With an on-and-off career and only a couple of noticeable roles but with a massive talent, Jun Fukushima continues to strive to put his name on the map.
He is another seiyuu whose career began slightly late, according to the usual standards – debuting in the early 20s.
Regardless of the path he has taken, the fact that he has finally gained some recognition remains unchanged, and it is in this aspect that we will focus this SEIYUU DIGEST edition.
From presenting all the important moments in his career to listing some interesting facts, we will make this month’s edition not only interesting but also engrossing. So without any further ado, let’s get this Digest started.
KANJI: 福島 潤
BORN: September 4, 1976
OCCUPATION: seiyuu (voice actor), narrator, radio host, teacher
HEIGHT: 171 cm
Having started his career in 1990, Fukushima actually only managed to have his first role 8 years after his debut.
Since he has given his first steps in the seiyuu industry he has been working for Arts Vision, the same talent agency of Kousuke Toriumi, Nobuyuki Hiyama, Tomoaki Maeno and Yuichiro Umehara, just to name a few.
Unfortunately, unlike his fellow co-workers he was not lucky enough to gain his popularity since his early days as a seiyuu, as a matter of fact Fukushima started off in the completely opposite situation.
Back in the late 90s, when he managed to have his first role, he starred in Yoshimoto Muchikko Monogatari as Yokobaeyoshio and in Trouble Chocolate as Saury, both roles were minor characters nonetheless important for a seiyuu who had to prove his worth in the industry.
Not long after his first two roles, one would have expected Fukushima to have a popularity rise, however that did not happen.
In the span of 10 years, he had only 2 roles and in the following years he was merely cast as secondary characters with little to no importance to the main plot.
Anime such as Dear Boys in which he played Yuki Nozomi or Fullmetal Alchemist in which he played Leo alongside with a minor role in Inuyasha are some of the roles he had through this period of 7 years.
Although 25 roles in 7 years is not a bad number for a rookie one cannot stress enough the fact that Fukushima debuted in 1990, and after more than 10 years since he first started working in the entertainment business the fact that he only had that amount of roles is somewhat worrying, especially for a seiyuu who, as aforementioned, had desperately been attempting to make his name known to the fans.
What is more surprising is that between 2007 and 2012, Fukushima was out of the radar, not making appearances in anime and focusing solely on games. Other titles he’s worked on include Mobile Suit Gundam Gaiden Gaiden Universe and at the end of the flash.
After what appeared to have been a 5-year hiatus, he made his comeback in the industry with a role in Aquarion Evol as Jin Muso.
This was, of course, a supporting character, which was expected knowing that Fukushima had not been working for five years and even before that, when he was actually working, he was not that famous, in fact the tendency was for people to mistake Jun Fukushima for fellow seiyuu Jun Fukuyama which did not work in favor for him at all when people realized he wasn’t the “real thing”.
Regardless of what his reasons were for having put a stop to his career, one cannot disregard the fact that this choice definitely had an influence on his comeback, yet 2013 was what one would most likely call his lucky year.
He actually managed to be cast in Yowamushi Pedal as Shoukichi Naruko, a funny character with kansai accent, which does in fact make this character even more appealing to the public.
In fact, after he was cast for the cycling anime, Fukushima expressed his passion for riding a bicycle himself, which for some fans may have been a surprising fact about him.
It is not that often that seiyuu have the same taste as the character they are portraying. Sadly enough, not long after he shared a photo of himself and his bicycle, someone stole it and Fukushima never saw it again.
And he was also cast in Kotoura-san as Yoshihisa Manabe, a comedic character that, aside from it, doesn’t really stand out much.
Other roles are in the Duel Master VSR series as Basara Akagiyama, Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! as Kazuma Satou – both anime in which he clearly made quite alot of those famous ad-libs of his – and in the Super Lovers series as Juzen Kurosaki.
An interesting fact regarding Fukushima is the fact that he is a teacher at an acting school called Nihon Nareshon Engi Kenkyuujo and he also appeared in two TV dramas, namely Damashi Banashi and Death Note (2015) as Ryuk.
In what concerns his job as a seiyuu, Fukushima has also done some work as a narrator in “The gifts of summer gifts of the gifts of Apita Piago 2015”, No Game · No Life TV Animation Commemoration SP Novel Cup ☆ Strongest Gamer Decision Battle and Voice Actor Grand Prix Mobile “Are you OK while eating Fukushima Jun’s oranges?”.
Another unexpected fact about him is the fact that the first time he made an appearance in a Niconico live broadcast, piqued the interest of the fans since he was able to act in such a free and relaxed manner that they even considered him to be comedian material.
Fukushima, unlike what one would have expected, has only hosted two radio shows, namely “Kotoura-san” ESP Study Group Activity Report and is currently hosting the show from the anime Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!. This is without a doubt one of the departments Fukushima’s fans would enjoy and be pleased to see the seiyuu appear on more frequently.
Unlike the vast majority of seiyuu since the mid 10s, Fukushima has not debuted as a solo artist nor joined any music projects – 2D or just seiyuu ones.
If his fans want to hear him on the mic tackling melodies, you have to check out character songs in the series he plays major or supporting characters that have those honors.
For reference, Fukushima sang quite a lot of character songs for anime series such as Yowamushi Pedal, Kotoura-san, just to name a few.
Now it is time for some more interesting facts about Fukushima.
Did you know that he is a Math genius? As it would appear, throughout his schooling, the seiyuu excelled on Math, acing most of his exams. On the down side, Fukushima stated that English is not really his forte.
As stated before, Fukushima is a road racing enthusiast and no, it’s not because of Yowamushi Pedal. He could often be found around Shibuya riding his black and red road racer that he cherished.
And that’s it for this brief Digest. All in all, I believe that Fukushima is one of those underrated seiyuu that, unfortunately, seldom has the chance to showcase his talents and, even when he shows those, he has yet to manage having a consistent year in his career.
We hope you enjoyed this month’s Seiyuu Digest. See you next month!