Seiyuu Digest #94 – Daisuke Hirakawa

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One of the gentlest, yet most powerful voices among seiyuu. A versatile yet underappreciated talent. A master in dubbing and narration. It is time to dive into Daisuke Hirakawa’s career.

Daisuke Hirakawa
Daisuke Hirakawa

Daisuke Hirakawa

KANJI: 平川大輔

BORN: 04/06/1973

OCCUPATION: Voice actor, narrator, singer

HEIGHT: 167cm

Daisuke Hirakawa was born on June 4, 1973, in Niigata and is currently freelance.

Seiyuu

Since young, Daisuke Hirakawa loved to entertain children, be it his relatives or his friends’ children. Because of that, he wanted to become a nursery teacher. However, he thought that another good way to make the day of children would be to become an actor, in this case, a voice actor.

And with that in mind, young Daisuke Hirakawa pursued a career in voice acting, enrolling in Katsuta Voice Actor Gakuin and, later on, graduating from there.

1998 – 2003

The initial struggles

Hirakawa made his debut as seiyuu in 1998, when he was 25 years old, with a minor role in the anime series “Grander Musashi RV”.

After getting this role, young Hirakawa struggled to get a solid stream of minor roles in anime series, having to wait until 2004 to get his big break as a voice actor.

During this period of time, he voiced characters in the following anime series:

  • GTO (1999)
  • Ayashi no Ceres (2000)
  • I My Me! Strawberry Eggs (2001)
  • Grappler Baki: Saidai Tournament-hen (2001)
  • Hunter x Hunter: Greed Island (2003)
  • Papuwa (2003)

2004 – 2007

The turning point

After 5 frustrating years in which it seemed that making it in the voice acting industry was impossible for him, Hirakawa finally got his big break.

Franz

He was cast as Franz in the drama anime series “Gankutsuou” (Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo).

According to Hirakawa’s interview for Seiyuu Grandprix in 2019, this is one of the two roles he’s thankful for, in his career, one he mentions was responsible for being a turning point in his career as a voice actor.

Up until here, Hirakawa had been struggling and seeing voice acting getting further and further away from him. Getting this role and the opportunity to have more lines than usual by being the main character’s best friend proved to be what he needed.

And while Hirakawa had actually auditioned to be Albert, he ended up failing that audition and was, instead invited to voice Franz. Little did he know at that time that this role would be the one responsible for his career to take off.

Senbonzakura

Still in the same year, Hirakawa got a role in the hit shounen anime series, BLEACH. He was cast as the voice of Senbonzakura, Byakuya’s sword.

Hayato Akaba

2005 kicked off with a supporting role in the sports anime series Eyeshield 21. He was cast as Hayato Akaba, the calm and collected, and intelligent tight end for the Bando Spiders.

Haruma Kawagoe

In 2006, Hirakawa was back to voicing a leading character in an anime series. He was cast as Haruma Kawagoe in the comedy anime series, Chocotto Sister.

Sora

A year later, he was cast as Sora, supporting character in the popular shounen anime series, Naruto: Shippuuden. Sora is a monk in training with strong trust issues.

Showing his true feelings was something that his surroundings had affected. Throughout the story, he comes across Naruto and things change in his life.

Hirakawa went for an interesting performance for Sora, making him understood – even when he was rude to some characters. You could feel that the way Sora interacted had trauma at its core.

Makoto Itou

He was then cast as Makoto Itou, the calm and collected protagonist in the drama anime series School Days.

Julio Chesare

Still in the same year, Hirakawa was cast as Julio Chesare, a supporting character in the anime series “Zero no Tsukaima: Futatsuki no Kishi“.

Other anime series in he’s voiced characters include:

  • Kurau Phantom Memory (2004)
  • BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (2004)
  • School Rumble (2004)
  • SHUFFLE! (2005)
  • JINKI:EXTEND (2005)
  • Transformers Galaxy Force (2005)
  • Fuujin Monogatari (2005)
  • Okusama wa Mahou Shoujo (2005)
  • UG☆Ultimate Girls (2005)
  • Kekkaishi (2006)
  • Kodai Ouja Kyouryuu King (2007)
  • Getsumen To Heiki Mina (2007)
  • Mushi-Uta (2007)

2008 – 2009

Making a name for himself

Now that Hirakawa was starting to get more opportunities to showcase his talents as well as his warm low baritone/bass voice, he was ready to make a name for himself.

Naoki Irie

He was cast as Naoki Irie, male protagonist in the classic romance anime series, Itazura na Kiss.

He is incredibly smart, a genius with an IQ of 200. Due to being a genius, his life never had any challenges and, until he met Kotoko – the female protagonist -, he had never experienced jealousy.

This is, easily, one of the most beloved roles by Daisuke Hirakawa, a performance filled with love and care even if under the guise of coldness.

This role would further solidify the fact that Hirakawa was a voice actor well worth checking out as well as being on more anime series.

2009 was a quieter year, more focused on dubbing than on voice acting. When 2010 kicked off,

Other anime series in he’s voiced characters include:

  • Shigofumi (2008)
  • Kodai Ouja Kyouryuu King: Yokuryuu Densetsu (2008)
  • Mnemosyne: Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi (2008)
  • School Days: Magical Heart Kokoro-chan (2008)
  • Neo Angelique Abyss (2008)
  • Monochrome Factor (2008)
  • Neo Angelique Abyss: Second Age (2008)
  • The Sky Crawlers (2008)
  • Hayate no Gotoku!! (2009)
  • Shangri-La (2009)
  • Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile – Episode: Denzel (2009)

2010 – 2016

Reliability and quality open the doors to more projects

Now that Hirakawa had the opportunity to have his big break, made the best of it, and followed up with anime projects that highlighted his skills, it was time to solidify his stance in the seiyuu industry.

Yuuto Amakawa

2010 kicked off with several leading roles. He was cast as Yuuto Amakawa in the anime series “Omamori Himari“.

One of the things that will instantly stand out in this series is how gentle and kind Amakawa is.

Given Hirakawa’s track record of characters sharing the same traits, it was safe to say that he started being typecast as the “calm and collected” and “gentle” type of character.

While not necessarily a bad thing (it is actually a specialization) it was the start of Hirakawa’s turn to darker, devious characters that apparently are “calm and collected” and “gentle” but more twisted than you’d expect.

Muneakira Yagyuu

He was then cast in Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls as Muneakira Yagyuu, the series’ caring, and kind samurai protagonist.

Irvine

Hirakawa was then cast as Irvine in the mecha/action theatrical anime movie “Soukou Kihei Votoms: Case;Irvine“.

Hayato Aozora

He was then cast as the rational, polite, and composed Hayato Aozora in the anime series “Starry☆Sky“. Despite his calm demeanor, he can be extremely frightening if angered (something that happens a couple of times throughout the series).

He’s a talented pianist however he lacks confidence in his skills, especially after all the confidence that his family puts in his skills.

Ace

In 2011, Hirakawa was cast as Ace, Knight of Hearts in the anime adaptation of the otome game “Heart no Kuni no Alice: Wonderful Wonder World“.

Suguru Oomi

One of the biggest roles in this period of time is that of the polite and extremely gentle Suguru Oomi in the anime adaptation of the popular otome game, “Hiiro no Kakera” (2012).

Hirakawa’s performance added a grounded and welcoming vibe to Oomi, making him a character fans enjoyed seeing on the screen.

Due to his righteousness, he ends up betraying some characters in the series. He ended up reprising this role again in Hiiro no Kakera 2 (also in 2012).

2013 was, quite possibly, the biggest year so far in Hirakawa’s career. From otome game adaptations to popular sports anime series, he was everywhere.

Akari Dezart

He was then cast in Karneval as Akari Dezart, a proud and insanely talented scientist with quite the bouts of insensitivity and tactless remarks about others.

While he is idolized by many, he is indifferent to them.

This role brought Hirakawa’s deep voice and ability to remove emotion from his acting – to fit a character – to the spotlight. While the anime series was far from brilliant, Akari stands out for Hirakawa’s performance.

Ukyo Asahina

He then reprised his role as Ukyo Asahina in the anime adaptation of the popular – albeit controversial – otome game series, BROTHERS CONFLICT.

Ukyo acts as everyone’s older brother. He has a gentle and caring demeanor that makes others feel comfortable around him.

Laito Sakamaki

The extreme sadist and pervert Laito Sakamaki was now on the small screen after DIABOLIK LOVERS got its anime adaptation in 2013.

Rei Ryugazaki

The biggest role of the year was, undoubtedly, Rei Ryugazaki in the popular sports anime series “Free!“.

Intelligent, logical, and extremely weak to “beautiful” things, Ryugazaki has a tendency to overlook “fun” and “enjoyment” when swimming.

Hirakawa went on to reprise this role for 2 anime seasons, a prequel, a side story, and 2 movies.

Noriaki Kakyouin

2014 kicked off with yet another awesome role, this time in a cult classic anime franchise. Hirakawa was cast as Noriaki Kakyouin in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders.

Kakyouin is violent and cruel but extremely loyal to his companions. This was a role that showed that there is much more to Hirakawa’s range as well as emotions as an actor. Those that watch the series end up liking Kakyouin and his mature yet intense vibe.

Youichi Tanaka

Still in the same year, Hirakawa voiced Youichi Tanaka in the romance anime series “Ao Haru Ride“. Youichi is the older brother of the series’ male protagonist Kou Tanaka.

He is an English teacher and cares a lot about his students, serving as well as an older brother they can confide in.

Rei Sagara

He was then cast as Rei Sagara in the romance anime series Love Stage!!. Sagara is a hard worker and a serious manager.

He refuses to sugarcoat his words, ending up coming across as blunt or even aggressive at times.

Shiki Natsumezaka

In 2015, Hirakawa had a couple of role reprisals as well as new leading roles.

In the fall season, he voiced the mischievous and destructive Shiki Natsumezaka in the musical/romance anime series “Dance with Devils“.

Due to its unique format – being the first musical-style anime – it means that you can expect Hirakawa to showcase both his acting for emotionally complex characters as well as his singing skills.

Frankenstein

Kicking off 2016 was a role as the loyal and calculative Frankenstein in the supernatural OVA series Noblesse: Awakening.

He would then reprise this role in the anime adaptation that aired in 2020.

Other anime series in he’s voiced characters include:

  • Tono to Issho (2010)
  • Koisuru Boukun (2010)
  • Megane na Kanojo (2010)
  • Beelzebub (2011)
  • Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas – Meiou Shinwa 2 (2011)
  • Yu☆Gi☆Oh! Zexal (2011)
  • Usagi Drop (2011)
  • No.6 (2011)
  • Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon (2011)
  • Kono Danshi, Uchuujin to Tatakaemasu. (2011)
  • Finder Series (2012)
  • Shirokuma Cafe (2012)
  • Hyouka (2012)
  • Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 (2012)
  • Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic (2012)
  • Maoyuu Maou Yuusha (2013)
  • Kuro to Kin no Akanai Kagi. (2013)
  • Diamond no Ace (2013)
  • Futago no Mahoutsukai Lico to Gli (2013)
  • Hoozuki no Reitetsu (2014)
  • Tiger & Bunny Movie 2: The Rising (2014)
  • Log Horizon 2nd Season (2014)
  • Kamisama Hajimemashita (2015)
  • Aldnoah.Zero Part 2 (2015)
  • Ame-iro Cocoa (2015)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (2015)
  • Ajin Part 1: Shoudou (2015)
  • Prince of Stride: Alternative (2016)
  • Berserk (2016)
  • Handa-kun (2016)

2017 –

From sought-after seiyuu to cult seiyuu

Things started to quiet down around 2017.

What used to be a year packed with leading and supporting roles gradually went back to more supporting roles and minor ones, until more recently in which he barely gets roles in anime.

Saint-Germain

2017 had a strong role ready for Daisuke Hirakawa to reprise: the mysterious Saint-Germain in Code:Realize – Sousei no Himegimi, an adaptation of the popular otome game of the same name.

He ended up reprising this role in 2018 for the OVA.

Enmu

In 2019, Hirakawa was back with a supporting role in a massively popular shounen anime series. He voiced Enmu in Kimetsu no Yaiba.

Lucien

A year later, he reprised his role as Lucien/Simon in the romance anime series Koi to Producer: EVOL×LOVE.

The detached scientist was finally animated and with that, Hirakawa’s performance got more intense, being complemented by the actions of what was a solid animation job.

The anime however was a mess story-wise, mixing hits and bits of each of the 4 male protagonists and quickly triggering the final stages of the story.

This is something that instead of raising the stakes only seemed like there was no genuine care for what is a rather mysterious story with a good build-up.

2021 was all about supporting roles in anime series such as Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen, Isekai Shokudou 2, Peach Boy Riverside, Dragon, Ie wo Kau. and Hataraku Saibou Black.

Kentarou Sanada

In 2022, Daisuke Hirakawa was cast as Kentaro Sanada, one of the 6 middle-aged characters part of the main cast of the music/idol anime series Eternal Boys.

Other anime series in he’s voiced characters include:

  • Fuuka (2017)
  • Gin no Guardian (2017)
  • Starmyu 2nd Season (2017)
  • Infini-T Force (2017)
  • Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (2018)
  • Devils Line (2018)
  • Captain Tsubasa (2018)
  • Nobunaga no Shinobi: Anegawa Ishiyama-hen (2018)
  • Hoozuki no Reitetsu 2nd Season: Sono Ni (2018)
  • Overlord III (2018)
  • Bungou Stray Dogs 3rd Season (2019)
  • Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Seiran 1 (2019)
  • Taisou Zamurai (2020)
  • Great Pretender (2020)
  • 6 Lovers (2021)
  • Star Wars: Visions (2021)
  • Platinum End (2021)
  • Lupin III: Part 6 (2021)
  • Shoot! Goal to the Future (2022)
  • Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Sakubou (2022)

Radio

Radio shows hosted, co-hosted, or with Daisuke Hirakawa as a guest are almost immediately soothing. Hirakawa brings his older brother vibe to radio shows and more than makes his sweet, gentle voice almost lullaby listeners.

He’s not the type of seiyuu to go crazy on his solo radio shows. Instead, he focuses on what he can do to better the days of his fans by helming “healing” radio shows or even a travel radio show.

You can expect him to be extremely warm and welcoming to guests and co-hosts. When he guests on a radio show, he tends to be quite shy and, at times, even quiet, taking time to listening to everyone else around him.

Some of the radio shows he has hosted/co-hosted include:

Hirakawa Daisuke no Housou jiko 3-byou mae (2009 -)

Hirakawa’s first-ever solo radio show was “Hirakawa Daisuke no Housou jiko 3-byou mae” in 2009. The radio show focused on being short and sweet.

Hirakawa Daisuke to Issho ni Manabu Animate Kyuu (2012)

In collaboration with Animate, Daisuke Hirakawa kicked off the solo radio show “Hirakawa Daisuke to Issho ni Manabu Animate Kyuu”.

Before wrapping up in the same year, the show collaborated with several popular anime franchises such as Utapri (even bringing in Hiro Shimono for some episodes).

Daisuke Hirakawa’s Good Night Fleur Radio (2014 – 2015)

In 2014, Hirakawa was behind the mic to host a new solo radio show.

Daisuke Hirakawa’s Good Night Fleur Radio” kicked off in 2014 and was created by Hirakawa with the focus of giving a “healing” moment every month for girls who work hard every day.

Hirakawa Daisuke, Sugiyama Noriaki no ii Tabi Mousou Kibun (2017 -)

In 2017, Daisuke Hirakawa teamed up with fellow seiyuu Noriaki Sugiyama to co-host the radio show “Hirakawa Daisuke, Sugiyama Noriaki no ii Tabi Mousou Kibun“.

For this radio show, Hirakawa and Sugiyama talk about travel plans within Japan and where they’d like to visit… completely aware that they barely have any free time to actually travel.

This is a radio show about hypothetical trips by the two hosts at the same time as they take it seriously to create travel plans that listeners will want to experiment with.

S.S.D.S. Iyashikei Radio Hayami Show & Hirakawa Daisuke no ai no Kaitai Shinsho NEO (2019 -)

Following it, Daisuke Hirakawa teamed up with long-time friend and fellow seiyuu Show Hayami to co-host “S.S.D.S. Iyashikei Radio Hayami Show & Hirakawa Daisuke no ai no Kaitai Shinsho NEO“.

The radio show kicked off in 2019 and, at the time this Seiyuu Digest was written, it is still ongoing.

Other radio shows in which Hirakawa has hosted or guested include (list not exhaustive):

  • Love Revo!! radio (2006)
  • Cyber Boys City (2006)
  • JUNK!BOYS Broadcasting Station (2006-2007)
  • BOYS Supremacy (2007)
  • Neo Angelique Abyss ~Welcome to Yodamari Mansion ~ (2008)
  • Repeat After Me? (2009)
  • Sun Radio Residence (2013)
  • Hirakawa Daisuke・Takeuchi Shunsuke no Kimikiri ☆Radio (2017)

Games

Daisuke Hirakawa has an extensive repertoire when it comes to games. Since his debut, he has voiced over 80 different roles in games of the most varied genres: RPGs, otome/romance, fighting, mecha, strategy, turn-based, action, and more.

Most of his characters are in that grey zone of you not knowing whether he is an ally or if he is playing you. At first, they help the main character and you get in a comfort zone unbeknownst that they are actually tricking you all along.

Hirakawa has shown countless times that he can more than deliver sweet, gentle performances with the same comfort as he does go crazy and maniacal for others. His range is quite impressive and his performances always attract your attention.

He’s lent voice to a couple of iconic characters such as:

Rufus Albarea in The Legend of Heroes games (2013 -)

Rufus Albarea

Despite already voicing a character in the Legend of Heroes games – Cao Lee – it wasn’t until 2013 that Daisuke Hirakawa would end up voicing one of the most iconic characters in the franchise, Rufus Albarea.

Rufus Albarea is, for the most part, an enigma in terms of what he is thinking. He’s calm and incredibly intelligent. Due to being respectful of everyone, he’s both popular with members of the nobility as well as commoners.

Laito Sakamaki in Diabolik Lovers (2012 -)

In 2012, Daisuke Hirakawa was cast as the voice of Laito Sakamaki, the youngest of the Sakamaki triplets in the vampire otome games franchise DIABOLIK LOVERS.

Laito is an extreme sadist with a perverted twist. Right off the bat, he raises a whole lot of red flags for what gamers will expect during his routes in the games.

His cheerfulness arrives in equal measure with his prankster side however, he can quickly shift to violent or perverted if the wrong things are said or done.

This is one of the longest roles Hirakawa has portrayed so far in his career when it comes to games.

Lucien/Simon in Mr Love: Queen’s Choice (2019 -)

Lucien/Simon

In 2019, Hirakawa joined the voice cast in the popular mobile game – later on, adapted into anime -, Mr Love: Queen’s Choice.

He voices Lucien/Simon (the name is different between the global and Japanese versions) a neuroscientist that is quite hard to read at first, mainly due to how detached and uninterested he seemed. However, that changes when he is around the protagonist, time in which he starts showing his emotions from possessiveness, love, and even darkness.

While his public persona is all about having a welcoming vibe, he is quite smart and manipulative, hiding his true, dark, and expressive self behind that mask.

Jacob Frye in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2015)

Jacob Frye

One of the biggest roles in Hirakawa’s career voicing characters in video games is as Jacob Frye in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (Japanese dub).

Jacob is a master assassin of the British Brotherhood and one of the Frye twins. He is hot-blooded, and reckless yet, he shows throughout the story that he is a master strategist and learns how to use those skills to fight against the templars.

He also voiced characters in the following games (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon
  • Togainu no Chi
  • Neo Angelique
  • Kingdom Hearts II
  • Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness
  • Borderlands 2
  • BlackStar – Theatre Starless
  • Brothers Conflict: Brilliant Blue
  • Hiiro no Kakera
  • Ikemen Vampire
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R
  • On Air!
  • The King of Fighters for Girls

between many more.

Acting

With an active career as a voice actor and narrator, no one would even think Daisuke Hirakawa even had the time to dedicate to other sides of the entertainment industry.

For some time, Hirakawa was part of a theatre troupe – alongside Toshiyuki Morikawa – and he still lends his talents to reading plays from time to time, showing a different side of his.

While not the most active seiyuu when it comes to theatre and live acting, he frequently participates in reading plays for some of the most awesome classic books out there.

Narration / Dubbing

Narration and, especially, dubbing is Daisuke Hirakawa’s playground. This is the field within voice acting in which he was best received in which he has made a long and incredibly active career up until now.

Daisuke Hirakawa is the official Japanese dub voice for Orlando Bloom. That partnership started when Hirakawa was chosen to dub Legolas in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.

Since then, he has dubbed the American actor in all the movies he’s been so far.

Although not officially, Daisuke Hirakawa has also been the Japanese voice of Tom Hiddleston since the first Thor movie and the Japanese dub voice of the South Korean actor Jang Keun-suk in every TV drama since “You’re Beautiful”.

Since he started his career as a voice actor in 1998, Daisuke Hirakawa has dubbed over 100 foreign movies and TV dramas. Some of those include:

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Troy
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  • Thor
  • The Avengers
  • Crimson Peak
  • Pretty Man
  • You’re Beautiful
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Cowboys & Aliens
  • DOA: Dead or Alive
  • Euphoria
  • Final Destination 2
  • The Grudge 2
  • Hamlet
  • How to Get Away with Murder
  • Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Outlander
  • Saw II
  • Tron: Legacy

When it comes to narration, Daisuke Hirakawa is often found lending his talents to NHK, BS1, BBC, WOWOW, and TBS TV shows. From nature shows to talent and variety ones, you can find his narration a bit all over Japanese TV.

He also lends his voice to, at least, 4 different pachinko machines, being one of the very few voice actors that does so.

Drama CDs

When it comes to drama CDs, Daisuke Hirakawa is, hands down, a behemoth. He has a strong and long career in drama CDs, being a reference for younger talents joining the BL scene as well as a seiyuu to get inspired by for seiyuu aiming to go the otome drama CDs route (even the R+18 route).

Most of the characters he’s voiced in drama CDs have the outward brotherly type appearance however, things can get really twisted and you have to always be on the fence when a character voiced by him appears.

And that’s because Hirakawa is genuinely amazing voicing twisted, deranged, and obsessed characters. He will make chills run down your spine. He will make your skin crawl if need be. He’s that good of a voice actor.

He’s best known in the past 12 years for voicing characters for Rejet’s drama CDs with the DIABOLIK LOVERS series being the longest-running drama CD series to which he has lent his talents.

Given how long his repertoire is when if you talk about drama CDs, below you will find listed some of the most iconic ones. I will advise you to visit his official Japanese Wikipedia page for an extensive look at all the drama CDs he’s lent his talents.

Some of the most important drama CDs in which he voiced characters include:

  • Vie Durant Series
  • Under the Moon
  • Otenki Sentai How Weather Series
  • Carnival Series
  • GARNET CRADLE
  • DIABOLIK LOVERS
  • Chranoah Series
  • Code:Realize
  • Starry☆Sky Series
  • DAISUKE! Series
  • Tokyo Knights’ Kingdom Series
  • Neo Angelique Series
  • NOBU Series
  • BROTHERS CONFLICT Series
  • FULL SCORE Series
  • MANSHIN Series
  • Landreaall Series
  • LIP ON MY PRINCE VOL.5
  • KISS×KISS collections Vol.19
  • Double Score 〜Narcissus〜
  • Honeymoon vol.1
  • Private Tactics CASE 3
  • RUNLIMIT -CASE4
  • YES IT’S ME
  • Hitorijime Theory
  • Katekyo!
  • Koisuru Boukun
  • Yandere Heaven Black Series 1
  • Yuuutsu na Asa

between many others.

Music

Despite the fact that most people know him for either his dubbing masterclass or for his insane roles in otome games and drama CDs, truth is that Hirakawa was, for a period of time, a solo artist signed to Lantis.

Those that listen to his low baritone/bass vocals performing ballads with ridiculous ease will quickly notice just how naturally talented he is as a singer. Yet, for most, if not his entire career as a solo artist, Daisuke Hirakawa was extremely underappreciated.

Hikari no tobira (2009)

Hirakawa made his debut as a solo artist signed to Lantis, releasing the mini-album “Hikari no Tobira” in 2009.

Very few people are aware of this but the talented Daisuke Hirakawa was actually one of the very first male seiyuu to join Lantis, making a solo debut under them, performing ballads, and managing to have all his CDs ranked within the top 50.

Hirakawa was doing an awesome job without bringing a lot of attention to his solo career, something that I absolutely love, as it sounds very on-brand with his kind, reserved public personality.

daisuke hirakawa dice
“dice” (2011)

He would then release his 2nd mini-album “dice” in 2011. This is still one of my favorite mini-albums by seiyuu. Insanely consistent, with a lot of solid tracks in it, and Hirakawa sang with a lot of passion.

His deep voice and emotional range impressed in the ballad “Kyohansha”.

A year later he released the single “identity+” which followed the same somber and emotional tone to his music.

Everything would tie up neatly with “identity-“ in 2013, Hirakawa’s last CD released as a solo artist.

Before bidding goodbye to his career as a solo artist, he participated in 3 editions of Orepara (2009, 2011 and 2012).

Although no longer a solo artist, from time to time, Hirakawa collaborates with other musicians. One such collaboration occurred in 2021 when he featured on Maiko Fujita‘s duet ballad “Tejou.

He’s a ridiculously talented singer with a somber, gentle voice tone that tugs at your heartstrings however, it seems that his solo career did not click with many people at that time, which is a pity.

If you’re into ballads and love a soothing, bass voice, Daisuke Hirakawa’s repertoire is well worth checking out.

But there is more to Hirakawa as he has made sure to be active in 2D music projects:

Style Five (2013 -)

STYLE FIVE
STYLE FIVE

One of the most popular units Daisuke Hirakawa joined was Style Five.

The group stemmed from the anime series FREE! and it featured its main cast – Nobunaga Shimazaki, Mamoru Miyano, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Tsubasa Yonaga, and Daisuke Hirakawa – on the vocal end.

The group was created mainly with the purpose of promoting the anime FREE! (which was a hit back in 2013).

The unit released Splash Free, Future FishRising FreeFREE-STYLE SPIRIT, and Gold Evolution.

ArS (I-Chu)

In 2015, Hirakawa joined the cast of the rhythm game I-Chu.

He’s part of ArS, unit known for its lively pop music.

The lineup includes Kenji Roa, Atsushi TamaruYoshitsugu MatsuokaHiroyuki Kagura and Katsufumi Yachi.

So far the group has released 8 songs: Te Wo Nobase!Chotto Matte yo Give Me A Break!Very Very Itoshii HitoStar light tripHere we go!!We are I★CHU! – ArS ver.Geijutsu Sentai ArS Ranger and Nantettatte No.1.

PENTACLE★ (2015 – 2018)

Pentacle
Pentacle

The group featured the main cast of Dance With DevilsSoma Saito, Wataru Hatano, Subaru Kimura, Kondo Takashi and Daisuke Hirakawa – and in the later stages of the group’s existence, Tatsuhisa Suzuki.

PENTACLE★ released several singles featured in the anime series as well as the games.

The unit released the singles “Mademo★iselle“ (2015), “覚醒のAir starring PENTACLE★” (2015), “BL(U)CK BASIS” (2016) and “光れCAROL“ (2018).

Genesis (2016 – 2019)

Genesis first unit song “Phantom Rain”

Also in 2015, Hirakawa joined the cast of Sega’s musical/rhythm game Yumeiro Cast.

He voiced Takuma Haiba, Genesis‘ chairman. Genesis consists of Makoto Furukawa (leader), Soma Saito, Daisuke Hirakawa, Daiki Yamashita and Kenichi Suzumura.

Like the game’s flagship theater troupe, Genesis performed some songs – although few in comparison. Their unit song Phantom Rain impressed as soon as fans got to listen to it in-game (back in 2015).

Genesis was keen on their dark electronic pop sound, wrapping it up with a vocal lineup that impresses beyond words.

GENESIS VOCAL ALBUM
GENESIS VOCAL ALBUM

Soon after announcing the end of the distribution of Yumeiro Cast, Lantis announced the release of GENESIS VOCAL ALBUM, best of album that included full versions of GENESIS’ iconic Phantom Rain and Dears for Fears, as well as solo songs by all 5 characters.

With the end of the distribution of Yumeiro Cast in 2019, the group is in a sort of official disbandment status – the game was recently picked up by a Chinese company and is going to be distributed there so there is no mention of whether the game will be picked up as it is, if the story will keep going or if any of the original cast will return.

Swiiiiiits! (2018 -)

Swiiiiiits!

In 2018, Daisuke Hirakawa joined the lineup of the 2D mixed group, Swiiiiiits!.

Swiiiiiits! (read “sweets”), is a unit born of Tsukipro‘s collaboration with Licoli.

This is a co-ed (featuring male and female seiyuu) unit consisting of Inori Minase, Nobunaga ShimazakiDaisuke HirakawaHidenori Takahashi, Atsushi Tamaru, and Kaito Ishikawa.

As a group, Swiiiiiits! released the single “Swiiiiiitest Party!!” in 2018 and later on, in 2022, released “See you again“.

2 shuffle CDs were released as well: White Knight Orchestra (Inori Minase, Hidenori Takahashi, Atsushi Tamaru) with “Sekai no Uta” and Noir Révolution (Nobunaga Shimazaki, Kaito Ishikawa, Daisuke Hirakawa) with “Rouge Noir“.

Nacht (2018)

Still in 2018, Hirakawa joined the lineup of the idol-raising game Maou sama wo Produce. He was to be part of the main idol group Nacht.

Nacht comprised Yoshitsugu MatsuokaDaisuke NamikawaDaisuke HirakawaTasuku HatanakaTakuya SatoDaisuke Hirose and Junichi Suwabe.

They debuted in May 2018 with the single “Shoot the Stars“ but soon after disbanded due to the game completely failing to attract attention.

Variety

If Daisuke Hirakawa is guesting on a show you can be sure of two things: he will be doting on the younger seiyuu and he’ll bring strong older brother vibes.

You can expect him to be passive in most variety shows, letting others speak and act at will before he makes a comment and joins in the fun. He’s the type of individual that quietly listens to others – and shows that he is genuinely interested in listening to them -, something that helps everyone feel at ease around him.

He’s not the type of seiyuu to go crazy during variety or talk events so don’t expect that. Instead, enjoy the quiet, gentle vibes coming from Daisuke Hirakawa.

Some of the variety/talk shows he’s participated in include:

Akuma Night Party from Dance with Devils (2015)

Akuma Night Party from Dance with Devils (2015)

In 2015, Daisuke Hirakawa made his first appearance at a promotional event for an anime series, アクマの夜会 from Dance with Devils (Akuma Night Party from Dance with Devils).

He guested alongside Takashi Kondo and Subaru Kimura at this event. The hosts were Wataru Hatano and Soma Saito.

Hirakawa daisuke Shutsubotsu Chui (2016 – 2017)

Hirakawa Daisuke Shutsubotsu Chui” (平川大輔の休みの日って何するの?) was a TV show in which Daisuke Hirakawa traveled around Japan, tried new food, and participated in a wide variety of activities from shopping to bowling, golfing, and sightseeing.

The show aired on Animate Channel from 2016 up until 2017.

Hirakawa Daisuke no Yasumi no hittenani suru no? (2017 – 2018)

Hirakawa Daisuke no Yasumi no hittenani suru no?

A year later, Hirakawa was back with a show all about what he does on his off days.

Hirakawa Daisuke no Yasumi no hittenani suru no?” (平川大輔の休みの日って何するの?) aired on Animate Channel and counted with fellow seiyuu as guests.

For Hirakawa’s fans, this was a nice opportunity to get to know more about the calm and gentle man outside of his work as a voice actor.

Facts

Was going to become a nursery teacher

With a calm, gentle demeanor and instant shine in the eye whenever a newcomer seiyuu is working alongside him, it was safe to assume that Daisuke Hirakawa likes to take care of others and finds those younger than him to be precious.

However, there is more to it.

Before thinking about becoming a voice actor, he was aiming to become a nursery teacher, something that came from his love of playing around with relatives and friends’ children.

But what if he became a voice actor and could entertain a lot of children? That’s when his life took an interesting turn and, eventually, the young and talented Daisuke Hirakawa decided to become a voice actor.

Everyone’s “onii-chan”

During an event to promote Neo Angelique Abyss ~ Welcome to Hidamari Mansion ~, Daisuke Hirakawa would be given the iconic nickname “onii-chan” (“older brother” in English) by fellow seiyuu Daisuke Ono.

To this day, most seiyuu refer to him as onii-chan.

If not for dubbing, Daisuke Hirakawa wouldn’t still be a voice actor

You may be thinking “By why? He’s an amazing voice actor!”. While he is an amazing voice actor, when Daisuke Hirakawa made his debut in the seiyuu industry, it was a fairly different industry from today. Anime was the main goal for voice actors and not making it there was seen as a failure. Dubbing was usually only reserved for veteran voice actors with limited opportunities for younger talents to join in.

After years of getting minor roles in anime series and continuously being underappreciated by anime fans, Daisuke Hirakawa was cast in 2 projects that, according to himself in an interview for Seiyuu Grandprix August 2019, would turn his career around and help establish himself in the voice acting industry.

Those were the Japanese dub of “The Lord of the Rings trilogy” as Legolas and later on the anime series “The Count of Monte Cristo” as Franz.

And the rest is history.

Comfortable and stylish: Hirakawa’s try at fashion design

In 2021, Hirakawa teamed up with the Japanese apparel brand LIVERTINE AGE to design a simple yet fashionable cardigan.


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

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