THTFHQ AWARDS 2021: Best New Artist

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Long-awaited solo debuts by male seiyuu with outstanding singing skills, surprising ones and unexpected debuts that ended up impressing everyone marked 2021. Time to cover the new artists of 2021.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

From December 27, 2021, until January 10, 2022, over 2500 of our readers voted at THTFHQ AWARDS 2021.

Nominees were shortlisted by The Hand That Feeds HQ and a winner emerged, however, in the interest of fairness – and want to put the spotlight on other male seiyuu that also had a fantastic 2021 -, this feature includes all seiyuu artists/seiyuu units that made solo debuts in 2021 (5 in total) in the voting, with only #1 being ranked.

To avoid petty fights between fans and disrespect towards seiyuu and their fans, no votes are disclosed in any of the written features covering THTFHQ AWARDS 2021.

If you want to check the abridged version of the complete results of this year’s edition, those were unveiled on episode 78 of SEIYUU LOUNGE, our weekly podcast all about male seiyuu music and 2D groups.

Without further ado, these are the 5 seiyuu artists/seiyuu units that debuted in 2021.

#1 Takuya Eguchi

Takuya Eguchi EGUISM

This was a clean victory with over 50 votes of difference to the 2nd place. Takuya Eguchi is your Best New Artist!

Now, this was a category in which I was not sure what would happen as there were, at least in my books, 2 really good solo debuts that I’d rank almost in equal terms. However, according to those that voted, the difference between both is more noticeable.

So what did Takuya Eguchi do in 2021 that impressed a lot of people?

He made his solo debut with the mini-album “EGUISM”.

This was a mini-album I was certainly not prepared for as Kiramune is usually all about its bubbly pop sound however what we all got was a pop-rock mini-album filled with energy, good vibes, and quite the solid set of performances.

It was still a fairly “safe” CD release, something common among all nominees for this category.

Debut CDs are usually a way to not only showcase the artist’s concept but also to test the waters and see which songs work best for that seiyuu or what kinds of vibes the fans enjoy the most and then use that information to tailor what is, hopefully, a 2nd CD that capitalizes on those learnings and further improves the quality of the music delivered.

“EGUISM” impressed me beyond words. Song after song you had fancy rock tunes, electrifying, upbeat pop tunes, and overall, Eguchi finally showed his colors as a solo artist.

And here he is: your Best New Artist of 2021 is Takuya Eguchi.

From this point on, the seiyuu mentioned are not ranked (the order in which they appear below doesn’t correspond to the place they ranked in the final voting):

Jin Ogasawara

Jin Ogasawara

Jin Ogasawara took a massive step in 2021.

He challenged himself as a solo artist. This debut announcement arrived out of nowhere, seeing as Ogasawara only recently – at the time of the announcement – was starting to be recognized for his work with GYROAXIA.

Still, he made a solo debut with the digital single “Only one thing” and quickly impressed everyone with the refreshing take on pop-rock music, channeling strong early 00s vibes. He then released “Guns & Loudness” and wrapped up the year with the release of his 1st single “TURBO”.

While these two releases were nowhere close to the quality of “Only one thing”, there’s something certain in there, with the correct tweaking to his sound and a focused direction for his music, Jin Ogasawara may turn into one of the most exciting and consistent solo artists among male seiyuu.

Takuma Nagatsuka

Takuma nagatsuka

Takuma Nagatsuka also challenged himself, taking the route as a solo artist at a relatively odd time that left many not really knowing what to do about that information.

Nagatsuka made his solo debut with the single “dance with me”.

Everything about the single was about pop music and him showcasing his versatility as a singer as well as a dancer however, his debut was met with indifference something that I believe wouldn’t have happened if said solo debut had been made after VISUAL PRISON premiered.

As it is, Nagatsuka showed he is a skilled singer – still with a lot of room to grow – more than ready to deliver strong, intense performances.

TRD

TRD

TRD arrived as one of the big surprises of the year. After D.A.T’s disbandment, it seemed like a far cry for Daisuke Ono and Takuyuki Kondo to team up again, making their dynamic duo shine yet again.

Little did fans know that PONY CANYON would end up stepping in and welcoming with open arms the duo however under a different name, TRD.

The duo released “TRAD” and “Strangers” in 2021 and fans were in love with their dance sound – taking strong influences from K-pop and Latin music.

Daiki Yamashita

Daiki Yamashita

Daiki Yamashita was, undoubtedly, that solo debut everyone had been wishing for years and when it was announced, I believe many were relieved to finally see Yamashita taking that important step.

Yamashita is quite possibly one of the most technical singers among male seiyuu.

He’s got unparalleled control over his vocals – a result of having studied music for his college degree – and insane technique that have put him in the spotlight more often than not, as well as a unique singing tone and vocal range that make him one of the most versatile tenors among male seiyuu.

His solo debut arrived with the mini-album “hear me?”, release that focused on showcasing Yamashita’s versatility while playing a bit too safe when it came to him unleashing the technique and power that everyone knows he’s capable of adding to his performances.

While not the buzzworthy debut of the year, Daiki Yamashita surely made a case for himself with his debut mini-album, laying the foundation of what can be a successful solo career.


Thank you to everyone that voted and spread the word about THTFHQ AWARDS 2021!

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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