Shunsuke Takeuchi has grown from the 15 year old kid with a surprising mature bass voice, into the methodical seiyuu, powerhouse singer and entertaining radio MC we all know.
We take a look at Takeuchi‘s career, one that in just 5 years, encompasses a variety of interesting roles and projects.
KANJI: 武内 駿輔
BORN: September 12, 1997
OCCUPATION: seiyuu, radio host, singer
Path to Debut
Shunsuke Takeuchi‘s path to being a seiyuu came from being a movie lover to begin with. At age 10 (2008), he was fascinated when he first watched The Dark Knight, and especially with Heath Ledger’s iconic performance as Joker.
Takeuchi mentioned countless times in interviews that that performance impressed him to the point of being the catalyst for him to want to be an actor.
After that initial spark in his interest, he started watching and studying acting through Hollywood movies, eventually taking an interest in the dubbed versions of those and finding out about seiyuu.
In junior high, although Takeuchi was part of the track and field team, he still wanted bad to be a seiyuu.
With that in mind, he persuaded his parents in order to let him enroll in a seiyuu school. His parents gave authorization and he started attending seiyuu classes after school.
After graduating from junior high, he heard about 81 Produce and decided to enroll in their classes at 81 Actors Studio, thus starting his journey under the renowned seiyuu talent agency.
After a couple of months of training under 81 Produce, Takeuchi debuted as a seiyuu (2013). With only 15 years old and unproven, he found himself struggling during the first two years.
His first role appeared only in 2014 on Pripara as Koga-senpai/Sea lion. As it is a norm for the wide majority of seiyuu, his first role was as a secondary character with little to no importance to the story.
That role ended up what was a tough year without any job offers or landing any roles. This small role was an important boost in his confidence, but it wouldn’t prepare him for what was going to come in 2015.
The beloved producer
Up until 2015 few people knew about him. But that changed completely when Takeuchi was casted as Producer in Idolmaster Cinderella Girls. This was his first important and relevant role in his career, one that instantly was loved by fans of the franchise.
For this role, Takeuchi put enphasis on researching two things: the role of a producer and how to act clumsy and awkward.
All that research was done in order to make his acting sound natural and relatable.
This is actually an interesting approach of his, that comes from his days of watching film (foreign movies and series) and trying to take in as much information he could get in order to improve his acting IQ.
To put it simply, Takeuchi showed the first signs of being a methodical actor with this role.
His performance as Producer was enough to draw attention to him and his unique voice tone at such a young age.
Most people that came across this role had no prior knowledge of him or his work.
Upon listening to his voice for the first time, fans of the series wondered if the one voicing the character was, in fact, a veteran seiyuu due to his bass tone and cadence. Yet that voice came from a 16 year old, adding up to the surprise element.
In that same year he had several secondary roles under his belt: Akagami no Shirayukihime (as Lido Ryoshu), Arslan Senki (as Paradalata), Young Black Jack (as Hugo), Diamond no Ace second season (as Yuki Masashi), Rokka no Yusha (as Rowen). Other anime in which he had minor roles include: Bikini Warriors, Aria the Scarlet Ammo, Chaos Dragon, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Dimension W, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, Little Witch Academia: Mahoujikake no Parade and Ninja Slayer From Animation.
Expanding his repertoire
2016 arrived and still riding on his newfound popularity, Shunsuke Takeuchi started to grab more roles in a variety of anime. Two important secondary roles that felt more like leading ones and over 15 secondary roles showed that his popularity was on the rise and his voice on demand for most anime.
His secondary roles in ALL OUT!! as Kokuto Kirishima and KING OF PRISM as Yamato Alexander came as pleasant surprises for his fans.
Takeuchi was finally earning his spot in some anime, putting his name on the map while consistently building up his career with a variety of roles.
Both characters belong to sports related universes and both were rough around the edges, with an imposing demeanor. His voice was a perfect fit for both characters, which led to both roles being praised by the viewers.
Aside from those two important roles, Takeuchi had his voice featured in a variety of anime, be it with secondary or minor roles: Hatsukoi Monster (as Shugo Takahashi), Nambaka (as Yamato Godai), Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (as Michiki), Kuromukuro (as José Carlos Takatsuka), Digimon Adventure tri (as Hackmon), Haikyuu!! (as Kyotani Kentaro), Servamp (as Guildenstern), Bungo Stray Dogs (as Howard Phillips Lovecraft), Duel Masters VSRF (as Dragon Ryu), DAYS (as Shizuka Ura), Mob Psycho 100 (as Kumikawa), Prince of Stride Alternative (as Hainan Academy Athlete), Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (as Michiki), Dimension W (as Security Guard), Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri (as Crow), Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin (as Sushuraf Remion), PriPara Movie: Mi~nna no Akogare♪ Let’s Go☆Prix Paris and Ajin OVA.
His role as Yamato Godai in the parody/comedy anime Nambaka is one of the few instances in which he has tried his skills at a less serious role.
Godai is the epitome of the stereotypical Japanese, being used as one of the few gag characters in the series. Takeuchi‘s deep voice was contrasting with the character’s mild nature, making the performance an interesting watch.
The role of Kyotani Kentaro in Haikyuu!! was important to set a certain tone in his career.
Kentaro is an imposing character with visuals, attitude and voice, all matching those of a common Japanese thug, yet the character had a redeeming side to it despite how it was initially presented to the viewers.
Takeuchi embraced the role in a way that it was possible to connect with the character and relate with its issues, somehow even making the viewers root for him.
It was also in 2016 that Takeuchi started to be typecasted in roles of foreigners, tall, brute and rough characters. And that was mostly due to his uniquely low, deep toned voice.
Running away from typecasting
2017 kicked off in the best way possible for Takeuchi. He had a variety of roles under his belt and his popularity was slowly growing. For the first time ever in his career, he had 7 main roles in his hands, two of those reprisals of roles he had previously played (ALL OUT!! and KING OF PRISM).
Takeuchi was starting to put his acting to test and that was best made with scoring roles in the widest variety of anime genres. You could notice that he was working hard towards being recognized in the seiyuu business and avoid being typecasted – something that, more than ever, was starting to take over of his career -, hence he got roles in the most varied lineup of anime genres you could imagine.
He had roles in sports, action, shounen-ai, shoujo, music, comedy and mecha anime, just to name a few.
Even though there were still some typecasting among the roles he got in 2017, there were still plenty surprises.
First off, his role in Ling Qi as Ki Tanmoku was completely unexpected. This anime was an adaptation from a popular Chinese shounen-ai manhua.
Takeuchi had never worked on this anime genre before. Fans were caught by surprise but many praised him for wanting to go outside of the box and lending his voice to completely different characters.
Now only was this the first time he was working in a shounen-ai anime, but it was also his first lead role in the genre.
Ling Qi‘s story follows the spirit/exorcist duo, Keika You and Ki Tanmoku.
Ki Tanmoku is an exorcist that has been leading his household since his was 8 years old. He’s labeled as a stoic, beautiful Korean actor lookalike and has a cold and indifferent demeanor at times, contrasting with his protective and caring side.
Takeuchi‘s performance easily brought all those points to life, earning praise from the fans of the series.
The anime was well received among fans of the original manhua and shounen-ai fans, even being considered by many as one of the most consistent shounen-ai anime.
Takeuchi went to the dark side for his performance as Revolver in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS.
I won’t go in much detail about this character because I’d be diving deep into spoiler territory.
Takeuchi‘s performance as the arrogant and confident Revolver ended up successfully affecting the viewers – for spoilers on this we suggest going to the official Yu-Gi-Oh! wikia or just watch the series.
His character certainly came as a surprise for many, with his performance being praised by the fans of the series.
This was the second time Takeuchi voiced a character in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, making him an accomplished and promoted fanboy (he had mentioned before his love for this franchise and got the opportunity to voice characters in the series twice).
During the Fall season, Takeuchi voiced Archer of Black in Fate/Apocrypha, from the critically acclaimed Fate series.
Although not a main role, Archer of Black was a nice surprise in his repertoire as Takeuchi was now portraying a well mannered, noble and caring character, a complete opposite to many of his roles up until then.
Also during the Fall season, Takeuchi reprised his role as Shu Izumi in TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION. QUELL‘s leader has a warm and welcoming demeanor, being almost like a father to the Kuga twins, Issei and Ichiru.
He’s also known to be a genius when it comes to producing music. This is yet another role that falls far from the tall, brute and rough character typecasting he’d found himself stuck in 2016.
Izumi is easily one of the most loved characters in the series, much due to its personality and Takeuchi’s soothing and warm performance.
His secondary roles in 2017 include: Morta in Yume Oukoku to Nemureru 100 Nin no Ouji-sama: Short Stories, Koki Nanjo in Star-Myu: High School Star Musical 2, Kanbee Kuroda in Sengoku Night Blood, Pagoni in Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau, Ito in Blend S, Mitsuhide Akechi in Ikemen Sengoku: Toki wo Kakeru ga Koi wa Hajimaranai, Makoto Sakamoto in Konbini Kareshi, Mou in ROBOMASTERS THE ANIMATED SERIES and Zeki in Shoukoku no Altair.
Other anime he worked on (with minor roles) include: Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans, Warau Salesman New, Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10 cm Datta. and BLAME!.
A voice slowly on demand
After a fulfilling 2017, filled with different characters, new experiences and improvements on his acting, Takeuchi kicked off 2018 with the media promotions of KING OF PRISM‘s newest movie, in which he reprised his role as Yamato Alexander.
At the same time he was back with 4 secondary roles. Liott Wolte (or Riot), the intimidating knight, in the comedy/romance anime DAME×PRINCE ANIME CARAVAN, Frank in Time Bokan: Gyakushuu no San Akunin, and Zoubayashi in the kids comedy/slice-of-life anime Hataraku Onii-san!.
Recently, he had a cameo in Pop Team Epic, one of the most talked about anime of the Winter season.
He was announced as part of the main cast of Caligula, anime that is set to premiere in April.
This anime is going to adapt the original PS3 game. Takeuchi will reprise his role as Shougo Satake.
He is also going to be part of Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin, anime premiere as well in April. He’ll voice Tetsunosuke Goujin.
At the 10th Seiyuu Awards in 2016, Takeuchi won the “Rookie/Newcomer” award. His roles as Producer in Idolmaster Cinderella Girls and Hugo in Young Black Jack earned him this award when he was only on his 3rd year of career as a seiyuu. He shared the award with Yuichiro Umehara and Ayumu Murase.
Since early on in his career, Takeuchi has done radio work. The first radio show he co-hosted was alongside 81 Produce‘s talents Koutaro Nishiyama, Soma Saito and others: Nippon Reading Academy (airing from 2013 to 2016).
After that he teamed up with Koutaro Nishiyama for the hilarious viewing radio show Nishiyama Koutaro・Takeuchi Shunsuke’s ‘s-LOG FAN MEETING (airing from 2016 to 2017), Hirakawa Daisuke・Takeuchi Shunsuke’s Kimikiri☆Radio (airing since 2017) and Sengoku Night Blood WEB Radio “SenBuraji” alongside Natsuki Hanae (airing since 2017).
Recently, Takeuchi kicked off his first ever solo radio show titled 武内駿輔のGooooood JOB! (Takeuchi Shunsuke Gooooood JOB!). The show has been on air since January 2018.
His mature, low tone is a perfect fit for hosting radio shows. Additionally, Takeuchi is always a bundle of fun in whatever radio show he hosts/co-hosts. According to Koutaro Nishiyama, whenever Takeuchi starts acting crazy or strange he only says to other people “Don’t mind him, he’s in his world“.
Other radio shows he’s guested in include: Nambaka Radio (2017), Haikyuu!! Radio (2017), Idolmaster Cinderella Girls Teleraji (2017), StarMyu web radio ～AYANAGI Star RADIO～ (2017) and Radio Hatsukoi Monster (2016).
Takeuchi started to be active in this area in 2015. It all started with Idolmaster Cinderella Girls‘ drama CDs (2015). Right now he’s got over 20 credits in drama CDs that include: Kiniro No Corda 4 (2016), Konbini Kareshi (2016), SolidS (2016), ALL OUT!! (2017), Oresama Residence (2017) and between others.
Most of these drama CDs were reprisals of his anime roles. Only recently he’s started to work on otome drama CDs (Oresama Residence is a first example).
In collaboration drama between KIKI VOICE and 81 Produce, Takeuchi is voicing Shiki (the fourth brother) in the original drama “Omikuji Shi Kyodai” alongside Wataru Hatano, Koutaro Nishiyama and Soma Saito, fellow 81 Produce talents.
Perhaps the area in which he’s more active is gaming. Since 2015 he’s managed add over 20 roles to his repertoire. Between characters in action/RPG games such as Granblue Fantasy (2014), Valiant Knights (2015), Xuccess Heaven (2015), White Cat Project (2015), Caligula (2016), SOUL REVERSE ZERO (2016), Sangokushi Taisen (2016), Xenoblade 2 (2017), Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (2017) to characters in Otome and/or rhythm games such as DAME × PRINCE (2015), Namokore (2015), Kiniro no Corda 6 (2016), Stand My Heroes (2017, Anidol Colors (2017), KING OF PRISM Prism Rush! LIVE (2017), Side Kicks! (2017), A3! (2017) and more, Takeuchi has done a little bit of everything.
As of late he’s been acting more in Otome/rhythm games as opposed to all other game genres.
In 2017, Takeuchi joined Boku Koe, project promoted by Abema TV and WOWOW, that featured several seiyuu acting in completely different media. He was announced as one of the few seiyuu part of the live acting portion of the show.
This was his first ever acting gig. He acted in the main story and performed with BELLWETHER, idol unit created just for this series.
With basically no prior acting experience (just a play when he was in acting school), it was surprising that Takeuchi did a pretty good job with his roles.
Takeuchi has dubbing work in As Above So Bellow, Helios, Teenage Mutant Turtles Out of the Shadows (as Trevor), Trolls, Glee‘s final season (as Manson), Our Zoo, Continuum second season (as Lucas Ingram), The Night Of (as Nasir Khan) and dubbed the animation Guardians of The Galaxy (as Peter Quill).
When it comes to live reading plays, Takeuchi has participated in some hosted by 81 Produce, more recently (in 2017), he participated in “謎解きはディナーのあとで” (Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de).
Takeuchi is the lead of QUELL, unit part of Tsukino Production‘s fictional talent agency. The unit is known for its pure and delicate sound, giving off a feeling of being underwater. Unique and showing a versatility that most units within the SQ and ALIVE franchises didn’t have, the unit debuted in 2016, impressing everyone with stunning vocals and a fresh sound.
The unit has more than a couple of singles under their belt, including solo songs (X Lied series).
As a group, QUELL are known for their powerful vocals – from thunderous bass vocals from Takeuchi to stunning high notes from Nakamura and Nogami -, and unique instrumentals.
Rock, pop, dance, electronica, minimalistic electronica and ballads, QUELL have managed to put their finger in almost every music genre and 90% of those attempts were successful.
Since day one, Takeuchi has been impressing everyone with his English pronunciation, low bass vocals and the surprising high notes that sometimes steal the show. On QUELL‘s debut single “Believer~inori” his singing was the highlight. The technicality with which he approached each song was impressive.
No one was expecting him to be such a powerful and skilled singer – in what was the first ever 2.5D unit he was a part of – and simply steal the show from everyone else. Vibrato, falsetto, bass notes, leading or supporting, he was everywhere.
Of course it was a team effort that led to “Believer~inori” being the unit’s best single to date, but Takeuchi shone beyond everything one could imagine.
After that, there were a couple of releases in which it was clear that he had been instructed to tone down a bit of his vocals in order to give the spotlight to the other members. He started being more on the background in some songs, only returning to the spotlight later in 2017.
Early in March, 2017, Takeuchi had his first ever opportunity to perform solo for the X Lied series. “End of Night” is one of the highlights not only in his singing career but also for the X Lied series and the whole TSUKIPRO franchise.
There were no flaws on that song. Not even one. He made sure to spice that song up with his sweet low tones, mixing it with some English flare and ultimately showing everyone why he is QUELL‘s backbone.
On a live setting Takeuchi likes to be flashy. Everything about his singing in a live context is about being flashy and showing his enjoyment/passion to be on stage. He dances – despite mentioning that he doesn’t know how to -, he adds flourishes everywhere, and tends to improve his recorded performances when on stage.
For anyone watching his performances, it’s easily noticeable that he’s enjoying himself while on stage.
A3!’s Autumn Troupe
In 2017, Takeuchi joined A3! as Hyodo Juza (purple hair in the picture above).
The game instantly shot to fame with several music releases beating sales records and, in result, the franchise hitting a popularity high rather quickly. The Autumn Troupe has released two CDs up until now.
The Autumn troupe is known for a rough mix of rock and electronica that matches the personalities and backgrounds of its members.
With tunes crafted by R.O.N, ELEMENTS GARDEN, among other producers/composers, Takeuchi has impressed with his performance in the melancholic rock tune “LONER” and, alongside Yuichi Jose, in the jazzy, mafiesque “BUZAMA“. Songs such as “oneXone” and “一夜限りの相棒” also caused an impact.
In 2017, alongside Toshiki Masuda, Koutaro Nishiyama, Tasuku Hatanaka and Chiharu Sawashiro, Takeuchi performed as BELLWETHER, special unit created especifically for Boku Koe‘s musical segment.
The songs were a bit “different” in comparison with the typical idol songs – BELLWETHER‘s were more on the parody side -, with themes ranging from bad puns to talk about nipples.
It might sound a bit over the top but it deserves at least one listen/watch from everyone that is a fan of Takeuchi‘s.
In March, 2018, Shunsuke Takeuchi announced that he and his close friend and rapper Lotus Juice were going to team up for a special unit project.
As AMADEUS, the duo intends to experiment with several music genres and deliver top quality singing from Takeuchi and rapping by Lotus Juice.
The announcement was made on the eve of April Fools, being initially dismissed by many as a joke but later confirmed by the duo through a live performance and several twitter replies to fans by Takeuchi himself.
Tsukipro Channel: Tea Salon QUELL
In 2016, Shunsuke Takeuchi was the one of the hosts for TSUKIPRO channel’s “Tea Salon QUELL“, show that introduced the newly debuted unit to the public through a series of short episodes. The show focused mainly on the members’ first impressions of each other, recording sessions, characters and the members’ preferences and wishes.
Yuki Yonai and Shunsuke Takeuchi “Craft Brothers”
In July, 2017, Shunsuke Takeuchi, alongside fellow 81 Produce talent/seiyuu Yuki Yonai, hosted GYAO!’s three-part show “Craft Brothers” (in Japanese “Craft Kyodai”).
The pair visited stores in which you could make original notebooks, glass accessories and even toured an atelier shop.
This is quite possible the most common and well known fact about Takeuchi.
Since the start of his career, he’s mentioned that he’s a GACKT fanboy – attending his shows, purchasing his releases, even adopting his lifestyle (GACKT‘s well known Bushido lifestyle).
He’s the second GACKT fanboy coming 81 Produce, the other one being Yoshiki Nakajima. Takeuchi mentioned that he modeled his singing technique to GACKT‘s iconic versatile deep vocals.
Listens to a little bit of everything
Aside from his love for GACKT‘s music, Takeuchi is a fan of Takanori Nishikawa, Skrillex, Michael Jackson, livetune, between many others.
On point English pronunciation
One of the things that immediately stands out whenever Takeuchi has to perform a song is his English pronunciation. It’s a fact that most character or unit songs released in the past 10 years in Japan have a lot of English words in the lyrics, however, any song that he has to sing has much more than just a few words.
On QUELL‘s songs there’s always a verse or two completely in English for him to ace. Takeuchi has mentioned before that as a big fan of Hollywood’s movies he quickly picked up English, polishing his pronunciation along the way.
He mentioned on an interview for Seigura that he paid attention and special care to the various English accents.
He believes that learning those can help him in both voice acting and acting (movies or stage). Despite his close to flawless pronunciation and the fact that his best subject in school was English, he mentions that he isn’t comfortable to make a conversation in English.
Has various nicknames
Most fans call him TakeP – a play with his original nickname and the “P” from Producer (from the Idolmaster Cinderella series). According to Takeuchi himself the first time he got a nickname was when he was in elementary school.
His friends used to called him “Take“. He was later called “David” because he had naturally curly hair and, according to his friends, his body was sculpted which made him look like Michelangelo’s David statue.
When he was a junior high school student his friends called him “Harry” because his look with reading glasses reminded them of Harry Potter.
His hobbies include billiards, BTT, singing, collecting high-performance microphones and other audio equipment. He loves games with high degree of difficulty. Some of his favorite games include “Street Fighter“, “Dragon Quest“, “Final Fantasy“, “Rockman” and “Ninja Ryukenden“.
Favorite overseas voice actor
He mentioned on an interview for Seigura in 2015 that he admires Troy Baker‘s work.
Passion for high-end brands
On Tea Salon QUELL, Takeuchi showed his love for high-end brands and how much he wants to own items from those – especially Chanel.
Has a gap
According to Yoshiki Nakajima on Stamai Channel (Stand my Heroes) youtube show, Takeuchi has quite a gap in himself, despite his efforts to hide it. Nakajima mentioned that everyone knows Takeuchi for his deep, mature voice.
Despite being young, Takeuchi tends to act tough and cool in front of his senpai.
Nakajima mentions that Takeuchi “is the type of guy that says that doesn’t like to eat sweets but is only putting a front“. Those attempts at sounding cool only made Nakajima think he’s got a cute personality gap.
His motto is…
“Push forward. Don’t forget your initial intentions and the basics. Follow the path you want to follow.“
With this we wrap up this month’s Seiyuu Digest!