Monday, December 08, 2008

Seiyuu Awards 2008 -- Nominees List and How to Vote

Paku Romi receiving 2006 best actress awardThank you for your additions to the nominations list for the 2008 Seiyuu Awards. Here is the full list, along with instructions on how to vote.

There are two kinds of awards that you can vote for: the main awards, several categories of them, for which Japanese voters will be voting, too; and the Overseas Fans' Choice Award, a single category, for which only non-Japanese overseas fans will vote.

2006 award winnersFirst, I will list the nominees proposed for the Japanese awards by myself and by readers. I give the names romanized and in Japanese. Even in the romanized version, I give the names in Japanese order, surname first, given name second.

This is not an exclusive list. Feel free to vote for someone not on the list if you prefer. But for the Japanese awards, you have to vote in Japanese.

Second, I will explain how to vote in the two sets of awards. Finally, I will tell you who I voted for myself.


male lead: 主演男優賞
Kishio Daisuke (Kaname-Vampire Knight Guilty) 岸尾だいすけ
Miyano Mamoru (Kurou-Kurozuka, Setsuna-Gundam00) 宮野真守
Kiuchi Hidenobu (Izumida-Ryouko's Case File) 木内秀信
Fujiwara Keiji (Tachibana-Antique Bakery) 藤原啓治
Fukuyama Jun (Lelouch-Code Geass, Lawrence-Spice & Wolf) 福山潤
Nakamura Yuuichi (Tomoya-Clannad, Alto-Macross Frontier) 中村悠一
Namikawa Daisuke (Thobari-Nabari no Ou) 浪川大輔

female lead: 主演女優賞
Koshimizu Ami (Horo-Spice & Wolf, Kallen-Code Geass) 小清水亜美
Paku Romi (Kuromitsu-Kurozuka, Popo-Kaiba) 朴璐美
Kugimiya Rie (Taiga-Toradora, Nagi-Hayate, Kagura-Gintama) 釘宮理恵
Sawashiro Miyuki (Shinkuro-Kurenai) 沢城みゆき
Tomatsu Haruka (Nagi-Kannagi) 戸松遥
Endou Aya (Sheryl-Macross Frontier) 遠藤綾
Saito Chiwa (Kemeko-Kemeko DX) 斉藤千和
Hirano Aya (Chiko-Nijuumensou) 平野綾

male supporting: 助演男優賞
Gouda Hozumi (Hani Meijin-Shion no Ou) 郷田ほづみ
Uchida Yuya (Nijuumensou-Nijuumensou no Musume) 内田夕夜
Mizushima Takahiro (Aihara-KimiKiss) 水島大宙
Kamiya Hiroshi (Michel-Macross Frontier) 神谷浩史

female supporting: 助演女優賞
Toyoguchi Megumi (Kuran Klan-Macross Frontier) 豊口めぐみ
Tanaka Rie (Eriko-KimiKiss Pure Rouge) 田中理恵
Takahashi Mikako (Yoriko-Mouryou no Hako) 高橋美佳子
Sawashiro Miyuki (Tsugumi-Kannagi) 沢城みゆき
Horie Yui (Minori-Toradora, Siesta-Zero no Tsukaima) 堀江由衣
Hirohashi Ryou (Kyou-CLANNAD, Asuka-Kimikiss) 広橋涼

male newcomer (5 years or less as a seiyuu): 新人賞男優賞
Maeno Tomoaki (Doujou-Library War, Gouta-Natsu no Sora) 前野智昭
Kaji Yuuki (Akina-Yozakura) 梶裕貴
Ishii Makoto (Shinichirou-true tears - may not be eligible) 石井真

female newcomer (5 years or less as a seiyuu): 新人賞女優賞
Tomatsu Haruka (Nagi-Kannagi) 戸松遥
Takagaki Ayahi (Noe-true tears) 高垣彩陽
Endou Aya (Sheryl-Macross Frontier)
Itou Kanae (Amu-Shugo Chara) 伊藤かな恵
Ise Mariya (Tanarotte-Macademi Wasshoi) 伊瀬茉莉也

singer: 歌唱賞
Hayami Saori (Wagaya no Oinarisama) 早見沙織
Nakajima Megumi (Macross Frontier) 中島愛
Tomatsu Haruka (Kannagi) 戸松遥
Chihara Minori 茅原実里
Mizuki Nana 水樹奈々
Hirano Aya 平野綾
Kitamura Eri 喜多村英梨
Sakakibara Yui 榊原ゆい

personality: パーソナリティ賞
Takahashi Mikako 高橋美佳子
Hirano Aya 平野綾
Kitamura Eri 喜多村英梨
Nakagawa Shouko 中川翔子
Suzuki Tatsuhisa (Tezuka in Toshokan Sensou) 鈴木達央
Kamiya Hiroshi 神谷浩史
Ono Daisuke 小野大輔
Tamura Yukari 田村ゆかり
Paku Romi 朴璐美
Miyano Mamoru 宮野真守


1. In the Main Awards

In my pieces on the previous two years of the Awards, I made a point of not explaining how to vote. I thought that if you didn't at least understand some Japanese, it might not make sense for you to vote. But I got over that, lol. I don't think foreigners are going stuff the ballot boxes. Not based on my blog, anyway. I don't get that much traffic.

On the Seiyuu Awards website, there is a voting page. On that page are boxes that you use to input your vote: first, you enter your e-mail address (required), then for each category, there is a smaller box to input the name you are voting for, and a larger box for any comments you might want to make, such as what show you liked them in. Write only Japanese and no English, just to be courteous. And also so that we don't upset people at Awards HQ.

The names of all the nominees are given in Japanese at the end of their line in the nominees list above, in this post, so that you can copy and paste to vote. The names of the categories are given, too.

The voting page starts with some explanation. Scroll down to get to the voting boxes. Here is what the first part of the voting section of the page looks like:

There's the space for your e-mail, at the top. Then it says 主演男優賞, which means "Leading Performance Male Actor Award." The box beside that is for you to paste in the name. Copy the Japanese characters carefully and paste them into the box. The bigger box beneath that is for comments (as I said, in Japanese, please).

Next comes 主演女優賞, "Leading Performance Female Actor Award." The long box next to that is for the name, and the bigger box beneath is for comments.

The next category is 助演男優賞, "Supporting Performance Male Actor Award." And so on down the page. My screen capture could be clearer, but you can see the words more clearly on the voting page itself.

Make sure you are copying the right Japanese characters from the nominees' list and that you are voting in the correct category.

When you have filled all the boxes that you want to fill (don't feel you have to vote in categories you have no real opinion about), click the grey "verify" button at the bottom of the page:

That will take you to a page with all your choices listed, so you can make sure you voted as you wished. When you're sure you have, click the left-hand button at the bottom of that page, which sends off your vote. The right-hand button sends you back to the previous page, so you can make changes:

When you have finally voted, a new page will come up, thanking you for your vote, with a button to send you back to the main page of the site:

2. Voting in the Overseas Fans' Choice Awards

Voting in these awards is pretty simple. Just go to this page and follow the instructions, which are in English. You enter your e-mail address (required), then the name of the voice actor or actress you like, then write in the larger box which performance(s) of theirs you liked.

It doesn't say anything about whether it should just be for a performance from this year, but that makes sense to me. In any case, I voted for my favorite performance of 2008, which was Koshimizu Ami as Horo in Spice & Wolf.

I should add that I gave two different e-mail addresses for the two sets of awards, just in case they didn't want to let one e-mail address vote in both. The system said it accepted my votes.

C. How I voted

Male lead: Kishio Daisuke as Kaname in Vampire Knight Guilty. I found him dark, serious and deep in both the original series and Guilty, but especially in Guilty, where we get closer to the heart of the story. Kishio's Kaname is a man of few words, but the words have great effect. Anyway, if I had been Yuuki, there is no doubt who I would have chosen from the start.

Female lead: Koshimizu Ami as Horo in Spice & Wolf. I had decided who to vote for in this year's awards from about episode two of this show, last January. Amisuke's performance as a 500-year-old wolf goddess in the form of a teenage girl was amazing. Some great competitors came up during the year, but none could unseat her: Tomatsu Haruka is wonderful as Nagi in Kannagi, but Ami is more consistent and more dramatic. Paku Romi blows me away as Kuromitsu in Kurozuka, but she won two years ago. I love all the other performances listed in the nominations, especially Hirano Aya's as Chiko in Nijuumensou no Musume, and Kugimiya Rie's as Taiga in Toradora, but none reaches the same level as those first three, for me.

Male supporting: Gouda Hozumi as Hani Meijin in Shion no Ou. He was a looming presence throughout the story in this little-watched show. Kamiya Hiroshi was extremely strong as Michel/Mikhail in Macross Frontier, and I could easily have voted for him.

Female supporting: Sawashiro Miyuki has become a favorite of mine, and her Tsugumi in Kannagi has been a revelation: light, vivid, flexible, emotive, and subtly hilarious. I almost voted for Toyoguchi Megumi as Klan in Macross Frontier. Big Klan is a great character, and little Klan is almost as strong. Two great characters from one voice.

Male newcomer: Maeno Tomoaki is the man. Doujo in Library Wars just rivets your attention whenever he appears. But Maeno also did another haunting character, the taciturn Gouta in the underrated near-masterpiece Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Mono - Natsu no Sora.

Female newcomer: Since I didn't vote for her as top lead, this has to be Tomatsu Haruka (Nagi). I really have never heard a more varied and interesting comic character. She is still learning her trade, but she has such great vocal and comic tools. Her voice is a bit harsh for my taste, but she can leave the soft and pretty to others. If this great performance hadn't come along, I would probably have voted for Takagaki Ayahi, Noe in true tears, who really wove a spell. But I would have no problem at all with Endou Aya winning it either, as she probably will. Her Sheryl was another great character, and she also created something as the voice of Angelique in the new and improved version of that shoujo fantasy series. If Endou-san wins, that will mean that three of the four leads in Lucky Star have won this award: Hirano Aya, Katou Emiri, and Endou. Some may see that as the fix being in, but it seems adequately deserved in all cases, to me.

Singer: I have a thing for Hayami Saori. I think she has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. Anywhere. Not only does she have a natural musicality and ability to give a song interest and meaning, but her tonal quality is sublime. She is still learning, and I hope she will come out with an album soon, and start being able to do on stage what she can do on CD. She's an entertaining and capable personality on her radio show, too -- especially for a 17-year-old. Certainly Tomatsu Haruka does a wonderful job with the OP and ED for Kannagi. Mizuki Nana is a great star loved by many. Chihara Minori is a good singer. And I liked some of Hirano Aya's work this year. But I expect Nakajima Megumi to win the award -- and deservedly -- for her fresh and moving singing as Ranka in Macross Frontier.

Personality: This is a tough one for me, since I don't listen to much seiyuu radio or watch too many clips from seiyuu TV -- and my Japanese isn't equal to all the subtleties when I do. I was tempted to abstain. But I voted for Hirano Aya. I am captivated by every appearance of hers I have heard or seen. So sue me.


Erin said...

Saori Hayami indeed! I can't believe she actually got nominated. I'm thrilled, mind you, but I didn't think it would happen. Awesome. Now I must vote.

hashi said...

@Erin -- Well, these are totally unofficial nominations, and the only reason Hayamin got nominated is that I nominated her myself.... But I am ecstatic that someone else likes her this much, too. In the interests of full disclosure, I should add that I think she is just okay as a seiyuu, with a limited range within which she does a good job (Momoko and Kou). But as a singer she is something very special.

Erin said...

I think she's better than "just okay" as a seiyuu, although I agree that she's got a limited range. But she's... seventeen, right? Things can only get better (I hope) from here, as she gains more experience. I rather expect her to turn out to be something remarkable all around, given a little more time.

Westlo said...

Yeah anyone who calls a fix on Aya Endo winning best newcomer is lacking some brain cells. Her Sheryl puts her in contention for best performance of the year.. let alone best new comer...

I still think Tomatsu Haruka will end up winning the award though, Sony/Aniplex are going to push her big time but she is a deserving winner.

Also Nakajima Megumi better win best singer or this really is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Just what do they men, when they say "Personality"?

hashi said...

@westlo -- I think how the choices are made is that the public sends in their votes, and then a committee vets them. I'm guessing from past results that if the public puts someone way out in front (a Gundam star, for example, or Hirano Aya), the committee won't change it. But if there is no clear winner, the committee might choose the person they think is better, or who has more experience, or even, as the critics think, is commercially better for the industry or for one or other of the sponsors. All possible. Sometimes, I think even the Japanese public will not vote for a relative newcomer in a close race with a more established star, so Endou-san may have trouble winning the big prize, and may have to settle for the newcomer award. In past years, they have given two newcomer awards to each gender, so perhaps Tomatsu and Endou?

@Erin -- I should made it clear that I think Hayamin (the nickname being used on 2channel) has a big upside as a seiyuu, too. I agree with you. But so far she's closer to realizing her potential as a singer than as a seiyuu.

@anonymous -- "Personality" means TV or radio personality, basically. In Japan, they actually use the English word "personality" to refer to people like TV hosts, etc. Many seiyuus have radio shows, broadcast or internet, and some appear as regulars (listed as the "personalities" on the show) on anime TV talk/magazine shows. Maria Yamamoto, Nogawa Sakura, and Sakai Kanako are three I've seen often as TV hosts. Takahashi Mikako, Asano Masumi, and Kawasumi Ayako and Noto Mamiko all have long-running radio shows.

Westlo said...

Btw I think a dark horse for best new malecomer is definitely Abe Atsushi. He hasn't done much but he plays the lead character of To Aru Majutsu no Index and Xam'd: Lost Memories which are 2 major shows.

I think he'll have a break out year soon in much the same way Nakamura Yuuichi is currently having.