Lists Are Fun To Make: Voice Acting That’s Tough to Replace

In general, I tend to be skeptical of the contribution voice actors or actresses have to a given show. The reason for that is that enough seiyuu in Japan are good enough that even a lot of fairly flavorful takes on a role aren’t that much of a step up from what the next-best actor would be able to do, given the same character and script. Sometimes, though, that’s absolutely not the case, and the voice actor or actress kills a role in a way that’s near impossible to replicate. This is a list of individual seiyuu performances, in fairly rough order, that I think would have been impossible to trade down on.

This is, as much as anything, an attempt to pin down my own tastes a little. I try make lists like sports decide on their halls of fame – get a group of decent names together from memory, put the obvious greats on top, put the obvious bottoms down low, and sort out the tiers. This list was the best kind of fun to make that way.

A lot of what I consider my favorite characters don’t make the list because a) they’re manga only (Endo Kenji, Aizawa Akira), b) the anime performance was lackluster (Yoichi Hiruma, Harunobu Madarame), or c) any one of 2-3 other talents could have done that role when it was written/visually presented as well as it was (Takemoto Yuuta, Hachikuji Mayoi). This list, like most of the other ones under this heading, is purely personal preference. If it weren’t, Miyuki Sawashiro wouldn’t be on there three times. All names are as I remember them, so I apologize in advance for any screwy ordering.

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