Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Character/seiyuu Pages for 15 New Anime

I've made character/seiyuu pages for a total of 15 new anime:

The pages show pictures of all the characters the anime's official site has pics of, adds a pic of the character's seiyuu (voice actor) and gives some info about the seiyuu.

So far this season, my favorite, as expected, is Shinbou's Mekakucity Actors. Shinbou in a world inspired by technology. A perfect match.

But I enjoyed all the shows I've made pages for, and others besides. I'm not seeing any masterpieces quite yet, but I'm enjoying a lot of the shows, each for its different reasons.

I hope the pages will be useful to you (as they are to me). As I make them, I will add new pages in the list to the right.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Sakura Ayane and Uchida Maaya -- New Internet TV Show Video

Just yesterday, the video of the first episode of a new show starring Mayayan (Uchida Maaya 内田真礼) and Ayaneru (Sakura Ayane 佐倉綾音) came online.

The two seiyuus star together in the new anime Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?, which starts next Thursday. But this show appears to be unrelated to that. However, it no doubt is related to the fact that they both are with the big I'm Enterprise seiyuu agency.

Ayaneru begins the show asking Mayayan if she has an iPad. After Mayayan says no, but that she wants one, Ayaneru eagerly proclaims she has had one for two years, confirming the interest in computers I mentioned in the previous post.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Seiyuu Sakura Ayane -- Ready for Anything

Sakura Ayane 佐倉綾音 burst onto the scene in 2011, at the age of 16, with the starring role in Yumekui Merry. That was not a huge hit, and even I found her voice amateurish.

But the years have passed and her ability has grown. I keep hearing good performances and then discovering she is giving them.

It happened with Miyabi in NakaImo in 2012, where she played a second-fiddle girl in love.

It happened again with the nasty rival Eno in Love Lab. It happened last fall with the tsundere sorceress Suzuka in Tokyo Ravens.

And it happened this winter with Nadeshiko, the student council vice-president who drily kept her flaky president in line in Engaged to the Unidentified. Sakura-san makes an impact over a range of characters.

Ayaneru (her nickname) is with the I"m Enterprise agency, which may be the biggest and most powerful in the business. She and another I"m Enterprise seiyuu, Yahagi Sayuri, have a long-running radio show together. To get an idea just how many well-known seiyuus are in the I"m Enterprise stable, click here. Saitou Chiwa, Tamura Yukari, Ueda Kana, Hayami Saori, Nakahara Mai, Kugimiya Rie....

This coming season, Ayaneru has four major roles: in Selector Infected Wixoss (Kurebayashi Yuzuki), in Dragonar Academy (Silvia Lautreamont), in Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? (Kokoa), and in Knights of Sidonia (Kunato Mozuku).

Wixoss starts on Thursday, and is a JC Staff horror anime directed by Satou Takuya (Steins;Gate) and written as an original by Okada Mari (True Tears, Nagi no Asukara, etc.).

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring 2014 New Anime Season Calendar

Here we go, with the new season starting Tuesday. This season's calendar includes 50 -- count 'em, 50 -- new shows.

The calendar includes not just new shows, but all shows that are being broadcast, including those that started in a previous season.

Click here or on the image to go to the full page.

As usual, Sunday is a big day. But this season, Saturday has even more shows, and Thursday remains another big evening. Shows with the time in yellow are shows I myself am particularly interested in seeing. I am thrilled that this season we have two shows from Shaft and Shinbou Akiyuki: the continuing Nisekoi and the new show Mekaku City Actors. I know Shinbou is not to everyone's taste, but he certainly is to mine.

Check my season preview for more info about each show.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring 2014 Anime -- full previews of 49 new shows

There is a huge number of new shows this season, including many that look interesting. No obvious instant classics, but I am ready to be surprised.

There are many promising shows, but here are brief introductions to 17 I am particularly looking forward to. Full descriptions of all new shows follow.
  • Mekaku City Actors – Shinbou/Shaft work with independent creator Jin to make an anime based in his cult classic Kagerou Project. Shinbou is on a roll. This is my most anticipated show of the season.
  • Baby Steps – High-school tennis romantic comedy from a manga so popular that it is into its 23rd volume.
  • Black Bullet – Sci-fi fantasy adventure from the director and writer who made Monster.
  • Fuuun Ishin Dai Shougun – Mecha adventure set in a Japan that never opened to the West. The director directed Shakugan no Shana, the writer wrote Eureka Seven and Ergo Proxy.
  • Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san – Yuri comic-strip comedy starring Uesaka Sumire and Touyama Nao. Five-minute episodes. The manga can be hilarious.
  • Isshukan Friends – "Friends for a week." Our hero is determined to make friends with the most retiring girl in class – who it turns out forgets every Monday all that happened in the previous week, including who she made friends with.
  • Kamigami no Asobi – A reverse harem in which Hayami Saori is a girl chosen to teach a bevy of bishounen gods about humans, and about love.
  • Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara – Kido Ibuki and Kayano Ai star with Ousaka Ryouta in the story of a guy who can see game-style flags above the heads of people about to pass a critical crossroad in their lives. Character design by Cuteg.
  • Love Live! 2 – A second season for the irrepressible idol anime, which has created a lot of popular music and whose seiyuu have given numerous successful concerts.
  • Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – Hayami Saori and Nakamura Yuuichi star as a sister and brother who enter a school that trains powerful magicians. She enters at the top of the class, he enters at the bottom. Directed for Madhouse by the director of A-channel, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, and Saki Zenkoku-hen.
  • Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to – An inexperienced young mangaka depends on his female assistant to teach him things he needs to know, such as what a woman's breasts feel like. Stars Matsuoka Yoshitsugu (SAO) and Hayami Saori.
  • Mushishi Zoku Shou – A new season for the highly praised compendium of stories about a travelling healer of lives.
  • No Game, No Life – A hikikomori brother and sister who are great gamers are drafted into an alternate world where they use their gaming skills to try to save the human race. Matsuoka Yoshitsugu and Kayano Ai are directed by the woman who directed Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojou.
  • Ping Pong the Animation – Animation star Yuasa Masaaki (Tatami Galaxy) returns with his version of a sports anime, based in the world of table tennis.
  • Selector Infected Wixoss – Satou Takuya (Ichigo Mashimaro, Steins;Gate) teams up with controversial top writer Okada Mari (True Tears, Nagi no Asukara) and JC Staff to create an anime involving card-game battles that can grant their players their hearts' desires.
  • Soredemo Sekai wa UtsukushiiShoujo romantic comedy in which a princess who can control the rain is married to a boy king who has already conquered the world.
  • Soul Eater Not! – Side-story to the original Soul Eater. Yuuki Aoi, Hayami Saori, and newcomer Chisuga Haruka star as new students at the magic-battle academy in which students lead a "violent but cheerful life."
Click on the name of an anime in the following alphabetical list to go to its full description in the chronological main body of the post.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

8th Seiyuu Awards Winners -- 2013 roles

Satou Rina
I'm a bit more skeptical of the results than I used to be, but I still like the annual Seiyuu Awards. This year's awards were announced Friday, and the awards ceremony was held Saturday evening in Tokyo.

There is a long list of organizations backing the event, a list headed by publishers Kadokawa and Shougakukan, who are behind many anime; and the broadcasting company Bunka Housou, which broadcasts many seiyuu radio shows. Awards are based on public voting, which is then apparently massaged by a committee.

Leading Male -- Kaji Yuuki
Leading Female -- Satou Rina
Supporting Male -- Hosoya Yoshimasa
Supporting Female -- Ishikawa Yui
Male Newcomer -- Ishikawa Kaito, Yamashita Daiki
Female Newcomer -- Uchida Maaya
Singer -- Miyano Mamoru
Most Votes Overall -- Kamiya Hiroshi
Synergy -- Girls und Panzer

Details, pics, and more awards below.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Kido Ibuki Starts a Blog

Sixteen-year-old rising seiyuu star Kido Ibuki has started a blog.

Since she started the blog at the beginning of January, she is posting about every two days, so the posts are building up fast. (click images to enlarge)

This season, we are seeing Kido-san in four shows: the continuing Golden Time (Oka), and new shows pupa (Yume), Oneechan ga Kita (Mina) and Nobunaga the Fool (Nell).

Kido-san is from Aomori, in the north of Japan. She says in her blog that she is staying at a dorm in Tokyo, going to school as she gets more and more work.

Yesterday's post was about going out for lunch with Shimoda Asami ("Asami-oneechan") at a nice restaurant. She enjoyed the avocado, which she had first tasted in salads at her dorm.

Asami-san, 28, who was one of her co-stars in OniAi, gave her some Jill Stuart cosmetics. Kido-san said were so nice it would be a waste to actually use them: