Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hirano Aya: Award and Crutches

Well, I guess it's all Hirano Aya 平野綾 all the time here on Aya-channel. But the Aya thread on 2channel has been boiling for the last few days, so here's what's going on.

First, there was the triumphant live event last Sunday, which ended with Aya weeping again. Then on Thursday, the Tokyo International Anime Fair (TIAF) 東京国際アニメフェア awards made her top seiyuu of the year -- but she couldn't attend, apparently because of a recording session, and sent a video message instead. From Friday to Sunday, she did not update her blog. This is remarkable because over the past few months, she has barely missed a single day, let alone three in a row.

On Saturday, however, she appeared at TIAF in a Galaxy Angelune live event. She was late because of another recording session, but still took part in one musical number and a brief talk. However, according to a couple of observers, she arrived and left on crutches. The Japanese Aaya-ota on 2channel exploded with concern for her health. On Sunday, there was another live event at TIAF for the Seiyuu Awards that were presented a few weeks ago. She came to that one, too, and apparently spoke easily and well, but looked tired.

Then late Sunday night she finally updated her blog, first finishing a series on making takoyaki, then posting some more food shots, and finally with posts about the TIAF and a big apology for not having updated the blog: her cell phone died and then her "physical condition fell apart a bit."

Above left: making takoyaki. Middle: the finished product. Right: a White Day gift from Akesaka Satomi, who is a seiyuu with her on Galaxy Angelune.

Above left: Negitoro-don [raw tuna and spring onion on rice, with various delicious-looking additions]. "I love this dish. But I haven't had it for a long time. This is just about the only kind of don [anything on rice] I like. Oyako-don? [chicken and egg on rice] -- Nooo. But I do love hitsumabushi [grilled eel on rice], which is a little different."

Lots of seiyuus post pictures of food. Fewer post pictures of food they make themselves. Above centre: "The Food of Love." "'Here, darling. Tee-hee...' Well, it looks good, anyway." For someone who says she plans never to marry, she seems awfully domestic, in an almost Yamato Nadeshiko kind of way. Above right: "Cinnamon cocoa." "I love cinnamon, but I really love stick cinnamon."

Left: "Awful. Don't say: 'Take off the wig.'" Centre: "Tokyo International Anime Fair." She certainly looks tired in this shot. "I received the seiyuu award! Only one person is chosen every year. It's a big responsibility. I will do my very best. Please don't worry, and please keep watching."

Right: "I apologize for not updating my diary. My phone adapter couldn't take the different voltages in other countries, and my cell phone died. Then my physical condition fell apart a bit. I'm bowing to apologize, but I also want you to see the different style of hair-bun." By the way, posters on 2channel say that she has a red Sharp SH903i NTT DoCoMo phone. And the photos below seem to prove it. She posted the left-hand photo several hours after the others above, and after the discussion of her phone on 2channel. This makes me wonder if she might actually be reading her own thread on 2channel. Pretty scary, considering some of the things posted there.

No-one knows what her physical problems are, but a post on 2channel linked to an interview from last December. The interviewer asked her about her school and said she must have done well in sports. She said she didn't take part much, and was usually just resting in the shade. The interviewer said perhaps it was because she had to avoid tanning. Aya replied that, no, her reflexes were so bad that she couldn't do sports at all, even though she could do her dancing.

At Sunday's talk event for the Seiyuu Awards, there was talk and some skits. Paku Romi gave a moving talk that ended with her pretending to faint. Paku-san, Aya and Koshimizu Ami did a skit together that ended with them all embracing. Aya mentioned that she had been a big Pokemon fan, so they had her sing the theme, which she did to great applause. Paku-san said she wanted to take Aya home with her. Aya apparently seemed very natural when she was shaking hands with fans. No crutches in sight. "Best personality" winner Asano Masumi missed this event because of the flu. The pictures below are from the event, and there are more pics here. Below left (l-r): Paku Romi, Koshimizu Ami, Hirano Aya, Kano Yui, host Washigaki Takeshi, Kakihara Tetsuya. Right: Paku, Aya, Ami.

One more thing of some interest from the Aya thread on 2channel. The Sumomo mo Momo mo DVDs have full audio commentary by the seiyuus, etc. It appears that Kano Yui and Takahashi Hiroki (Momoko and Koushi) are on all of them, with others coming in for different episodes. On the commentary for episode 9, Aya (who plays Sanae) seems very relaxed and talkative, particularly during the scene where Sanae's grandmother has her in a skimpy horse outfit and is riding her, with a whip, as a form of martial arts training (this has to be seen to be believed, like some other scenes in that show):

Kano: "Awful!"
Takahashi: "Well, no...."
Hirano: "Yay!"

Kano: "She's not wearing a bra."
Hirano: "It's just pushing up from below."
Kano: "She has a lot of self-confidence."
Hirano: "Great, isn't it..."

Hirano: "Somehow I seem to have a lot of hentai roles lately."
Takahashi: (laughing) "You've done others?"
Hirano: "All kinds of them, for some reason."
Takahashi: "Hentai in what way?" (his interest rising)
Hirano: "Oh, like characters who always talk about ero things..."

Layla in NANA is sort of an example. One of the early scenes for Layla, a big rock star, is when she has called in a young male prostitute to her room in a hotel.

And one final thing. It was mentioned on 2channel today that items on the Seiyuu News website referring to Aya's photo book and the live event last week had 27,000 and 14,000 hits respectively, whereas most items in the news had hits numbering in the hundreds -- except one around 1500 and a Mizuki Nana item (with photos) around 5000. More indication of Aya's current wave of popularity.


Tsubaki said...

Once again, thanks for the awesome news.

MarcosV said...

Thanks for taking the time to post this and other articles like this.

It's special to see how much Aya has been sharing with her fans. I'm hoping that works out to the point that she and others can continue to strike a good balance between personal privacy and sharing such things.

hashihime said...

Bingo, marcosv. I love seeing those fairly intimate photos, but I worry that she is exposing too much of herself. She is only showing what she wants to, but it could easily get out of hand.

The wonderful Ochiai Yurika posts on her blog, it seems, every few minutes: lots of little details and impressions. And as her career has its problems, and she has trouble paying even her power and telephone bills, and her mental state grows weirder, we hear all about it in her eloquent and moving laments.

Anonymous said...

Even though I'm not a fan of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, nor have I really watched anything that Hirano Aya has starred in, I feel oddly compelled to read these Hirano posts and stay up to date about what goes on in her life. o_O

l said...

Thanks for the news. I'm a fan of emotionally piercing voices like Yukana's CC and Aya's Reira and Haruhi, but I don't have the skill needed to gather news about them.

I've started reading Japanese blogs myself, but since I'm a complete newbie at reading Japanese, it takes me about 5 minutes per entry with the Rikaichan dictionary for Firefox. It feels like a wonderful achievement each time. Not only am I learning Japanese, but I also get to read a wonderful celebrity's slice of life.