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I notice in Umineko/Higurashi: Based on fandom, it seems like for umineko the only difference is Kasumi Sumadera. Seems the case for higurashi is similar: the VAs reprise their role from the VN in the anime (or vice-versa in the cases where a VN is released after an anime episode).

I'm not familiar with VNs in general, but afaik, it's not common for, say, live actors to play animated or vice-versa...exceptions include Haruka Fukuhara from Kaguya-sama (Tsubame Koyasu), Riisa Naka from the girl who leapt through time (Akari Yoshiyama & Makoto Konno) or Patton Oswalt (Dementor) from Kim Possible.

But unlike the above case, I guess the idea is that a VN is basically an anime with multiple endings, less animation and more dialogue and so why not just get the same people to reprise the roles?

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Answer by MajinAkuma in this reddit comment:

In the case of Higurashi and Umineko, I‘m sure the anime cast was casted first and they reprised their roles for the visual novels. The original sound novels had no voice acting, so fans wouldn’t able to hear the characters of the first badges until the anime got released.

Same as with Fate/stay night. But in some cases, if later visual novels got full voice acting releases on the PS2 editions, then the new characters would get their voices for the visual novel first before the characters appear in the anime. This happens with many other anime adaptations where the original source material didn’t have full voice over, like many of the early KEY VNs.

Whether or not a seiyuu doesn’t reprise their role depends on the numerous factors, factors we might never know. The Umineko example is probably easy to explain. Tanaka Atsuko did voice Kasumi in the anime, but Kyrie was her primary role in Umineko. She obviously reprised her role as Kyrie in the VNs, but apparently it was unnecessary for her to reprise her role as Kyrie‘s sister Kasumi, so they gave her another seiyuu to distinguish the sisters better. That might be the right choice, since multiple Umineko seiyuus voice multiple versions of the same characters or characters that are intended to be copies of each other, which is why they have the same voices. Kyrie and Kasumi are just sisters, and they don’t disguise themselves as each other like the Sonozaki twins from Higurashi.

In Little Busters!, Tamiyasu Tomoe voiced both, Riki and Rin in the original visual novel, but in the anime, Riki is voiced by Horie Yui instead. Horie probably wasn‘t in the visual novel because Little Busters! was original an eroge with H-scenes, and having both characters having the same seiyuu in the anime might have been not the best idea, so they casted Horie for Riki.

Here’s a funny tidbit. CLANNAD originally came out without voice-over like other early KEY titles. The characters wouldn’t get their voices until the Toei anime films. The full voice-over version of the visual novel would later be released during the run of KyoAni‘s TV series. Kuwashima Houko is, of course, the voice of Tomoyo in the Toei films, the KyoAni TV series and in the full voice version of CLANNAD. However, she didn’t reprise her role for Tomoyo After, which unlike CLANNAD, has H-scenes. In Tomoyo After, Tomoyo was voiced by Tanaka Ryouko instead. Bur recently in Kaginado, Kuwashima voices both versions of Tomoyo: the CLANNAD version and the After version, and the anime makes a point to treat both versions as different characters.

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