Attack on Titan Voice Actor Hiroshi Kamiya Shares His Ideology Towards Acting
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Voice actor Hiroshi Kamiya recently appeared on Professional Shigoto no Ryūgi (Professional: Work Style), an NHK documentary television program that highlights the working lives of people in various professions in Japan. The episode showed his work as Levi on Attack on Titan, as well as his acting in tokusatsu programs and his voice-over work on TV commercials and Japanese dubs of foreign films.
Throughout the documentary, which aired on January 7, Kamiya shared his personal approach to voice acting. Based on his questioning of producers and the original creator, Kamiya aims to "erase" his own presence and allow his voice to completely capture the spirit of the character. He also admitted that he does not believe that his range is as good as other voice actors, and that he finds it difficult to accept compliments about his skill.
Kamiya, who is turning 44 later this month, began his career as a voice actor when he was 19. In the beginning, he struggled to get roles, and would only land one once or twice a month. Things turned around during the 90s anime boom, as the demand for voice actors rose, but even then Kamiya had troubles. On the first day of recording for his first ever role as a main character, he got into a traffic accident and was hospitalized for a month. He said that during this time he realized that voice actors were always replaceable, and if he wanted to find his place in the industry, he would have to fight for it.
Kamiya spoke frankly about the difficulties of being a voice actor. "You can't get work by yourself, and it's always a battle with yourself. If you succeed, no one will praise you, but if you fail, you'll hear about it to no end." However, he said that above all else, he loves being in the studio, surrounded by other actors and creative people.
The documentary revealed that Kamiya has been getting more closely involved in anime production lately, and that he will sit at script meetings and give feedback about the story from his perspective as a voice actor. During the production of Beatless, his input influenced the script.
Besides Levi, the prolific voice actor's other anime roles include Takashi Natsume in Natsume's Book of Friends, Shinji Matō in Fate/stay night, Ranpo Edogawa in Bungo Stray Dogs, and Tieria Erde in Mobile Suit Gundam 00. The documentary revealed that Kamiya's first ever credited anime voice acting role was a single line as "student C" in an episode of Marmalade Boy.