I had a few different people in mind for this week’s ‘Five Favourites’ post and was struggling to pick, until I watched ‘Cop Craft’ yesterday and just knew I had to go with Tsuda Kenjirou.
For someone with such a recognisable voice, it took a while before I could actually remember his name and pick his face out in seiyuu event photographs. The first show I watched where his voice really stood out for me was ‘Free!’, where Tsuda had a supporting role as Mikoshiba Seijuurou. Someone in fandom gave the character the nickname ‘Captain Fire Balls’, so that’s how I tended to refer to him – it wasn’t until I started watching ‘Golden Kamuy’ with a friend who laughed every time I shouted “Captain Fire Balls!” that I made the effort to learn his name and look up his other roles. I am a bad seiyuu fan.
He does tend to get typecast as gruff, sketchy or dangerous characters, but there’s the occasional surprise (see #5 on this list). Also, check out his Instagram account for some gorgeous city photography!
1. Mikoshiba Seijurou, ‘Free!’
When ‘50% Off’ recast Mikoshiba as a dumbass fratboy, they weren’t entirely off the mark. Mikoshiba is hugely enthusiastic, loud, and gives his all to everything, whether it’s swimming or cheering on his little brother. But he’s generally innocent and harmless. He’s the one to knock a bit of sense into Rin during his season one depression, and his unending positivity and strength make him a lot of fun to watch. Fandom has fun shipping him with practically everybody, which makes sense, since he’s so damn friendly and likeable.
2. Sayori (transformed), ‘Mahou Shoujo Ore’
I was not expecting this one. It’s just a one-scene role, and a gag-role at that. But MSO has fun casting big-name male seiyuu as the transformed magical girls in this show from 2018. Sayori is the mother of main magical girl Saki, who also took the offer to become a magical girl as a teenager. In this one flashback, she takes up the offer from fairy-yakuza Kokoro-chan in order to save the boy she has a crush on. The transformed Sayori, having beaten up a gang of thugs, stands before her crush in all her buff, muscular glory, introduces herself to him openly, and gives him permission to fall in love with her. And he accepts.
You can argue for days about this show and its takes on queer rep, but personally, I love it for its gender-fuckery, its unashamed inclusion of same-sex crushes, and for letting TsudaKen be a glorious magical girl.
3. Ogata, ‘Golden Kamuy’
I can’t leave this one out. ‘Golden Kamuy’ was a show I watched with a friend, chosen solely for the fact that the character design reminded me of ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did (although I have only seen the first season so far). Ogata isn’t my favourite character (that honour goes to Tanigaki), and in a story with no moral absolutes, it’s hard to say any character is especially likeable (apart from Sugimoto and Asirpa), but Ogata is definitely a watchable character.
4. Niino, ‘ACCA: 13 Territories Inspection Department’
This frankly underrated show from 2017 might not be to everyone’s tastes – political intrigue isn’t my genre of choice – but much like ‘Golden Kamuy’, it’s a show with a lot of watchable, if not necessarily likeable, characters.
Niino is a close friend of protagonist Jean, and might also be spying on him. A good watch if you want to hear TsudaKen being cool and mysterious.
5. Maki, ‘Orenchi No Furo Jiro’ (There’s A Mermaid In My Tub!)
You know how I always say I can never pick a favourite anything? Maki is an exception in that he’s my absolute favourite TsudaKen character. ‘Orenchi No Furo Jiro’ is a short anime series based on a manga, about a young man who finds a merman and takes him home to live in his bathtub. Said merman proceeds to invite all his bishounen friends over to visit, and wacky hijinks ensue.
Maki is a sea-snail with a serious inferiority complex. For a tiny snail, he’s just as pretty as the rest of the boys in this series, and being practically pocket-sized makes him even more adorable. He only gets one episode (and a brief cameo in the finale) but I could happily watch that one short episode on repeat.
I think next week’s ‘Five Favourites’ post will be the last seiyuu profile for a while (unless I get a ton of requests for more of them!). Tomorrow’s weekly reads will be a short post, but then hopefully by Thursday I’ll be back up to my regular posting schedule.
If there’s anything specific you’d like to see me writing about here, whether it’s anime, manga or fandom related, do let me know. Remember also that I’m looking to share and feature fanworks by other Fans Of A Certain Age, and you can also find me on Twitter if you just want to chat about stuff.
My favorite role from Tsuda is Nicolad from Gangsta. I think he got it pretty well since Nicolas is deaf and doesn’t talk as clearly as the other characters.
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This is one I haven’t seen, although as it’s Tsuda and Suwabe, I think I’ll have to take a look!
The series is good but the doesn’t have an ending. The studio declared bankruptcy do the series was never finished.
My favourite role by Tsuda would probably be Chikai (Sarazanmai), simply because most of the associated characters are either supporting characters which don’t get a lot of time to shine (e.g. Sayori) or characters I’m just not that attached to (e.g. Nihongou).
He was terrific as Chikai, especially the death-scene – I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job there.