Anime is a medium of many iconic elements that give each show a style like nothing else. The movement, backgrounds, color, and character design all work together to help make seemingly inanimate pixels and streaks look like they can actually breathe. And one of the most underappreciated elements that go into that immersion may literally be the breath itself: voice acting. Seiyuus, voice actors, and that guy from Police Academy all go behind the curtain to create your favorite characters with such distinction that you can still hear them when you close your eyes. And the mark of a truly talented voice actor is their capacity for proliferation, i.e. they get a lot of work. A truly versatile performer can wear many hats within the same show, and the audience would never know, whereas a truly beloved voice or accent can just be flaunted and no one would care. Given this much work, a voice actor practically has their own shared universe of shared voices between their characters and many of them manage to snag multiple iconic roles. As such, let’s run down some of the best instances of shared voices between beloved anime characters.

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10 Andrew Love: A Loving Dad, A Hated Marine

Starting off this list is one of the biggest instances of tonal whiplash in acting. Akio Furukawa is the energetic, buffoon dad from Clannad, the anime equivalent of someone cutting onions in your house. He’s the type of guy who’ll always support his wife’s eccentric baking and even sacrificed his career to take care of his ailing daughter, the picture perfect incarnation of a doting father and husband. He shares a voice with one of the most hated, if not the most hated villains in One Piece, Admiral Sakazuki, aka Akainu. Akainu is one of the strictest marines in the pirate world, using a philosophy of absolute justice to justify massacring hundreds and thousands of people for the sake of justice.

SPOILER ALERT for those catching up with One Piece: What put him at the top of several anime fan’s Death Notes was his execution of One Piece’s favorite hot head and Monkey D. Luffy’s brother, Portgas D. Ace, literally punching a hole in the fandom’s heart.

If nothing else, Andrew Love has great range.

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9 Greg Ayres: That One Kid in Class

If you’re an anime fan that’s not aware of Greg Ayres, you’re probably aware of at least one of the several prepubescent boys that he’s voiced. Mr. Ayres is a man of many talents, and all of those talents involve sounding like a child despite being grown man, and he plays that role perfectly. His credits include Ganta from Deadman Wonderland, Sunohara from Clannad, Ayato from Angel Beats!, Kouta from Baka and Test, and even the wonderful singing role in Yukio from Beck. We may never know when Greg may finally hit puberty, but his list of work is certainly not making people impatient.

8 Tia Ballard: Magical Cat/ Alien Girl Next Door

Tia Ballard is a beloved member of the anime community, She’s brought to life several female characters within anime, such as Sylph from Black Clover, Yoshino from Date A Live, and Moyu from Noragami. However, two of her most iconic roles show incredible range in terms of achieving cuteness. One is the adorable mascot character from Fairy Tail, Happy the Cat/Exceed super being. Often found on the shoulders of the show’s main protagonist, you’ll find Tia doing amazing work cheering the heroes on and making fish jokes. Tia’s other role includes a pink haired, mech fighter who loves sweets. Seemingly flooding everyone’s meme/waifu feed within 2018, Darling in the FranXX’s Zero Two entered the community’s hearts through her eccentric attitude and deep character/relationship writing that nearly made Darling in the FranXX one of the greats.

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7 Veronica Taylor: Beautiful Witch, Pokemon Master

Veronica Taylor has had the wonderful opportunity for showcasing her talents in two defining voices of people’s childhood. One was Botan, the witch/assistant of the Spirit World that would give Yuu Yuu Hakusho’s Yuusuke Urameshi his detective cases and stand in his corner when fighting against demons. Her other role wasn’t all that different in terms of monsters being caught. In the growing world of Pokemon, Veronica Taylor gets to wear the title of Ash Ketchum’s original, English voice actor. From 1998 to 2006, she was the iconic voice telling many fans to catch them all.

6 Ian Sinclair: Attendant to the Gods, A Dandy Guy in Space

Ever the sultry voice in anime industry, Ian Sinclair has played many iconic roles: Dallas from Baccano!,Yuu from D. Gray-man, and even Tsukasa from the recent season’s Dr. Stone. However, two of his biggest roles are of such magnitude that they reach into the furthest sections of space. One is Whis, the idle but not-to-be-trifled-with second of Dragon Ball Super’s Beerus, whose time travel powers border on plot breaking. The other is Shinichiro Watanabe’s more comedic alien hunter, Dandy from Space Dandy. He goes around space trying to collect newfound alien species and attend as many Boobies restaurants as possible. Truly a god within his own right.

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5 Wendee Lee: Slaying Your Inner and Outer Demons

Wendee Lee is a corner stone of the anime, voice acting community. She not only breaks the mold by consistently voicing a variety of male and female characters but also consistently getting main character credits. To list just a few of her best roles, Wendee has played Kei from Akira, Yoruichi from Bleach, Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop. Any two of these characters could be put side to side on this list for the sake of showing off her range; but perhaps none can really encapsulate that space as the difference between Blue Exorcist’s arrogant, Shounen protagonist Rin Okumura and March Comes in Like a Lion’s self-deprecating Rei Kiriyama. Wendee Lee is a pillar of voice acting that is able to play the hotheaded son of Satan trying to avenge his adopted father and the quiet master of shogi just trying to go day by day.

4 Steven Blum: A Cool Cowboy, A Wild Samurai

Steven Blum is practically the Morgan Freeman of anime voice acting. You know him when you hear him, but his voice is so deep and smooth that he sinks you into the show anyway. He’s set records for his prolific voice acting and has deservedly won several awards. Some of his best roles include voicing Onizuka from Great Teacher Onizuka, Orochimaru from Naruto, and even Toonami’s iconic host, TOM the Robot. However, one would be remised if they didn’t mention Blum’s involvement with the works of Shinichiro Watanabe. Representing Blum on this list is Cowboy Bebop’s smooth, coolheaded Spike Spiegel whose poetic words drift out like his cigarette smoke, and Samurai Champloo’s dirty, hot headed Mugen, whose tongue is sharper than even his sword.

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3 Laura Bailey: Deadly Sin, Master of Soul Eater

Another staple of the anime industry, Laura Bailey is the voice behind several iconic roles, such as Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist, Tooru in Fruits Basket, and even several roles within Dragon Ball, the top of which include Trunks and Chi-Chi. However, two characters that one may be surprised to find sharing Miss Bailey are the Fullmetal Alchemist's sin of seduction Lust and Soul Eater’s twin tailed reaper, Maka Albarn. It’s amazing just to hear that shift in tone between a sultry femme fatale and the quirky and spirited tones of a school girl. Great job, Laura Bailey.

2 Matthew Mercer: Titan Killer, Stardust Crusader

Matthew Mercer is dependable for voicing some of the anime’s best, stoic characters. Some characters of his that you wouldn’t want to find in a bar together would include Kiritsugu Emiya from the Fate series, Mizuki Akabayashi from Durarara!!, and Hit from Dragon Ball Super. For this list, Mercer is the face of two of the modern anime community’s most beloved icons, the stern eyed, titan slaying captain of Attack on Titan, Levi, and the silent, bad boy master of Star Platinum, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures’ Jotaro Kujo. This entry almost seems like cheating considering that most of Jotaro’s lines are screams at his enemy, but his relationship with Levi is no less surprising.

1 Christopher Sabat: #2 to the Shounen Protagonist, #1 Hero in the World

Christopher Sabat is a multi-award winning voice actor with an absolutely incredibly line of work. Some of hiw works include Gorou from Free!, Elfman from Fairy Tail, and Major Armstrong from Fullmetal Alchemist. However, topping his efforts on this list are some of his best roles in Shounen anime. Sabat shares the voices of One Piece’s Roronoa Zoro and Dragon Ball’s Vegeta and Piccolo (this doesn’t even scratch the surface of his roles in Dragon Ball), showing that for a long period of time, Sabat was a master of the anime second. And while not necessarily playing the main character role, Sabat has recently started one of his best and most iconic characters in the ex-#1 Hero of the world of My Hero Academia, All Might. While not necessarily the protagonist, these are some of Shounen fans most beloved and strongest character, sometimes even considered moreso than their anime leads. Sabat has an incredible line of work for a considerable time within the industry. You’re #1 in many people’s hearts and #1 numerically on this list.

NEXT: 10 Reasons RWBY Is An Anime

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