Welcome back to our series where we talk about Voice Acting, or Seiyuu, in Japan. Welcome to The Art of Seiyuu!
This next two weeks, we’re going to feature some of the younger newer talents in the industry! For every Koichi Yamadera, there are 100 people who want to fill his boots. In this modern era, aspiring to become a seiyuu has become the norm and not a niche no more.
One such person who never gave up to pursue his dream is this week’s feature seiyuu.
Introducing: Jun Kasama
Jun Kasama worked at a regular newspaper company until around one year working at the company; he finally passed the auditions to Aoni Production’s training school, Aoni Juku. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to graduate to the Production itself.
A few years later, the relentless Kasama didn’t give up on his dream and entered Haikyo, which was recruiting up-and-coming seiyuu to their fold. When he joined Haikyo’s training school, it is said he would travel every weekend from Hiroshima to Tokyo to take lessons at their training school.
Do you guys remember Arpeggio of Blue Steel? I remember watching it on TV and thoroughly enjoyed the same. Actually, Kasama’s first role as a Seiyuu was in Blue Steel! Unfortunately, he is only credited as Soldier C so you’ll have to dig through the episodes to find his appearance. Perhaps, you’ve already been a fan of his since then?!
In this most recently concluded season of anime one week ago, you could hear him as Wilibald Koenig from the popular short anime series Isekai Quartet. His character is originally from The Saga of Tanya the Evil. More popularly known as Wili, he is the 3rd Company commander of V601 under Tanya’s command.
Kyoya Kujo (Gundam Build Divers)
In the most recent edition of the Gundam Build series, he plays Kyoya Kujo, the strongest player in Gundam Battle Network, and also the champion in the tournament. Often calm and carrying himself like a gentleman, his personality becomes more passionate and fierce during Gunpla battle. He inspires many players to become like him, such as the protagonist of the series too.
He’s your typical Char-clone of that series. This variation basically has Kasama voice a heroic version instead. If you’ve watched the previous Build Fighters series, he gives you similar vibes to that of Meijin Kawaguchi. I really like Kasama’s role as Kujo as well in particular. He’s perfect for a similar role so I’d definitely love to see him voice characters in future robot anime or games too. You can check it out episode 3 of Gundam Build Divers where you can really appreciate Kasama’s role.
Amehiko Kusunoha (THE iDOLM@STER: SideM)
Arguably his most popular role is as Amehiko Kusunoha from THE iDOLM@STER: SideM. Amehiko is part of the unit Legenders. In the SideM Series, every character has a former profession and for Amehiko’s case, he was a cleaner! Yes, the kind that cleans the toilets and does the sweeping and mopping.
His character has the ability to perceive people’s negative emotions as “filth” as he calls it. One day while he was cleaning a TV studio, he noticed many people in the entertainment industry has a lot of filth and decided that he will become an idol to remove all this stain from the industry. Amehiko was the first role that put him on the map. Having voiced the character since SideM’s inception in 2016, he has also performed as Amehiko during the many tours since then.
Kasama has released most of his music under his SideM character Amehiko’s unit Legenders (along with seiyuu Wataru Komada and Fumiyoshi Shioya). Legacy of Spirit is their first song released under THE IDOLM@STER SidEM ST@RTING LINE-15 Legenders CD along with String of Fate and DRIVE A LIVE. I really like the rock feeling Legacy of Spirit gives. And it really takes advantage of each seiyuu’s vocal range.
They have since followed up with Symphonic Brave, Eternal Fantasia and LIVE in your SMILE.
While he had mostly nameless roles, he has since begun to pick up steam in 2018 landing many named roles whether minor or major. I must admit, while I have followed SideM for quite a bit, I only really follow Jupiter and S.E.M. so I only really picked up on Kasama from Gundam Build Divers onwards.
What really stroke me was his low voice. I generally like seiyuu or people with low voices in general so that’s what got me interested in Kasama in the first place. There’s not many young male seiyuu with an ikemen low voice so he’s definitely going to make waves going forward. Does he somewhat remind me of Takuya Sato? I feel like he’s going to be one of the stalwarts of the industry in the coming 10 years.
He has a great narration voice to listen to. He has quite a number of credits on Japanese TV commercials on air as well(which unfortunately is unavailable outside of Japan). That wonderful low voice would soothe your soul listening he’d be great to listen during your busy working hours. You can check out his radio show, Jun Kasama and Gakuto Kajiwara’s Radio Cruw(z) ~Voice Voyage~ below as well.
Have I successfully distracted you with a cat picture above? That’s because Kasama has a pet black cat called Fio? You gotta check out how adorable it is!!
Look forward to next week’s episode where we will feature another up-and-coming seiyuu!