The first episode of Hirano Aya's hour-long TV show Hirano Aya dake TV 平野綾だけTV ("Hirano Aya-only TV") was broadcast on Fuji Television April 16.
Here is part one on YouTube.
Aya spent four hours working in a fast food restaurant, Lotteria. She made hamburgers (breaking a couple), salted and served fries, cleaned tables, and took orders (always with the manager backing her up).
She seemed nervous and spoke in the polite, fairly silly-sounding, little-girl voice she can affect.
The most touching thing for me was her honesty during the interview for the job. How did she find out about the position? From the staff planning the TV show. And in outlining her experience, she didn't make up anything, but just cited her experience as a seiyuu and entertainer. Asked for her strong points, she said she is willing to try things and always sees things through to the end. Her weaknesses? Sometimes she takes on things that she does not have the capacity for.
In the scene where the TV staff told her what her task was to be -- to work in the fast food place -- you could see that although she knew she would be doing something like that, she probably didn't know the exact thing she would be doing, and was apprehensive.
Throughout the four hours she worked there, she was uncertain how embarrassed to be, and toward whom: embarrassed to be working at this job? Embarrassed to be making mistakes? Embarrassed to be there with the video crew getting in the staff's way?
It's not a show I'll be rushing to watch that often, but it grew on me. Even I, however, have trouble with that high, forced polite voice.
Making burgers badly:
Getting paid (four hours at $13/hour = $52):
But this wasn't the only thing Aya has been up to recently. She released a new single this week: Set Me Free, backed with Sing a Song. The disc hit the charts today at #10. I'm not overwhelmed, myself, since it sounds too similar to some of her other recent singles, but I'm enjoying it:
She held events for fan club members in Tokyo and Osaka. The various souvenir "goods" they had for sale all sold out (final picture):
She ate with singer May'N (who was the singing voice of Sheryl in Macross Frontier) at an Okinawa restaurant recommended by May'N. And had ice cream at a Coldstone Creamery -- then got a pimple near her "tear mole":
And she is rehearsing for this weekend's Suzumiya Haruhi no Gensou 涼宮ハルヒの弦奏 musical event:
Aya has also mentioned in her blog that she will be in an NHK anime called Kawa no Hikari ("River's Light"). The anime is based on Matsuura Hisaki's popular ecological novel, which has been serialized in the Yomiuri Shinbun newspaper since 2006 and is now complete. It is the story of a family of mice displaced by human construction. The anime will air on June 20.
Aya plays a dog, and says she feels a great responsibility since the character is based on the author's own dog. She adds that the other cast members are very high-level seiyuu.
I have no further information about staff or cast. It seems that, once again, Aya has jumped the gun and announced a show before its producers do.