I'm enjoying the new Tale of Genji anime by Dezaki Osamu. With my love for the novel, it could have gone either way, but I'm appreciating the beauty of the look, and various new angles on the story.
In episode 3, some of the voice-acting was great. Hirata Eriko did a stunning turn as Lady Aoi. And Tsuru Hiromi continues to be strong as Lady Rokujo. Hirata-san is also good as the beast-healer Soyon in the promising new Production IG fantasy Kemono no Souja Erin.
But the voice I enjoyed most in this episode was Yugao's. Its baroque fragility matched the character perfectly: a classic tragic romantic heroine with a Japanese twist. I eagerly searched the end credits to find out who the seiyuu was. It turned out that I had failed to recognize the voice of one of the seiyuu I like the most: Koshimizu Ami.
Has Ami done this tiny, fragile voice before? I guess there is something of Yuumi in KimiKiss in it, but the character is so unlike other of her recent roles, such as Kallen or Horo. And just about diametrically opposite to her masculine Paraietta in Simoun.
Ami is clearly in the top rank of women seiyuus, for me. With people like Paku Romi, Kobayashi Sanae and Orikasa Fumiko, Kawasumi Ayako, Yukino Satsuki and Yajima Akiko. People with range and acting ability and emotional power.
Ami's three repeats of "sore kara" were darts to the heart, embodying so much of Yugao's feeling: love and playfulness, humility and hopeless hope.
EDIT: I've just checked 2channel, and more than one poster there says they didn't recognize her voice either, so I feel better. The word most often used there is jouzu "skilful," which is high praise from otaku.
I read Ami's blog and follow her fairly closely, and I think she proves to me yet again that the best actors are not always the brightest. She seems like a lovely person, but no rocket scientist.
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