Seiyuu Digest #42 – Yusuke Shirai

THTFHQ Patreon Page
Seiyuu Digest #42 - Yusuke Shirai

With a career of over 8 years, Yusuke Shirai has showcased his formidable talent, and along with his playful personality, has managed to captivate many.

Yusuke Shirai

Yusuke Shirai

KANJI: 白井悠介

BORN: January 18, 1986

OCCUPATION: seiyuu, radio host, fashion designer, YouTuber

HEIGHT: 174cm

Seiyuu

Yusuke Shirai was born on January 18, 1986, in Saku City, Nagano Prefecture. Shirai‘s background is quite intricate.

As we know the seiyuu debuted at the age of 25, an age one often thinks of as it is the prime of a seiyuu who has debuted in his late teens, so out f the bat Shirai had to overcome the immense pressure of being “too old to debut”.

Rewinding a few years, back to when he was a child, we are able to discover some interesting facts about himself, as well as what lead him to want to be a seiyuu. Though he initially had already shown interest, ultimately he fell under the influence of his brother’s dream.

After Shirai decided that he also wanted to become a seiyuu himself, he ended up attending the Amusement Media College, which focuses its activity on providing specialized education for creators, in design, anime, and voice acting.

Right after graduating, Shirai remained in this ambiguous situation in which he was working as a salaryman and being quasi-affiliated to a seiyuu enterprise. Eventually, he became affiliated, and currently, Shirai is an EARLY WING talent.

2011 – 2014

Early Days

Yusuke Shirai circa 2012

Much like the majority of seiyuu have in the early stages of their career, Shirai began paving his path by getting into the seiyuu scene through the numerous minor roles he played.

At this point of his career, the sole downside for the seiyuu was his age, especially in this competitive industry in which everything counts. Age may not appear to play that major of a role in one’s success, yet it all boils down to having talent, and now more than ever, having the looks to have the full pack so as to thrive in this industry.

Though we cannot forget that perhaps his personality also played a role in captivating the fans, as he often comes off as the older brother, hence his nickname Shirai-nii, but also for his uncontrollable sense of humor.

Shirai‘s very first role was in the popular psychological and thriller anime Mirai Nikki.

Despite him being in such a hyped anime, the reality is that he only played the role of a random student, so we can only imagine that people surely wouldn’t associate his name with this anime, but it was nonetheless a most necessary first step that Shirai needed to take.

After that, the only thing he could do was to make sure he grabbed the next role and with some luck, he could get more exposure, and so he did.

In 2012, Shirai got his role as Giorgo in La storia della Arcana Famiglia, and still in the same year he made another appearance in the well-known romance anime Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun as a friend of Sasayan (played by Ryota Osaka) from the baseball team.

Another role we ought to mention in none other than Ryou Nishikura from Silver Spoon, which once again is a minor role, much like his roles in From the New World as Kashimura, in Ace of Diamond as Akio, and finally, in Meganebu as Makoto Zeniba. Essentially, and for the most part, Shirai appeared in anime as minor characters.

Some of the other characters Shirai portrayed are from anime such as Karneval (2013), Golden Time (2013), Wanna Be the Strongest in the World! (2013), Little Busters ~Refrain~ (2013), Magi, The Kingdom of Magic (2013), Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou (2013), Witchcraft Works (2014) and Magical Warfare (2014).

2015 –

Making a name for himself

Io Naruko in Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!

2015 is surely a year for Shirai to remember, as it was then that he got his first main role in an anime, namely Binan Koukou Chikyuu Boueibu LOVE! as Io Naruko, a 2nd-year high school student whose passion for money goes beyond normal, in fact, he gains quite a lot in trading stocks.

Needless to say, Shirai reprised his role in the second and third seasons of the anime.

We can say that this was probably a key role in his career as it enabled him to get recognized by the fans. And if one main character had not been enough, Shirai managed to land on another in Gan Volley-bu Next! as Masahiro Yanagida.

Other roles he played in the same year were as Lucas in the popular vampire anime Diabolik Lovers More, Blood, but we can also count on his appearance in Durarara!! and in Chaos Dragon.

While still having some minor roles, Shirai definitely managed to add new entries in his repertoire, as more than just unmemorable characters.

The iDOLM@STER Side M and his character Haruna Wakazato, Shirai ensured, once again, that he was heard. He is one of the typically aloof teenagers, in this case, he also appears to be lazy and laid-back which far too often results in him failing to do something. He is the drummer for High×Joker.

Another role of his was in My Marriage Partner is My Student, a Cocky Troublemaker (censored version) as Souji Kuga, the teenager who is to get married to his high school homeroom teacher Nano Saikawa.

We can count on Shirai in other anime such as Handa-kun as Kei Hanada, Divine Gate as Percival, Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School – Despair Arc as Soushun MurasameNana Maru San Batsu as Ryouta Mukai and Yume Oukoku to Nemureru 100 Nin no Ouji-sama: Short Stories as Drole.

Yamato Nikaido in IDOLiSH7

Most recently, Shirai has made appearances in several anime, either with minor or main roles.

One of them was in the recently aired anime Dame x Prince Anime Caravan as Mihart, one of Vino‘s acquaintances, who very much enjoys fighting with Liott.

The other was is one of his most popular roles in the anime adaptation of the android game IDOLiSH7 as the leader of the main idol group Yamato Nikaido. Shirai has made a huge statement with his characters throughout the years, seeing as he usually portrays the kind and older brother types, and he is proficient in that department.

However, with Nikaido we get the idea that more than being mysterious, Shirai was really spot on when making the character all the more believable and secretive, while attempting to not drop his mask and bare his true feelings in front of others.

Drama CDs

It is no surprise that Shirai made endeavors in the drama CD department, yet what many might not know is how prolific he actually is.

Having taken the first steps into this section back in 2013, and since then he has been going strong.

His first drama CD was in Lecan! as Yamada, and since then Shirai has, not only remained in the drama CD department but he has also endeavored in the BL realm, something that the seiyuu.

Unlike some other fellow seiyuu, he does not have any problems whatsoever mentioning his rank in popularity.

Shirai was also featured in two drama CDs for THE IDOLM@STER Side M ST@RTING LINE, both in Beit‘s and High×Joker‘s.

Some of his other works are Kimi Doll (2013), NightS (2013), Mofu Doll (2016), Blue Sky Complex (2016 & 2017), amongst others.

Radio

Shirai has proven to be a jack of all trades, and with that in mind, we cannot forget his several radio show appearances or even the shows he hosted.

While it is true that Shirai has made an effort to be prolific in any way possible, radio shows became another part of his career.

RADIO ν WING』 has aired in 2103 and up until 2015 was airing, but most recently Shirai has been hosting, alongside fellow seiyuu Junta Terashima, BOYS Bar [S].

Washizaki Takeshi & Shirai Yusuke Radio Show

However, Shirai is also all about being a guest in other seiyuu radio shows. One that is particularly memorable was when he was invited to come to 中島ヨシキのフブラジ hosted by fellow seiyuu Nakajma Yoshiki.

It is no secret that Shirai is extremely passionate about all his work, regardless of what it may be, so his being in the BL scene is no exception. What we did not expect was for him to openly discuss popularity ranks in the BL realm with Yoshiki, in fact, he even brought up other names such as Furukawa Makoto and Tarusuke Shingaki. All in all, that episode was extremely entertaining and above all else hilarious.

Other shows include アイリスクォーツラジオ アイ♡ラジ, IDOLMASTER SideM Radio 315Night!, セガ ガールズ通信 広報宣伝ラジオand 鷲崎健和・白井悠介のRadio.

Games

When it comes to appearances in games, Shirai has been quite prolific. He took his first steps into this department in 2011, the same year he debuted, and since then he has been active like no one else.

Arcana Familia – La storia della Arcana Famiglia was his first role as well as Senran Kagura. However, when it comes to Shirai, we cannot forget to mention iDOLiSH7 and his role as Yamato Nikaido, a role which pretty much made him gain quite the popularity.

Usui Masumi in A3!

For the seiyuu, the year 2015 was extremely important, since not only did he get his role in this game, but he was also cast in the game of IDOLM@STER SideM as Haruna Wakazato and I-Chu franchise as Takamichi Sanzenin. 

Mind you, all these games aforementioned are rhythm games from which 2D seiyuu units have been born.

A3! was also an amazing launching ramp for Shirai as he was cast as Usui Masumi, a member of the Spring Troupe in the game.

Masumi is aloof and above all else totally in love with the main character, and does not go through the trouble of hiding it, in fact, he is quite like a puppy following his love interest, hence why the character is so popular.

And last but not least, Shirai‘s character, Takaomi Hiyama, in the android game Stand My Heroes has also made left a good impression on the fans.

Other roles in which he was featured were in Eikoku Tantei Mysteria as William H. Watson, Ken ga Kimi as Tsuzumi HougenBara ni Kakusareshi Verite as Louis XVI, Ikemen Kakumei ◆ Alice to Koi no Mahou as Blanc Lapin, Steam Prison as Eltcreed ValentinSide Kicks! as ShishibaMajestic☆Majolical as Hauyne Idocrase, World End Syndrome as Kamishiro Mibu, POSSESSION MAGENTA.

Music

Although Shirai has never set foot in the music business as a solo act, he’s got quite the repertoire when it comes to the several 2.5D units he’s a part of.

IDOLiSH7 (2015 -)

IDOLiSH7

IDOLiSH7 is Yusuke Shirai‘s most well-known music project. The 7 member group consisting of Toshiki Masuda, Tsubasa Yonaga, KENN, Atsushi Abe, Takuya Eguchi, Kensho Ono and Yusuke Shirai debuted in 2015, part of the rhythm game of the same name.

The game was an instant hit due to its well-done blend between a rhythm game and its story components. This wasn’t like other idol games out there, focusing on delivering a rich story alongside high-quality music, ending up attracting a lot of people to this game with that formula.

Back to the unit, IDOLiSH7 are led by Yamato Nikaido, a character that often comes across as lazy and with lack of initiative, but as the story progresses in-game, fans get to see the other side of his, a perfectionist and a natural at what he does, a passionate leader for this unit. As Nikaido, Yusuke Shirai got to be, for the first time, the leader for a 2.5D unit.

Since their debut, IDOLiSH7 has released several singles as a unit, cross units, special sub-units, and solo tracks, all of them well-received by their fans. Back in 2016, IDOLiSH7‘s first-ever full-length album “I7” set a record among seiyuu/2.5D units.

It was the first-ever album to score a #2 on Oricon Weekly in the album category. The album had an impressive number of sales, sweeping the charts when most people doubted they would be able to pull anything like that off.

That feat showed the franchise’s popularity when it was only promoting itself through the game and music (no live events nor anime adaptation plans at that time). Their record was later broken by none other than TRIGGER, a rival unit also from this franchise.

Out of all members, Shirai‘s singing usually doesn’t stand out much, especially taking into account the quality vocals I7‘s lineup has and the focus made on upbeat, higher-pitched vocals as opposed to those lower toned vocals like his. However, he’s a reliable mid-toned singer.

Shirai even has some moments of brilliance in a couple of the unit’s songs and has been continuously showing improvements since the unit’s debut.

On the solo end, Yusuke Shirai, as Nikaido, performed “Love two you“, song part of IDOLiSH7‘s “12 SONGS GIFT“, a series of solo song releases from the franchise’s units to be released throughout 2018. Shirai‘s performance was lackluster in comparison with the improvements he’d shown up until then.

His performance lacked power and good direction, something that left him sounding lost most of the time.

It was disappointing to find that that range and skill that he’d been showing up until then – surprising high notes, consistent low notes, and even some flourishes – were not being used at all for his performance.

In 2019, Shirai participated in IDOLiSH7 REUNION, live show that, for the very first time welcomed ZOOL on stage.

After the group having released several singles both for the anime adaptation as well as the game, it was announced in 2021 that IDOLiSH7 was going to release its 2nd full-length album.

Excitement was through the room among fans of the franchise.

Regular

Opus” was released in January 2022 and blew everyone away with the group’s growth.

When “Opus” wraps up you have, indeed, the group’s best album to date. One that illustrates the growth IDOLiSH7 has gone through in the last couple of years, looking fondly to those memories while with an optimistic outlook for the future.

A couple of weeks later, IDOLiSH7 held its first-ever one-man live show.

IDOLiSH7 OP.7 live

IDOLiSH7 LIVE BEYOND “Op.7” was held at Saitama Super Arena (as well as livestreamed in over 15 countries around the world) on January 22 and 23, 2022.

As part of the celebrations of the 7th anniversary of the IDOLiSH7 franchise, it was announced a special cast event to take place in August 2022 as well as the release of group songs to celebrate their debuts.

Mallow blue

At the same time, and following the 5th season of the story in the game, IDOLiSH7 are going to release a new single titled マロウブルー (Mallow blue).

The group is also confirmed to perform the opening theme for the 2nd cour of IDOLiSH7 Third Beat that will premiere in 2022.

Lancelot (2015 -)

Alongside Tomoaki Maeno and Yuma Uchida, Yusuke Shirai is part of Lancelot. This trio debuted in 2015, as part of the I-Chu franchise.

Shirai‘s mid and low tones fit perfectly with Lancelot‘s well-known mature, jazzy music. In the few songs the unit has released, his performances have always left a strong impression, showcasing falsetto and vibrato on some occasions, all while delivering on par performances with Maeno and Uchida‘s top vocals.

HighXJoker (2015 -)

HighxJoker
HighxJoker

In 2015, Nogami joined the cast of THE IDOLM@STER‘s male version, IDOLM@STER SideM.

He was cast as Haruna Wakazato, drummer for HighXJoker. Sho Nogami, Shoya Chiba, Takuma Nagatsuka, and Hiroshi Watanabe complete the lineup for this unit.

The band’s lively and upbeat pop-rock sound is addictive. Since their debut, HighxJoker has released multiple singles, collaborations, and cross-unit CDs.

In a live setting, it was with them that Shirai first danced on stage.

Although a bit awkward at first, Shirai is now known as the energizer within the group, with his performances standing out from the rest of the band members. He’s also the band’s drummer in a live setting, impressing everyone with his precision.

Over the years, since their debut in 2015, HighxJoker has released multiple singles, between collaborations, cross uniUp until now, the quintet has released two singles, THE IDOLM@STER Sidem ST@RTING LINE-04 High×Joker (2015) and THE IDOLM@STER SideM ANIMATION PROJECT 06 “Sunset★Colors” (2018).

Aside from these singles, HighXJoker has participated in several cross-unit and solo song projects within the franchise.

The quintet has participated so far in four IDOLMASTER SideM stages: 1st STAGE 〜ST@RTING!〜 (2016), 2nd STAGE 〜ORIGIN@L STARS〜 (2017), 3rd STAGE 〜GLORIOUS ST@GE!〜 (2018) and THE IDOLM@STER SideM 4th LIVE STAGE 〜TRE@SURE GATE〜.

7Colors (2017 -)

7Colors

During the summer of 2017 (July), 7Colors was announced as one of the two new units to debut part of a new smartphone game, “Anidol Colors“.

7Colors, unit consisting of Yuto SuzukiTaku YashiroJunta TerashimaYoshitaka YamayaYusuke ShiraiShunichi Toki, and Junya Enoki, debuted in September with the single “Ride on☆ 7Dream“.

7Colors (C) Voltage Inc.

Yusuke Shirai is owner of one of the few low-toned vocals in this unit, being a highlight in the middle of “Ride on☆ 7Dream”, song that ended up being a trainwreck of a release filled with tacky melodies, overcrowded instrumentalization, and subpar performances that overshadowed the talented vocals within the group.

In 2018, the group released the single “Original Colors“.

Late in 2018, and after the game was renewed for a new season7colors released a digital single, “Welcome to Our LAND!”.

Judgement (2017 – 2018)

Judgement

In 2017, Rejet announced the launch of their first-ever idol game “Star Revo“. Yusuke Shirai was announced as part of the four-piece unit, Judgement, alongside Junta Terashima, Yuma Uchida, and Koutaro Nishiyama.

With the end of distribution for Star Revo, Judgement got to give a last gift to their fans with the release of the popular “One love” in the special Best Of, THE BEST「STAR REVOLUTION」Vol. 2.

Spring Troupe (2018 – )

Spring Troupe

In 2017, Shirai was announced as part of the cast for the stage acting game, A3!. He voices Usui Masumi, a young man part of the Spring Troupe. Since their debut last year, the franchise, as well as all troupes, have consecutive popular and successful music releases ranking high on Oricon’s charts.

The unit’s popularity as well as Usui’s popularity shed some light on Shirai and his performances, both in the story as well as in the music department.

Alongside Kodai Sakai (leader), Koutaro Nishiyama, Shintaro Asanuma, Masashi Igarashi, and the most recent addition to the lineup, Wataru Hatano, Shirai has performed several songs.

The only solo song he’s performed so far for this franchise was “SICK SICK SICK“, song included on Spring Troupe’s First SPRING EP. The unit is known for its cheerful and upbeat sound, befitting of Spring’s lively vibe.

Yamanaka Masahiro & Shirai Yusuke

Part of Radio Tomo’s Airaji‘s radio show, the hosts Yusuke Shirai and Masahiro Yamanaka teamed up as a unit. So far the duo has released one mini-album in 2017 titled “Colors“.

As Yamanaka Masahiro & Shirai Yusuke, they are a self-producing duo (lyrics and composition are shared between them), performing easy-listening pop-rock songs. Shirai wrote the lyrics for “コンパス” (Compass), featured on this mini-album.

The duo participated in last year’s DOUBLE DARE COVERS, a project that featured 5 Radio Tomo’s radio duos for a series of cover performances of J-Pop masterpieces from the ’70s to the ’00s.

They performed フィアンセになりたい (song by Mitsuhiro Oikawa) and YOU (song by SOFT BALLET).

Shirai‘s performances with this duo are by far the best he’s ever put out with a group – be it 2.5D or a real seiyuu unit. He’s displayed not only more of his range, which goes well beyond those low tones and nasal mid-tones of his, but also showcased his falsetto and high notes, something that many weren’t expecting to listen to him tackling without issues.

Fling Posse (2017 -)

Fling Posse
Fling Posse

Hypnosis Mic did what many people thought would be impossible: to make the general public in Japan take a liking to hip-hop and rap music. At the time the project was announced, many people were in disbelief that seiyuu and rap music were going to coexist.

Many thought the project was going to be a failure because only a couple of seiyuu were experienced with the music genre, and had shown their cards on other occasions. The project introduced 4 crews.

Yusuke Shirai was introduced as Fling Posse‘s leader, voicing Ramuda, a flirty and easygoing rapper. The rest of the crew members include Soma Saito and Yukihiro Nozuyama.

Fling Posse is known for its pop-imbued music, the easiest and most commercial sound among all 4 crews.

Yusuke Shirai @ Hypnosis Mic event in 2017

For his rap performance as Ramuda, Shirai had to tackle a couple of things he’d never done: perform with a high-pitched voice and sing in a cute and sly way. His solo song “drops” wasn’t an easy one to tackle.

Aside from the fact that the song was difficult to record, the fast-paced sections alike anything he’d performed so far proved to be complicated to tackle. He mentioned in an interview with Animage that he had to redo those sections more than a couple of times both on recording as well as when rehearsing those for last year’s Hypnosis Mic event at AGF2017.

He mentioned in that same interview that he was worried because during rehearsals he couldn’t manage to be on tempo and perform the section with the necessary speed.

Thankfully, he managed to pull off those when it came to the live performance, surprising himself and everyone that was attending their short live performance corner. According to Shirai, this was the first time he rapped in public, which made that performance all the more special for him.

With the cast including Yusuke Shirai (as Ramuda), Soma Saito (as Gentaro), and Yukihiro Nozuyama (as Dice), the crew stood out in the middle of tough-looking, tough-sounding, or intimidating crews. Their bubbly sound, mixing pop with rap made their music easier for rap and hip-hop newcomers but wasn’t exactly what a hip-hop head would fancy.

Things however changed in 2019 when the crew released the heart-wrenching Stella.

Since then, the group has maintained its consistency, releasing relevant tracks that show that, behind that happy-go-lucky cover are 3 fragile members, all dealing with dark issues.

Fling Posse’s 1st release was in 2017 with Fling Posse -F.P.S.M-. The single showcased a bubbly group with some rather dark lyrics and undertones going on.

It was the most popular out of all releases in the series, ranking the highest on Oricon Weekly among all 4 crews (#11).

After the release of the introductory singles for each crew, Hypnosis Mic kicked off their 1st Battle Season series.

Fling Posse for Animage May 2019 issue
Fling Posse for Animage May 2019 issue

Fling Posse faced Matenro in the second round in Fling Posse VS Matenro.

Fling Posse VS Matenro
Fling Posse VS Matenro

This was a losing battle for Fling Posse as Matenro had already established themselves as the most popular crew in the franchise.

BATTLE BATTLE BATTLE was a clear win for Fling Posse but when it came to the group’s representative songs, Fling Posse came up short with a fancy pop-rap tune in Shibuya Marble Texture -PCCS-.

Fling Posse lost the battle to Matenro and only returned with new music in 2019.

Enter the Hypnosis Microphone
Enter the Hypnosis Microphone

In 2019, the crew released the heart-wrenching Stella, featured in the compilation album, Enter the Hypnosis Microphone.

Stella hit everyone in their feelings, showcasing a broken, battered crew with inner struggles that they want to overcome but still haunt them.

The buzz around Fling Posse started and all eyes were excited about how dark and emotional future releases of theirs would get.

Fling Posse returned in 2020 with Fling Posse Before The 2nd D.R.B. The theme of friendship seemed to linger in this release. Each member explored some of their issues in haunting tracks that made this release, Fling Posse‘s best to date.

Fling Posse Before The 2nd D.R.B
Fling Posse Before The 2nd D.R.B

Yusuke Shirai performed as Ramuda in the spine-chilling solo song, Pink iro no Ai.

For this song, Saito did 3 contrasting things: rap at a slow pace while resorting to his low register – to make casually tell Gentaro’s story -, perform clean singing parts in the chorus resorting to his high register, and tackle fast and incise rap in the intense last verse resorting to his mid-tones.

In a live setting, Fling Posse is consistent and surprisingly powerful instead of energetic like their earlier tracks would hint at. The only issue with this crew is how Saito was absent from some of the lives in which the crew performed.

Hypnosis mic - Division Rap Battle - 4th LIVE @ Osaka Welcome to our Hood Yusuke Shirai
Hypnosis Mic 4th live

On stage, Yusuke Shirai serves as the lead for Fling Posse with his aggressive rapping wrapped in an apparent “cute” vibe. However, as time passed, Fling Posse’s songs got darker and darker, and with that arrived some of the most impressive performances by Shirai.

One such impressive performance was “Pink iro no Ai” at Hypnosis mic- Division Rap Battle – 5th LIVE @ AbemaTV – SIX SHOTS UNTIL THE DOME. This is one of those performances that show just how much Shirai grew as a performer as well as a rapper.

So far the crew has performed live 5 times, although in different contexts.

The first franchise release on Blu-ray and DVD is Hypnosis mic- Division Rap Battle – 4th LIVE @ Osaka, massive live show held in 2019 that counted with Buster Bros!!!, MAD TRIGGER CREW, Fling Posse, Matenro, and the, then recently announced, Dotsuitare Honpo and Bad Ass Temple.

In 2020, and due to issues with Coronavirus (COVID-19), Hypnosis Mic’s ambitious MetLife Dome live, SIX SHOTS TO THE DOME was cancelled.

Instead, all crews performed on 29/03/2020 on a special broadcast by AbemaTV, Hypnosis mic- Division Rap Battle – 5th LIVE @ AbemaTV – SIX SHOTS UNTIL THE DOME counted with millions of live views.

In February 2021, the Hypnosis Mic held its 6th live “2nd D.R.B”, with the 3rd battle counting with Fling Posse vs MAD TRIGGER CREW.

Fling Posse emerged victorious with “Black Journey” after a hard-fought battle with MAD TRIGGER CREW.

The time had finally arrived, Fling Posse was going to challenge Matenro for the title of Champion.

The final battle in the 2nd Division Rap Battle series pitied Matenro against Buster Bros!!! and Fling Posse in Buster Bros!!! VS Matenro VS Fling Posse.

SHOWDOWN” ended up being more than just a battle, it was all about each crew stating their intentions, of telling their story, and of showing their worth for the title of “Champion”.

Later in August 2021, the crew performed live at Hypnosis Mic 7th live “SUMMIT OF DIVISIONS”.

The final results were announced on November 28, 2021. All members of Buster Bros!!!MAD TRIGGER CREWMatenro, Fling PosseDotsuitare Hompo, and Bad Ass Temple were in attendance at the special broadcast on AbemaTV.

Fling Posse @ ≪2nd D.R.B≫ Final Battle result presentation (left to right: Soma Saito, Yusuke Shirai, Yukihiro Nozuyama)

Surprising everyone, during the final battle, Fling Posse led the way without once dropping from their spot (winning the VR battle as well).

Fling Posse (130346 votes) won the Final Battle in the 2nd Division Rap Battle series after beating Matenro (101981 votes) and Buster Bros!!! (115227 votes) in a 3-way battle that included live show votes + CD votes + VR battle.

Division All Stars (2017 -)

Fling Posse - Soma Saito, Yusuke Shirai and Yukihiro Nozuyama
Fling Posse – Soma Saito, Yusuke Shirai and Yukihiro Nozuyama

Division All Stars‘ original lineup consisted of Buster Bros!!!MAD TRIGGER CREW, Fling Posse and Matenro. In 2019, with the addition of Dotsuitare Honpo and Bad Ass Temple to the franchise, the group now houses all groups.

Their first release was Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- in 2017. This was the explosive start even before anyone knew how each crew would end up sounding.

The song was an instant hit and brought a massive following from overseas to the project.

In 2018, Division All Stars returned with the electrifying Hypnosis Mic Division Battle Anthem. The success it met was even more than on its debut song.

Now that the project was popular, it was a matter of a couple of days until it hit 1 million views.

In 2019, Hypnosis Mic released its first compilation album. Enter the Hypnosis Microphone featured all of Division All Stars‘ songs plus a new ensemble track, Hoodstar.

The release also included new songs for each group including the legendary The Dirty Dawg of which Shirai’s character, Ramuda, is a member.

The song was quickly followed by Hypnosis Mic – Alternative Rap Battle-, song featured as the theme song for the smartphone game, Hypnosis Mic -Alternative Rap Battle-.

Still in the same year, Division All Stars returned with a new take on their debut song, Hypnosis Mic Division Battle Anthem.

After the franchise introduced 2 new units to the franchise, Dotsuitare Honpo, and Bad Ass Temple, the classic track got a revamp, thus Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle-+ was released.

In 2020, Division All Stars made their comeback and once again revamped one of their hit songs. Hypnosis Mic -Division Battle Anthem- was revamped, adding Dotsuitare Honpo and Bad Ass Temple into the mix, creating Hypnosis Mic -Division Battle Anthem-+.

And in 2020, Division All Stars released the fan favorite, and up until July of the same year, in-game exclusive, Survival of the Illest.

Still in the same year, Division All Stars released the funky tune “SUMMIT OF DIVISIONS“. The song was included with the franchise’s Hypnosis Mic – Division Rap Battle – Official Guide Book.

A year later “Hypnosis Mic-Glory or Dust-“ was released.

The song featured a 3D CGI animated music video – the first one in the Hypnosis Mic -, going in line with the franchise’s recent bet on VR and CGI technology to improve the visibility of its contents.

A couple of months later and still in 2021, Division All Stars released an extended version of the groovy hit tune “Survival of the Illest“.

The reworked song was titled “Survival of the Illest+” and included Dotsuitare Hompo and Bad Ass Temple in the recording.

In 2021, Division All Stars released the funky hip-hop tune with a ’90s touch “Hang out!“.

Still in the same year, the group released a new – extended – version of “Hoodstar”. Now including the rapping by Bad Ass Temple and Dotsuitare Hompo, “Hoodstar+” was released.

VAZZY (2017 – )

VAZZY

Announced in 2017 and only now making its debut, VAZZY is a unit part of TSUKIPRO‘s newest franchise “VAZZROCK“. VAZZY consist on Tarusuke Shingaki (leader), Yusuke Kobayashi, Masahiro Yamanaka, Yusuke Shirai, Tsubasa Sasa and Shun Horie.

The unit is labeled as the owner of a dangerous and powerful sound/appeal.

Yusuke Shirai voices Kira Futaba. Since the unit is rather fresh in the business, there’s little to no information about the character, its background, and other additional details.

Up until now only a couple of songs from the “bi-color” series (solo tracks) have been released, and Futaba’s song previewed – a release that drops by the end of this month -, but from what people can assess from the preview released, Shirai is delivering a comfortable performance in a funky pop song, one in which he can put to great use his mid-tones and even add some flourishes in the mix.

VAZZY are going to have their first live performance as a group by the end of the summer. It’ll be a perfect opportunity to see how Shirai fares in a rock imbued environment.

E-lements (2018 – 2019)

E-lements

SQUARE ENIX announced in March 2018 that the company was going to launch their first-ever idol game “IDOL FANTASY“. Y

Yusuke Shirai was announced as part of E-LEMENTS, unit consisting of Taku Yashiro, Yuto Uemura, and Junta Terashima

The group performed Dance-Pop / EDM pop music, having released only 1 CD before disbanding alongside the game’s discontinuation in 2019.

Variety

In 2017, Yusuke Shirai alongside Toshiyuki Toyonaga and Yuki Iwai hosted the variety show “Seiyuu Koe Jikken-Shitsu” (Voice Actor Lab).

The show aired on AbemaTV and had the hosts talking about seiyuu life, their techniques, rituals as well as a couple of voice experiments.

It turned out to be an informative as well as highly entertaining show in which Shirai showed both his MCing as well as seiyuu skills.

A couple of years later, Shirai appeared on Nekoribi Danshi hosted by Daiki Hamano. Shirai loves cats thus recording this variety show was like heaven to him.

IDOLiSH7 Fan Thanksgiving vol.3 “Kimi to motto motto, ai o kataranaito!” (2018)

Shirai participated in 2 out of the three fan meeting events held by the IDOLiSH7 franchise in 2018.

IDOLiSH7 Fan Thanksgiving vol.3 “Kimi to motto motto, ai o kataranaito!” counted with the presence of Soma Saito, Toshiki Masuda, Kensho Ono, and Abe Atsushi.

Facts

Football aficionado

It is well known among Shirai‘s fans and those that casually follow him on Twitter, that Shirai is a hardcore football (soccer) fan.

He’s a well-known Liverpool supporter, even sporting Adam Lallana’s official shirt when he goes watching the team’s games at a bar in Tokyo.

濱野くんとサッカー観戦してきたぜ!!
これは試合始まる前なのでまだテンション高かった時(笑)
試合後→マジで守備……
ユニフォームまで買ってきたのに(>_<) pic.twitter.com/8qt2UVJ67j

— 白井悠介 (@shirai_universe) 22 de outubro de 2017

He often engages in football banter with Daiki Hamano, known for his love for one of Liverpool’s rivals, Tottenham Hotspur. Shirai’s favorite football players are Steven Gerrard, Mesut Özil and Gareth Bale.

A fan of a particular drink…

While most seiyuu often mention that their favorite drink is either beer or sake, Shirai‘s go-to drink is Coca-Cola Zero. He’s mentioned in several interviews that he can’t live without drinking it.

A do-M changing his ways

Among seiyuu, it is common to mention that Shirai is a do-M (masochist). His liking to be ordered around is just the tip of the ice for his masochistic tendencies, however, he mentioned in an interview that he was working on turning things around, towards a more “do-S” lifestyle.

I want to be updated

Shirai mentioned on a special interview for RADIO N WING that he daily checks his own Japanese Wikipedia page to see if someone has updated it. He mentioned that whenever there’s an update, it brightens up his day. He even encourages fans to update his Wikipedia page.

Enjoys karaoke

For more than a couple of times, Shirai has expressed his love for karaoke. He often goes to karaoke alone to relieve his stress.

Singing his heart out seems to have a healing effect on him. The song he best performs on karaoke is DEEN’s “Hitori Janai”.

A mountain man

Shirai was born in Nagano prefecture, Sakuno city. The prefecture and specifically the city are well known for their mountains.

When asked about what he loves most about his hometown he always mentions the clean air and their mountains, something that refreshes him. He even was part of his high school’s mountaineering club.

Fan of “Planetes”

His love for the sci-fi drama anime series “Planetes” is something otherworldly.

This is the number one anime he recommends to anyone he meets for the first time, almost all his favorite characters are from the anime and even his Twitter account header is the main visual from the series.

Fast learner

During IDOLiSH7‘s anime pre-screening back in 2017, Tsubasa Yonaga asked Shirai why was he so good at memorizing their choreography for “Pythagoras☆Fighter” (that song was performed at IDOLiSH7‘s 2nd fan meeting held as well in 2017).

Shirai mentioned that the reason why he memorized the choreography faster than Yonaga and Eguchi was because he’d already listened to the song plenty of times and, with that in mind, the choreography was easy to memorize.

Master of imitation

Usually, seiyuu list one or two things they are particularly good at imitating. However, Shirai is in a complete league of his own when it comes to imitations. It’s not one or two things he’s good at, it’s a whole repertoire featuring over 40 different things!

His repertoire includes animals (Mouse, Chicken, Cow, Horse, Cicada, raccoon, snake, caterpillar, squirrel, reindeer, etc), fireworks, soda, and famous football players (Luis Alberto Suarez), and Japanese comedians, among many other things.


And that’s all for this month’s Seiyuu Digest. In the meantime don’t forget to check past Seiyuu Digests (some of those recently updated) – HERE.

Nadine Silva
Nadine Silva
Former The Hand That Feeds HQ reviewer (2014 - 2019). Rocker and passionate about a good bass line or low vocal, Nadine is now shining in a different team, rocking and dazzling in the IT industry.

9 COMMENTS

Comment

Follow THTFHQ

3,636FansLike
1,240FollowersFollow
4,902FollowersFollow
580SubscribersSubscribe

Trending

You might also like...