Kana Hanazawa is a popular seiyuu. While 2017 might have slowed down for her, she has managed to take on an impressionable number of roles throughout her career over the past decade as well as in 2018. She has a budding musical career as well as she is considered to be somewhat of a fashion icon in Japan among women in their twenties. However, something happened when she lent her voice to Happy Sugar Life as Satou Matsuzaka and today, that is what we would love to bring to you. So sit back and enjoy what we have for you this time!
Kana Hanazawa was already working as a seiyuu at the age of 14. If you are not sure how long ago that was, her birthday next year is in February and she will be 30. Characterized by her cheerful, upbeat overall tone, Hanazawa has went on to voice characters in series like Bakemonogatari, Angel Beats, Durarara!!, Steins;Gate, Dog Days, Black Rock Shooter, Saki, and so many more. In particular, she is very well known for her voicing of Mayuri Shiina from Steins;Gate, Akane Tsunemori from Psycho-Pass, and Onodera from Nisekoi. Kana Hanazawa went on to start a musical career in 2012 and has continued to release music while also debuting in live action movies and of course, voice anime characters.
Something all actors dread is being typecast. It means you are associated with a role or character, in this case, her voice, which tends to fall into the same rut making them predictable whenever they show up. With the exception of Mayuri Shiina—due to Steins;Gate coming back after a 2011 hit—Hanazawa has fallen, more often than not, into the same type of character offering a very similar voice between multiple roles. She constantly tends to voice—with a few exceptions here and there—female leads or female major characters that come across as naive or unnecessarily ignorant of the world and need to rely on friends or other people in order to function and succeed.
While this is not a bad thing, Hanazawa really hasn’t had too many roles as of late that give her any sort of individuality. It becomes more of a “and Kana Hanazawa has been announced for this anime, too.” Some prime examples would be Red Blood Cell from Hataraku Saibou, Misaki Takasaki from Koi to Uso, Baileu Ton from Phantom in the Twilight, Hinata Kawamoto from 3-gatsu no Lion, and Katrielle Layton from Layton Mystery Detective Agency. It is not that these roles are bad per se, just predictable and don’t bring the pizazz and anticipation that other seiyuu may. She was not doing all the same as characters like Koume Ogi from Tenshi no 3P!, Misora Haruki from Sagrada Reset, and finally, Satou Matsuzaka from Happy Sugar Life.
Happy Sugar Life
Happy Sugar Life and Satou gave us a breath of fresh air that we have been craving from Hanazawa for a while now. It’s not that she was bad, but she definitely needed something different. As Satou, Hanazawa does an excellent job of balancing a girl juggling her social life against her special life at home. All the while, she is awash with emotion and torment over what to do and how to keep everything a secret. Hanazawa portrays this in a way we were surprised to see happen and even remarked constantly about how well she was showing a suffering Satou who just wanted her happy sugar life. True, she could have been a bit more erratic in her delivery of Satou’s darker moments when Satou was going down a rabbit hole or theory, but still, she did a fantastic job of showing someone with a foot on both sides of reality: the delusional and the real. The personal struggles of Satou were made all the more believable when Satou kept her cool in front of her aunt whose vocal range was all over the place to convey her broken reality. Hanazawa really shone here by keeping her voice forceful yet direct and serious. Truly, she was perfect for this role.
We didn’t want to get too much into it, but we did want to talk about just how Kana Hanazawa really shone in this horror/thriller anime. While she may not take too many roles as such as she has been more or less typecast, it is fantastic to see that her raw talent is still hiding behind all of the other female main characters that she voices. What are your thoughts in Kana Hanazawa? Do you have a favorite role by her? Be sure to let us know in the comments below! Till next time.