I haven't been a fan of Tomatsu Haruka's 戸松遥 ,voice until now. But in the first episode of the new show Kannagi, she was absolutely outstanding. Her voice dipped and soared, turned and shifted, going sure-footedly from offended goddess to stranded innocent to loopy comedienne to regal mother-figure and back again.
In the little I watched of her previous shows -- Polyphonica, ToLoveRu, and Zettai Karen Children, in particular -- I found her voice harsh and unlovely, and maybe for that reason didn't feel a lot of meaning in it. But that has all changed here. This is virtuoso voice-acting.
The amount of work she gets, and the praise of other seiyuu fans, show that others (e.g., j1m0ne) understood how good she is well before I did. I am late to this party.
I have to give some credit to the staff of Kannagi. Director Yamamoto Yutaka and sound director Kikuta Hiromi seem to have given her room to move and guided her toward these heights. Here is part of episode one of Kannagi, from YouTube.
But the fact that she turned 18 in February and graduated from high school may have something to do with it. She is now living in Tokyo, working and going to college, and this has probably freed her to concentrate more on her trade. Up until last spring, she was living at home near Nagoya, and commuting to Tokyo on the weekends to work.
She actually has three trades: seiyuu, actress, and singer. She is now a top-tier seiyuu, but she is also a lower-tier TV actress. She has had roles in two TV dramas: RH Plus (Misaki Ami - photo above left,) and Here is Greenwood (Arata Mieko). And she released her first single in September, and sings both the OP and ED for Kannagi. She has a strong and fairly accurate voice and can belt out a tune. Here is the OP from YouTube.
This is a brief and sketchy little post, but she impressed me so much in her role as Nagi (right) that I wanted to write at least something about her and give you a few photos.
Right now, she is in six different shows: Kannagi, Zettai Karen Children (Shiho), Kemeko Deluxe (Emuemu), Yozakura Quartet (Touka), Gundam00 2 (Mileina), and Mouryou no Hako (Kanako).
Here's an interview with her from YouTube, about a drama CD. And here's a TV ad (YouTube) for her single Naissance, which was released in early September.
Here are some publicity shots for RH Plus (click all photos to enlarge) :
Here she is with the main cast of Moetan, Nazuka Kaori left and Tamura Yukari centre, and in a publicity portrait:
And here are two photos from her home page. I've read people enthusing over her "great legs," but this is the best photo I can find:
home page (jp)
music home page (jp)
Anime News Network page
Japanese Wikipedia (jp)