Seiyuu Digest #73 – Tetsuya Kakihara

Passion for Japanese manga and animation took Tetsuya Kakihara through an incredible journey to be one of the most respected and sought-after seiyuu in the industry.

Tetsuya Kakihara

Tetsuya Kakihara

KANJI: 柿原彻也

BORN: December 24, 1982

OCCUPATION: seiyuu, singer, CEO

HEIGHT: 170cm


Tetsuya Kakihara was born on December 24, 1982 in Dusseldorf, Germany (former Western Germany).

Seiyuu

Kakihara recalled in an interview for Amusement Media Gakuin (video below) that, up until when he was in middle school, he wanted to be a teacher.

However, everything changed when he fell in love anime & manga as a kid.

From that point on, Tetsuya Kakihara was determined: he wanted to make voice acting his way of life, sharing with others these fascinating sides to Japanese culture.

Prior to having the dream of being a seiyuu, Kakihara would go on vacation with his family to Japan almost every year for almost 1 month. That’s where he would read manga and watch anime to no end, bringing with him to Germany volumes and volumes of manga.

Born and raised in Germany, Tetsuya Kakihara was going to make a permanent change in his career, going all in on his career as a voice actor by moving to Japan.

At the age of 19, and 3 days after introducing himself to Amusement Media Gakuin by email, Kakihara would embark on a journey that would completely change his life.

After introducing himself at Amusement Media Gakuin only 3 days after first contact with them – and telling the vocational school that he was coming from Germany -, Kakihara kept visiting the offices of the school until they accepted him in their voice acting programme.

Despite being of Japanese origins, truth is: Tetsuya Kakihara didn’t speak nor read much Japanese before setting his mind into being a voice actor. He knew the basics but he recalls that he struggled with reading Kanji.

He knew that he had a handicap in comparison with all born and bred Japanese that were also aiming for a career as voice actors.

He would talk in Japanese for hours and hours – even alone – and listened to a lot of Japanese – anime, TV series, CDs – to learn the words and vocabulary he need, all with the goal of being able to communicate with others and understand the world around him.

Kakihara mentioned in a couple of interviews in the past and in his photobook that he worked part-time jobs and studied Japanese at a part-time school, trying to drill every single bit of the language to be able to give it a shot at his dream, and be taken seriously by others not as just another “foreigner” trying his luck.

He was aware of his handicap – not being fluent in Japanese – and decided to turn it into an advantage.

While attending Amusement Media Gakuin, Tetsuya Kakihara was classmates with Tomoaki Maeno who, in an interview, mentioned that he envied Kakihara to a certain degree due to how quick he had graduated and started to have regular work in the seiyuu industry.

Kakihara mentioned in an interview to Amusement Media Gakuin (video above) that he was always eager to learn more therefore, when he was a rookie seiyuu and still didn’t have many lines, he’d observe the actor’s movements and skills.

On top of that, he’d also approach veteran voice actors to ask them to teach him how to do certain things – much to the confusion and / or irritation of some veterans that found his behavior to be out-of-line.

2002 – 2006

The debut and 1st leading roles

After graduating from Amusement Media Gakuin, Tetsuya Kakihara joined 81 Produce, one of Japan’s top talent agencies, at that time housing voice acting talents such as Shinichiro Miki, Kenta Miyake and Takahiro Sakurai.

He made his official debut as a voice actor in the Sentou Yousei Yukikaze OVAs, with a minor role.

After that he landed minor roles in anime series such as Monkey Typhoon, Maburaho, Sensei no Ojikan: Doki Doki School Hours, Nepos Napos, and Futakoi.

After 3 years of minor roles, Kakihara’s 1st chance at the spotlight came with his leading role in the magic and comedy anime, Fushigiboshi no☆Futagohime.

Bright

In this series he voiced Bright, prince of the Jewelry Kingdom and one of the main characters in the series.

A year later, Kakihara was cast in the comedy / drama anime, Princess Princess as Mikoto Yutaka.

Mikoto Yutaka

Mikoto Yutaka is one of the main characters in the series, considered to be a fool with a heart of gold, entirely devoted to his girlfriend while trying to avoid as much to be ridiculed in front of her.

Kakihara’s performance as Mikoto Yutaka earned him a Best Rookie Seiyuu award at the 1st Seiyuu Awards in 2007.

Still in 2006, Tetsuya Kakihara reprised his role as Bright in Fushigiboshi no Futagohime Gyu!.

Other anime he’s voiced characters in during this period of time include: Kirarin☆Revolution, Pumpkin Scissors, BLACK LAGOON The Second Barrage, Jigoku Shoujo, xxxHOLiC and more.

2007 – 2010

Building up a foundation

With a couple of leading roles under his belt and an award as Best Rookie Seiyuu, all eyes were on Tetsuya Kakihara, the voice actor from Germany that was impressing everyone with his voice acting.

And he scored a big gig in 2007, one that would guarantee a spotlight on top of him for years to come.

Kakihara was cast as Simon in the critically acclaimed action / adventure anime, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

Simon

Simon is the protagonist of the series, starting the story when he’s only 14 years-old. As the story progresses, viewers get to witness his growth both as a person but also getting older (the story wraps up when the character is 21 years-old).

What this meant as a challenge for Kakihara was that he was going to mature his voice throughout the series.

He started it by using a rather high pitched, cheerful and youthful tone to later dropping his tone close to 1 or 2 octaves, sound much serious and matured.

This was one of the very first opportunities fans got to witness Kakihara’s range and how well he slowly introduced those nuances in the voice tone as the series progressed.

From a short kid that loved drills to a well-loved, passionate leader, Simon matured in an endearing way that fans can’t help but to love to watch and listen to.

Kakihara ended up reprising his role as Simon in 3 movies, 1 special and 1 OVA. This amount of exposure was responsible for Kakihara’s popularity rise in 2007, leading to many of the anime series’ fans to turn into his fans.

Ggio Vega

Still in the same year, Kakihara landed a supporting role in the long running and popular shounen anime, BLEACH.

He voiced the cocky and Ggio Vega, one of the arrancar in the series.

Although it was a brief performance in the series (with appearances from 2007 to 2009), it was the start of Kakihara’s streak of voicing arrogant and sarcastic characters – something that would repeat a little bit throughout his career in both anime and games for years to come.

2008 arrived and with it came 1 leading role.

Koichi Hayase

He was cast as Koichi Hayase in sci-fi and mecha anime, Kurogane no Linebarrels.

Hayase is a high-schooler that, due to a certain event, ends up being a pilot for a mecha. Problem is: the pilot’s and the mecha’s life and strength are shared, putting new stakes in every bout in the series.

What happens is that Hayase ends up getting stronger due to being a pilot for that specific mecha and… cue the arrogant and cocky protagonist that everyone that watched the series is disappointed in.

2009 would end up being career defining for Tetsuya Kakihara.

Natsu Dragneel

He was cast as Natsu Dragneel in the anime adaptation of the popular action / adventure manga, Fairy Tail.

As far as a protagonist in a shounen series goes, Natsu checks all boxes.

He’s reckless, passionate, loyal, a bit carefree – which leads to hilarious bouts / exchanges with other characters within the same guild – and is more about solving issues in a practical, hands-on fashion.

Liking a good challenge, Natsu is always challenging fellow guild members to fights in which he can prove his might and strength.

For Natsu, Kakihara was ready to tackle the challenge that is to voice a character that often shouts – which can seriously tire and even damage his vocal cords – but he went a step further, ensuring each scream came with a correlated emotion that fit the mood of the scene and the feelings of the character on a certain topic.

Although much of the anime series is meant to be fights and cool displays of power, Fairy Tail still managed to deliver its emotional scenes and Kakihara more than delivered in his role as Natsu.

Natsu turned into one of the most beloved anime characters and thus, the name Tetsuya Kakihara was now well known and his voice instantly recognizable.

Kain Fuery

Tetsuya Kakihara was cast in the popular shounen anime, Fullmetal Alchemist as the kind and cheerful Kain Fuery. This was only but a supporting role in the series but still one that his fans hold dear.

Tenma Pegasus

Still in the same year, Kakihara voiced Tenma Pegasus, the protagonist in the OVA Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas – Meiou Shinwa.

The OVA served as a blank slate for many of its viewers and a new universe for the Saint Seiya veterans.

Kakihara’s performance as Tenma Pegasus ended up being praised as well as the series and characters themselves as it is note that: there is actual character development in the series, being impossible not to support the characters in their adventures and rooting for them in their fights.

Other role that is held dear by his fans is Toranosuke V. Haga in the romance / drama anime series, Hanasakeru Seishounen.

Toranosuke V. Haga

Toranosuke serves as the bodyguard for the series’ protagonist, Kajika. He’s often teased by another main character in the series, Li Ren.

2010 was a bit quieter for Kakihara, even in terms of work load in the anime industry. He picked few roles during this year but there are still some highlights in the mix.

Gouki Aratake

One of those highlights is his role as the delinquent, Gouki Aratake in the shoujo, romance anime, Kaichou wa Maid-Sama!.

He counted with minor and or supporting roles in other anime series such as:

  • Over Drive
  • CLAYMORE
  • Zombie-Loan
  • Terra e…
  • Dragonaut: The Resonance
  • Shounen Onmyouji
  • Romeo x Juliet
  • Kannagi
  • Macross F
  • Nabari no Ou
  • Metal Fight Beyblade
  • Battle Spirits: Brave
  • Hime Chen! Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri
  • ぬらりひょんの孫

2011 – 2013

Establishing himself as a household name

Date Masamune

2011 kicked off with a leading role as Masamune Date in the comedy and action anime, Sengoku☆Paradise Kiwami.

The anime wasn’t well received, being criticized for its random, rushed story and lack of character development, something that made Kakihara’s role in the series go under the radar despite the solid performance he delivered.

Amaimon

Still in the same year, Tetsuya Kakihara scored a supporting role in the action anime series, Ao no Exorcist.

He voiced Amaimon, character that has an apparent calm demeanor but he is easily angered if his “fun” is ruined by any characters in the series.

Aside from this Amaimon is pretty tough and powerful albeit a bit carefree and arrogant. Amaimon continued the trend for Kakihara to voice carefree and arrogant characters.

Adolf K. Weismann

A year later, Kakihara was cast in K as Adolf K. Weismann.

Although a supporting role for part of the series – later on being a bigger role -, fans of the series couldn’t help but to be glued to the screen during Kakihara’s performance as he did the script in both Japanese and German, delivering a chilling performance at the same time.

2012 was more eventful for Tetsuya Kakihara as he managed to land several leading roles however, not all panned out as he’d have wanted.

Sam Coyne

The first leading role of the year was Sam Coyne in the action and sci-fi anime series, Ozma.

The series would end up being criticized for its stereotypical portrayal of an apocalyptical story and the fact that Sam Coyne was the type of character that didn’t seem to learn from past mistakes.

Tetsuya Kakihara’s performance as Sam wasn’t necessarily lackluster but the script certainly didn’t help him shine one bit despite all the potential that the story had, not to mention how the character could have grown but, unfortunately, didn’t.

Ryuuhou Dragon

He was then cast as Ryuuhou Dragon in Saint Seiya Omega, shounen / fantasy anime that ended up being heavily criticized for being a pale, empty reimagining / new chapter in the Saint Seiya franchise.

Ryuuhou is only but a kid throughout the 2 seasons of Saint Seiya Omega, due to this, Kakihara’s performance is rather high pitched and youthful to match the character’s age.

Sakutaro Morishige

Still in the same year, Kakihara reprised his role as Sakutaro Morishige in the OVA adaptation of the survival horror visual novel, Corpse Party.

His performance as Morishige is worthy of praise by how the character goes from calm and collected to completely insane in the OVA, something that Kakihara made sure would leave a mark in the viewer’s mind.

Although with little screen time, Kakihara was still able to impact the viewer with a pretty solid – and disturbing – performance.

Akihito Takaba

Now, more than leaving a mark, Kakihara’s performance in the risqué yaoi OVA adaptation of the Finder manga came as a shocking.

First off, the Finder manga is known for being extremely graphic and it was the very first time that Kakihara was openly voicing a character in a yaoi / BL series.

He voiced Akihito Takaba, a freelance photographer that is not afraid of taking risks if it means he can expose evil. However, he ends up playing a game of cat and mouse with one of the most powerful men in Japan’s underworld.

If you’re curious, remember to check the manga / OVA at your own risk, the content is pretty graphic and it is far from containing “consensual” relationship between the main characters.

2013 counted with plenty of leading roles for Kakihara but it was a year of change as Kakihara decided to leave 81 Produce and go freelance in the same year.

Shin

He reprised his role as Shin in the anime adaptation of the otome game, AMNESIA.

On a first look, Shin is an outcast, cold and indifferent to others but as other characters interact with him and he slowly builds bonds with them, he shows a gentle, caring side.

However, towards the character his caring, loving side goes the twisted, obsessive, manipulative route, doing a 180 in his personality and being, at times, pretty intimidating and scary.

The anime adaptation didn’t come close to this last part about obsession – due to episode constraints – but that is what you should be expecting of Shin.

Kakihara’s performance covered all those emotions to the point that you couldn’t swoon when he started opening to the heroine but slowly, distance yourself from the character as soon as those red flags appeared (unless you enjoy yandere protagonists/romantic interests), with Kakihara’s voice and performance matching those changes.

Shino

One of Kakihara’s best known roles in the 10s was as Shino Inuzuka in the anime adaptation of the popular fantasy anime, Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun.

Shino Inuzuka is loud, energetic yet, at the same time, caring and has a loveable personality, something that draws most characters and monsters to him.

After witnessing a certain chain of events, Shino finds himself in a bind, holding a heavy burden on his shoulders while trying to protect those he loves.

Kakihara’s performance as Shino was like a transposition of what he was already doing as Natsu in Fairy Tail – the intensity, sometimes childish behavior and loudness carried over – but with a twist.

The character has his fair share of fragile moments that serve as a plot device but also to deepen the viewer’s knowledge at how much Shino is actually enduring and the burden he has.

Kakihara tackled those feelings with a lot of emotion which made it easy to connect with the character.

Jin Kisaragi

He then reprised his role as Jin Kisaragi in the anime adaptation of the BlazBlue videogames, BlazBlue: Alter Memory.

Jin is a borderline sociopath with a cold, detached and ruthless personality that makes him stand out among the main characters in the series.

Kakihara’s performance enhanced those personality traits to a point in which you can’t help but to think that Jin is completely devoid of any emotions besides anger and hatred.

Although the anime adaptation didn’t end up being as popular as the games, this is one of Kakihara’s roles that has fallen off the radar of many people.

Camio

Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist premiered in 2013 and, despite the lukewarm response to it, it was a decent anime series. Kakihara was cast as Camio, one of the main characters in the series.

Camio is one of the most powerful characters in the series, possessing a power above the four kings in the series. He’s intelligent, calm and collected but deeply hates his heritage as he doesn’t fit with either demons or humans.

This conflict was put into one of the most memorable performances in the series.

Kouha Ren

Kakihara was once again back to voicing eccentric characters. He was cast as Kouha Ren in the popular adventure anime, Magi: The Kingdom of Magic.

The appearance might be misleading but Ren is a sadist that enjoy seeing others suffering, beats his servants and loves the sight of blood. Kakihara embraced the character’s eccentric personality, making him insufferable to most viewers.

Jinpachi Toudou

The streak of eccentric characters continued for Kakihara with him landing a supporting role in the popular cycling anime, Yowamushi Pedal.

He voiced Jinpachi Toudou, a cocky and loud mountain climber that has a thing for hoarding the spotlight and manipulating others. Toudou ends up being a torn on the side of the series’ protagonist with his technique and mind games.

Still in 2013, Kakihara reprised his role as Sakutaro Morishige in the 2nd OVA for Corpse Party, Corpse Party: Tortured Souls – Bougyakusareta Tamashii no Jukyou.

He counted with minor and or supporting roles in other anime series such as:

  • Dog Days
  • Moshidora
  • SKET DANCE
  • BRAVE10
  • Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi
  • Ketsuekigata-kun!
  • Pretty Rhythm: Rainbow Live
  • Log Horizon

2014

A new beginning

After 1 year as freelancer, Tetsuya Kakihara announced the establishment of his own talent agency, ZYNCHRO.

Minashi Maki

2014 kicked off and Kakihara was cast in the mecha / pyschological anime, M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane. He voiced Minashi Maki, one of the characters part of the main cast.

Ikuma Amaki

He was then cast in the music anime, Shounen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 49 as Ikuma Amaki, reformed delinquent that is the life of the group and, coincidently, Shounen Hollywood’s new leader.

The anime series ended up having a total of 2 seasons however, its popularity in Japan not a lot and even that never translated to overseas, with the anime being rated pretty below average by most views.

Keiichiro Tokugawa

Still in the same year, Kakihara scored the leading role as Keiichiro Tokugawa in the mecha and ecchi anime series, Fuuun Ishin Dai☆Shogun.

The anime was heavily criticized for its lack of plot, ridiculous setting and passable voice acting.

Yoshizawa Hideaki

Before the end of 2014, Kakihara was cast in the popular sports anime, Diamond no Ace as Inashiro’s proud 3rd baseman, Yoshizawa Hideaki.

He counted with minor and or supporting roles in other anime series such as:

  • Hoozuki no Reitetsu
  • ONE PIECE
  • Tokyo ESP

2015 –

Aiming higher and higher

Masato

In 2015, Tetsuya Kakihara was cast as Masato in Kyokai no Rinne.

Now, Masato the kanji reading means “narrow minded person” – is presented in the series as a sort of an antagonist but truth is, he’s a running gag.

The competent “incompetent” demon that fails, time after time, to mess with the series’ main character.

For this role, Kakihara brought his comedic wits and delivered a funny and loud performance that made fans of the series enjoy every episode featuring Masato – the kanji reading means “narrow minded person”

This first year as a CEO of ZYNCHRO proved to be quite challenging, with Kakihara getting a reduced stream of roles – or deliberately not auditioning to roles as everything about the company and his new status as a CEO settled down.

Things changed around in 2016, with Kakihara nailing a couple of leading or relevant supporting roles.

Shun Moritsuka

He voiced Shun Moritsuka in the sci-fi and mystery anime, Occultic;Nine.

This wasn’t a particularly loved anime series – even with its stellar cast – because of the ridiculously fast pacing, attempt of adapting way too much content into every episode and, even so, plenty of plot holes that will make your watching session of this anime, a pretty confusing one.

Prompto

Kakihara reprised his role as Prompto in the prequel anime to the Final Fantasy XV game, Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV.

Mikuni Arisuin

He voiced Mikuni Arisuin in Servamp. Kakihara was back to voicing eccentric characters, this time around with Mikuni being quiet the quirky and cunning one.

You Hazuki

Still in the same year, the drama and 2D music franchise, Tsukiuta, was adapted to anime. Tetsuya Kakihara reprised his role as Procellarum’s You Hazuki in Tsukiuta. THE ANIMATION.

You Hazuki is known for his professionalism, but also for his unique sense of beauty, free-spirit and laid-back vibe.

Akane

Kakihara was then cast as one of the main characters in the sci-fi / fantasy anime, Divine Gate.

He voiced Akane, straightforward character that cares about the others around himself – but doesn’t like to show that -, he’s after the Divine Gate with a specific objective that, unfortunately, the anime series wasn’t too good at explaining and then fleshing out.

Due to the characters’ vague intentions and the lack of depth of most – if not all – characters in the series, as well as subpar plot, Divine Gate is regarded as one of the worst anime in the Winter 2016 season.

Uno

On a different note, Kakihara was cast as Uno in the comedy anime, Nanbaka.

Uno is a compulsive gambler but that hobby of his comes as useful at times, as he can understand patrol patterns, quirks and more that actually play to his advantage.

He’s also pretty shallow when it comes to appearances, and considers himself as the most popularity inmate.

But aside from that eccentric behavior, Uno ends up being reliable, friendly and open character that doesn’t discriminate, accepting everyone into his circle of friends.

Kakihara fleshed out Uno’s personality in a way that he can in one minute be a running gag in the series and, in the other, be a pivot character that you should take – at least – a bit seriously. Uno’s shenanigans will be certain to make you crack up.

Reo Nikaido

In the same year, an anime series set in the same universe as Barakamon premiered.

Handa-kun went back in time to explore the life of student Sei Handa and what made the character who it was by the time of the events in Barakamon.

Tetsuya Kakihara voiced Reo Nikaido, character that ended up being Handa’s stalker / fan as he was determined to know the secret to Handa’s popularity.

Adding up to this, the character has an overly confident demeanor in regards to his popularity status within the school. This is not the type of character to take seriously as Handa-kun is a gag / comedy anime series. Still, it was an interesting addition to Kakihara’s repertoire.

Momotaro Onzai

One of the most anticipated anime series – for the female demographic – was B-PROJECT. Already with a pretty big following, the franchise announced an anime adaptation and, in 2016, the series B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious.

He reprised his role as Momotaro Onzai, MooNs‘ stoic and passionate member. The role would end up being reprised in the 2nd season, B-Project: Zecchou*Emotion (2019).

Uguisumaru

2016 was a year filled with Kakihara reprising roles from games. Another role he reprised was the calm and collected Uguisumaru in the slice-of-life anime, Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru.

Yuta Mirako

In 2017, Kakihara reprised his role as Yuta Mirako in the anime adaptation of the visual novel, Kenka Banchou Otome: Girl Beats Boys.

Yuta Mirako is a former delinquent turned idol that hides a burden underneath his smiles and approachable personality.

Victor Frankenstein

And because games adaptations were big in Japan in 2016, Kakihara was back to reprise yet another role, this time in the anime adaptation of the popular Otomate game, Code:Realize – Sousei no Himegimi.

Kakihara voiced Victor Frankenstein, an extremely intelligent researcher with ties to the English government that shares a lot of connections with the main character, even prior to their meeting.

In the anime series, although part of the main cast, Victor is a supporting character to the canon, Arsène Lupin.

Seri Yuisaki

As far as otome game adaptations went in 2016, DYNAMIC CHORD took the title as worst adaptation.

Poor animation – if any -, confusing plot that starts way after the events of all 4 main games, weird – almost unrecognizable – character art and lack of any depth made Dynamic Chord pale a lot in comparison with the high quality of the visual novels.

Tetsuya Kakihara reprised his role as Seri Yuisaki, Liar-S’ drummer and a bit of an obsessive, mentally unbalanced person. Those that watched the anime series – and managed to complete it – may have not seen anything of what I mentioned in this paragraph and that is because, Seri has little to no spotlight in this series.

There was potential for Kakihara to deliver another chilling performance but the anime went in a whole different direction, making his role as Seri completely irrelevant.

2018 was a quiet year for Kakihara, picking up multiple supporting roles in a couple of anime series.

A year later, in 2019, Kakihara was back on track with some interesting leading roles under his belt.

He voiced one of the main characters, Dainichi Nyorai, in the anime adaptation of the DMM online fantasy game, Namu Amida Butsu!: Rendai Utena.

Subaru Akehoshi

Ensemble Stars! was green lit for anime adaptation and, in 2019, the anime premiered in Japan.

Kakihara reprised his role as Subaru Akehoshi, cheerful, passionate member of TRICKSTAR. He’s also the main protagonist of the Ensemble Stars!’s story and a beloved character among the fans.

His demeanor always puts a smile on the face of those around him, on stage however, his energy is infectious, being impossible of taking your eyes off of him.

Keith Claes

In 2020, Tetsuya Kakihara was cast in the comedy / romance anime My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! as Keith Claes.

Keith is a playboy that hasn’t known what love is up until the story’s protagonist, playing the role of villainess, tries her best to change the outcome of her character in the game.

Although timid, Keith is pretty aware of his looks and can use those to his advantage should he have the need.

This is one of the highlight roles of Kakihara in 2020.

Chuuya Nakahara

Still in 2020, Kakihara was cast as Chuuya Nakahara in the adventure / fantasy anime series, Bungou to Alchemist: Shinpan no Haguruma.

The premise of the series was of renowned Japanese authors to try to preserve literature which, as a concept, is quite confusing.

Although well executed and pretty refreshing – as far as anime featuring Japanese authors is -, the anime failed to have a consistent pacing and be interesting for those that were not familiar with the stories being adapted, leading to mixed reviews.

Sensui Kanzaki

Kakihara was cast to voice the main character, Sensui Kanzaki, in what is one of the most disappointing anime series to be aired in 2020: Gibiate.

This is simultaneously an historical anime series and a futuristic anime series which, by itself was a big unique, yet confusing.

The anime was promoted to no-end about its top tier cast, unique story, how it aimed at targeting the foreign market and how their OST team was awesome.

And the cast was top tier, the OST team is awesome, only the anime didn’t deliver anything.

This is an odd case of an overly hyped anime with everything to go well and, in a weird turn of events, turned into the laughing stock of the year.

Kira

Wrapping up the year, Kakihara reprised his role as the idol / hacker Kira in the Japanese localized version of the otome game, Koi to Producer: EVOL×LOVE.

Yukishiro Azuma

In the Winter 2020 season, Kakihara reprised his role as Yukishiro Azuma in the anime adaptation of the popular theatre-centric game, A3! AUTUMN & WINTER.

In the same season, Kakihara reprised his role as You Haduki in Tsukiuta. The Animation 2.

Kakihara counted with minor and or supporting roles in other anime series such as:

  • Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei no Kyoukan
  • Show By Rock!!
  • Yu☆Gi☆Oh! Arc-V
  • Prince of Stride: Alternative
  • World Trigger
  • Sengoku Night Blood
  • Puzzle & Dragon
  • Muhyo to Rouji no Mahouritsu Soudan Jimusho
  • Hangyakusei Million Arthur
  • Hinomaruzumou
  • KING OF PRISM -Shiny Seven Stars-
  • Stand My Heroes: Piece of Truth
  • Mairimashita! Iruma-kun
  • BORUTO – NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS

Through ups and downs and new challenges, the journey continues for Tetsuya Kakihara as he further solidifies himself as one of the best seiyuu of his generation, a mentor for the young generations of seiyuu and an inspiration for all foreigners fighting for a chance to join the seiyuu industry and venture into a career as a seiyuu.

Awards

Tetsuya Kakihara 1st seiyuu awards 2007

In 2007, and coming as a big surprise, Tetsuya Kakihara won the Best Rookie Award at the 1st Seiyuu Awards.

He was given the award for his impressive performance as Yutaka Mikoto in the comedy and action anime, Princess Princess.

He shared the award with fellow male seiyuu, Masakazu Morita.

Radio

Radio has been one of the fields in which Kakihara has been active – with some consistency – since his debut in 2002.

He has 2 decades of radio shows under his belt and, since early on he showcased his talkative and friendly nature in all radio shows he’s hosted or guested in.

The 1st radio show he’s participated in was 走れ!marine wave (Ashire! marine wave) back in 2002. However, it took him 5 years to get his own radio show.

Tetsuya Kakihara’s Super Radi! started airing in 2007 yet, unfortunately, it wrapped up in the exact same year.

Let’s have a look at some of his most relevant radio shows over the years:

Kakihara Tetsuya no KKHR Radio (2013 – 2015)

Kakihara Tetsuya no KKHR Radio

For 2 years, Kakihara collaborated with his former seiyuu vocational school, Amusement Media Gakuin, with a special radio show.

In Kakihara Tetsuya no KKHR Radio, Kakihara invited students from Amusement Media Gakuin to be interns, teaching them how the animation industry works, sharing his own experience and knowledge in order to support those that want to become voice actors.


Tetsuya Kakihara and Reona Irie’s Mega Training Station !!!(2014 – )

Tetsuya Kakihara and Reona Irie’s Mega Training Station !!!

In 2014, Tetsuya Kakihara started co-hosting Tetsuya Kakihara and Reona Irie’s Mega Training Station !!! alongside fellow seiyuu and close friend, Reona Irie.

The show focuses on all things otaku but with a focus on merchandise from games and anime. The duo exudes a natural chemistry that makes the show flow in a pretty unique, laidback way.

This is one of Kakihara’s longest running radio shows.


Nama mail presents Kakihara to Ryuta no Radio + (2014 -)

Nama mail presents Kakihara to Ryuta no Radio +

In the same year, Kakihara started co-hosting the – now – long running radio show, Nama mail presents Kakihara to Ryuta no Radio +.


Tsuda Kenjiro to Kakihara Tetsuya no Miwaku no no pan Radio (2014 – 2017)

Tsuda Kenjiro to Kakihara Tetsuya no Miwaku no no pan Radio

In 2014, Tetsuya Kakihara joined fellow seiyuu Kenjiro Tsuda to host Tsuda Kenjiro to Kakihara Tetsuya no Miwaku no no pan Radio, radio show produced by LOVE & ART.


Unison! Tuesday (2015-2018)

Tetsuya Kakihara Unison (2017)

From 2015 to 2018, Tetsuya Kakihara was in charge of hosting the Tuesday broadcasts of Unison!.

From showcasing pride about his German roots, Kakihara also invited fellow seiyuu on the show. Among the guests were Atsushi Abe, Hiroyuki Yoshino, and Soma Saito.


Kakihara Tetsuya Hatanaka Tasuku Bokura ga kimi o Shiawaseni suru Radio (2018 -)

Kakihara Tetsuya Hatanaka Tasuku Bokura ga kimi o Shiawaseni suru Radio

In 2018, Tetsuya Kakihara teamed up with Tasuku Hatanaka for the radio show, Kakihara Tetsuya ・ Hatanaka Tasuku Bokura ga kimi o Shiawaseni suru Radio.

The show was created to promote Voltage Inc.’s games.

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

  • Princess Princess RADIO Fujimori Gakuen A to Z (2006)
  • Gurren-Lagann Radio (2007)
  • Radio Love Route Zero from Labyrinth (2007-2009)
  • Radio Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann (2008-2010)
  • Tokyo Anime Center RADIO (2008-2009)
  • Kakihara Tetsuya・Morikawa Toshiyuki no BRAVE10 on the radio(2011 – 2012)
  • Radio sekai Fushigi Hakkenden! (2013)
  • Radio Divine Gate (2015 – 2016)
  • RADIO MIRACLE6 (2018)

Games

There is no doubt about it.

Tetsuya Kakihara is one of the most prolific voice actors in otome games. By now he’s considered a household name at Otomate, voicing characters for multiple games part of the developer’s repertoire.

He’s also a big name in action and RPG’s however, with a vast repertoire in this field, I will only be mentioning a couple of big roles of his and mention a couple of other games worth checking out.

Kakihara’s first role in games was Krein Kiesling in the RPG game, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana in 2004. Since then he counts with over 100 credits in games with over 50% of those being in otome games.

Here’s other most notable roles of his in games:

Jin Kisaragi in BlazBlue Series (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015)

Tetsuya Kakihara’s longest running role in games is Jin Kisaragi in the BlazBlue series. Adding to the fact that Kisaragi is a main character in the franchise is the fact that he’s a fan favorite.

Kakihara’s voiced and reprised his role in the fighting game series for 5 times.


Sakutaro Morishige in Corpse Party (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015)

Sakutaro Morishige is one of Kakihara’s most iconic and – equally – disturbing roles.

This is a character like no other Kakihara has voiced in his career.

Morishige may look like the regular high schooler however, he slowly gives in to madness and ends up being one of the most disturbing characters in the series.

Kakihara delivered his best as Morishige making those performances stand out like no other.

He’s voiced and reprised the role several times across the series’ 5 games and even its own anime series.


Shin in AMNESIA (2011 – 2014)

This is one of Kakihara’s first big roles in otome games.

Shin comes off as a cold, detached character on a first look but slowly he starts opening up to the heroine.

Problem is, the way he shows his love and affection can be twisted to a point that Shin is wildly known as a yandere character.

The AMNESIA franchise was so popular in Japan that it spawned a couple of sequels and was ported to different gaming systems for a period of 3 years.

Shin still ranks pretty high on Otomate’s annual character rankings.

Zhu Ran in the Dynasty Warriors Series (2013, 2014, 2018)

Zhu Ran

In 2013, Tetsuya Kakihara was chosen to voice Zhu Ran in the popular hack & slash game series, Dynasty Warriors.

He has voiced Zhu Ran in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires and Dynasty Warriors 9.

Victor Frankenstein in Code: Realize − Guardian of Rebirth (2014 – 2016)

Victor Frankenstein

In 2016, Kakihara was cast as the intelligent researcher with ties to the British government, Victor Frankenstein, in the adventure otome game, Code: Realize − Guardian of Rebirth.

Code: Realize − Guardian of Rebirth was so popular that it counted with a fandisk in 2016 and was adapted to anime in 2016.

Mio Yamanobe in I-Chu (2015 -)

In 2015, Kakihara was chosen to voice Mio Yamanobe in the rhythm game, I-Chu.

Yamanobe is part of RE:BERSERK, group that follows a dark master and servant theme.

Yamanobe looks like a sweet, devoted character – and is, depending on who he’s interacting with – but has a twist, going for a rougher, colder demeanor in front of those with whom he’s openly hostile.

Subaru Akehoshi in Ensemble Stars! (2015 -) / Ensemble Stars!! MUSIC (2020 -)

Since 2015, Tetsuya Kakihara is in charge of voicing TRICKSTAR‘s sunshine member, Subaru Akehoshi.

By many their favorite character, Akehoshi is know for his bright personality and passionate demeanor that make everyone around him smile.

As Akehoshi, Kakihara delivers a performance filled of energy and with a youthful edge.

Seri Yuisaki DYNAMIC CHORD feat.Liar-S (2005)

He voiced Seri Yuisaki, Liar-S’ leader and drummer. He’s a childhood friend of the main character in the visual novels (the player) but despite loving the main character, he’s always been in the friendzone.

When playing the game, you will notice how gradually more obsessive he gets, to the point that he can be considered a mentally unbalanced person.

Tetsuya Kakihara was once again on top of his yandere game for this role, for a character that, let’s be honest, doesn’t have any genuinely good endings in its route.

Fins in Walpurgis no uta ~Walpurgisgedichte~ (2015)

Although there’s nothing outstanding coming from the game or the performances by most of the cast in the otome game, Walpurgis no uta ~Walpurgisgedichte~, I feel like Kakihara’s role as Fins is worth mentioning.

This is one role in which fans will be delighted to know that Kakihara got to do voice work in 2 languages: Japanese and German, his native language.

The German parts in the game are brief – a poem by Goethe – but set a really cool tone to this game.

Prompto in Final Fantasy XV (2016)

Final Fantasy XV had a trouble development – taking almost 10 years in production, with seiyuu recording lines during that period of time – and, when the game hit stores, it wasn’t particularly well received by Final Fantasy purists.

As someone that has played the game, Final Fantasy XV isn’t a bad as people like to paint it, I dare even say that the game is a solid, fun RPG with a roadtrip theme however, it is obvious midway through how much the game ended up being rushed.

There’s a big chunk of story that isn’t there and if you’re playing while paying attention to the story, this is something that you can’t help but to feel.

Prompto
Prompto

But for what it ended up being, Final Fantasy XV is a solid game with good mechanics, cool animations, realistic visuals and good voice acting and that includes Tetsuya Kakihara’s performance as Prompto, a passionate photographer with a rather tragic backstory.

You’ll find yourself empathizing with Prompto the more he tells you his story and his insecurities. Kakihara gave off an honest and natural performance that make the character memorable among that “band of brothers” vying to protect Prince Noctis.

Yukishiro Azuma in A3! (2017 -)

In 2017, Tetsuya Kakihara joined the cast of the popular theatre-centric franchise, A3!.

He voices Yukishiro Azuma, member of the Winter Troupe, well known for being a flirt and exuding a certain sex appeal that make it impossible for others to ignore his presence.

The character is still rather shrouded in mystery, especially his occupation and age, but as time has passed since the game’s launch, that mysterious aura is slowly turning into one of Azuma’s charm points.

Momotaro Onzai in B-PROJECT Kaikan*Everyday

In 2019, Kakihara reprised his role as Momotaro Onzai, the quiet, slightly mysterious and passionate member of MooNs, in the smartphone game, B-PROJECT Kaikan*Everyday.

The game would stop distribution in the middle of 2020.

Other games Kakihara has voiced characters in include but not limited to:

  • VALHALLA KNIGHTS (2006)
  • PRISM ARK -AWAKE- (2008)
  • Shining Force CROSS (2009)
  • GARNET CRADLE (2009)
  • THE EXORCISM OF MARIA (2009)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki (2010)
  • Fairy Tail Series (2010, 2011, 2012, 2019)
  • Wand of Fortune (2010)
  • Trails to Azure (2011)
  • Sengoku Paradise – Kyoku – (2011)
  • Koibana Days (2013)
  • Jewelic Nightmare (2013)
  • Summon Night 5 (2013)
  • Shiratsuyu no Kai (2013)
  • Makai Ouji Devils and Realist Dairiou no hihou (2013)
  • CV: Casting Voice (2014)
  • Thousand Memories (2014)
  • BAD MEDICINE (2014)
  • Lost Dimension (2014)
  • Cross World (2015)
  • Psychedelica of The Black Butterfly (2015)
  • Touken Ranbu (2015)
  • ROOT∞REXX (2015)
  • Blackish House sideA→ (2016)
  • Bungo to Alchemist (2016)
  • Tsukino Paradise (2017)
  • KING OF PRISM Prism Rush! LIVE (2017)
  • Anidol Colors (2017)
  • DREAM!ing (2018)
  • Kenka Bancho Otome 2nd Rumble!! (2019)
  • Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions (2020)

Acting

Since his debut in the seiyuu industry, Kakihara has done a bit of everything, trying to branch out and showcasing his talents in a wide variety of fields even outside the seiyuu industry.

In one of those said branch out opportunities for him came a roll in a Japanese tokusatsu movie, his 1st and, so far, only acting credit.

Chikyu Senshi ZEROS (2014)

In 2014, he joined the cast of the live-action movie 地球戦士ゼロス (Chikyu Senshi ZEROS), an Ultraman-inspired movie. 

Tetsuya Kakihara and fellow seiyuu Toshiki Masuda played rival roles for this movie.

Narration / Dubbing

Tetsuya Kakihara has very few narration credits under his belt.

Those are Anitele Presents Anison Plus + (2010), Kiramune Company R / L (2016) and 10min. Box Chiri (2017).

Now, when it comes to dubbing foreign movies and TV series, Kakihara has quite a few credits to his name.

Those include Admission, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, The Long Way Home, Meet Bill, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (as Leonardo), Enter Nowhere, Baltic Storm, The Monuments Men, I’m in the Band, Naturally, Sadie, between many more.

Drama CDs

Drama CDs are yet another field in which Tetsuya Kakihara has always shone since his debut.

He’s picked up multiple credits in regular/otome drama CDs as well as BL (boys love), although, in recent years, he’s completely halted his work in BL.

Kakihara tends to voice characters that are rather intense and eccentric.

Aside from a couple of gentle, tsundere roles in otome games, he’s got plenty of yandere roles under his belt in drama CDs such as BAD MEDICINE, VANQUISH BROTHERS, Jooubachi no Oubou – Kougou Hen and AMNESIA (more so in the games).

He’s a known name within Rejet‘s drama CDs, some stemming from games, others original works such as Renai Bancho 2, VANQUISH BROTHERS, BAD MEDICINE, Gekka Ryoran ROMANCE, etc., and he’s a household name for Otomate, having lent his voice to a wide variety of games from the developer: AMNESIA, Wand of Fortune, Code:Realize ~Sousei no Himegimi~, etc.

Stemming from his work in the AMNESIA games, he’s reprised his role as Shin plenty of times in otome drama CDs and bonus tracks included with the DVD release of the anime series adaptation.

He’s also got 9 credits as Lloyd Bannings (protagonist) in the drama CDs for the RPG game, The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki.

While at 81 Produce, Tetsuya Kakihara participated in 3 of the various drama CDs that the talent agency has released featuring their talents.

Other drama CDs he’s got roles include:

  • GARNET CRADLE,
  • Odayaka Kizoku no Kyuka no Susume.,
  • Otomari Honey,
  • water cube,
  • Kaichou wa Maid Sama!,
  • Kimi to Wonder ★ Kiss!,
  • Love Root Zero,
  • Mr. Love: Dream Date,
  • Koisuru Lesson,
  • Tales of Hearts,
  • Hidoku Shinaide,
  • Iro Otoko,
  • Shitsuji Game,
  • Jewelic Nightmare,
  • DOG DAYS,
  • Love on Ride,
  • ROOT∞REXX.

This is not an extensive list. As always, I recommend you to check his Japanese wikipedia page entry for a more comprehensive and updated list of the drama CDs he’s been in.

Music

While his very first endeavors singing were not really the best ones, Tetsuya Kakihara has sure grown a lot as a singer since his debut in the seiyuu industry.

His singing tone has a nasal-y touch, something that he has, to a point, worked around to lessen its impact in his singing. Back in the day, his singing sounded too strained or off key at most times, with heavy electronica in the background trying to mask his shaky performances.

He worked on his performances and especially on improving and polishing his singing skills. And, around Saichaina‘s era, it was noticeable that he was improving a lot as a singer.

Since then, Kakihara has showcased a lot of control over his vocals, having robust, warm mid-tones at his disposal, as well as a delicate falsetto and some hints of vibrato here and there.

His vibrato is certainly trained as he didn’t have it when he started singing character songs and, ultimately, when he kicked off his career as a solo artist. It slowly made its entrance in Kakihara’s solo work around 2015, 2016.

The falsetto he does have goes a lot in line with the fact that he sounds really close to being a tenor – might even be a tenor, although with a much limited range in comparison with most tenors among male seiyuu.

According to Tetsuya Kakihara himself, he does not bother with changing his style of singing to fit a character.

He believes that, if the producers cast him in a 2D music project, it is because they want his voice and his singing quirks, not a completely different singing style created from the ground up for a certain character.

This explains why Kakihara only adds some nuances to his performances but never changes his singing tone or does a complete overhaul of his voice tone to sound like somebody else.

Solo career

Tetsuya Kakihara made his solo debut in 2010.

He was among the very first male seiyuu to join Kiramune, music label established a year earlier, focused on anisong and male seiyuu wanting to kick off a career in the music industry.

His solo debut was with the mini-album “still on Journey“, released in 2010. Fans found Kakihara tackling peppy pop, rock and electronica.

It wasn’t the most complete release in his career but still a solid debut release that, when you look back, you can’t help but to be proud of how much Kakihara has evolved as a singer.

Two years later, in 2012, Kakihara released his 1st mini-album, Continuous.

This release focused in a blend of rock with electronica with Chaos Breaker being a stand out song in it.

Hikari, song also in this release, was the first ever ballad Kakihara performed.

This, original version, had an R&B sound and a gentleness that, years later, in its rearranged version included in Circle of LIFE too on a completely different, an even more special turn.

In Continue, Kakihara showcased a bit of his skillset, showing a bit a comfort in his singing tone and adding falsetto to his performance.

Still, it was noticeable in songs like “Hikari” how much Kakihara was still not on top of his game as a singer. That would change around 2015.

Tetsuya Kakihara String of Pain

In 2013, Kakihara would have his first ever solo song featured in anime.

String of Pain is Kakihara’s 1st single, counting with its title track featured as the ending theme for the action and supernatural anime, Hakkenden: Toho Hakken Ibun.

Although this single wasn’t a massive change from the sound that Kakihara had been exploring, it was certainly more intense and focused on electronica than any other of his previous releases.

The single’s tie-up track is the delicate R&B ballad, 運命の引力 (Unmei no Inryoku).

Tetsuya Kakihara Call Me

Still in the same year, Kakihara released his 3rd mini-album, Call Me.

Pop-rock dominated this release, which was a pleasant surprise, especially after coming from several releases in which electronica had its spotlight.

Call Me‘s standout songs are Eternal screaming and ocean flying.

tetsuya kakihara - generations

But the year wasn’t over for Kakihara that still had the time to release another CD before the end of the year.

GENERATIONS was released in 2013 and showcased a comfortable, slightly improved Kakihara on vocals. It was the most consistent he had been since his solo debut in 2010.

Rock and pop continued to be the music genres driving his music forward.

Tetsuya Kakihara Dangidi Dan

2014 arrived and with it came Dandigi dan. Although, so far, Kakihara’s solo career had been hitting more towards pop-rock, this mini-album was quite different and, as a result, unexpected.

Dandigi dan counted with an acoustic title track with danceable, Latin-inspired beat and melodies.

On the vocal end, instead of just going for singing, Kakihara mixed clean singing with rapping and was exuding a bit more charisma in his performances.

This mini-album didn’t improve on the sound and quality of previous ones, being pretty inconsistent at times. However, it is worth mentioning that Kakihara’s vocals kept improving, something that was starting to be highly noticeable.

Tetsuya Kakihara Saichaina

Those improvements and years of practice led to 2015’s outstanding single that is Saichaina.

In this release, fans found a more sensible and artistic Kakihara, with beautiful melodies and tasteful compositions making the single shine like no other release in his repertoire had managed to do before.

The title track, Saichaina, put the focus on Kakihara’s improved vocals, gliding throughout the track while showing control over his mid-toned vocals and his upper range.

It was a display of quality, of growth that impressed me at the time I reviewed the single.

Add to that the fact that the tie-up track Othello was the first ever time that fans got to enjoy a funk / disco inspired song from Kakihara – and it was tastefully crafted -, plus the fact that world in bloom was a solid EDM track with an ethereal touch and you got yourselves what was his best single to date.

orange tetsuya

Wrapping up 2015, Kakihara released his 1st full-length album, orange.

After 5 years of exploring pop-rock and a bit of electronica and R&B, fans weren’t sure what to expect from the album itself.

Groovy rock lead the way for the album, with LessonAtoB doing the honors. That was a quirky introduction that found Kakihara tackling a wide variety of voice tones, playing around throughout the song.

The album flows through a couple of rock tunes and R&B ballads and goes bonkers with electronica in monogram.

飛行機雲 (Hikokigumo) stands as the biggest highlight in this release, a sweet song that mixes ballad elements with rock to deliver and inspiring tune.

Tetsuya Kakihara Susumasero
Regular edition

Moving on to 2016 and Tetsuya Kakihara released a new single, Susumasero!.

And the air about Kakihara changed once again.

For this release Kakihara delivered a performance that mixed rapping and singing and he did so in a flashy, charismatic way that drew me in.

Rock was still a bit part of his sound but electronica, dirty synths mainly, were at the basis of the groove and danceable vibe to the title track.

My Way was a summery track driven by ukelele melodies. It was fresh and unusual coming from Kakihara.

The single wrapped up with the beautiful ballad, 碧く (Aoku), which is not only packed with emotion in its stripped down sound, but also a fantastic display of technique and control by Kakihara.

tetsuya kakihara Tokunatsu Wave

Still in 2016, Kakihara released the single, Tokonatsu Wave.

The title track leaned more towards what was his debut sound, being upbeat and having an uplifting twist.

Although the rest of the single held its own rather well, Tokonatsu Wave didn’t sound like an upgrade to his work so far as a solo artist.

君はどう思ってるの (Kimi wa do omotteru no) took the crown as best song in this release.

Tetsuya Kakihara Circle of LIFE

To wrap up the year, Kakihara released the soulful mini-album, Circle of LIFE. In this mini-album, there was a massive leap in quality both in the instrumentals and Kakihara’s vocals.

Circle of LIFE is a complete release that revisited Hikari, song originally released in 2012 and gave it a completely revamped sound, not to mention vocals that showcased the big improvement that Kakihara’s singing technique had taken up to that point.

It resulted in what is one of the most beautiful and chilling songs in his repertoire, a sure fire highlight in Circle of LIFE.

The mini-album counts with plenty of groovy tunes but never forgetting to nod at his upbeat, playful pop-rock debut sound.

diamond beat tetsuya

2 years after his last release, Kakihara was back and he had undergone yet another new changes to his sound and performances.

DIAMOND BEAT was released in 2018 and was an incisive EDM-powered title track in which deep beats and synths created a dirty, hot and danceable soundscape, something that, up until then, Kakihara had never experimented.

This was long-awaited comeback and Tetsuya Kakihara more than met the expectations of his fans with a flawless release – counting as well with the beautiful ballad in ごめんね、ありがとう。(Gomen ne, arigato.) and the dreamy EDM pop tune, MOVING.

Tetsuya Kakihara I for U regular
Regular

Tetsuya Kakihara was in a good spell and a couple of months later, still in 2018, released his 2nd full-length album, I for U.

I seldom hand full marks to full-length albums as there’s a lot going on in an album that can change its flow and tone, there may be some weird mixing or some subpar performances – it happens will all artists -, but for this album, there wasn’t any other score I could hand.

I for U is genuinely a flawless album. Easily one of the best released by a male seiyuu.

From the soulful HERE FOR U, to the funky-rock Actors, to funk/disco vibes in Don’t Doubt! and the mature R&B/Funk in Last Lady, there was not a single song that was considered weak or lacking.

But it was 五月雨 (Go gatsu Ame) that stole the show for me. If there is a track that perfectly encapsulates the talent that Kakihara has as a singer, it’s this song.

One of the most beautiful songs I’ve listened and easily Tetsuya Kakihara’s best song released to date.

Tetsuya United star regular edition
Regular

After a successful 2018, he was back with new music in 2019.

Riding on a lot of momentum and with quite some pressure from the quality of his past 2 releases, Tetsuya Kakihara confidently released United Star.

The mini-album had a simpler, brighter tone than his previous releases but the quality in the instrumentals and Kakihara’s vocals was still there.

United Star is a really consistent mini-album that starts on a cool note and wraps up with a flair and maturity that I thoroughly enjoyed.

tetsuya get over here regular
Regular

A couple of months later, still in 2019, Tetsuya Kakihara released his 7th mini-album, GET OVER HERE.

The title track exuded and old-school pop sound that was addictive from the get-go.

The nods to the 90s in the instrumental were executed in a tasteful. Kakihara was sounding even more confident and natural as a singer, shining in every track on GET OVER HERE.

The mini-album is clearly heavily influenced by funk-rock and has a nostalgic, retro feel that, paired up with a Tetsuya Kakihara in top of his form as a singer, was recipe for another rock solid release.

Also worth mentioning that, in this release, Kakihara performed one of his songs with 3 quarters-Japanese, 1 quarter-German lyrics.

I am talking about wundervolle Nacht, the funky goodness in this mini-album, and one of its highlights.

Tetsuya Kakihara "Live in ToKyo"

We arrive in 2020 and Tetsuya Kakihara released his 3rd full-length album, Live in ToKyo.

Due to having not reviewed the album by the time of the release of this Seiyuu Digest, I won’t dive into it (although I hope it is good).

Live tours

On a live setting, Kakihara has grown a lot from a bit shy and uncomfortable to a confident, charismatic performer.

Since his debut in 2010, Kakihara has held 7 live tours, with the 1st one in 2013, Kakihara Tetsuya 1st Live “GENERATIONS”.

Below is a snippet of the buddle of fun that are Kakihara’s live performances.

Special Seiyuu Units

Within Kiramune, Kakihara has collaborated with some artists.

In 2012, he performed the first ever VERSUS live alongside labelmate, Daisuke Namikawa. However, from this collaboration, nothing concrete came in terms of new music.

VERSUS
Daisuke Namikawa, Tetsuya Kakihara, Hiroyuki Yoshino

By 2017, the VERSUS live shows welcomed Hiroyuki Yoshino, but it wasn’t until 2018 that the trio would collaborate to release a single titled “We’ll Versus / VERSUS“.

Check the video below for a taste of their 2018 live as well as a snippet of “VERSUS”.

But that wasn’t the only experience Kakihara got in a special seiyuu unit.

tetsuya kakihara, nobuhiko okamoto trust and play

In 2020, Tetsuya Kakihara teamed up with labelmate Nobuhiko Okamoto to release what is one of the year’s best albums, trust and play.

The duo shared writing credits for this release, penning some of the best songs in the release.

The highlight of the release is the groovy “one morning“, song in which Kakihara and Okamoto were in perfect harmony, nailing the mature vibe of the track to release a stellar performance.

Units

Around the 10s, Kakihara started to be a big presence in the 2D music industry, making into the lineups of several popular groups and projects.

Let’s go over some of the best known groups he’s a part of or was a part of.

Procellarum (2012 -)
Procellarum

In 2012, Tetsuya Kakihara was announced alongside Ryohei Kimura, Shouta Aoi, Wataru Hatano, Takashi Kondo, Kensho Ono, as part of Tsukino Production’s pop unit, Procellarum.

So far the group has released 2 singles:

  • ONE CHANCE? (2015)
  • LOLV -Lots of Love- (included in the Tsukiuta. THE ANIMATION Theme Song CD)

The best of albums Shirotsuki (2016) and Kuro Mochizuki (2019) featured group and solo songs.

Procellarum are going to release a new single in June 2020 titled White Sparks.

As You Hadukithe male representative for the month of August within Procellarum, Kakihara got to perform 4 solo singles:

  • Genau! (2013 – has lyrics partially in German)
  • El Sol Florecer (2015)
  • Hee!Hee!Foo!Foo! (2016)
  • Sol~Happy!Phew!~ (2016)

3 Majesty (2013 -)

3 Majesty

In 2013, Kakihara joined the princely 2D idol group, 3 Majesty, as Kaito Tsuji (on the right in the photo above).

3 Majesty consist on Daisuke Namikawa, Daisuke Kishio and Tetsuya Kakihara.

In their almost decade in the 2D music industry, the group has performed plenty of times on a live setting however, only in VR.

The seiyuu never set stage together to perform live.

Some of their best known releases include: YOU+I=♥ (2013), Show up! (2013), Royal Trinity (2014), Brand-new (2015), Triple Road (2016), IN THE NOON (2016), PRINCE REP.SELECTION~3 Majesty~ (2017), Color Palette (2017), and many more.


Over the Rainbow (2013 -)
Over the Rainbow – Toshiki Masuda, Tetsuya Kakihara and Tomoaki Maeno – Cool Voice Vol.22

Still in 2013, Kakihara was casted in the anime Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live, thus joining the unit that formed within the franchise, Over The Rainbow.

Over The Rainbow consist on Tetsuya Kakihara, Tomoaki Maeno and Toshiki Masuda.

The group never released albums, only a couple of songs that were inserted in the anime series (i.e Athletic Core, Flavor, pride and 虹色CROWN).

The group made their first live performance at KING OF PRISM Over The Rainbow SPECIAL THANKS PARTY in 2016.


LiarS (2014 -)
liar-s

In 2014, Tetsuya Kakihara joined the cast of DYNAMIC CHORD as Liar-S‘ leader and drummer, Seri.

Liar-S consist on Takuma Terashima (vocal), Nobuhiko Okamoto, Tetsuya Kakihara and Soma Saito.

They are known for their emo-rock sound, having quite a few ballad-inspired tracks in their repertoire.

Since their debut, the band has released 2 singles: RISE’n SHINE (2014) and STELLA (2015). In 2017, the band released their 1st mini-album, ROUND AND ROUND.


Trickstar (2014 – )

Trickstar
Trickstar

Still in the same year, Kakihara was announced as the face of the Ensemble Stars! franchise, Trickstar‘s sunshine, Subaru Akehoshi.

Trickstar consist on Tomoaki Maeno (replaced Yoshimasa Hosoya in 2017), Tetsuya Kakihara, Showtaro Morikubo and Yuki Kaji.

So far, the group has released the following CDs:


MooNs (2015 -)

Tetsuya Kakihara joined the cast of B-PROJECT in 2015. He’s a member of MooNs, unit consisting of Yuto UemuraShowtaro MorikuboToshiki MasudaTetsuya Kakihara and Genki Okawa.

As part of MooNs, Kakihara has a bit of the spotlight.

His vocals have improved over the years and, even if he was a bit iffy when the group debuted, he quickly picked up the pace and improved to a level that he is actually the best singer in the group.

So far the group has released 4 singles – Glory Upper (2015), Brand New Star (2016), SUMMER MERMAID (2017) and GO AROUND (2018) – and were featured on B-Project‘s album “S Kyuu Paradise“.

MooNs have performed live thrice: B-PROJECT Kodou Ambitious BRILLIANT PARTY (2016), B-PROJECT Summer Live 2018 – Eternal Pacific – and SPARKLE PARTY (2019).


RE:BERSERK (2015 -)
RE:BERSERK

In 2015, Kakihara joined the I-Chu franchise as a member of the dark pop-rock group, RE:BERSERK.

RE:BERSERK consist on Hiro Shimono, Yoshiyuki Shimozuma and Tetsuya Kakihara. So far, they’ve released a 7 songs:

  • Dark Night Cat
  • Lady Blood
  • Uragiri no Kajitsu
  • Swinging Halloween
  • We are I★CHU! – RE:BERSERK ver.
  • Akuma no Opera
  • La mia vita

A3! Winter Troupe (2017 -)
Winter Troupe
Winter Troupe

As mentioned above, Kakihara is part of the Winter Troupe. He voices Homare Arisugawa, Winter Troupe’s passionate poet and a bit of an eccentric.

The troupe initially counted with Atsushi TamaruTakuya SatoJunta TerashimaToshiyuki ToyonagaTetsuya Kakihara but early in 2018, a new member was introduced to each of the 4 troupes, extending the lineups to 6 people. Satoshi Hino joined the the Winter Troupe in 2018.

The Winter Troupe has participated in three EP series: First (2017), Blooming(2017) and VIVID (2018).


Full Throttle4 (2018 -)
Full Throttle4

Although Full Throttle4 were announced as part of the HoneyWorks universe in 2018, Kakihara was only officially casted for his role as MEGU in 2020.

Full Throttle4 consist of Soma Saito (as YUI), Yuma Uchida (as RIO), Tetsuya Kakihara (as MEGU) and Toshiki Masuda (as DAI). Jun Fukuyama voices the group’s manager and DJ, IV.

The group is described as a high school dance and vocal unit. So far, the song GOOD BYE was released (featuring Soma Saito and Yuma Uchida on vocals).

Photobooks

Tetsuya Kakihara is one of the few male seiyuu that have photobooks released.

In 2017, a personal book and a photobook in which he talked about his life since coming to Japan, his career as a seiyuu and many other interesting bits of information that are a must for his fans.

Kakihara Tetsuya Personal BOOKnde, Konnippon Dasu No (2017)

In September 2017, Tetsuya Kakihara released the personal book, Kakihara Tetsuya Personal BOOKnde, Konnippon Dasu No.

This release stemmed from Kakihara’s serialized corner on Voice Animage and counted with new photos following a Summer theme alongside a barbecue roundtable with fellow seiyuu and friends, Reona Irie and Koutaro Nishiyama.


Enjoy? Kakihara Tetsuya First Photo Book (Photobook) (2017)

tetsuya photobook

Enjoy? Kakihara Tetsuya First Photo Book includes a special interview with Kakihara about his life in Germany, his alone trip from Germany to Japan with the dream of being seiyuu, his love for beer and exercise and many more things.

This photobook was all shot in Germany.

Variety

When it comes to variety, Tetsuya Kakihara is known as a pretty laidback host, and cool + witty guest.

However, if he wants to, he can be incredibly professional and on both sides of the variety show.

He usually puts those around him at ease although, for the most part, other seiyuu tend to be fans of his, ending up behaving in strange, yet amusing ways that make Kakihara go from teasing to reassuring them.

Kakihara has plenty of credits in variety but this Seiyuu Digest can only include so many, therefore below are some of the most important variety shows or variety appearances in Kakihara’s career.

Kakihara Tetsuya to Ono Yuki ga, Tottemo Tanoshinja Imashita! (2012)

In 2012, Tetsuya Kakihara teamed up with fellow male seiyuu Yuki Ono for a special variety DVD.

柿原徹也と小野友樹が、とっても楽しんじゃいました! (Kakihara Tetsuya to Ono Yuki ga, Tottemo Tanoshinja Imashita!).

The duo went to a park / ZOO to have fun, enjoy the rides, take photos, shopping and do archery, all with guests Koutaro Nishiyama and Reona Irie.


Banpresto episode 5 (2013)

In 2013, Tetsuya Kakihara was invited to guest on Banpresto, variety show hosted by fellow male seiyuu Kenichi Suzumura and Ryota Osaka.

Although the episode started off just fine, soon things went down the drain and shenanigans and hilarity ensued.

And the highlight was Kakihara reversing wrestling maneuvers – that were the punishment for badly acted situations chose at random -, much to Suzumura and Osaka’s shock.

One of the funniest Banpresto episodes.


Tokimeki Recipe (2014)

Tetsuya Kakihara joined Toshiki Masuda for Tokimeki Recipe’s DVD. 

However, this wasn’t his first time on the variety DVD series. In 2011, he participated alongside his then fellow 81 Produce talent, Takuya Eguchi.

Tokimeki Recipe was a variety show in which two seiyuu would be paired up and work together to cook several dishes with available ingredients.

Between cooking, game corners to earn ingredients or hints and challenges, the duo was busy, yet the vibe throughout the shooting was welcoming and entertaining.


Jinro Battle ~ Jinro VS tantei ~ (2015)

In 2015, Kakihara participated in Marine Entertainment’s popular Jinro Battle variety show.

On Jinro Battle ~ Jinro VS tantei ~ (人狼バトル~人狼VS探偵~) he tried his best to beat the game however, much to his disappointment, ended up being eliminated twice.

The cast included Shouta Aoi, Toshiki Masuda, Hiro Shimono, Kenichi Suzumura, Kousuke Toriumi, Kenji Nojima, Hirofumi Nojima, Ayumu Murase and Hiroki Takahashi.


Kenjiro Tsuda & Tetsuya Kakihara Enchanted no pan radio Okinawa’s finest trip BEACH DANDIES (2017)

In 2017, Tetsuya Kakihara and Kenjiro Tsuda, co-hosts of the radio show, Tsuda Kenjiro to Kakihara Tetsuya no Miwaku no no pan Radio, released the variety DVD Kenjiro Tsuda & Tetsuya Kakihara Enchanted no pan radio Okinawa’s finest trip BEACH DANDIES WITH Daisuke Namikawa.

This DVD was the last release the duo made before the radio show was cancelled.


Kakihara Tetsuya no Hiza Kurige (2018)

In 2018, Tetsuya Kakihara got the chance to host his own variety show on Japanese television.

Kakikuri (or Kakihara Tetsuya no hiza Kurige) was broadcasted on Animax Japan.

For this show, Kakihara and a guest would visit historical places, learn new things and try some delicacies from the region or connected with historical eras.

The guests were Kaito Ishikawa, Yoshimasa Hosoya and Nobuhiko Okamoto.


Choimo TV in GUAM (2018)

In 2018, Tetsuya Kakihara and Koutaro Nishiyama took their talk show Choimo TV to overseas for a different take on the fun and fashionable talk show.

Choimo TV in GUAM featured the duo hanging out with guest, Nobuhiko Okamoto.


KENN to Kakihara Tetsuya no Bokutachi Nintendo Switch taikentai (2020)

In 2020, the ZYNCHRO duo, Tetsuya Kakihara and KENN, co-hosted a special live stream dedicated to fans of otome games, KENN to Kakihara Tetsuya no Bokutachi Nintendo Switch taikentai.

The duo showcased their chemistry and trust, delivering an enjoyable livestream to everyone that watched it.

Facts

Was classmates with Tomoaki Maeno

At Amusement Media Gakuin, Tetsuya Kakihara was classmates with fellow seiyuu, Tomoaki Maeno.

After graduating from the school, Kakihara signed with 81 Produce and quickly started to work in the seiyuu industry whereas Tomoaki Maeno graduated but it took him around 4 – 5 years to get work in the seiyuu industry.

Tomoaki Maeno has mentioned in an interview that he admires Kakihara for being that awesome, getting work right after graduating.


His own boss

In 2014, after leaving 81 Produce, Tetsuya Kakihara founded his own talent agency, ZYNCHRO.

ZYNCHRO however, is much more than a voice actor talent agency.

According to the agency’s description it is mentioned that the company offers services of management and promotion of talents, artists, writers, handles coordinates casting for TV and radio programs as well as event planning and management.

Although the agency started pretty small, it now houses KENN, Aki Kanada and Yu Taniguchi.


His sisters’ bodyguard

On several occasions, Tetsuya Kakihara has been inquired about his sister.

Of all those occasions he mentioned that he’d never introduce her to his friends, much less to his buddies in the seiyuu industry, especially if she were to make a debut as a seiyuu.

During Banpresto’s #5, Kenichi Suzumura pulled a random theme for a situation that Kakihara should act “Older brother that loves his younger sister”.

“Older brother that loves his younger sister”

Kakihara was quickly embarrassed saying that “I don’t know what you are talking about”, which prompted the staff to crack up.


Close friendship with KENN and Reona Irie

Tetsuya Kakihara goes way back with KENN and Reona Irie. In several occasions, Kakihara has mentioned their friendship and they are, in one way or another, almost always guesting on the same shows or working alongside for variety shows, showcasing their awesome chemistry.


81 Produce’s members love him

Even after years since leaving 81 Produce, Kakihara continues to be a beloved individual among the crazy (over the top extra) and talented seiyuu that are housed in that talent agency.

Wataru Hatano, Takuya Eguchi, Koutaro Nishiyama and Soma Saito are really close to Kakihara.

Soma Saito is a special case among those 81 Produce talents as he even declared his love for Kakihara frequently and, if he had to choose between Wataru Hatano and Tetsuya Kakihara, he’d choose the latter in a heartbeat.

Soma Saito and Tetsuya Kakihara @ Unisong Radio 2016
Soma Saito and Tetsuya Kakihara @ Unison Radio 2016

Between both is one of the very first, pure interactions that Saito had with an established seiyuu when he was just a rookie at 81 Produce.

Koutaro Nishiyama also showcases his love for Kakihara in the weirdest and yet most endearing ways, at times overwhelming Kakihara that doesn’t know how to deal with the doting kouhai.

Being closer in age, Wataru Hatano and Takuya Eguchi showcase a lot of respect and often mention that Kakihara is a “nice guy” that “genuinely cares about others around him”.


Loves Japanese history

He’s a geek about the feudal lord Shingen Takada. He’s made that well known a lot of times but the most obvious of all was during an episode of Kakihara Tetsuya no Hiza Kurige back in 2018.


Infectious laugh

It is well known among Kakki’s fans that he does have a pretty infectious laugh and a smile that instantly, and reflexively, will make you smile. That’s a healing smile right there.


SEIYUU LOUNGE returns in February 2021

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 Silvahttps://www.handthatfeedshq.com
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Also, the only person managing everything The Hand That Feeds HQ related. In 2011, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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