With almost a decade of work as a seiyuu and despite some consistent performances under his belt, he is still looking for his big break in the industry. This month we take a look at the career of one of the most underrated seiyuu in the industry: Atsushi Tamaru.
|BORN||February 27, 1986|
Atsushi Tamaru was born in Hokkaido on February 27, 1986. He’s the youngest of two siblings (has an older sister). Soon after being born, his family moved to Saitama Prefecture.
While studying for his university entrance exams, Tamaru listened to a radio show hosted by a seiyuu and was fascinated with it. That, adding to his interest in the anime songs, sparked an interest in him to later pursue that career. But before that, he passed his university entrance exams and joined the Department of Electronics Information Systems (Faculty of Systems Engineering) at Shibaura Institute of Technology.
During his sophomore year in college he saw advertisements in magazines from several seiyuu training schools and decided to enroll in one of those while continuing his college studies. Tamaru ended up graduating college with a thesis on Electronics titled “Development of a tool to support the learning of satellite operation through the visualization of Cut-off Rigidity“.
In 2007, he passed the audition to joined Sigma Seven. Two years later, in 2009, he made his debut as a seiyuu with a role in Kupu!! Mamegoma!.
2009 – 2012
The initial period in ones’ career isn’t always easy, as a matter of fact, among rookie seiyuu it’s rather common to face a lot of difficulties when trying to break into the industry.
Tamaru took on several minor/supporting roles in anime such as Kämpfer (2009), Squid Girl (2010), Happy Kappy (2011), Jewelpet Sunshine (2011), Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san. (2011), Aikatsu (2012), La storia della Arcana Famiglia (2012), Inu x Boku SS (2012), CØDE:BREAKER (2012), SKET DANCE (2012), Sword Art Online (2012 – 2014), FAIRY TAIL (2012), JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken (2012), ROBOTICS;NOTES (2012), Total Eclipse (2012), among many other anime projects.
2013 – 2014
The first lead roles
After 3 years of going unnoticed, in 2013, a golden opportunity appeared. He was casted in Tamako Market, romance/slice-of-life anime that ended up being highly praised for its well paced romance and simple, yet heartwarming story. Mochizo Oji was the very first leading role in his career. Tamaru reprised his role as Mochizo for the movie “Tamako Love Story“, released in 2014 to wrap up the love story between Mochizo and Tamako.
Still in the same year, Tamaru joined the main cast of Meganebu. He voiced the easy-going and spaced-out Takuma Hachimine. The anime wasn’t a success although its unique concept having stood out.
In 2014, Tamaru joined the supporting cast of the action/sci-fi anime Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei. He voiced Mikihiko Yoshida, an aloof and shy magician.
Despite not being part of the main cast, it’s worth mentioning his role as Akura Kunimi in the popular sports anime Haikyuu. This character was different from anything Tamaru had been voicing up until then. Kunimi is a quiet, lazy, yet smart character that might not stand out but gets the job done effectively. The character appeared in the anime’s two seasons (2014 and 2015).
During this period he voiced minor characters in Silver Spoon (2013), Samurai Flamenco (2013), STRIKE THE BLOOD (2013), Tamayura (2013),Tanken Driland: 1000-nen no Mahou (2013), Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (2013), Machine-Doll wa Kizutsukanai (2013), Yama no Susume (2013) and Yama no Susume: Second Season (2014), Jewelpet Happiness (2014), Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda (2014), Hamatora (2014) and Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? (2014).
Focus on consistency
Finally with a some leading roles under his belt and active presence in a popular anime, Tamaru started to see an increase in roles, as well as the different anime productions he’d be a part of, however, leading roles still didn’t come by easily.
In 2015 he scored a leading role in the comedy/ecchi/harem anime Shomin Sample, voicing Kimito Kagurazaka. The anime ended up being praised for the way the story was told without being cliched. Kagurazaka‘s caring personality and craftiness in the middle of strange situations (in order to protect his cover) ended up making the character rather likable among viewers.
Still in the same year, Tamaru was casted as Ayato Amagiri in the sci-fi/ecchi anime Gakusen Toshi Asterisk. The anime spanned two seasons (2015 and 2016) and was heavily criticized for its generic plot and excessive fanservice.
A year later he was casted as Chulan Zhang, main character in the supernatural/action anime Hitori no Shita: The Outcast. The anime might have not been a hit but it was still highly praised for its smooth battle scenes and solid voice acting. He returned to reprise his role in 2018 for the anime’s sequel “Hitori no Shita: The Outcast 2nd Season“.
The popular game Touken Ranbu was greenlit for anime adaptation in 2016. Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru premiered in 2016 and with it came its original stellar cast. Atsushi Tamaru reprised his role as Ichigo Hitofuri for the anime’s two seasons Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru (2016) and Zoku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru (2018).
2017 arrived and with it came 3 leading roles for Tamaru. In the Winter season he voiced Shouichi Kamita in the romance/school anime Seiren.
He was then casted in what was one of the hidden gems in 2017’s Spring season, Tsuki ga Kirei. The romance anime was highly praised for the way the storytelling was handled as well as character development and natural voice acting. Tamaru voiced Takumi Hira, one of the main characters in the anime series. Hira is an accomplished athlete and student whom others tend to rely on.
In 2018 he was casted in the supernatural anime, Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi. He voices Byakuya, the chief of the accounting office of Tenjin-ya. Although he’s often strict, there’s a soft side to this character.
He also voiced minor and supporting characters in the following anime: Ore Monogatari!! (2015), Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Seneki (2015), Go! Princess Precure (2015), Jewelpet Magical Change (2015), Shounen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 50 (2015), Ping Pong The Animation (2015), Seiken Tsukai no World Break (2015), Doraemon (2015), Lady Jewelpet (2015), Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (2016), Boku dake ga Inai Machi (2016), 12-sai. (2016), Akiba’s Trip The Animation (2017), Hitorijime My Hero (2017), 18if (2017), Shoukoku no Altair (2017), Isekai Shokudou (2017), Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau (2017), Juuni Taisen (2017), Marvel Future Avengers (2017), Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san (2018), Darling in the FranXX (2018), Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan 2 (2018), Layton Mystery Tanteisha: Katri no Nazotoki File (2018), Hyakuren no Haou to Seiyaku no Valkyria (2018), Mitsuboshi Colors (2018) and Gundam Build Divers (2018).
Tamaru made his debut on radio in 2013 with two radio shows connected to anime he was staring in. Those that listen to his radio shows/shows he’s hosting know that he has a tendency to be witty, playful, reading well the guests or co-hosts, leading to entertaining episodes.
He was co-host to THREE ARROWS Radio Koumei no Yome.〜Sanko no Radio!!〜, radio show that aired in 2013. He then was co-host to Meganebu‘s radio show “Nihon sou megane-ka keikaku Radio”, show that was on air from 2013 to 2014. In 2014, and alongside Masatomo Nakazawa, Tamaru co-hosted the radio show “Boku to Sekai Web Radio“, show that aired for a whole year (10/07/2014 to 25/09/2015).
A year passed and Tamaru got to co-host with Yuma Uchida what is, currently, his most popular and long lived radio show: BELOVED MEMORIES.
BELOVED MEMORIES is a radio show in which Tamaru and Uchida become special sommeliers who fill in any void in the hearts of the listeners or those dear to them, in order to free them from stress and/or unsatisfactory days replacing it with wonderful memories. Despite the fancy description, the show often lands in risqué territory with a whole lot of funny stories in the mix. With over 140 episodes broadcasted, the show has already released seven DJCDs. This show was the catalyst for the the creation of their unit of the same name.
In 2016, Tamaru was announced as the seiyuu to take over MAN TWO MONTH from February to April (05/02/2016 to 01/04/2016). This radio is known for its unique concept of allowing different seiyuu to host their own radio show for a period of two months. MAN TWO MONTH RADIO Tamaru Atsushi no maru to tamaru was filled with goofy stories, interesting advice, all delivered in a laidback environment.
Still in 2016, Tamaru teamed up with Kenjiro Tsuda to host Otomate’s radio show “Otomate Club ~ Radio section ~“. The show airs monthly to promote Otomate’s games and products.
Aside from hosting radio shows, Tamaru has guested in include All Night Nippon (2016), Touken Ranbu Web Radio (2017), Haikyu Radio (2017), A&G NEXT BREAKS FIVE STARS (2017) and Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi ~ Ayakashi o yado de Oshaberi shimasu ~ (2018).
Tamaru doesn’t have many credits in this field of work but those he has were more than enough to turn him into a sought after seiyuu in BL as well as a safe choice for otome drama CDs.
Some of the drama CDs he’s worked on include: BRIDE of PRINCE Vol.5 Vino, Otodoke Kareshi No.03, Otodoke Kareshi-More Love- Vol.06, Nyan Love watashi no koi no mitsuke-kata, Futari Ji Me Sengoku Fufu Monogatari, Boku to Sekai no Euclid, Komei no yome., Gesu kare VOL. 2 Rudora, Danshi kokosei, hajimete no, Kodokuna taka wa hitokoishikute, Boku wa kimi no iinari, between many others.
When it comes to games, Tamaru has a consistent repertoire. He’s most commonly found voicing characters in otome games as opposed to RPGs and other game genres. The first game he voiced a character in was Yome Collection in 2013. Lately, he’s been voicing characters in several popular rhythm/idol games.
Some of his most popular characters include Ichigo Hitofuri (Touken Ranbu), Akio Tobikura (I-Chu), Caliburn (Yume100) and Tsukioka Tsumugi (A3!).
Other games he’s voiced characters in include: Gakuen Heaven 2: Double Scramble (2014), 12-Sai. Honto no Kimochi (2014), Haikyu!! Tsunage! Itadaki no Keshiki!! (2014), Nyan Love: Watashi no Koi no Mitsukekata (2014), The Irregular at Magic High School Lost Zero (2014), The Irregular at Magic High School Out of Order (2014), Boku to Sekai no Euclid (2015), Aikatsu My No.1 Stage! (2015), Haikyu!! Cross team match! (2016), Star Revo (2017), Crank In (2017), VARIABLE BARRICADE (2018), between many other games.
Tamaru has never set out to be a solo artist however, he has plenty of work with 2.5D idol units as well as his own seiyuu unit alongside Yuma Uchida. Although he’s not among seiyuu’s best singers, he is still a solid singer that fits well within the role he’s given.
In 2015, Tamaru joined the cast of the rhythm game I-Chu. He’s part of ArS, unit known for their lively pop music. The lineup includes: Kenji Roa, Daisuke Hirakawa, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Hiroyuki Kagura and Katsufumi Yachi. So far the group has released 8 songs: Te Wo Nobase!, Chotto Matte yo Give Me A Break!, Very Very Itoshii Hito, Star light trip, Here we go!!, We are I★CHU! – ArS ver., Geijutsu Sentai ArS Ranger and Nantettatte No.1.
Rejet’s short-lived music project “Forbidden Star” which counted with several units and an overall interesting lineup for each unit. Tamaru joined XYZ, unit that counted as well with the vocals of Ryota Osaka and Natsuki Hanae. XYZ released two singles before disbanding.
Smile☆Glitters and Lovely Baby, both released in 2016. This unit had everything to stand out in this project however generic instrumentals and weak vocal performances ended up making them a forgettable act.
Yet another Rejet project gone wrong. “Star Revo“, idol/rhythm game distributed by Rejet in 2017, had an ambitious yet fresh lineup for each of its 8 units (one of them didn’t even get to officially debut due to the game’s cancellation in 2018).
4+U consisted of Yuuya Nakada, Atsushi Tamaru, Taku Yashiro and Makoto Furukawa.
Their song “Ao no Eden” was first previewed in 2017 but will only be released later in 2018, when the four planned THE BEST「STAR REVOLUTION」mini-albums are released. A new song “…Rain” is going to be premiered there as well.
Alongside Yuma Uchida, Tamaru is part of Beloved Memories, group that stems from their radio show of the same name. The duo has a flashy pop-rock sound, something fans can easily spot on any of their songs released so far. They’ve released 3 albums: BELOVED MEMORIES MUSIC FLAVORS〜SEASIDE LIVE FES 2015〜, BELOVED MEMORIES MUSIC HOURS〜SEASIDE LIVE FES 2016〜 and BELOVED MEMORIES SEASIDE LIVE FES 2017〜RAINBOW〜. Those albums were made available exclusively at the venues of SEASIDE LIVE FES, as well as on the radio show’s official online store.
The duo has already performed live numerous times on SEASIDE LIVE FES 2015, 2016 and 2017. They held their first live show “BELOVED MEMORIES 1st MEMORIES～Pleasure～” in 2017. On stage, their performances are energetic and passionate, resonating perfectly with their sound.
In 2017, Tamaru joined the cast of what ended up being one of the most popular and buzzworthy game franchises: A3!. For a change, the focus for a game with “handsome” characters wasn’t about idols but on stage actors. This concept ended up easily attracting a lot of fans and within its first year, reaching a whooping 3 million users in 2018.
The franchise created a special group, A3ders!, unit consisting of the leaders of all troupes. Kodai Sakai (Spring), Takuya Eguchi (Summer), Chiharu Sawashiro (Autumn) and Atsushi Tamaru (Winter). So far, the group has released two singles. The first one, MANKAI☆開花宣言 (released in 2017), was certified Gold Record in just a couple of months after its release, catching everyone off guard.
In 2018, A3ders! returned to perform the theme song for the second story season.
“Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu☆Blooming!”, although yet to be certified gold, was met with overwhelming support and sales figures, charting within top 10 on Oricon Weekly for several weeks.
As mentioned above, Tamaru is Winter Troupe‘s leader. He voices Tsukioka Tsumugi, Winter Troupe’s leader and talented actor (picture above in the middle). The troupe initially counted with Atsushi Tamaru, Takuya Sato, Junta Terashima, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Tetsuya Kakihara but early in 2018 all crews in the franchise got a new member, extending the lineups to 6 people. Satoshi Hino is the recent addition to the Winter Troupe.
With the announcement of the franchise’s first live show, it’s possible that the troupe is going to make their live debut in 2019.
In April 2018, Tsukipro (SQ, ALIVE, Tsukiuta) announced a new music project. SWIIIIIITS!, unit born of Tsukipro‘s collaboration with Pocky. The lineup counts with Inori Minase, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Daisuke Hirakawa, Hidenori Takahashi, Atsushi Tamaru and Kaito Ishikawa. The unit is going to make its debut in September with their first single “Swiiiiiitest Party!!”.
White Knight Orchestra
Still in 2018, Tamaru was announced as part of White Knight Orchestra, shuffle unit part of Tsukipro’s Licogli series (SWIIIIIITS!). The unit counts with Atsushi Tamaru, Inori Minase and Hidenori Takahashi.
The unit is scheduled to release their debut single “世界の歌” (Sekai no Uta) in November.
Since his debut, Tamaru has been active both as a variety show host or as a guest. Whenever he’s hosting, the shows tend to be calm and laidback however, if he’s not hosting but is a guest instead, things change slightly. He is still rather quiet, at least apparently, however he will play around when he feels like there’s an opening for that or when someone said something that can be open to other interpretations, often leading to chaos on broadcast.
Here’s some of the various shows he’s hosted and guested so far in his career.
In 2014, he co-hosted Animemashite with Makoto Furukawa. Despite his pair’s visible nervousness throughout both broadcasts (Animemashite’s pairs host together for two episodes), Tamaru maintained composure and tried to lead the way towards a smooth broadcast. Whenever he felt like something was lacking he’d pitch in his opinions or add information. He even managed to craftily make Junko Takeuchi (the guest for one of the two broadcasts) talk about how she acts when drunk, thing she didn’t want to talk about initially.
In 2015 guested on Banpresto, monthly Nico Nico show hosted by fellow seiyuu Kenichi Suzumura and Ryota Osaka. While the show kicked off pretty smoothly, however between games, merchandise information and the introductory talk, fans got to see a different side to the always stoic and quiet Tamaru, leading to one of the most hilarious shows in that year for Banpresto.
Tamaru Atsushi Ageage TV (host)
This is Tamaru‘s flagship TV show produced by SunSetTV and Shizuoka Asahi Television. “Tamaru Atsushi Ageage TV” is a simple TV show in which he interviews seiyuu and creators in a relaxed environment. This show kicked off in 2016 and still airs regularly online.
Star Revo☆ 彡最 Shin jouhou kaikin SP ~ Yozora ni Kagayaku seiza ga tsudoishi namahousou ~ (guest)
In 2018, Tamaru guested on Star Revo☆ 彡最 Shin jouhou kaikin SP ~ Yozora ni Kagayaku seiza ga tsudoishi namahousou ~, special broadcast in which details on the game, introducing characters, songs were announced. It also counted with variety corners.
As the resident veteran seiyuu, Tamaru made sure to make the best out of any chances he got to tease his juniors, as well as help them out – something that might have gone unnoticed to some that watched the broadcast – when there was technical difficulties.
A3! MANKAI Company Fuyu no Kokai-sei keiko! (host)
As leader of the Winter Troupe, Tamaru was in charge of hosting this special broadcast in 2018 that kicked off with technical difficulties (no sound). When the show went on air he only said: “I want this broadcast to go smoothly.“
Despite his efforts to control the tide of the show towards a calm and collected broadcast that would fit with the “Winter” theme, Toshiyuki Toyonaga was there to make sure the broadcast wouldn’t go his way. Between Toyonaga‘s in-character actions, Junta Terashima and Takuya Sato‘s unique conversations, Tamaru had his hands full, ending up mediating everyone as opposed to hosting it quietly like he wished. Result: it was one of the most enjoyable broadcasts from an A3! troupe.
Tamaru has always been fond of playing sports. He mentioned on an episode of Beloved Memories that when he was in middle and high-school, he was part of the swimming club. He also enjoys jogging and playing football.
Cold facade, gentle personality
On Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi ~ ayakashi o yado de oshaberi shimasu ~ (2018), upon talking about Byakuya, character voiced by Tamaru, host Shunichi Toki started drawing parallels between the character’s personality and Tamaru‘s.
Toki mentioned that, when recording for the anime series for the first time together, he wanted to talk with him however, given how he gives off a cold aura, Toki was afraid. Regardless, he went and talked with Tamaru which surprised him. “Tamaru-san has a really great and gentle personality.”
Loves being surrounded by energetic people
Tamaru mentioned that as a kid he was always quiet and timid, traits that are still present in him despite how he acts in front of the cameras. Due to being a naturally calm person, he mentioned that he loves being surrounded by energetic people that are always trying to do new things and are good talkers. He mentioned that he feels positively influenced by their energy (even influencing his hobbies), hence he prefers to be surrounded by upbeat, energetic people whenever possible.
Known as one of the seiyuu most active in the BL scene, it’s no surprise that Tamaru was ranked #19 at 2018’s BL Awards. His work in drama CDs such as Danshi kokosei, hajimete no, Kodokuna taka wa hitokoishikute and Boku wa kimi no iinari.
With this we conclude another Seiyuu Digest. Make sure to check our Seiyuu Digest main page for updates on older Digests.