A longtime collaborator with composer Yoko Kanno, with two notably working on Triangler, the theme to Macross Frontier. She appeared on Flying Dog's 10th anniversary event, “InuFes”, where she openly lamented Kanno's absence. It has been said that she has a career unparalleled among other voice actors of her generation. Her blood type is A.
Born in Itabashi-ku, Tokyo, Sakamoto began working at the tender age of eight, singing for commercials and dubbing minor roles in foreign films for films such as Dune, Lethal Weapon 2 and Friday the 13th Part 6. In 1992, she starred in her first major television animation role as a Chifuru in the 1992 Little Twins.
In 1996, she was given the leading role of Hitomi Kanzaki for the Shōji Kawamori-directed anime The Vision of Escaflowne. In addition, she sang the opening theme song "Yakusoku wa Iranai", marking her first collaboration with the composer Yoko Kanno. Her iconic role in Escaflwone made her a famous voice actress, being cast in roles for CLAMP anime adaptations and many others. At the same time, she became a regular host of her first radio program A Story without Maaya Sakamoto on the radio station Nack 5. She also had a very successful singing career, with many of her albums ranking well on the Oricon music charts.
In 2003, she began pursuing acting and was cast as the role of Eponine in the musical Les Miserables. She also starred opposite actor Junichi Okada on the drama Suekko Chounan Ane San Nin (The Eldest Son and Three Sisters) for her television acting debut. She published her first set of essays in 2005. At this point, she had a successful singing career with regular collaborator Yoko Kanno but decided to leave her company to become an independent artist.
However, the pair would again collaborate in 2008 on "Triangler", the opening theme song for Macross Frontier. By April 2008, the song placed third on the Oricon music chart and was selling extremely well. It won the 13th The Kobe Animation Award, the highest acclaim for the "Theme Song Award" category. Sakamoto herself starred in Frontier, and she also worked on the lyrics for several insertion songs besides the opening theme.
By 2007, she was regularly performing in small venues for her live events, but decided to go on her first major live tour in 2009, "Maaya Sakamoto LIVE TOUR 2009". In 2010, Sakamoto celebrated her 15th anniversary in the entertainment industry, releasing her greatest hits album "Everywhere", and also holding a concert at the Nippon Budokan. In 2012, she performed a record of twelve venues and fourteen performances for her “Maaya Sakamoto LIVE TOUR 2012".
In 2011, she debuted her first independent album "You Can't Catch Me", where it ranked #1 on the Oricon music chart, a first for the voice actor. In February of that same year, she also published her first feature essay "From Everywhere", which was about her month-long solo trip to Europe. In August, she announced that she married fellow voice actor Kenichi Suzumura.
In 2018, she performed on Flying Dog's 10th anniversary event, “InuFes”, where she openly lamented Kanno's absence, signalling the level of camaraderie the two shared, and her comfort in performing live on stage. In 2019, she performed in Macross Crossover Live 2019.
Notes & TriviaEdit
- Sakamoto is a big Oasis fan.
- She played the role of Eponine in the Les Miserables musical from 2003 to 2009.
- Minori Suzuki is a major fan of Sakamoto's work, and became an inspiration for why she pursued singing and voice acting.
- ↑ Victor Records Profile - Maaya Sakamoto
- ↑ Zigsow LOUNGE - Lengthy Maaya Sakamoto Interview in 2008