Anime is full of romance, and sometimes, it can even bring real-life romance to the people that help create it. This Valentine’s Day, let’s take a look at some titles that include voice actors who happen to be married in real life. While everyone included on this list got married after the anime they were in aired, knowing this information may bring a new, extra-romantic perspective for people re-watching them, or discovering them for the first time today.
Maaya Sakamoto & Kenichi Suzumura (The Garden of Sinners)
The Garden of Sinners, a paranormal horror/action series, features some absolutely stunning animation by Studio Ufotable; horrific and bloody imagery, exquisite music and some great mysteries. But at the core of this complex series, is the romance between Shiki Ryogi, the powerful demon hunter with multiple personalities, and Mikiya Kokuto, the man who loves Shiki no matter who she is.
Fans of the series will be happy to know that just like Shiki and Mikiya in the anime, their voice actors, Maaya Sakamoto and Kenichi Suzumura, married each other in 2011. Not only this, but Sakamoto and Suzumura have played couples in many other series, including Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny as Lunamaria Hawke and Shinn Asuka, and later as the antagonist couple in Captain Earth. But their chemistry is at its best in The Garden of Sinners.
Both actors have very prolific voice acting careers outside of their collaborations. Sakamoto is best known for playing Ciel in Black Butler, and currently Echidna in Re:Zero. Western audiences will probably know Suzumura best as Atsushi Murasakibara in Kuroko's Basketball and Okita Sougo in Gintama, but now he is busy being the boss of his own voice acting agency, INTENTION.
Mikako Komatsu & Tomoaki Maeno (Aoharu × Machinegun)
Aoharu x Machinegun is a rather obscure series, only lasting for one season in 2015. The story is about a team of strange characters that compete in a survival game tournament. The protagonist Hotaru Tachibana is an androgynous high school-aged girl who is dragged into the world of survival games by her next-door neighbor, Masamune Matsuoka, who works as a host. Due to her appearance, Hotaru’s teammates never found out her real gender identity in the anime. But it is clear that Masamune had feelings for Hotaru even when he though she was a man.
The mistaken gender plot and the host element makes Aoharu x Machinegun quite reminiscent of Ouran High School Host Club, which also featured our first voice acting couple. And just like Maaya Sakamoto, the voice actor for Hotaru, Mikako Komatsu often plays young boys or tough characters in anime due to her deep alto vocal range -- for example, Iori Sei in Gundam Build Fighters and Maki Zenin in Jujutsu Kaisen.
Komatsu married Tomoaki Maeno, who played Masamune Matsuoka, last May. Maeno also has a deep voice which makes him a top pick for playing very tough characters. Most notably, he is the voice of the main White Blood Cell in Cells at Work! and Konro Sagamiya in Fire Force. Does their marriage solidify them as the toughest sounding couple in the industry?
Ayana Taketatsu & Yuki Kaji (High School DxD)
In an anime series like High School DxD -- which is famous for its focus on large breasts and destroying women's clothing -- you wouldn't expect the protagonist to be tasked with finding true love. Especially not with his fourth female love interest. But real life is not as fan service-heavy as a light novel-adapted anime, and for Yuki Kaji, the voice actor of Issei Hyodo, the perverted high schooler turned devil, and Ayana Taketatsu, who voices the quiet but powerful cat demon, happiness with each other after their collaboration is exactly what they found.
Ayana Taketatsu is no stranger to harem anime. Her high-pitched voice sounds naturally fitting for cute anime characters. In fact, her most iconic roles are almost exclusively in risqué harem anime playing love interests, and particularly sister characters -- including Kirino Kosaka in Oreimo and Nino Nakano in The Quintessential Quintuplets. Her husband Yuki Kaji is much more familiar with playing shonen heroes. He has played lead roles in some of the most popular anime of all time, in fact. Most audiences would recognize him as Eren Yeager in Attack on Titan and Meliodas in The Seven Deadly Sins.
Even though Taketatsu and Kaji’s first major collaboration in High School DxD started in 2012, they only got married in 2019. The reason for this is because Taketatsu made a promise to her voice acting agency that she would not be in a relationship until she reached 30, and true to her word, she announced her marriage on the day of her 30th birthday, June 23, 2019 -- a very bold move for two people accustomed to playing bold characters.
Sayaka Senbongi & Tasuku Hatanaka (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress)
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is another anime that didn't realize its protagonists’ relationship until the end. That's not to say, though, that in this steampunk, zombie apocalypse series, the romance aspect doesn't have an important place within the plot; it is the driving force behind a lot of the decisions made by its two leads Mumei and Ikoma. In fact, the emotional bond developing between Mumei and Ikoma can often feel more captivating to watch than the action plot. But it's not until the series’ final film, The Battle of Unato, that a brief kiss between Mumei and Ikoma seems to solidify their relationship as canon.
Although it is rare to definitively say when two people fall in love, for the voice actors of Mumei and Ikoma, Sayaka Senbongi and Tasuku Hatanaka, it is pretty clear they had incredible chemistry from the start. Senbongi and Hatanaka did a web radio program to promote Kabaneri in 2016. In this program, Senbongi and Hatanaka banter with one another in way that feels natural and familiar. And though Senbongi pretends to dislike Hatanaka, they can make each other laugh like no other. Fans were not surprised to hear about their marriage at the end of 2019.
Despite both actors being relatively new to the voice acting profession, Senbongi and Hatanaka had already acted in many prominent series. Senbongi played Trish in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind and Haru the dwarf rabbit in Beastars. Hatanaka is probably best known as Denki Kaminari in My Hero Academia and Reki from SK8 the Infinity.
Manami Numakura & Ryota Ohsaka (Assassination Classroom)
Assassination Classroom is the only anime on this list that does not feature its real-life voice acting couple as a possible couple within the series. Though Assassination Classroom is generally light on romance, none of the students paired up at the end of the anime -- mainly because it has a large ensemble cast. A lot of secondary characters do not interact with each other very often; instead, the anime focuses more on their relationship with Koro-sensei and their own internal growth.
This is true for Isogai Yuma and Nakamura Rio. Although they are individually very important characters -- they are the de facto leaders for the girls and boys of Class 3E -- they rarely interact with each other within the series. Luckily, their voice actors Manami Numakura and Ryota Ohsaka interacted enough off-screen that they got married in October 2019.
Numakura and Ohsaka share a love for Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, and both eventually became involved in the Gundam series through Gundam Build Divers. Numakura’s mature voice is suitable for sexy but very strong characters, such as Narberal Gamma in Overlord and Kohaku in Dr. Stone. Her husband Ohsaka Ryota’s claim to fame is playing the very enthusiastic pitcher Eijun Sawamura in Ace of Diamond, but he is a versatile actor, able to play cooler characters such as Keiji Akashi in Haikyuu!, and creepy villains like Amy Kirio in Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun.