For the past 40 years, Keiko Han has been another big name in the world of seiyuu. You may know her as Luna (and Queen Beryl) in Sailor Moon, Lalah in the original Gundam, Saori in Saint Seiya, and numerous classic roles. However, as fate would have it, Megumi, her own daughter, would also become a seiyuu. In 2017, she was awarded the best supporting actress at the Eleventh Seiyuu Awards in Japan. So, how did Megumi Han come to be? After being solely raised by her mother after her parents divorced, she often heard her mother’s voice whenever she was at home or on TV so she decided to follow in her footsteps and enrolled in the theatre program to Nihon University’s School of Art. Since then, Megumi Han made a name for herself and has made her fans, peers, and mother proud.
5. Gon Freecss from HUNTER X HUNTER
- Episodes: 148
- Air Dates: October 2, 2011 – September 24, 2014
In this reboot to the classic series by Yoshihiro Togashi (which he has notoriously put on hiatus), Han inherits the role of Gon from Junko Takeuchi (who you may know as the voice of Naruto, who in turn inherited the role from Rica Matsumoto, the voice of Ash/Satoshi from Pokemon). Out of all of the Gon’s seiyuu in Japanese, many hardcore Hunter X Hunter fans consider Megumi Han to be the very best (like no one ever was)! She does a great job of convincing audiences that she is a prepubescent boy by roughing up her voice that perfectly captures his adventurous nature. She also does a great job of conveying his enthusiasm and aggression in a manner that makes him feel authentic and relatable.
4. Rinko Yamato from Ore Monogatari!!! (My Love Story!!)
- Episodes: 24
- Air Dates: April 9, 2015 – September 24, 2015
In Ore Monogatari, Han plays Rinko, the female lead, Takeo’s girlfriend. Though Takeo looks older than 16 (and Rinko looking younger than 16), she can’t help but fall in love with him. Han conveys that Rinko is not only just a genuine everyday school girl, but that she’s someone who sees all of Takeo’s positive qualities despite being a good natured goof. Through Han’s portrayal, you feel Rinko’s feelings whether it would be in dramatic, generic, or comedic moments. Considering the circumstances as to how Rinko and Takeo first meet (by saving her from a groper on the train), audiences can authentically feel why she likes him, and Han does a great job of performing those emotions and the reasons behind them.
3. Miki Makimura from DEVILMAN crybaby (Devilman: Crybaby)
- Episodes: 10
- Air Dates: January 5, 2018
Just like Rinko, Miki is another (supposedly) ordinary teenager Han plays. Just like our previous addition, Miki is very caring and wants to be everybody’s friend. Beyond capturing the typical girl next door, through Han’s voice, you feel Miki’s sense of convictions and her optimism despite her personal hardships. Thanks to her performance with all the hope her character brings to a world full of despair, you truly feel the impact of Miki’s loss even more so when she died in the original manga.
2. Atsuko Kagami from Little Witch Academia
- Episodes: 25
- Air Dates: January 9, 2017 – June 26, 2017
If any role solidified Megumi Han based on her own talents as opposed to playing characters from remakes/sequels to older anime titles, it certainly has to be playing the role of Atsuko in one of anime’s biggest passion projects ever, Little Witch Academia. Atsuko may seem typical in the Shoujo genre on the outside, but when you watch this series through Han’s performance, you’re going to get something unforgettable. As Atsuko, she balances the comedy and legitimacy of her curiosity as she enters a world that both meets and doesn’t meet her optimistic expectations. As someone who is both a teenager and not familiar with the world of witches, you feel a genuine sense of wonder. You feel the positivity of the character, and at the same time, you can laugh and relate to how she panics whenever something unexpected goes wrong, but will do everything possible to clean up her mess. Thanks to Han’s performance, Atsuko just has this unique sense of life.
1. Sayla Mass from Kidou Kenshi Gundam The Origin (Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin)
- Episodes: 6
- Air Dates: April 14, 2015 – May 5, 2018
Considering that one of Han’s mother’s break out roles was through the first Gundam series as Lalah Sune, Char’s love interest, maybe it is destiny to see Megumi Han play a returning character from that series as well. Though Han has played the Lalah character in the Gundam-san parody series, her talents truly shine as she takes over the role of Sayla Mass, previous played by Yo Inoue, who the world of anime tragically lost in 2003. Considering that her mother played Char’s love interest, it is appropriate that Han carries on the Gundam legacy as Sayla, Char’s sister. As Sayla, she makes her predecessors and fans proud as she captures the character’s multiple dimensions as she can show fear and determination when needed, but is always driven to do the right thing, and still captures an appropriate chemistry with Shuuichi Ikeda, the voice of Char, like she’s still Inoue.
Through these roles and many more, Megumi Han has done a great job of distinguishing herself in an industry that made her mother an icon. It is reasonable to assume that she is riding off her mother’s coattails, but like any other great seiyuu, she still paid her dues. Megumi Han has done a great job of playing iconic characters from her time while also playing some characters that originated from her mother’s as well. As her career continues, we hope to see more from her as to how she will continue to distinguish herself as an amazing actress in her own right.