Seiyuu Digest #70 – Takaya Kuroda

Owner of one of the coolest voices in the industry and with a career spawning almost 4 decades, it comes as no surprise that Takaya Kuroda is one of the most respected and loved male seiyuu.

Takaya Kuroda

Takaya Kuroda

KANJI: 黒田崇矢

BORN: April 17, 1965

OCCUPATION: seiyuu, actor, narrator, singer

HEIGHT: 183cm

Takaya Kuroda was born on April 17, 1965 in Tokyo, Japan.

He changed the kanji in his given name – Takaya – to a different reading when he joined the industry. His stage name is written 黒田 崇矢 whereas his real name is written 黒田 隆哉. Both given names are read “Takaya”.


Kuroda’s career as a seiyuu kicked off in 2000, after having a long career as a live action actor.

His late debut in the industry was rather odd and would – in normal circumstances – lead to a fluked career, as anime directors and fans as well tend to prefer and support younger seiyuu.

Throughout his career, Kuroda has changed talent agencies a whole lot.

He was part of Mausu Production, 81 Produce, Aoni Production and many others – and was even a freelancer for a couple of years. He is represented by Axlone (talent agency owned by fellow male seiyuu, Toshiyuki Morikawa) since 2012.

Kicking off a career as a seiyuu was an option that was presented to him in 2000 – when he decided to stop being a stage and live action actor due to health issues. Kuroda mentioned in an interview that a friend of his suggested him to give voice acting a try as it is less taxing on the body and could, in that way, still act but in a less intensive way.

2000 – 2008

Debut days: building his repertoire

Kuroda kicked off his career as a seiyuu in 2020 but, as it is common for rookie seiyuu, he experienced 2 years of minor roles in anime such as One Piece and Dragon Drive.

But 2003 turned out to be a great year for Takaya Kuroda, nailing his first ever villain role in anime and, at the same time, his 1st ever supporting role in anime.

He voiced Lord Darcia the Third, Wolf’s Rain‘s villain that viewers can’t help but to sympathize with.

Kuroda’s performance gave life to a relatable villain, cold and ruthless on the outside but struggling with conflicting emotions on the inside, facing a situation the was out of his couldn’t control.

Lord Darcia the Third is the classic antagonist that, as soon as know the reasons behind his behavior, you can’t help to understand that the way he was acting was the only way to attain his goal.

It wasn’t until 2005 that Kuroda would get his 1st ever main role.


He was casted in the kids / mecha anime, Transformers Galaxy Force as Starscream.


Kuroda managed to grab a role in the action anime, BLACK LAGOON.

He voiced Spielberger, member of the Nazi Party’s elite Waffen SS. For a supporting role, Spielberger is quite the complex character.

Conflicted, paranoid and extremely devoted to Nazi’s ideals, his behavior ended up being the demise of the boat he was leading.

Takaya Kuroda’s performance fleshed out Spielberger in a way that this supporting character ends up in the memories of anyone that watches the anime series.

David Pepper

Still in the same year, he was casted as David Pepper in the action anime, Black Cat.

This was a minor role that even strayed away from the original source material and as such, the character was short lived in the anime series.

Yagyu Koshinori

In 2007, Kuroda would end up being casted in the parody anime series, Gintama. He voiced Yagyu Koshinori, role that he reprised for 3 seasons of the popular anime.

2008 proved to count with multiple minor roles in anime such as Golgo 13, Shakugan no Shana, Druaga no Tou: The Aegis of Uruk, Natsume Yuujinchou, Blade of the Immortal and more.

Other anime series he voiced characters in during this period of time include:

  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo
  • Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou
  • Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu
  • Kenran Butou Sai: The Mars Daybreak
  • Bakuretsu Tenshi
  • BLOOD+
  • Jinki:Extend
  • Angel Heart
  • Starship Operators
  • NANA

2009 – 2015

Establishing himself as the voice of imposing characters with a heart of gold

Saiki Cryde

2009 was a solid year for Kuroda, racking up his 1st leading role in the action anime, VIPER’S CREED. He voiced the quite mercenary and protagonist of the series, Saiki Cryde.

The anime was praised for its animation style as well as the fact that the main cast all had pretty well developed personalities with the only downside being the antagonists in the series that showed little to no motivations to actually antagonize the main cast.

Kuroda’s voice acting as Cryde was praised for how believable and natural he sounded.

Capricorn in Fairy Tail

Still in the same year, Kuroda was casted in the popular shounen and adventure anime, Fairy Tail. For this series he lent his voice to 3 characters: Capricorn, Arcadius and Zirconis.

Out of those 3, his most memorable performance was as the gentlemanly and respectful Capricorn, a celestial spirit that ends up serving Lucy, one of Fairy Tail’s magicians.

A year later, Kuroda landed a role in the hit anime series, Durarara!!.

Simon in Durarara!!

He was casted as Russia Sushi’s employee, Simon Brezhnev.

Simon is one of the supporting characters in the series, being an important character a bit later in the story.

Despite his friendly demeanor and pacifist personality – albeit intimidating, towering looks – Simon is known as one of the strongest men in Ikebukuro and feared by many.

For this role, Kuroda got to tap into a thing he’d barely ever done before while voicing characters in anime: try a different accent.

However, at the same time, this was not a simple “try an accent” but more like a “make up an accent” exercise for him.

Kuroda ended up crafting a pretty unique accent, quite possibly one of the most bizarre and memorable accents made in anime.

Durarara!! spawned multiple seasons from 2010 up until 2016 and, for all, Kuroda reprised his role as Simon.

Still in 2010, Kuroda was casted as Tadayoshi Touyama in the drama and thriller anime, Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin.

Considered by many as one of the hidden gems in that year, Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin counted the story of 7 prison inmates who team up to survive the hellish conditions in the prison they were in.

Tadayoshi Touyama is calm and disciplined for the most part, only getting heated and putting himself at risk when those dear to him are being mistreated. Once again, Kuroda got to voice a character that is intimidating in looks but is also righteous.

Other anime series he voiced characters in during this period of time include:

  • Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo
  • Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
  • Ristorante Paradiso
  • Crayon Shin-chan
  • Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru
  • Highschool of the Dead
  • Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
  • Eureka Seven AO
  • Ixion Saga DT
  • Btooom!
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Ⅱ
  • Nobunaga Concerto

2016 –

A reference in the seiyuu industry

Kuroda’s been a reference for young up-and-coming seiyuu not only because of the way he wants to help other seiyuu but also because of his voice tone and how he tried to break a bit of the cliché of “band guys with deep voices”.

The fact that he’s voiced many characters that fall into the hero category – most righteous – shed a different light over deep voiced characters and, in a way, showed that those seiyuu that actually have deep, low toned voices can voice protagonists instead of only villains and henchmen.

You could say that, starting in 2016, Kuroda started to settle in the industry, turning into a respected name that most anime productions would love to have around.

As a result, his stream of work – even after almost 20 years in the industry – didn’t fade away like it has happened to most veteran male seiyuu (that slowly take a step away from voicing characters in anime to fully focus on narration or are stuck playing supporting or minor old characters).

At the start of the year, Kuroda was casted as Abygale in the kids anime, Future Card Buddyfight Triple D. He would end up reprising his role for 3 whole seasons between 2016 and 2018.

Other anime series he voiced characters in during this period of time include:

  • 91 Days
  • Altair: A Record of Battles
  • Joker Game
  • UQ Holder!: Mahou Sensei Negima! 2
  • Natsume’s Book of Friends the Movie: Tied to the Temporal World
  • Yokai Watch Shadowside
  • BEM
  • Sarazanmai
  • The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These Seiran
  • Boruto: Naruto Next Generations


As strange as it is, Takaya Kuroda does not have much radio work under his belt.

His voice is a perfect match for this medium – low and resonant – but, over the years, he’s only had a couple of radio shows he’s hosted/co-hosted or guested in.

Even if those appearances are few, Kuroda is always in a position of “revered” by whomever is hosting a show – especially if they are younger than him – but Kuroda easily deflects those compliments and tries his best to make everyone feel comfortable around him.

He’s not too talkative but, with the right topic, he can talk a whole lot, even going back to personal stories that leave the hosts in awe.

If he’s hosting, he’s quite friendly and playful but never forgetting his professionalism.

Kuroda Takaya and Otsuka Akio Knock Out Voice!! (2006 – 2007)

Perhaps the most popular radio show Takaya Kuroda co-hosted was Kuroda Takaya and Otsuka Akio Knock Out Voice!!.

As short lived as it was, it is impressive that the radio show, featuring also fellow seiyuu Akio Otsuka, was a hit.

It led to the duo releasing radio CDs, photobooks and even teamed up to perform the opening and ending songs to their radio show.

Kuroda Takaya no Kakatte Kon Kai! with Masuda Toshiki (2016 – 2017)

taKuroda Takaya no Kakatte Kon Kai! with Masuda Toshiki

Alongside Toshiki MasudaKuroda co-hosted 黒田崇矢のかかってこんかい!with増田俊樹 (Kuroda Takaya no Kakatte Kon Kai! with Masuda Toshiki).

From playing console games to cooking and playing darts, this viewable radio show had a bit of everything. 22 episodes, a public recording event and a year later, the radio show came to an end.

Other radio shows he’s co-hosted or guested in include:

  • Kurenai Radio “Otona no Jikan” (2008)
  • Ryo ga Gotoku PRESENTS Kamurocho RADIO STATION (2008 – 2009)
  • Sen Tamashi ~ Oda no Jin ~ (2015)
  • Future Radio Buddy Fight (2015 – guest)
  • SA7 Agent RADIO (2016)


This is a medium in which Takaya Kuroda is very active in. He starting lending his voice to characters in games in 2000.

Lin (on the left) and Ron (on the right)

His 1st roles in games were in the classic fighting game, The King of Fighters as Ron and Lin, roles that he’s later reprised in two other iterations of the game series.


In 2003, Kuroda was casted in the adventure RPG game, Tales of Symphonia as the high-ranking member of the Renegades – one of the antagonist groups in the franchise -, Botta.

Hatori Hanzo

In 2004, Takaya Kuroda was casted as the nimble ninja, Hattori Hanzo in the hack and slash game, Samurai Warriors.

He would end up reprising this role through the various iterations of the franchise, spanning 10 years (2004 – 2014).

Kiryu Kazuma in Yakuza Kiwami

If there is a character that has boosted Kuroda’s popularity – leading to him being beloved among gamers – is Kiryu Kazuma in the Yakuza franchise.

The Yakuza franchise kicked off in 2005 with its first game, Yakuza.

Since then 11 Yakuza games were released – with some iterations being new generation remakes of the earlier games -, and Kiryu is a beloved character in the series since the start. He’s often battling for #1 on SEGA’s Yakuza popularity rankings – mostly behind the series antagonist and ally, Goro Majima (voiced by Hidenari Ugaki).

Kiryu Kazuma in Yakuza 0

The Yakuza games are known for their gripping and heart-wrenching storytelling as well for its shenanigans with over-the-top side quests and a wide variety of activities to partake aside from the main story.

Due to this, this is a franchise that appeals to both men and women and is always a much anticipated game whenever there’s a new installment to be released.

Kiryu Kazuma in Yakuza 6

Kiryu Kazuma is the protagonist of the Yakuza series – from Yakuza 0 to Yakuza 6. Known for his righteousness and dutiful personality, he’s the Yakuza with a heart of gold.

Throughout the series he’s found in the middle of assassination ploys and Yakuza wars, ends up in jail twice for crimes he did not commit, was banished from his Yakuza family and yet, he can’t find himself moving away from that life, even when given opportunity to start fresh, away from the city of Kamurocho and all the crime syndicates.

He’s also incredibly passionate about unique things throughout the series – noticeable in the side missions / side activities he partakes in -, which is yet another thing that adds additional depth to this intricate character.

Takaya Kuroda’s performance fleshed out Kiryu in such a unique way. He made the character relatable, fierce and gentle.

It is impossible not to root for Kiryu while playing the games and that is not only because of the game’s writing but also because of Kuroda’s performance.

His role as Kiryu made Kuroda popular among domestic and overseas fans of the franchise.

Most of those fans ended up supporting him in other endeavors as a voice actor and even streaming or purchasing his music with Kuroda Takaya & Goodfellas (as a way to cope with the need to listen to Kiryu’s voice outside of the game).

Other games he’s voiced characters in include:

  • Durarara!! 3way standoff (2010),
  • MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3 Fate of Two Worlds (2011)
  • Battlefield 3 (2011)
  • Boyfriend (Kari) (2013)
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven (2015)
  • Ayakashi Gohan! Oomori (2015)
  • Fallout 4 (2015)
  • Fate/Grand Order (2015)
  • Blackish House Side A (2016)
  • Far Cry 5 (2018)
  • League of Legends (2019)
  • SHOW BY ROCK!! Fes A Live (2020)

For an extended list of credits in games, I recommend you to check the “games” section in Kuroda’s Japanese Wikipedia page.

Acting / Live reading

Before being a voice actor, Takaya Kuroda was a live action and stage actor.

His career covered theater, TV and movies. It lasted 16 years, starting in 1984 and, later, wrapping up in 2000, with Kuroda leaving the live action / stage acting industry in 2000 due to poor physical condition – suffering from lazy eye and with cervical / spine issues.

He would then, in 2000, kick off a career as a voice actor.

In his 16 year career as an actor, Kuroda counted with several roles in TV dramas and even in movies.

But before taking that important step to the small and silver screens, he was acting in theater plays. He acted in classic plays such as Macbeth, Bengal no Tora, Lorenzaccio, Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore, Tri Sestri, and more.

His jump to the silver screen was with a minor role in 1989 in the movie, Afternoon When Flowers Fell. Soon after, Kuroda would end up being in quite a few historical dramas.

Takaya Kuroda in Ronin Gai (1990)

A year later, Kuroda got a supporting role in the historical movie, Ronin Gai (1990).

Takaya Kuroda in Tobu ga Gotoku (1990)

Still in the same year, he was casted in the historical TV drama Tobu ga Gotoku (1990).

Takaya Kuroda in Hissatsu Shigotonin Gekitotsu (1991)

In 1991, Kuroda was back on the small screen with a role in the historical anime, Hissatsu Shigotonin Gekitotsu (1991).

Takaya Kuroda in Nobunaga KING OF ZIPANGU (1992)

In 1992, Kuroda was back with another role in the historical / comedy TV series, Nobunaga KING OF ZIPANGU.

In 2000, Takaya Kuroda said goodbye to his live acting career with the perfect farewell work, a in a movie with the name of the legendary writer and director, Akira Kurosawa, attached to it.

Takaya Kuroda
Takaya Kuroda in Dora-heita

Kuroda’s last live action role was in Dora-heita (2000) as the samurai, Kakuyusuke Torii.

Other movies or TV dramas he’s acted in include: Onihei Hankacho (1991), Saturday Night at the Theater (1991), Kenkaya Ukon (1992), Yami o kiru! Oedo Hankacho (1993), Oda Nobunaga (1994), Keiji Hebi ni Yokogira Reru (1995), Kaito! Yume Ichiza Seven Changes (1996), Yumegoyomi Nagasaki Bugyō (1996), Onmitsu Bugyo Asahina (1998), between many more.

Narration / Dubbing

Narration and dubbing are among 2 of the fields in which Takaya Kuroda shines with his unique soothing, deep voice.

Over the years, Kuroda has lent his voice to multiple TV and Radio commercials for brands such as Microsoft and Volkswagen.

When it comes to narration, Kuroda has dozens of credits, having lent his voice to TBS, TV Tokyo, Nihon TV, Kansai TV and more. Some of his narration credits include SKE48 Ebishow!, TOKYO RAVE 2007, NEWS23 and Pokemon Get ☆ TV.

Now, if I talk about dubbing, I have you know that Kuroda does a lot of this kind of work.

Some of his credits dubbing foreign dramas / movies include: TAXI NY, Dr. Dolittle, Brimstone, 24 -TWENTY FOUR-, Elementar, CSI (the original, Las Vegas version), ER, Under the Skin, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, between many more.

He’s also lent his voice to various Tokusatsu TV shows including: Dekaranger, Gogo Sentai Boukenger, Kamen Rider Den-O, Kamen Rider Decade and Ultraman Taiga, just to name a few.

Drama CDs

During a period of time, Takaya Kuroda was a big name in the BL – boys love – scene.

He has a long list of credits in BL works that include the classic Gokudou, Blue Sound and Finder series’, BRONZE-ZETSUAI since 1989-, Jungle King, just to name a few.

Once again, he tends to be casted in drama CDs to do rough, imposing or delinquent roles due to his low tone voice.

When it comes to other drama CDs – including both otome and regular manga adaptations to drama CD -, Kuroda very few credits.

Some of those include Tono to Issho, EREMENTAR GERAD, GetBackers, 〜dear〜 A story of the next day, Ninja Slayer Zaibatsu, Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- (Dotsuitare Hompo’s 1st music release counted with a drama track), between others.


Although Takaya Kuroda has never made a proper solo debut, he has been or is part of some of the coolest music projects. Most fans of his know him for singing character songs for Kiryu Kazuma in the Yakuza franchise.

Those made people look at Kuroda with different eyes as he dazzled everyone with his smooth, cool voice and, to top it all off, having an awesome control over his vocals.

His 1st venture in the music industry wasn’t a proper one though, the group stemmed from a radio show and only made 1 release.

KOV (2006 – 2007)

Knock Out Vocalists!! (KOV) consisted of Takaya Kuroda and Akio Otsuka, hosts of the radio show Kuroda Takaya and Otsuka Akio Knock Out Voice!!,

The duo released only 1 single, KOV音楽集 ~ Knock Out Vocalists ~ (KOV Ongaku shu ~ Knock Out Vocalists ~).

Kuroda Takaya & Goodfellas (2016 -)

Kuroda Takaya & Goodfellas

In 2016, Takaya Kuroda decided to kick off a dear project for him.

Kuroda Takaya & Goodfellas is a rock band founded and fronted by Takaya Kuroda and signed to the indie music label, Nixtreme Records.

The band’s philosophy is that the singer must tap into the soul of each word in the lyrics and being able to convey a story that people can relate and feel on a different level.

The band counts with plenty of rocking songs but also a lot of ballads and they often cover Yakuza’s songs, the fan favorite – Baka Mitai – ends up being covered rather frequently.

So far, the band has released 8 singles – full singles and digital singles – and 1 full-length album, Goodfellas, released in 2019.

The band’s music can be found on Spotify.

Dotsuitare Hompo (2019 -)

Known for their quirky rap style, Dotsuitare Hompo didn’t take long to be beloved among fans of the Hypnosis Mic franchise.

The group features vocals by Ryota Iwasaki (as Sasara), Kengo Kawanishi (as Rosho) and Takaya Kuroda (as Rei). They represent Osaka and, like that, their sound and rapping style is pretty quirky yet a perfect representation of the bustling yet laidback of the prefecture’s natives.

However, the sound of the group can be pretty different between members.

Sasara is obviously the most traditional representation of the prefecture, with his sound being upbeat, fast and riding on shamisen and shakuhachi melodies and a “pun” filled rap style that takes influences from Osaka’s comedians.

Rosho goes towards a jazz-hop sound, quiet and more rational, much following the character’s background as a teacher. Now, when it comes to Rei things get drastically different.

Rei Amayado

Rei (CV: Takuya Kuroda)’s sound is imposing and intimidating, with his rap not sparing anything nor anyone. Hard-hitting trap coats his whole vibe, making him the member that stands out the most within the group (not even going about his flashy dressing style).

An interesting note as, if you noticed, Rei – character voiced by Kuroda – is pretty much Takuya Kuroda when it comes to his style.

Starting from the unique, flashy fashion sense, to being a heavy smoker, and even being big on using the fedora-glasses combo plus having an imposing vibe, it looks like the character was created with Takaya Kuroda in mind.

Rei (CV: Takuya Kuroda)’s sound is imposing and intimidating, with his rap not sparing anything nor anyone. Hard-hitting trap coats his whole vibe, making him the member that stands out the most within the group (not even going about his flashy dressing style).

dotsuitare honpo

The crew debuted in 2019 with the outstanding album, Ah, Osaka dreamin’night.

The mini-album was Gold Record certificated (100,000 physical copies sold) by RIAJ (Recording Industry Association of Japan), attaining that feat a month after its release.

Dotsuitare Hompo cover

At the time I reviewed this album I wrote “Dotsuitare Hompo make an astounding debut with Ah, Osaka dreamin’ night. The album is playful, fun, and overflowing with a unique energy that is essentially, Osaka encapsulated in music form.“.

It truly felt like they captured the fun and familiarity of Osaka in music form at the same time that they showed the city’s different sides through 3 completely different solo songs.

For this CD, Kuroda – as Rei – performed “Faces“.

The song is slow-paced and with an imposing chorus that will make sure you will not forget this release.

The verses are slow, and the focus is on orchestral hits and a hard-hitting beat that puts the listener on edge. This is a heavy and violent trap song all about conning others and being untouchable, being sassy about it in the meantime.

Dotsuitare Hompo
Dotsuitare Hompo (Kengo Kawanishi, Ryota Iwasaki and Takaya Kuroda)

The group was announced during Hypnosis mic- Division Rap Battle – 4th LIVE @ Osaka, massive live held in 2019 that counted with Buster Bros!!!, MAD TRIGGER CREW, Fling Posse, Matenro and the, then recently announced Bad Ass Temple and Dotsuitare Hompo.

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 that counted with millions of live views.

Dotsuitare Hompo‘s members work pretty well together, harmonizing in singing parts, covering for each other in the background, and exuding a unique energy that captivates the listener.

They are just like you’d imagine: flashy – however, without the cheesiness that, for example, Matenro’s Hifumi brings to the table -, imposing and with contrasting vibes that, one way or another, fit pretty well in this group.

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.

This was the first live appearance for the recently debuted Dotsuitare Honpo and Bad Ass Temple.

In 2020, 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 that counted with millions of live views.

In January 2021, the Hypnosis Mic held its 6th live “2nd D.R.B”, with the 3rd battle counting with Dotsuitare Hompo vs Buster Bros!!!.

Despite their efforts with “Wara Osaka! What a OSAKA!“ in “Dotsuitare Hompo vs Buster Bros!!!“, album that served as the catalyst for this live show, Dotsuitare Hompo lost the battle to Buster Bros!!! with “Re:start!!!”.

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

Kicking off the year, Dotsuitare Hompo participated in Hypnosis Mic’s 2nd full-length album “CROSS A LINE“.

The crew performed “縁 -ENISHI-”, song that introduced Ska music into the Hypnosis Mic franchise.

At the time I reviewed this song I wrote “Dotsuitare Hompo embraces a ska sound for this tune, bringing forth tropical-inspired brass and piano melodies, playful guitar riffs, and a jazz-inspired beat. This is ska at its best. The tempo is irregular and fun, the guitar stabs and bassline will have you jamming to this track in no time, moving to the good vibes.

Soon after, the crew released its 2nd CD “Dotsuitare Hompo -No double dipping!-“. The CD included a new solo track by Rei titled “Count the money“.

Still in the same year, the crew was back on stage for Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- 8th LIVE《CONNECT THE LINE》.

This was the first time that Kuroda performed the solo song “Count the money“.

In April 2023, the Hypnosis Mic franchise held a large-scale live show featuring all crews titled Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- 9th LIVE ≪ZERO OUT≫.

In August 2023, the group participated in the franchise’s 1st ever EPs.

This was the first time that members of all rap crews participated in shuffle groups, brought bands to the spotlight

As Rei, Kuroda participated in “The Block Party – HOODs –”, performing “Shiro to Kuro” alongside Jyuto Iruma (CV: Wataru Komada).

In January 2024, the Hypnosis Mic franchise released “Welcome 2 Rhyme Anima+”, album including all the songs featured in Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- Rhyme Anima +, the 2nd season of the franchise’s anime series.

The CD includes Dotsuitare Hompo’s new song “New World“.

Division All Stars (2019 – )

hypnosis mic division all stars

Division All Stars‘ original lineup consisted on Buster Bros!!!MAD TRIGGER CREW, Fling Posse and Matenro. In 2019, with the addition of Dotsuitare Hompo 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 into 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 their 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.

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 Hompo 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 revamping one of their hit songs. Hypnosis Mic -Division Battle Anthem- was revamped, adding Dotsuitare Hompo and Bad Ass Temple into the mix, creating Hypnosis Mic -Division Battle Anthem-+.

And most recently, Division All Stars released the fan favorite, and up until July 2020, ingame exclusive, Survival of the Illest.

Still in the same year, Division All Stars released the funky tune “SUMMIT OF DIVISIONS“. The song was included in 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 in 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.

In 2022, the Hypnosis Mic franchise released its 2nd full-length album “CROSS A LINE“.

In this album, which included new songs by all crews, there is the groovy self-titled all-star song.

With the premiere of the 2nd season of the anime series in 2023, Division All Stars released the digital single “RISE FROM DEAD”.


Takaya Kuroda is not one to be in a lot of variety events or shows.

He leads a really low-profile career as a seiyuu – focusing on the essential, which is acting or doing narration, rather than going on a lot of variety shows like younger or popular seiyuu tend to do to boost their popularity.

Of course, being a respected veteran, it’s no surprise that, from time to time, Kuroda gets an invitation to participate in variety shows.

And that’s exactly what happened in 2019.

Torisetsu (2019)

In 2019, Kuroda was a guest on Kousuke Toriumi and Tomoaki Maeno’s variety show, Torisetsu.

Following the show’s vibe, he was invited to have a hangout the guests, partaking in mature and classy activities with them such as drinking and eating in fancy locations.


His voice wasn’t always this cool and low

On Cardfight Vanguard radio co-hosted by Shuuta Morishima, Soma Saito, and Shouta Aoi, Takaya Kuroda shocked everyone with the revelation that his voice was actually more high-pitched than Saito’s (back in 2014 – 2015 his voice would end up going high pitched at the slightest change of intensity when speaking).

That led to a wave of shock in the studio as Kuroda proceeded to confirm that, indeed, he wasn’t kidding, it was really the truth.

Cue more shock inside the studio, with none of the hosts being able to picture Kuroda talking and singing in a high-pitched tone.

Glasses are not for style

If you haven’t noticed by now, Takaya Kuroda is often found wearing glasses.

These are not for style as Kuroda mentioned in an interview that he has amblyopia (lazy eye), an eye condition in which an eye (exceptionally the 2 eyes) fails to achieve normal visual acuity.

So, while Kuroda does look cool and imposing with his glasses, those are, in fact, prescription glasses meant to correct his condition.

A man of many hobbies and skills

Kuroda is well known for his passion for fashion, often creating his own outfits. He’s also passionate about cleaning, storage, laundry, and pachinko.

When it comes to sports, Kuroda shows his love for martial arts, loves kickboxing – having even helped the motion capture actor for Kiryu Kazuma in the Yakuza games grasp the essence of basic kickboxing moves -, and he also enjoys playing basketball and baseball.

His whole vibe may be imposing and unapproachable but…

He has mentioned several times that his mindset as a voice actor is to be well prepared for anything, never be late, improve the environment/atmosphere in the seiyuu industry, and help ease the stress that newcomers face when taking the first steps in the industry.

He’s the type of veteran who never looks to rookie seiyuu with superiority, approaching the scared and stiffed – by the industry – rookie seiyuu as equals. He goes on to help them out with tips on how to tackle technical things as a seiyuu to help them navigate the industry – who to meet, who to befriend in the industry, etc.

Male seiyuu Shouta Aoi, Soma Saito, and Shuuta Morishima pointed Kuroda’s wholesome and awesome personality during an episode of the radio show, Cardfight Vanguard radio.

So, Takaya Kuroda not only looks – and sounds – awesome but he’s also a cool, gentle, and caring senior for those taking their first steps in the industry.

Photoshop skills… on point

Takaya Kuroda has been pretty unique in his interactions with his followers on Twitter.

He greets everyone daily with a unique image featuring him photoshopped in rather unexpected ways, leading to pretty unique – and sometimes – hilarious montages.

Jewelry designer

Takaya Kuroda

In 2020, Kuroda teamed up with the Japanese accessories brand, flowstar.

As you must know by now, Kuroda loves fashion and loves his share of accessories – often found using rings and bracelets -, and this time around he took that passion to a more practical and hands-on approach by designing and modeling his unique accessories for this brand.

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.

Vanessa Silva
Vanessa Silva
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder, content creator, and music reviewer. Basically, the only person managing everything at The Hand That Feeds HQ. Stumbling upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" in 2011 was the start of this journey. If music is thought-provoking or deep, you may find her writing almost essays (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). She's the producer and host of the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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