This month we take a look at Yuto Suzuki’s career. Talented seiyuu, awesome singer yet, struggling to make his big break in the seiyuu industry.
BORN: May 5, 1989
OCCUPATION: seiyuu, actor, singer, MC, radio personality
Yuto Suzuki, born on 5, May, 1989 in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan is one of the rising stars in seiyuu business. A promising voice slowly rising to the top but with a lot of baggage in his almost 8 year career.
Right after completing high school, Yuto left his household in Yamagata with dreams of becoming a seiyuu and soon enrolled in a vocational school promoted by Dwango Artist Production (artist agency).
After a few years since his enrollment in the professional seiyuu school in Tokyo and while working part-time around the area, Yuto finally made his debut as a voice actor in 2008 under Japanese talent agency Dwango Artist Production.
A few minor roles in anime and games were presented to him but that certainly wasn’t enough for someone so willing to make a name for himself so, a few months later, he joined Amuleto (his current affiliated agency) where he’s a junior to big names in the business like Taiten Kusonoki and Kentaro Ito, as well as a handful of cross-area actors like stage actors/voice actors, Tsuda Kenjiro, Yuki Fujiwara and Genki Okawa.
With such a versatile talent agency now backing him up, Yuto has grown significantly as an artist. For those who are following his steps since the debut days those changes are enormous and impressively visible. That shy, nervous boy, stumbling on his words as he presented himself in D.C. Girl’s Symphony Pocket otome game live event back in 2008, with the script recited plainly or even the self-contained almost afraid way he hosted his earlier radio shows is no more. With an impressive charisma, refined looks and stage presence as well as the funny, witty and spontaneous MC skills, or mesmerizing singing skills that have impressed a lot of people, Yuto is more than eager to take the opportunity to reach the top seiyuu status.
In the anime business we can say that 2013 was a decisive year for him. That was the year that landed him the first roles with significant exposure to the masses – Makai Ouji Devils and Realist and Diamond no Ace – those were the golden series in which those minor, yet noticeable roles were played, enabling Yuto’s first chance to play with the “big league seiyuu”. 2014 landed him his first big roles, still not a main characters, but those turned out to be major supporting ones.
Kou Osaki in Shounen Hollywood is an interesting character in the series and has proven to be a good outlet for Yuto to showcase both his skills as a seiyuu and as a singer. Followed by that was his fabulous performance as Izumo Midorikawa in 2014’s major Sci-Fi hit anime Sidonia No Kishi (Knights of Sidonia).
Once again Yuto gives his voice to a minor character which actually played a huge role in the plot, the polished vocal performance with the massive array of emotions displayed in those few episodes of the series turned the tables once again. People were starting to finally notice him and paying a great deal to his voice acting.
Versatility might be the keyword to explain Yuto’s career so far. Besides being mainly a seiyuu he has tried almost everything in the entertainment business.
He’s been a radio host several times since his debut, has kicked off a solo career in the music business, has been part of several TV shows, acted in drama CDs, has been doing seiyuu work non-stop dubbing in critically acclaimed TV series such as “Bones”, “CSI” and ultimately has took the plunge to theater. We’ll talk more about those in the respective sections of this Digest.
Trying to be a jack of all trades is what Yuto certainly has aimed to be since his debut and he has fared pretty well in each and every attempt (with some minor setbacks), now being a full-fledged singer with seiyuu unit Marginal#4 and a rising voice actor at the age of 25.
Being Hideo Ishikawa‘s protégé in his debut years, he was helped a lot in his first endeavors, having hosted with the veteran legend three radio shows: An’s All StarsのX-tension radio, Hideo Ishikawa’s Dear Girl~Lesson~ and Animarus. Many of those shows lasted at least one year, which sums up to a good amount of experience and contact with the radio world.
Looking back and making an overview of his radio career, Yuto has been part of several radio shows alongside fellow seiyuu Kazuma Horie: Alice X Cross Radio on HiBiKi radio station, Da capo~ GS RADIO ~ on Lantis web radio and Girl’s Symphony radio on HiBiKi radio station (these last two also involved fellow seiyuu Tatsuhisa Suzuki). Girl’s Symphony radio was the complete entertaining havoc provided by the maddening Suzuki duo and Horie, the ever-so charismatic and stoic senior (can we take a moment to remember how crazy it was when the penalty game for the three of them involved them bare chested hosting the initial minutes of the show while Kazuma Horie was hosting doing push ups? All of this in the middle of the Winter? Madness for sure.)
Other radio shows co-hosted by Yuto include: Morikubo Shotaro & Suzuki Yuto Show★You Ari × Raji, Sanctuary Yotsuba radio with Daisuke Namikawa and Rejet presents: Love Bomber (Rejet radio show back in 2013 with Toshiki Masuda and Naozumi Takahashi as hosts) where Yuto was featured as a guest for some shows and the live event.
The solo journey
Taking our focus from that side of Yuto we focus our minds on his solo career in the music business. Having solo debuted in 2009, Yuto released only one single, his debut single titled “garden of eden” but soon after it was released his solo career died quickly. He was under guidance from Masami Okui, famous Japanese singer that suddenly left Yuto stranded alone in his very first steps in the music business.
It was an unfortunate case that made him focus even more in his career as a voice actor.
The seiyuu unit endeavors
Later he debuted under seiyuu Hideo Ishikawa’s guidance in the seiyuu unit
“Animarus” alongside Koutaro Nishiyama, Leona Irie and Nobunaga Shimazaki. That was an interesting project in which Hideo gave them the opportunity to showcase each of their charm points and talents.
The seiyuu unit was a great way to boost the four young aspiring seiyuu’s popularity (many had debuted at that time while others were still waiting for their big break).
The unit provided their debut track titled “Stride” for the show but soon the hype behind the so-called unit faded away. The unit disbanded with the end of the radio show and each member parted ways with Yuto being the only one fully active in the music business until date.
A year after and per Rejet’s CEO Daisuke Iwasaki‘s request, Yuto was finally making his way back into the music business, this time as part of the big gamble four piece seiyuu unit Marginal#4 with fellow voice actors Takahashi Naozumi, KENN and Toshiki Masuda.
Marginal#4‘s debut single 100万回の愛革命 certainly lived up to the hype around unit and made Marginal#4 rise to the top of best seiyuu units in Japan. Originality, energy and powerful vocal performances are some of the elements that have made the unit rise to where it is.
The unit has been pretty successful since their debut back in 2013 and is currently Yuto‘s most successful endeavor in the music business.
2014 surely was a big year for Yuto. Besides all the voice acting, event promotion, hosting, between many other things, he grabbed the chance to be in a reading drama. Titled 走れメロス (Ashire Meros), Yuto played the role of writer / playwright alongside fellow seiyuu and artist agency colleague Genki Okawa. The reading drama was promoted by MAG.net, a Japanese entertainment show.
Yuto the overly energetic seiyuu
Tsuda Kenjiro, fellow seiyuu/stage actor, plus Yuto‘s senior in Amuleto, has said it before and we’ll paraphrase it: “If Yuto is quiet something is wrong! That kid is always energetic.”.
When Yuto is on stage it’s quite probable that he won’t stay quiet for long, his talkative and bubbly personality is always on fire whether we’re talking about live events or radio shows and it’s not the first time a seiyuu comments about it.
Yuto the friendship magnet
Known for his constant kindness, energy, pure heart and bubbly personality that makes it almost impossible to hate him, Yuto is one of the seiyuu with more friends in the business, just to name a few: Yuki Fujiwara, Genki Okawa, KENN, Ryota Osaka, Soma Saito, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Koutaro Nishiyama, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Takuya Sato, Daiki Yamashita, Kensho Ono and best friends Toshiki Masuda (Marginal#4) and Shouta Aoi.
His personality really doesn’t stop him from being a well-loved voice actor by his peers, be it the legends, the already established ones or the newcomers – even musicians – let’s take for example his bromance with MIKOTO (Marginal#4‘s music composer and now a solo artist under 5pb records).
Yuto the otome gamer
This is not a secret in the seiyuu industry in Japan: Yuto is a major otome gamer. What was an initial curiosity for him about the genre all his girlfriends talked about, turned out to be something he started to gain interest in. Yuto not only works on otome games but he also plays them as well as knowing each and every single detail there is about anything of that specific game.
When “Jeweric Nightmare” was released in 2013, Yuto was the one in charge of promoting the game with a small three part video where he was playing as well as live commenting on it – he was as excited with the game as any other otome game lover around the world was when it was released.
This topic was often picked up when Yuto debuted by some of his peers. He’s justified the now love for those kind of games as a way to research about women’s hearts since he’s a guy with bad luck when it comes to love – turns out he was dumped by his girlfriends quite often as he once recalled in a radio show – otome games have ever since then been his source to get a glimpse of what goes through a woman’s mind.
Yuto the rising seiyuu talent
In 2012 Yuto was featured on Newtype seiyuu/anime/game magazine as one of 10 rising talents in the seiyuu business alongside Toshiki Masuda, Takuya Sato, Shouta Aoi and Yuichi Iguchi, among others. Little did Yuto know that in mid 2013 he’d make his powerful breakthrough as a Marginal#4 member and would get several roles in anime and games as well as hosting a wide variety of events.
Yuto the guy of many skills
Few might know about this but Yuto has good English comprehension skills. He’s certified with level 3 English (A1) as well as level 2 (A1) Chinese. Regarding his music skills and putting aside the already “certified” vocal skills, Yuto knows how to play taiko drums.
The major boost
Probably and besides Yuto’s own work as a seiyuu, trying to reach as many people as possible with his co-hosting in radio shows, live events or those minor roles in anime, it was Rejet’s CEO Daisuke Iwasaki that gave Yuto the opportunity for his big break.
Honestly: Who knew Yuto and followed his career before Marginal#4 debuted?
The answer is: very few people.
Truly enough there are still a lot of people who don’t know him, but his name isn’t unknown anymore – people know him from what he’s been doing in the otome game industry and especially in the music industry as part of one of the most powerful seiyuu units in the business.
Daisuke Iwasaki has shown over the few years since Rejet’s founding, that he has good eye for business (that is, of course, not an interesting subject for this digest) but also for finding and nurturing young talented seiyuu in the business.
Yuto joined Rejet’s all-star roster in 2013 and with that his career received an important boost.
His starlight vocal skills earned him a safe haven in Marginal#4, a place that has allowed him to grow significantly as an artist and seiyuu, at the same time solidifying his position on Rejet’s roster as an important asset. All this gave him as much opportunities as he’s been getting nowadays.
It was the hosting of the 24 hour RejetTV broadcast – Summer Festival aired on Nico Nico on 7th /8th August 2014 – alongside Toshiki Masuda (day 1) and Ryotaro Okiayu (day 2) that really set him on a good path for the next collaboration to have so much success.
His love for otome games plus his witty skills as MC earned him a collaboration with 5pb records – known otome cd company as well as home for several pop-rock artists (KENN, MIKOTO, Kenji Nojima, Tomoaki Maeno) in their music branch.
Titled 55キャンペーン– (55 campaign), this campaign has given Yuto the opportunity to promote otome cd’s, hold talk events and other things in between throughout Japan since 2014’s summer.
On the other side Yuto was chosen by Animate Japan to be the first seiyuu to work as “one day Manager” at their stores. That initiative gathered a lot of fans and he has also been touring Animate stores all over Japan ever since as a “one day manager” hand in hand with 55キャンペーン– .
Yuto was once a seiyuu that usually went to maybe one or two events per year to promote something, now he’s finally host/guest in many shows (sometimes two or three a week) and is promoting himself alongside a major collaboration with Animate stores and the label 5pb.
And a path towards greatness awaits him. It’s just a question of time – and luck.
And with this massive overview of Yuto Suzuki‘s career and interesting facts we complete another Seiyuu Digest! Be on the lookout for April’s digest!