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The Naruto Actress You Likely Didn't Know Starred In One Piece

The titular protagonist of "Naruto" is one of the most iconic heroes of anime today. Everything from his fuzzy yellow head to his sandals-sporting feet is about as recognizable as things can get, and his voice is no exception. Since the anime first debuted in 2002, only one voice actor has portrayed Naruto in the show's native Japanese, and her name is Junko Takeuchi.

There are other voice actors who have portrayed Naruto over the years, mostly in other languages. Nevertheless, it's fair to say that the character's definitive voice belongs to Takeuchi alone. However, boiling Takeuchi's career down to just "Naruto" doesn't actually do her much service. The 50-year-old voice actor has voiced a multitude of recognizable characters in her over 30 years of work (via IMDb). 

For instance, you likely didn't know that Takeuchi also starred in "One Piece," in which she plays the character Sabo. Although, she doesn't play the version of the character that "One Piece" fans might expect.

Junko Takeuchi played kid Sabo in One Piece

"One Piece" fans are already familiar with Sabo as the spirited second-in-command of Monkey D. Dragon's Revolutionary Army, the father of Monkey D. Luffy and Ace. However, the Sabo who fights alongside Dragon in battle is not the Sabo portrayed by Junko Takeuchi. Instead, she plays Sabo as a child during flashback episodes. This is because Takeuchi is one of the undeniable maestros for voicing child characters in anime. Specifically, she has a knack for voicing young, spirited boys like Naruto.

There's no shortage of shows in which Takeuchi portrays young male characters either. The most notable of these is another iconic Shonen protagonist, Gon, from the original 1999 anime adaptation of "Hunter x Hunter." However, she also voices the likes of Mokuba Kaiba in "Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters," Shiro Takaoji from "Ouran High School Host Club," and the protagonist of "Digimon Frontier," Takuya Kanbara.

When it comes to Sabo, however, Takeuchi's portrayal of the character is relatively minor. Young Sabo has only appeared in 12 episodes of the series thus far, which isn't much when compared to the dozens of episodes in which she voices Naruto, Gon, or Takuya. Still, it's just one more anime on a long list of series that Takeuchi has influenced with her voice.