Friday, January 30, 2009

Koshimizu Ami as Yugao in the Tale of Genji

Yugao 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.

Koshimizu AmiHas 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.

-- end of post --


Ivy said...

Hopeless hope, thats utterly tragic yet beautiful. Koshimizu Ami has always been a favorite of mine. Consistently giving life to great characters, one comes to mind like a sore-thumb (Its not Horo lol). Eureka 7's Anemone. Anemone was a conflicted, confused and sad being. Anemone's inner monologue in episode (47 or 48?) will always be one of my most memorable anime moments, partially thanks to Koshimizu Ami's powerful rendition. She needs more multi-layered psycho roles. She was rather excellent in Sola as Sae Sakura, the ditsy,clumsy glasses-wearing girl. Just like you in Genji, I didn't know it was her until I checked who her VA was.

hashi said...

@Ivy -- Anemone was great. I'll have to go back and watch that monologue again. In real life, apparently, it was during Eureka Seven that Ami and Sanpei Yuuko became good friends with Nazuka Kaori.