The busiest seiyuu in 2009 was Kugimiya Rie, whom the wiki says appeared in a total of 292 episodes that year. If it seemed as if Kugyu was everywhere last year, that's because she was.
Her total was well ahead of runners-up Noto Mamiko and Sawashiro Miyuki, who appeared in 249 and 242 episodes, respectively. Orikasa Fumiko and Tomatsu Haruka round out the top five. (mouseover images for captions)
Only the top seven names in a list of over 500 appeared in more than 200 episodes. The top 92 were over 100 episodes. Last on the list was the lovely and talented Morinaga Rika, who appeared in 29 episodes.
The wiki provides two lists: one by total number of episodes broadcast in 2009, one restricted to anime whose run began in 2009. There are some differences between the lists. Kugimiya, Noto, Sawashiro, Tomatsu, and Fukuyama Jun are the only names that appear in the top ten on both lists.
Other names in the top tens are: Kitamura Eri, Nakamura Yuuichi, Horie Yui, Ono Daisuke, Fujiwara Keiji, Irino Miyu, Takagaki Ayahi, Endou Aya, and Koyasu Takehito.
Looking over both lists, you see a lot of familiar names. Some things stand out to me. For one, Sony's Music Ray'n seiyuu/singing agency experiment is a big success: Tomatsu, Takagaki Ayahi, and Toyosaki Aki are all in the top twenty.
Yahagi Sayuri, one of my favorite young pros, is in the top twenty in both lists. And another top young pro, KitaEri, is there, too. Here are the top twenty lists:
|new anime||all anime|
|Kugimiya Rie||Kugimiya Rie|
|Sawashiro Miyuki||Noto Mamiko|
|Tomatsu Haruka||Sawashiro Miyuki|
|Fukuyama Jun||Orikasa Fumiko|
|Noto Mamiko||Tomatsu Haruka|
|Kitamura Eri||Nakamura Yuuichi|
|Horie Yui||Fukuyama Jun|
|Ono Daisuke||Fujiwara Keiji|
|Irino Miyu||Takagaki Ayahi|
|Endou Aya||Koyasu Takehito|
|Kanemitsu Nobuaki||Yahagi Sayuri|
|Koshimizu Ami||Toyosaki Aki|
|Toyosaki Aki||Yoshino Hiroyuki|
|Sakurai Takahiro||Konishi Katsuyuki|
|Yahagi Sayuri||Kitamura Eri|
|Paku Romi||Sakaguchi Daisuke|
|Hirano Aya||Horie Yui|
|Fujimura Ayumi||Irino Miyu|
|Inoue Marina||Takeuchi Junko|
|Oohara Sayaka||Toyoguchi Megumi|
I saw one name in that list of top twenties that I didn't recognize: who the heck is Kanemitsu Nobuaki? Well, I checked on ANN and Japanese Wikipedia, and he has been a seiyuu since 1998 and has only had a few named roles in that time, but has played scads of roles like "Johnny creature" in Eden of the East, and "Guard A" in Genji Sennenki. That's one way of building a career.
The wiki has another list adding the name of each seiyuu's agency, and the new-anime top twenty shows a good spread among agencies: I"m Enterprise (2), Mausu Promotions (2), Music Ray'n (2), Office Osawa, Baobab (2), Early Wing, VIMS, Junction, Office PAC, 81 Produce (2), Theatre En, Spacecraft, Ken Production, Sigma Seven, Actors' Co-op.
As for the two quite young seiyuus who have impressed me recently: Hayami Saori comes in with 73 episodes and Yuuki Aoi with 50, both well down the list. Although they were both still in high school in 2009 and not working full-time, that still puts Hayamin ahead of established names like Maeno Tomoaki, Chihara Minori, and Makino Yui; and Yuuki ahead of Ise Mariya and Hirakawa Daisuke. I think this shows that being successful and appearing in many episodes are not exactly the same thing.
In fact, I don't think we can assume that the seiyuus with the most work make the most money. For one thing, older seiyuus are paid more per episode than younger ones. For another, I expect bit parts get paid less per episode than starring roles.
Here is a list of the top sixty names, ordered by new episodes of all broadcast anime (but also giving episodes of new anime starting in 2009). For those who can read Japanese, here is a link to the Japanese Anime Cast Wiki from which the info comes.
The wiki includes the caveat that data cannot be guaranteed accurate. One thing for sure, this list counts far more appearances than are listed on each seiyuu's page in Anime News Network or even Japanese Wikipedia. It claims to include all roles credited on screeen for each 30-minute TV anime. Longer TV anime count as multiples of 30 minutes. Anime for timeslots shorter than 30 minutes (e.g., 5 minutes, 15 minutes) aren't counted.
In any case, if these figures are accurate, it shows how a seiyuu at least has a chance of making a living of some kind. That wasn't obvious to me before.
Seeing Morinaga Rika at the bottom of the list bothered me, so I checked up on her in Japanese Wikipedia and in her blog: she appeared last year in episodes of Saki and Minami-ke O-kaeri, and a Tales of Vesperia movie, but although she appeared in a recent Seto no Hanayome live event, she is now devoting her time mainly to live music performances, particularly with her club band function code(). Her blog is active and she is very active on twitter.
The 29-year-old Rika will be a "chorus girl" with Speed-ID at the multi-band overnight live event at Live Space Marz Shinjuku this coming Saturday. Note the pretty tattoo.