Friday, November 02, 2007

Poll: Chihara Minori Voted Most Attractive Seiyuu

Chihara Minori before a photo-shoot on TuesdayThe votes are in. After a week of voting, voters have chosen Chihara Minori 茅原実里 as the most attractive seiyuu. Minorin ended up with 66 votes to Hirano Aya's 55 and Tanaka Rie's 31, out of a total of 305 votes.

That gives Minorin 21% of the votes, Aaya 18%, and Rierie 10%. Any one of those three -- as well as many others -- would have been a worthy choice, in my opinion. There are lots of beautiful seiyuus -- and lots of ways to be beautiful.

Others with ten or more votes were: Noto Mamiko (14), Mizuki Nana (11), and Horie Yui and Kikuchi Mika (10 each).

Next were Tamura Yukari (7 votes) and Momoi Halko (6).

5 votes: Kitamura Eri, Kugimiya Rie, Nonaka Ai, Paku Romi, Shiraishi Ryouko.

4 votes: Fukai Yukari, Fukuhara Kaori.

Hirano Aya self-portrait from her blog Wednesday3 votes: Chiba Saeko, Kawasumi Ayako, Koshimizu Ami, Kudou Haruka (in real life, she's a model), Makino Yui, Sakai Kanako (spending too much time as a TV host, and not enough as a seiyuu), Sakamoto Maaya, Ueda Kana.

2 votes: Bandou Ai, Hanazawa Kana (the second moe-est voice in anime), Kadowaki Maii (name changed from Mai), Katou Emiri, Morinaga Rika (vive la belle laide!), Nabatame Hitomi, Nakahara Mai, Nogawa Sakura, Shimizu Ai, Toyoguchi Megumi.

1 vote: Enomoto Atsuko, Fukuen Misato, Gotou Yuuko, Hasegawa Shizuka, Inoue Kikuko, Kano Yui, Kawaragi Shiho, Kimura Madoka, Kobayashi Yu, Kuwatani Natsuko, Matsuki Miyu, Miyazaki Ui (that's my vote), Nazuka Kaori (the big athlete with a tiny perfect voice), Sasaki Nozomi (my choice for most moe voice), Shiina Hekiru, Shimizu Kaori, Yamamoto Maria, Yukana.

Tanaka Rie from the profile page on her websiteIt's striking that the top two vote-getters were both in Suzumiya Haruhi and Lucky Star. Of course, I loved both those shows, so perhaps people who read this blog like them, too. The particular pics I had in my page of pictures of the seiyuu may also have affected the result. I tried to get equally good pictures of everyone. In any case, a bad pic of Minorin is hard to find.

And I suspect that some people may have voted as much on voice as on appearance, but since a seiyuu's voice is part of her attractiveness, that seems okay to me. Appearance is certainly the shallowest parameter I could have suggested, lol. Maybe sometime I'll run a poll on "favorite" or "moe-est" or "best" seiyuu.

In any case, thank you all for voting and commenting -- the poll had the largest number of comments (32) of any post in the two years this blog has existed. I keep trying to do my bit to make seiyuus more recognized outside Japan. I'll keep up the page of pics of seiyuus that I posted as reference material for the poll.

Mouseover photos for captions. Click the last two photos to enlarge.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Buono! -- Shugo Chara ED hits #3 on the Charts

"Honto no Jibun" ("True Self"), the ED for the new anime Shugo Chara, has entered the music charts at #3, with sales of almost 9000 units. I've been captivated by the song since I first heard it, and it now appears that a lot of people in Japan feel the same way. I think it's the best idol-pop I've heard.

The song is performed by Buono!, a new three-person group made up of members from the young-teen idol groups °C-ute and Berryz Koubou. Shugo Chara itself is a highly entertaining Saturday-morning shoujo magical girl anime that has some character depth.

Buono! is made up of (l-r) Suzuki Airi 鈴木愛理 (13) from °C-ute and Natsuyaki Miyabi 夏焼雅 and Tsugunaga Momoko 嗣永桃子 (both from Berryz Koubou and both 15). From the PV, they seem to have been chosen for their singing rather than their dancing, but they are competent dancers, anyway. And their voices work extremely well together, in my opinion.

Here are the Honto no Jibun PV, a live performance (to show they can sing without technical assistance), and the animated Shugo Chara ED on YouTube.

Buono!, Berryz Koubou and °C-ute are all from Hello! Project, the organization that produces the continuing series of older-teen idol groups called Morning Musume. This is the heart of the Japanese teen idol machine. This time, they seem to me to have produced some good music.

Here are Buono's home page and Wikipedia page. Here are the Wikipedia pages for Hello! Project, Berryz Koubou and °C-ute.

UPDATE:
On Wednesday, the song was at #3, Thursday #5, Friday #8. Next Wednesday, we'll see where it ended up for the week. The daily rankings are from a small group of stores, the weekly rankings from a larger group.

UPDATE 2: There are some high-quality streamed versions of Buono! videos on stage6.divx.com, including: (1) the first public performance, in what looks like an open-air shopping mall; (2) the PV; (3) a closed-studio performance for Hello Morning; (4) a closed-studio dance version; and now (5) a TV live performance, with a big audience. They basically do the same dance routine in every one, gradually getting better at the whole performance as they go along. The audience at the TV live went wild, with some reason.

Here is a YouTube video of the Hello Morning performance. The other versions are there, too.