Maaya Sakamoto is a Japanese actress, voice actress, song writer and vocalist. She is known by Panzer Dragoon fans for her role as the voice actress for the character Azel. Sakamoto was born on March 31, 1980 in Tokyo, Japan. Sakamoto worked as a child actor in theater and from the age of fifteen started a music career.1 She has released a number of albums,2 and appeared and voiced numerous video games, anime, and films dubbed in Japanese.3
In 2008, Sakamoto provided the voice of the drone Azel, one of the primary characters in Panzer Dragoon Saga and the titler character of the game’s Japanese version, Azel Panzer Dragoon RPG. In 2002, Sakamoto reprised the role by providing the voice of Azel in the game’s sequel, Panzer Dragoon Orta, but unlike in Panzer Dragoon Saga, the character did not appear in person and was only heard in a voice recording left for her daughter Orta. It appears that Sakamoto’s voice was also used in Panzer Dragoon Orta as the voice heard in the Sestren data circuit and when players browse through the selections available in Pandora’s Box, although this has not been confirmed by official sources.
Characters voiced by Maaya Sakamoto. From left to right, Aerith from Final Fantasy VII, Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII series and Azel from Panzer Dragoon Saga.
Besides the Panzer Dragoon series, Sakamoto has voiced other roles including Hitomi Kanzaki in The Vision of Escaflowne, Aerith Gainsborough in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Final Fantasy VII Remake and related games, Lightning in the Japanese version of Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel Final Fantasy XIII-2, Padme Amidala in the Japanese dub of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and its sequels, Princess Elise in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), and Lisa in Dead or Alive 4 and related games.