While a talented voice actor, stage actor, and singer, Shogo Yano is one the most underrated talents of his generation. Let’s check his career so far in this Seiyuu Digest.
KANJI: 矢野 奨吾
BORN: March 19, 1989
OCCUPATION: voice actor, stage actor, singer
Shogo Yano was born on March 19, 1989 in Tokushima, Japan, and is currently represented by Super Eccentric Theatre.
Yano’s passion for voice acting, contrary to most seiyuu, only arrived well into his late teens.
Up until then, he wanted to become an announcer. However, during his gap year between high school and university, he came across the iconic anime series “Neon Genesis Evangelion” and, from that point on, he fell in love with voice acting.
With that passion in mind, he left Tokushima and moved to Tokyo to attend university while simultaneously attending a vocational school for voice acting.
In 2012, he enrolled in the Super Eccentric Theater Actor Training School, and within a year, he joined the company as a “quasi-company member”. He graduated later that year, then joined the company as a full company member.
However, despite his debut in 2012, it would take him 2 years to actually get a shot at voicing characters in anime.
2014 – 2018
Small steps in the voice acting industry
Shogo Yano’s debut as a voice actor was with what is, at the moment, one of his most iconic roles in anime, the pompous rival-turned-ally Shingo Sawatari in the popular anime series, Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V.
Given how important the character was – being present in several story arcs throughout the anime’s 3-year run on Japanese television, it was impossible not to notice Yano’s performance.
He added nuance to the performance, making you wonder on which side Sawatari was and what would be his next step.
What fans of the anime were first hearing was a strong performance by a rookie hungry to show more and more of his skills.
However, despite Yano’s awesome kick-off to his career as a voice actor, truth is that it took him 2 years to get a new role in anime, and that ended up being a minor one in B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious (2016).
In 2017, Yano reprised his role as Nao Okamura in the anime adaptation of THE IDOLM@STER SideM. Unfortunately, the appearance was just a brief cameo as the anime series decided to focus on its main groups and build the story from there.
In 2018, Yano joined the main cast of the sports anime series, Tsurune. He was cast as the super positive and charismatic Nanao Kisaragi.
This performance was one of the stand out in the anime series and heavily contributed to Yano’s Best New Voice Actor at the 14th Seiyuu Awards.
Other anime series, in this period of time, in which he voiced characters include:
- Boarding School Juliet (2018)
- The Idolmaster SideM: Wake Atte Mini! (2018)
- The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of the Commandments (2018)
- Mob Psycho 100 II (2019)
- Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin (2019)
First leading role and continuing on a path to being recognized
The biggest role so far in Shogo Yano’s career is that of Mafuyu Sato in the anime adaptation of, easily, what is the best BL (boys love) anime series of all time, given.
Mafuyu is a quiet and introverted individual with a heavy burden on him after a relationship tragically ended. Throughout the series, he finds what he wants to do, confronts and lets out for the very first time the deep emotions he has, and ends up finding in music a new passion, and falls in love.
Known for his beautiful and powerful voice, Mafuyu ends up becoming the vocalist of the band, given.
Now, when it comes to giving voice to Mafuyu, Shogo Yano had quite the challenge seeing as the original voice – from the drama CDs – belonged (and still belongs) to Soma Saito. That was the voice and interpretation that fans were used to as Mafuyu.
The casting change for the anime series ended up being controversial for longtime fans of the drama CDs however, at the same time, getting a new voice to breathe life into Mafuyu was exciting.
What fans of the drama CDs found in the anime adaptation, was a performance that was nothing similar to the one Saito had given.
Yano chose not to emulate Saito’s performance – and risk not coming close to the vibe, quirks, and singing style that were already associated with the performance on the drama CD -, instead doing his own original take on Mafuyu.
As such, there are noticeable differences in tone and delivery between Mafuyu in the anime – voiced by Shogo Yano – and the drama CD – voiced by Soma Saito.
This original take by Shogo Yano made Mafuyu slightly softer and a bit more detached than what the manga series showed but, in a way, it was a strong take on the character that made it quite exciting to see the character opening up and grow.
And ultimately, this performance was one of the most buzzworthy in 2019, ending up propelling Yano to win the Best New Actor award at the 14th Seiyuu Awards held in 2020.
He reprised his role as Mafuyu in the Given Movie which premiered in 2020 and the OVA Given: Uragawa no Sonzai which premiered in 2021.
In 2020, Yano was cast as Takumi Hidaka, one of the supporting characters in the sports anime, number 24.
In 2021, he was cast as the bubbly Hyota Ashikaga in the mystery anime, Bishounen Tanteidan.
The anime series, despite its star-studded cast, ended up going under the radar for many and got mixed reviews from others, something that didn’t help bring attention to Yano’s acting.
And wrapping up the year, he was cast as Jack Mouton, member of LOST EDEN in the popular anime series VISUAL PRISON.
Jack is a prankster and, at times, he shows a childish side when, in fact, he just wants attention.
The anime series mixes supernatural drama with music and as such, Shogo Yano performed several character songs as Jack as well as participated in LOST EDEN’s “BLOODY KISS“.
Things changed around 2022, as Shogo Yano got a new leading role in anime. He was cast as Yuu Arimura, the protagonist in the supernatural anime series, Gunjou no Fanfare.
In 2023, Shogo Yano is set to reprise his roles as Reo Maruyama in Paradox Live THE ANIMATION and Nanao Kisaragi in Tsurune: Tsunagari no Issha, and voice Ueda in Kubo-san wa Mob wo Yurusanai.
Other anime series, in this period of time, in which he voiced characters include:
- Koi to Producer: EVOL×LOVE (2020)
- Shuumatsu no Walküre (2021)
- Saiyuuki Reload: Zeroin (2022)
- 3-byougo, Yajuu.: Goukon de Sumi ni Ita Kare wa Midara Nikushoku deshita (2022)
- Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana – The Teardrop Crystal (2022)
In 2020, Shogo Yano shared the Best New Actor award with Takeo Otsuka, Katsumi Fukuhara, Koutaro Daigo and Gakuto Kajiwara.
Yano’s performances in the anime adaptation of Given and in Tsurune were at the core of this award.
When it comes to radio shows, Shogo Yano doesn’t have extensive work. The first time he hosted a radio show was in 2017 for Starevo ☆ 彡 Radio 88 station.
Since then, he has participated – either as a host or as a guest – in some radio shows. Those include:
Yano Shioya no Kitchen Cherry-pick (2018)
Since 2018, Shogo Yano has been co-hosting the radio show Yano Shioya no Kitchen Cherry-pick (矢野・汐谷のKitchen Cherry-pick) alongside fellow seiyuu Fumiyoshi Shioya.
This is the longest-running radio show on which Shogo Yano has worked.
Stemming from this radio show is the seiyuu unit Child Nome. The group released its debut mini-album “Chime!” in 2019.
IDOLMASTER SideM Radio 315Night! (2019)
Alongside Mofumofuen’s members Ayumu Murase and Keisuke Furuhata, Yano guested on the radio show IDOLMASTER SideM Radio 315Night! in 2019.
As per usual with this radio show, it was entertaining and filled with a great, warm vibe, fun corners, and a lot of crazy shenanigans.
MAN TWO MONTH RADIO (2019)
In 2019, Yano was invited to be the host of MAN TWO MONTH RADIO, show in which seiyuu can handle their own radio show for two months before switching to the next seiyuu.
Shohei Komatsu was a personality from June 2019 to July 2019.
In MAN TWO MONTH RADIO 矢野奨吾とおしゃべりしようご! (MAN TWO MONTH RADIO “Let’s Chat with Shogo Yano!”), fans got to send in silly jokes for him to complete, and Yano tested himself by turning harsh quotes or lines into kind words.
Other radio shows he has participated include:
- Monthly New Men’s Communication April issue ~ Monthly Shogo Yano (2018)
- Gunjou no Fanfare radio (2022)
- Yano/Konan picture story WA-GEI (2021-2022)
Much in line with his work in anime, Shogo Yano doesn’t have many credits.
Due to him having a delicate voice in most of his work as a voice actor, most of the characters he voices in games are either soft-spoken or children.
Some of the characters he has lent his voice to include:
Nao Okamura in THE IDOLM@STER SideM (2015 -) and SideM LIVE ON ST@GE! (2017 -)
In 2015, Shogo Yano joined the cast of the popular idol franchise, THE IDOLM@STER SideM. The game, of the same name, was released in 2017 and mixed elements of music, story (incredibly toned down), and idol nurturing/farming.
He voices Nao Okamura, Mofumofuen’s member, and former amusement park mascot. He’s an optimistic and upbeat young man whose dream is to make other people happy.
Ignatz in Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2019)
In 2019, he voiced one of the 3 playable characters Ignatz in the popular RPG game, Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
Kind and positive at all times, Ignatz is one of the knights in the Golden Deer house. He is passionate about art however he tries to not show it.
For those playing this game and choosing the Golden Deer house, you will interact a lot with Ignatz and get to know his gentle, dedicated nature.
He also voiced characters in the following games (the list is not exhaustive):
- Star Revolution☆88 Seiza no Idol Kakumei (2017)
- Hiragana Danshi Itsura no Kowe (2017)
- Hero’s Park (2019)
- The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross (2019)
Shogo Yano started his career in stage acting and since his debut in 2012, he has regularly taken part in stage plays and TV series.
He’s got guest role credits in the following TV series:
- Shitsuren Chocolatie (2014)
- Beauty and The Fellow (2015)
- Iryuu Sousa (2015)
- Keishichou Nashigoren-ka (2016)
At the same time, he’s participated in several stage plays held by Super Eccentric Theatre. Unfortunately there is no footage of those stage plays online.
Since 2019, he’s also participated in several reading plays.
Narration / Dubbing
As far as narration and dubbing go, Shogo Yano has yet to have any work in narration.
However, when it comes to dubbing foreign movies and series, he’s got credits in Project Runway 18, Shazam! and Almost Never.
When it comes to drama CDs, Shogo Yano is still taking his first steps. He has credits in the drama CDs such as:
- Paradox Live franchise (since 2019)
- number24 Drama CD2
- Bakumatsu Danshi -Shinsengumi Jikuu-den-
- Yumeiro Cast Drama Theater 2
- Live us vol.1-vol.6
- I’m Sorry, Prime Minister!
- Kimi to Boku to Sekai no Hotori Phrase 2 Meikoi Valentine
- Dekoboko Sugar Days
- Ensâkurumento Rabu
Since his debut in 2012, Shogo Yano has joined a couple of 2D music projects in which he has had the opportunity to showcase his versatility on the vocal end.
As a singer, Yano has a sweet mid-toned low tenor/baritone voice that can easily dive into the low range as well as go high on the range to deliver youthful, delicate performances.
Although he is not usually mentioned as a good singer, truth is, Yano is quite the complete singer.
It is worth mentioning that he has had plenty of opportunities to sing with Toshiyuki Toyonaga as a backup singer, something that is at the core of Yano’s growth as a singer.
He’s best known for being part of the following 2D music groups:
Mofumofuen (2016 -)
In 2016, Shogo Yano joined the cast of THE IDOLM@STER‘s male version, IDOLM@STER SideM.
He was cast as Nao Okamura, Mofumofuen’s member. Ayumu Murase and Keisuke Furuhata complete the lineup for this unit.
The group is known for its bubbly, upbeat, and uptempo pop sound, befitting the character’s age. Since its debut, Mofumofuen has released multiple singles, collaborations, and cross-unit CDs.
Yano‘s vocals are unrecognizable here. If you are familiar with his sort of raspy-meets-smooth voice then his voice as Nao will shock you. It is that different.
Up until now, the trio has released two singles, THE IDOLM@STER SideM ST@RTING LINE-13 Mofumofuen (2016) and THE IDOLM@STER SideM 5th ANNIVERSARY DISC 03 W & Café Parade & Mofumofuen (2020).
Aside from these singles, Mofumofuen has participated in several cross-unit and solo song projects within the franchise.
The trio has participated so far in several IDOLMASTER SideM stages:
- 1st STAGE 〜ST@RTING!〜 (2016),
- 2nd STAGE 〜ORIGIN@L STARS〜 (2017),
- 3rd STAGE 〜GLORIOUS ST@GE!〜 (2018),
- 4th LIVE STAGE 〜TRE@SURE GATE〜 (2019),
- 6thLIVE TOUR ～NEXT DESTIN@TION!～ (2021)
- THE IDOLM@STER SideM 6thLIVE TOUR ～NEXT DESTIN@TION!～ (2022).
PURA.net (2017 – 2018)
In 2017, Shogo Yano joined the cast of the ambitious idol project, Star Revo. He joined PURA.net, pop outfit consisting of Keito Okuyama, Shogo Yano, Takuma Nagatsuka, and Taichi Ichikawa.
PURA.net got to perform live at Rejet Fes. 2017 with the song “Kirameki Prologue”.
The group never got to release their CDs but contributed songs for the several Best Off albums that wrapped up the franchise as distribution of the game was announced back in 2018.
Child Nome (2019 -)
In 2019, Shogo Yano teamed up with Fumiyoshi Shioya to kick off activities as the seiyuu unit, Child Nome.
The group released its debut mini-album “Chime!“, featuring songs with music and lyrics by both Yano and Shioya.
Akkan Yatsura (2019 -)
The biggest and most hyped project he joined in 2019 was, undoubtedly, PARADOX LIVE.
Alongside Takayuki Kondo, Shima, Tasuku Hatanaka, and Shunichi Toki, Shogo Yano is part of the afrobeat/Latin rap team, Akkan Yatsura.
The team’s debut song, BAD BOYZ – Akkan Yatsura Underground- was released in 2020 as part of the franchise mini-album, Paradox Live Opening Show.
Akkan Yatsura then went to take part in the Stage Battle series, counting with entries in the JUSTICE and FAMILY battles.
In “JUSTICE”, the group released “OUTSIDERZ – Akkan Yatsura is Justice –“, song embraced a simplistic sound, packing the same punch as their more intense, crowded sound and does so with fewer resources, leaving the spotlight for the rap performances.
And in “FAMILY”, Akkan Yatsura performed “CALL FOR FAMILIEZ – Akkan Yatsura is forever –“.
This afrobeat tune takes the crow as the best song on that CD. Their take on the family concept was intense and connected more with me than cozmez’s “This is my love”.
Early in 2021, Shogo Yano participate in the franchise’s 1st live show “Paradox Live Dope Show“.
Later in the same year, he attended the special event Paradox Live 2nd anniversary Fes..
The rest of the year was reserved for the best of albums in the franchise: “TRAP” and “LIVE“. Later in the same year, Akkan Yatsura’s members participated in the Shuffle Team Show CDs (2 releases).
Welcoming new teams in the franchise, the Paradox Live franchise released a special CD titled “Paradox Live Opening Show-Road to Legend-“.
The team released the passionate tune “TURN IT UP!!!!!! – Akkan Yatsura SOUL FEVER –“.
In May 2022, Shogo Yano joined Akkan Yatsura on stage for its performances at Paradox Live 2nd LIVE DOPE SHOW.
Given (2019 -)
Stemming from the anime adaptation of the popular BL manga, Given, Shogo Yano took upon himself the challenge of live performing as Mafuyu.
In 2020, alongside the Japanese rock band Centimillimental, Shogo Yano hopped on staged as Mafuyu to perform songs from the band “given” as well as cover songs by other artists.
In 2021, the band released its first full-length album “Uragawa no Sonzai”, ranking at #24 on Oricon’s Weekly Albums chart.
LOS†EDEN (2021 -)
In 2021, Nagatsuka joined the cast of LOS†EDEN, visual-kei band part of the Visual Prison franchise.
The group consists of Takuya Eguchi, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Takuma Nagatsuka, and Shogo Yano.
Since its debut, the group has participated in 2 CDs:
- Zankoku Shangri-La/BLOODY KISS/Gyokuza no GEMINI
- ANGELIST/SACRIFICE/ROYAL CROWN
Golden Record (2021 -)
In 2021, Shogo Yano joined the Pythagoras Production franchise (Marginal #4, LAGRANGE POINT, Unicorn Jr.) as the leader of Golden Record, vocal, dance and rap group.
Golden Record consists of Yuya Hirose (leader), Gakuto Kajiwara (center), and Shogo Yano.
In the same year, the group released its debut single “Love Holic” and they impressed.
At the time I reviewed this single, I said the following: Golden Record arrived with a bang, making a statement with their flawless debut single “Love Holic”. A refreshing loungy sound with a surprisingly mature vibe arrives with the trio, with the self-titled song “Love Holic” impressing in more ways than one.
“Naniiro” was still in the same tone but with a completely different intensity that shows that the group can groove but they can also go strong on you with a powerful performance. Vocals-wise, the lineup for Golden Record is perfect.
Gakuto Kajiwara showed that he is incredibly reliable and is the perfect choice for the group’s center. Yuya Hirose is a vocal powerhouse when it comes to unleashing high notes and he’s well known for harmonizing insanely well with anyone and with this group, he can spread his wings and do that like crazy.
And Shogo Yano arrives to impress with low mid-tones and powerful harmonies in the chorus where his higher range shines. All in all, Golden Record’s debut CD “Love Holic” is a breath of fresh air in the Pythagoras Production franchise and a fantastic greeting card to what seems to be a group with a lot of potential to do great things in future releases.
However, since their debut in 2021, the group has yet to release new music.
α-TuNe (2021 -)
In 2021, Shogo Yano joined the cast of the mixed-media project, Live Us.
Live us is an original project mixed-media project following a dramatic story that will be fleshed out through voice dramas + music releases.
The project is an original idea by White palette, featuring character designs by bikku, world-building by Tetsuya Katsuzawa (Edge Works), and structure/organization by Rika Kihara.
In this project, Shogo Yano is part of the J-pop group α-TuNe, sharing vocal duties with Yoshiki Nakajima.
Since their debut in 2021, the group has released 1 single – “Into the noise” – and digital singles “Daylight” and “unstoppable“.
Since late 2022, the project has slowed its pace and hasn’t released music or drama videos ever since.
Close friends with Toshiyuki Toyonaga
Being from the same talent agency – Super Eccentric Theatre – it is no surprise that Shogo Yano and Toshiyuki Toyonaga know each other really well. However, since Shogo Yano’s debut, Toyonaga has taken him under his wing, helping bring attention to his voice and talents as an actor.
Whether it is by having Shogo Yano singing backup vocals in his songs to even guesting on his live shows, even down to being in the same anime series – at times -, Toyonaga has been the perfect veteran for Yano.
As a result, Yano holds Toyonaga in high esteem, frequently praising him, and visiting him at events and the sort.
One of Toshiyuki Toyonaga’s dancers and backup singers
And while we are on the topic… Shogo Yano occasionally joins in Toshiyuki Toyonaga’s live shows as one of his dancers – for his live shows – is something well known among his fans, but there is something not as well known.
Yano has been, since 2014, one of the backup singers for Toshiyuki Toyonaga’s songs, popping up here and there across his repertoire.
One of the most iconic performances as a backup singer is in “MUSIC OF THE ENTERTAINMENT“, song featured in the album of the same title.
If you own the physical CD, he is credited in the liner notes and if you pay closer attention to the choir singing along with Toshiyuki Toyonaga, you will spot him really easily.
First time he read a BL manga was in 2019
Up until 2019, Shogo Yano said he had never read a BL manga as he was not interested in it.
However, when he was cast as Mafuyu in the anime adaptation of the popular BL manga, Given, he started reading it and thoroughly enjoyed all the drama and rich story.
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.