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Why Todoroki From My Hero Academia Sounds So Familiar

"My Hero Academia" is a at the forefront of a present-day wave of Japanese multimedia franchises to develop in the wake of series like "One Piece" and "Naruto" that effectively redefined the shonen genre. While on one hand, "One Piece" and "Naruto" in particular are so sprawling, matching their sheer scale is a near-Sisyphean task, shows like "My Hero Academia" benefit from the ability to look back to their predecessors and iterate upon the shonen series template.

One way "My Hero Academia" seemingly attempts to play catch-up to its older cousins in spite of its young age is by taking place largely in a classroom environment. Whereas characters like "One Piece" protagonist Luffy or Goku in "Dragon Ball" gradually amass teams of powerful fighters, "My Hero Academia" lead Izuku Midoriya is surrounded by allies almost from the get-go.

Shoto Todoroki is one of Midoriya's closest and most powerful peers throughout "My Hero Academia." Fans of "My Hero Academia" following the show on Toonami or somewhere else it's available with an English voice cast may well recognize Todoroki's voice actor, David Matranga, whose credits span decades of work on dozens of anime series. These are some of his most notable roles.

David Matranga stars as Tomoya Okazaki in Clannad

"Clannad" originated as a visual novel video game developed by renowned studio Key (via Steam), who also created popular games like "Kanon" and "Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet." A movie adaptation then followed, premiering approximately three years after the original game's 2004 release. Its story remained popular enough for Kyoto Animation — the acclaimed anime studio subject to a tragic arson attack in 2019 (via The New York Times) — to produce a 24 episode anime and a full-length sequel series titled "Clannad: After Story" as well.

In the movie and both "Clannad" shows, David Matranga provides the English voice of Tomoya Okazaki, who serves as the story's protagonist. At the outset of each of these various incarnations of "Clannad," Tomoya is very much a flawed protagonist, approaching life with a nihilistic attitude. Meeting deuteragonist Nagisa Furukawa (voiced by Luci Christian in English), however, changes him and puts him in a path toward finding meaning anew in his day-to-day life.

Matranga continued working with Key on Angel Beats!

Through "Clannad," David Matranga seems to have established a working relationship with the video game's original developer Key, or at least its works' rights holders in the United States. In 2010, some of Key's principal contributors worked on an original anime series titled "Angel Beats!" Notably, "Clannad" writer Jun Maeda — who wrote both the video game and its anime adaptations — was a principal contributor to "Angel Beats!" during its development.

In the English dub of "Angel Beats!," Matranga voices Hideki Hinata, one of the founders of an organization called SSS. "Angel Beats!" takes place in an afterlife in which its inhabitants must remain until moving past a hardship they underwent during their worldly existence. SSS is founded in defiance of the god presumably in charge of this system. Hinata also becomes a close ally to protagonist Yuzuru Otonashi (Blake Shepard), therefore serving as a member of its central group of characters throughout the series.

Matranga provides the English-language voice of Bertholdt in Attack on Titan

Arguably David Matranga's most recognizable role, aside from Shoto Todoroki in "My Hero Academia," is the voice of Bertholdt in the mega-popular bio-mecha anime series "Attack on Titan." While Bertholdt may not be the show's protagonist, he's perhaps one of the show's most iconic characters, for reasons that constitute Season 2 spoilers, well-familiar to fans of the franchise.

Bertholdt is first introduced in "Attack on Titan" Season 1 as a member of the 104th Cadet Corps, which protagonists Eren Jaeger (voiced by Bryce Papenbrook in English), Mikasa Ackerman (Trina Nishimura), and Armin Arlelt (Josh Grelle) join early on in the series' run. Initially, Bertholdt seems timid and withdrawn, which perhaps clashes with his enlistment in the military. However, as the series' progresses, his reason for joining the military becomes clear as the show's major characters learn some surprising truths about his background.

Matranga voiced Bertholdt from Season 1 in 2013 through Season 4 in 2021, and even contributed some additional voices to a later Season 4 episode in 2022 from which Bertholdt is absent.

Matranga is Wave in Akame ga Kill!

David Matranga joined another popular anime upon his casting in "Akame ga Kill!" which aired for 24 episodes in 2014. Upon the series' outset, young Tatsumi (Corey Hartzog ) leaves his small village for the generically-named Capital in order to find a way to raise money that he can take back to his hometown. While there, he meets and ultimately joins up with a group of assassins called Night Raid who are intent on ridding the Capital of its corrupt ruling class.

In the English dub of "Akame ga Kill!," Matranga voices Wave, who starts the show as a member of a group organized to stop Night Raid called the Jaegers. However, in spite of his affiliation with the show's villainous faction, Wave is a morally upstanding character, meaning that his relationship to the evil Empire in charge of The Jagers becomes complicated as the series progresses.

Matranga voices Genjiro Tanigaki in Golden Kamuy

In the first three seasons of "Golden Kamuy," released between 2018 to 2020 — and presumably continuing into Season 4, which premiered in Japan on October 3, 2022 (via Crunchyroll), once it receives an English dub — David Matranga voices a Matagi hunter named Genjiro Tanigaki.

"Golden Kamuy" is a work of historical fiction, telling an entirely original story within an early 1900s Hokkaido (the northernmost major Japanese island) and southeastern Russian setting that incorporates real-life elements of its particular time and place. Tanigaki being a Matagi means that he comes from a tribe in Hokkaido that reveres hunting. Upon his first appearance, Tanigaki is a member of the Imperial Japanese Army's 7th Division, which serves as the principal group of antagonists for the series' leads. However, Tanigaki eventually finds refuge at an Ainu — the name of Hokkaido's indigenous people — village, which eventually compels him to join Saichi Sugimoto (Ian Sinclair in English) and the rest of the unlikely heroes of "Golden Kamuy."