Japanese Anime Voice Actor – Norio Wakamoto : Ever wonder who is the person behind the voice of the anime characters that you have been watching? Most of them does not even sound life like at all. It was as though we were living in a word of fantasy because in real life, none of us talk in this manner.
Voice acting is another form of art and not as easy as it seemed and these voice actors deserve much more credibility out of Japan.
Have you ever watched an anime, and upon hearing a particular character speak, suddenly feel 10,000 times manlier after hearing him say just a few sentences? Chances are likely that you have been graced with the vocal presence of perhaps one of the most ‘macho’ of seiyuu (voice actor in Japanese) currently in the industry – Norio Wakamoto!
Born in Yamaguchi and raised in Osaka, Wakamoto initially started working as a riot police officer for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department before becoming a seiyuu. Judging from his massive list of voice credits to his name, it’s safe to bet that there’s no turning back for him for now!
Easily recognised for his voice that is loud, brash and rugged and yet, noble and smooth at the same time, it’s no wonder that Wakamoto has been picked for a variety of different roles for both video games and anime. While having voiced quirky characters like Onsokumaru from Ninnin Ga Shinobuden and Chiyo-chichi from Azumanga Daioh, Wakamoto’s main appeal is easily his portfolio of big baddies such as Cell from the Dragonball series, Dracula from the Castlevania series, and more recently, Vega/M.Bison from Street Fighter 4!
Despite the wide variety of personalities that he’s adopted, what’s undeniable is the very old-school, noble tone Wakamoto’s voice has in every performance. Somehow managing to sound refined and proper, yet insanely enthusiastic and gung-ho at the same time lends each and every character he does a certain ‘samurai’-esque flavour to their personality. Extremely appropriate for a man who has actually voiced a samurai, Oda Nobunaga from Sengoku Basara, and has a 3-dan in Kendo!
Able to be comical and quirky, yet dramatic and imposing, all with the same, instantly recognisable voice, it’s no wonder that Wakamoto’s become very popular with the anime fandom! Where will he show up again? We can only guess, but one thing’s for certain – it might be where we least expect it!