Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Seiyuu Awards 2007 -- voting starts

"Seiyuu Awards" is a new Japanese annual awards show that gave out its first set of awards last spring -- the awards for 2006. General voting for the 2007 awards starts now and runs into January, with the show itself scheduled for Japanese TV next March.

The categories are fairly straightforward:
-- leading man and leading woman (in an anime that started in 2007)
-- supporting man and woman
-- "new" man and woman (debut no more than 5years ago)
-- singer
-- "personality" (appearing on radio, TV, etc.)
And there is a special top award for the seiyuu who has spread word of the seiyuu profession most in various media. That award, along with three other special awards, will be voted on only by industry members, but the main awards are open to public voting. I believe the public voting just creates the short list of nominees, and the final voting is by an industry panel, but I'm not sure.

Paku RomiLast year, the winners were: Fukuyama Jun (Lerouche in Code Geass) and Paku Romi (Nana O. in NANA) in leading roles. Best supporting females were Koshimizu Ami, for Karen in Code Geass, and Gotou Yuuko, for Mikuru in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu. Best supporting males were Ishida Akira, for Athrun Zala in Gundam Seed Destiny, and Miyata Kouki, for Yoshinaga Kazumi in The Gargoyle of the Yoshinagas. (mouseover photos for captions)

Best new females were Hirano Aya, for Suzumiya Haruhi, and Kano Yui, for Momoko in Sumomo mo Momo mo. Best new males were Kakihara Tetsuya, for Mikoto in Princess Princess, and Morita Masakazu, for Ichigo in Bleach. Top seiyuu/singer was Mizuki Nana, for her CD Justice to Believe. Best personality was Asano Masumi, host of the A&G Super Radio Show ~Anisupa~ (from the broadcaster which is one of the sponsors of these awards...).

Kamiya HiroshiFrom what I've seen in 2007, the male lead I've most appreciated is Kamiya Hiroshi as Zetsubou Sensei. The fact that just over a year ago he was almost dead in a motorcycle accident may have something to do with my preference, but I thought "zetsubou shita!" sensei was a brilliant comic portrayal. There are lots of other possibilities: Seki Tomokazu as Chiaki in Nodame Cantabile, for one. I'd also think of Ono Daisuke with his undramatic but effective portrayal of Kazuya in Kaze no Stigma. And I'd think of Kiuchi Hidenobu (Ren in NANA, Tenma in Monster) as Hei in Darker than Black.

Kuwashima HoukoFor the women, the leading role that bowled me over was Hirano Aya as Konata in Lucky Star. That slurping comic voice gave the whole show a special earthiness. I'd also think of Kuwashima Houko as Claire in Claymore, or as Shuurei in SaiunkokuII. Or Kawasumi Ayako as Nodame in Nodame Cantabile (as well as Sara in Soukou no Strain). There's also Andou Mabuki as Balsa in Seirei no Moribito. Yajima Akiko's 40-year-old voice is bringing such a fresh tone to Mari in Blue Drop. And since OVAs appear to count, I'd also consider Orikasa Fumiko as Miu in Ichigo Mashimaro OVA.

Konishi KatsuyukiMale supporting actor: I'm a bit at sea here. My knowledge and appreciation of male seiyuu is better than it was, but still rudimentary. I came up with Konishi Katsuyuki as Kamina in Tengen-Toppan Gurren-Lagann. He had a big effect in a few episodes. You could also go for Seki Tomokazu as the king in SaiunkokuII -- or with any of several other strong male supporting performances in that show. Or maybe Ikeda Masaru as Huang in Darker than Black. If he reappears in SaiunkokuII, I'd give it to Koyasu Takehito, whose performance as "Rin Senya" in the first series was dominating. I might even give it to him for Zhuge Liang in the bizarre Koutetsu Sangokushi.

Yukino SatsukiFor supporting actress, Yukino Satsuki's Mirei in Hitohira stands out for me. Paku Romi's Teresa in Claymore was also riveting, but she won best lead female last year. I'd also think of Itou Miki for her over-the-top Yumiko in Touka Gettan. And personally, I thought Matsuoka Yuki was great as Setsuna in Kyoushirou to Towa no Sora. There's Kitamura Eri as Makoto in Touka Gettan. And there are any number of top women seiyuu in Nanoha Strikers and in Idolmaster Xenoglossia.

For male newcomer, I am in a quandary. I had to scour the lists for actors who had been in the business five years or less. In the end, I came up with Ono Daisuke's Kazuya in Kaze no Stigma: Ono-san made his debut in 2002. There's also the younger Miyano Mamoru in Gundam00 and in Koutetsu Sangokushi. He should have won last year for Death Note.

Hanazawa KanaFor female newcomer, I have my own unlikely choice: 16-year-old Hayami Saori -- Momoka in Touka Gettan. I thought she was outstanding, both as an actress and as a singer. Or I could go for Hanazawa Kana -- the newcomer who is in the running (with Sasaki Nozomi) for most moe voice in anime -- as Shiika in Mushiuta or Sora in Sketchbook ~Full Colors~, or even for Potemayo. Toyosaki Aki as Amuro in Umishou deserves consideration. And there are numerous top seiyuu who have not yet been in the business more than five years: Inoue Marina (Mina in Getsumen To Heiki Mina and Kanna in Minami-ke); Nonaka Ai (Mikan in Manabi Straight, Kafuka in Zetsubou Sensei, Fuuko in Clannad), and even Nabatame Hitomi (Nobue in Ichigo Mashimaro OVA, Rina in Mushiuta).

Hayami SaoriFor singer, Mizuki Nana won last year. I'm not familiar enough with all the CDs that have come out featuring seiyuus under their own or their characters' names, but of those that I do know, my own personal favorite by a long shot is Hayami Saori's ED for Touka Gettan. On that song, her voice is as skillful and beautiful as any of the non-seiyuu pro singers who do OPEDs. Second is all of the fascinating stuff that Hirano Aya has produced this year, from Motteke! Sailor Fuku and the karaoke EDs for Lucky Star through her three singles in a row this fall. She may not be as technically good a singer as Hayami Saori or Chihara Minori, but everything she does has something special about it.

Takahashi MikakoFor top personality, there are numerous seiyuu with radio shows or who act as hosts on TV. Asano Masumi won last year, so perhaps it's time for another seiyuu with a long-running radio show: Takahashi Mikako. Or perhaps Yamamoto Maria or Nogawa Sakura for their TV work.

In fact, the most active seiyuu personality this year has been Hirano Aya, appearing on radio and TV, in live shows, in her popular blog, and in numerous magazines. I personally would make her the top personality of the year. But I actually think she could be in line for the special top award to a seiyuu who does the most to publicize the seiyuu profession. She brought admiration for a seiyuu's verbal skills to mainstream TV shows.

Hirano AyaJust for the heck of it, I tried voting -- and the site said it accepted my vote. So maybe overseas voting is possible. I'm not sure it should be, but anyway the list of categories and criteria is here, and the voting page is here.

The awards event is sponsored by the Tokyo Anime Centre, Kadokawa publishers, Shogakukan publishers, Bunka Housou broadcasting and others. General voting is open from 20 October to 15 January, and the awards ceremony will be on Saturday 8 March.


j1m0ne said...

Including public voting for the first round will ensure it turns out to be a popularity contest again....

Best new male - Yonaga Tsubasa (Ren in Oofuri) is a possibility. I'm convinced that Nakamura Yuuichi will get nominated too.

Best new female - Inoue Marina and Kitamura Eri should be nominated, following the lame criteria of debuting within the last 5 years :/ Katou Emiri (Kagamin) will be the fan favourite.

Best male/supporting - Kakihara Tetsuya might get some sort of nomination. I personally liked his Mercutio in Romeo X Juliet, but Simon in Gurren Lagann could get the nod.

Of course I'd like Kawashima Tokuyoshi & Touchi Hiroki (William & Hans in Emma 2) to get noms but who am I kidding?

All those male leads in Gundam 00 - surely one will get nominated. Mamo is the likeliest - he might end up winning too, to make up for last year.

Either one of AbeMiha might get in (if not both), Oofuri is really popular.....

Sakurai Takahiro for Mononoke is also likely. As is Konishi for Gurren Lagann. But Kamiya FTW!

Best female/supporting - Strangely, I'm drawing complete blanks here - nothing was truly outstanding for me this year. I'm sure Hirano will get in somewhere, I don't know if Inoue's Yoko in Gurren Lagann counts as a main or sub-chara.

Kugimiya Rie will surely be nominated somewhere, I like her in Gintama (guess that doesn't qualify) but I'm thinking Hayate no Gotoku's Nagi, or maybe Shana will get her in..... Dark horse? Saiga Mitsuki as Jomy in Terra e... Any of the StrikerS cast could get in as supporting.

Top seiyuu singer should be Mizuki Nana again, if the final awarding is done by the judges. Though I have this sinking feeling that her votes will be split between SECRET AMBITION & MASSIVE WONDERS (the two top-selling seiyuu singles of the year). I'd like Chihara Minori to get nominated too.... Motteke! Sailorfuku is a certainty to get nominated.

Personality: Oh bloomin heck I have no idea. Last year's was a cop-out since Yuzuki or Koyama should've won but didn't, so this year it'll probably be another one of Bunka Housou's personalities - take your pick from Sakurai Takahiro, Horie Yui, Tamura Yukari, Mizuki Nana or Miyata Kouki.

My own votes:
Best male: Kamiya Hiroshi (Itoshiki Nozomu in Zetsubo-sensei)
Best female: Kawasumi Ayako (Noda Megumi in Nodame Cantabile)
Best new male: Yonaga Tsubasa (Mihashi Ren in Ookiku Furikabutte)
Best new female: Inoue Marina (Yoko in Gurren Lagann)
Best supporting male: Nakamura Yuuichi (Abe Takaya in Ookiku Furikabutte)
Best supporting female: Kugimiya Rie (Sanzenin Nagi in Hayate no Gotoku!)
Best singer: Mizuki Nana (SECRET AMBITION)
Best personality: Tamura Yukari (Itazura Kuro Usagi)

Dunno if the votes will be accepted since I'm not in Japan either XD

hashihime said...

@j1m0ne -- Lots of interesting ideas. Thanks. Although I only watched 4-5 eps of it, I liked Oofuri. Nakamura Yuuichi was excellent there, and I think he's doing well in Clannad, too. But I guess Yonaga Tsubasa did so well as Mihashi that I just loathed the character. The voice matched the image, but both seemed totally overdone to me. The voice sure made its effects, however.

I find this awards process enjoyable, but my suspicion is that it is less tainted by public participation than tainted by industry manipulation. I mean, the sponsors all had their properties get awards last year, and there was a reasonable distribution among talent agencies. But to work, something like this needs industry buy-in as well as public support, so I guess it's unavoidable.

By the way, I got an e-mail from the organizers thanking me for my participation and officially recognizing my vote, so I guess it was accepted.

Paranda said...

Lead male: I was split between Kamiya Hiroshi and Takehito Koyasu. In the end, I had to go with Koyasu because his role as Keith Anyan in Toward the Terra was just too compelling.

Lead female: It's too hard to choose so I'm just going to abstain from weighing in this one until the candidate pool narrows down. I wrote in Kugimiya Rie as Nagi on the vote for the hell of it.

Sub character male: Touchi Hiroki for making Hans in Emma a lot more likeable than he probably should have been, and then turning it around and playing an incredibly distressed Kokopelli in Bokurano.

Sub character female: Inoue Marina in pretty much everything she has been in this year. If I had to pick one show, it would be Toward the Terra even if she is playing a guy.

Newcomer male: I consider him new since he only had real roles and became active very recently. Yoshinori Fujita's role Paeto Ou in Heroic Age was one of the high points (along with a few other choice performances) of an otherwise boring series for me. He really communicated a sense of urgency in his words while at the same time intentionally sounding as bland as possible.

Newcomer female: I may be in the minority voting for Itou Shizuka since she didn't even qualify last year despite Asatte no Houkou, but I'm sticking to my choice this year again for her role as Hinagiku in Hayate. If you can cram 120 some titles to your accomplishments list in 4 years while running a radio show, you're doing okay. I also like Nabatame Hitomi after you pointed her out but felt too guilty going for it since she barely qualifies as "new", even less than Shizuka.

Singer: Objectively, Mizuki Nana should probably win this again for singing ability, although I feel her CD quality has been declining since 2002. As an alternative choice to not repeat the same winner as last year, Haruko Momoi has done a fantastic job for Yuen no Amulet (Prism Ark ED) and I'm not just saying this as a Momoist. Of course, nobody watches that show so she probably won't be nominated.

Best personality: Tamura Yukari, probably because Itazura Kuro Usagi is the radio show I look forward to listening the most. I wish I could make a more informed judgement than just using online radio and nico videos though.

Media Exposure: Matsuda Sakumi :)

Kaioshin Sama said...

I submitted nominations for this actually, let me see if I recall them:

Best Male: Tetsuya Kakihara (Simon in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann) for taking Simon from a weak willed little boy to a strong and heroic man and making it believable.

Best Female: Rie Kugimiya (couldn't decide anything specifically) for being consistently moe and gar at the same time and always giving it her all for even the silliest of characters

Best Supporting Male: Katsuyuki Konishi (Kamina in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann) for a consistantly hot blooded and empassioned performance.

Best Supporting Female: I cannot for the life of me remember who I picked.

Best New Male: Don't remember either. Maybe there wasn't one since new males are in low demand right now.

Best New Female: Aya Endo (Kinue Crossroad in Gundam 00 and/or Miyuki Takara in Lucky Star) A new seiyuu on the scene who isn't just another squeaker. She seems more mature then the average female seiyuu I see too, and honest at that.

Best Singer: Honestly I haven't seen a good singer seiyuu that's really gotten me fired up since Yoshiki Fukuyama (Basara in Macross 7) so I just randomly threw it at Rie Kugimiya. I might as well have scratched that vote in protest for good music, but if I can just pick a standard musician that isn't a seiyuu I would definitely choose T.M Revolution for Howling in Darker Than Black.

Best Personality: Shinichiro Miki for his consistant quiet classiness at seiyuu gatherings. He's always enthusiastic, extremely polite, and the perfect gentleman. Weiss does well by him. I'd throw it to him every year in all honesty as long as he keeps doing roles.

omo said...

LOL just going to talk about female picks. I do agree Simon in Gurren Lagann is a good candidate and probably a winner.

I rather would vote for Mamiko Noto for Matsuri Shiho in Sola as lead female. Probably one of the better performances she's had, and one of the most interesting characters this past year.

Best new clue. Too many good ones. Yukino Satsuki's Michiko Kouzuki? I just randomly picked one.

New comer... if Ai Nonaka's Mikan from Manabi Straight counts...

Best seiyuu singer. Eh, I rather liked Yui Ishikawa's songs from Heroic Age. She can also carry a tune, so it helps. Alternatively she would also count as a newbie.

Sean said...

Sorry for asking what probably is a silly question but how does one nominate/vote? My Japanese is pretty weak so I don't understand what to put in the boxes at that page you linked to.