Names to Know in Anime

Anime, as a medium, has not only been around for a few decades, but it was quite self-contained for much of that period. It therefore has a select number of people who were extremely influential in its development. It is useful to know these people, as their personal style has formed the foundations of many Japanese Visual Arts Tropes found in this wiki.

Not to be confused with Essential Anime: that's about programs.

The "who's who" in anime includes the following directors and producers:

Those who are most famous for anime on TV and in OAV:

    open/close all folders 

    TV and OAV 

Primarily known for working in anime films:

    Films 

Some production studios are particularly well known, especially if they have their own little quirks:

    Studios 

The following manga creators, while not always directly involved in anime, have provided the basis for a large number of essential anime:

    Manga-ka 

Following music performers and composers have made their name in anime history:

    Musicians and Composers 

Finally, the following voice actors, or seiyuu in Japanese, are either extremely significant presences in anime, or have had a major influence in the history and development of the medium:

    Voice Actors 

Several voice actors that are beginning to rise in popularity in recent years:

    Recent voice actors 

Unfortunately, voice actors are also humans. Some gained fame, and then died. Here's some famous Japanese voice actors that have passed away, but have contributed a lot in the anime business:

    RIP 

Here's a list of noteworthy English dub voice actors. Voice actors are usually not exclusive to one studio or region - this list is separated by where they are based.

    Dub Voice Actors 

Los Angeles area: (Bang Zoom! Entertainment, New Generation Pictures, Animaze, Studiopolis, NYAV Post West)

Canada (The Ocean Group, Nelvana)

Texas: (FUNimation, Seraphim Digital Studios (formerly ADV Studios), the now-closed Monster Island Studio)

Because anime dubbing is big in Texas and done in two separate cities, the VAs are divided by which city they primarily work in.

Primarily works for FUNimation in Dallas/Ft. Worth:

Primarily works in Houston for Seraphim Digital Studios (and Sentai Filmworks):

Works in both Ft. Worth/Dallas and Houston:

New York City: (4Kids (now closed), NYAV Post note , Headline Studios, MB VoiceWorks)

Much like their Japanese counterparts, English voice actors are only human. Some have died. Here be a list of the dearly departed.

    RIP 

Others, while still very much alive, have either retired or changed careers, such as:

    Retired 
  • Jennifer Alyx: Voice of Fate in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and Midori in AIKa R-16: Virgin Mission. Has disappeared from anime voice acting since 2012.
  • Stephen Apostolina: Provides background voices in anime such as Naruto and ZatchBell. Hasn't done any new roles in anime since 2006, though continues to provide background voices in several films.
  • Brice Armstrong: Captain Ginyu and Lord Slug from Dragon Ball Z, the narrator of Dragon Ball, Sugoro in Dragon Ball GT, Tim Marcoh from Fullmetal Alchemist, many roles in Case Closed, among others. He retired around 2009 (likely due to his age), and his continuing roles have been replaced.
  • Kristian Ayre: Worked with The Ocean Group from 2001-2008. Now retired from voice acting altogether, working in the marketing business at Toronto.
  • Amy Birnbaum: Voice of Max in Pokémon and Tea Gardner in Yu-Gi-Oh!. She hasn't done any voice acting since 2007.
  • Troy Baker: Started out as a voice actor for Funimation with his well known roles as Excalibur from Soul Eater and Greed Ling in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. He eventually moved to Los Angeles in 2006 to seek for more voice acting opportunities (mostly in video games and several Western Animation), and later become a well-known video game voice actor in AAA titles and his motion capture work in his video game roles. In addition, he also pursued a career as a rock musician. It also doesn't help to note that he eventually become a union voice actor in the same league like Crispin Freeman and Steve Blum, thus making it more difficult to either reprise his older video game and anime roles, or land in newer anime roles. The fact that he stopped voicing Yamato in the union-dubbed Naruto Shippuden in 2014, which was darrin'd by Matthew Mercer, shows that he's probably stopped doing anime voice acting, possibly for good.
  • Jessica Boone: Largely left voice acting after moving from Houston in 2008. Even though she has played a few roles with Sentai Filmworks in around 2011, the fact that her role as Haqua was darrin'd by Jessica Calvello in the third season of The World God Only Knows seems to suggest that she's possibly done with anime voice acting for good.
  • Steve Bulen: Known for his voice work on Code Geass and Trigun. Bulen hasn't done any new roles in anime since 2008.
  • Petrea Burchard: Best known for voicing Ryoko in Tenchi Muyo! and Miho Miwakura in Serial Experiments Lain (along with some work in western animation, notably F.R.A.N. in the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" cartoon). She retired from voice acting around 2005, and did not reprise her role of Ryoko for the third Tenchi OVA and Tenchi Muyo! GXP. She's now a writer, and occasionally appears in commercials.
  • Dameon Clarke: Started out at Funimation as the voice of Cell and Scar, moved to Los Angeles and now only does live-action TV and a few video games. Although he did return to reprise his role as Cell for Dragon Ball Kai.
  • Kelli Cousins: A voice actress who worked for ADV Films on several roles, such as Seira Morimura, Ropponmatsu 1, and Kino. She has become a designer and maker of jewelry, clothing, housewares, and paper goods.
  • Ceyli Delgadillo: Had a brief stint working at Funimation as the voice of Kid Goku (in the second and third movies), Dende (dubbed over by Laura Bailey on the remastered DVD releases), and the little boy that Yusuke sacrificed himself to save. Left Funimation circa 2001, and is now living in New York City.
  • Peter Doyle: Was active from Los Angeles-based voice acting from approximately 2001 to 2009, with his last documented role being Dominic Sorel in Eureka Seven: Goodnight, sleep tight, young lovers, presumably retiring afterwards.
  • Scott Freeman: Best known for roles in Funimation, especially Issei in High School D×D. Retired in 2015 after going through a messy divorce.
  • Mark Gatha: English dub voice of Domon Kasshu in Mobile Fighter G Gundam, who has now become a doctor.
  • Suzanne Goldish: A former voice actress who worked for (4Kids, her most notable role being Chris Thorndyke in Sonic X. Still involved in anime as an ADR/Voice Director at the Los Angeles-based Studiopolis, directing English dubs for anime such as K, Bleach (Episodes 268-366), Tiger & Bunny, and the Viz Media re-dub of Sailor Moon.
  • David Kaye: Highly prominent in anime that was dubbed in Canada such as Sesshomaru in InuYasha, Soun Tendo in Ranma ˝ and Reccome in the Ocean Blue dub of Dragon Ball Z. Kaye had moved to Los Angeles in 2007 to further his voice acting career. While he is prominent in video games and western animation, he has all but retired in the field of anime, with his role as Sesshomaru being recast to Michael Daingerfield Hall in Inuyasha The Final Act.
  • Amanda Winn Lee: Known for her role as Yukiko Amagi in Persona 4Persona 4 Arena Ultimax and Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. She worked in Texas until moving to Los Angeles around 2000, largely left voice acting to take care of her son when he was diagnosed with leukemia. She primarily does video game voice overs nowadays. Her last major anime role was reprising Yukiko in Persona 4: The Animation.
  • Michael Lindsay: English dub voice of Amuro Ray and Kankuro. Retired in 2012.
  • Tristan MacAvery: Original English dub voice of Gendo Ikari in Neon Genesis Evangelion, retired from voice-acting after a falling-out with ADV. Now enjoying a career in writing.
  • Julie Maddalena: Voice of Lime in Saber Marionette J and Yumi Ohmura in Chobits. Hasn't done any new roles in anime since 2008, and seems to focus more on voice work in video games and animation.
  • Meredith McCoy: Best known as the voice of Android 18 in Dragon Ball Z, Launch (both sides) in Dragon Ball, Fujiko Mine in Lupin III, Maria Ross in Fullmetal Alchemist, and others. She still does occasionally voice act, but mostly left the business around 2008. She reprised her role of Maria Ross in Fulllmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, but did not reprise her role of Android 18 in Dragon Ball Kai (she was asked though, but the role was instead filled by Colleen Clinkenbeard as a last minute substitute). She mostly seems to be focusing on her family and singing career.
  • Lara Jill Miller: Known for her role as Kari Kamiya in Digimon. Hasn't done any new roles in anime since 2008 with her last anime role being Kapelteta Fernandez in Strait Jacket. She primarily seems to focus more on voice-over work in western animation and live-action acting.
  • Edie Mirman: Original voice for Gatomon in Digimon. Hasn't done any new roles in anime since 2000, though continues to provide background voices in several animated films.
  • Simon Prescott: He was active from the 1990s to around 2008, but has not been seen in any dubbed anime work since.
  • Andrew Rannells: He retired from voice acting to start a career on Broadway and mainstream TV.
  • Lia Sargent: English dub voice of Milly Thompson (and the show's ADR director), as well as providing voices and/or ADR scripts for Rurouni Kenshin, Wolf's Rain, and Planetes. Mostly retired from voice acting in 2006, but has done a few video game roles since then, such as Natsume from Dot Hack GU and Shion in Xenosaga, as well as a couple minor anime roles, such as the redub of Ghost in the Shell 2.0 and the Dante's Inferno animated movie.
  • Tony Sampson: Worked with The Ocean Group from 1991-2008. Now retired from voice acting altogether, working in the oil sands industry at Fort McMurray.
  • Joshua Seth: English dub voice for the likes of Tai Kamiya (Taichi Yagami), Shoubu, Hige and Tetsuo Shima, is now a Comedy Hypnotist. He has expressed some interest in reprising Tai in future Digimon series if asked, but he won't exactly pursue it himself.
  • Jason Gray Stanford: Had a good history in doing voicework in Canada during the '90s in roles such as Raditz, Joe Higashi, and Donatello. In the early 2000s he moved to California and in 2002 he became Lt. Randall Disher in the TV Series Monk and that's what he is mainly known for today (though it's uncertain if he would ever make a comeback since Monk has now ended, he probably wouldn't).
  • Eric Stuart: Retired from voice acting just after recording for the newest Slayers series, and moved from New York to Tennessee to focus on his music career and family. However, he says he would return to voice his Pokemon roles if asked, and continues to appear at anime conventions. He also continues to narrate audiobooks and returned for Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL.
  • Tiffany Vollmer: Bulma from Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT, Betsy from Case Closed, and a few additional characters in YuYu Hakusho. She stopped accepting new roles around 2006, but continued to voice Bulma until she moved to New Orleans in 2010. She is now a makeup artist, filmmaker, and occasional dancer and on-camera actress.
  • Kerry Williams: Best known as Casey/Nanoka in Pokemon, she hasn't appeared in any shows often after 4Kids collapsed. She did return to Pokémon: Black & White as Katharine.

And others occasionally get involved in Anime voice acting even though they aren't really regulars in the industry, such as:

    Other 

Here's a list of noteworthy Latin-American dub voice actors. Voice actors are usually not exclusive to one studio or region, and several countries have their own studios - this list is separated by country.

    Mexico 

Much like their Japanese and English counterparts, voice actors are only human. Some have died. Here be a list of the dearly departed.

    RIP 

Here's a list of noteworthy Spanish dub voice actors. Voice actors are (usually) not exclusive to one studio or region, and several countries have their own studios.

    Spain 

Much like their Japanese and English counterparts, voice actors are only human. Some have died. Here be a list of the dearly departed.

    RIP 

Alternative Title(s):

Seiyuu, Japanese Voice Actors