#17 – Shimizu Risa

Hopefully people are checking out Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis, which looks like it might just be one of the best anime-based-on-games ever made…not that there’s a particularly high bar being set for that, unfortunately. One thing about Bahamut that got my attention straight away is the seiyuu for our lead one-winged demon Amira, Shimizu Risa. She is not a household name by any means – the only anime role of hers I even remember is a minor one from Nagasarete Airantou back in 2007. Instead, what I know of her work is from dubbing; she is the Japanese voice for Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones) and Catherine Howard (The Tudors), amongst other things.
A graduate of Kunitachi College of Music (famous alumni include Hisaishi Joe, Akikawa Masafumi and Amano Masamichi) majoring in Voice studies, Shimizu used to be signed to Gekidan Himawari, the theatre group that is home to the likes of Miyano Mamoru, Tada Aoi and Morohoshi Sumire, before going freelance and then signing up with her current agency Aksent sometime around 2011. Her agency profile notes that she can play the piano, percussion and the shamisen, but I wasn’t actually aware of just how talented a singer she is until I heard the Bahamut ending theme Promised Land (video below), for which she also wrote the lyrics:

I had thought Shimizu sounded a lot like Sakamoto Maaya in pitch and timbre, but her singing is definitely a notch above; she possesses a classically trained, operatic style like Takagaki Ayahi albeit with a ‘bigger’ voice than both of them, if you will. I don’t think anyone was expecting that voice when the music started and by the time the chorus hit we were all like..wow, just who is this person?

I’m hoping that with Bahamut we’ll get to hear a lot more of Shimizu in the future, in particular her singing. She’ll probably still stick to doing mostly drama dubbing and narration work, but fingers crossed she gets a record deal somewhere down the line!

Follow her on Twitter!


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