Freedom Sugita.

Name: Sugita Tomokazu (ζ‰η”°ζ™Ίε’Œ)
Birthday: October 11, 1980
Birthplace: Saitama, Japan
Height: 177 cm (5'8")
Weight: 62kg (136 lbs)
Blood Type: B
Agent: Atomic Monkey
Twitter: sugitaLOV (go ahead, twitter stalk him)

DISCLAIMER: I won't be responsible for ruining your image of Gin-san by showing Sugita's ugly mug on this page!! Rollover if you're brave enough to take off the mosaic!

When you sit and realize that most great shounen manga leads are voiced by females (Luffy, Kenshin, Naruto, Tsuna, Allen, GOKU) the lead male voice for Gintoki is the probably just one of many contributing factors that are holding Gintama back from making it into the top crop of Jump series. Most fans of Gin-san will probably recognize the name Sugita Tomokazu, Gintoki's nerdy Japanese voice actor. He works under the agency Atomic Monkey and among the anime community is probably actually best recognized for his starring role in Gintama, alongisde his portrayal of the straight-man, Kyon, in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu. For both roles, Sugita has been awarded the "most favorite male character" at the 2009 & 2010 Anime Grand Prix. Though his voice is more or less recognizable no matter what kind of role he's playing, his abilities as an actor are quite diverse: Sugita can voice anything from the sweetest of schoolboys to the most villainous bad guys. He's applauded by many of his fans for his ability to ad-lib and deliver hilarious lines without fail.

These days Sugita's got his hand in just about everything: from having 2-3 different roles almost every anime season, spilling out sugary lines in otome games or yelling aggressively in fighting games, chatting up a storm on various radio shows and smashing away at controllers with fellow seiyuu on the video game show, Tokyo Encounter. Outside of his role as a voice actor, Sugita is well known for being a big anime and game otaku, and thus has the ability to drop obscure references not unlike those you would see in a Gintama episode. He believes it's up to the audience to decide whether or not he's portrayed Gintoki appropriately, but it's perhaps because of this (and his eccentric, off the wall personality) that he definitely seems perfectly cast as Gintoki.

When I first found out I'll be playing the important role of Gintoki, I wanted to prove myself to the awesome senpai around me as fast as I could. So I did a lot of show-off. But it shouldn't be like that. Gintoki lives with a lot of people's support, and there're more important things when it comes to playing the main character. When I started thinking this way, I think I started to change.
--Sugita Tomokazu, Benizakura-hen Interview

Sugita's been name-dropped in an episode of Gintama, stating that after the episode in which Gintoki sang Sen no Kaze ni Natte the voice actor's mother called and said, "Tomokazu, do a better job of singing." He also gets brought up in a crossover chapter of Gintama and Sket Dance (another Jump manga about some wannabe-Yorozuya, written by a former assistant of Sorachi's) in which Gintoki and "Switch" cross paths and realize they're both voiced by Sugita in the anime. The two of them refer to each other as "Sugita Tomokazu" for the remainder of their time together.

By the way, while we're here discussing Sugita and all, if you're a fan you should go ahead and join his fanlisting. That's definitely not a shameless advertisement by the way.

Other Notable Roles

Here is a short list of some other notable roles (mostly his lead roles, roles that I'm familiar with, or roles I think that other Gintama fans would be interested in). There's no way in hell I'm listing all of Sugita's roles here, it'd be a problem just keeping up with it every anime season! If you want that, go look it up on google or something, I can't keep spoon-feeding you!

Anime Roles
Arakawa Under the Bridge Hoshi
Beelzebub Kanzaki Hajime
Bleach Muguruma Kensei
Chobits Motosuwa Hideki
Honey and Clover Mayama Takumi
Kanon Aizawa Yuichi
Macross Frontier Mishima Leon
Sket Dance Kazuyoshi "Switch" Usui
Sousei no Aquarion Sirius De Alisia
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu Kyon
Terra e... Soldier Blue
The Wallflower Oda Takenaga
X/1999 Subaru Sumeragi

Game Roles

Devil Summoner (Drama CDs) Kuzunoha Raidou XIV
Hiiro no Kakera Onizaki Takuma
Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker Kazuhira Miller
Starry Sky ~in Spring~ Kanata Nanami
Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 3 Sakurai Ruka
Blaz Blue Ragna the Bloodedge

Miscellaneous Roles

Kamen Rider Kiva Kivat-bat the 3rd