Saturday, October 20, 2007

Who's the Moe-est Seiyuu of all? Kugimiya Rie, Says 2channel

There is a thread on 2channel, the Japanese discussion board, that asks this question every month. As of October 18, the totals for October put Kugimiya Rie (picture) far in the lead. Horie Yui is second and Tamura Yukari is third. I've linked their names to samples of their voices.

The seiyuu whose voice I personally think is most moe, Sasaki Nozomi, has zero votes. Another seiyuu I think is incredibly moe, the newcomer Hanazawa Kana, has two (2) votes. Another, Yahagi Sayuri, has one (1) vote.

The fact that the seiyuu I pay most attention to, Hirano Aya, has three (3) votes is an indication of the disdain that many hard-core 2channelers feel for her. There are a few votes for male (m) seiyuus, which I think may be comments on their sexuality. And there are a number of names in the list that I don't know, but that I believe are older seiyuus.

In any case, here are this month's totals so far, as of 18 October:

Over 200 votes:
Kugimiya Rie(528) Horie Yui(447) Tamura Yukari(246) 

101-200 votes  
Shiina Hekiru(181) Kuwatani Natsuko(101)

51-100 votes   
Hayashia Kikuoo(89) Kawasumi Ayako(86) Hirohashi Ryou(79) Kimura Madoka(64) Sanpei Yuuko(59) Matsuki Miyu(52)

21-50 votes   
Kawaragi Shihou(39) Shintani Ryouko(38) Kadowaki Maii(36) Mizuki Nana(35) Kuwashima Houko(34) Tanaka Rie(34) Kobayashi Sanae(32) Konnou Hiromi(31) Kataoka Azusa(27)

6-20 votes    
Itou Shizuka(20) Kikuchi Mika(18) Yoshida Koyuri(18) Iguchi Yuka(18) Sawashiro Miyuki(18) Sasagawa Ayana(18) Saitou Momoko(18) Kobayashi Yuu (17) Nakahara Mai(16) Noto Mamiko(16) Gotou Yuuko(14) Yamazaki Wakana(12) Fukui Yukai(10) Ochiai Yurika(10) Mizutani Yuuko(9) Ueda Kana(9) Shimizu Ai(8) Itou Miki(7) 

4 votes  
Inoue Kikuko Miyazaki Ui 

3 votes  
Fujimura Ayumi Nogawa Sakura Asanuma Shintarou (m) Ookochi Masako Tanaka Ryouko Ishida Akira (m) 

2 votes  
Kanda Akemi  Aoki Sayaka Yanagi Naoki Hirano Aya  Sakakibara Yui Wakamoto Norio (m) Hanazawa Kana Kitamura Eri Inoue Nana Asumi Kana Takahashi Mikako Hagiwara Masato (m)  

1 vote  
Yahagi Sayuri Takahashi Ao Nazuka Kaori Asano Masumi  Ikezawa Haruna Orikasa Fumiko  Kani Mika  Yokoyama Chisa Tsuji Ayumi Shinohara Emi Momoi Haruko  Toyoguchi Megumi Nabatame Hitomi  Satou Rina  Tomizawa Michie  Gatou Saori Gotou Saori  Kasahara Hiroko Kakazu Yumi  Kamiya Hiroshi (m)  Shimamoto Sumi  Chiba Saeko Chihara Minori  Katsura Utamaru  Koshimizu Ami  Sanada Asami Inoue Marina  Minami Omi Yamada Eiko Takeuchi Junko Imai Asami Inokuchi Yuka  Shiraishi Ryouko  Miyamura Yuuko Fukuyama Jun (m)   Mitsuishi Kotono Hino Satoshi (m)  Shimizu Kaori Sakai Kanako  Iizuka Mayumi Iwao Junko Hasegawa Shizuka Tachibana Shinnosuke

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hirano Aya's Birthday Week

Various groups of colleagues have thrown little birthday parties for Aya over the last ten days, each with at least one cake. Surely this will help her fatten up a bit, lol. In any case, here are a few photos from her blog.

The party she posted about most was the one given her by the cast and staff of Eyeshield 21: Yamaguchi Kappei, Irino Miyu and Miyano Mamoru (left, l-r). They also gave her an umbrella, perhaps for protection from the rain of insults from 2channel.



The Eyeshield 21 staff gave her a bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne (to go with the beer she's holding in the umbrella picture). Like any newly-legal drinker, she appears to be thrilled. She said she spilled a lot in opening it: her "first clumsiness as a 20-year-old." Aya joked that Nakagawa Shouko, who is also on the show, wasn't a great drinker and flushed after drinking only a few milliters. A "moe-element" for Shouko-chan, laughed Aya.



I think Aya admires and envies Shouko, the TV personality/idol/seiyuu. Aya might like to be the same, but in a different order: seiyuu/idol/TV personality.

People she was working with on her idol activities, and on the new Suzumiya Haruhi game (Suzumiya Haruhi no Tomadoi) both gave her little parties. Left: "Team Aya," the idol people. Right, the SHnT people:



Over the past ten days, she has received innumerable cakes and not a few flowers, and like the idol she is, was able to smile fairly convincingly for every one:




From the staff of her radio show, Animelo Mix, she received a bottle of sake called "Niconico Tarou," which means "Smiling Tarou." But this is perhaps also a reference to her videos on the Japanese video site Niconico Douga, where viewers can post graffiti-like comments on the video. A number of comments are insulting attacks on Aya herself. 2channelers speculated that the gift might be a joke at her expense, but I think she's probably well aware of what goes on there.

On 2channel, people have long said that she has no friends, especially no friends in the industry. Now some people are saying that the shots with the Eyeshield 21 cast -- now and in past blog items -- show that she is friendly with other seiyuu -- especially men. I don't think we can really tell anything either way, but I thought I'd mention their speculation, anyway.

Finally, a photo that I think shows Aya's nice self-mockery, which seems to me to appear quite often. In the caption to this pic, she thanks everyone and says she turned 20 "without incident." "The first year of my twenties. What kind of year will it be, I wonder?"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Seiyuu Fukuhara Kaori and Her Mother Visit Kyoto

Fukuhara Kaori (Tsukasa in Lucky Star) and her mother made a trip to Kyoto recently. In part because I think Kaorin is in the running for prettiest of all active seiyuu, I thought I'd translate her brief blog post about the trip:

A long time ago, I asked my manager to adjust my schedule so that mother and I could go on a trip to Kyoto. And so we went on a rather extravagant holiday, two women together.

It made me so glad to watch mother’s happy face.

My own number one goal was to go to the Entertainers’ Shrine at the Kurumazaki Shrine.

I worshipped there around a year and a half ago. I wanted to go back and report the decisions I'd made and what had happened to me over that time, and to renew my amulet. And I did!

We got a full helping of Kyoto, visiting other temples, riding in a rickshaw, and eating delicious food. (^^)

It’s the first time mother and I have gone on a trip alone together. We made memories that will last a lifetime.

When we said goodbye to Kyoto, we promised to go there together again.

I really love the elegance of Kyoto. In another year or so, let's go again.

We stayed in a wonderful hotel, part of the same chain as the hotel I stayed in on the trip to Hatsushima I wrote about in the blog before.



Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hirano Aya -- LOVE★GUN #6 for its First Week on the Charts

As leaked yesterday, Hirano Aya's LOVE★GUN single has placed #6 in the Oricon weekly singles chart, with sales of 12,536.

That's less than 100 units short of #5, and about 300 units short of #4, but far behind L'Arc-en-ciel's #1 song, which sold 115,000 units. This was a good week for the release, however: in most recent weeks, those sales would have ranked LOVE★GUN closer to #10.

In her blog, Aya says its a good start for her three singles in three months, thanks people very much, and says it encourages her to do her best.

The photo was in her blog today. She says it's a new shorter cut and hairstyle and laughs that it makes her head feel lighter.

This isn't the first time that she has reminded me of the 1940s movie star Veronica Lake, who was both a glamorous star and a natural comedienne. She was apparently also famous as the first star to have a "peek-a-boo bangs" hairstyle that covered half her face.

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Indestructible Fragility" -- Hirano Aya's Lyrics for LOVE★GUN

Here are the lyrics written by Hirano Aya 平野綾 for LOVE★GUN, her current single. First is a translation, then a transliteration (the Japanese pronunciation), then the original Japanese.

The lyrics give further reason why she waited until she had turned 20 (the age of adulthood in Japan) before releasing this song. The meaning of the expression "love gun" is probably a combination of romantic metaphor and the obvious one: part of the male anatomy. It's tempting to think she is actually speaking as herself ("indestructible fragility," "the tears I always cry").

The lyrics are as difficult as many Japanese lyrics, so if anyone can correct anything, please let me know. Right at the beginning, she changes a couple of things in the recording, but I have given the lyrics as published in the CD booklet. Since about half the words are English (or actually Engrish), in the translation I have italicized lines that were originally Japanese.

The early word on 2channel is that LOVE★GUN was #6 for its first week on the charts, with sales of 12,536 CDs. If true, that would be a great result for Aya. Here is the video on YouTube.

1. TRANSLATION:

LOVE★GUN
Sung by Hirano Aya
Words by Hirano Aya
Music by Kurosu Katsuhiko
Arranged by nishi-ken & Kurosu Katsuhiko

1,2,3
Lady go! follow me
Let's skipping your work☆
Here we say…
YO!
It’s aggravating that I can’t say it well, but
Sorry. Don't leave Berry Guys♪
Hey! Hey! Hey!
With a push of increased acceleration,

Despite my simplicity and hesitation,
I still wanted to get it
(OH! BABY)
In the heat of my smoldering heart...
so, kill you♂ love you xxx
OK!?

Shoot a crazy gun at my heart.
Is it okay to go ahead? If I lose
Now, relying on my simple honesty,
I’ll break out in the tears I always cry.
Soul is screaming TRUTH!
To an existence of inexpressibly deep pain,
I absolutely refuse to give in.
You give me LOVE★GUN

It's about time.
Can you guess what l wanna say? a-ha♪
Let's CHECK IT OUT
YO!
With a joking look on your face
You always said,
"Don't be alone… (=But!?)
Hi! Hi! Hi!
Look at my unwavering heart...

I stand waiting with unprecedented fortitude,
Kicking your afterimage around
(Catch me babe.)
My stormy heart is in a daze
so, Milky? Honey? SEXY!?
OH Yeah!

Shoot a crazy gun at my heart.
I’ve never acted like this before.
I reject the past that presses me
And keep squirming, calling out…
Soul is screaming TRUTH.
In my indestructible fragility,
Not me alone, not everyone,
I'm a Target
Shoot me! LOVE★GUN

Despite my simplicity and hesitation,
I want to get it
(OH! BABY)
In the heat of my smoldering heart.
So, kill you♂ love you xxx
OK!?

Shoot a crazy gun at my heart.
Is it okay to step forward? If I lose
Now, relying on my honesty,
I’ll break out in tears.
Soul is screaming TRUTH!
To an existence of inexpressibly deep pain
I absolutely refuse to give in.
You give me LOVE★GUN


2. TRANSLITERATION

1,2,3
Lady go! follow me
Let's skipping your work☆
Here we say…
YO!
Umaku ienai modokashisa to
Sorry. don't leave Berry Guys♪
Hey!Hey!Hey!
Kasokudo ga masu shoudou ni

Tanjun de yuujuu na mujun mo
Te ni ireta tsumori de mo
(OH! BABY)
Kusubutta heart no atsusa ni
so, kill you♂ love you xxx
OK!?
Shoot a crazy gun at my heart.
Fumidashite ii no ka? Ima no mama
Sunao no tayotte nakushite shimau nara
Itsumo Naite buttobase
Soul is screaming TRUTH!
Kuyashii to ienai tsuyosa daite
Sonzai ni makenai zettai wo motta watashi ni
You give me LOVE★GUN

It's about time.
Can you guess what l wanna say? a-ha♪
Let's CHECK IT OUT
YO!
Joudan meiteta waragao to
You always said,
"Don't be alone… (=But!?)
Hi! Hi! Hi!
Yuruganai kokoro misete

Kuuzen ni kizen to tatazumu
Zanzou mo kechirashite
(Catch me babe.)
Muchuu de shinjuu ha areteru
so, Milky? Honey? SEXY!?
OH Yeah!

Shoot a crazy gun at my heart.
Tatoe mo nai jibun no yarikata de
Semarikuru kako hanikaesu you ni
Sakebi tsuzuke mogakunda
Soul is screaming TRUTH.
Utarete mo kowarenai morosa de
Hitori de mo nai minna de mo nai
I'm a Target
Inuite yo LOVE★GUN

Tanjun de yuujuu na mujun mo
Te ni ireta tsumori de mo
(OH! BABY)
Kusubutta heart no atsusa ni
so, kill you♂ love you xxx
OK!?
Shoot a crazy gun at my heart.
Fumidashite ii no ka? Ima no mama
Sunao ni tayotte nakushite shimau nara
Itsumo naite buttobase
Soul is screaming TRUTH!
Kuyashii to ienai tsuyosa daite
Sonzai ni makenai zettai wo motta watashi ni
You give me LOVE★GUN


3. ORIGINAL JAPANESE:

LOVE★GUN 平野綾
作詞 平野綾 
作曲 黒須克彦 
編曲 nishi-ken・黒須克彦

1,2,3
Lady go! follow me
Let's skipping your work☆
Here we say…
YO!
上手く言えないもどかしさと
Sorry. Don't leave Berry Guys♪
Hey! Hey! Hey!
加速度が増す衝動に

単純で優柔な矛盾も
手に入れたつもりでも
(OH! BABY)
燻ったheartの熱さに
so, kill you♂ love you xxx
OK!?

Shoot a crazy gun at my heart.
踏み出していいのか? 今のまま
素直に頼って失くしてしまうなら
いつも泣いてぶっ飛ばせ
Soul is screaming TRUTH!
悔しいと言えない強さ抱いて
存在に負けない絶対を持った私に
You give me LOVE★GUN

It's about time.
Can you guess what l wanna say? a-ha♪
Let's CHECK IT OUT
YO!
冗談めいてた笑顔と
You always said,
"Don't be alone…(= But ! ?)
Hi! Hi! Hi!
揺るがない心見せて

空前に毅然と佇む
残像も蹴散らして
(Catch me babe.)
夢中で心中は荒れてる
so, Milky? Honey? SEXY!?
OH Yeah!

Shoot a crazy gun at my heart.
例えもない自分のやり方で
迫りくる過去 跳ね返すように
叫び続けもがくんだ
Soul is screaming TRUTH.
撃たれても壊れない脆さで
独りでもない みんなでもない
I'm a Target
射抜いてよ LOVE★GUN

単純で優柔な矛盾も
手に入れたつもりでも
(OH! BABY)
燻ったheartの熱さに
so, kill you♂ love you xxx
OK!?

Shoot a crazy gun at my heart.
踏み出していいのか?今のまま
素直にに頼って失くしてしまうなら
いつも泣いてぶっ飛ばせ
Soul is screaming TRUTH!
悔しいと言えない強さ抱いて
存在に負けない絶対を持った私に
You give me LOVE★GUN