Anime wouldn’t be anime without the amazing voice talents that bring the characters to life and help make them who they are. Voice actors have a lot of responsibility to make characters seem believable and bring their emotions to the screen for everyone watching. The anime industry has many talented actors that work hard to do this every day, and one of the most versatile and best known is Miyano Mamoru. He began as a musician in 2007 and has since gone on to voice anime and video games, as well as doing live action.
Miyano Mamoru’s voice acting career began in gaming when he brought Riku to life in the incredibly popular Kingdom Hearts series. From there he went on to voice many beloved anime characters. But with a filmography as lengthy as Mamoru’s, it’s very hard to pick out what his best roles and characters are. Here at Honey’s Anime, we have done our best to compile a list of the Top 10 Characters Voiced by Miyano Mamoru, taking into account his ability, the character’s popularity in Japan and abroad, and the character’s personality and story itself. With so many great roles it was a hard list to make, but we hope you enjoy reading it!
10. Osamu Dazai from Bungou Stray Dogs
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2016 – Jun. 2016
Bungou Stray Dogs follows an organisation called the Armed Detective Agency and their everyday lives. It’s set in Yokohama in a world where some people have special powers that they use for various things. Some are innocent, like owning a business. Others are much darker, like carrying out hits for the mafia. The characters in Bungou Stray Dogs are named after famous literary figures or characters from their stories, adding a unique and creative touch to the anime.
One of these characters is Osamu Dazai, named after the famous 20th-century Japanese author of the same name. He is a member of the Armed Detective Agency, though he used to be part of the mafia until his friend died. Dazai loves to flirt with women and lives what appears to be a very carefree life. However, he’s extremely emotional and often tries to commit suicide. He is never successful because something always manages to stop him from going through with it or saves him at the last moment. Dazai is a fun character with a rich backstory that is revealed as you watch Bungo Stray Dogs, and Miyano Mamoru does an excellent job of bringing Dazai to life for fans.
9. Kei Nagai from Ajin (Ajin: Demi-Human)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan. 2016 – Apr. 2016
Ajin is the story of a student named Kei Nagai, who learns he is an immortal being called an Ajin when he doesn’t die after being hit by a truck. The world turns out to have many Ajins in it, but they are all wanted by the government. While the government claims to want to help Ajin live peaceful and safe lies, it is all a cover-up for the horrible experimentation they are actually conducting on them. Kei, with the help of his friend Kaito, tries to flee from the government as they attempt to capture him, too. Meanwhile, other escaped Ajin have started building a resistance to fight back - but all Kei wants is to live a normal life again.
Kei Nagai is the main character of Ajin and our next top character voiced by Miyano Mamoru. He’s a complicated young man who shows one face to society and saves the other for his private life. Most see him as intelligent and laid back, caring about very little. The reality is that Kei is overly logical and overthinks many things, and it makes him emotionally detached. He begins Ajin seeming to care about no one or nothing but himself, but grows up through the show to learn how to care for others and fight for a worthy cause. Mamoru helps to highlight that character growth and Kei’s struggle through his acting.
8. Death the Kid from Soul Eater
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Apr. 2008 – Mar. 2009
Soul Eater is set mostly at Death Weapon Meister Academy, a prestigious school run by Lord Death himself. The school is training talented students to become death scythes, a difficult achievement that can only be accomplished by feeding a weapon 99 souls and a witch’s soul. What makes things even more unique is that half the students are the wielders of these weapons, called meisters. The other half are the weapons themselves! They look human but are able to transform into various kinds of weapons which are wielded by these meisters. Soul Eater follows a group of these meisters and weapons on their journey to find all the souls they need.
One of the main characters in Soul Eater is Death the Kid. He is the son of Lord Death and destined to become the next grim reaper himself. Unlike the other students at the school, he’s a shinigami, or death god, rather than a human. He also has chosen to wield not one but two weapons at once - two sisters named Liz and Patty. Having to gather twice as many souls doesn’t bother Death the Kid because he likes everything in life to be completely symmetrical. In fact, he’s entirely obsessed with symmetry and talks about it constantly - too bad his own natural hairstyle isn’t symmetrical too! Miyano Mamoru gives Death the Kid both his funny and serious moments, propelling him through the show as both a source of comic relief and also awesome power.
7. Kiba from Wolf’s Rain
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Jan. 2003 – Jul. 2003
Wolf’s Rain is set in a world where wolves are thought to be extinct. In reality, they still exist through illusion and secrecy, disguising themselves as humans. The world is not a pretty place, and legend says that only wolves will be able to find Paradise when it ends. Wolf’s Rain follows four wolves on their journey to find Paradise as they follow the scent of the Lunar Flower, which is meant to lead them on the path. Most of the anime is set in Freeze City, a human city full of poverty and hardship where the wolves are all drawn to and eventually cross paths.
The main character in Wolf’s Rain is a wolf named Kiba who starts the anime injured and following the scent of the Lunar Flower to Freeze City. He’s an Arctic Wolf with beautiful white fur and carries a lot of pride for being a wolf. When the series begins, he does not even believe that wolves should disguise what they are, though he does it to survive when he has to. He tends to act rashly and impulsively, often following ideals rather than rational thinking. But Kiba is determined to protect his people and find Paradise, and while he may be idealistic he has a good heart. Miyano Mamoru is the voice behind Kiba, and it was one of his first voice acting roles in anime and helped take off his career.
6. Setsuna F. Seiei from Mobile Suit Gundam 00
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct. 2007 – Mar. 2008
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is the eleventh instalment in the long-running Gundam anime series. Like the previous series, it’s set in a futuristic version of Earth. This time, the story focuses on a paramilitary organisation called Celestial Being. Using advanced mech suits known as Gundam, it is Celestial Being’s goal to rid the world of war and conflict. The world is being torn apart by only the biggest nations having control of unlimited fuels after all the fossil fuels have been used up, and now minor counties are fighting for their rights, too. Using just four Gundam units, Celestial Being wants to make the Earth and peaceful place again after decades of nothing but war.
The main protagonist in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is a pilot named Setsuna F. Seiei. While previous protagonists in the Gundam series were Japanese, Setsuna is actually Middle Eastern. He was written to draw attention to that part of the world and the very real issues of war there. Setsuna grew up in war and is now driven to end wars through communication rather than more violence. His character grows up a lot as Mobile Suit Gundam 00 progresses, changing Setsuna from a boy to a man. Setsuna is a well-received and popular character in Japan, and his development and creation have garnered a lot of attention and praise. Miyano Mamoru received an award for Best Voice Actor at the 2008 Tokyo International Anime Fair for his role as Setsuna F. Seiei.
5. Shuu Tsukiyama from Tokyo Ghoul
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2014 – Sep. 2014
Tokyo Ghoul is set in an alternate version of Tokyo where humans live alongside near-human creatures called ghouls. They usually have the appearance of normal humans, but with a huge defining difference - they have to eat flesh to survive, and all human foods aside from coffee make them sick. There are organisations in place to try to catch rogue ghouls and keep humanity safe as they fight in an underground war against ghoul resistance groups and particularly powerful individuals.
One of these individuals is Shuu Tsukiyama, an eccentrically well-dressed man with purple hair. He’s known as the Gourmet due to his eating habits - he has what he considers to be a sophisticated palate and he always searching for new and exciting things to try. He’s incredibly strong and has a lot of influence in the ghoul world. His personality really stands out because it’s just as eccentric as his appearance and he mimics the style of a French gourmet with his attitude and word choices. His overly flamboyant character and obsession with Tokyo Ghoul’s main character Kaneki have made Tsukiyama a fan favourite in Japan and around the world. Miyano Mamoru does a great job of playing up Tsukiyama’s classy but crazy character while making his dark side equally frightening.
4. Rintaro Okabe from Steins;Gate
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr. 2011 – Sep. 2011
Steins;Gate is a popular science fiction anime that explores the possibility of time travel, and the butterfly effect of every small change causing a huge reaction later on. When Rintaro Okabe and his friends build a time machine out of a microwave in their Akihabara flat, they never could predict what their future would hold. Things start out innocently enough as they try to make small changes in the past to solve issues in the present. Everything they change affects far more than they could ever predict though - and some fates seem to be inescapable no matter how many factors they try to adjust.
Rintaro Okabe calls himself a mad scientist and tries hard to give that impression to other people, but he’s mostly an eccentric and driven university man with a big heart for his friends. While he can act selfishly and sometimes seems to care only about himself, as Steins;Gate progresses just how much he is willing to do for his friends becomes obvious. Okabe is incredibly determined and ambitious and doesn’t give up easily even when everything is stacked against him and all he seems to do is fail. Okabe grows a lot as a character over the course of the series and Miyano Mamoru delivers an unforgettable performance.
3. Rin Matsuoka from Free!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2013 – Sep. 2013
Free! is an anime about a high school swimming club made up of beautiful boys. They’re all close friends and just want to swim, win, and have a lot of fun. The main character is Haru, a boy who can think about literally nothing other than water and swimming. He’s very talented but just wants to swim freestyle and pursue his passion without being held back by anyone or anything. He learns to make friends with the other boys on the swim team though after they manage to recruit him, and despite there only being five of them, they manage to create a great team.
Every anime needs its antagonist, and Rin Matsuoka is Free!’s. He and Haru grew up together as close friends before Rin went to the swimming focused high school Samezuka. It was then that they drifted apart, and Rin developed a more aggressive attitude. His ambition and drive to be the best push him to try everything extremely hard, and put him constantly at odds with Haru and his friends. Rin is a complicated character who struggles with his desire to win, frustration with Haru’s seeming indifference, and the pursuit of his own friendships and relationships.
Miyano Mamoru really brings Rin’s passion to life. Many people see Free! as nothing but a fanservice anime, but whatever it is, Rin is an intriguing and interesting character fulfilling the role of “villain” without actually being a bad person.
2. Tamaki Suoh from Ouran Koukou Host Club (Ouran High School Host Club)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2006 – Sep. 2006
Ouran Koukou Host Club is set at Ouran Academy, a prestigious high school full of students mostly from very rich families. Always looking for new diversions and living life just to have fun, a group of boys there have created a very classy host club for their female classmates. The girls can come and enjoy feeling like princesses, drinking tea and being showered with compliments. When honour student Haruhi accidentally becomes indebted to the host club and has to pay off the debt, things start to get really crazy! But crazy just means more fun, right?
The leader of the host club at Ouran Academy is a boy named Tamaki Suoh. The grandson of the school’s headmaster means Tamaki lives a charmed life full of money and whatever else he could want (with a tragic backstory there somewhere too though!). He’s incredibly popular with the girls, smooth and charming, and known in the club as the princely type. To Haruhi’s more worldly eyes though, Tamaki is incredibly over the top and naive. Everything he does is very dramatic and like a show, but in the end, he’s a good person with a big heart. Miyano Mamoru makes it hard not to love Tamaki despite his flaws by making the character passionate and charming while still somehow believable.
1. Light Yagami from Death Note
- Episodes: 37
- Aired: Oct. 2006 – Jun. 2007
Death Note is the story of a high school boy named Light Yagami that finds a mysterious black notebook that kills anyone whose name is written inside. It leads to an intense crime story of mysterious deaths across Japan and an eccentric but unstoppable detective named L. It’s a series of manipulative games between the characters as Light manages to stay one step ahead of his pursuers by being a part of the investigative team himself. And when another Death Note appears in the game, everything only gets more complicated.
Death Note is one anime that all fans have heard of at the very least, and probably have watched. It’s had multiple live-action films both made by Japan and the West and despite being a bit old these days, it’s somehow still in the spotlight. Death Note has retained its popularity for many reasons, not the least of which is the main character Light Yagami. Light is chaotic, unpredictable, manipulative, and incredibly intelligent. He plays everyone else in the anime superbly and is the only person really able to stay one step ahead of L for so long. He’s arguably insane while maintaining a calm outer demeanour.
Miyano Mamoru brings all these sides of Light’s complex character to life incredibly well, hooking viewers from the first episode. His performance is so strong that Mamoru earned awards for Best Lead Actor and Best New Actor for his role as Light.
Miyano Mamoru voices an incredible range of very different characters and this is just a small selection of what we feel are his best ones! Main characters, secondary characters, and more - they’re all important to the anime they come from, and all have unique and well-written personalities and stories. From comic relief to dark and brooding and everything in between, Mamoru hosts a wide repertoire of different characters he has lent his voice to. Each one is unique and has come alive for different people, and it’s all thanks to Mamoru’s acting and great writing.
Did we miss your top character voiced by Miyano Mamoru? Would you have changed our ranking order? Which of these would be your number one? Let us know in the comments!