Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sawashiro Miyuki On Stage

Sawashiro Miyuki 沢城みゆき has joined the Theatre Gekidango (Theatre劇団子) comedy troupe. The group performs live and creates video comedy sketches that are shown on TV.

Miyukichi (her nickname) performed in their Harukanaru Yama de Yahoho 遥かなる山でヤッホッホ (I think that means something like "Off to the Distant Mountains, Yohoho!") last November.

The show was also broadcast on Sky Perfect satellite TV for several days in January.

"Gekidango" is a play on words, involving gekidan ("theatre group") and dango (a kind of sweet dumpling). Viewers of Clannad will be familiar with the dango, which is featured in the ED.

The group's irreverent comedy style reminds me a bit of Saturday Night Live, Second City, or even Monte Python. One of the group's members, 31-year-old Takahashi Kazumi, says her rebellious period hasn't ended yet -- and never will. I think that's the group's style. You can see a sample of their work (without Miyukichi) on YouTube. That sample doesn't require much Japanese. Other samples require more.

One of the group's recent podcasts is a welcome party for Miyukichi and another new member, Shiraishi Yuuka.

Miyukichi is one of the top actors among current seiyuu. She got her first role as Petit Charat at 13 in the public audition for Di Gi Charat. You can see a video of those auditions on YouTube (1, 2, 3, 4-- Miyukichi appears in parts 1 and 4, Sanada Asami and Asano Masumi in parts 1 and 3).

At 22, she has already played in over 75 anime series, including such roles as big sister Iina in Kokoro Toshokan (when she was 16), Mint Blancmange in Galaxy Angel, Shinku in Rozen Maiden, Ibara-hime in Otogizushi Akazukin, Aruruu in Utawarerumono, Claire in Red Garden, Reika in Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun, and Hagino in Blue Drop. Not to mention large numbers of OVAs, movies, dubbing, drama CDs and music CDs.

There is an excellent video compendium of her roles on YouTube.

She is known as a quiet and serious person, who is always studying something, from swimming to story-telling to cooking. She is a university student as well as a working seiyuu and now stage performer.

She is also known as someone who does not hesitate to correct other people, even people who are older than she is. I think there may be a lot of herself in Shinku.

The pictures here come from her page on a Theater Gekidango fansite. Fans have commented about this last picture (right) that it shows Miyukichi's tongue is extremely long. All the better to create the amazing range of voices you can hear in the video compendium of her roles.

In Blue Drop, the 22-year-old Miyukichi plays the many-years-old Hagino, while 40-year-old Yajima Akiko plays her inamorata, the 16-year-old Mari.


Anonymous said...

I'm quite impressed with her voice range and her ability to voice right about anything. She's definitely one of my favorite seiyuu.

Anonymous said...

I really wonder where she finds the time to do all the stuff you mentioned... Pretty impressive.

Diodati said...

My fave current seiyuu, what a talent. I love reading/following stuff about 'her' as well.

Interesting that she's known as quiet and 'serious' (especially with those pics heh) - where did you read that(?) Or is it comparatively next to other seiyuu?

hashihime said...

@diodati -- is where I get most of the general info. The "serious" bit I picked up from reading things there and elsewhere. I read somewhere that she is not that well liked by some people, because she seems a bit haughty to them. But from listening to her talk -- the little I have -- I have a sense of someone rather reserved. ja.wikipedia said she liked to read.

Maybe someone else -- such as j1m0ne, for example -- has heard her more and formed an opinion.

Those are the first really exuberant pictures of her I've seen. But most comedians are actually rather serious people, it seems to me.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised to read she's said to be serious. I've seen her in a DVD bonus for Gokujou Seitokai -a silly quiz along with the seiyuu for the main characters, and I have to say it really was an all-star cast- and she seemed to be quite the funny type.

Diodati said...

I guess it's very difficult getting an accurate impression of someone.

She's sometimes across relatively quiet to me - and less so on other occasions. She does seem very bright though; it wouldn't surprise me if she got some minor comments from that - no-one likes a smartass ''youngster''. Except me I suppose. =3

I'd love to see that Gokujou Seitokai DVD, the cast was pure-love! Hopefully they'll release some seiyuu extras with her for (Zoku) Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Or for Blue Drop.

Anyways thanks for this - I find her eminently interesting. If j1m0ne or anyone else has anymore info then fire away.

Anonymous said...

diodati, you can find the Gokujou Seitokai extras on Tokyo Toshokan, they've been released by a Spanish group named Rakuen. The ones with the seiyuu are in the "Concursos" folder if I'm not mistaken.
All raws of course, but I guess fans won't care ^^ Too bad ADV didn't include them in the R1 release though.

divine|s said...

A post on Sawashiro Miyuki! My request has been answered! GJ hashihime. :)

j1m0ne said...

Miyukichi - really, she does come off as being quite serious, but she's also deadpan funny. From what I've seen/heard she seems to get on alright with her castmates - at least on RED GARDEN, Digi Charat, Rozen Maiden and Gokujo Seitokai. She's the sort of person who'll come up with a punchline out of nowhere to make everyone laugh.

Miyuki's definitely got her head fixed firmly on her shoulders - I'm older than she is, but I know she's definitely more mature than I am, heh. Despite her young age, she's already an industry veteran and added to the fact that she's a fantastic seiyuu - she gets a lot of respect, with Shintani Ryoko and Yuzuki Ryoka amongst her biggest admirers.

And a little OT, but those Gokujo Seitokai quiz extras were ridiculously hilarious - a perfect demonstration of Miyukichi's dry sense of humour. The one with Saito Chiwa/Sendai Eri was fantastic too.

TJ said...

Big fan of Miyuki's large voice range here too. Her expressiveness wins points in otherwise lackluster series. (Dragonaut, I'm looking at you)

Very offtopic, but those youtube clips were of great interest to me since I've followed Digi Charat nearly from the start. Even had the chance to meet Hikami and Sanada in person at a convention a few years back and I still keep the Dejiko plushie signed by Sanada around. So as you can imagine, I scrutinized those youtube vids with a critical eye.

Perhaps Sanada got the part because she created such an insouciant character onstage, full of mischief. Most of the others, such as Asano and Mizuno Manabi (wish she had more roles too) just stuck with good ol' cute. Sawashiro couldn't quite hit the right song notes.


hashihime said...

@tj -- I'm really not a fan of her singing, even in later years. But I thought she came across very well in the speaking part of the audition. There was variety and life in her voice, I thought. And she seemed strangely at ease for a 13-year-old.

I hope the director had some input in who was chosen. I didn't notice him being mentioned. The committee and the fans came up with a couple of good choices, anyway, if that's who chose them.

Thanks to everyone for their interesting comments.

Diodati said...

Big thanks to the people in here! With my pathetic internet speed I'm slowly getting all of the 2.47GB worth of Gokujou Seitokai seiyuu extras.

May as well also take this opportunity to say much love to Hashihime(KC) and j1m0ne - there's not all that many places where you can read about seiyuu info in english, so I really appreciate that!

And it also makes me more resolved to have an on-going improvement in my Japanese, especially written.