When there’s something that you really enjoy, you tend to pay more attention to the details, right? So, if you’re fond of watching BL anime, you might have noticed there’s a particular voice that pops up quite frequently. But who is this extremely talented seiyuu? Well, it's none other than Toshiyuki Morikawa, better known by fujoshi's as “The Emperor." But what made him win such an interesting title? Let's take a look and find the answer to that question!
Who Is Toshiyuki Morikawa?
Before we start talking about his career, it’s important to take the time to know the man behind the many voices. Morikawa was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1967. As incredible as it might seem, he is 53 years old! One of the many reasons why he’s incredibly popular is that he’s one of the most good looking seiyuu in the industry, and we won’t deny that…
Back in 2003, Morikawa formed a band together with Fumihiko Tachiki called “2Hearts”, showing that voice acting is not the only thing that this man knows how to do (and excel at). But The Emperor knew that his true calling was voice acting and, wanting to teach other people how to do it, he founded Axlone, a voice acting company, in 2011. And if you think his job only includes anime characters, you’re wrong! This talented man dubbed characters for video games (Sephirot, from Final Fantasy VII) and foreign live-action films as well. No wonder his voice is so easy to recognize.
Getting the Job Done
Morikawa has a deep, velvety voice that will definitely send chills down your spine when you hear him, conveying the character’s nature without any problem. His vocal range allows him to voice energetic characters, as well as aloof ones, kind-hearted ones, and rotten-to-the-core characters too.
Now, sounding cool isn’t everything you need to be good at voice acting, and that’s something Morikawa is well aware of. That’s why he tries his best to give every one of his characters its own traits and voice. It takes talent to be able to go from Naraku (Inuyasha) to Ryuuichirou Isaka (Junjou Romantica, Sekaiichi Hatsukoi) to Hatchan (One Piece). Sometimes, Morikawa seems to think that just one role per anime is not enough, so he goes out of his way to grab as many characters as he can, voicing two or three at a time!
Bow Down to The Emperor
He can be really versatile, but there’s no denying that Morikawa shines when it comes to BL roles. With his deep and sexy voice, he is the perfect choice for a mature, seductive, and sometimes teasing seme. When you hear Morikawa’s voice, you know it’s going to be an enjoyable ride… and so does the uke in every one of those anime!
Curiously enough, it's not like Morikawa is always voicing the lead character in a BL anime; in fact, you might be thinking there’s actually not a wide catalog of BL anime to pick from. While that might be true, it’s not exactly a problem. The Emperor also voices characters in drama CDs, and he does a terrific job! One has to be truly talented in order to convey that role using sounds and voice only. If that’s not enough for you, you can always pretend that every character that Morikawa voices is a dominant seme… even if that has nothing to do with the actual plot.
Voice acting is not easy at all, especially when you have to go out of your comfort zone and voice risky scenes seducing someone of the same sex. Toshiyuki Morikawa is not afraid of going all out, and he seems to always enjoy his roles to the fullest. As fujoshi's, we’re more than happy to have him voice these characters, and we’re proud to call him The Emperor of the BL world!