For older anime fans, there are only a few names that are more instantly recognizable than Maaya Sakamoto. A prolific voice actor and singer, Sakamoto has been active since 1992 (which means she’s been acting in anime for longer than some readers have been alive) when she started her career with the series Little Twins. It’s more likely, however, that you’re familiar with her bigger works including her roles as Hitomi in Escaflowne (her first major role), Ciel Phantomhive in Black Butler, Haruhi Fujioka in Ouran High School Host Club, and Akito Sohma in the Fruits Basket reboot, though to be fair she’s done many, many other roles besides those.
Unfortunately for us all though, we’re going to have to live without her dulcet tones for a bit. In a blog post, Sakamoto revealed that due to being pregnant with her first child she will be taking a break from work at the advisement of her doctor. She also noted in the blog post that she and her husband Kenichi Suzumura “are very happy that our long-awaited dream has come true.”
As for how long the hiatus will last is really anyone’s guess, as Sakamoto only stated that her baby is due to be born in 2022. Honestly, though, she’s more than earned the break from the craziness of anime, so she should take whatever time she wants and come back when she’s good and ready.
For those wondering, both Sakamoto and Suzumura are prolific voice actors with dozens of characters each to their credit. Sakamoto is even the official Japanese dub voice for Natalie Portman. Meanwhile, Suzumura got his start in 1992’s Macross 7 and has been a mainstay within the industry ever since with starring roles in Uta no Prince-Sama and many others.
This is amazing news obviously and we here at J-List wish this couple nothing but happy and healthy times in the future!
Source: Crunchyroll News