Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Character/seiyuu pages: Red Data Girl, Crime Edge, Gargantia, Yuyushiki

I've done character/seiyuu pages for four spring shows so far: RDG: Red Data Girl, Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, Suisei no Gargantia, and Yuyushiki.

The pages show images of characters and their seiyuus, with some info about each seiyuu.

So far, Suisei no Gargantia is my favorite show of the season. Red Data Girl is a close second. Kanemoto Hisako in Gargantia and Hayami Saori in RDG are both giving fascinating performances.

I'm also enjoying Shingeki no Kyojin ("Attacking Giants"), which is almost too heavy for me. As anime, it may be the bet show of the season. Aku no Hana is another excellent show, but it is so dark that I can't actually bear to watch it.

Crime Edge is weird but enjoyable, and former gravure idol Koiwai Kotori has a voice that suits the character. Yuyushiki is another little comedy show featuring cute girls doing cute things, but the off-kilter humour pleases me.

I'm also enjoying Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru, in part for another excellent performance from Hayami Saori. She may be putting herself in line for a seiyuu award this year.

I'm a huge fan of Yuuki Aoi, but even I can't sit through the stupidity of Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Bride just to hear her voice.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tamura Yukari -- Idol and Seiyuu

I decided to make Tamura Yukari 田村ゆかり my seiyuu for spring mainly because she's a highly popular seiyuu whom I haven't featured yet and who has three good roles in the coming anime season. I've always liked her voice work, in a lukewarm sort of way, but I've never taken her that seriously.

But now that I've seen more of her, in researching this post, I can understand the passionate support her fans give her. She's a charming person and a real entertainer.

Yukarin is one of 2channel's absolute favorites. On the Japanese discussion board, her thread is enormous: over 800,000 posts. Among seiyuus, this is second only to Mizuki Nana (who has just over a million posts), and well ahead of Horie Yui and Hirano Aya, who each have around 500,000. I hasten to add that Aya's thread is now full of negative posts, unlike Yukarin's, which is basically a love-fest.

Yukarin's most famous role is as Nanoha in Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. Other well-known roles include Ichigo in Please Teacher, Kawasumi Mai in Kanon (both versions), Akazukin in Otogijushi Akazukin, Tenten in Naruto, Togame in Katanagatari, Yamada in B-gata H-kei, Kanako and Meruru in OreImo, Rika in Higurashi, and Masuzu in the recently completed OreShura. This season, she will be the mermaid Muromi-san in Namiuchigawa no Muromi-san, and Wakatsuki-sensei in Aiura, as well as reprising her role(s) in OreImo.

Her list of works on Japanese Wikipedia is huge: anime, music, games, concerts, TV appearances, radio, and even planetarium narration. If any seiyuu is making a good living, it must be Yukarin.

Yukari-hime  was born 27 February 1976 and grew up in Fukuoka, on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. In elementary school, she admired Fukuoka-born idol Matsuda Seiko and the idol/magical girl anime Magical Angel Creamy Mami, and decided she wanted to become an idol. At the same time, her friends made fun of her high voice, so she started to learn how to make her voice sound lower.

In middle school, she joined both the choir and the drama club. In high school, she was in the drama club and the manga research club. She went to a commerce-oriented high school, where she gained qualifications in abacus, book-keeping, insurance, and other subjects.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring 2013 Anime Schedule

The new season approaches. Here is a weekly schedule, showing all the shows, both new and old, that are aired on each day of the week, and giving basic info about staff and cast: 

Click here or on the image to go to the full page. Find out about the shows from my season preview.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring 2013 Anime Previews: staff, cast, story, trailer, pic, etc.

This is the season of science fiction. There are seven shows with something sci-fi about them, from a remake of the Space Battleship Yamato series to three mecha shows to a kids' show and a harem romance.

But in this well-populated spring season, we have other genres, too: action fantasy, ecchi comedy, psychological drama, reverse harem....

Here are brief descriptions of 20 shows of interest, followed by full details on all 42 shows:
  • Aku no Hana – Psychological drama involving a guy who steals a girl’s gym uniform. Another girl sees him do it, and uses that to control him. By the director of Mushishi.
  • Arata Kangatari – Time travel, body transference, and a bit of skin, from a shounen manga adapted by the director of Shugo Chara and the writer of Pandora Hearts, and starring the voice of Kirito in SAO.
  • Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge – Mystery romance about a girl whose hair no scissors can cut, and the boy whose scissors cut it.
  • Date a Live – Science fiction with romance and comedy, starring Inoue Marina and directed by Motonaga Keitarou (Jormungand, Tayutama, School Days).
  • Devil Survivor 2 The Animation – Action fantasy from an RPG, but with an overwhelming cast: Kamiya Hiroshi, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Suwabe Junichi, Sawashiro Miyuki, Iguchi Yuka, Koshimizu Ami, Asumi Kana, etc., etc.
  • Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – Motonaga Keitarou and Yoshida Reiko (Marimite, K-On) give us a sci-fi adventure comedy in which genetically altered teens save the human race.
  • Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko – Ecchi romantic comedy starring Ogura Yui, Kaji Yuuki, Ishihara Kaori, Tamura Yukari.
  • Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Bride – Another round of the odd supernatural/samurai action breast comedy starring Yuuki Aoi, Kugimiya Rie, Kobayashi Yuu, Kotobuki Minako.
  • Karneval (2013) – The director of Kodomo no Jikan and the writer of Amnesia try to guide seiyuus such as Kamiya Hiroshi, Satou Satomi, and Ono Daisuke through an adaptation of a  josei fantasy manga.
  • Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san – Crazy comedy with drunken mermaid Tamura Yukari. Directed by the director of the good recent OVA Aruvu Rezuru, adapted by the writer of Ben-tou.
  • Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai – A new season of the tremendously popular ecchi comedy with proud blonde imouto Taketatsu Ayana and sarcastic cat girl Hanazawa Kana.
  • Photo Kano – A dating-sim-based harem romance like KimiKiss and AmagamiSS. A boy with a camera takes photographs of various girls....
  • RDG: Red Data Girl – PA Works (True Tears, Hanasaku Iroha) animates a best-selling fantasy novel to celebrate Kadokawa Bunko’s 65th anniversary. Stars Hayami Saori in one of her three leading roles this season.
  • Shingeki no Kyojin – Science fiction horror from the director of Death Note and the writer of the new JoJo. Stars Inoue Marina.
  • Space Battleship Yamato 2199 – This remake of the classic sci-fi series was in theatres last year; BDs have come out for some of it; and a series hits television in April. Episode one looked good to me.
  • Suisei no Gargantia – Mecha pilot space/time-warps to a backward planet he cannot get off. Written by Urobuchi Gen. With the tiny perfect voices of both Kanemoto Hisako and Kayano Ai.
  • To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – Ah, Biri-biri. New season of the school adventure-comedy involving students with superpowers.
  • Valvrave the Liberator – Mecha science fiction from the director of Kurenai and the writer of Code Geass, starring Seto Asami, Tomatsu Haruka, Kayano Ai, Ousaka Ryouta, Kimura Ryouhei. Ao-chan in the cast.
  • Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru – School romantic comedy starring Hayami Saori. Yuuki Aoi, Sasaki Nozomi, with Koshimizu Ami also in the cast.
  • Zettai Bouei Leviathan – Hayami Saori in her third big role of the season, with Kitamura Eri, Taketatsu Ayana, and Hanazawa Kana in a fantasy adventure with lots of elf ears.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Yuuki Aoi and Taketatsu Ayana Form New Singing Duo "petit milady"

Amazing news breaks this afternoon that Yuuki Aoi and Taketatsu Ayana are forming a new singing duo called "petit milady," or "puchi mire" for short.

The name means "little milady" in French/English, and is pretty appropriate for the pair: Ao--chan (left) is 4'9" (145cm) all, and Ayachi is 4'11" (151cm).

The announcement was apparently made on a big video screen in Akihabara. A movie announced: "The birth of a new unit with two seiyuus no-one would ever have imagined."

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Seiyuu Video: Akasaki Chinatsu and Kayano Ai (OreShura)

Here's a nice little publicity show for OreShura (Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi Shuraba Sugiru). It features seiyuus Akasaki Chinatsu (left) and Kayano Ai (right), who play Chiwa and Ai, respectively.

I love the gentle tone, so natural to Kayanon of the Healing Voice. And it's nice to get such a good look at Akasaki-san, who has followed up her outstanding performance as Nibutani Shinka in Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai with good work in this show.

Here's the second half of the show:

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Seiyuu Award Winners for 2012 Announced

Here are the main winners from the seventh annual Seiyuu Awards ceremony, which was held Saturday evening in Tokyo:

Leading man:                                                      Leading lady:
Kaji Yuuki                                Asumi Kana