Seiyuu Digest #81 – Shintaro Asanuma

A seiyuu, playwright, actor and witty MC. There are no boundaries for Shintaro Asanuma when it comes to showcasing his talents.

Estimated reading time: 44 minutos

Shintaro Asanuma

Shintaro Asanuma

KANJI: 浅沼晋太郎

BORN: January 5, 1976

OCCUPATION: seiyuu, singer, actor, playwright, director

HEIGHT: 175cm


Shintaro Asanuma was born on January 5, 1976 in Iwate, Japan. He was represented by Office Osawa from 2007 up to 2012. In 2012 he changed agencies and has been since then represented by Dandelion.

Despite being best know as a seiyuu – especially, given the exposure he’s had in recent years due to A3! and Hypnosis Mic -, Asunama actually started his career in the entertainment industry in a completely different field.

Asanuma graduated from Tama Art University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Art Studies (Video department) in 2000, and soon after, he started working with the theatre troupe PASS IT CREW.

He went on to create his own theatre troupe in 2003 but disbanded it in 2006.

That disbandment hit Asanuma pretty hard that, after that news, didn’t know what to do. Upon suggestion by one of his friends, he decided to challenge himself and try to be a voice actor.

Little did he know that it was the start of an amazing journey for him.

Seiyuu

Shintaro Asanuma made an incredibly late debut as a voice actor – in comparison to most seiyuu of his age -, only joining the industry in 2006.

He’s an example of the “never give up and follow your dreams” mentality as he decided to join the industry when most seiyuu of his age are already in past their prime.

And what did his hard work and talent led him to? Success and popularity as a seiyuu, being one of the most respected seiyuu in the industry.

2006 – 2009

Against all odds

After going for a couple of auditions and failing those, the time came for Asanuma to finally get a role.

That opportunity appeared in 2006 and the role was Kyo Sogoru in the underrated sci-fi mecha anime series, Zegapain.

Kyo Sogoru

Kyo is the series’ enthusiastic and reckless protagonist that puts upon himself the herculean task of saving people from two different dimensions.

This was Asanuma’s first-ever leading role in anime, a role that, to this day, he holds dear to himself.

It was the role that started his journey as a voice actor.

2007 would end up being quite the surprising and lead role-packed year for Shintaro Asanuma.

Yoshiyuki Sakurai

He was cast as Yoshiyuki Sakurai in the romance/harem anime series D.C.II: Da Capo II. Sakurai is the series’ caring – yet oblivious when it comes to romance – protagonist.

While not a standout anime in the season it aired, Asanuma made sure that Sakurai was a likable protagonist, with his voice being able to flesh out the caring side to the character.

Daisuke Kusuriya

Soon after, he was cast as Daisuke Kusuriya in the sci-fi anime series Mushi-Uta.

Despite its unique premise, the series seriously lacked in pacing and had an extremely contrived story that, for the most part, went unexplained as the series wrapped up.

Still, Asanuma’s performance as Kusuriya was praised, with particular focus in the first episode that kicked everything off with a bang.

Yousuke Kirie

Wrapping up 2007, he was cast as Yousuke Kirie in the sci-fi/psychological anime series Bokura no.

The series features a 15 character main cast, something that, in a way, hinders the overall time spent fleshing out each character’s backstory and their intention as they fight for Earth and themselves.

Even so, in the few times that Kirie got its screentime, Asanuma made sure viewers would pay attention to the character and its struggles and internal dilemmas.

Crow Hogan

2008 would kick off with yet another main role in anime. This time around, Asanuma was cast as the selfless and impulsive Crow Hogan in Yu☆Gi☆Oh! 5D’s.

Junpei Kousaka

In 2009, Asanuma was cast as Junpei Kousaka in the ecchi/harem anime Nyan Koi!.

Even though the main anime genres attached to this series, it is its comedic elements that stood out for the viewers.

Kousaka finds himself in predicament after destroying a statue of a cat deity. Ironically allergic to cats, he gains the ability to communicate with them, having to fulfill 100 wishes of theirs, otherwise, he’ll be cursed.

Asanuma showcased not only his voice acting skills but also his comedic side, making Kousaka a likable, naturally funny character.

During this period of time, other anime series in which he voiced characters include:

  • Ouran High School Host Club (2006)
  • xxxHOLiC (2006)
  • Kamichama Karin (2007)
  • Ghost Hound (2007)
  • Minami-ke (2007)
  • Nodame Cantabile: Paris Arc (2008)
  • Gintama (2009)

2010 – 2015

Building a solid repertoire

The first 4 years in Asanuma’s career as a voice actor were filled with main roles, even if he did not have a consistent stream, and roles per year were kept below 9.

However, for a seiyuu just starting out – and starting a career that late – it was an achievement.

2010 kicked off pretty quietly for him however he’d score the leading role in the slice-of-life/comedy anime Seitokai Yakuindomo.

Takatoshi Tsuda

He was cast as Takatoshi Tsuda, student that transfers to a formerly all-girls school.

Due to the lack of male representatives, he’s chosen to join the student council and hijinks ensue.

The series is big about its adult humor, with many of the jokes being of sexual tone, however, the scenes and interactions between the characters were well handled, making the humor work and never once sound overly done or repetitive.

Asanuma was back in the middle of a series with comedy at its core and his performance did not disappoint. His reactions felt incredibly genuine, the delivery of the character’s lines was smooth and natural.

The series was well-received, spawning 2 seasons, 2 OVA compilations, and 2 movies.

Watashi

Still in the same year, Asanuma was cast as Watashi in the mind-bending anime The Tatami Galaxy.

The anime adapted the novel of the same name by Tomihiko Morimi and is still considered one of the best anime series airing in Japan in the past decade.

Watashi is stuck in a time loop, experiencing the first 2 years of university for the first time, always joining different clubs and meeting new people.

Stuck in that loop, he tries to experience the rose-colored campus life he always dreamed of.

Kaito Daimon

2011 kicked off strongly with a massive role in the puzzle-solving anime Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle. He voiced the series’ blunt, genius protagonist, Kaito Daimon.

This was a role that put Asanuma in the spotlight in the middle of a vastly experienced cast that included Takahiro Sakurai, Akira Ishida, and Takehito Koyasu, just to name a few.

At the same time, it was an opportunity to stray a bit away from the protagonist roles he’d been getting up until then in romcoms. The tone in Phi Brain was different and more serious which was perfect to showcase another dimension to Asanuma’s voice acting skills.

The anime would go on to spawn 3 seasons (2011 – 2014).

Kazuma Hoshino

Not soon after, Asanuma was back to romcom/ecchi series, getting the role as the gentlemanly Kazuma Hoshino in Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi.

2012 kicked once again strongly, something that has been common for Asanuma pretty much since the start of his career as a seiyuu.

Takumu Mayuzumi

He joined the main cast of the sci-fi anime series Accel World.

He voiced the well-mannered and extremely intelligent Takumu Mayuzumi, character that goes through quite the transformation throughout the series.

Sakaki Inui

Sakaki Inui in the slice-of-life comedy anime Acchi Kocchi was the following role in Asanuma’s repertoire.

Although not the leading character, Inui plays an important part in the dynamics of the main group of characters with which he’s friends with.

Toshikazu Asagi

After a couple of years without voicing characters in mecha anime, Shintaro Asanuma was back at it with his main role as Toshikazu Asagi in the sci-fi/mecha series Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince.

As far as first impressions go, Asagi doesn’t give the best one.

He’s quick to jump into a fight, gets angered easily, and is cocky about himself and his skills as a fighter. However, as the series progresses, he shows that he cares about and recognizes the talent of others.

Asanuma delivered a nuanced performance that captured all those traits and sounded believable right from the start. You couldn’t really “hate” the character because there was so much more to it that was being “shown” by his performance.

Izayoi Sakamaki

He was then cast as Izayoi Sakamaki, the protagonist in the supernatural anime series Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?.

Sakamaki is a powerful psychic with a high level of intelligence, some shades of arrogance on top of an unpredictable personality.

This character is considered by many, one of the most overpowered protagonists in action anime, being able to solve battles pretty quickly, destroying his opponents on the spot.

Sakamaki is easily one of the most popular characters Asanuma has voiced in his career up until now and his performance is still pointed out as one of the various reasons the character is that beloved.

Youichi Kuramochi

However, if there is a character that is almost synonymous with Shintaro Asanuma is Youichi Kuramochi in the popular sports anime Diamond no Ace.

Kuramochi has a delinquent-like demeanor and is a prankster at heart, making sure newbies get the same “treatment” he got when he joined the team.

However and despite that, Kuramochi is actually caring and quite observant of those around him, being a reliable member of the team that spots problems before those get too big to solve.

From the iconic GYAHAHA laugh to the comedic moments and serious bits, Asanuma delivered, from 2013 – 2020 – one of his most memorable performances in anime as the voice of Kuramochi.

Kousaku Hata

2014 arrived and with it came yet another comedy/slice-of-life/ecchi anime for Asanuma’s repertoire. He was cast as the kind yet childish protagonist Kousaku Hata in Nourin.

Nishiki Nishio

Another role that has marked Asanuma’s career is Nishiki Nishio in the popular horror/psychological anime Tokyo Ghoul.

Nishio is a ghoul that does not trust humans nor ghouls, thus acting as a “lone wolf” for a big chunk of the series’ 1st season.

He comes across as arrogant and is often found taunting his enemies using foul language. Despite all of this, he’s incredibly loyal to the point that he is willing to sacrifice himself for those he loves.

Asanuma fleshed out the conflicting emotions in Nishio and gave him the necessary depth that made the character memorable in its own right.

Due to its popularity, the series went to spawn 4 seasons.

After packed years since his debut as a seiyuu, 2015 provided a bit of a breather for Asanuma. He only got a couple of supporting roles and reprised his roles in Diamond no Ace and Tokyo Ghoul’s 2nd seasons.

Nagi Arisuin

Out of the supporting roles he got in that year, his performance as the kind-hearted and analytical Nagi Arisuin in the ecchi and fantasy anime Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry.

During this period of time, other anime series in which he voiced characters include:

  • The Betrayal Knows My Name (2010)
  • Beelzebub (2011)
  • Sket Dance (2011)
  • One Piece (2012)
  • Zetsuen no Tempest (2012)
  • PSYCHO-PASS (2013)
  • Cuticle Detective Inaba (2013)
  • JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken (2013)
  • Hamatora (2014)
  • Isshuukan Friends. (2014)
  • Nobunaga Concerto (2014)
  • Baby Steps (2014)
  • Akame ga Kill! (2014)
  • Gundam Reconguista in G (2014)
  • Assassination Classroom (2015)
  • K RETURN OF KINGS (2015)

2016 –

Slowing down while maintaining his popularity

After a decade of success and a whole lot of work in the seiyuu industry and it was time for Asanuma to start slowing down a bit.

And that was exactly what happened. Starting from 2016, Asanuma has drastically reduced the number of anime series he’s cast in and the number of leading roles he gets per year has also dropped.

Daru

2016 kicked off with a leading role in the short anime series Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows.

Asanuma voiced Daru, the cat that plays a narrator role in the series.

A year later and he was back to voicing a lead character in an ecchi anime series.

Junichi Hashiba

He was cast as Junichi Hashiba in Hajimete no Gal.

Contrary to previous characters that Asanuma had voiced before in other ecchi/romance series, Junichi Hashiba ended up being a generic protagonist with little to no depth, leading to viewers not caring about him nor paying attention o Asanuma’s performance.

Seiji Hayami

In 2018 was a pretty quiet year for Asanuma, counting only with 4 roles, 3 of those supporting ones.

A standout role in that year was Seiji Hayami in the magic/romance anime series Cutie Honey Universe.

Masaki Takigawa

The big role of the year was as Masaki Takigawa in the sports anime Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudoubu.

Takigawa is a mysterious, refined man with a laidback personality that works as a shrine priest but is also an experienced archer that ends up helping out the series’ protagonist and their archery club.

Ugetsu Murata

Although not a main character, Asanuma’s performance as Ugetsu Murata in the popular music/BL anime Given is worth mention for how impressive it was.

The cast from the drama CDs was replaced for its anime adaptation so Asanuma took over Atsushi Tamaru‘s performance as Ugetsu – already impressive in the drama CDs – and took it one step further and gave his own flair to the character.

Ugetsu is a world-renowned violinist with a gentle, friendly personality.

However, his close ties to Kaji Akihiko end up getting messy the more ambiguous and physical their relationship goes to the point that things escalation emotionally.

The mix of cinematic anime directing and the performance by Asanuma rendered everyone to tears later on in Given Movie (2020).

Leo Tsukinaga

Ensemble Stars!, an idol grooming smartphone game, was adapted to anime and with it, all groups in the franchise up until then got their chance to shine and put a smile on their fans’ faces.

Still in 2019, Shintaro Asanuma reprised his role as Knights’ Leo Tsukinaga in the anime adaptation of Ensemble Stars!!.

Leo Tsukinaga is a genius composer with a passionate and pure personality that irradiates happiness.

He can be loud and a bit eccentric at times, something that may throw off some characters in the series that aren’t used to interacting with him.

Itaru Chigasaki

2020 kicked off with Asanuma reprising his role as Spring Troupe‘s Itaru Chigasaki in A3! Season Spring & Summer, anime adaptation of the popular smartphone game, A3!.

Asanuma made sure to pretty much follow his performances in the game however adding even more quality in the anime adaptation.

Takuboku Ishikawa

He was cast as Takuboku Ishikawa in the mystery/historical anime series Kitsutsuki Tanteidokoro.

Samatoki Aohitsugi

One of the most buzzworthy roles of the year for Asanuma in 2020 was, undoubtedly, his reprisal of Samatoki Aohitsugi in the anime adaptation of the Hypnosis Mic franchise, Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle – Rhyme Anima.

During this period of time, other anime series in which he voiced characters include:

  • Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru- (2016)
  • Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 2nd Season (2016)
  • Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut (2016)
  • Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 2nd Season (2016)
  • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Souma: The Third Plate (2017)
  • Violet Evergarden (2018)
  • Carole & Tuesday (2019)
  • ACTORS -Songs Connection- (2019)

Awards

In 2019, at the 13th Seiyuu Awards, Shintaro Asanuma and the main cast of Hypnosis Mic received the Singing Award.

Asanuma did not attend the ceremony. In representation of Hypnosis Mic were Subaru Kimura, Show Hayami, Kouhei Amasaki, Yukihiro Nozuyama, Ryuichi Kijima, and Haruki Ishiya.

Radio

In his repertoire, Shintaro Asanuma has a couple of credits in radio work.

Asanuma’s conversations flow smoothly in solo or co-hosting settings. Due to his natural welcoming demeanor, guests sound comfortable at all times, and his quick wits and ad-lib skills often lead to laidback, fun, and unexpectedly hilarious banter.

His first work in radio was in 2007 with Radio Da Capo II ~ Hatsunejima Diary ~.

Shintaro Asanuma and Ken Washizaki’s Shishunki ga owarimasen

From 2014 to 2017, alongside Ken Washizaki, Shintaro Asanuma co-hosted the radio show Shintaro Asanuma and Ken Washizaki’s “Shishunki ga owarimasen”.

Years later, the duo would launch a radio show stemming from that one.

Shishunki ga owarimasen!!” premiered in 2018 and it has been, since then, an active radio show in which there’s a lot of talk about past experiences, passions, and everything pertaining to adolescence.

Other radio shows he’s guested, hosted/co-hosted include:

  • Seitokai Yakuindomo radio (2012)
  • Phi Brain Radio – Marconi no Shougo – (2012 – 2014)
  • Zetsuen no Tempest web radio (2012)
  • MJP Sannen Radio (2013)
  • TNR Channel No-Rin Radio!! (2014)
  • Cyborg 009 VS Devilman VS Radio (2017)

Games

As far as games go, Shintaro Asanuma does have a pretty robust repertoire.

He’s commonly found voicing characters in action and RPG games. He’s also got some roles in otome games such as Tsukikage no Kusari: Sakuran Paranoia – and Shinigami Kagyou ~Kaidan Romance~.

Some of the games he’s best known for include:

Leo Tsukinaga in Ensemble Stars! (2015 – 2019) / Ensemble Stars!! Basic / Music (2020 -)

Ensemble Stars!! is a story-driven game – also with a rhythm game component since 2020 with the launch of the dual game Ensemble Stars!! Basic / Music – that easily shot to popularity with its solid story and rich music released outside of the game.

In the game, Shintaro Asanuma voices the eccentric and loud leader of the unit Knights, Leo Tsukinaga.

Itaru Chigasaki in A3! (2017 -)

In 2017, Asanuma was cast as Itaru Chigasaki in the popular smartphone game A3!. Itaru is a reliable and polite individual as a professional, however, there’s a different side to himself, a gap that only shows when he’s playing games.

Asanuma’s performance made the kindness and refreshing vibe of Itaru’s shine and, at the same time, the violent, sometimes crude way in which he addresses others when he’s playing games as a perfect contrast. To top it all off, it showed just how versatile Asanuma is as a voice actor.

Itaru is the most popular character in the A3! franchise.

Samatoki Aohitsugi in Hypnosis Mic – Alternative Rap Battle – (2020 -)

Samatoki Aohitsugi

Asanuma reprised his role as MAD TRIGGER CREW‘s Samatoki in the smartphone game, Hypnosis Mic – Alternative Rap Battle –.

The game features a short introductory story for each crew, with Samatoki’s search for his sister, the happenings on the streets of Yokohama, and the situations in which his syndicate, as well as the members of MAD TRIGGER CREW, get highlighted in all story parts.

Other games he’s voice characters in include:

  • Street Fighter V
  • Zegapain XOR
  • Xenoblade Chronicles
  • Tokyo Xanadu
  • Super Robot Wars UX
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Omega Quintet
  • Touken Ranbu
  • Dragalia Lost
  • Shadowverse
  • Borderlands 3
  • Tokyo Ghoul: re 【CALL to EXIST】

Acting/Directing

A graduate from Tama Art University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Art Studies (Video department) in 2000, Asanuma quickly started to shine as an actor, director, and playwright for the theatre troupe PASS IT CREW.

He then went on to create his own theatre troupe in 2003, TOON BULLETS!, but disbanded it in 2006. That disbandment left Asanuma temporarily without knowing what to do next.

He decided to try out voice acting and he sure has met success in that field but he’s never forgotten his roots and keeps doing work as an actor, director, and playwright.

In 2007, he joined bpm, a theatre troupe that, up to the time this Seiyuu Digest was written, is active.

While active in theatre, Asanuma was also working as a film director, wrote scripts for radio dramas, events, games, and copy (scripts optimized for sales with “call to action”) for TV commercials.

He’s best known for writing and directing the Kuroshitsuji 〜 sono shitsuji, yuukou 〜 (2009), Persona 4 stage play (2012), Daiya no A The LIVE 1/2/3/4 (2015 – 2017), AD-LIVE. (2016), between many more theatre plays and musicals.

  • AD-LIVE 2017 cast
  • AD-LIVE 2016 cast

Aside from helping with the production and directing of AD-LIVE’s shows, Shintaro Asanuma has actually participated several times as an actor in the improvisation plays that have managed to steal plenty of laughs from his fans.

Narration / Dubbing

When it comes to narration, Asanuma is commonly found lending his voice to TV commercials. He’s got over 25 credits to his name.

As for dubbing, Asanuma is the official voice of Nicholas Hoult in Japan.

As a result, he has dubbed the actor in movies such as Dark Phoenix, The Banker, X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and X-Men: First Class.

Although not official, he is also commonly dubbing the characters in movies/series in which the actor/singer Hutch Dano portrays.

Some of his credits in dubbing include:

  • Fright Night
  • Glee
  • Cinderella
  • Scream 4
  • Constantine
  • Drake & Josh
  • CSI
  • EUPHORIA
  • Peter Rabbit

Drama CDs

Contrary to the trend among male seiyuu, Shintaro Asanuma hasn’t actually done work in original otome drama CDs.

When it comes to this specific field in the seiyuu industry, fans will find Asanuma reprising his roles in anime in the special drama CDs that are released as extras to DVDs or in games.

Some of the drama CDs he’s lent his talents to include:

  • No-Rin
  • Hatoful Boyfriend Drama CDs
  • Hypnosismic -Division Rap Battle (MAD TRIGGER CREW’s CDs and The Dirty Dawg)
  • ZEGAPAIN audio drama
  • D.C.II S.S. ~ Da Capo II Second Season ~
  • PSYCHO-PASS
  • THE IDOLM @ STER 2 Sleeping Princess Volume 1
  • Idol Pretender Drama CD
  • Shakugan no Shana II Vocal & Drama Album

Music

As far as music endeavors go, Shintaro Asanuma has never made a solo debut – nor does he intend to.

Asanuma has mentioned before that despite enjoying going to karaoke, he does not feel comfortable singing in front of a crowd and is aware that his singing skills are not the best.

However, in all performances that he has delivered as part of Knights and Spring Troupe, he’s shone.

And with every performance as part of MAD TRIGGER CREW, he’s made sure he embodied Samatoki and delivered powerful, intense performances.

Knights (2015 -)

Knights

In 2015, he joined the cast of Ensemble Stars! to voice Leo Tsukinaga, Knights‘ leader.

The group counts with Masami Ito, Ryo Kitamura, Reiou Tsuchida, Daiki Yamashita and is known for their regal brand of jazz-pop meets synthwave and being, alongside UNDEAD, the most popular group in the franchise.

The quintet so far has released:

Knights performed live for the first time in 2019 at Ensemble Stars! Starry Stage 2nd in Nippon Budokan.

Spring Troupe (2017 -)

Spring Troupe

In 2017, Asanuma joined the cast for the A3!, game that would end up being a best seller in that same year.

He joined the Spring Troupe, consisting of Kodai Sakai (leader), Yusuke Shirai, Koutaro NishiyamaMasashi Igarashi. A couple of months later, Wataru Hatano joined the group.

Since their debut, the Spring Troupe has released:

  • A3! First SPRING EP (2017)
  • A3! Blooming SPRING EP (2017)
  • A3! VIVID SPRING EP (2018)
  • A3! BRIGHT SPRING EP (2019)
  • A3! SUNNY SPRING EP (2021)

The group performed live for the first time in 2019 at A3! BLOOMING LIVE 2019.

MAD TRIGGER CREW (2017 -)

Known for their incisive and intimidating rap style, MAD TRIGGER CREW quickly turned into a fan favorite crew within the Hypnosis Mic franchise.

With the cast including Shintaro Asanuma (as Samatoki), Shinichiro Kamio (as Rio), and Wataru Komada (as Jyuto), the crew quickly rose in the ranks, catching the attention of those fans of roughened up, dangerous and straightforward rap coming from the perspectives of the unexpected duo including a Yakuza member, a former military member, and a corrupt police officer.

BAYSIDE M.T.C
BAYSIDE M.T.C

The crew made their debut in 2017 with the release of the rough and gritty single, BAYSIDE M.T.C. MAD TRIGGER CREW were dressed in a funky, bassy dark sound, not sparing anyone with their fiery rhymes, raw performances with melancholic and menacing undertones.

After the release of the introductory singles for each crew, Hypnosis Mic kicked off their 1st Battle Season series.

MAD TRIGGER CREW faced Buster Bros!!! in the first round in Buster Bros!!! VS MAD TRIGGER CREW.

hypnosis battle season BB MTC

The mini-album was a huge success much thanks to the voting system for the whole Battle Season that only made it possible to vote if you purchased the CD in physical or digital format. Buster Bros!!! VS MAD TRIGGER CREW was certified Gold by RIAJ in 2018.

After beating Buster Bros!!!, MAD TRIGGER CREW battled against the winners of the Fling Posse vs Matenro battle, Matenro.

MTC MTR

The battle was fierce, something that quickly translated into the massive sales numbers MAD TRIGGER CREW VS Matenro pulled. The album was certified Gold by RIAJ in 2018. MAD TRIGGER CREW ended up losing the battle for Matenro but deserved massive respect for the hard-fought battle.

Enter the Hypnosis Microphone

In 2019, the crew released the hard-hitting Shinogi (Dead Pools), featured in the compilation album, Enter the Hypnosis Microphone.

MAD TRIGGER CREW before br

The crew returned in 2020 with the release of MAD TRIGGER CREW Before The 2nd D.R.B, critically acclaimed album that brought the good vibes of Yokohama while giving us a collection of songs that explore bonds, loyalty, family, what being a true gangster really means in the eyes of this crew. It was a masterful release, easily the best the crew has released so far.

Asanuma performed Gangsta’s Paradise, an intimidating track with quite the awesome old-school hip-hop vibe to it.

In a live setting, MAD TRIGGER CREW is not the most consistent of crews.

Hypnosis mic 4th live (2019)

While their rap is often on point, there are times in which Shintaro Asanuma (leader) stumbles on his lyrics, misses tempo, and even makes the mood of an already moody song – for example, Shinogi (Dead Pools) – sound too boring and soulless.

That may be due to the pressure of performing live because, once again, Asanuma is not comfortable about singing/rapping live.

But when the group is in their best form, they have power and poise that makes a massive impression.

Shinichiro Kamio and Wataru Komada provide the perfect backup, complementing Shintaro Asanuma’s performances by harmonizing and covering for each others’ misses in the performance.

So far the crew has performed live 5 times, although in different contexts.

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, and the, then recently announced, Dotsuitare Honpo and Bad Ass Temple.

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.

In February 2021, the Hypnosis Mic held its 6th live “2nd D.R.B”, with the 3rd battle counting with Fling Posse vs MAD TRIGGER CREW.

After the voting, Fling Posse emerged victorious, taking away the opportunity for MAD TRIGGER CREW to challenge Matenro once more for the title of “King”.

Division All Stars (2017 – )

hypnosis mic division all stars

Division All Stars‘ original lineup consisted of Buster Bros!!!MAD TRIGGER CREW, Fling Posse and Matenro. In 2019, with the addition of Dotsuitare Honpo 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 (group to which Shintaro Asanuma also belongs to).

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 Honpo, 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 Honpo and Bad Ass Temple into the mix, creating Hypnosis Mic -Division Battle Anthem-+.

And in 2020, Division All Stars released the fan favorite, and up until July of the same year, in-game exclusive, Survival of the Illest.

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

Photobooks

So far in his career, Shintaro Asanuma has released 2 personal photobooks and participated in 1 special photo book.

In 2020, he released his 1st photobook “Popcorn“.

In 2021, Shintaro Asanuma was the first voice actor to collaborate with “Gekkan” series to release a special photobook. 

月刊浅沼晋太郎×小林裕和 (Gekkan Shintaro Asanuma) was created in collaboration with “Gekkan”, photobook series best known for covering actors and idols in Japan.

This is a collaboration work produced by photographer Hirokazu Kobayashi (best known as the photographer for One Fine Trip and Kimitabi male seiyuu travel photobooks) and Shintaro Asanuma.

  • Shintaro Asanuma POPCORN'n POP
  • Shintaro Asanuma POPCORN'n POP

Still in 2021, Shintaro Asanuma released his 2nd photobook “POPCORN’n POP“.

Variety

Shintaro Asanuma is a natural – and seems the most comfortable – when it comes to variety shows regardless if he is participating in or hosting those.

He’s naturally funny and quick-witted, something that leads more often than not to crazy shenanigans and hilarious moments, especially when other seiyuu are guesting or participating in the same events as himself.

Ad-libs take over his interventions in variety shows but he’s also able to switch to a professional register and go on and on about his passions, and it’ll be equally interesting and entertaining to watch.

Due to his comfort in front of the camera, Asanuma is often chosen as MC for seiyuu events. Below are just some out of the various – there are a lot – events he’s participated in in recent years.

Monthly Ensemble Studio! (2014 – 2017)

From 2014 to 2017, Shintaro Asanuma was the sole host of Monthly Ensemble Studio!, a monthly broadcast that covers all things Ensemble Stars!, as well as featuring guests from the franchises’ cast to go through challenges to award viewers with original gifts.

In 2017, he stepped away from his position as host, with Shinichiro Kamio and Yuki Ono taking over.

Diamond no Ace All Star game I (2014), II (2016) and III (2018)

As part of the series’ main cast, Asanuma has attended all of Diamond no Ace‘s All Star game events.

This was no simple participation as he made sure that, whenever he was not playing, he was in the commenting pen alongside the event’s MC and Takahiro Sakurai (who also undertook duties as a sarcastic commentator for the duration of the games his team wasn’t playing).

Banpresto/Prebanlab (2017)

Asanuma has guested twice on Banpresto, popular variety show hosted by Kenichi Suzumura and Ryota Osaka.

In 2017, he guested to promote A3! and it ended up being one of the most memorable and chaotic appearances on Banpresto.

Out of the various games that the trio had to play, the “charades with shadows” corner was the funniest and most unique.

Interestingly enough, Asanuma’s vast experience as a director and actor led to him being able to pull off amazing charades like a fashion runaway or even riding a bike.

That was possible because he knows how to use light and movement/distance to his favor in order to fool the human eye into thinking people were actually in movement from far away to close to the camera.

Seiyuu to yo Asobi 2nd season (2019)

In 2019, Shintaro Asanuma was a guest on Seiyuu to yo Asobi‘s Tuesday broadcast co-hosted by Subaru Kimura and Tomoko Kaneda.

The trio participated in several entertaining variety corners, a talk corner, and even some dummyhead mic action.

Natsuki Hanae’s YouTube channel (2019)

Still in the same year, Shintaro Asanuma joined Natsuki Hanae for a playthrough of HOLLOW KNIGHT.

From his “cool voice” narration being cut due to his speed not matching the time the text was on screen to him being surprised by some game mechanics, there was no shortage of fun, endearing and entertaining moments.

Shiraimu channel (2020)

As soon as Yusuke Shirai opened his official YouTube channel, Shintaro Asanuma sent him a message saying that he wanted to guest on it.

And truth is, he was one of the very first guests on Shirai’s channel.

Alongside fellow seiyuu and actor Masashi Igarashi, Shintaro Asanuma guested on Shirai’s channel, played several games, and talked a bit about his life in quarantine following the issuing of a state of emergency in Japan due to a Covid-19 outbreak.

Kitsutsuki Tanteidokoro special talk video (2020)

Kitsutsuki Tanteidokoro cast
Kitsutsuki Tanteidokoro cast

Shintaro Asanuma participated in this special talk video alongside the series’ cast: Takahiro Sakurai, Kenjiro Tsuda, Makoto Furukawa, Soma Saito, Kensho Ono, Yuichiro Umehara, and Yukiya Hayashi.

In this special talk video, Asanuma revealed that, as matter of fact, his mother is a distant relative of the popular Japanese author Takuboku Ishikawa (whom he voiced in the anime series).

Hypnosis Mic -Division Variety Battle @ ABEMA (2020)

Hypnosis Mic -Division Variety Battle @ ABEMA

Still in 2020, Shintaro Asanuma participated in Hypnosis Mic -Division Variety Battle @ ABEMA alongside fellow MAD TRIGGER CREW members Wataru Komada and Shinichiro Kamio.

The variety show included impromptu rap battles, information corner – on the latest Hypnosis Mic news -, and a Super Difficult Love Trial! Division Pressure Q, a variety challenge in which both crews in attendance on a given episode had to face each other in a difficult quiz.

Hypnosis Mic Division Study Guide (2021)

In July 2021, Asanuma participated alongside MAD TRIGGER CREW’s Wataru Komada and Shinichiro Kamio in the AbemaTV exclusive show Hypnosis Mic Division Study Guide.

The show is all about making it simple for newcomers to get into Hypnosis Mic by explaining a bit of each character’s background and intentions, the group’s dynamics as well as talk about the music (with some games in the mix).

Seiyuu Pajama Party in SUMMER!!!! (2021)

In September 2021, Shintaro Asanuma participated in Seiyuu Pajama Party in SUMMER!!!! event broadcasted via AbemaTV.

He participated in this talk show alongside Hiroki Yasumoto, Shouta Aoi, Showtaro Morikubo, Takuya Sato, KISHOW, Nobunaga Shimazaki, and Daisuke Namikawa.

Facts

Never had voice acting training

Despite what some people may think, truth is, Shintaro Asanuma never had voice acting training in his life. He never attended a voice acting school.

However, in order to bridge that gap in skills and experience to other seiyuu – those with academic and/or vocational school training in voice acting -, Asanuma worked extra hard, learning from each experience he had in the industry as well as by paying close attention to other seiyuu working alongside him.

Ad-lib master

His experience as a playwright and actor has enabled him with the skills to master ad-libs. He’s well known in the seiyuu industry for working as well with a script as he does without following it.

Quite possibly due to that, Asanuma is often called to be MC for events related to anime, games, or music projects he’s linked to. When it comes to ad-libbing and hosting, he really is among the most natural and impressive seiyuu.

A senpai in life however a kouhai in the industry

Despite his age, Shintaro Asanuma is actually a junior in comparison to most seiyuu active in the seiyuu industry and under 30 years old.

That ends up being refreshing for him, as Asanuma looks for every opportunity he can to learn from the best. And for him, age and gender don’t stop him from admiring all the talents in the industry.

Loves Lupin III and anything Disney related

Asanuma has mentioned in a couple of interviews for seiyuu magazines that one of his all-time favorite anime series is Lupin III. He grew up watching it and holds it really fondly.

At the same time, he loves Disney’s movies – animation and live-action – and makes sure not to miss one.

Respects Takahiro Sakurai a whole lot

When it comes to seiyuu that he’s friends with, Shintaro Asanuma does have a big list however, there is one seiyuu that stands out and that’s from the way Asanuma refers to him.

“Takahiro Sakurai sensei” is how Shintaro Asanuma refers to the popular seiyuu and close friend of his.

He mentioned in an interview that he respects Sakurai’s craft as a voice actor (with 25 years of career under his belt) and admires the way he tackles the different roles he embraces.

Naturally playful, ends up teasing other seiyuu a lot

If Asanuma is hosting a show/event it is certain that he’ll end up teasing someone.

While he was the main host for Monthly Ensemble Studio!, all guests were on the receiving end of playful teasing from him. Wataru Hatano, Yoshiki Nakajima, Shinichiro Kamio, Soma Saito, and more were some of the victims on that show.

During events such as Diamond no Ace All Star game he took upon commentary duties when he wasn’t playing and his funny remarks and teasing helped not only break the ice for some seiyuu that were nervous but also ended up leading to hilarious banter.

Regardless of the event, Asanuma’s friendly and playful personality takes over and always leads to funny shenanigans and budding teasing.

A man of many talents

Besides being a writer, director, playwright, copywriter, narrator, actor, and seiyuu, Shintaro Asanuma still finds the free time to dedicate to another talent and passion of his: design.

On several occasions, Asanuma has put his creative vein into t-shirt designs. Those went on sale on Collective Store, online store focused on selling athletic apparel.


With this THTFHQ wraps 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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