To be defined by the Japanese as one of the most popular ‘Classic’ Seiyuus of all time is quite an achievement. Oricon, a company that provides statistics and information, recently conducted a poll asking the Japanese public their opinions on the top ten ‘Classic Seiyuus’, or voice actors whom they consider to be legendary. Guess who made it into the top ten?
Full list is as below:
1. Nobuyo Ōyama / 大山 のぶ代 (Doraemon/Doraemon)
2. Akira Kamiya / 神谷 明 (Kinnikuman/Kinnikuman, Hokuto no Ken/Kenshiro)
3. Masako Nozawa / 野沢 雅子 (Dragon Ball/Son Goku, Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro/Kitaro)
4. Yasuo Yamada / 山田 康雄 (Lupin III/Arsène Lupin III) (RIP)
5. Minami Takayama / 高山みなみ (Detective Conan/Conan, Kiki’s Delivery Service/Kiki)
6. Kōichi Yamadera / 山寺 宏一 (GitS/Togusa, Cowboy Bebop/Spike Spiegal)
7. Noriko Hidaka / 日高 のり子 (Ranma ½/Akane Tendō, Inuyasha/Kikyo)
8. Mayumi Tanaka / 田中 真弓 (One Piece/Luffy, Urusei Yatsura/Ryuunosuke Fujinami)
9. Megumi Hayashibara / 林原 めぐみ (Evangelion/Rei Ayanami, Slayers/Lina Inverse)
10. [Joint] Keiko Toda / 戸田 恵子 (Anpanman/Anpanman, Thomas the Tank Engine/Thomas)
10. [Joint] Aya Hirano / 平野 綾 (Haruhi/Haruhi, Lucky Star/Konata Izumi)
Looking at the list, I can understand why the Legend status applies; nearly all are from institution-type animes from more then a few years ago, such as Dragonball or Evangelion. Masako Nozawa of Son Goku fame ranks at number three, Mayumi Tanaka (Strawhat Luffy) comes in at number eight, and Megumi Hayashibara who played Rei from Evangelion pulls through at number nine. Nobuyo Ōyama of Doraemon fame came first, probably the most clear cut result since the series has been airing since 1979, remaining one of Japans longest running TV series.
Finally, sharing tenth place with Keiko Toda (who played Anpanman) is Aya Hirano, the ever faithful seiyuu behind our larger then life protagonist, Haruhi. Congrats to Aya, your star is certainly as high as it will ever get!
I couldn’t find a good example of Thomas the Tank Engine in Japanese, but instead got strangely hooked into Anpanman instead…