Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hayami Saori and Her Mother

Hayami Saori's mother was mentioned on one of her radio shows in October, and from clues on the show, people on 2channel have found her mother's blog and homepage.

There are pics there of her mother, Matsuo Midori, performing a few songs in a Tokyo jazz club (Ginza Cygnus). Her blog announced a later gig at Akasaka Birdland. A pic of Saori singing with her was posted on 2channel. (Hayami Saori's real name is Matsuo Saori, say 2channel posters.)

Hayami Saori 早見沙織, known as "Hayamin," is a 17-year-old seiyuu/singer who was Momoka in Touka Gettan, Kou in Wagaya no Oinari-sama, and Musubi in Sekirei.

Mother Midori says that her interests are quilting and jazz, as well as dancing and tennis. And shopping. "Well, that is probably my main interest," she laughs. When her radio co-host said her mother seemed interesting, Hayamin said she was very active. She is 48, Hayamin revealed.

Midori talks in her blog about her needlework and quilting -- she teaches and sells both -- and about jazz singing. She also has a website, where she sells her work. In an interview, Hayamin says her mother went to jazz-singing classes a few years ago, and her little daughter tagged along....

As a very small child, Hayamin says in an interview (part 1, part 2), she got up early in the morning to watch Sailor Moon. She decided from an early age that she wanted to be a seiyuu. Hayamin could never quite bring herself to ask to go a school, but she kept buying magazines with ads for seiyuu schools in them.

Midori (left) and Saori
When she was in the first year of middle school, her mother noticed a magazine lying open at the Nihon Narration seiyuu school ad Hayamin had been poring over. She asked her if she wanted to go there. "Uh-huh," admitted Hayamin. And so she started the Nihon Narration junior class, aged about twelve. Her parents have always been open to letting her do the things she really wanted, Hayamin says. They warned her that it wasn't an easy world, but she said she wanted to do it anyway. And from then on, they have supported her -- even pushed her -- all the way.

Ni-Nare (Nihon Narration) has produced many famous seiyuus, including Nakahara Mai, Suzumura Kenichi, Saitou Chiwa, Hayashibara Megumi, Mizuhashi Kaori, Houshi Souichirou, Ueda Kana, Horie Yui, Tamura Yukari, etc. It is the training school for big seiyuu agencies I"m Entertainment, which represents Hayamin, and Arts Vision. The chairman of Arts Vision, who had close ties to all three companies, was the man accused last year of improper conduct with young seiyuus.

Now, busy with her last term of high school, Hayamin is going to the seiyuu school only on Sunday afternoons for three hours.

2channel also has news about Hayamin's schooling. Right from grade-school she attended prestigious Shirayuri Gakuen girls' high school -- a Catholic school that could have been the model for the school in Marimite. But she transferred to a co-ed school in Tokyo because of her work. The girls' school might not even have permitted a student to work, particularly in entertainment. Posters on 2channel comment how good she is with polite speech -- something she would have learned either at home or at that kind of school.

Mako-samaThe latest rumor is that when she graduates next spring, Hayamin will be attending the even more prestigious Gakushuin Women's College in Tokyo, the college established to teach the children of the imperial family and the aristocracy, which now teaches both them and a wide range of well-to-do Japanese and some foreigners.

Some posters look forward to her becoming friends with Princess Mako (right), the daughter of the Emperor's brother. Mako-sama is the same age as Hayamin. If women were allowed to become ruler, Mako-sama would be first in line for the throne.

No problem working while you go there: Inoue Marina is a graduate of the same college.

Lots of interesting thoughts from posters on 2channel: someone wants to hear Hayamin's voice in a boy role. Someone else says her manner is surprisingly like Endou Aya's. Many people say she is natural and quick on the radio, and gives a good feeling. Her talk is cute and "healing."

The photos are from her radio show. She is the current host of a show called "Radio Dot-i," which is a short (seven-minute) weekly internet radio show. Her version of the show is called "Hayami Saori's Positive Review-Meeting." She eats a different sweet each week: Strawberry Daifuku, Tiramisu, etc. Here is the most recent show. And here is a show in which she talks about her mother.

The previous host was Katou Emiri, and hosts over the show's nine-year history have included Yamamoto Maria, Kobayashi Yumiko, Nakahara Mai, Ueda Kana, Mamiko Noto, Itsuki Yui, Kugimiya Rie, Shiraishi Ryouko, Hirano Aya (before Haruhi), Kano Yui, Kitamura Eri, etc. It is a springboard where personable young seiyuu, particularly from Nihon Narration, can hone their skills as "personalities." She is also a regular on the Sekirei radio show.

There is repeated talk on 2channel about her pics making her look "ugly," which is going too far, but guys who went to a live event say that she looks a lot better in real life than in photos. One poster says that in person she is "deadly cute." Another says that her smile, and the way she moves, especially her hands, are "300% charming."

Great composure and communication skills, says one person. She's like a "refined young lady," says another. After attending a live event, says one poster, I am Hayamin's captive: she is totally cute.

Hayamin's picture will be featured in the 2009 seiyuu calendar that comes with the January issue of Seigura (Seyuu Grand Prix) magazine, on sale now.

Here is a pic from a Wagaya no Oinari-sama event, with Yukana (centre) and Takahashi Mikako.

Hayamin has not been announced for any new shows in January. Perhaps she is concentrating on her last term of high school. Or perhaps she is getting ready for a singing debut. Some posters suggest that she will be out of the spotlight for a year or so, while she gets used to college. I think it's more likely that, like some other seiyuus, she will do more work during college than she has during high school.

Finally, here are a couple of photos from the interview quoted earlier:


Aurelia said...

Thanks for writing this post. I also fell in love with Hayamin after I heard her as Momoka and I loved "Kono Sekai ga Itsuka wa". I do want to find out more about her, but there's not much out there, and I'm not wise in the ways of 2ch yet. And she hasn't had that many roles either.
I've got no idea why people say that she's ugly. Yes, she could straighten her teeth, but speaking from a girl's point of view, I think she is plenty cute in pictures.

Erin said...

Thank you so much for this--not that I needed any more reason to love her, but this, plus the radio show, puts her even higher up (which I didn't know was possible for someone with so few roles & songs) on my list of favorites. And you can count me in as another girl who thinks she's quite adorable, just from the pictures.

Andrew said...

Oh, she's very cute. No offense, but why does anyone take 2ch's comments seriously anymore? Not to bring the mood down here, but I haven't taken them seriously since some posters there made fun of Nana Mizuki's father's death recently. That is beyond rotten. Anus of the Internet indeed.

That would be something if she goes to that school and bumps into the Crown Princess. If Tokyo University is Japan's Harvard, would you say this school is like Japan's Eton (in Windsor, England; commonly associated with the British aristocracy)? Perhaps she could inform us what anime and manga the Japanese royals like.