Hirano Aya's new single 涙 NAMIDA ナミダ (Tears, Tears, Tears) is at number ten on its first day on the charts. It is the ED to the new anime Hyakko, in which she is part of the four-member main cast.
And as it turns out, today is her 21st birthday.
The single was written and produced by Tsunku♂, the producer of Morning Musume, Berryz Koubou, and all the other Hello! Project idol groups.
So far, it's not among my favorite Aya songs. I like the harder stuff she's been doing lately, rather than this more poppy music. Here's the single on YouTube.
This fall, she is in three new anime: Hyakko, Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka, and Kurogane no Linebarrels. And Zettai Karen Children continues toward 52 episodes.
Hyakko is a bizarre comedy about a group of four girls, each with her own failings, trying to make their way at school. Japanese ads describe it as "slapstick," but I think there is a weird subtlety about it, too. Aya's character is shy and uncertain, and she uses a high, hesitant voice that I haven't heard from her before -- although it is recognizably Aya.
Here are three photos from her blog. The left-hand photo is from a Voice NewType photo session that will feature her in an apron serving cake. In her blog, she writes: "I was told to make it like a naked apron. It's like, 'Welcome home. Shall I make dinner? Shall I run your bath? Or would you like...?'" The second photo, not from the photo-shoot, shows her equipped with goggles and cap for...cutting onions. The third photo is at the hairdresser. (Click photos to enlarge.)