If there's one voice actor who is extremely pigeonholed
, but is just so awesome
at doing his pigeonholed job that it doesn't matter, this man is that voice actor.
Norio Wakamoto was an anti-riot squad officer who saw action in the pro-leftist student protests in the 1960s/70s before he became a voice actor (we are forced to assume that he just had to yell "HALT, CRIMINAL!" and they'd immediately stop while shouting "YES, YOUR MAJESTY!"
). He is well-known for his grandiose
delivery and his tendency to get picked for a villain role
. So if you want a hammy, menacing Big Bad
(or any other villainous role), contact him. And his range of villain roles is also quite wide, from manipulating and scheming to The Berserker
type. Whether it's of a high position or as an underling (as long as it's no Mook
, and sometimes even then). Beware... they can become Ensemble Dark Horses
or Magnificent Bastards
greater than the Big Bad
Villains, however, aren't his only forte (though it's undoubtedly what he's best at). He is also capable of doing humorous, perverted roles or, rarely, heroic types. Or even soft-spoken characters.
Norio Wakamoto is an expert in martial arts, and he will kick your ass
Also, thanks to his role as Social Darwinist
and Emperor Charles of Britannia
, he has reached a certain Memetic Badass
status amongst Western anime fans (by that time, he'd already been considered one in Japan). There are people who state that any anime can turn instantly good if he is participating (or that any character he voices will always be perceived as Badass
). It's even gotten to the point where, instead of having him "work his voice to fit a character", they work the character to fit his voice. The man is the Chuck Norris
of Anime, with the voice of BRIAN BLESSED
Not just amongst the fans, but he is also very well respected amongst his fellow voice actors, to the point that many have tried doing a 'Wakamoto impression'. For example, this one
, as done by Tomokazu Sugita
, Takahiro Sakurai
, and Yuuichi Nakamura
. In fact, there was a competition in 2012 about imitating Wakamoto, judged by Wakamoto himself; the result remains unknown, however.
Uses the name "Hiruma Kyou-no-suke" when voicing for characters in Eroge. Check here
for whom he voiced for.
A sample of his voicing can be found here
For his Western equivalent in terms of number of roles, go see Steve Blum
, Michael McConnohie
, Tim Curry
, and, occasionally, Crispin Freeman
. For the Western equivalent in terms of memetically great voices, see Morgan Freeman
. His Distaff Counterpart
is Megumi Hayashibara
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Wakamoto's villain roles
- Alexander Anderson in Hellsing Ultimate, replacing the deceased Nachi Nozawa (RIP). (If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accused! O Lord, come! Aaaamen!)
- Both Arc Kivat and Rey Kivat in the Kamen Rider Kiva movie
- Augustus in Demonbane
- Aziz (Art Malik) in the True Lies Japanese dub.
- General Baal in Grandia.
- Father Balder in Bayonetta: Bloody Fate
- Barbatos Goetia in Tales of Destiny 2 (AITEMU NAZO! TSUKATTEN JA!! NNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!)
- Biagio Busoni in To Aru Majutsu no Index II
- Black Shadow in F-Zero Legend of Falcon/GP Legend (WATASHI WA SHINEN! SHINEN ZUU!!!)
- Cell in Dragon Ball. It's said that while he was doing the voice of Cell, he would practice his lines at home. Children in the neighborhood would hear him, go up to his door, and yell "Cell, come out and fight us!", and in response, he would open his front door and shout "Who is that? Who wants to be absorbed?"
- Chaos in Dissidia: Final Fantasy
- Emperor Charles zi Britannia in Code Geass and Super Robot Wars Z2: Saisei-Hen. Probably his most memetic role in the West.
- Charon in the Japanese dub of Dantes Inferno
- Conrad Viscuess in Infinite Ryvius.
- Denpa Shogun in Myself ; Yourself, the Big Bad of a sentai Show Within a Show.
- Dracula in the Castlevania series (from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night onward). This role utilizes his famous Evil Laugh better than most.
- Dragless in Lightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken
- Gambino from Berserk.
- Ganzack in the obscure One Piece OVA Defeat Him! The Pirate Ganzack.
- Geist in MD Geist (the original cut). "BURYAAAAHHHHH!!!"
- Gene in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.
- General Bat in Shin Getter Robo Vs. Neo Getter Robo and Super Robot Wars GC
- Gntarl in the TV remake/expansion of Munto.
- Golba in Samurai Shodown: Edge of Destiny.
- Halja (Grim Reaper Mooks) in Odin Sphere
- High Max in Mega Man X6. So that's why High Max was so difficult...
- Hol Horse in the OAV of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
- He also voices Dio Brando in the obscure radio drama version.
- General Iaron in Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial.
- Igniz in The King of Fighters 2001. In 2002, he did Rugal Bernstein, but in 2002 Unlimited Match, Rugal's voice was reprised by the original actor, Toshimitsu Arai.
- Imran Zakhaev in the Modern Warfare series.
- Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) in the Japanese dub of Rocky IV
- Dr. Josef Heiter (Dieter Laser) in the Japanese dub of The Human Centipede
- Kagato in Tenchi Muyo! and Tenchi Universe.
- Kessler in the Japanese release of Infamous.
- M. Bison/Vega (Dictator) in the Street Fighter series (Darrined the role from Tomomichi Nishimura starting from Capcom vs. SNK).
- Makuta Teridax in the Japanese dub of the BIONICLE movies.
- He was Marller's sidekick, the Large Ham God of Poverty, Senbee, in Ah! My Goddess. "SHAKKIN!"
- Masaomi Houzuki in Sharin No Kuni.
- Megatron in the Japanese dub of Transformers Animated. "All Hail Megatron" indeed...
- Movieverse Megatron in the video games based on the Transformers movies. (In the movies themselves, he's voiced by Kotaro Nakamura...)
- Mitsunari Ishida in Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams
- Mr. Sinister in the Japanese dub of X-Men.
- Mumkhar/Metal Face in Xenoblade.
- Neue Regisseur in Super Robot Wars Original Generation and Super Robot Wars Impact. Rather Hilarious in Hindsight, since both Kyosuke and Blade are voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa.
- Nikita Dragovich in the Japanese dub of Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Oda Nobunaga in the Sengoku Basara series. Singularly the most Obviously Evil villain in anime and gaming history. (WARE WA DAI ROKU TEN MAOU, ODA NOBUNAGA NARRRI!!)
- The Owl in Wolf's Rain. Yes, it was an evil owl. And yes, it was the most awesome character in the entire anime.
- Renvolt Magashi in Phantasy Star Universe
- Shapiro Keats in Dancougar. (First major villain role)
- Moon Will in Dancouga Nova. He voices Earth Will as well, but only Moon Will is a villain.
- Scarl in Cyborg 009 (2001 series).
- Scorpius in Moira.
- Sekidousai in Inukami!
- Shredder (James Saito) in the Japanese dub of the first two livaction Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies.
- Shurara in Keroro Gunsou. The resonance ritual has never been this creepy.
- Sou-Banchou, alias Kaoru Ichimonji, in Tokimeki Memorial 2. Although, rather than a villain, he's a Worthy Opponent antagonist, and a Knight Templar Big Brother if his sister Akane is your love target.
- T-Bag (Robert Knepper) in the Japanese dub of Prison Break.
- Taishakuten in RG Veda
- Tekkaman Omega in Tekkaman Blade.
- The talking fish minstrel from episode 3 of Mononoke.
- Vicious in Cowboy Bebop. Sort of Playing Against Type, as, while certainly a villain, he's the icy, stoic type, rather than a Large Ham.
- Victoream. Yes, that one. Before that, he was a minor Canon Fodder villain, but was still awesome.
- Vince McMahon in the Japanese-dubbed WWE. "WATASHI WA VINCE MCMAHON, DAMN IT!"
- Xemnas in Kingdom Hearts.
- The Yakuza with the white suit and sunglasses, in Yarudora series vol.3: Sampaguita.
- Youzou Torii in Oh! Edo Rocket
- Vampire Lord Zaharl and masked superman Gyallandou, in a little known Falcom game called Zwei 2.
- Zarok in MediEvil: Resurrection.
- Overlord Zenon in Disgaea 2.
- The narrator for the opening crawl in the original. "There exists a place they say is blacker than any darkness, deeper than any ocean..."
- A guest voice in the role of Zeibu of the Mummy in Tensou Sentai Goseiger, a MotW whose plan is to mummify the world, with a TV broadcast. I kid you not.
- Zeikfried in Wild Arms Alter Code: F
Wakamoto's non-villainous roles
- Al-Cid Margrace in Final Fantasy XII.
- Amagumo, aka Rain Spider, in Desert Punk. More a rival than a villain, and pretty much everyone in that series is utterly reprehensible anyway.
- The Ancient One/Kaosu in Yoroiden-Samurai Troopers/Ronin Warriors.
- Ashlay Barnbalt in Star Ocean: First Departure
- The bartender "Master" in Catherine
- Another bartender only referred to as "Master" in Maison Ikkoku, one of his earliest roles.
- Bontenmaru/Date Masamune in Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Chiyo-chichi (the yellow cat...thing) in Azumanga Daioh.
- Chu in YuYu Hakusho, a Badass Drunken Master and Boisterous Bruiser who fights Yusuke and befriends him.
- CV-Wakamoto in M.U.G.E.N. Essentially, an original character that copies various voice clips and moves from Wakamoto's more famous roles.
- The Cyclone vacuum cleaner in Haiyore! Nyarko-san, which mainly exists as another excuse to reference Kamen Rider Double, but also because it's an excuse to include Norio Wakamoto in the show.
- A Neutral role as Deus from Mirai Nikki (which makes the above Watchmen quote Hilarious in Hindsight).
- Diao Chan in Koihime†Musou.
- King Drake the Third in Makai Kingdom.
- In the Disgaea 3 cameo, if you talk to him, he'll say "There's only one voice actor in the universe that can voice me!"
- Duke Duffau in Chrono Crusade, leader of the demon pursuers. Interestingly, the character was an antagonist of sorts in the manga (although he mostly ignored the heroes and went straight for Aion), but in the anime adaptation, he got upgraded to an uneasy ally with the Magdalene Order.
- "Big" Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) in the Japanese dub of Twin Peaks. Betcha' didn't see this one coming, did ya?
- Enma Daimaou-sama in Dororon Enma-kun Meramera
- Eternity Sword Wisdom in Eien no Aselia.
- The unnamed father of protagonist Mito Yuuri, in Tayutama.
- Transformers Galaxy Force's Flame Convoy, Scourge in TF Cybertron.
- The Former Prime Minister in Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai, who looks suspiciously like him. Very subtle, Minato Soft.
- Gargoyle the dog statue from Gargoyle of the Yoshinagas.
- Gawn Brawdia in Wild ARMs 4
- Gigalt Gangaragash in Planetes.
- General Godwin in Dog Days
- Gustave St. Germain of Baccano!.
- Did the voice of Hiroshi from Family Project under a pseudonym.
- Johnny in Guilty Gear X, XX, and Xrd -SIGN-
- Lando Calrissian (yes, Billy Dee Williams) in the Japanese dub of the 2004 DVD Re Cut of Star Wars. Also the narrator of the Japanese dub of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
- Matsudaira Katakuriko, the violent nutcase director of the Shinsengumi in Gintama.
- Mechazawa in Cromartie High School.
- Mio's Wooden Cubes in Nichijou. It's the reason why Mio is so powerful.
- The Nabuu brothers in Ga-Rei -Zero-.
- The shapeshifter Nagamimi in Kyogoku Natsuhiko Kosetsu Hyaku Monogatari.
- The voice of the nanosuit OS in the Japanese version of Crysis. And in very good Engrish, as well.
- The Narrator/Voice of Heavens in Hayate the Combat Butler.
- The narrator of Seijuu Sentai Gingaman
- Narrator of the "Go-Driller" anime's previews in Tokimeki Memorial 2
- A Nevada sheriff in Golgo 13.
- Coach Ohta in Gunbuster.
- In what has to be a shout-out to this role, he plays look-alike rugby coach Akira Fuwa in the second episode of Madonna
- Oko San, the high school track team captain and a pudding-obsessed bird, in the Hatoful Boyfriend Drama CD. This fulfills his wish to be a bird!
- Another such role is Garuda, a giant bird with humanoid hands.
- Onsokumaru in Ninin Ga Shinobuden — a role which must have been written with him in mind. He's given license to steal the show, and does it with gusto.
- Ooshima, the Kuroda group's second-in-command in Gokusen. He's very funny.
- Oskar von Reuenthal in Legend of Galactic Heroes, one of his earliest (and best) roles.
- Commander Paul Radhabinod in Muv Luv Alternative
- Philip Hughes in Mobile Suit Gundam: the Blue Destiny
- The Principal, aka Shining Saotome, in Uta No Prince Sama.
- Raiden (Christopher Lambert) in the first Mortal Kombat movie.
- Robert T. Sturgeon, the Special Forces operative from the Ninja Gaiden series, gets voiced by him in the OVA.
- Joe Hayabusa in the modern Ninja Gaiden games (that's Ryu's father, btw).
- Shigemichi Morimoto in Soul Link.
- He voiced the minor hero character Shuren in Fist of the North Star, though not for long, since storyline reasons demanded Shuren's failed Heroic Sacrifice against Raoh. He also did Raoh for a very short time in his silhouette debut.
- The Stellar Spirit King in Fairy Tail.
- Taisou from Giant Robo.
- Various characters in Sazae-san
- Victor Coste in the Splinter Cell series.
- General Winters Socalo in D.Gray-Man.
- Woodchuck in Record of Lodoss War (but note that Wood ends up a victim of a Karla-induced Grand Theft Me).
- In Sailor Moon, he played a soft-spoken Nice Guy (bwuh?) named Yusuke Amade. He worked as a jazz artist and was in love with his co-worker, Akiko Yanagi, but was too shy to tell her. As Naru and Usagi attempted to get to know him more, since Naru was a major fangirl of him, Amade became a target of the youma and Sailor Moon had to save him. His sexy voice (and piano playing) attracted all da ladies.
- Yoshimitsu in SoulCalibur IV, replacing Nobuyuki Hiyama. This has cemented Yoshimitsu's status as an Ensemble Dark Horse.
- General and Prime Minister Olfan Zairud of Melkia Empire in Madou Koukaku.
Tropes associated with Norio Wakamoto:
- Badass: See Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Cool Old Guy: Is one of the more favored old generation voice actors in business.
- Evil Is Hammy
- Evil Sounds Deep
- Gratuitous English: In Azumanga Daioh, Code Geass, Hellsing, and probably others.
- Guttural Growler
- Hilarity Ensues: If he's not being the bad guy and, instead, is landed with comical roles... this is guaranteed to happen.
- Large Ham
- Lemony Narrator: In the Hayate the Combat Butler anime.
- Man of a Thousand Voices:
- Mean Character, Nice Actor
- Meaningful Name: The name "Norio" means "Man of Law" in Japanese, a rather fitting name for a former policeman.
- Pigeonholed Voice Actor: Pigeonholed, yes, but he is, to put it simply, the best there is at what he does, and what he does is AWESOME.
- Rated M for Manly
- Roll Your Rs: He rolls them even when there are no Rs in the word at all!
- Villain: Whether it's Big Bad, The Dragon, or anything listed there.
ALL HAIL BRRRRRRRITANNIA!!! ALL HAIL OPPAI!!!