Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hirano Aya and Koshimizu Ami

Like the last one, this post is just an excuse to post an amazing photo from Aaya's blog. She was on the Comchat live radio show Saturday night, hosted by Sakurai Takahiro and Koshimizu Ami.

She posted this picture, and thanked Amisuke for her help. Amisuke looks surprised by Aaya's closeness, somewhat bemused. Maybe delighted, maybe annoyed. Aaya was probably much more nervous than big Amisuke (168cm>=5'6"), but it doesn't necessarily look that way in the photo. Aaya can be mischievous at times, and is definitely a performer.

In my opinion, these may be the two top young seiyuu working today. Amisuke (21) is a real pro, with the ability to produce any voice required. She has said she is determined to equal anyone in the business.

Aaya (19) is an original, with her own style -- one which many otaku don't like -- perhaps a little rough at times, perhaps occasionally stilted, but full of emotion and never boring.

They both are well known for their great ability and verbal gymnastics. And neither one of them has ever done an ero-game, as far as I can discover.


vanity said...

First time I've read that there are other people not liking Hirano. imho she always sounds too close to the mic (which destroys the "depth perception" of a scene) and (despite evidence to the contrary) as if her voice would fail any second. No competition for Koshimizu (Kannaduki Megumi!).

hashihime said...

@vanity -- Oh, yes, there are many posts on the Japanese otaku board 2channel that really lay into Aaya, with and without childish profanity. There are even anti-Aaya threads. She and Mizuki Nana have the most people posting insults against them.

I think they -- and maybe you -- just don't get her style. She definitely has a voice that can fade away, and seems breathy or scratchy sometimes. But what she has, in addition to range of pitch and expression, is the ability to communicate emotion. The apparent instability of her voice helps make the emotion more real, for me. Layla in NANA is the example I use.

Amisuke is one of the smoothest and most professional voices out there, but the problem with that is that such voices can be too smooth and too normal, and can make it apparent that everything is an intentional effect.

vanity said...

I dare not venture into the depths of 2/4chan, I didn't watch NANA. And whatever "getting" means, it's not that I don't acknowledge her capabilities, I just don't enjoy the result. What you call emotion feels like over-acting to me, even for seiyuu standards. As if she's trying too hard. Pure personal preference. Good thing there's bloggers with a more analytical stand ;-)

omo said...

I think her role in NANA is exactly why I don't like her. Too nasally annoying and "overacting" in a way that bothers me.

But I thinks he's a fine voice actress.

sanc said...

huh?? Nana-chan is being hated on alot as well?? :( what kind of stuff do they say?? ....anything reasonable? D:

Kai said...

two of my favorite seiyuus as well. They stand out of the crowd and I can instantly recognize their voice.

hashihime said...

@vanity -- Lol. I knew I should have been more polite. I apologize. But: "analytical" doesn't mean "agrees with me." You rightly say it's a personal preference but seem to accuse me of not being analytical, when I have in fact provided an analysis you just don't happen to agree with, and you appear to do so on the basis of your personal perceptions and preferences, rather than any analysis. Not that I'm claiming to be "objective," which seems a difficult thing to do in the case of voices. In my opinion, we can only analyze our preferences, as opposed to base our preferences on some (spurious) analysis.

"Get" in this case means "perceive the good points of." I understand why you think she is "overacting" (and omo is right that Layla is a good example). That's what I meant by "stilted." You're right that it is a personal preference. I accept the style to get more emotion. I find a lot of anime acting to be "by the book" symbolic emotion that doesn't reach me, whereas Aaya often does (though not in Death Note or Himawari). I thought perhaps some people were not able to suspend their disbelief enough to accept the emotion Aaya was conveying, at least to me.

@sanc -- There are over 25,000 posts in a 2channel thread called something like "pig-faced fox with buck teeth Mizuki Nana." I had never actually read any of the posts, and when I looked today they were mostly unintelligible to me, since they were in advanced 2channel-speak. There were many just making fun of her appearance and saying dirty things about her. There were some saying she and Aaya are too proud of themselves. And there was one, in the few I read, saying they found her voice distasteful and thought her breathing when she sang was all wrong. I'm sure there are more cogent posts, but I didn't see them in the few I read.

TJ said...

Glad to see you've accepted the greatness of Amisuke. I have long been a fan of hers. You note her professionalism and voice range, but IMO her best traits come out in roles where she can emotionally project her still-young voice and wonder into a like role. For examples, watch Ashita no Nadja (episode 26 is brilliant) or Sukuran.


hashihime said...

@tj -- I just watched an ep of Sukuran 2 and was struck by the life in her voice. The role that really sold me was Tenko-chan in Kamisama Kazoku, where her voice just shone like the sun, particularly in early episodes.