Maaya Sakamoto

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Maaya Sakamoto
Native name 坂本 真綾
Born (1980-03-31) March 31, 1980 (age 34)
Origin Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan
Genres Pop, anison
Occupation(s) Singer, lyricist, actress, voice actress
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1988-present
Labels Victor Entertainment, Flying Dog
Associated acts Yoko Kanno, Shōko Suzuki, Yūho Iwasato, School Food Punishment

Maaya Sakamoto (坂本 真綾 Sakamoto Maaya?, born March 31, 1980[1]) is a Japanese singer-songwriter, actress, and voice actress[2] who made her debut as a voice actress in 1992 as the voice of Chifuru in Little Twins, but is better known as voice of Hitomi Kanzaki[3] in The Vision of Escaflowne. She released her debut single Yakusoku wa Iranai, in collaboration with Yoko Kanno under Victor Entertainment on April 24, 1996.[4]

She has also branched into singing, performing songs in both English and Japanese. As well as being a prolific voice actress, she has also had several successful releases; despite initially only modestly selling, her singles "Tune the Rainbow",[5] "Loop",[6] "Ame ga Furu",[7] and "Triangler"[8] have all reached the top 10 Oricon singles chart: "Triangler" in particular charted at number 3 and remained charting for 26 weeks. Her albums have had similar success, with Shōnen Alice[9] and Yūnagi Loop[10] both reaching the top 10 Oricon albums chart; and her album You Can't Catch Me, released on January 12, 2011, became her first release to ever reach number 1.[11] She held a concert at the Nippon Budokan on March 31, 2010, her thirtieth birthday.[12] She is also the Japanese voice dub-over artist for Natalie Portman.


Born in Tokyo, Sakamoto grew up within a family of her parents and her older brother.[13] She started working as a voice actress in a very early age, and the first leading role she was given was in the 1993 OVA Little Twins,[14]

In 1996, she was given the role of Hitomi Kanzaki in the TV anime series The Vision of Escaflowne in 1996.[14] In this anime she also made her debut as a singer under the production of Yoko Kanno, who was in charge of the soundtrack of the same anime. Under Kanno's production she made her debut as a singer with "Yakusoku wa Iranai", her first single released on April 24, 1996 that was also used as Escaflowne's opening theme. Since then, she would start singing music for several anime series she would be working on as a voice actress, with its production being exclusively in charge of Yoko Kanno and her music crew, which includes a selected number of lyricists and composers, as Yūho Iwasato, Gabriela Robin, Shanti Snyder, Tim Jensen and a few others. For her singing career she would be working almost exclusively with Yoko Kanno for almost a decade. In October 1996 she began her first radio program on Nack 5, becoming a radio personality. Her first album, titled Grapefruit, was released on April 23, 1997.

In 2003 she made her debut as an actress in the Japanese version of Les Misérables, in which she played Éponine Thénardier.[14] She starred the TV drama Suekko Chnan Ane San-nin, and also played the leading role in the short film 03+. This year also, her single "Tune the Rainbow" became her first Top 10 single in Japan, peaking at number 9 in the Oricon weekly charts. On October 12 of this same year, Sakamoto's fourth album Shōnen Alice was released, which became her first Top 10 album, and also her last one to be produced exclusively by Yoko Kanno, for after this she would start to become more involved in the music making process and the production of her records.[15] Thus, Yūnagi Loop, her fifth album released on October 26, 2005, was co-produced by herself and musician Mistuyoshi Tamura, whom she would continue working in her subsequent records. The album's lead single "Loop" peaked at number seven in the Japanese charts, becoming her highest chart peaking single at that time.

In 2008, Sakamoto and Kanno worked together again in "Triangler", song that was used as opening theme for the TV anime series Macross Frontier.[15] "Triangler" was a massive success, becoming a Top 3 single in the Oricon charts, and also her biggest selling single to date. The song was later included in Sakamoto's sixth album, Kazeyomi, which was released January 2009. For promoting this album, Sakamoto began her first low-scale national tour, on which she held a three concerts at the Nagoya City Art Theatre, the Osaka Welfare Pension Hall and the Tokyo International Forum. The tour was later released as her first live DVD on August 11, 2011.

In 2010, she celebrated her 15th anniversary in the industry releasing the greatest hits album Everywhere, and also giving a concert at the Nippon Budokan both on March 31, the day of her 30th birthday.[14] In 2011, her seventh album You Can't Catch Me became the first number one record of her career in Japan.[16]

Her 2012 Mitsubachi tour concluded with an announcement at her New Year's Eve concert of a new full-length album of songs written and composed solely by Sakamoto, as well as a short concert tour to support it. The album, titled Singer Song Writer, will feature two new versions of Sakamoto's previous compositions "everywhere" and "Chikai" as well as eight original tracks. [17]


Sakamoto first teamed up with composer Yoko Kanno in her 1996 debut single, "Yakusoku wa Iranai" ("Promises Not Needed"), which was used as the opening theme for the anime series The Vision of Escaflowne. Kanno collaborated with Sakamoto up until her fifth album, Yūnagi Loop, which has no songs composed by Kanno. Sakamoto also performed three songs for the series Wolf's Rain, for which Kanno was the composer: "Gravity" (which is sung completely in English), "Tell Me What The Rain Knows" (with lyrics by Chris Mosdell) and "Cloud 9". She performed "Hemisphere", the opening theme of the series RahXephon, as well as two songs for the series' theatrical version RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio: "Tune the Rainbow" and "The Garden of Everything" (duet with Steve Conte). In 2008, Sakamoto and Kanno collaborated again for "Triangler", the opening theme song for the series Macross Frontier.[18] She also performed the song "cream" with HIDE, which was featured in the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex mini album be Human. She was one half of the voice acting duo Whoops!!, alongside Chieko Higuchi.

Awards and nominations[edit]

In the 23rd Anime Grand Prix, she ranked tenth place under the voice actress category with 126 votes.[19]

In addition, in the first Seiyu Awards, she was nominated for "Best Actress in a leading role" for her portrayal of Haruhi Fujioka in Ouran High School Host Club as well as "Best Musical Performance" for Tsubasa Chronicle's ending theme Loop.[20]

Year Title Award Result
2008 Triangler 13th Animation Kobe Theme Song Award Won
2013 Daddy-Long-Legs 38th Kikuta Kazuo Theater Prize for Theater grand-prix[21] Nominated

Personal life[edit]

Sakamoto graduated from Toyo University with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology in spring 2002. On August 8, 2011, she married fellow voice actor and frequent co-star Kenichi Suzumura and announced their marriage on her official site five days later.[22]


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]


TV anime[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1996 The Vision of Escaflowne Hitomi Kanzaki[3]
Mizuiro Jidai Natsumi Kugayama
1998 El-Hazard Qawoor Towles
Cowboy Bebop Stella Bonnaro
Nightwalker: The Midnight Detective Riho Yamazaki
Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight Leaf
1999 Omishi Magical Theater: Risky Safety Moe Katsuragi
Medabots Karin
2001 Ghost Stories Miyuki Watanabe
Kokoro Library June, Shuri
Geneshaft Beatrice Ratio
Case Closed Yuki Takeno
2002 Jing: King of Bandits Mimosa
Kanon Mishio Amano
Shin Megami Tensei D Children: Light & Dark Atenna
.hack//Sign Aura
Daigunder Petty
Barom One Noriko Kido
Petite Princess Yucie Aries
RahXephon Reika Mishima
2003 Wolf's Rain Hamona
.hack//Legend of the Twilight Aura
Heat Guy J Princess
2004 Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny Lunamaria Hawke, Mayu Asuka
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Motoko Kusanagi (young)
Fantastic Children Mel
Diebuster Lal'c Melk Mark
2005 Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Princess Tomoyo
Black Jack Yuko Mizuhara
2006 Ouran High School Host Club Haruhi Fujioka
Kanon Mishio Amano Remake
Sore Ike! Anpanman Princess Ocarina (third)
Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Princess Tomoyo/Daidouji Tomoyo Season 2
Binbō Shimai Monogatari Kyō Yamada[23]
Mushishi Amane
Naruto Matsuri
2007 D.Gray-man Lou Fa
Death Note Kiyomi Takada
Sore Ike! Anpanman Princess Hatena
Naruto Shippūden Matsuri
2008 Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino- Elizaveta
Black Butler Ciel Phantomhive
Soul Eater Crona
Sore Ike! Anpanman Leaf Yosei
Takane no Jitensha Takane Takasumi
Death Note: Rewrite: L's Successors Kiyomi Takada
Duel Masters Cross Shizuka
Birdy the Mighty: Decode Sayaka Nakasugi
Bamboo Blade Rin Suzuki
Macross Frontier Mei Ranshe
Sands of Destruction Machi
2009 Birdy the Mighty: Decode 02 Sayaka Nakasugi
Canaan Alphard[24]
2010 Arakawa Under the Bridge Nino
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge Nino
Black Butler II Ciel Phantomhive
Cobra the Animation Secret
Star Driver Sarina Endō
Duel Masters Cross Shock Shizuka
The Tatami Galaxy Akashi
2011 Appleseed XIII Deunan Knute
Bunny Drop Masako
Suzy's Zoo: Daisuki! Witzy Narrator
Tiger & Bunny Tomoe Kaburagi
Blade Makoto
Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing Roshanak Babar
2012 Nekomonogatari (Kuro) Shinobu Oshino[25]
Nisemonogatari Shinobu Oshino[25]
Psycho-Pass Rikako Ōryō
2013 Monogatari Series Second Season Shinobu Oshino[25]
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic Scheherazade Season 2
Coppelion Shion Ozu
2014 Captain Earth Moco
Black Butler: Book of Circus Ciel Phantomhive

Original video animation (OVA)[edit]

Theatre animation[edit]

Web animation[edit]


  • Panda de Mafumafu - Narrator[29]


TV drama[edit]

  • Suekko Chōan Ane Sannin - Emi

Short films[edit]

  • 03†[30] - Zero Saint Cross

Appearances in other media[edit]

Drama CD[edit]

Video games[edit]


  • Angel Touch - Rin Otō
  • Bangare - Nin Sasaki
  • Daddy Long Legs ~Ashinaga Oji-san Yori~ - Jerusha "Judy" Abbott
  • Les Misérables (Japanese production) - Éponine Thénardier
  • Letter ~ Bring to Light - Ritsuko Nonomura
  • Mizuiro Jidai - Natsumi Kugayama


  • Sakamoto Maaya no Vitamin M (坂本真綾のビタミンM?) - Bay-FM[34]
  • Sakamoto Maaya Chizu to Tegami to Koi no Uta (坂本真綾 地図と手紙と恋のうた?) - TBS Radio[35]
    • Broadcast date: April 7, 2007 ~ March 28, 2009
  • Konica Minolta presents Night on the Planet - Tokyo FM
  • Yellow tail music tail - Tokyo FM
  • Sapporo Beer Key of Dish - Tokyo FM
  • Sakamoto Maaya no Naisho Hanashi (坂本真綾のナイショ話?) - Nack5
  • Girls' School Fantasy – NACK5
  • Sakamoto Maaya I.D. (坂本真綾 I.D.?) - Nack5, FM Osaka, FM Aichi
  • Sakamoto Maaya no Who Is Lucy (坂本真綾のWho Is Lucy?, Sakamoto Maaya's Who Is Lucy)FM Fukuoka, Sendai City-FM, FM-Nigata, K-Mix
  • Sakamoto Maaya I.D. Night Flight (坂本真綾 I.D. Night Flight?) - Nack5, FM Osaka, North Wave, Cross FM
  • Sakamoto Maaya no Escaflowneeyes (坂本真綾のEscaflowneeyes?, Sakamoto Maaya's Escaflowneeyes) - Nippon Cultural Broadcasting
  • Sakamoto Maaya no Lucy's Radio Show (坂本真綾のLucy's Radio Show?, Sakamoto Maaya's Lucy's Radio Show) - Nippon Cultural Broadcasting


  • Maaya Sakamoto's Full Moon Recital Hall (September 23, October 23, November 22, December 21, 2010) -Ustream
    • reading of Japanese literary works[36]
    • one of the special projects offered by a Japanese online magazine "Saizensen"



  • Sakamoto Maaya no Manpukuron (坂本真綾の満腹論?) – Currently in Newtype.

- A monthly column


  • I.D. (アイディ。?) – December 9, 2005[37]

- An essay collection (out of print)

  • Chizu to Tegami to Koi no Uta (地図と手紙と恋のうた?) – April 18, 2008[38]

- A photo and lyrics book compilation

  • from everywhere. – February 21, 2011[39]

- An essay collection


  1. ^ "Official profile" (in Japanese). Victor Artists website. Retrieved January 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ Doi, Hitoshi. "Sakamoto Maaya". Seiyuu Database. July 5, 2010. Archived by WebCite July 8, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Cast list @ Bandai's Escaflowne Official Website" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  4. ^ "Oricon past rankings for Yakusoku wa Iranai" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-12-24. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Tune the Rainbow Past Rankings" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2009-09-21. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Loop Past Rankings" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2009-09-21. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Ame ga Furu Past Rankings" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2009-09-21. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Triangler Past Rankings" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2009-09-21. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Shōnen Alice Past Rankings" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2009-09-21. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Yūnagi Loop Past Rankings" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2009-09-21. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Maaya Sakamoto earns first no.1 album on weekly chart". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  12. ^ "CDデビュー15周年を記念して、坂本真綾の武道館ライブが決定!!" (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2009-09-11. Retrieved 2010-01-04. "2010年3月31日(水)、坂本真綾の誕生日当日に武道館でLIVEが開催される。" 
  13. ^ "the id, March 2002" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  14. ^ a b c d "坂本真綾のプロフィール・ヒストリーならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b ""坂本真綾×菅野よう子"が再び!TVアニメ『マクロスF』OPテーマがシングル・リリース" (in Japanese). CD Journal. March 5, 2008. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  16. ^ 坂本真綾、デビュー15年目で初首位 (in Japanese). Oricon. January 18, 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  17. ^ "坂本真綾、8thアルバムは「シンガーソングライター」" (in Japanese). January 1, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  18. ^ "". Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  19. ^ 第23回アニメグランプリ (in Japanese). Animage. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  20. ^ 各部門ランキング 中間発表 (in Japanese). Seiyu Awards. Archived from the original on 2007-01-16. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  21. ^ 第38回菊田一夫演劇賞発表 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  22. ^ みなさまにご報告させていただきます (in Japanese). Retrieved 13 August 2011. [dead link]
  23. ^ スタッフ&キャスト/貧乏姉妹物語 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  24. ^ "超ハイクオリティーで描かれるテレビアニメ『CANAAN』マスコミ試写リポート!" (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  25. ^ a b c スタッフ・キャスト [Staff & cast] (in Japanese). Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Kemono to Chat's OVA official website" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  27. ^ "Maaya Sakamoto to play new character in Evangelion 2.0 film". 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  28. ^ キャスト - チョコレート・アンダーグラウンド (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  29. ^ ぱんだ de まふまふ サイト (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  30. ^ 03+ (in Japanese). Kinokuniya. Retrieved 2010-01-04. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Character information: ジャンヌ・ダルク" (in Japanese). Level-5. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  32. ^ "" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  33. ^ "TwitLonger — When you talk too much for Twitter". TwitLonger. 2014-08-22. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  34. ^ "Vitamin M radio info @ Official Website" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  35. ^ "Chizu to Tegami to Koi no Uta Radio Official Site @ TBS Radio" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2007-04-10. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  36. ^ Maaya Sakamoto, Take, ufotable on Galactic Railroad Project - Anime News Network (September 13, 2010)
  37. ^ "坂本真綾PHOTO&エッセイ集「アイディ。」発売!" (in Japanese). Victor Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-02-07. [dead link]
  38. ^ 地図と手紙と恋のうた (in Japanese). Kinokuniya. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  39. ^ "坂本 真綾 ニュース @Victor Entertainment" (in Japanese). Victor Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 

External links[edit]