I thought I was done with Hirano Aya's blog, especially since she didn't update it at all for over 24 hours. Then I found out why: Kadokawa Shoten, the publishers of the Suzumiya Haruhi novels, had their annual private New Year's thank-you party on Wednesday night, and Kyon and Haruhi -- Sugita Tomokazu 杉田智和 and Hirano Aya 平野綾 -- were the star performers.
Below are the two of them together before the event. Aaya described Sugita as her osananajimi -- old childhood friend. Sugita is described in Wikipedia (Japanese) as being a very nice guy: extremely courteous, especially to women, and very good to his many friends. One thing the two of them clearly share: they are both quite slim. Aaya said she was very nervous, and her stomach was in knots, so script, water, juice and pills are scattered over the table. She practiced performing "Hare Hare Yukai" (the SHnY ED), which they did for the event (click photos to enlarge):
Here Aaya is nervously waiting in the wings while Sugita ad libs his way through a presentation. Then here they are with the author of the Suzumiya Haruhi novels, Tanigawa Nagaru (centre), and Itou Noizi, the original character designer and artist for the novels. Right, is Aaya with SHnY director Ishihara Tatsuya -- whom she calls "Tacchan," which may be an indication of his gentle managerial style. Why does Tanigawa look so happy? Perhaps it's because these people are making him rich.
Finally, here is a photo Aaya took of herself after the party, then a shot of her and Sugita and company doing a bit a performance, then a final farewell:
As Aaya kept repeating in the captions to this series of photos, this is like practice for the big live event in March. For details, here is the announcement in Japanese. It is going to be on Sunday 18 March starting at 4pm and going for three hours or so. It is in Saitama, at Omiya Sonic City Great Hall, which seats 2500. Present will be: Hirano Aya, Gotou Yuuko, Chihara Minori, Sugita Tomokazu, Ono Daisuke, Matsuoka Yuki (Tsuruya), Kuwatani Natsuko (Asakura), Aoki Sayaka (Kyon's sister), Shiraishi Minoru (Taniguchi), Shiratori Yuri (Emiri), and Matsumoto Megumi (Kunikida). It will, of course, be recorded for a future DVD, and there will be special goods for sale at the event. That's all I know, except that Aaya says they will have been working on it for three months when it happens.
As I believe I've mentioned, tickets have a face value of under $40, but are already going for over $500 on Yahoo Auctions in Japan.