Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hirano Aya's First Album Breaks In At #2

Young Jump photo featureHirano Aya's first album, Riot Girl, has broken into the charts at #2 for its first day, with sales of 4333 units.

, by Tube, is #1, with sales of 7500; and Kimaguren's Zushi is #3, with 4200.

The cut Riot Girl (video) was chosen as the ED for a new anime music TV show on TV Tokyo called Anisong Plus, which shows every Monday night at 2:30 am, and started on July 7. (mouseover photos for captions, click to enlarge)

What else has Aaya been doing lately, you ask? Even if you don't ask, I'll tell you.

She had two days of live performances with her Zettai Karen Children cast-mates at the summer World Hobby Fair in Tokyo last weekend. She is one of a small group of top seiyuus working with Exile in an anime built around that top Japanese pop group. And she is starting her second movie-dubbing job, the 2005 family space adventure Zathura.

Aaya on stage at World Hobby FairThe Zettai Karen group of Aya, Shiraishi Ryouko, and Tomatsu Haruka performed mini-lives on Saturday and Sunday at the summer World Hobby Fair. This is a big show of figures and models held twice a year in Tokyo. In her blog, Uryocchi (Shiraishi Ryouko) commented what great legs both Aaya and Haruka have. They will also appear at the Sapporo version on July 21.

And on Monday, the new anime Exsamurai エグザムライwas unveiled to a select crowd of 1600 Exile fans. The anime is a kind of future samurai feature, set in "Roppongi Hell City" in 2718, with characters based on and played by members of the group.

World Hobby FairExile is one of the most popular Japanese pop groups, with seven members, all male, and numerous top hits since 2001. The anime is produced by Hiro, the group's leader, and directed by Abe Yuuichi, the director of Gundam Evolve, SD Gundam Force, and the Prince of Tennis live-action movie.

Aya was impressed with how many people were in the audience. Another league up from her own popularity as a singer. She and Takeuchi Junko (who is also in the anime, and plays Naruto in Naruto) were there. Miyano Mamoru is also in the anime. There is a preview episode (without Aya) on Nico Nico Douga. The anime will be included with an Exile album to be released 23 July. The Exile members' voice-acting was surprisingly not horrible. Not great, but not horrible.

Takeuchi Junko and Hirano Aya, with Exile and director AbeThis week as well, Aya begins work dubbing the 2005 US feature film Zathura. She voices Kristen Stewart's character, Lisa. "Two young brothers are drawn into an intergalactic adventure when they, their elder sister, and their house are magically hurtled through space because of the board game they are playing." This is only her second dubbing job.

And Aya is all over the magazines this week. A highly-anticipated photo feature in Young Jump Weekly comes out today. She's also in Seiyuu Grand Prix, Voice Newtype, Animedia, Pick-up Voice, Up to Boy, and Free Paper right now.

She continues as a seiyuu starring in the wonderful Daughter of Twenty-faces and the forgettable Zettai Karen Children, and also with a role in Macross Frontier, as Meena.

LATE NEWS: Aya has posted pics of a little guerrilla marketing she did this morning, making a tour of Akihabara shops, signing displays and encouraging sales. She was at Asobit, Ishimarusoft, Animate, Gamers, and Toranoana, where she climbed into the window and signed show-window displays -- then was photographed from outside by passers-by and by the staff. In her blog, she thanked the store staff for their cooperation and apologized to the stores she didn't get to.


Kaioshin Sama said...

Don't take this the wrong way, but I prefer reading your articles about Seiyuu who aren't Aya Hirano over those that are.

I just sort of grow weary of hearing about her and there's really only so much interest I could have in one person over everyone else. I really liked your bit about Romi Paku for example and the one you did about Yukana a while back as well. They were very fresh, well documented with tidbits and trivia and just interesting in general. I'm also still hoping that one day you'll write up something about a Male Seiyuu, and not Sugita Tomokazu.

Just something I hope you'll keep in mind. Anyway keep up the coverage as it's always interesting. I just kind of hope to see a little more variety in the Seiyuu you are covering in the coming months.

hashihime said...

@kaioshin_sama -- Thanks for commenting. I know you and probably many others long ago said "enough already!" But I gave up worrying about that, since I know a few people are as interested in Aya as I am. So they can depend on being kept up to date here with Aya's doings.

Profiles like that of Paku-san are a lot harder to do than this post, which I just cobbled together this afternoon. So I can only do them from time to time, once or twice a quarter.

And I do also like to do some things that aren't specifically about seiyuu, such as episode summaries or the big season previews.

But I appreciate your input. You may well see a piece about a male seiyuu, since I have much stronger feelings for them now, and more knowledge about them.

I can't say I have a favorite, but I'm very much enjoying some of Miyano Mamoru's performances, and Kiuchi Hidenobu's, and Miki Shinichiro's -- as well as most things done by Koyasu Takehito, of course. Fukuyama Jun? Sometimes. Sakurai Takahiro? Not very often. Fujiwara Keiji, Kamiya Hiroshi, Suwabe Junichi? Always. The two Tomokazus? Usually.

However, I do also have a long list of female seiyuu favorites I would like to spend more time researching so I can write something: Hayami Saori, Chiba Saeko, Hanazawa Kana, Takagaki Ayahi, Yahagi Sayuri, etc.

IcyStorm said...

Aw, good for her. I don't really know what's "good" in Japan for first day sales, but at least she debuted in the top 10?

I love these Aya posts :) Keep them coming.

Shana-nee said...

I totally adore or Hirano Aya articles, you have those informations I can't research about and are not bound to my knowledge of Japanese. So your helping us fans of Hirano Aya a lot. I know Hirano Aya, doesn't have a lot of fans, though she has a lot of haters, or some just dislikes her, but please they should just keep their mouth shut, cause they sometimes hurt the feelings of fans.

Though I really liked your articles about other VAs. Could please put up some articles about Kugimi and Mamio sometimes? XD

And congrats to Aya-nee breaking in at #2!! This is very good for a first album! =D

W-General said...

Rock on with the Hirano Aya posts - since there aren't any other blogs/websites that are as well updated on Hirano Aya stuff as your blog. (Including the that is totally lackingin updates. I could do it myself but I am lazy)

I already asked my friend in Japan to buy her album for me on the day it came out, so I helped contribute to Riot Girl's debut day Oricon rankings.

hashihime said...

@shana_nee -- If you're interested in Kugimiya Rie, have you seen the video of the little TV conversation between her and Paku Romi that I linked to in my post on Paku-san? There is also a torrent around of her long interview on NHK's Anime Giga, although NHK tries to take clips down from YouTube, etc.

Mei said...

Man, if only I was in Akiba two days after I last visited it I could have seen her. I was in Osaka though, sooooo faaarr awaaaaay. But I bought the album anyway. Thanks to that and the seigura issue I bought, I now have two Hirano poster promoting RG. ^^; I have a feeling all the media coverage she's getting this month with double the rage anti-Aya fans emit...

RIPstan said...

So far your Aya Hirano posts are really fresh and valuable for global fans who are Japanese illiterate like me. I can see you really enjoy what you are writing. Well done mate!

For every fan gained, another anti-fan will surface. Any fans (or anti-fans) going for the Riot Tour?

Asuka said...

Out of all your articles, I look forward to your Hirano Aya ones the most. =) I'm also a big fan of hers, but am too illiterate to understand her blog (I do go there to look at her pictures though). I know that it's hard for bloggers to keep all their readers happy, but I do hope that you continue with these Aya update posts. Thanks!

hashihime said...

Thanks to everyone for their comments. It certainly seems, as ripstan says, that anti-fans are surfacing as Aya gets more publicity. There was a lull in 2channel anti-Aya activity, but as more people post about buying the album and how much they like her, the standard anti-Aya posts seem to be increasing, too. I think it must enrage people who don't like her to see her garnering some success.

I'm not including kaioshin_sama in the group of haters. He doesn't like her that much, but that's reasonable. He's pretty straight about it, and I appreciate that.

You might be amused to hear that one of the big debates on 2channel seems to be whether Aya is small-breasted (hinnyuu) or no-breasted (munyuu). And another poster looked at the shots of her in her jeans in the shop window and said she looked as if she could have easy childbirths.

There's no question that a good bit of her popularity has nothing to do with her ability as a seiyuu. One 2channel poster said that he felt some people like her for her looks, and some for her singing, but that he was in the minority that liked her for her acting.

Riot Girl dropped to fifth place on Thursday, but was back up to fourth on Friday. Where it ends up for the entire first week will be the best indicator of whether this album is a success or not. These first few days have brought it in higher than I expected, in any case.

Emily said...

Yay I like Aya Hirano when she's not releasing Idol DVDs lol xD

Congrats to Aya on her album, #2 is pretty good.

scarface said...

hashihime have you found the picks from weekly young jump because i tried really hard today and was unable to do so. If you did see it were the pictures any good compared to her photobooks

hashihime said...

@scarface -- Not yet. I would check 2channel and even nicovideo and youtube, where I have seen slide-shows from her other photo-books.

j1m0ne said...

Anyone who's still looking for those Young Jump pics - I can't recall where I saw them first but Hirano's thread at has them.

Endz said...

Hirano Aya is a major reason why I frequent of reading this blog.

So how did Riot Girl's first week go?

@j1mone omg I just saw the pics and I got wide eyed. omg @ the legs.

hashihime said...

@j1m0ne -- Thanks!

@endz -- stats are Wednesday to Wednesday, so it will be a couple of days before we know how well it has done for the week. It has dropped below #10 in Monday's dailies.

I've now heard the album and I like it. It's a rough sound that I don't think will end up being that popular, but she's doing the rough sound pretty well, I think. There is more and more there the more I hear it. I like For You best, but in fact I like all the new songs -- except maybe the title track, lol.

It's all part of the package as she tries to turn herself into a "personality" like Nakamura Shouko, except with a stronger base in voice-acting.

Endz said...

I liked track #13, she needs to make more ballads.

hashihime said...

@endz -- I think j1m0ne agrees with you in her piece on the album. She liked Hoshi no Kakera, too. I hated reading her piece, since she really doesn't like Aya's voice at all, but she paid it the respect of reviewing every cut.