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Creator / Kikuko Inoue

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Good morning, Troper-san. Please describe a 17-year old seiyuu named Kikuko Inoue, if you would, please?

Oi, oi... Anyway, Kikuko Inoue (born September 25, 1964 in Yokosuka, Japan) is a voice actress best known for her motherly, dignified, angelic voice, which lends well for her to get picked to play Yamato Nadeshiko, Team Mom, or Onee-sama roles. She also specialized in playing mega-bitches like I-No from Guilty Gear, Grace, Lust, Louise's big sister Eleonore and even a Tokusatsu example (Insarn). She's a member of the Goddess Family Club singing club, and like Megumi Hayashibara, she is also part of the singing club DoCo.

If you think mega-bitches are her only "other" role, how about a Badass Action Mom, to the tune of The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3?

Also, she is not related to Kazuhiko Inoue or Marina Inoue, but her only child Honoka is, who's a rising voice actor in her own right.


These notable roles are all 17 years old!note 

She always refers to herself in public as "17 years old + XXXX days" even though she was born in 1964 and no longer looks anywhere close to 17. This is used as a Shout-Out in Mai-HiME in regards to Midori Sugiura's dubious age; and by Maria in Hayate the Combat Butler who actually is 17 but is constantly mistaken for someone older; and by Virgilia, who is obviously not 17 years old but is voiced by Kikuko Inoue, in a Umineko: When They Cry preview; and by Shizuka Nekonome-sensei from Rosario + Vampire. Some seiyuu, such as Yukari Tamura (who voices Midori) have also picked up this habit, which is not surprising, because Kikuko started the 17 years old religion, and ONLY females can be worshippers, quite a number of seiyuu have converted.

It's also worth noting that despite being THE archetypical Yamato Nadeshiko seiyuu, she's also often landed with Lethal Chef roles, where said Yamato Nadeshiko isn't so complete due to her lack of quality in producing good, edible food. Examples include Cecile Croomy, Tytti Noorbuck, Sanae Furukawa and Rosemary.

In a strange twist of art imitating life, Kosuke Fujishima (creator of Ah! My Goddess) became so impressed by Ms. Inoue's portrayal of Belldandy in the first OVA series that subsequent chapters of the manga use her characterization as the character's base personality, including quirks such as liking sunfish and touching fake food.

According to Anime News Network, she is the most prolific female seiyuu, having over 30 more roles than Mamiko Noto.

Despite her very common surname, she is not related to any other prominent Inoue seiyuus. She has, however, worked together with her only child, Honoka Inoue.

Kikuko Inoue and her works provide examples of:

  • Cool Old Lady: Regardless of her 17 years old Running Gag, it's telling that she's born in 1964, by 2020, she'd be 56 years old (well, around 17 years old + 14XXX days), one of the older female seiyuus in business. Yet, despite so, she's still capable of doing all those sisterly/motherly roles all the same.
  • The Danza: Played Inoue in Code Geass, as well as Kikuko in Miss Monochrome.
  • Follow the Leader: Her "17 years old" shtick started when she hosted a radio show and her co-host was known for declaring herself "16 years old!", so she followed and evolved when said co-host is 17 years old. Later on, while her 17-years old cult is still growing, there's also similar movements such as "Forever 23" (spearheaded by Chiaki Takahashi) and "Forever 29" (spearheaded by Yuko Goto).
  • Old Shame: Before Kasumi Tendo and Belldandy propelled her to fame and respectability, she was known for her role as a "naughty nurse" in the original video animation Ogenki Clinic. It was so much that she managed to take down the Japanese dubbing of the OVA when it was being distributed outside Japan.
  • Onee-sama: It's even her Fan Nickname amongst the business.
  • Pigeonholed Voice Actor: Although justified, she's basically the Trope Codifier of the Yamato Nadeshiko archetype for voice actors (which according to the trope page stands at 19 roles).
  • Playing Against Type:
  • Running Gag: "I'm 17 years old." Usually followed by someone else replying "Oi, oi!" note 

Inoue-san as a fine 17-year-old GPS system. note 

And Inoue-san counts 17 sheep.


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