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Are you an anime fan? Do you watch Japanese anime in their original Japanese dialogue? If your answer is “yes” for both questions, then you’ve probably had the experience of picking up on a familiar-sounding voice in a certain anime, Googling to uncover the seiyuu (voice actor in Japanese) behind the character, and then realizing that you’ve actually seen quite a few titles he or she has starred in.

Twitter users in Japan have been digging through the Internet for some drastically different performances from the same voice actor/actress, and sharing their surprising finds on Twitter. Check them out after the break!

Live-action actors take on different characters in different stories and bring them to life with their performing skills, plus a little bit of help from professional stylists who complete the look of the character with carefully selected apparel, makeup and hairdos. Voice actors, on the other hand, don’t have to worry about looking the part, but they have nothing other than their voices to rely on in their performances since they have no control over the facial expressions or body language of their characters.

However, both actors and voice actors are professionals with the talent for expression, and some of them have played characters of such varying personalities, we can’t help but gape in awe at their skill and talent. In the case of voices actors, the surprise is sometimes mind-blowing because we can’t get any hints from the appearance of the characters they play. Just look at the examples below of two different characters from the same seiyu and you’ll see what we mean!

▼ Yuki Kaji

▼ Shinichiro Miki

▼ Aya Hirano

▼ Yuuichi Nakamura

▼ Kensho Ono

▼ Kotono Mitsuishi

▼ Akiko Yajima

▼ Takahiro Sakurai

▼ Jun Fukuyama

▼ Miyuki Sawashiro

▼ Maaya Sakamoto

▼ Kazuhiko Inoue

▼ Tatsuhisa Suzuki

In most cases, live-action actors only act as one, sometimes two, characters in one show due to visual limitations, but voice actors can handle multiple characters in one series, and usually provide the background voices for the crowds in bustling scenes on top of that. In some games, one seiyuu can provide the voices for dozens of characters in the same production, so it’s not surprising that they cover a myriad of characters. You may find that a certain seiyuu is the voice behind a couple of your favorites, or realize that the cool and intimidating alpha male team captain in a certain sports anime has the same voice as the “bottom” character in a boys’ love anime. It’s simply amazing how versatile some of these voice actors can be.

Which are your favorite anime seiyuu and which of their character dubs took you by surprise? Share your shocking finds in the comments section below!

Source/Top Image: Twitter via Game Over