Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Seiyuu Romance -- Do Nana-chan and Hana-chan Have Boyfriends?

Fair warning: this post is pure tabloid fluff.

This summer, we have had a couple of seiyuu romance rumors, one of them old but proven.

1. A photo-booth photo has turned up showing Hanazawa Kana 花澤香菜 with her boyfriend in 2006.

2. 2channel has been playing with a rumor that Mizuki Nana 水樹奈々and Sakurai Takahiro 櫻井孝宏 are an item.

Hanazawa Kana may have the most moe voice in anime. She is starring in the wonderful Mahoutsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto this summer, and was Ryouko in Zegapain, Potemayo in Potemayo, and Sora in Sketchbook. For anyone who isnt familiar with her amazing voice, here is a compilation of her roles, from YouTube.

The story about her came out first in 2006, when she was working on Zegapain. A guy posted about his seiyuu girlfriend on 2channel, and when challenged about it, produced the photo at the right. (click photos to enlarge)

The guy appears to have been Ichiyama Tatsuki, who had also been a child actor, like Kana-chan. Photos of both of them below, from a few years earlier, when they were child actors together. The relationship is now supposedly over. And why wouldn't it be? Being an actor, the guy should have realized that you don't reveal details of a young celebrity's love-life.

Here are a few photos of Kana-chan, dating from when she was around 15 (she is now 19):

Mizuki Nana is the #1 seiyuu/singer. She is just finishing starring roles in Itazura na Kiss and Allison to Lillia. The rumors about her and Sakurai Takahiro (Suzaku in Code Geass, the Medicine Seller in Mononoke) are based largely on one photo (below left) showing them with matching rings. More shots from the same photo-shoot below right.

The likelihood of this rumor being true is fairly small, but 2channel has run with it, adding more details from things known about them to support the possibility: they both like antiques, they both like to shop, they both scuba-dive, they both are fans of the Hanshin Tigers baseball team, they both like to wander around the temples of Kyoto, they both like the band Maroon5. And, from the photo below, you can see that their money-purses are similar:

Not much to go on, but it wouldn't be the worst match. Nana-chan is 28, Sakurai 34. Unless Sakurai is gay (he plays Misaki in Junjou Romantika). From observation, I've always suspected it was at least as likely that there are gay male seiyuus as gay female ones, but who knows?



kanzeon said...

Takahiro Sakurai is already 34? He doesn't really look like one... Japanese people really do have a youthful glow. Same goes for Nana-chan. They look cute together with the same rings and wallet designs ^_^!

Emily said...

That guy, Ichiyama Tatsuki, is a bit of an idiot lol xD

I love how you're like "Unless Sakurai is gay (he plays Misaki in Junjou Romantika)"


Anyway, is this a bad thing? Its just tabloid fluff- but does it add to a negative image?

I had a Japanese host student stay over with me a while back, and I remember her showing me a picture of her classmates. She pointed at like, 80% of her classmates and said that they all had boyfriends/girlfriends. From that, I think maybe I took on an assumption that there's more of a culture in Japan for the boyfriend and girlfriend thing. But I would be really unsurprised and completely uncritical if Nana, Hana or Takahiro have partners.

lol how can Takahiro not have a partner? (gay or otherwise xD)

hashihime said...

@emily -- Definitely no negative image for me. The opposite, if anything.

chanpon said...

I guess I really don't understand what otaku find moe (and this from someone who clearly likes anime and follows (male)seiyuu). Hanachan's voice (based on the youtube video) sounds like that of a 10 year old. That is really disturbing, if otherwise "adults" consider that moe.

hashihime said...

@chanpon -- The original definition of moe, which I still try to follow, was that it is a kind of instinctive sentimental protective emotion -- almost a motherly feeling -- directed toward someone or something that seems vulnerable and in need of protection. Akamatsu Ken, the mangaka of Negima, makes a strong point that it is non-sexual, but I don't entirely agree. Personally, I find the violence of many shounen shows more disturbing, but to each his or her own.

chanpon said...

@hashihime - Thanks for that definition; I never knew that. But I find Akamatsu-sensei to be in a bit of denial. The fragile female, in constant need of protection, has been an idealized (and yes, sexualized...) fantasy for a lot of Japanese men since forever. For him to say that moe is the same thing but without the sex part - well, I say that's trying to whitewash and/or defend a very sordid part of otakuism (and I know there are many who are not into that), and needs a reality check by just paying attention to who and what is generating those moe responses.

Shana-nee said...

Hmmm. Nana-san and Sakurai Takahiro? Well I guess about him being a lot older than her is kinda bad. =/ But I guess it's okay.XDDD I've been watching Mizuki Nana's vids, I DO see her wear the same ring always, but it's not that one. So I guess, add this to the negativity of the rumor. XDDDD


EnA UchIhA said...

hey let me know if the rumor mizuki nana and Takahiro Sakurai is true or what? the truth today I just saw a picture of them looking like Alois claude trancy and Faustus but not found good and get your own blog. Please answer my message is very urgent I thank you very much hehe. cuidate. bye

generic viagra said...

I do not if they are boyfriends, and I do not care.I think that she is so beautiful, I would like to visit Japon because I want to meet her,so I think that this party was so good.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info.
About Nana Mizuki-san.
Can i know where do you get this news?

hashi said...

@Anonymous -- I linked to a couple of sources at the end of the article.

Anonymous said...

C nana's ring at youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjhscmCSFzU&feature=related
i heard that they will perform marriage? at 2011 are it trues?

hashi said...

@anonymous -- No idea. But that video seems to be from 2002, so it can't prove much, lol.

purin said...

I don't know why I keep going back to these seiyuu couple posts (even if they're years old), but after years of hearing about it and reading about it, I have a gut feeling (the same I had for Suzu and Maaya) that Sakurai and Nana are either together or REALLY really good friends.

They've been in many close roles together over the years, some characters romantically linked, and I just get this whole vibe from them every time I hear them together whether in romantic or non-romantic roles. Granted there is no solid basis, but my gut is usually right, lol.

Plus, once in a while we usually get some seiyuu cast photos for different anime, and whenever these two happen to be together, they are either standing next to each other or are awfully close to each other.

It's also a little odd how they try to avoid being associated together apart from their various roles. Over the years, Nana has had many guests on her radio shows, her live events, etc., and I notice that she carefully doesn't invite Sakurai but instead a lot of the people he is usually associated with. It's as if they are trying too hard to hide and "dispel" the rumor from years ago about them getting married.

I just have a feeling they are just both waiting for Nana's career to settle down before announcing anything. Haha, they are not getting any younger, and Nana is past her "expiration" date. >_>!

david prasetyo said...

Thats why it so hard to be an idol >.<