Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Birth of a Star, or Maybe Two, in Touka Gettan 21

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).

Hayami SaoriAnd 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.

Noto MamikoBut 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.

84 comments:

bbovenguy said...

Well, you've certainly made me curious. I'll check it out.

Totali said...

I've already become a fan through her role in Touka Gettan. I can't wait to see more of Hayami Saori's work in the years to come. She has so much talent and potential!

Anonymous said...

I only got to ep.2 when I was sampling the new season shows. I'll give it another go.

Why'd you delete the "hirano aya haunting image" post?

Anonymous said...

"in which Momoka realizes she loves Touka"

Gah! Spoilers are why I removed all but 3 of the 20+ anime related blogs I used to follow from my feed reader.

Haven't watched it yet, maybe it's apparent from the first second on, but I still hate being told these things.

hashihime said...

@anonymous2 -- Sorry for the minor spoiler, but don't worry overly. Since we are going backwards in time, this is hardly a surprise. (The reverse temporal order is revealed by the director in interviews, so he intends us to know it.)

@anonymous1 -- This show is very confusing at first and only gets clearer after a few episodes. As for the Aya post, after reading some comments, I changed my mind about the text and have rewritten it.

wontaek said...

After catching up to the 21st episode I am going to declare that I am going to watch the first three episodes of any series that has Noto Mamiko in it.

Anonymous said...

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.


Well, we don't really know how closely the final scripts match the originals.

In TV, it's pretty common for a head scenarist to rewrite work to the point that it's totally different from before.

This usually happens with work voluntarily submitted by aspiring writers (some being writing assistants on staff, others being fans out of the blue), and sometimes from cast members (i.e. Gordon Woolvett wrote three scripts for Andromeda)

The concept and dialogue still reflect the original writer (who receives credit and royalties despite the rewrite), but this doesn't remotely indicate whether he or she could ever make it as a full-blown scriptwriter.

Miria said...

Sansei!
I loved the 21 episode.
Ganbatte Noto Mamiko-san!
One of the best anime episodes ^_^

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