Anyone who's ever watched anime has at least heard of Naruto. It's been on TV in Japan for almost two decades and there have been tons of movies and spinoffs since then. If you've ever wanted to get into anime as a whole and have asked for suggestions, it's almost a guarantee that this one has been suggested by at least 10 people.
Even though Naruto is in Japanese, the English dub is also very popular. But who is the English voice actor for Naruto, the main character? For some, it may come as a surprise to find out who this person actually is, but they have been behind the character for more than 15 years.
Who is the English voice actor for Naruto?
It turns out that Naruto is actually voiced by a woman. Maile Flanagan has been a professional voice actor for years, but the anime character is one of her longest-running voices. According to her IMDb, she has been in the role since 2003 and has played him in every show, video game, and movie since.
But Maile's career is more than just Naruto. She has done acting and voice roles in shows likeThe Mindy Project as well as games like Minecraft and some Final Fantasy titles. In fact, she's been in this field for decades, and she's been working since at least the late 1990s. Plus, the anime isn't the only series on her résumé. Aside from all those spinoffs and movies, she also played Geri in a show called 3Way, Connie on Shameless, and Principal Perry on a few Star Wars TV shorts.
The Japanese voice of Naruto is also a woman.
Over the years, plenty of women have voiced or acted in male roles, and in the case of our favorite ninja Naruto, he's voiced by two women. Aside from Maile, an actor named Junko Takeuchi voices him in the Japanese version of the anime. And she's been doing so since 2002.
On Junko's IMDb, it says that her first time in this role was in a video short called Naruto: Akaki Yotsuba no kurôbâ o sagase. It's about Naruto being called upon by Konohamaru to find a wish-fulfilling crimson leaf clover so he can give it to the girl he has a crush on.
Just like Maile, Junko has a ton of big projects attached to her name. This includes other anime like Hunter x Hunter, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Little Witch Academia, and more. On top of that, she's also worked on related movies and has had a career since 1986. In that time, she has voiced a few different male characters and is almost known for doing so. She played Gon in HxH, and Mokuba Kaiba on Yu-Gi-Oh!
Other women are also known for playing male characters. American voice actor Tara Strong has played a number of guys including Timmy and Poof from The Fairly Odd Parents, Dil on Rugrats, Ben in Ben 10, and more. Actor Nancy Cartwright is also known for her role as the voice of Bart on The Simpsons.
You can watch Naruto on Netflix.