Seiyuu Digest #3 – Mamoru Miyano

Seiyuu Digest #3 - Mamoru Miyano

This month the spotlight goes to multi-talented seiyuu, actor as well as superstar singer, Mamoru Miyano.

Mamoru Miyano

Mamoru Miyano

KANJI: 宮野真守

BORN: June 8, 1983

OCCUPATION: seiyuu, actor, superstar singer, radio personality

HEIGHT: 182cm

Having done so much in almost every department of the entertainment industry, Mamoru Miyano started from voicing minor characters in games to have a huge list of characters he has played and most of them are very famous, not forgetting his career as a singer that also started off as a small project and now has turned out to be something so grand.

With his “sound” and vocal work that gets even better in a live concert and is improving every day, we just cannot overlook his talent in almost every department. Now let’s talk about Mamoru in more detail.

 Seiyuu

The beginning

Born in Saitama, the  popular seiyuu started to build up his legacy at the age of nineteen.

While it is completely acceptable to believe Mamoru began his career at an age other seiyuu have debuted, others have into account that he had ventured in the entertainment industry since he was 9 years old, alongside fellow seiyuu Kimura Ryohei and Miyo Irino.

This trio worked in the same talent management agency from this early age. In the beginning of his career Mamoru seemed to be shuffling from one department of the entertainment business to another in search for his one true passion, hence why his repertoire is so rich.

Furthermore, the young seiyuu begun to lay out his career when he was still in middle school, so it is understandable that he wished to try out and see his opportunities.

Mamoru went to an audition for a drama “I’m Caitlyn”, later on Mamo ventured to the game industry with his role in Kingdom of Hearts as Kiba.

2002 – 2009

The rise to stardom

Back in 2002, when Mamoru debuted as a seiyuu, few people new who he was, but that year marked the starting line of his career and of his rise to stardom.

In order to thrive in the entertainment business, seiyuu need to either become relevant, have a popular role or be owner of a one of a kind type of voice.

Mamoru was no exception. While he had quite some experience the entertainment business, he had none as a seiyuu.

Luckily, he has something that captivates others in his performance and even personality, so the fact that the attention slowly started to be focused on Mamoru, at the time yearning to be a rising star, this phenomenon was nothing more than the number one reaction he craved, especially in the seiyuu industry where one has to be different and unique so as to thrive since otherwise someone else will overtake him.

Back in 2002, Mamoru got his first role in Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children as Akira, one of the main characters. This role would be the start of his long journey towards stardom.

Kiba in Wolf’s Rain

His second role in anime in 2003 was in Wolf’s Rain as Kiba, a wolf who is the sole survivor of his pack after it was slaughtered. Despite his tragic past, this character aspires to find “Paradise”, a place whose coordinates reveal to be virtually impossible to know.

Although the anime itself was for the most part applauded for the plot and the fact that each character had a detailed background, Mamoru‘s performance as Kiba, the main character, was something that might’ve caught the fans’s eye.

Taking into account that the character has a tragic past and does not speak more than needed, this role was imperative in Mamoru‘s career as it provided him the first hands on experience as a seiyuu.

From this role onward, the seiyuu has managed to get at least one main role each season and with that in mind another role Mamoru played was Naoto Ooizumi in Love♥Love?, a seventeen year old character which is a script writer for child Tv shows.

Other than the main roles, he got several secondary roles, and with them came the change to gain all the experience he needed in order to succeed.

Ryou Masaoka

While experimenting different genres of anime, in 2005 Mamo was cast in Eye Shield 21 (2005-2008) as Haruto Sakuraba.

His role was of a stereotypical good looking and idol like boy. In the same year Soukyuu no Fafner: Right of Left – Single Program aired and Mamoru got casted as Ryou Masaoka, the school council president and pilot of a Titan-model Fafner, and overall his is very caring a friendly character, something the seiyuu had not done yet.

At this point, it became evident that Mamoru was trying a little of every genre and type of character, hence why his repertoire, in this early stages, had such different characters.

If on one hand we say that he was trying different genres and characters, on the other hand we say that this choice could not had been more beneficial for Mamoru. Thinking about it from a different perspective, this way he could experiment and gain experience portraying such contrasting characters giving him more practice.

Tamaki Suoh
Tamaki Suoh

2006 was surely the marking point in Mamoru’s career as a seiyuu.

In that year, he got casted as Tamaki Suou in Ouran Highschool Host Club, which is essentially a goofball character showing a strong presence of narcissistic tendencies as well as some emotional strikes and much to ones surprise is unexpectedly dedicated to his host activities.

With Suou we got a hint of Mamoru’s talent in comedy, in fact it is almost impossible not to laugh with some scenes where he is interacting with Haruhi Fujioka played by Maya Sakamoto. There is one scene in particular in which Fujioka is trying to describe the type of person Suou is, according to her perception of him, and after pondering which word described him best she says he’s obnoxious rendering him completely depressed.

This is simply one of the several comic episodes in one of his most iconic roles in the beginning of his career. It was from this role onward that many people understood Mamoru‘s innate talent from the roles including lots of comedy and a goofy/extravagant personality.

When we say that 2006 was a big year for Mamoru we were not exaggerating. That year enabled him to get exposure in several projects as a main character. After Ouran Highschool Host Club came the psychological and extremely popular anime Death Note.

Light Yagami
Light Yagami

Although there are numerous reasons to justify Mamoru’s popularity, it is not possible to forget his role in the famous psychological, thriller and mystery anime Death Note as Light Yagami, a genius third year high school student, a proponent of justice in an inordinate manner, which then translates into him having or revealing his psychopathic tendencies when attempting to achieve his Utopian and twisted ideals.

Not only did this role attract all the attention to Mamoru for his terrific performance as Yagami but also for his disturbing laughter, a trademark for the anti hero character he played.

Throughout the anime, the fans saw the teenage boy grow into an even more twisted and manipulative young adult, and although Yagami is the anti-hero, at times that fact might’ve taken a back seat for many fans, especially in the most emotion-packed scenes involving life or death situations.

Still in 2006, Mamoru was casted in two other anime namely in Tokimeki Memorial Only Love (2006-2007) as Aoba Riku and in Blast Ball Hit! Crash B Daman.

The following year, it was El Cazador de la Bruja and he played L.A., a supporting character. L.A. is a mysterious young man with obsessive tendencies towards other people, but at the same time has a deep rooted hatred towards humans. Aside from his mysterious personality his existence all does have quite a lot of fog camouflaging the truth.

Setsuna F. Seiei

His role in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 as Setsuna F. Seiei, the main character in both seasons.

The anime series Mamoru worked on this year did not stray much from the same drama/dark plots he had been casted in. Seiei is an introvert and seems to be quite the idealist mind as he is against the war and believes there are ways to present disturbances to peace and harmony. This taciturn teenager ends up having a personal vendetta to settle. At some point, he admits that he wishes to study human’s intentions and dark thoughts.

Consequently, Mamoru seemed to keep on playing the obsessive roles even in Koutetsu Sangokushi as Rikuson Hakugen. Once again, Hakugen is a selfless person whose only purpose in life is protecting his master, to the point of it becoming an obsession that affects the way he thinks and acts, often causing him to clash with his comrades, though later on he learns the importance of comradeship.

With the coming of 2008, Mamoru seemed to be fond of the dark themed anime plots, so when he got casted in the Vampire Knight‘s both seasons, it came as nothing out of ordinary.

Zero Kiryuu
Zero Kiryuu

Kiryuu gives off the idea of being ill-mannered and not concerned with others, we might even go further and say that he seems to be rather contradictory in the way he acts towards Yuuki Cross, he either says she is annoying or comes to her help when it is most unexpected.

Despite his icy and cold words and glares, Kiryuu is nothing more than a boy whose fate has been twisted by someone with ill-intentions.

Son of a vampire hunter family, he himself feels quite a lot of hatred towards vampire, and that includes Kaname Kuran, a pureblood vampire that shares a special relationship with Yuuki Cross.

Ichiru Kiryuu
Ichiru Kiryuu

In the second season, Mamoru got casted as the Zero‘s younger twin brother, Ichiru Kiryuu. Ichiru has a slightly frail tone to his voice, but the fact that both twins share a twisted fate does not affect Mamoru‘s performance.

Sho Fuwa
Sho Fuwa

Almost as if it had been ages since Mamoru last had been the main character in a romance anime, still in 2008, he got casted as Sho Fuwa in Skip Beat!. Although we say the anime is romance, do not let yourself be fooled as the anime is much more than that, but above all else it is also comedy, so Mamoru was a good choice for Sho Fuwa‘s voice.

Playing the role of a playboy, deceiving and manipulative teenager aiming for stardom as an idol, Fuwa has the looks and the talent, but his personality is not what you would exactly say pleasant.

If there is one thing that he knows how to do is work others, hence why he convinced Kyouko Mogami, his childhood friend, to come with him to Tokyo. Unlike his appealing looks he is childish and narcissist.

Death the Kid
Death the Kid

For a change of pace, Mamoru got casted in Soul Eater as Death the Kid, a character that shows nothing but OCD tendencies.

Other than being the son of the Shinigami, thus being used to be singled out as others fear him, Kid has a severe case of obsession with perfect and symmetry.

In fact there are several moments in the anime in which he remembers leaving his house and the toilet paper not being symmetric and he often feels hopeless because the stripes on his hair are not symmetric.

Kaji Aoi
Kaji Aoi

In 2009, Mamoru got a role in the popular music anime in Kiniiro no Corda Secondo Passo as Kaji Aoi. Aoi is acquainted with Kahoko, the main character.

Before he enrolled his school he saw her playing in a park and was mesmerized by her performance. Formerly playing the violin, Aoi plays the viola and ends up having quite the pushy attitude towards Kahoko since he is his number one fan, self-proclaimed. Despite the way he may look, Aoi does not feel confident in his performances claiming that he lacks practice.

Other roles in his repertoire include names such as Gakuen Alice (2004), Aim for a Hit (2004), Yu-Gi-Oh ☆ Duel Monsters GX (2005), D.Gray-man (2006-2008), BUZZER BEATER (2007), Wolf and Fairy (2008), Western Antique Cake Shop (2008), Inazuma Eleven Series (2009-2012), Jewel Pet (2009) and Fullmetal Alchemist (2009-2010).

2010-

Mamo fever

With 2010 starting, Mamo’s popularity had a huge boost due to his versatility as a seiyuu. It is easy to reach a consensus when it comes down to his Mamoru’s repertoire in the anime department.

From 2010 onward, the seiyuu had already become one of those seiyuu who are featured in a vast number of anime each season, so if we think about it from another perspective it is almost certain than we’ll listen to Mamoru’s characters all year long.

If we take a look at the numbers, Mamoru had a total of 22 main character roles up until the 2010’s, needless to say the seiyuu has long surpassed this record. In fact, nowadays it is more common to listen to the seiyuu every season than the opposite.

While giving off a similar aura to Kiba in Wolf’s Rain, the seiyuu was cast in Betrayal Knows My Name as Shuusei Usui.

Usui is part of the guardians. As a person with a “sixth sense” he often helps solving crime with the police. Despite his frail quiet looks he does not hesitate to take action.

Shusei Usui
Shusei Usui

His role in the popular anime Durarara!! as Kida Masaomi, is one of the several well-known roles he has played. Mamoru is played this goofy and mysterious character that oftentimes hides his true feelings behind the happy facade, and perhaps because of that his behavior frequently is unpredictable.

Kida Masaomi
Kida Masaomi

Even among all the other popular characters, Masaomi still has quite a lot of importance for the main story and the moments he appears in scene are always something to look forward.

Tokiya Ichinose

Along with his other roles, Mamoru is most certainly known for the Tokiya Ichinose and HAYATO in the popular music anime Uta no prince-Sama (2011 -).

The cool, stoic type is one type of character that surprisingly enough is a good match with Mamoru, in fact this anime not only enabled him to make the fans once again be reminded of his talent but it also provided the seiyuu with a chance to give a launch to his solo career as a musician with the opening theme in the first season of the series titled Orpheus.

Ichinose is a character that throughout the several seasons that have aired has grown to be more sociable and not so cold anymore, but also has grown to improve his skills as a singer.

Rintarou Okabe
Rintarou Okabe

However, his ability to draw in people does not stop with Ichinose, his character in the Steins;Gate (2011-2018) series as Rintarou Okabe a mad scientist with a peculiar personality also became the subject of many people for his acting.

A slightly different character from the previous ones is Taichi Mashima from Chihayafuru (2011-2019), the karuta anime in which the seiyuu’s co-stars were Yoshimasa Hosoya and Ai Kayano, just to name a few. Mashima is a character with the conflict of liking his childhood friend yet that friend only has eyes for another of her childhood friends.

Yogi

Showing once again that Mamoru is a well-rounded seiyuu, his role in the anime Inu x Boku SS as Zange Natsume proved that Mamoru knows how to deliver a comic and playful performance without disappointing.

Not only is Natsume rather mysterious looking, but he certainly resembles that of a child always ready to prank others and enjoy the reactions of the victims, all the while playing innocent.

Other roles the seiyuu has done are as Saruhiko Fushimi in the anime K, a character that pends more towards the cool and collected type; and in Karneval as Yogi, is a character who likes cute things such as nyanperona, a mascot, and has a mysterious past.

Rin Matsuoka
Rin Matsuoka

Reaching 2013, came the FREE! (2013-2018) fever and with it Mamoru made use of the fame and popularity the anime received and managed to get a rise in his popularity.

While the seiyuu had been cast as Rin Matsuoka in the swimming anime, the hype around FREE! just doubled due to the fact that the cast being a luxury one featuring Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Tsubasa Yonaga and Daisuke Hirakawa.

In fact, with the anime series a seiyuu unit was created with those members named STYLE FIVE, but we will get to it a little later on.

Joker
Joker

In 2014 it was announced that Mamoru would be Joker in the new anime season of Black Butler called Black Butler: Book of Circus.

This was your typical comical and playful character, however what struck us as different was the fact that the character was supposed to have an accent and instead Mamoru created what fellow seiyuu Daisuke Ono called “Mamo-ben”.

Shu Tsukiyama
Shu Tsukiyama

In the same year, the seiyuu played the role of a creepy and rather psychopath character in the famous anime series Tokyo Ghoul (2014-2018) as Shu Tsukiyama or the Gourmet.

Needless to say, that his performance was as creepy as it can get and he really manage to bring to life the extravagant and eccentric personality that Tsukiyama has.

2014 was certainly a year that Mamoru was found in almost every place. He played Saburo in Nobunaga Concerto.

Saburo

Saburo is your typical, or not, teenage boy that one day was transported through time as he was walking and fell down and arriving the era of Nobunaga Oda. That same year, he was actually casted as Nobunaga Oda in Nobunaga the Fool, an anime that mixes samurai with mecha.

Osamu Dazai
Osamu Dazai

Then came 2016, and Mamoru is still is several anime, one of them is the anime adaption of the game Scared Rider Xechs as he reprises his role as Takuto Kirisawa.

Other roles Mamoru has played Osamu Dazai in Bungou Stray Dogs, a character that is constantly in the search of ways to commit suicide given the thought that each and every time he attempts suicide his efforts are in vain and he ends up failing.

One another note, Dazai is a capable man though his passion for committing suicide sometimes make one forget that, since that’s all we see him talk about. And then, there’s Jean- Jacques Leroy in the popular ice skating anime Yuri on Ice!!, a overly confident athlete representing Canada.

Kaoru Ijuuin

Fast-forward to 2018, Mamoru got casted in Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai as Kaoru Ijuuin, Tada’s childhood and best friend.

Although Ijuuin gives off an aura of not being particularly reliable, the fact is that behind that goofy and always happy-go-lucky attitude, Ijuuin is a teenage boy that is always ready to help his friends and worries a lot about them as well.

Still in 2018, he would appear in PERSONA 5 The Animation as Ryuuji Sakamoto, the problematic student showing strikes of rebellion and mischievousness.

Other roles include names such as Pokémon Best Wish Series (2010), DOG DAYS (2011-2015) as Cinque Izumi (2011), Shirokuma Café (2012), Natsuiro Kiseki (2012), RDG: Red Data Girl (2013), Arata Kangatari (2013), Soul Eater Not!  (2014) as Death the Kid, Nanatsu no Taisai (2014-2018), Mekaku City Actors (2014), Ame-iro Cocoa (2015) as Ryouta Sakuragi, One-Punch Man (2015), Yowamushi Pedal (2017-2018) as Takuto Ashikiba and Devils Line (2018) as Tamaki Anzai.

Awards

In fact his performance was so high quality that he won the award of Best Leading Seiyuu. Later on, the seiyuu was awards with for Best Actor in supporting role alongside fellow seiyuu Kimura Ryohei.

Yuki Kaji and Mamoru Miyano at the 8th Seiyuu Awards
Yuki Kaji and Mamoru Miyano at the 8th Seiyuu Awards

In 2014, Mamoru won the award for Best Musical Performer, and was the first recipient of the award.

Stage Acting

Well let’s be honest here, if we search for his roles we get overwhelmed because the list just doesn’t end as well as by the different categories of anime that he was part of, from psychological to romance, we have a little of everything showing that Mamoru is an all-rounder in this department however, don’t think that his talent stops there because if you do, you’re mistaken.

Tetsu Ishida- Prince of tennis musical (mamoru miyano)
Tetsu Ishida- Prince of tennis musical

Not only does he perform exceptionally well when it comes to the seiyuu world but he also participates in stage plays like in 2003 he played the character Tetsu Ishida in The Prince of Tennis Musical alongside with fellow seiyuu Yuki Fujiwara, he even had a part in the Beautiful World- movie that was realized by fellow seiyuu, Daisuke Namikawa.

Even so he also did stand-up comedy paring up with fellow seiyuu Takagi Shun – their group was called Smily Spiky- so this all added up can explain a little more, to the more clueless or recent fans, as to why he has a such “at ease” composure when in public events or interviews, and also a funny fact about Mamoru, he’s known for being one of the seiyuu that has more friends in the industry, he is indeed a social butterfly.

Not to long ago Mamoru was playing Prince Izmir in Emblem of the Royal Family.

If there’s a movie we should mention when we talk about Mamoru‘s endeavors in the acting department it’s “Kami Voice: The Voice Makes a Miracle” in which he performed alongside the main characters of the cast Wataru Hatano and co-star, Yuki Kaji which impressed with their emotional performances.

The movie is an adaptation of a famous manga written by Yoshiki Sakurai and Team G.V. and illustrated by Kuroko Yabuguchi. The live action premiered on November 19, 2011.

The movie is deeply connected with the seiyuu life and shows the hardships one has to face to enter and strive in that field of work, especially when something goes awry that can put that career in jeopardy. The cast counted with the notable presences of Takuya Eguchi, Showtaro MorikuboMamoru MiyanoRikiya KoyamaRomi PakuDaisuke Namikawa and Yoshimasa Hosoya, among many others.

Music

One of a kind

Mamoru  had his debut as a singer in 2007 with Kuon which had a track that was featured as the ending theme in the anime Kotetsu Sangokushi. This was his first contact with the R&B genre. The single got on the Oricon charts at 47th place, but he didn’t stop there, and in the same year he released a character song from famous anime Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood with Paku Romi (fellow seiyuu) titled Fight!, but it wasn’t that well received by the fans and in fact it was rated as number 73 on Oricon charts.

After this two releases, Mamoru released his next singles in 2008 titled Kimi he… and Discovery that had a little bit higher classification on the charts also and once again with a R&B genre, that if I do say so myself suits his music very much.

In 2007 with his singles Dream Fighter and Orpheus Mamo-chan bended over the pop/pop- rock genre which was a very pleasant surprise that granted him the 10th and 15th places on the charts making a huge impact given the thought that he was always in the top 20 until that moment.

In 2012 he started to experiment with a more danceable genre, especially in his single Ultra Fly but also in 2014 with New Order, both singles had songs arranged by STY and Jin Nakamura; Canon was a different story because its songs were composed and arranged by Elements Garden known by their fast piano and more melodic songs, in this case still showing a little of rock elements, but also by the fans of Uta no Prince-sama, anime in which Mamo starred. 

Since his debut until now, Mamo-chan has released more than 16 singles. Some of the most recent being The Birth, Sotto tokete yuku yo ni, Boku wa Hero and most recently Encore and a total of 7 albums being the last two The Love achieving 6th place on the charts and M&M the Best It was precisely after he released his 1st album that he also had his first tour confirmed.

Currently he has started to write more the lyrics of his tracks and still is working with STY and Jin Nakamura that helped him create his addictive sound that everyone who listens to it will get hooked on. His voice is so angel-like that it’s a bliss to listen to his tracks and when he starts using his vibrato it’s like you’re on cloud-nine, also he’s capable of singing with falsettos making one stunned with his singing ability.

Mamoru has shown the fans that he can be very versatile and be good in every department, with his music hitting in genres like R&B, pop, pop/rock, a more danceable genre or even a jazzy and loungey genre that we can find in his most recent releases. With all the things I’ve said about him I think it’s very easy to say that he is a diamond in the rough that has been polishing himself to improve and create the best work for the fans every single day.

Currently Mamoru has been promoting himself more in other countries such as Taiwan in an attempt to expand his fans base.

Units

Of course if we talk about his solo career we cannot forget his repertoire of being in famous units like STRISH that was created because of famous anime Uta no Prince-sama as mentioned before but now it has turned into something so big or another example is Style Five that is also composed by the members of the anime FREE!.

ST☆RISH (2011 -)

ST☆RISH
ST☆RISH members in 2019

To start off we cannot forget to mention the reason why it was created and truth be told its was only because of the anime Uta no Prince-sama in which STRISH members are the seiyuu of the main characters of the anime.

Some of the unit’s releases include Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji LOVE 1000% ED Single – Maji LOVE 1000%, Uta no Prince Sama♪ Shining All Star CD, Maji Love 2000%,  WE ARE ST☆RISH!!, Setsugetsuka, Uta no Prince-sama ♪ Maji LOVE Kingdom Special Unit Drama CD collection.

Style Five

STYLE FIVE
STYLE FIVE

The other seiyuu unit that Mamoru is a part of is Style Five, that once again was only created with the purpose of promoting the anime FREE! in which the members are also voicing the main characters.

Not to forget to mention that this seiyuu units usually have famous seiyuu, but in this case and also with the previous one aforementioned it is the same, they’re all known which in someway gives more impact to this units.

The unit has released Splash Free and Future Fish, Rising Free, FREE-STYLE SPIRIT and Gold Evolution.

Photobook

It comes as no surprise that Mamoru has released his first photobook, in collaboration with Junon and SHUFU TO SEIKATSU, Mamoru Miyano 1st Photo Book | Player.

Mamoru Miyano photobook player
Mamoru Miyano photobook player

The theme behind this photobook was that of “STAR“, a title that could not fit Mamoru better. Aside from that theme, there are some shoots that include a “mature sensuality”.

Facts

Social butterfly

It is no surprise that Mamoru is considered to be a social butterfly if you take into account the fact that he is always bright and cheerful.

Yuki Kaji and Mamoru Miyano in 2016

Not only that but he has a approachable aura which makes him one of the seiyuu who has the most friends in the industry.

Idol status

It may not seem like it but from the past few years, it has become more noticeable but Mamoru has turned into a real life idol. He started off his career as your usual seiyuu but with his most recent album The Love, Mamoru has been promoting in every platform possible like your typical idol.

Used to play football

It is true that Mamoru used to play football back when he was still a student, and in fact he has actually shown that he knows how to play in some occasions, the problem is when Mamoru confessed that he “has always in the mid-bench”, so we can guess that he was not a regular.

That was it for this month’s Seiyuu Digest.

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