Lantis has created a special site for the three Hirano Aya singles that are coming out this fall: three singles in three months. The first, Love Gun, will be out 10 October. Part of the promotional video (PV) is now on that site, and there is a brief TV commercial on YouTube.
It looks and sounds good to me. Another step forward. She apparently wrote the lyrics herself. She plays guitar in the PV, but I would be surprised if we are actually hearing any of her playing.
The second single, Neophilia (good title) will be out 7 November. The site blurb says it emphasizes "cool and elegance," and is "blue and black," visually strong, and shows a new image of Aya. The third single will be out 5 December, and will have a happier, more pop-rock sound.
She has clearly been working hard on her singing and on the PV. She has reduced her VA work this fall to make a final push toward becoming the pop idol she started working toward as a young teenager. As far as I know, she only has four comparatively minor VA jobs this fall: she will be a non-starring voice in Dragonaut; will continue doing voiceover on the educational TV show Kaitai Shin Show; and she has starring roles in the PSP game Suzumiya Haruhi's Promise, and in the Wii RPG Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon - the Maze Where Time is Forgotten. There is a promotional video for this last under "Movie" on the game's official site.
There are some good photos (left) of the event at the Tokyo Game Show for Suzumiya Haruhi's Promise. She was there along with Sugita Tomokazu and Shiraishi Minoru.
There is an interesting, if rather negative, piece on the Livedoor news called "The Melancholy of the Seiyuu." It quoted an "informed person" as saying that Aya really never wanted to be a seiyuu, and that although she has been busy this year with recording shows and doing events, she gives the impression that she sometimes wonders what she's doing there. In fact, there are "whispers" about her mental condition, and some people think she may not even play Haruhi in the second season of Suzumiya Haruhi.
The so-called "informed person" pointed out that her agency, Spacecraft Entertainment, is not basically a seiyuu agency, but mainly represents actresses, idols, and singers. But he said that her success so far has been due to her major seiyuu roles, and it is far from certain that she can gain anything like the same success as a singer and idol. The piece also mentioned her recent stay in hospital for her appendix.
I think the piece makes some reasonable points, despite the fact that it has an anti-Aya tone and assembles the more rational points made by anti-Aya posters on 2channel -- even putting "appendix" in quotation marks, to continue the canard that it was a different medical problem. A group of passionate haters of Aya continues to bombard 2channel with posts, mainly but not entirely rather childish ones.
In my opinion, the fact is that making a decent living as a seiyuu is pretty difficult, and Aya would rather be a singer, idol, and personality, which would bring a much more worthwhile income and higher status, to say nothing of being what she always wanted to do, anyway. It is hard for anime fans to realize just how low on the entertainment totem pole seiyuus are in Japan.
As one indication of that low status, Aya reports in her blog today about going to a recording session with her manager on the subway. Try to imagine a top idol on the subway.... The post is headed "I am not a dojikko, but..." She says that recently she has been falling over for no reason, even on flat ground, and that she actually fell right over on the train, landing on her bottom on a high-school student's briefcase, to the amusement of other passengers. At right is the photo from that piece.