Sunday, December 02, 2007

Aya-sama's Demands?

Is Hirano Aya a harsh taskmistress whose demands often have her manager in tears? Has she run through three managers in a year? That is what anonymous sources quoted in a Japanese blog claim.

They also say that she has taken control of her own career, that she almost left her present agency last summer, but they finally were able to win her back, by making who knows what concessions.

There is some support for this idea in the fact that there was nothing at all about her on her agency's website for a while last summer. And she certainly changed managers at least once this year. She said happily in her blog that she got a female manager for the first time.

"Inside sources" are so handy when someone wants to make up a story from nothing, however. Perhaps these are the same inside sources that claimed she is going with older rocker Taniyama Kishou. Months have passed since that claim with no more evidence turning up.

But one thing definitely makes sense to me: they say she has been personally controlling the idol activities she has been involved with over the past few months. Everything has to come to her for her approval. This is how I read her character and her blog.

And I think they're right when they say she is taking her singing very seriously and working hard at it. From my point of view, she is trying to break out of the underpaid and exploited world of voice-acting and into the potentially much more lucrative realm of idols, singers, and TV personalities. Seems reasonable.

But she is still doing interesting voice work. She has her radio program. She has had voiceover work on TV. She is doing voices (or maybe just narration) for a live-action movie about a girl and her cats, Honjitsu no Neko Jijou. She is playing an older villain in Dragonaut.

One of the "insiders" said that she had her manager in tears as she shouted at them that they were not getting her the kinds of roles she wanted. She wanted more idol events and fewer anime. This seems possible. She is clearly an emotional person, and I expect she could could be demanding, too. She is fairly demanding of herself, it appears. In fact, she sometimes seems more American than Yamato Nadeshiko, not ashamed of showing her ambition at all.

I was just listening to Neophilia again and thinking what a great job she does of it -- with seiyuu-style turns of voice, sometimes almost speaking rather than singing. But perhaps the kind of music she can do well isn't the kind of music that Japanese fans want. Or even what she wants. We'll see.

The photos are from her blog today and yesterday. They show her with Suna, one of the cats who appear in Honjitsu no Neko Jijou, and then with a copy of her new single, MonStAR, which comes out on Tuesday.


Michael said...

I personally like Neophilia more than Love Gun, so I guess I'm with you when it comes to her recent singles.

I think anime is just Hirano Aya's stepping stone with the aim of breaking through the much more lucrative music industry, and I think I know the reason why not many Japanese like her.

Being a seiyuu is exhausting and is tiring, but I guess some people like Mamiko Noto derive enjoyment from it and thrive in it. Perhaps they are also discontented with their salary, but I guess enjoyment transcends money problems.

Haha, now I'm spouting nonsense. Cheers. :)

basic.syntax said...

Lucille Ball was famously a sweetheart on the outside, and a harsh taskmaster behind the camera.

If the stories are true, I believe she has been demonstrating youthful impatience, not thinking of the harsh realities of actors outnumbering available parts.

It's good that she's driving her "idol ambitions" - her video sounds varied and interesting compared to the otaku-pandering dreck I hear passes for many idol videos.

Kaioshin Sama said...

Aya Hirano=Russell Crowe now?

Hmmm....Somehow I find it hard to believe that any good manager would be in tears if their task was chewing them out for a poor job. If such a thing were true (and I highly doubt it) I would change managers too, as obviously that one doesn't have what it takes to handle the competiton, let alone their own charge.

In all honesty though this rumour sounds like some femdom fantasy 2ch would cook up for the idol rather then anything I think really happened (and I wouldn't put it past 2ch to generate such a thing). Perhaps something to go along with the gothic/mistress image that somebody thought they should start a rumour over.

Or perhaps it was even released by Team Hirano themselves to bolster her current bad girl image she seems to be trying to invoke. Many possibilites, but neither of which have me believing the story.

Shiroi Hane said...

FYI: Honjitsu no Nekojijou DVD is available for pre-order on Yesasia: