I really need to do more posts about voice actors in anime because there are some truly excellent ones out there. Which I’ve been reminded of yet again this season with Mieruko-Chan. Kaede Hondo voices the best friend, Hana, and while Hana might have become quite an annoying character with a less skilled vocal performance, instead we get a really great portrayal and Hana works wonderfully as a supporting character as she bounces off of the protagonist Miko.
Anyway, I was so impressed with Hana’s voice work that I decided to look up what other roles Kaede Hondo had voice and which characters had really left an impression on me.
While I was doing that, I was surprised to discover that this Fall 2021 Kaede Hondo is also voicing Sumire Mochinoki from the train-wreck of a show that is Deep Insanity. Sumire being a particularly unimpressive part of that. In fairness to Kaede Hondo, it’s probably the writing because I legitimately have no idea how you could make the script and story of Deep Insanity any better than what they are doing, but wow the contrast between Sumire and Hana couldn’t be greater.
Top 5 Kaede Hondo characters in anime.
But rather than complaining about one character I’m not particularly fond of (understatement), I’d rather talk about five very solid performances from Kaede Hondo. As always, I’d love to know what your favourite roles are so be sure to leave a comment.
Number 5 – Hikari from Interviews With Monster Girls
Now, those who have followed my blog a long time will know I dropped Interviews with Monster Girls at episode 10 (even though it is only 12 episodes) because I was bored.
But as bored as I was with the seemingly absent plot (in fairness it is a school comedy), one shining moment did stick with me and that was the enthusiastic Hikari.
Largely because in what was a fairly flat show (for me at least) every scene Hikari was in became that little bit brighter in its own way. So making a character in a show I wasn’t enjoying the stand-out moment earns Hikari a spot on this list.
Number 4 – Laika from I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years
Now Laika I only placed at the mid-way point when ranking the girls from I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years, but that was largely because her character was criminally underused in most episodes. In her introductory episode and one or two others that allowed her character to shine, Laika was brilliant and honestly I’d have happily watched a show about just Azusa and Laika without the rest of the crowd.
And if you don’t think Laika deserves a place on this list, just go back and watch the episode where she first confronts Azusa. This was a character who made an impression. It was just too bad the rest of the script short-changed her on giving her interesting things to say.
Number 3 – Hana from Mieruko-Chan
Clearly a most recent addition but Hana was the character who inspired this list. Honestly, her exchanges with Miko as they discuss desserts or anything else are always delightful. I also love how she gives herself pep-talks and also tries to put a brave face on things.
Hana is just a bundle of fun to have on screen and she’s an excellent balancing factor when you put her next to Miko.
It would be fair to say that Mieruko-Chan would not be half as interesting without the excellent vocal work by Hondo Kaede as Hana and honestly Hana totally deserves a place on this list.
Number 2 – Maple from Bofuri
Like, seriously Maple had to end up on this list.
BOFURI was the cutest anime ever about playing an immersive RPG and that was largely due to Maple. Much like Mieruko-Chan, BOFURI’s real strength was in the friendship of Maple and Sally, and Maple just sold every single line. Whether she was learning about the game, trying out a new power, or celebrating something, it was just a joy to spend time with her character.
Kaede Hondo really brought Maple to life and what could have been a rather ho-hum experience was one where Maple really just made you want to spend time watching her play this game.
Number 1 – Elaina from Wandering Witch
What makes or breaks a slow travel story of a witch moving from town to town and just kind of seeing what is there? Yep, that is how much we enjoy spending time with the protagonist. And honestly, Elaina made me want to spend time with her.
She had just enough sass but also wasn’t just a one quip kind of character and her musings as she travelled about were all pretty entertaining. With Elaina being one of the few consistent characters throughout the series, most others came and went, Kaede Hondo had a lot of heavy lifting with the voice work in the anime and to be honest, she nailed it.
Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina isn’t an anime for everyone, but it is a great role for Kaede Hondo and one that I would like to celebrate.
And that’s my list but as always I’d love to know what would be on your list so feel free to leave me a comment below.
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