A star among seiyuu. A role-model for many aspiring seiyuu.
One that once made a break to the top, never once let go of it. The go-to seiyuu for most shounen anime and twisted characters. This month we take a look at the career of one of the award-winning and seiyuu industry’s greatest, Hiroshi Kamiya.
KANJI: 神谷 浩史
BORN: January 28, 1975
OCCUPATION: seiyuu, singer, narrator, radio personality, actor
Hiroshi Kamiya was born on January 28, 1975 in Chiba, Japan. He is currently signed to Aoni Production.
Kamiya’s journey as a seiyuu wasn’t as straightforward as most of other seiyuu’s.
He was not interested in being a voice actor up until he was on his 3rd year of high-school and, after leaving the karate club he was a part of, he decided to join his school’s drama club by a friend’s suggestion.
He would then participate in an acting event and win a performance award. Kamiya fell in love with acting at that time and decided that it was what he wanted his career to be. He wanted to become an actor so, with that in mind, Kamiya gave his best and studied for the arts university exams but ultimately failed.
One day, he saw an advertisement in the Theatre magazine, Teatro, about Aoni Juku. Interested by the advertisement, Kamiya entered Aoni’s training school however, what he wasn’t aware at that time was that it was a voice actor training school.
Kamiya would end up studying voice acting and narration at Aoni’s training school and would finally make his debut as a seiyuu in 1994 with a role in the drama CD, Sangokushi DX4.
1994 – 1999
The first steps
Kamiya’s earlier days as a seiyuu were not easy. Going back to the 90s there weren’t as much competition as today for rookies but it was still tricky to earn a seat as a regular in a series of grab a leading role from the many high-profile seiyuu of that era.
During this period of time, Kamiya was voicing random characters for the most part, with an occasional supporting character here and there. He voiced characters in anime such as Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai (1994), Marmalade Boy (1994), Aoki Densetsu Shoot! (1994), Captain Tsubasa J (1995), Slayers Next (1996), Dragon Ball GT (1996), DT Eightron (1998), Corrector Yui (1999), Master Keaton (1999), between many more.
A notable supporting role in this era is Zazie the Beast in the classic action, sci-fi anime, Trigun (1998). This was Kamiya’s first ever villain role.
1999 arrived and with it came Kamiya’s first ever regular roles in anime as part of the main cast of the adventure anime series, Jibaku-kun.
Kai was Kamiya’s first main anime character role in a series that ended up being more loved overseas than it was in Japan.
1999 could not get any better when Kamiya was casted in the smash hit anime adaptation of One Piece. This was the most popular shounen anime airing at that time – and still remains one of the most popular shounen anime.
He was casted as Law Trafalgar, captain of the Heart pirates and one of the “Eleven Supernovas”.
Little did Kamiya know that this would be his longest running role that, up until 2020, he still reprises year after year. The character is a fan favorite with its laid-back personality but it underlying fierceness when it comes to facing other pirates.
2000 – 2005
The new millennium, getting on his stride
Kamiya was now a weekly presence in anime. His voice was getting known, his talent was getting recognition. It was time to capitalize on that and try to get as many roles as possible in anime.
2000 however was a strange year with no roles at all.
In 2001, Kamiya was back with supporting roles on Offside, Noir, Beyblade and a main role in the comedy and slice-of-life anime, Super GALS! Kotobuki Ran.
In Super GALS! Kotobuki Ran, Kamiya voiced Rei Otohata, a teen voted as the #1 High School student. He has, at the same time, a cold and rather detached demeanor that makes it hard for him to speak up his feelings to the ones he love.
Kamiya was tackling a romance/comedy anime and his performance was met with satisfaction by the fans of the manga.
2002 would prove to be a solid year for him, racking 1 of the 6 leading roles in Digimon Frontier. He voiced Kouji Minamoto, loner not by choice but mostly due to the fact that he never had stability in his life, changing schools with frequency.
He has a contrived relationship with his stepmother however, through trials and tribulations, Minamoto comes to the realization that his stepmother was not trying to replace his mother but find a place for herself while respecting that memory in his family.
Although this 4th season of the Digimon series was met with mixed reviews, this was a solid anime series for children, teaching the value of friendship.
A year later, Kamiya voiced Tetsuji Kaji in the romance / comedy anime, Ultra Maniac. Although on the outside he’s an idol, that is a fake persona that he has to put in order to meet the expectations of the girl he likes.
From hereon, Kamiya’s load of work in anime would rise to an impressive level. From leading to supporting roles, he was voicing characters in various anime series with a consistency and quality that was starting to impress anime producers and fans alike.
With that being said, 2004 was a big year for Kamiya.
As a longtime Gundam fan, it was his dream to ride one however voicing one was not so bad either, as he got his main role as Captain Gundam in the mecha anime series, SD Gundam Force (2004).
Still in the same year, Kamiya voiced Kouhei Morioka in the vampire anime, Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase.
Morioka plays an important role in the series as he is a vampire-buff therefore, according to the lore of the series, he cannot be made into a servant by a vampire and, at the same time, his blood breaks any bonds a vampire might have with its current master.
In 2005, Kamiya was back with new leading roles. He voiced Yuta Takemoto in the drama and josei anime series, Hachimitsu no Clover.
Takemoto is the leading character in the series. He is a warm, gentle university student with a certain inability to act upon his feelings on the person he loves.
During this period of time, Kamiya voiced characters in anime such as Baby Baachan (2002), Kanon (2002), L/R: Licensed by Royal (2003), Konjiki no Gash Bell!! (2003), Green Green (2003), Sonic X (2003), Pokemon Advanced Generation (2003), Mugen Senki Portriss (2003), GANTZ (2004), Kita e.: Diamond Dust Drops (2004), Tottoko Hamtarou (2004), Hi no Tori (2004), Monkey Turn V (2004), Rockman.EXE (2004), Ring ni Kakero 1 (2004), Ueki no Housoku (2005), Cluster Edge (2005), Tsubasa Chronicle (2005), between many others.
This period of time put Kamiya as one of the most exciting talents in voice acting. He was starting to be a dominant presence in the field. He was showing potential to be a star among seiyuu. But all came crashing down in 2006.
The scare and the miraculous recovery
2006 had everything to be a great year for Kamiya. He had lined up quite an eclectic group of characters in various anime genres with contrasting personalities although, there was a trend for playing complex, emotionally unstable characters starting to take shape.
He started it off with a role in the kids anime, Bakukyuu Hit! Crash B-Daman.
This could have been the very beginning for Kamiya to showcase his talent as a seiyuu, voicing a character with split personality such as Teruma Kamioka.
In the spring season, Kamiya was making a big debut voicing a role in the shounen-ai anime, Gakuen Heaven.
He voiced Kaoru Saionji, the school’s beautiful and intellectual treasurer.
Another dark role in his ranks as he voiced the narcissist Shinji Matou in the popular supernatural/magic anime, Fate/stay night.
Up until the summer, Kamiya racked up a role in the sci-fi anime series, Ergo Proxy.
Many of you might not remember and only know about the stories told about the event that led to Kamiya almost losing his life on a motorcycle crash.
Aoni Production have never let all details on the crash out in the open but from what it is known, while riding his bike on August 7, 2006, Kamiya was hit by a car, resulting in grave injuries that had him taken immediately to the hospital. He was put in an induced coma as to avoid further damage.
Everyone in the industry and fans alike were in shock. One of the brightest talents was fighting for his life in the hospital.
Surprising everyone, Kamiya woke up from coma and quickly returned to reprise his role as Yuta Takemoto by the end of Hachimitsu to Clover II role that, during that period of time of the accident and coma, been in the hands of Kenji Nojima.
Upon his return he voiced random characters in Princess Principal and Wa Wa Wa Wappi-chan. Kamiya was still recovering but from hereon, his career would turn into one of the most respected and prolific.
2007 – 2009
A new beginning
Kamiya made a strong comeback in 2007 with multiple roles in anime. The most notable include Tieria Erde in Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Nozomu Itoshiki in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Phoron Tatara in Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica.
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 marked the return of Kamiya to Gundam’s animated series. This time around he voiced a different character. Proud, arrogant and strict, Tieria Erde was far from the charmer in the series but the character grows to be more flexible and understanding throughout the series’ two seasons, to the point that he will help his friends undertake certain missions.
This is the type of character that has been a staple of Kamiya’s since his return. Stoic, by-the-book individuals that will do everything to achieve their (or their superiors’) objectives.
Nozomu Itoshiki in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is easily the world’s most pessimistic person, having tried multiples times to kill himself much in the likes of the Dazai Osamu‘s main character in his classic novel, No Longer Human. The series however has a take on this with some comedy in the mix, as the professor has to deal with quirky students and the misunderstanding that arise from something he said to each of them.
Kamiya then voiced Phoron Tatara in the music and magic anime, Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica. The anime adaptation wasn’t much of a success but its unique take on classical music certainly piqued the interest of those thirsty for more music anime that focused on the music genre.
2008 was a quieter year but also with its interesting roles and anime. Kamiya got the main role as Takashi Natsume in the slice-of-life anime, Natsume Yuujinchou.
Takashi Natsume is a role that has defined Hiroshi Kamiya’s career. Natsume is labeled as “crazy” and “attention seeker” by other people because of his ability to see yokai. Having similar features to his grandmother, he finds himself being attacked by yokai, exorcists try to take advantage of him but regardless, Natsume tries to be friends with everyone.
This slice-of-life and supernatural anime is incredibly popular in Japan as well as overseas and has spawned several seasons since 2007 with Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou (2009), Natsume Yuujinchou San (2011), Natsume Yuujinchou Shi (2012), Natsume Yuujinchou Go (2016),Natsume Yuujinchou Roku (2017), as well as movies and OVAs.
In the same year, Kamiya joined the cast of Hakushaku to Yousei, voicing the supporting character, Paul Ferman. Painter and poet, Ferman has a passion for fairies and, although he is no able to see them, he wants to believe they exist which leads to entertaining interactions with the main characters in the series.
The year wouldn’t be complete without his roles as Mikhail Blanc in Macross F and Kengo Asamura in Monochrome Factor.
Although it is a supporting role, Mikhail Blanc stands out from the cast for being the main character’s friendly rival. Kamiya was once again voicing a perceptive, smart and a by-the-book character.
Monochrome Factor is often target of mixed reviews much due to how the story develops and how some characters or actions end up being irrelevant for the plot after whole episodes dedicated to those. Kamiya was casted as Kengo Asamura, classmate of the protagonist Akira Nikaido – voiced by Daisuke Ono.
This ended up being the first anime in which the golden duo HiroC and OnoD worked in as part of the main cast.
Even if 2009 was a quiet year, Kamiya ended up being casted as Koyomi Araragi in, what is now, the long-running supernatural anime series, Bakemonogatari. Spawning 8 seasons spread over 10 years, this is one of Kamiya’s longest running main roles.
Araragi himself is a human with some vampire traits in himself due to an accident. With faster healing, able to clearly view in pitch dark places and with distinctive red eyes when angered, Araragi tries to live the normal life as a high school student. However that is not how it ends up being and the main character ends up helping high school students that are faced with spirits/creatures possessing them.
Kamiya’s acting as Araragi has evolved throughout the 10 years that have passed, improving his delivering and range of emotions to a polished version of his 2009 take on Araragi.
Aside from these roles, Kamiya voiced supporting or random characters in anime such as El Cazador de la Bruja (2007), Gintama (2007), Code-E (2007), Digimon Savers (2007), Nodame Cantabile (2007), Moonlight Mile 2nd Season: Touch Down (2007), Kobato. (2009), between many others.
2010 – 2014
THE leading actor
It was undisputed. In 2010, Kamiya was the most dominant and consistent seiyuu in the industry. Multiple roles per season, most of those leading ones or supporting characters with more than enough exposure.
He was not only voicing main characters, but he was also joining unique anime projects that proved to be a success as well as the cast of manga adaptations that turned into wildly well-received anime series.
And he was racking up consecutive awards at the Seiyuu Awards.
He was a fan favorite. He was experiencing his peak era.
One of the craziest comedies in the beginning of the 10s was Arakawa Under the Bridge. Kamiya voiced the main character, Kou Ichinomiya, heir of his family’s company and a man confident of his elite status. He vows he will never be indebted to anyone. That is until he falls off a bridge and is saved by Nino.
Trying to pay off his debt to Nino, Ichinomiya finds himself hanging out with the craziest crowd living under the bridge.
A nun – that is actually a former military man dressed as one – that wraps up mass to the sound of shots by a semi-automatic riffle, the village chief that believes he is a Kappa, a beautiful woman who runs a farm and has a foul mouth, a failed musician wearing a star mask and Nino, the woman he ends up falling in love with.
Kamiya’s performance as Ichinomiya is thoroughly funny, with his reactions to all the antics and shenanigans by the people living in the under the bridge village being a highlight.
It is interesting to follow Kamiya’s acting evolve from the sane, proper and elite individual to the corrupted and liberated side. Funny, at times a bit stupid in its gags but always an entertaining watch, this is one of those roles that Kamiya’s fans will never forget.
Still in the same year he was casted as Yuzuru Otonashi in the critically acclaimed supernatural anime, Angel Beats!. After dying in a train crash, Otonashi goes to the afterlife and finds himself joining a group of students that is battling again a person going by the codename, Angel.
One of Kamiya’s most iconic roles is undoubtedly, Izaya Orihara in the Durarara!! series.
With his first appearance in the 1st season and being a constant presence throughout the several seasons the franchise has spawned in 10 years.
Izaya is an information broker in Ikebukuro with a manipulative and sadistic men with a passion for putting people in danger and watching how they fare. His love-hate relationship with Shizuo Heiwajima (voiced by Daisuke Ono) gives his character a bit more depth as well as a funny twist, albeit for brief moments until he’s back being manipulative.
He is not a villain nor a good guy. He plays by his own set of rules, only selling information and watching people solely for his pure entertainment. This makes the character rather complex to analyze. Izaya stands out for the way the character is voiced and how important ends up being in key moments in the series. One of Kamiya’s best roles to date.
To balance things out, and because Kamiya is rather versatile in his acting, he joined the cast of the slice-of-life and comedy anime, WORKING!!.
The man that knows everything about everyone, also the man no one knows a thing about. Hiroomi Souma is an assistant cook at Wagnaria, sharing the kitchen with the quiet Jun Satou (voiced by Daisuke Ono). While he looks like an easy-going character, Souma actually enjoys blackmailing his co-workers to do his job for him. He also tricks people into acting in certain ways, leading to hilarious shenanigans inside the restaurant.
Kamiya continued to ride on a lot of momentum as he got to play an important supporting role in the supernatural and action anime, Ao no Exorcist.
One step ahead of everyone, Mephisto Pheles is a cunning and mysterious demon, as well as Principal at True Cross Academy. He is rather eccentric and random with occasional bouts of making light of tense situations out of nowhere.
For a change of pace from all the action and dark story plots, Kamiya was casted as Yamato Naoe in the comedy and romance series, Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!.
He also joined the cast of the short anime comedy series, Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san., in which he voiced Beelzebub.
Kamiya kicked off 2012 with another main role in comedy. He was casted as Erekpyle Dukakis in the comedy anime, Ixion Saga DT. Dukakis is leader of a militant faction, exuding charisma and power however he’s not the luckiest of people. Through a series of hilarious moments in the series, the character ends up losing things he was not expecting to as well as having is plans tank time after time.
Dukakis is the antagonist in this series but despite that status, ends up being a running gag, something that Kamiya took to a whole new level of hilarity.
Another year, another role in a Gundam series. Kamiya was casted as the quiet Zeheart Galette, supporting character in Mobile Suit Gundam AGE.
Kamiya’s biggest role of the year was as Seijuro Akashi in the hit sports anime series, Kuroko no Basket. The captain of Generation of Miracles – before each member went separate ways, Akashi is as equally feared as he is respected on and off the court. Methodical, cold and always one step ahead of others, he is a serious threat – looming or in game – for the main characters in the franchise.
Despite all of this, Akashi is a fan favorite character.
Kamiya got to reprise his role as Akashi in the following two seasons – Kuroko’s Basketball 2 (2014), Kuroko’s Basketball 3 (2015) – and the movie and OVAs that fit between these to tie up story plots or just add a comedy layer to the series.
Kamiya voiced Rick Elwood in the bread-centric anime, Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan. The unusual plot and the lack of consistency basically made this anime go under the radar for more anime fans.
He then joined the star-studded kids anime, Shirokuma Cafe. The anime, although catering kids, was extremely well received by everyone due to its lighthearted humor, simple, episodic formula and shenanigans between characters.
Kamiya voiced Penguin, ambitious character in love with Penko-san, a lady penguin with identical sister which he can’t tell apart.
He also joined the star-studded cast of the shoujo and action anime, BRAVE10. He voiced Rokuro Unno, brave, calm and collected samurai.
When it seemed that Kamiya’s momentum was fading away, his worldwide popularity skyrocketed much thanks to this anime and his role.
Kamiya joined the main cast of the smash hit action and supernatural series, Attack on Titan (2013). He’s voiced Levi Ackerman, squad captain of the Special Operations Squad. Known as ruthless, methodical and cold, displaying as little emotion in his face as he does in his voice.
This role proved to be a challenge for Kamiya that, up until now, had been used to voicing characters with a lot of emotion and even if some were on the cold, unapproachable side, none were as tight lipped and poker faced as this one.
Needless to say, Levi was an instant favorite of the fans of the manga and then anime adaptation, with the character often charting high in popularity polls on several anime websites in Japan as well as overseas.
Kamiya went on to reprise his role as Levi in the series’ following 2 seasons, OVAs, spin-offs and movies.
Going back a couple of months, Kamiya kicked off 2013 with a role in the fantasy anime, Karneval.
Gareki is one of the main characters in Karneval, he’s known for his clever and resourcefulness, skills he picked up from his time as a thief. Although cold and aloof on the outside, Gareki is a character that focuses way too much on hiding his emotions although, with time, he starts opening up and showing his true colors to specific characters in the anime series.
Once again Kamiya voiced a character that bickers with Daisuke Ono’s. Gareki is often found bickering with Hirato (voiced by Daisuke Ono) much due to the fact that the later enjoys teasing him.
Kamiya then voiced Hibiki Kuze in the anime adaptation of the action game, Devil Survivor 2 The Animation. The anime wasn’t well received domestically as well as overseas due to its confusing plot, lack of depth and originality.
Hibiki Kuze is the typical high-school boy up until something outer worldly happens and then, a battle for survival kicks off. Kamiya’s performance didn’t stand out, even being pointed out by fans of the game that his acting was subpar for a protagonist.
Still on a supernatural theme, Kamiya voiced a supporting character in the action and supernatural anime, Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun.
Rio Satomi is a calm and collected character that will only show care and affection to those he treasures. Although not a leading character in the series, Rio plays an important in some events and to characters as the series progresses.
Kamiya then joined the cast of the anime adaptation of the otome game, BROTHERS CONFLICT.
Now, BROTHERS CONFLICT has a big cast which usually means each character gets, at best half an episode of story before moving on to the next person.
That, however did not happen to Juli, pet squirrel of the protagonist, and one of the characters most present in the series as it comments on events, gives insights to the protagonist and more.
2014 introduced his fans to yet another character that is now beloved: Yato.
Yato is the protagonist of the action, supernatural and drama anime series, Noragami. He is a god with a cheeky and unpredictable personality.
On a mission to earn money to build his own shrine and be a famous god, Yato finds himself getting close to a human which leads to comedic moments early on however, the tone of the series ends up shifting to emotion-filled moments as characters unveil their past or tackle issues they were avoiding.
Kamiya delivered a heart wrenching performance as Yato, especially when it came to crucial emotional moments and gave Yato a funny, approachable dimension in the lighthearted moments in the series.
Another otome game adaptation hit the small screen. Kamiya reprised his role as Balder Hringhorni in the anime adaptation of Kamigami no Asobi.
Balder Hringhorni is the Norse god of light exuding a cheerful and bright personality that makes him loved. Although he looks regal and acts rather contained around most people, he is a klutz and, when facing the protagonist, he is the most straightforward out of all characters in the series.
Kamiya voiced the quiet and, somehow alienated, Teppei Arashi in the sci-fi anime, Captain Earth.
He then joined the cast of the hit sports anime, Haikyuu!! as Karasuno high’s volleyball club faculty advisor, Ittetsu Takeda.
Still in the same year, Kamiya joined the cast of the action and supernatural anime, HAMATORA. He voiced Art, one of the supporting characters in the series, a police superintendent.
Kamiya was also casted in the kids anime, Hero Bank as the series’ protagonist, Nagare Amano.
During this era, Kamiya voiced characters in anime such as Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru (2010), Nurarihyon no Mago (2010), Sekaiichi Hatsukoi (2011), Saint Seiya Omega (2012), Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle (2012), Medaka Box Abnormal (2012), Maoyuu Maou Yuusha (2013), Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist (2013), Lupin III: Princess of the Breeze – Kakusareta Kuuchuu Toshi (2013),
2015 – 2016
Solidifying his career
If there were any doubts of the importance of Hiroshi Kamiya in the seiyuu industry or how massively popular he was, there were none by 2015.
Kamiya had come from a close to perfect 4 years of leading roles in majorly critically acclaimed animated series. His characters were popular, he was respected by seiyuu across all kinds of career experience.
From 2015 onwards, he was able to start slowing down a bit his work in anime and gradually got less and less roles, with 2019 being his weakest year since 2001 – with only 5 roles.
Yet 2015 was a big year.
Kamiya joined the main cast of the Osomatsu-san, old-school episodic comedy series starring a star-studded cast that includes Takahiro Sakurai, Daisuke Ono, Jun Fukuyama, Miyu Irino, Yuichi Nakamura and Kenichi Suzumura.
Kamiya voiced Choromatsu Matsuno in the sequel to the 1988 classic. Choromatsu is the serious brother out of the sextuplets but that does not deter him from acting a bit too enthusiastic about people he likes or idolizes.
Later in the year, Kamiya reprised his role as Levi in the chibi version of Attack on Titan, Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou.
In the slice-of-life and comedy series, Sore ga Seiyuu!, Kamiya was able to play as himself, giving voice to the animated Hiroshi Kamiya.
In Spring 2015, Kamiya was casted as Junichirou Kagami in the comedy and romance anime, Denpa Kyoshi.
Junichirou Kagami is a rather eccentric genius physicist. A shameless otaku, Kagami often embarrasses others around him but that that does not totally eclipse his caring and passionate personality. Somehow he is convinced to teach – despite his clear lack of want to do it – and hilarity ensues.
Summer 2015 arrived and with it came a role in the comedy and ecchi anime series, Prison School.
Kamiya voiced Kiyoshi Fujino, the main protagonist in the series, the most serious and rational out of the 5 high-schoolers incarcerated in his school’s prison. He goes to great lengths to be and develop a relationship with his love interest.
Prison School was praised for its witty humor and unexpected story depth that clearly is a departure from what fans of the ecchi genre are used to.
2016 marked the return of Kamiya to comedy anime. He voiced Kusuo Saiki in the critically acclaimed comedy anime, Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan.
Just like most of Kamiya’s characters in the past decade, Saiki is a calm and collected character with an inner unselfish personality.
Kamiya then voiced Masashi Nishioka in what is one of the hidden anime gems in 2016, Fune wo Amu. The slice-of-life and drama anime was praised for the depth of the story and its characters.
Masashi Nishioka is one of the editors at the Dictionary Editorial Department and a friend to the series’ protagonist, Mitsuya Majime (voiced by Takahiro Sakurai).
He then joined the cast of the popular action and supernatural anime, Bungo Stray Dogs. He voiced Ranpo Edogawa, a detective member of the Armed Detective Agency. His intelligence and deduction skills earn him his title of “best detective” but underneath it all he is rather childish with other characters on a social capacity, often teasing others.
He joined the cast of the romance movie, Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai.
Kamiya voiced Yuu Setoguchi, calm and collected yet easygoing, this is a character that stands out in the series for how composed he is in comparison with more energetic characters in the series of movies from the Love Series – in which Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai inserts itself in.
Still in the same year, Kamiya reprised his role as Koyomi Araragi in the Kizumonogatari movies.
Slowly going under the radar
Starting from 2017, Kamiya’s load of work in anime started to see a drastic reduction. This could have been due to increasing workload he started to get in narration and dubbing starting from that year.
Although there was a clear reduction of the number of roles he took during this year, he still managed to grab leading roles in his reprisals of Akashi in the Kuroko no Basket Movie 4: Last Game and Shinji Matou in Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel movies.
2018 continue this trend and, although Kamiya was still a big part of some top anime projects, he was no longer voicing the main characters in most of the roles he got during that year.
Aside from reprising his role as Shinji Matou in the trainwreck that was Fate/Extra: Last Encore, Takashi Natsumi in the movie, Natsume Yuujinchou Movie: Utsusemi ni Musubu and Ranpo Edogawa in the movie Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple, Kamiya voiced supporting characters in anime such as Beatless, Devils Line and Overlord III.
Ryohei Haizaki, one of the 3 main characters in the sports anime Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin, is the only new main role that Kamiya got in 2018.
2019 was a quiet year with several supporting roles under Kamiya’s belt. He voiced Tao in the music anime, Carole & Tuesday; Caracal in Africa no Salaryman and Corey in the movie, Mewtwo no Gyakushuu Evolution.
He reprised his role as Choromatsu in the movie Osomatsu-san Movie released in the same year.
2020 followed the same trend, with Kamiya kicking off the year with roles in anime such as Isekai Quartet, Crayon Shin-chan Movie 28: Gekitotsu! Rakugaki Kingdom to Hobo Yonin no Yuusha and Cider no You ni Kotoba ga Wakiagaru.
He is going to voice Kakushi Gotou, manga creator and only parent, in the slice-of-life anime set to premiere in April 2020, Kakushigoto.
He is also going to voice Reo Shinozaki in the upcoming sports anime, Skate-Leading☆Stars.
Other anime he has voiced characters in include Nanatsu no Taizai (2015), Binan Koukou Chikyuu Boueibu LOVE! (2015), Baby Steps (2015), Psycho-Pass: The Movie (2015), Miss Monochrome The Animation 2 (2015), One Piece: Episode of Sabo – 3 Kyoudai no Kizuna Kiseki no Saikai to Uketsugareru Ishi (2015), Crayon Shin-chan (2016), Servamp (2016), Shiritsu Liyon Gakuen (2016), Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau (2017), Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10 cm Datta. (2017), Micchiri Neko (2018), Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Kaikou (2018), K: Seven Stories Movie 2 – Side:Blue – Tenrou no Gotoku (2018), Gegege no Kitarou (2019), between many more.
Hiroshi Kamiya is the most awarded male seiyuu in the industry. Since 2007, Kamiya is a constant presence at the Seiyuu Awards, racking up several Best Personality and Most Votes Awards along the way.
His major accolades include:
- 2nd Seiyuu Awards (2008) – Best Supporting Actor Award
- 3rd Seiyuu Awards (2009) – Best Actor and Best Personality Awards
- Tokyo Anime Awards (2010) – Voice Actor Award
- 6th Seiyuu Awards (2012) – Most Votes Award
- 7th Seiyuu Awards (2013) – Most Votes Award
- 8th Seiyuu Awards (2014) – Most Votes Award
- 9th Seiyuu Awards (2015) – Best Personality and Most Votes Awards
- 10th Seiyuu Awards (2016) – Most Votes Award
- 13th Seiyuu Awards (2019) – Most Valuable Seiyuu (fan voted category)
- 14th Seiyuu Awards (2020) – Most Valuable Seiyuu (fan voted category)
Due to having won 5 consecutive times the Most Votes Award at the Seiyuu Awards, Kamiya was inducted into the Seiyuu Awards’ Hall of Fame, an honor that only he has managed to get.
Over the years, Hiroshi Kamiya has been part of various radio broadcasts. Whether with his own radio show, a guest on others’ or co-hosting with fellow seiyuu, Kamiya is not short on his endeavors in this field.
Kamiya’s first ever radio show was VOICE OF WONDERLAND in 1993. His hosted the show for 3 years until it was cancelled in 1996.
As he focused more on voicing characters in anime, his work on radio reduced but by the turn of the millennium, Kamiya was back in full force hosting, co-hosting and guesting on radio shows.
Dear Girl Stories (2007 – )
Easily his most iconic radio show is Dear Girl Stories, weekly radio show co-hosted with fellow seiyuu and close friend, Daisuke Ono.
Dear Girl Stories is the most popular seiyuu-hosted radio show in Japan, kicking off in 2007 and, 13 years later, the duo still sits around the table to record episodes.
The radio show has been so successful that it has spawned several variety DVDs, movies, a Nintendo game, manga, drama CDs, live events and even the formation of the singing duo, Hiroshi Kamiya + Daisuke Ono and MOB (Masochistic Ono Band).
There is virtually no one that does not find Dear Girl Stories to be an entertaining radio show. Year after year, the duo reinvents themselves, with that contributing to an ever changing and fresh radio show that keeps loyal fans around as well as attract new ones.
He co-hosted Oshaberi yatte massu mokuyobi with fellow AONI PRODUCTION seiyuu, Masaya Onosaka and Ryotaro Okiayu in 2007 until 2008.
Other radio shows include Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei radio (2007 – 2011); Macross F○☆△ (2008 – 2011); Valkyria Chronicles 2 radio (2009 – 2010); Hiroshi Kamiya’s All Night Nippon R (2010); Hiroshi Kamiya’s Say! You Young (2010 – 2017); Toei Kounin Suzumura Kenichi – Kamiya Hiroshi’s Kamen Radiranger (2012); Sun Radio Residence (2012); Karnival Radio (2013), Hakkenden radio (2013) and more.
Contrary to most seiyuu in the industry, Kamiya avoids joining music projects or music/musical games in general.
With over 150 credits in video games, Kamiya is commonly found voicing characters in Mecha and otome games, although early on in his career he took on various roles in RPG and action games.
Kamiya’s first game role was in the 1996 RPG game, COBRA THE SPACE PIRATE.
Notable roles in games include:
- Kaoru Saionji in Gakuen Heaven BOY’S LOVE SCRAMBLE! (2003),
- Chad in Need for Speed: Underground (2003),
- Alan Isleward in Mobile Suit Gundam: MS Sensen 0079 (2007),
- Shinji Matou in Fate/stay night [Réalta Nua] (2007),
- HiroC in Dear Girl – Stories – Hibiki – Hibiki Tokkun Daisakusen! (2009),
- Izaya Orihara in Durarara!! 3way standoff (2010),
- Machina in Final Fantasy Type-0 (2011),
- Mephisto in Blue Exorcist: The Chronocyclic Labyrinth (2012),
- Juli in BROTHERS CONFLICT PASSION PINK (2012)
- Miyaji Ryunosuke in Starry☆Sky 〜After Winter〜 Portable (2013),
- Balder Hringhorni in Kamigami no Asobi (2013),
- Nagare Amano in Hero Bank (2014),
- Hibiki Kuze in Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 (2015),
- Jonathan in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse (2016),
- Caleb in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse (2017),
Other games in which he voiced characters in include Langrisser V: The End of Legend (1998), Favorite Dear (1999), BLACK/MATRIX2 (2002), Drakengard (2003), Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War (2004), Kessen III (2004), GANTZ (2005), Xenosaga I & II (2006), Samurai Warriors 2: Empires (2006), Operation Darkness (2007), Panic Palette (2007), Togainu no chi TRUE BLOOD (2008), Hoshizora no Comic Garden (2008), VitaminZ (2009), Lucian Bee’s RESURRECTION SUPERNOVA (2009), Inazuma Eleven 3 (2010), Last Ranker (2010), Bungou Stray Dogs (2016), Haikyuu!! Cross team match! (2016), Shingeki no Kyojin (2016), Dragon Quest Rivals (2017), Super Robot Wars T (2019), between many others.
Kamiya has devoted quite a big part of his career to dubbing overseas entertainment and narration. He has done narration work for educational shows, documentaries, commercials and more for TBS, TV Tokyo, Fuji TV, AT-X, BS-TBS, TV Saitama, BS Fuji between many other TV channels.
When it comes to dubbing, Kamiya is known as an expert in the field commonly known for being the dubbing voice in Japan for Josh Hutcherson – with dubbing credits on all The Hunger Games movies.
He has plenty of credits in South Korean dramas, western TV series and movies and does a lot of dubbing work for Japanese TV, some of those include: IT:chapter two, 2 Days in the Valley, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, Shark Lake, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, Jeepers Creepers 2, Flatliners, Alita: Battle Angel, Genius, Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight, Below the Surface, Honey & Clover, I’m Sorry, I Love You, Aron Stone and more.
Kamiya is also known for lending his voice and doing special effects for Kamen Rider’s live action movies, having racked up various credits since 2010.
Since early on in his career, Kamiya has lent his voice for various drama CDs. Otome, situation and BL are just some of the genres that Kamiya has, over the years, build a career around. With over 200 credits in this field, we will only make note of some and advise you to check his repertoire for hidden gems and other exciting performances of his.
Some of the drama CDs he has voiced characters in include: Attack On Titan Cleaning Battle, Kiss x Kiss vol 09: Tsundere Kiss, Shirokuma Cafe, Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, Vie Durant, SAMURAI DEEPER KYO, Starry☆Sky, TAP TRAP LOVE, Tokimeki Restaurant 2, BROTHERS CONFLICT, WORKING!!, Kawaii hito, Kushido Club, Doukyusei, Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi, Super Lovers, between many more.
Hiroshi Kamiya made his solo debut in 2009 under Kiramune and, over the years has been part of seiyuu duos either stemming from radio shows or within Kiramune itself.
Other than this, Kamiya has avoided being part of idol projects or music projects that go beyond the projects named below.
Kamiya’s singing technique has evolved over the years, with his nasal tone being a bit of hindrance in his early debut days. He then improved his singing and almost got rid of that nasaly tone in favor of a more robust, mid-toned singing voice.
His best performances lay around 2014 – 2015 when he was displaying a quality and consistency that fans had never heard before. The addictive START AGAIN (2014) and rocking mini-album Harerock (2015) share the throne as Kamiya’s best releases to date.
He made his solo debut with Hare no Hi in 2009. The mini-album was well received by his fans grabbing a spot at #9 on Oricon Weekly.
Since then Kamiya has released 8 mini-albums – Hareiro (2013), Hareyon (2014), Harego (2015), Hareroku (2015), Theater (2016), TOY BOX (2018) -, a full-length album – Harezora (2011) -, and 6 singles – For myself (2010), Nijiiro Chocho (2011), Such a Beautiful Affair (2012), START AGAIN (2014), Danger Heaven? (2016), Ism Rhythm (2017) and Kamisama Connection (2017).
He is one of the most stable seiyuu when it comes to charting on Oricon. All his releases up until now have ranked within top 10. Hareroku – 2nd on Oricon Weekly – is his highest ranking release.
Kamiya’s first ever live performance as a solo artist was at Kiramune Music Festival 2009.
Without a single absence, Kamiya has participated on all editions of Kirafes since 2009, delivering some iconic performances along the way.
Kamiya embarked on solo lives in 2015 and 2016. Hiroshi Kamiya 1st Live “Hareyon→5&6” DVD was released in 2016 and Hiroshi Kamiya Live 2016 “LIVE THEATER” LIVE DVD” was released in 2017.
A couple of years earlier Kamiya was already singing and dancing on stage as part of the golden duo, Hiroshi Kamiya + Daisuke Ono.
Hiroshi Kamiya + Daisuke Ono (2007 – )
The most successful seiyuu duo in the industry – with multiple accolades between them – teamed up as a seiyuu unit in 2007. Stemming from Dear Girl Stories, Hiroshi Kamiya + Daisuke Ono were born.
Since their debut, performing mainly songs used as opening and ending themes for their radio show, the duo has consistently released singles and albums, much to the delight of their fans.
The duo has released several singles and full-length albums over the years, most of those exploring pop and rock sonorities. Their music is supported and promoted those through featuring the songs on their radio show as well as performing those live on DGS’ live events.
Their discography is the following:
- Dear Girl〜Stories〜 (2007)
- My Dear Girl! (2009)
- Netsuai S・O・S! (2010)
- DearGirl wa nemurenai (2010)
- Dear Girl〜Stories〜 (2011)
- Stories (2011)
- Smiley Time (2011)
- Bokudake no Monogatari (2012)
- Shiny × Shiny (2013)
- Glow My Way (2013)
- Monster’s Show (2015)
- TEN-der land (2016)
- Coin toss Drive (2017)
- ON the AIR (2017)
- Taisetsu no Kagi (2018)
- SPEEDILLUSION (2019)
Their highest ranking release is 2017’s Coin Toss Drive, album that reached #5 on Oricon Weekly. Since 2015, Hiroshi Kamiya + Daisuke Ono only release music once a year.
KAmiYU (2010 -)
In 2010, Kiramune decided to team up their youngest and oldest solo artists signed to the label – at that time – for a special unit thus, KAmiYU was born.
Consisting of Hiroshi Kamiya and Miyu Irino, the duo quickly exuded a bubbly vibe and energy that carried over to their music and live performances.
KAmiYU made their debut in 2010 with the single, Kokoro no tobira. The song was latter inserted on the duo’s mini-album, link-up – released in 2011.
KAmiYU’s most successful single to date is REASON (2013). The title track was featured as the ending theme for the action and supernatural anime, KARNEVAL. The single charted at #13 on Oricon’s Singles Chart.
Still in the same year, KAmiYU released a mini-album, Road to Wonderland. After this, the group went on a long hiatus, result of the members focusing on their own solo careers, then the unexpected hiatus of Miyu Irino in early 2017 that took him to Europe to learn more about musical acting.
The wait was long between music releases – 5 years. But for fans, it was actually 2 years without the duo stepping on the same stage to perform live. That hiatus was over by 2018 when the duo announced that they were working on their comeback mini-album, Happy-Go-Lucky.
On a live setting KAmiYU are a bundle of fun, filling the stage with energy and good vibes, putting a smile on everyone’s face with their talk, acting and live performances whenever they go on tour.
Masochistic Ono Band (2013 -)
Although Masochistic Ono Band made their debut in 2013 with a performance at DGS Festival Carnival Matsuri, it was only in 2014 that the band made their first official release with rocking single, Ace of Asia, track featured in DGS‘s movie with the same title.
MOB are a an air band – meaning the members only mimic playing the instruments on a live setting – has released 3 singles: Ace of Asia (2014), Masochistic Over Beat (2014) and Mighty Heart (2018).
Fiery and passionate, MOB are a completely different outfit in comparison with Hiroshi Kamiya + Daisuke Ono. Their songs are fast and rock driven, creating an aura of excitement whenever the duo performs those on stage.
After a couple of years without releasing music and performing live, the duo announced in 2019 that they are gearing up for comeback sometime in 2020 and will embark on tour this year as well.
By now it is no surprise that Hiroshi Kamiya will, at least, feature on the front cover of a magazine every year. He has been a favorite by many seiyuu magazines, grabbing several main features and front covers or sharing those with other seiyuu over the years.
He is most commonly found on Pick-up Voice, Seiyuu Grandprix and Voice Animage.
Hiroshi Kamiya is seldom on variety shows. His packed schedule does not leave him with much time to participate in variety shows like most peers tend to attend or even host. However, over the years, he has participated in some interesting variety shows.
Kamiya is usually rather playful, teasing everyone yet, at the same time, trying to be the most rational of all members to get the upper hand and complete any tasks that are thrown at him.
Dear Girl Stories Movies (2010, 2013 and 2017)
Cashing in on their radio show’s popularity, Dear Girl Stories, Hiroshi Kamiya has starred in 3 movies/variety shows alongside Daisuke Ono.
The duo first visited Hiroshi Kamiya’s birth prefecture, Chiba, for their first movie, DearGirl〜Stories〜THE MOVIE (2010).
In 2013, the duo went international and visited Hong Kong for their movie DearGirl〜Stories〜THE MOVIE 2 -ACE OF ASIA-. The band, MASOCHISTIC ONO BAND, made their debut in this movie.
Then, in 2017, the duo released the 2-part movie, this time recorded at Daisuke Ono’s birth prefecture, Kochi, titled DearGirl〜Stories〜THE MOVIE 3 the United Kingdom of KOCHI.
VART (2020 -)
In 2020, Hiroshi Kamiya was announced as a semi-regular cast member for the first ever seiyuu racing variety show, VART (Voice Actors Racing Team) created by fellow seiyuu Shinichiro Miki. The show starts airing in April 2020.
The accident the almost put an end to it all
For many Hiroshi Kamiya‘s fans, the accident that happened in 2006 is still as clear as day. While riding his motorcycle, Kamiya was hit by a car. He was instantly taken to the hospital and put in an induced coma to recover from the grave injuries he had suffered. For a period of time, Kamiya was in danger, going on cardiopulmonary arrest. The whole seiyuu industry was in shock and showed solidarity for what happened to him, wishing nothing bad would turn out of that accident.
It took nearly a month for Kamiya to regain consciousness but, as if nothing had happened, Kamiya was back on his feet.
Voice intact for the most part – the key and range of his changed considerably in comparison with his pre-accident self – and there was no damage to the brain or anything else. Despite how grave the accident had been, it was as if nothing had happened as Hiroshi Kamiya was coming back almost unscrapped a month later.
Fans were joyful at such news and Kamiya saw in it a new beginning. One in which he’d have to bet everything to be the best and leave a legacy. And that was what happened. Since then, Kamiya has never stopped being a fan favorite and is one of the most loved and respected seiyuu in the industry.
The Golden Duo
Whether working together on radio shows, working in the same anime – most of the times playing opposite each other – or singing, Hiroshi Kamiya and Daisuke Ono were a golden duo from the late 00s until mid 10s.
Known for their uncanny friendship, that blossomed while hosting Dear Girl Stories, the two seiyuu – recognized by many as the best of their generation -, grew closer to the point that they are almost like family to each other – much to Kamiya’s denial.
It’s the friendship between the two that inspires and draws admiration from a lot of people – and also makes some fellow seiyuu play around with how shady it might sound for outsiders.
From helping each other in radio recordings – in which the two weren’t working together in -, to driving together to recordings, to supporting each other in events such as live concerts or festivals, even winning awards together at the Seiyuu Awards (2008 and 2015), they have shared a considerable part of their career and show one of the most heartwarming relationships between high profile/popular seiyuu.
Fellow seiyuu Junichi Suwabe is known for playing around with Kamiya and Ono’s buddy relationship. He’s done it multiple times either by spilling the beans on how the two recorded their lines in Monochrome Factor – while holding hands -, to mentioning, indirectly, that “Kamiya belongs to that guy at Ryogoku Kokugikan (Daisuke Ono at Orepara)” when Kensho Ono, Kuroko no Basuke Radio’s host, mistakenly wrote in his tweet that he was going to host “Junichi Suwabe’s Hiroshi Kamiya” on a specific episode.
It is well known that Hiroshi Kamiya is a tsundere.
He often acts cold and dodges most complements from other people, externalizing it with sarcasm or diverting the conversation to other things. Daisuke Ono is usually at the short end of the stick, with their relationship being akin to a dog and cat chase, with Kamiya being always on the run or getting aggressive at any love Ono spreads his way.
Deep down however, Kamiya is known as a caring individual even if he does not like the attention to his actions.
No surprise here as Kamiya has said multiple times that he loves cats, owning one himself called Nyanko-sensei – an ode to Natsume Yuujinchou‘s Nyanko sensei (played by Kazuhiko Inoue).
With this we wrap up another Seiyuu Digest. In the meantime, don’t forget to check past Seiyuu Digests (some of those recently updated) – HERE.