Personality of the week: Takahiro Sakurai

He is one of the most famous dubbing actors, present on the biggest blockbusters. However, if he is making headlines today in Japan, it is for… his adultery!

It only took a little Takahiro Sakurai don’t sell rice today. The eldest of three children, he should logically, according to Japanese tradition, have taken over the family business in the town ofOkazaki, 300 km west of Tokyo. But a television interview with a dubbing actor strikes the child, who decides to pursue a career in this direction, with the encouragement of a Japanese teacher during his college years. After leaving high school, So Sakurai heads to Yoyogi’s Animation Academy., located in the main city of Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya. During his training, he cut his teeth on radio dramas, before joining an artistic agency.

His choice is 81 Acting Institutewhich counts among its actors Toshihiko Seki, seiyuu whom he particularly admires. But did he really make the right choice? Sakurai wonders, since he doesn’t get any contract. He even considers giving up this career in 1999, at age 25but his perseverance ended up paying off: he obtained almost simultaneously two recurring roles in Digimon and Kaikan Phraseas well as his first song for the animated film Gate Keepers that same year. Everything changes with the 21e century, when Sakurai takes on two emblematic roles of Japanese pop culture. On the animation side, he lends his voice to Joe Shimamura, hero of Cyborg 009 for a reboot of the franchise; on the video game side, he embodies Cloud Strife, hero of Final Fantasy VII for Kingdom Heartsa role he still performs today.

Since twenty years, so we find his name in the credits of the greatest successes of Japanese animation. In 2003, he lent his voice to Kiyomaro Takine, hero of Zatchbellthen to the tenebrous Izuru Kira in Bleach the next year. He can also be found in the main role of Code Geass in 2006 (Suzaku Kururugi), then in that of the arrogant Sting Youclif of Fairy Tail from 2009. More recently, we were able to discover it thanks to the voices of Uta in Tokyo GhoulGriffith in movies and series Berserk post-2012, by Satoshi Isshiki in Food Warsfrom Griamore in Seven Deadly Sinsof one of the six brothers ofOsomatsu-san and Giyû Tomioka in Demon Slayer. Today, he works among other things on Jujutsu Kaisenthe return of Bleach and D’Urusei Yatsura, Mob Psycho 100 and Blue Lock. But following the revelation of a ten-year long adultery, he no longer appears in public events around these licenses… without however ceasing to work behind the microphones!