Fanart Friday returns, with its dead fish eyes and strangely soothing voice. Last week, we started our semi-regular look at voice actors with Steve Blum (which he totally read and enjoyed, no joke), but this week we're taking another famous voice--TOMOKAZU SUGITA! He's played a lot of popular characters recently, and we'll get to all of those in a minute, but first...
Sadly, he has never actually dubbed over a Disney character
Not to be confused with Tomokazu Seki, who's a completely different (and much weirder) person, Tomokazu Sugita's most popular roles are as Gintama's leading man Gintoki and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya's long-suffering Kyon. Now, let's get started!
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Oh look, it's a whole bunch of Tomokazu Sugita's roles. I can see a bunch of the characters that people requested from last week, so, uh... yeah. I guess I'm done! That's it for this week! Seeya, everybody!
What, I have to actually do more? Okay, fine...
Let's actually start with a relatively recent one--Blazblue's Ragna the Bloodedge, a.k.a. Easy Mode Sol Badguy! Who here is ready for Chronophantasma?
I didn't even know Alice in the Country of Hearts was even a thing, but Sugita has voiced the very grimly-named Nightmare Gottschalk, based on the Caterpillar from the original Alice in Wonderland!
And then there's Hoshi (or Star, if you prefer), who is one the pettiest, meanest, and in a lot of ways most awesome and fun characters from Arakawa Under the Bridge. I need more of this show--two seasons wasn't nearly enough.
by OroNoDa READER SUBMISSION!
Funny thing: I've always kind of feared Star Ocean games, no thanks to Star Ocean: The Second Story's absolutely atrocious English dub (on PS1--I've never played the PSP remake). Turns out that in Japan, Tomokazu Sugita provided the voice for super badass Dias Flac! Now that doesn't sound so bad.
Kensei is that rare newly-introduced Bleach character that I really love--even if his shikai's a little lame. Renji gets this extendable whip sword, Byakuya gets a cloud of invisible mini-knives, Hitsugaya gets ice, and Kensei gets... a knife (that generates wind, yes). Cool?
Tomokazu Sugita also has quite a bit of range, able to go from incredibly goofy to heartbreakingly serious in the same episode, and SKET Dance is one of the titles where he gets to show this off, as the synth-voiced otaku weirdo Switch.
I've heard that people don't like Alvin much in Tales of Xillia, but I don't care! He should be the protagonist! Seriously, it's either Jude's hilarious and dopey awkwardness, Milla's weird and kinda creepy monotone, or Alvin being awesome all day long--I think the choice is pretty obvious.
by ultmte READER SUBMISSION!
I've never once seen Pokemon in Japanese, so I was surprised to find out that Sugita voices eternally-stuck-with Ash trainer Brock (or Takeshi in the Japanese release). EDIT: Turns out I was only half-right! Sugita played Brock only in the Origins OAV--in the TV series, he was played by Yuji Ueda, who played Sanosuke in Rurouni Kenshin. (Thanks, kurotaku360!)
It's Aizen! Oh wait, no, it's not--it's Takumi Mayama from Honey and Clover, which is one of the best series that I really need to rewatch. I remember a scene where Ayumi is crying, and the animation of her body and her tears are just so realistic. Damn, such a good show.
Out of all the different JoJos in the aptly-named JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, my favorite is easily Joseph, star of Part Two: Battle Tendency, where he teams up with a (former) Nazi Major named Stroheim to beat the crap out of a race of Aztec super-vampires.
Most of you who regularly read Fanart Friday know that Inu x Boku Secret Service isn't really the type of series I'd normally watch, but finding out that Tomokazu Sugita voices Kagerou, a guy who sounds... pretty special, is good-enough motivation.
Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but my favorite part of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet was easily Chamber, the artificial intelligence who totally had a soul (my second favorite part was Ridget, because <3). I can't really say that Sugita's "Chamber" voice is the same as his "Switch" voice, but it's close enough, and the feeling is still there.
Y'know, I have a sad confession to make: I know that Fire Emblem games always have awesome music, and Fire Emblem: Awakening is no exception, but I always play my 3DS on mute. I don't know why, but aside from games like Elite Beat Agents, I just always tend to play handhelds on mute! Apparently, this means I also missed out on Sugita's Chrom!
Y'know what tone Tomokazu Sugita has mastered? Exasperation. He did it in Haruhi, he does it all the time Gintama, but he really gets to show it off as Goto, the overburdened police officer from Samurai Flamenco.
Many characters get to have a single standout "holy crap" moment for me--I remember Luffy keeping his temper when Bellamy and his goons were pouring drinks on him (and then promptly drilling Bellamy into the ground only when it really mattered), I remember Light's massive gambit against L, and I sure as hell remember the time that Baccano's Graham Specter disassembled a car in midair!
Why you so angry, Bart? Last week, a reader mentioned that Tomokazu Sugita "might have been in Xenosaga," and he was--as Virgil! However, I've been sitting on this picture since Skull and Crossbones Edition, and it works--Sugita played Prince (and sand pirate captain) Bartholomew Fatima in Xenogears!
Y'know, it's funny--I first started recognizing Sugita's voice when he played a high school student, but I always find that his voice is too deep to be a high school boy. This isn't like Sasuke, who's 13 but sounds like he's 30--it always comes off as a more natural-sounding kid-with-a-deeper-voice, like the very sleepy Hidenori from Daily Lives of High School Boys here.
We've discussed--many times--on Fanart Friday about how I'm totally going to watch Tsuritama at some point, I know it's supposed to be amazing. Sugita played fishing-loving duck owner Akira in the series! (Thanks MrAprilFoolsDay!)
Going back a little farther, a reader asked for Sugita's two "single-letter series" roles. While I dropped his role in K from the list due to space concerns (sorry, dude!), I made sure to include his role in X as Subaru Sumeragi, who also previously appeared in CLAMP's Tokyo Babylon.
So that brings us to those two most popular roles I talked about, starting with The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya's Kyon! Y'know, it's difficult finding art of Kyon that doesn't have him getting all handsy with almost every other character in the series short of his cat, and even now he's blushing and breathing hard and totally ready to get down, which is hilariously uncharacteristic of him (even if ponytails drive him wild). Or, y'know... maybe he's cold. That's a small possibility.
Gintama leading man Gintoki has a lot of depth--a very tragic background, a hard time growing up essentially as a war hero, and then having to adjust to peacetime and adult life (well, kinda) all in the same span of time makes for a guy who's seen a lot, who's lost a lot, and knows exactly what it feels like to not have anybody important in your life. Damn, that's actually... really heavy. While the series gets like that sometimes, that's not the feeling it really hits, so...
by MadPandaKira READER SUBMISSION!
...ahh, that's more like it! You have no idea how much I want another season of Gintama. I've actually held off on watching the last couple episodes, just because I don't want it to be over. It's that good to me. Plus, Gintoki's JUMP obsession really resonates with me, probably more than it should.
And that's everything for this week! I had to leave out a couple requests due to space, but I think I got at least one from each reader who asked. In any case, I couldn't have put all of Tomokazu Sugita's roles here--what are your favorites from his career? Sound off in the comments!
Your art is always welcome on Fanart Friday, so don't be shy about sending it in! Just PM me a link to your work, and I'll make sure to include it in a future installment! Here are the next three themes for Fanart Friday:
-Next week, on MARCH 7th, center your Chakra and explode your Cosmo--we're gearing up for the final battle with our favorite POWERED-UP FORMS! Think of it this way--Usagi/Serena transforming into Sailor Moon doesn't count, but Sailor Moon powering up to Princess Serenity does. THIS IS THE ONLY THEME I'M TAKING REQUESTS FOR THIS WEEK!
-Then, on MARCH 14th, we're shattering all expectations with one of my favorite genres in all of media: the MIND SCREW! Expect some David Lynch-related fanart to show up in this installment!
-On MARCH 21st, it's that time of year again--to celebrate two and a half years of Fanart Friday, we look back on the last six months with a RECAP EPISODE! Just to reiterate, there will be NO REQUESTS for this installment, but ALL SUBMISSIONS are welcome!
Thanks again for coming by to check out Fanart Friday. Have a great weekend, and I hope you drop by next week!