A new seiyuu star was born in episode 21 of Touka Gettan. And maybe a star seiyuu became a star writer, too.
Episode 21 was written by Noto Mamiko, the third of three seiyuu who have written episodes for the show. The others were Shimizu Ai (#18) and Yamamoto Maria (#11 and #13).
And Noto-kawaii wrote great lines for 16-year-old Hayami Saori, who stars as Momoka in the show. This is the first episode that Momoka really carries, and young Hayami is amazing. Her voice is colorful and modulated and she gives delicate shades of meaning to the lines. I've been impressed with her work before, but this was really outstanding.
The idea of having seiyuu write episodes seems like a gimmick, but it has worked out quite well. Yamamoto Maria's episodes were workmanlike. Shimizu Ai did a fine comic beach episode. And Noto Mamiko has given us a key episode in the development of the show, the episode in which Momoka realizes she loves Touka.
Now, the seiyuu was not exactly on her own doing the writing. The storyboard was by Mochizuki Tomomi, the lead writer, and no doubt he was able to massage the script as he wished in making the final storyboard.
But I would not be at all surprised to see the name Noto Mamiko, or even Shimizu Ai or Yamamoto Maria, popping up as a writer for other shows. Moon Phase Notes is full of praise for the work of Noto and Mochizuki in this episode. One thing I think Noto did extremely well was create lines that were easy for the seiyuu to say and that had poetry and music in them that she could bring out. But we already knew from her radio show that Noto was someone with intelligence and style.
Hayami Saori is destined to be a star, in my opinion. But her singing is so good, especially in the ED (YouTube), that I'm not sure if she will be a seiyuu star or a singing star. Maybe both.
For details of the episode, check out Subculture Anime Blog.
There is an interview with Touka (Ise Mariya) and Momoka (Hayami Saori) on YouTube. The interviewer is Yamamoto Maria, lol. There is a printed interview with those two and Makoto (Kitamura Eri) here, with pictures. Both interviews are in Japanese.
And I have to say that I think anyone who isn't watching Touka Gettan is missing something special. The show has had its ups and downs, but the animation is superb, the music outstanding, the voice-acting excellent, and the plot intriguing. There is some delightful romance and a lot of top-notch fanservice. And despite the comedy, this is definitely a serious show.