Maaya Sakamoto (born March 31, 1980) is a Japanese voice actress who, depending on the generation of media fan you talk to, may be better known for her singing career than her acting resume, even though her debut/big break was voicing Hitomi Kanzaki in The Vision of Escaflowne. Which was, well, a bit of beginner's luck: she was only supposed to voice Hitomi, but Yoko Kanno suggested that they have her sing the opening song and a few other pieces in the show, and it all took off from there.
Sakamoto has many collaborations with the aforementioned Yoko Kanno and CLAMP. Her star as an actress rose ever higher throughout the new century, even landing her parts in stage plays, including a multi-year run as Eponine in the Japanese production of Les Misérables and the leading role of Jerusha in the 2012 musical version of Daddy-Long-Legs. She is also a longtime collaborator with Nasu Kinoko and has multiple major roles in many Type-Moon works (most notably, the lead of Kara no Kyoukai, Shiki Ryougi, as well as Jeanne d'Arc in Fate works, which is particularly relevant with the ascent of Fate/Grand Order). Sakamoto in fact credits the role of Shiki with inspiring her own exploration of her gender. Additionally, she often dubs over Natalie Portman. By 2020, there was pretty much no question that she was one of the most accomplished actresses Japan knew in the 21st century, and was well on the way to being one of the great renaissance women of modern Japanese media & performing arts.
She has done several of her roles alongside Mamoru Miyano, Akira Ishida, and Kenichi Suzumura and in fact married Suzumura on August 8, 2011. She announced her pregnancy in December 2021 and gave birth to her first child in April 2022.
She speaks Japanese and English at a conversational level, which comes up in the occasional acting role or song lyric.
Ageless vampire trapped in a child body, handsome schoolgirl, lady-like Earl or multiple-personality woman,... as long as this role needs a voice, I can nail it!
- Aerith Gainsborough in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and the Kingdom Hearts series. note
- Agatha Christie in Bungo Stray Dogs
- Agria in Tales of Xillia
- Ahn Eun-young in The School Nurse Files
- Aigis in Persona 3 and Persona 4: Arena
- Akashi in The Tatami Galaxy
- Akito Sohma in Fruits Basket (2019)
- Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) in Alice in Wonderland (2010)
- Alicent Hightower in the Japanese dub of House of the Dragon
- Alisa Ilinichina Amiella in God Eater Burst
- Reprises the role in Project × Zone
- Amelia McFly in Trigun: Badlands Rumble.
- Annerose von Grunewald in Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These
- Annika in the Japanese dub of Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus
- Anzu in Ensemble Stars! (Anime only)
- Alphard Alshaya in Canaan
- Aretha Franklin (Cynthia Erivo) in the Japanese dub of Genius: Aretha
- Arulumaya and Olivia in Granblue Fantasy
- Asuka Kitakaze in Go! Princess Pretty Cure
- Aura in .hack
- Aya Brea in The 3rd Birthday
- Azel in Panzer Dragoon Saga and Panzer Dragoon Orta (cameo)
- Brandy Harrington in the Japanese dub of Brandy & Mr. Whiskers
- Carley Myers in Ajin
- Cera in the Japanese dub of the first 4 films of The Land Before Time (her debut role)
- Ciel Phantomhive in the Black Butler anime
- Cisna in White Knight Chronicles
- Crona in Soul Eater
- Crystal in Carole & Tuesday
- Daniels (Katherine Waterston) in the Japanese dub of Alien: Covenant
- Diva in Final Fantasy Type-0
- Echidna in Re:Zero
- Elina in the Japanese dub of the Barbie Fairytopia trilogy
- Mariposa in the Japanese dubs of Barbie: Mariposa and Barbie: Mariposa and the Fairy Princess
- Elise in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
- Elizabeth Weezer/Arachne in To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts
- Emu in ASH: Archaic Sealed Heat
- Erinys/Fury in Fire Emblem Heroes
- Eto in Tokyo Ghoul (uncredited) and Takatsuki Sen. They are also one and the same person.
- Farangis in The Heroic Legend of Arslan
- Fawn in the Japanese dub of the Tinker Bell series
- Francesca in Dragalia Lost
- Francois in Dr. STONE
- Hamona in Wolf's Rain (she also sung the ending song "Gravity", which was entirely in English!)
- Haruhi Fujioka in Ouran High School Host Club (one of 3 roles shared with Caitlin Glass) note
- Haruko Akagi in The First Slam Dunk (replacing Akiko Hiramatsu from the original anime)
- Hester Ulrich (Lea Michele) in the Japanese dub of Scream Queens (2015)
- Hitomi Kanzaki in Vision of Escaflowne (one of 3 roles shared with Caitlin Glass (in this case, 2016 dub only))
- Honey Kisaragi/Cutie Honey in Cutie Honey Universe
- Ii Naotora in Sengoku Basara 4
- Irene Adler in Case File nº221: Kabukicho
- Titular character of Jeanne d'Arc
- Julia Crichton in Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos
- Juliet in Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet
- Karin Junmai in Medabots
- Kinuyo Kasuga in Stars Align
- Kiyomi Takada in Death Note
- Kristyn Farraday in the Japanese dub of Barbie in the Pink Shoes
- Kyle in Rune Factory 2
- Kyoko Kuremi and Alphamon in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth
- Kyouko Sayama in Sing "Yesterday" for Me
- La Mariposa/Lisa Hamilton in Dead or Alive
- Lal'C Melk Mark in DieBuster
- Leila Malcal in Code Geass: Akito the Exiled (one of two roles shared with Jeannie Tirado)
- Leonardo da Vinci, young Alexander the Great, and Jeanne d'Arc Alter in Fate/Grand Order (while also reprising original Jeanne and Shiki Ryougi). She also provides the vocals for all 3 of the game's theme songs and the theme to the Camelot movies.
- Lex Murphy (Ariana Richards) in the Japanese dub of Jurassic Park (1993)
- Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Dissida 012 Final Fantasy: Duodecim, and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
- Ling Xiaoyu in Tekken: Blood Vengeance.
- Reprises her role in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken 7 and Project × Zone, completely replacing Yumi Touma. One notable exception is Street Fighter X Tekken.
- The little Witch in the Japanese dub of The Little Witch (2018)
- Lou Fa in D.Gray-Man note (one of two roles shared with Jeannie Tirado)
- Lumina in the Japanese dub of Barbie: The Pearl Princess
- Lunamaria "Luna" Hawke and Mayu Asuka in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny note
- Lyza "The Annihilator" in Made in Abyss
- Machi in Blade of the Immortal
- Magic Mirror/Miranjo in Ranking of Kings
- Magane Chikujōin in Re:CREATORSnote
- Maki Harukawa in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
- Mama in Death Stranding
- Mana Nakiri in Food Wars!
- Mariel in The Ancient Magus' Bride
- Mari Illustrious Makinami in Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance.
- Masako Yoshi in Bunny Drop.
- Matsuri in Naruto
- Maya Dolittle in the Japanese dub of Dr. Dolittle 4
- Mayumi Dojima in Pretty Boy Detective Club
- Mei Ranshe in Macross Frontier
- Mira in Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma
- Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson) in the Japanese dub of Life (2017)
- Merlin in The Seven Deadly Sins
- Mishio Amano in Kanon
- Moko in Captain Earth (with husband Kenichi Suzumura cast as her teammate Amara)
- Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell: Arise; she also provided the voice of child-body Kusanagi at the end of the original Ghost in the Shell as well as young Motoko in subsequent Ghost in the Shell series.
- The Narrator in Suzy's Zoo: Daisuki! Witzy
- Japanese dub voice for characters played by Natalie Portman
- Padme Amidala in Star Wars
- Jane Foster in Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Nino in Arakawa Under the Bridge
- Orphelia Landlufen in The Asterisk War
- Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe) in the Japanese dub of Independence Day: Resurgence.
- Porch Arsia in Napple Tale: Arsia In Daydream (she also sings the opening song, closing songs, and the majority of the insert songs.)
- Princess Therria/Terria in Tail Concerto
- Quinella in Sword Art Online
- Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) in the Japanese dub of Glee
- Reika Mishima in RahXephon
- Rem in Trigun Stampede (replacing Aya Hisakawa)
- Riho Yamazaki in Nightwalker
- Rikako Ōryō in Psycho-Pass
- Rin Suzuki in Bamboo Blade (One of 3 roles shared with Caitlin Glass)
- Rip Van Winkle in Hellsing
- Ruler/Jeanne d'Arc in Fate Series
- Rose Tyler in the Japanese dubbed Doctor Who
- Rosita in the Japanese dub of Sing
- Rui Kagamiya in Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
- Samantha Evelyn Cook/Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) in the Japanese dub of Ready Player One (2018)
- Saori Kido/Athena in Saint Seiya Awakening
- Sarina Endou in Star Driver
- Sayaka Nakasugi in Birdy the Mighty: Decode
- Scheherazade in Magi: Labyrinth of Magic
- Shiki Ryougi in The Garden of Sinners, Melty Blood: Actress Again, Fate/EXTRA, and Fate/Grand Order
- Shinobu Oshino in Bakemonogatari
- Sho Kusakabe in Fire Force
- Snow White in the Japanese dub of Snow White & the Huntsman.
- Sofiel in Rage of Bahamut: Genesis
- Stella and White★Rock Shooter in Black★Rock Shooter: The Game
- Stella Bonnaro in Cowboy Bebop
- Sumika Juutilainen, Fiona Jarnefeldt, and Frances "Fran" Batty Curtis in the Armored Core games (Project Phantasma, 4, For Answer, and V, respectively).
- Sumako Aotsuki in Ushio and Tora
- Suu in Clover
- Suzue Kambe in The Millionaire Detective - Balance: UNLIMITED
- Talulah in Arknights: Prelude to Dawn
- Tamayo in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
- Tilia in Ar tonelico III
- Tomoe Amamiya in Tiger & Bunny
- Tomoyo in Tsubasa Chronicle
Some of her more notable musical efforts include:
- The first opening theme to Macross Frontier, "Triangler"
- "Kiseki no Umi" ("Sea of Miracles"), the opening to Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight
- Many of the theme songs of Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-
- "Hemisphere", the opening theme of RahXephon
- "Platinum" in Cardcaptor Sakura and "Clear Card" in the 2018 series
- "Shippo no Uta" (Tail Song), the opening theme of Napple Tale: Arsia In Daydream
Tropes about her works:
- Jeanne d'Archétype: She was once casted as Jeanne D'Arc, the titular character even before Nasuverse's Fate/Grand Order was cool as she's casted as a ruler class servant.