Shouta Aoi

Shouta Aoi (蒼井 翔太, Aoi Shōta, born August 11, 1987), is a Japanese singer, actor, and voice actor. Under the stage name Showta (stylized as "SHOWTA."), he debuted as a singer with the song "Negaiboshi" in 2006 and released his first studio album, Eve, in 2008. In 2009, he left his agency and began releasing music independently under the pseudonym Noboru Ryugaki (柳ヶ木 昇).

Shouta Aoi
蒼井 翔太
T-SPOOK 2016 Aoi Shota (33087032794).jpg
Aoi at T-Spook 2016 on October 30, 2016
Born (1987-08-11) August 11, 1987 (age 32)
Other names
  • Noboru Yanagawa (柳川 昇) (2004)
  • Showta (2006-2009)
  • Noboru Ryugaki (柳ヶ木 昇) (2009-2010)
Occupation
  • Singer
  • actor
  • voice actor
Years active2006–present
Agent
  • King Amusement Creative (singing)
  • S Inc (voice acting)
[1]
Musical career
Genres
Labels
Websitewww.shouta-aoi.jp

In 2009, after making his acting debut as Saki Hanajima in the Fruits Basket musical, Aoi has been involved in multiple musical theatre productions, including Sakuya Shiomi in Persona 3: The Weird Masquerade. In 2011, he began voice acting under the stage name "Shouta Aoi" and gained media attention after voicing Ai Mikaze from Uta no Prince-sama. Since then, he has been recognized for roles such as Hideaki Tojo from Ace of Diamond, Monet Tsukushi in the Magic-kyun! Renaissance series, Rui Minazuki from the Tsukiuta series, Louis Kisaragi from King of Prism series, and Licht von Glanzreich from The Royal Tutor.

In 2013, Aoi relaunched his singing career under his new stage name with the extended play Blue Bird, followed by the release of "Virginal" in 2014. In 2015, he released his first studio album, Unlimited. Since the relaunch of his music career, his music is produced by Elements Garden.

Since the beginning of his career, Aoi has been given titles such as "Archangel" and was praised for his "angelic" singing voice. He is known for his soft, high-pitched voice and androgynous appearance, allowing him to play female parts as well.

Early lifeEdit

Aoi was born in Fukui Prefecture, Japan. He has one older sister.[3] From elementary to high school, he played tennis and won many trophies.[4] As a child, he watched a lot of anime and played video games, citing his interest in voice acting through Akira Ishida's portrayal of Fish Eye from Sailor Moon SuperS.[3] In school, he was bullied for his high-pitched, feminine voice.[5][6][7] He credits his friends from junior high school for helping him regain his confidence after they complimented his performance of "So Into You" by Koda Kumi during a karaoke outing.[6][7] In 2004, he competed in the Yamaha Teens' Music Festival under the name "Noboru Yanagawa" and won the Grand Prix for the Tokai, Ibaraki region.[8][9] Initially, when he first auditioned, he had mistakenly believed it was an amateur karaoke competition.[10] He was a finalist at the national competition, along with Ataru Nakamura, where he performed "1000 no Kotoba" by Koda Kumi.[11]

CareerEdit

2006-2010: Musical debut, Eve, and indies activitiesEdit

Aoi debuted under the name Showta with the single "Negaiboshi" on July 26, 2006 under King Records, which charted at #119 on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart.[12] On November 22, 2006, he released his second single, "Trans-winter (Fuyu no Mukōgawa)", which served as the theme song to the live-action television adaptation of the manga Damens Walker.[9] His third single, "Hito Shizuku", a mid-tempo ballad, was released on April 4, 2007.[13] His fourth single, "Kimi ni, Kaze ga Fukimasu You ni" was released on July 27, 2007 as the ending theme song to Ichiteru.[14] For his fifth single, he released a cover of Yoshie Kashiwabara's 1983 song "Haru na no ni" on January 23, 2008.[15]

Aoi released his first studio album, Eve, on March 5, 2008, which charted at #115 on the Oricon Weekly Albums Chart.[16] His sixth single, "Hikaru no Gen-chan", was released on April 23, 2008 for NHK's Minna no Uta segments during the months of April and May.[17] In 2009, Aoi contributed the song "Ekubo" to the movie soundtrack of Kanna-san Daiseiko Desu! the Movie, which was released as a promotional digital single.[18] He made his first acting appearance as Saki Hanajima in the Fruits Basket stage play adaptation.[19][20][21][22]

In 2010, Aoi left King Records, citing his desire to become a voice actor and theme song performer. He began releasing music and performing independently under the name Noboru Ryugaki.[23] He was a featured artist in the song "Oji-sama to Cheek" on Kenzo Saeki and Boogie the Mach Motors' collaboration album, 21-Seiki-san sings Harlmens.[24] During this time, he also performed in independent musical theatre and stage productions.

2011-2016: Voice acting debut and stage activitiesEdit

Aoi signed onto S Inc. in 2011 for voice acting and debuted under the name Shouta Aoi, making his first appearance as Kanshiki in the game Black Robinia.[25] He performed "Ai no Sasameki Goto" as the first song released under his new stage name, which served as the theme song to the drama CD series Sangokushi Lovers.[4] In October, he voiced Ryunosuke Matsushita in the anime Kimi to Boku and also performed the songs "Sora", "Tomorrow" and "Over" for the show's soundtrack.[26]

In 2012, Aoi was cast as Ai Mikaze in the Uta no Prince-sama media franchise, where he performed and sang several songs for the character in the game and anime soundtracks.[25] After gaining recognition from the success of his role, Aoi released his first extended play, Blue Bird, on January 13, 2013, which contained theme songs he performed for Broccoli drama CDs.[27][28] On January 15, 2014, Aoi released his first single, "Virginal", under his stage name, as the ending theme song to Break Out,[29] which was then followed by his first concert, Shouta Aoi 1st Live: Virginal.[30] On August 6, 2014, he released his second single, "True Hearts."[31] Alongside of singing and voice acting, Aoi continued participating in stage productions, including playing Sakuya Shiomi in the Persona 3: The Weird Masquerade musicals.[5]

In late 2014, Aoi was cast as Ayumu Tamari in the OVA This Boy Suffers From Crystallization, his first leading role in animation.[5] He also provided the theme song, "Glitter Wish",[32] which was later released as the B-side to his third single, "Himitsu no Kuchizuke", on December 3, 2014.[33] In 2015, he released his first studio album, Unlimited, which charted at #7 on the Oricon Weekly Albums Chart.[34] Aoi's fourth single, "Murasaki", was released on September 2, 2015, serving as the theme song to the stage musical Prince Kaguya,[35] which he also starred in as the title character.[36] On February 3, 2016, he released the single "Zessei Stargate" as the opening theme song to Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation, in which he also voiced the character Itsuki Tachibana.[37]

2016-present: Label changeEdit

Aoi returned to King Records in 2016.[1] During that year, both B-green and King Records released compilation albums of his previous works, S and Showta Best.[38][39] After changing labels, Aoi released his sixth single, "Innocent", as the opening theme song to First Love Monster on July 27, 2016, in which he also played Renren.[40] His seventh single, "DDD", was released October 19 as the theme song to Future Card Buddyfight DDD, a series in which he also played recurring character Gaito Gurenzo.[41] On January 25, 2017, Aoi released the song "Flower", which was the ending theme song for the variety show King's Brunch for the month of January.[42][43] On October 11, 2017, he released his second studio album, Zero, which sold 11,361 copies within its first week.[44][45]

On May 9, 2018, Aoi released the song "Eclipse" as the opening theme song to Devils' Line, in which he also appeared in as Kenichi Yoshii.[46][47] In 2019, he provided the narration to Dimension High School and later appeared in the show as Shiro Oide, his first role in live-action television.[48] On April 10, 2019, Aoi released his ninth single, "Tone", as the opening theme song to Kono Oto Tomare! Sounds of Life, in which he was also cast as Mio Kanzaki.[49] On May 3, 2019, a set of 24 voiced stickers featuring Aoi for the messaging application Line was released, based on his radio show Shouta Aoi: Hungry Night.[50] In September 2019, Aoi appeared in the live-action television drama Real Fake as Akane.[51]

Public imageEdit

Since the beginning of his career, Aoi has been recognized for his soft, high-pitched voice and has been given nicknames such as "archangel" and "angelic singing voice."[52][7] He is also branded as being a "genderless singer" due to his an androgynous voice and appearance,[7] which allowed him to play female roles. In a survey conducted by Anime! Anime!, 50% women and 50% men in the questionnaire ranked him as #2 as the voice actor with the most "angelic" voice.[53] Aoi himself became an Internet meme following his appearance in Pop Team Epic, in which the studio responded by releasing exclusive merchandise of him.[54] In 2018, Aoi was the second most-followed voice actor on Twitter in Japan.[55]

Other venturesEdit

EndorsementsEdit

Aoi has appeared in commercials for CyberStep Toreba 2D.[56] In 2016, Aoi appeared and sang in the commercial for Lotte's Lady Borden ice cream along with Yūki Kaji and Kenshō Ono.[57]

CollaborationsEdit

In 2017, Denon produced a collaboration headphone set with Aoi, and he also starred in their commercial.[58][59] In April 2018, Sanrio released a fashion collaboration line with Aoi and Little Twin Stars, featuring a character based on himself named "Shoutan" and Tamutamu, a character Aoi personally designed.[60][61][62] The character line ranked #5 in the 2018 Sanrio Character Ranking in the collaborations category.[63] Sanrio distributed a mini album for the Shoutan character performed by Aoi himself, titled Twinkle Star.[64]

DiscographyEdit

As ShowtaEdit

As Shouta AoiEdit

FilmographyEdit

TheatreEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2009 Fruits Basket Saki Hanajima, female student Also acted as Saki Hanajima in the Strawberry Team version; double-cast with Yosuke Kogawa; credited as Showta[19][65]
It Runs in the Family Nurse
2010 Shibuya × Akiba Takashi Credited as Noboru Ryugaki
Moon War: Tsuki ga Kiiro ka, Shiro, Kuro ka... Atra Credited as Noboru Ryugaki
2013 In a Grove Female suspect
Yoha na Bokura (余白な僕ら) Atsuo
The Ascenscion of K, or His Death by Drowning Boku
2014 Persona 3: The Weird Masquerade: The Blue Awakening Sakuya Shiomi [66]
Shunpu Gaiden Momoyako
Persona 3: The Weird Masquerade: The Ultramarine Labyrinth Sakuya Shiomi [67]
Valkyrie: Story from Rhine Gold Ask Embra
Phantasy Star Online 2: On Stage Takuya
2015 Shunpu Gaiden Momoyako
Persona 3: The Weird Masquerade: The Bismuth Crystals Sakuya Shiomi [68]
Prince Kaguya Aoi, Kaguya [69]
2016 Relic: Tale of the Last Ninja Shōji Jinnai [70]
The Smile Mermaid Marina [71]
2017 Persona 3: The Weird Masquerade: The Indigo Pledge and Beyond the Blue Sky Sakuya Shiomi [72]
Le Petit Prince The Prince [73]
The Royal Tutor Licht von Glanzreich [74]
2019 The Royal Tutor: Musical II Licht von Glanzreich [75]
West Side Story: Season 1 Tony Double-cast with Mamoru Miyano[76]

AnimeEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Kimi to Boku Ryunosuke Matsushita
2012 Kimi to Boku 2 Ryunosuke Matsushita
2013 Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love 2000% Ai Mikaze
2014 Shōnen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 49 Daiki Tomii
Rage of Bahamut: Genesis Michael
2015 Shōnen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 50 Daiki Tomii
Ace of Diamond Hideaki Tōjō [77]
Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love Revolutions Ai Mikaze
Ace of Diamond: Second Season Hideaki Tōjō
The Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Cliff
2016 Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation Itsuki Tachibana
Prince of Stride: Alternative Tōya Natsunagi
Future Card Buddyfight DDD Gaito Kurouzu
First Love Monster Renren
Tsukiuta. The Animation Rui Minazuki
Handa Kun Sōsuke Kojika
Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE Legend Star Ai Mikaze
Magic-kyun! Renaissance Monet Tsukushi [78]
Kiss Him, Not Me Akane
2017 Marginal#4: Kiss kara Tsukuru Big Bang Tsubasa Shindō
Kenka Bancho Otome: Girl Beats Boys Takayuki Konparu
Chiruran: Nibun no Ichi Sanosuke Harada
Future Card Buddyfight X Gaito Kurouzu
The Royal Tutor Licht von Grannzreich
Symphogear AXZ Cagliostro
Dynamic Chord Narumi Amagi
2018 Pop Team Epic Himself (episode 12, 14) [54]
Real Girl Yuuto Itō
Devils' Line Kenichi Yoshii [47]
Caligula Kagi-P/Kensuke Hibiki
The Thousand Musketeers Springfield [79]
2019 Dimension High School Dimensional Messenger, Shiro Oide [80][48]
Meiji Tokyo Renka Rentaro Taki (episode 7)
Real Girl 2nd Season Yuuto Itō
Ace of Diamond Act II Hideaki Tōjō
Kono Oto Tomare! Sounds of Life Mio Kanzaki [81]
King of Prism: Shiny Seven Stars Louis Kisaragi
Carole & Tuesday Pyotr [82]
2020 My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Gerald Stuart [83]
Tsukiuta. The Animation 2 Rui Minazuki [84]

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Black Robinia Kanshiki Debut voice acting role[25]
2013—present Uta no Prince-sama series Ai Mikaze [85]
2014 Granblue Fantasy Elta [86]
Sky Lore Travelling Prince [87]
Voice Meets Girl: Luck of Cinderella Shouta Kiriya [88]
2015 Cafe Cuillere Minato Sakuma [89]
Kobayashi ga Kawai Sugite Tsurai!! Game demo Kyun Moe Max ga Tomaranai Chinaga Uesugi [90]
Thousand Memories Lizard, Dennis [91]
Taishō × Taishō Alice[92] Show White
Ninmu suikō Shō Tsuzuki [93]
Prince of Stride Tōya Natsunagi [94]
Yume ōkoku to nemureru 100-ri no ōji-sama Sai, Michiru [95]
Band Yarouze! Asahi Ohtori
2016 Magic-kyun! Renaissance Monet Tsukushi
The Caligula Effect Kagi-P/Kensuke Hibiki
2017 Akane-sasu Sekai de Kimi to Utau Mori Ranmaru
2018 Meiji Tokyo Renka: Haikara Date Rentaro Taki [96]
2019 Bungou to Alchemist Lewis Carroll
2020 Disney: Twisted-Wonderland Ortho Shroud

Drama CDEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2013-present Tsukiuta series Rui Minazuki [97]
2013 Sengoku Soine Ishida Mitsunari [98]
2014 Ginga Idol Cho Kareshi Chizane [99]
2014-present Happy Sugar Darlin' series Ranran Kurumiya [100]
2016 Fresh Kiss 100% Ruka [101]
2016 Moso Kareshi Kuro [102]
2017 Dynamic Chord Nal [103]
2017 Heiko Sekai to Hakoniwa Heya Asanaga Shijyo, Osamu Shijyo [104]
2017 Blackish House Sera [105]
2017-18 Otodoke Kareshi series Haruka Hinata [106]
2018 Marginal Lover Tsubasa [107]
2019 Makai Ōji-sama no Chōzetsu Amayakashi Drama CD Prince of the Demon World [108]

Original video animation (OVA)Edit

Year Title Role Notes
2014 This Boy Suffers From Crystallization Ayumu Tamari [5]

Live-action and variety showsEdit

Year Title Role Network Notes
2014-2016 Motefuku Member[clarification needed] Television Saitama
2014-present Animate Ongakan Host Animate Channel [109]
2015-present Night also Shouta Aoi Host Nico Live [110]
2015 Shouta Aoi Aozora sunshine with Joymax Host YouTube [111]
2017-present Otawamure Host Fuji TV
2019 Real Fake Akane Kaburagi MBS TV [51]

FilmsEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2016 King of Prism by Pretty Rhythm Louis Kisaragi Voice[112]
2017 King of Prism: Pride the Hero Louis Kisaragi Voice[113]
2019 The Royal Tutor Licht von Glanzreich Voice[75]
King of Prism: Shiny Seven Stars Louis Kisaragi Voice

ToursEdit

  • Shouta Aoi 1st Live: Virginal (2014)[30]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit