Have a bit of a late Featured Artist for the month of December (you can’t blame me! You know how busy the holidays get!), but I’m excited about this one. We’re diving back into the world of talented Seiyu (声優 ), or Japanese Voice Actors, to spotlight Daisuke Ono (小野 大輔), or OnoD, as he’s known by fans. Originally from the Kochi prefecture of Japan, Ono moved to Tokyo to attend Nihon University’s College of Art with the hopes of initially becoming a news anchor. Eventually, he switched to a focus in the performing arts and are we all not so glad that he did!
Beginning with many smaller roles beginning in 2001, Ono got his “breakthrough” when he landed the role of Itsuki Koizumi in “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” in 2006, though it wasn’t until 2008, in which Ono landed the coveted role of Sebastian Michaelis in “Black Butler” (黒執事), that he rose to super fame and became one of what some may call “Seiyu Royalty”. The role landed him in first “Best Voice Actor” award at the 4th Seiyu Awards.
The success eventually led him to other notable roles such as Shizuo Heiwajima of “Durarara!!” (デュラララ!!) in 2010 and Erwin Smith of “Attack on Titan” (進撃の巨人) in 2013 among many others such as:
Itsuki Koizumi – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Mabashi, Shukuro Tsukishima – Bleach
Jin Kamishina – Dragonaut
Sebastian Michaelis – Black Butler
Hyuga – Neo Angelique Abyss
Hikaru Asahina – Library War
Jack Vessalius – Pandora Hearts
Shizuo Heiwajima – Durarara!!
Arthur Auguste Angel – Ao no Exorcist
Kou Ichijou – Persona 4
Jun Sato – Working!!
Sinbad – Magi
Shintaro Midorima – Kuroko’s Basketball
Kazuya Tokugawa – The Prince of Tennis II
Erwin Smith – Attack on Titan
Subaru – Brothers Conflict
Hirato – Karneval
Sumeragi Kira (HE★VENS) – Uta no Prince Sama
Jotaro Kujo – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Daikoku – Noragami
Norito Goshi – Seraph of the End
Kuroh Yatogami – K: Return of Kings
Yumikage Tsukimitsu – Servamp
Soji Okita – Touken Ranbu
Kogoro Akechi – Trickster
Willaim Vangeance – Black Clover
Drole – The Seven Deadly Sins
And this is just the beginning of the list! With a curious way of going from having a rather velvety voice to a rough one in seconds, Ono’s flexibility has a way of snaring himself many roles ranging from numerous mediums such as anime, video games, live action dubbing, radio, and drama CDs. In 2008, he also began producing his own music as well. Check out some of his work below!
***Some of the following contains Massive Spoilers and some more Adult Themes.***
Shizuo Heiwajima from “Durarara!!”
Focus on the blonde. 😉
Sebastian Michaelis from “Black Butler: Book of Circus”
Erwin Smith from “Attack on Titan”
Ono’s Single “Monochrono Niji”
For more of Ono’s work, be sure to check out his websites below!
Ono’s key feature in my mind that makes him stand out as an artist is his flexibility. Though he has a lower pitch and tone, more often than not the way he uses that pitch with the way he says things to convey meaning makes all the difference when he is embodying various different characters with his voice acting. It’s why he can be a rowdy street fighter one moment, to a refined butler the next. This flexibility as an artist is a clear factor in Ono’s success and continues to be one of the reasons he remains as one of the top Seiyu in Japan and around the world.
So when you find yourself in a rut with your art, next time ask if the method in which you’re using your tools is the same and if it’s worth switching it up. Sometimes being flexible is what leads us to our breakthroughs and our best works, as Ono exemplifies as an artist. Till next time all!