Otaku USA Magazine
I Know That Voice! Three Places You’ve Heard Kikuko Inoue

The eternally youthful Kikuko Inoue

Veteran voice actress Kikuko Inoue has been voicing our favorite anime and game characters for decades. From romantic heroines to terrifying baddies (and a certain Tall Vampire Lady), this eternally youthful star has done it all. But do you know where you’ve heard her?

Here are three of her most famous roles. From a Takahashi classic to a recent hit, her voice is recognizable wherever it goes. Can you think of where else you’ve heard her?


Kasumi Tendo, Ranma 1/2

Kasumi Tendo, Ranma 1/2

As the sweet, side-ponytailed sister of the Tendo family, Kikuko Inoue brought some calm to the frenetic world of Ranma 1/2. Rumiko Takahashi’s rom-com classic featured the voice actress as the eldest of the trio of siblings, and one of the few cast members who never goes full slapstick.

As Kasumi, Inoue was also part of the show’s seiyuu singing unit, DoCo. Along with the voices of girl-type Ranma, Akane, Nabiki, and Shampoo, they sang themes for the show as well as insert songs.


Macrophage, Cells at Work!

Macrophage, Cells at Work!

Very few things are what they seem in Cells at Work!, the highly popular series about your body’s wild inner workings. One of the most surprising characters is the white blood cell known as the Macrophage. Voiced by Kikoku Inoue, this sweet lady looks like a friendly maid. But she kills like an absolute beast.

Macrophages clean up viruses, bacteria, and malignant cells. They can also gather information about the things they clean up. These hard workers care for you and clean up after all the bad things that get inside you, so the maid aesthetic is a perfect choice. And Inoue’s voice is, too, a perfect choice. She’s got a very sweet tone, even as she’s absolutely slaughtering your body’s invaders. It just makes us glad she’s looking after us. You know?


Belldandy, Ah My Goddess!

Belldandy, Ah My Goddess!

Choosing a “most famous” role for Kikuko Inoue is a bit difficult, especially with all the work she’s done over the years. But if we had to narrow it down to one, we couldn’t go with anyone but Belldandy. The Ah My Goddess! heroine has been a beloved character for years, and it’s due in large part to Inoue’s gentle tones. Her surprising romance with the human Keiichi, brought about because of a phone call, has been a mainstay among the great anime romances.

As with Ranma 1/2, Inoue sang with her fellow voice actresses, too. Urd, Skuld, and Belldandy all sang together under the name Goddess Family Club, providing the sweet OVA opening theme.

Where are your favorite roles from Kikuko Inoue?

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.