Seiyu (声優) or Voice Actors/ Actresses take up one part of the entertainment industry in Japan. Thanks to them, they bring our favorite anime characters from manga to life. Many people aspire of becoming a seiyu in Japan whether they be Japanese or even non-Japanese. But the reality of a seiyu’s life and job is harsh.
Seiyu in Japan, especially for those who are just starting out, need to put a lot of time and effort because they are underpaid and not to mention overworked. Many seiyu even with the talent, would drop out from this career once they feel they have done too much but are not compensated enough for it. But with all those said, there are also successful seiyu who have started out and made it far in their career and one of the most notable of them is Mizuki Nana.
Kondo Nana or popularly known as her stage name, Mizuki Nana was born on January 21, 1980. Mizuki Nana first started singing at the age of 5 years old when she took Enka singing lessons and started participating in a number of local singing contests.
Mizuki Nana won one of the local singing contests that she entered in 1993 and had a single recorded which was titled Tsugazakura. After graduating from high school in 1997, Mizuki Nana wanted to pursue a career as an Enka singer but her teachers instead, advised that she pursue becoming a voice actress. Being a big fan of both animes and mangas from her childhood, she then took on the advice that she received and took the first step.
Mizuki Nana started out in her career by auditioning for a role in the video game NOel ~La neige~ where she was given the role of Kadokura Chisato.
With that same character role, she released two character singles and one mini album. She made her official singing debut in December 2000 with the single “Omoi” when she signed the record deal with Japanese record label King Records but sadly her first single did not rank in the Oricon Weekly Charts.
Mizuki Nana released two more singles in 2001, with the same result and did not rank again. Although Supersonic Girl, her debut album, managed to peak at the Oricon in #60. Her 4th single, LOVE & HISTORY, was the first single that was able to rank in the chart at #46. Mizuki Nana’s singing career has started a turning point as her 12th, 14th, 15th and 18th singles have successfully landed a spot in the top 5 of the Oricon Charts. From then on, Mizuki Nana’s releases have steadily charted higher and establishing her as a successful singer in Japan.
Mizuki Nana as a voice actress has successfully taken on more than 130 voice roles. She has voiced the popular character Hyuuga Hinata from Naruto ever since the anime started in 2002. She has also voiced a number of main characters like Kisaragi Saya from Blood-C, Moka Akashiya from Rosario + Vampire, Fate T. Harlaown from the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha Series, Alois Trancy from Kuroshitsuji, and she even voiced the Pokemon Victini too! Aside from all those mentioned, Mizuki Nana also does voice acting for quite a number of game franchises and she even dubbed for movies like The Hunger Games, Glee and even iCarly.
With over 34 singles, 11 studio albums, 26 video releases, 29 solo concerts and counting. It is no doubt that Mizuki Nana is not only one of the most popular voice actress and singer in Japan but one of the most successful ones with all of her achievements to date.
For the successful ones, popularity and fame in Japan can escalate from one point in a career gradually taking into bigger roles and scopes. What started out as a voice acting career helped Mizuki Nana become one of Japan’s most famous Seiyu and Singer.
Mizuki Nana was the first ever voice actress who has taken the top position for the Oricon singles chart ever since it started in 1968, with her seventh original album ULTIMATE DIAMOND in 2009 topping it. Not to mention it also became the 85th best-selling album in Japan for the same year and she was also the first ever voice actress who got invited to the most-watched broadcast show every New Year’s eve, the Kouhaku Uta Gassen. She has been consecutively invited for the year-end show for the past 6 years.
Aside from having a number of her songs topping the Oricon Charts, Mizuki Nana has also received quite a number of awards and recognitions. She was awarded the Best Musical Performance Award for the 1st Seiyu Awards in 2007, she became part of the Top Pop Artists for the Billboard Japan Music Awards in 2010, named the Animation Artist of the Year for two consecutive years in 2011 and 2012 and so much more.
Mizuki Nana’s voice acting and singing have given her a number of firsts throughout her career. The Tokyo Dome, Japan’s most renowned concert venue, is a dream performance stage for many artists in the entertainment industry. And Mizuki Nana was once again, the first ever Seiyu and not to mention the 8th female solo artist, who has successfully conducted her concert entitled “Nana Mizuki Live Castle 2011 Queen’s Night and King’s Night” for two straight days.
Mizuki Nana is one of my favorite voice actresses and singers in Japan. As a voice actress, she can take on a number of roles ranging from the cute lolita types to even the most serious ones, which I believe not all voice actors can pull. And what I love about Mizuki Nana as a solo artist is the style of her songs and also the way she portrays it when singing, which somehow still shows the side of her voice acting and her lively performance.
Having looked through several voice actors and actresses forums, surely enough Mizuki Nana’s name would pop out several times and not only the Japanese have acknowledged her popularity but also those outside of Japan as well! With all the roles that she has done in voice acting, I’m sure you’ve heard her voice once or twice. Look her up and see if you’ve come across any anime that she has been in if you’re not familiar with any and try to listen to her songs as well. I hope you would come to love Mizuki Nana, one of Japan’s seiyu pride. You might just end up having a last song syndrome for her songs!