30 Years Ago: The Most Popular Voice Actors of Yesteryear
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Ranma ½ voice actress Rei Sakuma took a trip down memory lane and shared her discoveries on Twitter. The Shampoo voice actress shared a listing of the results of the 12th Anime Grand Prix, a popularity contest held annually by Animage magazine. The image Sakuma shared shows who was the hottest in the voice acting industry in 1989, practically 30 years ago.
The most popular male voice actor was Akira Kamiya. While he may be best known now as the voice of Kogoro Mōri from Detective Conan, at the time he was the voice of Ryo Saeba from City Hunter, Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star, and Kinnikuman. Kamiya's 1989 win was his ninth in the magazine and he'd go on to win again the following year. Other top choices were Kouichi Yamadera (Ranma½ 's Ryōga Hibiki), Toshihiko Seki (Ranma ½ 's Mousse), Toshio Fukukawa (Dragon Ball Z's Piccolo), Tohru Furuya (Gundam's Amuro Ray, Kimagure Orange Road's Kyosuke), Kazuhiko Inoue (Legend of Galactic Heroes' Dusty Attemborough), and Kappei Yamaguchi (Ranma ½'s Ranma Saotome).
The most popular female voice actor was Megumi Hayashibara. Still well-known in her own right, Hayashibara was the voice of Ranma ½'s female Ranma. She went on to voice many iconic anime characters including Minky Momo, Hello Kitty, Lina Inverse, Saber Marionette J's Lime, Macross Plus' Lucy MacMillan, and Pokemon's Musashi (Jessie).
Other top female voice actors included that year were Noriko Hidaka (Ranma ½'s Akane), Rei Sakuma herself, Minami Takayama (Ranma ½'s Nabiki), Miina Tominaga (Patlabor's Noa Izumi), Masako Nozawa (Dragon Ball Z's Goku), Shinobu Adachi (Madō King Granzort's Rabi), Sumi Shimamoto (Maison Ikkoku's Kyoko Otonashi), Mayumi Tanaka (Dragon Ball Z's Krillin), and Kazue Ikura (City Hunter's Kaori Makimura).
The contest first Anime Grand Prix launched in 1979 and the inaugural winners were published in the January 1980 issue.