make a solo debut, Hinemosu was one of those albums that didn’t chart well.
OnoD‘s solo career has basically (up until now) three phases: mellow/acoustic pop-rock (2007 – 2009), dance-pop (2010 – 2013), and jazzy rock/alternative pop-rock (2013 – ).
His essence seems to lay with pop-rock as it’s the genre with which it all began and to which he returned in 2013.
Looking back on his career he’s improved a lot.
“Hinemosu“, “Kazahana“, “Amaoto“, “Manatsu no Spica“, “Kinmokusei” showcased an awkward OnoD trying to tackle things he certainly couldn’t at that time.
He sounded off-key often, his voice even cracked in some parts, and considering that only the best take out of the various recorded gets to be used in the final version of the song, it was worrying how weak and poorly he sounded in the final cut.
But things certainly changed. Some say for the best others say for the worst, but things certainly changed around drastically.
2010 introduced us to disco-pop signed by OnoD. The single “Netsuretsu Answer” was the first out of three dance-oriented releases (2010 to 2012) that include the auto-tuned dance-pop single “Delight” and the romantic pop release “LUNAR MARIA“.
With a danceable sound and showcasing for the first time his dancing skills, people started to look at OnoD differently.
His music was now easy to listen to by young people that are more into idol-like dance-pop than his pop-rock tunes. The changes were fruitful, as his singles charted higher than anything from his first era. But his credibility as a singer was going down the drain as a reflex of making it simpler and effortless (vocally).
So we reach 2013 and find an OnoD struggling not only with his image as a musician/artist but also someone who wanted to prove everyone wrong, that wanted to be taken seriously.
So he went back to his trademark pop-rock not without making one last incursion to his dance-pop. After “Kiss Kiss Kiss“.
“Up Stairs” and “Down Stairs” were released this year and showcased two polar opposites in Ono‘s career: the carefree, hyper, and entertaining dance-pop from “Up Stairs” with its explosive dancefloor-oriented “Kiss Kiss Kiss“, on the other side he showcased his lyricist skills with “Monochrono Niji” in “Down Stairs“, a pop-rock oriented mini-album.
“Kiss Kiss Kiss” wasn’t Ono‘s last full endeavor to the electro dance-pop scene – it was received by fans with mixed reactions. Some thought it was a laughable song, others actually enjoyed it more than the other songs in both “Stairs” releases.
But “Down Stairs” was a good indicator for what was going to follow (reached #16 on ORICON, managing to stay on the charts for three straight weeks). 2014 arrived and so did Ono‘s new single “Mission D“.
Ono said that he wanted to be seen as a polyvalent entertainer, hence the change in music genres once again.
It was Ono‘s attempt at earning back respect and being taken seriously and that was exactly what he got in return. His sonority changed drastically and now incorporated brass, funky bass, a whole band sound in what is a more laidback sound that still feels and sounds like his.
The title track “Mission D” was a bit of a hit and miss but was still a nice attempt at experimenting with a new music genre. But it was “Distance” that impressed everyone.
That track was and is by far one of his best tracks to date. Mixing Latin percussion with jazzy guitars and funky basslines, this track didn’t fail to impress with its overall loungy, summer vibe, setting this whole single miles away from anything previously released.
The single underperforming in comparison with “Down Stairs“, only reaching #20 and staying for four weeks straight on the ORICON charts.
The mini-album “Doors” followed in 2015.
In a pop-rock-driven release that left fans impressed, tender vocals, exciting brass or even mellow piano melodies led this release. His days of dance-pop-driven songs were over for good. “Doors” charted at number 4, staying for four weeks straight on the ORICON charts.
This is Ono‘s most successful release to date.
“Hero” was released in 2015 and Ono and Lantis decided to enlist help from his fans for this release. The cover art is comprised of thousands of fans’ photos used to make the whole cover art. The single was received critical acclaim (got full marks from us) and actually ranks as the best single ever released by Ono.
“Canvas” is an acoustic ballad with a mix between eastern and western cultures (in this case: rock plus traditional instrumentalization provided by the Shamisen), and the title track “Hero” has all that we love about his trademark pop-rock sound: rich instrumentalization, and now, polished vocals to go along with. Despite its clearly polished sound and improved vocals, the release failed to impress on the charts, reaching #13 on ORICON, staying on the chart for three weeks.
Looking into his solo career we can only say that, approaching the 10-year mark, Ono is starting to establish himself as one of the most consistent singers among seiyuu – not close to the best, but steadily improving his singing and sonority at the same time, making each following release better than the previous one.
This month Ono will release his newest single and it’s only expected that more of his growth can be seen on it.
Despite “Hinemosu” (that was #73 on ORICON), Ono‘s releases were all on top 25.
Hiroshi Kamiya + Daisuke Ono
With a considerable amount of singles and mini-albums released, plus the album “Stories” released in 2011, HiroC and OnoD showed us that a good partnership with two spotless, dedicated and overly talented seiyuu could only mean a great, charismatic singer duo.
With rocking songs like “DIRTY AGENT” and more dance driven songs like the last release “Glow My way“, these guys kept improving their skills at an amazing rate, most recently sounding flawless and totally in sync.
What contributed for their growth as a unit was mainly their individual growth as singers – as both of them have solo careers.
With Ono‘s lower, stable notes and Kamiya‘s slightly higher notes on top of their game, this duo has basically everything to rival famous seiyuu units like Elekiter Round 0 or Trignal.
D.A.T (2012 – 2020)
D.A.T debuted in 2012 with their dancefloor-ready single “VS/Sweet nest“. The duo consisting of Daisuke Ono and Takayuki Kondo (DABA, Dragon & Tiger Yume Boken radio), has released so far three singles (NOCTURNE -drastic dance- and Change the World being the other ones) and one best-of album in 2016 titled “SUITE“.
The duo was initially marked by their danceable pop sound with the hits VS and Drastic Dance – both tracks were a hit among fans and are two of the best radio show opening songs ever. But they also had a keen sense and ability to perform suave ballads such as “Sweet Nest” and “Blue Moon“. Things changed a bit when “CHANGE THE WORLD” was released back in 2015.
The duo no longer was dancefloor-ready. Rock elements replaced the synths and D.A.T was now morphing into something more than just another dance-pop unit in the business.
Surprisingly enough the duo even tried to tackle an all-out hip-hop track with 破壊と創造 (Hakai to souzou), track with a title befitting the transformation that was made in the duo’s sound.
With lots of dancing, fanservice, dance tracks, and talent in the mix, D.A.T was not only one of Daisuke Ono‘s best units, but also one of the most talented among seiyuu units.
Recently D.A.T embarked on their first live tour titled D.A.T LIVE TOUR 2016 “Sweet Shake Suite“.
More on D.A.T – HERE.
MASOCHISTIC ONO BAND (2013 -)
MOB or “Masochistic Ono Band“ is an “air band” (meaning the members only mimic playing the instruments). The band consists of OnoD (leader), HiroC, 3M, DO-S, YAGI84, and Chanko.
They debuted in 2013 with their single “Ace of Asia“. In 2014, the band made a comeback with the rocking mini-album “Masochistic Over Beat“.
MOB rearranged Hiroshi Kamiya + Daisuke Ono‘s songs (Dear Girl, Say my name, Dirty Agent) used as either Dear Girl Stories opening or ending songs over the years, and gave them a new color.
The result was impressive with all songs standing out a lot more, leaving that brightness that only pop manages to have and instead replace it with power we didn’t even know they had in them.
MOB is currently on hiatus.
HE★VENS (2013 -)
2013 was the year when HE★VENS, seiyuu unit originally consisted of Hikaru Midorikawa, Daisuke Ono and Yonaga Tsubasa officially debuted.
The unit recently suffered changes adding 4 more members but as a leader, things didn’t change that much for Ono.
The fact that the unit originated from Uta no Prince Sama, added a bit of pressure to Ono, that was trying out his luck as part of 2D music groups – but he showed his composure and quality by adapting himself pretty fast to this new way of performing as a character.
Heavens Gate was all the rave in 2013, being even more popular than the songs featured in the Uta no Prince-sama franchise.
The powerful sound and consistency in the vocals proved to be a winning combination. In 2015, the group was revamped and four more members joined the group. The sound changed a bit but nothing that drastic, keeping the essence at its core.
If anything, with time HE★VENS has shown that they can perform on equal footing with STARISH, sometimes even being superior.
The fact that this group added Daiki Yamashita, Yuma Uchida, Ryohei Kimura, and Hidenori Takahashi, all skilled and powerful singers, only added up to HE★VENS‘ trademark powerful and dramatic sound. “Fumetsu no Inferno” was the best example of what this group is able to do if they are completely in sync.
“HE★VENLY PARADE” might have been a bit lackluster due to weird pairings as well as overcrowded vocal sections, but for a group that has little to no music together, it’s hard to figure out a balance and where each vocal tone best fits.
Ono adds a lot of power and drama to their performances, being one of the few members performing in the baritone range.
From day 1, Daisuke Ono has been one of the most complete singers within this project something that, pairing up with his dancing skills in a live setting, makes him the most complete member (the all-rounder).
HEAVEN SKY, single released in 2017, took the group back to their quality theatrical and powerful sound also bringing to the table vast improvements on the vocal end.
Project Daba‘s seiyuu unit CABA is yet another project under Daisuke Ono‘s belt. The unit consists of OnoD, Takayuki Kondo, Junji Majima and Hisayoshi Suganuma and they focus on singing cover songs.
With two cover albums released so far, this seems to be the most laidback unit he’s ever been a part of (as it doesn’t include dancing and they don’t perform live).
Kitakore (2015 -)
Debuted in 2015, Kitakore is comprised of Daisuke Ono and Daisuke Kishio. The unit originated from the B-Project series/universe created by Japanese pop royalty T.M.Revolution and composer/lyricist Shikura Chiyomaru.
The unit has so far released two singles. Taking into account the other seiyuu units among the project, Kitakore rank as one of the weakest units – the music is the blandest of them all and the vocals are nothing close to extraordinary. This unit is still active.
The golden duo: OnoD + HiroC
The ultimate power duo in Japan, once the best-selling duo in Japan, is undoubtedly, Daisuke Ono and Hiroshi Kamiya.
They have known each other for more than 15 years and not only host the number one radio show in Japan, but they are often cast in the same anime, often as rivals/antagonists (Attack on Titan, Noragami, Working, Karneval, Durarara, Kamigami no Asobi, Kuroko no Basket, Osomatsu San and Brothers Conflict just to name a few), and even shared awards between them: Best Supporting Actor (2008) and Best Personality (2015) at the Seiyuu Awards.
Wherever and whenever they are together, people tend to flock to that project just because of their terrific acting and chemistry.
With so much history between them, they have insane chemistry, making any interaction between them a delight to watch/listen to.
Kamiya has a nack for pestering and making fun of Daisuke Ono but that doesn’t faze him, instead, OnoD says he actually likes it.
Ono is a member of Shinnosuke Tachibana‘s 1978 born seiyuu group, DABA.
Alongside fellow seiyuu Satoshi Hino, Jun Fukuyama, Shinnosuke Tachibana, Hisayoshi Suganuma, Takayuki Kondo and Junji Majima.
The group has released several events Cops and Robbers, Realistic Escape, and Horse Life Game. Daisuke Ono although not one of the smartest nor the most physical members in the group, is clearly the one with the best variety sense, always making sure everything turns out to be fun (even if he doesn’t intend to do it).
OREPARA (Original Entertainment Paradise), festival hosted yearly by Lantis (featuring his seiyuu-singer talents) was Ono‘s only place to showcase his stage presence and singing abilities until just recently.
Initially lead by Mitsuo Iwata, OREPARA counts with the regulars – Kenichi Suzumura, Daisuke Ono, Showtaro Morikubo. Several guests have been featured before: MAX BOYS, Daisuke Hirakawa, Takuma Terashima, OLDCODEX, and many others.
As of 2014, Daisuke Ono is the effective leader of OREPARA (due to Iwata‘s withdrawal).
Ono has been part of several live reading plays in the past, including a VitaminX event back in 2014.
But what made fans go crazy was Ono‘s participation on AD-LIVE – a project created by fellow DABA member Jun Fukuyama.
Raw stand up comedy, unrehearsed and lasting more than one hour (precisely 90 minutes) – without any kind of scrip, only able to grab, from time to time, cues from a bag prop that has some weird or sometimes, pretty accurate cues to shift or advance the story’s route.
OnoD was invited to be part of 2014’s edition of the AD-LIVE, performing on two different dates – one starring Kenichi Suzumura and the other with Mitsuo Iwata.
Who doesn’t remember Ono‘s hilarious referee dance?
Insane Network in the seiyuu industry
Daisuke Ono is well known among fans for his playful, goofy, and gentle demeanor.
Of course, other seiyuu haven’t been immune to those charms and many of them befriended Ono after working on several projects together.
Takahiro Sakurai, all members of DABA, Hikaru Midorikawa (gaming buddies with him because of the Gundam series), Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Hiroshi Kamiya, Wataru Hatano, Masaya Onosaka, Showtaro Morikubo (tends to visit him in the holidays), Daisuke Namikawa, Jouji Nakata, between many others are part of his rather extensive friend list.
More than a catchphrase, “Mosu” is also the title of Daisuke Ono‘s first photobook released back in 2014.
It includes Ono’s Seiyuu Grand Prix magazine featured corner pieces (from 2008 to 2014) with the same title as well as some interesting off-the-cuff comments, among other treats for his fans. The photobook sold out completely.
Trademark goofy demeanor
OnoD is known for not only his looks and voice acting talent, but is also known to be quite dorky around his peers – better seen on the special anime events throughout the year.
Magi, Osomatsu san, Kuroko no Basuke, Valvrave, and many more events have an always hyper, playful OnoD ready to shoot jokes or gags at the most unpredictable times.
Full of good disposition, OnoD energizes most seiyuu on stage but makes others go crazy as well. To complete this, his loud, dorky, slightly nasal laugh fills whichever event and arena he’s guesting in.
First solo shows
Ono took longer than most seiyuu to headline his very own shows/tour. Despite having debuted in 2007, Ono only stood alone on stage for his first headlining show in 2016. Offers always came his way but he refused every single one of them.
The reason behind that was that Ono didn’t felt like he could run a whole show alone not that he had that much talent that would make people come to see him singing live.
Turns out thing were different and OREPARA served as a great way to assess that. He brought the biggest following to those shows and people were always praising his entertainment skills and professionalism on stage. 2016 arrived and so did the opportunity to headline his first shows.
In 2010, Daisuke Ono was appointed as the special tourism envoy for the region of Kochi by the local government.
This is a rather unknown fact among fans but OnoD is an art lover, more precisely a surrealism fan. His favorite painters are Escher and Magritte.
With this vast overview of Daisuke Ono‘s career we complete yet another Seiyuu Digest. Be on the lookout for next month’s digest.