The full results of the Anime Blog Awards are now out. Thank you, bloggers, for voting this the bloggers' choice as top seiyuu blog. And congratulations to j1m0ne for being chosen top seiyuu blog by the public. I like my blog, but I voted for her.
A great big thank you to Impz and all the people who came up with this idea of blog awards and were able to pull it off. It seemed to me to help focus us. Were we all posting more while the voting was on, or was that my imagination?
Thanks especially for making seiyuu blog one of the categories. It's great to get an award, but even more satisfying is the feeling that this blog -- and j1m0ne and seiyuu3 -- have helped bring seiyuu closer to top-of-mind for more people.
I'm studding this post with head-shots of various seiyuu I like. Mouseover for their names. And reduce page width to 1024 pixels to get the photos to line up properly with the text. Sigh.
When I started this blog in the fall of 2005, I didn't realize it was going to concentrate on seiyuus as much as it has. My first three posts were on Paradise Kiss, Noein, and Canvas2. I had only started watching anime the year before, and I was just beginning to grasp the awesomeness of the seiyuus' work.
I think it was Saitou Chiwa in Tsukuyomi Moon Phase in the fall of 2004 who first made me go: "Hey, what a fascinating voice. Who is that?"
Then came Honey & Clover in 2005, with the outstanding work of Takahashi Mikako, Sugita Tomokazu, and Fujiwara Keiji, and Kudou Haruka to show what an untrained voice sounds like. But what sealed the deal was Ichigo Mashimaro, the funniest anime I've ever seen, with the best ensemble comic cast, including Nabatame Hitomi, Orikasa Fumiko, Chiba Saeko, Kawasumi Ayako and (thanks, Mei) Noto Mamiko.
And the rest is history. Who knew that there would be so many seiyuus to learn about, and such an interesting variety of voices and styles. I know I post too much about Hirano Aya. It's partly just a fascination with her life and persona, as revealed in her active blog. But the fact that so many others hate her is a big spur to learning and posting more, lol. Her style is unique, when she's at her best, and she keeps changing, too.
It was the spring of 2006 that solidified my love for anime and for seiyuu, with the broadcast of three anime that I regard as masterpieces: Simoun, NANA, and Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu. Totally different shows, but sharing one thing: fascinating voice work. In Simoun, Takahashi Rieko and Niino Michi showed what real stage actresses can do as seiyuu. In NANA, Paku Romi gave what may be the best seiyuu performance I've ever heard.
And in SHnY.... I bet you think I am going to talk about Hirano Aya. Well, actually, she didn't stand out for me in that show. It was Sugita Tomokazu and Gotou Yuuko who riveted my attention. Aaya first bowled me over as Layla in NANA. But then she brought tears to my eyes with almost every speech.
Anyway, thanks. More and better blogs will keep coming, but I'm very happy to have helped get people talking more about the voices that bring anime alive.